The Woodstock North Thunder finished their 2016 season at 6-4 after a 28-0 loss in the first round of the IHSA Class 5A playoffs Friday night. The home game against the Rich Central Olympians of south suburban Olympia Fields was the last game for the Thunder’s seniors as part of the Woodstock North football program.
The Olympians came into the game full of energy and never let that diminish. They were able to put together a number of long drives against the Thunder, with four of them ending in rushing touchdowns.
“I think that our kids met a standard that we’d gotten away from the last few years. They reacclimatized us to higher expectations, and that’s really what we want to strive for and have occur on an annual basis,” said Thunder coach Jeff Schroeder. “This is an awesome group of kids. I think they really enjoyed football. I really enjoyed coaching them. I’m very proud of them. It’s a tight group, and they realize this is the end of something significant.”
The Thunder’s game was not without highlights. WNHS senior Casey Dycus tallied 129 rushing yards on 23 carries. Dycus, as he did numerous times this year, led the team in yardage. The Thunder finished with 199 total yards of offense. Dycus was more successful up the middle with the Olympians proving to be too quick to get around on the outside.
The passing game never picked up, but the wind did, making passes and punts difficult as the game rolled into the second half.
On defense, junior linebacker Trevor Stinger put together a couple of noteworthy series, racking up tackles and providing the game’s only turnover, his interception and 15-yard return stopping a strong Olympian drive with 1:11 left in the first half.
This was the Thunder’s first playoff appearance since 2012, and while Schroeder hoped to see his team pull off a victory or two in the playoffs, he said he’s happy with its momentum and hopes that this will set The Thunder up for greater success next year.