Local high school football team turning boys into men

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The football team at Wendell Phillips may be undefeated and just a few wins away from the state championship, but the incredible part of their story began long before they ever stepped out onto the field.

Cold on a football field can only mean one thing – it’s the end of the season.

The Wendell Philips Academy football team has one heck of a story because as of the time this story was published, the team is 11-0. Undefeated. Perfect.

They say football is the game that turns boys into men but that’s not quite true.

For the players of Wendell Philips, it’s turned men into great men.

Coach Troy McAllister isn’t kidding.

The success of this team has been a source of stability for the entire student body – a student body whose has had their fair share of hardships, including high drop-out rates and low test scores.

But in 2010, the Academy of Urban School Leadership stepped in at Wendell Phillips and things changed.

The second largest program in Chicago Public Schools, this football program involves more than 90 student athletes and is led by 19 seniors, all of whom are on track to graduate like quarterback and team captain Quayvon Skanes, who is going to the University of Connecticut next year on a full ride.

At 11-0, the team is headed toward the Illinois High School Association quarterfinals which means they’re only a few wins away from the state championship.

But this story isn’t about perfect records or undefeated seasons – it’s about a team that won long before they stepped on the field.

In the end, junior Chris Elmore says it best: "Coach, he wants us to become not only better football players but better men and that's what this team is about. It's just becoming better men and it starts with not making any excuses."

The Wendell Phillips Wildcats will next take on Geneseo Saturday.

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