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OK - here we go - best ever?


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#1 HasBeen

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 07:13 AM

Now, let me begin by saying I have the utmost respect for any of my "gold hat brothers", the coaches and parents of all teams past, present and future.  This is just for fun - OK?

So, let us begin . . .

Where does this team rate in all of Cyclone lore . . . and why?

While many will argue 2006 as the "flagship" team, I have to say I give one extra consideration to this one.  While they did not finish the season with a perfect record, they won a Championship in the toughest class SHG has ever competed in (at least in the new 8-class era).  Further, they did so by following a road that led to New Lenox, where they beat a state-known powerhouse in Provi.  Further they conqured a Provi team that knocked off what might be the most storied programs in Illinois in JCA.

If one follows your head, here is what mine tells me -

1. 2008
2. 2006
3. 2005
4. 2003
5. 1995

If I follow my heart, here is what it tells me . . .

1. 2008
2. 1995
3. 2003
4. 2006
5. 2005

Why would I put 1995 and 2003 in there when they did not win it all?  With 1995 it is simple - I watched so many of those kids grow up.  Their heart and ability to overcome adversity was tremendous.  Unlike some teams, 1995 was not supposed to do what they did.

With 2003 - I just thought they were flat-out fun to watch.  Also, losing to JCA by 3 is not exactly anything to hang your head about.

Further, 1995 and 2003 featured players who made it big in college and even to the NFL.

2005 and 2006 were great - gave us our first title and a repeat that did not suprise anyone.

2008 gets my nod at #1.  They have simply produced at a level no team has before.

Those are my thoughts.

Again, please note - they were all great teams.

#2 ChicagoCyclone

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 10:23 AM

'85 Bears.

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#3 JFLdadGHS87

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 10:47 AM

QUOTE (HasBeen @ Nov 30 2008, 07:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Now, let me begin by saying I have the utmost respect for any of my "gold hat brothers", the coaches and parents of all teams past, present and future.  This is just for fun - OK?

So, let us begin . . .

Where does this team rate in all of Cyclone lore . . . and why?

While many will argue 2006 as the "flagship" team, I have to say I give one extra consideration to this one.  While they did not finish the season with a perfect record, they won a Championship in the toughest class SHG has ever competed in (at least in the new 8-class era).  Further, they did so by following a road that led to New Lenox, where they beat a state-known powerhouse in Provi.  Further they conqured a Provi team that knocked off what might be the most storied programs in Illinois in JCA.

If one follows your head, here is what mine tells me -

1. 2008
2. 2006
3. 2005
4. 2003
5. 1995

If I follow my heart, here is what it tells me . . .

1. 2008
2. 1995
3. 2003
4. 2006
5. 2005

Why would I put 1995 and 2003 in there when they did not win it all?  With 1995 it is simple - I watched so many of those kids grow up.  Their heart and ability to overcome adversity was tremendous.  Unlike some teams, 1995 was not supposed to do what they did.

With 2003 - I just thought they were flat-out fun to watch.  Also, losing to JCA by 3 is not exactly anything to hang your head about.

Further, 1995 and 2003 featured players who made it big in college and even to the NFL.

2005 and 2006 were great - gave us our first title and a repeat that did not suprise anyone.

2008 gets my nod at #1.  They have simply produced at a level no team has before.

Those are my thoughts.

Again, please note - they were all great teams.

Hasbeen: You forgot that Provi also beat Mount Carmel this year. The accolades from Provi that this year's SHG unit could have competed well in the vaunted Chicago Catholic Blue says a lot. As far as the best, each is special to me in various ways. Four years ago, I watched the SE Packers 8th Grade unit destroy everyone they played. They featured Timmy D., Adrian, Gary and Dom. I mentioned to some people back then that they were special. Yesterday, !!!!!!!! gocycs.gif  gocycs.gif  gocycs.gif
"Reclaim the Gold."

#4 cornerrat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:39 AM

All.... As always HasBeen an interesting topic to say the lease. Umm.... Uhh.... And one I'm not touching with a ten foot pole. (or a 25ft flag pole ) nonono.gif  laugh.gif Ratsy

#5 DMX

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:45 PM

I'm not going to go there either.  I'm glad we were the best team in 6A yesterday.

#6 Cyclone1

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:58 PM

Are you kidding me?

The best teams have to be undefeated,  06 went 28-0, then 05 14-0 08 13-1.

You can't take it away from the state champions.

#7 HasBeen

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE (Cyclone1 @ Nov 30 2008, 12:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you kidding me?

The best teams have to be undefeated,  06 went 28-0, then 05 14-0 08 13-1.

You can't take it away from the state champions.


No, you can't.  But (on the "from the head" list) one can make the arguement that although while dropping one game in week one, 08 beat Provi, which beat both JCA and Mt. Carmel.  That, in my mind, overides one loss.  I can see to where 06 could have probably played well in 6A - but at the end of the day, they played in 5A, and did a great job!!!

