There will be no easing into Week 2 of the high school football season for Sterling.
The Golden Warriors were worn down in a 29-14 loss at Metamora in their season opener this past Friday, letting a 14-0 lead slip away in the process. They'll look to get back on track this week when Chicago Public League opponent Whitney Young comes to town.
The second half of the loss to Metamora was particularly hard to take, as the Golden Warriors didn't have an answer when the Redbirds raised their level of play.
"We need to keep our effort going, and our enthusiasm from the beginning of the game," junior linebacker Sam Wike said. "We kind of stopped that throughout the second half."
With that in mind, Sterling coach Jon Schlemmer set about trying to correct things going into this week. There was nothing fancy about it.
"From Monday, we put full gear on, we got back to the basics, and are doing the things we need to do to get better," Schlemmer said. "You can sit there and say we're a little bit sore or a little bit dinged up, but if we can't play for four quarters and aren't conditioned to do that, then that's something we've got to work on."
Whitney Young lost 50-14 to Chicago King in its first game. The Dolphins are more known as a basketball powerhouse, having won state championships in 1998, 2009 and 2014, but they can also play a little football.
Last year's Whitney Young club went 9-0 in the regular season before losing to Downers Grove North 28-0 in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs.
"They've got guys who can make plays and are playmakers," Schlemmer said. "It's about eliminating their big plays, not just limiting them. If they have one big play, that could be the difference."
For the Warriors, it will be about correcting mistakes and sustaining a high level of play for four quarters.
"As long as we do our jobs and play Golden Warrior football," Wike said, "we'll be all right."
On the health front, two-way starter Ty Shetter is out with a sprained right knee. He's expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks.
Turner Morse will take his spot at safety, while Logan Cheshire and Jacob Heffelfinger will split time at wide receiver.
Whitney Young at Sterling
When: 7:30 Friday
Radio: 94.3 FM
Twitter: Follow Ty Reynolds (@STyREynolds)