Joe Hoscheit back to lead hungry St Charles East

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After two straight 0-5 starts resulted in 3-6 seasons, St. Charles East knows a quicker start is critical in 2012.

However, coach Mark Fields has a young team and the Saints have a problem they had in both of those 0-5 starts — a tough early schedule that includes highly touted Cary-Grove in the opener and West Aurora in Week 2 before the crosstown rivalry game with St. Charles North in Week 3.

“It’s been a combination of tough competition and we haven’t been the deepest at the skill level … and then we had injuries,” Fields said.

One Saints player who battled through injuries last year and figures to provide leadership and stability is senior fullback/linebacker Joe Hoscheit. A baseball player who has committed to play at Northwestern, Hoscheit (6-foot, 215 pounds) adds a level of toughness on both sides of the ball.

“In 17 years of coaching football, he’s one of the top five that I’ve had by far,” Fields said.

Hoscheit played after suffering a shoulder separation in the opener and then a high ankle sprain later.

“He’s a throwback,” Fields said. “I’ve always said if I had 22 Joe Hoscheits playing I’d be the happiest coach in the state of Illinois.”

Erik Anderson (6-0, 190), a junior who battled injuries as a sophomore, is the running back behind Hoscheit in the I-formation, and junior Jimmy Mitchell, who had two years playing for the sophomores, is the starting quarterback.

“We felt Jimmy did a good job controlling the offense in the summer and in doubles,” Fields said. “We don’t ask him to win games, but we ask him not to lose them.”

Mitchell has a tall target returning in 6-foot-4, 190-pound junior wide receiver Brannon Barry.

Up front on offense, the Saints lack great size but have potential, starting with sophomore guard Brennan Bosch (6-3, 240), brother of Michigan recruit Kyle Bosch, the St. Francis lineman.

Senior center Tommy Wilson (6-2, 250) and both Nick Asquini (6-1, 185) and Ben Smith (5-10, 235) figure to be part of the offensive line, which is still in a state of being solidified. Tight end is also undecided, with Andrew Szyman (6-2, 2-5) a leading candidate.

Defensively, the linebackers figure to be the strength. Led by Hoscheit, they are a deep and talented group that includes Jon Finn (5-11, 195), and Anthony Sciarrino (6-0, 190).

Asquini, Szyman, Mike Eyre (6-0, 205), Sam Malone (5-9, 195), and Peter Banks (5-11, 210) are among the players Fields can turn to on the defensive front.

“They’re anchoring the 4-3,” Fields said. “We want our linebackers to come up and make plays while they (linemen) occupy blockers.”

The secondary is led by safety Justin Cameron, cornerbacks Andrew Badowski and L.J. Rutkowski, and a handful of others battling at safety.

The Saints have a new addition on the coaching staff who has helped light a fire under the offensive and defensive lines in Matt Gehrig, the former Larkin and Huntley head coach.

“We were thrilled to be able to get him on the staff,” Gould said. “The kids love his enthusiasm.”

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