By Chris Johnson


KANKAKEE – On Saturday, Nov. 14, following a two-hour plus bus trip to eastern Illinois, the Byron Tigers were knocked out of the Class 3A State playoffs by the Fightin’ Irish of Bishop McNamara, 53-32.

2015 was successful for the Byron Tigers as they worked their way through the Class 3A Tournament and into the State’s Elite Eight.

On Saturday, Byron put almost 500 yards offense on the board, statistically outplaying Bishop McNamara, in many categories.

The team was ready to play on Saturday and the long road trip was not an influencer in the loss, the Byron coach expressed. There wasn’t any, “being tired”, or “unready” for the quarterfinal contest.

“The kids were ready. They knew it was a quarterfinal game and they were ready to play. Our running game was working. We had almost 500 yards and we held the ball for 33 minutes of the game. If you would have told me, before the game, that, that was what was going to happen, I don’t know if I would have believed it. Our kids played well, they had a great season.”

Byron closes 2015 with a 9-3 record, which included a second place finish in the conference.

The 2015 season began badly for Byron, in a crossover game against Marengo. The Indians shut down the Tigers, 33-0.

In week four, Byron lost to Rockford Lutheran, 56-19.

The team that kept Byron from the 2015 Big Northern West Conference Title, Rockford Lutheran, saw their season come to an end in Marengo on Saturday, 38-28, in a Class 4A quarterfinal.

The season started and ended 2015 with a loss, but there is nothing negative to take from the season, the Tigers Head Coach said.

“It was a good year. We lost to a better team on Saturday. I think we played really well. We protected the ball and had only one fumble, on a quarterback sack. We just got beat by a better team. Our kids did a really good job, however, the thing is, Bishop Mac did a really good job too and they made fewer mistakes.”

The Tigers challenges were answered, each time Carlson would cross the goal line, which he accomplished three times during the quarterfinal, the Fightin’ Irish would come right back.

Bishop McNamara was loaded, Boyer said.

“They are such a talented team. I think they have four or five Division One players on their roster. We don’t have any, that’s not saying we don’t have the talent. Bishop MacNamara is just a really good team. They could be the team that wins the State Championship in two weeks. I know our kids had their sites set on a State Championship, but we didn’t get there. We got to the quarterfinal this year and the semi-final last year. There aren’t a lot of high school kids who can say that.”

The games continue at Byron this week, as the girls’ basketball season tips off with the boys to follow, one week later.

The kids will be ready for the winter sports season as well, the football coach said. They are always encouraged to stay busy.

“The football season is over, we started collecting equipment earlier this week and we will probably have our Fall Sports Award Banquet sometime after Thanksgiving. We have got a good amount of kids from the football team who play basketball. Other kids are active with wrestling. We like to encourage them to be three sport athletes if they can.”

The advantage to staying active, according to Boyer, is focus.

“It’s conditioning. During the winter season the kids are in the weight room and they are encouraged to play other sports. They keep working out. Which helps make them stronger.”

The Tempo will continue to follow the Byron Tigers as the winter sports season is set to begin.

11-14-15 Byron vs. Bishop McNamara 1

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