Success isn't just about wins.
Sure, you play to win the game, but the friendships and life lessons that come from playing help shape these high schoolers as they head off to college and adulthood.
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There's no denying that Waubonsie Valley is struggling on the field. The Warriors cannot find consistent scoring, which has resulted in them dropping nine straight games. They haven't won since April 16.
"We haven't been playing well as a team, but we practice hard every day and hustle and play to the best of our ability," senior Nathan Klimek said. "We don't have the standout talent as we've had in year's past, but are busting our butts. Plus we're really close on and off the field so in that respect this has been almost a better season because we're all good friends."
Klimek and fellow senior Kyle Fortsch earned their Eagle Scout Award within the past year. The two have been friends since grade school and have found a way to balance a busy course load, lacrosse and their scout obligations.
Both players were responsible for completing extensive projects to achieve their Eagle Scout Award. Fortsch painted several rooms in the rectory of Our Lady of Mercy Church. Klimek built a fire pit and patio for Good Shepherd Church. Both are members of Troop 75 Naperville.
"I started in Cub Scouts and then was hesitant going into Boy Scouts," Fortsch said. "But I had so many friends there so I stuck with it and they kept me going. I'm glad I did."
Both players will play lacrosse in college. Fortsch is going to Illinois Wesleyan to study business administration while Klimek is heading to Trine University in Indiana where he hopes his studies ultimately lead to a job with the FBI.
For now though, they're hoping to surprise someone in the playoffs next week.
"Every game we've tried to work on something, whether it be ground balls, clears or running the offense," Klimek said. "We're trying to at least improve on one thing every single game."
It wasn't easy but Grayslake kept its winning streak alive on Monday with a 15-10 come-from-behind win over visiting Lake Forest.
The Knights trailed 9-6 heading into the final quarter but outscored the Scouts 9-1 during the final 12 minutes to win their 10th straight.
AJ Fish, Farhan Khan and Brendan Walker scored four goals apiece. Freddie Williams, Jack Mattea and Ben Smith also scored. Smith's goal was his first of the season. Fish and Mattea added three assists each. Fish now has surpassed 115 points on the season.
Strong play by long poles Ian Pearce, Jake Lamb and Shane Pech helped protect goalie Eric York and held the Scouts to just two second-half scores.
St. Viator scored a huge victory on Saturday, beating Glenbrook North 7-6 in overtime on Senior Day.
"Both teams had chances to win it, we just got one better chance I guess," St. Viator coach Bill Sanford said. "They've lost three games all by 1 goal, so I guess that means we are in good company any they're just a few goals from being the No. 1 seed."
The Lions, winners of 10 straight after thrashing Marian Catholic 20-4 on Monday, also won the first-ever official East Suburban Catholic Conference title. Unofficially, this would mark the school's seventh title in eight years.
The test against a strong team like Glenbrook North was needed as the Lions have had little trouble handling recent opponents, recording a 16-0 win over Barrington, a 19-7 decision against Glenbard West and a 17-2 thumping of Notre Dame in the past couple weeks.
"We are finally starting to adjust to the loss of our defensive leader, Jake Wosick (ACL in early April) and the offense is making good strides," Sanford said. "Our coaching staff has been looking for the juniors to step up a bit more and we are optimistic that is coming soon."
Dan O'Malley, Peter Trunk and Mike Julius are pacing the Lions while Chris Baur is working the crease and doing a lot of the little things well.
Apparently, Friday, May 17 is the night to battle with your crosstown rival.
After weather postponed the originally scheduled match-up between St. Charles North and St. Charles East, the teams scrambled to find a date and venue to best serve the contest. Finally, since Norris Stadium isn't available, the game will be played at East Side Sports Complex.
Grayslake Central and Grayslake North will lock up on Friday as well. Lastly, while the two public Wheaton schools aren't going head-to-head, Wheaton North will entertain Wheaton Academy.
The NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament began on May 11 and no team in the state is better represented than Stevenson.
