2021 Chicago Sun-Times All-Area football teamMichael O’Brienon December 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm

Joliet Catholic’s Jordan Anderson (23) runs up the middle against Sacred Heart-Griffin. | Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

The top players in the area for the 2021-22 season.


Zack Petko, Cary-Grove

OL Zack Petko, Cary-Grove

Sr. 6-1, 214 pounds

Leader of the offensive line that keyed the upset of East St. Louis in the Class 6A state championship game. Also a force at linebacker, finishing with 40 solo tackles, 57 assists, three sacks, nine tackles for a loss, five pass deflections and a blocked punt.

Jimmy Liston, Fenwick

OL Jimmy Liston, Fenwick

Sr., 6-4, 290 pounds

Purdue recruit. Four-year varsity starter, played the most football games in Fenwick history. Lineman of the year in the Chicago Catholic League and Illinois High School Football Coaches Association All-State selection.

Deuce McGuire, Marist

OL Deuce McGuire, Marist

Sr. 6-5, 290 pounds

Northwestern recruit. Three-year starter, named All-Conference and Lineman of the Year in the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Blue Division. Illinois High School Football Coaches Association All-State selection.

Valen Erickson, St. Rita

OL Valen Erickson, St. Rita

Sr., 6-6, 315 pounds

Missouri recruit. Three-year starter that helped lead St. Rita to two state championship game appearances. Steady, dominant presence allowed Mustangs to succeed with two sophomore running backs after Kaleb Brown’s injury.

Jack Lausch, Brother Rice

QB Jack Lausch, Brother Rice

Sr., 6-2, 195 pounds

Notre Dame preferred walk-on. Finished the season 164 of 269 passing (61%) for 2,447 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Was a deadly threat on the ground with 142 carries for 1,084 yards and 21 touchdowns. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Led Crusaders to a 10-3 season and the Class 7A state semifinals.

Jordan Anderson, Joliet Catholic

RB Jordan Anderson, Joliet Catholic

Sr. 6-3, 230 pounds

Illinois recruit. The area’s most dominant running back. Led Hilltoppers to an undefeated season and the Class 4A state championship. Ran for more than 1,500 yards and 34 touchdowns despite missing some games with an injury. Scored five touchdowns and gained 306 rushing yards in the state title game.

Nick Hissong, Cary-Grove

RB Nick Hissong, Cary-Grove

Sr. 6-1, 221 pounds

Rushed for 1,713 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. Led Trojans’ option attack that upset East St. Louis in the Class 6A state championship game. Finished with 32 carries for 224 yards and two touchdowns in the title game.

Maurice Edwards, Warren

RB Maurice Edwards, Warren

Sr. 6-1, 221 pounds

Vanderbilt recruit. Scored 22 touchdowns in 11 games and averaged 9.2 yards per carry. Had 1,629 rushing yards and 11 receptions for 68 yards. “Maurice is the best running back I have coached in my time at Warren and we have had some really good ones,” Blue Devils coach Bryan McNulty said.

Quentrell Harris, Nazareth

WR Quentrell Harris, Nazareth

Sr. 6-1, 185 pounds

Game-breaking force for the Roadrunners. Had 53 catches for 865 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games. Averaged 49 yards per kickoff return with three kickoffs and two punts returned for touchdowns.

Max Reese, Fenwick

WR Max Reese, Fenwick

Sr. 6-3, 215 pounds

Eastern Michigan recruit. Teamed with quarterback Kaden Cobb to help lead the Friars to an 11-2 record and the Class 5A state championship. Finished with 70 receptions for 1,140 yards and 15 total touchdowns.

Reggie Fleurima, Naperville Central

WR Reggie Fleurima, Naperville Central

Sr. 6-2, 200 pounds

Northwestern recruit. Co-offensive player of the year in the DuPage Valley conference. Four-year varsity player. Drew double teams that allowed Redhawks to run the ball effectively. Had 60 receptions for 849 yards and 10 touchdowns. Also returned two punts for touchdowns and averaged 15.2 yards per return.

