2021 spring record: 1-5
Coach: Chris Bazant
Worth noting: The Blazers and second-year coach Bazant are still searching for a return to the program’s winning ways. Addison Trail has had six straight losing seasons since 2014. Addison Trail struggled to stop people in the spring, allowing 40.7 points per game. “Defensively, we are looking to compete at a higher level and improve from last year,” Bazant said. At running back, there is some competition to replace Eric Reed, who ran for 798 yards and eight touchdowns in the spring. Whoever it is will be running behind three-year linemen Jason Houser, John Voinea and Nathaniel Figueroa. The Blazers are looking for a productive year out of returning starters Sammy Renc at quarterback, who threw for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns with nine interceptions in the spring, and Uzair Ahmed at wide receiver, who caught 20 passes for 270 yards. Keying the defense will be senior linebacker Dylan Cummans and returning starter Nathan Johnson at defensive end.
Downers Grove South
2021 spring record: 3-2
Coach: Mark Molinari
Worth noting: NIU recruit Eli Reed, a senior receiver/defensive back, is one of the most electric talents around and leads a deep group at the skill positions. Reed, who contributes in all three phases of the game, averaged just over 160 yards of total offense per game in the spring season and was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the Gold. Mack O’Halloran, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior, has been to several Big Ten camps and is looking to improve as a blocker at tight end and be a dominant force at outside linebacker. Quarterback Ryan Dawson showed the ability to throw the ball downfield as a sophomore; the Mustangs look forward to his continued development in a full season. Besides Reed, targets include third-year starter Patrick O’Neil and 6-foot-5 Brandon Amenionpong. Charlie Adams and Eric Rosas return on the offensive line. A young defense from the spring returns all four linebackers – O’Halloran, Alex Kuranty, Alex Rapinchuk and Keandre Miles – and three of four defensive backs. The Mustangs’ mettle will be tested early with a nasty four-game stretch to start the season – Wheaton North and road games at Glenbard West and Willowbrook sandwiched around the crosstown game with Downers Grove North.
2021 spring record: 3-3
Coach: Mike Barry
Worth noting: The Hornets seek a return to the postseason after winning three games each of the last two years, including the shortened spring season. Hinsdale South made the playoffs in four out of five seasons between 2014-2018. All-conference offensive tackle Joshua Sander, 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, holds an offer from Grand Valley State and Barry said could be poised for a breakout season. Michael Urbanski, the third-rated kicker in Illinois, is a recent commit to Wisconsin-Platteville. Jaylon Smith leaves big shoes to fill at receiver and defensive back. Other key returners for the Hornets included defensive end Griffin Carr, running back Jaylon Steel, lineman Peter Halpin, WR/DB Khamani Willimas, WR/DB Cassidy Whitaker, outside linebacker Logan Bryant, and OLB/RB Anthony Montez. “There should be plenty of speed and big-play potential if we execute,” Barry said. “Staying healthy is the key moving forward week to week.”
2021 spring record: 1-4
Coach: Tom Cerasani.
Worth noting: Cerasani enters his 17th season as head coach of the Eagles, who are seeking their first winning season since 2017. Leyden does return several of its starters, led by senior quarterback Leo Lattiker, who threw for 370 yards in four games in the spring. Others back include senior linebacker/tight end Colin O’Niel, senior offensive/defensive lineman Jeff Ripka, senior fullback/linebacker Gus Tosterud, senior linebacker/receiver Julius Sanchez and senior offensive/defensive lineman Chris Swiatek. Top newcomers include junior tailback/free safety Diego Mendoza, junior offensive lineman Juan Fuentes, sophomore offensive/defensive lineman Darterion Gardner and offensive/defensive lineman Zach Lowe. Cerasani said the Eagles’ biggest question will be at the running back position. “We hope to be as competitive as possible, but are still dealing with low numbers due to the pandemic,” Cerasani said.
