MIKE NIETO: Let the games begin

2013-08-29T18:30:00Z 2013-08-30T01:50:05Z MIKE NIETO: Let the games beginMike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
August 29, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

It all begins tonight.

The 2013 prep football season is here among the late-August heat which hit the south suburbs this week.

This season promises to be an exciting one, and there will be many questions about each team.

Can Crete-Monee and Mount Carmel repeat? That is what people are talking about the defending Class 6A and 8A champs, respectively.

Right now, first-year Crete coach John Konecki is concerned with tonight's opponent T.F. South.

Veteran coach Frank Lenti, the state's career leader with 326 wins, enters his 30th season. The focus is Saturday's 10 a.m. Solider Field kickoff against St. Patrick.

If the IHSA multiplier was not in effect, Crete-Monee and Mount Carmel would have met in the 6A playoffs.

I think both teams will do well and by not talking about a trip to DeKalb, the site of this year's state finals. Both teams will keep their focus.

For the first time in 37 seasons, Dave Mattio will not be coaching Marian Catholic. The 1966 Marian grad retired from coaching after last year and 1995 Marian alum Jerry Verde takes over after leading Crete to the Class 6A crown.

Can Verde turn a program around that went 1-8 last year and won just one game on all three levels?

Sure he will, but it will take time. I still think the Spartans will stun a few teams this year.

T.F. South has a pretty good nucleus. Head coach Tom Padjen, who's in his 37th year, and the staff always have the Rebels prepared for a game. They know they have a big game tonight against the defending Class 6A champs.

Same goes for Thornton and coach Bill Mosel, who's in his 28 year season. The Wildcats host Morgan Park tonight. Yes, night football has returned to District 205. The Wildcats can be an exciting team, and they could light up the scoreboard. Quarterback JoWahn Brown and wide receiver Jauan Wesley could be the most exciting tandem to watch in the area.

Defensively, Crete linebacker Nyles Morgan is one of the toughest players on the field. He just totally dominates offenses and opposing teams will get a taste of his fire power.

Homewood-Flossmoor has made the playoffs three consecutive years under Craig Buzea and the Vikings are looking to continue the streak The schedule begins with Simeon tonight.

After making the playoffs last year, Bloom Township is looking to continue its success. The Blazing Trojans have some returning regulars who can lead.

People wonder if Thornridge can snap its 19-game losing streak or if T.F. North can bounce back from a 1-8 season.

Konecki and Verde are not the only new coaches as St. Francis de Sales hired Guy Smith and Thornwood Billy Bundy.

It all begins tonight.

 

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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