Monday, November 18, 2013

The Pride of Lions - A Team of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Leo High School defeated the undefeated Crusaders of Ottawa Marquette 32-27

Up Next: CLASS 1A
Leo at Lena-Winslow
Maroa-Forsyth at Downs Tri-Valley

I am overwhelmed by the selfless commitment of the young men of Leo High School.   There is not one Super-star on this hard-scrabble score and half of teenagers suited and sometimes squeezed into Black and Orange; there is a collection of kids with heart and the tools to make a difference on the football field, the classroom and on the streets.

Leo High School may very well capture the Class 1A Football Championship, perhaps not, but I have pretty good idea of how they got here so far.

The Leo High School varsity is dominated by the Class of 2014.  These are the guys who began their freshman as the Leo Academy.   The Academy was the product of Mr. Frank Wilson - The Gunny.  The Gunny spent ten years as a United States Marine and the last ten years as Leo High School's Vice Principal.  Frank Wilson is  recruiting poster tall, lean and self-confident.  The Leo Academy that he envisioned pulled the incoming class of Leo freshmen together as a unit with a daily task and group accountability.  They formed a squad, a band of brothers.  It worked.  The Freshmen Class of 2014 amassed a GPA that set the standard for the next four years.  As a group these current seniors owe their success to the rigors of Gunny Wilson's discipline and command presence. The 2014 ACT is the highest in years and 2 full points above the Illinois Charter School scores.

Frank Wilson handles all curriculum and student accountability matters - all the tedious and attention to detail jobs, as well as serves as a powerful mentor to young men.  The Gunny exudes command-presence and never raises his voice.  It is near impossible to find photos of Frank Wilson on the Leo websites,because it is tough to catch him standing still.
Frank "Gunny" Wison, Ms. Silva and the Lady Lion Ms. Latifi.
When our seniors were summer session freshmen, Frank Wilson gave them a sense of team, personal accountability and selfless dedication to task that is clearly evident on the football field and so obvious in the halls everyday.

The Leo student body has followed the lead of the Leo Academy 2014 for respect of self and the traditions that are Leo -Facta Non Verba.

The game against Ottawa Marquette reminded me of an other Leo teams - the 1942 City Champs.  The team coached by Whitey Cronin featured no end of great athletes and Leo heroes - Jimmy Arneberg, Bob Hanlon, Bob Kelly, Tony Kelly and on and on.  There were no stand-out heroes; rather a team of extraordinary men.

There are so many impact players on the 2014 Leo Varsity that it is hard to say who stands out any one game.  Like the 1942 City Champs, Leo is the star,

We can thank Mr. Frank Wilson, Leo Vice Principal for making this year's leadership and talent heavy varsity football team, almost as much Coach Holmes, for making 2013-2014 Varsity Football a team of extraordinary gentlemen.


Cub Fan said...


Cub Fan said...