2015 Suburbs College/Prep – Championship Night (August 5)

Updated: August 6, 2015

We knew coming into the final Wednesday Night on the Calendar that by night’s end we would be crowning new Champs!  However, entering the night we had no idea who that would be, or even who’d be playing in the Championship Game!  The entire night got turned upside down from the jump… It was a true marathon of a night.. We got started with Elite8 Hoops.. The Elite8 Winners headed over to Softball for the Final4.. Ultimately, the Teams who won Softball took to the gridiron under the lights with the Championship on the line.  Before we recap all of the action and find out who the new Champs are, here’s the extended Weekly Highlight Video with TONS of PLAYOFF clips! OK Let’s Recap!

Elite8 – Hoops

1. Team Nelson (Spikeball) v. 7. Team Kollada (Sarkis Cafe) – 7. Team Kollada Advances

If everyone were to be honest with themselves, they’d confess that Team Nelson was a heavy favorite entering this Elite8 battle.. Team Nelson had rolled through everyone in basically every sport throughout the Regular Season and truly earned the #1 seed.  Team Kollada knew they were sort of playing with house money at this point.. They had won their first Playoff Game last week against 10. Team Liss and in their Rookie Season.. Something many Teams can’t claim.. They likely hoped to just stick around and make it a Game..

That’s exactly what they did.. The First Half was much closer than anyone would have expected.. The Game was actually in Team Kollada’s favor through the early stages.. As we got to Halftime it was clear, a blowout was not coming.. Team Kollada was working too hard on the Defensive end to let the Game get away from them.. Team Nelson had their signature big plays in big moments but couldn’t go on of their huge runs they so often had done in the Regular Season as the clock ticked down.. Both Teams hit big shots and it was a 1-possession Game down the stretch.. The Game really came down to the free throw line.. Simply put, Team Kollada hit theirs, 1. Team Nelson didn’t, and the upset was complete. 7. Team Kollada was moving on to the Final4!

For Team Nelson, no doubt it was a disappointing end to an incredible run this Summer. They clearly have enough to win the entire thing as was evidenced by their winning of the Regular Season.. This, their second season, saw a huge jump from year 1 to year 2 and it’s scary to think what they could look like if they make a similar jump before next Summer.  Congrats on a great ride. Thanks for playing!

2. Team Holway (Weil Foot & Ankle) v. 8. Team Gordon (Gordon Bros.) – 2. Team Holway Advances

This looked like a david and goliath situation on paper.. Team Holway had been the League’s best Hoops Team in the Regular Season and had a ton of momentum on their side after winning the Top2 Game the week previously against 1. Team Nelson, which actually gave them the right to select this side of the bracket.. Team Gordon on the other hand was fresh off their first Playoff W ever and was feeling good to be apart of the Elite8.. Simply put, this one was over early as Team Holway predictably built a big lead and stamped their trip to the Final4!

For Team Gordon, they’ve improved in each season of their All Sports Series careers.. In 2014, they finally broke through and made the Playoffs.. Then, this Summer, for the first time they got a Playoff W and was apart of the League’s final night.. If they can take another step next Summer, they may take the whole thing in 2016. Thanks for playing!

3. Team Prizant (SportsLock) v. 6. Team Sutker (Once Upon a Bagel) – 6. Team Sutker Advances

These Teams took the court with a real sense of sniffing the Championship Game.. They both had just witnessed 1. Team Nelson fall out in the Elite8 and suddenly their path to the Crown was seemingly much easier.. Only one of them could move on and attempt to capitalize.. Both Teams started slowly on the Offensive end. There was a ton of effort put forth on the defensive end and the ball just wouldn’t stay down for shooters.. Eventually 6. Team Sutker broke through and hit a few 3s that gave them a double digit lead going into the Half. The Game was truly low-scoring and the lead seemed larger than the actual deficit was.. Team Prizant came out fiery as they often do in the second half and began to cut into the lead.. Every time they seemingly would get within true striking distance, 6. Team Sutker would hit a shot and drain Team Prizant’s momentum..  With a few minutes left, it was clear that the Rookies from HP would take this and go on to meet their Rivals from Deerfield in the Final4. Team Sutker advances!

