It might have looked as if BG 11 of Angotti on the field since he played cornerback, safety, slot receiver, tailback and wildcat quarterback and returned punts and kicks. Angotti had 663 yards and 10 TDs rushing and receiving and returned 2 kickoffs for TDs. "Every time we were drawing up and designing things, John was always a guy we were looking to put in," said coach Jim Farrell.
Bobbit went from catching passes to successfully completing 65 percent of them for 1,371 yards and 12 TDs with only 4 INTs. The junior rushed for 359 yards and 8 TDs despite missing nearly three full games with an injured shoulder. "He stepped up as a leader on the field and I think the sky is the limit for the kid," said coach Tyler Donnelly. "His arm and vision are unbelievable."
The Prospect junior makes big things happen whether it's in football or baseball. This fall he started primarily as a receiver and caught 25 passes for 809 yards and 9 TDs and then emerged as the primary running threat with 1,066 yards at a 10.2 average per carry and 14 TDs. "He's just an impressive kid and he has all the tools to play at the next level," said coach Brent Pearlman.
>An average of 9.8 yards a carry meant big things were usually brewing when Brewer touched the ball as the Saxons made their third playoff trip in four years. The senior finished with 953 yards and 15 TDs - four on consecutive fourth-quarter carries in a comeback win over Wheeling. "That's almost unheard of," said coach Mark Stilling. "He stepped up at pivotal times for us."
Buscarini's passion showed whether it was late in a big game or during a pregame walk-through. It was also evident in his play as the junior linebacker had 86 tackles and 4 sacks while also starting on the offensive line. "He was a true (defensive) tempo-setter," said coach Doug Millsaps. "He just plays with a high level of enthusiasm and that separates him from a lot of guys."
Offensive linemen got a little edgy when they saw the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Cascella on the edge of Leyden's defense. The senior finished with 22 sacks and also blocked 4 punts. "He was unblockable this year," said coach Tom Cerasani. "He just ran by people all night and his motor never stopped. He was a playmaker and he mad the defense really good."
Coen went from missing most of his junior year with a shoulder injury to making big things happen as a receiver with 40 catches for 661 yards and 4 TDs and in the secondary with 5 interceptions. "A tremendously courageous player," coach Brent Pearlman said of his extensive rehab and early return. "The further the season went along the more plays he was making."
Garoppolo became a big-time threat and Division I prospect in his second year as a starting varsity quarterback. The senior put it all together to complete 56 percent of his passes for 1,888 yards and 16 TDs and rush for 563 yards and 7 TDs for the Mid-Suburban East champs. "We've had some good quarterbacks throughout the years here and I think Jimmy is the best we've ever had," said coach Doug Millsaps.
Josif was a key part of the first line of another of Fremd's top-notch defensive units. The senior captain finished with 58 tackles, 9 tackles for losses and 4 sacks for the 8A quarterfinalist. "He was just a real strong voice as far as leadership on our team goes," said coach Mike Donatucci. "He knew everything. The only thing better than his technique was his intelligence."
The third-year varsity player and Division I prospect was a force on both sides of the ball as Leyden won its first playoff game in 11 years. Kiebler had 34 pancake blocks and caught 7 passes at tight end and gave offensive linemen fits at defensive end. "I haven't seen too many kids block like him," said coach Tom Cerasani. "He absolutely kills people and is just a devastating blocker."
Those following the Mid-Suburban League didn't know much about Klosowicz before the season. They knew a lot about the senior running back after his 1,479 yards were just 25 shy of Conant's single-season mark and he set a single-game record with 288 yards. "He far exceeded our expectations," said coach Bill Modelski. "He really became the type of player our opponents had to plan and scheme to take away."
The baseball field isn't the only place where Knauss delivers big hits. The senior linebacker also delivered his share of them this fall as he had 52 solo tackles, 50 assists, 6 sacks and 8 tackles for loss. "He thrived on punishing the ball carrier," said coach Mark Gunther. "When he hit you, you knew it. "Most running backs ended up on their backs after they got hit by Jake."
