All-Area Football Team, DuPage County
Jack Benish, Benet
The Defensive Lineman of the Year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference made a habit of terrorizing quarterbacks the last two seasons. Benish's numbers dipped a little from last year, but that's only because of the added attention he received from opposing blockers. Quick off the edge with great technique, the 6-foot, 235-pound senior notched a team-high 80 tackles, including 17 for loss and 6.5 sacks in addition to 23 quarterback hurries. "He's one of the best pass rushers we've had since I've been here," coach Pat New said. "Maybe the best."
Kyle Borske, Neuqua Valley
A three-year varsity player and two-year starter, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior middle linebacker earned DuPage Valley Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year and Class 8A all-state by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association. Borske used strength and explosiveness to record 37 tackles, including 5 for loss with 2 sacks and an interception. "We felt very comfortable when we went up against a team trying to run the ball between the tackles because he was a great linebacker," said Wildcats coach Bill Ellinghaus.
Jackson Bruscianelli, Montini
A three-year starting middle linebacker, the 6-foot, 215-pound Bruscianelli was Chicago Catholic League Blue Division co-Defensive Player of the Year and an IHSFCA Class 5A All-State pick. Twice all-CCL and a two-year team captain, he led the Broncos with 148 tackles, including 15 tackles plus a forced fumble in the 5A championship game. Bruscianelli made 13 tackles for loss with 6 sacks. Coach Mike Bukovsky said, "He's the heart and soul of our defense and maybe the heart and soul of our team overall."
Kendall Burrow, Downers Grove South
Burrow was named the co-Defensive Lineman of the Year in the West Suburban Gold, but he proved to be just as valuable on the Mustangs' offensive line as a left tackle. "The volume of snaps he took and the level of play he maintained was incredible," coach Mark Molinari said. "He was a very dominant player." While consistently grading out as the team's top offensive lineman, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior ate up a bunch of double-teams on the interior of the defensive line. Burrow had 27 tackles, including 20 solos and 6.5 for loss.
Bret Bushka, Glenbard East
Upstate Eight Conference Offensive Player of the Year and IHSFCA Class 7A All-State, Bushka set Glenbard East season and all-time passing and rushing marks by a quarterback. This year the veteran 5-10, 190-pound senior passed for 2,352 yards and 28 touchdowns and ran for 468 yards and 13 touchdowns. In Glenbard East's first playoff game since 1999, Bushka passed for 415 yards, 5 touchdowns and ran for 81 yards, 1 touchdown in a 40-14 win over Prospect. Bushka is "probably one of the fiercest competitors I've ever coached," said Rams coach John Walters.
Drew Cassens, Downers Grove North
The Trojans didn't plan to lean on Cassens as much as they did, but he was simply too good. "When we were being successful, it was because Drew was being successful," coach Joe Horeni said. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound junior was a second-year starter -- but it was his first varsity season at quarterback. Cassens, an IHSFCA All-State selection, piled up 1,200 rushing yards and 500 passing yards. He also had 45 tackles and 2 interceptions in the defensive secondary. "He wanted to play more defense," Horeni said, "but we had to keep him fresh on offense."
Will Chevalier, Neuqua Valley
A total package athletically, this 5-8, 165-pound senior tailback averaged 188 all-purpose yards. Voted Neuqua's "most influential teammate" and offensive MVP, "Chevy" ran for 867 yards, 14 touchdowns with 24 receptions for 457 yards, 2 touchdowns. All-DuPage Valley Conference and IHSFCA Class 8A All-State honorable mention, he'll play college rugby. He scored on an 80-yard kickoff return, and ran for 157 yards, 4 TDs at Jacobs. Coach Bill Ellinghaus called Chevalier one of his smartest players ever, and "on top of that he's just a tough, hard-nosed kid."
Kevin Cooke, IC Catholic
The number of tackles credited to this 5-11, 195-pound junior middle linebacker is astounding. Cooke made 155 last season and bumped that to 183 this year with 135 solo stops, which ranks 14th in state history. Dissecting a play then charging downhill to wreck it, the Metro Suburban Blue Defensive MVP made a whopping 27 tackles against Marengo, 22 Week 4 against Bishop McNamara and 21 against Stillman Valley. Filling in at tailback, he ran for 39 yards and a touchdown against McNamara in ICCP's Class 4A title win. "Kevin Cooke is everywhere," said Knights coach Bill Krefft.
