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The 2007 high school football season is already underway as practice started on the 8th. And while a new group of seniors is expected each season, there will be at least 85 schools in Illinois with a new head coach at the helm.

Some notable changes across the state are;

Pontiac , where defensive coordinator David Young steps in the spot held by long time coach Mick Peterson. Peterson had spent 18 years as the head coach of the Indians compiling a record of 136-47.

Peterson was responsible for the Indians first ever playoff appearance in his first year as head coach as well as a 3A State Title in 1993.

Young, was previously the defensive coordinator, with a one year stint at head coach of Pontiac, after the IHSA suspended Peterson for allegend recruiting violations in 2002. Young took a talented team all the way to the 5A State Finals before losing to New Lenox (Providence).

Speaking of Providence, a lot of first year head coaches will be hoping to replicate the success first year head coach Mark Coglianese had with the Celtics last year. A 7A semifinal appearance. Also making waves in his first year as head coach last season wasLake Zurich 's Bryan Stortz. Stortz's Bears went all the way to the 7A Finals before falling toChicago (St. Rita).

Belvidere will have Matt Walker stepping in to a spot held by Mike Hearn for the last 10 years.

Bob Stone also steps aside after spending 10 years atWest Chicago (H.S.). His spot will be filled by John Waltes. Stone who formerly coached at Joliet (Catholic), winning a state championship in 1990 with future NFL player Mike Alstott, and finishing as runner-up twice in 1992 & 1996. Stone was named to the East Suburban Catholic Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tom Fedderly will have some big shoes to fill as he steps in at Maple Park (Kaneland) . Joe Thorgesen stepped down after last years 5A Semifinal run and the graduation of his son, Northern Illinois bound QB Boone Thorgesen. Joe, managed to have just 3 winning seasons in his first 14 years before getting the Knights into the playoffs for the first time ever in 1995. Under Thorgesen the Knights haven't missed a post season since and were back to back state champs in 1997 & 1998, going a combined 28-0.

Harrisburg 's Al Way steps down after coming back for one more year. Way who was at the helm for over 22 years (1981-2001, & 2006) finished his career with a 161-69 record. Including a 3A 14-0 state championship team in 2000 & a runner-up in 1980. Stepping in is Jason Roper, who is the brother ofSouthern Illinois River-to-River (Ohio)Conference rival Benton head coach Jeff Roper.

Other less glamorous changes happened at Highland. Where incoming head coach Tom Pagliaro, formerly atAlton (Marquette), stepped down as the Highland head coach, before practice even started, due to an arrest in a neighboring town where he was found with a 16 year old female. Ron Holt will be stepping in now for the Bulldogs.

Chicago Public school seen a great deal of change, as no less than 12 schools will have new head coaches. While most changes are spread across the state some conferences seen at least 3 coaching changes including the Black Diamond, Northern Illinois (NIC-9) & the South Central (West).






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