Former Libertyville star Lees catches on at Northwestern
We kickoff a football-heavy Off at College with a quick look at Libertyville graduate Riley Lees, who is a wide receiver and returns specialist for the Northwestern University football team.
The 6-foot junior, who quarterbacked Libertyville's Wildcats to the Class 7A state championship game in 2015, is leading NU's Wildcats in receiving this season. Through this past weekend, Lees has 28 catches for 192 yards in 8 contests. He's averaging 6.9 yards per catch.
Against Nebraska in a Big Ten Conference game, Lees had 7 catches for 48 yards. He also had 5 grabs for 59 yards against Wisconsin and 5 catches for 36 yards against Indiana, plus a 5-catch, 21-yard effort against Michigan State.
Lees also is a major contributor on special teams. He leads the Wildcats in kickoff returns with 6 returns for 154 yards (25.7 yards per return). His long kickoff return this season is 50 yards. He also is tops on the team in punt returns with 13 for 90 yards (6.9 per return). He has a long punt return this season of 20 yards.
Lees is coming off a 2018 season where he caught 22 passes for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lees and 1-7 Northwestern welcome Purdue to town Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ryan Field.
Overbeck at Northern Illinois: Vernon Hills graduate Vivian Overbeck helped the Northern Illinois University women's cross country team finish second at the recent Mid-American Conference championships at NIU's North 40 course.
Overbeck, a senior at NIU, finished 20th in the race with a time of 22:35.1.
Earlier in the season, Overbeck placed 181st at the pre-national invitational, took 20th at the Loyola Lakefront Collegiate Invitational and was sixth at the NIU Huskie Classic.
Overbeck, a three-time all-state cross country medalist at Vernon Hills, is a multiple-time all-academic selection for NIU.
O'Connell at Purdue: Stevenson alum Aidan O'Connell has seen some action at quarterback this fall for the Purdue University football team.
O'Connell, who walked on to the team in 2017, is a sophomore, who earned academic all-Big Ten Conference honors in 2018.
In 3 games this season, O'Connell is 15 of 22 for 133 yards and 1 touchdown. Against Illinois on Oct. 26, O'Connell completed 8 of 14 passes for 67 yards and a score. This past Saturday in another Big Ten Conference game against Nebraska, O'Connell completed 6 of 7 passes for 62 yards and had a long completion of 26 yards.
Marchese brothers in the Big Ten: Brothers Michael and Henry Marchese, both Stevenson products, are playing at the Division I college level.
Michael is a junior defensive back for coach Lovie Smith's University of Illinois squad. He has recorded 5 total tackles and 1 interception this season. In an early-season game against UConn, Marchese returned an interception 29 yards. He's part of an Illinois team that is 5-4 to start the week.
Brother Henry is a sophomore wide receiver at the University of Iowa. He's also played defensive back and has contributed on special teams for the Hawkeyes.
Locals at Miami (Ohio): Stevenson product Jack Sorenson is a redshirt junior wide receiver on the Miami-Ohio football team.
Sorenson has played in 5 games this season and has 14 catches for 129 yards (9.2 yards per catch) and 1 touchdown.
Sorenson caught 5 passes for 44 yards and a score against Iowa and had 4 catches for 42 yards in a game against Ohio State.
Also at Miami, Libertyville graduate Ben Kimpler is a redshirt junior defensive lineman. He's played in 7 games this season and has 8 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Kimpler also has a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery to his credit. In the team's recent game against Kent State, Kimpler had 3 solo tackles and 2 tackles for loss and recorded his lone sack of the season.
Barker at Tulane: Warren graduate Courtney Barker is a junior on the Tulane University women's swimming team. Barker recently took second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.31 against Rice University at the Dual-A-Pool-Ooza event in Miami. Rice's winning swimmer narrowly edged Baker with a time of 24.16.
Barker also took second 50 and the 100 in Tulane's dual against host Florida International at Dual-A-Pool-Ooza. She swam 24.42 in the 50 (23.90 won it) and 52.87 in the 100.
Off at College wants your help: Send information and/or statistics on Lake County-area athletes playing collegiately to Mike Miazga at firstname.lastname@example.org.