By Joe Trost
Streamwood coach Matt Polovin is a mere 18 wins away from securing his 300th career victory in his 20th season at the northwest suburban school just off Interstate 90.
But the longtime coach would be OK with only winning 17 games this fall, just as long as No. 17 comes via a victory in the last game of the season. The Sabres advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2017 and the Elite Eight in 2018.
What does 2019 have in store for a program that has won nearly 80 percent of its games over the past two seasons?
Let’s take a closer look at Streamwood’s preseason outlook presented by Cici’s Pizza in Streamwood.
Head coach: Matt Polovin, 20th season, 282-120-39 career record.
Recent season results: 2017 – 14-5-2 overall record, lost in Class 3A sectional final; 2018 – 19-4-3 overall record, lost in Class 3A supersectional.
Top returnees: Jose Ibarra, Jr., D, Chicago Inferno (club); Edwin “Pee Wee” Peralta, Sr., M, Eclipse (club); Antonio Herrera, Sr., G, Strikers (club); Jose Banuelos, Jr., M, Elite F.C. (club); and Josh Taboada, Sr., D, Eclipse (club).
Top newcomers: Aldo Jimenez, Fr., M, Eclipse (club); and Josh Taboada, Fr., M, Chicago Magic (club). Holding Mid, Chicago Magic.
2019 outlook: “Overall, we no doubt will have a stronger team than last season,” Polovin said. “I have a good core coming back. With the new players mixing in, they have talked all summer about getting to the state finals. We will continue to play a fast possession style game. With one of the best defenders in the country in Jose Ibarra, our defensive core will be very strong and difficult to break down.”
Keep an eye on: Jose Ibarra is the player who makes playing the center back position look too easy at times. He’s 6-foot-4 with a ton of speed and skill.
Making A Difference: Streamwood will be volunteering and working with the Kane County Farm Bureau this upcoming season.
College-bound players: All remain undecided.
Did you know? Streamwood is unbeaten in 38 of its last 47 games and has gone to penalty kicks in its last two Class 3A sectional finals appearances.
Contact Joe Trost at email@example.com.
Bio on reporter: Joe Trost is an award-winning writer from the Star Newspapers, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and ESPN.com. Locally, he is a three-time statewide IHSSCA Media Person of the Year and founder of the PepsiCo Showdown, the largest high school sports series in the U.S. He also is a board member with Buddy’s HELPERS and the creator of the Making A Difference On AND Off The Field campaign.