2010 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 2010:
The Top 25
1. Oak Park
How does a team
that didn't qualify for state last season end up with the top spot in
2010? To put it simply, the Huskies return their entire starting lineup.
Leading scorer Tommy Poulos returns to lead the offense, while both Luke and
Dylan O'Connell give Oak Park plenty of options on the offensive end.
Goalie David Anderson returns in goal to lead the defense, which should be
tough to score on as coach Tommy Nickels can count on the ability and
speed of Eric Hallman and Nathanial Williams. Armando Lee and Troy
Williams are also expected to make major contributions on the
offensive end for the Huskies.
The Redhawks are
loaded with a talented and fast lineup, including a few of the top players
in the state in Mark Menis and Ryan Stanley. Menis is an especially tough
defender and excels at any position, while Stanley could be a dominant
force on the offensive end in 2010. Danny Tucker adds a great deal of
speed to the starting lineup, Pat Stablien takes over in goal, and Kyle
Rickert, Pat May, Kristian Altuve, and Jay Howenstein all could make a
difference for Naperville Central's title chances in May. The Redhawks
finished third in the state last year.
It would probably
be foolish to count Fenwick out of the title race this season, even though
they lost three of their top scorers, their top defensive player, and
their starting goalie after winning their sixth straight championship in
2009. Seniors John Osborne
and Will Rigali both return after combining to score 94 goals last season,
Dan Francisco takes over in goal, and the Friars expect a huge
contribution from talented junior Connor Brown. Seniors Chris Dan, Paul
Pannenko, and Ryan Mastalerz add veteran leadership to coach Dave Perry's
team, while Fenwick will be bolstered by a strong freshman class headed by
Matt Farmer, Matt Bresnahan, and Tommy McGuire.
4. Brother Rice
All-State players Sean Davis and Matt Stelnicki to help Brother Rice
compete for the Catholic League title and a possible state championship in
2010. Last season, Geno Freeman split time in goal and should take over
full-time duties in front of the net this season.
Crusaders will have plenty of options to fill the starting lineup, with
senior Peter Wasik, juniors Nick Joslyn and Kyle Pikula, and sophomore
Mike Mulcrone among the many returning players that give coach Bill Mulcrone
an abundance of options.
The Lions have
continuously performed at a high level for the past several seasons and
look like they have reloaded once again for a possible state tournament
run. Senior Joe Burke should pick up the offensive slack for LT after
coach Doug Eichstaedt lost his two leading scorers, while junior Dave
Sekula continued to impress in his second season and will also provide a
great deal of offensive firepower. The rest of last year's supporting cast
that should play a bigger role this year includes
Brendan Tully, Mike Shapiro, Kovas Zygas,
goalie Andrew Brown and Jacob Ford. Lyons could also look to an impressive
freshmen class to boost their lineup.
A young Romans
team gained a great deal of experience last season and should be ready to
make a move towards the state tournament in 2010. Not only that, but Latin
lost no seniors to graduation, making them a dangerous team when the
postseason comes around. Sophomore Jacob Himmel should be a dominant force
in his second season, A.J. Galainena provides a great deal of experience
and leadership, and Eddie Wickes, Luca Pasquesi, and Evan Dent also return
and could make a big impact. Goalie Sam Shehan returns to
lead an always solid defensive team, while James Ruggiero and Jordan
Spear should also play a bigger role for coach Noah Himmel's squad.
announced their arrival early last season with a surprise win over
Sandburg, but there should be no surprises this season; they are a fast
and skilled team that will look to make their first appearance at the state
tournament in 2010. Sophomore Eduardo Chavez could be one of the best
players in the state when all is said and done, and his continuous
improvement could prove tough to stop for most defenses. Ramiro Almarez also
provides a great deal of speed and talent, Carlos Barcenas returns in
goal, and Victor Mendez leads a supporting cast that will make Curie a
difficult opponent this season.
