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After a deep run in the playoffs last year, expectations are high in Barrington this season.
"We have a lot of guys back," said Barrington coach Joe Sanchez, who returns 15 starters from a team that went 10-2 last year before bowing out in the Class 8A quarterfinals to Stevenson. "As these guys know, words are hollow. We want to hold ourselves to a high standard on how we play the game."
The Broncos are very strong at the wide receiver spot with the the Seamus Moran, who had 37 receptions for 582 yards, and the speedy Scotty Miller (22 receptions, 502 yards) and Dylan Bingham (12 receptions, 228 yards) back to give defenses fits. Mitch Pfeiffer, Cameron Sarkar, Cole Walsh and Brandon Melnychuck give the Broncos depth at that spot as well.
The Broncos will need to find a suitable replacement for two-year starting quarterback Daniel Kubiuk, who threw for 1,740 yards at quarterback. Both senior Adam Broomfield and junior Johnny Davidson have been getting plenty of reps in practice.
"We will see where it plays out," Sanchez said. "Those guys have their own uniqueness about them that they bring to the table and they do a lot of good things for us."
Sanchez plans to go with the hot hand at the running back spot, with four players battling for time. Dylan Abel, who rushed for 427 yards last year, along with Nate King (189 yards), Dumaso Mkwanananzi and J.T. Henderson figure into the plan.
"They all bring something different," Sanchez said. "It is one of the most unique situations I have ever been in. They all know we are going to need them all."
Barrington returns two starters from last season to its offensive line in junior Alex Serrano (6-3, 280) and senior Brett Morrison (6-3, 280). They will be joined by Matt Reiser (5-11, 225); Connor Leighton (6-2, 240), Bobby Seibt (5-11, 235) and sophomores Nick Bart (6-2, 270) and Mark Bach (6-0, 225) are battling for the final three spots.
Defensively, the Broncos are linebacker-strong.
Jake Coon, who was all-area last year and was recruited by Ivy League schools, is back inside along with Mark Bornhofen, while outside linebackers Julius Smith and Travis Cysewski are all back.
Other familiar names are David Danhauer, Kyle Meckert, Cooper Van Kampen and Ryan Blair, along with Jason Harris, who is returning from an injury last year to give the Broncos a stout defensive front.
"Those guys all have a chance to set the tone for what we want to accomplish on defense," Sanchez said. "And that is to try to put offenses into predictable situations."
Miller will go both ways and play a corner along with Terry McGovern, while Blake Jacobs and Connor Warman will be at the safety spots.
Sanchez says that his team has been working hard to get on track early in the season.
"Our number one focus is game one," said Sanchez, whose team hosts Jacobs in the first week of the season. "We are trying to get off on the right foot."