Super 25 football countdown: No 24 MinookaMinooka quarterback Joseph Carnagio (8) finds a hole vs Plainfield East in Minooka Friday September, 16, 2011. | Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 1, 2012 8:29PM
Some things won’t be the same this fall in Minooka.
The Indians have a new head coach in Paul Forsythe, an assistant the past nine years who was promoted when Bert Kooi retired after last season.
And there will be a new look on offense for a program that’s built its considerable success on running the ball behind a massive line.
“Last year we didn’t pass the ball too much at all,” said senior guard Blake King, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound Northwestern recruit who is back to anchor this year’s O-line. “We’re doing more passing than running [now].”
With quarterback Joe Carnagio and receivers Max Brozovich and Luke Stovall back as starters — Brozovich for his third varsity season — the move seems logical.
“That’s no secret,” Forsythe said. “We’ve always had the kids that are good in the running game. This year, more than ever, we’re good outside.”
And the hope is that will translate into continued success for the Indians, who have made three straight playoff appearances and are No. 24 in the Sun-Times’ preseason Super 25.
“Our goal is to win our conference,” Forysthe said. “That’s why we suit up.”
The Indians should have a pretty good idea early whether they have the makings of a playoff contender after opening the season with I-80 rival Morris and Catholic League Blue power Providence.
“Definitely, it tells us where we’re at [playing] two powerhouse teams right away,” King said.
Minooka could have softened its nonconference schedule, but Forsythe wants his team to be battle-tested from the get-go. “We’ve done those things because we feel we’re turning the corner,” he said. “We feel we can compete with those teams. We’re going to find out early what we’re working with.”
The Indians will be working without its featured back of recent seasons: two-sport star Kalvin Hill, who averaged 8.8 yards a carry, rushing for 1,403 yards and 21 touchdowns for last year’s 6-4 club.
But Carnagio returns after accounting for 1,145 rushing and passing yards and 11 TDs last year. Brozovich (6-3, 195), who is getting interest from Indiana and Northern Illinois among others, and Stovall look to be likely targets when the Indians go to the air.
John Klann and Max Turek also have experience on the line, while Cory Bee, sophomore Nathan Gunn and fullback Dan Colvin are options in the ground game.
On defense, returning starters include Chris Hise and Dan Ingram in the secondary and Jake Cosgrove and Mitch McCoy at linebacker. Junior Mark Geers, a 6-7 three-sport athlete, should be an imposing presence up front.
King believes the pieces are in place for another successful season. “We’re just trying to make it deeper into the playoffs,” he said. “We need to make a deeper run.”