Carmel really does touch all corners of county
September 17, 2012 6:22PM
North Chicago first football coach Chuck Mills
STRANGE BOND LINKS NORTH CHICAGO FOOTBALL’S PAST & PRESENT
Not only has North Chicago High School’s football team defied the odds with a miraculous 4-0 start to its season.
But the Warhawks actually have developed a following among NCHS grads who were part of the school’s very first football team in the fall of 1954.
This unbelievable but true story started last June, when some of the 1954 football players and the very first Warhawk coach, Chuck Mills, got together for a reunion golf outing/dinner at Glen Flora Country Club in Waukegan.
One of the invited guests was current North Chicago football coach Glen Kozlowski, so the reunion literally brought together bookend coaches at NCHS — Mills and, 58 years later, Kozlowski.
Earlier this month, at North Chicago’s first home football game, Koz held a recognition celebration for the 1954 players and had them meet the current Warhawks.
So, what you had was 17-year-old kids interacting with 70-year-old men.
And darned if it didn’t work.
A couple members of the Class of ‘54 gave a pre-game pep talk, and then led the current players in the singing of the school Fight Song.
Who would have guessed that the old-timers would have remembered all the words and that the current players would even know all the words.
Yet, that’s how it went down.
Afterward, the Class of ’54 players sent word out to their classmates and their coach about the experience.
And here’s what Coach Mills wrote to Coach Koz about the moment:
“Congratulations on your successful start, but that is not why I am writing.
“Last Saturday, you hosted players who were on the first Warhawk team. I have heard from many of them ... your hospitality was outstanding.
“You were respectful and thoughtful and kind. They departed believing you were sincere and it thrilled them you accepted them as you did ... They regard you as an exception group of young men.
“And for the little time you were with them, they departed feeling younger, of value and spirits high ... thank you for that.
“Certainly, your coaches have influence on how you conduct yourself. But this special day, you presented a wonderful gift ... and that says much about you.
“Please remember, your kindness and thoughtfulness may be forgotten by you ... but for others, it can be a comforting memory for the rest of their lives.
“Be a Warhawk on the field. Be a caring young man off it.
“Again, THANK YOU!!!!!
“Coach Chuck Mills”
That, people is pretty impressive stuff, whether the team is 4-0 or something less.
The only sad part is this:
The guess here is that the winning will end at Wauconda on Saturday.
The Bulldogs know how to beat the Warhawks, and they’re motivated to crush them for two reasons:
■ The Bulldogs are in the playoff hunt at 3-1.
■ North Chicago’s coach used to be Wauconda’s coach, and it seems like, while there seemed to be a lot of Purple/Gold pushing Koz out the door, there weren’t a lot trying to keep him in the Bulldog family.
In the dog house, maybe.
WAUCONDA/NORTH CHICAGO FOOTBALL TRIVIA
North Chicago’s 35-7 victory over Antioch was its first NSC Prairie win over a team other than Round Lake since the Warhawks beat the Sequoits in the final week of the 2007 season 24-20.
North Chicago started the 2005 season 4-0 and outscored its first four opponents 128-20 before losing to Libertyville 30-6 in Week 5. That’s the school’s last 4-0 start. The 2012 Warhawks outscored their first four opponents 144-41, but have only allowed 15 points (two of them on a safety) since halftime of Week 1.
Wauconda was the only NSC Prairie team to beat North Chicago in 2006, the last time the Warhawks won the division. In fact, as coach of the Bulldogs, Glen Kozlowski won his last three meetings with the Warhawks (after losing the first four), which means Wauconda holds the longest winning streak over North Chicago in the Prairie division: 6.
A FAVORITE THOUGHT FOR THE DAY ...
Courtesy of someone much smarter:
“Don’t measure success by the amount of money you have in the bank or by the number of people following you on Twitter. Instead, measure it by the number of people you’ve influenced along the way in a positive way.”
Updated: October 19, 2012 6:07AM
In terms of high school sports, we tend to think of Carmel High School as being in Mundelein, and really close to Libertyville High School.
But after breaking down some of the numbers of the students in the school, school, we came to this conclusion:
If you think Carmel is the Catholic school for Lake County, you’re thinking correctly.
The Corsair umbrella covers corner to corner in the county, and here are some stats to prove it.
As our sample set, we took the 83 players on the Corsair’s varsity football team and broke down where they live based on church affiliation.
The result is that Carmel kids literally come from Fox Lake to the northwest, Lake Zurich to the southwest, Wadsworth to the northeast, Deerfield to the southeast, and all parts in between.
In fact, the only places where Carmel kids don’t come from are Zion and Highland Park — and there are good reasons for that.
If you live in Zion, then St. Joe’s of Kenosha is the easy get for your kid.
If you live in Highland Park, then Loyola, located just off 41/94, is the easy get.
Otherwise, Carmel really is Lake County’s Catholic school.
Here are some of the numbers in our 83-student sample size:
■ 11 come from St. Francis of Lake Zurich.
■ 10 come from St. Gilbert of Grayslake.
■ 8 come from St. Mary’s of Buffalo Grove, 8 more from St. Joe’s of Libertyville, and 8 more from St. Pat’s of Wadsworth.
■ 6 come from St. Mary’s from Fremont (near Mundelein).
■ 5 come from Transfiguration of Wauconda>
All told, two dozen churches — not all Catholic — are represented by Carmel varsity football players.
So, if you want to think of Carmel as a “melting pot” of students in Lake County, go ahead.
In this corner of the world, we happen to think that melting pots are a good thing.