York finishes season on a high note
The rain fell in droves as a soaked Josh Mathiasen pondered both his past and his future.
His York football team had just ruined Proviso West's homecoming by beating the Panthers 41-0 on a cold, wet, sloppy Saturday afternoon.
"It's going to be sad moving on because this team, we built this amazing bond," said the York senior defensive lineman. "A little bittersweet, you know? I'm sad I won't be with my same teammates, but I'm happy to be moving on to the next level and play in college."
Mathiasen had several collegiate Division I offers but instead settled on Olivet Nazarene to study pastoral ministry and, of course, ply his trade on the field.
He'll be missed, as will senior tackle Tim Glavin, who caught a third-quarter tackle-eligible touchdown that set the final score and allowed the Dukes to finish 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the West Suburban Silver.
"I'm going to miss everything," Glavin said of what he'll remember about his high school football experience. "I'm going to miss especially my team the most. I love all these guys; I couldn't imagine going on the field with anybody else. But I'm also going to miss hitting. I'm going to miss the coaches."
Make no mistake, though -- the 2020 Dukes are poised to do big things, if the Proviso West game is any indication.
Running back Patrick Kastner will be a senior. He rushed for 189 yards on 17 carries, including a 48-yard second-quarter touchdown. He would have had a second, on a 28-yard run in the first quarter, but he fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line. Good thing senior Owen Pechous was there -- he scooped up the ball and fell into the end zone, which gave the Dukes a 14-0 lead.
Quarterback Max Assaad will also be a senior next fall, and completed 6 of 12 passes for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns -- one to fellow junior Sami Ayash, and the other to Glavin. But Assaad himself scored a touchdown on a third-quarter pass play from senior running back Anthony Abbatecola, who also rushed for 37 yards on 7 carries.
Want one more? Junior Patrick Cote chipped in 11 rushes for 85 yards, all in the second half.
"I think the program is going in the right direction," second-year coach Mike Fitzgerald said. "We've got a lot of guys that got experience this year, and a strong junior class that's going to be seniors. It's going to come down to the off-season and working hard again, but those guys are going to get amped up for that and be really motivated."
The York defense, led by Mathiasen and fellow senior lineman Liam Enright, limited the Panthers to just 74 total yards, almost as many as they had penalties (65). Proviso West only managed 11 rushing yards.