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NEWS > Jack Allen 'excited to prove myself' with Saints after going undrafted

By Bob Narang
Pioneer Press


A two-time All-American center and captain for the Big Ten champion Michigan State Spartans, Jack Allen had hoped to be selected in the NFL draft, which was held April 28-30 in Chicago.

Despite not being among the 253 picks in the seven-round draft, Allen, a former Hinsdale Central offensive lineman, moved a step closer to realizing his childhood dream of making an NFL roster by signing a free-agent contract Saturday, April 30, with the New Orleans Saints.

Allen, at 6-foot-1 and 294 pounds, is the oldest of three siblings who all played football and wrestled in high school for the Red Devils. Brian, a junior, will compete for ... READ FULL STORY
NEWS > Jack Allen gets timed, measured, interviewed at NFL draft combine

By George M. Wilcox
Contact Reporter
Pioneer Press


The parents of former Hinsdale Central offensive lineman Jack Allen watched their son's performance at the NFL draft combine Friday, Feb. 26, from the comfort of their Hinsdale home.

John and Leslie Allen didn't have to wait long to see their son on TV. NFL Network's coverage began at 8 a.m. from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and Jack Allen was the second runner in the offensive line group for the 40-yard dash.

"It was neat, but it was nerve-racking," Leslie Allen said. "You don't know the offensive linemen. You just have to wait to see how everyone else does and see how he falls ... READ FULL STORY
NEWS > Former Hinsdale Central star taking his shot at NFL Scouting Combine

Bob LeGere

INDIANAPOLIS - Michigan State center Jack Allen's local connections go beyond his prep days at Hinsdale Central.

His great-uncle, Bob Konovsky, played for the Chicago Cardinals from 1956-58, was with the Bears in 1960 and played for the Denver Broncos in 1961. Before his pro football career, Konovsky was a three-time Big Ten heavyweight wrestling champ, and after his football days were over, he wrestled professionally as "Killer Konovsky."

At Hinsdale Central, Allen was a state champion wrestler at 285 pounds, and the ability to grapple in the trenches and use leverage to his advantage are qualities prized by NFL offensive line coaches.

The 6-foot-1, 294-pounder is one of the smaller ... READ FULL STORY
NEWS > High school sports roundup: Hinsdale Central's Matt Allen, Hinsdale South's Josh King, Maddie Nowak shine in state finals

Feb. 25, 2016


PALATINE – Before her last girls gymnastics state finals, Hinsdale South senior Maddie Nowak again relied on the power of three.

“Just before I went on every event, it was like, ‘Think of three key words that you can focus on. Your body knows what to do,’” Nowak said. “I just think of three things that my coach said or I’m feeling, if I’m nervous on a skill.”

In fitting fashion Feb. 20 at Palatine High School, Nowak collected three top-five all-state medals for the second year in a row – and she performed even better than in 2015.

Nowak tied for second ... READ FULL STORY
NEWS > Matt Allen continues family's wrestling reign with state

By George M. Wilcox
Contact Reporter Pioneer Press


CHAMPAIGN - No family in Hinsdale Central history has dominated like the Allen family when it comes to state championship wrestling.

Senior Matt Allen won a state championship of his own Saturday, Feb. 20, to join his older brothers Jack and Brian, who each had their moment at the top step of the awards podium in previous years at the State Farm Center. Matt Allen (45-1) won his Class 3A title match at 285 pounds 3-2 over Lincoln-Way Central senior Bryan Ditchman (45-3), who was ranked No. 3 entering the state meet by Illinois Matmen.

The top-ranked Allen suffered his only loss of the season ... READ FULL STORY