Inside the 59ers
Last season: 11-3
Returning starters: 13 (7 offense, 6 defense)
Returning offensive leader
Matt DeSomer, Sr., QB. 1,400 yards passing, 16 touchdowns; 1,485 yards rushing, 26 TDs.
Returning defensive leader
Tylor Petkovich, Sr., LB. 91 tackles (11 for loss), 3 sacks.
Matt DeSomer, Sr., QB/DB. Perhaps the best returning quarterback in the area and the best at Andrean in a decade, DeSomer matured greatly as a junior, punctuated by his six-touchdown effort in a 67-66 five-overtime win in the regional.
He's got next
Josh Barajas, Jr., TE/LB. The 6-foot-3 transfer from Mt. Carmel has a state ring from his days with the Caravan and will start at outside linebacker for a stout defense, and rotate at tight end.
The Times' breakdown
Returning talent is abundant, and expectations are raised along with the 59ers’ spot in the state’s restructured tournament. Class 2A semistate participants last fall after a brilliant regional win, which snapped a four-regional losing streak, Andrean moves into Class 3A in the new six-class format. Matt DeSomer is the focal point of the offense, but Trevor Berg (904 yards, 11 TDs) proved himself as a workhorse rusher last postseason, and receiver Ramon Guerrero (31 catches, 470 yards, 2 TDs) showed flashes of brilliance. A deep offensive line will make this offense tough for anyone in any class to stop. The defense is led by the team’s first highly recruited Big Ten-level player in a long time in Tylor Petkovich, who grew 2.5 inches up to 6-6 for his senior year. Defense will be a strength with Noah Pavlina (93 tackles), Lukus Berber (36 tackles) and Guerrero (36 tackles) stymieing opponents. “We’ve got a ton of skill,” coach Phil Mason said. “This is a very talented football team. If they stay healthy and focused and continue to improve, we’re going to be very good.”
— Paul Trembacki