Zera’s big plays give Spartans a boost (+ Glenbrook North team page)
Glenbrook North's Alex Zera outruns Highland Park's Luke Norcia during his touchdown catch-and-run in Northbrook on Friday. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
BOYS and GIRLS
At Loyola Acad. Regional at Harms Woods, (B) 10:45 a.m.; (G) 10 a.m.
At Maine East, 7:30 p.m.
At Leyden Regional, 5 p.m.
At New Trier Sectional, 7 p.m.
Hosts Highland Park, 5 p.m.
At Prospect State Finals, 8 a.m.
At Lyons Invite, 5 p.m.
At Lyons Invite, 9 a.m.
At Rolling Meadows Reg., 7 p.m.
At Rolling Meadows Reg., 6 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2012 1:23PM
NORTHBROOK — Alex Zera said he was thrilled with how Glenbrook North’s season was rolling along.
The Spartans had a victory over archrival Glenbrook South and a 6-1 record, including an undefeated mark in the CSL North (3-0).
Then on Friday, Zera added a bit more to this memorable year. The junior caught both his first and second varsity touchdown passes in a 48-28 victory over Highland Park that clinched the CSL North title for the Spartans.
It didn’t take long for Zera to make his impact on the game. Spartans quarterback A.J. Spitz dropped back on Glenbrook North’s second offensive play from scrimmage and heaved a long pass down the middle where Zera grabbed it. The 59-yard touchdown catch was a perfect way for the Spartans to start out the game.
“I had a few catches (this season), but I hadn’t scored. I didn’t expect it,” Zera said. “We drew that play up in practice. That was a lot of fun.”
Zera finished the game with 110 receiving yards on three catches.
At 6-foot-1, the fleet-footed Zera provides a good target for Spitz.
“He has freaky speed,” Spitz said. “He gets in and out of his cuts really fast.”
Zera’s second touchdown was on a picture-perfect 38-yard halfback option pass from Spartans star runner Grant Rushing. Zera caught the ball over his shoulder at the goal line to give Glenbrook North a commanding 27-7 lead.
“It was awesome,” Rushing said. “He (Zera) had a lights-out game. He’s just a great kid on and off the field.”
“That second one (touchdown) was exciting,” Zera said. “There was one-on-one coverage on the outside. I wanted to focus to make sure that I ran the route right. And, it was a great pass.”
This week proved to be a change for Zera, who was switched over from flanker to split end.
“Because of his speed, we felt that would be a better position for him,” said Glenbrook North coach Bob Pieper, who won his 100th game on Friday. “He just keeps getting better and better every week.”
Names in the Game
Noteworthy efforts: The track and cross country star continued her winning ways at the CSL cross country meet Saturday in Waukegan. Bobart, senior, a beat the competition in the North division with her of 18 minutes, 54.55 seconds.
Noteworthy efforts: The senior girls golfer shot an 82 Friday at the Class AA state tournament at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur. She finished tied for 34th at the weather-shortened event.
16 | The place of the top Glenbrook North boys finisher, Dan Cheung, in the North division at the CSL cross country meet Saturday in Waukegan. The senior registered a time of 16 minutes, 53.47 seconds.
“I got to it pretty fast. It went well.”
— Valerie Bobart on her first-place finish at the CSL North cross country meet
Cross country: Glenbrook North at Loyola Regional, 10 a.m.
The cross country season is winding down for both boys and girls teams as they take on nine other teams, including rivals Glenbrook South, in the regional championship. The girls race first at 10 a.m. and the boys follow at 10:45 a.m. at Harm’s Woods in Skokie.
Volleyball: Glenbrook North at Lyons Invite, 9 a.m.
The girls volleyball squad, led by coach Chris Cooper, travels to Lyons for the annual Lyons Invite, which features great teams like Lake Zurich and the host school.