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Johnson’s big game heads Willowbrook’s fall highlights

Before turning the calendar to the New Year, there’s still some time to reflect on Willowbrook’s fall sports season. The Warriors broke a state record in football, won an individual medal in swimming and had other highlights throughout the season. Here is a list of five of the best moments, accomplishments and teams, in no particular order, from Willowbrook’s fall athletics.

1. Johnson sets state record in Warrior win

The Willowbrook football team enjoyed a winning season with a 7-3 record, but the biggest moment of the season was the Warriors’ win at Lyons Township in Week 2. The Warriors were coming off a surprising and disappointing loss at Glenbard East in the opener and were facing a team that had qualified for the Class 8A state quarterfinals the previous three seasons.

Willowbrook responded with a stunning offensive performance. Quarterback Brian Johnson set a state record for passing yards in a game with 675 yards. Hayden Adams, Jeremy Barnes and Devin Childress all had big games to contribute to the huge numbers.

Johnson passed for 3,291 yards and 31 touchdowns on the season and the Warriors won the most games in a season since they also won seven games in 2000.

2. McNamara medals at state

Willowbrook junior Kelly McNamara’s second place finish in the 100-yard butterfly at state was the high point for a strong season for
the Addison Trail-Willowbrook co-op girls swimming team.

The team also won the West Suburban Gold meet and qualified the 200-yard freestyle relay to state.

McNamara finished behind only Texas-bound Fenwick senior Mimi Schneider in the butterfly and will be among the favorites to win the event next year. She was second in both the prelims and the finals.

Three of the four swimmers on the 200 free relay are expected back. Senior Molly Kuenstler graduates, but McNamara, junior Molly Hill and freshman Annalise Morrone should be back for the rising program.

3. Funteas paces boys cross country

Jimmy Funteas was in the front pack in a handful of races this season, including a second place finish at the West Suburban Gold meet. At that meet Funteas, a junior, ran a time of 16:01. Teammate Anthony Acitelli also joined him in the top 10. Funteas was 16th at the sectional, one spot short of advancing to state.

Funteas, Acitelli and senior Luke Caron all advanced to the sectional meet. Next year, Funteas and Acitelli will be back as seniors hoping for even more success.

4. Quartet of girls runners make sectional

After finishing third in the West Suburban Gold, four Willowbrook runners advanced to the girls cross country sectional meet. The Warriors were seventh at the Fenwick regional, just missing out on the final spot to advance as a team.

Jocelyn Rodriguez led the Warriors by finishing in 29th. Fellow sophomore Danielle Velasquez and seniors Taylor Burton and Kathrene Garcia made it to sectionals, as well.

5. DiNella breaks 90 at regional

Junior golfer Amanda DiNella shot an 89 at the Glenbard East regional at Glendale Lakes Golf Course. The round tied for her fifth overall at the regional and advanced her to the Rockford-Guilford sectional.

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