HUNTLEY – Huntley football coach Matt Zimolzak has not yet announced who his starting quarterback will be, but signs indicate the Red Raiders likely will open with junior Bruno Bosman running the offense.
Bosman and senior Patsy Ricciardi, a transfer from Marian Central, have competed for the job this summer. Bosman is getting more repetitions with the starting group in practice. Ricciardi also takes snaps with the first team, but is working at H-back, a position where he could be used as a receiver.
“It’s getting close,” Zimolzak said Monday after the Raiders’ first practice. “We have to have someone back there taking more of the snaps for timing and everything. There’s upside to both of them being back there. They’re both really, really smart football players. The great thing about Pat is he’s so diverse, we can use him at a lot of different spots. That’s what he offers. Bruno’s a quarterback, that’s what he does.”
Bosman played quarterback for Huntley’s junior varsity team last season; Ricciardi started for Marian’s varsity. Both are sons of quarterbacks. Joel Bosman played at Woodstock and then NCAA Division I Illinois State. Ron Ricciardi played quarterback in the Arena Football League as recently as 2012.
“Bruno’s getting most of the reps. I still get my fair share, but I’m playing H-back,” Patsy Ricciardi said. “It’s very similar to what I played at Marian my freshman and sophomore years. I’m looking to play quarterback, but if not, I’m out here to win football games and have fun with my friends.”
Ricciardi made such a favorable impression on his new teammates after transferring to Huntley in January that he was voted a team captain.
“I’ve known (Ricciardi) since he was a little kid, I’ve known his dad for a long, long time,” Zimolzak said. “(Patsy) has always been a ‘Yes, sir’ guy, someone who looks you in the eyes and is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. That’s what it’s all about. That says a lot about his character.”
Bosman had some advantage with knowledge of Huntley’s system that allows him to quickly pick up defensive reads. He backed up starter Chris Raffin last season.
“I feel like I took a big step this year,” Bosman said. “I’ve been quick on my throws, my arm’s stronger, I got my legs more flexible in the offseason. As a whole, I got better.”
Huntley finished last season 6-4 with a first-round loss to Maine South in the Class 8A playoffs. The Raiders, who host McHenry on Aug. 30 in the season opener, have made the playoffs for five straight seasons.
Zimolzak likes the way Bosman has been able to make fast decisions on where to throw. Bosman thanks his father, who is on Huntley’s coaching staff, for helping him grasp the mental game.
“I appreciate and recognize how helpful it is,” Bosman said. “He’s a great football mind. We butt heads every once in a while, but I take everything he says with high regard because he knows what he’s talking about. It’s made me completely better.”