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Jeff Vorva's Extra Point: I smell a state championship coming

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

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Area high school golf regionals were slated to start on Tuesday and from now until we’re burping up leftover turkey a few days after Thanksgiving, the postseason for fall sports should be exciting.

In this area, it wouldn’t be out of the question if we get a state champion or two. At the very least, there are going to be some fun moments, dramatic moments and some downright awful moments for various teams in the area.

The state championships start on Oct. 16 and 17 with golf in Decatur and Bloomington and Sandburg’s girls, who finished fifth in the state in Class AA last year, are led by an Emily (Cosler) and an Emilyee (McGiles) to go with Erin Cronin and freshman Hannah Kilbane as some of the top performers.

Will the Eagles land a state championship trophy? They have to be considered in the team picture.

The Sandburg boys golf team is a good bet – with a couple of Bretts – to make some noise. Will Schieber, Brett Katalinic and Brett Been have been leading the way during the season for the Eagles.

The following week, Oct. 22-24, the girls state tennis final takes place at all types of schools in the northwest suburbs and traditionally, our area doesn’t have a lot of team firepower to compete with the north and west suburbs. But individually Sandburg freshman Anna Loureiro could be a player to watch. The way she has been playing, she has a shot at being seeded in the top 32.  

On Nov. 6-7, the Class 2A and 3A soccer finals are in Hoffman Estates and that reminds me of something. A few years ago, the soccer finals were held at Lincoln-Way North. North , which is scheduled to close after this school year because of budget woes in its district, opened in 2008.

That has to be the only school in state history to close in less than 10 years and host a state tournament.

But I digress.

Area soccer is goofy this year and even some of the powerhouses are not much above the .500 mark. The seedings came out last week and at the Class 3A sectional, Sandburg earned a No. 2 seed (behind Bradley Bourbonnais) and Stagg was seeded fourth.

Not bad.

The problem is that hours after that announcement was made last Thursday, fifth-seeded Lockport knocked off Sandburg, 1-0, in a SouthWest Suburban Blue contest while Stagg was beaten by 10th-seeded Homewood Flossmoor the same day.

So in a few weeks, things can get crazier.

That weekend also features the boys and girls cross country championships on Nov. 7 in Peoria.

Sandburg, which just picked up the No. 1 ranking in the country by MileSplit USA earlier in the week, looks like it could be the real deal and bring a Class 3A state championship trophy to Orland Park. No one is going to make it easy on the Eagles. At the beginning of the season, Sandburg was only able to beat Lyons Township by one point in a meet so anything can happen.

On the girls side, it will be interesting to see how high Marist can finish after being moved from Class 3A to 2A.

On Nov. 13-14, the girls volleyball championships take place in Normal. Will we have an area team make it to the final four? It depends on how things shake out a week prior.

Benet, the Class 4A champ three of the last four years, happens to be in the Lyons Sectional mix with the area’s strong squads Mother McAuley, Marist, Sandburg, Shepard and Richards. If one of the area teams breaks out of that loaded sectional, the sky is the limit.

On Nov. 20-21 is the girls swimming and diving finals in Winnetka.

The area should be able to get a few relay teams to state. Individually, Sandburg’s Claire Lawler (who finished seventh in the 50-meter freestyle and seventh in the 100) and Stagg diver Stagg diver Claire Van Dame hope to qualify for state again.

Finally, there is football on Nov. 27-28 – right after Thanksgiving. For the second time in three years, the state championships are in DeKalb. Two years ago, Richards was in the Class 6A championship. Will they return? The road will be tough but not many schools in the state will relish playing them in the early rounds.

Brother Rice, Marist, Sandburg and St. Laurence also could be in the playoffs but do any of these four have the muscle to make it past the second round?

So that’s a month or so of some fun times ahead.

Enjoy.