With four returning starters, offensive line figures to be one of the strengths of a Metea Valley football team hoping to make its first trip to the postseason this fall.
A couple pillars of strength will lead that veteran group for coach Ben Kleinhans and the Mustangs.
“Four returning and two of us are going to be in our third year as starters,” left tackle Brett Boddy said of the four seniors. “Matt Fitzgerald, our center, will be a third-year starter, too. Then we have Kyle Grask at right guard and Mark Konkle at right tackle.
“Ever since we were freshmen we were like really good together and played well together and had that potential. And now, it’s our senior year and it’s our one shot to use all that potential and all that hype.”
It’s very likely Boddy, a returning all-conference and academic all-state selection, won’t be the only one of the group to continue at the next level.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder is the “little” brother of former Metea Valley volleyball standout Jessica Boddy, 6-3 middle hitter entering her junior year at the University of Pittsburgh.
“I feel like, for my size, I’m a really good pass blocker, but obviously, because I’m 290 pounds, I’m gonna be better on the run blocking and I like run blocking,” he said. “When you run block, you can take the guy and throw him all over the place. But with pass blocking it’s just ‘don’t get beat.’
“Run blocking is a lot more fun because you can lay people out.”
This past spring, Boddy received his first scholarship offer.
It came from Holy Cross University of the Patriot League. Blaise Bell, Metea’s starting quarterback last season, will be a freshman there this fall.
“They liked his film and really liked him and they saw me at left tackle (on Bell’s film) and liked me,” Boddy said. “I went out there to visit over spring break and talked to all the coaches and really liked them and they followed up with a call and offered me.”
Boddy has continued to talk with most of the schools in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues and has also attended camps at Illinois and Purdue, among others.
“I want to go to the best school I can and still play football at a high level,” Boddy said. “It’s really important to me. I couldn’t imagine not playing football (in college).”
First, though, there’s that final prep season to tend to.
Senior Kyle Moody is set to move into the starter’s role at quarterback.
“He’s a good quarterback, smart guy who plays well,” Boddy said. “And we have a really good receiving corps returning with guys like Nick Dodson and Chris King returning.
“Our linemen and our receivers are really the strong part of our team. I think we’re gonna want to run because of the o-line, but it’s gonna be hard not to pass because we have all that talent out there (at wideout).”
The Mustangs open at home Aug. 29 against Plainfield North, then travel to Glenbrook South the following week before beginning Upstate Eight Valley action that will include UEC newcomers West Aurora and Glenbard East this season before moving to the DuPage Valley next year.