joe goddard October 1, 2012
HINSDALE — The highest honor you can give a ball carrier is to keep giving him the football to see what he can do with it.
Hinsdale Central fans have watched Jack Adams help keep the 5-1 Red Devils in West Suburban Silver contention with 712 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 127 carries for an average of 5.6 yards a try, plus two TD passes from quarterback Brian Owens.
Not bad for someone who was limited by a foot stress-fracture to just 20 carries and 90 yards last season.
“Nothing Jack does surprises me,” said running backs coach Nick Gebhart, who works daily with Adams on cutting and change-of-pace drills in thick grass. “Jack is a total warrior … the whole package … a terrific kid.”
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Adams, pushing to be the 13th Red Devil ball carrier to gain over 1,000 yards in a season, is in terrific company with past Hinsdale Central backs who twice led their teams in rushing since 1960: Ken Koranda (1965-66); Bob Hardig (1970-71); Brendan Lynch (1985-86); Scott Musso (1993-94); Ryan Swift (1995-96); Mike Mangan (1997-98-99); Brian Grezlakowski (2001-02); P.J. Beuke (2003-04); and all-purpose quarterback John Whitelaw (2007-08-09).
Adams, who also plays defense and wrestles, credits his success to an offensive line that averages about 265 pounds. To show his appreciation, Adams copied an idea from quarterback Owens by taking the O-line out for dinner at The Patio.
“It was so worth it,” said Adams, who rushed for 106 yards and scored two TDs in Saturday’s 34-27 comeback victory over Doings Cup rival Hinsdale South. “Those guys protect us.”
A Dean’s List member and Scholar Athlete, the Clarendon Hills resident hopes to attend Cornell, Tufts, Bucknell or DePauw to launch a career in law or criminal justice.
Adams is involved in numerous activities, including as a Wyldlife leader and participant in Charlie’s Autism Walk. He spent last summer assisting the poor in Guatemala as part of a Young Life project. One of his tasks was pouring cement in huts for children to lie on at night.
“They’re so happy not to have to sleep on dirt,” Adams said. “One of my sisters made a lasting friendship with a little girl there one year. I looked the girl up when I got there this summer and we both cried (with happiness).”
“Jack is used to girls in his life,” mom Sherri laughingly said of daughters Lindsey and Ellie, plus seven female cousins in the area. “He doesn’t seem to complain about it.”
Adams will be part of a group of almost 30 students going with Gebhart to Spain, Italy, Greece and the Greek Islands next summer.
“Coach Gebhart has been a big influence on me,” Adams said. “It will be a trip of a lifetime.”
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