Scouting Buffalo Grove: Bison aim to maintain acceleration
It will be full speed ahead for Buffalo Grove this year.
During the bus ride back from a state playoff loss in East St. Louis last November, Bison head coach Jeff Vlk, his staff and the underclass members of the team began to anticipate the 2018 season.
Buffalo Grove was coming off its best season in 25 years with a 9-2 record and a second-place finish in team MSL East. And with a solid corps of returnees from that team, the Bison feel they can make a deep run this season.
"We are incredibly excited," Vlk said. "This is a great group of kids. Last year was pretty special and these guys want to prove that it was not a fluke. The senior leadership on this team is as good as I have seen in my 14 years as a coach here."
Vlk said that loss to East St. Louis last season in the playoffs made his team hungry for more of that playoff atmosphere.
"That game proved to those kids that we can play with anybody," Vlk said. "Just do the right thing and do their job, to go off of the (New England) Patriots' mantra."
The Bison will lean heavily on a trio of three-year starters.
Tom Trieb, the bruising running back/defensive back who has committed to Northern Illinois, along with quarterback Connor Adams and LB/RB Sean Jacobs, will need to be accounted for by opponents all season.
"Those three have been with me since I started as a head coach here," Vlk said. "It is great foundation to build off of."
Trieb, who is 6-feet-2 and 215 pounds, will handle most of the running back duties. He is coming off a year where he gained over 800 yards, despite missing nearly 2 games with an injury.
"He is a a beast," Vlk said. "Everywhere we go, people ask if he is a defensive lineman. Then I tell them he is our running back. He plays 100 miles per hour all the time."
Adams, who is 65 yards away from being the all-time leading yardage passer for the Bison, will be counted on to be a multipurpose threat for the Bison. He threw for over 1,500 yards and ran for nearly 200 last season.
Jacobs, who was the MSL East defensive player of the year last season, anchors a defense that held eight opponents to 8 points or less with one shutout.
Josh Bleichman (5-11, 287), John Kowalski (6-4, 269), Alex Marchok (6-1, 236), Joseph Verdico (6-1, 225) and TJ West (6-0, 209) will be a formidable group for Trieb, Adams and Jacobs to operate behind. Bleichman and Marchok are both returning starters.
The Bison lost a pair of all-conference wide receivers to graduation. But Vlk feels that Noah Smith, Chris Huber, Jacob Schwartz and Michael Mitchell can fill in quite nicely.
Defensively, the Bison will have 10 seniors that should start. But Buffalo Grove will need to replace its entire defensive line.
Carlos Salgado, Elliott Rosales, Ron Rigenstrup and Riley Rundquist, who came back out for football after solely concentrating on baseball last school year, will look to fill big shoes.
Jacobs will be joined at linebacker by Andy Polk and Luke Muscarello, with Vinni Hoffman also in the mix.
The secondary should be quite stout. At corner will be Max Oberman, the only junior on the defense, and Austyn DeVoss. At safety Trieb and Carter Gledhill, who tore his ACL last season and then returned to play baseball, will be on patrol.