2009 Boys Season Preview
By Aaron Brown
With the season
officially underway, let's take a closer look at some of the top teams in
the state of Illinois on the boys' side in 2009:
The Top 25
Can Fenwick make
it six titles in a row? With returning player-of-the-year Chris Wendt
returning, the Friars are once again the heavy favorite in 2009. Matt
Napleton returns in goal, Dan and Brian Barron are back, and Craig
Borkovec, Will Rigali, Ed Osmalak, Mark Ryden, and Colin Corvino provide
the Friars with all the tools they need to start the season as the number
one team in the state.
return several key members from a team that made it to the state title
game last season, and they should be looked at as one of the candidates to
challenge Fenwick in 2009. Senior goalie Tyler Kelley and junior playmaker
Mark Menis lead the Redhawk lineup, while Ben Reasons, Max Saltzman, and
Ryan Stanley all return to form a potent offensive attack.
John Mikuzis has
already had breakout years on the offensive end, so who knows what he has
planned for his senior season. He gives the Wildcats a chance to have
their best season in team history in 2009. Mike Rooney and AJ Quebbeman
also return and give Neuqua a chance to challenge Naperville Central for a
state berth this year.
The Titans emerged
as one of the state's best teams last year, and with their three leading
scorers returning in 2009, they will expect big things again this season.
Chris DeLetto, Ben Hengels, and Tommy Nimrod combined to score 197 goals
in 2008, so a similar performance could have the Titans back at state this
5. Brother Rice
The Crusaders are
consistently one of the best teams in the state, and this year should
prove no different. Sean Davis, JJ Marren, and Matt Stelnicki are among
several returning players that give Brother Rice a solid chance to make a
run at advancing to the state tournament.
scorer Cody Siemeck and fellow seniors Joe Kamper and Jake Jenkot
returning to the Eagles lineup, Sandburg could expect big things as an
encore to their state tournament run from last season.
Seniors Peter Bruton
and Patrick Weigand return to lead the Lions, while sophomore David Sekula
should play an increased role on the offensive end this year. Lions'
goalie Spencer Ellison also returns could combine to cause problems for
opponents in 2009.
8. Oak Park
Luke O'Connell, and Tommy Poulos all return for the Huskies, who have one
of the most talented lineups in the state of Illinois. Oak Park also
expects big things from sophomore Armando Lee in 2009.
Jim Zuponeck leads
the Warriors back into the Top 10 in 2009, while Jeff Sellers and Adam
Kozak are among several players that provide the Waubonsie Valley with the
talent and depth to challenge Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley this
Sam Rosen and Matt
Wich combine to make the Wildkits a legitimate contender for a state berth
in 2009, while returning players Alex Lajoie, Robert Bansberg, Carlos
Sosa, Jake Roth, and goalie Patrick Brody combine to give Evanston a solid
overall lineup this season.
11. St Ignatius
Speed, versatility, and the strong goaltending
presence of Alex Gestevich give the Wolfpack state hopes in 2009.
Starters Brendan Moore, Garrett Mulchrone, and Giovanni Wrobel all return
for St. Ignatius this season.
once again do battle with Stevenson for a chance to qualify for state in
2009. Pat Falconer, Mike Begrowicz, Will Davidson, and Frank Lukacs all
return for the Mustangs, who take on the Patriots in the opening week of
seems to be in the mix of the things at the end of each season, so expect
Ali Khan and Brad Feng to lead the Patriots to another successful campaign
despite the loss of several seniors from 2008's state run.
The Ramblers have
a ton of depth and several playmakers returning to their squad this
season, including Liam Byrne, Jon Tobon, Sean Hulseman, and Charlie Shaw.
Expect Loyola to challenge GBS and rivals Evanston and New Trier for a
state berth in 2009.
15. New Trier
Bill Farmer leads
a fast and versatile New Trier lineup that also includes seniors Joe
Jeffers, Aaron Palmer, Ben Varick, and goalie Doug Mowery. The Trevians
will look to challenge GBS and Evanston for the CSL title.
16. St Patrick
return most of their starters from last season, so it would be no surprise
to see them advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2003.
Jeremy Trinchere, Dan Kalupski, Pat Lee, and Austin Travers lead the way
for St Patrick in 2009.
The Saxons return
the majority of their lineup in 2009, which features leading scorer Chris
Corbett and goalie Neal Salemi. Mike Kohoe, Pat Kraulis, and Aaron Johnson
also return to make Schaumburg the team to beat in the Northwest Suburbs.
The Griffins lost
a few players to graduation and Lincoln-Way North, but returning starters
Karl Zoellick, Kevin Kubik, Mike Reilly, and goalie Nate Puskaric still
make LWE a tough opponent that may not see any drop-off from the past few
scorer Marc Krolikiewicz returns to lead the Dukes on offense in 2009,
while senior Colin Albue, junior Dan Groch, and goalie John Onstwedder
also return to try and get the Dukes back to state this season.
The Vikings lost a
strong senior contingent from last season, but goalie Neal Zoellick,
Russell Maanum, and Shay Banton could have the Vikings back in the thick
of things by the end of the year.
returns to lead the Romans and will team up with impressive incoming
freshmen Jacob Himmel and Eddie Wickes.
Jon Lesniak and
Reilly Shanahan team up to help lead a tough and physical Warriors squad
The Huskies will
look to Austin Katz and Matt Johnson to try and pick up the slack after
the graduation of seniors Conor Handley, Jackson Hill, and Christian
Kevin Moran and
Pat Cavanaugh are among several returning Porters who could make life
tough for conference foes Sandburg, H-F, and the Lincoln-Way trio.
The Dolphins could
be ranked much higher by midseason, as Raul Ariza and Luis Solis lead a
team that has shown massive improvement over the last two years.