More than bragging rights will be at stake when the Oak Park and River Forest boys soccer team hosts Fenwick on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. The game marks the return of the Prevail Cup, last held in 2019 to benefit the nonprofit Housing Forward, whose mission is help those without homes transition from that crisis to housing stability.
Volunteers will be on hand at Oak Park Stadium during the Friars-Huskies match collecting donations, with proceeds going to the Housing Forward Families in Transition (FIT) program.
“The program supports the unique needs of families with minor children to guide them in the transition from crisis to housing stability as quickly as possible,” said Michelle Ptack, communications director of Housing Forward in a press release. “In 2015, Housing Forward merged with Prevail … the merger strengthened our ability to provide sustainable permanent housing to those experiencing homelessness. The Prevail Cup celebrates that collaboration.”
Fenwick edged past OPRF 1-0 to win the Prevail Cup in 2019. But this year, OPRF may have the advantage.
Finishing 19-4 and posting the best winning percentage (.826) in program history in 2021, the Huskies tied for second in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division, won a sectional title for the first time since 1996, and made it all the way to the IHSA supersectional round.
The Huskies have started strong in 2022, winning all four of their matches, including three at the Great Midwest Classic in Carmel, Indiana, on Aug. 26-27 and defeating Riverside-Brookfield High School 4-1 on Aug. 29
OPRF return seven players, including six starters. Junior forward Easton Bogard had 29 goals last fall, tying a program record. Other key returnees include senior midfielders Isaac Cummings and Jadyn Hsieh-Bailey.
Top newcomers for OPRF are sophomore forward Bryce Richards and junior defender Diego Zarate.
Fenwick looks to rebound from a 2021 season where they won just one of their final twelve matches of the 2021 regular season and finished 10-11-4.
The Friars, who return nine from last year’s squad, are led by senior forward Ian Martinello, who has team highs in goals (5) and points (8) entering this week. Sophomore midfielder Jake Brecknock, junior midfielder Evan Hickman and junior forward James Zimmer have three goals apiece.
Other notable returnees are junior midfielder Matt Bero, senior defender Max Ballarin, senior midfielder Frank Felice, senior midfielder Lucas Garcia, and junior midfielder Henry Zimmer.
The Friars are 2-1 this fall, notching blowout wins over Muchin Prep and Steinmetz and falling to Chicago Latin 3-2 on Aug. 27.