There’s food to eat and there’s food for thought
August 18, 2013 4:48PM
Things couldn’t be shaping up better for North Chicago High School basketball coach King Coleman. Or could they? | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO
Updated: October 18, 2013 2:10AM
News you can use ... or maybe not.
■ If you ask North Chicago High School boys basketball coach King Coleman how he’s lost 32 pounds this summer, you’re liable hear words come out of his mouth that sound like “treadmill” or “diet” or “salad.”
Don’t believe it for a minute. Truth is, every pound that King has taken off since school ended in June, he has SWEATED off.
And here’s why.
Playing football for North Chicago this fall are Big Kurt Hall, Jay Amos-Mays, Jamero Shelton and Arnold Shead. That’s four of the six best basketball players in the school.
And now the rest of this story.
For the upcoming basketball season, King pulled his Warhawks out of the fan-friendly Thanksgiving-week tournament with Warren and Waukegan and, instead, is taking his team to Peoria to play in a tournament that week against elite competition.
But that doesn’t take into consideration North Chicago’s football team. The Hawks are a lock to make the playoffs this year and because the school is so small, it will drop all the way down to Class 4A in the eight-class grid playoffs. That makes North Chicago an instant contender to make it all the way to NIU in DeKalb, which is where the state football finals will be held this year.
So, what you could have is North Chicago’s football team playing in DeKalb the same week that the basketball team — actually stars JayQuan McCloud and Cortez Zinnerman-Dixon, plus anybody else who doesn’t play football — playing and losing four or five times on the hardwood in Peoria.
Remember, it was King’s idea to bail on games the fans want to see — North Chicago/Waukegan, North Chicago/Warren, etc. — to get games against powerhouses that will better prepare the Warhawks for state-tournament play.
It’s doubtful that any part of that preparation involved playing shorthanded and starting the season 0-5.
FYI: King was watching North Chicago’s football practice the other day, and he saw what everybody else did: This team is good and is going to win a lot of games.
■ This is for those who think the grass is greener on the other side.
1) Crystal Lake South High School of the Fox Valley Conference has a strong football program and has qualified for the playoffs 13 straight years.
To accommodate fans at Gator home games, the school district decided to put new home bleachers up at the football field — an event that is not uncommon at all. In fact, Zion-Benton got a new section of bleachers for its football field this summer.
What’s happened however, is totally uncommon.
The setup at CL South is such that the back of the home bleachers faces the backyard of homes in the subdivision. And apparently, the height of the new bleachers — 51 feet — is too tall for a city ordinance. The result? Residents of the neighborhood are suing the school district to keep the new, tall bleachers from being installed.
As a result, the school now has a football field with no usable bleachers which could mean playing its home football games in 2013 at one of the other schools in the district — Cary-Grove, CL Central or Prairie Ridge.
2) Huntley High School, which is in same Fox Valley Conference as Crystal Lake South, is heading toward 3,000 students in enrollment and that’s at least 500 more than capacity.
Students who go there have said that when passing from class to class between periods, they have to walk sideways in the jammed hallways.
For perspective, when Huntley qualified for the football players in 2001, they were a Class 4A school (think North Chicago’s size). Last year, when they qualified for the playoffs, they were a Class 7A school (think Mundelein’s size).
That’s in 11 years.
■ Don’t know exactly what all the ratings numbers mean regarding Chicago radio stations, but based on the July ratings, one thing is becoming clear:
If we can find two more people to stop by this page of your daily newspaper and read it — bringing the total number of readers to double digits — we just might have more readers than sports-talk radio station ESPN-1000/WMVP has listeners.
And if you tune in to that station on a regular basis, you’re not surprised. Virtually every on-air personality now sounds like he’s phoning it in, and the lack of preparation and accuracy has led to conversation topics that lead way off track and way off point.
By the way, if you want to know when a pair of radio co-hosts are just trying to babble to avoid dead air, watch for conversations that get so far from the original point that everyone forgets what the original point was.
For an example:
Host A says: How do you think Denver QB Peyton Manning did in last night’s game?
Host B: Was gonna say something about that. Those new Denver jerseys are horrible. They used to have great orange ones, and then they went with cool blues, but now, this orange is an eyesore.
Host A: Reminds me of the Tampa Bay Bucs’ old orange-popsicle colored jerseys.
Host B: Yeah, I remember when I played in the NFL and we’d be in Tampa to play the Bucs, even their players hated them.
Host A: And I bet they hate that stupid ship thing at their new stadium now.
Host B: I don’t know. I kind of like the ship. It reminds me of that train they have at Houston’s baseball stadium.
Host A: Speaking of bad uniforms, remember when the Houston Astros had the rainbow-colored softball-like baseball uniforms?
Host B: I was in high school when they wore them and our high school team had uniforms just like that. I felt stupid every game day.
And so on and so on and so on. Anything to pass time and prevent any dead air.
By the way, how DID Peyden Manning look in his last game?