Homewood-Flossmoor, Nazareth, Evanston pumped for upcoming season

SHARE Homewood-Flossmoor, Nazareth, Evanston pumped for upcoming season
SHARE Homewood-Flossmoor, Nazareth, Evanston pumped for upcoming season

Monday was the first day of practice for area teams hitting the football field and that means top prospects are back in action.

One of the area’s finest, defensive back Julian Love, took the field for the defending 6A state champions at Nazareth in the first step towards the Roadrunners’ goal of a repeat title.

“I don’t get nervous really, I am just excited,” said Love. “I love that people are starting to circle Naz on their calendars, and that I have a target on my back, I am used to it. It’s exciting and makes us play that much better.”

Since winning the championship, Love committed to Notre Dame and hasn’t looked back.

“This season I just want to finish strong and try to do everything I couldn’t do throughout the years,” Love said. “I want to help us reach the ultimate goal again. We could be the best team in the state, if we put our minds to it we can do it. We need some guys who don’t necessarily start to step up and do big things.”

It’s not just the athletes that were ready for the season to get started, Love’s head coach — Tim Racki was in the same boat.

“I am always happy to get the first day out of the way because then you get into a routine,” Racki said. “Guys come in off of that dead period and there is a lot of rust to kick off. I am excited to get into the routine.”

The new season, is a new opportunity to create a different legacy.

“The guys are used to us never living in the past, we learn from the past,” Racki said. “So each team is a different brotherhood than the previous team. We had a lot of good leadership last year so a lot of great lessons learned. How to work, and how to prepare but now they have to make it their own.”

Another team with plenty of top prospects returning to the field is Evanston, with Michigan State commit Naquan Jones, Western Michigan quarterback commit Matt Little and Miami (Ohio) defensive back commit Travion Banks. Head coach Mike Burzawa is excited about the season

“Coming off after last year, it was a disappointing year for us but we are bringing back the experience off of the offensive line and our quarterback Matt Little is coming back and we are excited about that and just hungry to get the season going,” Burzawa said.

Homewood-Flossmoor is home to plenty of prospects too, including dual-sport standout Bryce Gray who is ready to move past a loss in the 8A state championship game.

“I am extremely excited, coming off of last year we came up short so we have an opportunity to go back at it and make our dreams come true in the state championship game,” Gray said. “It’s also a little bittersweet because its the last time I will be able to play football with a lot of these guys. Some of these guys I have known since I was 6 years old, so I am excited and it’s a little bittersweet but we are ready to get it going.”

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