Scouting the Downers Grove South Mustangs
It's been an excruciatingly long playoff drought for Downers Grove South's football program. But if the Mustangs play to their potential this season, it'll end,
"This group believes they'll be the ones to get us back to the playoffs and win a conference title," said Mustangs coach Mark Molinari.
At times last season the defense looked like it might carry the team to the postseason but a few games allowing at least 40 points proved costly. This year's front seven, led by Western Illinois-bound lineman Shawn Lee, is a team strength and a reason to be confident in fewer breakdowns.
Molinari feels he has three all-conference caliber defensive players in Lee, lineman Alex Rapinchuk and linebacker Anthony Becht.
Junior linebacker Ethan Monaco is another talent, but the Mustangs need to deepen the secondary with two-way play from Jayden Lambert and sophomore Eli Reed.
And speaking of Lambert...don't expect to see him at quarterback after he valiantly tried to fill that role due to a flurry of injuries at the position. Lambert, who last season accounted for about 700 yards of offense, will slide into his usual receiver spot.
That's because junior Cole Warehime not only returns at quarterback but sophomore Max Molinari provides a solid backup. If the Mustangs carve out a running game with Rahshon Murff and Richard Pecenka, the offense will be well-rounded. Reed brings big-play potential at receiver.
"(Warehime) has the potential to be a pretty good quarterback but he has to stay healthy," Molinari said. "If we have our guys, we're not concerned about our offense."
Is it enough for the program to begin a new playoff streak?
"That's the goal," Molinari said. "We think we have the talent, but we have to show it on the field."
One to watch: The Week 3 Gold opener against Willowbrook will show the Mustangs exactly where they're at.
Coach: Mark Molinari (seventh year, 24-30).
2018 record: 4-5, 4-2, third in West Suburban Gold.
Top players: WR-DB Jayden Lambert, sr.; DL-OL Shawn Lee, sr.; DL Alex Rapinchuk, sr.; QB Cole Warehime, jr.; OL Sharrod Molex, sr.; LB Anthony Becht, sr.; LB Ethan Monaco, jr.; WR-DB Eli Reed, so.; RB Rahshon Murff, jr.; WR-RB Richard Pecenka, jr.
-- Kevin Schmit
Fri, Aug 30, Wheaton North at Downers South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 6, Downers Grove South at York, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 13, Downers Grove South at Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 20, Proviso East at Downers Grove South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 27, Hinsdale South at Downers South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 4, Downers Grove South at Addison Trail, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 11, Morton at Downers Grove South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 18, Downers Grove South at Leyden, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 25, Downers North at Downers South, 7:30 p.m.