Scouting the Montini Broncos
Montini's 15 returning starters bring skill-position speed, experience to the lines, secondary and receiver corps, and a ballhawking linebacker.
That will come in handy as the Broncos move to the Chicago Catholic League Blue.
"We're excited about that and obviously it's a whole new level of challenge we have to step up to," said Montini coach Mike Bukovsky, who called the promotion from the CCL Green "an honor."
Offensive lineman Mike McNicholas, a Kent State commit, and Illinois-bound running back Nick Fedanzo, who produced 1,072 yards of offense with 8 touchdowns, will draw looks. But Montini has much more than that.
Potential two-way starters Scott West, Jermari Harris, Matt Ross and Zach Olson offer speed and familiarity at the receiver positions and, except for linebacker Ross, to the secondary. Junior C.J. Bufkin, who transferred back to Montini after playing last year at Plainfield Central, is expected to be a weapon.
McNicholas, Jeremiah Banks-Wall and Gianni Alfano return to the offensive line, as do defensive linemen Cam Richardson, Frank Conforti and Fred Stokes, who can do some damage off the edge.
All-conference linebacker Jackson Bruscianelli made 136 tackles last season, 10 for loss, and has 181 tackles at Montini.
Last year Montini used three quarterbacks; this camp, four auditioned. Bukovsky prefers to name a sole starter but, hey, whatever works.
After last year's first-round Class 6A playoff loss (the Broncos go back to 5A, if eligible) Bukovsky looks to improve the basics -- run the football and stop the run.
"If we can do those two things we're going to be a better team and it'll help set up the other things we want to do," he said.
One to watch: St. Rita visits Lombard Week 5 to welcome the Broncos to the CCL Blue.
Coach: Mike Bukovsky (second year, 6-4).
2017 record: 6-4, 3-1, tied for first in the Chicago Catholic Green.
Top players: Jeremiah Banks-Wall (OL, 6-5, 242, jr.), Jackson Bruscianelli (LB, 6-0, 215, sr.), C.J. Bufkin (RB-DB, 5-11, 190, jr.), Frank Conforti (DL, 6-2, 215, sr.), Nick Fedanzo (RB, 6-0, 205, sr.), Jermari Harris (WR-DB, 6-2, 180, sr.), Mike McNicholas (OL, 6-5, 310, sr.), Zach Olson (WR-DB, 5-9, 175, sr.), Cam Richardson (DL, 6-0, 235, jr.), Matt Ross (WR-LB, 6-2, 182, sr.), Fred Stokes (DL, 6-4, 210, sr.), Scott West (WR-DB, 6-0, 170, sr.),
-- Dave Oberhelman
Fri, 8/24, Hyde Park at Montini, 7 p.m.
Fri, 8/31, Christ the King Jesuit at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/7, Marmion Academy at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/14, St. Joseph at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/21, St. Rita at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Sat, 9/29, Montini at Loyola Academy, 1:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/5, Montini at Fenwick, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/12, Montini at Providence Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/19, Brother Rice at Montini, 7:30 p.m.