The 2023-24 Herald Cup: No. 4 Barrington

Editor’s note: Now that the high school sports year is over, we devised a points system based on team state finishes to measure which of the 85 high schools from the Daily Herald circulation area had the best athletic year in 2023-24. Last week we announced the top five small schools. This week we’re unveiling the top large schools, one per day, starting with No. 5 on Monday through No. 1 on Friday.

Barrington may not have won an IHSA team state title during the last school year, but no one in the area had more success in as many sports.

The Broncos and Fillies finished fourth in the 2023-24 Herald Cup standings for large schools with 92 points that were calculated by weighing team finishes throughout the fall, winter and spring.

Barrington especially thrived in the fall and spring.

How they did it

The football team marched to a 12-0 record before falling to Lincoln-Way East in the Class 8A semifinals. It was the perfect cap to a brilliant fall.

The girls volleyball team finished fourth in 4A, while the girls cross country team took third in Class 3A. The boys and girls golf teams both placed fourth.

In the spring, the girls track and field team was seventh while the boys team was eighth. Boys tennis finished tied for eighth and the girls soccer team won a sectional title.

The boys swimming and diving team took 10th in the state.

Who made it happen

Typically an offensive player with big stats is named Daily Herald Cook County All-Area Football Team Captain, but Broncos defensive lineman Devan Van Ness earned the honor in the fall. Like his older brother Lucas, a first-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers, Devan will play at the University of Iowa.

Junior Scout Storms won the Class 3A girls cross country title, while freshman Mia Sirois was sixth. Storms also finished third in the 1600 meters during the state track meet and Sirois won the 3200.

In the boys state track meet, junior Joe Bregenzer was a state champion in the 3200.

Girls soccer player Roos Van Roekel not only was named Daily Herald All-Area Captain, she also earned state player of the year honors from the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association and was an All-American.

Last week Van Roekel was named the state’s Gatorade player of the year.

Key stats

Van Ness, who had 64 tackles as a defensive end, led the state with 16 sacks. He had three in the Maine South playoff game alone.

Senior volleyball player Jenna Meitzler, also an All-Area Captain, led her team to two third-place state finishes and a fourth. In the fall she played in every set for the Fillies and tallied 281 assists, 276 kills and 154 digs.

The girls soccer team won a 12th straight MSL Soccer Cup title as Van Roekel scored a team-high 18 goals.

Key fact

Barrington’s boys swimming team, which placed 10th in the state, scored its first top-10 finish since 2003 when the Broncos were fifth. Ryan Anselm, Lucas Bucaro and diver Krish Patel were among the many key members of the team.

They said it

“My dad always tells me before I play to ‘Be Jenna’ and it is something I will carry on to every aspect of my life.” — Meitzler on what motivates her every match.

“I thought I executed perfectly. Just got out smooth, felt the pace slow down a little bit, and then I just took it. Every time I race I keep surprising myself, doing better than I thought I could.” — Bregenzer, who finished ninth in the 3200 in 2023, after winning the event in May.

“With about 400 to go I made my move and I felt pretty good. We knew everybody had to put together our best race. Mia (Sirois) is amazing, and she pushes us all so much.” — Storms after Barrington finished third in the state cross country meet.

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