I’ve never owned a crystal ball, but I’m peering at a figurative one now.
I see all kinds of wondrous feats that athletes in The North Shore Weekend coverage area will achieve in 2020. If every prediction comes true, I’d have to seriously consider pursuing another career path.
If I hit on 50 percent of them, I’d feel … so-so.
And if I bat a dreadful .000 in 2020, there’s always 2021.
January: Loyola Academy senior twins Bennett and Jordan Kwiecinski score 12 points apiece in the Ramblers’ 66-55 boys basketball defeat of De La Salle Institute’s visiting Meteors on Teacher Appreciation Night. They also grab 10 rebounds apiece. And dish eight assists apiece. And record three blocks apiece.
LA coach Tom Livatino, fittingly, says afterward, “Good game, good game.”
February: New Trier senior Maeve Murdock nails the final routine of her prep career to capture the balance beam title for the second time in four seasons at the girls gymnastics state meet at Palatine High School.
February: Lake Forest High School senior guard Halle Douglass nets 10 points, snares 10 rebounds, delivers 10 assists, and falls one block shy of recording a rare quadruple-double in a Class 4A girls basketball regional semifinal.
Scouts coach Kyle Wilhelm hosts a block party the next day to commemorate the win and Douglass’ attention-getting statistics.
February: Loyola Academy senior and Stanford-bound Luke Maurer touches first in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events for the second year in a row at the boys swimming and diving state meet at Evanston Township High School, joining his father, Erik Maurer—a Loyola Academy and Stanford graduate—as a two-time state champion in each event.
March: New Trier’s girls varsity hockey team edges Fenwick 3-2 in the Amateur Hockey Association-Illinois (AHAI) state championship game at United Center, avenging its one-goal loss to the Friars in the 2019 AHAI title game.
May: New Trier senior forward Emma Weaver notches five goals and two assists in a Class 3A girls soccer playoff match, a 7-0 triumph. The Trevian politely declines to discuss any of her goals afterward but would gladly field any questions about the other goals.
May: Northwestern University women’s lacrosse junior midfielder Brennan Dwyer (Loyola Academy, Class of 2017) wins 11 draw controls in an NCAA Tournament game, upping her season total to a team-high 201. The two-time All Big Ten selectee ranks third in the NCAA in draw controls.
August: Lake Forest High School junior quarterback/defensive back Leo Scheidler passes for a touchdown and returns an interception for another TD in a season-opening football victory. Journalists covering the game can’t remember the last time a player scored 12 points like that in the same game.
But Scouts coach Chuck Spagnoli certainly does.
“Tonight,” he deadpans.
October: Lake Forest High School senior ace Kiley Rabjohns wins her third straight Class 2A girls tennis singles championship, this time against sophomore teammate and sister Autumn Rabjohns. Their coach, Denise Murphy, opts not to sit and coach courtside during the title match because it would have made zero sense to guide both in-house combatants at the same time.
She instead watches the action with the sisters’ teammates and parents. Following a winner by either Rabjohns, LFHS fans shout, “Go, Scouts!”
The Scouts successfully defend their team state title behind the sibs’ firepower.
October: New Trier’s boys soccer team stuns Evanston Township High School in a Class 3A sectional final, scoring two goals in the last three minutes of a 2-1 victory. Trevians junior goalkeeper Aidan Crawford, whose goals-against average in the regular season was a microscopic 0.493, makes a sensational save on a penalty kick in the 70th minute.
The win avenges a 1-0 loss to the Wildkits in a 2019 sectional semifinal.
October: Lake Forest High School’s boys golf team—minus reigning Class 3A runner-up Patrick Moorhead (LFHS, Class of 2020)—repeats as 3A state champion at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington. Scouts senior Flynn Bradley eagles the par-4 15th hole twice in the two-day event en route to all-state honors.
November: North Shore Country Day School’s boys soccer team takes runner-up honors at the Class 1A state tournament, a year after finishing a program-best fourth place at the same tourney. Raiders senior midfielder/forward Vincent Luglio strikes for a pair of goals in a 4-1 semifinal win, and junior goalkeeper Nick Potter stops a combined 18 shots in two Final Four matches.
November: New Trier girls tennis coach Jerry Morse-Karzen and son Brett win an eighth straight United States Tennis Association National Senior Father-Son Clay Court Doubles championship at the Landings Racquet Club in Sarasota, Florida. Officials decide to rename the trophy the “Morse-Karzens.”
One month later, the lofty Wilmette natives—Brett stands 6-foot-10, Jerry 6-4—appear on the “Faces in the Crowd” page in Sports Illustrated.