Editors’ note: For more information on the rest of Monday’s District 202 Board meeting, please read this story.
There were glowing words of praise Monday, June 13, for the school’s athletes and teams at the Evanston Township High School District 202 board meeting.
Athletic Director Chris Livatino talked about school sports highlights over the last two years, since there wasn’t a way to celebrate in-person during the pandemic, and he showed they were banner years for ETHS sports and athletic accomplishments.
At the end of the athletic honors, Livatino returned to the microphone to present the annual Ray Aiden Award, named after a beloved, retired equipment manager who died in 2014 after working at ETHS for 25 years. Livatino said the award honors someone who embodies the values Aiden demonstrated every day. This year’s recipient was the school’s most ardent Wildkit fan, Superintendent Eric Witherspoon.
Stacy Salgado, varsity coach for girls soccer, spoke proudly about her team’s 21-4-1 season, resulting in a fourth-place Illinois High School Association trophy, making this team only the second in the school’s history to bring home a state trophy.
The girls varsity soccer team cumulatively scored 89 goals against their opponents vs. only 19 scored against them. The team won four championships: Central Suburban League title, Regionals, Sectionals and Super sectionals and were the No. 1 seed in its sectional.
Salgado read their names aloud and invited those who were present to join her at the microphone. Each member of the team “went around the horseshoe” so each board member and school administrator at the meeting could congratulate them, and each one received an ETHS pin. (This practice was followed by each subsequent group of athletes honored.) There were lots of fist bumps exchanged.
Track and field Coach Don Michelin honored two athletes, Khalil Johnson and Matt Cless, for their “work ethic and positive attitude.”
Both were undefeated state champions in track and field. Khalil graduated last year and just completed his freshman year at Iowa where he continued his athletic success.
He is ranked Big Ten No. 1 among all freshmen in the high hurdles and No. 3 in the country in high hurdles for men under age 20.
Cless just graduated from ETHS this year and plans to attend Auburn University in the fall.
Girls track and field coach Fenton Gunter spoke with pride about the young women he coached, especially the two four-member teams for the 200-meter and 400-meter relays. Each team achieved success: the 200-meter relay team won a state championship and the 400-meter relay team broke a school record.
Gunter spoke about how fitting these accomplishments were, especially this year, which is the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the civil rights law banning sex discrimination in school sports. He praised former ETHS coach Karen Huff, who had the vision to support a girls athletic program.