2021 spring record: 0-3
Coach: Bob Organ
Worth noting: The Mustangs had their season limited to three games because of COVID-19 issues, so they certainly welcome a return to normalcy. Morton will no doubt look for improvement defensively, a unit that allowed 47 points per game in its three games. Ten starters return, including senior running back David Arana, senior cornerback Viet Nguyen, senior defensive end Dante Patton, senior outside linebacker Nick Moreno, senior defensive end Giovanni Rodriguez, senior linebacker Ryan Campos, senior defensive lineman Christian Weatherly, junior center Matthew Ontiveros, senior defensive lineman Santos Trujillo and senior defensive lineman Stevan Dzolic. Among other headliners to watch is 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior tight end Aaron Miramontes, the younger brother of former Morton star receiver Allen Miramontes, as well as senior DB/WR Jayshon Lemon, senior quarterback Jovan Butts, senior linebacker/running back Quentin Dillon and junior WR/DB Leon Kelsick. Morton has had either one or two wins in each of its last eight full seasons, so surpassing that mark would have to be considered a step forward.
2021 spring record: 0-1
Coach: Aaron Peppers
Worth noting: The Pirates were only able to play one game in the spring because of COVID-19 issues. Peppers, in his second season back at Proviso East, lists top players as sophomore offensive/defensive tackle Jaiden Gary, junior running back/linebacker Jeremiah Williams, senior running back/defensive back Jokwan Cherry, junior running back/defensive back KeyOndre Benson, senior quarterback/wide receiver/defensive back Tyler Thomas, junior wide receiver/defensive back Joshua Rowe, sophomore quarterback/wide receiver/defensive back Jaylan Madison, sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Milo Gittings and junior offensive/defensive lineman Derrious Gould.
2021 spring record: 5-1
Coach: Nick Hildreth
Worth noting: The Warriors have owned the West Suburban Gold of late, going 22-0 in divisional games since 2017 and doing so in dominating fashion. All the while they have emerged as a state power with four straight quarterfinal appearances and a semifinal in 2019, so Willowbrook will look to restart that run after the abridged spring. Josh Brown, a starting defensive end as a sophomore, opened eyes in the spring at running back, putting up video game-like numbers of 1,750 yards and 23 touchdowns in six games, with a school record 12 yards a carry. What will he do for an encore? Brown will have to do it in front of a rebuilt offensive line, with star left tackle Enrique Cruz now at Syracuse. Willowbrook also has big holes to fill at linebacker with Moe Ayesh and Sergio Ayala, pillars of the defense the last three years, graduated. Nick Mabutas, returning at receiver and defensive back, had 38 tackles and six passes defensed as a junior. Others back include receiver/defensive back Jaylon White, running back/defensive back Max Manning and offensive/defensive lineman Lucas Kusmierz. Interesting to see will be the development of sophomore quarterback AJ Palicki, who threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions as a freshman starter.
Downers Grove North
2021 spring record: 2-2
Coach: Joe Horeni
Worth noting: The Trojans ended the shortened spring season in style, beating crosstown rival Downers Grove South for the sixth consecutive time. Now they look for their second consecutive playoff appearance after going 6-5 in 2019 in Horeni’s second season. Two big voids need to be filled defensively with three-year starter and all-conference linebacker Drew Bielawski and two-year starting defensive end Brendan Truett, both two-way starters, graduating. The Trojans do return all of their skill-position players with a nice mix of receivers and several defensive players. Junior Ethan Thulin is a playmaker in all three phases; he slotted at receiver and defensive back as a sophomore on varsity and also returned kicks and punts. Josh Lambert, who played linebacker on varsity as a sophomore, is returning to his roots offensively, slated to play H-back and tight end. Also back for Downers Grove North is junior quarterback Sam Reichert, junior wide receiver Josh Miller, senior defensive back Timmy Ryan, junior defensive back Joe Chiarelli, senior defensive back/running back Khali Copeland, senior linebacker Matt McCormick, senior tight end Timmy Galligan, junior offensive lineman Henry Wilson, senior offensive lineman Connor Moore and senior offensive lineman Will Janka. “We played a lot of young guys this spring who have gained a bunch of experience,” Horeni said.
