Girls Soccer: Lemont’s Kim Jerantowski the SouthtownStar 2014 Player of the Year
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 23, 2014 9:12PM
Lemont's Kim Jerantowski gets her whole leg into a direct kick against Marian Catholic. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 25, 2014 6:13AM
Kim Jerantowski has the ability to single-handedly take over a game, creating plays that will leave opposing players and coaches with their jaws on the floor.
When the Indians needed it the most in the postseason, she did just that.
In a sectional semifinal against Providence, she carried the ball down the a sideline, cut back toward the middle of the field against a pair of defenders and ripped a shot from an impossible angle that found its way inside the far post and just below the crossbar for a goal Lemont coach Rick Prangen said was the best he’s seen at the high school level.
The senior scored twice in the sectional final win over Lincoln-Way West, including a similar self-created goal.
“I definitely tried to step it up in the playoffs,” Jerantowski said. “When we got a chance to play Providence, I was really excited because they knocked us out of the playoffs my sophomore year. Scoring that goal against them was a great feeling.”
A four-year varsity star, Jerantowksi capped her career in style, finishing with 24 goals and winning her third sectional title.
For the second straight season, she’s earned the title of SouthtownStar Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“It’s a great feeling. I feel like all my hard work has paid off,” she said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere without my teammates, though, especially (senior goalie Kelly Fritz). Me and her were joined at the hip these last few years, and she motivated me so much.”
Prangen, who has coached at Lemont for 22 years, has high praise for Jerantowski.
“She’s the best player I’ve coached in all my years here,” he said. “She’s one of those rare players who can play box to box and defend as well as attack. She carried us many times these last four seasons.”
Jerantowski took a lot of pride in being a leader this season.
“I’ve had great teammates all four years here,” she said. “When I was a young player, we had great senior leaders. That’s what I wanted to be for the young girls this season.”
Jerantowski will continue her career in the fall in the Big Ten at Northwestern.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I loved high school soccer and I’ll never forget all the memories of my team. I know going into Northwestern, I’m going to have to work so hard. I’m going to have to earn my spot.”
A two-time All-State selection, Jerantowski helped her team finish third in the state her freshman season and fourth her junior year.
Her legacy at Lemont is certainly firmly established.
“I’d like to be remembered as someone who could take things seriously, but still have fun,” she said. “I wanted to be a great leader and a hard worker.
“I’ll definitely come back to Lemont to watch games and I hope some girl will see me and be like ‘Oh, there’s Kim, I want to play like her.’ ”