Defending Class 2A 200 meter champion Jamal McNeeley of Kelvyn Park
After months of uncertainty we now know that Jamal McNeeley(sr) of Kelvyn Park is running track. In practically the entire indoor season, I could not find a single published result of McNeeley running a race. That is, until the CPS Group B Indoor Meet. There, McNeeley produced wins in the 55 meter and the 200 meter.
Then, he ran his first outdoor meet of the season by running the 100 yard dash at Tuesday's Eric Nelson Invitation. He won the 100 yard dash with a time of 11.27 on a cold day running with hardly any competition to push him.
I'm just glad McNeeley is back. He'll have a chance to defend his 200 meter state championship. The difference with this year's team from years is that McNeeley will be running without team mate Brian Carter(class of 2012). Carter has graduated after finishing 3rd in the 100 and 2nd in the 200 at last year's class 2A state meet. Combined, Carter and McNeeley scored 33 points to give Kelvyn Park a 6th place state finish.
McNeeley, although he is the defending state champ, will face some competition - even within the CPS. Deshaun Jordan(sr) of North Lawndale has run the top indoor 200 meter time this season. Teammate, Terry Magee(jr) has progressively improved during the indoor season and is fresh off a good IPPT performance which he finished 10th in the 200 meter and 3rd in the 60 meter. In the 60 meter dash he beat Dion Hooker(so) of Sycamore- an all state 100 meter runner from last season. McNeeley may also have to look out for Demoria Harris(so) of Dunbar. Harris won the Group A 200 meter title with a time of 23.09.
Then there are runners like much improved Nathaniel Agharese(sr) of Northside, defending 400 meter CPS champion Antonio Abreu(sr) of Lane, 400 meter IPTT champion Jeremiah Watson(jr) of Urban Prep, 55 mter Grop A champion Lonnie Washington(sr) of Calumet, and rising sprinter Paris Hilliard(jr) of Clark.
Top CPS 2013 Indoor marks for the 200 meter dash from the Leaderboard:
Fernando Escudero(5-8,240lbs, OL/DL, sr) led Kelvyn Park in sacks last year.
Last Year:6-3 overall, 3-2 in the Chicago Intra-City 1 Conference.
Quick Take: Kelvyn Park will have to see how life is like without Brian Carter- all-city running back, all-state track runner, and one of the most celebrated athletes in Kelvyn Park history. It won't be easy. Even with Carter Kelvyn Park suffered two devasting conference losses last year to Sullivan and Lake View.
Brian Carter got people to talk about Kelvyn Park football. In order to stay in conversations this year, they will have to play complete team ball as Kelvyn Park lacks the name brand star power like they had last year with Carter and now graduated Danny Rodriguez.
The good news is that Kelvyn Park returns some good talent. Isreal Sanchez(5-10, 145lbs, sr, QB/FS) returns as the starting quarterback. His main role last year was to hand it off to Carter but at the same time Kelvyn Park tried to have some balance in the offense as Sanchez passed for 582 yards last season.
Sanchez top throwing target and top offensive weapon will probably be Justin Figueroa(5-8,170lbs, sr, WR/DB) as he returns as the top returning receiver. Figueroa will be busy on both sides of the ball as he also plays defense where he returns as the 2nd top returning tacker. The top returning tackler will be Eduardo Vasquez(5-7,145lbs, jr, WR/S). Vasquez got some good playing time last year as a sophomore and quickly proved himself as an aggressive ball tackler.
Also keep wn eye out on lineman Fernando Escudero(5-8,240lbs, sr, OL/DL) and DB Erik Reyes(5-7,150lbs, jr, WR/DB).
Kelvyn Park will play in the Intra-City again this year. They had chances to win conference the last 2 years with Brian Carter- one of the top running backs in the entire CPS. This year, we will see what Kelvyn Park can do without Carter.
Players to Watch: Isreal Sanchez(5-10, 145lbs, sr, QB/FS) (returning starting quarterback) Justin Figueroa(5-8,170lbs, sr, WR/DB) (returning top rusher; 2nd returning top tackler) Eduardo Vasquez(5-7,145lbs, jr, WR/S)(top returning tackler) Fernando Escudero(5-8,240lbs, sr, OL/DL) Erik Reyes(5-7,150lbs, jr, WR/DB)(led team with 3 interceptions)
Darvell Harris of Dunbar won 3 state championship medals by winning the 200 and running the anchor leg in winning the 4x1 and 4x2.
In one of the more incredible days in modern day CPS history, the CPS captured 5 state championships at the CPS boys state track meet. Here they are:
Jamal McNeeley in the class 2A 200 meter dash Jamal McNeeley and Brian Carter took 1-2 in the 200 meter dash and 2-3 in the 100 meter dash. The pair accounted for all of Kelvyn Park's 33 points. McNeeley made school history by becoming the first athlete in any event or for any sport to win a state championship for Kelvyn Park. Kelvyn Park's 6th place state finish is also the highest place the school has placed at state for any school. The pair will undoubtedly have school accolades when they get back to school next week.
