State Stories

25

Stevenson Makes History With Football & Basketball State Titles In Same School Year

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When the finals seconds ticked off on Stevenson High School’s 57-40 victory over Normal Community in the 2015 IHSA Class 4A Boys Basketball State Championship game, the victory was significant not only for the Patriot basketball team, but also for its football squad.

The Stevenson football team captured the IHSA Class 8A state crown back in November in Champaign, (sealing its 31-25 win over Homewood-Flossmoor by forcing this turnover) and the dual victories marked the third time in state history that a school won state in both football and basketball in the same school year. The Patriots were also the first “large” school to do so, following Carlyle High School and Maroa-Forsyth High School in completing the feat.

Stevenson’s 2014 football team accompanied its stingy defense with the three-pronged offensive attack of quarterback Willie Bourbon, running back Jack Joseph and All-State wide receiver Cameron Green. Green and Nick Dillon were the lone links between the two squads, as Green had been a key member of the Stevenson basketball squads that placed second in 2013 and third in 2014, but both Green and Dillon missed the 2015 basketball season with injuries.

On the court in 2015, Stevenson was led by Lake County’s all-time leading scorer Jalen Brunson (#15 pictured right), Connor Cashaw (#1), Justin Green, Matthew Johnson and Parker Nichols (#5), the latter of whom took over 40 charges on the year, including this one.

Carlyle claimed the Class 2A football title and Class A basketball crown during the 1988-89 school year. The Indians were led by 2,000+ yard rusher Pat Dall on the gridiron and Tom Michael (pictured right) on the basketball court. Michael went on to play collegiately for the University of Illinois and was named Eastern Illinois University’s Athletic Director in 2014. Michael’s son, Nate, played in the IHSA Basketball State Finals for St Joseph-Ogden in 2013 when the school placed fourth in Class 2A.

Maroa-Forsyth was paced by Robert “Robo” Kreps during its magical 2006-07 school year, as the football and basketball squads combined for a 47-1 record (14-0 in football, 33-1 in basketball). Kreps, who played collegiate basketball at the University of Illinois-Chicago, had two of his nine receptions (139 yards) in the state title game from prolific quarterback Luke Hockaday go for touchdowns. He then famously tallied 27 points and 10 rebounds in a 59-56 state final win over North Lawndale in the Class A basketball final, just five days after having his appendix removed. Hockaday’s younger brother Jack quarterbacked Maroa-Forsyth to another state football title in 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2014.