||More Sports||Sign up||School Finder|
Piling up double-digit tackles in a game is not in the cards for Chris Van Kampen, but the Barrington nose guard still has plenty of value whenever he steps on the field.
“Chris is a guy who commands a double-team on every play,” said Broncos coach Joe
Sanchez, whose team lost to host Fremd 24-7 on Friday. “There are some games when he is triple-teamed.”
Van Kampen knows that such attention comes with the territory.
“You just power through it,” he said. “You just have to keep on fighting.”
Frankly, Van Kampen is taken aback when an opposing team refuses to send two players his way.
“If teams single-team me, I look at that as a challenge,” he said. “It’s almost like they don’t think I’m anything.”
Knowing his role helps Van Kampen deal with the constant punishment.
“I’ve accepted my position,” he said. “You have to stand your ground, and take up as many guys as you can. If I can help the other guys get tackles, the team still wins.”
Defensive end August Anderson often benefits from Van Kampen’s unselfish approach.
“Chris always does his job of taking on the double-teams,” said Anderson, who’s a 5-foot-7, 190-pound senior. “His presence frees things up for myself and (defensive end) Ben Calamari.”
A three-year starter, Van Kampen was elected as one of the team’s captains. It’s a role he takes seriously.
“I always give my all in every drill,” he said. “You have to make sure everyone plays hard in every practice.”
Sanchez appreciates the example Van Kampen sets on a daily basis.
“He has a great work ethic,” the coach said. “He’s not a real rah-rah guy. But when he does speak, people listen.”
Van Kampen is cognizant of making sure the Broncos stays positive despite a 2-3 record.
“We’ve had some tough losses,” he said. “You have to keep everyone up.”
Anderson believes Van Kampen deserves an ‘A’ in this category.
“Chris is always in a good mood,” Anderson noted. “He always encourages us to be a little better than we were the day before.”
Van Kampen takes the same drive to the classroom, where he holds a 3.78 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.
“I’m always studying during open periods,” he said. “And when I get home (from practice), I put everything I can into my homework.”
His proficiency as a student-athlete has grabbed the attention of some college scouts, particularly in the Ivy League.
“It’s a matter of waiting to see what happens,” Sanchez said. “No matter where he goes, he will play. Wherever Chris ends up, they will get a great kid and a great football player.”
It’s a good bet Van Kampen will find the nearest lake when time permits.
“I love to fish, and I love the outdoors,” he said. “And I like to build things. I helped my dad build a dock on a pier, and we also built a big storage bin.”
When the Broncos host Schaumburg at 2 p.m. Saturday, Van Kampen hopes to be one building block leading to a ‘W.’