Tim McAuliffe, Connor O’Brien, Jake Lemming - Football
Three Lemont High School seniors have received scholarships to play college football beginning in 2013. Offensive lineman Tim McAuliffe (6’2”, 275) signed a National Letter of Intent with Bowling Green State University; linebacker Connor O’Brien (6’2”, 205) signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of North Dakota; and defensive back Jake Lemming (5’10”, 160) has received a scholarship to play at Saint Xavier University.
Ethan Pocic, a Parade All-American who was one of the top offensive line recruits in the country, graduated in December and already has enrolled at Louisana State University.
Lemont has been one of the state’s top football programs for several years, but that success heightened over the last three seasons with Lemming, McAuliffe and O’Brien serving on head coach Eric Michaelsen’s varsity squad.
The Indians collected a 34-4 record from 2010-12, which included a sterling 17-1 mark in South Suburban Conference-Blue Division play and an 8-3 record in the IHSA playoffs. Lemont won SSC Blue titles each of those seasons, and enjoyed undefeated regular seasons in both 2010 and 2011. The team advanced to the IHSA Class 6A Quarterfinals in 2010, and was an IHSA Class 6A Semifinalist in both 2011 and 2012.
Not surprisingly, Lemont flourished with McAuliffe joining Pocic on the offensive line, averaging 36.6 points per game over 38 contests. The Indians rolled up more than 12,000 total yards in three seasons, and more than 8,000 yards rushing.
McAuliffe was a three-time all-conference performer, and as a senior, he was tabbed as a Class 6A all-state selection by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, an all-state honoree by the Champaign News-Gazette, and a second-team all-state pick by the Chicago Tribune.
On the defensive side of the ball, Lemming and O’Brien helped limit opponents to 11.1 points per game over three seasons. The Indians posted 14 shutouts and allowed fewer than 10 points in half of their 38 games. Lemming totaled 141 tackles (109 solo) in three seasons, but more impressively, broke up 43 passes, totaled 11 interceptions, blocked four kicks, and had two returns for touchdowns.
O’Brien racked up 229 tackles (152 solo) over that timeframe, which included 24 tackles for loss. He collected 14 sacks, recovered five fumbles, forced four fumbles, and broke up 14 passes. Both Lemming and O’Brien were All-SSC honorees as both juniors and seniors.
In 2012, Lemont narrowly missed a state finals berth, finishing with an 11-2 record and an IHSA Class 6A Semifinal appearance. The Indians were 5-1 in SSC Blue play, and finished in a three-way tie for the division title. Lemont averaged 34.8 points and 351.7 total yards per game (231.3 yards rushing, 120.3 yards passing) on offense, and recorded at least 200 yards rushing in eight of 12 contests.
To complement his work on the offensive line, McAuliffe added duties as a defensive tackle as a senior. He totaled 21 tackles (16 solo), including six for loss, and added a sack, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick in limited time.
O’Brien had an outstanding season as a senior, leading the team with a career-high 130 tackles (97 solo) and 13 tackles for loss. He also paced the squad with six sacks, tied for the team lead with three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles, and was third on the team with 10 pass breakups.
Lemming added 53 tackles (41 solo), broke up a team-high 18 passes, and added two interceptions. He also blocked two punts, and scored on a 72-yard kickoff return against T.F. North. The Indians limited opponents to 9.8 points per game, posted six shutouts, and kept seven of 13 foes under 10 points.
In 2011, the Indians came an overtime period short of advancing to the state finals before finishing with a 12-1 record. McAuliffe helped that squad’s offense become one of the most prolific in school history, as it averaged an all-time best 39.7 points per game and rolled up more than 4,500 yards in total offense.
Lemont’s defense limited foes to 9.5 points and 143.0 yards per game, shutting out six opponents and limiting eight of 13 foes to fewer than 10 points. Lemming enjoyed his best overall season as a junior, tallying an area-best nine interceptions, leading the team with 15 pass breakups, totaling a career-best 57 tackles (40 solo) and adding two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks.
O’Brien was second on the team with seven sacks, and collected 85 tackles (46 solo), including nine for loss. He also added two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Lemming, McAuliffe and O’Brien made their varsity debuts as sophomores in 2010. Lemont averaged 35.2 points per game on its way to an 11-1 finish and an IHSA Quarterfinal appearance. Lemming collected 31 tackles (28 solo), broke up 10 passes, and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. O’Brien had 14 tackles (nine solo) and a sack in limited action.
An honor roll student, McAuliffe will play for head coach Dave Clawson at Bowling Green State, an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution located in Bowling Green, Ohio, and a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Clawson has guided the Falcons to a 22-28 record and two bowl appearances in four years. In 2012, Bowling Green went 8-5 (6-2 MAC), finished second in the MAC’s East Division, and played in the 2012 Military Bowl. Clawson was a two-time NCAA I-AA Coach of the Year while coaching at Fordham University and Richmond University.
McAuliffe and Pocic are the latest Lemont offensive linemen to move on to a major college football program. Over the last five years, several Lemont lineman have gone on to play at the NCAA FBS level, including Pocic’s older brother Graham Pocic ‘08 (Illinois), David Molk ‘07 (Michigan) and Trevor Rothstein ‘09 (Army). Molk earned the 2011 Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center, was cited to several All-America teams, and was a seventh-round draft pick by the San Diego Chargers in 2012.