Mike Sajenko, Maine South

ATH Mike Sajenko, Maine South

Sr. 5-11, 197 pounds

Led Maine South to 12-2 season and the Class 8A state championship game. Scored 30 touchdowns, including 15 in the playoffs. Rushed for 1,370 yards on 188 carries this season and had 50 receptions for 507 yards. Finished with 2,107 all-purpose yards.


Teddy Gianaris, Maine South

DL Teddy Gianaris, Maine South

Sr. 6-2, 237 pounds

Led Maine South with nine sacks and 17 tackles for a loss while playing with passion, intelligence and energy. Scored a 1450 on his SAT. Central Suburban League defensive player of the year and two-time All-Conference selection. Deciding between Penn, Princeton, Dartmouth and Cornell.

Djabril McNabb, St. Rita

DL Djabril McNabb, St. Rita

Sr. 6-0, 230 pounds

Led Mustangs defense that shut out three opponents and held eight teams to fewer than 10 points. Had a knack for recovering fumbles and even scored a touchdown on a one-yard run against Providence.

Andrew Blackburn-Forst, Lockport

DL Andrew Blackburn-Forst, Lockport

Sr. 6-3, 235 pounds

Anchor of the state’s most impressive unit that dominated multiple opponents on the way to the Class 8A state championship. Finished with 46 solo tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries.

TJ McMillen, St. Francis

DL TJ McMillen, St. Francis

Jr. 6-3, 270 pounds

One of the most dominant two-way linemen in the state. Played almost every snap on both sides of the ball. Drew double and triple teams while finishing with 55 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, two sacks and 12 quarterback hurries. Had 41 pancakes as an offensive linemen. Holds offers from 11 FBS schools.

James Kreutz, Loyola

LB James Kreutz, Loyola

Sr. 6-1, 210 pounds

A disruptive force on defense and Loyola’s top running threat in goal line situations. “He’s probably the best pure football player I’ve ever coached,” Loyola coach John Holecek said. “He’s an animal. He’s all go, all the time. Even in practice.”

Jimmy Rolder, Marist

LB Jimmy Rolder, Marist

Sr. 6-3, 225 pounds

Michigan recruit. Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Blue Division. Finished with 70 solo tackles and 45 assists. Had 13 tackles for a loss, four sacks and three interceptions. Returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

Tyler Jansey, Batavia

LB Tyler Jansey, Batavia

Jr., 6-1 215 pounds

Had 66 solo tackles and 22 assists. Finished with five sacks, one interception and 16 tackles for a loss. Two-year starter with more than a dozen offers from FBS colleges. Led defense that shutout three opponents and held five teams to fewer than 10 points.

Josh Franklin, Crete-Monee

DB Josh Franklin, Crete-Monee

Jr. 6-0, 187 pounds

Played quarterback, receiver, defensive back and returned kicks for the Warriors. Had one of the most dominant performances in recent memory against Thornwood, a playoff team. He had 469 total yards and accounted for eight touchdowns — 340 passing yards and six touchdown passes, 129 rushing yards and two touchdown runs.

Jyaire Hill, Kankakee

DB Jyaire Hill, Kankakee

Jr. 6-2, 180 pounds

Illinois High School Football Coaches Association First Team All-State selection. Helped lead Kankakee to the Class 5A state championship game. Two-time all-conference pick that scored 16 touchdowns on offense and had 62 tackles and nine interceptions on defense.

Jashawn Johnson, Hoffman Estates

DB Jashawn Johnson, Hoffman Estates

Sr. 5-11, 170 pounds

Western Michigan recruit. A force on both sides of the ball. Finished with 54 tackles and four interceptions on defense, scored two defensive touchdowns. As a receiver had 77 catches for 1,432 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Palmer Domschke, Neuqua Valley

P/K Palmer Domschke, Neuqua Valley

Sr. 5-10, 175 pounds

Punted, kicked, played safety and ran the ball for the Wildcats. Converted six field goals and was 38 of 41 on extra points. Averaged 36 yards as a punter and 47 of his 49 kickoffs went for touchbacks. Also scored five rushing touchdowns, including the winner in double-overtime against Naperville Central. Had more than 60 tackles.

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