Football: Scouting the CCL/ESCC Green

  • Benet's Pierce Walsh is receiving Division-I offers as the 2021 fall football season kicks off.

    Benet's Pierce Walsh is receiving Division-I offers as the 2021 fall football season kicks off. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/16/2021 1:34 PM

Benet

2021 spring record: 2-1, 1-0 Orange

 

Coach: Patrick New

Worth noting: Few teams dealt with bigger scheduling headaches than Benet during the spring 2021 season. Unfortunately for the Redwings, they played only three games in an already abbreviated season. ... Junior WR/DE Pierce Walsh brings experience to the football field. Walsh has several college offers from schools in the Mid-American Conference as well as a handful of offers from FCS schools. ... Junior MLB John Weidenbach is also receiving interest from Division I schools. Walsh and Weidenbach were All-Orange division performers in the spring. ... Senior OL/DL Dylan McGivney and Joey Infante provide leadership in the trenches on both sides of the ball. ... The schedule is once again loaded for Benet, which opens the season against Naperville North in nonconference action and will finish Weeks 8 and 9 with Joliet Catholic and Nazareth back-to-back.

Nazareth

2021 spring record: 2-3, 2-1 Orange

Coach: Tim Racki

Worth noting: Senior WR/DB Trell Harris has several MAC offers and a handful of FCS offers. Senior WR/S Peter Roll is committed to play at Navy. Junior WR/DB Justin Taylor is also receiving interest from D-I colleges. Harris, Roll and Taylor were selected to the All-Orange division team in the spring. Coach Tim Racki believes they provide some elite speed. ... Senior QB Aidan Pieper is a returning starter who saw significant playing time in the spring, as did junior DB/RB Kaleb Miller. ... Senior OL Diego Vela and Lavern Schramer bring experience up front. DL/OL Joe Urso has experience in the trenches on both sides of the ball. ... Defensively, seniors DL Adam Fuechtman, LB Charlie Gloor and LB Nolan Morris are all returning with varsity experience.

Niles Notre Dame

2021 spring record: 2-4, 0-3 Green

Coach: Mike Hennessey

Worth noting: The Dons suffered one-possession losses against Providence and St. Rita. A 10-0 win over Nazareth was a nice victory for the resume. ... QB Vincenzo Ricciardi was thrown into the fire last season as a sophomore. Now the junior already has a season under his belt. ... RB/S Colin Randazzo saw a good amount of playing time in the spring and should be one of the team's top running backs. Junior RB/DB Francesco Ricciardi is another returning running back from last spring. ... At 6-foot-6, 285 pounds, OT Tom Shipman is a big body for the Dons. He played left tackle in the spring and recently earned his first Division I college offer from FCS Dayton. ... TE Conor O'Boyle (6-4, 200) is a nice big target for the quarterback. ... This fall will be head coach Mike Hennessey's 35th season at the helm of the Notre Dame program.

St. Rita

2021 spring record: 5-1, 3-0 Green

Coach: Todd Kuska

Worth noting: A 7-3 loss to Loyola in Week 1 during the spring season was the only blemish on St. Rita's schedule. St. Rita gave Loyola its toughest game and held a 3-0 lead until the final minutes. ... WR/RB Kaleb Brown was St. Rita's top rusher and receiver each of the past two seasons. He committed to Ohio State in June. ... The offensive line is going to be loaded. OL Valen Erickson (6-6, 310) is a three-year starter who will play at Nebraska next year. Rocco Valenti (6-5, 315), Logan Blake (6-3, 295) and Collin Gerger (6-3, 250) are all returning starters. C Charlie Armbruster (5-11, 240) saw some action in the spring as well. ... Senior QB Tommy Ulatowski is a two-year starter who quarterbacked St. Rita to the state championship game in 2019. He threw for more than 1,000 yards in the spring with eight touchdowns. ... Defensively, LB/DL Djabril McNabb led the team with seven sacks last spring. DBs Liam Bartos and BJ Hall brings varsity experience to the secondary. Bartos was a first-team All-Green division performer in the spring.

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FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kaleb Brown, St. Rita, RB/WR, sr.: The Ohio State commit is electric. His speed is off the charts.

Valen Erickson, Sr. Rita, OL, sr.: One of the top offensive linemen in the state, Erickson will play at Nebraska next year.

Peter Roll, Nazareth, WR/S, sr.: Roll is committed to Navy and will play both ways for Nazareth.

Tom Shipman, Niles Notre Dame, OT, sr.: Shipman was a starting tackle as a junior last spring and should be a driving force for Notre Dame.

Pierce Walsh, Benet, WR/DE, jr.: Only a junior, Walsh has several offers from schools in the MAC. He could be a rising star.

FIVE CAN'T MISS MATCHUPS

Week 1 -- Mount Carmel at St. Rita: A big-time CCL/ESCC crossover game to open the season in Week 1.

Week 4 -- Benet at St. Rita: There will be huge Green division implications in this matchup.

Week 8 -- Joliet Catholic at Benet: There's no shortage of quality crossover games in this conference. This is another solid matchup.

Week 9 -- Benet at Nazareth: The Green division title could be on the line in Week 9.

Week 9 -- St. Rita at Niles Notre Dame: Notre Dame played St. Rita tight in the spring, with the Mustangs holding on for a 24-17 victory.

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