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  2012

  Illpolo.com's Coaching Awards

   BY AARON BROWN

 

   <<<  ILLPOLO.COM

 

COACHING AWARDS

The following coaches helped lead their respective teams to successful seasons in 2012 and earn special recognition for their efforts:

 

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
Doug Eichstaedt (Lyons)
There really isn't much of a debate when a team dethrones Fenwick, who had won eight-straight state titles, to capture their first championship. It has to be said, however, that Eichstaedt helped build the Lyons program from the ground up over the last ten years with an age-group program that developed the core of their title-winning team.

BOYS CANDIDATES
Dan Hengelmann (Loyola)

The Ramblers didn't suffer a letdown from their run to a third-place trophy in 2011, as they finished second in the MCAC, lost by a goal to Fenwick in the Catholic League title game, then finished second in Illinois after losing to Lyons in the state finals.

 

John Blumthal (Naperville North)
Blumthal helped merge the veteran leadership of Aaron Katz, Eric Curia, and goalie Michael Shabel with a lineup chock full of underclassmen; sophomores BD Chapman, Garrett Nash, Gianmarco Duin, Luke Landiak, and Nolan Roberts plus freshman Drake McClure all came together to help the Huskies quickly become title contenders in 2012.

Joe Lewandowski (Lockport)
Lewandowski led the Porters to their first-ever state tournament appearance; clearly not satisfied with just showing up, the Porters knocked off Stevenson in their own pool in the state quarterfinal round to help bring a trophy back to Lockport for the first-time in team history.


Sean Wimer (Stevenson)

Stevenson won just 5 games and finished the 2011 season unranked, so it seems almost inconceivable that just one year later they finished with 24 wins and a state tournament berth. Wimer's squad finished the season ranked eighth after losing in the state quarterfinal round.

Wes Gonzalez (Stagg)
The Chargers lost a good deal of production from last year's successful campaign; nevertheless, Gonzalez led the team to another SWSC Red title and oversaw the team's biggest win to date (a sectional semifinal upset of Brother Rice).


Chris Deger (Maine South)
In four years at the Varsity level, Deger has seen the Hawks' win total make constant improvements that look like this: 3, 9, 16, and 23. That four-year run culminated in a second-place regular season finish in the Central Suburban League and has the Hawks thinking of bigger and better things in 2013.


GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Jack Wagner (Fenwick)
With a mix of seniors and several underclassmen, the Friars' staved off strong challenges from Lyons and Naperville Central to win their second straight title. Not only that, but this time around the Friars had to bounce back from regular season losses both of their main challengers and beat them both in the playoffs to earn a well-deserved title.


GIRLS CANDIDATES

Jeff Plackett (Naperville Central)
The Redhawks boasted three college-bound players, but that was the same story last year when they bowed out of the state tournament in the quarterfinal round in 2011. This year, they beat both Fenwick and Lyons during the regular season, stormed through the Metea Valley Sectional, then beat Mother McAuley and St Ignatius before falling three goals short of the team's first-ever state title.

Mike Cashman (St Ignatius)
The Wolfpack just keep coming back to state each year, no matter who graduates or moves on. Cashman's teams have now qualified eight times in the past nine years. This year's team featured a freshman, three sophomores, one junior, and two seniors in the starting lineup, yet the Wolfpack fell just four goals shy of making it to a third title game during his tenure.


Karen Desruisseaux (Lincoln-Way Central)

Desruisseaux helped lead a team with only one senior starter to their first-ever state tournament appearance; on paper it might have looked like the Knights were a year away from a sectional title, but they defeated Homewood-Flossmoor in the sectional finals to give themselves plenty of optimism for the 2013 season.

Len DePasquale (Metea Valley)
The Mustangs cracked the Top 25 for the first time in their short history at the start of the season, earned some high-quality wins during the regular season, then put a stamp on their best season yet by beating Naperville North in the sectional semis to end the season ranked thirteenth.


Mehul Amin (Maine East)
The sophomore-led Blue Demons turned things around drastically under Amin, going from 7-20 in 2011 to a remarkable 21-7 in 2012. Maine East ended the regular season in second place in the Central Suburban League with a 6-1 mark.


2012 ALL-ILLPOLO TEAMS

 

BOYS  -  FIRST TEAM | SECOND TEAM | THIRD TEAM | FOURTH TEAM | FIFTH TEAM | HONORABLE MENTION

GIRLS  -  FIRST TEAM | SECOND TEAM | THIRD TEAM | FOURTH TEAM | FIFTH TEAM | HONORABLE MENTION

 

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