Guerin football season preview

2014 schedule
Aug. 30 CICS/Ellison* 1 p.m.
Sept. 6 Leo* 1 p.m.
Sept. 13 Wheaton Academy* 1 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Aurora Central Catholic 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 26 St. Edward* 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Elmwood Park 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Walther Christian 1 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Ridgewood 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 24 Chicago Christian* 7:30 p.m.
* at Holy Cross Field

Best game on the schedule: Guerin at Elmwood Park, 7:15 p.m. Oct. 3

After going winless in the Suburban Christian Gold last season, Guerin will now compete in the newly formed Metro Suburban East, which includes St. Edward, Elmwood Park, Walther Christian, Chicago Christian and Ridgewood. Illiana Christian does not have a football team. “I’m looking forward to our Elmwood Park game because a lot of people in our neighborhood think it’s a big rivalry,” senior left tackle Ken West said. “It’s important for us to not only win that game, but show the rest of the neighborhood that the ways of old are gone.”

Best-case scenario: Guerin has never qualified for the playoffs, but coach Glen Kozlowski has brought a new attitude to the program. Glen Kozlowski helped Wauconda and North Chicago end long playoff droughts in his previous coaching stints and has his current players thinking big. “I really think we can make it to the playoffs,” senior center Patrick Doherty said. “We added some new plays offensively and made some changes defensively. We’re a lot more positive than we were last year. We have a higher tempo at every practice and we’re ready to go every day. It’s something we didn’t really see last year.”

Best playmakers: Senior Tyler Flynn (6-foot-2) and junior Richie Zacharias (6-3) are in a battle for the starting quarterback job. The player that doesn’t land the post will still be a dangerous weapon on offense at a different position. “Either one can pretty much play any position,” Kozlowski said. “Richie is a tremendous athlete — great baseball and basketball player. “You always want leadership to come from the quarterback position and Tyler Flynn has really done a nice job leading the team and demanding that we do better.” Junior wide receiver Keith Franklin, who’s a lanky 6-4, will provide the QB with a talented target.

Best position group: Veteran offensive line play is a strength that coaches covet. The Gators have just that with seniors Patrick Doherty, West, Steve Swiecicki and Byron Smith all set for their third season as starters.

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2013 record: 2-7 overall, 0-7 Suburban Christian Gold

2013 playoffs: Did not qualify

Head coach: Glen Kozlowski, entering first season

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