Hail To Our Champion Maine South Hawks!


One of the things that (in our opinion) has eroded the quality of performance and commitment in our society, especially for our children, is the “self-esteem” movement.  Or, more accurately, the false self-esteem movement, where praise is thrown around like confetti irrespective of effort, achievement or outcome.

So leave it to the Maine South Hawks football team to provide an object lesson in real, hard-earned self-esteem – with their dominating state championship victory Saturday night over Marist High School.  Repeat state championships, especially in the top class of the tournament structure, are rare due to things like player graduations and the hackneyed, but true, concept that anybody can beat anybody else on any given day.

But Coach Dave Inserra and his staff obviously have taught their kids what it takes to be successful.  And we suspect that many of these young champions may have started learning those lessons even before they got to Maine South, from the coaches of the highly-successful Falcons feeder program.

What can be said about Matt Perez that isn’t already encompassed in the words “Player of the Year”?  If he hadn’t already earned that award prior to Saturday night, he would have locked it up beyond a doubt with his almost-unbelievable performance in the championship game – “almost-unbelievable” only because we’ve seen too many similar ones from him to be surprised or to question.

And senior Tyler Benz – who could have been the starting quarterback at most schools for 2 or 3 years – ran the offense, and the ball, with the confidence of a college QB.

Our list of raves could go on and on.  But we think that the attitude which best describes what Maine South football is all about – and why the self-esteem those kids feel is genuine rather than false – was voiced by senior safety Mike Divito (as quoted in one of the local newspapers) after last week’s semi-final victory over Loyola Academy, in response to being asked to explain how well his under-rated defensive unit performed:

“I’d say it’s mostly heart,” DiVito said. “I’ve probably had about a total of six weeks off from football the past two years, and that’s the way it is for all of us. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Football is our passion, and on defense we truly believe that defense wins championships.”

Passion and commitment.  Two of the qualities most essential to both individual and team success.

So congratulations to the Hawks!  Once again, you’ve earned the right to call yourselves “champions.”  

5 comments so far

Way to go HAWKS!!!

What a superb effort from Coaches to players–from Band to Fans.

Park Ridge has that special Spark of greatness!

The Hawks were great.

Matt Perez is outstanding. Tyler Benz is a tough QB with great skills!!

Well done kids!

The kids on the football team were really good.

It is nice to see hard work produce great results.

Well done to the Hawks!!

are we having a parade?

Tentative plans are for a parade on Sunday at 1pm.

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