Football Preview: Libertyville

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2012 record: 8-3 overall, 4-2 NSC Lake

2012 playoffs: Lost in second round of Class 7A to Glenbard West

Head coach: Mike Jones, entering second season

Game to watch: Palatine at Libertyville, 7:30 p.m., Aug. 30. After opening the season against Barrington for years, the Wildcats will host the Pirates to begin the 2013 season. Jones called the game “basically a must-win.”

Who made the most of the offseason?

Zach Herr, a senior SS and RB, made significant strides. “He didn’t miss a day in the weight room in the offseason,” coach Mike Jones said. “He’s gotten a lot stronger, his attitude’s just been phenomenal … this is a kid that saw very limited playing time last year. And this year, he’s gonna see significant time.”

What adjustments did the program make during the offseason?

Libertyville added an extra day (from three days a week to four) to its regular weightlifting schedule. Though the sessions in 2013 are a hair shorter that they were last season, the overall amount of time spent lifting weekly is greater. It’s something the Wildcats hope translates into increased stamina, particularly late in games.

Who took the best trip during summer vacation?

Junior defensive lineman Quincy Kayle enjoyed part of his summer break in Wisconsin Dells. “I stayed at the Wilderness (Resort). It was a great vacation spot. I went to a lot of restaurants, a boat tour and went on a lot of waterslides. The Wilderness has a bunch of them, and they also have an amusement park at Noah’s Ark up there I went to.”

Who will be a difference maker this season?

“Conor Simpson (a 5-foot-10, 185-pound RB, WR and CB) is a difference maker,” Jones said. “Because he does so many different things well.” Receiver Bryan Scanlan (6-3, 195) has good size and length, and could also become a big factor. Both players are seniors.

— Tim Froehlig

What I did over my summer vacation … Conor Simpson

“I trained in May with (Deerfield-based) Core 6 and played on their 7-on-7 team in the midwest playoffs. I had plans to attend six college football camps (he attended several) the first two weeks of June, but my high school baseball team made it all the way to the state finals. That wiped out a lot of my plans, and threw my schedule and training off big-time.”

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