After a successful spring season filled with firsts, the fall season just trumped it, putting Plainfield sports on an upward trajectory.
The highlight of the fall was, of course, the Plainfield North football team advancing to the state championship game, being the first district team to do so in the sport. The previous best finish was in 2000 when Plainfield Central made it to the quarterfinals.
Not only did the Tigers’ performance boost their program to new levels after having never won a playoff game, it gave all Plainfield programs, especially football, hope.
Plainfield had been winless in the playoffs since 2010 and this year shows all four schools that they can build a team to the same success level.
As for North, it has raised the bar for the program, which has still yet to win sole possession of the SPC title as now playoff wins will turn into expectations and not just goals. They will lose a lot of seniors from this year’s squad, but quarterback Brady Miller will be back and they have seemed to reload in recent years.
It was a great continuation from the spring season, where the Tigers finished fourth in the state in baseball. A few of the members of the football team were on the baseball team.
But, it wasn’t just football raising the bar at North for all of Plainfield. The girls cross country team became the first girls team in the district to advance to state. With a lot of young girls on the team, they should be only better next year.
A third first this year came from the Plainfield Central boys soccer team. Its win over East allowed it to be the first District 202 boys soccer team to win a regional title. The Wildcats had so many close calls over the years, it was fitting for them to win as a No. 15 seed. They still had to deal with a heartbreaking loss though, falling to Neuqua Valley 1-0 in double overtime.
Plainfield girls swimming also concluded a successful season. Despite losing their first state champion last year, they were even better overall this year with just three seniors on the roster. Freshman Jessica Davis made all-state and will be a threat to bring home a state title in future years. You can also expect to see some relay squads advance to finals in future years.
Finally, the Plainfield Central girls volleyball team completed a great season that saw them go undefeated in the Southwest Prairie Conference and win a regional title. They advanced to the sectional final before falling to state runner-up Minooka.
Now that it has been a few years since a high school was built, the success level has raised in the district and it will be interesting to see what happens from here.