Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Julian Hylton committed... Illinois yesterday, but you can still see the star running back (?), defensive back (?), wide receiver (?) play one last season at Lincoln-Way North this year.

The Phoenix, coached by George Czart, went 6-4 last year, including a big win over Andrew, 37-20, in Week Eight, and a first-round playoff loss to Richards, 36-14.

How does 2013 look for the Frankfort school? Well, let's have a look at their schedule, with last year's records, as always, in parentheses:

Aug. 30 @ LaSalle-Peru (3-6)

Sept. 6 Hillcrest (1-8)
Sept. 13 Andrew (6-4)
Sept. 20 @ Thornridge (0-9)
Sept. 27 Thornton (8-3)

Oct. 4 @ Lincoln-Way Central (4-5)
Oct. 11 Lincoln-Way West (8-4)
Oct. 18 @ Bradley-Bourbonnaise (6-4)
Oct. 25 @ Thornwood (3-6)

Look familiar? Lincoln-Way North plays in the same conference as Andrew, the Southwest Suburban (Red), which I touched on a couple of weeks ago. I won't go into who's good and who's not-so-good again; I'll let you (re)read if for yourself. Suffice it to say that the Phoenix play a lot of schools that begin with either "Lincoln-Way" or "Thorn-."

But you may want to watch for that game against Andrew in Week Three, which could be a heck of a match-up between Hylton and Thunderbolt running back Jarvion Franklin. And who knows? Maybe those two will end up playing for Illinois together in 2014.

Another game you might consider attending (if you don't mind driving) is the opener, against LaSalle-Peru. Will that be a good contest? I have no idea. But it will be played at historic Howard Fellows Stadium, below, in LaSalle, Illinois (about two hours from my house).

Edgy Tim summed up Fellows this way last year: "Old-school stadium has a ton of charm."

Another blogger had this to say about it:

...a real hidden gem of a venue that ... may be the state’s best kept secret as far as athletic facilities go.

Fellows Stadium is definitely unique in many respects. Built in 1937, the stadium was intended to be used by a local community college, but that plan never came to fruition. Now it’s used as the home field for the high school in the area. With the concrete walls and three (yes, THREE) tiers of seats, it’s definitely a throwback to a much different era. However, the stadium appears to have held up quite well in that time, receiving some renovations about 20 years ago. The stands on the home side are extremely tall and run right down to the field, which has no track separating the stands from the surface. The front part of the stands are elevated about 10 feet, so even fans in the front rows will have a decent view of [the field].

As you can see from the pictures (I think that's my car on the far right!), it's certainly worth a stop one of these days.

I'll be out at Batavia for opening night this year, but Fellows is definitely on my High School Football Bucket List.

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