Scouting Hoffman Estates: Hawks aim to produce more magic
Hoffman Estates is looking for more of that magical dust.
After the most successful football season in school history, the Hawks are looking for a repeat. But after graduating 18 starters, is it possible for a Hoffman program that lost in the 6A state semifinals last year and finished 10-3 overall?
"We are really happy where we are at right now," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "We had a very, very productive summer. The kids are great. It is a good mix between our sophomores, juniors and seniors."
Heyse said the deep playoff push last year is helping to pave the way for his team this season.
"The freshmen who got moved up last year were around for a month," Heyse. "These are our sophomores now. So there is no learning curve when the summer came this year."
At first glance, it seems Hoffman Estates will have to almost have to completely retool its offense, which scored 392 points last season.
The Hawks return two starters to the offensive line that played last year. Dan Kim (5-10, 210) and Tyler Montgomery (6-0, 270) are back and are joined by Femi Oginni (5-11, 270), Marcos Bustos (6-1, 255), Jeff Meyer (6-2, 270) and Kahmari Chaney (6-2, 230).
At running back, Hoffman has two backs returning that had a number of carries last year. Isiah Cooper and Max Lock both got numerous touches last season. Hoffman will also have Mekhi Williams (6-0, 190), who as sophomore has shown flashes of brilliance at practice so far this season.
At wide receiver, the Hawks will have Bartlett transfer Malik Whitehead, who is a senior. Heyse says Whitehead is a combination of Jaylin Alexander and Jayvon Blisset; those two combined for nearly 2,500 yards and 20 TDs last season.
"He is a brick," Heyse said of Whitehead. "He is talented. He played running back last year, and we put him outside and threw him the quick screens and he just takes off."
Hoffman also has Marshawn Washington, sophomore Jashawn Johnson and freshman Jonah Walton at wide receiver.
At quarterback, the Hawks are turning over the reins to senior Kyle Krogstad, who saw some action last year backing up Austin Coalson.
"He is a really, really smart kid," Heyse said. "Sometimes he is too smart. I am not worried about him at all."
On defense the Hawks will be small but quick, according Heyse.
"They just go," Heyse said.
Oginni, who will be the largest defensive player, will be joined up front by Jaydon Dennis and Arthur Robinson.
The linebacking corps will be anchored Lock. He will be joined by Adam Burks, the younger brother of all-area LB Jimmy, along with Nate Fisher and Noel Pena.
The defensive backfield may be the strength of the defense. The group is talented and very athletic with junior Darian Waits, seniors Nilay Siram and Marcellous Chew along with sophomore Jaelyn Williams.
"We like how things are coming together so far," Heyse said. "They are coming together quite well."