A Belleville sports tradition continued into its 74th year with the Rotary Club and Belleville News-Democrat’s All-City Football Banquet held Monday in the ballroom at Bel-Air Bowl.
The event comes at the end of a tough regular season for the city’s high schools, only one of which, Belleville West, qualified for the IHSA State Playoffs. But the three head coaches voted to piece together a city-wide dream team of players that represent Althoff, Belleville East and the postseason-bound Maroons.
They also presented special trophies to the offensive and defensive Most Valuable Players from each school.
Belleville West, which finished at 7-2, will open postseason play for the seventh year in a row when they travel north to Wheaton to play 14th seed Warrenville South (8-1) Saturday in Class 7A.
Althoff finished a disappointing 1-8 after their own string of seven straight playoff appearances. East finished 1-8 and hasn’t seen the postseason since 2015. Both Althoff coach Ken Turner and East assistant Tim Funk assured those assembled that the Crusaders and Lancers would be much improved for 2019.
The event’s keynote speaker was Michael Burke, 48, of St. Charles, Mo. He’s run nine marathons, 20 half marathons and an Iron Man Triathlon despite suffering from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder doctors told his parents would kill him before reached kindergarten. The disease has left him with diminished lung capacity and the inability to digest food without a daily regimen of 36 pills and regular medical treatment.
Burke urged the student athletes and their parents to have big goals and invite challenge, and devise a series of small goals to reach them. His speech drew him a standing ovation.
Members of the 2018 All-City Football Team include:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
ALTHOFF OFFENSIVE MVP
- Runningback Cam Rodgers (123 rush, 916 yards, 9 TD/ 7 catch, 118 yards)
ALTHOFF DEFENSIVE MVP
- Linebacker Darius Walker (78 tackles, 28 solo, sack)
BELLEVILLE EAST OFFENSIVE MVP
- Quarterback Kienen Waller (95 for 183 (52%), 1,158 yards 7 TD /47 rush, 331 yards, 3 TD)
BELLEVILLE EAST DEFENSIVE MVP
- Lineman Rakweon Ramsey (55 tackles, 30 solo, 3 sacks, fumble)
BELLEVILLE WEST OFFENSIVE MVP
- Junior quarterback Jack McCloskey (124-of-217, 1,977 yards, 34 TD, 6 Int.)
BELLEVILLE WEST DEFENSIVE MVP
- Senior lineman Anthony Graham (32 tackles, 13 solo)
- Junior Jack McCloskey, Belleville West (124-of-217, 1,977 yards, 34 TD, 6 Int.)
- Senior Cam Rodgers, Althoff (123 rush, 916 yards, 9 TD/ 7 catch, 118 yards)
- Senior DJ Johnson, Belleville West (148 rush, 887 yards, 10 TD / 2 catch, 16 yards)
- Junior Yohance Flager, Belleville East (22 catch, 449 yards, TD)
- Senior Will Lanxon, Belleville West (36 catch, 550 yards, 6 TD)
- Sophomore Dominic Lovett, Belleville West (42 catch, 947 yards, 23 TD)
- Junior Nolan Schmidt, Althoff (6-1, 240)
- Senior Dwight Oregon, Belleville West (6-1, 240)
- Senior Jalen Rogers, Belleville West (5-10, 240)
- Senior Josh Suttles, Belleville East (5-10, 265)
- Senior Isaiah Flager-Hearan, Belleville East (6-0, 260)
- Sophomore Logan Seibert, Belleville West (59 kickoffs, 3,478 yards / 4 FG, 42 PAT for 54 points)
- Junior Curtis Sharp, Althoff (78 tackles, 31 solo, 3 sacks, 2 fumbles)
- Senior Xavier Medina, Belleville East (23 tackles, 12 solo, 2 sack, fumble)
- Senior Lee Griffin, Belleville West (32 tackles, 13 solo, sack, fumble)
- Sophomore Bruce Harris, Belleville East (42 tackles, 31 solo)
- Sophomore Bryson Ivy, Belleville East (24 tackles, 11 solo, fumble, 3 Int)
- Senior Clarence Davis, Belleville West (40 tackles, 25 solo, 3 Int)
- Junior Dylan Appleton, Althoff (29 tackles, 13 solo, 2 Int)
- Junior Mack Harris, Althoff (51 tackles, 13 solos, 2 sack)
- Senior Keith Randolph, Belleville West (42 tackles, 19 solo, 5 sacks, 2 fumbles)
- Junior Ka’Lon Carraway, Belleville West (50 tackles, 25 solo, 5 sacks, 2 fumbles)
- Senior Rakweon Ramsey, Belleville East (55 tackles, 30 solo, 3 sacks, fumble)
- Alex Maxim, Belleville East (32 att., 1,069 yards, 33.41 avg.)