Simeon’s Amusat Pelumi (32) kicks out of the hold of Andrew Beasley (5).
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times
Simeon’s undefeated run has been keyed by some major stars and big-time college prospects: Malik Elzy, Andre Crews, Christopher Burgess Jr. and Mikeshun Beeler.
The Wolverines have large, athletic and talented lines and game-breakers at several key offensive positions. Dante Culbreath’s squad also has a weapon that very few Public League teams have had over the past few decades: a quality kicker.
Senior Amusat Pelumi arrived in Chicago from Nigeria in 2018. He was a soccer player at that point. Last year he learned how to kick a football and he made Simeon’s varsity team during tryouts this season.
“My dad and I came here because we felt like we had to change some stuff,” Pelumi said. “And one of those changes was switching from soccer to football. I wanted to do something unique.”
Simeon has mostly played blowout games this season, so Pelumi hasn’t had a high-pressure kick. But his long extra points turned several heads in the win against Morgan Park on Saturday at Gately Stadium.
Pelumi is 3 for 3 on field goals this season. He made two from 30 yards and one from 28. He’s only missed one extra point. Culbreath says Pelumi is consistent from about 40 yards in practice.
“We’ve been working diligently with him and our special teams because he’s going to be important in the playoffs,” Culbreath said. “His teammates love him. He speaks so differently and teaches them things about Nigeria so it’s been good to have him on the team.”
It’s probably a stretch to say it has been an exciting Player of the Year race this season, but two of the top candidates had big games in Week 8.
Prairie Ridge quarterback Tyler Vasey rushed for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-41 win against Crystal Lake South.
Prospect junior Brad Vierneisel was one of the few quarterbacks in the area that was able to succeed in Friday’s rain. He was 13 for 14 for 165 yards and three touchdowns against Wheeling.
The Oswego vs. Oswego East football game is one of the area’s hidden gems. It’s relatively young at just 18 years, but the game is usually a sellout and there is a traveling trophy. The game means something.
This seasons was especially important. Oswego East came back to win 35-21 to knock Oswego (3-5) out of playoff contention. The Panthers haven’t missed the playoffs since 2010.
Oswego East running back Tre Jones ran for more than 250 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Wolves (5-3) to the win.
Mount Carmel at Loyola has been circled on the calendar all season long. Both teams have taken care of business and are undefeated heading into the showdown in Wilmette on Saturday. The Caravan has been No. 1 all season and Loyola has spent most of the year at No. 2. The U will televise the game live.
Here’s one factor to keep in mind: Michael Baker has developed into a secret weapon for the Ramblers. He kicked a 56-yard field goal against St. Patrick in Week 8. That’s tied for the fifth-longest in state history.