Scouting DuPage County Boys Volleyball
Top teams: Wheaton Warrenville South, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Glenbard East, Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, Lake Park, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley, St. Francis.
Top players: Addison Trail: Ryan Merkel, MH, sr., Armin Trgo, OH jr. Benet: Luke Ladowski, OH, so.; Dan Nesnidal, MH, sr.; Downers Grove North: Bill Fox, OH, sr., Greg Petty, OH, jr., John Walgamuth, L, sr.; Downers Grove South: Buddy Steinhaus, OH, jr.; Phil Szuck, S, sr.; Glenbard East: Andrew Achenbaugh, OH, sr.; Peter Wingard, DS, sr.; Glenbard West: Adam Lepold, MH, jr.; Kevin McGinnis, L/S, jr.; Hinsdale Central: Graham McIlvaine, S/OH, sr., Ryan Vozenilek, OH, sr.; Hinsdale South: Justin Hart, OH, sr. Lake Park: Mike Kreiser, OH, sr.; Matej Mitev, MH, sr. Pat Proctor, OH, sr.; Naperville Central: Ales Povejsil, OH, sr., Ryan Thill, MH, sr.; Alex Whipple, OH, sr.; Naperville North: Ray Birtcher, MH, sr.; Sam Wilson, OH, sr.; Shane Witmer, OH, jr.; Neuqua Valley: Johnathan Rychly, OH, sr., Jon Storm, OH, jr. St. Francis: Thomas Culligan, L, sr. Steven Howe, MH, sr.;: Joe Mordell, OH, sr.; Mark Roberts, S, sr.; Waubonsie Valley: John Ghassan, MH, sr., Russell Penicook, OH, sr.; Wheaton North: Luke Fulton, OH, sr.; Wheaton Warrenville South: Bodie Ebergeny, OH, sr.; Eric Luhrsen, OH, jr., Eric Wilkins, S, sr., Matt Wilkins, OP, sr.; Willowbrook: Eric McCarthy L/DS, jr.
Outlook: Wheaton Warrenville South has won the past three Illinois championship and six in the past decade, but the Tigers graduated five players who were instrumental in their success the past three years. So which team is one of the two or three favorites for this year's state crown? Why Wheaton Warrenville South, of course. Coach Bill Schreier is building this year's team around the four veterans listed above, and they'll be joined by a group that won the DuPage Valley Conference JV championship, including several who were named high school All-America during the club season. "We've learned to win in various situations," Schreier said. "And our players have gained valuable experience in the off-season. This is a team that expects, once again, to be a state power."
The Tigers won the DVC outright last year, and the three teams that tied for second place, Glenbard East, Naperville Central and Naperville North, are hoping to narrow or eliminate the gap. The Rams also lost heavily to graduation and like WW South, the program is solid enough to sustain those heavy losses. Naperville Central has almost everyone back, but setter Victor Lei, who will be succeeded by his younger and taller brother, Albert. Naperville North suffered through some growing pains last year, but those young players are veterans now and eager to show first-year coach Nate Bornancin why the Huskies are being rated so highly in the preseason polls. …