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Padjen family honored at T. F. South homecoming game


Rebels run away with a 48-7 decision over Reavis

by Ashlee De Wit
South homecoming
At the T. F. South homecoming football game on Friday, the field was named in honor of the Padjen family. Pictured from left: Head Coach Bob Padjen, Superintendent Dr. Creg Williams, School Board President Richard Dust, Former Head Coach Tom Padjen, and State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr., who will be filing a house resolution to recognize the Padjen family. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)

LANSING, Ill. (October 13, 2017) – There was a lot to be proud of at the T. F. South homecoming football game on Friday. The field was named in honor of the Padjen family before the game against Reavis (Burbank, Ill.), and the Rebels celebrated with a 48-7 rout of the Rams, securing a playoff berth.

A homecoming crowd welcomed the team’s “first family” to the field before the start of the varsity game. The Padjens were joined by T. F. South Principal Jacob Gourley, School Board President Richard Dust, Superintendent Dr. Creg Williams, Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam, and State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr.

Padjen Field
The field’s new name was unveiled with a sign under the scoreboard, declaring it “Padjen Field.” (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)

Evans announced that he would be filing a house resolution to recognize Tom Padjen and the entire Padjen family for their years of service to T. F. South and to Lansing. The field’s new name was unveiled with a sign under the scoreboard, declaring it “Padjen Field.”

There has been a Padjen on the field for T. F. South, either playing or coaching, for each of the Rebels’ 59 seasons of competitive football.

“We are very proud, as a family—there’s been a lot of time and effort put into this program,” said Head Coach Bob Padjen, who took over the team after his brother, Tom, retired last season from a 40-year career at the helm. “But there’s a lot more [than Padjens] behind that name—there are lot of assistant coaches, a lot of people with a lot of pride [in T. F. South].”

The Rebels certainly made their coaches and fans proud at Friday night’s game. They came out strong, recovering a Reavis fumble in the first minute of the game. Johnt’e Crawford’s 26-yard touchdown run on the next play put South on the board, and the Rebels never looked back from there in the non-conference match up.

South homecoming
Johnt’e Crawford (31) fights off the Rams’ defenders in Friday’s homecoming game. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)

Crawford finished the night with seven carries for 44 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns, and 25 yards receiving. Chuck Peoples led the team with 70 rushing yards; Jalen Burch ran for 69 yards on the night and got into the end zone once. Kameron Clayton also crossed the goal line for the Rebels. At quarterback, Clayton went 4-for-10 for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Dion Brunt had a team-long 48-yard reception for a touchdown. Anthony Lewis made a 28-yard touchdown catch, and Burch had a 15-yard reception.

Michael Smith led the way on defense with 17 tackles, 13 solo. Smith, Solman Ware, and Antonius Finch-Ell each had an interception. Connor Framke returned a fumble nearly 70 yards for a touchdown.

“It felt really good (to get a big win),” Bob Padjen said. “It was a great crowd—great people, great support. The kids have worked hard. One of our goals was to get to the playoffs, and we’ve done that.”

The Rebels are now 5-3 (2-3 conference), with one game left in the regular season. They’ll play at Oak Forest on Friday, October 20. Playoffs begin on October 27.

Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit is a freelance writer and a Lansing native. After starting her career covering high school sports in Iowa, she's excited to be back in her hometown, reporting the stories of her local community — such as the opening of Troost, the informal Lansing pickleball club, a TF South Homecoming game, and Common Ground, Lansing's experiment with healthy race relations.


  1. Great night and a great win the Padjen family goes back to the days of Coach Petree at Thornton Fractional the five brothers were all centers the most important position on the line John “Bull” Padjen was the first head coach at T F South Jim and Tom broke the tradition Congrats to all and Lansing has to be proud way to go Marcus ,Patti ,Rich ,Jake,Greg,Marc and all others too numerous to mention Go Rebels!

  2. Congratulation to the Padjen family! They are so deserving of this honor! I was blessed to have Tom as my coach!

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