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Michigan schools building football pipeline to Stevenson

Stevensoffensive lineman Zach Novoselsky (77) delivers block during game last year against Lake Zurich. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media

Stevenson offensive lineman Zach Novoselsky (77) delivers a block during a game last year against Lake Zurich. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media

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PATRIOTS’ 24-YEAR PLAYOFF RUN

1989 (7-3) — lost 42-20 to Highland Park.

1990 (7-4) — beat New Trier 31-13. lost 10-7 to Loyola

1991 (6-4) — -lost 14-12 to Buffalo Grove

1992 (6-4) — lost 35-14 to Hoffman Estates

1993 (8-3) — beat Buffalo Grove 20-14. lost 34-20 to Libertyville

1994 (8-3) — beat Romeoville 26-25. lost 19-14 to Downers Grove South

1995 (10-1) — beat Young of Chicago 48-6. lost 21-14 to York

1996 (12-1) — beat Collinsville 38-8. beat Wheaton North 34-14. beat Palatine Fremd 18-13. lost 18-6 to Wheaton-Warrenville South

1997 (9-2) — beat New Trier 34-28. lost 20-14 to Homewood-Flossmoor

1998 (8-2) — lost 20-14 to Sandburg

1999 (7-3) — lost 28-7 to Wheaton-Warrenville South

2000 (6-4) — lost 14-0 to Downers Grove North

2001 (9-3) — beat Elgin 39-6. beat Lincoln-Way Central 27-26. lost 19-15 to Maine South

2002 (11-3) — beat Niles West 35-28. beat Lane Tech of Chicago 16-6. beat Conant 9-7. beat Wheaton North 23-22. lost 35-14 to Lockport in state finals

2003 (7-4) — beat Lane Tech of Chicago 28-25. lost 38-20 to Maine South

2004 (8-4) — beat Palatine Fremd 25-21. beat Warren 31-28. lost 46-15 to Maine South

2005 (11-1) — beat Oak Park-River Forest 51-0. beat Glenbrook South 32-7. lost 23-10 to Maine South

2006 (8-3) — beat Lane Tech of Chicago 42-21. lost 20-14 to Palatine Fremd

2007 (5-5) — lost 21-19 to Palatine Fremd

2008 (5-5) — lost 63-29 to Maine South

2009 (10-1) — beat New Trier 28-7. lost 23-16 to Mt. Carmel of Chicago.

2010 (11-1) — beat New Trier 210. beat South Elgin 10-7. lost 20-9 to Maine South

2011 (9-3) — beat York 31-28. beat Maine South 24-22. lost 28-0 to Glenbard North

2012 (9-3) — beat Warren 26-13. lost 23-14 to Glenbard North

Updated: September 1, 2013 6:09AM



Stevenson senior left tackle Zach Novoselsky sounds like a kid in a candy store when asked whether he enjoys run- or pass-blocking more.

“Don’t get me wrong, I work just as hard at both,” Novoselsky said. “But I have to be honest — I love pass blocking. It’s usually more of a 1-on-1 battle for me when we drop back to pass.

“It just gets me excited and kind of pumped up, because when you give (QB) Willie (Bourbon) time to drop back in our offense, he can be devastating. We have unbelievable potential this year after going 8-3 last season. Now, we want to take that next step.”

At 6-5 and 290 pounds, Novoselsky has more than potential in the eyes of one school. Last month, he verbally committed to continue his career on the gridiron at Western Michigan University in the Mid-American Conference (NIU is that league’s powerhouse team).

“I was impressed with the family attitude there,” Novoselsky said. “That and first-year head coach P.J. Fleck. He played at Northern Illinois, so he’s from the area (in Illinois) and knows the area to begin with. He’s taken a winning attitude with him over there. You can tell people there are excited about football again at Western Michigan, and that was a big key for me.”

Fleck, who noted in an e-mail he isn’t allowed to discuss potential Class of 2014 signees or recruits yet per NCAA rules, has also set his sights on Novoselsky’s teammate, 6-2, 270-pound DT/DE Nicholas Dillon. The Broncos offered a scholarship to Dillon last Sunday.

“I’m honored, because that’s my first D-I offer,” Dillon, who will be a junior this fall, said. “I also have a lot of Big 10 schools interested in me, and it’s early, so I’m gonna take my time and see what happens. Academics are important to me too.” Dillon is an honor-roll student at Stevenson.

The state of Michigan has been recruiting Stevenson players heavily. Class of 2014 standout WR/S Matt Morrissey is committed to Michigan State. Like his teammates, he sees a Patriot team oozing with potential in the usually powerful North Suburban Lake.

On offense, Morrissey (6-3, 195 pounds) will line up alongside junior Cameron Green (6-2, 185) at wideout, with the slot WR position still up for grabs.

“How far we go this year will be determined by how well we play together,” Green said. “If one guy doesn’t run the correct route, or take care of his assignment, it can wreak havoc. It can completely ruin a play.

“That’s one of the most underrated things about our team I think — our intelligence. It makes such a difference. So far this summer, in 7-on-7s and in practices, we’ve done some good things. Guys seem to know where they’re supposed to be. If even one guy misses an assignment, it drains your team mentally and physically.”

Morrissey is thankful Novoselsky will be his teammate for one more season.

“That’s why having a guy who leads by example like Zach guarding your quarterback’s blind side is such a bonus,” Morrissey said. “That one extra second can make a huge difference. I’m really excited to see what we can do as a team this season. We have the talent. Now, it’s up to us.”



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