The winter sports season is still in its early stages, but it’s not too late to look back at some memorable achievements for Lisle High School student-athletes from the fall season.
The football team had a memorable last-second win, boys soccer was unbeatable at one point, and a tournament title was a big highlight for girls volleyball. Here’s a list of highlights from the fall sports season, listed in no particular order.
1. Buchelt’s boot lifts Lions over Comets
The Lions were 1-2 heading into a Week 4 Interstate Eight Small home game against Reed-Custer, but they turned in perhaps their most memorable performance of the season in that game.
Lisle scored 17 points in the second half and led 21-14 late in the fourth before the Comets scored and converted the 2-point conversion for a 22-21 lead. A 31-yard hookup between quarterback Griffin Huba and receiver Andy Simpson got the Lions to the R-C 20-yard line with just seconds left in the game, at which point the kicking unit took the field. Ben Buchelt nailed 37-yard field goal as time expired for 24-22 win.
“[That] was a character win,” head coach Dan Sanko said at the time. “I give our boys a lot of credit coming back like that in the last minute.”
2. Boys soccer kicks it into high gear
After a rocky 6-6 start, the Lions won five straight games by outscoring opponents 27-4.
The winning streak included three consecutive shutouts. Kyle Hendzel tallied a hat tricks in 7-0 wins over Newark and Plano, and had two in a 6-0 victory against Sandwich. Alex Ancede, Mitch Boyce, Bobby Dickey, Joe Gausselin, Jon Harmon, Oz Omoike, Jamie Saddler and Josh Soukup also scored goals in those three games.
The Lions rode that late-season momentum to an 8-1 win over EPIC Charter Academy in their playoff opener before falling in penalty kicks to a Montini team that played for a sectional title.
3. Chan caps career in fine fashion
The postseason races gave Lisle’s cross country runners a chance to shine. On the boys side of things, senior Jeff Chan placed fourth overall in the Class 1A Aurora Christian regional with a time of 16:04 and moved on to the sectional, where he placed 12th to advance to state. Chan capped his high school career by finishing in the top 100 at state, where he was 69th with a time of 16:18.
The girls team placed seventh at the Aurora Christian regional as Kaitlyn Stanley (29th overall), Kara Kendra (40th), Dawn Yackley (52nd), Tiffany Compton (53rd) and Kati Young (54th) formed a solid pack to carry the team to the sectional race.
4. Volleyball digs in for mid-season success
Despite losing several key players from the 2012 team and having to put new faces on the floor, Lisle’s girls volleyball team found success this season.
The Lions took their lumps early in the year but found their form as the season progressed. After falling in their first eight matches of the year, they won eight of their next 10 contests in the middle of the season, including five in a title-winning performance at the Ridgewood tournament.
5. All-conference trio lifts girls golf
Before the season, girls golf coach Scott Waibel was excited about his team’s potential, and the Lions didn’t disappoint.
The Lions won 10 dual meets, including six in the Interstate Eight Conference, and at the conference meet, Lisle placed third in the team standings. Mary Sullivan fired a 94 and finished fourth, Alexis Gustas was ninth individually with a score of 108, and Bella Daly carded a 112 to finish 13th as all three earned all-conference honors.
In the postseason, the Lions scored a 457 and finished second as a team at the Ridgewood regional and punch their tickets to the sectional tournament.