CRETE | For the graduating seniors of the Crete-Monee football team, it has been quite a ride.
The seniors leave behind an impressive legacy and an impressive collection of statistics. A 40-7 record over the past four seasons. A 35-consecutive game winning streak, and 30 consecutive Southland Athletic Conference wins. Also, two undefeated regular seasons in 2011 and 2012, including a 14-0 season and state championship in 2012.
"These kids had a huge part in us winning our first state championship ever in school history," Warrior head football coach John Konecki said. "They set a bar of excellence that will forever be held up as, this is what we're trying to do as a team and as a class here at Crete-Monee High School."
And now, some Warriors will move on.
The Warriors will send nine players into the college ranks next season, the most from one graduating class in school history. Rodulfo Antuna will attend St. Xavier University. Deon Benton, Lincoln University. Jonathon Draper, Eastern Illinois. Kevon Love, Fort Scott College. Joshua McCaskel, St. Joseph. Nyles Morgan, Notre Dame University. Shane Ratkovich, Robert Morris University. Chris Slayton, Syracuse University. And Anthony Townsend, Lincoln University.
And here's two more final stats involving the college ranks: six Warriors have signed Division I contracts and Crete-Monee has had 15 total signings in the past two years alone. Simply put, the Warriors have built a monster of a program, and the graduating seniors have been a huge part of that success.
Wednesday's national signing day is a beginning to what these soon-to-be Crete-Monee alumni will be doing in the near future: continuing to play football.
Nyles Morgan, one of the Warriors Division I signees, will move to South Bend to play for the Fighting Irish. Morgan made his commitment to Notre Dame official on January 4th during the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.
"It has a great atmosphere," Morgan said of Notre Dame. "They're at the top for academics, and it gives me a good chance of going on to the NFL."
Josh McCaskel will attend St. Joseph in Rensselaer, Indiana, and had nothing but praise when reflecting on his years as a Warrior.
"Crete-Monee football has helped me to get both physically and mentally stronger," McCaskel said. "They have made me into the young man that I am today."