Can Loyola win back-to-back state championships?

By Maddie Lee The night of Nov. 28, coach John Holecek stood in front of his kneeling team in the postgame huddle and raised his voice above the screaming fans to tell his players they had achieved something special. Not only did Loyola Academy (14-0) win the state title that night, it did so on […]

D’Wayne Diaries: A day in the life of NFL player turned high school AD

By Maddie Lee D’Wayne Bates was a part of the Chicago Bears’ 2001 NFC Central championship, Northwestern University’s 1995 and 1996 Big Ten championships, and two South Carolina high school state championships. But when he looked back on his life at age 29, he was worried that for the past 23 years all he had […]

No L’s for Loyola: Undefeated Ramblers win championship 41-0

By Maddie Lee DEKALB — As the clock ran down the final seconds, a tide of red jerseys spilled onto the field from the sideline. Ramblers players and coaches jumped and yelled and embraced. For the first time since 1993, Loyola Academy was the state champion. After reaching the playoffs the previous 12 years without […]

Close, but no bylaw: IHSA commission shoots down cheerleading proposals

By Maddie Lee Two controversial proposals, meant to prevent cheating in competitive cheerleading by placing restrictions on sideline cheerleading, hit a wall Monday in the Illinois High School Association Legislative Commission meeting. The winter sideline cheer proposal (No. 17) to implement start and end dates needed a majority vote to make it onto the December ballot, but […]

Conant drops third quarter lead to Stevenson in first round

By Maddie Lee Video by Brooke Rayford It took more than 44 minutes for Stevenson High School to take its first lead of the game. The Patriots almost lost it seconds later, but a controversial penalty nullified a Conant touchdown and helped the defending state 8A champions (7-3) defeat the Cougars (7-4) 43-35 at home Friday in […]

Isaac scores on 2 kick returns in Loyola win over Mount Carmel

By Maddie Lee Mount Carmel had just tied the game 7-7 when Loyola Academy kick returner Jonah Isaac caught the ball at the edge of the end zone. He saw his hole open up. He darted through it. He flew. Touchdown. “It was unreal,” said Isaac. With less than two minutes left in the first […]

College commitment makes a lane for Evanston seniors to savor final season

By Maddie Lee Naquan Jones’ mom wouldn’t stand for it anymore. She snatched his phone from his hands. Homework first. Jones could talk to college coaches later. “I was so attached to it, with coaches calling and messaging [me],” he said. “It took me away from my school work a little bit, and even having […]

Cheers and beers: Wrigleyville bar toasts Cubs’ historic win

By Maddie Lee Video by Mike Bacos When the final strike smacked in Miguel Montero’s glove, Cubs fans at the Wrigleyville bar thrust their arms into the air, emptying the cans in their hands, showering everyone in the back room with beer. The Cubs had just beaten the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday to win […]