2019: The Year Of The Scout

Profiling some of LFHS’ Best Teams in 2019


AJ Shaw, Sports Editor

AJ Shaw, Sports Editor

Over the history of Lake Forest High School, many teams have seen their fair share of success, but in 2019 it seemed like more than a few teams saw that success.

From Girls Tennis and Boys Golf winning State championships to Girls Basketball winning the basketball’s program first Sectional and Football’s Cinderella run to the Semifinals, the 2019 calendar year was the “Year of the Scout” in the Sports World.

Today, I am going to profile a few teams who deserve recognition for their tremendous 2019 campaigns.

Before I begin, if I forget to mention a team or player please feel free to let us know in the comments below. However, please be courteous and respectful — feel free to see our Editorial Policy for more information.

Boys Golf

The Scouts following winning their first State title since 2011 on October 19, 2019.

Record: State Champs

Head Coach: Jim Matheson

The 2019 season for Boys Golf was one of the most memorable in school history. Entering the season on an eight-year hiatus from their last title, the team came together to shock many of the top schools in the state of Illinois and win their fifth State Championship on October 19, 2019. Coached by Jim Matheson, the team had a list of top performers, like senior Patrick Moorehead, juniors Flynn Bradley, Pierce Grieve, and sophomore Jack Marshall, the Scouts pulled off the Cinderella run in one of the best moments of the school year.

Girls Tennis

The Scouts following winning the State title on October 26, 2019.

Record: State Champs

Head Coach: Denise Murphy

Dominance. Total dominance is the one word you could use to describe the girls Varsity Tennis team this season. Not only did the team go 18-1 and win the state championship, but they had phenomenal years from many players, particularly junior Kiley Rabjohns, who won her second straight 2A Girls Singles Tennis State Championship. Following a victory over York on October 26, 2019, the Scouts became the second team at the high school to win the state title this year, the other being boy’s golf the week prior.

The Lake Forest Leader
Kiley Rabjohns hugs her coach, Denise Murphy, after winning her second straight Girls 2A Singles Title.

Girls Basketball

Lake Forest Leader
Halle Douglass (21) and Grace Tirzmalis (23) embrace after the Scouts won the basketball program’s first Sectional title, 49-43 over Fremd, at Libertyville High School on February 21, 2019.

Record: 27-8, Regional and Sectional Champions

Head Coach: Kyle Wilhelm

Assistant Coach: Reanna Perera

Before the 2018-19 season, no team in the entire basketball program in LFHS history had won a Sectional title. That all changed on February 21, 2019, when the girls team defeated the Fremd Vikings, 49-43. The team was lead by Wisconsin commit Halle Douglass and other players like Ellie Pearson, Grace Tirzmalis, Molly Fisher, and Finola Summerville. Directed along the way under the tutelage of Kyle Wilhelm, the team would ultimately bow out in the Super-Sectional to the eventual Class 4A State Champion Maine West Warriors, but overall the 2018-19 season was one to remember for Lake Forest Girls Basketball.

Boys Baseball

LFHS Baseball Twitter
Peter Turelli (6) and Connor Morrison (21) celebrate the team’s Regional championship over Lake Zurich on May 25, 2019.

Record: 25-11, Won Regional Championship

Head Coach: Ray Del Fava 

Assistant Coaches: Billy San Hamel/David Holmes

The Boys Baseball team shocked many in 2019 with a 25-win season and the program’s seventh Regional championship. With a cast of characters and talented players like Peter Turelli, Will Davis, Colton Pfeifer, Breck Nowik, Connor Morrison, Matt Birtman, and Michael Vallone, head coach Ray Del Fava lead them with his amazing coaching to the Sectional championship before the team lost to Fremd. This season had many memorable moments for the Scouts, like their walk-off win over Prospect in the Regional Semifinals to defeating rival Lake Zurich in the Regional Finals on the back of a Brady Christoph two-run single.

Boys Football

Jon J. Kerr/scoutsfootball.com
The Scouts emerge from their locker room before their Semifinal matchup against Deerfield on November 16, 2019.

Record: 7-5, Reached Semifinals of Class 6A Playoffs

Head Coach: Chuck Spagnoli

Assistant Coaches: Phil DeWald, Tom Soaprych, James “Big Cat” Williams

In a roller-coaster season, the Varsity Football team opened the year with a thrilling win over Antioch on the CN100 Game of the Week, but then struggled to find consistency throughout September. Coached by one of the best football coaches in the business in Chuck Spagnoli, the Scouts entered the final game of the regular season against Stevenson and with their playoff lives on the line. The Scouts pulled off a stunning 20-point comeback to not only extend their playoff streak to 10 seasons but end Stevenson’s 30-year playoff streak. The Scouts would go on a magical postseason run, shocking higher-seeded Belvidere North and Kaneland before just coming up short in the semifinals to Deerfield. Despite the tough loss to the Warriors, the Scouts had a fantastic season under a great group of seniors like Rylie Mills, Jai Williams, Kai Kroeger, and Charlie Aberle, juniors like Mac Uihlein and Richie Hoskins, and a few sophomores like Jahari Scott, Leo Scheideler, and Jake Milliman.

Girls Field Hockey

The Forest Scout
The Scouts celebrate a victory over New Trier on October 11, 2019.

Record: 22-6-2, State Finalist

Head Coach: Catherine “Cat” Catanzaro

Assistant Coach: Katie Tilton

The Lake Forest Scouts Girls Field Hockey team has always been a staple of dominance within LFHS sports. Lead by one of the best in the business in head coach Catherine “Cat” Catanzaro, the 2019 season was no exception for the Girls Field Hockey team, as they went 22-6-2, reaching the state title for the third time in the last four years before losing a heartbreaking overtime game to New Trier, 4-2. Despite the loss, the season was a great one for Lake Forest as they received excellent seasons from senior Marley Heitman, senior Gracie McGowan, junior Elsa Goldsberry, junior Sophie Gambit, and senior Julia Hender.

Girls Volleyball

Lake Forest Leader
Girls Volleyball after winning the Regional title on October 31, 2019.

Record: 28-9, Regional Champions

Head Coach: Tia Rupnik

Assistant Coach: Ray Werner

Under the tutelage of first-year head coach Tia Rupnik, the Scouts rebounded from an underwhelming 2018 campaign, with a 28-win 2019 season and a Regional championship. The team got tremendous seasons for the juniors Caroline and Katherine Graham as well as seniors Alyssa Thrash and Sheridan Young. The team’s success in 2019 has to go to not only the players but Rupnik, who turned around the team with her incredible coaching.

And that about pretty much sums it up. Overall, the 2019 year will be a year to remember in sports at Lake Forest High School. Let’s see which teams and players stand out in 2020. Go Scouts!