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Joliet Catholic hilltoppers football

2007 Schedule

8/26 12:00 H
Chicago (Mt. Carmel)
@ Soldier Field
8/31 7:30 H
Morris
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
9/7 7:30 H
*Chicago (St. Patrick)
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
9/14 7:30 @
*Chicago (Marist)
9/21 7:30 H
*Lisle (Benet Academy)
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
9/28 7:30 @
*Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic)
10/5 7:30 H
*Niles (Notre Dame)
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
10/13 1:30 @
*Westchester (St. Joseph)
10/19 7:30 H
*Mundelein (Carmel)
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium

### enrollment
Joliet Memorial Stadium

 

A New Hill To Climb (8/19/2005)
2005 Team Preview

Joliet - "I've always felt competitions makes you better." That's the philosophy straight out of the mouth of Hilltoppers head coach Dan Sharp, as he talks about the upcoming challenges of the 2005 football season.

Sharp also said the key to the season is going to be the Hilltoppers ability to run the ball. "Our returning backs are two of our best backs in school history". He's talking about seniors & returning starters Joe Benson (1313 yards rushing with 9.4 average) & Billy McKeon (1109 yards rushing with a 8.9 average). Add to that mix the states 55 meter indoor champ and new comer, Dan Hrvatin and you have to wonder if the Hilltoppers will ever even throw a pass.

Still the Hilltopper who fills the gap at QB, left by John Kiernan, and could be key. Sharp said that both candidates had either taken just over a dozen or so snaps or none at all in games last year.

A solid offensive line lead by left tackle Bret Stengele (6'5, 250) with help from returning tight end Ryan Barrett, could make the difference. With first & second week match ups with Chicago (Marist) &Lisle (Benet Academy) , whoever ends up taking snaps will get a formidable opponent, but won't be stepping into a late round playoff type game.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Hilltoppers return close to half of the starters with MLB Pete Barnery, who finished 3rd on the season for total tackles. He will be accompanied by 3 of the 4 defensive linemen from last season, Dan Cranmer, Nick Metzger & Jordon Kielian. Cranmer was 2nd in tackles last season. All-state linebacker Chris Jeske, who will be attending Northwestern this year, lead the team last season. Defensive back Kyle Doom, is the lone returner in the backfield.

"I don't know if we're gonna win these titles, but I really believe we can compete for it."
Dan Sharp

Sharp is well aware that his team is the team to beat in the East Suburban Catholic , but he's quick to point out that there are 4 other teams that are very solid. "I think St. Viator with their quarterback [Jared Funk]. I know St. Patricks has their quarterback back...and they had a great run last year."

Sharp added "And for Dennis Moran [LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy)'s president], that might be one of the greatest hires ever [getting Tim Racki, formally of Driscoll, as head football coach]. They are going to be much improved. They've always been a good offensively, but your going to see a lot of improvement of the defensive side." As he looked down the road to future seasons in the ESCC.

Pass defense is also a big point for Sharp's squad this year. "We're seeing more teams going to a Northwestern style offense. The shotgun, the spread."

When looking at the Hilltoppers in the preseason, one doesn't ask "if you make the playoffs?", but more "how do you think you'll do in the playoffs?" Joliet Catholic, in the 31 years of playoff football in Illinois has missed just 3 playoffs. Add to that the fact that only only 3 graduating classes since they won their first title in 1975 have not seen a title game while they were at JC. Well you can get the picture.

Sharp added that with the since the IHSA announced the multiplier in effect for all non-boundary schools, that the level of intensity in the off season program run by Francis Ruttiger, was higher. "It's the excitement of playing in the big game." he said.

Yet Sharp, as always is humble about the teams quest for their 13th State Title, "First of all, our kids & our staff welcome the opportunity to play up. And I don't know if we're gonna win these titles, but I really believe we can compete for it. My feelings are, we are a member of the IHSA & we'll play where ever they want us to play. I just feel for a lot of the other private schools, who make the playoffs every now and again. And they're gonna be forced to go up against some tough teams."

by Vincent Johnson

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Related Stories:
-2006 Week #1 recap
-2005 Week #12 recap
-2005 Varsity Roster
-2005 team Preview
-Hill to play Mt. Carmel Again
-2004 5A Finals Preview
-2003 5A Finals Preview
-2003 Week #13 recap
-2003 Week #12 recap
-2003 Varsity Roster

Story Archieves

Photo Archive:
-2006 Week #1
-2005 Week #12
-2005 Week #7
-2004 5A State Finals
-2003 5A State Finals
-2003 Week #13
-2003 Week #12
-2003 Week #9

-More Photo Archieves

Photo Ordering

Team Accomplishments

State Champs
2004 5A, 2003 5A, 2001 5A, 2000 4A, 1999 4A, 1990 4A, 1987 5A, 1981 5A, 1978 4A, 1977 4A, 1976 4A, 1975 4A