All the acclaim from an early commitment to Notre Dame didn't have any negative effects on the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Lombard. The senior tackle anchored Fremd's prolific running game and he made a big impact on defense with 32 tackles. "The best offensive lineman I've ever been around," said coach Mike Donatucci. "Every day he came out, it was about how to get better."
An improved work ethic turned Louis-Charles into a devastating force on the defensive line as he finished with 63 tackles and 8 sacks. The senior also became a short-yardage threat late in the season and scored 7 TDs. "When you have his kind of athletic ability you hope the light bulb turns on before they leave and it did," said coach Doug Millsaps. "He's a true difference-maker."
Luschen went from making big catches in an all-area baseball season to making 37 of them for 514 yards and 9 TDs in helping Palatine make its third straight playoff appearance. "Mike really stepped up in the areas of his work habits and his own self-confidence," said coach Tyler Donnelly. "We needed a big-play guy and in a lot of games he made huge plays for us."
The senior not only rewrote the Leyden record books for yards in a career (3,893), season (2,335) and game (312) and TDs in a season (26) but Maldonado also set the tone for a team which led 8A repeat champ Maine South at halftime in the second round of the playoffs. "We haven't had a kid like that who wasn't afraid to play anybody," said coach Tom Cerasani, "and it wasn't just lip service."
Big catches by McEnery were a big reason Elk Grove fans got caught up in football fever. The senior had 52 receptions for 733 yards and 6 TDs as the Grenadiers made the 7A second round. "He was 'Mr. Clutch' for us," said coach Brian Doll. "Matt had no fear in him. He just came up with play after play and probably has one of the best sets of hands I've seen in 10 years."
McLoughlin displayed impressive receiving skills since he was promoted to the varsity as a sophomore. He used them at an even higher level as a senior with 42 catches for 616 yards and 5 TDs. "He was our go-to guy," said coach Chris Kirkpatrick. "He had the ability to do it, but he worked hard at it and did things most people don't like lifting and running."
Meyer kept getting better in his second varsity season to fuel Elk Grove's resurgence to the second round of the 7A playoffs. The junior Division I prospect threw for 1,978 yards and 17 TDs, rushed for 986 and 16 TDs and had interception and kick-return TDs. "We gave him the keys to the car and said, here you go Nick," said coach Brian Doll. "When he gets the ball you kind of hold your breath."
One of the best, toughest and smartest athletes in the MSL was one of the driving forces for the Bison. Mulligan rushed for 792 yards and 11 TDs on 86 carries, returned a punt for a TD and had 35 tackles. "The best word to describe Kevin is productive," said coach Jim Farrell. "He was the catalyst of what we did. He's just a great kid and he is tenacious."
Osei was equally dangerous with his arm and feet in a pair of prolific all-area seasons. This year the senior quarterback passed for 2.260 yards and 16 TDs and rushed for 1,231 and 21 TDs. "He's one of those one in a million kids," said coach Brent Pearlman. "I think he'll do great things the next five years. He's a great football player and just a better kid, which makes it that much better."
The Mid-Suburban League's "Unsung Hero" award winner was exactly the leader Brian Doll needed for his defense and transition to taking over the Elk Grove program. Pfister had a team-high 92 tackles with seven for losses and 2 sacks. "He was 'Mr. Consistent,'" Doll said. "He never took a practice, play or game off. He as the most coachable kid I've dealt with."
The junior safety has already established himself as one of the defensive leaders for the Saxons. Quilico had a team-high 81 tackles and also made most of the secondary adjustments for the playoff qualifier. "He's a throwback," said coach Mark Stilling. "He's one of the best tacklers I've ever seen. Picture Dick Butkus playing safety - he's nasty."
A player with the perfect name was instrumental in Prospect winning a lot of games the last two years. Rhee struggled in a varsity promotion as a sophomore but kept improving and this year helped pave the way for a prolific offense which averaged 472 yards a game. "This year he became the leader of our offensive line," said coach Brent Pearlman.
