Scouting the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers
Two seasons ago Wheaton Warrenville South allowed 36 points per game, a number the Tigers reduced to 23 last season.
Thin on offensive experience and entering a new conference, it's on the defense to shrink the scoring one more time.
"We've been calling this an unknown group because not many of them have played football at the varsity level," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch. "They're going to be a little green in taking that next step to the varsity level."
Only five starters return, including four on defense and three on the defensive line. If the Tigers are going to emerge from the DuKane Conference and make their first playoff appearance since 2014, the group up front must lead the way.
Isiah Brown-Dietzman, who last season notched 38 tackles, returns as one of the area's premier edge rushers. Chase Keating and Jack Kelly, who had 28 tackles, also return in addition to defensive back Joe Ives.
Other than lineman Billy Winfrey, the offense completely turned over personnel.
Quarterback Noah Henkel and receivers Tiwan Smith and Jeremy Lockett had a great summer in 7-on-7 action. Jake Arthurs and Prince Lankah need to replace graduated running back Ryan Young, who rushed for 1,046 yards and 17 touchdowns.
New talent might be good for a program that's struggled the last few seasons. Four home games begin the schedule, including nonconference matchups against Metea Valley and Lockport.
It's critical the Tigers get off to a good start.
"Hopefully we'll get it turned around and headed in the right direction," Muhitch said. "Not getting in the playoffs is frustrating, especially when you feel like you're better than your record."
One to watch: Wheaton North shifts from Week 1 to Week 6 -- the first edition of the cross-town game in the DuKane Conference.
Coach: Ron Muhitch (17th year, 131-55).
2017 record: 2-7, 1-7, eighth in DuPage Valley Conference.
Top players: Isiah Brown-Dietzman (DL, 6-3, 238, sr.), Cedric Rowzee (DB, 5-9, 161, sr.), Billy Winfrey (OL, 6-2, 255, sr.), Chase Keating (DL, 6-3, 202, sr.), Jack Kelly (DL, 6-2, 226, sr.), Joe Ives (DB, 5-10, 162, sr.), Noah Henkel (QB, 5-11, 174, sr.), Jake Arthurs (RB, 5-10, 186, jr.), Lauden Dome (DB, 5-8, 162, sr.), Jack Stransky (LB, 5-8, 181, sr.), Tiwan Smith (WR, 6-0, 177, sr.), Prince Lankah (RB, 5-9, 192, jr.), Jason Haw (TE, 6-1, 210, jr.), Jeremy Lockett (WR, 6-0, 162, sr.).
-- Kevin Schmit
Wheaton Warrenville South
Fri, 8/24, Metea Valley at Wheaton Warrenville South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 8/31, Lockport a Wheaton Warrenville South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/7, Geneva at Wheaton Warrenville South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/14, St. Charles East at Wheaton Warrenville South, 7 p.m.
Fri, 9/21, Wheaton Warrenville South at Batavia, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 9/28, Wheaton Warrenville South at Wheaton North, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/5, Lake Park at Wheaton Warrenville South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/12, Wheaton Warrenville South at Glenbard North, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, 10/19, Wheaton Warrenville South at St. Charles North, 7:30 p.m.