More tricks than treats for 2022 CG football


Imagine this scenario: You and your friends are going trick-or-treating and you have scored on some full-sized candy bars. Currently, you are heading to arguably the best house on the block, which has a reputation of giving out top candy year after year. 

Smiles stretch from ear to ear as you get closer to the house, and hopes are high to continue to receive the candy from years before. 

Once you get there, you do the usual “Trick or Treat!” and the owner of the house opens the door. 

Presented to you are fruit snacks and pencils. 

This, my fellow students and staff, has been the Trojans football season in a nutshell. 

High expectations and hopes after a state title have turned into tough losses and missed opportunities to win games, with some spooks along the way. 

Maybe even fruits and veggies instead of dessert. 

Last year’s Trojans team, for reference, was a juggernaut. They went 14-0 and cruised to wins en route to a thrilling state championship win over the East St. Louis Flyers. 

Senior quarterback Jameson Sheehan went on to start his college football career at the University of Illinois, riding off into the sunset just like his whole offensive group. 

As the offseason began, there were a lot of questions left to be answered about how this current team would look. 

At this point in the 2022 season, we have all of the answers. 

There was promise from the Trojans, primarily at quarterback. 

The battle for QB1 was so even and intriguing that Coach Seaburg rotated junior Gavin Henriques and sophomore Peyton Seaburg throughout the first couple of games, and then week three came around. 

This was a pretty good week for the quarterback position, no doubt. 

Seaburg ran in four touchdowns and commanded the offense well as the Trojans beat Crystal Lake Central 41-20. 

As for the CG defense, they came to life in week four, as they held their own in an 18-0 shutout win over the McHenry Warriors, which improved the Trojans to 3-1. 

From that point on, this team just hasn’t looked the same as its recent counterparts. 

Cary-Grove went into Prairie Ridge with the chance to move into a tie for second in the FVC, and their pursuit started off strong. 

Running back Andrew Prio led off the contest with a burst inside the PR 10 yard line, and a play later, two minutes into the game, the Trojans took an 8-0 lead after a touchdown pass by Seaburg and a two-point conversion. 

After Prairie Ridge drove down the field on their first drive to score a touchdown and make the game 8-7, Prio presented deja vu as he exploded for another big run inside the Wolves 25. 

Moments later, a pass by Seaburg was picked off, and PR proceeded to take a 14-8 lead after another touchdown drive. 

These Trojans kept fighting, just like running back Mykal Kanellakis. Kanellakis went down with a knee injury a week ago that looked serious, but he ended up playing the rest of the game. 

While he was out, Cary-Grove used his injury as newfound motivation to finish their drive and tie the game with another Seaburg touchdown. 

Lo and behold, Kanellakis came back in and scored the two-point conversion to give the Trojans the lead. 

These would be the last points CG would score in this contest, which, for an offense like Cary-Grove, seems unthinkable. 

They didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on the offense and their struggles, as 4-1 Huntley came to town the next week. 

This game showed not only the fight this squad has had throughout this rough ride, but it unmasked the pains this team has tried to heal from week two on. 

Huntley-CG started off exciting, as Kanellakis caught a deflected pass by a Huntley defender into the endzone to give the Trojans an early 7-0 lead. 

CG held onto a 7-3 lead until the Band-Aids started to peel off – not in the best way, unfortunately. 

The Trojans defense forced a Huntley fumble, but the very next play CG gave the ball back to the Red Raiders on a fumble of their own. 

Huntley ended up punting, as the Cary-Grove defense stood tall in the sudden change. 

The Red Raiders got the ball back on a second straight Trojans fumble, and Huntley took a 10-7 lead with a touchdown drive after that fumble. 

CG kept punching back, as the first drive of the second half the Trojans offense drove to Huntley’s 33, but ended up turning possession over on an incomplete pass on fourth down and long. 

Cary-Grove forced a quick Raider punt, but on the punt, a third fumble ensued as Huntley recovered and went on to take a 17-7 lead. 

Coach Seaburg had a simple response when he was asked if his group would come back to be a few plays from the win after being down ten: 


For all of the struggles this team has gone through, their confidence level, and their willingness to keep battling, hasn’t changed. 

“We gave it our all,” Coach Seaburg said after the Huntley game. 

They certainly did, as they were seven yards away from earning an upset over the Red Raiders before the clock ran out in a 17-14 affair. 

This final moment represents something that has made this season what it is, something that Coach Seaburg said he wanted this team to end. 

Coming up short. 

No matter if it is 30 yards, seven yards, or a few points, this group has just come up short. 

On the other hand, the fact that this group has played in this many close games after a state-winning season, with so many new faces, especially, is an amazing feat.

Although this squad has certainly underperformed to the expectations all of our recent success has placed on them, there have been some specific players who have emerged from the group as difference-makers. 

Quarterback Gavin Henriques is now on defense as a free-safety, and he has excelled there. 

The Trojans have found their two-headed monster at running back in Colin Desmet and Andrew Prio, who have helped their offense, and their team, put wins in the left-hand column and stay within striking distance of more victories time and time again. 

I also want to mention Mykal Kannelakis, the Trojans other game-changing running back, a senior, mind you, who has dealt with and battled through some of the worst blows in years with two knee injuries, one on each leg, and has showed us all that injuries can’t bring these Trojans down. 

Props to you, Mykal. 

As we continue to discuss standouts with this squad, we have to take notice of the CG defense collectively, which has improved significantly after their pass coverage had a tough time in week two against CLS, with only a few mishaps here and there. 

Finally, there have been a slew of lessons learned, and this squad will certainly take notice of all of them and run into next season with a recharged confidence that could really make 2023 fun. 

In a season full of highs, lows, and reflections, there are still three games to get the ship floating again. 

Next week will definitely present a sense of urgency and a big wake-up call to this team as they face off against top-conference foe Jacobs at their home turf. 

After that, they go to Burlington-Central to play the Rockets, and to end the season, CG plays Hampshire at home. 

The playoffs are not out of the question quite yet, but we do have to wonder what could have been with this season as Halloween draws closer and fall football winds down in 2022 at Cary-Grove.