By John Ring
Published April 22, 2021 in The Burg
Every high school football team has had to deal with covid issues for the last 14 months, including the Galesburg Silver Streaks. That's a given. Those are the times we live in.
But the Silver Streaks also have had other setbacks that would have possibly sunk other teams. And it would have definitely torpedoed Silver Streak teams from the last couple of decades. Consider this: the Streaks have lost their starting quarterback to injuries the last two seasons. I can't recall that ever happening before. But in games against Quincy both in 2019 and 2021, two quarterbacks named Aten were injured severely enough their entire season was lost when they suffered knee injuries. First, in was Connor Aten in the fourth quarter when the Streaks were furiously rallying against the Blue Devils. His younger brother Grant replaced him. Then two weeks ago, Grant suffered a knee injury against the Blue Devils at home in a Galesburg rout of Quincy. Tristan Legate, a sophomore, took over for Grant. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves or blaming freak luck, the Silver Streaks were resilient. They have battled and competed in every game that has resulted in a 2-3 record so far in this abbreviated spring 2021 season. “Our approach is always the next-man up plays because that’s just the nature of the game and you invest in your starters,” said Washabaugh. “With Legate, it was either sink or swim. He was in the game and he’s shown tremendous growth. The speed of the game was faster than he was used to but he’s adjusted.” Legate, who played on the freshman team last year, is easing into the job. Grant Aten is probably out for the remainder of the season, as there is only one game left after the United Township game last Friday. “We’ll be cautious with him because the Fall season is only a few months away,” said Coach Washabaugh. The brief timeout between seasons—keep in mind that it’s never been done before—plus several football players participating in baseball, track and field and wrestling means a lot of time commitments from Silver Streak athletes. “The guys need to commit to those sports and we’re going to take that into account in preparation for our season is the fall,” said Washabaugh. “We’ll do the old school workouts the last three weeks of July and our summer weight program but we want to make sure they get some rest built in and some time off. But this affects all of the schools, not just the smaller ones.” The Streaks Junior Varsity team is 1-1 on the season and the freshmen were at the .500 mark as well before a tough last second loss to United Township on Friday night but both have had their schedules impacted by covid related cancellations. Washabaugh is pleased that they have been getting experience on the field. “We bring back 80 per cent of our roster next season so the JV team will supply some depth for us and we’re glad to see they’re getting some time on the field.” The combination of the players returning and the good numbers of the sophomore and freshmen teams are a good omen for this Silver Streak football program.