Taking a rare moment to honor PR football


Photo courtesy of The Daily Herald

As a writer for the Trojan Times, not the Wolf Prints, this article you have decided to lay your eyes on may feel strange. 

“Get a load of this guy! He is writing about the Wolves football team as a Cary-Grove student! (Laughs ensue)” 

You can hold your laughs for JUST a moment, if you have any to give. Let’s be real here: 

You probably despise PR as much as the next person. It’s CG tradition, of course. 

For years, this rivalry has had as much weight to it as Bears vs. Packers, for both schools. However, watching their football team get back to state once again with a “Lamar Jackson” at quarterback in senior Tyler Vasey after being ousted in the quarterfinal last year against Lake Forest in a heartbreaker has to make you feel happy, right? 

Ok, maybe not. This is the school’s biggest rival I am talking about, after all. But hold on. Here is something that might make you smile:  

Wolves kicker Brogan Amherdt lined up to kick inside the red zone with 9.7 seconds remaining against St. Ignatius, down 19-18. 

The ball was spotted at the 12, and moments later, Amherdt knocked through his first career field goal with PR. 

Yes. This was seriously Brogan’s first career field goal attempt with the Wolves. In two years as their kicker, he has only been called upon for extra points. 

Amherdt plays goalkeeper for Prairie Ridge’s soccer team, so he has experience BLOCKING kicks, at least. 

In the moment of truth (and likely nervousness from the fans), he scored a chip shot that would have gone in from a much larger distance. 

The lead he created with that field goal was the only time in two seasons he has been asked to do so. 

With this win, the Wolves’ punched their ticket to state, and added another season to a pretty cool streak. For six consecutive years, either PR or Cary-Grove have represented the Fox Valley Conference in the Class 6A State Championship. 

Prairie Ridge represented in 2016, 2017 (winning those two), 2019 (losing to familiar foe East St. Louis), and 2022. CG represented in 2018 and 2021 (winning both). 

Incredible, right? 

Anyway, the Wolves were set to face off against the Trojans’ opponent from a year ago, the Flyers from ESL. 

Prairie Ridge was looking to earn another upset in 6A State for the FVC, and their senior quarterback Tyler Vasey was the one looking to guide them to that. 

The Flyers are famously the team that had a difficult time stopping the triple-option last year, and they sought to flip the script on this go-around. 

PR jumped out in front 7-0 in the early first quarter, as the aforementioned Vasey scored on a run from 14 yards out following a huge 23-yard fourth down conversion to freshman Luke Vanderwiel. 

Two minutes after the opening score, the Flyers got on the board as well with a 34-yard run by TaRyan Martin and a two-point conversion. 

8-7 East St. Louis. 

The Wolves’ second drive ended in a punt after a penalty drove them back. 

From there, it was all ESL. Martin punched in his second score of the afternoon not even a minute into the second quarter, and the Flyers went up 15-7. 

It was 22-7 at the half, and the final score was 57-7 in favor of East Side. 

This was surely a deflating loss for the Wolves, and an emphatic victory for the Flyers after being stunned a year ago by Cary-Grove, but all of that aside, PR certainly embarked on a magical ride this season. 

After losing to Jacobs in a battle of undefeated squads in week four and dropping to 3-1, the Wolves ran the table the rest of the regular season, sharing a conference title with Huntley and Jacobs, ending 2022 with an 8-1 record. 

Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South produced a shootout in round one, with PR winning 63-55. 

In round two, the Wolves ran past Kaneland by a final of 57-22. The quarter final saw Prairie Ridge breeze against Harlem, a 69-28 victory. 

Finally, the special semifinal was the 21-19 win over St. Ignatius. 

With a little less than five minutes to go in the state game, Wolves head coach Chris Schremp called a timeout and gave one of the best players in PR football’s history one last ovation from the fans. 

As the Wolves faithful cheered for senior quarterback Vasey, he walked over to his coach and hugged him at the 20-yard line of the east sideline. 

It was a touching moment for the team, for Coach Schremp, and Vasey himself. He set the single-season rushing record in the IHSA with an amazing 3,883 yards, and he was the facilitator of a fifth state appearance in a decade for his school. 

Despite the fact that his team was about to be defeated at the hands of the Flyers, this moment was an awesome one that ended this season on a truly positive note, game result excluded. 

Although this article will find a home in the Trojan Times and not the Wolf Prints, it is only a fair thing to give our flowers to an extraordinary player in Tyler Vasey who fueled his team towards a state championship appearance in his version of “The Last Dance.”