The Lyons Township High School football team’s expectations have grown as big as formidable senior lineman Eddie Tuerk through four seasons as a varsity starter.

As a sophomore, the now 6-foot-4, 265-pound University of Illinois recruit helped the Lions make the playoffs for the first time since 2017. 

Last season, the Lions (9-3) reached the IHSA Class 8A state quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 before losing to eventual state champion Loyola Academy 30-17.

Eddie Tuerk

With Tuerk among 13 returning starters (7 offense, 6 defense), the Lions’ goals of their first West Suburban Conference Silver title since 2010 and deepest playoff run ever are within grasp.

The season begins Aug. 25 at Prospect.

“We’ve just had a lot of positive thoughts because we all know that we can be better this year. It’s just a lot of motivation,” Tuerk said.

Tuerk, senior quarterback Ryan Jackson and senior linebacker/wide receiver and Colgate commit Noah Pfafflin earned 2022 All-WSC Silver honors for the Lions, who were 4-2 for third in the Silver behind two state semifinalists – Silver champion York and Glenbard West. 

Jack McQueeney

Tuerk, Pfafflin, Jackson and senior wide receiver/safety Jack McQueeney are team captains.

“We were a very player-led team and our new seniors have really kind of stepped into that role and done a great job leading the offseason stuff,” said fourth-season LTHS coach Jon Beutjer. “All of that will pay off throughout the season.” 

Like last year, several LTHS standouts will excel on both sides of the ball. 

Tuerk will see even more snaps playing defensive and right offensive tackle. Senior Brady Chambers, who spelled Tuerk offensively, now is the starting left tackle. Junior center Cooper Komsthoeft also returns.

Ryan Jackson

Jackson had a breakout first season as a full-time starter, passing for 2,029 yards (162 for 243) with 26 touchdowns with three interceptions. Jackson also rushed for 5 touchdowns.

“I feel like I’ve progressed a lot,” Jackson said. “I do a better job with my pre-snap. I feel just I’m becoming smarter and my view of the game overall as well as my physical game.”  

Junior Travis Stamm (632 yards, 11 TDs on 43 catches) was last season’s top receiver. Pfafflin (153 yards, 15 catches, 3 TDs) and McQueeney (326 yards, 26 catches, TD) also were top targets. Fueling a new running attack are senior Dylan Rickman and juniors Danny Carroll and Christian Wojtulewicz.

Noah Pfafflin

As a defensive leader, Pfafflin is the top returnee in 2022 tackles (38, 7 for loss). Tuerk had 34 tackles with nine for loss.

Senior nose guard Kellan Knop and senior tackle Luke Wehling (20 tackles) also return for the defensive line. Moving into starting roles are Chambers and sophomore Roman Sosnovyy. 

The secondary has experience with return senior starting cornerbacks Caleb Greer (21 tackles) and Danny Montesano. Others to see action are senior linebackers Ian Gamino and Rickman and new senior safeties Jack Cheney and McQueeney as well as Stamm.

Senior Tommy Newcomb handles placekicking and kickoffs.