By Bob Narang

@PrepSportsRep – 

Richards sophomore Leandro Morales walked off the field with a satisfied smile.

Morales played a key role in helping hand the Bulldogs their first victory of the season, a 3-1 triumph over Mather in the one-day BODYARMOR Series – Boys Soccer (Chicago). The junior-varsity event a part of the series was held on Labor Day at Olympic Park in Schaumburg.

The day was a lively experience for several underclassmen, including Morales. Glancing at the adjacent fields — all filled with high-level soccer games — Morales said he was thankful to experience the massive event.

“This is really cool, and I’m grateful to play on a field like this,” Morales said. “I want to come back here next year.

“The view is nice, the vibe is nice. It’s like a big family here.

“The turf is amazing. You can see people really love the sport here. This is very different, and it’s very good competition.”

Sophomore midfielder Brody Whelan said he’s hopeful to experience the varsity portion of the highly-anticipated annual BODYARMOR Series.

“This is amazing because usually the varsity gets to go to all the tournaments, so this is special,” Whelan said. “It’s awesome.

“I’m really blessed for the opportunity to play here. There’s a variety of teams from the state of Illinois.”

Richards coach Eric Cunningham implored his players to cherish the festivities around the one-day special event.

“This has been really cool,” Cunningham said. “The boys haven’t really been to a stadium like this.

“It’s really interesting, a lot of turf fields and an opportunity to show what we’ve got. They put it all on the line, because they’re so excited to be there.

“It’s a cool experience. They get to hangout between games, have a snack and it was a good experience for us.”

Cunningham also had flashbacks to his playing days.

“I played here when I was a teenager,” Cunningham said. “I told them this is the place you want to be. This is where players are made. It’s a really nice complex.”

Bio on reporter: Bob Narang has been covering prep recruiting and sports for the past 28 years. His work also appears in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.