Crystal Lake Central graduate Isaiah Mosher knew good things were happening for Tigers’ athletic teams without viewing any standings.
Mosher heard it every day walking the halls.
“Whenever I’d see somebody, I’d ask how their team did,” said Mosher, who was a senior on the football and boys track and field teams. “It always seemed like they won, it was the same story every time. Everyone was doing so well, it was an awesome thing.”
What Mosher learned was accurate. Crystal Lake Central’s boys and girls teams fared so well that the Tigers will keep the Northwest Herald All-Sports Award trophy for a third consecutive year. Points are accumulated in 16 sports where all or most schools compete, and Central finished with 132 points. Huntley was second with 1251/2 points.
Cary-Grove, which won the traveling trophy four of five years before Central’s current run, was third with 1231/2.
The Tigers won or shared Fox Valley Conference Fox Division titles in girls soccer, volleyball, boys basketball and softball. They won the FVC Invitational Meet in boys cross country. Central’s teams had top-four finishes in several sports that have meets or tournaments – girls cross country, boys track and field, girls tennis, wrestling and boys golf.
“It’s a tribute to our kids,” Tigers athletic director Jeff Aldridge said. “We have awesome kids who do a lot of things. They’re good athletes, but more importantly, they’re good students and good people.”
Aldridge and the coaches are more familiar with the All-Sports Award than the athletes. Aldridge mentions it at the start of school and principal Steve Olson also brings it up.
“It’s a big deal for us,” Aldridge said. “It’s not something we take for granted. We’re very fortunate to have the streak we’ve had. It’s not going to last forever.”
Tigers boys cross country coach Bill Eschman remembered a quote from Central graduate Gage Harrah last year, when Harrah brought up that the Tigers cared about other teams at their school.
“That’s what really is neat about our kids,” Eschman said. “They’re very supportive of each other. I’ve only been at Central, so I don’t know what it’s like at other schools. I don’t know if it’s unique, but at Central, it’s not just about their own team. This is a great accomplishment for our kids. It’s a great reward for so many sports to succeed at a high level.”
The Tigers finished in the lower portion of the standings in only two sports. That level of success was noticeable.
“It’s always a nice way to make you like your school a little bit more,” said Mosher, who was on a second-place football team and third-place track team. “Your team is not the only successful program out there.”