Youth will be served at Prospect this year.
Prospect, which was 1-8 last year after making the playoffs the previous eight consecutive years, will count on youthful enthusiasm as it hosts Glenbrook South for the season opener on Aug. 29. The Knights will have 28 juniors and sophomores on their opening-day roster, with as many as 14 of those starting.
"I think our team is doing a great job of coming together," Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen said. "They have done a great job of melding together. We have some great senior leadership and that helps.
"It is fun to go back to work. The kids did a lot of work this past summer and they look ready to go."
The Knights will look to 6-foot 2, 176-pound junior quarterback Matt Drew to take them far this year.
Drew started 7 games last year as a sophomore for Prospect before going down with an injury. He was 42 of 94 during that span, throwing for 502 yards.
"Offensively, it helps to have a returning quarterback," Sebestyen said. "He has great ability and understanding of the game."
What also could help Drew is a senior-laden receiver corps. Mike O'Malley, who had 14 receptions for 147 yards last year before his season was cut short with mononucleosis, returns. He will be joined with Mike Ott, Vincent Lai, Anthony Bongiorno and Greg Suarez along with tight end Andrew Fischer.
Prospect will also look to junior Bobby Jarosz, who came on late last season to rush for 119 yards, and sophomore Andrew Shafis and De'Angelo Roberson to carry much of the workload on the ground.
Luke Wrede, who is a 6-1, 234-pound junior and started all season at center, returns to anchor the offensive line that is in flux right now. Others in the mix to start are Vinny DiFatta, Matt Schultz, Bill Matzek along with Jackson Doughty.
"We are really young on the offensive line," Sebestyn said. "Other than Luke (Wrede), we are still trying to make up our minds on who to play and where. The good news is that we are bigger than last year."
Sebysten will look to his defense to keep the Knights in games all year, as five of the front six are back.
"We have some experience defensively," Sebestyn said. "That should help us quite a bit. Or linebackers are very experienced and should be a strength for us."
Prospect returns its starting defensive line of Dema Govalla (5-11, 224), James Ford (5-10, 218) and Sebastian Koziol (5-11, 176). Also returning to the defensive are inside linebackers Brady Eckert and Tito De Los Santos while Joey Kern will play middle linebacker.
The secondary will feature Ott, O'Malley, Jarosz and Roberson along with Jack Muzillo and Kyle Zielinski.
"I like our work ethic so far," Sebestyen said. "The question is how far have we come, and how we will look Week 1."