Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 8/29/2013 9:37 PM

Scouting Week 1, Northwest

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  • From left, Hersey linemen Matt Lazarski, Joe Bellafiore, George Vladimirov and Chris Collins spring into action at Glenbrook North on Friday night.

      From left, Hersey linemen Matt Lazarski, Joe Bellafiore, George Vladimirov and Chris Collins spring into action at Glenbrook North on Friday night.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove quarterback Andrew Apel hands the ball off to fullback Scott Smitheren in preparation for Friday's home opener against Leyden.

      Buffalo Grove quarterback Andrew Apel hands the ball off to fullback Scott Smitheren in preparation for Friday's home opener against Leyden.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • The dress rehearsals are over: Fremd hosts Lake Zurich in a terrific nonconference opener Friday night.

      The dress rehearsals are over: Fremd hosts Lake Zurich in a terrific nonconference opener Friday night.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent

Lake Zurich (11-2) at Fremd (5-5)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Here's a terrific opening-night matchup involving a perennial playoff threat in Lake Zurich and a host school looking to make postseason voyages a regular occurrence once again. Fremd returns an impressive array of skilled players and figures to thrive under second-year head coach Lou Sponsel as the team refines its single-wing offense featuring the talents of Jeff McGlade and a host of other skilled, proven varsity athletes. Lake Zurich has a bona fide Division I standout in Colton Moskal and a top athlete at quarterback, Noah Allgood. This nonconference matchup won't have an impact on winning league titles but should say a lot about what two quality teams will need to improve upon.

Barrington (3-6) at Jacobs (5-5)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Another great nonconference matchup between two teams with high playoffs hopes. Barrington, which opened with Libertyville last season looks to rebound from last year's subpar finish with quarterback Daniel Kubiuk, who is one of 6 returning starters on offense. Colin Castagna, who is a 3-year starter on defense, keys the Broncos 3-4 alignment. That defense will attempt to slow down a Jacobs offense that averaged nearly 29 points per game. The Eagles are led by 6-foot-4 quarterback Bret Mooney, who has been offered a scholarship to Colgate.

Lake Park (4-5) at Conant (7-4)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Conant rolled last year 47-28 as Conant quarterback Danny Modelski got off to a great start before finishing the season with over 2,500 yards passing. The Cougars will look to do more of the same with in Mike Kos, DeAngelo McBride and Elias Gardener back at wide receiver. Lake Park, which has left the Upstate 8 conference and headed to the tough DuPage Valley, will look to counter with 6-fot-4, 270 pound defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk, who is helping shore up a lancer defense that allowed 40 or more points three times last year.

Hoffman Estates (0-9) at Streamwood (2-7)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The annual border war will have even more intensity as the fiery Mike Donatucci returns to the sidelines to lead Hoffman Estates. Donatucci will have his Hawks flying high in the opener, trying to get the ball in the hands of wide receiver Kabian Johnson. Streamwood, which has won the last meetings, is coming of a 38-20 win last season. The Sabres are also led by a new head coach in Mark Orzula, who comes over from Westmont. Running back Lenard Brown, who rushed for nearly 400 yards last season, will be the main focal point for the Sabres on offense.

Palatine (10-2) at Libertyville (8-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Palatine, which returns just three starters from last year's semifinal team, will get a tough test in this nonconference opener. The two teams are meeting for the first time since 1995 when the Pirates prevailed 12-6 in the opening round of the state playoffs. Palatine will continue its fast-paced offense led by quarterback Nick Orlando. Libertyville, which has been eliminated in the state playoffs by the eventual state champion, looks to be just as strong this year. The Wildcats return offensive linemen in Tim Grote (6-3, 220) and three-year varsity player Ryan Martin (5-10, 230)

Schaumburg (8-3) at New Trier (6-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: This is the third year in a row for these two teams to open the season against each other. Schaumburg has won the previous two meetings including last year's 27-14. The Saxons return 12 players from last year's squad including the sizzling backfield of quarterback Stacey Smith and running back Sadarriss Patterson, who scored 14 touchdowns last year. New Trier returns 10 starters back from a team that lost to Conant in the opening round of the state playoffs last year. Schaumburg needs to contain Trevian quarterback Frank Nicholas and running back Jordan Garrett. That duo will be operating behind an offensive line that has four starters back.

