VIDEO: Undefeated Glenbard East faces stern test against East St. Louis

Glenbard East coach John Walters paced up and down the sideline Wednesday watching his team prepare to host East St. Louis in a Class 7A second-round playoff game on Saturday.

Two things looked unusual: the Rams practicing this late in October and the lengthy beard on Walters.

“My wife says it ages me,” Walters said. “But I’m not shaving it until we lose.”

Walters hasn’t shaved since before Glenbard East’s 36-7 win against South Elgin in Week 5. The Rams are 10-0 for the first time in school history and Walters isn’t taking any chances.

It’s been a historic season for Glenbard East. This year marked the first time in 19 years it made the state playoffs and the first time since 1965 that the Rams won conference.

“I’m not really surprised we’re in the position that we’re in,” Walters said. “It’s hard to understand unless you’ve been around it and around these kids. The bond that they have and the commitment they made, I knew we were going to be a good football team.”

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The Rams were 3-6 last season and 2-7 in 2016-17. The turn around has been special and Walters credits it to the leadership that anchors the group. There are 32 seniors on the team.

“I hear a lot more people saying ‘are you going to the football game?’,” quarterback Bret Bushka said. “More people take pride in Glenbard East football, they have something to look forward to now.”

Bushka is one of six captains. He leads the team on and off the field. He’s averaging more than 200 yards passing and has thrown 26 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.

The Rams will face a massive challenge against East St. Louis on Saturday, by far their biggest of the season.

The Flyers have won eight state championships, the most recent in 2016. East St. Louis is the 15 seed, but will be a heavy favorite on Saturday in Lombard. The Flyers (8-2) played three national powerhouses this season and haven’t lost to an in-state opponent.

“We all know that they obviously have some good athletes on their side, they’re a little bit bigger than ours but this is our test,” linebacker Anthony Shockey said. “We get past this and I’m very confident we can go to state.”

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5 comments

  • Jeanne Shockey

    Go Rams!
    Size doesn’t matter. It’s like Walters said this year the Rams showed up with “the bond” & “the commitment”. The Rams have what it takes win this (teamwork, passion, hope, plan & faith). You boys deserve it!

  • art davis

    I wouldn’t pay too much attention to their 60 points during those four games. East St. Louis is known to pad their stats by leaving starters in the game although the has been decided and will shamelessly toss the ball up over twenty times during the 4th quarter.

    • John Reeves

      Art Davis……I can see you know nothing about East St Louis Football. They dont do anything “Shamelessly’. and you probably have never seen the team play . I have been to all their games for the last 8 years . EdgyTim has picked them to win the 7A state title ( # 9 ). East St Louis has won 8 state titles and 13 state titles in Track and Field. More than any other team in the state . They have hundreds of trophys .They have so many trophys that they have a Building just for the trophys. Alabama coach Nick Saban came to the school to recruit about 7 members of the team.

    • John Reeves

      Art Davis…… I’m at the game at Glenbard East … In the 3rd Quarter….. the score is East St Louis 48 Glenbard East 7.

  • John Reeves

    Glenbard East will not beat East St Louis . East St Louis Has scored more than 60 points 4 times this season. East St Louis has a massive front 4 on offense . 6ft 4 340 6ft 4 320 6ft 4 300 6ft 3 290. The Quarterback and the running back are the state 100 meter track champs . Most of the team are members of the 2017 State champion track team. So Glenbard East needs to bring their track shoes. They beat Hoffman Estates 62-14 and the Hoffman Estates coach said ” They were just too fast for us” .

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