Next year is here.
Benet's boys basketball team - loaded with promise for the future - proved there's no time like the present by claiming the program's first sectional championship since 1983.
They'd be lost without the senior contributions of players like Dylan Flood and Mike Runger, but the key to any success this year boiled down to the development of junior guards Dave Sobolewski and Matt Parisi along with 6-foot-10 junior Frank Kaminsky.
Sometimes you don't know what you'll get with juniors leading your team.
With Benet (26-3), we know.
After watching the Redwings' 68-54 win over Glenbard East in Friday's Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional final, we definitely know.
"That's a pretty nice junior backcourt," said Redwings coach Gene Heidkamp after watching Sobolewski score 32 points and Parisi add 19.
The guards controlled the game in other ways, too. Sobolewski was a wizard bringing the ball up against Glenbard East's pressure, and Parisi's defense helped limit Rams leading scorer Johnny Hill to 2 points.
Kaminsky also scored 2 points, but his play in the post again became a game-changer. He grabbed 9 rebounds, blocked 3 shots and altered many others.
We got a taste of what Sobolewski had to offer during his sophomore year up on varsity, but Parisi and Kaminsky were unknown quantities heading into this season.
You couldn't blame people for thinking the Redwings might be a year away.
Now here they sit: winners of the program's first sectional title in 27 years after claiming their first East Suburban Catholic Conference title since 1995.
"Before the season coach Heidkamp brought us some articles that said Benet's a year away from ESCC contention," Sobolewski said. "He was sure to tell us that we weren't a year away. We had to play for right now, and if we didn't play for now we'd never be as good as we would have wanted to be next year.
"We're just taking care of business day in and day out," he said.
After notching their 16th straight win, there's no questioning Benet's focus this season.
Sobolewski's averaging 29 points in the playoffs. while in back-to-back games Parisi's held East Aurora standout Ryan Boatright and Hill a combined 24 points below their season averages.
Right down the line - including the freshman and two juniors Benet brought off the bench on Friday - no one's looking past Tuesday's Hinsdale Central supersectional game against Simeon. Certainly not ahead to what should be a dynamite 2010-11 season.
There is no wait till next year.
It's all about wait till next game.
"We just focused on this year because that's all we have in our control right now," Parisi said. "We just dedicated ourselves to that, and it's paid off in the end."