Scouting the Hoffman Estates Hawks
Hoffman Estates has finally made a full 180-degree turn.
For the first time since the mid-1990s, there will be senior football players at Hoffman Estates that have never experienced a losing varsity season.
"It is dramatic," said Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse, who has taken the Hawks to the playoffs the last three seasons.
"There were years that we knew we had a playoff teams walking our halls. It is the culture and the work ethic of the players that have helped change things around here."
Heyse and his staff not only have contact with their team while they are in season, but in the offseason as well. That contact includes the obvious weightlifting, but study halls as well.
"We see our kids every day in study hall and weight training," Heyse said. "We get a lot of our things down in the offseason and before the school bell at the end of the day and they go home."
This year's quarterback, Jojo Lovelace, was a perfect example of how the Hawks' system works. Lovelace could have been the starter last year, according to Heyse,
"If he had put the pedal to the metal, he could have won the job," Heyse said. "He just didn't compete hard enough for it."
This season, Lovelace has come in with a fresher approach, which could work wonders for the himself and the Hawks.
"He is going to open up some eyes," Heyse said. "This kid can flat out spin it. He had a remarkable summer, better than I had planned. We are looking for huge things form him. He adds another aspect to our game because last year we could not stretch the ball. He can chuck it 65-70 yards and we have some kids on the outside that can run."
Heyse said he loves this team's athleticism.
"This might be the most athletic team Hoffman Estates has ever seen," Heyse said. "We have a lot of speed all over the field."
At wide receiver, Jayshawn Johnson, Damian Piekarczyk, Nate Fisher, Elijah Figueroa and Jonah Walton will be dangerous and bottle up secondaries. This should give Max Lock, who rushed for nearly 300 yards last season, and Mehki Williams some room to run the football.
The offensive line, which has good size, returns four starters. That should give the athletic Hawks room to fly.
Returning are Marcos Bustos (6-2 265) and Jeff Meyer (6-4, 285), who are both seniors, while Miguel Bonilla (5-10, 215) and Kahmari Chaney (6-3, 245) are juniors. They will be joined by sophomore Eddie Resendez (6-2, 200).
The defensive line will nearly be rebuilt. But the Hawks will look to keep fresh bodies on the field with Julian White, Mike Brown, Vosey Howard, Leo Morales, Justice Bamisaiye, Tristan Schroeder and Elijah Figueroa rotating up front.
Linebacker will also see fresh faces. It will be led by Lock, who started there last season. Nick Johnson, Kyle Frymire, Jason Meza, Fisher and Liam Love will also be factors.
The secondary will be the one place where the positions are fixed for now. Jayshawn Johnson, Jaelyn Williams, Darrian Waits and Devin Lawerence are a highly athletic group.
With the greater numbers, comes the depth that the Hawks could use to compete against the larger three schools in the Mid-Suburban West.
"We have a lot of guys who are job sharing," Heyse said. "We really we have true, two guys that are two-way players. All the other guys, we will rotate in depending on situations. We have a lot of versatility."
Although Hoffman has turned 180 degrees, Heyse is still looking for the full-speed ahead.
"The expectations are to get back to playoffs and compete for a conference title," Heyse said. " We haven't won one in 25 years and that is our first goal. We know that we are going to be the only ones that believe that, but we are all used to that around here."