No football team can replace two offensive linemen who graduated into Big Ten college programs.
Hinsdale Central won't try to, although this season's crop of linemen isn't shabby either. Six-foot-two, 265-pound Niko Ivanisevic and 6-4, 290-pound Brian Foley return to help ease the transition of losing Matt Allen, now at Michigan State, and Doug Kramer, now at Illinois.
"I don't think you know what you've got until they're gone," coach Dan Hartman said. "It's tough to replace, but it's also tough to complain when you've got two guys back like (Ivanisevic and Foley)."
A bunch will be on their broad shoulders, but their main task will be to protect Columbia-bound quarterback Josh Bean, who's been on varsity since his sophomore year. Splitting time last season, Bean threw for 699 yards and 7 touchdowns while rushing for 181 yards and 6 scores.
Among the talented receivers in the fast-paced spread attack are returners John Kwasigroch and junior Matt Bjorson, who missed much of last season with injury.
The running game will sorely miss graduated Christian Bobak. Three backs will share carries as the Red Devils run by committee.
"I'm sure one of them will emerge, but it's also OK if we're rotating a few guys," Hartman said.
Linebacker Dorion Pollard, committed to Ball State, is the main voice of experience on defense. The secondary has the bulk of the remaining defensive experience with Joe Kwasigroch, Tommy Lyne and Mike Porter.
Gianni Frasca saw time on both sides of the ball last season, but he'll be utilized primarily at linebacker. Ryan Usher brings experience to the defensive line.
Every West Suburban Silver team finds itself chasing perennial champion Glenbard West, but few have come closer than Hinsdale Central. The Red Devils hope they'll break through this season.
"We're seeing kids come through the program with consistency now, and we're excited about that," Hartman said. "We're coming together nicely."
One to watch: Week 6
It doesn't get any better than a Saturday Homecoming game against Glenbard West.
Coach: Dan Hartman (third year, 15-6).
2015 record: 7-3, 4-2, third in West Suburban Silver.
Top players: Josh Bean (QB, 6-2, 205, sr.), Dorion Pollard (LB, 6-0, 210, sr.), Niko Ivanisevic (OL, 6-2, 265, sr.), Brian Foley (OL, 6-4, 290, sr.), Joe Kwasigroch (DB, 6-2, 185, sr.), Mike Porter (DB, 6-0, 170, sr.), Tommy Lyne (DB, 6-0, 170, sr.), John Kwasigroch (WR, 6-2, 185, sr.), Matt Bjorson (TE, 6-3, 225, jr.), Garrett Oakey (RB-WR, 5-11, 170, jr.), Gianni Frasca (LB, 5-10, 195, sr.), Ryan Usher (DL, 6-0, 225, sr.), Eli Blaketor (RB, 5-10, 190, sr.), Joey Buonavolanto (RB, 5-6, 165, jr.), Luke Skokna (RB, 5-9, 165, so.).
-- Kevin Schmit
Fri, 8/26, American Fork (UT) at Hinsdale Central, 7 p.m.
Fri, 9/2, Hinsdale Central at Downers Grove South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/9, Hinsdale Central at Downers Grove North, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/16, York at Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/23, Hinsdale Central at Proviso West, 7:30 p.m.
Sat, 10/1, Glenbard West at Hinsdale Central, Noon
Fri, 10/7, Hinsdale Central at Lyons Township, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/14, Hinsdale South at Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/21, Oak Park-River Forest at Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.