Bolingbrook football always is on the map.
This offseason, however, things became even more interesting in Raider Nation.
Coach John Ivlow announced he was adding several veteran coaches to his staff. Among them was legendary former Morris coach Dan Darlington, who was coming on board as the offensive coordinator, along with his longtime Morris assistant, Keith Laughary, and Jim Farber.
With the new season getting underway Friday night, we are about to get our first look at the new Raiders’ offense as it faces Hinsdale Central. Darlington’s teams at Morris were known for their quality and diversification. When things weren’t working, he always had a ting or two up his sleeve.
With the athletes Bolingbrook will put on the field, it will be interesting to see how this offense attacks the opposition, and how returning option quarterback Quincy Woods – who also is a dangerous receiver – contributes. On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders will be loaded, featuring five starters who have committed or will commit to NCAA Division I schools.
Over the last few days, we have published outlook stories on many of the schools in our area. Here, we are providing capsule summaries on the other area teams.
Bolingbrook is among them, along with fellow SouthWest Suburban Blue power Lincoln-Way East. The Griffins don’t have the big-name players of recent vintage, but they feature good athleticism and a program under coach Rob Zvonar that has qualified for the playoffs every year of its existence.
You also will find capsule summaries here of two Plainfield schools, North and East, that figure to be in the thick of the Southwest Prairie race. Both schools have the potential to be exciting offensively.
Then there’s Lemont. With Bret Kooi, a two-time state championship coach at Lockport, taking over for Eric Michaelsen, and receiver Flynn Nagel transferring in from Marist, the Indians are creating a stir.
Elsewhere, there’s the area representation in the Interstate Eight. Wilmington annually dominates in the Interstate-8 Small, where Seneca was a factor last season and Reed-Custer looks to be improved under first-year coach Mark Wolf. Coal City and Peotone, meanwhile, are teams to reckon with in the I-8 Large.
Not that anyone wants to be caught looking ahead, but Coal City and Wilmington will clash in Week 2. When you talk rivalries, that’s the kind of game you are talking about.
Of course, it is difficult to do any better than the rivalries that will be renewed Friday night at Memorial Stadium, where Joliet Catholic will entertain Providence, and at Minooka, where Morris comes calling.
It’s much too early to begin pondering the postseason. However, after reading our outlook stories and the capsule summaries that are presented here, I can’t help but feel that – given reasonably good health – our area will be looking good come November.