Throughout the 2017 high school football regular-season in Illinois, the Chicago Bears will honor an IHSA football player and coach each week as a part of its “Bears High School All-Star” and “Bears Coach of the Week” programs, respectively. Coach of the Week is sponsored by Papa John's and FOX 32 Chicago. The Chicago Bears will make a $1,500 total contribution to support the winning high schools and a local youth football program of the winner's choosing. Throughout the program’s 20-year existence, the Bears have donated over $270,000 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. All 2017 honorees will be invited to Soldier Field, where they will be recognized on December 3 when the Bears host the 49ers.
All press releases below are courtesy of the Chicago Bears:
PLAYER - Nick D’Ambrose of Addison Trail High School in Addison, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star" for Week 9. On Oct. 21, D'Ambrose set the Addison Trail (4-5) football record for most rushing yards in a game after registering 394 yards on 32 carries and posting seven touchdowns (six rushing) during the team’s 64-6 win at Proviso East (0-9). D'Ambrose missed three weeks earlier in the season due to a hamstring injury, but ran for 313 yards and four touchdowns in his first game back on Oct. 13 to help the Blazers snap a five-game losing streak. The senior ranks 13th in the state with 1,282 rushing yards through only six games played.
Nick Hildreth of Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 9. Hildreth, who is a Willowbrook alumni, led the Warriors (8-1) to a 40-6 victory at Downers Grove South (4-5) on Oct. 20 for their seventh straight win. This marks the team’s first conference championship since 1982 and their first-ever West Suburban-Gold title. No. 4 Willowbrook will host No. 13 Deerfield (5-4) on Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. in the first round of the Illinois High School Association Class 6A playoffs. Willowbrook running back Jack Jessen ranks fifth in the state with 1,603 rushing yards through nine games played.
Quarterback Mike Hohensee of St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star" for Week 8. Hohensee finished the game with six touchdowns (three rushing and three passing), threw for 339 yards and rushed for 63 more to lead St. Charles (7-1) to a 45-21 win vs. Geneva (4-4) on Oct. 13. He has thrown for 1,513 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Hohensee’s father Mike Hohensee played briefly for the Chicago Bears during the 1987 season and was the Chicago Rush head coach from 2001-2010. The North Stars have clinched a postseason position and will face off against undefeated Batavia on Oct. 20 for the Upstate Eight River title; St. Charles leads the league with 304 points.
Terry McCombs of Minooka High School in Minooka, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 8. McCombs, who is in his first year with the team, helped lead Minooka (7-1) to a 24-6 victory at Oswego East (6-2) on Oct. 13 for their seventh straight win. Senior quarterback Zach Gessner passed for 120 yards. Connor Etzkorn, Tomas Savickas and Tyler Haase each registered a touchdown, while Hudak recorded a field goal. Minooka has clinched a postseason position. The team’s seven wins mark their most in a season since 2010.
Quarterback Ray Niro of Barrington High School in Barrington, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star" for Week 7.
Niro threw for 156 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns and received a 37-yard pass for a touchdown to help the Barrington Broncos (7-0) notch a 47-21 win vs. Hoffman Estates (6-1) on Oct. 7. The Broncos rank fifth in the Associated Press Class 8A Week 7 ranking and remain the only undefeated team in either Mid-Suburban League. Barrington clinched a postseason spot the previous week after recording a 26-24 at Palatine on Sept. 28.
Michael Boehm of De La Salle Institute in Chicago, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 7. Boehm led the De La Salle Meteors (5-2) to a 21-14 victory at Chicago Mt. Carmel (4-3) on Oct. 6, marking their first win vs. the Caravan since 1995. Quarterback Rob Simental went 12-for-19 and tallied 195 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning throw to Frank Ramundo with 3:57 remaining in the game.
- Quarterback Drew Clippert of Aurora Christian High School in Aurora, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star" for Week 6. Clippert led Aurora Christian (4-2) to a 55-28 win over Bishop McNamara (2-4) on Sept. 29 after throwing for 509 yards for six touchdowns and completing 31 of 40 passes. Through the first six games of the season, the senior has thrown for over 2,400 yards and tallied 27 touchdowns. Clippert has received an offer from the University of Dayton.
- Jeff Vlk of Buffalo Grove High School in Buffalo Grove, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 6. Vlk and the Buffalo Grove Bison (6-0) posted a 44-7 win over Elk Grove (0-6) on Sept. 29 to clinch an Illinois High School Association Football Playoff position for the first time since 2003. The Bison posted 23 points in the third quarter to lead to their victory. The have only allowed 36 points so far this season, while tallying 198; they have held their opponents to eight points or less each game.
