Simeon, Proviso East could face off for Class 4A championship

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Simeon, Proviso East could face off for Class 4A championship

If ESPN or CBS or NBC or ABC were telecasting the finals of the Illinois high school basketball tournament, they would jump at a chance to pit top-rated Simeon against second-rated Proviso East in the Class 4A championship game, a prep version of Duke vs. North Carolina.

The Illinois High School Association, in its infinite wisdom, hasn't always agreed with that philosophy. So it might surprise some critics and delight most fans to see that, believe it or not, Simeon and Proviso East are paired in opposite brackets and could meet in the 2012 Class 4A championship game.

It won't be easy, of course.

Simeon is the top seed in the Argo sectional, arguably the most competitive in the state. The Wolverines must survive a star-studded field that includes Curie, Bogan, St. Rita, Whitney Young, De La Salle and Marist.

They could meet New Trier in the supersectional, then Bloom or Collinsville in the semifinals.

Proviso East's route isn't as difficult. Oak Park, Schaumburg, York, Lake Park and Glenbard West await in the sectional at Schaumburg. Plainfield East could be the Pirates' supersectional opponent, Warren or Rockford Auburn in the semifinals.

If it happens, it wouldn't be the first time that the IHSA has opened the door for a match-up of the state's two most highly rated teams in the state championship.

In fact, No. 1 has met No. 2 in the state tournament series on 14 occasions since 1945. But it has happened only five times in the state final, the last in 1996 when Sergio McClain, Marcus Griffin and second-rated Peoria Manual defeated Melvin Ely, Napoleon Harris, Antwaan Randle-El and top-ranked Thornton 57-51.

In 1945, No. 2 Decatur and Bob Doster beat No. 1 Champaign 62-54. In 1950, Max Hooper set a then tournament single-game scoring record with 36 points as No. 1 Mount Vernon crushed No. 2 Danville 85-61.

In 1982 and 1983, Marty Simmons and Lawrenceville swept Class A titles by beating Monmouth 67-53 and Flanagan 44-39. Coach Ron Felling's teams went 34-0 each season.

In perhaps the most celebrated match-up of the state's two premier teams, top-ranked Collinsville met second-rated Centralia in the 1961 supersectional at Salem. Collinsville, with Bogie Redmon and Fred Riddle, won 66-64 and went on to win the state championship with a 31-0 record.

Another dramatic duel between Nos. 1 and 2 was in the Chicago Public League championship in 1977 when Phillips stunned top-ranked Westinghouse and Eddie Johnson and Mark Aguirre 77-65 before a crowd of 12,000 at the International Amphitheatre. But Phillips lost to St. Laurence in the state quarterfinals.

Other match-ups between the state's two top-rated teams occurred in 1997 when No. 1 Peoria Manual defeated No. 2 Thornton 65-62 in the Class AA semifinals, in 2009 when No. 1 Champaign Centennial edged No. 2 North Lawndale 66-65 in the Class 3A semifinals and in 2010 when No. 1 Waukegan and Jereme Richmond beat No. 2 O'Fallon 85-78 for third place in Class 4A.

In 1959, No. 1 Galesburg and Bumpy Nixon ousted No. 2 Herrin 73-69 in the state quarterfinals, then lost to West Aurora in the semifinals.

In 1964, No. 2 Centralia and Cliff Berger upset No. 1 Collinsville 55-50 in the supersectional, then lost to Rock Island Alleman in overtime in the quarterfinals.

In 1978, No. 1 Lockport and Scott Parzych edged No. 2 St. Laurence and Kevin Boyle and Jim Stack in the sectional semifinals at Downers Grove North, then went on to complete a 33-0 season.

In 1981, No. 2 Madison upset No. 1 Providence and Walter Downing 45-43 in the Class A quarterfinals.

Bears Talk Podcast: Reacting to acquisition of QB Mitch Trubisky

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USA TODAY

Bears Talk Podcast: Reacting to acquisition of QB Mitch Trubisky

In the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bears traded up to No. 2 overall and drafted QB Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina. Chris Boden, Alex Brown, and Hub Arkush sat down and talked about the moves made by Ryan Pace and what this means for the franchise's future. 

Also, hear from Trubisky himself speaking at the podium in Philadelphia as well as his former Tarheel Head Coach, Larry Fedora on what the signal caller can bring to the Bears. Finally, listen to the full podium availability of Pace after day one of the draft.

Listen to the Bears Talk Podcast below.

Bears will not have quarterback competition: ‘Glennon is our starter’

Bears will not have quarterback competition: ‘Glennon is our starter’

The Bears’ aggressive decision to trade up and draft Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick won’t create a quarterback competition this summer and fall, general manager Ryan Pace said. 

Pace made it clear that Mike Glennon, who the Bears signed in March, will be the team’s starting quarterback when they open the 2017 season Sept. 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. 

“There’s no quarterback competition when Mitch gets here,” Pace said. “Glennon is our starting quarterback. We’ll focus on Mitch’s development and Mike Glennon winning games for the Chicago Bears.”

Both Glennon and Trubisky, though, are no strangers to quarterback competitions — and coming out on the wrong side of them. Glennon, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lost his starting job midway through the 2013 season to Josh McCown, then permanently was relegated to backup duty when Jamies Winston was picked first overall in 2014. 

Trubisky, too, was unable to beat out Marquise Williams for North Carolina’s starting quarterback job in 2014 and 2015, only taking over after the graduation of Williams, an undrafted free agent who didn’t stick on an NFL roster. Pace pointed to Williams having “chemistry” within the Tarheels’ offense, though, which powered North Carolina to an 11-win season in 2015. 

Pace said the Bears don’t have a timetable for when they expect Trubisky to take over as the team’s starter. But given Glennon’s contract is structured so the Bears could cut him for $2.5 million next year — bringing his guaranteed money to $18.5 million — there could be an opening for Trubisky as soon as 2018.

It’s worth noting, too, that it’s rare for quarterbacks in the same range as Trubisky to not play in their rookie years. The last quarterback drafted in the top 10 to not start a game their first year in the league was Tennessee’s Jake Locker (eighth overall) in 2011. And the last time a quarterback effectively was benched his entire rookie year was 2004, when fourth overall pick Philip Rivers appeared in two games and attempted eight passes for the San Diego Chargers.

But the Bears won’t plan on Trubisky taking playing time away from Glennon this fall, and feel they have an ideal situation set up to develop their highest draft pick since the AFL-NFL merger. 

“I talked to Mike tonight, he understands the competitiveness of our business at every single position,” Pace said. “Mike also understands he’s our starting quarterback. Mike’s been here working hard all the time, already developing leadership with his teammates. I’m extremely excited about Mike Glennon this season and I’m extremely excited about adding Mitch to our roster.”