For the first time in three years, Fenwick will have a new leader at its most important position.
The Friars will try to replace three-year starting quarterback Kaden Cobb, who helped lead Fenwick to its first state title in program history last fall and broke school records in the process.
While senior EJ Hosty and junior Marek Hill are focused on replacing Cobb, they’ve also enjoyed the process of growing an offense that will feature new faces across the field.
“It’s been fun. We’ve been trying to work on the plays as a team,” Hosty said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys coming in.”
Cobb, who now plays in college at Ball State, had been a steady presence for Fenwick since he took over the quarterback role as a sophomore. The 2021 Suburban Life Player of the Year broke the program record with 30 touchdown passes last season and tossed three touchdowns and rushed for another in the Friars’ 34-15 win over Kankakee for the Class 5A state title.
Hosty earned some game action last season and threw for 173 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Fenwick coach Matt Battaglia knows that both Hosty and Hill are sharp mentally, have good arms and can move quicker than their tall figures might suggest. Now it just comes down to making the most of the practice snaps they get.
“Now it’s just how the mental aspect translates to the field,” Battaglia said. “It’s just letting them compete.”
Hosty and Hill have a cast of new players to work with because most of last season’s offensive statistical leaders graduated. Fenwick is replacing seven starters on offense.
The Friars competed in a 7-on-7 at Brother Rice on July 13 with a limited playbook. That didn’t stop the two quarterbacks from trying to help out their teammates by making throws so they could learn the playbook quicker.
“You have to work a little harder to get the same results,” Hill said. “That’s OK.”
Hosty and Hill have enjoyed the competition. They try to best each other in everything they do, whether it’s perfecting a route with a receiver or outrunning the other during warmups.
While they’re trying to outwork each other for the starting position, they know how important their leadership is both on and off the field in helping a team in transition.
“We’re both trying to learn the team, be a coach to the young guys,” Hill said. “At the end of the day, one of us is going to play and we’re both going to be ready to go.”