Scouting the Hinsdale South Hornets
Marquese Garrett loves playing quarterback, and with good reason.
After switching from running back before last season, he settled in nicely while guiding Hinsdale South's football team as a junior. Now a veteran quarterback, Garrett's improvement is clear.
"His overall understanding of defenses, that's really opened up," said Hornets coach Mike Barry. "It took him a game or two to figure it out, but now he's got that experience. His field presence, his moxie ... it's all developed."
Garrett's balance last year was remarkable. He threw for 961 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 965 yards and 12 touchdowns. The key for this year's offense, though, is finding other ways to move the ball.
Jeremiah Kinsey is a returning starter at linebacker, but he'll also be one of a few players counted on to run the ball. There's similar depth at receiver with Jason Williams and James Ruzicka both joining the program this season. Six-foot-three, 230-pound junior tight end Lucas Kozak will make a big impact.
Look for about five of the Hornets' top athletes to play on both sides of the ball, including Kinsey, the lone returning linebacker, Williams, junior Jaylon Smith and Kozak.
The defense might be undersized but it's quick. Literally and figuratively, the unit just needs to get up to speed.
"It's a really solidified group," Barry said. "Once they get used to it, they'll jell."
The Hornets also need to jell after an off-season of uncertainty following the elimination of the football program due to budget cuts. It took April's successful referendum for football to be reinstated.
"There was damage done and it can't be undone," Barry said. "But our kids are resilient. They've done a nice job controlling what they can."
One to watch: The cross-town game against Hinsdale Central gets bumped up six weeks to Week 3.
Coach: Mike Barry (ninth year, 49-34; 12th year overall, 58-52.
2018 record: 6-4, 5-1, second in West Suburban Gold.
Top players: QB Marquese Garrett, sr.; LB-RB Jeremiah Kinsey, sr.; WR-DB Jaylon Smith, jr.; OL Eric Suda, sr.; OL Lucas Pitonak, sr.; LB Marquez Wesley, sr.; DL Brandon Landfair, jr.; TE Lucas Kozak, jr.; WR-DB Jason Williams, sr.; DB-WR James Ruzicka, sr.; WR-DB Luke Terrell, jr.
-- Kevin Schmit
Fri, Aug 30, Hinsdale South at Kaneland, 7 p.m.
Fri, Sep 6, Hinsdale South at Proviso West, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 13, Hinsdale Central at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 20, Morton at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 27, Hinsdale South at Downers South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 4, Willowbrook at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 11, Hinsdale South at Proviso East, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 18, Addison Trail at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 25, Hinsdale South at Leyden, 7:30 p.m.