The Pirates defense answered the bell time and time again in last season's opener on the road at Stevenson. Palatine forced four turnovers and made three red-zone stands to stave off the Patriots for a 28-20 victory.
And now the two high school heavyweights will shift venues for this year's season opener at Chic Anderson Stadium in Palatine on Friday, Aug. 25th, at 7:30p.m.
The Pirates will have to adjust to life without former phenom quarterback, Zach Oles, who is now at Butler. But Palatine should be in good hands with Oles' heir apparent, senior D.J. Angelaccio, taking over under center. Angelaccio played brilliantly in relief of Oles when he went down with a season- ending injury in the Class 8A playoffs last year. And you can expect more of the same from the signal caller this season
Angelaccio will be working with a new, but familiar face as the Pirates promoted its former offensive line coach, Corey Olson, to the head coaching position when Rick Splitt decided to step down after a stellar 12-1 finish to last season.
On defense, the Pirates will be anchored by returning standouts, senior middle linebacker, Cortez Hogans (NIU Commit), senior defensive end, Bryant Smith, and senior cornerback/wide receiver, Johnny O'Shea (3 ints last year vs Stevenson) as it seeks to win the Mid-Suburban West Conference for a fourth consecutive year.
That trio should cause fits for Stevenson - a team that has made the playoffs a staggering 29 years in a row - all night long in what figures to be one of the best games of the weekend.