WWS Poised For Repeat Run To Championship

Wheaton Warrenville South won the Illinois Class 7A state football championship last November, defeating Glenbard West in two overtimes. The Tigers hope to repeat in 2010 as they boast at least three major college prospects in quarterback Reilly O'Toole, lineman Luke Luehrsen and tall tight end Jason Schuman.

Wheaton Warrenville South head coach Ron Muhitch has an embarrassment of riches. Leading his team for the second year in a row is 6'-4", 215 pound quarterback Reilly O'Toole.

"He's a strong multiple sport athlete, basketball and football," Muhitch relates. "One of his biggest strengths is he's a great accurate passer. His percentage throws are in the mid to high 60's. He can throw the deep ball. He's very calm.

"Probably the most telling story of the season, for our quarterbacks in particular, we didn't throw a pick until the quarterfinals. That might be a state record, in a lot of ways. College, maybe professionally. I think that's very unusual, when you think about how many times we throw the ball in a football game. Twenty to twenty-five on average.

"He's perfect with it in terms of decision-making. He can pull the ball down and run, he's got good wheels. He's a big kid, and he's getting bigger."

O'Toole attended an Illinois camp last summer and impressed. He said at the time he believed he could run but had to prove it to his coach to earn more playing time. He did.

"We had a running quarterback that was a senior in Mack Tracy. He was the epitome of a runner. We planned for that offense all summer. When Reilly came in, we didn't want to change the offense that much. But he ended up doing a lot more and showing us he could run the ball.

"He had some big runs in the '09 season. So I think he can scramble, he can get rid of the ball off the run, and I think he's a weapon with running the ball."

By the state championship game, O'Toole was the unquestioned starter. He might have been the hero in overtime had he not been injured during the game.

"We were going for a two-point play in the first overtime if he had been healthy. He had a high hamstring injury in his butt in the second quarter and limped the whole rest of the game.

"He was part of the run-pass option on the two-point play we wanted to use. It was predominately set up for him to run the ball. We just didn't put that kind of pressure on him."

Muhitch is understandably proud of his budding star.

"He's a great athlete, a great decision-maker, a great leader. Quiet, calm, and tough competitor. He has the ability to make all the throws."

Illinois hasn't offered yet, but they have his interest. Kansas is his family school, but they haven't offered yet either. Both may make that decision in the near future.

"He's getting his first official offer from ISU. They wanted to be the first in the books. He has interest in Kansas, he has interest in Illinois. He liked the Illinois coaches when he was down there.

"He was down there for a Junior Day. He liked the offensive coordinator and the quarterback coach. And Northwestern is after him. I wouldn't say they've offered him yet."

Offensive lineman Luke Luehrsen is just beginning to show what he can do.

"We have an interesting left guard who's a great athlete, Leuhrsen. He's 6'-5", 275. We're probably gonna move him from guard to tackle. But he's a candidate we've been trying to get on Illinois' radar as well."

Tight end Jason Schuman played little last year but made a big impression in the playoffs and may develop into a major college player.

"The other athlete we had at tight end tore his ACL in the second round of the playoffs," Muhitch remembers. "Jason stepped in and had some big catches in the quarters and semis, and then four in the finals."

Schuman combines quickness and good hands with outstanding height.

"He's another real good athlete, a triple sport athlete. He's a basketball player and a baseball pitcher. He's a good kid too.

"He's 6'-7", 220 pounds. He's slender, but I wish I was that slender. He's got room to grow. That kid just needs to stop being in three sports and be in the weight room. He's got great hands, good quickness, and good biomechanics catching the ball."

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