Hersey (4-5) at Glenbrook North (8-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The Huskies blasted the Central Suburban North champions 49-13 in the season opener last year. Yet it was two teams that went in opposite directions after that as Hersey just missed qualifying for the playoffs while Glenbrook North won its next 8 games. Hersey, which returns 19 players who started at some point in the season last year, will look to continue their dominance over the Spartans behind the play of quarterback Matt Warner. Glenbrook North, which lost to Prospect in the opening round of the state playoffs last year, is again favored to win their conference behind quarterback AJ Spitz.

Leyden (7-3) at Buffalo Grove (1-8)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Buffalo Grove is hoping to reverse its fortunes. But the Bison will have a tough season opener in Leyden to attempt to do that. Leyden is coming off its best season in four years, winning the West Suburban Silver conference and qualifying for the playoffs. The Eagles, which allowed just 12 points per game last year, are led by Alex Rose and Henry Holguin. Buffalo Grove will look to the quarterback Andrew Apel and tough running backs Scott Smithern and Mario Johnson Jr.

St. Charles North (4-5) at Elk Grove (5-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: It will be a homecoming of sorts for former Elk Grove defensive coordinator Rob Pomazack, who took over as the head coach of St. Charles North this year. He will see many familiar faces in the forest green and gold. Elk Grove quarterback Adam O'Malley is hoping to give his old coach fits, as he did to Highland Park last year. Wide receivers John Pass, Mike Bishoff, Matt Wary and Mark Lahitnen, along with running back Travon Royal, will also pose matchup problems for the North Stars. Look for bookend offensive tackles in Chase Gianacakos (6-foot-7, 275 pounds), a Michigan State recruit, and Camden Cotter (6-4, 245) to have an impact.

Prospect (7-4) at Glenbrook South (5-5)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The last time these two teams met, the scoreboard always went tilt and reporters nearly missed deadlines as a whopping 96 points were scored. With the strength of Prospect on the defensive side of the ball this year, the game should be much tighter. The Knights expect to start eight seniors of the defensive side and will be led by Brady Eckert. Sophomore Matt Drew looks to become the next in a great line of quarterbacks to be knighted. Glenbrook South returns 8 starters to its defense. The Titans, who have qualified for the playoffs for 8 consecutive years, are led by 6-foot-6, 190 pound quarterback Fitz Stadler.

Lincoln Park (2-6) at Rolling Meadows (7-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Rolling Meadows will be looking to keep that scoreboard glowing. The Mustangs, who averaged over 34 points per game last year, take on a Lincoln park team that has not had a winning season for three years. Bobby Suckecki, who took over for Jack Milas, should have the Mustang offense looking like it is in midseason form. Kevin Montero will be a key factor in the running game while the defense led by Eddie Cardenas, Matt Long and Billy Golaris should be free to roam.

Wheeling (3-6) at Mundelein (0-9)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: If the Wildcats are to move towards the elite of the conference, this is where it all starts for Wheeling and coach Brent Pearlman. They take on a Mundelein team that has won just 4 games in the last 4 years and has lost 18 straight. Pearlman will look to play 29 of his 34-man roster most of the season, giving the Wildcats depth they have never had before. Pearlman is very high on junior running back Isaac Branch while quarterback Amani Dennis led the Cats to victories in the final two games of last year. Sophomore Gavin Graves will quarterback the team with the Mustangs running a wing-T offense.

Urban Prep (6-3) at Maine West (1-8)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Maine West had their own 57 varieties in last season's opener as the Warriors blasted Urban prep 57-20 for their only win of the season. Maine West, which has not qualified for the state playoffs since 2005, will be counting on quarterback Matt Swanson, who returns after starting last season.

St. Viator (5-5) at Foreman at Hanson Stadium

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The Lions are looking to continue their success under second-year coach Brandon New, who guided the program to its first playoff appearance in three years last fall. It all started with a 48-0 pasting of Big Shoulders Conference champion Foreman in last year's opener. Bobby Calmeyn returns as the Lions' signal-caller. Calmeyn has solid targets in Joe Faerber, Ben Dickey, Matt Darling and Mike Piet as the Lions look to get off to a fast start again this season.

Alden-Hebron (6-4) at Christian Liberty (1-8)

When: Saturday 1 p.m.

Outlook: Christian Liberty Academy will be looking to make it two in a row in their season opener. The Eagles tasted victory in the Northeasten Athletic Conference for the very first time last year in their final home game. They face a Green Giant team that has qualified for the playoffs 9 times in the last 10 years.

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