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Jericho sets out to change its football reputation

Jericho's Patrick Jung at football practice on Aug.

Jericho's Patrick Jung at football practice on Aug. 24, 2016. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Mike Bonsignore is in his first season at the helm of the Jericho Jayhawks, and he’s preaching three simple things – mentality, attitude and effort.

It’s easier said than done, of course, especially for a team coming off a 1-7 season. But Jericho’s mentality was weak last season, according to quarterback Ross Platz and running back Patrick Jung.

For the most part, the team lacked focused. That’s not the case so far this season.

“The past couple of years, football was taken as a joke most of the time,” Jung said. “The new coaching staff and captains talked to everyone about taking it serious this year.”

This year and beyond, really.

The goal is to establish a program at Jericho and bring success back to the school.

Jung and Platz are two key pieces of the hopeful turnaround. Jung hits hard at linebacker and runs with his head down out of the backfield, while Platz throws a tight spiral and has good field vision.

Bonsignore made the switch from a spread offense to a Wing-T to cater to Platz’s arm and Jung’s legs. The players have picked it up quickly while also learning the ins and outs of a new 3-5 defense.

That’s a product of sound leadership.

“We’re putting all we have into this last year, and we want the rest of the team to replicate that,” Platz said.

Even if the Jayhawks don’t post a winning record, they figure to be more competitive. With Bonsignore running a tighter ship, Jericho is on the right track.

“Coming in new and knowing that a program hasn’t been successful, it’s about trying to change that attitude and that mentality,” Bonsignore said. “If you don’t believe that we can do something, no one in the school is going to believe it.”

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