2021 spring record: 3-1
Coach: Chad Hetlet
Worth noting: The Hilltoppers, a team with legitimate state title aspirations before the pandemic hit, were reduced to four games played because of the shortened season and COVID-19 issues. Glenbard West has been a model of excellence under Hetlet, with playoff appearances in all 13 full seasons and 12 straight with at least eight wins, not counting the spring season. The Hilltoppers graduated some rather significant pieces like offensive lineman Wes Hoeh and running backs Jalen Moore and Samson Zander, so it remains to be seen how they retool – but don’t bet against them reloading. Chris Terek, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound junior offensive tackle, is a big-time prospect. He’s one of two returning starters offensively, sophomore receiver Julius Ellens the other. Senior Pat Shadid is the lone returner from a deep, fast linebacking corps. Senior defensive end Philip Dozier and junior defensive back Joey Pope are other starters back defensively. Hetlet lists newcomers to watch as junior running back Joey Pope, senior fullback Jason Thomas, junior guard Brady Cavan, junior center Jack Baer and junior offensive tackler Luke Gadomski. Defensively, keep an eye on newcomers Justin Thomas, a senior linebacker, junior linebacker Jack Oberhofer, senior defensive back Jackson Tomaro, sophomore defensive lineman Danny Coffey and senior defensive back Egan Foley.
2021 spring record: 6-0
Coach: Brian Griffin
Worth noting: The Red Devils made the most of the spring season, riding the talents of quarterback Michael Brescia and a stingy defense that allowed just 31 points for an unbeaten run in the Silver, wresting the title from Glenbard West. Brescia is at Colgate now, and only eight starters – five on offense, three on defense – return for a young and inexperienced team. The end game is for Hinsdale Central to be playing its best football in October once the youngsters cut their teeth. Sean Allison and JT Pyle provide a solid base to build a defense around. Allison played a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive back as a junior and recorded 48 tackles, four for loss, with two sacks and two interceptions. Pyle, carrying on a stellar three-generation family legacy with Hinsdale Central football, had 36 tackles, six for loss and two sacks as a junior. Micah McCurry, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound tackle, is a third returning starter up front. Offensively, junior Reese Kolke and sophomore Carter Contreras are poised to fill the big shoes left by a talented receiving corps. Starters back on the offensive side include senior running back Nick Fahy, senior slot Thomas Skokna and three linemen – McGarry, Josh Narcisse and Hunter Tonn. The schedule is neatly bookended with measuring stick games Naperville Central and Glenbard West in Weeks 1 and 9. “I think the conference will be very good across the board which will make for a difficult season week to week,” Griffin said. “There will be competitive battles for positions all across the board with some young players ready to emerge.”
2021 spring record: 2-2
Coach: Jon Beutjer
Worth noting: Beutjer, in his second season and first full nine-game season as head coach, brings back experience on both sides of the ball. Leading the way is senior quarterback Joey Antonietti, back for his third season as starting quarterback, who brings leadership and speed to a veteran group. Seniors Liam Cashin (6-foot-3, 280) pounds, Kyle Clifton (6-1, 245) and junior Aidan Hallet (6-5, 275) anchor the offensive line for sophomore returning starting running back Jack Cheney. Colin Grace and sophomore Noah Pfaffin headline the receiving corps. Lyons’ defensive front could be its strongest unit collectively, with 6-foot-4, 245-pound sophomore Eddie Tuerk holding offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi, Iowa and Cincinnati. He is joined on the line by seniors Cole Lagowski and Mhalik Clark. Senior John Tobin and junior Ricky Cavalier lead the linebacking corps, with three returning senior starters – Owen Cherry, Owen McManaman and Alex Bailey – in the defensive backfield. Senior Marko Dubak is a four-star kicker. Lyons missed just one playoffs between 2002 and 2017, but has taken a step back in recent years. Beutjer has returning to the postseason for the first time since 2017 as a high priority.
