Scouting the Fenton Bison
For both coach and player, advances between a coach's first and second seasons cannot be understated.
"It's a lot easier, a lot easier," said Fenton coach Matthew Lynch, who took over the Bison last season, coming over from Marengo.
"Everybody's up to speed, everything's moving a lot smoother this summer than it did last summer," he said.
The Bison may move a little smoother in conference play, too, shifting to the Metro Suburban Red from the Metro Suburban Blue. Fenton also plays six straight games in Bensenville.
"I'm taking the approach of let's just wait and see," Lynch said, wisely.
One thing he's sure of is the quarterback position. Senior Kyle Cacioppo is in his third season as a starter. Last year he completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,075 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's got one of Fenton's best athletes, returning starting receiver Diamon King, to target.
Cacioppo will operate behind two returning starting linemen, Jeff Andrews and Louis Rago. Defensively, the Bison have a bunch back -- defensive backs Ivan Lozada and Cesar Bermudez, linemen Jimmy Deckert and Miguel Garcia, and three linebackers -- Andrews, Giovanni Mendoza and Ethan Doliente.
Lynch is excited to see junior newcomers Andre Bess, John Salgado, Ethan Queyquep and Julian Giles, among others.
The graduation of universally admired Dylan Butts hurts on both sides of the ball. On defense Butts made 18 tackles for loss last season.
Naturally, stopping the run will be a key factor. A second season under Lynch will help.
"I'm really proud of the boys," he said. "They've worked their tails off all summer and have accepted everything they've had thrown at them. They're hungry."
One to watch: Ridgewood has owned or shared the MSC Red title three straight years. Fenton hosts Ridgewood Week 8.
Coach: Matthew Lynch (second year, 2-7; 12th year overall, 35-69).
2017 record: 2-7, 0-5, sixth in Metro Suburban Blue.
Top players: Jeff Andrews (OL-LB, 5-11, 190, sr.), Cesar Bermudez (DB, 5-11, 180, sr.), Kyle Cacioppo (QB, 6-0, 180, sr.), Jimmy Deckert (DL, 6-1, 210, sr.), Ethan Doliente (RB-LB, 6-0, 205, jr.), Miguel Garcia (DL, 5-8, 198, sr.), Diamon King (WR-DB, 6-2, 200, jr.), Ivan Lozada (DB, 6-3, 195, sr.), Giovanni Mendoza (LB, 5-8, 165, sr.), Louis Rago (OL, 5-11, 195, sr.).
-- Dave Oberhelman
Fri, 8/24, Fenton at Maine East, 7 p.m.
Fri, 8/31, Maine West at Fenton, 7 p.m.
Fri, 9/7, St. Francis at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/14, DePaul at Fenton, 7 p.m.
Fri, 9/21, Elmwood Park at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/28, Guerin Prep at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/5, Ridgewood at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/12, Fenton at St. Edward, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/19, Fenton at Chicago Christian, 7:15 p.m.