State record in reach for Crete’s Posada?Carlos Posada, senior soccer player from Crete-Monee High School in Crete, Il., practices on Monday, August 15, 2011. Posada scored 63 goals last year and is only 50 goals away from the Illinois state soccer record. | John Smierciak~for Sun-Times Media
Teams To Watch
Stagg: No team in the Southland went further than the Chargers in Class 3A last season, as the team fell to Edwardsville in the Elite Eight. With 15 graduated seniors, including All-State forward Zack Judickas and All-Section midfielder Tom Lojek, this will be a completely different team. All-State transfer Greg Healy from Brother Rice should help.
Eisenhower: After falling to Stagg in the sectional championship last season, the Cardinals lost All-State forward/midfielder Brandon Ramirez and All-Section midfielders Aldo Lagunas and Jesus Arciga to graduation. The Cardinals will be vying for the team’s third straight regional championship.
Marist: After an 18-6-1 campaign, including a regional championship, ended with a quadruple-overtime loss to Stagg in the sectional semifinals, the RedHawks graduated 12 seniors, eight of whom started, including All-State forward Dillon Olson and All-Section defender Kevin Szubrych.
Lincoln-Way North: After losing nine starters to graduation, the Phoenix went 17-8-1 last season, winning a regional championship before falling to Eisenhower in the sectional semifinals. The Phoenix lost eight starters to graduation, including All-State midfielder Alex Arias.
Sandburg: For the first time since 1994, the Eagles will not be coached by Jack Ferraro. Four-year Eagles girls soccer coach Desi Vuillaume takes over.
Lemont: In Class 2A, the Indians look to add to five straight regional championships and back-to-back sectional titles, behind nine returning starters. Replacing three-year starting goalie Jonathan Remiasz will be a tough task.
Crete-Monee: After falling in the opening round of the playoffs in Class 3A to Stagg, the Warriors, along with SouthtownStar Player of the Year Carlos Posada, move to Class 2A, having lost only one starter from last season.
Players To Watch
(in alphabetical order)
Emmanuel Barbejo, sophomore midfielder, Thornton co-op
Anthony Cetera, senior midfielder, Lincoln-Way East
Tommy Eyer, junior forward, Shepard
Jorge Garcia, junior midfielder, Bloom
Chris Harvey, senior midfielder, Lincoln-Way North
Greg Healy, senior defender, Stagg
Ulises Hernandez, junior forward, Bremen
Michael Hurley, senior midfielder, Homewood-Flossmoor
Kyle Koehler, senior midfielder, Lemont
Dan Lojek, senior forward/midfielder, Sandburg
Raymundo Munoz, senior defender, Bloom
Luis Navarrete, senior defender/midfielder, Shepard
Carlos Posada, senior forward, Crete-Monee
Jakub Sutowski, senior midfielder, Argo
Of the top 52 goal-scoring seasons in Illinois high school boys soccer, only three times has a player come back in a later season to match or score more goals.
So maybe it’s a good thing Crete-Monee’s Carlos Posada doesn’t need to get better to become the best.
Coming off his 63-goal, SouthtownStar Player of the Year season in 2010, Posada needs “just” 51 goals to become the most prolific scorer in state history.
Brother Rice’s Billy Savarino set the existing mark of 159 from 1990 to ’93. His best scoring season came as a junior, when he scored 50 goals, good for 17th-best on the IHSA all-time list.
Posada’s 63 goals in 21 games last season rank third behind Robert Meschback’s 71 (in 26 games) for Gordon Tech in 1976 and Jose Esparza’s 65 for Eisenhower in 1992.
Though Ryan Salazar of Hinckley-Big Rock and Ned Grabavoy of Lincoln-Way Central both improved on 42-goal seasons a year later, and last season Reavis’ Pawel Rychtarczyk scored 51 after scoring 46 in 2009, Posada isn’t thinking about Esparza or Meschback as much as he is Savarino.
And that’s only because he’s thinking about what others might be thinking.
“I feel like all eyes are on me and people expect me to break it,” Posada said. “I’m just worried about the first game.”
He might want to worry about surviving it — and the two dozen or so to follow. He’ll be a marked man in 2011, getting plenty of bumps and bruises along with all that unwanted defensive attention. It’s a lesson he learned in 2010.
“I’d get hit pretty hard last season,” Posada said. “It’s just what comes with the territory.
“I’m the person that does stuff and it ticks them off.”
Warriors coach Julian Lagunas deploys Posada with both the player’s safety and the opponents’ ire in mind.
“The only reason Posada doesn’t score more goals is because I take him out, out of respect for other teams and to keep him healthy,” Lagunas said.
What’s usually forgotten regarding Posada is the fact he also had 19 assists last season, helping transform Crete-Monee from a 6-13-2 team in 2009 to a 17-4 team. He’s a player who just wants to win.
“If I do a bunch of single accomplishments, but never win anything, then people will remember me for never winning a regional or a sectional,” Posada said. “It’s better getting accomplishments and recognition with the team.”
Posada’s desire to win resonates to everyone around him.
“I’ve coached Carlos since he was a sophomore and all he cares about is winning,” Lagunas said. “His competitiveness spreads throughout the team.
“I’m spoiled to have been able to coach him. He’s someone I will be comparing everyone else to for the rest of my coaching career.”
At the same time, breaking the record wouldn’t hurt, right?
“I think he’ll break it,” Lagunas said.
Be sure not to mention it to Posada until playoff time.
“I’d be happy, I guess,” Posada said. “It’s a big deal, but I’m not there yet.
“I’m starting at one, rather than counting down from 51. How about we win a regional? I’ve never done that.”