10 Great Places to Watch a High School Football Game
by Eddie Timanus / USA Today
Glenbard West HighSchool
Glen Ellyn, IL
Glenbard West Hilltoppers:
2015 Illinois State 7A Football Champions
2012 Illinois State 7A Football Champions
Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Glenbard West High School
Stadium: Duchon Field; built in 1923
Why it’s worth watching a game there: This affluent community in the western suburbs of Chicago lays claim to one of the most scenic football settings around. The school itself is built in the style of a castle, complete with roof turrets, atop what was then called Honeysuckle Hill in 1922.
The Hilltoppers’ home field is a short downhill walk away. The field’s backdrop is Lake Ellyn Park, a man-made lake surrounded by copious trees. Spectators in the bleachers of the home side are treated to a colorful display of foliage on autumn Saturday afternoons. The field has no lights to mar interfere with the picturesque setting. Up to 5,000 fans might squeeze in on a sunny day. The action on the field is usually worth watching as well. The Hilltoppers mounted an undefeated campaign in 1983 en route to the Class 5A state championship. Of note Recent players of note to come through the Hilltoppers program is Matt Bowen, who played play college ball at Iowa and is now a safety for the St. Louis Rams.
Notable: The field was named for long-time coach Bill Duchon in 1980. He Duchon coached in the Hilltoppers in from 1960-76, finishing second in the state in his final season. He stayed on as Glenbard West’s athletic director until his retirement in 1988. He still lives in town. Duchon Field was used to shoot the football scenes in the 1986 film Lucas starring Corey Haim and Charlie Sheen.
Name-dropping: Glenbard West boasts a few famous alumni beyond the football field, including Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal, performance artist Laurie Anderson and Emmy-winning actor Sean Hayes, who plays Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.
By Eddie Timanus