A high honor roll recipient, O’Brien will play for head coach Chris Mussman at North Dakota, an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school located in Grand Forks, N.D., and a member of the Big Sky Conference.
In five seasons, Mussman has guided his program to a 28-26 record as it transitioned from the NCAA Division II level. The 2011 Great West Conference Coach of the Year, Mussman led North Dakota to a 5-6 record and a 3-5 league mark in its first season in the Big Sky in 2012. Four of the team’s six losses were to top 25 opponents.
An honor roll recipient, Lemming will become the latest Lemont standout to play for head coach Mike Feminis at Saint Xavier University, an NAIA institution located in Chicago and a member of the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA). Feminis has built a powerhouse at Saint Xavier, guiding the Cougars to a 127-43 record and eight NAIA Playoff appearances in 14 seasons.
Feminis led the Cougars to a 14-1 record and the NAIA National Championship in 2011. Last season, the Cougars were 11-2 and tied for the MSFA Mideast Division crown. Former Lemont standout Clayton Fejedelem ‘11 was a second-team All-MSFA performer last season, while Ryan Fejedelem ‘09 and Danny Lombardo ‘11 also were part of that conference championship squad.
Kyle Hamann - Men’s Soccer
Lemont High School senior defender Kyle Hamann has signed a National Letter of Intent to play men’s soccer at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) beginning in Fall 2013.
A four-year varsity contributor for head coach Rick Prangen, Hamann totaled 30 career points on 13 goals and four assists. Lemont posted a 71-21-12 record during his career, including a 35-9 mark in South Suburban Conference (SSC) play. The Indians won two SSC titles, three IHSA Regional crowns and three IHSA Sectional championships during that time. Hamann twice earned All-SSC honors, and was an Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association All-State (IHSSCA) honoree as a senior.
Hamann enjoyed his finest season statistically as a senior in 2012, collecting a career-high 11 points on four goals and three assists. Lemont finished with a 14-4-5 record, was 9-2 in SSC play, and finished as a conference and IHSA Regional runner-up. In addition to his all-conference and all-state accolades, he was named as an all-area selection by the Joliet Herald News, Southtown Star and Lemont Reporter/Met.
Hamann was a big part of a terrific team defensive effort as a junior in 2011. The Indians went 20-4-3, which included a 9-2 league record and a first-place finish in the SSC. Lemont yielded just nine goals in 27 matches and posted 19 shutouts. He tallied three goals, and earned All-SSC, IHSSCA All-Sectional, and Joliet Herald News all-area accolades. The Indians reached the IHSA Class 2A Super-Sectional for the third straight season after capturing IHSA Regional and IHSA Sectional titles.
Lemont went 16-8-3 in 2010, with included an 8-3 record in SSC play. The Indians won IHSA Regional and IHSA Sectional titles, and Hamann scored a career-high five goals.
Hamann debuted on Lemont’s varsity squad with one goal as a freshman in 2009. The Indians went 21-5-1 (9-2 SSC) and won SSC, IHSA Regional and IHSA Sectional crowns.
A high honor roll performer and National Honor Society performer, Hamann will play for head coach Sean Phillips at UIC, an NCAA Division I institution located in Chicago and a member of the Horizon League. Phillips has posted a 23-26-5 record in three seasons. The Flames went 7-8-2 in 2012, and finished third in the conference standings after posting a 3-3-1 record in league play.
Nicole McKevitt - Women’s Soccer
Lemont High School senior defender Nicole McKevitt has committed to playing women’s soccer at Millikin University beginning in Fall 2013.
A varsity contributor since her freshman season, McKevitt is expected to be a valuable player for head coach Rick Prangen’s squad in 2013. Over the last two seasons, the Indians have posted a combined 40-9-2 record, which has included a perfect 22-0 mark in South Suburban Conference (SSC) play. Lemont has collected two SSC titles, IHSA Regional Sectional and Super-Sectional championships, and a third-place finish at the 2011 IHSA Class 2A State Finals.
McKevitt started all 23 matches for Lemont as a junior in 2012, helping the squad to a 17-4-2 record and a perfect 11-0 mark in SSC play. She scored her first career goal, and helped the Indians to an IHSA Regional runner-up finish.
In 2011, Lemont finished 23-5 overall and was a perfect 11-0 in SSC play. Not only did the Indians repeat as SSC and IHSA Regional champions, but they also won IHSA Sectional and Super-Sectional titles, and advanced to the IHSA Class 2A State Finals for the second time in three seasons, where they finished third. McKevitt played in 21 contests, including seven as a starter.
McKevitt played in five varsity games, including one as a starter, as a freshman in 2010. Lemont went 16-8 (10-1 SSC) that season, and won SSC and IHSA Regional crowns.
A high honor roll performer and National Honor Society student, McKevitt will join head coach Emily Johnson’s squad at Millikin, an NCAA Division III institution and a member of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW). Johnson has guided the Big Blue to a 12-19-4 mark in her two seasons, including a 5-11-3 record in 2012.
Editor's note: The information above is from a press release issued by Lemont High School.