PREVIEW: Lockport looks to get back neat top of SWSC

Conference: SouthWest Suburban Conference

Coach: Dan Starkey (4th year)

Record last season: 6-3 overall (4-3 SWSC)

Playoff advancement: Lost 45-0 to St. Charles East in first round.

Goals for 2017: To build trust, chemistry and teamwork, go 1-0 each week.  Be champions on and off the field.

The team will reach its goals if: We work hard on a daily basis during the off season and regular season to become mentally and physically strong and fast.  Compete in the classroom, in other sports and on the football field.  Be a great citizen in the community and in school.

Conference outlook:  Lincoln-Way East, Bolingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor will be tough in the conference. We hope to compete and be in the top or upper half.

On offense:  We have several returning starters and anticipate having a strong run game again this year. Junior quarterback Jake Karli (6-0, 185 lbs) played in the final regular season game and the playoff game last season.

On defense outlook: We expect to have more team speed this year and play faster in our system.

On special teams: We need to replace kicker and punter, but Ryan Barth received experience in weeks 8, 9 and 10 last year when Ben Davis had mono.  We have good depth at LB/DB for coverage players.

Impact players lost from last season: George Kringas (OL), Josh Baker (DE), Ben Davis (QB/K/P), Patrick Cooper (WR), Ryne Travis (LB) and Andrew Novak (DB)

Impact returning players: Jake Karli (Junior, QB) , Tavares Moore (Senior, RB), Austin Hoffman (Senior, TE), Sam Pierson (Senior, FB), Tommy Mulhall (Senior, OL), Alek Trafton (Senior, OL), Jake Pietryk (Senior, DE), Zach Reese (Senior, DB), Ryan Barth (Junior, K/P)

Impact newcomers: Haleem Ajibola (Senior, DB), Niko Malevitis (Senior, DB), Jon Savage (Senior, DB), Nick Ward (Senior, WR), Tim Houlihan (Senior, WR)

Starkey says: “We have a big senior class with more than 40 seniors and hoping to build on last year’s success and go further in the playoffs,” Starkey said. “Jake Karli and Ryan Barth received some valuable experience at the end of last season due to Ben Davis’ mono.  The leaders of the team this year will be Zach Reese, Tommy Mulhall and Austin Hoffman.”

Compiled by Mark Gregroy with comments form the coach

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