Scouting the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers

Scouting the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers
by: Kevin Schmit – Daily Herald Newspaper Updated 8/22/2019 7:26 PM

Was last year the exception or the rule for Wheaton-Warrenville South’s football team?

The Tigers are out to prove it’s the latter.

After three straight 2-7 seasons they bounced back with double-digit victories and a trip to the Class 7A quarterfinals. While a surprise on the surface, the Tigers hope it signals a return to the program’s glory days.

We’ll find out soon enough. They open with four straight road games leading up to a showdown against defending DuKane Conference champion Batavia.

“It was a rebound year for us, one in which the schedule really played well for us,” coach Ron Muhitch said. “The kids, the coaches, the community, they started to believe.”

The question is whether or not the Tigers, specifically the defense, can come up with big plays in all phases again.

The Tigers had a plus-25 turnover ratio last season, but the bulk of the playmakers graduated. It’ll take some work getting an inexperienced secondary up to speed, something that might require running back Jake Arthurs spending time back there.

The first two levels of the defense should be solid. Michael Rogers and Will Cassin return at linebacker after combining for 116 tackles. Junior Tommy Barnett is another talented linebacker.

Arthurs led the team with 751 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns, while Prince Lankah added 278 yards. Junior quarterback Parker Brown had a great summer, and he’s got playmakers in receivers Matt Corcoran and Kaleb Clousing and all-DKC tight end Jason Haw.

And don’t forget about the third phase. Record-breaking kicker Jack Olsen, committed to Michigan State, made 22 field goals.

“Our margin of victory was very tight last year,” Muhitch said. “We’ll need all three phases again.”

One to watch: After four straight road games the Tigers open at home Week 5 against Batavia.

The breakdown

Coach: Ron Muhitch (18th year, 141-57).

2018 record: 10-2, 6-1, second in DuPage Valley Conference.

Top players: RB-DB Jake Arthurs, sr.; K-WR Jack Olsen, sr.; TE Jason Haw, sr.; LB Michael Rogers, sr.; LB Will Cassin, sr.; RB Prince Lankah, sr.; QB Parker Brown, jr.; LB Tommy Barnett, jr.; WR Matt Corcoran, jr.; WR Kaleb Clousing, jr.; DL Ben Berger, sr.; OL Pano Pitouli, sr.; OL Drake Jurcak, sr.

— Kevin Schmit