Football preview: Talented juniors expected to lead LT
WESTERN SPRINGS – Lyons Township has made the Class 8A quarterfinals each of the past three seasons. The Lions are hoping to extend that streak and push past that round for the first time. Leading LT's offense will be a pair of talented juniors, running back Leonard Ross and quarterback Tommy Fiedler.
AT A GLANCE
Coach: Kurt Weinberg
2012 record: 7-5
Conference: West Suburban Silver, 3-3, T-3rd
Lawrence Burks sr. CB
Marcell Kellum sr. WR
Matt Mrazek sr. WR/S
Noah Murphy sr. DL
Kevin Palmer sr. SS
Connor Pavletic sr. WR
Ben Rimmele sr. LB
Leonard Ross jr. RB
Sam Shea sr. WR
Dante Stefanini jr. DE
Trey Woods sr. RB/WR
Emmett Corrigan jr. WR
Tommy Fiedler jr. QB
Connor Gales jr. S
WHAT TO WATCH
NEW QB: Zach Mahoney accounted for 24 touchdowns and nearly 2,700 yards of offense as LT's quarterback last season. It will be difficult to replace that production, but Lions players and coaches are showing full confidence in junior Tommy Fiedler. Fiedler started against Hinsdale Central last year and threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns when Mahoney was hurt.
“If Zach wouldn’t have been such a good quarterback for us, Tommy would have easily been our varsity quarterback as a sophomore," said coach Kurt Weinberg. "No question about it.”
TALENTED JUNIORS: Weinberg admitted that a lot of juniors will start and play, but they have the talent to make up for the lack of experience. Fiedler, running back Leonard Ross and defensive end Dante Stefanini made varsity starts last season and will play big roles from the start of this season. Connor Gales and Emmett Corrigan are two more juniors that should see big roles. Weinberg spoke highly of the entire junior class, citing their 17-1 record as freshmen and sophomores.
STILL EXPLOSIVE: Armed with plenty of elite athletes, the Lions were always a big-play threat last season. Despite the graduation of playmakers Matthew Harris and Jemari Burks, the Lions will still have talented players at the skill positions. Running back Leonard Ross and wide receivers Marcell Kellum, Matt Mrazek and Connor Pavletic will be the main big-play threats this fall.
“Overall team speed I bet you we are right on par with where we were last year. We don’t have obviously Matthew (Harris) or Jemari (Burks), but we still return a tremendous amount of speed.”
BY THE NUMBERS
6-4: LT's playoff record in four years under coach Kurt Weinberg
8: Leonard Ross touchdowns as a sophomore in six varsity games
2-9: LT's record against rival Hinsdale Central in the last 10 years, including one playoff loss