Scouting the Metea Valley Mustangs
Don't expect John Parpet to pull any rabbits out of any hats.
The first-year Metea Valley football coach knows it'll be a long road to success for a program that's made the playoffs only once and never finished with a winning record. The Mustangs went 1-8 in each of the last two seasons.
"There's not a magic play or a magic offense or defense," said Parpet, a former offensive coordinator at Plano and Lisle. "What we can do is teach our kids to be process oriented. And based on that we started to see some success in the off-season."
As the players adjust to new offensive and defensive systems, one thing is certain. The Mustangs will lean on running backs C.J. Wilcox, who last season rushed for 642 yards and 6 touchdowns, and Elijah Wright, who added 232 rushing yards.
Six-foot-five, 220-pound tight end Austin Frederick, who had 11 catches for 123 yards, is one of the most underrated players in the DuPage Valley Conference. Junior Nick Shannon is a dual-threat quarterback coming up from the sophomore level.
"As we go along this season we'll figure out our identity a little bit better," Parpet said. "We know our strength is in the backfield, and we'll take advantage of it."
Two-way play will be more prevalent than in past seasons for the Mustangs, who must take advantage of a handful of outstanding athletes. Middle linebacker Dominic Giancana, defensive end Octavio Lopez, Wilcox, Wright, Frederick and others will see action on both sides of the ball.
It's all part of a new era at Metea Valley.
"I'm a big believer in your best players playing," Parpet said. "We need them on the field, not standing next to me on the sideline. We need to maximize our ability on a daily basis."
One to watch: With a new coach and new system, all eyes are on the opener against WW South.
Coach: John Parpet (first year).
2018 record: 1-8, 0-4, fifth in DuPage Valley Conference.
Top players: RB-LB C.J. Wilcox, sr.; TE-LB Austin Frederick, sr.; RB-LB Elijah Wright, sr.; LB-RB Dominic Giancana, sr.; DB-WR Keshawn Baker, sr.; OL-DL Octavio Lopez, sr.; DB D'Mareon Rule, sr.; OL Max Barton, sr.; DB Ryan Kelly, jr.; QB Nick Shannon, jr.
-- Kevin Schmit
Fri, Aug 30, WW South at Metea Valley, 6 p.m.
Fri, Sep 6, Metea Valley at Lake Park, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 13, Metea Valley at Belleville East, 7 p.m.
Fri, Sep 20, Metea Valley at Naperville Central, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 27, DeKalb at Metea Valley, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 4, Metea Valley at Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 11, Neuqua Valley at Metea Valley, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 18, Metea Valley at Waubonsie Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 25, Neuqua Valley at Metea Valley, 7 p.m.