The Stevenson Patriots have been 20-4 the last two seasons after going undefeated in the regular season in 2010 before losing in the Illinois state quarterfinals. Stevenson went 9-3 last season with yet another loss in the quarterfinals. The 2012 season gets underway in less than two weeks and the Patriots are preparing to make another run towards the state finals. Stevenson coach Bill McNamara said that his team just ran into great teams the last two years.
“When you get to the quarterfinals, every football team is a great football team,” McNamara said. “You got to be healthy, you got to be playing well in all three phases, offensively, defensively, special teams. You got to have it all together to take it to the next level. Our goal is not just get to the quarterfinals but to advance further obviously as every team in the state’s goal is. We’re working towards moving past the quarters this year.”
Stevenson will return among others, junior wide receiver/defensive back Matt Morrissey along with senior running back Anthony Bozin. Morrissey is the son of former Chicago Bears linebacker Jim Morrissey and McNamara said that Morrissey is a player who has the talent to do great things on offense and defense.
“He’s a great football player, very athletic and has the ability to make plays on both sides of the ball,” McNamara said.
Stevenson tied for the North Suburban Lake championship last season with Lake Zurich and Lake Forest and this season won’t be any easier according to McNamara.
“As our conference has evolved, there’s no such thing as a week off,” McNamara said. “Every single team in our league is capable of winning a game at any single time. Lake Zurich is a deep state playoff team year-in and year-out. Warren has great athletes and is always a tough opponent. They have the ability to make runs in the playoffs. Libertyville is loaded this year and has a great senior class. They’re going to be a really tough team to beat this year. You can go right down the line with Lake Forest, Mundelein, Zion. Every team in our league is a great football team.”
The Patriots will host Lyons Township on August 24 to open the 2012 season.