Analysis | Friday Night Drive

2022 season preview: Scouting the CCL/ESCC White division

St. Ignatius sophomore Justin Scott, center, pushes past De La Salle's offensive line on Oct. 1. Scott has 12 collegiate scholarship offers.

De La Salle

2021 record: 3-6, 0-3 White

Coach: Marty Quinn

Worth noting: Quinn will take over after Michael Boehm stepped away from the program after seven seasons. The new coach will try to lead De La Salle back to the playoff for the first time since 2017. The Meteors have made the playoffs once since 2013. ... Senior linemen James Taylor and Evan Smith will both return plenty of experience on both sides of the ball. Taylor (6-1, 220) and Smith (5-8, 230) should create a lot of opportunities and havoc on both sides of the lines. ... Senior DB/WR Amar Patalinghug has received lots of attention from FCS schools as the talented two-way player has competed in different camps throughout the summer. ... Sophomore Kaleb Navarro and juniors Matt Cleggs and Angelo Chavarria have spent the summer battling it out for the starting quarterback position. Quinn has been impressed with what he’s seen from each quarterback. ... Junior WR/FS David Coffey will provide speed on the outside along with senior RB Zion Nix, who transferred over from Lyons. ... De La Salle will have a tough middle stretch of their season, with games against Joliet Catholic, Fenwick, Brother Rice and St. Ignatius.

Fenwick

2021 record: 12-2, 3-0 White

Coach: Matt Battaglia

Worth noting: The defending Class 5A state champions will have a lot of new faces this season. Fenwick lost seven starters on each side of the ball from last season’s team that won the program’s first state title. The Friars will have some depth players from last season’s team to step up into bigger roles this year. ... Battaglia will try to continue his playoff success in his young playoff career. The Friars are undefeated in the playoffs in their lone postseason last year under the third-year coach. Fenwick is 15-4 under Battaglia in two seasons. ... Senior EJ Hosty and junior Marek Hill will try to replace Kaden Cobb as the team’s starting quarterback. Hosty earned some game action last season and threw for 173 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Battaglia said both Hosty and Hill are sharp mentally, have good arms and can move quicker than their tall figures might suggest. ... Senior Aaron Johnson will be a big returning leader both on the offensive line and off the field. ... The Friars are still looking for a Week 8 opponent.

Marmion

2021 record: 7-4, 1-2 White

Coach: Dan Thorpe

Worth noting: Marmion will try to take to escape the second round of the postseason this fall. The Cadets have competed in the playoffs seven times since they finished runner-up in the Class 6A tournament in 2010, but Marmion has failed to reach past the second round each time, including a second round exit after a loss to Nazareth in last season’s 5A playoff. Thorpe believes his team has the talent to take that next step after a tough loss to the Roadrunners last year. ... The Cadets will return two starters offensively from last season, offensive tackle Zach Weiersheuser and running back Josh Lim. Lim earned All-CCL/ESCC White honors last season and returns as a three-year varsity starter. ... Senior Ryan Prell and juniors Henry Garrison and Alfonso Barraza are competing for the starting quarterback job. Prell transferred to Marmion from Glenbard North and Thorpe has been impressed with what he’s seen from each quarterback in 7-on-7′s over the summer. ... CCL/ESCC White Honorable Mention Ivan Erickson returns at defensive end after committing to Illinois State over the offseason. The 6-foot-6, 247-pound rusher will be tough to stop.

St. Ignatius

2021 record: 9-2, 2-1 White

Coach: Matt Miller

Worth noting: St. Ignatius is coming off of a historic season where the Wolfpack won their first playoff game in program history. The Wolfpack have made improvements over the summer as they try to take their next step after a second-round exit in last season’s 6A playoffs to Crete-Monee. The goal for this season remains clear: win a state title. ... Junior DL/OL Justin Scott’s star has risen since he last played in a game last fall. Scott has earned 23 scholarship offers to play collegiate football, including from powerhouses like Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, USC and LSU. Both 247Sports Composite and Rivals rank Scott as the top prospect in Illinois. The junior will add some snaps on the offensive line this season after only playing on the defensive line last fall. ... Senior Vinny Rugai returns after excelling on both sides of the ball. Rugai was the CCL/ESCC White Offensive Player of the Year after finishing with 16 touchdowns and 1,264 rushing yards at running back. He also finished with 98 tackles, five forced fumbles and two interceptions as an inside linebacker. ... Senior John Kemp returns at outside linebacker and is committed to Yale. ... Senior Jake Petrow returns at quarterback after taking over midway halfway through last season.

FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Justin Scott, St. Ignatius, DL/OL, jr.: The best junior in the state is must-watch on both sides of the line.
  • Ivan Erickson, Marmion, DL, sr.: The 6-foot-6, 247-pound rusher will be tough to stop.
  • Aaron Johnson, Fenwick, OL, sr.: Johnson will provide leadership and strong play on the field.
  • Amar Patalinghug, De La Salle, DB/WR, sr.: Patalinghug should show off his talents on each side with his speed.
  • Vinny Rugai, St. Ignatius, LB/RB, sr.: Rugai will try to dominate on both sides of the ball again after an impressive junior year.

SCHEDULES

De La SalleFenwickMarmionSt. Ignatius
Week 1at St. Viator; 7 p.m., Aug. 26vs. Oak Park-River Forest; 9:30 a.m., Aug. 27at Bishop McNamara; 7 p.m., Aug. 26at St. Patrick; 7:30 p.m., Aug. 26
Week 2vs. North Lawndale; 7 p.m., Sept. 2vs. Thornwood; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 2vs. Lake View; 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 2vs. Milwaukee King, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 2
Week 3vs. Joliet Catholic; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9vs. Providence; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9vs. Montini; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9vs. St. Laurence, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9
Week 4vs. Fenwick; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16at De La Salle; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16at St. Ignatius; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16vs. Marmion, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16
Week 5at Brother Rice; 7 p.m., Sept. 23at Loyola; 1:30 p.m., Sept. 24at Marist; 6:30 p.m., Sept. 23at Mt. Carmel, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 23
Week 6vs. St. Ignatius; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 30at Marmion; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 30vs. Fenwick; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 30at De La Salle, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 30
Week 7at Marian Catholic; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 7at St. Patrick; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 7at Carmel; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 7at St. Viator, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 7
Week 8vs. Hope Academy; 6 p.m., Oct. 14OPENvs. Leo; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 14vs. DePaul, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 14
Week 9vs. Marmion; 7 p.m., Oct. 21vs. St. Ignatius; 7:30 p.m., Oct. 21at De La Salle; 7 p.m., Oct. 21at Fenwick, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 21

FIVE CAN’T-MISS MATCHUPS

Week 1 – Oak Park-River Forest at Fenwick: A community rivalry game should be a fun way to start the season.

Week 3 – Joliet Catholic at De La Salle: This matchup should provide a good bench mark for De La Salle’s growth under a new coach.

Week 5 – St. Ignatius at Mount Carmel: The Caravan will look for revenge after the Wolfpack’s upset shutout last year.

Week 5 – Marmion at Marist: A CCL/ESCC crossover game between two of the conference’s top teams.

Week 9 – St. Ignatius at Fenwick: The division could come down to this rivalry matchup once again.

STEVE SOUCIE’S PREDICTED FINISH

TeamRecord
St. Ignatius8-1
Fenwick5-3
Marmion5-4
De La Salle3-6