Here's the schedule for the 2013 Mustangs, who went a disappointing 4-5 in the regular season last year, missing the playoffs for the first time in I don't know how long (last year's records in parentheses):
Aug. 31 - Sept. 1 (I still don't know which) Marist (8-2) @ Soldier Field
Sept. 6 Danville (4-5)
The Vikings are returning Trent Sherfield at safety and Chris Collier at wide receiver.
Sept. 13 St. Laurence (1-8)
Sept. 20 @ Hales Franciscan (7-4)
Sept. 27 Mount Carmel (13-1)
Oct. 4 @ Providence (8-3)
Watch out for junior wide receiver Miles Boykin.
Oct. 11 St. Ignatius (3-7) @ the U. of C.
Oct. 18 @ Brother Rice (6-6)
Oct. 25 Loyola (11-2)
Do the Ramblers have any starters coming back?
I already wrote about St. Rita (and its Big Game against Mount Carmel) a few weeks ago. Suffice it to say that Mister:
...will be running behind the blocking of offensive guard Matt Byrne, who has interest from a number of schools. On defense, the Mustangs feature Eddie Randle at defensive end and the heavily -- heavily -- recruited Lamar Dawson at cornerback.
So how about that 2013 schedule? Well, I figure Marist, led by Notre Dame-bound Nic Weishar and junior Flynn Nagel at wide receiver, is a push, followed by three victories before the big Mount Carmel game (which I will miss). The Caravan is absolutely stacked with talent this year (for a change) so I'll put the Mustangs at 4-1 or 3-2 after Week Five.
Next is Providence, which is always a tough game (especially on the road), St. Ignatius, Brother Rice and finally Loyola at home. The Mustangs could conceivably go 2-2 during this stretch.
But I'm going to say that Tommy Mister is as good as his press clippings say and that he'll stay healthy this year. According to Pat Disabato of the Sun-Times, "Mister is ranked the 23rd-best athlete in the state and 44th in the nation by Rivals.com." That's good enough for me.
So I'll predict the Mustangs finish the regular season at 7-2 or 8-1, with losses to Mount Carmel and possibly Marist. That's a big improvement over last year and will make St. Rita one of the teams to watch this year in 7A.