TOI (Team Over Individual): Making History


Jarrale Daniels, Sports Editor

The definition of history is a systematic narrative of past events that relates to a certain person, people, place, or period. The history of Joliet West football began in 1964. Since that birth, many teams have come and gone. But few have left a legacy on the walls of Joliet West. The 1968 and the 1969 Joliet West Tigers team pictures grace the halls of West, eternally. Their records—nine wins, zero losses, zero ties and seven wins, one loss, one tie respectively—wrote their name in stone, because of their hard work in the season. They could have gone to the IHSA playoffs with these records, if the playoffs hadn’t have been started five years later in 1974. The 2014 team however, have this chance.

The Tigers finished their season off with five wins and four losses. By having this record—the first winning record since 1969—they have made quite the buzz around the Joliet and Chicago area. Coach Aubry, the rest of the coaching staff, and the players were all invited to Papa Joe’s on October, 21st by Chicagoland Prep Report. They were invited to get some publicity because they were the first team in West history to qualify for the playoffs. Here they all ate pizza, got the chance to be interviewed, and had an opportunity to have fun. “What a great night to give Joliet West Football the exposure that we deserve for all the hard work we as a program have put in,” said head coach Jason Aubry.

The Tigers are excited about this tremendous opportunity. Senior safety Collin Talkie said, “it feels great to be the first team ever to make the playoffs.” Talkie continued by saying “I believe it was the players’ and coaches’ commitment that got us there.” Talkie finished the interview by reflecting on the season by saying that he thinks, “the team played really good together this year.” Talkie is also the defensive captain for the Tigers.

John Choate, who is a junior tight end at West, spoke about how it feels to be in the playoffs. “It feels great to be able to say my team was the first to make it to the playoffs,” says Choate, “It also feels good knowing I was a part of history.” Choate continued by saying “I believe our team this year is a lot closer than other teams.” He spoke of one of the team’s mantras, T.O.I. “Without T.O.I. we all would all be playing the game as I.O.T.,” said Choate.

Ethan Bohanek, senior center for the Tigers, said the playoffs mean “a lot as a program and for the team.” He continues saying “Joliet West is done getting bullied and is ready to start being a threat to teams.” When asked about why the tigers have made it to the playoffs, Bohanek answers by saying it is “because we play as a team.” He added, “We have great athletes and amazing coaches, and we all have passion for this sport.” Bohanek is also the offensive captain for the team.

The Tigers had a playoff party on October 25th, after a loss to the Lockport Porters the day before. A special dinner was held for the players and their family. Afterwards, the Joliet community and the Wild West were invited to the party to find out who West would play in the first round of the playoffs. As the Tiger Nation awaited their destiny, they had the chance to play around and socialize. Also, they witnessed the display of West’s newest banner, which highlighted the team being a 2014 playoff qualifier. When asked about the party, junior quarterback, Alex Tibble, stated that “it was awesome to see all of our players and a bunch of fans come together to celebrate something this town has been waiting so long for.” Tibble believed the Tigers all “put in the work” and “deserved it.”

As time went by, everyone seated and watched the projector as Comcast Sports Net played live. The party was also being covered by Comcast Sports Net. West will play Oswego High School whose record is eight wins and one loss. The Wild West and the Tigers cheered and yelled as their name was called, which was played on the channel. The matchup looks to take place at 7 o’clock November 1, 2014 at Oswego.