After earning a share of the Chicago Catholic League Green Division championship with Montini last season, the Fenwick football program entered the IHSA Class 7A state playoffs with high hopes, only to be dashed by Wheaton North 35-7.

Ending their 2017 season in disappointment, the Friars have made the most of the offseason.

Fenwick coach Gene Nudo has been working extensively with the incoming squad the last few weeks.

The Friars will have their hands full with a schedule featuring the likes of CCL Green rivals St. Ignatius, Mt. Carmel and De La Salle.

“I don’t know where there are any breathers in our schedule but we are certainly looking forward to the challenge,” Nudo said.

The Friars will look to make use of their burgeoning stars, including junior quarterback Danny Cronin. Last season, Cronin accounted for 12 touchdowns (9 passing, 3 rushing) and completed 53 percent of his passes. Cronin’s size, savvy, arm strength and athleticism make him a Division I prospect.

Fenwick also boasts a strong presence on special teams with all-conference kicker Brian Dowd. He made 6-of-8 field goals and went 30-for-30 on extra points in 2017.

Linebacker Max Forst (52 tackles, 4 for loss in 2017), cornerback Solomon Singleton (37 tackles, interception) and defensive lineman Konrad Skowyra are notable playmakers.

“Defensively, we’re going to get after people,” Nudo said. “We are going to send a lot of guys after the quarterback and force the issue on defense.”

On the other side of the ball, the Friars will run a multiple-set offense.

“We can run power football or throw it around,” Nudo said.

Since 2012, the Friars have won four CCL division titles and made it the Class 7A state semifinals (2016) and state quarterfinals (2014) under Nudo.

Accountability seems to be a key principle, along with Fenwick’s annual priority of winning conference. 

“Football is not an easy sport,” Nudo said. “We all feel we have the ability to win the conference. Now we just have to prove it.”

Scouting Report

Fenwick Friars at a glance

Head Coach: Gene Nudo (7th Season, 47-24 record)

Last Season: (7-5, 3-1 CCL Green); Lost to Wheaton North 35-7 in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs

Top Players: QB Danny Cronin, DB Solomon Singleton, LB/FB Max Forst, DL Konrad Skowrya, RB Mitch Lopez,  RB Thomas Mills,  OL Sean Carpenter, OL Emmett Bonaccorsi,  OL Jamie Moran, TE Marcus Wright, WR Jonas Capek

Outlook: Although the Friars are young, they have experience and talent back at several positions, notably quarterback with Cronin. Although the schedule is difficult, Fenwick has a reasonable shot at defending its division title.