Football preview: Hinsdale Central hopes to start strong, finish strong
HINSDALE – After a strong start to the season in 2012, Hinsdale Central's football team endured its share of struggles, including a narrow loss to conference rival Oak Park-River Forest in the playoffs. The Red Devils are hoping that one of their most physically talented teams can guide them to new heights this year.
WHAT TO WATCH
GIVING CHASE: There will be a new face under center for the Red Devils as Chase Hamilton replaces Brian Owens. Hamilton missed most of the spring tennis season with a dislocated right shoulder, but he feels he is ready to lead the team and had some help from Owens.
"When I was younger I was always playing quarterback, but Brian Owens was here last year and he's great, he's something else. He really helped me," Hamilton said. "I was playing backup and he helped me transition to playing quarterback this year over the summer. He's taught me everything I know."
CONSISTENT CONCERN: Central had an up-and-down regular season in 2012 that included three narrow losses, including one to conference rival Oak Park-River Forest in the first round of the playoffs. This fall, the Red Devils are looking for a more consistent effort each week – and a deeper playoff run.
"It's a huge concern because we started off the year really great, and after Glenbard West it seemed like we flattened out," coach Rich Tarka said of 2012. "We played them really tough but after that we flattened out and didn't get much better."
HELLO, MY NAME IS: Hit hard by graduation, Tarka said his team returns just three starters overall, two on offense and one of defense. Some coaches might see that as a negative, but Tarka has a different outlook.
"We've had a lot of competition [for positions] so in a way it looks like we'll be deeper than we were last year," Tarka said. "We've been working with them since the end of last season, really, trying to get kids in the right position and everything, so it's been great."
AT A GLANCE
Coach: Rich Tarka
2012 record: 7-3
Conference: West Suburban Silver, 4-2, 2nd
Brian Allen sr. OL
Ian Bunting sr. WR
Alec Edstrom sr. CB
Chase Hamilton sr. QB
Trevor Paul sr. LB
Jake Sherlock sr. CB
Tanner Smith sr. OL/DL
Ben Stefani sr. RB
Jacob White sr. FB/LB
Ryan Doney jr. WR
Juwan Edmund jr. RB
Tristen Nevotne jr. OL/DL
Grant Pitcher jr. SS
Jimmy Thompson jr. TE
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