Elmwood Park season preview

2014 schedule
Aug. 29 St. Joseph 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Maine West 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 Glenbard South 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Fenton 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Ridgewood 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 3 Guerin 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Chicago Christian 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 17 Walther Christian 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 St. Edward 7:15 p.m.

Best game on the schedule: St. Joseph at Elmwood Park, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 29

Coming off a 1-8 season and competing in a reconfigured conference with a new head coach, Elmwood Park is eager to start the season off on a positive note. The Tigers open against a Chargers squad that went 2-7 last year. “Getting success early would be huge because we have a lot of young kids who don’t have a lot of varsity minutes,” coach John Freeman said.

Best-case scenario: Now belonging to the Metro Suburban East that includes more schools of similar size to Elmwood Park, the Tigers can hope to make the playoffs this season. “I think you get in trouble if you look at the schedule and say this can be a win, this can be a loss,” coach John Freeman said. “We’re going to look at each of our opponents and attack their weaknesses.”

Best playmaker: Junior tailback Ernest DeAngelo is the team speedster and had some snaps on varsity as a sophomore last season. “He has the fastest 40 time on our team [4.63] and you can always count on him,” senior cornerback Corey Simmons said. “If he gets in the open field he’s going to score a lot of touchdowns for us.”

Best member of the secondary: Corey Simmons is able to keep his teammates loose with his sense of humor, but he also has the ability to disrupt passing attacks. “He’s one of the funniest guys on the team, but he’s also a leader,” senior offensive/defensive lineman Jeremy Ildefonso said. “He knows how to bring the team up when it’s down and he has some of the biggest hands on the team and catches everything.”

Best teammate: Jeremy Ildefonso is a key cog in making sure the team remains a close-knit family. He has the respect of his teammates, who pay attention when he speaks. “He stays on you if you’re slacking and he really motivates us,” DeAngelo said. “He makes sure you do your best. And if you’re struggling, he’s the person you go talk to. He’s a really good teammate.”

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