Two years ago, Calumet snuck up on everybody and took a surprise 2nd place at the 2011 CPS boys varsity city outdoor meet. This year, they did it again by taking the Group A indoor title. With results like that it is hard to say they are under the radar.
So how is Calumet doing it and what is their outlook at this year' city meet?
Calumet seems to be doing with a good combination of sprints, jumps, and hurdles.
It starts with Lonnie Washington(sr). Lonnie has been a sprint star for the CPS since he finished all state as a freshman. He won the Group A 55 meter title, so we know he can sprint. What I did not realize was how good of jumper he is. He busted out with a 21-9 to win the Group A long jump. That is the best CPS indoor mark since 2010.
Then add jumper Christopher Randolph(sr-above). Randolph high jumped 6-3 and leaped 39-1 in the triple jump at the Group A championship. He is a threat to score very high in those two events.
Junior Robert White(jr) has developed nicely in hurdles. He won the Group A 55 meter hurdles title where he beat out a competitive field that included Catrell Coleson(so) of Mather and Brandon Riley(jr) of Morgan Park.
Calumet also has sprinter Jimmy Williams(sr) waiting to spring out. He ran an FAT 11.26 in the 100 last season. That is a fast time. The Lonnie Washington and Jimmy Williams combo could be the fastest 1-2 sprint duo in the CPS.
I can see a situation where Calumet scoring high in the 100, 200, high jump, triple jump, 300IH, 110HH, and scoring enough points in the sprint relays. If they do that, it probaby won't be enough to beat Lane at the city meet. But they could aggregate enough point to beat out Whitney Young, Brooks, Jones, and even North Lawndale.
Calumet speedster running back Lonnie Washington(sr-RB) ran for over 200 yards playing just 3 quarters in their big win over Hyde Park that won conference and propelled Calumet to the Illini conference. Calumet will need to see more of his magic if they want a chance against the high scoring offense of Shepard.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 #11 Bloom (6-3) vs. #6 Simeon (7-1), 7:30 at Gately #11 Steinmetz (6-2) at #6 Foreman (7-1), 6 at Hanson #5 (Shepard) (6-3) at #4 Perspectives-Leadership (7-2), 4:15 at Gately #5 Brooks at #4 Payton, 7 at Lane #13 Raby at #4 Aurora Christian, 7 at Aurora Christian
Neilski's outlook #11 Bloom (6-3) vs. #6 Simeon (7-1), 7:30 at Gately
I expect Simeon to beat Bloom by at least 14 points. With a potential match up against #1 Mount Carmel in the 2nd round, it is vital that Simeon plays this game against Bloom as mistake free as possible. Although Simeon beat Lane in their last game, Simeon had lot's of penalties. They cannot play like that and expect to win in the state playoffs.
#11 Steinmetz (6-2) at #6 Foreman (7-1), 6 at Hanson
Do not overlook Steinmetz in this game against Foreman. Steinmetz has been playing well of late. In their last 3 games- all wins- their defense gave up a total of 6 points. If they can play that kind of inspired play they could keep this game close. Steinmetz is a senior dominated team and has the experience edge over a Foreman team that is a bit younger.
#5 (Shepard) (6-3) at #4 Perspectives-Leadership (7-2), 4:15 at Gately
Calumet is trying to become the first Chicago Conference team to win a state playoff game against a suburban school. If they are to come close, they will have to do it with the running of Lonnie Washington(sr-RB). The senior had over 200 yards rushing in 3 quarters of play against Hyde Park. The biggest challenge for Calumet it to try to slow down the high powered Shepard offense? If they can't it will be a long day.
Last Year: 5-4 overall; 5-2 conference; 4th place in Chicago Windy City Conference. Calumet ended last season on a 4 game winning streak including a win versus conference champion Marshall.
This year: Chicago Windy City Conference Calumet DuSable Hyde Park Kenwood Kelly South Shore Team Englewood Washington
Calumet stays in the Chicago Windy Conference. All of these teams with the exception of Washington played in a Chicago Conference last year. Washington is new to the Chicago Conference after playing last year in the Inter City. Quick Take: Calumet had a good season last year. They beat conference champion Marshall and lost two conference games by only one score. Calumet also ended last season on a 4 game conference winning streak. If Calumet wants to continue its streak they will have to do it with new players at the skill positions. As Calumet graduated all three quarterbacks that saw playing time last year and practically their whole running back crew.
Jordan Johnson(5-10, 180lbs, jr, QB/DB/P) did not get any playing time last year as a QB, but it appears he is the going to get a much bigger role this year.
The running back position was also devasted with graduation. Two players that could see time in the backfield is Lonnie Washington (5-9,175lbs, sr, RB/DB) and Isaiah Kyles(5-8,185lbs, sr. FB/LB). Washington is a track star on the Calumet track team. He was an all-state sprinter his freshman year. He will have to play a much bigger role this year as he did not get a lot of carries last year.
Returning defensive standouts include #9 Sergio Norvell (5-11,180lbs, sr,WR/LB), #88 Gregory James (6-2,220lbs, sr, DL/TE), and #78 Christopher Hawkins (6-6, 315lbs,jr, OL/DL). Hawkins got some really good playing time and looked promising on the defensive line last season with 14 tackles and 18 assists. At 6-6,315lbs he will be one of the biggest and tallest players on the football field. Conference Outlook: Key games will be against Hyde Park, Kenwood, and DuSable. I'm picking those three as the pre-season conference favorites. I see Calumet winning 4 maybe 5 of their 7 conference games. They just graduated too many star players from last year to consider them as a serious conference champ threat. On the plus side, Calumet has a big roster and have some speed on their roster. They ended last season on high note and could continue their winning ways this season if some of their younger players develop into something more.
