Joe Ryan says the work that his team puts in at Sycamore High School is more important than the outcome – and that whatever the score, the lessons they learn about discipline and preparation are more important than the outcome of games.
 
As head football coach for the Spartans, Ryan has seen plenty of ups and downs in the past few years; it’s been three years since one of his teams has beaten DeKalb in their annual rivalry game, but last year’s team made it to the state semifinals in spite of early losses.
 
Ryan bristled at a newspaper description of last week’s loss as a “disappointment” – he says that while it can be disappointing to lose, no team which has put in the amount of work that his squad does each week to get ready for a game can be a disappointment to him. 
 
He says his players open their season with two-a-day practices, plus film and walk-through sessions; then once the school year begins, they have to spend two hours on the practice field each day…with weightlifting sessions mixed in…all to prepare for each week’s contest.