CAROL STREAM – While Glenbard North's football team is still early in its summer camp practices, there are already positive signs for a team that has reached the postseason in 11 consecutive seasons.
"We are doing pretty well," said senior quarterback Brett Gasiorowski, who enters his second campaign under center. "It's a work in progress, but we are getting better every day. Everyone seems to be stepping up and taking on their role.
"We have a lot of new kids, but the team chemistry is coming together and it's an athletic group."
Gasiorowski will be expected to take on a leadership role for an offensive unit that lost all-state running back Justin Jackson and has only a couple of starters returning. So far, that has been happening.
"Brett has taken more control of the offense," head coach Ryan Wilkens said, "and his leadership has improved. With Justin gone and not a lot of returners on offense, that role is now his and he has stepped into that role."
The 6-foot-4 quarterback is in the midst of the college recruiting process, have secured offers from Buffalo and Colgate. The likes of Cornell, Penn and Iowa State have also shown interest.
"I'm trying to enjoy [the recruiting process]," said Gasiorowski, who could either play quarterback or tight end at the next level. "It's a little different but it is fun. I can only do what I can do and everything else is in their hands."
Fullback Dillon Warnecke is also back and he will be counted on to lead the way for running backs Vittorio Tricase, who backed up Jackson last fall, and Devion Hodges, younger brother of former Panthers' offensive lineman D'Angelo Hodges.
"Things are heading in the right direction," Wilkens said. "It's nice having Dillon back and Vittorio back. We are trying to put it all together up front and build some cohesiveness."
The defense will be spearheaded by senior linebacker Luke Greenberg.
"Greenberg is leading the defense," Wilkens said, "and he is doing a good job so far. The linebackers are playing pretty well and the defensive backs are playing well at this point."
The Panthers competed at the 32-team Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 hosted by Wheaton Warrenville South at the end of June. They went 3-2 in pool play before falling to Metea Valley and Bartlett in the double-elimination portion of the event.
The 2014 season begins for the Panthers on August 30 as they travel to Ohio for a 6 p.m. matchup against Centerville. Their home opener is the next week against Batavia.
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