High School Sports Notes
December 23, 2012 5:28PM
Updated: January 25, 2013 6:11AM
Most of the area teams will compete in what figures to be the toughest sectional in the state this season.
Sectional assignments recently were released and the Plainfield North Sectional, to be held at Bolingbrook Lanes next month, shapes up to be loaded with quality teams fighting for two state berths.
Romeoville finished ninth in the state two years ago and fifth last season, but coach Tony Talley knows it’ll be a battle for the Spartans to make it back to state.
“If we’re fortunate enough to make it back to state, we have a lot of experience and think we’ll have a good shot,” Talley said. “We have to make it there first, though, and we know that won’t be easy with our sectional.”
Among other squads in the sectional, Minooka is red-hot. The Indians are coming off a win over Romeoville. Lockport and Plainfield Central are perennial contenders along with Oswego and Oswego East.
Plainfield North is having a strong season, while Bolingbrook has huge wins over defending state champion Andrew and Romeoville.
“It’s tough being in such a tough sectional, but it’s fun having great competition,” Plainfield Central’s Bryan Blair said.
Swimming enthusiasts should mark Friday’s Lincoln-Way Central Relay Invitational on their schedules.
Central was second to Riverside-Brookfield in the eight-team meet last season. The Knights will be looking for continued improvement after a strong dual two weeks ago against Andrew. In that meet, returning state qualifier Ryan Kojder broke Central’s six-dive record for the second time this season.
A swimmer to watch will be Central sophomore Cody Moris, a state qualifier last season in the 100-yard backstroke. Moris, Ryan Sterling, Mike Ramos and Conor McGowan have been strong in the 200 medley relay.
Lincoln-Way East, with breaststroke standout Andy Gramont, will be in the Waubonsie Valley Invitational on Thursday. Gramont, a senior, knows what it takes to get through a season.
“If you’re going through a bad part of the season, it’s really hard to get back from that,’’ Gramont said. “It takes a lot of motivation if you have a bad race. It’s different from a lot of other sports.’’
Lockport’s Tyler Pastore was the diving champion at the Dec. 15 Neuqua Valley Invitational. Lockport’s next meet is Jan. 3 at home against Lincoln-Way Central.
Area teams in recent weeks began qualifying for the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association state meet.
The ICCA and Illinois High School Association state meets are the two major meets. The IHSA holds its postseason sectionals in January. The ICCA hosted several qualifiers this month.
Some athletes from the area competing for Chicago Christian in Pontiac on Dec. 15 qualified in the small school division for the ICCA state meet. The Knights finished third to make it to the state meet.
Athletes helping the Knights qualify included Mokena’s Kari Anne Zaagman, Lauren Guth and Amber Kazmer, Homer Glen’s Megan Kamp and Kaylie Kuhn and New Lenox’s Hannah Dooley.
Earlier in the month, Bolingbrook qualified in the coed division of its own qualifier.
The ICCA state meet will be held Feb. 9-10 at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield.
There will be a Mid-State Challenge on Jan. 6 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington as well as a state qualifier at Andrew on Jan. 12.
For the IHSA state tournament, area teams have been assigned to either the Riverside-Brookfield or Mahomet-Seymour sectionals in late January.
Youth and potential. That’s the foundation for Plainfield South.
Despite a total of nine freshman and sophomores in its lineup, Plainfield South managed a third-place finish at the 18-team Plano Reaper Classic earlier this season. At that meet the Cougars received Plano titles from junior Miguel Silva and freshman Danny Saracco. Junior Mark Crowley was runner-up at 195 pounds.
“It was a total team effort,” South coach Jason Acevedo said. “We were one point out of second, and everyone on the team feels like we could have found two points.”
Silva appears to be a state contender at 106, delivering a 4-for-4 day with four pins at the Plainfield South mega quads. Last season he was the Joliet Central Regional champion.
Saracco is making an impact at 170.
“The program is moving in the right direction,” Acevedo said. “We have good senior leadership to help focus the underclassmen.”