Oark Park-River Forest
2021 spring record: 3-2
Coach: John Hoerster
Worth noting: The Huskies finished the spring season well with three straight wins and a one-point loss to York. They’ll hope to use that as a springboard to the playoffs – Oak Park just missed out on the postseason with a 4-5 2019 after seven straight appearances. The Huskies get a neat little measuring stick game right off the bat with a non-conference pickup of Wheaton Warrenville South at home and a Week 3 Silver opener against Glenbard West. Hoerster, in his 11th season at Oak Park, identified players to watch as wide receiver senior Eric Locke, senior linebacker Owen Detmer, senior running backs Kelby Gray and Demetrius Dortch, as well as junior center/defensive lineman Cole Roberson, junior defensive back Timmy Spillane, junior defensive back/receiver Ryan Martin, junior quarterback Jack Gooch and sophomore athlete Sam Gray. Other returning starters include senior offensive linemen Andrew Delgado, Cole Roberson and Connor Heinne. “Our priority is to be grateful, and to appreciate being together again,” Hoerster said. “I want to stress to these young athletes to never take for granted the opportunity to play football.”
2021 spring record: 0-2
Coach: Scottie Ware
Worth noting: Ware, who took over the Proviso West program in 2019, is back on the sidelines in Hillside after a one-year hiatus. Proviso was limited to two games in the already spring season because of COVID-19 protocols, outscored by a combined 116-0 in losses to Hinsdale Central and Oak Park-River Forest. The Panthers are 0-12 the last two seasons, alternating between one and two wins in the six seasons prior to that. Ware, in his first year back, takes over a young team with only six seniors. Ware said the defense should be solid with seven returning starters. Top players back include running back/defensive tackle Jermaine Tatum and running back/defensive back Traevonta Redmon. Continuity would be good for Proviso, who has had five head coaches since 2015. “Future looks extremely bright and I look building a quality program here in Hillside,” Ware said. “The program has won two games in four years and we definitely look to change that moving forward!”
2021 spring record: 4-2
Coach: Mike Fitzgerald
Worth noting: The Dukes continued their steady progress under the tutelage of fourth-year coach Fitzgerald last spring, the 4-2 finish York’s first winning season in a decade. The next step is returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. York had a winning record at every level last year, so there is definite momentum. Headlining the returners is all-conference linebacker Jeff Coglianese, who had 53 tackles, two sacks ad two forced fumbles as a junior, and fellow linebacker David Koch, who impressed as a sophomore with 57 tackles and two interceptions. Senior offensive linemen Rowan Dagres and Luke D’Agostino anchor a large group of returners on the line with senior Nolan Korzeniowski, who had 26 tackles, on the defensive front. Fitzgerald said he believes team speed should be very good. The skill positions are led by Mark Schneider and Kelly Watson at running back and receivers Jack Wagner, Kal Harris, with Mntesi Mndzebele at defensive back. The back end of the schedule is very difficult with Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, Willowbrook and Oak Park-River Forest, making a fast start a high priority. “So we have to get out of the gates strong, stay healthy and be able to play consistently week in and week out,” Fitzgerald said. “We have still have some ongoing battles for certain positions but I think the competition is making us stronger and creating some depth for us.”
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
• Sean Allison Hinsdale Central, senior, linebacker: Is he a linebacker or a defensive back? Allison calls himself a hybrid linebacker. Wherever Allison lines up, the young man makes plays. He’s now the leader of a younger group as Hinsdale Central hopes that one of the area’s fiercest spring defenses carries right into the fall.
• Josh Brown, Willowbrook, senior, running back: Brown, moved from defensive end and took well to his new position, taking the area by storm in the spring with numbers most running backs would gladly accept over nine games. Could he break 2,000 yards this year? It seems well within range.
• Eli Reed, Downers Grove South, senior, receiver/defensive back: Few players have their fingerprints over every area of the field like this NIU recruit and third-year varsity player. Downers Grove South has a fair amount of skill-position talent, but it clearly starts with this highlight reel receiver.
• Chris Terek, Glenbard West, junior, offensive line: It’s no secret that the Hilltoppers want to pound the rock and lean on teams with its running game, particularly when the weather gets cooler at Duchon Field. Good idea, then, to run behind this 6-foot-6, 295-pound tackle, a high Division I prospect.
