BoysBasketball: Solari’s days with Maine South sports finally winding down
John Solari (32) of Maine South shoots over Matthew Downing of South Elgin. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 29, 2012 4:41PM
John Solari’s one of those athletes who seem too old to have any more athletic eligibility.
Solari made the jump to varsity basketball as a freshman and started on the football team last season.
Even he laughs when he thinks about how long he’s been playing sports at Maine South.
“It feels weird being one of the older guys on the teams,” he said. “I always was one of the younger players. But I’ve had a lot of great leaders before me, so I am trying to imitate what they did.”
The senior-to-be is splitting time between basketball and football this summer. A highlight for the basketball team was the shootout title at Buffalo Grove.
“It’s just summer basketball, so it doesn’t matter that much,” the 6-foot-4 forward said. “But it’s good to get some wins and see where you are as a team.”
A tight end on the football team, Solari continues to work on his chemistry with quarterback Matt Alviti during the summer sessions.
“We’ve been throwing a lot, and we are trying to get on the same page,” said Solari, who’s known Alviti since grade school.
Solari didn’t start playing football seriously until he was an eighth-grader on the Park Ridge Falcons.
Now, Solari is considering playing football in college, even though sisters Christina and Karen enjoyed successful basketball careers at Illinois Wesleyan.
“I do want to play college sports, and I’m pretty sure I want to play football,” he said. “I’m not positive at this point, but I am trying to see what my options are. I don’t have any offers, but I am talking to some coaches to see what the possibilities are.”
For the second consecutive summer, Maine South is playing at Wheaton Warrenville South 7-on-7 tournament this week. Some of the state’s best teams will be the field.
Next month, the Hawks will travel to Alabama to face some of the South’s best teams at Hoover’s 7-on-7 . They also played there in 2010, the summer before the Hawks’ last state championship.