By Tashara Parker
Its been 16 years since the Palatine Pirates took home two consecutive Mid Suburban West titles. And on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 the host Pirates made history once again with an overwhelming shut out of Schaumburg 51-18, crowning themselves once again the Mid Suburban West conference champs.
Being the first team to do this was pretty exciting, I mean some of our team wasnt even born yet, chuckled wide receiver Cam Kuksa. We just followed our offensive strategy and spread the ball as much as we could.
Not only was history made by the team, but Pirates QB Ethan Olles set his own record in the Palatine history books surpassing Randy Hecklinski with 2,329 yards.
Olles said he didnt even know about the record, but its definitely cool to have received the recognition.
Perhaps the biggest story here is the fact that the Pirates ended with an 8-1 season, while many of their key play-makers suffered from injuries for many of the games.
We had a lot of people step up, Eric Theis has been huge this year, the QB added.
Two of their key defensive and offensive players (Jesse Bobbit and Kuska) were out several games this season. Jesse Bobbit missed the first two games and delivered an outstanding performance when he returned during the third week against Elk Grove.
Bobbit said it didnt feel good sitting on the sideline, but watching the team grow was great. We didnt even know we had as much depth as we have, so I enjoyed helping the guys out and it was fun.
Kuska was out with injuries for the first seven games of the season -- returning against Barrington and looking as if he never missed a step as he connected with Olles on eight passes for 102 yards.
It seems as if the Pirates battled through the trenches even without many of their key components. We had a lot of kids coming back from last years team and I think thats why we were able to weather the storm, said Palatine coach Tyler Donnelly referring to their 8-1 season.
A state title has never been accomplished at Palatine, and thats something were looking forward to accomplish our last year said Olles.
The guys are all back together and the team is healthier than ever moving into the postseason. On Saturday, the Pirates will face off against an opponent that theyve never played before -- Niles West, a team that wants to advance to the second round as much as Palatine does.
We know this team has a lot of talent -- no questions, but weve got to execute on all sides of the ball and all phases of the game -- if we do that, then weve got a shot, coach Donnelly added.