Football: Marist eyes reversal of playoff fortunes
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org August 23, 2013 9:54PM
Marist's Peter Andreotti | File photo
Coach: Pat Dunne 41-15
Last season: 8-2 (5-1 in East Suburban Catholic)
Key returnees: WR Nic Weishar (88 catches, 1,034 yards, 5 TDs), RB Peter Andreotti (967 yards, 6 TDs), WR Flynn Nagel (59 catches, 750 yards, 9 TDs), DL Marcus Pitts, DL
Aug. 31: vs. St. Rita
at Soldier Field, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6: vs. Brother Rice,
Sept. 13: vs. Nazareth,
Sept. 21: at St. Patrick,
Sept. 27: at Joliet Catholic,
Oct. 4: vs. Carmel, 7:30 p.m.-x
Oct. 11: at Notre Dame,
Oct. 18: vs. Benet, 7:30 p.m.-x
Oct. 25: at Moline, 7:30 p.m.
x — East Suburban Catholic game
Updated: September 26, 2013 6:29AM
A year ago, Marist was crowned the No. 1 team in the SouthtownStar’s Preseason Football Top 10.
Those RedHawks returned an All-Area quarterback (Ian Woodworth) and receiver (Nic Weishar), an emerging tailback (Peter Andreotti) and receiver (Flynn Nagel), and their entire offensive line from an offense that in 2011 scored 369 points.
For the most part, Marist lived up to the billing, going 8-1 during the regular season and earning a share of the East Suburban Catholic Conference crown.
Then came the playoffs, and for the third consecutive season the RedHawks were one-and-done.
A season of high hopes was dashed by what had become an all-too-familiar playoff pattern.
However, with most of that nucleus back for a third year on the varsity, hopes again are sky-high Marist can produce not only another outstanding regular season, but a lengthy playoff run.
Marist checks in at No. 5 in the SouthtownStar Preseason Top 10.
“We’re looking forward to a great year,” said Weishar, a Notre Dame recruit. “We’re very motivated. The seniors have talked about it (playoff struggles). We hope to take it to the next level this year.”
The RedHawks’ schedule is daunting. They kick off the season with an Aug. 31 opener against St. Rita at Soldier Field, then host archrival Brother Rice in Week 2 before the start of East Suburban Catholic play and a home game vs. Nazareth.
“It’s unbelievable,” Weishar said. “It doesn’t get much better. St. Rita at Soldier Field and then Brother Rice.”
The lone leftover on the O-line from last season is Mitch Schleyer, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound senior. Jack Donegan takes over at quarterback. The 6-2, 185-pound senior has two prime targets in Weishar and Nagel. The super-quick Nagel is receiving interest from multiple D-I colleges.
“Jack’s a dual threat,” Marist coach Pat Dunne said. “He can throw and run. He’s also very smart.”
Defensively, senior linemen Marcus Pitts (6-3, 292) and Tim Finucane (6-3, 225) and senior linebackers Dave Nelson (6-2, 205) and Schleyer all return. Expect Andreotti and Nagel to see time in the Marist secondary.
“We have a lot of new guys on defense,” Nelson said. “We’ve been working hard and trying to get better.”
Going against a high-powered offense every day in practice does have its benefits, according to Nelson.
“Our offense is one of the best out there and they prepare us for just about anything,” Nelson said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time.
“We have confidence to be able to do what we’re capable of doing this year.”