DARIEN – Frank Cabrera's football career started as a seventh-grader at Eisenhower Junior High, but 2012 was the year to remember. With Cabrera helping pave the way on the offensive line, Hinsdale South raced out to a 4-0 start on the way to ending a six-year playoff drought. Unfortunately, Cabrera missed the postseason with an ankle injury, but he hopes to lead the Hornets back to the second season again this fall.
Rossi: Does it make you come back hungrier after you have to sit and watch the team make the playoffs?
Cabrera: So hungry. I'm so ready for this. I can't wait for my first game. I played most of the games [last year] until I got hurt in the middle of the season, then I was out for the rest of the year. I'm just hoping this year I don't have any injuries and I can play all season.
Rossi: How did the team progress during preseason practices?
Cabrera: We progressed pretty good, going hard every play. We just have to keep going and keep getting better. I'm expecting a lot out of us.
Rossi: How do you like running a no-huddle offense all the time?
Cabrera: It's no-huddle offense the whole time. We've done this for a couple years now so conditioning is really all it is and I feel our team is good enough for it.
Rossi: As players, have you talked about your goals for this season?
Cabrera: Just to try to have a better season than last year. More wins, less losses.
Rossi: Where do you feel you've personally improved since last season?
Cabrera: I feel I've gotten a lot stronger. My stances have gotten a lot better and I feel like I can handle a lot more now.
Rossi: What are most looking forward to in your first game this season?
Cabrera: Just hitting people. Knocking them on their butts. That's what I'm most looking forward to.
WEEK 1 MATCHUP
Who: Hinsdale South at Romeoville
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: 100 N. Independence Blvd., Romeoville
2012 records: Hinsdale South 6-4; Romeoville 0-9
Outlook: A big 39-0 win over Romeoville in the 2012 opener helped propel the Hornets to a 4-0 start and an eventual playoff berth. They will be looking for a similar result Friday night, but there will be a few things to keep an eye on. Jake Czajkowski will make his debut at quarterback after seeing a little time at that position last fall. Czajkowski and the offense won't have 2012 all-conference running back Arian Toney at their disposal as he is expected to miss several games with a Lisfranc injury in his foot. Michael Fassero is expected to be the primary back in Toney's place.
"Michael Fassero has done a really nice job for us stepping in and getting it done. He worked his butt off in the offseason and developed himself physically. Even though it hurts to miss a guy like Arian [Toney], an all-conference running back, we're confident that Fassero and our other guys can get it done." Mike Barry
BY THE NUMBERS
1,145: Yards gained by running back Arian Toney last season
11: Starters returning this season, five on offense
36: Combined 2012 win total of opponents on the Hornets' 2013 schedule
Aug. 30 at Romeoville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 at Downers Grove North, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Proviso East, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 Addison Trail, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Leyden, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 Morton, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Downers Grove South, 7:30 p.m.