PLAINFIELD – Plainfield North’s 2014 all-state running back, Quintin Hoosman, is at Northern Illinois University.
Hoosman rushed for 2,462 yards and scored 32 touchdowns for the Tigers, who finished 6-4. The man who paved the way for many of those yards, 6-foot-6, 295-pound Cody Conway, has moved on to Syracuse.
That’s the bad news.
“Quintin was a tremendous talent for us last season,” North coach Tim Kane said. “He was so productive in a number of ways and will be missed.”
The good news for Kane, entering his 10th year at the helm, is that offensive lineman Brent Johnson and tight end Kyle Speas return. In addition, offensive lineman Mitch Dodd and quarterback JD Ekowa also are back.
Returning from the 30-8 Class 4A Elite Eight Tigers’ baseball team is multi-talented receiver/defensive back Zach Jarosz. Quintin Hoosman’s brother Tyler and junior Nick Capezio will be the dynamic duo in the Tiger backfield.
“We should have a very explosive offense this year,” Speas said. “We’re looking forward to a solid passing game with JD, Zach and our other returning offensive starters. We believe Quin’s little brother Tyler and Nick Capezio will do a fine job with our running game.
“My job is to work hard with our receivers and make sure we are catching the football. Our goal is to have an undefeated regular season, win the Southwest Prairie Conference and win our first playoff game in school history.”
“My job up front is to get the offense started, “Johnson said. “I also believe Tyler Hoosman and Nick Capezio will do a fine job with our running attack. Our passing game should be very good, and I also believe we will win the Southwest Prairie Conference and win our first playoff game in school history.”
The defense returns six starters, led by junior defensive end JJ Frey. Linebackers Zach Shelton and William Stoll return as well as Jarosz, junior defensive back Kevin Block and senior defensive back Alec Lopez.
Every year at North, the Tigers have one goal to start the season – to win the Southwest Prairie Conference. Defending champion Oswego, with the return of a healthy quarterback in Steve Frank, is a slight favorite in the topsy-turvy SPC. Every Friday night seems to be a weekly sequel of “The Gunfight at the OK Coral.” High-scoring, exciting high games which are a nightmare for defensive coordinators such as Kane.
“Every season, in all sports, here at Plainfield North, we feel we can win the SPC,” Kane said. “With Quintin (Hoosman) and Cody (Conway) graduated, we may have to retool our offense a little.
“With JD (Ekowa) back at quarterback and Kyle (Speas) and Zach (Jarosz) returning at wide receiver, we should have an effective passing game. I really believe our junior running backs, Tyler (Hoosman) and Nick (Capezio), will do the job in our backfield. Both kids are winners coming from the undefeated SPC sophomore champs from last year.”
As for the defense, Kane said, “We have some fine people back on defense, where we must excel. Our junior linebackers, Zach (Shelton) and William (Stoll), were hurt last season and are two quality football players.
“We’re really excited about this season. We have had back-to-back solid classes and we really feel we can win the SPC and the elusive first playoff game in school history. We were so close last season, falling, 42-34, to Normal in a game we thought we should have won.”
TIGERS AT A GLANCE
2014 record: 6-4, 5-2 in Southwest Prairie
Coach: Tim Kane
Classification enrollment: 2,231 (probable class 8A/7A)
Offensive coordinator: Samir Chaudhari
Defensive coordinator: Kane
Returning offensive starters: QB JD Ekowa, WR Zach Jarosz, TE Kyle Speas, OL Brett Johnson, OL Mitch Dodd
Returning defensive starters: DE JJ Frey, DB Zach Jarosz, LB Zach Shelton, LB William Stoll, DB Alec Lopez, DB Kevin Block
August: 28 – DeKalb, 7 p.m.
September: 4 – at Bishop McNamara, 7:30 p.m.; 11 – Oswego East, 7 p.m.; 18 – at Plainfield South, 7 p.m.; 25 – at Plainfield East, 7 p.m.
October: 2 – Plainfield Central, 7 p.m.; 9 – at Romeoville, 7 p.m.; 16 – Oswego, 7 p.m.; 23 – at Minooka, 7 p.m.