What can Matthew Lynch apply at Fenton that he used to turn a winless Marengo program into a state semifinalist?
"I have one simple philosophy," began the new Bison coach.
"It's my responsibility and my duty to do everything I possibly can to help these young men as people," Lynch continued. "Football just happens to be the vehicle and the tool that we use. But it's not about football, it's about getting them to grow as people and be productive members of society."
A few wins along the way can't hurt, and Fenton is not in the 0-18 straits Marengo was when the former Illinois State linebacker started there in 2007. He suffered one more winless season but by 2015 fielded a 12-1 team and went 22-10 his last three seasons at Marengo. Lynch also enjoyed a prior stint as Fenton's defensive coordinator under Mark Carmen.
What Lynch has found upon his return to Bensenville is a "great group of young men"...and some pretty good players.
The Bison return all three of its 2016 all-conference picks -- quarterback Kyle Cacioppo, receiver-defensive back Carlos Mercado and running back-defensive end Dylan Butts.
Three-year starter Butts led Fenton in rushing yardage, points scored and tackles, among other things. He's so tough that he's played both linebacker and nose tackle.
There's a nice sprinkling of talent and experience with players such as Devamon Kelly, Ivan Lozada, Brian Jaramillo and Amari Baldwin. Sophomores Andre Bess, Ethan Doliente and Diamon King add strength to the receiver and defensive secondary corps.
"It's a group of kids that from Day One has given me everything they've got," Lynch said.
-- Dave Oberhelman
One to watch: No time like the present for new Bison coach Matthew Lynch -- Week 1 vs. Leyden.
Coach: Matthew Lynch (first season; 11th year, 33-62).
2016 record: 3-6, 1-4, fifth in the Metro Suburban Blue.
Top players: Amari Baldwin (RB-DB, 6-0, 175, sr.), Isaiah Brock (OL-DL, 5-11, 295, sr.), Dylan Butts (RB-LB, 6-1, 200, sr.), Kyle Cacioppo (QB, 5-11, 170, jr.), Brian Jaramillo (LB, 5-11, 205, sr.), Devamon Kelly (WR-DB, 5-7, 165, sr.), Ivan Lozada (DB, 6-4, 180, jr.), Carlos Mercado (WR-DB, 5-10, 165, sr.), Anthony Park (OL-DL, 5-10, 200, sr.).
Fri, 8/25, Leyden at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/1, Fenton at Shepard, 7 p.m.
Fri, 9/8, Guerin Prep at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Sat, 9/16, Fenton at Walther Christian, 1 p.m.
Fri, 9/22, Fenton at Glenbard South, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/29, Fenton at St. Edward, 7 p.m.
Fri, 10/6, Riverside-Brookfield at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/13, Wheaton Academy at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/20, Fenton at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.