Just as his dad did before him, Maine West's Jake Bellizzi playing both sides of the ball
Jake Bellizzi is making his father proud by doing things much the same way he did.
Just as his father did while starring at St. Patrick High School in Chicago, Jake is contributing on both sides of the ball for Maine West this season, rushing for three touchdowns and registering at least eight tackles in the Warriors pair of season-opening wins.
Sporting the same No. 44 as his dad did, the 6-foot, 220-pound Jake now has 106 yards on just 22 carries this season after being tabbed the top defensive player in the Central North Suburban league last season.
"I like the contact when I'm on defense," Bellizzi told the Daily Herald. "I'm a hitter. I like running the ball on offense also. I want the ball in the short-range situations to get us the first down or score. I just love to compete and battle.”
Maine West football coach Jason Kradman has come to depend on Bellizzi in even more ways.
“He helps guide the younger players on the field and in practice,” he told the Daily Herald. “He's going to make some college coach one happy person someday. He does whatever it takes to win. You want a player like him on the team."
Bellizzi views his dad like almost being his secret weapon.
"I'll ask my dad for advice if something questionable happens during the game and then I work on what he observed," he said.
Almost always, John Bellizzi’s recommendation is the same.
"The best advice I could give him is to stay focused, use your speed and make the play," he said. "One thing we have in common is that we were both self-motivated when we played.”