Football State Champs!

Fenwick won its 1st ever football state championship in DeKalb, IL, on Saturday.

Fenwick Head Football Coach Matt Battaglia (from left), All-State center Jimmy Liston, edge rusher Suleiman Abuaqel, All-State QB Kaden Cobb, All-State (Honorable Mention) WR Max Reese and RB/game MVP Danny Kent pose with their state-championship hardware after dominating in the big game on Nov. 27th.

The Friars (12-2) beat Kankakee 34-15 on Saturday at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb to claim the Illinois Class 5A State Championship! Our talented boys dominated, jumping out to an early, 28-0 lead in the first half and never looked back. It was a total team win highlighted by stellar catches (Bryan Hunt, Jr., Eian Pugh and Max Reese), spectacular throws and runs (QB Kaden Cobb), hard-nosed blocking (Jimmy Liston, Rasheed Anderson, Will Rosenberg, Pat Durkin, Aaron Johnson, Lukas Mikuzis and the rest of the offensive line). Defensively, the Paris twins (Conor and Martin) stood out, as usual, as did Suleiman Abuaqel, Den Juette, Mirko Jaksic (junior), Harry Kenny, Conor Stetz (junior), Aden Vargas, Jacque Walls, Quin Wieties, sophomores Luke D’Alise & Will Gladden and freshman Nate Marshall. They executed defensive coordinator Coach Titcus Pettigrew’s game plan to near perfection.

Running back Danny Kent (above) rushed for more than 200 yards on 28 carries and was named Player of the Game. This marks Fenwick’s first state title in football since the IHSA first introduced the playoff system in 1974.

“It has been amazing how I have been fully embraced as a Friar, and I could not be happier to have helped deliver this first-ever football state championship to Fenwick High School and the community,” says Head Coach Matt Battaglia, who joined Fenwick in late 2019. “Special thanks and congratulations to all the players and coaches who made this possible, especially our seniors! Thanks, and Go Friars!

Athletic Director and alumnus Scott Thies ’99 adds: “Congratulations to Coach Battaglia, our student-athletes and all who contributed to Fenwick’s first state championship in football! It was so awesome to see generations of Friars come out in support of this team. We are all super proud!”

Video highlights from the championship game:

READ THE COVERAGE IN THE OAK PARK WEDNESDAY JOURNAL

READ THE COVERAGE IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE/OAK LEAVES

Watch the post-game press conference (above) from DeKalb/NIU.

7 Replies to “Football State Champs!”

  1. A wonderful hard fought victory. Well deserved and something I am happy to have experienced. On December 1, 1962 our Friar team defeated Schurz High School 40-0 to win the Chicago City Championship game in front of 90,000 plus people and I was there to see it. During my four years at Fenwick and afterwards we came close but after that long ago contest the championship always eluded us.This time we won and I am so glad to have lived this long to see it. Good for you Friars! Good for all Fenwick families and supporters! Thanks for making an old 1962 grad happy.

  2. Congrats to Coach, Players, Faculty, and Fans as all contrubuted well! I and Family Members were there along with GREAT support from Fans! Thanks to all and what a wondeful “Bragging Right” to grab onto and ride into 100th Friar Anniversary in 7 or 8 Years! Thanks to all as really enjoyed the Season! James P. Hester, MA, CADC (Jim) “66”JJ

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