• Eddie Tuerk, Lyons, sophomore, defensive line: Big 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive lineman, part of a strong Lyons’ front, became a familiar name on the recruiting circuit this offseason, picking up offers from the likes of Michigan, Iowa and Tennessee. The best part for Lyons coach Jon Beutjer? He still gets him for three full seasons.
|Gold Division||Addison Trail||Downers Grove South||Hinsdale South||Leyden||Morton||Proviso East||Willowbrook|
|Week 1||vs. Plainfield Central; 7 p.m., Aug. 27||vs. Wheaton North; 6:30 p.m., Aug. 27||vs. Deerfield; 7 p.m., Aug. 27||vs. Highland Park; 7 p.m., Aug. 27||at Riverside-Brookfield; 7:15 p.m., Aug. 27||at Bradley-Bourbonnais; 7:30 p.m., Aug. 27||at Providence; 7:30 p.m., Aug. 27|
|Week 2||at Lyons; 7 p.m., Sept. 3||at Glenbard West; 1:30 p.m., Sept. 4||at Oak Park-River Forest; 7 p.m., Sept. 3||at Proviso West; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 3||at York; 7 p.m., Sept. 3||at Hinsdale Central; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 3||at Downers Grove North; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 3|
|Week 1||vs. Morton; 7 p.m., Sept. 10||vs. Downers Grove North; 6:30 p.m., Sept. 10||at Leyden; 7 p.m., Sept. 10||vs. Hinsdale South; 7 p.m., Sept. 10||at Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Sept. 10||at Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Sept. 10||vs. Proviso East; 7 p.m., Sept. 10|
|Week 4||at Proviso East; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||at Willowbrook; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 17||vs. Hinsdale Central; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||at Morton; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||vs. Leyden; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||vs. Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||vs. Downers Grove South; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 17|
|Week 5||vs. Glenbard West; 7 p.m., Sept. 24||vs. Proviso East; 6:30 p.m., Sept. 24||vs. Morton; 7 p.m., Sept. 24||vs. Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Sept. 24||at Hinsdale South; 7 p.m., Sept. 24||at Downers Grove South; 6:30 p.m., Sept. 24||at Leyden; 7 p.m., Sept. 24|
|Week 6||at Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Oct. 1||vs. Hinsdale South; 6:30 p.m., Oct. 1||at Downers Grove South; 6:30 p.m., Oct. 1||at Proviso East; 7 p.m., Oct. 1||vs. Oak Park-River Forest; 7 p.m., Oct. 1||vs Leyden; 7 p.m., Oct. 1||vs. Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Oct. 1|
|Week 7||vs. Downers Grove South; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 8||at Addison Trail; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 8||vs. Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||vs. Lyons; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||vs. Proviso East; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||at Morton; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||at Hinsdale South; 7 p.m., Oct. 8|
|Week 8||vs. Leyden; 7 p.m., Oct. 15||vs. Morton; 6:30 p.m., Oct. 15||at Proviso East; 7 p.m., Oct. 15||at Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Oct. 15||at Downers Grove South; 6:30 p.m., Oct. 15||vs. Hinsdale South; 7 p.m., Oct. 15||vs. York; 7 p.m., Oct. 15|
|Week 9||at Hindsale South; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||at Leyden; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22||vs. Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||vs. Downers Grove South; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22||vs. Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||vs. Proviso West; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||at Morton; 7 p.m., Oct. 22|
|Silver Division||Downers Grove North||Glenbard West||Hinsdale Central||Lyons||Oak Park-River Forest||Proviso West||York|
|Week 1||vs. Hoffman Estates; 7 p.m., Aug. 27||vs. Grandville (Mich.); 1 p.m., Aug. 28||vs. Naperville Central; 7:30 p.m., Aug. 27||vs. New Trier; 7 p.m., Aug. 27||vs. Wheaton-Warrenville South; 7:30 p.m., Aug. 27||at Wauconda; 7 p.m., Aug. 27||at Schaumburg; 7:30 p.m., Aug. 27|
|Week 2||vs. Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Sept. 3||vs. Downers Grove South; 1:30 p.m., Sept. 4||vs. Proviso East; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 3||vs. Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Sept. 3||vs. Hinsdale South; 7 p.m., Sept. 3||vs. Leyden; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 3||vs. Morton; 7 p.m., Sept. 3|
