Jamari Brooks Lincoln Park #1 SS, LB -Tackles - 73;Tackle assists- 22;Sacks - 12;Forced fumbles -6;Fumble recoveries -3;Interceptions - 2; 225 - Bench;395 - Squat;4.8 - 40yd Dash. According to Brooks "I should be nominated for Chicago conference defensive player of the
year because of my strong work ethnic and positive attitude. My team has
been through a lot over the past years and as a 4 year captain I have
managed to hold the group together and continue to push my teammates.
Also I clearly have made a statement on the field by having 73 tackles
and 12 sacks only playing in 7 the seven conference games starting at
both sides of the ball. I believe I am one the the best players on the
defensive side of the ball along with my good friend JD "Johnny Daniels"
Johnny Daniels(6-5,250lbs, DE),Foreman - At 6-5, 250lbs, Daniels has the size and athleticism to play at the next level. He already has an offer from Northern Illinois University. Named pre-season all area top 100 players by the Sun-Times. Led Foreman to Chicago Big Shoulders Conference title.
Freshman Girls City Champion Alyssa Hui of Lincoln Park.
About 3/4 mile into the girls frosh-soph race Katherine Shen of Whitney Young races right next to eventual individual champion Elise King of Lane Tech. Whitney Young finished strong to edge out Lane 46-24.
About 200 yards into the boys frosh-soph race a quartet of CVS Cavaliers take command near the front.
Jennifer Geary of Jones on her way to an all city 14th place finish. Everyone is talking about the Jones Boys teams. However, I could not help to notice the vast improvement of the Jones girls program. Jones had 5 runners finish below 20 minutes in the girls varsity race and finished in a solid 3rd place.
Why are teams like Lane and Mather there every year?
Every year for the last decade or so it's always the same teams every year when conversations come up about the top CPS cross country teams. Lane Tech, Mather, Northside Prep, Whitney Young. Those teams always finish in the top 5, the only difference is the order changes. One year Lane Tech wins it all, then Mather has a run for a couple year, then Northside get's in the mix, and Whitney Young is always there in the top 5. I call this group the usual suspects.
I do have to add Jones in this group. Although the Jones phenomena has been a recent development. As recently as 5 or so years ago, they barely had a cross country team. The last couple of years they have legitimized themselves with back to back top 4 team places at the varsity level. This year, they seem poised to win their first city title in cross country or track.
So what teams outside of this elite group, has a chance to break into the usual suspects? In my opinion it Lincoln Park and Curie. Both teams have quality coaches. They also have some quality runners. I feel their only missing ingredient is getting more runners to their programs. They have quality coaches to be be able to develop runners. The problem is, cross country is a sport that really takes time to develop runners, especially on the boys side. Few freshman have an impact at the varsity level right away. It takes most runners at least 2-3 years of solid training and hard work to be able to maek an impact at the varsity level.
Payton, Hubbard, and some other teams- with more work on their program are also capable of joining this group.
last year: 9th at sophomore city; 5th at varsity city key losses: Andrew Zotti, Robert Rose key returnees: Raymond Jurkiewicz(so- 32nd at soph city last year) Josh Reynolds(so- 42nd @ soph city) Michael Stubna(jr-34th @ varsity city) Jasper Acosta(sr- 41st @ varsity city) Michael Lally(jr- 48th @ varsity city) Roger Mei(sr- 66th @ varsity city)
Lincoln Park had a pretty good season last year finishing 9th at the sophomore level and a solid 5th at the varsity level. They finished ahead of Payton and Northside at the varsity level. If they are to continue their success this year, they will have to do so without their #1 and #2 runners from last year in Andrew Zotti and Robert Rose who have both graduated.
Michael Stubna(jr) will likley be the number one runner for Lincoln Park. Stubna is fresh off a good track season in which he ran a PR of 10:35 in the 3200 meter run to finish 5th at the CPS sophomore meet. Stubna is putting in the quality miles this summer. I see Stubna as a low to mid 16's type of runner this fall. Lincoln Park will have a strong #1 in Stubna.
#2 and #3 runners will likely be Michael Lally(jr) and Jasper Acosta(sr). The key for LP will be to find a #4 and #5 runner. Possible candidates include Raymond Jurkiewicz(so- 32nd at soph city last year) and Josh Reynolds(so- 42nd @ soph city).
I was disappointed to see that Lincoln Park did not have any runners run at the freshman level last year at city. Lincoln Park is one of those schools that apparently likes to keep it's team relatively small. As a result, Lincoln Park does well in developing some runners to be a consistent top 7 in the CPS type of team. However, to get to the next level, I feel Lincoln Park has to put more effort in building it's pipeline of runners to develop. That starts with getting freshman out to the team.
In a sign of respect and depth for the CPS, the IHSA seeded 3 teams in the top 26. Defending state champion Whitney Young is seeded #1, Northside Prep is #2, a much improved Kelly team is #24 and Lincoln Park and #1 Board Gar Crowell (above) is seeded #26.
All eyes are on Danny Feng of Lane Tech (left) and Sam Schmakel(so) of Whitney Young in a battle of board #1's. Shmakel came up on top in this closely contested battle. Lane is rebuilding after a coaching change. Meanwhile, Whitney Young has reloaded and is looking to repeat as state champions. Whitney Young shut out Lane 68-0 in the 2nd round match between rom top 2 tradtional chess programs in the CPS.
Barabas Kim of Lincoln Park is in deep thought.
Jose Leon(left) of Jones College Prep battles Bobby Blankenship of Marshall.
Darius Crockwell (RB QB WR LB S) of Lincoln Park wins in fan votes for the Chicago Conference Player of the Year. He won by only 13 votes in a close race over lineman Johnny Daniels of Foreman. Crockwell Stats: Did everything for the team this year. 4 pass tds 38-53 passing 482 yds 76 attempts for 620 yds 8.2 ypc 6 rushing tds 35 tackles 1 frcd fmble 1 td 3 tckls for loss 9 kick returns 276 yds and a td.
Johnny Daniels(jr, DL, 6-5, 250lb), Foreman At 6-5, 250lbs, could be one of the top lineman in the CPS next year. Daniels took 2nd in a close vote. 43 total tackles, 5 sacks, and 11 forced fumbles. Johnny was able to put up those numbers while only recieving 60% of the defense snaps at nose tackle, due to the fact that he Started all 10 games at left tackle for the Hornets.
Others: Alex Berbakov of Lincoln Park; Marquist Evans of Hyde Park; Gevany Castillo of Foreman, Dominic Masciopinto of Steinmetz, Devin Smith of Austin, Nathaniel Sharp of Hyde Park, Randall Owens of Kenwood.