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Offseason work pays off for Aurora Central’s Izzy Rosa

Izzy Rosa

Izzy Rosa

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:16AM

Izzy Rosa isn’t surprised he and his Aurora Central football teammates have qualified for the playoffs, the program’s first time since 1997.

“It’s awesome making history,” said the Chargers’ senior left guard/noseguard. “But I saw this coming. All the hard work we put in. Everybody was there. The week after we finished (last season), people were lifting.”

And inspiring them was the handiwork of head coach Brian Casey, who no doubt figured the time for subtlety had passed.

“He had a highlight, well, not highlight, but a video of all the bad plays we had in the Walther Lutheran and Guerin games last year playing (on a television) in the weight room,” said the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Rosa.

Those were games ACC players and coaches felt they should have won and if they had, would have qualified for the playoffs last year.

“We watched that every single day while we were lifting,” continued Rosa. “I couldn’t tell you how fired up we were.”

That small flatscreen and its lowlights are now mounted on the wall of the team’s locker room, right next to the clock that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until their next game.

“It worked, obviously,” said Rosa, referring to ACC’s 6-1 record as they prepare for this week’s rivalry game at Marmion, the teams’ first meeting since 2009.

A starter on offense since his sophomore year, Rosa has been a two-way player since midway through last season and ranks third on the team with 57 tackles (11 solo, 46 assists), which include team highs of 19 tackles-for-loss and 4½ sacks.

“They’ve played some pretty good teams, but records mean absolutely nothing in this one,” said Rosa. “Our biggest (key) is working as a team, everyone doing their jobs, that’s how we’ve been winning.

“I think up front, we’re evenly matched. They have speed. We have speed. There aren’t a bunch of 6-2, 280 guys. We’re short and fast and strong and so are they. It will be a good match up front.”

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