Quarterbacking Homewood-Flossmoor’s offense is no easy task.
The responsibility of making the right reads and going through the many progressions in the quick-strike, big-play system requires a signal-caller who’s gifted physically and mentally.
H-F coach Craig Buzea was confident he had right man when he named Isaac Cutrara the starter entering the season.
Not a big deal, until you realize Cutrara never started at quarterback in his life.
“I think ‘Buzz’ saw that I could handle his insane playbook,” Cutrara said with a laugh. “It’s a whole bunch of information to cover and he puts in new things every week. It takes a lot of work to get it down but when you do, it’s really something special.”
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior primarily was a receiver growing up, until he transferred to H-F from Marian Catholic after his sophomore year.
So what did Buzea see in Cutrara that made the coach think the young man was capable of executing the offense?
“What I saw in him was that he was a great kid and he had a drive that he wanted to succeed,” Buzea said. “He was an athlete who had talent and was very coachable.”
“Coachable” is a key word when describing the quarterback running Buzea’s offense. If Bears coach Marc Trestman is the “quarterback whisperer,” Buzea is the “quarterback hollerer.”
When the quarterback, in this case Cutrara, doesn’t make the right read, Buzea will in no uncertain terms let him know about it — no matter what the scoreboard reads.
“It takes a lot to get ‘Buzz’ fully satisfied,” Cutrara said. “He gets in my face and tells me what I did wrong. He gets up close and personal. He expects a lot from us, but he’s made me better and any success I’ve had can be attributed to him.”
Cutrara has had a ton of success, completing 94-of-144 passes for 1,687 yards and 21 touchdowns for H-F (8-1). He’s been intercepted just three times.
Cutrara played football at Infant of Jesus Prague School in Flossmoor before attending Marian Catholic for two years, playing receiver and backup quarterback.
He wasn’t totally fulfilled at Marian and decided to transfer.
“I had friends at H-F and I never really got a chance to play quarterback at Marian,” Cutrara said. “Transferring to H-F was the best decision of my life.”
Cutrara also is a major contributor on the baseball diamond, playing third base and pitcher.
While he considers baseball his first love — he played for the Flossmoor Firebirds in his younger days — he hasn’t entirely counted out playing football in college.
“I would like to play either,” said Cutrara, who scored a 27 on the ACT. “Baseball is my first love, no doubt, but football is a close second.”
And while there’s a ton of excitement surrounding the Vikings baseball team this coming season, Cutrara’s attention strictly is on football. The Vikings open up the Class 8A playoffs at home against Sandburg, which H-F crushed 48-10 in Week 6.
“We can’t be thinking we’ve got this game won because of what happened the first time,” Cutrara said. “We’ve done some great things so far, but we want to do more. Hopefully, it’s going to continue.”