Dave Mohapp looked skyward and gazed.
It was neither a plane, nor bird. Nor a perfectly thrown bomb by one of his starting quarterback candidates.
But it was super, man.
"I was out of town on a vacation," Warren's football coach said. "I came back and the goal posts were up. I got goose bumps. I'm going, 'That looks like a stadium now.' "
The Blue Devils are scheduled to unveil their newly renovated O'Plaine Campus stadium for their Week 2 game against New Trier. The field will feature synthetic turf, including Warren-blue end zones.
"It's going to be really nice," said Mohapp, whose team opens on the road tonight against defending Class 8A state champ Maine South "It's going to be a nice thing for our school, and I think it's going to be very nice for our community. It's exciting watching that thing go up."
Mohapp is also excited about the prospects of watching his offense put the football up. As of last week, the Blue Devils had four players, including incumbent Bobby Boesch, vying for the starting job.
"We got four quarterbacks who I think are stronger players than what we played with last year, with Bobby Boesch being one of those guys," said Mohapp, whose 2010 Blue Devils went 6-4 and earned a fourth straight playoff berth and 11th in 12 years.
The QB competition includes senior Pat Kenney, who was the varsity's starter as a sophomore but chose not to come out last year in order to focus on baseball. Kenney's decision paid off with a baseball scholarship from Purdue. Mohapp said Kenney sent him a text message during the summer asking if he could return to the football team.
Juniors Adam Ruess and Kent Richter are also in the quarterback mix.
"There's really good competition," Mohapp said. "It's a little tough to practice because everyone needs turns. ... Those guys have made nice strides all summer long."
Boesch got better each week, Mohapp said, finishing the year with 666 passing yards.
"He's a good athlete," Mohapp said. "When you're moving him around, that's a good thing for us to be doing. He's a quarterback who throws well on the run."
With three-year all-area running back Tom Lindal (Elmhurst College) and leading rusher Nolan Sordyl (989 rushing yards last year) having graduated, the Blue Devils will look to run the ball with junior Devonte Wilcox, who was a late-season call-up last fall.
Senior wide receiver Mitch Munda, who caught 12 passes last year, returns for his third season on varsity. The offensive line returns Sean P. Kelly and Justin Zybinski.
All-area linebacker Matt Goad was expected to lead Warren's defense, but the senior transferred to Lake Forest Academy. Goad registered a team-leading 89½ tackles last season.
His departure means the Blue Devils' defense returns only three starters cornerback Billy Cressler, outside linebacker Anthony Garza and inside linebacker Matt Miller. The other linebackers include Will Russell, Danny Hicks and Eric Johnson. The Blue Devils graduated star linebacker Gary Eppinger (Robert Morris).
"It's a pretty nice group," Mohapp said. "They're pretty good runners. Matt Miller is sort of the quarterback of the whole thing. He's a very smart, very instinctive kid that get everyone lined up."
WR Connor Iwema
WR Kyle Gregory
OL Sean P. Kelly
OL Terrell Jones
C Sean E. Kelly
OL Justin Zybinski
QB Bobby Boesch
or QB Pat Kenney
RB Devonte Wilcox
RB Tyler Keith
WR Mitch Munda
DL Mike Perrin
DL Nick Orsolini
DL Gabe Butts
OLB Anthony Garza
ILB Danny Hicks
ILB Matt Miller
ILB Eric Johnson
OLB Will Russell
CB John Whitfield
FS Ryan Sweeney
CB Billy Cressler