Tuesday, October 14, 2014

If you recognize this man...

...then you are either a news junkie or work on Wall Street or live in Antioch, Illinois. That's John Thain, the former head of Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange. (Was he one of the villains of the 2008 crash? That's the subject for another post.)

John Thain is a 1973 graduate of Antioch Community High School in, you guessed it, Antioch, Illinois. Thain's father, Alan, "was a doctor on the town's redbrick Main Street who has since handed his practice on to Thain's two brothers, Dennis and Robert, both general practitioners. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1977 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979."

So what?

Well, if you follow Illinois high school football, as I do, you'll know that the Sequoits of Antioch (6-1) will be hosting their North Suburban Prairie Conference rivals, the Lakes Eagles (6-1) this Friday night.

And that's just one of the many games you may want to take in this weekend.

But before I get to the rest, you may be asking yourself right about now, "What on earth is a Sequoit"? According to Antioch's Wikipedia page:

There is no Native American tribe named "Sequoit" (pronounced see-kwoyt) or any Native American word for that matter. Though the word "sequoit" has Native American origins, the story behind the name is a complicated and confusing one. Fred Willman explained in his in-depth book examining Illinois high school nicknames, "Why Mascots Have Tales", "The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means 'smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.' When white settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sauquoit Creek."

The two schools provide for an interesting contrast: while Antioch was founded way back in 1915 -- before my parents were even born -- Lakes opened its doors only ten years ago, in 2004 -- after my kids were born.

As for the two football teams, Lakes lost its one game this season to Stevenson, 21-3, while Antioch dropped its opener to Tremper of Kenosha, WI, 14-12. Is Tremper any good? Well, the Trojans are 4-4 and ranked No. 67 in Wisconsin by MaxPreps.

What other games are on tap for this Friday? Isn't there a battle of two undefeated teams? No, not until Saturday when Addison Trail (7-0) travels to Glenbard West (7-0). In the meantime, you'll have to content yourself with one of these other contests.

Yorkville (6-1) at DeKalb (7-0).

This matchup of two Northern Illinois Big 12 East programs pits the Foxes of Yorkville, who lost to Geneseo (7-0) on the road, 13-0, and the Barbs of DeKalb who are, of course, undefeated. Yorkville boasts comedian, actor and writer Andy Richter as a 1984 graduate and
United States Congressman and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert as a former faculty member. DeKalb, meanwhile, counts among its alums supermodel Cindy Crawford. Advantage: DeKalb.

Oh, and as for that nickname, the Barbs, it comes from the claim that barbed wire was invented in DeKalb.

Elsewhere, there's Bradley-Bourbonnais (6-1) at Lincoln-Way North (6-1) in the battle for supremacy in the Southwest Suburban Red Conference, the "confusing conference." You know, the one with three teams named "Lincoln-Way" and three others that begin with "Thorn" -- Thornton, Thornwood and Thornridge. Sheesh!

While the Boilermakers lost to Lincoln-Way Central (4-3), the Phoenix fell to Lincoln-Way West (6-1).

There are also two great rivalries this Friday in the Upstate Eight Conference. In the River division, Geneva (7-0) plays at Batavia (6-1). The Bulldogs, the defending 6A champs, lost their opener to Oswego (6-1), 40-38.

And in the Valley division, Waubonsie Valley (6-1) squares off against Neuqua Valley (5-2) at North Central College in what is always a great contest. (And usually a sellout.)

Finally, there are two games in which a 5-2 team faces off against a 6-1 squad. But don't be fooled, these will be two awesome intraconference tilts:

Brother Rice (5-2) at Providence (6-1), and
Bolingbrook (5-2) at Lincoln-Way East (6-1).

And on Saturday, if you don't take in that West Suburban Gold (Addison Trail) - West Suburban Silver (Glenbard West) showdown in Glen Ellyn, there's always St. Rita (6-1) at Loyola (6-1) for the lead in the Catholic League Blue.

What a great Week Eight!

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