Huskies' Lifka ready for all-star showcase
BY BLAKE BAUMGARTNER -- FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Naperville North linebacker Nick Lifka has committed to play football at Boston College.
Finishing his career as a three-year starter at middle linebacker and as the two-time reigning DuPage Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Naperville North's Nick Lifka can add one more accolade to his decorated résumé.
Lifka was nominated to play on the 2011 U.S. Under-19 National Team, which was assembled by USA Football to go up against a team comprised of athletes from four different continents in the second annual "Team USA vs. The World" game Wednesday in Austin, Texas.
"I think this is just gonna be a fun (experience) finishing up my high school career in football," said Lifka, who is one of 45 high school seniors on the U.S. team. "I get to play with great players from all around the state and I get another chance to play another game of football. I'd love to play football all year-round, but I can't."
Lifka is the first Huskie to play in an all-star game since linebacker Corey McKeon played in the 2003 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
Joining the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Lifka in the game from Illinois is Fremd tight end Jack Konopka, who has committed to play for Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern.
Before participating in the game Wednesday, Lifka will officially become a member of Boston College's 2011 recruiting class by signing his national letter of intent.
Winning its final five regular-season games after a 2-5 start, Boston College went 7-6 last season and lost to Nevada in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
"It'll be great to finally wrap things up. I've been talking to the coaches for a while," he said. "I'm really excited with my decision and can't wait to make it official."
Named in November as the Naperville Sun's Defensive Player of the Year for 2010, Lifka established a single-season school record for tackles with 168 while adding four sacks, two interceptions and a fumble return for a TD for the Huskies, who went 8-4 in making their first state quarterfinal appearance since 2007 under first-year coach Sean Drendel.
"Nick was really close to playing in a few of the other all-star games, and he got an opportunity to play in this one," Drendel said. "We're thrilled to death to have a kid from Naperville North play for Team USA."
"This is a big deal, we're looking forward to it," Drendel said. "Nick's excited and it's a big game."