KANKAKEE – The Chicago Bears announced Thursday Kankakee High School Head Coach Derek Hart has been named the Chicago Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 9.
On Oct. 22, Hart and the Kankakee Kays varsity football team (9-0) won their home
conference game against the Crete-Monee Warriors (6-3) of Crete by a score of 28-20,
keeping the Kays undefeated in the regular season. The win gave the Kays the school’s
first conference title since 1999 in the now-defunct SICA Orange conference and the
program’s first win over Crete-Monee since 2004. The Kays are now the top-seeded
team in the upcoming Class 5A state playoffs. Hart took over Kankakee’s football
program in January of 2019 to help the Kays become a prestigious team and help his
players get into NCAA Division I level schools. The Kankakee Kays will play at
Carbondale (5-4) on Saturday.
Quarterback Aidan Gray of Naperville North High School in Naperville was named the Chicago Bears “High School All-Star.”
On Oct. 22, the junior quarterback led the Naperville North Huskies (6-3) to a 34-32 away
conference game victory against the Neuqua Valley Wildcats (8-1) of Naperville to win
the first-ever DuPage Valley conference championship game. During the last quarter,
the Huskies trailed 28-32 until Gray rushed for the game-winning 18-yard touchdown on
the final play of the game for a dramatic win. Gray completed 16 of 29 passes for 296
yards, 56 rush yards, and four touchdowns. Naperville North is currently seeded 16 for
the IHSA Class 8A playoff. Naperville North will host Naperville Central (6-3) in the first
round of the playoffs on Friday.
As Chicago Bears High School “Coach of the Week” the Chicago Bears will make a $2,000 donation to the Kankakee football program along with a direct donation of $500 to a youth football program of Gray’s choice.