Boys Soccer: Burlington Central eyeing more success

Story Image Hampshire's Blake Starrenburg (right) and Burlington Central's Brad Yarwood (18) run down a ball during the first half of their game at Hampshire High School Monday night.. October 10, 2011. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media

Updated: October 10, 2012 6:38PM

Recent history has shown the area’s regional final to be a springboard to state success when it comes to the Class 2A playoffs.

Last year, that regional plaque was used by Marmion as the foundation to a fourth-place finish. The season before it was Burlington Central.

Those same Rockets are once again hosting the regional that includes long-time rival Hampshire as well as No. 1 seed Kaneland and IMSA. While each coach acknowledges nothing is assured, they’re all aware that becoming the regional survivor has lately been the momentum builder to better results.

As the top seed, the Knights face the winner of Friday’s IMSA-Sycamore prelim.

“Being the top seed for the regional isn’t any extra pressure because if you win, you were supposed to win. If you lose you’re done. If you win, you’re just one of four regional titlists, so it’s not 3A where they seed teams in a sectional from one through 18,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “One thing I like about our team is that nothing rattles them. We’ve been behind and battled back. I think it comes with the experience of having nine seniors and 10 juniors plus one sophomore. We finally had the luxury to leave all our freshmen and all but one soph continue developing at the frosh-soph level.”

The veteran Knights coach also has the luxury of having son Anthony Parillo (a school-record for juniors goal total of 26) heading the offense.

Burlington Central and Hampshire are long-time rivals which can make that opener a toss-up. BC’s Rockets hope it’s the fuse for many of the upperclassmen to relive or exceed a 2010 campaign that produced a fourth-place state finish.

Central (16-3-2) is coming off a rousing regular-season finale in which it claimed the outright Bog Northern East championship. Then comes the emotional tussle with Hampshire, then the possible regional final with Kaneland. Hampshire (5-14-1) mustered just one victory in Fox Valley Fox Division action.

“Based on our experiences two years ago and not advancing last season, we really do know that we have to take it one game at a time,” Central coach Mike Gecan said.

The Burlington Central regional champion moves on to a Sterling Sectional which could easily include another area team in Yorkville. The Foxes are having one of their best soccer seasons in Mike Jacobs’ tenure and the No. 2 seed starts play Wednesday with a fellow conference member in No. 3 Dixon within the Rochelle Regional.

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