Honestly, everyone has an opinion.  If you are even being talked about it's awesome.  In the 22 years I've been a part of Cyclone football, I mention 5 teams - there are 17 not mentioned - including my own (only team in an entire decade of the 1990s to complete an undefeated regular season) - pretty awesome to be considered in the top 5 in the last 22 years - and based on my conversations with several long-time members of the Cyclone tradition, we all have our opinions.  While we would all differ on some points we all seem to agree on which would be in the top 5 (at least over the last 25 years).  SOmetimes in different orders but all really close!!!

Several others of note - in my mind - are -

1987 - too short in the playoffs, although a special group, did not make it past the second round - 10-1
1990 - another 10-1 team - however, the only one in the 1990s to complete an undefeated regular season.
1993 - third round fall at Geneseo (2 loss regular season?)
1994 - special group - semifinal loss at Belvidere to the eventual 4A (6 Classes then) state champs.
1997, 2000, 2001 - another 3 quarterfinalists - 2000 pulling off another undefeated regular season . . .

Just my thoughts!!!

Edited by HasBeen, 30 November 2008 - 01:28 PM.


#8 jhs81

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:00 PM

Why start this topic. Can't you just be happy being the CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPS. By the the way congrats this 6A Cyclone team is the best of all time sneaky.gif .I was at the game,and although SHG's offense looked out of time they won pretty handly. Thats a sign of greatness. clap.gif

#9 HasBeen

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE (jhs81 @ Nov 30 2008, 02:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why start this topic. Can't you just be happy being the CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPS. By the the way congrats this 6A Cyclone team is the best of all time sneaky.gif .I was at the game,and although SHG's offense looked out of time they won pretty handly. Thats a sign of greatness. clap.gif


Why start it?  Guess the best answer is -  because it's fun!!!  Is that not why we come here?  Heck we talk about it at games and among ourselves - I was just discussing it yesterday at the game with 2 very regular posters.  Why not discuss here?  Without active discussion, message boards are no fun.

If we can't have fun with the topic, there are other issues out there.  And they don't lie with me - I said they were all better than my team.  nod.gif

It is only the same discussion many of us have all the time anyway in person gocycs.gif .

Edited by HasBeen, 30 November 2008 - 02:46 PM.


#10 ChicagoCyclone

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 03:10 PM

Hmmm. Is there somewhere on this site or other that has stats on SHG teams year-by-year?

I'm pretty well aware of the teams when I was there (1991, 92, 93, and 94), but I always remember how cool I thought it was that all the old football teams' photos were on the walls at West Campus. It would be cool to be able to scan all those old team pics and post low-res versions in the history section - just a thought.

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#11 ispaiu

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 03:19 PM

I agree----I visited Pantherfan's site & he's got the old pics on there---very cool.
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#12 captain'00

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 04:15 PM

i will go with this years team.

the loss to montini was an abaration.  in my opinion they tried to coast in the 2nd half, and it came up and bit them in the rear.  they also learned from that game.  they learned offensively to keep their foot on the throat of their opponent and not let them up.  or in simpler terms, they learned how to finish a game.

defensively the improvement from week 1 to week 14 is unmatched by anyone.  at the beginning of the season, we all thought there were weaknesses in the defense.  at times we thought it was the secondary...3 interceptions in the state championship.  at other times we thought it was the line...i dont have to remind anyone of how outstanding they were the last 5 weeks.

i'm with hasbeen, we talk about this because it's fun, but we also talk about it because of the rich tradition that we have.  like he said, there are countless teams that are considered good to impressive and even great why not talk about it here?  i'm sure no one will feel slighted not being mentioned either because at the end of the day i dont know of many football players from ghs/shg that put on that uniform and helmet and didnt bust their butt.  it's because of that that we're ALL proud of what took place yesterday and the years before.

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#13 cycs93

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:56 PM

Sorry guys I have to go with the 06 team then 04 team.  Honestly, the 06 team was rated number 2 in the power rankings in all of illinois by several chicago writers.  They just never got the opportunity to play in 6A but i bet they would have loved too.  I can't find one weakness from that team.   Yes, shg did compete in 6A but people are looking at 6A being such a giant compared to 5A but in 06, 5A was clearly better than 6A.  Also, Marian central catholic was a much better and bal naced squad than lemont.  Another thing is that the 06 team showed they could stop the pass.  Marian passed the ball i believe 43 times and the cyclone produced 3 picks and several break ups and only gave up 14 points to a team featuring 4 division 1 prospects.  The one team that passed the ball over 20 plus times this seasont hat shg faced blew them away.  Nobody realized that montini destroyed the shg defense in the first half as well as the 2nd half.  The only difference was that more points was scored in the second half.  I have several arguments that suggest the 06 team to be better but ill leave it at that for now.  Also the 04 team was flat out good and got screwed at jacksonville.

