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Chicago school aims for state football title Nov 28, 2014 5:31 AM
Unlike some resource-rich powerhouses that typically vie for Illinois' high school football championships, the Phillips Academy Wildcats must lug their helmets and pads nearly a mile to a South Side Chicago city park to practice. They have no field of their own. A former gang member-turned-star safety sleeps at the assistant coach's house because he and six other teammates fit the school system's technical definition of homeless.
Scouting the Class 5A football championship game Nov 28, 2014 5:17 PM
Montini will try to avenge last year's defeat to Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin in a rematch of the Class 5A championship game.
Football: Scouting the Class 7A championship game Nov 28, 2014 7:55 PM
Class 7A state championship Cary-Grove (13-0) vs. Providence (12-1)When/where: Saturday at 4 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, Champaign Television: Comcast SportsNet Chicago How they got here: Cary-Grove defeated Niles North 52-14, St. Charles North 35-14, Geneva 44-26 and Libertyville 41-7; Providence defeated Quincy 45-8, St. Rita 34-3, Wheaton Warrenville South 23-6 and Mt. Carmel 42-21. Last meeting: Cary-Grove defeated Providence 34-17 to win the 2009 Class 6A state title State championship game history: Cary-Grove is 1-2 in state championship games. The Trojans won the Class 6A title in 2009. They finished runner-up in Class 7A in 2004 and Class 6A in 2012; Providence is 9-3 in state championship games. The Celtics won nine state titles between 1984 and 2004. They finished state runner-up three times, most recently in 2009. Outlook: The top seeds on either side of the Class 7A bracket clash in a meeting of antithetical powerhouses. Ranked 1-2 in 7A most of the season by the Associated Press, the Trojans and Celtics approach football from opposite ends of the offensive spectrum. The Providence spread offense aims to put its top athletes in position to win individual matchups, whereas the Cary-Grove triple option gains yardage methodically until defensive breakdowns lead to big plays. The Celtics have gained 3,287 of their 4,901 total yards through the air (67 percent), led by 5-foot-10 quarterback Justin Hunniford. The senior has completed 228 of 333 passes (68.7 percent) for 3,119 yards and 40 touchdowns. His top receivers are 6-foot-4, Notre Dame recruit Miles Boykin (62 rec., 987 yards, 19 TD), 6-5 Iowa-bound tight end Nick Vejvoda (39 rec., 583 yards, 8 TD) and 6-1 junior Mike Markasovic (38 rec., 544 yards, 2 TD). Sophomore running back Richie Warfield (138 carries, 709 yards, 9 TD) runs behind a line that averages 6-3, 266 pounds, led by senior left tackle Nick Barker (6-3, 315). “Explosive,” is how Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg described the Providence offense. “They have big-play potential at any time. The quarterback is extremely accurate. He’s a great leader. I’m very impressed with how he carries himself. He’s obviously the leader of their team. They really mix it up as far as who they are throwing to. It’s not like Boykin is the only guy catching the ball. The guy that gets overlooked is (Vejvoda). He’s another guy who causes matchup problems and is a real good receiver.” Cary-Grove’s defense is led by 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior lineman Michael Gomez (30.5 tackles, 5 sacks, 45. TFL) and senior safeties Matt Sutherland (57.5 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 int..) and Larkin Hanselmann (43 tackles, 5 int.). The Trojan defense enters this game with 24 interceptions. A key to the game will be if Cary-Grove’s defense can rush and confuse the hard-to-rattle Hunniford, who has thrown only 3 interceptions. Cary-Grove’s offense is keyed by arguably the best line in the state: four-year starter Gomez, Notre Dame-committed senior tackle Trevor Ruhland (6-4, 280), senior center Scotty Topole (6-5, 240) and juniors Peter Bardgett (6-0, 235) and Owen Henriques (6-0, 190). “I’m very impressed. That’s one of the best offensive lines I’ve seen in a long time,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. “They’re physical and, obviously, very well coached. They run everything so well. It’s going to be quite a challenge to even slow them down a bit. We have to get off blocks. I think that’s Cary-Grove’s strength, the way they stay on blocks. We have to control our gaps, stick with our option responsibilities, stay low and get off blocks.” The Cary-Grove rushing game averages 7.4 yards per carry, led by sophomore Tyler Pennington. The fullback has rushed for 1,653 yards and 33 touchdowns in 235 attempts (7.0 avg.). Quarterback Jason Gregoire has thrown for 720 yards and 9 touchdowns and rushed for 715 yards and 10 scores. The Providence defense is led by 6-foot-2, 190-pound defensive end Luis Vasquez, an undersized but relentless pass rusher Seaburg compares to Emerson