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2018 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League football team

Simeon's Rashaan Palmer (7) leaps to grab a touchdown pass. | Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Simeon wide receiver Rashaan Palmer makes it sound easy.

“Just attack the ball at the highest point and come down really strong,” Palmer said, describing one of his highlight reel catches this season

Maybe it really is that simple for a 6-4 spring-loaded athlete. Palmer’s leaping ability and great hands made him an easy selection for the 2018 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League Team.

His teammates saw Palmer’s amazing grabs so often that they became routine.

“[Palmer] is my cousin,” Simeon running back DeAngelo Hudson said “He’s been doing that since he was five. I’ve seen it all my life, I know what he is capable of.”

For some reason Palmer isn’t receiving a ton of college attention. Late last month he said he had interest from Southeastern Missouri, Northern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Palmer is joined on the team by four Simeon teammates: Alante Brown, Ronald Haggins, Kenyan Butler and Keontis Parker.

Brown, a Michigan State recruit, is part of a trio of high-major recruits on the team. Phillips’ Jahleel Billingsley has committed to Alabama. Wildcats receiver Fabian McCray recently decommitted from Illinois and will wind up at a Power Five school.

Another trio of All-Public League players are heading to NIU. Defensive backs Mark Aitken (Kenwood), Romel Goston (Raby) and Messiah Travis (Solorio) have committed to the Huskies.

All three were impact players on both sides of the ball this season.

Three juniors made the team, Haggins and Butler from Simeon and Demerick Morris of Phillips. It was definitely a senior-dominated season in the Public League.

The seniors didn’t just dominate on the field. Several of the players demonstrated impressive leadership ability and vision.

Brown, Curie’s AJ Sanya and McCray banded together in the media to help force Chicago Public Schools to reschedule the games canceled in the wake of the Jason Van Dyke verdict.

Back of the Yards’ Carl McNickles, Taft’s Piotr Krupa, Aitken and Travis stepped up and led their teams to resurgent success or helped build brand-new programs.

“Football is about these kids having a chance to ball out on Friday and Saturday nights, doing well in the classroom and having the opportunity to become great men,” Curie coach Arthur Ray said.

2018 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League football team

– Selected by a committee of Public League coaches and administrators


QB Alante Brown, Simeon, Sr.

RB Carl McNickles, Back of the Yards, Sr.

RB AJ Sanya, Curie, Sr.

WR Fabian McCray, Phillips, Sr.

WR Rashaan Palmer, Simeon, Sr.

WR Jahleel Billingsley, Phillips, Sr.

OL Jackson Charlton-Perrin, Kenwood, Sr.

OL Piotr Krupa, Taft, Sr.

OL Ryan Pilcher, Payton, Sr.

OL Demerick Morris, Phillips, Jr.

OL Dominic Moore, Perspectives, Sr.

ATH Tryvis Ousley, Westinghouse, Sr.

ATH Donovan Earles, Morgan Park, Sr.

ATH Kobe Collins, Taft, Sr.

K Roberto Hernandez, Curie, Sr.


DL Jaylen Pate, Lane, Sr.

DL Ronald Haggins, Simeon, Jr.

DL Trevon Hill, Raby, Sr.

DL Kenyan Butler, Simeon, Jr.

LB Jamil Ross, Perspectives, Sr.

LB Dane Romberger, Lincoln Park, Sr.

DB Keontis Parker, Simeon, Sr.

DB Montrell Evans, Hubbard, Sr.

DB Mark Aitken, Kenwood, Sr.

DB Romel Goston, Raby, Sr.

DB Messiah Travis, Solorio, Sr.

ATH Seth Williams, Vocational, Sr.

P Lucius Negrillo, Young, Sr.

Honorable Mention


QB Darrin Cotton Jr., Brooks, Sr.

RB DeAngelo Hudson, Simeon, Sr.

RB Dawone Johnson, UP-Bronzeville, So.

WR Denzel Step hens, Kenwood, Sr.

WR Kyel Grover, Morgan Park, Sr.

WR Amanjah Jackson, Perspectives, Sr.

OL Demetri Georgopoulos, Taft, Jr.

OL Armando Resendiz, Back of the Yards, Sr.

OL Xavier Brown, Lincoln Park, Jr.

OL Erron Gibson, Kenwood, Sr.

OL Quran Range, Westinghouse, Sr.

ATH AJ Harris, Hubbard, Sr.

ATH Maqael Henderson, Orr, So.

ATH Zach Anderson, Payton, Sr.

K Ivan Parrales, Back of the Yards, Sr.


DL Kenny Givens, Hubbard, Sr.

DL Burl Junior, Solorio, Sr.

DL Marlik Caston, Lincoln Park, Sr.

DL De’Andre Wilborn, Westinghouse, Jr.

LB Joshua Little, Kenwood, Jr.

LB Justin Foster, Taft, Jr.

LB Kavonte Smith, Hyde Park, Jr.

DB Donald Dillon, Kenwood, Jr.

DB Shamari Robinson, Vocational, Sr.

DB Colby Cline, Perspectives, So.

ATH Isaiah Ross, Hubbard, Sr.

ATH Jalen Jenkins, Lincoln Park, Sr.

P Xavier Avila, Goode, Sr.