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Rep. Keicher wagers Italian beef for Spartan win against Fenwick alum Jim Durkin, House Republican leader

Rep. Jeff Keicher wagers Italian beef Fenwick alum Jim Durkin for Spartan win ahead of Saturday IHSA semifinal game

State Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, (middle) shows off an Italian beef meal with Tom and Jerry’s of Sycamore owner Diann Beaulieu and employee Sarah Meyer

SYCAMORE – State Rep. Jeff Keicher is betting it all on a Spartan win against Fenwick High School alum Jim Durkin, House Republican leader, ahead of Sycamore’s Class 5A State Semifinal on Saturday.

The friendly wager? Should the No. 9 Spartans (9-3) prevail, Durkin will deliver 12 Italian beef sandwiches to Keicher’s Sycamore office from Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park, according to a news release. Should the No. 2 Friars (10-2) win, Keicher, R-Sycamore, will deliver the same from Tom and Jerry’s in Sycamore to Durkin’s Burr Ridge office.

Durkin, R-Western Springs, is a graduate of Fenwick along with his seven brothers, and represents western Cook County.

“All of us in Sycamore are exceptionally proud of our Spartan Varsity Football team and rooting hard for them on Saturday to make a statement on the team’s success,” Keicher said in a news release. “I am looking forward to a big Spartans victory and showing the entire State of Illinois that Sycamore Football is on their way to a championship this season.”

Diann Beaulieu, owner of Tom & Jerry’s in Sycamore, echoed her Spartan support.

“We’re glad to showcase how awesome Sycamore is this weekend,” Beaulieu said in a news release.

In a statement, Durkin said Fenwick High School has “a deep tradition” in western Cook County.

“Synonymous with Fenwick Friars is the finest Italian Beef stand in the nation -Johnnies Beef in Elmwood Park. A combo of Fenwick and Johnnies for this Saturday’s semifinal cannot be beat,” Durkin said in a news release. “This is an easy one. I’ll see you in Burr Ridge on Monday, Rep. Keicher - goods in hand. I like my odds.”

David Coovert, who covers Sycamore Football as a broadcaster on SpartanTV, said Sycamore athletes are ready for Saturday.

“I have watched our scrappy Spartan players grow from the very first week of this season and truly come to embody all the characteristics that define a championship-caliber team,” Coovert said in a news release. “I am excited to see our underrated Spartans in action this weekend and show everyone what they’re made of on the playoff stage.”

Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Triton College in River Grove, home of the Friars.