Chris Orlet watched the team he used to play for Friday night on a television from The Abbey on West Main Street in Belleville and said the game was bringing back memories.
In DeKalb, 243 miles away, it was halftime. The Crusaders headed to the locker room down 28-7 against Chicago’s Wendell Phillips Academy.
“I’m proud of them,” Orlet said. “They’re playing their hearts out.”
It does bring back what it felt like, the feeling and the excitement
Nicholas Orlet, member of Althoff’s 1980 state champion football team
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Orlet, of St. Louis, was an offensive tackle on the Althoff Catholic High School football team that won a state championship in 1980. That team’s 10-7 victory occurred at Illinois State University’s Hancock Stadium in Normal against—ironically—DeKalb High School.
“It does bring back what it felt like, the feeling and the excitement. We never expected to get as far as we did,” Orlet said.
We’ve got a nice crowd in here. It’s all going very well except for the score right now
Andy Kinsella, Althoff alum
“Not going as well as we’d like it to, but we’re confident there’s a comeback in the offing,” said Althoff alum and The Abbey employee Andy Kinsella. “We’ve got a nice crowd in here. It’s all going very well except for the score right now. But like we said, we’re confident there’s going to be a big comeback.”
Both the Crusaders and their opponents, the Wildcats, entered Friday’s title game with perfect 13-0 records.
51 Wendell Phillips Academy
7 Althoff Catholic High School
The comeback Kinsella hoped for never materialized as the Crusaders fell 51-7.