Naperville North Football 2021 Season Preview

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Naperville North football has a returning quarterback, a pair of dynamite brothers and a ton of leadership, so what’s not to like about the Huskies?

Three games, that’s all the Huskies had a chance to play this spring in the abbreviated season. But consider this – after losing their first contest, Naperville North won their next two. That, my friend, is called momentum.

Matt Pasteris: We’re super confident. I mean, the coaches keep telling us through our summer camp: we look good this year, this is one of the better teams he has coached. I think we have a lot of confidence and if we’re able to put what we have on the field week 1, we’re going to be in a really good position.

Matt Pasteris is one of the senior leaders that highlight a talented and potentially explosive offense. Aiden Gray is back under center, a huge piece of the puzzle – and a guy with a huge arm.

Matt Pasteris: Aiden Gray, Luke Williams, he can basically throw it up to him in any situation and he’ll come down with it. Ethan Roberts, he’s a cannonball, really. We have Danny Eloe behind him, he’s really really fast – so if we get him out to the edge, he’s gone, basically every play.

An indication of the potential this Huskies offense has? Look no further than their week 6 win against DeKalb. 21 unanswered to close the game.

Of course, for any team to find sustained success, the defense needs to play an integral part as well. So how does North look on that side?

Eric Allen: I think Julian Sampson’s going to be a playmaker. David Jones, Zeke and Luke Williams. I think we’re going to have some pretty good players.

Eric Allen and Andrew Dawson are the two veteran leaders in the heart of a fairly young defense. The good news? They may be relatively inexperienced – but the short turnaround from one season to the next means a lot of guys never turned off football mode.

Eric Allen: I think our juniors right now and even some sophomores that have been moved up to Varsity have been playing really well. They’ve seemed like they haven’t had much hesitation, but maybe a little at the beginning. I think they have really pushed past that and becoming a part of this team.

And it’s that sense of unity that is giving Dawson confidence in what the Huskies can do. It is their identity according to the senior.

Andrew Dawson: I say loyalty. Last year going into this year, with all the COVID and everything you got to go through, you got to sacrifice your time and your effort and 100% of your effort cause if you’re out here just messing around, you’re not going to get any better. So, sacrifice and loyalty.

So with Zeke and Luke Williams playing on both sides of the ball, Aiden Gray leading the offense, and a pair of seniors leading the defense, this North team has hopes. Not just of winning the DVC… but something much bigger.

Eric Allen: Every single day after practice we break it down with state champs so we’re hoping for that.

And Naperville North Football will get a chance to go out and show it right off the bat. Benet Academy presents a problem as a road date to open up. And then break out the red sharpie… October 1… I mean, come on, the cross-town classic. It ought to be good.

And if the Huskies can earn a few wins to start the year – they may just be rolling into that game with a bit of magic called momentum.

For more prep sports content, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!