In becoming York's new coach, Matt Monken brings a name that's deeply rooted in Illinois prep football.
He'll also be bringing a familiar system in hopes of rejuvenating a Dukes program that's won a total of three games the last two years. It'll be a big change from his experience at Bolingbrook the last 13 years, but Monken isn't worried about a rocky transition.
"I truly felt like I could move here and have success," said Monken, who becomes the ninth member of his extended family to become a head football coach. "It's a great community. It's different but it's also one and the same. They're kids and they want to be part of something special. It's made for a pretty easy transition."
Monken plans to stick with the run-heavy veer option offense that helped Bolingbrook to many of its 22 straight playoff appearances, including the 2011 Class 8A title. Keeping the chains moving on the ground is a priority with running back Kyle Coughlin, who rushed for 408 yards last season, and returning linemen Brian Peterson, Frank Voris and Sam Kuhn.
"Running the ball is going to win you games, and stopping the run is going to win you games," Monken said. "Those philosophies in football are not going to change."
One change Monken has in mind is to avoid the use of two-way players. Beyond a two-platoon system, Monken ideally wants the Dukes to be three-platoon with different personnel on special teams to take advantage of a deep roster.
A 4-3 defense will be designed to stop the run, starting with run-stopping tackle Kolton Stephens. Middle linebacker Mike Kosanovich was second on last season's team with 49 tackles.
Installing new offensive and defensive systems will be extra challenging in the ultracompetitive West Suburban Silver.
"It's an unbelievable conference, one of the best in the state," Monken said. "We know it's not going to be easy, but we need to give them an opportunity to perform."
Coach: Matt Monken (first year).
2013 record: 3-6, 1-5 sixth in West Suburban Silver.
Top players: Brian Peterson (OL, 6-4, 265, sr.); Kyle Coughlin (RB, 5-10, 165, sr.); Mike Kosanovich (LB, 6-2, 200, sr.); Joe Biggins (RB, 5-10, 180, sr.); Bobby Dunn (QB, 6-1, 185, sr.); Kolton Stephens (DL, 6-2, 270, sr.); Morgan Alexander (DB, 5-7, 175, sr.); Frank Voris (OL, 6-4, 245, sr.); Sam Kuhn (OL, 6-3, 230, sr.).
Fri, 8/29 Clark at York 7:30 p.m.
Sat, 9/6 York at Proviso East 1:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/12 York at Hinsdale Central 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/19 Willowbrook at York 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/26 York at Oak Park-River Forest 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/3 Proviso West at York 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/10 Downers Grove North at York 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/17 York at Lyons Township 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/24 Glenbard West at York 7:30 p.m.