If we win that one, we will play the City Semis and championship on the
same day, Friday at UIC. We would play at 4:30, the other semi-final
would follow (about 5:30) then the Championship will be at 6:30.
Jonathan Vara (so) of Lane Tech leads right before the one mile mark. Behind him is a completely new runner from Little Village and then there is a Northridge Prep runner. Th Northridge Prep eventually won the race. Vara took second and the Little Village runner faded and finished out of the top 5 but still finished in the top 10.
Vara, an up and coming Lane Tech sophomore was the first CPS finisher with a 2nd place finish and an impressive time of 10:38. He ran track for Lane as a freshman and finished 6th in the city at the frosh-soph meet 800 meter dash and 10th in the 1600 meter run. This is Vara's first year running cross country. So to see him finish so high and ahead of Claudio Flores (so) of Mather speaks highly of his development.
I told Vara after the meet to keeping wroking hard every day and that just because you are a sophomore does not mean you cannot make the varsity team. We'll see how he develops.
Speaking of Flores. Flores finished in third place behind Vara. Mather decided to run Flores at the Frosh-Soph level. Look for him to move up to varsity sometime as the season progresses. 4th place overall was a brand new runner for Mather. I did not catch his name. But he looked really good and has a great cross country type build. I see him as another prospect for Mather to develop.
In a promising sign for the future the CPS had 4 of the top 5 finishers including (left to right) Colston(name?) of Mather, Claudia Flores (so) of Mather and Jonathan Vara(so) of Lane Tech. Connor McDermott(so) of Lane stepped it up with a big 4th place finish.
Little Village High School has banned it's school kids from bringing lunch from home.
"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school. It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke," said Elsa Carmona principal at Little Village.
To me this is another example of too much school control. Personally, I feel parents are the ones that know their children best and that parents should be most responsible for deciding what their children eat.
When I went to Lane we had a choice. Bring your own lunch, eat school lunch, or goto McDonald's or Jewel to eat lunch. I ate lunch most of the time at school. But the point is that I had a CHOICE.
I don't want to hear from those that say "Neil you are so brutal don't you care about children's nutrition."
Again, I don't feel it is the role of the school to FORCE their kids to eat their lunch. This is going too far.
The CPS will always be judged on how well they play against suburban schools. After basketball and track, soccer is maybe the next most competitive CPS sport.
Class AA teams have always performed better for the CPS in the past. This year is no different. It seems the best chances for the CPS will be Payton, Washington, Lake View and Juarez.
Payton is the 2nd seed in the Elmwood Park Regional and seems destined to play #1 seed Ridgewood in the regional finals. Payton has all-city Alex Young who is a big threat to score goals. Lake View, with all-city defenseman Hector Alcazar, is also in the Elmwood Park regional and could be a threat to Payton and Ridgewood.
City-runner up Washington travels to the suburbs at the Rich East Regionals where they are the 4th seed. They will have a tough path as they face host Rich East to open the playoffs, then if they win face either Illiana Christian or Tinley Park. If they are fortunate to win, they then will likely face number one seed Lemont. Good luck! Washington has really good mid-field play and have a top notch forward in Miseal Martinez. So they have a chance.
Juarez is in the tough Wheaton Academy Regional, where they are the 6th seed. They open with Cristo Rey on Tuesday, then likely face Wheaton Academy for the regional finals. Juarez will be a heavy underdog in that game.
Little Village and Juarez are from what I call the Caliente Valle (hot valley) of soccer in the city.
Little Village has one of the strongest teams it has ever had but are in a killer playoff bracket. To get to the sectional finals they will have to get by Montini, Nazareth Academy, and #1 St. Joseph.
More teams - Up to 39 teams have enough runners for a complete scoring team (5 runners). Last year, there were 21 full teams. Here are some schools following schools did not score at the varsity level but could this year: Orr, Urban Prep South Shore, Urban Prep Englewood, South Shore, Senn, North Lawndale, Harper, and Von Steuben more. Good sign to see participation in cross country increasing.
Harlan may actually have enough runners for a complete team. Having Harlan in the picture is always exciting.
Kelly's Enrique Florentino (jr) is a surprise entry. For those of you who are not familiar with Florentino, he ran 4:49 in the mile and a 2:06 in the 2 mile in track last year. I'm not sure how good of cross country shape he is in, because last I heard he was on the football team. But it looks like he going to give cross country a try. Florentino could be an all-city contender if he is in distance shape.
Another football player, all-state track distance runner, Jeffrey Rector (jr) of Roosevelt is on the entry list. He ran a season best 9:52 at Mather #3. This is the first time we will see him running a 3 mile race. If he can dip below a 15:45, we are talking a possible top 5 city finish.
Daniel Medrano (so) of Brooks will be running this race. Medrano was the freshman city champion in the 800 meter run last spring with a 2:08. Medrano ran club track during the summer. But as far as I know he has not run too many if any cross country races. If he is in distance shape, he could be an instant top 3 contender. Brooks also has sophomore Malik Lee, who finished 6th last year at the freshman level.
Watch out for newcomer Deshawn Grey of CICS-Ellison. Grey ran a 16:29 at the Gordon Tech Invite earlier this year. They say that course was a 2.9. Still, Grey was only 48 seconds behind varsity contender Oscar Medina. Grey could be a top 10 or better contender.