Kersten, who started at end for the Trojans in the 2012 title game. Active linebackers Jimmy Sharkey (5-11, 205) and Brendan O’Hara (6-2, 225) help the Celtics limit opposing rushers to 2.8 yards per carry. O’Hara is the second cousin of Cary-Grove’s Hanselmann. Providence played 7 playoff teams in the regular season and defeated 6 of them. Cary-Grove beat the 3 playoff teams it faced during the regular campaign. “I think it’s an advantage for us that we’ve played good competition every week,” said Coglianese, whose team tied Brother Rice for the Chicago Catholic League Blue title. “Because of that you also get a little more banged up because you have to play all four quarters. That’s good for experience, bad because we’ve had some injuries. Their side only played a half in a lot of games. What’s better, to be more rested or battle tested? We’ll find out.” Winning the state championship has been Cary-Grove’s singular goal since the 2013 season concluded. To bring home the program’s second title the Trojans must defeat Class 7A’s other top seed. “I think it’s exciting for both teams,” Seaburg said of the marquee matchup. “I think we’re going to see who the best team certainly in 7A is and perhaps the state of Illinois. What more could you ask for? For our kids, we feel like we’re the best team in the state of Illinois. But if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Certainly, Providence appears to be all that. They’re a good football team. We’re real excited.” Worth mentioning: One of Providence’s assistant coaches is former St. Edward head coach John Pergi. In his coaching infancy, Pergi led the Green Wave to their first state playoff berth in 1983.
Fremd battles past Elk Grove for Fenton title Nov 28, 2014 8:48 PM
Fremd’s boys basketball team wrapped up its second consecutive Chuck Mitchell Thanksgiving basketball tournament championship at Fenton by stopping Elk Grove 45-40 in the 29th-year of the event Friday afternoon. The Vikings (4-0), who have now won 32 of their last 33 games, did it with clutch shooting and defense.
Defensive focus helps St. Viator stop Highland Park Nov 28, 2014 8:34 PM
Despite its lofty record a year ago, St. Viator’s boys basketball team struggled throughout the season on the defensive end. This season, without quite the same offensive firepower as a year ago, St. Viator and new coach Quin Hayes have emphasized the importance of defense. And their lesson has seem to taken hold as the Lions held Highland Park scoreless for over 10 minutes in the first half and came up with a huge stop at the end as the Lions held off the Giants 48-46 Friday in Arlington Heights.
Hungry for victory, Libertyville handles Alcott Nov 28, 2014 6:35 PM
Just a day after the Thanksgiving holiday, Libertyville’s boys basketball team had to get rid of that leftover sensation. No, not so much the one from all the feasting Thursday, but rather that lingering feeling following a loss to Maine South on Wednesday night. Coach Scott Bogumil decided to get his boys into the gym Friday morning for a shootaround. “Coming off Thanksgiving, it’s always a little tough to get them going,” Bogumil said. “(Maine South) was a tough game and we were a little down from that. We did shoot around for about an hour, to get the turkey out of them. I think it definitely helped and we got a sweat going.” It turned out that Laibertyville didn’t break much of a sweat in a 77-36 victory over Alcott at the Maine West Tournament in Des Plaines on Friday afternoon.
Grant, Prospect follow the leaders at Barrington Nov 28, 2014 9:04 PM
The wrestling teams from Grant and Prospect were within striking distance of tourney-leading Yorkville as the first day of the 24th Moore-Prettyman Invitational came to an Friday night in Barrington. The North Suburban Conference favorite Bulldogs are currently sitting 1 point ahead of Prospect (92.5-91.50) in fourth place — 17.5 points behind Yorkville (110.00) and also trailing Lyons Township (108) and Lincoln-Way Central (94). The action resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday with third-round consolation matches, followed by semifinals on the Barrington Fieldhouse floor.
Rockford Jefferson hands Burlington C. its first loss Nov 28, 2014 8:44 PM
In winning its first two games at the 52nd annual Leland Strombom Thanksgiving Tournament in Sycamore, the Burlington Central boys basketball team was able to dictate the tempo. Not on Friday, though. The tempo and the win belonged to Rockford Jefferson, which handed the Rockets a 51-40 loss to advance to Saturday’s championship game.
St. Patrick turns back Hersey Nov 28, 2014 9:33 PM
Last year, St. Patrick and Hersey met for third place at the second annual Kurland/Schnurr Thankgiving tournament at Niles West, with the Shamrocks winning. Both teams have since upgraded, and this year the two storied programs met for the championship Saturday afternoon. It was deja vu all over again as St. Patrick tamed the Huskies 59-39.
