New Coach Inspiring a New Team

Adele Zyniewicz, Reporter

Frank Karczewski grew up as an athlete. In fact, he grew up right here in South Bend, Indiana right by the North Shore Triangle. Karczewski and his three sisters, who are triplets, all attended St. Joseph Grade School. During his high school years here at John Adams, Coach Karczewski played football and competed on the swim team; mastering his butterfly stroke Karczewski was also a sprinter. Through conditioning and long hours of training in the off-season, he kept in great shape for football season.

The Karczewski siblings then went on to graduate from John Adams High School, following in their mother’s footsteps. Coach Karczewski graduated in 2013 and his sisters followed two years later. Karczewski says, despite the stereotype of sibling hatred, he “loves his sisters” and “really enjoys hanging out with them,” even in high school. Karczewski went on to graduate from Indiana University- South Bend for college. 

Karczewski still misses the gorgeous views of California and the outdoors. “The natural beauty was something else,” he says. When he lived in California, he enjoyed hiking and oftentimes, taking on both the mountains and beaches in one weekend. California was not the same as South Bend to Karczewski though. “There are good people there but it wasn’t home.” After living in California for a few years, Karczewski then moved to Indianapolis to coach football at Cathedral High School. In the three short years that Karczewski lived there, he aided the football team to many successful seasons. Even though Karczewski is very proud of the two State Championships he led Adams to win as a player, he says that his proudest and most moving accomplishment is the overall development of his former players in Indianapolis. Karczewski emphasizes one story in particular. “I coached this kid who went from being the backup quarterback on junior varsity his sophomore year to playing college football.” Karczewski was immensely proud of this player and still recalls this story when he needs a push.

 Coming back to South Bend, after coaching in Indianapolis and California, was not as hard of an adjustment as one might think. Karczewski mentions that an important part of his successful return to Adams is his supportive wife. Having Just gotten married this past summer, he was grateful to have her by his side while moving. The couple traveled to Greece on their honeymoon. Seeing the changes at Adams and things that stayed the same was fun for Karczewski. He remembers Mr. Longnecker, “a teacher even [his] mom had.” One change that really stood out to him was the atmosphere that was created around athletics. He remembers there being positivity in the Athletic program at Adams when he was in high school, but he is mighty impressed with how the athletes create a positive atmosphere themselves now. He says that he even noticed that the administrators are more supportive. 

While coaching here at John Adams, Karczewski has also taken the role of an English teacher. Only supposed to have been teaching five classes, he now teaches six. He enjoys the students’ presence in the classroom and he has fun with them. He even teaches some of his football players. 

The players at John Adams have also taken a liking to their new coach. After the previous coach, Antwon Jones, left Adams for Penn High School for a new security job, the team is ready for some new leadership. Toryn Day, a junior starting quarterback, weighing in at 170 pounds and standing at six feet tall, explains, “Our coaching staff has changed this team around in such little time. They have brought more discipline and structure to how we practice and play.” Although the Adam’s Eagles lost their first game to Northridge, 12-50, the team was looking forward to making improvements in practice so they could compete against Fairfield. Day states that the team “needs to be in better shape and eliminate the small mistakes before game time.” Solomon Parker, a senior tight end and linebacker, says that the Northridge game “didn’t go as planned, and it was definitely a wake-up call.” Parker looks forward to every game and sees each one as an opportunity for improvement. “I feel amazing about the new coaching staff this year,” Parker says, “we have a lot of coaches who are energetic and have the same goals as we do. We all want to change this football program and understand what it takes to do so.” 

Karczewski is hoping he can aid the team in their potential of being more consistent, growing in numbers, and being better on both sides of the ball by the end of the year. He is looking forward to playing in the Northern Indiana conference this year. He says that “all the teams are competitive so there will be no easy wins.” Karczewski is more inspired by his overall goal: helping all players develop on and off the field. Jeremiah Love, a senior and captain on the football team, says that the crowd’s energy plays a big role in the team’s performance. “When we have a fan base that believes in us and cheers us on, it makes us push to another gear we didn’t even know we had.” Love expects the fans to be very involved at every game, especially their first home game against Fairfield. 

The Eagles fought hard against Fairfield Falcons. The players were very excited about this game and as Love says the team ‘learned from their mistakes and got the kinks out.” Adams walked away with a score of 14-24. 

The next week, Adams faced off against the Riley Wildcats. This is a rivalry both teams were looking forward to. The Adams Eagles won with 14 points on the board against Riley’s 6. Having gone into double overtime, Josh Nziza, Toryn Day, and Adreon Petty all made notable plays in Riley’s game. Solomon Parker, Adreon Petty, and Josh Nziza all contributed to the score from the end zone. Parker says that “the crowd’s energy can bring up the team after any mistakes,” in agreeance with his teammates. So, as senior Dylan Longbrake says, “All Eagles need to show up to the game and help cheer the Eagles to victory.”