Sunday, December 15, 2019
US flag

Illinois football teams clinch playoff berths

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Sept. 28) — Next week is Homecoming at Normal Community High School in Illinois. The Ironmen from Normal Community on Friday defeated the Purple Raiders from Bloomington High School, 49-28, here on BHS’s new athletic facility for their Homecoming, and moved to 5-1 on the season, putting them in a position to clinch a playoff berth on Homecoming weekend.


Normal Community’s Jake Hileman rushes for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter (Voxitatis)

The Ironmen were up by only six points at halftime, 21-15, but the offense scored on their first four possessions in the second half, making their journey to the night’s final score a quick and decisive one, the Bloomington Pantagraph reports.

Many of the student-athletes on the field look forward to this game every year, as they’ve been playing on local teams for years.

The paper quoted first-year Bloomington coach Scott Godfrey as saying he had heard about the game “from the minute I was hired. I don’t know that there is anything you need to say to your players to get them ready. They played football with these kids in JFL, with or against. They all know each other and they all look forward to this game.”

Playoff clinchers in Week 6

Because the Illinois High School Association awards playoff berths to football teams based on each team’s win-loss record and because teams in Illinois tend not to compete very often with out-of-state schools, it’s a mathematical impossibility for a qualified team with six or more victories not to make the playoffs.

A total of 56 teams have already qualified for the football playoffs this season by virtue of playing in a playoff-eligible conference and having won six games already:

Illinois teams clinching playoff berths after 6 weeks

City Weeks to Reach 6 Victories
(School) In 2017 In 2016 In 2015
Antioch 6 6 (5-4)
Argenta (A.-Oreana) 7 6 (2-7)
Arlington Heights (Hersey) 7 (3-6) (4-5)
Batavia 6 7 7
Beardstown 8 (5-4) (0-9)
Bismarck (B.-Henning-Rossville-Alvyn) 8 8 7
Breese (Mater Dei) (2-7) (5-4) 8
Byron 6 6 8
Carlinville 6 7 8
Carthage (Illini West) 9 (5-4) (2-7)
Cary (C.-Grove) 9 7 7
Chatham (Glenwood) 8 9 (5-4)
Chicago (Brother Rice) (2-7) 6 7
Chicago (Collins) [Coop] 9 (1-8) (4-5)
Chicago (Kenwood) (3-6) (4-5) 8
Chicago (Payton) 7 7 7
Chicago (Simeon) 9 (5-4) 8
Columbia (5-4) 6 6
Country Club Hills (Hillcrest) 8 8 (4-5)
Decatur (St Teresa) 6 6 9
DuQuoin 8 8 (5-4)
Elmhurst (IC Catholic) 7 6 7
Elmwood (E.-Brimfield Coop] 9 6 7
Fairfield 6 6 (5-4)
Farmington 6 6 (5-4)
Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) 6 7 8
Genoa (G.-Kingston) 8 6 (5-4)
Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley) 6 8 6
Highland 6 7 6
Hoffmann Estates 6 8 (4-5)
LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy) 6 (5-4) 8
Lanark (Eastland) [E.-Pearl City Coop] (5-4) 6 (2-7)
Lansing (Thornton Fractional South) 9 8 (2-7)
Lisle (3-6) (5-4) 8
Lombard (Glenbard East) (3-6) (2-7) (4-5)
Lombard (Montini) 9 9 6
Maroa (M.-Forsyth) 7 7 8
Metamora (4-5) 9 8
Milledgeville 7 (5-4) (4-5)
Monticello 7 6 7
Oak Lawn (Richards) 8 8 9
Orion 7 9 6
Oswego (East) 7 7 9
Oswego (H.S.) 7 6 7
Ottawa (Marquette) 7 6 6
Paris 8 (2-7) (0-9)
Pontiac 9 (4-5) 8
Princeville 7 (4-5) (5-4)
Rockton (Hononegah) 6 (5-4) 9
Rolling Meadows 7 6 9
Sterling 6 6 7
Taylorville 7 7 6
Vandalia 8 7 (4-5)
Villa Park (Willowbrook) 7 8 (5-4)
Warrensburg (W.-Latham) 9 (5-4) (3-6)
Washington 8 8 6

Upgrades at Bloomington High School

According to a sign in front of the school and a hoodie logo, Bloomington High School was established in 1857. But District 87 invested more than $5 million in upgrades this year, including building a new fine arts facility and improving the football field, The Aegis reports.


A new fine arts facility at BHS (all photos: Voxitatis)

“It is a very visible commitment to the students of District 87 by the board of education,” the student newspaper quoted band director Max Chernick as saying about the new facility. “The administration is investing in the school to show that great things are happening within its walls. From the arts to athletics to academics, BHS is a well-supported place of learning, and the board wants to make sure the learning environment is top-notch.”

That level of support doesn’t go unnoticed. “It’s a beautiful place,” the Pantagraph quoted NCHS coach Jason Drengwitz as saying. Like Godfrey at BHS, Drengwitz is a first-year head coach. “It’s a great facility that they’ve got … very impressive.”

And when schools make such vibrant investments in academics, arts, and athletics, it pays off. The Bloomington Purple Raiders lost their game today, but the team is 4-2 on the season and will almost certainly qualify for the playoffs.

The marching band, in the middle of a full marching season, with halftime shows at home football games like the one tonight and performances at numerous festivals and competitions, entertained the crowd with a show entitled “Bella Notte.” The show capped off with an arrangement—visual and musical—of Elton John’s “Your Song.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.

A band teacher is IL Teacher of the Year

IL named a band teacher the 2020 Teacher of the Year on Oct. 19. He individualizes music instruction and shares his work with 1000s.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ bookends Halloween

Several high schools have decided to add a little spook to their musical stages in this season of Halloween. Music makes it happen.

New IL law ensures inclusion of LGBTQ+

A law will take effect next school year in IL that will require students to study LGBTQ history as part of the social studies curriculum.

MoCo doubles down on summer learning loss

Research is at least equivocal about summer learning loss, but maybe there's something to a new plan in Montgomery County, Md.