For the first time since 1998 and ’99, Evergreen Park has qualified for the state playoffs in consecutive seasons.
And with a sophomore team that finished 8-1 this season, the Mustangs could be in position for a three-peat in 2013. But that’s a topic for future discussion.
The focus now is a Class 4A first-round game Saturday against North Chicago (7-2).
“To win Saturday, our defense is going to have to contain their quarterback (Jay Amos Mays),” Evergreen Park coach Dan Hartman said. “He’s 6-foot-4, an athlete, and can throw the ball.”
The Mustangs (6-3) likely are going to have to accomplish that feat without defensive end Kyle Venhuizen, who remains hobbled with a high ankle sprain.
Otherwise, Evergreen Park is healthy and hopeful of matching — possibly exceeding — last season’s playoff push that ended with a 7-0 loss to Richmond-Burton in the quarterfinals.
“The way our team is constructed, I think we can make a similar run,” Hartman said. “We’re a lot more balanced on offense. But we’re going to have to be able to run the ball Saturday.”
The Mustangs have two backfield threats in Keyshawn Carpenter and T.J. Eames. When it’s time to go to the air, Evergreen Park has a dangerous duo in quarterback Brandon White and receiver Jaquet McClendon.
McClendon also can shift to the backfield in emergency situations or simply to show opponents a different look.
“We move Jaquet all over the field,” Hartman said. “He’s very versatile. Brandon likes to see that big target out on the edge.”
Marian Catholic seeks coach
Marian Catholic is looking for a new coach after the retirement of Dave Mattio. Varsity high school coaching experience and valid teaching certificates are requirements. A full-time staff position is negotiable with the football job.
Interested applicants should send a letter, resume and references (by Dec. 1) to Principal Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait, Marian Catholic High School, 700 Ashland Ave., Chicago Heights, IL 60411.
More information can be obtained by contacting Sr. Kathleen via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.