Scouting the football season in the ESC/CCL Purple
Carmel2019 record: 2-7
Coach: Jason McKie (first season)
Worth noting: McKie, the former Chicago Bears fullback, has waited a long time to coach his first game as head coach with the Corsairs. McKie had previously been an assistant under former coach Blake Annen. ... DB/WR Jalen Burton is committed to play college ball at Bowling Green. ... Senior LB Matt Marti and senior DE Kyle Heinz bring experience to the defense. ... Junior WR Jon Buckley and junior RB Gabe Lynch are returning contributors who could make an impact on the offense. ... Sophomore QB Ashton Gondeck is a varsity newcomer who likely steps into the starting role. ... FB/DT Matt Ortega, LB Spiros Pissios and DB/WR Luke Daniels are other varsity newcomers expected to contribute. ... Carmel is looking for its first winning season since 2016.
Marian Central2019 record: 4-5
Coach: Darren Fortin (second year)
Worth noting: A Week 9 loss to St. Patrick kept the Hurricanes out of the postseason at 4-5 in Fortin's first year as head coach. ... Junior OL Luke Dalton (6-5, 300) has three Division I offers from Mid-American Conference schools: Ball State, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan. That's in addition to an FCS offer from Indiana State. ... Besides Dalton at tackle, the Hurricanes return C Mike Gatz, LG Markus Pomili and RG/LS George Carlson on the offensive line. Varsity newcomer OL/DL Anthony Hess will also throw himself into the mix. ... Junior QB Brendan Hernon started last season as a sophomore. He was a significant factor running the ball as well as throwing, rushing for more than 300 yards on the season. ... Senior WR Owen Stanko was a top receiver for the Hurricanes in 2019, pulling in 15 catches for 140 yards. ... RB Dante Ricciardi returns with some varsity experience.
St. Patrick2019 record: 3-6
Coach: Adam Guerra (fourth season)
Worth noting: St. Patrick adds a talented junior class that went 8-1 as sophomores in 2019. ... OL/DL Jimmy Mitropoulos, OL Charlie Redman and OL Joey Thornton will lead the push up front. ... Junior QB Jermaine Young is an all-around athlete who can do a little bit of everything. ... OLB/RB Alex Goworowski and TE/OLB Anthony Salinas will contribute on both offense and defense. ... Senior WR Jack Ryle should be a top playmaker for the Shamrocks' offense. ... Junior LB Nick Armenta is a varsity newcomer to keep an eye on defensively. ... St. Patrick's only loss in divisional play last year was a one-point overtime loss against St. Viator. The division was a tight one in 2019 and should be again this spring.
St. Viator2019 record: 4-5
Coach: David Archibald (fifth season)
Worth noting: The Lions have a veteran roster with 24 seniors. Archibald is excited to see what all the hard work in the weight room over the last year has done for his team. ... OL/DL Jeremiah Pittman committed to Iowa over a list of offers that included about a dozen other schools. ... The Lions will have some experience on the interior with Pittman, OL/DL Brandon Taylor, and DL Alec Scislowski. Senior OL/DL Anthony Luczak is a newcomer to watch. ... Junior LB Carson Eggebraten and senior LB Daniel Niesman will anchor the middle of the defense. ... RB/ATH Lucas Barisas, WR/LS Joe Laterza and WR PJ Scales should be some of the Lions' key skill position players. ... Senior quarterback Jack Ziebka likely steps into the starting QB job.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCHJalen Burton, Carmel, DB/WR, sr.: Burton will be a top playmaker for the Corsairs. He's committed to play at Bowling Green.
Luke Dalton, Marian Central, OL, jr.: Dalton has a handful of Division I college offers already, carrying on the McHenry County lineman tradition.
Brendan Hernon, Marian Central, QB, jr.: Though only a junior, Hernon has the most varsity starting quarterback experience in the Purple division.
Alex Goworowski, St. Patrick, OLB/RB, jr.: Gowowrowski wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks in the pass rush in 2019.
Jeremiah Pittman, St. Viator, OL/DL, sr.: Pittman should be a force for the Lions. He will play on the defensive line at Iowa next year.
FIVE CAN'T-MISS MATCHUPSWeek 2 -- Carmel at St. Patrick: The Shamrocks won this game, 32-31, in 2019.
Week 2 -- Marian Central at St. Viator: This was another one-possession game in the Purple division last year. St. Viator won, 28-21.
Week 3 -- St. Patrick at St. Viator: These teams finished atop the division at 2-1 each last season, with St. Viator winning the head-to-head matchup, 21-20, in overtime.
Week 6 -- St. Viator at Carmel: The division title is likely to be on the line in Week 6.
Week 6 -- Marian Central at St. Patrick: These two always seem to be playing a close game in the final week of the regular season.