High school football practice kicked around the state of Illinois last Wednesday but before Highland Park could even take the field, they already some issues to deal with.
The Giants expected to have senior Max Mordini under center to start the season, but an undisclosed illness has him sidelined for the moment. Backup quarterback Jason Goldstein is playing in the Perfect Game All-American Classic baseball game in San Diego on August 14 and will join the team during their second week of practice. With the quarterback position up in the air, offensive continuity is cause for concern for the Giants.
"That's certainly going to be a problem," Highland Park Head Coach Hal Chiodo said of the offense getting in sync early in the season. "We just hope that Max is well soon. If not we'll bring up Tommy Sutker and we'll have a sophomore quarterback."
It's clear that the Giants will have to rely on their ground game to start the season. Fortunately, they have senior running back Nate Echt returning to the backfield for a third straight season. The Giants will look to him to provide the bulk of the offense.
To hear from Echt and his offensive line on the upcoming season, click on the video link above.
Despite the uncertainty at the quarterback position, Chiodo believes the team has the right mix of talent and work ethic to contend within the Central Suburban League.
"I'm comfortable with the fact that our guys know you have to work hard to win," Chiodo said. "There's no easy way to play this game and our guys did a great job this summer and winter in the weight room. So we've got the foundation for a good strong team."
Highland Park (5-5 last season) will pursue its third CSL North title in a four year time span.
"Glenbrook North is clearly the class of the league," Chiodo said. "They had the offensive player of the year and the lineman of the year. So they're the team to beat. We don't play them until the end of the season so we'll see how things unfold."
The Giants open their regular season schedule against Elk Grove on August 26.