ILLPOLO ARCHIVES 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - Contact Us




  2014 Boys' Season Preview

  By Aaron Brown

  February 2014


   <<<  Previous blog entry




2014 Boys' Season Preview


Fenwick reclaimed the state title in 2013. The Friars will surely be hungry to begin their next state championship streak. Can they repeat as the top team in the state, or can strong teams like Naperville North, St Ignatius, Stevenson, Lyons or Loyola stake their claim to the state championship in the upcoming 2014 season?


Let's take a closer look at some of the top teams in the state of Illinois on the boys' side in 2014:



Fenwick has always had the rare ability to lose the majority of their starting lineup and still come back the following year as favorites to win the state title. The same is true in 2014 for the Friars, who boast a strong junior class (led by AJ Bertschy, Danny Farmer and Ryan Masi) that should reap the benefits of getting plenty of playing time during the team's championship run last season. Expect veteran Omar Calderon to provide experience and leadership on both ends of the pool, while junior goaltender Mike Hill takes over in net to anchor the defense. Head coach Kyle Perry also has plenty of depth and talent on his hands, as the likes of David Durkin, Bailey Wendt and DJ Perez are among a large group of players that could prove to be difference-makers as the Friars hope to repeat as champions.

Head Coach: Kyle Perry

Key Players: Andrew Bertschy, Omar Calderon, David Durkin, Danny Farmer, Ryan Masi, Bailey Wendt

Players to Watch: DJ Perez

Goalkeeper: Mike Hill

Final 2013 Ranking: 1st


The Huskies have their best shot at a state championship since 2008, when they finished as runner-up to Fenwick. They will have to overcome the Friars as well as several other Naperville-area teams if they hope to get back to the state tournament, where they claimed a third place trophy in last year's event after dropping a 12-10 decision to the eventual champs in the semifinal round. Leading the way on the offensive end are seniors Gianmarco Duin and Nolan Roberts, who will be joined by fellow returning starters Garrett Nash and Luke Landiak. Andrew Rocco, BD Chapman and Ryan Towers are a trio of seniors who should play a key role for the Huskies, while juniors Drake McClure, David Holzer and Joseph Tomashek provide the North lineup with plenty of depth. Nick Maicke should be up to the challenge of taking over in goal for the Huskies under new head coach Martin Bell.

Head Coach: Martin Bell

Key Players: Gianmarco Duin, Luke Landiak, Drake McClure, Garrett Nash, Nolan Roberts, Andrew Rocco

Players to Watch: BD Chapman, David Holzer, Ryan Towers

Goalkeeper: Nick Maicke

Final 2013 Ranking: 3rd


Don't expect much of a drop-off from the Lions this season. Even though they lost nearly their entire starting lineup to graduation, Tommy Kaptur and Nathan Kriha have loads of talent and should be able to keep the team in the upper echelon of Illinois water polo in 2014. Joining them are George Duffy and George Lundgren, two players who should excel on the offensive end after waiting in the wings for their chance to spark the LT offense. Head coach Doug Eichstaedt will likely look to Matt Baldassare and
Jack Patel to solidify the starting lineup, while goaltender Jack Linden has the potential to keep Lyons in contention for a state berth when the postseason rolls around in May. The team could also get a boost from freshman Armin Korsos if the Hungarian can make his way to the varsity level in just his first high school season.

Head Coach: Doug Eichstaedt

Key Players: Matt Baldassare, George Duffy, Tommy Kaptur, Nathan Kriha, George Lundgren, Jack Patel

Players to Watch: Conor Burke, Armin Korsos, Matt McDonnell

Goalkeeper: Jack Linden

Final 2013 Ranking: 2nd


The Wolfpack return their entire starting lineup after claiming a fourth-place trophy in last year's state tournament. They are still young enough that they could be a year away from a title shot, but could also be the most dangerous team in Illinois in 2014. The Wolfpack feature a balanced attack on the offensive end, as Billy Barth, John Reyes, Shane Hughes and Tom Dowling each hovered around the 60-goal mark by the end of the previous campaign. Barth and Jesus Juarez also excelled at creating chances for their teammates, while goaltender Tym Zymon continued to prove himself as one of the best shot blockers in the state. Head coach Luis Martinez can also count on the likes of Greg Glaab, Kevin Walsh and Zach Blake to pitch in off the bench for one of the state's deepest teams.

