Consistency, conditioning and, most of all, confidence are going to be crucial in the coming weeks for Tolton football.

These are the values that coach Michael Egnew preaches to his players day in and day out, part of the mindset he expects them to adopt come game day.

“I know a confident player is always a better player,” Egnew said. “They should always know that they can beat whoever they line up against as long as they have confidence.”

Now 0-3 on the season, the Trailblazers continue to compete each week as if it were their first, confidently facing any opponent that comes their way.

In preparation for their fourth game, Egnew said the players worked this on continued development of fundamentals, especially ones that fell short in previous games.

The coaching staff increased and maintained the level of intensity throughout practices as a way to combat the exhaustion that plagued Tolton in the second half of last week’s game.

“I know that they’re going to come out and work hard and fight for all four quarters,” Egnew said. “That’s just who they are, that’s who they’ve become.”

Starting quarterback Gabe Pfenenger is well aware of the ups and downs the team has battled this season , but doesn’t seem to be discouraged when looking ahead to Friday.

“Sometimes everything comes together and we do some great things, and then sometimes we fall short,” Pfenenger said. “We’re just trying to work on minimizing mistakes and continuing to improve.”

While Pfenenger has worked on making the right reads and taking care of the ball, many of his and the team’s improvements this week have been just as much mental as they are physical.

The Trailblazers have taken Egnew’s words to heart, and the “confidence is key” mentality he espouses seems to resonate loud and clear in the minds of the players.

“He talks to us about how nothing in life comes easy and how we will have to work for everything we get,” Pfenenger said. “He also tells us that nothing in life worth having is easy to get.”

This unwavering adherence by the players to their coach’s words of wisdom has not gone unnoticed by Egnew.

“They’ve always had a good attitude, they always want to win, they always want to work hard,” Egnew said. “I’m blessed with the guys that we have on the team.”

The Trailblazers will once again put their confidence to the test at 7 p.m. Friday, when they return to St. Charles to play the St. Dominic Crusaders.

  • Sports reporter, fall 2019, studying sports journalism. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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