CAROL STREAM – Sam Kriese is back this fall at cornerback for Glenbard North and is one of just three starters returning from a 2012 unit that held eight opponents to 16 points or less in the Panthers' run to the Class 8A title game.
Schmid: How did the offseason go?
Kriese: I thought it was pretty successful. We had a good lifting program in the winter which got kids involved. And the summer went well, we got a lot of work done in summer camp.
Schmid: What was the experience like playing in the title game last fall?
Kriese: It is something I will always look back on no matter how this season goes. Being in that game was something that was unbelievable, especially as a junior.
Schmid: Does the loss in the championship game stick with you guys or do you just wipe the slate clean?
Kriese: It is in the back of our minds and it is something we don't want to happen again. But we don't bring it up that much. We try to look forward.
Schmid: With a lot of new faces on defense, are you happy with the progress of that unit?
Kriese: Definitely. A lot of people have stepped up and some have surprised me and I'm sure the coaches.
Schmid: Obviously, Justin Jackson will be the focal point of the offense. What else have you seen from that group?
Kriese: Our quarterback (Brett Gasiorowski) is coming along really well. And the line is coming along as well and is getting on the same page. You can see the steps they have taken this summer."
Schmid: Are you excited to get the season started?
Kriese: Summer is always a good time and it's the time where you are learning everything. But it usually all comes down to the season. This is what we all look forward to.
Schmid: How important is playing a tough schedule?
Kriese: It is always good, especially in the [nonconference games], to go against good teams because our conference is so tough. Going against good teams in the [nonconference games] really prepares us to play the good teams in our conference.