Chaz Shaw has a novel way of recovering from Friday football.
He mows lawns.
Shaw, a Kaneland senior, started his own landscaping company, Shaw Labor and Landscape, two years ago. He does lawns and other miscellaneous jobs, such as brickwork, edging and trimming.
He’s a busy man. A two-sport athlete in football and lacrosse, Shaw starts at both fullback and middle linebacker for Kaneland.
“I just love working; I’d rather be doing this than some of my buddies that are lifeguards,” Shaw said. “I think I do some pretty decent work.”
Shaw and the Knights’ defense also are doing work.
Kaneland shut down its third straight opponent Friday, forcing four turnovers to overwhelm Rich Central, 34-6, in Maple Park.
Offensively, Shaw had two short touchdown runs, and Jonathan Alstott was busy with 185 yards and three touchdowns on 42 carries. Sam Pryor and Kyle Angelotti each had interceptions.
The Knights (3-0) have yet to allow a score defensively outside of the last two minutes.
“Our defense is playing fantastic,” Kaneland coach Pat Ryan said. “I kind of thought that would be a strength of the team, with three returning all-conference players. That makes a difference. A strong defense and a good running game is a solid recipe for success.”
Shaw, who has played football for 11 years and lacrosse for 10, took on added duties last year.
A varsity fullback as a sophomore, he doubled at middle linebacker as a junior.
He shrugs off the wear and tear.
“It takes a toll on the body, but I’m young,” Shaw said. “It’s a lot of fun to go out there and hit somebody. Full on contact, man on man, I love that part of football.”
He loves playing for his coach, too.
“Coach Ryan, great guy, a guy I’d love to go out there on a Friday night and play with,” Shaw said. “We have a lot more experience defensively than we started off last year with. Guys are getting in a system, knowing their roles.”
Friday’s result showed quite a reversal of fortunes.
Last year, Rich Central shredded Kaneland’s defense to the tune of a 60-20 final.
This time, the Knights held the Olympians to 41 rushing yards and limited standout running back Sean Tyler to 36 yards.
“We had a lot of guys returning from last year; that game really left a bad taste in our mouths,” Shaw said. “We were ready. [Tyler] is a darn good running back, very athletic, very fast.”
Tyler had five touchdowns in last year’s game.
“We knew he had to keep him contained,” Ryan said. “We made sure we swarmed to the ball carrier and got
11 [players] on the ball.
Alstott’s 1-yard touchdown, a safety and Shaw’s 3-yard score made it 15-0 at halftime. Alstott added two more scores in the second half for a 34-0 lead. Rich Central finally scored with 1:05 left.
“Jonathan is a workhorse; he just seems to keep on going,” Ryan said. “He told us in the offseason he could take on the load, and he’s showed us in all three games.”