La Salle-Peru superintendent Steve Wrobleski released a letter to parents and fans on social media Sunday night addressing inappropriate behavior he witnessed and had reported to him during the Cavaliers’ 23-0 loss Friday at Sycamore.
Wrobleski’s letter said L-P will not tolerate fans “berating the coaching staff from the stands or confronting coaches during competition” or “screaming and swearing at officials.”
“The L-P athletic department is striving to put our students – your kids – in the best position to succeed,” the letter stated. “While this includes success measured by wins – more importantly, it is about showing grace, perseverance and class when winning as well as losing.”
Wrobleski said in the letter fans displaying inappropriate behavior at home or away games will be ejected from the event, and if the behavior continues in the future violators may be denied admission to school events for up to one year.
PLAYOFF PICTURE TAKING SHAPE
With five weeks of the season in the books the playoff picture is starting to take shape for area teams.
At 4-1, St. Bede, Mendota and Princeton are on the verge of securing playoff berths with teams needing five wins to be eligible for the postseason and six wins to guarantee a spot.
The Bruins’ travel to Bureau Valley (2-3) on Friday followed by games with Princeton at home, at Hall (1-4) and Mendota at home.
The Trojans look to become playoff eligible for the first time since 2014 when they play host to Sherrard (0-5) on Friday. Mendota also has games left at Kewanee (5-0), home with Newman (3-2) and at St. Bede.
After suffering their first loss since 2019 on Friday, the Tigers play host to Newman on Friday before traveling to St. Bede and finishing at home against Bureau Valley and Monmouth-Roseville (4-1).
La Salle-Peru is still solidly in the playoff hunt at 3-2.
After losing, 23-0, to Sycamore on Friday, the Cavaliers look to get back on track at home against Woodstock North (0-5) before traveling to Woodstock (2-3), playing Morris (5-0) at home and wrapping up at Kaneland (3-2).
At 2-3, Bureau Valley needs to win three of its final four games for a chance at the playoffs. The Storm face a tough road with home games against St. Bede and Erie-Prophetstown (3-2) before traveling to Princeton and finishing at home against Hall.
Hall (1-4) needs to win out against a tough schedule at home against Kewanee, at Newman, home with St. Bede and at Bureau Valley.
Fieldcrest has been eliminated from postseason contention at 0-5.
IT STARTS WITH THE SNAP
Mendota coach Keegan Hill said center Neal Linden and long snapper Parker Guelde have been key components to the Trojans’ success this season.
“Neal helps build up the offensive line unit’s knowledge of the game, and he’s been 100% on his snaps,” Hill said. “Parker’s long snapping on punts, extra points and field goals has been consistent all season. He gives us a chance to execute every time.”
BUILDING THE PROGRAM
The Bureau Valley Junior High football team played its inaugural game Saturday, losing, 20-18, to Rock Falls.
“The kids and coaches did an awesome job considering they have had nine practices, most have never played football before due to COVID, and the team they played against has been practicing since July,” Bureau Valley varsity coach Mat Pistole said. “I was ecstatic with how they played, and I’m so proud of them.”
Pistole said having a junior high team should benefit the varsity program.
“We had a JFL program prior, but we took over as a school activity prior to the 2020 season and COVID delayed the start of it for us,” Pistole said. “It is huge for our high school program as now these coaches are school employees who are directly involved with the high school program. They are using the same terminology, teaching the same concepts and building up these kids the way we want them to.
“We are choosing to micro-dose the exposure to football at the youth level to keep the specialness of football just that. We believe this will help maximize our numbers at the high school level, but also give them the proper experience prior to high school to be effective. I’m really excited about this direction and can’t wait to watch it unfold.”
St. Bede improved to 4-2 on homecoming under coach Jim Eustice with a 34-21 victory over Riverdale on Saturday.
The festivities at the Academy on homecoming weekend include the school’s Hall of Fame induction, which this year honored the 2020 class of Dan Carruthers, John Brolley, Erin (McGunnigal) Heide, Bill Liebe (posthumously) and the 2015 baseball team and the 2021 class of state wresting champion John Barnes, Kayla MacDavitt, Dave Hancock and J. Mike Fahey (posthumously).
“It’s just a special day for the alumni, in fact, a special weekend,” Eustice said. “It’s great to play in front of the huge crowd.”