Football preview: Montini aims for fifth straight title
LOMBARD – Montini has proven to be one of the premier football programs in the state by winning four straight Class 5A titles. In order to keep the streak alive, the Broncos will rely on a number of Division I recruits to lead the way. Ohio State-bound defensive lineman Dylan Thompson and transfer linebacker Nile Sykes will be among the standouts on a potentially stout defense.
AT A GLANCE
Coach: Chris Andriano
2012 record: 12-2
Conference: Suburban Christian Blue, 6-1, T-2nd
Josh Belt sr. DB
Derrick Curry sr. DB
Matt Diedrick sr. DB
Anthony Ferraro sr. OL/DL
Niko Italia sr. RB
Mike Maduko sr. LB
Edgar Ruano sr. DL
Dylan Thompson sr. DL
Tyler Tumpane sr. WR/DB
Alex Wills sr. QB
Eric Kibbey jr. OL/DL
Nile Sykes sr. LB
Mason Wissenhoffer jr. K
WHAT TO WATCH
STRIVE FOR FIVE: Montini has had a target on its back for years, but winning four straight Class 5A titles will fire up the opposition on a weekly basis. The Broncos are already in elite company with four straight state titles, but only the now closed Driscoll Catholic has won more than four football titles in a row in Illinois history. Driscoll won seven in a row from 2001 to 2007.
"We expect to win, but we're not really thinking about that," said senior quarterback Alex Wills. "We're thinking about one game at a time. First Maine South, that's all that's on our minds right now."
DEFENSIVE LEADERS: Dylan Thompson returns as the anchor of the defensive line. The Ohio State recruit will be a handful for opposing offenses, but he's not the only Division I talent on the Broncos' defense. Nile Sykes, a senior linebacker who transferred from Oak Park-River Forest, has several Division I offers, including some from Big Ten schools. Sykes has the coveted combination of size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and impressive athleticism. Derrick Curry and Mike Maduko are also talented seniors on what could be a dominant defense.
COACHING CHANGE: Following the graduation of the Joe Borsellino, Lewis and Anthony Borsellino have left the Broncos' coaching staff. Robert Aurilio has taken over as offensive coordinator from Lewis, who has led the offense since 2007. The Broncos are saying the offense will remain similar and returning senior QB Alex Wills will help with continuity, but a number of new faces will play big roles on offense. Senior Niko Italia is slated to take over at running back and four new starters join the offensive line. Seniors Tyler Tumpane and Matt Brachmann figure to be the top receiving threats.
“[Nile Sykes] closes fast. For a big kid he's fast. He's got some natural agility and speed.”
Chris Andriano, Broncos head coach
BY THE NUMBERS
3: Returning starters on Montini's offense: quarterback Alex Wills, receiver Tyler Tumpane and lineman Anthony Ferraro
1,850: Passing yards for quarterback Alex Wills in 2012 to go with 23 touchdowns
20: Consecutive playoff appearances for Montini