Riley O’Toole tops in football: Montgomery

Time to look back at the 2010 football season.

Fans couldn’t be too surprised at the success of Curie. Curie had a talented trio of Maurice Fleming, Kevonta McIntrye, and Brandon Barker.

This reporter was impressed after watching Curie beat Lane 37-7.

The Condors (9-6) eventually won the Public League beating perennial contender Morgan Park 40-34 in one of the most exciting title games ever at Gately Stadium.

Curie’s dream season ended in a 6-0 loss to Fenwick(8-5) in the Prep Bowl last Friday at Soldier Field. Curie was making their first appearance in the city championship game.

Curie had chances to win this contest gaining over 250 yards. Curie drove inside the Fenwick 20-yard line five times and failed to score.

This was a physical game as Fleming was knocked out of the game twice.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to celebrate in our circulation area. No area team had a winning record and all four squads failed to make the playoffs.

My choice for Player of the Year in our area is Lane running back Fred Williams. Williams was one of the few bright lights in as 4-5 season for the Indians who were adjusting to a new coach and new offense.

Amundsen (2-7) received great fan support despite playing atough section against Morgan Park, Hubbard, and CVS.

A storyline for next year will be Lake View linebacker Ashley Diaz. Diaz played on the sophomore team and has caught the attention of the CHICAGO FORCE women’s football team.

Lake View won only once in 2010 after losing nine players.

Another player to watch next season will be Gordon quarterback Julian Russell. Russell rushed for 871 yards on a 2-7 team. The Rams were unable to make the big play in critical situations this past season.

The news on the North side wasn’t all bad as Senn (9-1) made the state playoffs and lost to Grayslake Central in the opening round.

Will a Public League team ever win a state football championship? Simeon(11-1) certainly showed they had the right stuff after upsetting Mt Carmel in the opening game at Soldier Field. Simeon lost in the state quarterfinals to Lake Zurich 17-14.

My choice for Player of the Year in the Chicago area is easy. Wheaton South quarterback Reilly O’Toole had a magnificent season throwing 42 touchdown passes to lead the Tigers(14-0) to their seventh state football title.

Many fans and observers wondered how Maine South would do after the graduation of running back Matt Perez. All Perez did in 2009 was rush for 34 touchdowns to lead Maine South to back-to-back state titles.

Maine South (12-2) won its third straight Class 8A state title over Mt Carmel (11-3) last Saturday night in Champaign.

The Hawks lost their first two games of the season. The Hawks have won three straight titles with three different quarterbacks.

The future looks bright with sophomore Matt Alvitti.

My choice for Coach of the Year in the Chicago area is Homewood-Flossmoor’s Craig Buzea. HF went from 1-8 to 10-3 and a berth in the state football semifinals where they were beaten by Mt. Carmel.

Congratulations to eight state football champions.

Finally, team to watch in basketball will be Simeon. The player to watch will be Anthony Davis who plays for Perspectives in the Public League and the 6-10 senior who is going to Kentucky is considered one of the top players in the country.

Lake View ends season with 21-0 loss; Sophomore class promises better 2011

Next year starts now for Lake View High School (1-8, 0-7). The Lake View Wildcats ended their season by losing 21-0 to Foreman High School (6-3, 5-2) in the Big Shoulders section finale at Hanson Stadium Thursday.

Lake View is hoping for better things in 2011 with 20 players returning. The Wildcats were derailed this year when eight players didn’t play forcing head coach Mike Menczynski to use four different quarterbacks.

Foreman has to be excited about next season after watching the performance of junior Sergio Serrano. Serrano completed 18-of-26 for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

“We played a lot better” in the second half, said Menczynski. “But for every good play, two or three bad plays. It’s not just a yard loss, it’s a fumble, it’s an interception, it’s an injury. It’s not small mistakes. It’s big mistakes.”

“We wish we were going to the (city) playoffs,” admitted Foreman head coach Earnest Wilson. “We made too many mistakes. I’m proud of them, but I thought we could beat Lake View. I don’t want to sound arrogant.”

Foreman and Lake View play in the Big Shoulders section of the Chicago conference, which has its own playoff. Wilson will find out this week if his team makes the Chicago playoffs since generally only the top two teams from each section advances. Senn High School (9-0, 7-0) and Taft High School (7-2, 5-2) made the state playoffs that start this weekend. Taft beat Foreman 28-20.

The Wildcats were able to move the football against Foreman generating 212 yards of total offense. Lake View couldn’t finish drives while they were unable to contain Serrano.

“We were in cover three,” said Menczynski after the loss. “I don’t know how you get beat deep? They were wide open. It was a passing drill for them.”

“He played pretty good,” said Wilson on his quarterback’s performance. “He still made some mistakes. We are looking for big things from him next year. He had some good moments.”

Serrano was outstanding in the first half completing 11-of-15 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns as Foreman took a 14-0 lead.

Lake View was fortunate to be in the contest since Dawaun Stevenson missed two field goals for Foreman.

The Wildcats did play better in the second half on offense and defense. Lake View generated 135 yards in the last two quarters and failed to find the end zone.

“I think they realized it was the last two quarters of the season,” said Menczynski.

One player to watch out for next season is sophomore linebacker Ashley Diaz. Diaz started for a 3-2 sophomore team, and Menczynski admitted he will give Diaz a chance to be a starter or part-time player in 2011.

Lake View’s season was a mixed bag. The Wildcats only win was against Kennedy High School. In section play, Lake View went 0-7 and lost close encounters to Schurz High School, Clemente High School, and Prosser High School.

Senn (9-0) was the class of the Big Shoulders section going unbeaten while scoring 412 points in nine contests. Senn will face Grayslake Central High School (5-4) in the state playoffs this weekend.

One has to wonder, would Lake View be preparing for the playoffs if Menczynski hadn’t lost eight players?