Fenwick football season preview

2014 schedule
Aug. 29 at Carmel 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 Bishop Lynch (Dallas)* 1 p.m.
Sept. 13 De La Salle 1 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Loyola 1 p.m.
Sept. 26 DePaul Prep# 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Marmion 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 St. Ignatius# 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Montini 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 St. Francis* 1 p.m.
* at Concordia
# at Morton West

Best game on the schedule: Fenwick at Montini, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17

After winning the Catholic White the past two seasons, Fenwick faces a difficult task this year. Fenwick will compete in the Catholic Green along with Montini, De La Salle, St. Francis and Marmion. Montini has reached the Class 5A state title game five years in a row. “Obviously, Montini is the team to beat,” Fenwick coach Gene Nudo said. “If everyone doesn’t feel that way they’re delusional. Chris [Andriano] is a great coach who has great student-athletes.”

Best-case scenario: Fenwick’s program has quickly made big strides under Nudo. The Friars finished 8-4 in his first season at the helm and followed that up with a 10-3 record, equalling the team’s highest win total since 2004. “Our goal is the same as last year,” third-year starting offensive tackle Chris Hawthorne said. “Ultimately we want to win our division and go downstate. If we want to do that we have to make all the plays, take advantage of every opportunity we get and put the work in.”

Best teammate: Senior corner back/wide receiver Aaron Garland can count on teammate Scott Stibich to lighten the mood during tense moments. He also knows the senior linebacker doesn’t take a play off. “Scott can make you laugh and he leads by example,” said Garland, a River Forest resident who has committed to Connecticut. “He’s one of those players that always goes all in and is not scared to lead and is always in front of the line. He’s always making plays and making big hits. We can always look to Scott and know he’s doing his job. He’s easy to follow and it’s fun playing with him.”

Best playmaker: Iowa recruit Jack Beneventi has a chance to make an immediate impact for the Friars after transferring from Benet. The 6-foot-6 senior quarterback was a two-year starter for the Redwings and passed for 3,700 yards and 27 TDs in the two seasons. “I expect Jack to have fun playing football,” Nudo said. “He has transitioned well with our kids; his upside for us is off the charts.”

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2013 record: 10-3 overall, 4-0 Catholic White

2013 playoffs: Lost 32-31 to Wheaton North in Class 7A second round

Head coach: Gene Nudo, entering third season

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