Thumbs-down: To the death of 15-year-old Crystal Lake South student Maxwell Bennett. Bennett died by suicide Oct. 27. His family believes bullying led to their son taking his own life. Many students and community members came to the Bennetts’ house this week to remember Bennett and share thoughts on how schools can better address bullying. It’s a difficult topic, but like his dad, Elijah Bennett, said, sharing his feelings with other students could help prevent this from happening to another student in the community.
Thumbs-up: To those who have taken advantage of early voting so far. It’s easy, there usually are fewer lines, and it helps alleviate any last-minute concerns from getting in the way of a very important voting process that finishes Tuesday. We encourage all eligible voters to inform themselves and head out to the polls to have their voices heard in the election process. It doesn’t matter who you vote for; we just encourage eligible voters to be informed and take the time to vote.
Thumbs-down: To few answers on the death of Lake in the Hills restaurant owner Peter Rim. Chicago police have said Rim was shot to death Oct. 25 when someone in an SUV fired shots into the vehicle Rim was a passenger in. This week, police released surveillance photos of the offender’s vehicle, which was missing its front license place. We hope they find the person or people responsible for his death soon.
Thumbs-up: To Prairie Ridge volleyball for putting together a tremendous postseason run after struggling down the stretch during the regular season. The Wolves lost eight of 11 matches with setter Jayden Otto sidelined for three weeks with a stress fracture in her right foot. Otto returned for the regular-season finale, and Prairie Ridge has carried the momentum into the postseason with dominant play to bring home regional and sectional championships.
Thumbs-up: To Crystal Lake South boys soccer goalkeepers Matt McCaleb and Oscar Estrada for helping the Gators to an exciting shootout win Friday in the Class 2A state semifinals against Gibault Catholic in Hoffman Estates. South coach Brian Allen talked earlier this fall about his strategy of maximizing each of his keepers’ strengths by using McCaleb during regulation periods and Estrada during shootouts. It paid off perfectly Friday with McCaleb holding down a talented Gibault club throughout regulation and two overtimes before Estrada came through with back-to-back tremendous saves in the shootout. Good luck to the Gators on Saturday as they attempt to bring home the program’s first title in the Class 2A state championship match.