8/25 3:30 H
2007 Team Preivew
3 Division I Players Among 14 Returners Could Help Broncos "Finish"
Most schools from 1A through 6A can get a lot of attention when they have just one player who will be moving on to play football at a division I college. So you can see why Montini head coach Chris Andriano thinks it’s special when his school of about 653 kids can put out 3 Division I players and is looking to be in 5A come playoff time.
As a point of reference, last season’s soon to be legendary 8A State Champs Wheaton Warrenville South, who according to head coach Ron Muhitch, had 14 players who moved on to colleges with scholarship based football programs, had an enrollment of about 2,400 students.
Andriano, will be looking at one of the biggest lines not only that the Broncos have ever had, but one of the biggest line in the state, averaging 6’3, 240 lbs, or a total of 31 feet 3 inches and 1,200 pounds.
Anchored by Ohio State bound Garret Goebel (6'5 270 Sr. OT/DL) & Northwestern bound Chuck Porcelli (6'8 285 Sr. OT/DL). The rest of the line is made up of center Mike Desmond (6'2 205 Sr. C/DL), Dan Grimes (6'0 195 Sr. OG/LB) & David Lembas (6'0 245 Sr. OG/DL), all returning starters.
The line makes up just 5 out of the 8 that return on offense. The third division I bound player (Wisconsin), Dex Jones (6'2 220 Sr. RB/LB) will be the main backfield threat, along with Johnny Borsellino (5'8 165 Sr. RB/DB) & wideout Brian Zirko (6'2 170 Sr. WR/DB).
Stepping in at quarterback will be junior Tom DiCristina (5'10 175 jr. QB/DB). Andriano says that they’re very happy with DiCristina’s performance so far, adding that he’s a complete athlete that can run & throw.
Andriano will be hoping nerves are a quality he can add to the Bronco’s starting QB as well, as Montini’s schedule will not be for the faint of heart.
Right off the bat the Broncos will see 2 time defending 5A Champs Sacred Heart-Griffin out of Springfield. The Cyclones have gone an impressive 28-0 over the last two seasons. “Hopefully this [year] we’ll break the string” Andriano said in reference not to the 28-0 record, but the 5-0 record the Cyclones have against Montini, as the two teams have opened their seasons over the last 6 years facing each other.
Getting a win in that game though, won’t necessarily set up the Broncos for a windfall of good luck and a high seed come playoff time. Besides having two other 2006 state final qualifying teams in their conference (Marian Central 5A Runner-up & Driscoll 4A State Champs) Andriano says week #2’s game against Benet Academy will be tough considering the Red Wings have twice the enrollment of Montini.
He also is cautious about other lesser-publicized Suburban Catholic Conference teams like Marmion. The Cadets lost 4 games last season and were one of only 18 teams with a 5-4 record that didn’t make the playoffs.
Defensively the Broncos will see 6 returners, including two-way players Goebel, Lembus, Jones and Borsellino. Brosellino will be one of 3 defensive back that return, along with Dan Stelter (5'10 175 Sr. DB)& Nick Gianfortune (5'10 175 Sr. RB/DB) helping the Broncos give more time for their big linemen to get to opposing quarterbacks.
Andriano says the players have been very active on the track and in the gym this summer. “We lost 4 games, all 4 of our regular season losses we were tied or ahead… They learned from last year that at the end of the game you better be at your best when you’re tired.”
Andriano summed up what the entire season will be about for the Broncos in one word, “Our motto this year is ‘finish’”. With any luck, that finish will come in Champaign.
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