Athlete of the Week: Downers Grove South Quarterback A.J. Simoncelli
Simoncelli becomes third straight DGS recipient of Athlete of the Week award.
A note from the editors at Patch:
By the voting deadline for this week's Athlete of the Week (9 p.m. Nov. 2), A.J. Simoncelli of Downers Grove South had 54 percent of the votes, making him the clear winner.
A.J. Simoncelli didn't produce eye-popping numbers in Downers Grove South's 37-24 playoff-opening win last week.
He didn't pass for 300 yards, didn't throw four touchdown passes. Statistical benchmarks like that weren't really reached. What the senior quarterback did for the Mustangs though was exactly what they needed, and then some.
Efficient, Simoncelli completed 74 percent of his passes (17 of 23) for 230 yards. Effective, he threw two touchdown passes and completed first-down passes to five different receivers.
And then some? Well, Simoncelli's total performance not only erased the memory of the team's Week 9 loss in its regular-season finale, it also helped capture the school a playoff victory and advanced the Mustangs to Round 2 of the Class 8A playoffs.
The third-seeded Mustangs (9-1) will play host to No. 6 Brother Rice (7-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in Downers Grove -- a matchup ESPN is calling a showdown of two of the elite running backs in the state.
Just goes to show how dangerous the Mustangs can be if both running back Josh Williams and Simoncelli are on top of their games.
Here are the other Patch Athlete of the Week nominees:
Joliet Catholic Academy: Rachelle Sartori, senior, runner: The four-time all-conference senior led the Angels to sectionals by placing fourth at regionals with a medal-worthy time of 18 minutes, 32 seconds.
Lemont High School: Varsity soccer team. The Indians (20-3-3) beat Bremen (17-8-1) 1-0 Friday night to advance to the Peoria Notre Dame Supersectional. It's the Indians third straight sectional championship. Senior Mike Walus scored the game-winning goal.
Naperville Central: Blake Beehler, senior, midfielder. Beehler scored the lone goal in a sectional final against crosstown rival Naperville North, handing the Huskies their first loss of the season while placing the Redhawks on the doorstep of state for the first time since 1988.