Pioneer Press 2018 football preview: Hinsdale Central Red Devils

3 minute read

By Rich Mayor
Pioneer Press


Coach: Dan Hartman (fifth season)

Last season: 8-3 (5-1 West Suburban Silver), lost to Loyola 28-7 in Class 8A second round.

First-and-10: Four linemen — three full-time starters — return and give Hartman a significant boost of confidence. Senior Brendon Passarelli (6-foot-2, 300 pounds), senior Joe Monahan (6-1, 265) and senior Roy Fuller (6-1, 265) will control the line of scrimmage and give the Red Devils time and room to work. “I can tell you from the opposite side, like last year when we had none coming back, it was absolutely scary going into a season, going into it with no proven linemen,” Hartman said. “Now, we’re at a point were we’re picking up where we left off last year. They’ve got another year under their belt, they’ve seen all different sorts of stuff because of the great teams we played last year.” Senior running back Luke Skokna and quarterback Matt Rush return to solidify two important slots.

Three-and-out: “The speed and athleticism we have on that side of the ball this year, I’m not sure we’ve ever had that since I’ve been here,” Hartman said of his defense. “We’re bigger up front too. It’s a great combination.” Senior linebacker Aidan Cruickshank is at the core, and his presence alone makes Hinsdale Central a tough team to deal with. Senior linebacker Vincent Zelisko, junior linebacker Nick Franko, senior defensive back Charlie Lyne and junior defensive back Guy Goss are also players to watch.

Keep an eye on: Cruickshank racked up 160 tackles last season, good for the single-season program record. He also had 47 tackles through Week 2 last year. Hartman raved about Cruickshank’s football instincts and his physical growth, as he added about 15 pounds to his 6-foot frame and could cause even more trouble for opponents this season.

Game to watch: Oct. 5 vs. Glenbard West. “With the success that program has had, to either play with or beat them in the regular season means you have a pretty special group,” Hartman said. “There are obviously great games along the way, but I think everyone in our conference looks toward them and how they play in order to determine what kind of group they have.”

2018 schedule
8/24 at Naperville Central, 7:30
8/31 at Willowbrook, 7:30
9/14 at Downers North, 7:30
9/22 YORK, noon
9/29 at Proviso West, 1:00
10/5 GLENBARD WEST, 7:30
10/12 at Lyons, 7:30
10/19 HINSDALE SOUTH, 7:30

Rich Mayor is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Twitter @Pioneer_Press

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