Glenbard West edges Lincoln-Way East for state title

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Glenbard West edges Lincoln-Way East for state title

By Bill Harrison
Season Pass

CHAMPAIGN Glenbard West defensive back Hayden Carlson said he never hit anybody as hard in his life as he did late in the Class 7A state title against Lincoln-Way East late in the fourth quarter.

He had good reason to sacrifice his body.

On a fourth-and-10 attempt by Lincoln-Way East on the Hilltoppers 13-yard line, the junior defensive back recorded the play of the game when he flipped quarterback Tom Fuessel, three yards short of the first down.

That gave the Hilltoppers the ball back with 1:50 left, and they held on for a 10-8 win for the first state title in program history.

I knew I had to make that play or we can eventually lose the state championship, Carlson said. I felt it afterward, my shoulder was killing me but I still had to get back out there for the final series.

Following Carlsons hit, the Hilltoppers (14-0), leading 10-6, faced a fourth-and-3 from their 13-yard line and opted to take an intentional safety instead of punting. A free kick went out of bounds and set up Lincoln-Way East at the Glenbard West 45-yard line with 23 seconds to play.

But Fuessel, still shaken up by the Carlson hit, wasnt close on a pass attempt before being sacked by Nathan Marcus on second down. Fuessel managed to spike the ball with one second remaining, but appeared confused and dazed and was replaced for the last play by cousin Brett Fuessel, who was tackled by Ruben Dunbar trying to scramble out of a heavy rush to end the game.

I dont even remember the hit, said Tom Fuessel, who appeared shaken at the post-game press conference.

The Hilltoppers defense set the tone from the start of the game, holding the Griffins (13-1) to 44 total yards of offense in the first half. No small feat considering Lincoln-Way East produced two 1,000 yard rushers this season.

Glenbard Wests offense struck with 2:30 left in the first quarter on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Henry Haeffner to Marcus for a 7-0 lead. The Hilltoppers increased their advantage to 10-0 with 40 seconds left in the frame on a 27-yard Hayden Lekacz field goal.

A 35-yard run by Justin Corbett pulled the Griffins within 10-6. But a missed extra point would change the strategy of the game, contributing to the Griffins attempting to convert on fourth-and-10 instead of a going for a game-tying field goal.

If were the best defense in the state, Lincoln-Way East is the second best, Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said.

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada can’t complain much about his first hit with the White Sox.

Given all the elements, it rates about a 9 1/ 2 out of 10. Only a homer would have been better.

Baseball’s top prospect continues to look comfortable at the plate and in the field. Two days after he made his team debut, Moncada earned his first hit when he ripped a two-out, bases-loaded triple early in Friday night’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

“Once I got that first hit, I felt relieved,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “First, because it was the first one. And second because of the situation. It was a three RBIs triple. It was a very big moment of the game. I think that from now on I’m going to feel more relaxed and comfortable.”

Moncada has put together a series of good plate appearances in his first two games. He’s looked at ease while in the box and hasn’t panicked even when he gets behind in the count. Moncada said he felt even more comfortable when he stepped in to face Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning. Not only was it his second time facing Kennedy, but Moncada sat in the on-deck circle as Matt Davidson drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.

Hitting left-handed, Moncada fell behind 0-2 in the count but Kennedy hung a 78-mph knuckle curve and the rookie lined it deep into the left-center field gap to clear the bases. Moncada not only showed his power, he also showed off his wheels: his 11.24 seconds from home to third was the fastest time by a White Sox player this season, according to MLB Statcast.

“He's seeing the ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He seems pretty calm, composed out there. It's just a couple of days, but in terms of how he's carrying himself, his body language, he seems to be transitioning pretty well up to this point, first couple of days.”

Moncada said Friday was much calmer than his Wednesday debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he drew a walk and went 0-for-2. The switch-hitting second baseman had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat Friday to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then he stood in and tracked Kennedy with Davidson at the plate.

All in all, Moncada’s happy with how he’s executed his plan at the plate thus far. He said he choked up on the 0-2 pitch and put a good swing on it.

“That at-bat gave me more time to see in real life his pitches,” Moncada said. “I’ve been feeling very comfortable. In Chicago, that first game, it was a little bit nervous. But overall I feel very comfortable hitting and with my defense.”

Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez rings NASDAQ closing bell

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Chicago Fire

Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez rings NASDAQ closing bell

As part of the hype for the MLS All-Star Game, Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and a handful of Major League Soccer cohorts made a trip to New York on Friday.

Rodriguez rang NASDAQ's closing bell. The MLS All-Star Game will take place at Soldier Field on Aug. 2.

Check out the photos from the occasion.