This is the "Year of the Quarterback" in the Chicago area and most of them have performed up to expectations. I've gone on record as saying that Prospect's Miles Osei is my choice as Player of the Year. He amassed nearly 4,000 yards of total yardage and accounted for 39 touchdowns in an 8-3 season.
But several other quarterbacks stood out, including Hinsdale Central's John Whitelaw, Lake Forest's Tommy Rees, Rolling Meadows' Jimmy Garoppolo, Downers Grove South's Chandler Whitmer, Marist's Mike Perish, Maine South's Tyler Benz, Morgan Park's DaRon Brown, Montini's Brandon Pechloff and Glenbard West's Tyler Warden.
One who is never mentioned is Glenbrook South's Mike Pullano.
Pullano is 5-7 and weighs 150 pounds, hardly the kind of numbers that attract major college recruiters. But I've seen Pullano play and I have been impressed by his moxie, his skills and his leadership. He can play at a small-college level, maybe the Ivy League.
Pullano certainly doesn't lack for production. On the high school level, he can match up with Osei or Whitelaw or Whitmer or Rees or Garoppolo.
Going into Saturday's rematch with top-ranked Maine South, Pullano has completed 80 of 120 passes for 1,379 yards and 24 touchdowns in 11 games--and he hasn't thrown a single interception.
He leaped on the radar screen in Glenbrook South's first meeting with Maine South a few weeks ago. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for one as the Titans built a 34-24 lead with 2:18 to play in the third quarter. But Matt Perez broke loose in the fourth quarter and Maine South rallied to win 45-34.
Mike Noll, Glenbrook South's veteran coach, also is impressed with Pullano.
"He executes our offense as well as anyone. He makes great decisions and he takes care of the ball," Noll said. "When a play breaks down he has the ability to scramble and turn nothing into something. He makes plays outside the offense when he has to."