Scouting the Montini Broncos
Conferences change but not Montini's goals, which as usual include a state championship.
"This is going to be one of our stronger teams in the last seven, eight years," coach Mike Bukovsky said.
The Broncos look to improve on last season's down-to-the-wire 35-27 Class 5A title-game loss to Joliet Catholic.
Part of the 24-team merger between the Chicago Catholic League and the East Suburban Catholic Conference, the Broncos deliver returning studs and promising newcomers in all position groups.
Bearing 13 reported college scholarship offers, 6-foot-6 three-year starter Jeremiah Banks-Wall forms an imposing offensive tackle combo with 6-5, 305-pound returner Dagen Miller. Colin Baker is back on the offensive side as are defensive linemen Patrick Peters and Cam Richardson -- 136 combined tackles in 2018 -- bolstered by a deep cast up front including Demond Butcher.
Speed and athleticism will be hallmarks, Bukovsky said, brought by running backs C.J. Bufkin, DiAndre Harris and Enzo May. Receiver Nate Muersch, a Miami (Ohio) commit, caught 33 passes for 543 yards, 10 touchdowns last season. Jalen McBride, Nick Wind and Paul Flicek add to the receiver corps.
Several skill-position players will play both ways, but Trevor Swier is a mainstay at linebacker, where his 123 tackles led Montini in 2018.
Last season Deontay Bell shared quarterback reps with Robert Brazziel, who has moved out of state. In 2018 Bell ran for 887 yards, 10 touchdowns, and threw for 9 touchdowns without an interception.
After a great off-season, "we feel (Bell) really is a strong two-dimensional threat. He's poised and ready," Bukovsky said.
Like the rest.
"I think this has the potential to be a very special group," the coach said.
One to watch: Though it's a CCL/ESCC crossover, why not look at the Week 3 matchup against Mt. Carmel to see how Montini has reloaded?
Coach: Mike Bukovsky (third year, 18-6).
2018 record: 12-2, 3-1, second in the Chicago Catholic League Blue.
Top players: OL Colin Baker, jr.; OL Jeremiah Banks-Wall, sr.; QB Deontay Bell, sr.; RB-DB C.J. Bufkin, sr.; RB-DB DiAndre Harris, jr.; LB Brandon Liston, sr.; OL Dagen Miller, jr.; WR-TE Nate Muersch, sr.; DL Patrick Peters, sr.; DL Cam Richardson, sr.; LB Trevor Swier sr.
-- Dave Oberhelman
Sat, Aug 31, Montini at Hudson (WI), 7 p.m.
Fri, Sep 6, Collins at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 13, Montini at Mt. Carmel, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 20, St. Rita at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Sep 27, St. Viator at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 4, Montini at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 11, Montini at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 18, DeLaSalle at Montini, 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 25, Providence Catholic at Montini, 7:30 p.m.