The Naperville North football team went 6-3 and in 2017 and then 3-6 in 2018. As their 2019 campaign begins, the Huskies hope they have what it takes to get back to the playoffs.
Previewing the Huskies
The Naperville North defense plans on bringing the thunder.
Miranda: “It’s toughness. It’s all about knowing that whatever we are going to do we are going to do 110% and we are going to fly around and hit some people.
The Offense has lightning in a bottle with Matthew Maschmeier
Miranda: “He’s a crazy athlete. Ever since freshman year meeting him you could tell he is something special.”
And with Anthony Gabrione stepping in to lead the system. Coach Sean Drendel and the Huskies hope that they have the makings for a perfect storm.
Drendel: “We are really focused on being a little bit tougher, more physical type football team. Stop worrying about outside distractions and the fast paced game and through the ball around and just play tough hard nose football so that’s been our focus and I think our kids have done a great job with it.”
We already heard Michael Miranda describe the defense as physically tough. As a senior free safety, he believes that becoming mentally tough could take this group to the next level.
Miranda: “We know we have the talent to compete with all of the teams in Naperville across our schedule. It’s also just building that mental toughness. If we start having those mental toughness changes throughout the program we will be in a lot better position this year to compete.”
Drendel: “You know they are super physical. They run to the ball they get after it. They like to run, they like to hit, and they work really hard in practice.”
Along with the mindset change… there are other changes happening on the other side of the football, one being Anthony Gabrione taking over the QB position.
Gabrione: “It’s a little nerve racking, but I’m ready to go.”
Drendel: “I think he has made great progress from where he was as a freshman and where he is now. He made a lot of strides from our off season till now. He really worked hard at it. And he makes some really good decisions for us. He is fairly athletic that people may not look at and see but he is a really good athlete, kind of like how Cliff was. He’ll make some plays with his feet and he’ll make some plays with his arm.”
Gabrione only has one offensive starter returning this year to help him light that fire and make those plays happen, Wide receiver Matthew Maschmeier. The 6 foot senior also plays corner back and will be relied upon heavily on both sides of the ball.
Gabrione: “It’s nice. He’s one of my good friends so we have a connection on and off the field so it’s nice to have one of those guys because I don’t feel like I’ve had that in the best and I do have kids that I’ve been hanging out with like Jason Gramtiz who is going to be a big star for us this year and I also know that defense has our back too if we mess up.”
There is no calm for the Huskies. Among the storms on the schedule are the crosstown classic and Waubonsie Valley but before they get to those two games, they have to face Benet Academy a match up that hasn’t been played for over ten years.
Drendel: “It’s kind of a cool game. We are really excited and we also really respect them. They’ve done a great job. Pat New was on our coaching staff here at North for ten years so me and Pat have grown up together as coaches, as assistants, and now we both have our programs so it’ll be fun, it’ll be interesting. We both know each other really well and hopefully the right team wins.”
And all the preparation begins right now for the Huskies. As the temperature begins to drop, the wind picks up and the clouds roll in, Naperville North hopes that they can match the intensity of the storms that fill the horizon.
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