High School Football

High School Football

Edwardsville All-American talks about signing with Iowa Hawkeyes

AJ Epenesa, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound All-American defensive end for the Edwardsville Tigers, will follow in father Eppy Epenesa's footsteps and play college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

High School Football

Epenesa makes it official, but following his father to Iowa wasn’t always a given

Edwardsville High School Tigers All-American defensive end A.J. Epenesa signed with the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, one of four Tigers to sign NCAA Division I college football letters of intent at the high school in Edwardsville, Illinois near St. Louis, MO. The others were linemen Tate Rujawitz and Lucas Davis, who signed with Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and University of Memphis kicker and punter recruit Riley Patterson. Iowa Hawkeyes college football coach Kirk Ferentz praised Epenesa for his off-the-chart talent and humble approach, which began in southern Illinois.

High School Football

Loyalty to a coach led East St. Louis QB to Minnesota

East St. Louis quarterback Reyondous Estes announced Tuesday that he will continue his college player career for P.J. Fleck and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Estes has given previous verbal commitments to Western Michigan and Missouri Tigers before electing to use the National Letter of Intent Day to sign with Minnesota in Minneapolis. Estes led the East St. Louis Flyers to their eighth IHSA Illinois championship.

High School Football

Althoff football players make college picks official on signing day

The Althoff Catholic High School Crusaders football team in Belleville, IL near southern Illinois sent 10 players to attend the National Football Foundation’s college football signing day breakfast Wednesday at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, MO. Althoff had players signing with the University of Wyoming, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Miami -Ohio and Eastern Illinois University.

High School Football

Where is your favorite local athlete going to play college football?

Following is a list of southern Illinois and metro-east high school football and college recruits, along with their college football decisions. Among the top football recruits are University of Iowa recruit and All-American defensive end A.J. Epenesa from Edwardsville HIgh School in Edwardsville, IL near St. Louis, MO., East St. Louis Senior High All-American receiver Jeff Thomas, East St. Louis Senior High quarterback and University of Minnesota quarterback recruit Reyondous Estes and East St. Louis Senior High linebacker and University of Illinois Fighting Illini recruit James Knight.

High School Football

East St. Louis’ Thomas announces long-awaited decision

Seven players from the East St. Louis Senior High School IHSA state football champion Flyers made their college selections during an all-school assembly on National Letter of Intent Day. With ESPN, Sports Illustrated and other media outlets in attendence, Under Armour All-American wide receiver Jeff Thomas, quarterback Reyondous Estes and others made their college commitments.

High School Football

1980 Crusaders to be honored by St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame will honor 13 former professional athletes and sports figures ats annual inductions Feb. 2 at Gateway Classic Cars, St. Louis showroom in O’Fallon, Illinois. Inductees include Dave Butz, of the NFL Washington Redskins, former Major League Baseball player Gary Gaetti, NFL kicker Craig Hentrich, Southern Illinois University Carbondale head men’s basketball coach Rich Herrin, Stanford University volleyball standout Marnie Triefenbach, University of Illinois and NFL linebacker Dana Howard, Harlem Globetrotters owner Mannie Jackson, MLB pitcher Kirk Rueter of the San Francisco Giants and Montreal Expos, PGA star Tom Wargo, Olympic powerlifter Tom Stock, and others.

High School Football

Edwardsville’s Epenesa honored at Polynesian Bowl

Edwardsville High School Tigers high school football player, senior All-American and University of Iowa Hawkeyes college football recruit A.J. Epenesa was named MVP at the inaugural Polynesian Bowl for high school football players at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI. Epenesa is from Glen Carbon, IL in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO.

High School Football

East St. Louis QB changes his mind on going to Missouri

University of Missouri at Columbia lost one of the St. Louis metro-east’s top high school football recruits when East St. Louis Senior High School Flyers senior quarterback Reyondous Estes did an about face on his verbal commitment to the Missouri Tigers and announced he will instead play NCAA football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Estes led the East St. Louis Flyers to the IHSA Class 7A Illinois state championship.

High School Football

Epenesa impresses on national stage

Edwardsville, Illinois, High School Tigers senior defensive end AJ Epenesa had two tackles at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas Saturday. The Edwardsville Tigers’ three-sport standout has committed to continue his football career in the NCAA at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where some believe, as a true freshman, he could possible start for the Hawkeyes.

High School Football

Flyers’ Thomas was best when the games mattered most

East St. Louis, Illinois, Senior High School senior wide receiver Jeff Thomas, a four-star football prospect, stands out among NCAA Division I recruits for his speed, skill and his performance in the clutch. Rated among the country’s top players in the ESPN Super 300, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 24/7Sports, Thomas led the East St. Louis Flyers to an IHSA Class 7A Illinois state football championship.

High School Football

Edwardsville's A.J. Epenesa wins another accolade

One of the nation’s top high school football recruits resided right here in the metro-east and Southern Illinois this season, Edwardsville High School Tigers senior All-American defensive end and University of Iowa Hawkeyes recruit A.J. Epenesa. Epenesa was voted by area coaches as the Belleville News-Democrat (BND) Large-School Football Defensive Player of the Year.

High School Football

BND Large-School All-Area Football Team

A look at the 2016 Belleville News-Democrat Large-School (Class 5A-8A) High School Football All-Area team selected by metro-east high school football coaches in Southern Illinois. East St. Louis Senior High Flyers senior All-American receiver Jeff Thomas was voted Offensive Player of the Year and Edwardsville High School Tigers senior All-American defensive end and University of Iowa Hawkeyes recruit A.J. Epenesa was voted Defensive Player of the Year.

High School Football

Dominant Althoff lineman is Player of the Year

Althoff Catholic High School Crusaders senior defensive lineman Cristian Wills was voted by metro-east high school football coaches as the Belleville News-Democrat Small-School (Class 1A-4A) Defensive Player of the Year. Wills has several Division I college football scholarship offers and helped Althoff reach the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 4A playoff quarterfinals.

High School Football

BND Small-School All-Area Football Team

A look at the 2016 Belleville News-Democrat Small-School (Class 1A-4A) High School Football All-Area team selected by metro-east high school football coaches in Southern Illinois. Althoff Catholic High School Crusaders running back Jaylon Bester was voted Offensive Player of the Year and Althoff defensive lineman Christian Wills was voted Defensive Player of the Year.

Videos

Edwardsville All-American talks about signing with Iowa Hawkeyes

AJ Epenesa, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound All-American defensive end for the Edwardsville Tigers, will follow in father Eppy Epenesa's footsteps and play college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
nsanders@bnd.com
Edwardsville All-American talks about signing with Iowa Hawkeyes 1:48

Edwardsville All-American talks about signing with Iowa Hawkeyes

East St. Louis LB signs with Illinois football 1:19

East St. Louis LB signs with Illinois football

East St. Louis QB follows coach P.J. Fleck to Minnesota 2:02

East St. Louis QB follows coach P.J. Fleck to Minnesota

Edwardsville football coach talks playoff loss to Glenbard West 1:07

Edwardsville football coach talks playoff loss to Glenbard West