Also, look out for Taro Salinas (so) of Whitney Young, Logan Means (so) of Whitney Young, Junior Quintero (fr) of Lane Tech, Sultan Haji (so) of Lane Tech, Victor Maldonado (so) and Claudio Flores (fr) of Mather. All of these runners have 11 minute or better 2 mile talent.
1. Kelvyn Park (6-1)- leads Inter-City 1 conference. Non-conference test this week vs. Chicago Conference team Dusable.
2. North Lawndale (5-2) - leads Inter-City 2 conference. Will play TEAM Englewood for conference title in week 9. Great coaching by Kennith Rogers (from Calumet) has elevated North Lawndale. Look for this program in the future.
3. Pritzker (7-0) - leads Inter-City 3 conference. Heavy favorites to win last two games and move upto a Chicago conference next year. Pritzker kind of snuck up on me. Could end season undfeated. Before I make any firm conclusions on program, I'd have to see them play and see how they do in Illini-conference next year.
4. Westinghouse (6-1) - another program of the future. 6-1 record despite only playing with freshman and sophomores on varsity. Expected to dominate conference next year when they have a team with juniors.
5. Little Village (4-3) - Plays Kelvyn Park to end the season for the Inter-City 1 conference championship. School is blessed with nice facilities - one of best in Inter-city conference teams after Westinghouse.
6. Team Englewood (6-1) - will play North Lawndale for conference title to end the season.
Cole Keutzer (sr) and defending city champion Whitney Young came up with a victory of Foreman in the round of 16 (above), but will face a difficult task today versus an undefeated Washington team.(Lyles photo)
CPS Boys Soccer Schedule
Today, October 11, 2010 (all games at Lane Stadium)
9:00am - Kelly vs Mather Kelly prevails in penalty kicks over a very good Taft team in the round of 16. It's a shame those two soccer programs met so early in the playoffs, that game would have been worthy of a final. Mather can either be good or bad and has goal scorer Chisom Dbonna.
Neilski's pick - Kelly in penalty kicks
11:00am - Farragut vs Curie Farragut upset Lane and Curie got by a tenacious Payton team in the round of 16. The popular pick is Curie. I'm picking Farragut in a close one. Farragut is in what I call the "caliente valle" of soccer. That is the "hot valley" of soccer - the predominantly Mexican resident schools near the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Juarez, Farragut, and Little Village from the caliente valle are my biased picks in the playoffs. Because at these schools soccer is king - or using my broken Spanish "futbol es el rey".
Neilski's pick - Farragut by 1
1:00pm - Little Village vs Juarez Two more schools from the caliente valle. Little Village and Juarez came into the round of 16 as top seeds from their groups and came up with victories over Lake View and Amundsen. Little Village has been on a roll all season and goes into this game with only 1 loss. This is one of my top games of the day. The winner will be my favorite to advance to the finals.
Neilski's pick - Little Village by 1
3:00pm - Whitney Young vs Washington The defending city champions Whitney Young have their work cut out. Washington goes into this game very confident as they are undefeated this season with a 13-0-2 record. However, Whitney Young has played a tougher schedule and will not go down easily. Washington, from the south east side of Chicago - yes there is a south east side - has a boatload of talent including Rafal Alarcon, Misael Martinez, and all-city Guadalupe Canedo (jr).
Inter-City 1 Conference Standings as of 10/04/10 1. Kelvyn Park 5-1(overall), 4-0(conference) 2. Little Village 4-2, 4-0 3. Marine Military 4-2, 4-1 4. Woodlawn 2-4, 2-2 5. Farragut 1-5, 0-3 6. Roosevelt 0-6, 0-3 7. Sullivan 0-6, 0-3
(Conference is not eligible for the state playoffs) (Conference winner will move to a Chicago Conference next year) (Conference not eligible for CPS playoffs)
Kelvyn Park is in control of it's own destiny and will win conference if it wins it's last three games. Kelvyn Park still has to play winless Roosevelt, 2 win Dusable in a non-conference game, then a showdown with Little Village to end the season. Little Village is the closest thing to a conference powerhouse after Kelvyn Park and both teams are undefeated. The Little Village vs Kelvyn Park game on October 23 to end the season will almost for sure before the conference title- and a promotion to a Chicago conference next season.
Little Village is no slouch. As recently as last year, they were in the Chicago Conference and are used to playing to better competition.
Kelvyn Park is best known for Brian Carter, one of the state's fastest man, and leading rusher but also has an improved passing game led by QB Cristian Flores.
Whitney Young and Baxter Helm (jr, Defender)(in the air) begin their quest to defend their city title this Saturday in the round of 16. The road will be treacherous. Every one of the 16 remaining teams are capable of going deep in the soccer rich CPS playoffs. My personal favorite is Little Village (in white). Thanks to Kevin Lyles for a great photo album of Whitney Young soccer pics.
From a Lane source:
Our next varsity match is Saturday at 9 am at McKinley Park turf field
(Archer and Western). This is the round of 16 and the winner moves on.
If we win we will play Monday, Columbus Day but the site is still
pending. The semifinals are next Wednesday at Lane Stadium at 5 pm and 7
This is the knockout phase. So one loss and you are out.
I'm trying to get a schedule. Or if anyone has it please post in comments.