Lake Forest football season preview

2014 schedule
Aug. 29 Dunbar 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Grant 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Wauconda 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Stevenson 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 26 Libertyville 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 2 at Warren 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 Lake Zurich 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17 Zion-Benton 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 Mundelein 7:30 p.m.

Best game on the schedule: Lake Zurich at Lake Forest, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10

The Scouts are in the midst of their best multi-season run since 1987-91, when they averaged more than eight wins a season. Forty combined regular season and playoff wins since 2010 still haven’t produced a victory over Lake Zurich. Coaches and players are as hungry for this game as they are for any other on the schedule.

Best-case scenario: This season is much like 2011. That year, Lake Forest had several newcomers at each position group. Those players produced a NSC Lake championship. Repeating that feat will be more challenging as the 2014 Scouts have new starters at quarterback, running back and all over the defense. But this program has proven it can develop players. Seven regular season wins and two playoff victories are realistic.

Best position group: One area where the Scouts are experienced is on the offensive line. Three linemen return from 2013: seniors Thomas Kennedy (6-foot-4, 275 pounds), George Kohl (6-1, 254) and John McArthur (6-2, 275). Seniors Jack Boyd and Mike Wagner should also see action. If this unit plays well and controls the line of scrimmage, the Scouts’ multi-dimensional offense will score points. “We should be pretty good. They are bigger and stronger than a year ago,” coach Chuck Spagnoli said.

Best playmaker: It won’t be long before defenses begin to key on senior running back Wes Janeck. One of the team’s strongest players, the 5-10, 190-pound Janeck possesses a low center of gravity and quick burst in small spaces. “Wes hits the hole and plows over guys and can cut. He’s more of a power back, good at cross hitting,” McArthur said. Janeck missed all of last season due to a health issue.

Best member of the secondary: Lake Forest rarely has players go both ways, but senior Virgil Young might be the exception this year. And while he will see snaps at wide receiver, his main job is in the secondary. Young, a varsity track athlete, should be the team’s best cover man and will provide much-needed run support. “Speed always helps, but physicality will be big for [the secondary],” senior linebacker Jack Traynor said.

Best season: In 2012, Lake Forest won three playoff games for the only time in school history. It lost 42-21 to Cary-Grove in the Class 6A semifinals.

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2013 record: 9-3 overall, 4-2 in NSC Lake

2013 playoffs: Lost 19-14 to Batavia in Class 6A quarterfinal

Head coach: Chuck Spagnoli, entering 12th season

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