Scouting the Naperville North Huskies
Anyone who watched Naperville North play football last season remembers Matt Maschmeier.
Beyond him, not much will be recognizable.
"It's a young group," said Huskies coach Sean Drendel. "It's an inexperienced group of juniors coming up, but they're going to be really good football players."
In addition to normal graduation losses, the Huskies also suffered losses due to transfer. The next-man-up mentality is strong with this team as it adjusts with eagerness.
The Huskies' best player is Maschmeier, who will be relied upon on both sides of the ball. Last year he caught 18 passes for 208 yards, but this season he'll also be in the secondary.
Quarterback Anthony Gabrione saw limited varsity time last season, and he presents a dual threat. Tight end Jason Gramins returns to aid a young offensive line led by senior Robert Padgett and juniors Ben Kuefler and Nick Grace.
The running game will be manned by committee. Juniors Lontrez Duckworth and Justin Sterling are among the expected contributors.
"I really like the fact that we have a handful of kids we can give the ball to," Drendel said. "We like our skills an awful lot."
Drendel loves the aggressive attitude on defense, especially in the secondary with Maschmeier, Nico Cegles, Michael Miranda and Angel Adorno. The Huskies also bring back linebacker Cole Loebig and lineman C.J. Kuhter.
Like the offense, though, young talent is key. The linebacker corps is junior-laden, junior lineman Connor Corrigan is one of the unit's top players and sophomore Zeke Williams will contribute on offense and defense.
"We're probably going to hang our hat more on defense early in the year," Drendel said. "But I think the offense will catch up pretty quickly."
One to watch: A three-game nonconference stretch ends with a Week 3 trip to Masillon, Ohio, to face Perry.
Coach: Sean Drendel (10th year, 44-45).
2018 record: 3-6, 1-3, fourth in DuPage Valley Conference.
Top players: WR-DB Matt Maschmeier, sr.; DB Nico Cegles, sr.; DL Connor Corrigan, jr.; TE Jason Gramins, sr.; OL Robert Padgett, sr.; QB Anthony Gabrione, sr.; DB Angel Adorno, sr.; DB Michael Miranda, sr.; LB Cole Loebig, sr.; DL C.J. Kuhter, sr.; RB Lontrez Duckworth, jr.; RB Justin Sterling, jr.
-- Kevin Schmit
Fri, Aug 30, Benet at Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Fri, Sep 6, Batavia at Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Fri, Sep 13, Massillon Perry (Ohio) at Naperville North, 6 p.m.
Fri, Sep 20, Waubonsie Valley at Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Fri, Sep 27, Naperville Central vs. Naperville North (North Central College), 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 4, Metea Valley at Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 11, Naperville North at DeKalb, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 18, Neuqua Valley at Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 25, Naperville North at Waubonsie Valley, 7 p.m.