Falish fine from the field in Warren win Nov 28, 2014 9:50 PM
A middle infielder in baseball, Warren senior Jake Falish has surely made deeper throws. Double-teamed and seemingly pinned by Lakes’ bench in the closing seconds of the opening half Friday night, the 5-foot-10 guard heaved a shot from beyond the arc. It bounced high on the rim twice, before staying out of the basket as the buzzer sounded. “The way I was shooting,” Falish said, “I thought that was going to go in.” Most of everything Falish fired up found the bottom of the net. He scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, as Warren pulled away for a 54-37 win in fourth-round action of Mundelein’s Thanksgiving tournament.
Hot-shooting Palatine makes Molitor title game Nov 28, 2014 9:25 PM
Can Palatine possibly keep this up, shooting 10-of-11 on 3-pointers and 80 percent overall from the floor? Probably not, but even a taste of that kind of efficiency will go long way for the Pirates’ varsity boys basketball team, which used Friday night’s 60-45 victory over York to move into today’s championship game of the Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Classic it is hosting.
Big guys take over in Larkin’s win over Belvidere Nov 28, 2014 7:55 PM
Larkin struggled offensively against Belvidere for 16 minutes. Then the Royals’ big men took over. Daniel McFadden scored 10 of his game-high 14 points in the second half and Christian Negron added 13 points as the Royals downed the Bucs, 54-36, in the 205 Tip-Off Classic at Rockford East Friday.
Football: Scouting Stevenson vs. Homewood-Flossmoor Nov 28, 2014 6:45 PM
Previewing Saturday night's Class 8A football state championship game featuring Stevenson against Homewood-Flossmoor in Champaign. Th teams met in Week 2 of the regular season, with the Patriots earning a 33-24 victory on the road.
Boys basketball: Fox Valley roundup Wednesday, Nov. 26 Nov 26, 2014 11:13 PM
Boys basketball: Fox Valley roundup Wednesday, Nov. 26
St. Charles East improves in win over Schaumburg Nov 26, 2014 10:58 PM
A strong start was just enough for St. Charles East’s basketball team Wednesday night. Building an 18-5 lead over Schaumburg (0-2) after the first quarter, the Saints (2-0) were still holding on to a double-digit lead with less than 2 minutes remaining when things began to get interesting.
Palatine powers past Richards Nov 26, 2014 11:06 PM
Palatine improved to 2-0 by handling Richards 73-32 on Wednesday in the Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Classic hosted by the Pirates. R.J. Smith (12 points) and Mikey Williams (10 points) led a balanced effort for Palatine, which took control with a 23-point second quarter and led 40-16 by the half.
Grayslake N. outpaces Johnsburg Nov 26, 2014 10:15 PM
Grayslake North tried unsuccessfully to beat Johnsburg’s zone defense with long-range shooting early in Wednesday night’s second-round game of the Richmond-Burton/Johnsburg Boys Varsity Basketball Tournament. So, the Knights came up with different plans of attack. They picked up the pace to get the lead in the second half and then patiently slowed it in the fourth quarter to hold on for a 48-45 victory in Johnsburg.
Metea Valley overcomes slow start, St. Charles North Nov 26, 2014 10:27 PM
Metea Valley couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start in its second-round tilt with St. Charles North Wednesday at the Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament at St. Charles East.
Fast-starting Wheaton North wins at Hoffman Estates Nov 26, 2014 10:27 PM
Wheaton North used a fast start to roll past Hoffman Estates 55-44 to claim the title in the inaugural Hawk Thanksgiving tournament in Hoffman Estates on Wednesday. Wheaton North scored the game’s first 11 points. The Falcons (2-0) forced 3 turrnovers while their man-to-man defense kept Hoffman away from the basket as the Hawks missed their first 5 shots.
Antioch handles Woodstock North Nov 26, 2014 10:41 PM
Jason Mrkonich and Weston Fox each scored 14 points, as Antioch’s boys basketball team defeated Woodstock North 68-49 at Woodstock on Wednesday night.
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- Video gambling's spread raising cash, eyebrows
- A Democrat's letter to Bruce Rauner
- Lindenhurst man killed in crash
- Elgin man robbed in his home
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- Hundreds rally around Burlington teen, family
- Woman: Des Plaines cops stun-gunned me 12 times
- Black Friday shopping traditions go on with fewer crowds
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