The CPS has always been and is a basketball conference. No other conference in the nation but the CPS can boast the following individual basketball accolades:
- The NBA's MVP Derrick Rose (Simeon)
- The NBA's #1 draft pick Anthony Davis (Perspectives Charter)
- The #1 high school senior basketball player (class of 2012) Jabari Parker (Simeon)
- The #1 (or #2 depending on publication) high school junior basketball player Jahil Okafor (Whitney Young).
This begs the question, what about other sports. Can the CPS have some success (as far as state level prominence) in other sports. I will say this in the 2011-12 school season, the CPS did have a taste of it in some other non-basketball sports and activities.
Chess (officially labled an activity)- 4 teams finished in the top 21 at state including Whitney Young(3rd), Northside Prep(5th), Kelly (17th), and Lincoln Park (21st). I'll take the top 2 teams from the CPS over any other conference in the state. Only the Central Suburban League can rival the CPS as far as the top 2 teams. Kelly and Lincoln Park ain't bad either.
Cross Country- Jones finished 7th and Mather finished 13th in class 2A. I don't know the last time the CPS had two teams finish that high. Jones is shooting for at least a state trophy this year. Lane Tech advanced to state out of the very difficult class 3A Niles West sectional beating distance powerhouses such as Niles North and Maine South.
Soccer-Mather may have been the high school story of the year for the entire state of Illinois by winning state in class 2A soccer. They not only won, but they completely dominated.
Track- Dunbar led by Darvell Harris and Kelvyn Park led by Brian Carter and Jamal McNeely finished in the top 10 in the state in ther respective classes. It's been a long time (maybe over 25 years, though I could be wrong) that the the CPS has had two teams finish in the top 10 at state. Lane won a state championship in the 4x800- the first CPS school to do so. Dunbar took titles in the 200, 4x200, and 4x100.
It's still premature to say that the CPS is figuring out how to win in other sports at the state level, but the results above seem to give some hope. There is hope and potential in other sports. I feel that one of these years a CPS baseball team could emerge, a CPS individual tennis player could rise in prominence, a girls softball team could go deep in the playoffs, even sports like golf and swimming are not out of the realm of possiblity.
Track, soccer, chess, and cross country did the CPS proud last year.
What will this year hold?