- Running back Quentin Pringle of Bolingbrook High School in Bolingbrook, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star" for Week 5. Pringle ran for 421 yards, including four touchdowns, to lead Bolingbrook (4-1) to a 48-24 win at Bradley-Bourbonnais (1-4) on Sept. 22. He tallied 199 yards in the first half, followed by 222 in the second to help the Raiders overcome a 24-21 deficit. The junior was named the Comcast SportsNet’s Athlete of the Week for Week 5 and The Herald-News Athlete of the Week. Pringle’s brother Jordan also plays for Bolingbrook and returned an interception for a touchdown in the game.
- Brett Cazalet of Dunlap High School in Dunlap, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 5. Cazalet led the Eagles (5-0) to a 41-14 homecoming victory over the Morton Potters (4-1) on Sept. 22; they are now ranked fourth in the AP Week 5 poll for Class 5A. Quarterback Myles Burke passed for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Luke Bennyhoff ran for 164 yards, including three touchdowns.
- Justin Hall of Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star" for Week 4.Hall, who has played both running back and defensive back, helped the Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings (4-0) to a 48-20 win over the Bolingbrook Raiders (3-1) after running for 171 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to posting 161 receiving yards and one touchdown reception. Hall was named Comcast SportsNet’s Athlete of the Week for Week 4 and has verbally committed to Northern Illinois University.
- Rob Pomazak of St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 4. Pomazak led St. Charles North (3-1) to a 35-34 overtime victory at rival St. Charles East (3-1) after rallying from a 14-point deficit by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter. The fifth-year coach’s team tallied first in overtime and prevented the Saints from scoring on a 2-point conversion attempt. St. Charles East was previously undefeated and entered the game ranked eighth in the Week 3 AP rankings. North Stars quarterback Mike Hohensee passed for 429 yards and was named a Daily Herald MVP for Week 4. Hohensee’s father Mike Hohensee played briefly for the Chicago Bears during the 1987 season and was the Chicago Rush head coach from 2001-2010.
- Adam Jayko of Johnsburg High School in Johnsburg, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star” for Week 3. Jayko, who plays quarterback, defensive back, kicker and punter, helped lead the Johnsburg Skyhawks (3-0) to a 34-10 win vs. Richmond-Burton (2-1) on Sept. 8. He went 21-28 and threw for 426 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to kicking two field goals and four PATs. The Class 4A Skyhawks are ranked fourth in the Week 3 Associated Press poll.
- Addonte Adams of North Chicago Community High School in North Chicago, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 3. Adams and the North Chicago Warhawks (3-0) posted their third consecutive shutout victory with a 34-0 win at Round Lake (2-1) on Sept. 8. Previously, they recorded a 59-0 win vs. Robeson on Sept. 2 and a 15-0 victory at Waukegan on Aug. 26. Adams, who is in his second season with the team, has helped the club match their total win mark from last year through only the first three games; North Chicago went 3-6 during the 2016 season. This is the first time since 2012 that North Chicago has started the season 3-0.
- Wide receiver Justin Wright of Taylorville High School in Taylorville, Ill., was named the Papa John’s Bears “High School All-Star” for Week 2. Wright set a state record for receiving yards in a game on Sept. 1 vs. Effingham after registering 12 receptions for 390 yards and four touchdowns in the 50-37 loss. The junior collected 10 catches for 370 yards and all four touchdowns in the first half of the game. He surpassed the previous record of 356 yards set in 2015 by Warrensburg-Latham’s Dionte Lewis.
- Jon Pereiro of Plainfield Central High School in Plainfield, Ill., has been named the Papa John’s Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 2. Pereiro, who is in his second season with Plainfield, led the Wildcats to a 29-28 victory vs. Plainfield East on Sept. 1 after a successful two-point conversion with four seconds remaining in the game; the win marked the team’s first since the fall of 2012, snapping a 39-game losing streak. The Wildcats are 1-1 this season.
PLAYER - Quarterback Drake Davis of Naperville North High School in Naperville, was named the Bears “High School All-Star” for Week 1. Davis threw for 389 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for two more touchdowns to help the Huskies overcome a 42-0 second-quarter deficit for a 53-49 road victory over Edwardsville; he completed 25 of 43 passes.
COACH - Chris Roll of Lake Park High School in Roselle, has been named the Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 1. Roll led the Lancers to a 36-34 road victory over Waubonsie Valley in their season opener, marking their first win vs. the Warriors since 2007; Waubonsie Valley was ranked #3 at the time. Lake Park converted on two fake punts to help overcome a 28-21 deficit. Roll is in his seventh season with Lake Forest.