For Team Prizant, they have been a staple and a force in the College/Prep League for years.. They haven’t managed to grasp the Crown just yet even though they have been close on many occasions.. Here’s the deal.. These guys can win against anyone in anything at any given time.. Their best is better than most.. They just need to find a way to get a bit more consistent in August and they’ll hoist a Crown. They are true favorites as we enter 2016. Thanks for playing!

4. Team Zisook (Baker Boys) v. 5. Team Lehrman (Camp Ojibwa) – 4. Team Zisook Advances

4. Team Zisook came into the Playoffs as one of the best Hoops squads in the League and that was on full-display in this one.. They didn’t give 5. Team Lehrman any reason to think, “tonight, we can do this.”  Team Zisook was hot from 3 and by the end of the first half it was clear they would be moving on to the Final4.  That makes it 3 Rookie squads, all who just graduated from High School into the Final4. Incredible. The future is bright for the College/Prep League.. They’d move on to face the “old guard” 2. Team Holway in Softball for a chance to play in the Championship Game!

For Team Lehrman, it was their first season as a unit in the College/Prep League. Many are All Sports Vets, but none have been on a Team as good as this one.. This is a group that can win the whole thing and the hope is that they can get a couple seasons under their belts together.. If they can add another Hooper or 2, they will have everything you could possibly need to win the Crown. Thanks for playing!

Final4 – Softball

2. Team Holway (Weil Foot & Ankle) v. 4. Team Zisook (Baker Boys) – 2. Team Holway Advances

..and then there were just 4.  When the Bracket was finalized and 2. Team Holway selected this side after their Top2 Game W, everyone’s eyes moved to this potential match-up.. 2. Team Holway is the longest tenured Team in the League and the only Team in the Final4 that was not a Rookie crew.. Suddenly, they were faced with a lot of pressure.. The Bracket broke down the way they hoped and expectations start to creep up.. 4. Team Zisook could sense that and went on the attack early!  They jumped out to an 5-2 lead in this one and all of a sudden we were into the 6th inning with 2. Team Holway staring at a disappointing exit..

Then, Tony Shapiro came to the plate and changed the Game.. He hit a bomb to left and touched every base.. It was a HR that brought Team Holway within 1.. They would eventually tie the Game at 5.. The 7th and final inning was scoreless.. Extra Innings! No one would score in the 8th.. Or the 9th.. Finally in the 10th, Team Zisook drove in a Run and were just 3 outs away from the ‘ship! Team Holway’s lead-off man would reach.. Eric Porter then came to the plate and drove it deep to left for a triple! He tied the Game and then stood only 60 feet away to become the winning run.. Eventually Brad Holway would get into the batter’s box and a fly ball to left.. Deep enough for a sacrifice fly that would score Porter.. Team Holway had finally broken through to the Championship Game! 6-5 in 10 innings. What a Game!

For Team Zisook, while the Loss will likely sting for a bit, they have to be extremely proud of what they have accomplished in their first season.. It’s extremely rare for Rookie squads to win 1 Playoff Game, let alone get to the Final4.. They lost to a Team that has been the Class of the League for a long time and there’s no shame in that.. What’s scary is, this Team is so young, and has so many years left in them in the College/Prep League.. There’s a ton of talent on other squads but it will be truly shocking if this Group doesn’t win the whole thing at one point. Congrats and thanks for playing!

6. Team Sutker (Once Upon a Bagel) v. 7. Team Kollada (Sarkis Cafe) – 7. Team Kollada Advances

Both Teams took out true favorites in the Elite8 to get here.. Both Teams just graduated from High School and are among the youngest Final4 Teams we’ve ever had. 6. Team Sutker from HP and 7. Team Kollada from Deerfield, they know each other well.. Both Teams are in their Rookie campaigns… Improbable journeys that now cross paths with the Winner moving on to the Championship.. Both squads showed a week ago they are capable of getting Playoff Ws on the Softball diamond.. Here we go..

Team Kollada jumped out to an early lead.. Remember, a week ago they almost completed a no-hitter.. This Team can field.. Once they held the lead they tightened up on D and the Game seemingly rolled along in the middle innings.. Finally, Team Sutker would strike in the 5th, drawing the Game closer at 8-5. We got to the bottom of the 7th with Team Kollada still leading.. With 2 outs, a grounder was hit back to Captain Mike who pitched another Playoff gem and he hurled it over to first.. Team Kollada was heading to the Championship!

