My turn

T.F. North football team, tailgate brings community together

2013-09-19T00:00:00Z T.F. North football team, tailgate brings community togetherGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist
September 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

As I am writing this, I am contemplating turning on the furnace for a minute or two, though being the thrifty soul that I am, I probably won’t.

But the briskness of the temps this past weekend reminds us that the fall commeth. And this means we enter into that American holy season … football.

I like to go to football games, most specifically, high school football games. I’ve been to a handful of college games and they are pretty cool; a lot is going on besides football. Some of the best live music I’ve ever heard has been at college football games.

I’ve been to two pro football games. In keeping with my aforementioned “thriftiness," I only went because I was given tickets. At one game I thought I would die of heat exhaustion; at the other, from hypothermia. Two games were enough for me.

Back to high school. I am, as a taxpayer, part owner of the T.F. North Meteors. I have been to a lot of their games, and as in marriage, in good times and in bad.

Last year was bad, 1-8. This year, however has started off well. After a tough loss to a good Bradley-Bourbonnais team, the Meteors have won two straight.

The week before last, I was at the game between T.F. North and Thornridge played in Calumet City. North won in an entertaining game. And again I was happy to see the band and flag and dance corps do a lively show at half time. There are more that 100 kids in band and it continues to flourish under the directorship of Joe Malik, the band director.

But what was just as good, maybe even better, was the fact that the stands at North were filled. And across the way Thornridge had more that half of the visitor’s section filled too.

I talked to Dwayne Evans, the principal at North, Ray Williams, of the administration and Roger Yochem, of the District 215 School Board. I saw Creg Williams, the superintendent of the district, there, members of the parent advisory committee, as well a large number of the staff.

Prior to the game, a family tailgate party was arranged under the direction of North staffer Karen Lake. It’s an attempt to build more community with both kids and parents. They plan to do it again at other home games.

It was great to see so many people show support for this activity. Hopefully other activities are given support by the school and the community at large. Some may think it trite, but it does take a village (community).

Most of the rest of the world recognizes football as the game in which you actually use your feet. Most American types refer to that game as soccer. And here again, as part owner of a team, I am invested.

T.F. United, a combined soccer team of T.F. North and T.F. South, played in the Windy City Classic soccer tournament recently against some of the better teams in the Chicago area, 32 in number.

T.F. made it to the final game. We were tied with Marian Catholic through regulation time and two overtimes, before falling in a shootout. The games were played at Toyota Park, home of the professional soccer team, the Chicago Fire.

Congratulations to the team and to Alejandro Lagunas, its excellent coach. Coach Lagunas has made the T.F. soccer program praiseworthy.


The Calumet City Lions Club is sponsoring its annual pancake breakfast this from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday in the T.F. North school cafeteria, 755 Pulaski Road. There will be good eats, good company, and help for a great cause — those with visual and hearing impairments. Help the Lions to help others.


Noting the passing of my former student, T.F. North wrestler, and all-around character, Andy Antonietti. Peace to the family.

Thanks for reading.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. George Grenchik is a longtime Calumet City resident and retired instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. He can be reached at

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