Matthijs Enters Lake Zurich
The “Legend of Enters” might grow and grow as the years go by. The senior tight end made catches that the Lake Zurich football faithful won’t soon forget. “Matthijs had the best hands on the team,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. “His acrobatic catches will go down in Lake Zurich football folk lore for years to come. Playing a position in tight end that isn’t usually known for its play-making ability, Enters was second on the team in receptions (38) and receiving yards (677) and tied for first in receiving touchdowns (9).” A rare two-way player for the Bears, Enters also made big plays on defense as a linebacker in third-down situations.
Ian Fitzgerald Lake Zurich
The Lake Zurich offense was the most prolific in the area and players behind the scenes such as Fitzgerald were critical. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior offensive lineman was the biggest player on the Bears’ roster. “Ian proved to be one of the biggest reasons for the offensive successes this season,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. “When in doubt, we knew who to run behind. By nautre of the postion, Ian is overshadowed by the higher-profile positions, however Ian has proven to be one of the most key offensive players over the past two seasons. Ian is the type of player I want: leads by actions, not words.”
Austin LePage Lake Zurich
Opposing quarterbacks threw passes in LePage’s vicinity at their own risk. The junior cornerback certainly had a nose for the ball, and for interceptions. LePage rolled up a school-record 10 interceptions on the season. “Despite being one of the smallest players on the field, Austin’s play makes him one of the biggest players on our defense this year,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. “Many teams made a decision to attack Austin through the air and all he did was respond with a school-record of interceptions. He also had 25 tackles. Last year, Austin was the sophomore team quarterback, but he has transitioned seamlessly into the corner position.” LePage was also a punt returner for the Bears this season.
Evan Lewandowski Lake Zurich
While winning the numbers game, Lewandowski also almost helped Lake Zurich win a state championship. It was a record-breaking year for Lewandowski as he helped the Bears get to the Class 7A state championship game. The senior quarterback, a Class 7A all-state selection, now holds school records for single-game passing yards (320 yards vs. Lake Forest this season), passing yards for a season (2,786 this season), touchdown passes for a season (29 this season), career touchdown passes (42), career passing yards (4,223) and career completions (271). “Evan has re-written the school’s record books,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. “In addition to being our starting quarterback and team captain, Evan serves critical roles in our kicking game as our punter and holder for our field goal unit.” Lewandowski averaged about 36 yards a punt, which is second all-time.
Payton Powell Lake Zurich
Powell was Lake Zurich’s burner, and a favorite target of quarterback Evan Lewandowski. “Having Payton on the field always gave us a deep threat,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said of his senior wide receiver. “It seemed like whenever we needed a play to be made, Payton made it for us. He flipped the momentum in the Zion-Benton, Warren and St. Rita games with his play-making ability.” Powell had 42 receptions for 781 yards, both team highs. He also hauled in 9 touchdowns, which tied for first on the team. Powell also served as a kick returner for Lake Zurich, averaging 25 yards per return. He also ran in a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Jack Sanborn Lake Zurich
Sanborn wasn’t just one of the best linebackers in the area, he is being recognized as one of the best in the country. A senior who has committed to play next year at Wisconsin, Sanborn is a Butkus Award Finalist. “That places him as one of the top linebackers in the entire nation,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. “He is arguably the best linebacker in school history. He is one of the best examples of what coaches want from student-athletes. He is humble, respectful and always hard-working.” Sanborn, named Class 7A all-state, rolled up more than 100 tackles on the season, with 4 tackles for loss. He also had 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 1 blocked kick.
Joey Stutzman Lake Zurich
Some players are just gamers. They show up to the games, but perhaps they aren’t that serious about practice. Stutzman is a gamer at games, and at practices. “Joey is the heart and soul of our team, both in practice and on game days,” Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said. “People always comment to me how hard Joey plays. I wish those same people could watch him practice because he amps it up even more Monday through Thursday.” Stutzman, a senior, rolled up 1,383 total yards as Lake Zurich’s lead running back. He also scored a total of 16 touchdowns on the season. A rare two-way player for Lake Zurich, Stutzman was an impact player at linebacker. He had 40 tackles, 5 for a loss. Also, he had an interception, which he returned for a 13-yard touchdown and a fumble recovery, which he returned for a 61-yard touchdown.
Tabor Alemu Mundelein LB Jr.
Zaire Barnes Carmel RB/S Sr.
Brendan Bazar Libertyville RB Sr.
Peter Brewster Grayslake C. WR Sr.
Travis Bronstein Stevenson DB Sr.
Alex Capstick Stevenson WR Sr.
Zach Carter Grayslake N. LB Jr.
Matthijs Enters Lake Zurich TE/LB Sr.
JM Etienne Stevenson RB soph.
Ian Fitzgerald Lake Zurich OL Sr.
Branden Gallimore Antioch QB Sr.
Ethan Greenfield Lakes RB/LB Sr.
Andrew Hare Antioch DB Sr.
Jake Johnson Lakes QB Sr.
Micah Jones Warren WR Sr.
Austin LePage Lake Zurich DB Jr.
Evan Lewandowski Lake Zurich QB Sr.
Austin Martineau Grayslake N. QB Jr.
Maema Njongmeta Stevenson LB Jr.
Payton Powell Lake Zurich WR Sr.
Hunter Price Antioch FB Sr.
Ian Schilling Warren QB Sr.
Jack Sanborn Lake Zurich LB Sr.
Charlie Schmidt Libertyville OL Sr.
Joey Stutzman Lake Zurich RB/LB Sr.
Martin Walker, Jr. Warren RB Jr.
Lake Zurich LB Luke Dwyer, jr.,
Lake Zurich LB Jack Fabbrini, jr.
Lake Zurich OL Yianni Manousaridis, sr.