|Week 3||at Downers Grove South; 6:30 p.m., Sept. 10||at Oak Park-River Forest; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10||vs. Lyons; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10||at Hinsdale Central; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10||vs. Glenbard West; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10||vs. York; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10||at Proviso West; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10|
|Week 4||vs. York; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||vs. Proviso West; 1:30 p.m., Sept. 18||at Hinsdale South; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||vs. Oak Park-River Forest; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||at Lyons; 7 p.m., Sept. 17||at Glenbard West West; 1:30 p.m., Sept. 18||at Downers Grove North; 7 p.m., Sept. 17|
|Week 5||at Proviso West; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 24||at Addison Trail; 7 p.m., Sept. 24||at Oak Park-River Forest; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 24||at York; 7 p.m., Sept. 24||vs. Hinsdale Central; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 24||vs. Downers Grove North; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 24||vs. Lyons; 7 p.m., Sept. 24|
|Week 6||at Hinsdale Central; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 1||vs. York; 1:30 p.m., Oct. 2||vs. Downers Grove North; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 1||vs. Proviso West; 1:30 p.m., Oct. 2||at Morton; 7 p.m., Oct. 1||at Lyons; 1:30 p.m., Oct. 2||at Glenbard West; 1:30 p.m., Oct. 2|
|Week 7||vs. Glenbard West; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||at Downers Grove North; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||at York; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||at Leyden; 7 p.m., Oct. 8||at Proviso West; 1 p.m., Oct. 9||vs. Oak Park-River Forest; 1 p.m., Oct. 9||vs. Hinsdale Central; 7 p.m., Oct. 8|
|Week 8||at Oak Park-River Forest; 7 p.m., Oct. 15||at Lyons; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15||vs. Proviso West; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15||vs. Glenbard West; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15||vs. Downers Grove North; 7 p.m., Oct. 15||at Hinsdale Central; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15||at Willowbrook; 7 p.m., Oct. 15|
|Week 9||vs. Lyons; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||vs. Hinsdale Central; 1 p.m., Oct. 23||at Glenbard West; 1 p.m., Oct. 23||at Downers Grove North; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||at York; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||at Proviso East; 7 p.m., Oct. 22||vs. Oak Park-River Forest; 7 p.m., Oct. 22|
FIVE CAN’T MISS MATCHUPS
Week 1: Willowbrook at Providence. The Warriors were limited to a league schedule in the spring, so what says is a return to normalcy like this dandy of a measuring stick opener at CCL/ESCC powerhouse Providence? The Celtics handed the Warriors their only regular-season loss in 2019, 14-7. It could very well be Willowbrook’s toughest game again.
Week 1: Naperville Central at Hinsdale Central. It’s been a fun little matchup between powers of the DuPage Valley and West Suburban Silver the past few years, the Red Devils getting wins of 35-34 in 2018 and 14-6 in 2019. For the Redhawks, this will be the debut of new coach Mike Ulreich, formerly the defensive coordinator. For the Red Devils, an opportunity to see how close they are to the 6-0 spring team.
Week 3: Downers Grove North at Downers Grove South. The Trojans have won the last six meetings with their crosstown rivals, which is kind of hard to believe considering how close the games typically are. Both teams could be fighting for playoff berths by Week 9, so it wouldn’t hurt to get a bragging rights win in the back pocket.
Week 8: Glenbard West at Hinsdale Central. It’s been the game of the year for most of the last decade in the West Suburban Silver. The Red Devils dominated the spring meeting, 28-7, the crowning achievement of a dominant defense. Surely, it’s been a game the Hilltoppers haven’t forgotten since.
Week 9: Oak Park-River Forest at York. The Dukes have their first playoff appearance in a decade in their sights. Don’t be surprised if this is a make-or-break finale. It would be hard to top last season’s Week 6 game, York’s stirring come-from-behind 18-17 win.
STEVE SOUCIE’S PREDICTED FINISH
|Downers Grove South||5-4|
|Oak Park-River Forest||6-3|
|Downers Grove North||2-7|