20-20 vision predicts success for Geneva hoops, STC swimming and many more
Another year -- another year's worth of predictions (some would say sure to go wrong).
Before I make my fearless prognostications for the New Year (I can't believe it's 2020), let's see how some of the 2019 predictions fared:
The good: I accurately said that Geneva's boys basketball team would avenge an earlier loss to Lake Park -- I had a 66-60 final -- it turned out to be 66-54.
I had 6 of the 8 Class 3A girls basketball Elite Eight teams, including state champion Morton; correctly picked Marmion's Diego Sotelo and Trevor Chumbley to earn Class 3A individual state wrestling titles; and predicted that Burlington Central's Nick Termini would repeat as a 145-pound state champion in 2A.
I was also on the mark when I said IMSA's Daniel Chen would win the 1,600-meter state title in 2A track; and when I had St. Charles East's softball team claiming a 4A sectional crown (finished 2nd in the state).
So-so: I picked 6 of the 11 local state football playoff teams, including Batavia, Cary-Grove, Huntley and St. Charles East, and hit the 50 percent mark when I said that the 4A girls volleyball sectional would pit St. Charles East vs. St. Charles North (actually was St. Charles East vs. Huntley).
I also said that St. Charles North's Megan Armstrong and Rosary's Jessica Geriane would finish 1-2 in the 100 backstroke at the girls state swim meet -- they finished second and third, respectively.
Not even close: I failed to predict that St. Charles East's boys cross country team and St. Charles North's boys swim team would capture state championships.
I also didn't hit the mark on my Super Bowl pick of New Orleans vs. Kansas City (it was L.A. Rams vs. New England), or my World Series choice of the New York Yankees vs. Atlanta (it was Houston vs. Washington).
Here are my picks for 2020:
AFC Championship: Kansas City 30, Baltimore 24.
NFC Championship: San Francisco 27, Green Bay 24.
Super Bowl LIV: Kansas City 34, San Francisco 27.
NBA: Milwaukee earns its first title since 1971 in a memorable 7-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
NHL: Washington wins its second Stanley Cup title in 3 years, beating St. Louis in 6 games.
NCAA Basketball: My Final Four includes Gonzaga, Michigan State, Oregon and Butler.
National champions: Gonzaga.
NCAA women's basketball: UConn, Oregon, Stanford, South Carolina.
National champions: UConn.
MLB: Perhaps I was a year too early in 2019 so I'll stick with the Yankees (best team money can buy) knocking off Atlanta in the World Series.
PGA: Justin Thomas wins 2 of the 4 majors, while Rickie Fowler earns his first major, capturing the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Next month, Geneva's girls basketball team clinches the DuKane Conference title with a 2-point win at Lake Park, while St. Charles North's boys basketball team earns a conference crown with a victory over WW South on Feb. 26.
Class 4A Elite Eight (girls basketball): Whitney Young vs. Benet Academy; Marist vs. Edwardsville; Evanston vs. Lake Forest; Geneva vs. Dundee-Crown.
Class 4A champion: Evanston.
Class 3A Elite Eight: Rich South vs. Morton; Simeon vs. Fenwick; Springfield Lanphier vs. Mattoon; Grayslake Central vs. Montini.
Class 3A champion: Simeon.
In Class 1A, Aurora Christian reaches the state quarterfinals for the first time.
Class 4A Elite Eight (boys basketball): Evanston vs. Mundelein; Lake Park vs. St. Charles North; Joliet West vs. Collinsville; Bloom vs. Curie.
Class 4A champion: Collinsville.
Class 3A Elite Eight: Bogan vs. Kankakee; DePaul Prep vs. St. Viator; Lincoln vs. Carbondale; Peoria-Notre Dame vs. Rockford Boylan.
Class 3A champion: Bogan.
In Class 1A, Aurora Christian faces Indian Creek at the NIU supersectional.
Led by sophomore Edgar Burgos, St. Charles East's boys bowling team cracks the top 3 at the state tournament in O'Fallon on Feb. 1.
Next month, South Elgin's girls bowling team records a top-10 state showing in Rockford.
Meanwhile, St. Charles North and St. Charles East earn top-5 finishes in the boys state swimming finals, led by the North Stars' Rick Williams, Alek Filipovic, Siba Filipovic, Nathan Baxter, and the Saints' Joey Scimeca and Calvin Windle.
The list of local state champion wrestlers will include Marmion's Diego Sotelo (3A-113 pounds), Huntley's David Ferrante (3A-170), and Aurora Christian's Cameron Johnson (1A-132) and Noah Villarreal (1A-138).
In girls track, West Aurora's Abbey Kuhn wins the 3A state pole vault title, while Rosary sophomore Lianna Surtz wins her second straight 1,600 title in 2A and Aurora Christian's Alyssa Busker repeats as the 1A state 100 dash state champ.
In boys track, Marmion's Andrew Saloga claims the 3A state pole vault title.
In boys tennis, St. Charles North repeats as sectional champs, led by Conor Bajuk, Alex Geivelis and Josh Joseph.
Not exactly going out on a limb here but I'll say St. Charles North's girls soccer team captures its 18th straight regional championship in May.
St. Charles East's softball team earns its second consecutive 4A sectional title, while St. Charles East and St. Charles North meet in a memorable 4A sectional baseball semifinal game.
For the third straight year, the Saints' volleyball team reaches the 4A sectional volleyball finals.
Dundee-Crown, Jacobs, St. Charles East, St., Charles North and West Aurora capture regional boys soccer titles.
In November, defending 3A boys cross country state champion St. Charles East cracks the top 3.
The list of local football playoff qualifiers includes Aurora Christian, St. Edward, Cary-Grove, Kaneland, Crystal Lake South, Batavia, St. Charles North, St. Charles East, Bartlett and South Elgin.
Tape a copy of these picks to your refrigerator and see if any of them come true.
You can reach Craig Brueske at email@example.com