Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Game of the Week...

...will be on Friday when Wheaton Warrenville South (6-1) travels to Glenbard North (6-1).

Last year, in Week Nine, I had a dilemma: Should I see the 8A game between two 7-1 teams, Schaumburg and Palatine, or the 5A matchup between two undefeated schools, Morris and Kaneland? Since my motto has always been The Best Game Between the Best Teams I leaned toward the 8A contest. After all, 8A is better football, right? Besides, Kaneland, which is in Maple Grove, is a long way from my house; Palatine is not. But ... Morris and Kaneland were both undefeated and it's a big rivalry. And I was curious: what's it like out there?

I ended up going to the game I wanted to attend, not the one I thought I should attend. Kaneland beat Morris, 33-30, in a nail-biter and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And that other game? Yawn. Palatine won in a walk, 51-18. Clearly, I made the right decision.

This week I'm faced with a similar choice: Should I go to the 7A/8A game between two 6-1 teams, Wheaton Warrenville South and Glenbard North, or the 5A matchup between two undefeated schools, Kaneland and Sycamore? Since my motto has always been The Best Game Between the Best Teams I lean toward the first contest. After all, 7A/8A is better football, right? Besides, Sycamore is a long way from my house (farther even than Maple Grove!); Carol Stream is much closer. But ... Kaneland and Sycamore are both undefeated and fighting for the conference title. It could be a great game. And I'm curious: what's it like out there?

Now, if someone asked me, Should I go to the game I want to attend or to the game I think I should attend, I'd quickly say: Go to the game you want to attend.

So which one will I see? The one I think I should attend, Wheaton Warrenville South at Glenbard North. Why? Well, mostly to see GBN's Justin Jackson, above. As I'm sure you know, the Northwestern-bound running back rushed for 405 yards and scored five touchdowns last week against a high-quality opponent, Naperville Central. Not only did he break the DuPage Valley Conference single-game rushing record (he held the old one, too), but Jackson also played the whole game on defense. Amazing.

So Friday's game will feature Jackson and two schools that are highly-ranked in all the polls and vying for the conference title. What's more, I haven't seen Jackson all year. Shame on me! (In my defense, though, I did go out to Batavia in Week One but the game was postponed due to lightning.)

And that other game out in Sycamore? I'll bet it will be great. I wish I could be there.

So why am I going to watch the game I think I should instead of the one I want to see? Because the universe is messy and rules of thumb don't always work out. What turned out to be the right decision last year may not be the right one this year. We'll see.

Besides, my gut is telling me to go to this game. And another good rule of thumb is to trust your gut.

In the meantime, here's Wheaton Warrenville South's record so far (home team in CAPS):

WHEATON SOUTH 17, Glenbard West 14
Wheaton South 28 MAINE SOUTH 13
WHEATON SOUTH 17 Wheaton North 13
WHEATON SOUTH 42 Aurora West 7
NAPERVILLE NORTH 21, Wheaton South 14
WHEATON SOUTH 14 Naperville Central 7
WHEATON SOUTH 28 Lake Park 0

And here's the Panthers':

BATAVIA 29, Glenbard North 26
GLENBARD NORTH 35, Carmel 14
GLENBARD NORTH 37, Naperville North 28
GLENBARD NORTH 41, Lake Park 12
Glenbard North 40, GLENBARD EAST 0
GLENBARD NORTH 34, Aurora West 13
Glenbard North 40, NAPERVILLE CENTRAL 34

How have they done against each other in recent years? Before 2012 it was all Wheaton South:

2012: Glenbard North 27, WHEATON SOUTH 21
2011: Wheaton South 13, GLENBARD NORTH 7
2010: WHEATON SOUTH 49, Glenbard North 6
2009: Wheaton South 35, GLENBARD NORTH 7
2008: WHEATON SOUTH 16, Glenbard North 14
2007: Wheaton South 13, GLENBARD NORTH 7
2006: WHEATON SOUTH 34, Glenbard North 7
2005: Wheaton South 48, GLENBARD NORTH 17
2004: Wheaton South 6, GLENBARD NORTH 3

Who do I think will win? Even though Tiger coach Ron Muhitch is a football genius, I have to go with Jackson and the home team.

And, of course, I'll be live tweeting it @BoringOldWhtGuy.

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