Yet DeBoeuf retooled his offense to a no-huddle, quick-tempo spread look, and quarterback Adam Jayko and the receivers flourished. No one else talked about the Skyhawks making it back to the state championship game, but they did.
“When you start winning a bunch of games, the expectation is to follow up and be better the next year,” LoDolce said. “Expectations are changing, culture’s changing. People like to work hard, they feel motivated the past four or five years, starting from last year’s seniors.”
The playoff traditions at Prairie Ridge and C-G are long and rich. Johnsburg’s is relatively young, but growing. It started with former coach Mike Maloney, who is now at Marian, and has continued under DeBoeuf.
“The expectations for this program is to be a 4A power,” DeBoeuf said. “We want to compete for state championships. I’m sure next year people are going to say, ‘Well, they graduated everybody.’ We did the same thing last year, too. We know our kids are going to work their butts off.”
LoDolce expects a lot from his successors.
“Carry the torch,” he said. “I expect big things out of them. They expect the same things, too.”
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.