Junior Matt Harris is playing for No. 1 seed Syracuse, which was scheduled to open against Bryant.
Jack Huber, attackman, and younger brother Max Huber, goalie, are playing for No. 13 Albany.
Redhawks slay Lincoln-Way:
On Monday, May 6 two of the top Class B teams met at Naperville's Nike Park as Naperville Central hosted undefeated Lincoln-Way co-op.
Naperville Central (12-1) pulled ahead 7-3 with a four-goal outburst in the third quarter before holding on for a 7-5 victory.
Drew Flanagan and Jake Johnson scored twice for the Redhawks, who also received goals from Adam Tayazime, Ryan Coakley and Scott LaPoe. Liam Coakley added 2 assists while Ryan Porter, Alex 'Chax' Denklau and Matt Breslin added 1 apiece.
"Lincoln-Way is the highest ranked B team that we play prior to playoffs, so it gave us a reality check on the competition," said Naperville Central coach Tim Hurst said. "The lines between A and B teams is a bit blurred among the top B teams. We need to bring our 'A' game every time we step onto the field."
Lincoln-Way's fast, finesse style of lacrosse made for an exciting contest, plus they played intelligently, committing no penalties.
"They schooled us on fastbreaks during he game," Hurst said. "They move the ball nicely and have the ability to slow down the offense to give the defense a break. They play smart and under control."
Lincoln-Way rebounded with a pair victories and is now 14-1.
The Redhawks carried the momentum of the victory to finish strong at the end of the week, edging Class A's St. Charles East, 11-10 on Thursday and then Class A's Wheaton Warrenville South, 10-9 in overtime on Saturday.
No. 1 for Bulldogs:
Batavia's transition from NILAX to IHSLA hasn't resulted in much success, but the Bulldogs did pick up their first victory of the season, edging Belvidere 6-5 on Apr. 30.
"It was great winning our first game of the year," Batavia coach Scott Salvati said. "Sometimes guys have to learn how 'not to lose' as much as 'how to win.' "
It would be an understatement to say senior attackman Max Jaeger led the offense as he was the offense, scoring all six goals, which was also a career-high. Junior midfielder Kevin Murphy added a career-best 7 groundballs and junior goalie Pat Collins was strong in goal, stopping 14-of-19 shots.
Most exciting team:
One could argue that the most exciting team to watch this spring in all of high school sports has been Glenbard West. The Hilltoppers aren't dominating everyone but they've played very well and had a 9-6 record through May 11.
What's made the Hilltoppers so exciting is the fact that most of their games go down to the wire. Nearly half (7) of their 15 games have been decided by a single goal and nearly one-third (4) of their games have been determined in overtime, including an early-season double overtime win against York.
York looked to be heading into the playoffs with a lot of momentum, but recently got sidetracked. The Dukes had won eight straight before getting beaten handily by Oak Park, 12-4, and then losing a heartbreaker 7-6 to Hinsdale Central last week.
The Dukes will finish their regular season on Saturday against Geneva. The Dukes beat the Vikings in a thriller last season to advance to the finals in the Class B playoffs.
No area teams played their way into the championship in last weekend's Cadet Challenge; no championship game was played either. Lockport and Notre Dame Prep advanced to the title game, but Notre Dame Prep could not play in the title contest due to prom.
Three area teams participated in the tournament, including host Marmion, which beat Belvidere, 6-2, but dropped an 8-5 decision to Notre Dame Prep and a 3-1 game to West Chicago.
Montini went 0-3, getting beat handily by Lane Tech and Minooka before falling short, 2-0, to West Chicago.
West Chicago also played Notre Dame and dropped a 4-3 decision.
More than just Obriecht:
Aurora University sophomore midfield Max Obriecht, a product of Naperville North, was named MLC (Midwest Lacrosse Conference) Offensive Player of the Year. Obriecht was also a First-Team All-Conference selection. He led the Spartans with 50 goals while dishing out 29 assists as the team posted a 15-3 record in the regular season. The team also made its first appearance in the NCAA Division III championship tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16.