Bobby Inserra has grown up on the Maine South sideline, handing out water bottles and watching his dad coach the Hawks.
Last season Bobby joined the varsity himself. He played all over the field: defensive back, wide receiver, special teams. He even threw a halfback pass for a touchdown.
This year he’s going to be a featured, key member of the team. It’s a season father and son have been looking forward to for a long time.
“[Dad] probably isn’t going to say it, but I think this season is special for both of us,” Bobby Inserra said. “It’s definitely important to him that we go far.”
“It is more special to me having Bobby with us,” Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. “We have a great relationship. I’m very proud of him. This is fun.”
Bobby Inserra played quarterback on Maine South’s lower levels.
“For most coaches their biggest worry is getting to see their son play,” Dave Inserra said. “I get to see every game. Prior to this I only coached him once, a baseball team in fourth grade. I knew he’d see enough of me when he got to Maine South.
“I trusted the other coaches to do their job and stayed out of the way. All his youth coaches have done a great job. It’s just fun to be able to share the entire experience together now.”
Senior Cole Dow and Inserra will likely split time at quarterback this season.
“It’s still up in the air a little bit,” Dave Inserra said. “Cole can really throw, he has taken his job seriously and has developed. Bobby is multi-faceted, he can do a lot for us so we keep looking at that aspect.”
Junior lineman Peter Skoronski, a major talent with offers from more than a dozen schools, is going to play both ways this season. His grandfather, Bob Skoronski, played for Vince Lombardi and is in the Packers Hall of Fame.
“He’s a tremendous kid, one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had,” Dave Inserra said. “He’s going to help us more on the field than he is standing on the sideline watching.”
Danny Wolf and Jimmy Bartell will step in at running back for Fotis Kokosioulis, the school’s career rushing leader who is now at NIU.
“They are extremely tough,” Inserra said. “They don’t shake and bake too much but that first contact isn’t going to bring them down most times. They are reliable, they are the kids you want playing for you.”
The defense returns nine starters, including linebackers Wolf and Bartell, safety Ryan Kilburg and cornerback Brian Barry. Wolf has been impressed with two of his teammates at practice.
“Luke Preston played defensive line last year, he’s playing inside linebacker this season and is just a freak athlete,” Wolf said. “Michael Velazquez, a safety, is a track star and I think he’s going to be special.”
Wolf says that having Bobby Inserra’s experience is key.
“It’s very cool,” Wolf said. “He’s been the water boy here for like 10 or 15 years. He knows the program so well and knows the standard we have to be at since he was around so many teams that won state.”
The standard is high: state title or bust.
“It’s pressure but we put it on ourselves,” Wolf said. “We’ve adjusted to the standards that have been set. Last year we made the semis, that is a pretty good year but everyone was so pissed off because we didn’t win state.”
MAINE SOUTH SCHEDULE
Aug. 24 vs. Glenbard West
Aug. 31 vs. Mount Carmel at Gately
Sept. 7 vs. Barrington
Sept. 14 at Conant
Sept. 21 at Evanston
Sept. 28 vs. Niles North
Oct. 5 at Glenbrook South
Oct. 12 vs. New Trier
Oct. 19 vs. Niles West
This is the eighth story in the Sun-Times 2018 Football Countdown series. The Top Ten receivers will be revealed Saturday.
More football stories:
- High-flying offense has No. 5 Marist thinking about a state title
- No. 6 Batavia is loose, loaded and ready to defend 7A title
- No. 10 Lake Zurich moves on from title game heartbreak, reloads
- Explosive Tyquan Cox ready to carry the load for No. 9 Glenbard West
- No. 7 Nazareth isn’t too young anymore, just talented and experienced
- No. 8 Homewood-Flossmoor raises its defensive standards
Want the latest info and analysis on high school football? Our preps team of Michael O’Brien, Beth Long and Annie Costabile will share all the latest news, insights and Super 25 football rankings in a new livestream show called “Sun-Times Game Week.” Our next preview show is Aug. 20 at 4:30 p.m., then the regular season livestream show will be every Monday at 6:30 p.m. starting August 27. Like and follow our high school sports Facebook page to watch the show on FACEBOOK LIVE. You can also ask questions using the hashtag #SunTimesGameWeek.Tags: 2018 football preview, Maine South