Bartlett ready for rebuilding process

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With 12 trips to the playoffs in the past 13 years, Bartlett is used to a standard of success.

The program’s expectations are undergoing a recalibration this season, though, as the Hawks return only one starter on defense and three starters on offense from the team that went 7-4 in 2012.

“We pride ourselves on trying to improve every day,” Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said. “These juniors and seniors never had a winning season at the lower levels, and we’ve been harping on that and really trying to turn around the mentality.”

Senior linebacker Chris Janssen is the lone returning starter from a defense that held five opponents to seven points or less last year.

On offense, senior linemen Ben Wiley, Nathan Baer and Devin Jatczak are back after helping pave the way for Bartlett’s potent ground attack in 2012.

Other than that, the Hawks don’t boast much experience. Junior Jordan Flint saw limited time at quarterback as a sophomore, and this year he is competing for playing time with senior Gabe Sheahan.

Seniors Matt Callahan, Titus Ayomidele and Hurshel Ross are all in the mix at running back, where there are big shoes to fill following the graduation of Aaron Everson, who landed 2012 Courier-News Player of the Year honors after running for 1,987 yards and 26 touchdowns.

“We have a little bit of depth with a lot of kids going at it for different positions,” Meaney said. “Competition is always nice.”

Juniors Bryce Petty and Isaiah Cottman are ready to step in as wide receivers. In addition to the returning starters on the offensive line, sophomore Kyle Sanft and juniors Paul Antolik and Bobby Waltz will also be in the mix.

Joining Janssen at linebacker are Wiley and juniors Demetrius Stanton and Daniel Danek. Sophomores Daniel Andreuccetti and Nolan Bernat and senior Deon Nido will headline the secondary.

Juniors Willie Booker and Derek Bryja are key members in the rotation on the defensive line along with seniors Jake Boro, Luke Rosenquist and Clint Zierke.

While there are many new faces taking the field this year for Bartlett, the coaching staff is back to full strength as Meaney and longtime assistant Mark Williams welcome back Eric Kramer and Eric Ilich. Kramer took last year off after becoming a father and Ilich is back after one year as the head coach at Hoffman Estates.

Together the coaches are working to have the Hawks ready for a 2013 slate that includes two tough nonconference opponents off the bat as they visit Huntley in Week 1 and host Niles Notre Dame in Week 2.

“We’re coming along and I’m pretty happy with the progress,” Meaney said. “I have seen improvement and I think we’ll be ready for the opener.”

BARTLETT HAWKS

2012 record: 7-4

Coach: Tom Meaney (68-37 in 11th season)

Players to watch: LB Chris Janssen, Sr.; OL/LB Ben Wiley, sr.; OL/DL Nathan Baer, sr.; OL/DL Devin Jatczak, sr.; RB Matt Callahan, sr.

Schedule

Aug. 30at Huntley, 7:15

Sept. 7vs. Niles Notre Dame, 6

Sept. 13 x-at East Aurora, 7:30

Sept. 20 x-vs. Metea Valley, 7:30

Sept. 27 x-at Waubonsie Valley,7:30

Oct. 4 x-at West Chicago, 7

Oct. 11 vs. Larkin, 7:30

Oct. 19 x-at South Elgin, 1:30

Oct. 25 x-vs. Neuqua Valley, 7:30

x-Upstate Eight Valley game

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