Jack Cooney, Benet
There was a big debate about Cooney this season...on which side of the ball was he more important? "That's a tough question," coach Pat New said. "I think he might have been more valuable on offense." A 6-foot, 170-pound senior receiver and defensive back, Cooney did it all for the Redwings. On defense he had 65 tackles, 3 interceptions, 5 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles. As a slot receiver Cooney caught 29 passes for a team-high 397 yards. And he did it all while playing with a torn elbow ligament. "He was our Mr. Everything," New said. "One of our core guys."
Tyquan Cox, Glenbard West
With two-plus seasons of excellence, Cox added his name to the long list of great Glenbard West running backs. "He wanted to be the guy to carry that load and carry on that tradition," coach Chad Hetlet said. The MVP of the West Suburban Silver and an IHSFCA All-State selection, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior had 162 carries for 1,354 yards and 23 touchdowns while adding 25 catches for 325 yards. Cox had 3 touchdown catches and returned two kicks and a punt for scores. He also threw a touchdown pass. "He was super explosive," Hetlet said.
Aidan Cruickshank, Hinsdale Central
Cruickshank came just shy of the program record for tackles in a season...his own record, set last year. "He started strong when he came up to varsity and just kept it up," coach Dan Hartman said. "He just had a nose for the ball." The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior linebacker came up as a sophomore, made 128 tackles as a junior and piled on 107 tackles this season. Cruickshank had 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, an interception and a huge blocked punt in a season-opening win over Naperville Central. "He's one of the best open-field tacklers we've had," Hartman said.
Nick Fedanzo, Montini
Committed to Illinois, the 6-foot, 205-pound running back had the speed to return a kickoff 99 yards at Loyola and the stamina to grind games out. All-Chicago Catholic League Blue and IHSFCA Class 5A All-State, Fedanzo ran for 1,421 yards and 19 touchdowns with a season-best 186 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns in the 5A championship game. He averaged 7.9 yards a carry with a 74-yard run against St. Rita. "When you package the speed and the power it's really a tough combination," said Broncos coach Mike Bukovsky.
Kyle Franklin, IC Catholic
Coach Bill Krefft said Franklin is a sophomore "putting up big-boy numbers." The 5-foot-9, 175-pound tailback ran for 2,378 yards, averaged 9.3 yards a carry and scored 37 touchdowns. This churning ball of muscle averaged 20.6 yards a carry against Belleville Althoff and ran for 338 yards, 6 touchdowns against Marengo. Using patience and foot speed, the all-Metro Suburban Blue back scored on runs of 70, 84 and 90 yards and topped 190 yards rushing seven times. "He's only 15," Krefft said, "so he's still got a lot of strength to be gained."
Marquese Garrett, Hinsdale South
A running back in his first two high school campaigns, Garrett this season finally got his wish to play quarterback. The Offensive Player of the Year in the West Suburban Gold made the most of it. "It was a super-smooth transition for him," coach Mike Barry said. "He's just one of those playmakers." After rushing for 900 yards as a sophomore, this season the 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior carried the Hornets' offense. Showing near-perfect balance with his talents, Garrett rushed for 965 yards and 12 touchdowns, and threw for 961 yards and 12 scores.
Luke Hallstrom, Naperville Central
A three-year starter, Hallstrom never missed a game. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound senior was named the DuPage Valley Conference's Outstanding Offensive Lineman. "Fundamentally he's one of the best we've had," coach Mike Stine said. "He was the glue that held that group of linemen together." Committed to the Air Force Academy, Hallstrom spent varsity time at guard and tackle -- setting weight-room records along the way -- before settling in this season at center. "If he were 6-foot-4 he'd be going to any school he wanted," Stine said. "He's been that good."
Jermari Harris, Montini
The shutdown cornerback has received five college offers. A 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior, he earned all-Chicago Catholic League Blue Division honors using great feet, vertical leap, physicality and solid tackling. Harris intercepted 8 passes, with a 26-yard touchdown return against St. Rita. He recorded 72 tackles, a forced fumble and 5 pass knockdowns. Strong against the run, Harris made 11 tackles against Marmion. "He is one of the most physically talented players that I've ever coached," said Broncos coach Mike Bukovsky.
