ChiCitySports had the opportunity to catch up with Reilly O’Toole from Wheaton Warrenville South. O’Toole has committed to the University of Illinois and will be playing for the Illini.
PH: Why did you choose Illinois over all the other schools that were recruiting you?
Reilly: They recruited me from the beginning. They were one of the first schools to contact me. I got to know the coaches there really well, and just felt comfortable there.
PH: Do you think playing in the State Championship last year puts more pressure on you and the team the team to perform this season?
Reilly: I think every year we have a lot of pressure on us because of our program. Our goal is to play in the State Championship, so we also put the pressure on ourselves.
PH: Besides Maine South, who will be your most tough opponent in the regular season?
Reilly: I think there are 4 or 5 games in conference that will be really tough. Every week teams will be going after us so we know we will have to go out there and, play our best week in and week out.
PH: Last year your only loss came to Maine South, does that give your team a little extra motivation to beat them this Friday?
Reilly: I think so yea. I think the fact that they are defending 8A champs too is extra motivation. We know that they have had an awesome winning streak and that they are always one of the best programs in the state so we are for sure motivated for this game.
PH: The game this Friday is on ESPN, what does that say about the program? Are you nervous? What has the reaction at school been like?
Reilly: I think it says a lot, for both programs. we both have been making runs late in the playoffs so it will be a battle between us. I get nervous for every game so i will probably be just as nervous as any other game. It has been great. all the students are really excited for the game so hopefully we can get a good crowd.
PH: Can you just describe the 7A State Championship game last year. Were you nervous, excited? What was the feeling after the game was over?
Reilly: It was an awesome experience. Great game. Fun to be a part of it as well. I was both nervous and excited, we knew they were a tough team so we knew we had to go out there and play our best game. I had a feeling of accomplishment. Working so hard in the off season as a team, the 14 week journey for that feeling after the win, was just awesome.
PH: Is it possible that Wheaton Warrenville South can be even better than last year?
Reilly: I think we are two completely different teams. Last year we had a big offensive line, this year we have a tall/athletic offensive line so I think it’s just going to be different because of all the new faces we have in positions.
PH: You were at the Glenbard West-Glenbard South game yesterday, are you already scouting them for a Championship rematch?
Reilly: Haha. I like watching them play, they are a hard hitting, exciting team to watch so whenever i can get a chance to watch them, I will.
This article was written about 2 weeks ago, in the time span O’Toole led the Tigers to a 44-7 win over Maine South. The game was televised on ESPN. O’Toole said that he is nervous before every game but I am not sure why? O’Toole, an Illinois recruit completed 18 of 25 passes for 230 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He hooked up with Titus Davis for touchdowns of 16 and 41 yards and also one with Ryan Crowe for 12 yards.
When Reilly was asked if he was surprised with the outcome he responded, “Um, kind of“I thought we could beat them. I knew our defense would limit their offense because our defense is just awesome. Offensively, we really stepped up from Week 1 to Week 2. I thought our offensive line took a huge step.”