Head Coach: Luis Martinez

Key Players: Billy Barth, Zach Blake, Jesus Juarez, John Reyes, Tom Dowling, Shane Hughes

Players to Watch: Greg Glaab, Kevin Walsh

Goalkeeper: Tym Zymon

Final 2013 Ranking: 7th


The Ramblers entered the 2013 season in rebuilding mode, which made their eventual Catholic League title and fifth-place ranking at the end of the season all the more remarkable. That could spell trouble for the rest of the state this time around, as they return three key starters and plenty of talented players ready to make their mark for head coach Dan Hengelmann. Cameron Shewchuck, George Finn and Jack Nickele combined to score 143 goals last year, so offense should not be a problem for a team that fell just two goals short of beating New Trier to get to the state tournament, where they placed third (2011) and second (2012) in the previous two seasons. Trevor Prince will take over full-time duties in goal after allowing less than five goals per game at the F/S level. Matt Kearney, Tom Baker and Mike Zahorik should fit in nicely in the starting lineup, while juniors Andrew Hodur, George Harris and Ragen Murphy give the team plenty of options coming off the bench in 2014.

Head Coach: Dan Hengelmann

Key Players: Tom Baker, George Finn, Matt Kearney, Ragan Murphy, Jack Nickele, Cam Shewchuck

Players to Watch: George Harris, Andrew Hodur, Mike Zahorik

Goalkeeper: Trevor Prince

Final 2013 Ranking: 5th


The potential is in place for the Patriots to have another big season after a late-season surge helped them claim a second-place trophy in 2013. They have one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the state (Mitchell Sokolsky) back to lead the offense, an emerging playmaker to count on in Alex Divanyan, and several talented youngsters ready to make their mark sooner rather than later for head coach Sean Wimer. Sophomores Alex Kapecki and Kurt Holzer emerged as varsity-level options last April and should be difference-makers during this campaign.
Meanwhile, freshman Andrew Shashin could make an immediate impact, especially on the offensive end. Michael Taiberg and Zach Stephens add a good deal of experience and leadership to the team's revamped lineup, while juniors Kurt Holzer, Luke Gable-Preze and Nick Koto should have the chance to step in and play valuable minutes for the squad. Ultimately, the key for the team will be replacing goaltender Rob O'Brien after his immaculate performance during last year's postseason run. Shaurya Gilani and Ben Vilensky combine to give the Patriots plenty of options in front of the net to start the season and could make the Patriots a state title contender in May.

Head Coach: Sean Wimer

Key Players: Alex Divanyan, Kurt Holzer, Liam Holzer, Alex Kapecki, Mitchell Sokolsky, Zach Stephens

Player to Watch: Andrew Shashin

Goalkeeper: Shaurya Gilani

Final 2013 Ranking: 6th


The Crusaders fell just a few goals short of earning a state tournament trophy in 2013, losing to MCAC rival St Ignatius 9-6 in the quarterfinal round last May. Brother Rice could have another shot at a trophy this year, as they return a strong contingent of candidates ready to replace the production of Dave Jackson, Kevin Mayer and Ian Disteldorf. The trio of Dan Birmingham, Dan Whalen and Matt Bachler should be a force when it comes to scoring for new head coach
Tony Cichowicz, while juniors Bobby Kopale and Kevin Mulcrone give Rice plenty of depth to count on as they move forward. The emergence of sophomore Luke Healy should also make the Crusaders a dangerous team, while Kevin Kenny takes over for Cal Kennedy in goal and has a chance to prove himself throughout the early season Catholic League schedule.

