High School: Lincoln-Way West

B.J. Bello commits to Illinois football

January, 29, 2012
Lincoln-Way West senior linebacker/safety B.J. Bello committed to Illinois on Sunday.

Bello, who is 6-2 and 210 pounds, had been originally committed to Western Michigan. Illinois began showing him interest last week, and he visited the campus over the weekend. He had also been recently contacted by Boston College, Minnesota and Tennessee.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman had been recruiting Bello when he coached at Toledo.

“It definitely feels good,” Bello said of heading to the Big Ten. “I feel more confident. It’s definitely something I wanted to do. I definitely thought I could play in the Big Ten because I’ve been working hard.”

Illinois now has 18 Class of 2012 commitments.

Bears recognize L-W West's Vander Kooi

September, 30, 2010
Lincoln-Way West's Mark Vander Kooi was named the Chicago Bears' High School Coach of the Week.

Vander Kooi's squad, which is in its second year of varsity football, is 5-0.

The Bears are donating $1,500 to Lincoln-Way West's program, and Vander Kooi will be invited to the Bears-Patriots game on Dec. 12. He'll be recognized during an on-field ceremony. He'll also be able to attend a Bears practice and talk to head coach Lovie Smith.