Boys Soccer: Hinckley-Big Rock shooting for state semifinal berth

Updated: October 22, 2012 8:36PM



“Every inch, every play” is the mantra Hinckley-Big Rock’s boys soccer program is using to achieve its second IHSA Final Four appearance.

Tuesday’s Class 1A Naperville North Supersectional has the Royals (20-4) on the Final Four doorstep for the second consecutive year and sixth time in school history. Standing in the way is Cristo Rey (17-1-2)

Hinckley-Big Rock made it in 1979 when there was only one class for boys soccer. This year marks the second time H-BR has reached the Elite Eight under a three-class system (it made it one time under two classes, and once during the single class era).

“We’ve talked about the importance of being more diligent from start to finish,’’ Royals coach Paul Taeuber said. ‘’The idea to give every inch, every play, to have no letdowns. At this point, you know you’re only going to play quality opponents, so you have to have the desire, continue to play as a team, and most important, finish every opportunity.”

Hinckley-Big Rock avenged two of its losses, beating Somonauk for the school’s 12th regional plaque, and knocked off Princeton en route to its ninth sectional trophy. The fourth loss occurred against 2A Kaneland.

In 2011, H-BR lost a Supersectional contest to Lisle, the program that Cristo Rey just defeated for the school’s first sectional title. The Cristeros — one of the state’s most distinctive nicknames representing religious rebels with roots traced back to Aztec and Mayan culture — swept the Chicago Prep Conference (10-0) and tournament titles while battling to 0-0 draws with 2A programs Juarez and St. Laurence, coupled with an upset loss to Little Village.

Class 1A is assured a new champion with Cristo Rey having eliminated a Lisle program that was the 2010 champion and 2011 runner-up to Quincy Notre Dame, which was beaten by Carlinville. Last year’s third-place finisher, Parker, is back in the Elite Eight along with H-BR and Urbana.

Junior Angelo Villa had the match-winners for the 1-0 sectional victories over Timothy Christian and Lisle. Sophomore Alejandra Vences is a key in the midfield for a squad that has two senior starters — forward Hector Alvarado and keeper Carlos Vences.

Hinckley-Big Rock is led by senior Bernie Conley — 90 points based on 33 goals that elevate him to third on the school career chart at 127 — plus Billy Weissinger (59 pts; 25g/9a), Zach Michels (44 pts; 17ga/10a) and Jared Madden (41 pts; 16g/9a).

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