Scouting the Addison Trail Blazers
Few football teams boast of returning its entire offensive line from the previous year.
Addison Trail, however, just raised its hand.
With immense experience up front plowing holes for All-Area running back Nick D'Ambrose, the Blazers won't be shy about their intentions. The ground game will be a dear friend.
"You make or break your team up front," said Blazers coach Paul Parpet Jr. "Our team is going to revolve around our offensive line."
D'Ambrose, who last season rushed for 1,285 yards and 15 scores, has familiar faces in front of him, including fellow third-year starters Michael Renc and Randy Petrbok. In addition to Chris Lasanta, juniors Jake Zaborowski and J.T. Daniels return after starting as sophomores.
Emphasizing the run, especially early in the season, will help ease the transition to varsity for junior quarterback Nick Daudelin. Receivers A.J. Parnell, Dennis Ionikov, Chris Cici and Jacob Grygo, a soccer player last year, are his primary targets.
Less defensive experience returns, although the two-way play of Lasanta, Petrbok, Renc and Cici helps. Linebacker Nick DiBernardo and linemen Jack Domek and Ryan Sheehan saw significant time last year while linebacker Carlos Rosado shifts from safety.
In hopes of returning to the playoffs, the Blazers are already ahead of last season in one key area. They're relatively healthy after suffering four season-ending injuries before even playing last year's opener.
"We need to keep guys fresh and healthy, especially early in the season and up front," Parpet said. "The potential is there for us to be pretty competitive."
One to watch: If the Blazers survive a front-loaded schedule and remain in the playoff hunt, their Week 7 trip to Hinsdale South will be crucial.
Coach: Paul Parpet Jr. (eighth year, 34-33).
2016 record: 4-5, 3-3, tied for fourth in the WSC Gold.
Top players: Nick D'Ambrose (RB, 5-8, 180, sr.), Michael Renc (OL-DL, 6-0, 295, sr.), Randy Petrbok (OL-DL, 6-3, 210, sr.), Chris Lasanta (OL-DL, 6-1, 185, sr.), Chris Cici (WR-DB, 5-8, 150, sr.), Nick DiBernardo (LB, 6-0, 185, sr.), Jack Domek (DL, 6-3, 210, sr.), Ryan Sheehan (DL, 5-11, 190, sr.), Carlos Rosado (LB, 5-9, 170, sr.), A.J. Parnell (WR, 6-0, 185, sr.), Nick Daudelin (QB, 6-0, 185, jr.), Jacob Grygo (WR, 6-5, 200, sr.), Jake Zaborowski (OL, 6-6, 270, jr.), J.T. Daniels (OL, 6-2, 220, jr.).
-- Kevin Schmit
Fri, 8/25, Addison Trail at Glenbard South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/1, Addison Trail at York, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/8, Glenbard West at Addison Trail, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/15, Addison Trail at Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/22, Downers Grove South at Addison Trail , 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/29, Leyden at Addison Trail, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/6, Addison Trail at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/13, Morton at Addison Trail, 7:30 p.m.
Sat, 10/21, Addison Trail at Proviso East, TBA