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Prep Football Week 1 Check-Downs

Road tripping

Geneva fans headed south to Oswego for tonight’s season opener might encounter an atmosphere that reminds them of a typical Friday night at Burgess Field. 

“It’s a football town,” Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said of Oswego. “I’ve been playing them since I’ve been up here for 15 years so I know they’re a football town and intense about their football and kind of take pride in that.”

Remember when ...

Kaneland needed a dramatic rally to defeat Brooks last season, storming back from a 24-6 halftime deficit to win in Chicago, 25-24, in the Knights’ 2012 opener. Brooks quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw’s running ability hurt the Knights then, but Bradshaw won’t be back when the teams reconvene tonight in Maple Park.

“We’re kind of interested to see who they got [at quarterback] but that was something that hurt us last year,” Knights coach Tom Fedderly said.

Sleeper game of the week

Hampshire at Burlington Central. These two schools no longer share a conference but remain archrivals.

“Maybe sometimes the fans make more of that from their side or from our side,” Central coach Rich Crabel said. “For us, it’s Game 1. It’s a very important game. It’s a very important game for them. It’s close by, so there’s always a little bit of that rivalry edge there.”

Coaching spotlight

Wheaton Academy’s Brad Thornton, 28, will make his Warriors debut tonight when the Warriors visit Westminster (Mo.). Thornton, a former Wheaton College standout, was handed the reins on an interim basis.

“As a player, I never got nervous for any game, big or small, and right now I’m feeling fine,” Thornton said. “I’m not going to get nervous. Fortunately, I’m excited for it more than anything.”

Playoff watch

St. Charles North has not won a non-conference game since a 62-49 shootout win against McHenry in Week 2 of 2010. North’s hopes of ending a three-year playoff drought would receive a major boost with a better start this season, beginning tonight at Elk Grove.

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