Park Ridge football coach Gary Mioli heads into his 20th season at the helm of the Owls and is looking to bring his team back to the level that they are used too. Two seasons ago his team reached the state semi-finals but last year saw them dip to 2-8.
Mioli and his staff are working hard on attitude and effort just as much as skill development.
“I want to see us get our edge back,” he said going into this season.
The best way Mioli knows how to do that is by the effort his young men give. He is excited that this year team has a nice youthful bounce to the, and they will give the desired energy.
“I need these guys to give me their all on every play,” he said. “The best way for us to do that is to become more fundamentally sound.”
Mioli likes the experience he has at the skill positions on both sides of the ball. Offensively he likes his backfield and his wide outs.
“My strength are my skill kids; I had sophomore receivers last year who played a lot,” he said.
Even with those positives he still does have concerns on offense. He has to replace his quarterback Matt Misley from last year and four starters along the offensive line. In preseason practice the line has been of particular concern.
“We are trying to get the offensive line together and figure out who can play which positions,” said Mioli.
Just like his offense, Mioli has concerns along his defensive interior.
He has all three of his starting defensive backs returning and his two linebackers saw action last year.
“Defensively we have to replace our entire defensive line,” he said.
The other problem facing his team, like everyone this year, is the new opponents and schedule. Even a veteran like Mioli is going to be playing six teams he has never played before.
“Coming out of the box we won’t know much about some of the teams we play,” he commented. “It’s going to be a very different season”
Luis Cardoso, CB/FB
James Inn, TB/LB
Troy Manheimer, QB/LB
Steve Nagel, Captain OG/LB
Dan Ogulluk, Captain OL/DL
Dan von Bradsky, WR
By: KRIS DEBLASIO
PHOTO BY ROBERT S. PYTEL