Lejiso Tuke(fr-left) and Robel Yemane (fr) on their way to finishing 1-3 at the Niles West #2 meet.
I'll be honest Senn has not had much of a track team for most of the last 25 years. So when I saw a couple of Senn runners at the front of the freshman 800 meter run at the Niles West #2 meet I was surprised.
After the race I quickly learned that the winner, running a 2:18, was Lejiso Tuke(fr). In 3rd place was Robel Yemane(fr).
Tuke, was the surprise CPS freshman city champion in cross country. I wasn't sure he was going to run track, so it was a surprise to see him run track- and a pleasant surprise to see him beat the field including runners from Jones and Niles West.
Not too far from Tuke finishing 3rd at 2:23 was Yamen.
"I play on the varsity soccer team for Senn in the fall, so I don't run cross country. But soccer keeps me in shape. I also ran in the winter and I run from Bryn Mawr to Wilson - about 3 miles - every day during the weekend," said Robel Yemane.
"I grew up in Eritrea, while Tuke is from Ethiopia...both are in East Africa" added Yamen.
I feel that a good coach is one of the biggest factors in the success of a programs. One of those coaches is coach Jarvis Lewis-Bey. After a successful run at Senn, Coach Bey decided to move to coach at Marshall. The results have been phenomal and speak for themselves.
Senn football team record with/without Bey School Year Record Coach 2005-06 2-7 Herman Blade
Marshall football team with/without Bey: School Year Record Coach 2009-10 4-5 William Gray 2010-11 2-7 William Gray
2011-12 8-2 Jarve Lewis-Bey
Immediate Dividends As you can see from the table above, Coach Jarve-Bey is developing a track record of successfull turnarounds. He turned Senn around from a school with consistent losing record to one of winning. His record his last two seasons at Senn was 17-3.
He it trying to do the same thing at Marshall. I just did not know he could do it so quick. He turned Marshall around from a 2-7 team to an 8-2 team in one year. His team almost pulled out a shocker in last year's playoffs when his team lost only 10-6 to a very good Evergreen Park team in the first round of the state playoffs. Evergreen Park ended up being a state quarterfinalist.
I can't wait to find out what he can do his second year at Marshall. It will be a tougher test for Marshall as they have been promoted to the much tougher Illini Heartland conference with Brooks, Harper, and others.
Steven Reese(sr-S) ranks as the #1 DB/S in the CPS.(max prep photo)
Defensive Back/Safety Watch List Steven Reese(sr- S), Julian Thomas Burton(6-1, 180lbs, S) Simeon Demarlon Morris(jr, DB), Julian Clayton Dora(5-9, 165lb, sr) Robeson Romero Jones (5-6, 150lbs, DB/RB) Robeson Aaron Banks(sr, DB), Simeon Anthony Johnson (5-9, 175lbs, sr) Hubbard Jibreel Jackson(5-9, 152lbs, sr) Curie Byron Kelley(jr), Brooks Darius Jones(DB/WR), Fenger Dan Finger(jr,CB/QB) Whitney Young Antonio Abreu(jr, RB/DB), Lane Tech Alexandre Hickerson(sr, DB), Whitney Young Josh Wagner(QB/WR/S) Calumet Kirk Young(sr, CB) Simeon Hector Ochoa(sr, DB) Washington Trevion Hartfield(5-8, 170lb, CB, jr), Morgan Park Shadoe Nichols(5-4, 145lbs, sr) Senn Michael Branscum(5-7, 135lbs, DB,sr) Schurz
This list is not as deep as I thought it woud be. With so many speedy type players in the CPS, you would think the defensive back and safety watch list would be bigger than it is.
Neverthless, there are some solid players on this list. At the top isSteven Reeseof Julian. He performed very well at the Nike football combine in March at Chicago. He was the 5th best overall performer finishing ahead of even Brian Carter(sr, RB) of Kelvyn Park and Desroy Maxwell(sr. WR/Line) of Amundsen.
Rapidly rising is Thomas Burton(6-1, 180lbs, S) of Simeon. After a good summer he is being looked at by some major colleges. At 6-1 he's got good height for a safety.
Clayton Dora(5-9, 165lb, sr) returns as Robeson's top returning tackler and so case could be made for him being an all-city DB. Dora also plays running back and mainly plays linebacker. Though, I feel he can play DB at the next level.
Jibreel Jackson(5-9, 152lbs, sr) of Curie returns on a veteran Curie team that is expected to make another run at the city championship and maybe even beyond. Jackson will likely play both ways as he was Curies second leading receiver last year.
