MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Illinois Football

  • No player in the history of Illinois high school football has kicked a longer field goal than the one that Tucker McCann nailed against Belleville East on Saturday afternoon.

    The O'Fallon (Ill.) junior connected on a 60-yard field goal in the first quarter for O'Fallon's first points.

    The previous record was set by Nick Setta of Lockport in 1996, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

    Unfortunately for O'Fallon, McCann's kicking heroics were not enough, as it fell to Belleville East 17-13.

    Watch the incredible kick in the video above.

  • One heck of a football game was finished off with one Hail Mary of a completion as Oswego (Ill.) stunned defending state champion Batavia 40-38 on a 24-yard last-second completion from quarterback Steven Frank to Joe Hennessy.

    The play only occurred because the previous snap ended with a failed desperation lateral that presumably ended the game, but Batavia was called for a personal foul, extending the contest.

    According to this exceptional write-up by Kevin McGavin of the, the teams exchanged seven scores on seven straight possession to close the final 17 minutes.

    "It was unbelievable," Oswego coach Brian Cooney told McGavin. "A tidal wave of events."

    Said Frank: "The kid I threw to (Hennessy) was my primary (receiver), but I didn't know he was double covered."

  • It's only September, but we may already have the catch of the year.

    Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.) receiver Mikey Dudek, a 5-foot-11 senior committed to Illinois, performed a circus catch last week against rival Naperville Central laying out, full extension to haul in the pass with one hand.

    Despite Dudek's heroics, Neuqua Valley lost to Naperville Central 58-35. Dudek and the Wildcats will look to rebound on Friday against South Elgin.

    Check below for a second angle of Dudek's wild grab.

  • A history of producing future NFL tight ends helped the University of Notre Dame land another future star on Monday when Nic Weishar committed to the Class of 2014.

    Courtesy photo

    Nic Weishar, Marist

    The 6-foot-5, 215-pound 4-star wide receiver from Marist (Chicago) affirmed in a Chicago Sun-Times article, "Obviously, the tradition they have had with tight ends was big. I think there is a total of like seven All-Americans at the tight end position. It is special how they use them and they know how to use them like no one else in college football. With Tyler Eifert doing so well it is pretty special, and I have a lot of expectations and I think I am up to the challenge."

    MaxPreps/CBS recruiting expert Tom Lemming says that Weishar will likely be turned into a tight end.

    As a junior, Weishar caught 89 passes for 1,100 yards and five touchdowns. During his sophomore year he had 77 catches for 1,160 yards and three touchdowns.

    He also seriously considered Michigan and Northwestern and additionally had offers from such other schools as Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

    Weishar is the seventh soon-to-be senior to commit to the Fighting Irish, who are ranked No. 11 in the most recent team recruiting rankings.

  • Photo by John Rowland

    An Illinois lawmaker is attempting to limit tackling during high school football practice.

    Citing statistics and injuries, an Illinois lawmaker is seeking to limit tackling in high school football to one practice per week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Carol Sente, a Democrat from Lincolnshire, believes limiting tackling could help reduce the liabilities involved in football, a sport which has experienced increased scrutiny recently.

    "When you hear the statistics and see the injuries and talk to administrators, you realize there might be a point where football might have to change drastically because the schools will have trouble getting liability insurance," she told the Tribune.

    Predictably, high school football coaches seem to be reacting with skepticism. One coach told the Tribune he believes that reducing tackling in practice will make the game more dangerous, citing players' potential failure to learn and perfect proper technique.

    The news comes just one week after a Texas lawmaker proposed a nearly-identical bill intended to limit tackle practices.

    Coaches from the Lone Star State responded similarly to Illinois coaches.

    "It's not a full-bore, get-after-it situation other than at the point of attack. I think most coaches are pretty smart about that stuff during the season," Abilene head coach Steve Warren said.

    What technically defines a tackle, or what exactly practices would look like with no tackling allowed, is not clear.

    What is apparent, however, is that lawmakers will face an uphill battle against coaches who believe they are already working to protect the health and best interests of their players.
  • Photo by Gary McCullough

    Laquon Treadwell has committed to Ole Miss.

    Laquon Treadwell, the nation's No. 28-ranked player according to, committed to Ole Miss in an announcement made live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

    The Crete-Monee (Crete, Ill.) standout picked Ole Miss over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

    "I believe in (Ole Miss) coach (Hugh) Freeze. He is changing the culture, and I want to be a part of the return to glory for Rebel Nation," said Treadwell in the announcement.

