Football: Bull’s-eye not so big on Maine South backs this summerWheaton Wednesday 07.13.11. Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti throws a pass against York during their Red Grange Classic 7 on 7 football tournament game on Wednesday at Wheaton Warrenville South High School. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
wheaton warrenville south
Wheaton Warrenville South
East St. Louis
Updated: July 23, 2012 6:38AM
For the second summer in a row, Matt Alviti will direct Maine South’s offense at the Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 tournament at Wheaton Warrenville South.
For the first time in three years, the Hawks won’t be coming off winning a state championship.
After losing in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs to snap the program’s run of three consecutive state titles, Maine South has much to prove this season.
“We want to go in there and show that Maine South still is a championship contender,” the 6-foot senior quarterback said. “We want to show we can still play in and win the big games.”
Montini and Bolingbrook are the two reigning state champions in the 16-team tournament, Wednesday at Red Grange Field. The Broncos won Class 5A, while the Raiders won Class 8A.
Alviti will be a third-year varsity starter this fall, and the quarterback feels like a veteran at this point.
“I am more comfortable this year than I have been in the past,” the Northwestern recruit said. “I will be a key leader on the team this year and will be asked to get the guys prepared for the season.”
Alviti is one of the few skill players returning on offense for the Hawks, who graduated receiver Jimmy Frankos and running back Paul Preston.
John Solari and Frank Perrone both are back at receiver and drew some experience last year. At 6-4, Solari is a big target with reliable hands. Perrone is a wild card in his first season as a primary ball-catcher.
“We have high expectations for Frank,” Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. “He runs great routes, and he has speed. He will continue to get better this summer.”
George Sajenko, Clay Burdelick, Mike Bosco and Zach Hinkamp are other players who will be catching passes this season. Burdelick, along with Anthony Mitchell, are teaming up in the backfield this summer.
“We got some talent out there,” Alviti said. “We have a lot of guys competing for spots, which is a good thing.”
Hinkamp is among the projects the Hawks hope works out. The rising senior is 6-6 and has provided glimpses of greatness.
“He has to prove he can do it with pads on,” Inserra said. “We have some athletic kids out there. The potential is there.”
The Hawks head to South Bend, Ind., this weekend for Notre Dame’s 7-on-7 camp.