Wheaton North enters the football season with its share of question marks.
Considering the potential, the Falcons appear ready to answer.
"We're certainly not a dominating group, but I think we could be pretty good," said Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski.
It's been several years since the Falcons entered the off-season with an unknown behind center, but that's what they face after the graduation of all-DuPage Valley Conference quarterback Clayton Thorson, now at Northwestern. Wheaton North worked through four quarterback options before sophomore Luke Anthony emerged as the starter.
The other candidates will thrive elsewhere. Steele Graham will play receiver and running back, while Alex Alkevicius may be a second tight end with returner Jake Heggeland.
J.P. Forcucci, meanwhile, will stay where he was last season when the senior receiver snared 56 catches for 719 yards.
Another offensive unknown comes at running back, where the Falcons return no experience. A committee of backs will attempt to get the job done behind a deep crew of linemen headed by returning starters Chris Royer and Nathan Schulz.
"I could literally see three guys getting carries back there," Wardynski said. "It's been a point of emphasis to try and run the ball better, but we'll see."
With only defensive back Ben Moore and linebackers Nick Singleton and Austin Oltman returning as defensive starters, the Falcons will bolster their ranks with sophomores Danny Walker, a safety, and linebacker Erik Mueller. Wardynski is especially confident about the play of Singleton, Oltman and Mueller at linebacker.
The schedule -- beginning with Cary-Grove and Joliet Catholic and running through the DVC grind -- won't do a young team any favors.
The Falcons need to answer the questions quickly.
"There's potential," Wardynski said. "We just need to get some things settled."
Coach: Joe Wardynski (seventh year, 47-21).
2013 record: 9-3, 5-2 tied for second in DuPage Valley Conference.
Top players: J.P. Forcucci (WR, 5-11, 180, sr.); Luke Anthony (QB, 6-2, 182, so.); Nick Singleton (LB, 5-9, 175, sr.); Ben Moore (DB, 5-8, 170, sr.); Chris Royer (OL, 6-0, 210, sr.); Nathan Schulz (OL, 6-3, 215, sr.); Jake Heggeland (TE, 6-6, 215, sr.); Austin Oltman (LB, 5-10, 180, sr.); Steele Graham (WR-RB, 5-9, 162, jr.).
Fri, 8/29 Wheaton North at Cary-Grove 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/5 Joliet Catholic at Wheaton North 7:30 p.m.
Sat, 9/13 Wheaton North at Simeon 6 p.m.
Fri, 9/19 Wheaton North at Lake Park 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/26 WW South at Wheaton North 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/3 Wheaton North at Glenbard North 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/10 Wheaton North at Naperville Central 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/17 Naperville North at Wheaton North 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/24 Lake Park at Wheaton North 7:30 p.m.