Guaranteed Rate Field was buzzing ahead of the Chicago Public League Championship baseball game. The Broncos of Kenwood Academy High School faced the Grizzlies of Walter Payton College Prep for the city title—the first appearance at Chicago Public League’s City Championship game for both baseball teams. The game was fascinating; the fans were on the edge of their seats. These two baseball teams put on a show on the south side. Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson was on hand to watch the game.
The competition was tough, Kevari Thunderbird (#4), a Junior at Kenwood Academy, did an excellent job pitching the ball. He left the Grizzlies scoreless for six of seven innings. During the seventh inning, Jonathan Patterson (#0) hit the ball and reached second base. This move helped put his team on the bases and positioned them to score. As more Broncos swung the bat, more players filled the bases. During the seventh inning, the pitcher Khamaree Thomas (#16), a Junior at Kenwood Academy, continued the momentum of keeping the Grizzlies scoreless.
Kenwood Academy’s Broncos beat the Walter Payton Grizzlies for the title of HS Varsity Baseball – Chicago Public League Champions for the 2023 season. The game was so exciting; the Kenwood Academy fans were cheering their team to victory by the time it reached the seventh inning. The Broncos held the Grizzlies off from scoring any points! The Kenwood Academy Broncos defeated the Walter Payton Grizzlies with a score of two to zero. The Broncos’ team celebrated on the field, and the fans celebrated in the stands. “It feels amazing to win today,” said Jonathan Patterson of Kenwood Academy. Kenwood had an incredible 2023 season with 26 wins and four losses.
When I asked the Head Coach about winning, he said, “It was one of my goals; the first one is always the hardest one, and this is the first one in the history of Kenwood baseball,” said Romey Bracey. Mayor Johnson presented each player with a medal and the teams with a plaque and took photos.
It was amazing to see so many alums, parents, students, and family in the stands to support these teams. “This win for Kenwood is a tribute to changing times,” said Coach Bracey. This win should allow Kenwood to become a more favorable option for student-athletes that want to play baseball in the public league versus going to a private or suburban school. The Baseball Coaching staff has expanded the team outside of baseball, including a focus on the mental health of the players and being active in the community. In the future, the team plans to focus more on promoting the season schedule so that people can attend more games and support the team.
This week the team will go on to play in the playoffs for the State title.