Lane Tech in the 4x800 meter relay This was the first time in IHSA history that a CPS school won the 4x800 at the state meet. The 4x8 is one of the meet's most prestigious event. For Lane to win it really says a lot about how far the school has progressed in middle distance. I would put up a permanent banner in the Lane gym to celebrate this achievement.
Dunbar in the 4x100, 4x200, and Darvell Harris in the 200 3 state championships, 30 points, and a 4th place state finish. Darvell Harris's performance in helping the Mighty Men win 2 relays and winning the 200 has to rank him way up there in all time performances for a CPS athlete.They gotta throw a party in the school for Dunbar.
The two most celebrated athletes in Kelvyn Park history- Brian Carter(sr-left) and Jamal McNeeley(jr).
Any long time reader of this blog, will not need an introduction of Brian Carter(sr). In my opinion, Carter is the most dominant player (out of any position) in recent history ever to play in the Inter-City football conference of the Chicago Public League. He wrecked havoc as a running back. He is also an all-state and all-city sprinter in track. As a sophomore he finished 2nd in the state in the 100 meter (10.86) and 200 meter (21.95).
Carter along with teammate Jamal McNeeley(jr) are trying to make school history by winning a state individual title at the upcoming state track meet. Kelvyn Park has never won a state individual title in any sport. The pair, already led Kelvyn Park to their highest finish in school history at the CPS track meet - with a 6th place finish.
Carter decided to take the junior college route as he picked the College of DuPage to be his college choice. He will play football and run track at COD.
Photo finish of the 100 meter dash won by Jamal McNeeley(jr) of Kelvyn Park with a time of 10.90. All 6 runners in this picture ran sub 11.18.
Whenever, I talk to CPS old timers they always talk about the glory days of CPS track. They then tell me stories of how good track in the CPS was in the 1980's or 1970's- and how it is better than today's CPS (I am sometimes guilty of this since I ran track in the 80's.)
I will say this, every year CPS track is getting better. It is now at the point where, I can say we are pretty darn good.
I challenge any old timer CPS runner to name me a CPS track season that had better results than this year's CPS track championship in the following:
5 runners ran sub 9:45 in the 3200 meter.
6 runners ran sub 2:00 in the 800 meter.
6 runners ran below 11:18 in the 100 meter - including 3 below 11:00.
Shavell Lucas(sr) of Fenger and Brian Carter(sr) of Kelvyn Park
City meet varsity prelims are in a mere 13 days (Wed, May 2, 2012). One of the most high profile events is the 100 meter dash. Obviously, the heet sheets are not out yet, so we do not know if the following athletes will actually run the 100, but here is my take on the 100 meter.
Neilski's Title Contenders Brian Carter(sr), Kelvyn Park Jamal McNeeley(jr), Kelvyn Park Mac Melto(sr), Northside Prep Terry Magee (so), North Lawndale
I feel the title will come down to these 4. Jamal McNeeley(jr) was 2nd in the state last year in the 200 for class 2A, so if there is a favorite it could be him. Then again, teammate Brian Carter(sr) was all state his sophomore year. Mac Melto(sr) won the 55 meter group A indoor title by .02 seconds over Terry Magee(so) of North Lawndale. Melto is also vastly faster over last year when he finished 5th in the city. Magee, only a sophomore could really make a name of himself if he pulls out a win against this group of all state sprinters.
Neilski's All City Picks Brian Carter(sr), Kelvyn Park Jamal McNeeley(jr), Kelvyn Park Mac Melto(sr), Northside Prep Terry Magee (so), North Lawndale Dakari Howard(sr), Whitney Young Matt Rowe(sr), Lane Tech Lonnie Washington(jr), Calumet Shavell Lucas(sr), Fenger
Other contenders to make all-city Manjaro Jackson(sr), Gage Park Paris Ratcliff(sr), Simeon Justin Smith(sr), Payton Carlos SIngleton(jr), Westinghouse Wesley Mills(sr), Kenwood Victor Taylor(jr), King Devon Sanders(jr), Robeson Ben Satterfield(jr), Phillips
There is also a chance that someone out of nowhere, that is not even mentioned above, can break out. Terry Magee of North Lawndale and Christopher Dalton of Morgan Park (6th in state in 100) did it last year and Darius Smith of CVS (state runner up the last 2 years) did it 2 years ago. It seems like every single year, someone who is not really talked about breaks out at the city meet.
