It's was a brand new day on Friday for Wheaton North in the annual Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 and Linemen Challenge.
The Falcons and head coach Joe Wardynski started Friday as the 22nd seed in the 32 team field after posting a less than impressive 1-3-1 record in pool play on Thursday. All the Falcons did was go undefeated on Friday including beating DuPage Valley rival Naperville Central 15-14 in the championship game to capture the Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 title. Both Wheaton North and Naperville Central gained bids to the National Select 7-on-7 tournament in Hoover, Alabama in mid-July.
"We didn't play well on Thursday," Wardynski said on Friday. "Our kids bounded back today and we've been on a pretty good roll."
The Red Grange Classic also served as an early indicator of just how strong the newly realigned DuPage Valley conference could be for the 2015 season. New DVC teams for 2015 in Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley and Metea Valley all performed well on Friday. Longtime DuPage Valley members Wheaton North, Wheaton South, Naperville Central and Glenbard North also finished at the top half of the field.
32 top teams from all over Chicagoland took part in what has become one of the state's top summer football events. The two-day event hosted by Wheaton South High School also featured a Linemen Challenge along with a sophomore level 7-on-7 tournament that was held on Friday at Wheaton North. Naperville Central and Naperville North also hosted pool play games on Thursday along with Wheaton North and Wheaton South.
"When you are invited to an event like this one you need to go," Lincoln Way East head coach Rob Zvonar said. "It allows your kids to come out and compete against some of the top teams in the state. It's also a great chance for the linemen to come out and compete and get them involved."
Bartlett along with Lyons Township also finished in the Final Four on Friday. Huntley won the overall Linemen Challenge crown while Lake Park won the Tug of War.