To celebrate the 15th season of Naperville Sports Weekly, we are looking back at some of the biggest games and moments since NSW began in 2007! First up, the 2007 Naperville North Football State Championship team, presented by BMO Harris Bank.
Welcome to Vintage Moments, a look back at some of the most memorable games, plays and performances over the 15 seasons of Naperville Sports Weekly.
When the show premiered in the fall of 2007 with host Jeff Mahoney, the aspirations were high but there were still plenty of obstacles as the sports department tried to make a name for itself and discover the best way to cover all the local teams in the area.
That season, the Naperville North football team was one of the best in the state. Outside of a 42-41 triple overtime loss to Wheaton Warrenville South, the Huskies dominated every opponent. After rolling through the playoffs with four more double-digit victories, North was scheduled to face DVC rival Glenbard North in the 8A state championship game on November 24th. Unfortunately for the first year staff at Naperville Sports Weekly covering the game being held at the University of Illinois, the NSW brand was still foreign to the IHSA decision makers.
“The atmosphere is huge. A lot of fans, a lot of busses. And I remember getting there an hour, maybe an hour and a half before the game. And we don’t get in,” said Will Armistead. The two camera operators were not given a credential by the IHSA and faced the possibility of not being able to cover the state championship.
However at the last minute, sports director Will Armistead reached out to Naperville North Athletic Director Doug Smith, who was able to vouch for the NSW crew and grant them access to the game.
“Doug gets ahold of me and like a red carpet was rolled out and just escorts us right onto the field,” Armistead remembers. “We shoot the game and they ended up winning and we got a lot of great interviews and sound bytes. It’s something that I’ll never forget.”
There was more drama in trying to get into the game than in the contest itself as the Huskies rolled over the Panthers to win their second state championship by the score of 46-19. Quarterback Jordan Tassio scored five combined touchdowns, including one on a kickoff return. Receiver Alex Dieckman caught 7 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns and ran a kickoff for a touchdown as well. And the defense intercepted Glenbard North quarterback Evan Watkins three times.
In the end, Naperville Sports Weekly had its arrival moment on the high school sports scene while Naperville North celebrated the best football season in school history.
For more prep sports highlights and vintage moments, visit our Naperville Sports Weekly page.
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