One of my favorite players is Shadoe Nichols of Senn. At 5-4, 145lbs he is usually the smallest players on the field even. But do not be deceived by his size. He's got great speed and quickeness, plus he is a good tackler. Look for him to be one of Senn's top tacklers this year as Senn plays up in the Illini-conference.
Please comment why your player should be added to this list.
I am going to start this thread listing some of the players to look out for this upcoming football season. Players will be added to this list as time goes by. Or players can be moved from one category to the other. Feel free to comment and state why you feel they should be added to this list. Classes are determined as of the 2011-12 school year. They are listed in no specific order except by name recognition.
Mainstream Already Recognizes All These Names; Big Time DI Type Jordan Diamond(sr, OL), Simeon Robert Gregory(sr, QB), Simeon Maurice Fleming(sr, QB), Curie Mikhail Dubose(sr, DL/TE), Hubbard Shaquille Joyner(sr, LB), Simeon Mario Jones(sr, OL/DL), Hubbard Brian Carter(sr, RB), Kelvyn Park Desroy Maxwell(sr, WR/S), Amundsen Dae Shaun Hurley(sr, QB) Morgan Park
On the Cusp Darvell Harris(sr-QB), Dunbar Steven Reese(sr- S), Julian Darren Monroe(sr- OL), Simeon Quincy Skanes(sr, QB), Hubbard Demarco Young(sr, Line), Dunbar Demarlon Morris(jr, DB), Julian Aaron Banks(sr, DB), Simeon Vaughn King(sr), Curie Kevonta McIntyre(sr, RB-LB), Curie Darien Boone (jr, QB, 6-2, 175lbs), Fenger Damarco Gilmore (5-11, 185lbs, LB, jr), Harlan Corey Thomas (6-3, 280lbs, jr), Lindblom - New Lance Baggett (6-1, 230lbs, sr), Chicago Academy - New
On the rise Devon Sanders(jr, DE/RB), Robeson Jarvis Wright(sr, QB/CB), Robeson Byron Kelley(jr), Brooks Daquan Sain(jr- OL/DL), Brooks Ahmad Bradshaw(jr- QB), Brooks Destry Cross(jr, DL), Harlan DeShaun Jordan(jr, WR), North Lawndale Ricky Harris(sr, RB), Dyett Cywettnie Brown(sr), Simeon Davion Belk(DE), Whitney Young Phillip Martin (sr, DE), Kenwood Brandon Peppers(sr, RB), Morgan Park Antonio Abreu(jr, RB/DB), Lane Tech Ian Rundquist(jr, line), Lane Tech Dan Finger(jr, QB) Whitney Young Martin Shine(jr, OL/DL), Taft Terry Magee (so, WR), North Lawndale David Underwood(jr, DE), CVS
Before the game, we knew Senn would be no cake-walk but we also had confidence that we would prevail. Unfourtunately, things didn't go as planned. Most of the game was back and forth as both teams were hot from the three point line early. Senn was lead by #2 with 24 points. It seemed like whenever Senn was in need of a basket, he would score at will. With Senn leading most of the fourth quarter, we got it back to a tie game as Senior Forward Mark Brand's several put-backs kept us in the game at the end. Mark had a career-best performace with 18 points and 13 rebounds. With Senn leading by 3 and under 10 seconds left, they got a steal on defense which forced us to foul. Unfourtunately for us, he made both and sealed the deal for a win. Senior Guard Dillan Torres had 14 points which included 4 threes. This loss puts us in a three-way tie for second place in a conference that is still wide open. We got Taft and Prosser next week with a chance to strengthen our record to 4-1.
Lane Tech (8-7)(2-1)
Other Red-North Scores
Lincoln Park 57, Payton 32 Prosser 41, Von Steuben 38 Foreman 69, Uplift 41
There is no clear cut favorite to win the Red-North. Anyone can take it - even Senn?!
Red-North teams 2010-11 (last year records) Foreman 26-4 (9-0) Von Steuben 18-8 (7-2) Lincoln Park 18-10 (7-2) Uplift 13-13 (6-3) Taft 12-15 (5-4) Senn 12-13 (4-5) Lane 11-15 (4-5) Payton 6-16 (2-7) Mather 25-4 (9-0) Prosser 18-9 (8-1)
Crete-Monee 68 Von Steuben 28. That score in Von Steuben's first game of the season tells it all. Von Steuben, normally a Red-North powerhouse is down this year. Same with Foreman and Lincoln Park.The days where Foreman and Von Steuben finishing 2nd and 3rd in the prestigious Proviso West Holiday Tournament like they did last year, are not going to happen this year.
Here's my take on the top 3 teams from last year.
