famously said, "If you haven't got anything good to say about anybody, come sit next to me."
When writing about high school football, though, I've always tried to remember what my mom used to tell me: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." These kids, after all, are just kids. I've even seen them cry after losing a playoff game. They're not professionals; heck, they're not even college kids.
So I've really tried to stay positive when writing this blog.
And yet, having said all that, I can't help noticing how some programs around the state have fallen on hard times.
Take Leo, for example. Just two years ago the Lions finished the season at 10-3 and lost in the 1A semifinals to the eventual champion, Lena-Winslow. So far this year Leo is 1-5 and could conceivably finish 1-8.
Or how about Wheaton Warrenville South? The Tigers, also 1-5, appeared in the 7A final three years in a row, from 2009-2011, winning the title in 2009 and 2010. Even though they should win their remaining three games they've been eliminated from the postseason.
Lake Zurich, at 2-4, finishes this year against three 4-2 teams. Could the Bears, 7A runners-up in 2013 and 2010 and 7A champs in 2007, end the season at 4-5 and miss the playoffs altogether?
And what is going on at Naperville North and Boylan, both 0-6? The Huskies were 8A champions as recently as 2007. And the Titans, 12-1 two years ago, lost to Batavia, the eventual 6A winner, in the semifinals. The previous year, 2012, Boylan went 11-1 and lost to Lake Zurich. In 2010 and 2011, the Rockford squad went undefeated both years, taking the 7A crown in 2011 and the 6A in 2010. And in the previous three seasons -- 2007, '08 and '09 -- Boylan lost only one game each year.
Again, I don't want to make anyone feel bad, but what happened to these once successful programs?