Head Coach: Tony Cichowicz

Key Players: Matt Bachler, Dan Birmingham, Luke Healy, Bobby Kopale, Kevin Mulcrone, Dan Whalen

Player to Watch: Peter Gurka

Goalkeeper: Kevin Kenny

Final 2013 Ranking: 8th


H-F only lost three seniors from last year's state tournament roster. Unfortunately, those three players (Edgar Wright, Kevin Kuchta, Mike Mitchell) accounted for 60% of the team's goals. Still, there is plenty of reason for optimism for head coach Tim Caldwell's squad, as the rest of the returnees have the capability to contend for the SWSC Blue title and the team's second-straight state tourney appearance. Things start with goaltender Jakobi McClellan, who has the potential to single-handedly win games for the Vikings with his athleticism and shot-blocking ability. On the offensive end, expect Broc Thompson, Haden Santefort and Mason Reidel to score a ton of goals. Marcus Perry, Robbie Schloen and Santo Barr solidify the lineup and could make H-F a dangerous team to face in the postseason.

Head Coach: Tim Caldwell

Key Players: Marcus Perry, Mason Reidel, Haden Santefort, Robbie Schloen, Broc Thompson

Player to Watch: Santo Barr

Goalkeeper: Jakobi McClellan

Final 2013 Ranking: 9th


Naperville Central had an up-and-down season in 2013 yet still finished with 19 wins and nearly got past Hinsdale Central in the sectional semifinal round. Nearly everyone is back for head coach Bill Salentine, who will count on an experienced group of seniors led by Adam Hunter, Connor Lamb, Joe Bigenwald, Matt Laboe and Ryan Donahue. The emergence of sophomore Nick Walker gives the team a huge boost offensively, while junior Christian May and underclassmen Mike Stern and Phillip Emden should also play vital roles for theteam. The main issue for the Redhawks will be finding a replacement for goalie Matt Prestinario before the season gets underway. If someone steps up, they could pose a serious threat to Naperville North's title chances when May rolls around.

Head Coach: Bill Salentine

Key Players: Joe Bigenwald, Ryan Donahue, Connor Lamb, Matt Laboe, Nick Walker, Christian May

Players to Watch: Phillip Emden, Mike Stern

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2013 Ranking: 14th


The Huskies lost a trio of scorers to graduation but return nearly everyone else to a team loaded with depth, experience and playmakers. Mark Hallman is one of the top players in the state and should lead the way on the offensive end, while Chris Brandt and Lee Werner are also expected to provide some scoring punch to the lineup. Meanwhile, a solid cast of returning seniors including Dmitry
Baycharov, James Kelly, Pavle Simonovic and Alex West give head coach John Rapp an abundance of options as OPRF has their sights set on dethroning Lyons for the West Suburban Conference title. One of the keys to the Huskies' success will be replacing veteran goaltender Sean Obrecht, a three-year starter for the team. They will look to senior Louis Kertgen to fill the void, as the veteran will have his chance to shine after serving in a backup role. Also, keep an eye out for Harry Carpenter, Josh Gronwold, Grant Taubman and freshman Robbie Wickes to make a difference as Oak Park looks to best their 20-win performance of last season.

Head Coach: John Rapp

Key Players: Dmitry Baycharov, Chris Brandt, Mark Hallman, Pavle Simonovic, Lee Werner, Alex West

Players to Watch: Harry Carpenter, Josh Gronwold, James Kelly, Grant Taubman, Robbie Wickes

Goalkeeper: Louis Kertgen

Final 2013 Ranking: 15th


Every year, the Trevians seem to have the depth on their roster to replace whatever production they lose to graduation. They will hope for more of the same in 2014, as they lost the entire starting lineup that fell by one goal to Naperville North in the state quarterfinals last May. Alex Grant and Jack Riggio should both have breakout seasons to lead the way, while Jack Vorwald should also make his presence felt once the season gets underway. Graham Wooley is the next in line to start in goal, Matt Smiley and Chandler Tempest should play valuable minutes, while big things are expected from sophomores Michael Krueger and Will Kohr. If the aforementioned group plus a talented bunch of underclassmen can gel quickly, the Trevians could once again challenge for the CSL title and a state tournament berth.

