Friday, August 27, 2010

Freeman Football Preview

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

Catholic Memorial
Lighting up the scoreboard
Scoring won’t be an issue, stopping other teams may be

By Chris Patterson Freeman Correspondent

WAUKESHA – Scoreboard operators in the Classic 8 Conference probably will need to be at the ready when the Catholic Memorial High School football team takes the field this season. That’s because while the Crusaders return seven starters from an offense that rolled up 354 points last season, Memorial also returns just three starters from a defense that allowed only 135 points a year ago. So, while getting into the end zone probably won’t be much of a problem for the Crusaders this season, keeping their opponents out of it may – at least until the young Memorial defense matures.

Memorial finished 9-4 a year ago and came within one second of going to Camp Randall when it fell to Reedsburg in the Division 3 state semifinals. “A year ago, we came into the season with most of our skill kids being gone, but now a majority of our skill kids are back,” Memorial coach Bill Young said. “Also, most of the kids on the line have been together now for a couple years and that’s key.”

Memorial’s starting backfield returns intact as senior quarterback Dominic Zanoni (5-foot-9, 160 pounds), senior fullback Pete Karczewski (5-11, 195) and senior halfback Joe Fleming (5-9, 160) are all back. Senior running back Casey Townsend (5-10, 181) also will get some carries. Karczewski led Memorial with 1,235 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, while Zanoni was second on the team in rushing with 547 yards and completed 52 of 99 passes for 748 yards and nine touchdowns.

Last season, with Memorial ahead early in so many games, Zanoni wasn’t asked to throw much – an average of just eight passes per game. This season, depending on how his defense comes along, Zanoni might have to go to the air considerably more often.

“With a year under his belt, I know Dominic is going to be that much more comfortable running this offense and that’s going to be huge,” Young said. “We just really like what we’ve seen from him in camp.” Providing protection for Zanoni and holes for the runners will be an offensive line that features four returning starters: senior left tackle Zach Degner (6-2, 277), senior left guard Eric Alfuth (6-1, 250), senior right guard Matt Baldwin (6-0, 247) and junior center Caleb Krause (6-2, 270). Senior Nick Olson (6-2, 260) takes over at right tackle.

Memorial lost all of its top receivers to graduation, so senior Cody Gardetto (6-2, 207) and junior Justin Bauer (6-3, 235) will man the two tight end spots, while senior Broc Kocour (5-7, 146), senior Alex Fridl (5-8, 145) and sophomore Andre Bodden (6-2, 175) will share time at split end.

Defensively, the only three starters back are Gardetto at end, senior nose tackle Ryan Lau (6-1, 247) and senior strong safety Jerry Boll (5-11, 180). However, all three of those players earned all-conference recognition a year ago. “Defensively, we were pretty rock solid last year, but only three of those kids are back,” Young said. “We know we’ve got a way to go on defense this year because there just aren’t a lot of kids returning.”

The rest of the defensive line will feature some rotations with senior David Hodorowski (6-2, 236) and junior Mark Cage (6-2, 192) at the other defensive end and seniors Kyle Matyas (5-11, 229), Erik Drwila (6-2, 284) and Connor Sauer (6-2, 240) at the two defensive tackle positions. Senior Matt Groehler ( 6-1, 215) and junior Charlie Walsh (5-11, 190) will be the starting linebackers, while the remainder of the secondary will feature senior Matt Hauser (5-7, 165) and sophomore Sergio Rodriguez (5-10, 159) at the corners and sophomore Matt Hubley (6-2, 182) at free safety.

“We’re relatively young in the secondary, especially with the two sophomores in there,” Young said. Gardetto is the only player who will start both ways for Memorial. “This is now the third year where we’re pretty much a two-platoon football team,” Young said. “We’ve got some decent depth and the biggest thing there is that depth creates competition. “It makes a big difference when you’ve got to earn a position on the field in order to play.”

Senior Chris Colombe (5-11, 170) will handle the placekicking, while Hodorowski will do the punting. Cage will be the long-snapper. Young, who begins his 33rd season at Memorial with a 253-94 record, expects the usual suspects to challenge for the Classic 8 crown. “Arrowhead’s going to be tough again and Waukesha West lost their quarterback but they’re still tough,” Young said. “Mukwonago is going to be better and of course Kettle Moraine is always solid.”

Photo Credits: Top -- Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Catholic Memorial senior quarterback Dominic Zanoni returns to lead the Crusaders’ high-powered offense this season. Bottom -- Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Catholic Memorial senior defensive end Cody Gardetto is one of three defensive starters who return from last year for the Crusaders.

1 comment:

Tony Zanoni said...

It figures The Freeman would have pictures of two of the good looking Italians on the team.

Spoken like a proud papa.