For Team Sutker, they have to be so proud of what they accomplished.. They won 2 Playoff Games and against very formidable foes.. Teams that have been strong squads for years. They have enough to win the Championship in future Summers.. They along with the Team Kollada and Team Zisook made the 2015 Playoffs memorable as the year the “Rookie Teams got to the Final4.” It’s going to be so fun to watch them slug it out with those other Teams as years roll on. Great first season. Thanks for playing!

Championship – Flag Football

2. Team Holway (Weil Foot & Ankle) v. 7. Team Kollada (Sarkis Cafe) 

It’s been 4 years since a Team from Deerfield grabbed the College/Prep Crown.. When the dust settled from the Final4, we knew that the Crown would go back there in 2015!  Both 2. Team Holway and 7. Team Kollada hail from there, which also means of course, these two Teams know each other well.. Team Holway enters as the Team who was destined to win the Championship. They’ve bided their time for years watching older Teams grab the Crown and this was their year.  7. Team Kollada is having the dream Rookie season. They are playing with house money. They aren’t supposed to be here yet.  They’ve toppled two top Teams already in this night and they are literally just happy to make a Championship appearance..  It’s a funny thing though, as you get further along into the Playoffs.. Certain Teams just get a confidence about them.. You could see over the course of the night, Team Kollada had matured greatly as a unit..

As the Game got underway.. Team Holway was the aggressor.. They picked up big chunks of yardage.. However, Team Kollada employed a bend, don’t break Defensive philosophy and kept Team Holway out of the endzone for much of the half.  The Teams gave the ball back to one another and we were still scoreless through most of the first half.. Finally, Team Holway hit another big play that led to a short TD and they converted the 2pt conversion to grab the first lead at 8-0.. That’s where we’d wind up at half time.. Team Holway got the ball to start the 2nd half and in the early stages of that opening drive it seemed like they were primed to break the Championship Game wide open.. However, a miscommunication on the offense led to a turnover and the underdogs were breathing a new life..  Team Kollada would eventually punch the ball in after that turnover.. They weren’t able to get the 2pt though.. Team Holway still led 8-6.

Team Holway again marched down. Getting yards was not the hard part for them.. They just couldn’t punch it in, as we’ve seen them do countless times over the years.. Once again, Team Kollada held their ground.. This now into the final stretch of the Game.. Team Kollada took possession with just a few minutes to go, knowing it was really now or never to get the go-ahead score.. Captain Mike Kollada grabbed a 10-yd out route and made the biggest play of the season.. He turned up the sideline and it took it down the field for the go-ahead score.  Team Kollada led 12-8! Team Holway stopped them on a key 2pt conversion, so that a TD would mean that they’d take the Crown.. There was just enough time for one final drive..

Captain and QB Brad Holway got a key first down with his legs.. Then connected on a couple key late down plays with Connor Shields and Marc Pagano.. They got within about 12 yards of the endzone with about 30 seconds to play.  2nd Down.. Team Kollada held them.. tick, tick, tick.. 3rd Down.. The ball is in the hands of a Receiver in the endzone and just as the celebration was about to begin for Team Holway, the ball was batted to the ground! Incomplete!  On 4th Down and the final play of the Game, Team Kollada picked it off on a jump ball in the back of the endzone, and remarkably #7 Seeded Team Kollada had done it, they are the CHAMPS!  More on them in a second.

For Team Holway, your heart has to go out to them.. They have battled season after season and summer after summer to finally break through and get to this Championship Game.. They were so close, they could taste it.  They are the class of the League and while they don’t hold the Crown in 2015, they’ve helped pave the way for Teams such as Team Kollada.  This group will be perennial favorites no matter which League they play in next Summer.  Congrats on a special season and Thank you for playing!

To the Champs — Team Kollada’s performance on Championship Night is up there with most impressive of any in All Sports Series history.. They won 3 Games, all against Top 6 seeds, in different sports and two of them were the Top 2 seeds! Oh and this is their Rookie season!  They also were trailing in each and every Game at one point that they won on this final night.  They never gave up and truly showed the hearts of champions. They were among the “new breed” of Teams just gruaduating.. We may have a budding dynasty on our hands! Congrats to Team Kollada!

– That’s it for the 6th Summer of the College/Prep League. Thanks to everyone for playing and our wonderful Sponsors! See you either on Campus or next Summer!

– Holden