The dominant color is charcoal.
And there is no gray area when describing the new look Mundelein's football team will unveil in its season opener Friday night, when Wheeling visits the Mustangs' turf.
"Dope. Sick," Mundelein senior fullback Matt 'Hutch' Hutchison said with a laugh.
"Mean," sophomore quarterback Gavin Graves grunted.
The new uni's, which the players picked out with head coach George Kaider, are charcoal with red numerals and trim and charcoal-colored helmets. The Mustangs hope the charcoal helps light a fire under them, as they seek their first win since Week 9 of the 2010 season.
"It's a cool look," Kaider said.
A day at the beach: Mundelein coach George Kaider called the Mustangs' summer program "amazing." Players worked out four hours a day, four days a week.
Then came the fun in the sun.
The Mustangs took a team-bonding trip at the end of July to Michigan Tech University in the Upper Peninsula.
"We practiced on the shores of Lake Superior, on the beaches," Kaider said, smiling. "It was awesome."
The football experience proved different and challenging, too.
"That was tough, but it was fun, as well," senior outside linebacker Albert Mota said. "Going somewhere new, having everyone together, spending more time with each other ... It just made our team even better."
Kaider organized the trip, which is something the coach doesn't recall the program doing in past years.
"I just called Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech," Kaider said. "I said, 'We want to get away from the heat. I want to take these boys somewhere where they've never been before.' The Michigan Tech coach just opened up his arms to us."
Head of the class in head coaches: Grayslake Central boasts four assistant football coaches who are head coaches in other sports: Dan Catanzaro (wrestling), Shawn Murphy (girls track), Brent Pitt (boys track) and Jason Schaal (softball).
"It does make things nice because you got people who know what needs to be done," head football coach Ben Ault said. "It makes it pretty easy."
Schaal was hired as Grayslake Central's Life Fitness teacher in April. He came from South Elgin, where he was the head softball coach and defensive coordinator for the football team. When Abbey Tadelman, who's also the assistant athletic director at Grayslake Central, stepped down as the Rams' softball coach in June, Schaal accepted that job, as well.
Schaal is coaching the Rams' offensive and defensive lines.
"He's been great," Ault said. "Any time you can add a guy who has experience at the varsity level, is very knowledgeable and who's been a coordinator, it helps."
No Ordinary Joe: A familiar face will no longer be on Lake Zurich's sideline, as longtime coach and educator Joe Kedzior retired last winter. Kedzior coached for more than 40 years.
"He was a key part, and we're going to miss him," Lake Zurich head coach David Proffitt said. "You don't replace a guy like Joe. Other guys just got to step in and pick up the slack. He felt it was time and -- God knows -- after 40 years, he certainly earned that."