Thanks to all of the NU seniors for all of their hard work, dedication and perseverance, and for representing our fine university so well for the past 4-5 years.
This has been an extremely tough year, but all of you have contributed mightily during your time in Evanston, and should know it is appreciated. I hope that you can finish your Wildcat careers on a high note Saturday, then come join us out here on the boards one of these days when you realize just how much easier to talk about football than it is to play it.
This game is kind of special for me, because it will star a couple of guys who I've been watching play for a very long time. Jon Schweighardt, along with Illinois' Jon Beutjer and Eric McGoey, played for my high school alma mater, Wheaton-Warrenville South (though in my day the school was called Wheaton Central, and the games were played on Red Grange Field, who also played his high school ball there). My dad taught all of those guys (except Red Grange, he'd want me to mention), and he told me to come back out a long time ago and check them out. I didn't need arm-twisting, the DuPage Valley Conference usually has great Illinois football, from the Wheaton and Naperville schools. Additionally, their coach at the time, John Thorne, was one of my favorite teachers and a family friend. So I saw these kids play high school ball, win a state championship or two, and get recruited to NU, Iowa, and Illinois. Beutjer (and McGoey, I think) will be back for Illinois next year, but it's JS's last game. So I'll get a kick out of sitting with my dad, watching them play on the same field one last time.
So Jon S will be done with football, Dad's retired from teaching now, and Thorne has moved on from high school coaching to the college ranks, and I'm feeling pretty old. But the beat goes on; one of my buddies from high school is now the head coach at Wheaton North. Friday night lights...