By all accounts it was a splendid winter for the Libertyville High School sports teams. But it's time to pick one MVP from each of these teams. Of course that's not an easy task but someone has to do it.
Girls Basketball: No doubt these girls are disappointed they didn't go further. But well down the road they can tell their children that they beat the state's second-best team, Zion-Benton, three times this season.
This team's MVP is naturally Savannah Trees. The team's top scorer had another terrific campaign for this team that won a school record 29 games.
Boys Basketball: Obviously this team hoped for a better season. But for a club that won just 12 games, winning a regional opener on the last night of February had to feel good. No doubt injuries conspired against these Wildcats. Several players improved during the season, most notably Griffin Pils, Ellis Matthews, Luke Mathewson and Anthony Mack, but the club also had the services of a major scorer in Ryan Barth. One of the area's best shooters, only a leg injury midway through the campaign, stole away from his special season.
Boys Swimming: This team finished 37th in the state. During the season, the Wildcats had help from divers Teddy Kelley and Trevor Freberg. Alex Snarski would earn a rookie of the year award as he did so many good things in the backstroke. But the MVP is senior Ben Snader. The spoils usually go the performer who comes up big at the end. There was that 9th-place showing in the breaststroke in the IHSA state swim meet.
Wrestling: Again, there were plenty of success stories on this gifted team. Luke Gaeth was tough at 130. Fellow senior Kevin Tavakoli was a regional champ at 145 and won more than 30 matches. Sayad Banifazl was so versatile this season trying out different weight classes. But again, the last man standing is the MVP. Luke Miller also won more than 30 matches and earned All-State honors with his fifth-place showing at the state meet.
Gymnastics: One thing is clear. The future is bright with the hopeful returns of Lindsay Schweitzer and Jenna Dunsing. However, this team does have to say so long to senior Leah Herchenbach. She made her last campaign a successful one. She placed 10th in floor exercise at the IHSA meet. She was also a regional champion in her favorite event.
Girls Bowling: There are some good young bowlers at Libertyville. But the star all season was a senior. Laura Polakowski was the leader all year long.
Boys Bowling: This team did set a school record early in the year. It had some strong efforts but at the end, stood junior Zach Jarecki. He was 17th in the sectional.
Hockey: The Ice Cats had their ups and downs but there stood goal keeper Erich Held making all those saves.
And I'm not picking top pom poms and cheerleaders.
Now on to spring sports.