Prep football’s 2013 regular season is in the books.
It was a season marked with great achievement for many Southland teams and, yes, disappointment for others.
Hey, it’s not all sunshine and daisies, folks.
There were overachievers and underachievers, teams that met expectations — both good and bad — and others that didn’t answer the bell.
Today, I unveil my annual prep football report card. Mind you, this teacher — that would be me — exhibits no preferential treatment. I treat all of my students — local teams — fairly. If not, my alma mater, Eisenhower, would earn an “A” every year. If you recall, I handed my Cardinals an “F” a few years ago.
Final grades are based on performance, difficulty of schedule, overcoming unforeseen occurrences — injuries, intrusive parents and such — and a program’s tradition.
Here’s my report card, solely based on the regular season.
A — High honor roll
Evergreen Park (9-0): Perfection.
Bremen (8-1): Good to see the Big Teepee rockin’ and celebrating an undefeated conference championship.
Crete-Monee (8-1): Earned sixth straight conference title.
Homewood-Flossmoor (8-1): Is there a better offensive mind in the area than coach Craig Buzea? I think not.
Lincoln-Way North (8-1): When you have a D-I thoroughbred — in this case running back Julian Hylton — you ride him like there’s no tomorrow. The Phoenix did that to perfection.
Lincoln-Way West (8-1): See above, substituting Javier Montalvo for Hylton.
Mount Carmel (8-1): The rich get richer.
Richards (8-1): These ’Dogs showed some serious bite.
Rich Central (8-1): A two-point conversion away from a perfect season.
St. Rita (8-1): Where would this team be without quarterback Tommy Mister?
Oak Forest (7-2): Despite the season-ending loss of quarterback Nick Ciufia, extended playoff streak to 14 years. Impressive.
B — Honor roll
Argo (7-2): First time in coach Jim Innis’ 26-year career the program has won seven games in a season.
Lincoln-Way East (7-2): Seven wins is its LOWEST win total in six seasons. A model of excellence.
Marist (6-3): Offense is explosive, but continued lack of consistency on defense is puzzling.
Bloom (5-4): Gave Crete-Monee and Rich Central all they could handle.
Morgan Park (5-4): Glory days are fading.
C — Respectable
Andrew (5-4): Major underachiever. Too much talent to “sneak” into playoffs.
Chicago Christian (2-7): Paging Mark VanderKooi.
De La Salle (5-4): See Andrew.
Providence (5-4): Toughest schedule in the area, bar none.
Sandburg (5-4): There was a time when this program struck fear into opponents.
T.F. South (5-4): Showed great resolve in recording must-wins in Weeks 8 and 9.
Reavis (5-4): Sophomore class could lead program back to prominence.
Eisenhower (4-5): Five losses were by a combined 31 points.
Stagg (4-5): From 1-8 to nearly qualifying for the playoffs in first year under Mike Fahey.
Lincoln-Way Central (4-5): Two points — 22-21 loss to Lincoln-Way North — from qualifying for postseason.
D — Rebuilding
St. Laurence (4-5): Outstanding freshmen class offers hope.
Marian Catholic (2-7): See St. Laurence.
Tinley Park (4-5): Playoff appearance streak snapped at three.
Thornton (4-5): Friday night lights not the answer.
Brother Rice (3-6): Rebuilding stage nearly complete. Payback begins next season for Crusaders.
Lemont (3-6): Never saw this clunker coming.
T.F. North (3-6): So close, but yet so far, from qualifying for playoffs.
Oak Lawn (2-7): Back-to-back 2-7 seasons. Program lacks an identity.
Rich East (2-7): Had qualified for postseason five of past six seasons.
Thornwood (2-7): See Thornton.
Rich South (1-8): Program took a step backward.
Shepard (0-9): Why not an “F”? Showed guts scheduling private schools Brother Rice and Marian Catholic.
F — Back to the drawing board
Lockport (3-6): History lesson, boys and girls: There was a time — in 2002 and ’03 — when this program won consecutive state championships. What in the wild, wild world of sports is going on here?
Hillcrest (0-9): Third winless season in four years.
Thornridge (0-9): Disarray.