Crystal Lake South grad Trevor Keegan takes center stage with Michigan in CFP semifinals

Amanda and Mike Keegan always knew their son Trevor Keegan had the Crystal Lake community’s support.

The parents of the 2019 Crystal Lake South graduate and Michigan lineman never had phone service while in cavernous Michigan Stadium this season, but once they left, their phones were overwhelmed with text messages from people from Crystal Lake who watched the games and cheered for Trevor.

Now the Keegans and the Crystal Lake community will root for Trevor on Friday as he and Michigan play Georgia in the Orange Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff semifinals in Miami.

“It’s always great to have your hometown behind you,” Mike Keegan said. “It’s overwhelming with how this season started to how it got midseason and obviously the win over Ohio State. It’s like the Cinderella season gets better and better.”

Keegan, a junior, has started 10 games at left guard this season and played in two other games as he dealt with a shoulder injury throughout the year. He earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors from both the coaches and media this season, and the Michigan offensive line earned the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s best offensive line.

He told his parents that he and his teammates grew closer to each other this season and that has helped the Wolverines win the Big Ten title and earn the program’s first College Football Playoff berth.

The Wolverines will play Georgia at 6:30 p.m. Friday on ESPN with the winner advancing to face either Alabama or Cincinnati for the national championship Jan. 10.

“To see it come to fruition, there aren’t many words to explain that,” Amanda Keegan said. “You always want to set the bar high and reach that, but to have it actually happening, this class is special, this year is special, this coaching staff has been nothing but amazing. They have helped these boys get to where they are.”

Crystal Lake South football coach Rob Fontana and his family have always been Michigan fans. So when Keegan chose Michigan from nearly three dozen Division I offers, Fontana had a reason to follow the Wolverines on an even closer level.

Fontana has watched how Keegan has grown as a player, widening his base and improving his explosion coming off the ball. Fontana even thinks the 6-foot-6, 324-pound lineman has grown taller than he was in high school.

Fontana said it’s special to see see “Crystal Lake South” on the screen when the starters are announced on TV, and he knows how important that is for the program.

“I think it’s really important,” Fontana said. “In a sport like football, numbers-wise, participation-wise, the numbers have gone down, and we started to see an increase this year, which was great to see. I always try to promote our former players online.”

The Keegans have felt support from the Crystal Lake community throughout the season. While the family was at the Michigan-Ohio State game, family and friends shared photos from watch parties as they cheered for Trevor.

“People you wouldn’t even think of that you met and are so supportive and so excited that a kid from Crystal Lake has made it this far,” Amanda Kegan said.

The Keegans will be in Miami on Friday to watch Trevor play as Michigan tries to qualify for the national championship game in Indianapolis. Fontana and his family planned on traveling down, but because of the pandemic, they decided to stay home and invite anyone who wanted to come to watch Trevor play.

The Keegans don’t know of any official watch parties to watch their son play, but they know that there will be plenty as Crystal Lake cheers on one of its own on the biggest stage.

“When the whole recruiting process started and how this has all developed over the last couple of years, it’s incredible,” Mike Keegan said. “The experience from all the games this year, to the Big Ten championship, being able to travel down here for games is pretty crazy. It’s awesome.”