The Benet football team will look to build on the 2012 season, an 11-2 campaign which ended in the Illinois Class 7A State Semifinals. The Redwings begin the year at Downers Grove South, who is looking to rebound from a disappointing 4-5 season which ended a playoff-qualifying streak of 15 years. Next, Benet hosts South Elgin (2012 record: 4-5) in the first of four home games this season. Benet’s only regular season loss in 2012 came at St. Patrick (7-4), and the Shamrocks will visit Benet in week 3 for the first time since 2009. The marquee matchup of the 2013 season comes the following Friday night when the Redwings visit defending Class 6A State Champion Crete-Monee (14-0). The Warriors enter the season ranked #4 in the state according to Maxpreps.com, and Benet begins the season ranked #20. The Redwings will then travel to Marian Catholic to visit the Spartans (1-8), whom Benet crushed 44-6 last season. Benet’s following game is Homecoming against St. Viator, which enters the season ranked #43 in the state. Then comes the rivalry game which Benet dominated 49-0 last season when the Redwings travel to Nazareth for Benet’s only day game this year on Saturday, October 12th. Next, Benet visits defending ESCC co-champion Marist (8-2), the highest preseason-ranked ESCC team at #18. Senior Night occurs on October 25th against 2012 Class 5A State Semifinalist Joliet Catholic (9-5). Benet defeated the Hilltoppers 31-21 at Joliet Memorial Stadium to clinch a share of the 2012 ESCC crown in the last regular season game.
The Redwing offense which averaged 32.3 points per game last season has adopted the no-huddle scheme. The offense will likely rely more heavily on highly-recruited junior quarterback Jack Beneventi. Other returning offensive starters include senior tight end Nick Surges and senior tailbacks Nick McTarnaghan and Porter Ontko. Senior wideouts Patrick Peterson and Joe Weidenbach will have to replace all-conference receiver Jack Euritt and ESCC Player of the Year Jack Toner.
Benet’s defense held opponents to 13.3 points per game in 2012 but has lost 7 of its 11 starters. Defensive linemen Steve Tyznik and Charles Melka graduated, as did all-conference linebacker Tim Veselik and ESCC Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker Jack Crain. Further, Toner started at cornerback, and all-conference safety Pat Runger graduated as well. Look for what Coach New has planned for the 2013 defense.
Lastly, John Duvic, the only kicker named to the 2012 all-conference team, returns for his senior season. Duvic is the 41st-rated kicker in the country and the #2 kicker in the state according to ESPN Football Recruiting Nation. He has an offer from Army and has been recruited by Indiana and Wisconsin.
This reporter would love to make a win-loss projection for the 2013 season, but the unknowns on defense make this extremely difficult. However, I do expect the regular season record to compare favorably to last year’s. Now let’s stop talking and play football.