Sipiora's value to St. Viator went beyond the numbers - which were impressive with 1,319 yards passing and 10 TDs and 937 yards rushing and 11 TDs. "He's one of the best all-around players I've coached," said coach Chris Kirkpatrick of the ESCC's MVP. "He represents everything of what a football player should be with his toughness, attitude and caring about his teammates."
Szafranski not only made an impact on Fremd with big plays but also with an effect which ranks him with the best to come through the program in Mike Donatucci's tenure. The senior safety had 48 tackles and 5 interceptions and caught 36 passes for 491 yards. "Every time you turned around you said, 'How many big plays did he make,'" Donatucci said. "He was able to change the entire tide of a game - and how often does it happen on defense?"
Taibi really caught on by working regularly with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He went from 1 catch as a junior to one of the area's most dangerous receivers with 48 catches for 846 yards and 10 TDs. "It's a true testament to how hard he worked in the offseason," said coach Doug Millsaps. "He was always fast but he didn't always know where he was going and how to get there."
Fremd didn't go wrong by making Wright the feature back in run-oriented offense. The senior rewrote the school's record book by carrying the ball 370 times for 2,234 yards and 28 TDs for the 8A quarterfinalist. "He had a target on his back and he did it time and time and time again," said coach Mike Donatucci. "He was the show and he never backed away from it."
Richard Barnes (Schaumburg, Sr., OL), Adam Bielech (Leyden, Sr., WR), Joey Bishoff (Elk Grove, Jr., LB-WR), Brian Bobek (Fremd, Jr., OL-DL), Chad Bobbit (Palatine, Sr., DL-FB), Jesse Bobbit (Palatine, Fr., DB), Sean Conerty (St. Viator, Sr., LB), Mike Cornely (Buffalo Grove, Sr., WR-DB), Grant DePalma (Prospect, Jr., LB), Dan Gregg (Hersey, Sr. OL-DL), Dionte Hackler (Schaumburg, Sr., WR), Kyle Kapka (Prospect, Sr., OL), Otto Linderman (Conant, Sr., LB), Connor Ptacin (St. Viator, Sr., DL), Cameron Radis (Fremd, Sr., DB), Adam Schroeder (Palatine, Sr., OL), Jim Smearman (Palatine, Jr., LB-WR-QB), Matt Splon (Wheeling, Sr., DB-WB), Terrance Terry (Barrington, Sr., QB)
Sean Baltowski (Prospect, Sr., DB-WR), Matt Barlow (Elk Grove, Sr., OL-DL), Jason Borntraeger (Leyden, Sr., OL), Artie Checchin (Rolling Meadows, So., WR-DB), Brandon Datavs (Elk Grove, Sr., DB), Steve Dazzo (Prospect, Jr., WR-DB), Patrick Derbak (Schaumburg, Sr., LB), Nolan Drake (Conant, Sr., LB), Mario Echevarria (Schaumburg, Sr., OL), Jordan Farnum (Rolling Meadows, Sr., DL), James Flosi (Leyden, Sr., OL), John Focosi (Barrington, Sr., DL), Kyle Galovich (Schaumburg, Sr., DL), Anthony Gentile (Barrington, Sr., LB), David Gutierrez (Hoffman Estates, Jr., QB), Tyler Jones (Palatine, Sr., DL), Zev Katz (Buffalo Grove, Sr., LB), Jack Konopka (Fremd, Jr., OL), Drew Mertes (Fremd, Sr., DE), Mike Metzen (Fremd, Sr., OL), Chase Murdock (Barrington, So., RB), Art Napier (Leyden, Sr., OL), Joe Pelnar (Palatine, Sr., RB-LB), David Rose (Leyden, Sr., QB), Mike Rumps (Fremd, Sr., OL), Marius Salkauskas (Rolling Meadows, Sr., WR), Kevin Schaeffer (Fremd, Jr., K), Tim Schalz (Wheeling, Sr., OL-DL), Brett Seeger (Barrington, Sr., DB), Eric Shew (Fremd, Sr., DB), Mark Zdanewicz (Buffalo Grove, Sr., DL)