The Broncos quest for a state title was derailed late last season by a rash of injuries to the offensive line and fleet-footed quarterback, Raymond Niro III. Niro, who rushed for over 1,400 yards last year behind a stellar front line, attempted to play on a broken ankle when Barrington faced Maine South in the second round of the Class 8A playoffs but, despite a valiant effort, Niro was forced to watch most of the game from the sidelines.
But now the ankle appears healthy and Niro returns for his senior season with some unfinished business to tend to - mainly bringing a state title home to Bronco Nation. Barrington will attempt to make its fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs behind Niro and Co. under the guidance of the program's winningest coach, Joe Sanchez.
And the first obstacle in Barrington's way will be Warren Township when the Broncos host the Blue Devils under the lights at Celebrate Life Field on Friday, Aug. 25th, at 7:30.
The Blue Devils started slowly out of the gate in 2016, going 1-4 before winning its next 3 games to get to .500, but a 47-6 drubbing by the hands of North Suburban powerhouse, Stevenson, snuffed out any chance for a postseason bid. Warren had reached the playoffs four straight seasons prior to last year.
Warren hopes the return of senior wide receiver, Micah Jones, a Notre Dame commit, will spark the offense early and often and get the team off on the right foot.
At 6'5, 205 pounds, it will be a tall order for the Broncos to slow Jones down, but with senior ballhawking cornerback Alec Andrea patrolling the secondary, Barrington looks like it should be able to limit the damage done by the future Golden Domer and start the season off with a victory in front of its home crowd.