Football preview: Returning talent gives Addison Trail higher expectations
ADDISON – Addison Trail brings that 13 starters into the fold this season and that doesn't include junior quarterback Mike Rybarczyk, who displaced last year's starter, Matt Gontarek. Key returners like Jim Wislek, Eric Gilliam and Javvion Bradley have the Blazers thinking this team has more in common with the West Suburban Gold winning 2011 squad than the 2-7 2012 team.
AT A GLANCE
Coach: Paul Parpet Jr.
2012 record: 2-7
Conference: West Suburban Gold, 1-5, 6th
Alex Arreguin sr. OL
Javvion Bradley jr. WR
Eric Gilliam sr. LB
Matt Gontarek jr. QB
Pat Gorniak sr. RB
Bob Carson sr. DL
Chris Lacni jr. DB
Alton Marshall sr. LB
Anthony Nasti sr. TE
Pete O'Connor sr. OL
Ryan Petrbok sr. LB
Dan Tomasello sr. OL
Jim Wislek sr. RB
Jake Atiyeh jr. WR
Mike Rybarczyk jr. QB
WHAT TO WATCH
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: There's no denying that 2012 was a disappointing year for Addison Trail football. After making the playoffs the previous two years and having won the West Suburban Gold in 2011, the Blazers went 2-7. Part of the reason for the slump was the youth of the team. That youth should pay off this season. AT has 13 starters back, three of which are juniors.
QB CHANGE: Typically when a sophomore starts at varsity quarterback, it's the first of his three years starting. That won't be the case for Matt Gontarek, who quarterbacked Addison Trail last fall as a sophomore. Gontarek is shifting to defensive back and fellow junior Mike Rybarczyk, who has impressed in early practices, is taking over at QB.
ON THE LINE: With lots of skill position players back, led by talented junior wide receiver Javvion Bradley, the Blazers won't need their lines to dominate. However, no team can be successful without winning in the trenches. Three returning starters are back on the offensive line – Pete O'Connor, Alex Arreguin and Dan Tomasello.
“If we can be average to above average up front I think we have enough skill to be pretty competitive,” said coach Paul Parpet Jr.
“We have a lot of skill. For us, it’s a very unique year as far as the number of skilled kids we got. We’re two deep and in some spots three deep on offense at the skill positions. For us, it never happens that way.”
Paul Parpet Jr., Blazers head coach
BY THE NUMBERS
423: Receiving yards for wide receiver Javvion Bradley in 2012
15-14: AT's record under coach Paul Parpet Jr. in three seasons
76: Freshmen football players for AT, the most since Parpet Jr. has been with the program dating back to 1994