Zane Heemsoth, York
Heemsoth has garnered numerous scholarship offers, but what position will he play? With length, athleticism and power, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior could play any level of the defense. For the Dukes, though, he was a rock at middle linebacker. "His production has been unbelievable," coach Mike Fitzgerald said. Heemsoth was a two-time all-West Suburban Silver selection who made at least 100 tackles in his two seasons as a starter. This year Heemsoth had 110 tackles, including 6 for loss and 2 sacks and also contributed at tight end.
Deandre Holliday, Willowbrook
Up on varsity as a sophomore to fill a role, Holliday filled many roles this season. "He was an incredibly versatile player," coach Nick Hildreth said. "He was a tough matchup for people." The 6-foot-2, 173-pound junior not only kept up his strong play in the defensive secondary at cornerback, he also emerged as a go-to receiver. And he averaged 45 yards a punt. Holliday snared 5 interceptions and made 25 tackles while making 40 catches for a team-high 784 yards and 10 touchdowns. "He's got an incredibly high ceiling," Hildreth said.
Joe Ives, WW South
Whether he was on defense or special teams -- the Tigers' two team strengths -- Ives was a playmaker. The 5-foot-10, 162-pound senior safety returned kicks and punts and was a holder in the kicking game. But he was most effective anchoring the secondary. "He always had that feeling that he was going to make a play," coach Ron Muhitch said. "He was always a threat to score with the ball in his hands." Ives returned two of his 9 interceptions, tying a team record, for touchdowns and also returned two punts for scores. He had 59 tackles and two forced fumbles.
Jeremy Johnson, Glenbard East
Repeating as Upstate Eight all-conference, the 6-1, 175-pound senior set Glenbard East season and all-time receiving records. Grabbing 61 receptions this fall for 1,173 yards, Johnson's 20 touchdowns rank among the top 18 in state history. His 188 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns against Bartlett set Rams records. Later he produced 255 yards, 4 touchdowns against Prospect. This four-year, three-sport athlete made IHSFCA Class 7A All-State Honorable Mention. "You don't catch 61 passes in a season (without) a pair of hands like he's got," coach John Walters said.
Jack Jopes, Naperville Central
A converted quarterback who led his sophomore team to a 9-0 record, Jopes in two varsity seasons developed into the co-Defensive Player of the Year in the DuPage Valley Conference. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior defensive back earned the honor despite playing most of the season with two broken ribs. Somehow Jopes managed 42 solo tackles and 30 assists. He also broke up 3 passes and returned an interception for a game-winning touchdown against Neuqua Valley. "For two years he was always around the ball making plays for us," coach Mike Stine said.
Tavion Keith, Glenbard South
This senior packed a wallop for someone 5-8 and 140 pounds. Raiders MVP, the shifty two-year starting receiver earned IHSFCA Class 5A All-State and all-Upstate Eight nods. He set program records of 52 catches and 752 yards. Against Elgin he made a program-record 12 receptions for 177 yards, 3 touchdowns -- and the next week caught 12 more at Larkin. Keith scored 6 touchdowns, with a long catch of 66 yards, and scored on a 70-yard kickoff return. "You can't really replace someone like Tavion," said coach Ryan Crissey. "He's been a blessing to have and fun to watch play."
Jack Kelly, WW South
An IHSFCA All-State honoree, Kelly also was named the Outstanding Defensive Lineman in the DuKane Conference. "He was relentless, a unique player," coach Ron Muhitch said. "He's the biggest playmaker we've had in a long time as a defensive lineman." The 6-foot-2, 226-pound senior nose guard was supposed to take up blockers for others to get the tackle, but he wound up doing both. Kelly had a team-high 101 tackles, including 14 for loss and 4 sacks while being equally effective against the run and the pass. "He was hard to handle," Muhitch said.
