Holding down special teams

By Courtney Linehan

Q: What is your favorite thing about the bye week?

A: Letting your body recuperate. For me, usually the bye week means getting home to see my dad’s team play. That’s the No. 1 thing I look forward to.

Q: Who is your favorite player your dad has coached at Mt. Carmel?

A: Don Veronesi, he was on the ’90 and ’91 State teams, walked on here, played receiver here. Just the work ethic he had, and I was still little enough that he was a guy I idolized growing up.

My favorite guy in the NFL is probably Donovan McNabb. Don, he’s a goofy guy. Every time I see him he’s like, ‘What’s up little Frank, what’s up?’ He’s a good guy; he’s always treated me well.

Q: Why is Mt. Carmel better than Carmel?

A: Well, I’d say 10 state titles on one hand to one on the other. That’s one reason. They’re up north, too. They’re part of the conference, but they’re not part of the old school Chicago Catholic League. They don’t have the tradition that Mt. Carmel has.

Q: What is the secret to a good hold?

A: Put it where the kicker wants it, and, most importantly, laces out. The whole thing about holding is just making the kicker as comfortable as possible. He has to have trust in you, and I think we definitely have that. The 52-yarder he hit, the snap was on my hip, and (kicker Jason Reda) had faith in me that I’d get it down. He banged it through. Kyle (Knezetic, the snapper) was hurting, so he warned me that it probably wasn’t going to be where it needed to be. Giving the kicker the confidence that he can trust you I think is the No. 1 thing.

Q: Which player puts the “special” in special teams?

A: Steve Weatherford. He makes it seem like special teams is the most important thing in the entire world. It is really important, obviously, but Steve takes it to a whole new level. He is Mr. Special Teams.

If there’s anyone other than him, it’s James Cooper. He does it all. He’s a leader on and off the field when it comes to special teams.

Q: Mt. Carmel’s nickname is “the Caravan.” Where did that come from?

A: The definition of our school nickname is a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. It’s a name the priests came up with way back when. The regular block “MC” is what we go by; there’s no animal or anything that goes with it.

Q: Tell me something interesting about one of your roommates.

A: I’d say the funniest thing about one of them is Xavier Fulton, he’s the one who got it all put together, found the house, signed the lease, got all the money together, yet somehow he’s the one who never has his key. Three o’clock in the morning, I’m sleeping, and my phone’s ringing. I see it’s Xavier, and he’s like, “Can you come let me in?” He’s the one who’s supposed to have all the keys. He’s the most important man in that house, and he never has a key to get in.

Q: Living with Brownsville, Texas-native Billy Garza, have you learned it’s better not to mess with Texas?

A: Billy, he has a few interesting stories. He doesn’t talk much, but when he gets rolling, he gets rolling. He doesn’t talk much about Texas, but if you get him rolling he doesn’t stop.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A: Black Cherry from Oberweis Dairy. Definitely.

Q: What’s your prediction for the World Series?

A: Well I think the Sox are definitely hot, and I think the Cards have that taste in their mouth from last year. So I think Sox-Cards, Sox take it in five.