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TF North Football starts 3-0 in turnaround season – other local scores

TF North

LANSING, Ill. (September 6, 2023) – The goals for TF North football this fall are pretty simple.

“We just want to win,” senior running back/linebacker Tristan Jackson said. “That’s all we want to do. We want to make the school proud, make Calumet City proud.”

So far, so good.

Under alum and first-year coach Anthony Pignatiello, the Meteors are 3-0 for the first time since 2009 when they won their first four games before dropping their last five.

The latest win was 28-7 on September 8 at Shepard, North’s third straight road game to start the season.

Jackson got the Meteors rolling with a 60-yard touchdown run on their first possession. The 5-8, 180-pounder added a 58-yard TD dash in the second half and has six touchdowns in three games.

Offensive tackle Aramis Steward returned a fumble for a touchdown and another highlight was a successful fake punt.

Jackson gives much credit to Pignatiello and his staff, which includes former North head coach Artie Rogers, for this season’s turnaround.

“They’ve got higher expectations for us,” Jackson said. “They set new standards for the team, for the school.”

Playing both ways can be “tiring,” he said. “But we work hard at practice. Hard work pays off.”

Jackson has some great expectations for himself. One goal is to be the team MVP and another is to make all-conference, which would get his name on the wall in the school.
He started playing football as a 5-year-old with the Calumet City Chargers youth program.

“I just grew up loving the sport, loving the game,” Jackson said.

He has also run track and played basketball for one season, but football always has been No. 1.

“It’s contact,” he said. “I like big hits.”

Pignatiello is glad to have Jackson on both sides of the ball.

“What he’s doing on the field right now at tailback and linebacker is pretty impressive,” Pignatiello said. “Those are two really important positions for any football team. But the physicality that goes along with those positions and how physical he plays — it’s been very impressive to see the success he’s had on both sides of the ball.”

Up next for the Meteors is the Battle of Burnham, the annual rivalry game against TF South. Kickoff is noon Saturday at North’s Petree Field.

While winning back the District 215 traveling trophy is a definite focus for the Meteors, there are other goals as well.

“We haven’t been in the (IHSA) playoffs in too long,” Jackson said of the 12-year drought. “We want to make history.”

Girls tennis

No. 1 doubles partners Precious Agwu and Alex Thomas improved to 5-1 by winning a super tiebreaker in the Meteors’ 4-1 loss to Lemont on Tuesday.

The Meteors fell 3-2 to Tinley Park on September 7. Picking up doubles wins were Agwu and Thomas at No. 1, and Favor Babatunde and Felicity Nichols at No. 2.

Girls volleyball

North fell 25-8, 25-19 to Lemont on Tuesday.

Boys golf

The Meteors lost 139-245 to Lemont on Tuesday at The Meadows in Blue Island and 200-257 to Tinley Park on September 7 at Calumet in Homewood.

TF SouthTF South

Football

The Red Wolves dropped their South Suburban Blue opener 42-0 at Lemont on September 8.

Seneca Smith had 11 tackles (two for losses) for South, which is 0-3 overall. Zyon Boateng added six tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.

On offense, Christian Streeter had seven carries for 52 yards and Nick Ford was 5-of-10 passing for 52 yards.

Girls volleyball

The Red Wolves (6-8) fell 25-15, 20-25, 25-13 to Reavis on Tuesday.

South lost 25-19, 25-14 to Oak Lawn on September 7. Joya Hurev-Scott had eight digs for the Red Wolves.

Hurev-Scott also had four kills and eight assists in a 25-18, 25-19 win against Bloom on September 6.

Boys cross country

The Red Wolves finished runner-up in a quadrangular Tuesday at Eisenhower, scoring 44 points. The host Cardinals (16) won, while Bremen (91) and Oak Lawn (125) completed the field.

Scorers for South were Jesse Terrazas (fifth, 19:06, personal record), Rodrigo Cortez (eighth, 19:26), Brandon Chavez (ninth, 19:30, PR), Antoine Morgan (10th, 19:46, PR) and Ben Gresham (12th, 20:18, PR).