Dave Lanciloti, Glenbard West
A key contributor last year as a sophomore, Lanciloti became dominant this junior season. Named the Defensive Lineman of the Year in the West Suburban Silver, the 5-foot-11, 250-pounder was a major reason why the Hilltoppers were so strong against the run. Lanciloti had 52 tackles, including 14 for loss and 6.5 sacks despite facing multiple blockers across the line. "He's become one of the most dominant defensive linemen we've had," coach Chad Hetlet said. "He just gobbles up double-team blocks and gets off them."
Bryce Logan, Waubonsie Valley
Voted Waubonsie Valley's MVP as a junior, the 5-foot-6, 170-pound two-year starting tailback is an all-DuPage Valley Conference pick. Needing only a sliver to find daylight, Logan ran for 163 yards against Libertyville, 176 yards against Naperville North, 155 yards against Metea Valley and 113 yards with 3 touchdowns in Waubonsie's playoff win over Bolingbrook before leaving with an injury. Logan finished with 1,148 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns. "He is an outstanding young man," said coach Paul Murphy.
Cade McDonald, Naperville Central
McDonald enjoyed a true reversal of fortune this season. After catching 19 passes a year ago, he snared an amazing 91 this season. "If you saw him in street clothes you'd never believe he could put up those numbers," coach Mike Stine said. "The season he had was pretty special." The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior receiver shattered program records with his 91 catches and 1,397 yards that helped the Redhawks to 18 touchdowns. Deceptive speed and vice-like hands made it happen. "We had no idea he'd be as good as he was this season," Stine said.
Sam McGee, Glenbard West
Not even the Hilltoppers saw this coming. McGee took full advantage of his lone starting season to become one the best cover guys Glenbard West has had. "He just never gets beat," coach Chad Hetlet said. "You don't see it in stats, but it was huge for us." The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior cornerback was responsible for the other team's best receiver and didn't allow a touchdown or an explosion play of more than 20 yards. McGee made 68 tackles and snared 3 interceptions. "You could see how much he wanted to get better as a player," Hetlet said.
Jay McGrath, Lisle
Class 3A IHSFCA All-State, this 6-2, 195-pound senior directed Lisle's best season since the 1980s. The versatile two-year starting quarterback-safety passed for 1,571 yards, 10 touchdowns and ran for team highs of 569 yards, 14 touchdowns. He made 48 tackles and led Lisle with 5 interceptions. McGrath averaged 36 yards a punt and converted 92 percent on extra points and 6-of-6 on field-goals with a long of 41 yards. A team leader in every sense, Paul Parpet Sr. said, "When he took the field he took confidence that was spread throughout the team."
Xander Mueller, Wheaton North
With multiple scholarship offers already in hand, Mueller should expect a lot more college attention this off-season. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior linebacker was incredibly athletic despite his size, and playing in the heart of the defense allowed him to make plays sideline-to-sideline. Mueller led the Falcons with 78 tackles. Ten were for loss and two were sacks. Great against the run, he also thrived against the pass while breaking up three passes and grabbing 3 interceptions. "He was hands down our best defensive player," coach Joe Wardynski said.
Ricky Mysliwiec, IC Catholic
The 6-3, 310-pound senior started on ICCP's offensive and defensive lines for three straight championship teams with a cumulative record of 41-1. Mysliwiec brought strength, technique and physicality to offensive tackle and defensively at both tackle and guard spots, wherever he was needed the most. A two-time Metro Suburban Blue all-conference selection, this fall he made 64 tackles, 9.5 for loss, with 4 sacks and 8 quarterback hurries. He made 13 tackles against Richmond-Burton. "He is the foundation of it all," said Knights coach Bill Krefft.
Carson O'Donnell, Waubonsie Valley
A team co-captain and two-year starter, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound senior linebacker was named all-DuPage Valley Conference and voted by teammates as the Warriors' defensive MVP. Against Neuqua Valley, O'Donnell's quickness, mental toughness and blitzing instinct produced 21 tackles, including 4 for loss with 2 sacks and 4 quarterback hurries. His season tally was 146.5 tackles, 11 for loss, with 6.5 sacks, 9 hurries and 3 fumble recoveries. "He caused a lot of havoc," said Waubonsie coach Paul Murphy. "Teams had to game plan to know where he was."
