As most people who have ever attended high school know, the fall is dominated by the football season. Though football still maintains its popularity at LT, a different fall sport is beginning to draw more and more attention: the other football. Soccer.
One of LT varsity soccer’s longest running traditions is the “Silver Brick Game,” the annual matchup awaited for by students in every competitive endeavor: Lyons Township vs. Hinsdale Central. The Silver Brick is the trophy passed off to the winning school in the annual conference clash. The brick has had a familiar home for some time now, with LT having won in 2016 and 2017. The 2018 edition took place on September 20th, under the lights in Hinsdale on a warm Thursday night.
As I stood in the stands of Hinsdale Central, I could feel the energy in the air. Both teams hyped themselves up all season for this day. The crowd was almost an even split of Lion and Red Devil fans, making the scene even more competitive.
Hinsdale Central wore their usual bright red and took the first kick off. LT wore white, and started more on the defensive end of a fast paced game. As I watched Central come closer and closer to scoring, my nerves increased. The game became very physical, very quickly, as usual for any meeting between Lyons and Hinsdale. At halftime, both teams walked off with nothing to separate them, a score of 0-0.
The second half started with even more energy and physicality than the first. LT came out with more of an offensive presence, moving the ball around and creating some chances. Eventually, LT Sophomore Jackson Turner buried a failed clearance by Hinsdale into the back of the net. My section of the crowd erupted, because most of us were LT soccer players ourselves. Turner’s goal sparked the energy of LT, but also Hinsdale Central’s. Soon after, I watched as LT gave away a free kick from 25 yards out. The ball was shot into traffic. Back of the net. 1-1.
My nerves hit the highest level that they had been all game. This is peak of high school competition, something athletes like me dream of. Two archrivals tied late in the game.
The ball moved around some more, but eventually Junior Jake Fraser broke away with only the Central Keeper to beat. He calmly placed the ball off of the right post and into the back of the net, 2-1. I can’t say I’ve seen a cleaner finish in a while. Pandemonium for the Lyons.
Fraser’s goal ended up sealing the game in a 2-1 victory for LT. The brick will stay in La Grange for a third straight year, a point of pride for myself and all LT soccer fans. With another classic physical game in the books, it’s safe to say I can’t wait for next year.
Oh no. The worst possible start for the Lions has come true. Coach Weinberg worked tirelessly this summer to make sure that LT would be ready for the daunting season ahead, but clearly did not have enough time to prepare this extremely young and inexperienced football team. An 1-3 (1-1 in conference) start with a state ranking of 206 wasn’t what anyone had in mind, but it didn’t come out of the blue.
After going 7-3 last season and a tough loss in the first round of the playoffs, LT knew their football team might crumble. Ben Bryant, the outstanding quarterback who lead the varsity team to winning seasons all four years of his LT career, graduated and took his talents with him to the University of Cincinnati. He was the thirteenth best football player in the state of Illinois and received various scholarships, most notably from the University of Wisconsin. The Lions also lost several key offensive and defensive pieces, each of them heading off to their respective colleges. The Lions knew that they had some gaping holes to fill, but it would clearly be a tough task.
They decided to start senior JJ Dutton at quarterback this season, a guy who did play the position for one year at Mount Carmel before transferring over to Lyons Township. It was a big gamble, however, as Dutton had won MVP on defense at defensive back for LT last season and was the Chicago Tribune athlete of the month after returning a 100-yard interception for a touchdown. LT would have preferred to keep him at his natural position, but sacrifices had to be made to win. Most of the other positions were filled with players who had little to no experience last year and would have to learn their positions on the fly.
Lyons football fans got a glimpse of how the season would go as LT took on Carl-Sandburg for the first game of the year. Although it was senior night and the home opener, giving LT a little something extra to play for, they did not seem ready to start the season. A 24-13 shellacking by the Eagles at Bennett field left the bewildered Lions players wondering if they might not make it to the playoffs again this season. They followed that with a 27-7 loss at Hinsdale South and a 28-0 loss at home against York. Dutton ended up breaking his right wrist against Hinsdale South, ending his short career as the LT quarterback, but did get an interception against York after switching positions. Thankfully, LT did makes its mark in the win column last week against Proviso West squeaking out a 13-7 overtime victory!
Here is hoping the winning streak is extended this week at Homecoming as our Lions take on the Leyden Eagles at 1:30pm on Saturday.
Come on LT, we’re pushing for you!
Want to know how the rest of the year plays out for LT football? Tune in to 88.1 FM WLTL LaGrange to catch every game both home and away this season!
The Canadian Boundary Waters is a place unlike anything I’ve ever seen. You’re surrounded by nothing but nature; no people, no cars, no internet. It’s hard to find a place like that nowadays - so when you do, you have to cherish it. Since summer is officially over, I thought it would be best to reminisce about my favorite part of it.
First off, let me explain to you why this trip was so amazing and so monumental. At the camp that I go to there is a trip called the Canadian, which is an eight-day trip to the Canadian Boundary Waters. In order to be able to go on this trip you have to pass at least three levels of canoeing, which took me about seven years. It was such an amazing honor to get invited to go on this trip, especially since eight of some of my closest friends were going with me. It was an experience that changed my life and my outlook on things, and one trip that I will certainly never forget.
I think the most memorable part of the trip was when we stopped at a waterfall on Eddy Lake. The waterfall was absolutely breathtaking, and the best part of it was that I was able to experience being there with some of my best friends. We all carved our names into a fallen tree at the base of the waterfall, which is so cool to think about. My name is and forever will be carved in a tree at a waterfall in the Canadian Boundary Waters. How many people can say that? I didn’t swim in the waterfall because I didn’t have a swimsuit on and I wasn’t willing to get my clothes wet. Other than that this little excursion was the most memorable part of the trip for me.
Overall, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or more at peace with myself then when I was on this trip. There’s something about being so cut off from the rest of the world and being surrounded by nature that makes you take a hard look at yourself. I came to several realizations about myself that I never would’ve come to if I hadn’t gone on this trip, and it changed some parts of me. I was kinda gross after not showering for eight days and only changing my clothes once, but other than that I felt good and I felt strong. I can’t describe how proud I was of myself for going and completing this trip. It was something I never ever thought that I’d be able to do, but I did it. I showed myself that I can do anything I put my mind to, which is something I will never forget.
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