Football playoffs make school history


For the first time ever, the Knights won the first playoff game against Hubbard’s Greyhounds on Oct. 31.
Students and staff, adorned in black and gold, made their way to North’s stands on the cold, rainy Halloween night to experience the rush of adrenaline as the Knight’s won their first playoff game in school history. Despite starting quarterback Merrick Gentile’s early season torn ACL, the team bonded between the blood, sweat, and tears and came out with a victory.
“We all played as a unit, all with one goal. That’s what made us successful,” said corner senior Lucas Lazzarotto.
This being the fourth year in the playoffs, the Knights were eager to win on their very own turf against Hubbard’s Greyhounds. Junior starting running back Dami Oladunmoye made two-point conversions and a total of five touchdowns, which was a career record for himself. Senior wide receiver Matt Aikin also scored, giving the team a definite win. Smiles gleamed across the faces of Grayslake’s community when the timer stopped, ending the evening with the an ecstatic win of 47-8.
“Winning against Hubbard made it feel like all our hard work had paid off,” Oladunmoye said.
On Nov. 6, the Knights traveled to Riverside Brookfield to play in their second playoff game of the season. Early in the game, Oladunmoye experienced an injury. Coach Steve Wood decided to sit him out for the rest of the game to prevent future impairments. Still, the Knights fought on despite the minor setback.
“In every game, the kids played really hard. Win or lose, they always play hard,” Wood said.
The coaching staff focused on the mentality of the game as well as the physical. During practices, they put the players through realistic situations to prepare them for anything that could happen within those four quarters. Repetition was a key aspect on the turf. Not only did the strategic plays get the team far, but their emotional bondage together gave them a powerful advantage.
“Our team unity was hands down the strength of this team. We had to deal with a lot of adversity, and the way they hung together is what I’m most proud of,” Wood said.
At the end of the night, Riverside Brookfield Bulldogs went home with a 21-14 win as the Knights traveled home with a sense of accomplishment, bringing their school great pride.