Wendell Phillips Academy in Bronzeville became the first Chicago Public Schools team in history to win a state football championship on Friday night.
The Wildcats beat Belleville's Althoff Catholic High School 51-7 at Northern Illinois University's football field in DeKalb to win the Illinois High School Association's 4A title game.
The team roster includes 19 seniors, all on track to graduate and some being recruited to play football at the collegiate level. Linebacker Amani Jones has committed to the University of Iowa, Wide Receiver Quayvon Skanes has committed to the University of Connecticut and Defensive End Amir Watts is uncommitted but is being recruited by several D1 programs.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel congratulated the team in a statement Friday, saying, "Before today, no Chicago Public Schools football team had ever won a state title. Tonight, the Phillips Academy Wildcats ended that drought. They have proven to be the true definition of perseverance and determination. More importantly, they are the definition of 'team.' Tonight, we celebrate them as the pride of Bronzeville and all of Chicago. Congratulations to Coach Troy McAllister and his team on not only a perfect season, but on securing a spot in Illinois' sports history."
The team made it to the state finals last year but lost to Rochester High School 49-28.