Exiting the postseason in the first round was not how Crete-Monee envisioned its season wrapping up.
That’s the reality of the situation, however, after the 2012 Class 6A state champion Warriors dropped a 25-14 decision Saturday to Providence.
“We had chances. At the end of the day, we didn’t get it done,” said Crete-Monee coach John Konecki, who guided the Warriors to an 8-2 mark in his first season at the helm. “I thought we had a legitimate shot at winning the game. But the sun came up on Sunday.”
Crete-Monee has been a model of excellence, having qualified for the playoffs nine consecutive years, including a remarkable 32-3 stretch the past three seasons.
There will be plenty of new faces, however, next season.
By Konecki’s count, the Warriors will return two starters on each side of the ball.
“We’ve got some holes to fill, but we have the players to step in,” Konecki said. “We’ll plug away and start filling some holes.”
It’s highly likely two of those holes will be filled by Juawan Treadwell and John Mitchell, who will be sophomores in 2014. Yes, Juawan is the younger brother of 2012 SouthtownStar Player of the Year Laquon Treadwell, now at Ole Miss.
And like his big brother, Treadwell will line up at receiver and defensive back.
Quarterback Frank Douglas and his backup, Clint Ratkovich, also should return. Douglas’ strength is passing; Ratkovich’s running. Konecki hinted at the likelihood of seeing both young men lining up in the backfield.
Other returning starters include defensive back Omari Stringer, a potential Division I recruit, and kicker Carlos Soto.
“There are some interesting things we can do with Frank and Clint in the backfield,” Konecki said. “Juawan is very competitive like his brother. He played all season on the sophomore team as a freshman. The same with John Mitchell.
“We’ve created a culture here to sustain the success and the expectations we have. We know we have kids that can play at a high level. We look forward to next season.”
Player of the Week
Keyshawn Carpenter, of Evergreen Park, is the SouthtownStar Football Player of the Week.
The senior running back carried the ball 28 times for 260 yards and a touchdown to lead the Mustangs to a 33-17 win over Richmond-Burton in a Class 4A first-round playoff game.