Scouting West Suburban Gold football
Teams: Addison Trail, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale South, Leyden, Morton, Proviso East, Willowbrook.
Key games: Downers South at Willowbrook, Sept. 13; Addison Trail at Willowbrook, Sept. 27; Hinsdale South at Downers South, Sept. 27; Willowbrook at Hinsdale South, Oct. 4.
Top players: LB-OL Sergio Ayala, Willowbrook, jr.; DB Mohammad Ayesh, Willowbrook, jr.; LB Anthony Becht, Downers South, sr.; WR-DB A.J. Carlson, Addison Trail, sr.; WR-DB Damarious Conrad, Addison Trail, jr.; RB-LB Vince Fredrickson, Leyden, sr.; QB Marquese Garrett, Hinsdale South, sr.; WR-DB Deandre Holliday, Willowbrook, sr.; LB-RB Jeremiah Kinsey, Hinsdale South, sr.; WR Jayden Lambert, Downers South, sr.; DL-OL Shawn Lee, Downers South, sr.; LB Sal Napoli, Addison Trail, sr.; DL Alex Rapinchuk, Downers South, sr.; WR Everett Stubblefield, Willowbrook, sr.; QB-DB Sam Tumilty, Willowbrook, sr.
Outlook: Last season Willowbrook cruised to its second straight WSC Gold title, handing Hinsdale South its lone league loss in Week 5. Might the title come down to those teams again? You can bet on the Warriors being in the hunt but Hinsdale South's fortunes depend upon quarterback Marquese Garrett not having to carry the entire load for the Hornets' offense. Willowbrook quarterback Sam Tumilty, who last year threw for 2,530 yards and rushed for 1,270, has at least two playmakers around him in receivers Deandre Holliday and Everett Stubblefield. The Warriors' Gold schedule is relatively front-loaded with only Morton and Proviso East remaining after Week 6. Downers South is the opener in Week 3, which will give everyone an early sign as to whether or not the Mustangs will vie for their first Gold crown since 2013. They'll boast perhaps the league's top athlete in receiver Jayden Lambert. He'll thrive in his third varsity season with junior quarterback Cole Wareheim returning. As with virtually all the Gold teams, the Mustangs will rely on two-way play from linemen like Shawn Lee, another third-year varsity member. Addison Trail, while leaning on senior leaders like receiver A.J. Carlson, may promote as many as eight sophomores to varsity. Leyden, the outright conference champion in 2016, is always a Gold wild card. The Eagles have a strong ground game with running backs Vince Fredrickson and Nick Motyka. They also allowed the fewest points in the conference last year.
Quotable: "After the success we've had we know the expectations are high," said Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth. "It's something we've gotten accustomed to. We embrace that challenge."