    A superb athlete, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Treadwell was simply dominant in helping to lead Crete-Monee to a Class 6A state title.

    Treadwell earned MaxPreps All-American honors after making 81 catches for 1,424 yards and 16 scores. That came after a junior year in which Treadwell hauled in 75 passes for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns.

    Michigan was long thought to be the frontrunner for Treadwell's services, but in the end the Wolverines dropped off and Ole Miss emerged as the favorite.

    Treadwell's former teammate, Anthony Standifer, is a freshman defensive back for the Rebels.

    With Treadwell's commitment, Ole Miss begins what could be a sensational close to the class of 2013. The nation's No. 1 recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, is expected to choose Ole Miss, and Antonio Conner and Elijah Daniel remain in the mix.

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • Photo by William Tatge

    Don Butkus and Mount Carmel have a shot at a state title on Saturday.

    How is Dick Butkus going to spend Thanksgiving?

    There's a good chance he'll be talking strategy with his great nephew, Don Butkus, the starting quarterback for Chicago power Mount Carmel.

    That's because Don's Caravan squad takes on Glenbard North on Saturday, with the Class 8A title on the line.

    Don carried Mount Carmel to a 26-21 victory over Nequa Valley last week by throwing three touchdown passes.

    However, according to the Chicago Tribune, he sprained his ankle and his status for Saturday's game is not yet clear.

    Led by head coach Frank Lenti, the winningest coach in state history, Mount Carmel has an impressive football tradition. The Southside Chicago school has 10 state championships and boasts alumni such as Simeon Rice and Donovan McNabb.

    This season with Don Butkus behind center, the team is 12-1, its only loss a 30-27 setback to Loyola Academy, which Glenbard North eliminated in the state semifinals last week.

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • video footage of the game from 100.5 NTA-FM.

    A miraculous victory on Saturday has enabled Boylan (Rockford, Ill.) to continue its quest for a third consecutive Class 7A state football championship.

    The Titans nipped Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.) 22-21 in a second-round thriller by scoring eight points with no time left on the clock. It marked their 39th straight win over the last three years.

    Fenwick, which had scored all of its points in the third quarter to erase a 14-0 deficit, was unable to run out the clock and forced to punt with 10 seconds remaining in the tense contest.

    Peter Cimino fielded the punt at his 10 and headed up the field. However, when he made his first cut, he slipped and barely kept his knee from touching by putting his hand on the ground to regain his balance. The rest is history as he galloped 90 yards to paydirt while the clock expired.

    Still, the Titans trailed 21-20. Zach Mathews, normally a linebacker, took care of that problem by plowing into the end zone for the decisive two-point conversion.

    Boylan linebacker Ty Sharp told the Rockford Register Star that Mathews' "second effort is better than anybody's I have seen in my life."

    Added Cimino, "You put 1-on-11 on Zack Mathews, I'll take Zack 10 times out of 10 ... All of us are going to tell our kids about this someday, but this isn't going to matter if we wind up losing in the next round."

    Perhaps, lost in the celebration was Matt Johnson's one-handed interception in his end zone during the first half. It was his 13th pick of the year.
  • Bolingbrook (Ill.) was handed a double loss Friday night as Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.) posted a 42-19 upset victory.

    File photo by Colin Sean King

    Aaron Bailey, Bolingbrook

    It not only was the first defeat for the No. 1-ranked Raiders, but they also lost outstanding quarterback Aaron Bailey on the second play. After an option pitch to Omar Stover, which resulted in an 89-yard touchdown run, Bailey was tackled and suffered what is believed to be a sprained right knee. The Chicago Tribune reported that he will have an MRI on Monday.

    MaxPreps ranks the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior, who has committed to the University of Illinois, as the No. 72 player in the country.

    With Bailey on the sidelines, a Northern Illinois University recruit stole the show.

    Tommy Fuessel rushed for 115 yards and three touchdowns and passed for another score to raise the Griffins' record to 6-0 and put an end to the defending Class 8A state champions' 13-game winning streak.
  • The first Chicago Public Schools teachers strike in 25 years ended Tuesday, sending all students back to their classrooms today, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Football teams, which were idle last weekend, must practice at least three times before playing their next games. The schedule enables them to then play their next games on either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

    Meanwhile, the Illinois High School Association has ruled that all of last week's games matching Chicago Public League teams against charter schools have been forfeited to the charter schools. Games matching Public League teams against each other have been declared "no game."