Players to Watch: #41 Jordan Johnson(5-10,180lbs, jr, QB/DB/P) # 25 Lonnie Washington (5-9,175lbs, sr, RB/DB) #9 Sergio Norvell (5-11,180lbs, sr,WR/LB) #88 Gregory James (6-2,220lbs, sr, DL/TE) #78 Christopher Hawkins (6-6, 315lbs,jr, OL/DL) Football Team Previews Page
University of Iowa bound football player Maurice Fleming(sr) of Curie told me: "I haven't really run too many track meets this season. The CPS indoor track championship was my first race because I have been concentrating on football." Fleming displayed his speed by running a 11.41 in the 100. That time is in the top 5 for FAT times in the CPS 100 meter Leaderboard .
Curie Football Players Making an Impact Vaughn King- 45-9 shot put Maurice Fleming- 11.41 in the 100 Devonte Swope runs fastest frosh-soph 200 FAT time in the CPS this outdoor season
Curie sophomore Jorge Rodriguez 2:02.89 in the 800!
Calumet junior Jimmy WIlliams 11.26 to win varsity 100!
6-0 Christopher Randolph(jr), Calumet - Group A 5-10 Thomas Vidal(sr), Kelly , Group C 5-10 Carleton Coleman(sr), Kelvyn Park, Group B 5-10 Lucien Fitzpatrick, Northside Prep, Group A 5-8 Malik Lee(jr), Brooks, Group A 5-8 Ahmad Bradshaw(jr), Brooks Group A
Others that could be a factor: Deon Morisette(sr), Kenwood, Group A Joseph Toye(fr), Whitney Young- Group A Davidson, Marshall- Group A
Breon Bland(jr), Steinmetz- Group B Richard Hicks(jr), Westinghouse- Group B Clinton Wilson(sr), Orr, Group B Carzelle Eike, Dunbar, Group B
Erik Henderson, Urban Prep- Group C Johnson(fr)- Schurz, Group C
Until the heet sheets come out, the above list is just a speculation on my part who will actually be jumping for their teams.
The Group A favorite is Christopher Randolph(jr) of Calumet. Randolph is the top returning high jumper in the CPS. He finished 3rd in both indoors and outdoors last year. It seems like his biggest Group A challengers are Northside sophomore Lucien Fitzpatrick or either Malik Lee(jr) or Ahmad Bradshaw(jr) of Brooks. Fitzpatrick, the CPS frosh-soph runner up in the high jump last year has developed nicely this year. At last year's city outdoors he leaped 5'2. He leaped 5'10" at a meet earlier this year. Brooks has two jumpers in Lee and Bradshaw that have leaped 5-8 this year. Group A could be completely shaken up if Whitney Young freshman Joseph Toye high jumps.
The Group B favorite is Carleton Coleman(jr) of Kelvyn Park. Coleman jumped 5-10 at DeLaSalle last Saturday. He'll provide valuable team points for Kelvyn Park to supplement Brian Carter and Jamal McNeeley.
In Group C, the easy favorite is Thomas Vidal(sr) of Kelly. He leaped 5-10 to win at DeLaSalle last Saturday. Unless some unknown busts out with a huge leap, Vidal should win by more than a few inches.
At the beginning most people felt that Lane Tech was hands on favorite to win the boys varsity track championship. So to tell a story about them would be redundant. I will say congratulations to Lane for winning a 6th straight city title and with so much talent coming back and a very motivated coaching staff things look very bright for the Lane Tech Indians in the future.
That being said here in my opinion are teams that over met my expectations at the beginning of the year:
Calumet Perspsectives - is shown here with the 2nd place city championship plaque. Few, including myself saw Calumet taking 2nd at city. The reason why I take the city meet in such high regard is that unlike the state meet it is very difficult to place high in city with only one or two top individuals. Calumet truly had a TEAM. They had to squeeze out points from 9 different events to score the 53 points needed to take 2nd in a race which saw 3 teams finish within 4 points of each other.
Northside Prep - The rise of star Mac Melto helped propel Northside to it's highest team finish at indoor(2nd) and outdoor city (4th) in team history. Melto accounted for 22 of the teams 49 points at city, including rare sprint points for Northside. Melto scored in the 100, 400 (champion), and 4x400 relay (2nd).
North Lawndale - These showed it where it counts the most - on the track. 7th place team city finish and state sectional championships were team records for North Lawndale. With the team returning 2 of the city's top freshman sprinters in Terry Magee and Imani Payton, North Lawndale looks to be heard LOUD and CLEAR in the following years.
Lonnie Washington(so) of city runner up Calumet edged out Christopher Dalton(sr) of Morgan Park as the two both broke 11 seconds in the 100 meter dash. Lonnie was at 10.95, Dalton was at 10.98. Both will be favored to score in that event at next weeks state meet. Lonnie also won the long jump and Dalton took the 200.
Robeson the relay school advanced in the 4x100 (43.37), 4x200 (1:31.91), and their specialty the 4x400 (3:30.66).
Frosh-Soph city champion Brooks ran well. Despite running mostly freshman and sophomore Brooks qualified 2 individuals and the 4x400 relay.
Kenwood took 2nd in team standings to Evergreen Park and advanced 5 individuals and the 4x800 relay. Suddenly surging Phillip Martin(sr) threw a CPS season season best 49-11 in the shot put.