Every year, Evanston fans suffer a long summer of no Wildkits sports. The summer break extends through late August when the Kits’ football squad goes to Wilmette to take on Loyola Academy. While the Kits are off, this article takes a look back on how boys football, basketball and baseball performed last year.
The football team started their 2009 campaign against Loyola at home in Lazier Field in front of a near-capacity crowd. Evanston’s crowd left the stadium disappointed, however, as the Kits picked up only one touchdown on a 65-yard run by Rendell Massie.
The Kits won three of their next four games, including a big 36-14 victory against Waukegan. Evanston then went to Park Ridge to take on defending state champion Maine South.The Kits picked up a few points on an early safety to take the lead, but the Hawks’ firepower blazed the Kits and Evanston lost 30-2.
The Kits’ struggles on offense continued at home the next week against New Trier, where Evanston failed to score a point and were shut out 27-0. To keep their playoff hopes alive, they had to beat Niles West. With Massie’s help, the Kits routed the Wolves, streaking to a 38-14 win.
Their last chance to make their first playoff berth in seven years was to defeat Glenbrook South at home. Evanston took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Titans fought back and scored 28 unanswered points, dashing the Kits’ postseason chances. The Titans won 35-14 and ended Evanston’s season on a sour note.
After that disappointment, it was time for Kits boys basketball to try for success in the winter season. Head Coach Bobby Locke’s team could not have gotten off to a better season start as they won all five games at the Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament with junior guard Garrett Jones scoring a new school record of 51 points against Mundelein. The Kits slowed down in December as they went on a three-game skid. That frustration continued into Christmas tournament where they lost their first game.
After an up-and-down January, Evanston had to play better in the home stretch to build momentum for the playoffs. After they won their last regular-season game against Niles North, they seemed ready for a postseason run. The Kits were dealt a favorable seed and were heavily favored over 12th-seeded Loyola. Even though Evanston held a small lead through the whole game, Andrew Kinelin kept the Ramblers in the game with 28 points and a tying basket with 20 seconds left in the game. Evanston had the chance to win the game with free throws, but failed to put the ball in, giving Loyola one more chance. With one second left, the Ramblers hit a free throw to win the game sending the Kits home early with a heartbreaking 57-56 loss.
After two emotional ends to the football and basketball seasons, the baseball team tried to change the Kits’ luck in the spring. The Kits enjoyed a winning streak during spring break in South Florida, pulling off four wins in five games, and continued their winning ways back at home. Coach Frank Consiglio’s team went through some major ups, including beating New Trier 7-2 and some lows, including losing on a game-winning grand slam to Maine West.
Evanston went into the playoffs with a very good number-three seed and easily dispatched Schurz 10-2 in their opening regional game. In the regional championship, the Kits once again took on their arch rival, the Trevians, but this time the team with home field got the upper hand. The Trevians scored eight runs in the first inning, and they never looked back as they went on to win 12-6. Once again Evanston fans were left disappointed as their team was ousted early.
The Kits football squad starts the 2010-11 sports season on Aug. 28 at Loyola. Hopefully this time the Kits can start off a promising school year with an exciting victory over the Ramblers.