Head Coach: Dave Goodspeed

Key Players: Alex Grant, Jack Riggio, Matt Smiley, Chandler Tempest, Jack Vorwald

Players to Watch: Will Kohr, Michael Krueger

Goalkeeper: Graham Wooley

Final 2013 Ranking: 4th


The Eagles fell one goal short of reaching the state tournament after a 26-win performance
last season. Despite the fact they lost six seniors to graduation, they could be back in the mix for the SWSC Blue division title and another shot at a sectional title in 2014. Zach Roper and Mitch Zieler both return to pace the Sandburg offense, while goaltender Sean McNicholas should be one of the top goalies in the state after a stellar junior season as the team's full-time netminder. Head coach Jim Caliendo has a handful of options ready to make a definitive impact on the lineup, with players such as Nick Bonnar, Jeremy Gill, Majd Ibraham and Alex Schuetz hoping to step their respective games up this season.

Head Coach: Jim Caliendo

Key Players: Nick Bonnar, Jeremy Gill, Majd Ibraham, Dovydas Paskevicius, Zach Roper, Mitch Zieler

Players to Watch: Alex Schuetz, Jake Hnatovic, Mike Kuyper, Mitch Winkelmann

Goalkeeper: Sean McNicholas

Final 2013 Ranking: 12th


Palatine lost three starters from a team that nearly stunned Stevenson in the Mundelein Sectional final before falling two goals short of advancing to the state tournament and totaled 19 wins last year. They are loaded and ready to focus on reclaiming the MSL title, surpassing the 20-win barrier, and claiming a state tourney berth regardless of what sectional they are assigned by the IHSA.
Omar El Hoffi, Kristian Kalev and Wally Klienfeldt form one of the strongest trios in the state and will make things difficult for opposing defenses to figure out which player to stop. Meanwhile, the starting lineup should be solidified by Jacob Baran, Mihai Maior and Julian Zieba, and exciting bunch that have the potential to cause matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. If the Pirates can find a replacement for goaltender Peter Blackham, who graduated early, head coach Joe Gryzbek could have a dominant defense to work with in 2014.

Head Coach: Joe Gryzbek

Key Players: Omar El Hoffi, Kristian Kalev, Wally Kleinfeldt, Mihai Maior, Julian Zieba

Player to Watch: Jacob Baran

Goalkeeper: Colin White

Final 2013 Ranking: 16th

14. YORK

Can York continue their upward trajectory after finishing above .500 for the first time this decade? The pieces are in place for them to do just that if they can find a way to make up for the loss of graduates Patrick McKenna and Alex Waldherr. Wil Hubert and
Joe Kesslering are the top candidates to carry the bulk of the scoring load, while Tim Matsas and Matt Rodriguez each played valuable minutes last year and should solidify the starting lineup for head coach Brian Drumm. If players like Casey Callans and Billy Delaney can increase their production and goaltender Matt Bindeman continues his stellar play in goal, the Dukes could be a dangerous team in the West Suburban Conference and in the postseason.

Head Coach: Brian Drumm

Key Players: Billy Delaney, Logan Frendreis, Wil Hubert, Joe Kesslering, Tim Matsas, Matt Rodriguez

Player to Watch: Casey Callans

Goalkeeper: Matt Bindeman

Final 2013 Ranking: 20th


How will the Cougars follow up their 30-win, MSL title-winning, state-qualifying season of 2013? They have the potential to repeat their accomplishments, with Connor Schmitz and Kazuki Morita ready to lead the way on the offensive end and Jacob Lawson taking over in goal. The team has several starters to replace, but players like Kevin Courtney, Nate Claussen and Sebastian Peters could fill a major void
 for head coach Tim Daniel's squad, as the Cougars attempt to fend off the likes of Fremd and Palatine all season long for MSL West supremacy. If the new faces in the lineup can play team defense like last year's squad, the Cougars could be lined up for another state tournament berth. (updated 2/28)

Head Coach: Tim Daniel

Key Players: Kazuki Morita, Sebastian Peters, Connor Schmitz

Players to Watch: Kevin Courtney, Nate Claussen, Matt Grabowski, Jim Tokarz

Goalkeeper: Jacob Lawson

Final 2013 Ranking: 13th


Plenty of questions surround the Porters as they head into the 2014 season, but they always seem to be able to reload instead of rebuild every year. This season should be similar, as Jake Speechley and Matt Olinski lead a promising group of returning players that should once again challenge for the SWSC Blue title. Head coach Joe Lewandowski is hopeful that players like Jacob Jagodzinski, Eric Johnson, Michael Durkin and Tyler Trench can step up their production and give Lockport another chance to get to the sectional final round, where they lost to H-F in overtime last May.

