Since Deerfield's boys soccer team finished with a school-record 19-4-1 mark in 2009, some of the key figures have gone onto enjoy bigger successes in their careers.
Connor Holloway, Scott Lakin and Joey Calistri are playing for Northwestern University's men's soccer team – a team that earlier this month was ranked fifth in the nation. Although the Wildcats hit a rocky patch and fell to 16th, they proved to be an elite force to be reckoned with as they tied No. 2 Notre Dame 0-0 on Oct. 15.
The coach of the Warriors, Elliott Hurtig, is proud of his former troops. And he would love to catch a game or two to watch the boys play in person in Evanston, which is where he resides.
But he's been out of the country furthering his career as well. Hurtig is teaching in Prague in the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange program.
Elliott, wife Robyn and two sons, Reed and Leo, left in August and he is teaching English and literature to Czech students in their final year of high school. The family will return in July, 2014. He had to give up coaching duties at Deerfield this year but plans on being back for the 2014-15 campaign.
Meanwhile, he said he is following the Wildcats online and via emails.
"I do want to watch the guys play on Nov. 3 but will feel bad for them as they are sure to lose that game to the mighty Badgers," Hurtig, a former Badgers player, joked.
That game aside, he has become a big Wildcats fan thanks to his trio of stars.
Calistri, a sophomore forward, started the Wildcats' first 13 games and is one of the top scorers in the nation with 10 goals and three assists for 23 points.
He scored three goals in a 4-0 win over Green Bay in September at the Northern Illinois University Tournament and became just the fourth player in school history to record a hat trick.
"Games like today are a lot of fun to play in," Calistri said after the game in a news release. "From the beginning we were really feeling it today and that's really enjoyable. When you get a couple of goals early, it always makes it easier."
"I'm not at all surprised that Joey is one of the top scorers in the country," Hurtig said. "He works incredibly hard off the ball and he is very poised under pressure. He is also relentless as a defender which frequently results in a quick turnover and goal for him or a teammate."
Holloway, a senior, had three assists in the Wildcats in the first 13 games and Lakin, also a senior, added two.
Other players from the TribLocal area helping the Wildcats are senior Chris Ritter from New Trier (four goals, three assists), and junior Peter Beasley of Naperville Central.