In a deep year for quarterbacks in the Public League, Phillips junior DeWayne Collins stands above the rest.
Collins has led the Wildcats to the IHSA quarterfinals for the first time in program history, compiling some impressive numbers — 1,887 yards, 23 touchdowns, 55 percent completion rate as a passer, plus 1,779 yards and 22 TDs rushing — through 10 games and earning a spot on the Sun-Times All-Public League team.
He beat out such talented rivals as Christopher Covington of Raby, Nate Powell of King, Jayton Dorsey of Dunbar and Marcus Davis of Vocational. Covington, Powell and Dorsey all made the All-City team as defenders.
His coach, Troy McAllister, said Collins is just scratching the surface: “He is a natural leader on and off the field, an AP [advanced placement] and honor student and a fierce competitor.”
Joining Collins on the team is teammate, Quayvon Skanes, a sophomore who had 946 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns through 10 games. McAllister calls him the biggest game-breaker in the city.
The running back spots went to three 1,000-yard rushers with exceptional speed: Charles Bournes of Morgan Park, Luther Lockwood of Brooks and freshman Joshua Land of Hubbard.
Lockwood led all backs in the city with 24 touchdowns through 10 weeks and Land passed 1,000 yards despite starting the season on the sophomore team. Hubbard has another selection in linebacker Darien Henderson, who is the fourth member of his family to make the All-City team. He joins his father Damien, who starred at Robeson; his uncle, Ben (Hubbard) and cousin and current Chicago Bear Kelvin Hayden (Hubbard).
Simeon, which hasn’t lost to a Public League opponent since 2008, has four All-City picks, including three who will return next year: junior kick returner/wide receiver/defensive back Darnell Cockrell (7 return touchdowns), junior linebacker Maurice Burton and sophomore lineman Keevin Agee. Senior linebacker Eddie Randle III also made the squad.
King has a pair of two-way standouts on the team in Powell, who had nine interceptions through 10 games at cornerback, and lineman Fred Coffee, selected on offense.
Brooks is represented by safety Zirham Harris (15 interceptions through 10 games), offensive lineman Lavell Hughes and kicker Jesus Miranda, a three-time All-City pick.
Dorsey, who has set Dunbar records for interceptions for a season (12) and career (25), and Covington were picked as defensive backs along with Robeson’s Lamont Barnes.
Rounding out the team are Curie offensive lineman Aaron Harris; Young defensive lineman Peter Casey, who led the 9-1 Dolphins in tackles and sacks; Schurz receiver Victor Cerda; Harlan offensive lineman Reggie Miles; Harper linebacker Devin Davis; Raby defensive lineman Jamal Milan and Vocational punter Alexze Sloane.