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Article updated: 8/21/2014 10:00 PM
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Intriguing developments at Rolling Meadows
 

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Intriguing developments at Rolling Meadows
  • Rolling Meadows’ Peyton Dezonna lays out to bring down Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey last season in Class 6A playoff action. Dezonna is one of two returning defensive starters for the Mustangs.

    Purchase Photo | Rolling Meadows’ Peyton Dezonna lays out to bring down Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey last season in Class 6A playoff action. Dezonna is one of two returning defensive starters for the Mustangs. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Quarterback development has always been a huge asset for Rolling Meadows.

When Tony Garoppolo was playing, Jack Milas was waiting and stepped in very well.

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After Milas, Bobby Suchecki stepped up last year and threw for 1,952 yards.

Now it is RJ Matucci's turn.

"We are excited about him," said Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler about his new senior signal-caller. "He has a good skill set. It is hard for a varsity quarterback to step in. There will be an adjustment period for him, just like there was for the guys before him. We expect some bumps in the road. But he brings a lot to the table."

The Mustangs lost 15 players from last year which equated to 19 starting positions.

"We are going to need our juniors to step up," Mishler said. "We lost some key people there from last year. We are very young, but they are more than capable."

Antonio Atencio, who carried the ball 63 times last year for 292 yards, will be the main ball-carrier for the Mustangs, while Mike Dellorto, who is a junior, also figures to get some carries.

Jeremy Leander and Kevin Adair, who are both seniors along with sophomore Jose Camacho and junior Jack Swindells, will look to fill the huge holes left at wide receiver. Jack O'Neill will be at the slotback spot.

Rolling Meadows returns two starters on the offensive line in center Francisco Trejo (6-foot, 245) and the gargantuan Greg Off (6-7, 305), who will move from right tackle to the left side.

The two Jakes -- Owen (6-1, 205) and Maloney (6-2, 270) -- along with Grant Palmer (5-11, 215) will also start. They're all juniors.

Defensively, the Mustangs return just two starters.

"We will play similar to last year with multiple-front teams," Mishler said. "We haven't been as consistent as we want to be. We are looking to improve there. We've got to fill some holes. But that being said, we have some kids stepping up in practice."

Rolling Meadows will be led by outside linebacker Peyton Dezonna, who started at safety last year. Nick Devonna will play the other outside position in the the team's 3-4 scheme while Luka Pavlakis and Ryan Kobus will play inside.

Alex Rezny, who was moved up last year and played quite a bit as sophomore, will play defensive end along with Trevor Drezen, who will take up lots of room with his 6-5, 230-pound frame. Manny Zervos will play the nose.

Three-man rotations will be the theme in the defensive backfield for Rolling Meadows.

Leander along with Camacho and Dellorto will be at the safety spot while Devona, Swindells and Devante Amos will play the corner spot.

One more change: Rolling Meadows has moved away from playing a Chicago Public League team in its opener this year. The Mustangs instead will open by playing St. Viator at Forest View.

"They are a lot like us," Mishler said. "It is kind of like playing ourselves."

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