ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Lutheran Crusaders were a buzzsaw in 2015 going 11-0 before falling to Marengo in the class 4A quarterfinals. Lutheran suffers a huge loss with the departure of the state’s all-time leading rusher James Robinson.
Dynamic playmaker Marcus Hayes is also gone having transferred to Rockford East. However, in their departures the team has rallied together and they have a new slogan to show this will not be a down year.
“Our group of kids came out with the word on our handbook, our handbook that we give out every year. They pick what this team is all about and they picked the word silence and they chose that word because they want to silence all the people by playing well and beating teams and that they can win without all these guys,” says Lutheran Head Coach Bruce Bazsali.
"Yeah we still have a lot of talent. Everyone just has to know what they are doing and we have some younger guys that are going to step up and we still have like 10 seniors and all of them have been coming up since freshman year and they know what to do so I am confident in all of them,” says Nick Brigham, senior LB/WR.
This year the Crusaders added one of the best coaches in the area to their staff, former Hononegah coach Tim Sughroue. Sughroue was put on administrative leave at Hononegah last year, but has moved on from that and is hoping his expertise can help Lutheran’s linebackers and of course keep them on top in the conference.
“Coach Bazsali and Coach Mulaney and the rest of the crew are just a great bunch of guys and this conference has some great football and I am very excited to be a part of the program,” says Sughroue.
“He has so much experience and knowledge that we can put him a position and he can coach anything out there that we need. he's really great to have. He’s a great replacement for Ben Thompson who left last year and is kind of my swing guy like that and he has been a great asset to us all summer long,” says Coach Bazsali.