A quick review of the rules before we get into the fifth round:
• We're using a standard snake draft with a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers and a flex position.
• The player pool goes back to 2000, but a player must have played their final high school game to be eligible. So sadly, no, we weren't allowed to just draft East St. Louis' starting offense from this year.
• I left the criteria for how we would judge the best team extremely vague. I didn't want everyone to simply pull up the IHSA record books.
• We will post results round by round. Once completed, we'll compile the rosters and set up a poll so readers can vote for who they believe drafted the best team.
29. John Sahly: Shatone Powers, WR, Riverside-Brookfield. Let’s go old school to start Round 5. Powers had an electric 2001 as Riverside-Brookfield started to change the way the game was played around the state. He hauled in 117 receptions for 1,556 yards, good for fourth all time as far as catches in a single season goes. When my team needs to throw, Powers knows what to do.
30. J.T. Pedelty: Caleb Beebe, WR, Aurora Christian. To this point I’ve been taking the statistical best in state history, a solid plan for a high floor in terms of fantasy scoring. Now I’m going for a high-ceiling guy. Caleb — the nephew of NFL star WR Don Beebe and cousin of current Vikings WR Chad Beebe — exploded into a two-way star his senior year, offensively to the tune of 81 receptions for 1,010 yards and 14 touchdowns. The high-ceiling part? Ten of those 14 TDs came in a pair of five-touchdown games. In fantasy football, five-TD outings from this current North Dakota State defensive back will single-handedly win a game or two.
31. Steve Soucie: Malik Turner, FLEX, Sacred Heart Griffin. I’ll happily add another highly productive wide receiver to the mix here in Turner. He was quite the weapon for the Griffins before moving onto to be a featured component for the University of Illinois. He’ll fit in nicely with the other offensive toys I’ve assembled.
32. Josh Welge: Nick Weishar, WR, Marist. I had my eye on taking Mikey Dudek here until Sahly up and plucked him. I’ll “settle” for this guy, who went on to play at Notre Dame. Weishar compiled 3,284 receiving yards from 2010-2013, eighth-most in IHSA history. If we have a separate category for tight ends, I think I got my Gronkowski here.
33. Kyle Nabors: Fotis Kokosioulis, FLEX, Maine South. Maybe I should have filled my second wide receiver spot here, but I couldn’t pass up adding another incredible running back to my roster. I remember seeing Kokosioulis live for the first time and how amazed I was with just how hard it was to bring him down. If you tried to tackle him, he was going to make you pay. Plus I spent so much time trying to not accidentally butcher his name on our podcast that he holds a special place in my heart.
34. Eddie Carifio: Jacob Paradee, WR, Central A&M. Again, numbers don't lie. Paradee is fifth all-time in receiving yards. And while it technically wouldn't count for fantasy purposes, his kickoff return touchdown in the 2019 title game loss to Lena-Winslow showed his big-play capability against tough opponents.
35. Joe Stevenson: C.J. Fiedorowicz, WR, Johnsburg. I finally got on board with the trend of taking a player from a school I covered. Fiedorowicz (6-6, 250 pounds) was a matchup nightmare for DBs and he ran on a state sprint relay as a junior. He was in the top 20 all-time for receptions (174) and touchdown catches (42). Unfortunately, his NFL career at a tight end with the Texans was halted prematurely by concussions. I’m thrilled to get who I consider the best athlete to ever come out of McHenry County.