Foreman, a basketball power the last 4 years has graduated a bevy of talent and will take a drop off. How big? Depends on how much their returning players and frosh-soph players who make varsity develop. They will surely miss their 3 DI guards who graduated last year: Mike McCall (Saint Louis), Lavonte Dority (South Florida) and Tommy Woolridge (Eastern Illinois). Foreman does return George Edwards a 6-5 senior forward.
Von Steuben ended last season with a disapointing loss to Mather from the Blue-North conference in the state playoffs. They will try to bounce back this year with some young talent. The one to look out for is sophomore guard Demetrius Faulkner.
Lincoln Park is always well coached and has conditioned athletes. However, the conditioning has not resulted in too many wins so far this year as Lincoln Park has stumbled to a 2-3 start. They struggled in their two wins against Prosser and Tilden. On the plus side their losses have come against good teams from Proviso West, St. Ignatius, and New Trier. Lincoln Park is led by guard Rashad Wahab and Adonis Lema. Lema is leading the Lions in scoring with 11.5 points per game.
With the Big 3 appearing to be a bit down this year, the door is open for someone else to step up. Lane, Uplift, Mather, Senn, Taft? Who wants it most!
Dual sport wrestling and football star Yusef Mohammed of Senn
In the CPS wrestling has athletes who play other sports especially football. Look for the following "football" players this year in wrestling
Yusef Mohammed (sr)of Senn (all-city linebacker, city runner up at 189lbs last year) David Whitaker from Simeon (a strong defender for the football team, placed 3rd at 160lbs) Rashad Treadway (sr) of Gage Park (captain of Gage Park's football team, 4th at 189lbs) Dequence Goodman(sr)of Bowen (all-conference lineman, 3rd at 215lbs) Terrell Klinkscale(sr) of Douglas (all conference lineman, 285lb champion) Christopher Ballard (jr?) of Gage Park (all conference lineman, 4th 285lbs) Jameel Carter (sr) of Uplift (starting QB, 119lb runner up) Nick Jankowski (jr) of Lane (starting QB, 119lb champion)
There's a whole bunch more. If anyone can think of anymore, please comment.
Cody Gillard (sr- RB) and Rashaun Roberts (sr, WR)
I got an indecation Grayslake Central was a serious program when two hours before kickoff carloads of Grayslake Central fans were in the parking lot tailgaiting.
They also showed it on the field, as Grayslake Central completely dominated the first half and led 21-0. I left the game at that point. There was no use watching any longer.
Senn started out the game well by causing nad then recovering a Grayslake fumble on their first posession. Then, when Senn had the ball, running back Cody Gillard ran for about a 20 yard gain. But after that it was all downhill for the Bulldogs. The Grayslake line completely controlled the Senn line as Senn could muster absolutely nothing on offense. Thus, giving Grayslake excellent field position every time they got the ball. The game was played on the Senn side of the field the entire half.
Since Senn is in a Chicago Conference, they do not qualify for the city playoffs after a state playoff loss. Thus, their season is over. Senn will move upto the Illini-conference since they won their Chicago Conference.
I predicting that Senn and Cody Gilliard (sr, RB, above) will have a strong chance of beating #15 seed Grayslake Central. Grayslake Central was 5-4 and finished 3rd in the Fox Valley conference. The Fox Valley is strong on top with Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge, but after that I think is vulnerable.
The signs are good for Senn. Senn is a disciplined, make few turnovers and very fit team. Grayslake North will travel to unfamiliar territory in Chicago. Senn is also very good. Unlike many city schools, Senn is capable of passing the ball as well as running. Sophomore QB Quinell Johnson does not have the strongest arm, but throws enough and well enough to keep defenses honest. Senn can also run the ball with RB Cody Gilliard.
Still, Grayslake Central is the best team that Senn has faced thus far.
Graylake Central is a balanced team as well. QB Rey Beckman (jr) is a very efficient passer. Beckman hands the ball off to rushers Jahard Nelson and Joey Valdivia.
This will also be the fastest team that Senn has played all year. Grayslake Central has 5 athletes that qualified for the class 2A state track meet last spring. Senior safety Kevin Hein in an all-state wrestler finishing 4th at 189lb 2A wrestling last school year. This is also a fit and very conditioned team. Unlike Chicago Conference teams that Senn has faced, Grayslake Central can match Senn athlete for athlete.
It will be a close game. Senn is undefeated and the best in the Chicago Conference. They will keep the game close and has a chance to win. But it has to be mistake free and scoring early and often will help.
Senn Bracket in 5A
#2 Senn vs #15 Grayslake Central #7 Julian vs #10 Marian Central
#3 Sycamore vs #14 Lakes #6 Montini vs #11 St. Francis