By Brad Spencer
It won’t be like college football where many teams tend to schedule a weaker opponent to begin the season when the OPRF football team visits Carol Stream to take on Glenbard North on Friday night (7:30 p.m.). Or maybe it will be — with the Huskies being the weaker team.
No matter the designation, new head coach John Hoerster and his Huskies will have their hands full against the Panthers, who earned a spot on ESPNChicago’s Preseason Top 20 ranking at No. 17.
The Panthers went 8-2 last season, including 6-1 in a stocked DuPage Valley Conference that featured eventual Class 7A state champ Wheaton Warrenville South (14-0 last season), two strong Naperville schools and Wheaton North (8-3).
The Huskies will have to contain running back Phil Jackson if they have any chance at getting off to a positive start. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior rushed for just under 1,000 yards last season. He found the end zone nine times.
But Glenbard North’s inexperienced defense could have trouble with OPRF’s newly implemented option offense, to be led by senior QB John Phelan and feature rushers Jakari Cammon, Jack Picchiotti and others — there are 21 players listed as running backs on OPRF’s final varsity roster.
But in all likelihood the OPRF football program may have to wait for its new beginning to kick-off on a high note when they host Proviso East on Sept. 2 (6 p.m.). The Pirates did not win a game last season, while the Huskies celebrated two victories.
The weaker team designation already goes to Proviso East.