High school football preview: No. 8 Hinsdale Central

No. 8 Hinsdale Central was one of the dominant teams in the area during the spring season.

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Hinsdale Central’s Sean Allison (3) runs drills at football practice.

Hinsdale Central’s Sean Allison (3) runs drills at football practice.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

No. 8 Hinsdale Central was one of the dominant teams in the area during the spring season. The Red Devils outscored their six opponents 229-31, including a 28-7 victory against conference rival Glenbard West.

Coach Brian Griffin has a solid core returning on offense and defense, but there is a major hole at quarterback. Michael Brescia, now at Colgate, was one of the most underrated players in Illinois the last two seasons.

Brescia threw for 19 touchdowns and ran for nine in 2019 and threw for 12 touchdowns in the short spring season.

Brescia’s successor is still to be determined. Griffin said 6-3 junior Ben Monahan and 6-3 junior Billy Cernugel are competing for the job.

‘‘I feel really good about the guys,’’ Griffin said. ‘‘We have a great competition going on. They are both selfish and pushed themselves individually and have goals for themselves but are also unselfish and working hard for the rest of the team. They have a good vibe going, and they are competing every day.’’

The pieces are in place for either player to be a success. Three starters return on the offensive line: Jack McGarry, Josh Narcisse and Hunter Tonn. Thomas Skokna and Nick Fahy return in the backfield.

Griffin said he expects a talented junior class to step up on defense. There is a solid core of returning starters in linebackers Sean Allison and JT Pyle and lineman Micah McCurry.

Hinsdale Central’s Nick Fahy catches the ball during practice.

Hinsdale Central’s Nick Fahy catches the ball during practice.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

‘‘We had a great defense last year, and now we are working on getting that chemistry with the younger guys,’’ Allison said. ‘‘We are going to have a lot of juniors playing, so they don’t have a lot of experience. But I have a lot of confidence in them. There’s some good young talent.’’

Griffin said sophomore receiver/defensive back Carter Contreras might have a breakout season.

‘‘Contreras has really shown some good stuff so far,’’ Griffin said. ‘‘The junior class is full of athletes that work hard. We will have to see who might emerge out of that group.’’

Hinsdale Central opens against a talented Naperville Central team and closes the season at rival Glenbard West. The Red Devils will have their hands full with a much-improved West Suburban Silver in between those games.

‘‘The whole conference is really good,’’ Allison said. ‘‘York and Downers Grove North are up-and-coming. Lyons will be really good this year. And, obviously, Glenbard West. All that competition will definitely help get us ready for the playoffs.’’

The Hilltoppers have been the class of the West Suburban in the last decade, but things recently have swung Hinsdale Central’s way a bit.

‘‘We’re trying not to let it get to our heads,’’ Fahy said. ‘‘We just come in here every day and work hard. We will see where the season takes us.’’

HINSDALE CENTRAL SCHEDULE

Aug. 27 vs. Naperville Central

Sep. 3 vs. Proviso East

Sep. 10 vs. Lyons

Sep. 17 at Hinsdale South

Sep. 24 at Oak Park

Oct. 1 vs. Downers Grove North

Oct. 8 at York

Oct. 15 vs. Proviso West

Oct. 23 at Glenbard West

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