Jack Olsen, WW South
Olsen announced his presence with authority this season by making an IHSA record 8 field goals, one shy of the national record, in the opener. The 5-foot-10, 168-pound junior kicker and punter was crucial in getting the Tigers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. "What's most impressive is he excels in all parts of the kicking game," coach Ron Muhitch said. Olsen had 41 touchbacks on kickoffs and a 38.4-yard punt average with 22 inside the 20. He made 40 straight extra points and an IHSA record 22 field goals, including 11 over 40 yards.
Patrick Panasiuk, Lake Park
The third Panasiuk lineman to make the All-Area Team, Patrick is the first to earn the honor on offense. Two-time all-conference, the 6-foot-3, 290-pound senior spent last season at tackle but played center and guard this year. He controlled the line of scrimmage no matter where he was. "His versatility was a huge asset to us," coach Chris Roll said. Panasiuk, who competed through injuries much of this season, has a Navy offer among his college options. "He's as physical an offensive lineman as we've ever had," Roll said. "His attitude was tremendous."
Brendon Passarelli, Hinsdale Central
An IHSFCA All-State selection and the Offensive Lineman of the Year in the West Suburban Silver, Passarelli became the latest elite Hinsdale Central lineman. "He has the ability to physically manhandle defensive linemen," coach Dan Hartman said. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound senior played tackle as a junior and moved to guard this season. He also played some defense, but his college position is likely at center. Wherever he was, Passarelli showed a combination of strength and speed that allowed him to dominate in tight or in space.
Ben Pham, Glenbard East
Starting at left offensive tackle and defensive tackle, the 6-foot, 230-pound senior helped anchor Glenbard East's landmark season. A repeat Upstate Eight all-conference selection and IHSFCA Academic All-State with a 1480 SAT score, Pham used his wrestling background plus great feet, hands and smarts to move people. Defensively, he added 37 tackles, 11 for loss. "Not a pancake guy, not a drive-down-the-field guy, he had the ability to control his guy away from a play better than anyone I've ever coached," said the Rams' John Walters.
Matt Quinn, Neuqua Valley
A 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end, Quinn benches 325 pounds, cleans 285 and squats 495 pounds. A three-year starter, the senior earned coaches' votes as DuPage Valley Conference defensive lineman of the year. Quinn made 45 tackles and led Neuqua with 8 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. "When we game-planned against other teams we looked at how they ran the ball against us, and eight out of 10 times they ran away from Matt Quinn. I think that speaks volumes on how good he is," said Wildcats coach Bill Ellinghaus.
Ben Radel, St. Francis
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior helped direct St. Francis' turnaround. Metro Suburban Blue all-conference, the two-year starting strong safety was a great open-field tackler who rallied his teammates. Radel made 91 tackles, 9.5 for loss, coming up big with 10 tackles against IC Catholic, 11 apiece against Aurora Christian and Bishop McNamara. At slotback Radel caught 1 touchdown pass, but Spartans coach Bob McMillen said he may be even better offensively than defensively. "He'll get that chance next year," McMillen said.
Bo Richter, Naperville North
Two years ago Richter never had played football before. Now he's headed to play at the Air Force Academy. "He played very well for us, but his upside is tremendous," coach Sean Drendel said. "His future in very bright." The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior bounced between inside and outside linebacker, also spending time on offense. Richter had 2 sacks among his 62 tackles and had 23 catches for 370 yards. "He's one of the better athletes we've had in terms of all the things he could do for us," Drendel said. "And he spent so much time working and learning the game."
Nick Rushing, Willowbrook
The co-Defensive Lineman of the Year in the West Suburban Gold, Rushing was technically brilliant at both end positions and both interior positions. "We haven't been able to play a lineman at all four spots before," coach Nick Hildreth said. "His technique got so good, he could play anywhere we put him." Of the 58 tackles by the 6-foot-3, 191-pound senior, 18.5 were for loss and 6.5 were sacks. Rushing also forced and recovered a fumble and blocked a punt. A strong blocker on offense, he had 94 yards on his 4 catches. "He got much better on that side of the ball," Hildreth said.
