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Jordan Kos Carmel swerves through AddisTrail defenders during actithis past fall. He will sign national letter intent with WinonState. |

Jordan Kos of Carmel swerves through Addison Trail defenders during action this past fall. He will sign a national letter of intent with Winona State. | Patrick Gleason ~ For the Sun-Times

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Some of the area’s top senior prep football players signed letters to intent Wednesday to play at the collegiate level. Here’s where they are going:


Ryan Sweeney — Winona State

Davonte Wilcox — Winona State

John Whitfield — Grand View


Jack Johnson — North Central

Cody Gwinn — Southwest Baptist


Jacob Ottersen — Taylor

Lake Forest

Tommy Kutschke — Brown

Andrew Clifford — Drake


Danny Nowak — Washington (St. Louis)

Vernon Hills

Drake Randall — Missouri University of Science & Tech.


Chris Kass — North Central

David Lowe — Augustana

Austin Piekarski — Carroll

Erik Fuller — Minnesota State

David Starkey — Butler

Austin Swenson — Rose Hulman


Direll Clark — Winona State

A.J. Goggin — Air Force

Andrew Spencer — Winona State

Justin Bergeron — Winona State

Blake Parsons — Wis.-Stout

Ty Summers — Wis.-Oshkosh

Dillon Falotico — College of DuPage


Steven O’Block — McKendree

Lake Forest Academy

Alex Swanson — Denison

Felix Schildorfer — Pennsylvania

Lake Zurich

Connor Schrader ­— Northern Michigan


(Already at Winona State/class is next year’s)

Jeremy Neuman (Lakes High School) senior punter

Jarrett Wood (Vernon Hills) Redshirt-freshman linebacker

Zachary Lowe (Warren) R-sophomore offensive lineman

James Poliquin (Warren) senior offensive lineman

Jordan Koss (Carmel) R-freshman running back

(Will arrive in the fall)

Direll Clark (Lakes) running back

Justin Bergeron (Lakes) wideout/defensive back

Andrew Spencer (Lakes) wideout

Ryan Sweeney (Warren) defensive back

Davonte Wilcox (Warren) running back

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Updated: March 8, 2013 7:20AM

Ten things about Winona State University’s football program ... one for each of the Lake County high school grads who will be on the Warrior roster next fall:

1) Winona is an NCAA Division 2 powerhouse, and is 141-55 in 17 years under coach Tom Sawyer, including 10-2 last year.

2) Sawyer’s only losing season as coach at Winona was his first, 1996.

3) The school is located on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, pretty close to LaCrosse (Wis.) The key for parents is that they can cover the 280 miles between Gurnee and Winona without having to pay a toll.

4) Sean Hertz, one of the first really good football players to graduate from Lakes after it split off from Antioch, went to Winona State and played wide receiver. He was there six years — one as a redshirt, one as an injury redshirt, and four playing seasons. He finished up last fall, as did Carmel grad Ryan Williams (strong safety).

5) In 2011, the best running back in Lake County was Carmel’s Jordan Kos. In 2012, the best running back in Lake County was Lakes’ Direll Clark. They will be teammates at Winona. And if you want a third option in the backfield, joining them is Warren speedster Davonte Wilcox.

6) Kos redshirted (didn’t play, but didn’t lose a year of eligibility) because Winona State already had senior Rayon Simmons. Simmons rushed for 1,774 yards and 19 TDs last season and also caught 32 passes.

He rushed for 5,246 yards in his three-year career at Winona, but he’s now gone, leaving a lot of carries out there for new running backs.

7) Winona competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (basically Minnesota schools) and its champion goes to the NCAA Division 2 playoffs.

8) Last year, Winona finished second in its league. The best team in the NSIC that doesn’t make the Division 2 playoffs gets invited to the “Mineral Springs Bowl,” and plays against a like team from a league based in Missouri. In the 2012 Mineral Springs Bowl, Winona slaughtered Lincolnwood (Mo.) 41-17. The bowl game is always played in Missouri.

9) This has nothing to do with football, but Warren grad Jeff Fedor was a star tennis player at Winona in the 1990s.

10) Antioch grad Chris Petersen, a big lineman, played at Winona through 2008.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: The first and only time these tired ol’ eyes watched a Winona State team play in person was a basketball game nearly 40 years ago.

It’s remembered still today only because in the second half of the game, the Winona players — the visiting team — objected to some of the things being said to and about them by the home-team fans in the stands and literally charged into the stands to brawl with the hecklers. bench and went into the stands, triggering a brawl.

That is something you don’t see often, and something you never forget.

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