Kwasigroch gives Red Devils versatility

SHARE Kwasigroch gives Red Devils versatility
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A little more than one year after breaking his hand against Proviso West, Teddy Kwasigroch never would have imagined that he would be back playing defense.

Kwasigroch began last season as Hinsdale Central’s starting running back and even opened the season with a pair of games with over 80 yards rushing each. But after the injury forced Kwasigroch out, the Red Devils did not have a single running back rush more yards in a game until projected starter Jack Adams returned from a broken foot for the last week of the regular season.

The loss of Kwasigroch in Week 3 helped Hinsdale develop from a run-first team into a potent passing game with new quarterback Brian Owens and former star receivers Brad Anlauf and Tom Garvin.

This season, Kwasigroch has a new role now that Adams is back as the team’s primary rusher.

Now Kwasigroch is a free safety for defensive coordinator Tom Dorrance. He is playing the position for the first time.

“I never thought I would play safety. Coach Dorrance taught me a lot and we had to see if it would pan out. All the guys have helped,” Kwasigroch said.

Dorrance said Kwasigroch had his biggest game of the season in the No. 11 Devils’ 28-23 loss to No. 3 Glenbard West (4-0, 2-0 West Suburban Silver) Friday night in Hinsdale. One of Kwasigroch’s biggest hits of the season was against Glenbard West’s Vanderbilt-bound Nathan Marcus, who lost possession of a late pass from Henry Haeffner when Kwasigroch blasted Marcus over the middle.

“I thought it was his best game he’s had in his career,” Dorrance said. “It was an awakening this week.”

Both players and coaches have helped Kwasigroch make the transition to defensive back. He cited strong safety Andrew Eck, middle linebacker Andrew Pyle and assistant coach Nick Gebhart as providing the biggest lift.

Dorrance has worked with Kwasigroch before on defense. Two years ago, the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Kwasigroch was a transfer from Fenwick and started out in Hinsdale Central’s program as a defensive end. That became a brief stint since Kwasigroch was shifted to running back.

“For a lot of players, there is a whole lot of difference on defense [than offense],” Dorrance said. “You are not told where to go. Everything is read and react.”

The Devils (3-1, 1-1) entered the Glenbard game allowing only 28 points on the season. The Hilltoppers scored 21 points in the second half.

Dorrance has built a whole new secondary after all of last year’s defensive backs graduated. Eck’s position is nicknamed “Joker” and actually serves as a rover, The cornerbacks are Ben Herbst and Chase Hamilton, the backup quarterback.

“I struggled a little bit in the first couple of games,” Kwasigroch said. “I have watched a ton of film and the coaches will keep me prepared for every game.”

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