Khali Saunders, IC Catholic Prep
All of 6-4 and 220 pounds, Saunders committed to Purdue before the season, among nine Division I offers. He's a repeat all-area and three-time all-Metro Suburban Blue linebacker-receiver with a gift for the big play. Saunders gained 300 yards receiving on 23 yards a catch, with 7 touchdowns. He made 81 tackles and 3 interceptions, returning one 40 yards for a touchdown against St. Francis. Saunders had a team-high 8 tackles and an interception in ICCP's Class 4A title win. "He worked his butt off," said Knights coach Bill Krefft.
Khalil Saunders, IC Catholic
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior solidified the three-time state champions. A three-year, two-way starter like his brother, Khali, at quarterback Saunders completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,369 yards, 16 touchdowns; he ran for 652 yards, 7 touchdowns. A strong safety, he added 64 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defended. IHSFCA Class 4A all-state and all-Metro Suburban Blue with four scholarship offers, Saunders ran for 117 yards and a touchdown and made 5 tackles in the 4A championship. "He does so much for us," coach Bill Krefft said.
Anthony Shockey, Glenbard East
Upstate Eight Conference defensive player of the year and IHSFCA Class 7A all-state honorable mention, this third-year starting linebacker set numerous Rams defensive records. This fall the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior made 68 tackles, 13 for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries. Intercepting 2 passes, he returned them for touchdowns of 88 and 65 yards. Twice all-conference and a great blitzer, Shockey excelled whether stopping the run or defending the pass. "He was kind of a do-it-all middle linebacker," said coach John Walters, "and man, was he good."
Dan Skold, St. Francis
A two-way mauler who had 45 pancake blocks and didn't allow a sack in two seasons, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound, senior lineman earned IHSFCA Class 5A all-state. The three-year starter has four college offers. At left offensive tackle or making 25 tackles at nose tackle, Skold outmuscled opponents. He was all-conference first in the Chicago Catholic League, then in the Metro Suburban Blue. "He was a prototypical offensive lineman who does whatever it takes to get the job done and doesn't care how he does it," said Spartans coach Bob McMillen.
Garrett St. Clair, Waubonsie Valley
A 6-foot, 220-pound defensive end who converted from linebacker-tight end since transferring from Aurora Central in 2017, this senior was voted as the Warriors' top defensive lineman. St. Clair made 101 tackles, 4 for loss, plus 7 sacks and 7 quarterback hurries. He made 13 tackles against Naperville Central and Oak Park, 12 against Edwardsville. An all-DuPage Valley Conference pick, St. Clair used his wrestling background to escape lineman. "We knew if he stuck with it he was going to turn out to be a good one," said Warriors coach Paul Murphy.
Fred Stokes, Montini
Stokes dominated at defensive end, leading Montini in sacks and tackles for loss. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds he brought burst and athleticism to the edge. Stokes made 95 tackles, 22 for loss with 11 sacks and 2 pass knockdowns. A two-year starter, the senior also was stout against the run, causing 2 fumbles and recovering 1. Against Fenwick, Stokes made 10 tackles, 3 for loss, with 2 sacks. Fast off the ball and good with his hands to shed blocks, Stokes' length was a factor. "In the biggest games he played pretty well," said Broncos coach Mike Bukovsky.
Payton Thorne, Naperville Central
The 2018 Daily Herald DuPage County Red Grange Football Captain also was named IHSFCA All-State and the DuPage Valley Conference's Offensive Player of the Year. Of all the great Naperville Central quarterbacks through the years, Thorne might be the best. This season the 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior, a three-year varsity starter and a Western Michigan University recruit, completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,079 yards and 40 touchdowns against 9 interceptions. "The game seemed to slow down for him even more this year," coach Mike Stine said.
Ben Thorson, Wheaton Academy
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior quarterback earned IHSFCA Class 4A all-state, Wheaton Academy's first first-team pick since the program returned in 2007. A three-year starter, two-time team captain, 2018 recipient of the leadership-based Warrior Award and all-Metro Suburban Blue, he passed for 1,940 yards, 18 touchdowns, and scrambled for 3 touchdowns. Thorson threw for 383 yards against Aurora Christian and for 4 touchdowns against St. Edward. "Our guys had the confidence in him that he was going to get the job done," coach Brad Thornton said.