Runner up
1996 5A , 1992 5A

Semifinals
2004 5A, 2003 5A, 2001 5A, 2000 4A, 1999 4A, 1996 5A, 1992 5A, 1991 5A, 1990 4A, 1987 5A, 1984 5A, 1981 5A, 1978 4A, 1977 4A, 1976 4A, 1975 4A

Prep Bowl Champs
1979 Runner-up
1998 Runner-up

Conference Champs
East Suburban Catholic
2006*, 2005, 2004
Catholic Metro (White)
2001, 2000
-Past Confernce Champs

*co-champs

School Facts

Enrollment:
1504.80

Conference:
East Suburban Catholic

Class:
6A

Colors:
Brown/Gold/White

Nickname:
Hilltoppers

Head Coach:
Dan Sharp

Last Season's Record:
6-4

First Varsity Season:
1920

Past Player Watch
-Mike Alstott (92)
-Tom Thayer (79)
-Dan "Rudy" Ruttiger (69)

School Related Links:
- JCA-Online.org (Official)

2006 Schedule

8/26 12:00 @
Chicago (Mt. Carmel) 2442.00
@ Soldier Field
9/1 7:30 @
Morris 1015.00
9/9 8:00 @
*Chicago (St. Patrick) 3349.50
@ Hanson Stadium Stadium
9/15 7:30 H
*Chicago (Marist) 3017.85
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
9/22 7:30 @
*Lisle (Benet Academy) 2149.95
@ Benedictine University
9/29 7:30 H
*Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic) 2697.75
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
10/6 7:30 @
*Niles (Notre Dame) 2498.10
10/13 7:30 H
*Westchester (St. Joseph) 1288.65
@ Joliet Memorial Stadium
10/20 7:30 @
*Mundelein (Carmel) 2285.25

2005 Schedule

8/26 7:30 @
*Chicago (Marist) 3135.00
9/2 7:30 H
*Lisle (Benet Academy) 2145.00
@ Joliet Memorial
9/9 7:30 @
*Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic) 2765.40
9/16 7:30 H
*Niles (Notre Dame) 2570.70
@ Joliet Memorial
9/23 7:30 H
*Westchester (St. Joseph) 1232.55
@ Joliet Memorial
9/30 7:30 @
*Mundelein (Carmel) 2328.15
10/7 7:30 H
*Arlington Heights (St. Viator) 1742.40
@ Joliet Memorial
10/15 7:00 @
*Chicago (St. Patrick) 3372.60
@ Hanson Stadium
10/21 7:30 H
*LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy) 1265.55
@ Joliet Memorial

2004 Schedule

8/28 1:30 @ *
LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy) 763
9/3 7:30 @ *
Arlington
Heights (St. Viator)
1030
@ Forest View
9/10 7:30 H *
Chicago (St. Patrick) 1980
@ Joliet Stadium
9/17 7:30 H *
Chicago (Marist) 0
@ Joliet Stadium
9/25 1:30 @ *
Lisle (Benet Academy) 1294
10/1 7:30 H *
Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic) 1653
@ Joliet Stadium
10/8 7:30 @ *
Niles (Notre Dame) 1566
10/16 1:30 @ *
Westchester (St. Joseph) 0
10/22 7:30 H *
Mundelein (Carmel) 1351
@ Joliet Stadium

2003 Schedule

8/29 7:30 H *
LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy) 776
@ Joliet Stadium
9/5 7:30 H *
Arlington Heights (St. Viator) 1004
@ Joliet Stadium
9/12 8:00 @ *
Chicago (St. Patrick) 1910
@ Hanson
9/19 7:30 @ *
Chicago (Marist) 2057
9/26 7:30 H *
Lisle (Benet Academy) 1288
@ Joliet Stadium
10/3 7:30 @ *
Chicago Heights (Marian) 1664
10/10 7:30 H *
Niles (Notre Dame) 1536
@ Joliet Stadium
10/17 7:30 H *
Westchester (St. Joseph) 1008
@ Joliet Stadium
10/24 7:30 @ *
Mundelein (Carmel) 1346

2002 Schedule

8/30 7:30 H
Oak Park (Fenwick) 1138
9/7 1:30 @
Wilmette (Loyola) 2057
9/13 7:30 @ *
Arlington Heights (St. Viator) 999
9/20 7:30 H *
New Lenox (Providence) 1149
9/27 7:00 H
Kansas City (Rockhurst), MO 2817
10/4 7:30 @ *
Kankakee (McNamara) 421
10/12 7:00 @ *
Chicago (Leo) 584
@ Gateley Stadium
10/18 7:30 H *
River Grove (Holy Cross) 994
10/25 7:30 H *
Chicago (Hales Franciscan) 586

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