Scouting the football season in the Central Suburban League

  • Vernon Hills' Ryan Mann is headed to Northern Illinois in the fall.

    Vernon Hills' Ryan Mann is headed to Northern Illinois in the fall. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Bob Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/13/2021 5:45 PM

Here's a look at the football season in the Central Suburban League.

CSL South

 

Evanston2019 record: 3-6

Coach: Mike Burzawa

Worth noting: The Wildkits enter the season with plenty of motivation after a losing record in 2019. Junior quarterback Sean Cruz is back for his second season starting, and he will be aided by a strong offensive line that includes three returning starters. Junior linebacker/running back Sebastian Cheeks is one of the top players in the state, and earned offers from numerous Power Five conferences.

Glenbrook South2019 record: 4-5

Coach: David Schoenwetter

Worth noting: The Titans have a strong core of seniors slated to lead them this season, which includes quarterback Michael Bauer, linebacker Michael Carney, wide receiver Tommy Gebien, linebacker Will Solis and cornerback Anthony Travlos. "We have a good number of returners on our defense, so we hope to be tough on that side of the ball," Schoenwetter said. "Our offensive line should be a solid group this year and we hope to have a strong run game. We are a senior heavy team with great leadership from that group of players."

Glenbrook North2019 record: 4-5

Coach: Matt Purdy

Worth noting: The Spartans return plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, notably offensive/defensive lineman Jackson Carsello (Northwestern). Purdy is also expecting big things from wide receiver/linebacker Avery Burow, wide receiver/linebacker Luke Henry, running back/defensive back Drake Marquez, wide receiver/defensive back Ryan Henschel and wide receiver/defensive back Nicky Ullrich. "I'm very excited to see how both our lines play with a number of very talented players back, perhaps one of our biggest areas of excitement is our perimeter plays on both sides of the ball," Purdy said. "We have great receivers and defensive backs returning, and our kicking game should be very fun to watch."

Maine South2019 record: 7-3

Coach: David Inserra

Worth noting: The Hawks rebounded from losing their first two games last season to win seven games. Senior quarterback Luke Leongas is finally at full strength after playing on a torn ACL in his junior season. The Hawks' strength lies in a smart and fast defense, which includes linebackers Chris Petrucci, Joe Kinnavy and Connor Leyden. "Our wide receiver and running back crew is excellent as well as the linebackers," Inserra said. "The offensive line is smart and ready for action."

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New Trier2019 record: 4-5

Coach: Brian Doll

Worth noting: The Trevians are setting the bar high by competing for a CSL South championship, Doll said. With two-way threat Brody Roth, last year's team MVP, back at running back and linebacker, the Trevians have the talent to make some noise. Senior wide receiver/defensive back Tyler Hardin is a big-play threat in the passing game, and junior quarterback Nevan Cremascoli is coming off a solid first season starting as a sophomore. In addition, junior tight end Finn Cohan is an emerging talent entering his first foray on the varsity level. "We have a strong senior group, and a fast, explosive defense and experienced skill players on offense," Doll said.

Niles West2019 record: 0-9

Coach: Matt Hohs

Worth noting: The Wolves are coming off a difficult season, but Coach Hohs has the program pointing in the right direction, especially after an encouraging summer participation by his players.

CSL North

Deerfield2019 record: 10-3

Coach: Steve Winiecki

Worth noting: The Warriors have the talent to build off their long playoff run in 2019, as they bring back a strong group of playmakers and have talent and experience on all three levels on defense. Senior linebacker Chris Dawson, junior defensive back Luke Jones and junior Luke Woodson form the backbone of the defense. "We will be a team that runs well and can make plays on all three sides of the ball," Winiecki said "On offense, the wide receiving corps will be very deep, and on defense, it will be another strong year for our linebackers."

Highland Park2019 record: 4-5

Coach: David Lindquist

Worth noting: The Giants have plenty of talent at several key skill positions, notably quarterback, wide receiver, running back and safety. Senior running back/safety Giovanni Volpentesta and senior wide receiver/linebacker Jaden Holzman are standouts. "Talent aside, this is a group that loves to compete and it's evident in how they push each other," Lindquist said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Maine East2019 record: 0-9

Coach: Robert Winkel

Worth noting: The Blue Demons are pointing toward a turnaround season due to a big improvement on both lines. Junior Yaser Alawadi is a premier left tackle with numerous college offers, while senior right tackle Kevin Wingate is a budding talent. Quarterback Caesar Graham, a three-year starter, has impressed the coaching staff in the offseason. "We have the potential to be a true contender this year in our conference," Winkel said. "This year we will be a true 60-40 (percent) run-pass team."

Maine West2019 record: 8-2

Coach: George Klupchak

Worth noting: The Warriors closed the regular season with six straight wins before losing their playoff opener. Senior running backs Alex Peguero and Tommy Katsikaris should benefit from an offensive line that returns three starters. "We will rely on an experienced offensive line, and an aggressive defense anchored by nose tackle Louis Corey and linebacker Kamrin Hutt," Klupchak said.

Niles North2019 record: 3-6

Coach: Patrik Pistorio

Worth noting: The Vikings bring back four starters on the offensive line to go with three candidates vying for the starting quarterback spot. Returning starter Chris Bland, Caleb Swanson and C.J. Hood are all vying for snaps. Senior wide receiver Jalen Butler, a Northern Illinois recruit, is a big-play threat in the passing game.

Vernon Hills 2019 record: 5-4

Coach: Bill Bellecomo

Worth noting: The Cougars have one of the most experienced teams in the conference, with 10 starters back on defense alone. Three college-bound players headline the returnees -- linebacker Jackson Wiegold (Ball State), tight end Justin Morris (Ball State) and running back/safety Ryan Mann (NIU). "Our defense should be good," Bellecomo said. "They have the potential to be one of the best units we've ever had here. The linebacking crew is going to be special ... We have a nice combination of skill players, but we also have some big strong kids and some kids with a lot of speed."

Five players to watchNew Trier senior running back/linebacker Brody Roth

Evanston junior linebacker Sebastian Cheeks

Highland Park senior safety Giovanni Volpentesta

Maine South senior quarterback Luke Leongas

Maine East junior OL/DL Yaser Alawadi

Five can't miss matchupsWeek 1 -- Glenbrook South at New Trier

Week 2 -- Maine South at Evanston

Week 3 -- Deerfield at Vernon Hills

Week 4 -- Maine South at Glenbrook South

Week 5 -- New Trier at Maine South,

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