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Football preview: IC debuts in new stadium with new QB

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 3:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:57 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com)
IC Catholic players come together at practice on their new field at Plunkett Park in Elmhurst Tuesday, Aug. 27.

ELMHURST – Playing in a renovated Plunkett Park with fresh turf and shiny new bleachers, the IC Catholic football team is hoping the product on the field is as pretty as the stadium they now play in. The Knights are coming off a season where they shared the Suburban Christian Gold title and made it to the second round of the playoffs.

AT A GLANCE

Class: 3A

Coach: Bill Krefft

2012 record: 7-4

Conference: Suburban Christian Gold, 4-3, T-1st

TOP RETURNERS

Clark Brinkman sr. WR/DB

Jack Copher sr. QB

Rhashaun Epting so. WR/QB

Tommy Guinan sr. WR/DB

Liam Hendricks sr. OL/LB

James Janowski sr. RB/LB

Randy Leslie sr. RB/LB

Riley Ricobene sr. TE/LB

Sam Rose sr. WR/DB

KEY NEWCOMERS

Mike Perrone jr. OL/DL

Jordan Rowell fr. RB/DB

Stephen Stam jr. OL/DL

WHAT TO WATCH

NEW PLUNKETT DEBUT: The renovations aren't entirely finished at Plunkett Park. There's still construction going on at the site, some landscaping to polish the facility and lights to come next year. All that the players and coaches care about for now is that they have their own turf field. No more muddy game days or canceled practices.

“It’s actually really pretty, especially the entrance," said senior captain Sam Rose. "It’s a great time to be a part of the IC family.”

OPEN QB BATTLE: Demetrius Carr did it all for IC last season. The quarterback could throw the long ball and was a dangerous running threat. With Carr now at Minnesota State Moorhead, the Knights have a lot of talent to fill at the quarterback slot. Sophomore Rhashaun Epting and junior Jack Copher are two of the candidates to fill the spot, but expect a different style offense regardless of who is under center.

“We’re running more of a zone scheme," said coach Bill Krefft. "Last year we were a little bit more option."

TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Knights will play four teams that won double-digit games last season, including 5A champion Montini and 3A champion Aurora Christian. Kaneland (10-1 last year) and Marian Central (11-1) also present very difficult challenges. That will put pressure on IC to win its five other games, which are against five teams the Knights beat last season, to avoid needing to pull off a big upset to make the playoffs.

COACH'S QUOTE

“We’re looking forward to competing against ACC and St. Ed's and AC and going after the Gold conference championship and always make the playoffs and see where we can go once we get there.”

Bill Krefft, Knights coach

BY THE NUMBERS

3: Consecutive playoff trips for IC

5-1: IC's record in first round playoff games since 2002

783: Rushing yards from returning players out of the 3,016 yards IC ran for last season

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