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Sports

Football preview: Returning starters have Bolingbrook ahead of the curve

 Bolingbrook's Neo Armstrong runs the ball at football practice on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com
Bolingbrook's Neo Armstrong runs the ball at football practice on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com

BOLINGBROOK – With the high school football season kicking off Friday, teams across the state will be taking the field with one goal in mind — make it to the state finals Thanksgiving weekend. The players and coaches at Bolingbrook have the kind of returning talent that could make a state title dream become a reality.

WHAT TO WATCH

QUINCY QB:
Last season, Quincy Woods was thrust into action at quarterback when Aaron Bailey was forced to sit out with a knee injury. Now Woods is the unquestioned starter, and coach John Ivlow has seen him progress.

"There were a couple growing pains he went through, and he's sharpened those up," Ivlow said. "I don't think I've had to yell at him once about, 'You should have given it up,' or, 'You should have kept it.' He's been pretty consistent with good reads all summer."

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Bolingbrook brings back a large contingent of starters from last year's team. There's no substitute for experience, and the fact that so many players on both sides of the ball have seen significant playing time has Ivlow beaming.

"It makes you smile," Ivlow said. "We're obviously ahead of where we were a year ago, especially on the offensive side of the ball because of all the guys that we have coming back there, and it allows you to work on other things."

CONFIDENT, NOT COCKY: Bolingbrook almost always has the athletes and talent to compete for state titles. Ivlow and the Raiders felt that way last year despite a slew of injuries that cut short their playoff run, and they feel the same way this season.

"As much as we struggled at times last year and had injuries at certain spots, we still felt that with a [fully] healthy Aaron [Bailey] we were going to be playing Mount Carmel again to go downstate," Ivlow said. "Nobody could stop us last year and we feel just as confident with Quincy back there. He does everything right and everything we ask."



AT A GLANCE

Class: 8A

Coach: John Ivlow

2012 record: 8-3

Conference: SouthWest Suburban Blue, 5-2, 2nd place

TOP RETURNERS

Tuf Borland so. LB

Eli Carbajal sr. DL

CJ Clark sr. LB

Bernard Flowers sr. DL

John Hall sr. RB

Jaden Huff sr. RB

Jacob Huff jr. DB

Julien Huff jr. LB

James Jacobson jr. OL

Armani McNulty jr. DB

Cecil Nicholson sr. DB

Nick Perry sr. OL

Quincy Woods jr. QB

Parrker Westphal sr. CB

Chris Wilson jr. OL

KEY NEWCOMERS

Neo Armstrong jr. RB

Lovell Chandler jr. RB

Kahlel Martin jr. OL

Mike Valentine sr. RB

Dimitri Wiafe-Akenten jr. WR

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