After a tough 31-24 loss to Wheaton Warrenville South in the 7A State Championship two returning players know that it will be no easy task to get the state championship Glen Ellyn has been waiting for since 1983. QB Mikey Matthew and RB Trace Sorey are on the prowl for that coveted state Championship.
Glenbard West Senior QB Mike Matthew has never been one to fold under pressure. Whether it is getting T’d up in basketball games or playing in a big football game, you always know what you will get with Matthew. “In my years of playing sports with Mike, I’ve always noticed he has a certain toughness to him, and he will rise up to any challenge that comes his way”, said Jon Martz. Mike Matthew didn’t start a game as a Junior but he made a big impression for the Hitters beating the Raiders week 1 41-7. Mike ran for two touchdowns and completed five of nine passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns of 44 and 60 yards to Mark Hiben.
As for Trace Sorey football has always been in his blood. Son of former Chicago Bears Linemen Revie Sorey, Trace is looking to get out of the shadows of his father and create a name for himself. Sorey has always been an athletic wonder and many compare his running style to New Orleans Saints RB Reggie Bush. Sorey was quiet against the Raiders but exploded against the Mustangs of Downers Grove South. Getting the ball 20 times, Sorey rushed for 112 yards.
While talking with Mike over the last couple of days he said the team could be just as good as last year. When I asked if he is ready for a rematch against rival Wheaton Warrenville South, Mike said, ” We have to get to the state championship game first, they are a great team with a lot of weapons. But again we have to win first to get there and thats whats important right now but i have confidence in each and every one of my teammates to pick me up. there are so many explosive athletes on the team that its hard to be nervous.” Sorey believes that state is within reach. He stressed the fact that you never know how good you are until you play. But that shouldn’t be a problem as no team really seems to present a challenge to the Hitters.
A key to the early success of Mike Matthew this year has been senior wide out Mark Hiben. I asked Mike who has impressed him the most, without even thinking about it, he said with a smile on his face, ” Without a doubt Hibs (Mark Hiben), hes just so athletic that he can do anything on the field and make people look silly.
Down by 4 in the 3rd Quarter Mike Matthew got the Hitters the lead by himself with a 1 yard touchdown run. The Hilltoppers never looked back from there leading the way for a 21-16 win over the Downers Grove South Mustangs.
Partner in crime, teammate Trace Sorey wasn’t so easy going on his stance on the state championship game saying,”We know we deserved to win, we were the better team all year, unfortunately they were the better team that night”. Tommy Schutt was called for a late hit late into the game which setup the win for Wheaton Warrenville South. “Its Unfortunate said Sorey, we feel the game was taken away from us. But we have to forget that and go out this year and show them we are the best team in the state”.
In 2 games Sorey has just over 170 yards rushing and is not playing up to his level, “I played horrible against South, The Downers South game was a little better but I know I can just tear apart any defense”. Sorey reiterated the fact that he has to read defenses better and follow his blockers. Shouldn’t be to hard (laughs) I’m running behind linemen that is committed to Iowa.
Why should fans think they will be better then last year? Well one name comes to mind, Pierre Washington-Steele. This past year senior RB back Washington-Steele was killed in an auto accident. “Were playing for him, we know that every game we play this year he is right on the sidelines with us. We couldn’t get him the title last year but I know that we win it for him this year”, said Sorey.
“The Road to Champaign”, stops in Hillside this week as the 4-0 Hitters take on Proviso West.