Girls tennis

The Red Wolves were edged 3-2 by Reavis on Wednesday. Deisy Salto and Angela Mendez won in straight sets at No. 3 doubles, while Emily Cabrera and Azuri Akbar prevailed on a super tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles.

South fell 4-1 to Oak Forest on September 7, getting a win at No. 3 doubles from Cabrera and Akbar.

The Red Wolves lost 3-2 to Chicago Christian on September 6. Picking up wins were Mariah Smith and Rere Sonoiki at No. 1 doubles, and Kaylyn Imala and Angela Mendez at No. 2 doubles.

TF United (TF South and TF North co-op)

Boys soccer

United improved to 7-2-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the South Suburban Blue with a 2-0 win against Oak Forest on Tuesday. Oswaldo Mendoza stopped five shots to earn the save in goal. Giovanni Melgoza and Angel Saenz each had a goal, and Melgoza added an assist.

United also had a shutout on Monday, 3-0 vs. Marist Melgoza, David Lopez, and Daniel Gonzalez had the goals, while Kelichi MBah, Moises Mata and Miguel Canchola contributed assists. Mendoza had four saves and Edgar Rodriguez added two in goal.

United and Eisenhower played to a 2-2 tie on September 7. Melgoza had a goal and an assist, Delgado added a goal and Elkan Ochur contributed an assist. Mendoza (three) and Rodriguez (four) combined for seven saves.

Girls swimming

United lost 58-27 to Argo on Tuesday and 42-22 to Tinley Park on September 7.

Marian Catholic

Marian Catholic

Football

The Spartans fell behind 24-7 after one quarter and couldn’t recover in a 36-14 home loss Friday to St. Viator in a CCL/ESCC crossover.

Moe Davis caught a 3-yard TD pass from Carter Magierski and Kyle Scott had an 8-yard touchdown run for Marian (1-2). Tyler Lofton (10 carries, 85 yards) and Scott (10 carries, 61 yards) paced the Spartans’ ground game. Magerski was 9-of-24 passing for 94 yards and a TD with two interceptions. Kaleb Isom caught three passes for a team-best 53 yards.

Marcellus Clifton and Zach Coleman had interceptions to lead Marian’s defense.

The Spartans open CCL/ESCC Red play on Friday at De La Salle. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Illiana Christian

Boys soccer

The Vikings (6-3-1, 2-0 Greater South Shore) rolled past Marquette 9-0 on Tuesday as Nolan Flipse scored twice. Adding one goal each were Grant Terpstra, Eli DeGraff, Noah Sons, Josh Carter, Michael Zylstra, Zander Weemhoff, and Divine Olikgau. Keepers Eman Calix and Aidan Drost combined for the shutout.

Illiana blanked Lowell 6-0 on September 6 behind goals from Flipse, Terpstra, Olikgau, Will Bloom, Adam Molenaar, and Chase Poortinga. Calix (two saves) and Drost teamed up for the shutout.

Boys tennis

Illiana fell 3-2 to Marquette in Greater South Shore action on Tuesday.

The Vikings had straight-set wins from Myles Vroom and Michael Rensch at No. 2 doubles and from freshmen Lucas Evers and James Dillon at No. 3 doubles.

The host Vikings won two of the four flights on Saturday at the four-team Illiana Christian Doubles Tournament.

Hunter DeYoung and Gise Gibson went 3-0 at No. 1, while Brandon DeYoung and Tyler Groenewold were 3-0 at No. 3.

Illiana edged Bishop Noll 2-1 on September 7, getting straight-set wins from Ethan Bultema at No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Vroom and Rensch.

The Vikings blanked Hobart 5-0 on Sept. 6, dropping just one set.

Singles winners were Hunter DeYoung (No. 1), Chase Lindemulder (No. 2) and Gibson (No. 3). Doubles winners were Brandon DeYoung and Wyatt Jones at No. 1, and Groenewold and Silas Olthof at No. 2.

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Mike Clark
Mike Clarkhttps://muckrack.com/mike-clark
Mike Clark is a veteran journalist who has been covering sports in the Chicago area and beyond, from preps to pros, for more than four decades.