Football Preview: Ridgewood

2012 record: 2-7 overall, 0-4 Metro Suburban Conference

2012 playoffs: Didn’t qualify

Last playoff appearance: 2002

Head coach: Chris Zack, entering eighth season

Game to watch: Ridgewood at Argo, 7 p.m. Sept. 6.

This game is of particular importance to Zack because he is 0-3 against Argo, which is his alma mater and where he coached before he was hired by Ridgewood.

Who made the most of the offseason?

The Rebels’ opponents will most likely focus on stopping standout wide receiver Mike Achramowicz this season, but both Achramowicz and Ridgewood senior quarterback Geri Aliaj said junior wide receiver Luke Krljic has made the most improvement on the team. “Luke has become a really great receiver and he’s put in a lot of work in the weight room,” Aliaj said of the slot receiver. “He has crazy speed, and his hands got better. He’s progressed crazily.”

What adjustments did the program make during the offseason?

Ridgewood’s offense will continue to run a spread offense this season, but there will be new formations and packages. One of those alterations will be to put three running backs in the backfield with Aliaj. “We’re throwing in a different run game,” Achramowicz said. “We’re actually going to use a three-back formation in the running game, where it’s a quarterback, a running back behind the quarterback and two running backs on each side. We’re going to use that to run a lot of counters and stuff.”

Who will be a difference maker this season?

Achramowicz has all the tools to create matchup problems and change a game when he catches the ball.

“He can do so much stuff with the ball,” Zack said of the senior. “He’s strong, so he can break tackles. He’s fast, so he can outrun probably 90 percent of the guys we’re going to see on the field. He’s a leader. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s going into his third year on varsity, so he’s going to have that experience.”

— Eric Van Dril

What I did over my summer vacation … Zoran Ikanovic

I really tried to focus on doing speed work because I felt that last year I wasn’t really as fast as all of our opponents were. I tried to focus on my footwork. I went to TommyZ’s Pure Speed camp for a whole session. Part of it was during the spring, and I went for the first two weeks of the summer. After that, I was too busy to go, but I did a lot of stuff on my own.

— Ikanovic is a senior offensive and defensive lineman

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