#14 jdurham

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:09 AM

QUOTE (jhs81 @ Nov 30 2008, 02:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why start this topic. Can't you just be happy being the CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPS. By the the way congrats this 6A Cyclone team is the best of all time sneaky.gif .I was at the game,and although SHG's offense looked out of time they won pretty handly. Thats a sign of greatness. clap.gif

It's fun, man!
Also, you are right that the offense did not look as smooth as usual.  I honestly think that is because Lemont's defense did an excellent job.  They stuffed the run (often), covered the receivers well (usually), and continually shifted and mixed it up on D.  I was impressed with them.

#15 GHS1985

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:28 AM

I think it is very hard to say who was the best. First, I think you have to give the top 3 slots to the State Champion Teams, that is really the only way to handicap them.

But the real problem in judging teams is because the offensive and defensive schemes have improved so much over the years. I played in the early 80s and we had some great players. But we did not have Coach Leonard's offensive genius. Although I would like to guess what a Kelly Ryan or Chris Ondrula would have done in today's SHG offense, it would just be a guess.

The 87 team with Doug Hembrough, Dan Dee, Chris Stapleton, Bart Geiser, Sweeney, and Greg Steil were as skilled and tough as any team but they got knocked out.

The 82 team with Robin Cooper as coach just played muscle up smash mouth football. We rolled with our defense (Enoch Blazis, Jerry Horwath, Mike Ryan) during the season but did not make any adjustments to Geneseo's offense and they walked through us like butter. I think if we would have had a Jimbo McMann running our defense would would have stuffed Geneseo. I think we had the better athletes.

No the real credit, to me, has to go to Coach Leonard and how he has developed as a Coach over the years. Back in my day, football was something that started in mid-August. Now it is a year round thing. Leonard develops football players. He puts players in position to succeed. They understand what the other team is going to do before they do it and most times end up in the right spot. That is all due to the coaching staff. I think we are very lucky to have a Coach Leonard leading our Cyclones.

#16 gusdog

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:53 AM

The 1976 team was excellent.  Lost one game at Normal Community (a hard fought, close game), and missed the playoffs altogether.

That team deserves consideration, IMO, but will get none.

This is tough to do.

Edited by gusdog, 01 December 2008 - 11:53 AM.


#17 cycs93

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:56 AM

I do respect the teams in the 80's and  90's.  The 1994 team maybe should have won state.  Pilger was one heck of an athlete.  Another thing that is different from the teams then and the teams in this decade is the amount of depth.  The success of the teams in the 80's and 90's led to the amount of outstanding football players that are present every year in this decade.  Now if we took a pool of the best teams by decade, I would go 06 and 04 for this one thus far i might add.  In the 90's it is a close one.  I know the 95 team went to the state game but the 94 team was dang good and the 96 team featured a lot of people from the 95 team including mitrione and brad svoboda.  In the 80's with Hembrough and Geiser and Ryan I do not know enough about to judge.  One more thing to add, the teams in 2000 and 2001 featured some great skill players especially at wide receiver.  Karliker, Matt Brewer, Travis Shea, among others would have definetly done their part in a passing offense like the modern shg offense.

#18 ispaiu

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:04 PM

Apples and oranges. Thinking about some of these past teams, it makes me wonder if we'll ever see a true bruiser in the backfield again---a Mack truck. Also a true tight end. I'm not arguing with success, just wondering if these are just two more things that have passed me by while I was cleaning my dentures.
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#19 captain'00

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:58 PM

this is why this topic is fun!  not only do we get to have a good debate, but an SHG alumn like myself who didnt get to see alot of these teams play (moved into the area in 1995) loves hearing about the names he's seen in the trophy cases at west campus.  this is great.

#20 cyclops

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE (GHS1985 @ Dec 1 2008, 11:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No the real credit, to me, has to go to Coach Leonard and how he has developed as a Coach over the years. Back in my day, football was something that started in mid-August. Now it is a year round thing. Leonard develops football players. He puts players in position to succeed. They understand what the other team is going to do before they do it and most times end up in the right spot. That is all due to the coaching staff. I think we are very lucky to have a Coach Leonard leading our Cyclones.


Exactly my thoughts as I read the discussion.  Have all the fun you want hypothesizing, but recent teams are better because our system and coaching is better.  Coach Leonard is not only a great leader, but very progressive as well.  Not to take anything away from past coaches, but our defensive game planning over the past 3-4 years, not to mention judgement in positioning players,
gives the modern Cyclones an advantage over all that came before.

And if we ever do build Ken Leonard Stadium, there better be a statute of John Sowinski outside.




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