Patriots have qualified for state for three consecutive years, and they will
look to do the same once again in 2010. Alex Rembialkowski had a breakout
season for Stevenson as a junior, and he will be expected to provide
plenty of scoring for head coach Sean Wimer's squad. He will be supported
on the offensive end by both Doug Malfar and Grant Stevens, who each
scored plenty of goals last year. Adam Weisberger allowed less than five
goals per game in 2009 and is one of the top returning goalies in the
state. Meanwhile, Josh Hodges, junior Zach Blumenfeld and sophomore Evan
Woodward could each make big contributions as potential starters this
return nearly everyone from their 2009 state team, but they will still
need two make up for the loss of their leading scorer if they want to make
another run at a sectional title. Reilly Shanahan is a fast and skillful
senior who should be able to lead the team after a breakout season as a
junior. Phil Lesniak, Scott Dabrowski,
and Brandon Das can each be expected to play a much bigger role for a
strong, physical team that always stresses solid team defense. Dan Brucki
returns in goal after a stellar performance at the end of last season.
Head coach Craig Fowles could also look to Matt Feltes, Tim Briscoe, and
Zach Fischer, among others, to fill out the starting lineup.
Wildcats will obviously need to replace a large part of their offense this
season, but they have some talented individuals returning that could keep
them in contention for a state berth in 2010. Senior Mike Rooney has
loads of experience and talent and should make a big impact offensively
for Neuqua, while junior AJ Quebbeman will also be expected to play an
even bigger role this season. Senior Kevin Cordes also returns in goal for
Erik Niemeier is the lone returning starter for the
state runner-up Eagles, who should never be underestimated, especially
after last year's state run. Eric Chong should provide a scoring boost on
the offensive end, while Jason Luzinski, Matt Veldman, and Balys Gintautas
will also be called upon to make big contributions for coach Jim
12. St Ignatius
The Wolfpack seek
a return to the state tournament after qualifying for two of the past
three years. Senior Brendan Moore led the team in scoring by a large
margin last year and will look to do the same in 2010, while fellow senior
Giuliano Wrobel also returns to provide the lineup with a great deal of
experience. Mark Alvarado was actually the team's second leading scorer as
a sophomore, so he should once again play a huge role in the Wolfpack's
success. Jack Turek and Jack Abernethy also return to bolster the starting
lineup, while Mike Fratto takes over in goal for St Ignatius.
Toops and Connor Murphy lead a fast and tenacious Loyola squad that will
look to challenge for the Catholic League title and a state berth by the
end of the season. TJ Considine and Steve Freedman also return and are
expected to make major contributions for head coach Dan Hengelmann's side.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Nickele and Patrick Stein both performed exceptionally
well in the offseason and could be impact players in the Ramblers starting
rotation. Brendan Hulseman, Charlie Dowdle and Connery Brennan should also
play valuable minutes for the Ramblers this season, while big things are
expected of returning goalie Henry Hermes.
The Mustangs will
be bolstered by the return of senior Pat Falconer, whose speed makes
Mundelein's counterattack difficult to stop. The continued development and
speed of Will Davidson should also prove vital to Mundelein's offense,
while Frank Lukacs and Brandon Horsch should both play a significant role
in head coach Rahul Sethna's lineup. David Dickinson returns in goal after
his first year in the starting lineup and should provide a solid last line
of defense for the Mustangs.
The Vikings return
nearly all of the key components from last year's team, making them one of
the favorites in the SouthWest Suburban Conference this season. Alec Wojack and Russell Maanum combine to give head coach Tim Caldwell plenty
of offensive firepower at his disposal, while Shay Banton is expected to
have a huge season and will lead a defense that is backed up by junior
goalie Jake Bodnar. Alex Diorio, Caleb Peterson and Luke Dobben also
return for H-F, who will also look to freshman Kevin Kuchta to step into
the starting lineup immediately.
