Crystal Lake Central has everyone’s attention now after its 14-13 overtime victory over Prairie Ridge last week.
The Tigers cracked The Associated Press Class 6A poll at No. 10 this week, and coach Jon McLaughlin was named Thursday as the Chicago Bears High School Coach of the Week.
The Bears will make a $2,000 donation to Central’s football program because McLaughlin won.
Central (3-0) defeated Prairie Ridge, a team that played in three of the past four Class 6A state championship games, for the first time since 2012. Quarterback Colton Madura ran for 119 yards and threw for two touchdowns, both to wide receiver Jacob Carnrite, while the Tigers’ defense was stout, holding the Wolves to 142 total yards.
McLaughlin is in his 13th season as Central’s head coach. He coached from 2004 to 2009, taking the Tigers to a 29-29 record over that span. He came back in 2015, and his teams are 20-27 since then. Central made the playoffs in 2017 and 2019.
Prairie Ridge was ranked No. 2 in Class 6A last week and fell to No. 8 this week. The Wolves won 6A state titles in 2016 and 2017 and were runner-up in 2019.
“I am honored to be selected for Coach of the Week by the Bears,” McLaughlin said. “It is really more of a statement for our program and all of the hard work that everyone has put into this season. I like where we are at right now, but there is much more for us to do.”
Bears manager of Youth and Football Community Programs Gustavo Silva will visit Central on Tuesday and present McLaughlin with a custom football.
Central hosts (McHenry (0-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Owen Metcalf Field.