The consistency every year is remarkable.
Fremd, Barrington and Prospect high schools just keep jockeying for position in the annual races for varsity girls and boys sports supremacy in the Mid-Suburban League. It starts in the fall, builds some nice momentum in the winter and then closes with a frantic finish in the spring.
The three MSL sports powerhouses outdid themselves in the 2011-12 school year by finishing in the identical 1-2-3 positions in both the Bob Frisk Paddock Trophy for girls and Bob Frisk Paddock Cup for boys. Both races were extremely close from first to third.
Fremd's girls wrapped up their fourth straight Bob Frisk Paddock Trophy championship by averaging 10.80 points per sport out of a maximum 14. That is the equivalent of almost a third-place average finish for 13 varsity sports. Barrington finished second at 10.62 and Prospect was third at 10.19, both impressive performances.
Although not always in the same order, Fremd, Barrington and Prospect have been the top three in MSL girls sports for the past seven school years. Hersey cracked that elite group by taking third in 2004-05.
Fremd has won seven Paddock Trophy titles for girls since the award was initiated in 1975-76. Barrington has 12 overall, including a streak of seven straight from 2001 to 2008. Schaumburg (1993-94) was the last school to break the Fremd or Barrington hold on first place.
Rounding out the first division for girls in 2011-12 were Palatine (8.04), Hersey (7.77) and Conant (7.65). Palatine won six straight girls' titles from 1980-86.
Not to be outdone by their girls, the Fremd Vikings' boys captured their second Paddock Cup title in the past three years and 11th overall by averaging a solid 9.62 points. Barrington, the 2010-11 champion, finished a strong second with an average of 9.54 points per sport, and Prospect was a close third at 9.50.
The boys' first division was completed by Schaumburg (8.62), Buffalo Grove (8.58) and Conant (8.38).
In June of 2009 the two Mid-Suburban League varsity sports awards given by Paddock Publications officially added the name of Bob Frisk, who retired from the Daily Herald in 2008 after 50 years with the newspaper as an enthusiastic supporter of the high schools.
With the cooperation of the Mid-Suburban League Board of Control, Frisk had originated both the Paddock Cup for boys (1968) and Paddock Trophy for girls (1976) for the newspaper.
Points are awarded for each school's finish in Mid-Suburban League varsity only competition, and every sport is treated the same way. There are no so-called "minor" sports. They are all considered major at the varsity level in the Trophy and Cup battles. Success in state tournaments is not a factor.
Conference champions receive 14 points, an important plus in the standings, and the runner-up earns 12. Points then are distributed down the line (11, 10, 9, etc.) according to the final standings. There is a formula that determines points for varsity sports that do not have overall standings but only divisions.
The key to winning the awards or even being in title contention is to avoid as many second-division finishes as possible in the final standings.
Through a 1997 agreement with the MSL Board of Control, complete standings of Nos. 1 through 12 are not published. Only first-division schools are announced each year. The publication of 1-12 put so much negative emphasis on some schools that it created bad feelings with the communities involved.
The awards were initiated to emphasize overall success and not advertise programs that might have problems in any particular school year.