Head Coach: Joe Lewandowski

Key Players: Michael Durkin, Michael Hayes, Logan Nootbaar, Matt Olinski, Jake Speechley

Players to Watch: Jacob Jagodzinski, Eric Johnson

Goalkeeper: Tyler Trench

Final 2013 Ranking: 10th


The Condors
once again enter the season as favorites to win the CPS, but they will have their sights set on bigger things in 2014, like earning their first-ever state tournament appearance. Ivan Ariza and Jeronimo Chavez give Curie plenty of reasons to be optimistic, as the duo poured in a ton of goals during the last campaign and will likely be even more productive offensively as they look to fill the void left by playmaker Marcos Hernandez. The Condors have a talented supporting cast, as Ervin Jimenez, Manny Martinez and Oscar Hernandez should solidify the lineup for head coach Omar Vasquez. The team could also get a boost from new goaltender Julius Bradsfield, who shifted to Curie from Chicago Hope Academy during the offseason.

Head Coach: Omar Vasquez

Key Players: Dylan Franco, Ivan Ariza, Jeronimo Chavez, Manny Martinez, Oscar Hernandez

Goalkeeper: Julius Bradsfield

Final 2013 Ranking: 22nd


The Red Devils are coming off their best season in team history, as they totaled 23 wins and advanced to their first-ever sectional final before falling to Naperville North last May. They lose the majority of their starters along with their head coach, but the cupboard is not bare for whoever takes over the reigns for the team in 2014. Wade Kinney and Pat Mis should shine in starting roles on the offensive end, while players like Adam Pircon, Brian Portland and Jake Sprong should get the Red Devils back to their winning ways. The squad will get a big boost if up-and-coming players like Jonah Lilloja and Aniel Srivastava can make a quick impact.

Head Coach: Mike Gibson

Key Players: Wade Kinney, Jonah Lillioja, Pat Mis, Adam Pircon, Brian Portland, Jake Sprong

Player to Watch: Aniel Srivastava

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2013 Ranking: 11th


The North Stars nearly doubled their win total from the 2012 season and grabbed a sectional win to cap off a solid 2013 campaign; they could be even better this time around with a strong cast of returnees in the fold.
They lost a trio of starters to graduation, but junior John Pretet and senior Nick Traxler should have no problem shouldering the load on the offensive end. Head coach Chris Cloy expects big things from Ross Davis and Ryan Helfers after both impressed during the previous campaign. Collin Bawolek's stellar junior season in goal should also give the team's defense plenty of reason to be optimistic. If seniors Joey Quan and Tim Steele can continue to improve and play valuable minutes, STC North could eclipse the 20-win mark and make some noise in the postseason.

Head Coach: Chris Cloy

Key Players: Ross Davis, Ryan Helfers, John Pretet, Joey Quan, Nick Traxler

Player to Watch: Tim Steele

Goalkeeper: Collin Bawolek

Final 2013 Ranking: 27th


The Chargers have plenty of reasons to be excited after a strong finish to their season in 2013. Nearly everyone is back in the fold for a team that could challenge for the SWSC Blue title and their first-ever state tournament appearance. Nick and Zack Amendola combined to score 129 goals as sophomores and should continue to spearhead the offense. The senior trio of Connor Kaufmann, Harlan Long and Filip Patrak give head coach Wes Gonzalez plenty of experience to count on. The emergence of junior Evan Johnson should give the team a boost on both ends of the pool, while fellow junior Peter Krivanec continues to improve and should have a big year in goal after a full year of experience in the net last season.

Head Coach: Wes Gonzalez

Key Players: Nick Amendola, Zack Amendola, Evan Johnson, Connor Kaufmann, Harlan Long

Player to Watch: Filip Patrak

Goalkeeper: Peter Krivanec

Final 2013 Ranking: 28th


Glenbrook South must be itching to get the new season underway after a solid season was derailed by an upset loss to Evanston in the sectional quarterfinal round in 2013. Things are looking up for head coach Dave Lieberman's team, as veteran
Jake Nelson should continue to pour in goals for the offense and both Brant Boczek and Seamus Heneghan return after making positive contributions last season. Matt Cubelic gives a boost to the defense as he is back to mind the net for the Titans. If players like Cole Hamilton, Davin Laskin and Jason Vevang can step up, the team should surpass their 17-win output from 2013, contend for the CSL title and challenge Loyola and New Trier for a state tournament berth.