Sam Tumilty, Willowbrook
After a year away from the position, Tumilty put up eye-popping numbers at quarterback. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound junior was a returning starter at defensive back but became dominant behind center. "His football instincts are as good as I've ever seen," coach Nick Hildreth said. The co-Player of the Year in the West Suburban Gold and IHSFCA all-stater threw for 2,530 yards and 30 touchdowns, and he ran for 1,270 yards and 16 scores. He made 102 tackles. "You could play him at any position and he'd be the best one there," Hildreth said.
Scott Tumilty, Willowbrook
Tumilty's impact through three varsity seasons was pretty clear. "He's the best playmaker I've ever coached," coach Nick Hildreth said. "His impact was huge." The co-Player of the Year in the West Suburban Gold was a two-way starter who was equally impressive on both sides of the ball. The 5-foot-10, 171-pound senior caught 46 passes for 743 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver and, as a defensive back, had 75 tackles and 5 interceptions, including three he returned for touchdowns. "He makes plays where nothing should happen," Hildreth said.
Charlie Waldusky, Lisle
A three-year starter on Lisle's defensive line and a two-year starting offensive tackle, the 6-foot, 210-pound senior helped lead the Lions' first conference title since 1981. Waldusky was strong and quick, and his relentless play at defensive end forced opponents' top linemen to his side to account for him. All-conference in the Interstate Eight, Waldusky recorded 68 tackles with 6 for loss and 4 sacks. "With his work ethic he was one of the leaders who helped get the program to where we are right now," said Lions coach Paul Parpet Sr.
Jeff Andrews (Fenton, sr., OL-DL), Mohammad Ayesh (Willowbrook, so., LB), Jack Baka (Glenbard East, sr., LB), Matt Bobak (Hinsdale Central, sr., RB), Jacob Boumanns (Neuqua Valley, sr., LB), Isiah Brown-Dietzman (WW South, sr., DL), Kyle Cacioppo (Fenton, sr., QB), Julian Cain (Waubonsie Valley, sr., WR-DB), Emmanuel Chavez (Willowbrook, sr., OL-DL), J.T. Daniels (Addison Trail, sr., OL-DL), Gavin Fitzpatrick (Glenbard South, sr., DB), Trevor Gabriele (Wheaton North, sr., OL), Jonathan Gonzales (WW South, sr., OL), Owen Goss (Hinsdale Central, jr., DB), Matt Heinz (Naperville North, sr., WR), Cross Holmes (Waubonsie Valley, sr., K-P), Danny Hughes (Naperville Central, sr., RB), Marcus Ingold (St. Francis, sr., LB), Sam Jackson (Naperville Central, so., WR), Kobie Jamison (Glenbard North, jr., WR-DB), Derek Johanik (Wheaton Academy, sr., OL-DL), Nehemiah Jones (Glenbard East, sr., DB), Noah Jones (Wheaton Academy, sr., WR-DB), Max Kaiser (Lake Park, sr., LB), Milan Kaplarevic (Hinsdale South, sr., LB), Sean Kelly (Hinsdale Central, sr., DL), Ryan Kenneally (IC Catholic, sr., OL), Matt King (Benet, sr., OL), Hank Knez (Glenbard West, sr., OL-DL), Matthew Knudtson (Willowbrook, sr., OL-DL), Shawn Lee (Downers Grove South, jr., OL-DL), Nick Martich (Lisle, sr., TE-LB), Mike McNicholas (Montini, sr., OL), Terrill McCray (Hinsdale South, sr., DB-WR), Sean Michel (Glenbard West, jr., DB), Conor Murphy (Metea Valley, sr., OL-DL), Matt Oliver (Naperville Central, sr., LB), Joe Passarelli (Downers Grove North, sr., LB), Nick Plaso (Glenbard South, jr., QB), Nathan Reid (Lake Park, sr., DB), Matt Ross (Montini, sr., WR-DB), Brandt Stare (Neuqua Valley, sr., WR-KR), Bo Thomas (York, sr., DL), Michael Thompson (Westmont, sr., WR-LB), Mike Wagner (West Chicago, sr., WR), Mike Wellman (Glenbard North, sr., TE-LB), Scott West (Montini, sr., WR-DB-K), Billy Winfrey (WW South, sr., OL), Julian Wlodarczyk (Metea Valley, sr., WR-LB), Zach Zikuda (Lisle, sr., OL-DL).