Top CPS 55 meter from Leaderboard FAT 6.60- Terry Magee(so)- North Lawndale- Group A 6.74- Mac Melto(sr)- Northside Prep- Group A 6.76- Ahmad Bradshaw(jr)- Brooks- Group A 6.76- Lonnie Washington(jr) - Calumet- Group A 6.79- Justin Smith(sr)-Payton- Group A 6.80- Wesley Mills(sr)- Kenwood- Group A 6.80- Andre Newell(jr)- Morgan Park- Group A 6.84- Anthony Love(sr)- Kenwood- Group A 6.87- Victor Taylor(jr)- King- Group C
Others to look out for Rahim Milz(jr)- Mather- Group A
Jamal McNeely(jr) or Brian Carter(sr)- Kelvyn Park- Group B Shavell Lucas(sr), Fenger- Group B Maurice Fleming(sr)- Curie- Group B
Steele Collins-Johnson(sr)- Hubbard - Group C Brandon Johnson- Foreman- Group C George Vidas(sr)- Taft- Group C
Group A The 55 meter in Group A is going to be one of the premier events the entire day. I do not have the official heet sheet yet but fans are guaranteed to witness a show. Terry Magee(so) of North Lawndale will almost surely run and if he does he will be the pre-meet favorite as he has the top 55 meter CPS time of the year with a time of 6.60. That is .14 seconds faster than the next fastest time of 6.74 by Northside's Mac Melto. You could also see veterans Lonnie Washington(jr) of Calumet and Justin Smith(sr)of Payton being a factor. Also look out for Ahmad Bradshaw(jr) of Brooks and someone from Kenwood or Simeon scoring.
Group B Kelvyn Park will run either Brian Carter(sr) or Jamal McNeeley(jr). Both are all-state sprinters. The pair finished 1-3 at DeLaSalle last Saturday. In between them was Shavell Lucas(sr)of Fenger. Lucas is the only person in Group B that can run with Carter and McNeeley.
Group C This group is wide open. Victor Taylor(jr) of King has run the fastes FAT time for Group C schools. But in no way does that guarantee he will win. Many Group C schools have run in only hand timed meets or run so few meets it is hard to evaluate their talent. So someone like George Vidas of Taft, Brandon Johnson of Foreman, Malachi Atkins of Harlan or someone else could emerge.
Deshaun Jordan(6-1, 185lbs, jr, WR/KR/PR) of North Lawndale College Prep was voted by the fans as at Inter-City Conference football player of the year. Jordan, at 6-1, 185lbs provided a great sized target for quarterback Williams Gibbs. North Lawndale had a 7-2 record and won the Inter-City conference with an undefeated record while scoring over 40 points a game and giving up only 1 point a game. Jordan has a great combination of size, speed, and catching ability. Recieving stats: 31catches 781 yards 11 tds. Should enter next season as one of the top wide receivers in the city regardless of class.He is only a junior and will be even more looked at next year as North Lawndale moves up to the Chicago Conference.
Brian Carter(5-10, 180lbs, sr. RB) of Kelvyn Park finished 2nd. There was no player talked more about in the comments than Brian Carter. He averaged an astonishing 16.3 yards per carry for a very good Kelvyn Park team that finished with a 6-3 overall record. Carter was also an all-state sprinter in the 100 meter dash as a sophomore in track. He has blazing speed, toughness, and an even keel personality that makes him such a good running back.
Final Inter-City Player of The Year Fan Poll Results 1. Deshaun Jordan(6-1, 185lbs, jr, WR/KR/PR)- North Lawndale College Prep - 36.31% (118 votes) 2. Brian Carter(5-10, 180lbs, sr. RB) - Kelvyn Park - 24.62% (80 votes) 3. 4. 5. William Gibbs, QB, North Lawndale College Prep 6.46% (21 votes)
Others receiving votes: Joel Lohoua(QB) of Sullivan; Danzell WIlliams(DB) of North Lawndale, William Washington of Chicago Bulls
The Inter-City 1 had a very exciting year with the conference title coming down to the wire with Lake View winning it on the last day.
Inter-City 1- final conference standings 1. Lake View 4-1 2. Sullivan 3-2 2. Kelvyn Park 3-2 2. Marine MIlitary 3-2 5. Roosevelt 2-3 6. UCCS Woodlawn 0-5
Lake View escapes with the conference title and a promotion to the Chicago. I had them as one of the pre-conference favorites. They clinched the conference on the final game of the season after Roosevelt came up with a 14-13 upset win over Sullivan on the last day.
Inter-City 2 North Lawndale has clinched the Inter-City conference title. They did it with a dominating conference season. They have won conference games with an average score of about 48-1. North Lawndale definitley belongs in the Chicago conference. I can't wait to see how they perform next year.
Inter-City 3 The Chicago Bulls runaway winner in the Inter-City 2. They were undefeated in conference play and did not give up a single point in conference. I hope the Bulls accept the invitation to move up to the Chicago. I want to see how they perform.
Inter-City 4 Pritzker plays Rowe-Clark today in a rare Tuesday game for the conference title.