Football Season Recap

Friday night football games are a glorious spectacle at most high schools. The ball moves up and down the field in the hands of the players as the stands roar with excitement from the sheer volume of hundreds of students screaming and chanting for their team. This year, Libertyville High School came into the season looking strong, and ultimately finishing with a 5-5 record and a 4th place standing that secured them a playoff seeding. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at their  season, a recap of their Friday Night Lights.

The Wildcats, trained to be a formidable opponent for any team, kicked off their season on Aug. 26, 2022, with their first game, an away match-up at Lemont. It was LHS vs. LHS as the two teams squared off on the field, but Lemont, who would later go on to secure a top-ten ranking in the state, ultimately came away with the narrow victory, with a final score of 32-27. It was far from over though; the Wildcats would play at home the following week.

One week later, on Sep. 2, 2022, the Wildcats played their first home game of the season against the Evanston Wildkits. It was Kits vs. Cats as the stands were packed with students decked out in their best orange gear, celebrating both the game and the traditional Senior Night for the players. Determined to make it a Friday night to remember, the home team pounced on an easy victory, taking down Evanston with a final score of 42-17.

While Sep. 9, 2022, was another home game for the Wildcats, it was far less kind than the Evanston game. The Wildcats came in as an underdog, ready to play a then state-ranked Warren, and while the Wildcats, armed with an All-American student section and a hardworking team on the field, the Blue Devils ultimately took home the victory, with the scoreboard reading 42-8 at the end of the night.

The next game, on Sep. 16, was an away game. This one was of significant importance to Libertyville: they were playing their archnemesis, the Lake Forest Scouts. Last year they beat the Wildcats during the Libertyville homecoming game. Now, it was a road to redemption, as the Wildcats took on the Scouts at Lake Forest, where morale had to be high for the Lake Forest homecoming game. Despite the opposing student section working overtime against them, the Wildcats ultimately redeemed themselves through a 22-7 win over their biggest rival. Happy homecoming Scouts!

The Wildcats continued their winning streak, sweeping to a quick victory over the Waukegan Bulldogs on Sep. 23, before falling to Lake Zurich the following week, losing to the Bears 21-8. After this, knowing how crucial these last few games would be to their playoff chances, the Wildcats went on a two-game winning streak, beating the Mundelein Mustangs 43-19 on Oct. 7, and the Zion-Benton Zee Bees 42-13 on Oct. 14. With their spot in the state playoffs secured, the task of their seeding fell to their last game, an away match-up at Stevenson High School. Despite the best efforts of the Cats, the Patriots managed to pull away and take home the win, with a final score of 43-8. 

The good news following this loss meant that the Wildcats were still in the playoffs. The bad news, however, was that they would have to play a much better team, in the form of the Yorkville Foxes. It was a coincidence that was eerily similar to last year’s playoffs, wherein the Wildcats once again were an underdog playing away against a better-ranked seed, in the form of Pekin High School. Sadly, this year, the end result was the same: Yorkville won the first-round playoff game, with a final score of 33-8. Although the Wildcats lost, their fight remains stronger than ever as they look to be a dominant force next season.