North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Varsity Boys soccer team win record-breaking post season state awards

Photo Credits: Mr. Graham

Final Score: Hersey 4 – Niles North 3. That was the first game of the Niles North soccer season. Niles North, who came off a regional championship and a 20+ winning season, had just lost their first match. “I am really excited for the future of this team” were the first words out of Viking’s soccer head coach Filip Cejovic after the game. Regardless of the outcome, the soon-to-be Coach of the Year believed that his boys would do great things for the next 3 months of the season–and he was right. 

From starting the season off with a demoralizing loss to coming first in the CSL (Central Suburban League) with a 21-3 record, the Niles North Boys soccer team truly went from zero to hero. Among the team of champions, 8 individuals were given awards for their accomplishments during the season along with the head coach, Filip Cejovic winning the Coach of the Year award.

“This was probably the best season [Niles] North has ever had,” senior co-captain Quinn Graham said. “I think we could’ve gone much further than we did, but that doesn’t make me any less proud of the things we did as a team this season. We were great all around.” 

After breaking the scoring record he set the previous year (32) with an astonishing 41 goals, Quinn Graham was bestowed 3 different awards; All-Conference, All-State, and the All-Midwest team. 

The next recipient of an All-Conference award is senior co-captain Trey Zakeri who also won the All-Sectional award. After 4 years on the varsity team, Trey has never failed to give anything less than 110% whenever playing for the badge.

The Albanian attacker Ismet Bojku also took home the All-Conference award. He accumulated 20 goals along with 18 assists this season. Even though he is more than capable of scoring world-class goals, he always looks to his teammates for the assist first.

Next up, the only center back to win the award for Niles North is junior Diego Moreno. With his first year on the varsity team, Diego was a key part of the Vikings’ defense. He won almost every challenge and distributed the ball out of the back consistently well. His performances were undeniable.

Winning the All-Conference and All-Sectional honorable mention awards is Irfan Servan. Ice skating through the midfield with his dribbling abilities, Irfan was able to bag 8 goals and 8 assists for the Vikings. It is indisputable that Irfan deserved these awards and he is definitely someone to keep your eye on next season.

The final recipient of the All-Conference award is Daniel Escobedo. His explosive abilities and ability to move the ball up the field rapidly make him a force to be reckoned with. Escobedo had 7 goals and 8 assists, but what the stats don’t show is his chance-creating skills. 

With the 2023 boys soccer season coming to an end, it is definitely not on a negative note. Winning a record-breaking amount of awards and trophies this season has left these boys in the annals of Vikings’ soccer history. A big thank you to fans who came out to watch and thank you to the amazing coaching staff for making this season possible.

All conference:

Quinn Graham

Ismet Bojku

Diego Moreno

Irfan Servan

Trey Zakeri

Daniel Escobedo

All Sectional:

Trey Zakeri

All Sectional Honorable Mention:

Irfan Servan

All Sectional Sportsmanship:

Brian Naidas

All sectional Academic:

Albert Bogdan

All State:

Quinn Graham

All Midwest:

Quinn Graham

Coach of the Year:

Filip Cejovic

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About the Contributor
Saif Salman
Saif Salman, Reporter
I am a Senior and this is my first year on the newspaper. I enjoy playing soccer, going to the gym, and hanging out with my friends during my free time.

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