16. New Trier
The Trevians are a
team built with depth and speed, and things should be no different for coach Dave Goodspeed's squad
this year. Matt McClone and Mike Maley return to
the starting lineup for New Trier and should make a definite impact on
both ends of the pool. James Bartels has plenty of talent, Konrad
VonMoltke adds a great deal of speed, and brothers Eric and Jason Robb
should play valuable minutes for the Trevians in 2010. Jack Wiley and Jake
Eaton should see significant playing time in their junior seasons, while
senior Joe Boehrer and sophomores Max Grodecki and Sam Skinner should
contribute for a deep Trevians' team. Sam Buchman returns
in goal for New Trier, who will be eyeing both the CSL title and a berth at state this season.
17. St Patrick
Shamrocks are a team capable of contending on a yearly basis, and that
should be no different in 2010. To do so, they will need to replace a
handful of talented starters from last year's campaign. Matt Garcia should
be tough to stop on the offensive end for St Patrick, while both Alec
Rourke and Peter Blume are expected to make major contributions for a team
that is always dangerous when the postseason comes around.
Dolphins might be an underrated squad at the start of the season; they
return most of their starting lineup and have plenty of scoring options
with the tandem of Raul Ariza and Mark Wilcoxen leading the offense. Edgar
Lopez and Nader Ammar also return and could play bigger roles this year for Young, who will look to challenge Curie
for the CPS title.
Warriors return plenty of young talent to start the 2010 campaign.
Kyle Apple and Tyler Hunt lead a
junior class capable of scoring plenty of goals, while sophomores Joe
Poletto and Cameron Weber also return after making key
contributions in their first year of high school water polo.
Senior Tyler Briesath provides talent and
leadership, while junior
goalie Alec McWhirter should be much improved after a year of experience
as a starter for the Warriors. Incoming freshman Mike McWhirter could also
make an immediate impact for Waubonsie.
is expecting big things in their second full season of water polo in 2010.
Senior Kyler VanSwol is exceptionally fast and also has a great deal of
scoring ability, while Nick Roberts also provides a great deal of speed
and experience and Trevor Kubik returns in goal to give the Phoenix a
chance to rise in the rankings this year.
Huskies are a team on the rise...Austin Katz will lead the offense and is
expected to have a big year, while Aaron Katz and Connor Hubbard are both
looking to make an impact in 2010. Tom Hubbard and Jacob Thompson are
among a handful of returning players that should give head coach John
Blumthal a wide array of options this season.
The Knights have a
chance to contend for the SWSC title as the experienced trio of Joe
Caffarini, Murphy Hebbard, and Dave Smith lead a well-balanced attack. LWC
will also look to junior Petar Jackovich to provide a great deal of
offense for a team that is definitely on the rise. Keegan Shephard and
Nathan Schommer fill out the rest of the starting lineup along with
goaltender Jim Wingfield. The Knights can also rely on a deep bench that
includes seniors Jeff Hipp and James Haring and juniors Pete Smith and
Marc Krolikiewicz is expected to be a dominant offensive force in his
senior season, which gives York a chance to return to state after
qualifying two years ago. Mark Olalde and Dan Groch both have the talent
and experience to help the Dukes make a push to move into the Top 20 early
in the season. Senior Corey Jordan should take over in goal and will be
expected to play a big role on the defensive end for York.
Matt Wich should
be a difference maker for the Wildkits, who should be in the thick of the
title race in the Central Suburban League by season's end. Kameron Simmons should make an
immediate impact as a freshman for Evanston, while John McBratney and a
handful of others will be counted on to step up to the next level and make
a big contribution to the starting lineup.
The Titans will
have to replace most of their starters in 2010, but they do have some
talented returning players that could fill in the holes in the lineup and
make GBS a state contender by the end of the season. Zach Demertzis is the
top returning scorer from the previous season and will be counted on to
lead the offense. Peter Schnieder, Jack Zabriskie, Will Porter, and Mike
Halfen also return, while Kevin Roenitz and Tom Meyer could share time in
goal for the Titans.