8/24 7:30 H
2007 York Preseason Preview
Only 4 Returning starters, but York still the team to beat in West Suburban Silver
Talking to Bill Lech, 2006 West Suburban (Silver) champs York head coach Bill Lech, about the upcoming season you would think he was bringing back at least half his starters from a defense that gave up only 11 points a game on average last season, not just one.
Defensive lineman Anthony Piszczor (5’11, 310 lbs sr.), will be the lone returning defensive starter from last season’s 8A semifinalist squad that went 11-2, before losing to eventual state champs Wheaton Warrenville South. Lech is quick to point out that while Pizczor, who is a third year starter, is the lone retuner, several juniors got a decent amount of playing time last year.
Five players including defensive back Steve Cripe, along with linebackers Tom Augelli & Phil Tartaglia even started the in week one’s 30-29 loss to Loyola last season, impart because of team conduct violations by members of the first string.
While the Dukes have two more returning starters on offense than they do on defense, Lech doesn’t seem worried. Mainly because one of those players could easily make up for two. Offensive lineman Neil Deiters, who stands a towering six foot eight and weighs 325 pounds, up from 310 last year. Which Lech says was mostly muscle weight.
Deiters, who has a few division 1 offers, including Northwestern University, has a bench, squat & clean that maxes at 1,200 lbs. “He’s an animal” Lech says. “He’s honestly the biggest & strongest kid I’ve ever coach”.
While almost a full 8 inches shorter than Deiters, returning running back Mike McNulty will be able to add onto his 777 yards rushing from last year as he will no doubt be using Deiters size to pick up a few first downs. Fullback John Hanisch (6’2 245lbs sr.) will also help carve the way for McNulty.
Lech says that while they use their fullbacks primarily as battering rams, “[Hanisch] is pretty athletic for a big back”. Expect to see Piszczor get some time as a fullback too in short yardage situation for the Dukes who normally run a 3 back set.
Lech feels that McNulty, who ran for 777 yards last season, is right up there as one of the top players in the West Suburban Silver. Comparing him with York’s running back from 2006, Corey DeRosa, who had 1,600 yards, and Oak Park’s Levell Coppage. “Mike had a third of the carries Corey did last year and had almost half the yards.” Lech said, adding, “If I give the ball to McNulty as many times as Coppage carried it, he does just as well.”
With a tough schedule that includes an improved Highland Park team and Downers Grove South to start the season off, Lech weighed in on the pros & cons of a tough schedule over a weak one.
Saying that some schools come into the playoffs after having basically 4 or 5 weeks off. “When teams are beating each other up each week, sometimes you go limping into the playoffs as opposed to striding” Lech added. Most likely that is why he feels that the key to another successful season at York will be staying healthy. They’ll be starting 1 junior on offense, with 1 or 2 juniors and maybe a sophomore on defense. “Right now depth is a concern” Lech said.
Lech says that the conference could be a four or five way fight this season between Lyons, Oak Park, Hinsdale Central & York.
At the same time Lech, is not discounting any team in the conference. Including 1-8 Glenbard West, Saying he’s not sure what to expect with their new head coach John Karpowicz and Proviso West, who he says “is just 3 plays from 3 touchdowns” referring to the Panthers speed.
“I’ve been [interviewed by] a bunch of the other papers and they’re all saying ‘you gotta beat York, you gotta beat York’. Well I don’t necessarily disagree with that… That’s what we’re telling our kids.”
by Vincent Johnson
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