Head Coach: Dave Lieberman

Key Players: Brant Boczek, Cole Hamilton, Seamus Heneghan, Jake Nelson, Jason Vevang

Player to Watch: Davin Laskin

Goalkeeper: Matt Cubelic

Final 2013 Ranking: 29th


The Wildcats suffered several key losses to their roster but still have the potential to rapidly climb the rankings mountain in 2014. Can head coach Adam Hoffer find the right lineup to contend for Naperville-area supremacy this season? Neuqua's success will likely hinge on the development of junior Simon Shatinsky, who is primed for a breakout season. Meanwhile, John Dusenberry and Ian Ivkovich both made positive contributions last year and should play key roles in the Wildcats' lineup. The team, which finished .500 last year, will have to hope that a long list of options can fulfill their potential, including
Lucas Becker, Joey Dalesandro and Scott DePuy. The Wildcats do have depth and the benefit of goalie John Hedderman returning between the sticks; he provides a solid last line of defense for a team that will hope to find its identity sooner rather than later this season.

Head Coach: Adam Hoffer

Key Players: Joey Dalesandro, John Dusenberry, Ian Ivkovich, Simon Shatinsky

Players to Watch: Lucas Becker, Scott DePuy

Goalkeeper: John Hedderman

Final 2013 Ranking: 21st


The Phoenix are coming off a 20-win season in which they won the SWSC Red division; they have plenty of talent returning as they attempt to repeat last year's success and gear up to make a run at their first-ever state tournament berth. Kyle Mohan leads the charge on the offensive end, while head coach Pat Shaughnessy will look for players like Cole Claypool, Evan Surma and Pat Kelly to provide increased production this season. Shamus Shields emerged as the starting goaltender last April and gives the defense plenty of reason for optimism.

Head Coach: Pat Shaughnessy

Key Players: Cole Claypool, Kyle Mohan, Pat Kelly, Dave Smith, Evan Surma

Player to Watch: Bobby Young

Goalkeeper: Shamus Shields

Final 2013 Ranking: 17th


Makai DeNeve-Arnam spearheads a Hawks' team that could finish well ahead of their season-opening ranking. Head coach Chris Deger will look to a handful of new starters to support DeNeve-Arnam, while the likes of
Jimmy Gardiner, Ben Tatlock and Phil Wachowski should play valuable roles as the team may have their best chance to win the CSL when all is said and done in 2014.

Head Coach: Chris Deger

Key Players: Makai DeNeve-Arnam, Jimmy Gardiner, Phil Wachowski

Player to Watch: Ben Tatlock

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2013 Ranking: 23rd


The pieces are in place for the Shamrocks to double their win total from 2013 and make some noise in the Catholic League. Joseph Gibson, Connor O'Rourke and Kyle Smollen give head coach Marty Gibson a plethora of options on the offensive end, while Tietl Gonzalez and Ryan McAloon should also play vital roles for a Shamrocks team chomping at the bit to improve on their 9-win total of a year ago. The key to the team's success could be goalie Mac Potts, who returns in goal for his senior season to provide an abundance of experience for what should be a tough defense to break down.

Head Coach: Marty Gibson

Key Players: Joseph Gibson, Tietl Gonzalez, Ryan McAloon, Connor O'Rourke, Kyle Smollen,

Player to Watch: Dan Walsh

Goalkeeper: Mac Potts

Final 2013 Ranking: 34th




WEEK 1 | WEEK 2 | WEEK 3 | WEEK 4 | WEEK 5 | WEEK 6 | WEEK 7 | WEEK 8 | WEEK 9 | WEEK 10 | WEEK 11 - Celebrating 12 Years Online!

Home - Club Center - College Page - Illpolo TV - Archives - Links - Contacts
About Us - About the Site - Reporters - Terms of Service - Copyright - Credits

Copyright 2014 - Illpolo Web Design, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Statement Advertise