Lakeside Bank 2022.July
Freestyle wrestling icon vector. Female. Pictogram women sport. Logo. Match girls. Symbolic image is one of a series. Greco-Roman. Isolated.

Freestyle wrestling icon vector. Female. Pictogram women sport. Logo. Match girls. Symbolic image is one of a series. Greco-Roman. Isolated.

Girl wrestlers make history as first IHSA state qualifiers

By Steve Millar
Correspondent

For Morton senior Karla Topete, Feb. 12 was a special day for a greater reason than just her winning a sectional wrestling championship.

Topete and her teammates competed at the Andrew Sectional, one of four sectionals that marked the start of the IHSA’s first individual girls wrestling state series.

For the first time, girls have a chance to compete against other girls for a state championship.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Topete said. “I’ve been wrestling since sixth grade and there was a time where there were no girls. So, aside from winning, just seeing all these girls is amazing.”

Topete (14-1), who pinned Oak Forest’s Sabrina Sifuentez in the 130-pound championship match, was one of three champions for Morton.

The Mustangs qualified nine wrestlers for the inaugural girls wrestling state meet, set for Feb. 25-26 at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

There was no official team champion in the event, but Morton had the highest score in the unofficial team standings out of the 37 schools competing.

“I feel like a proud mom since I’m one of the co-captains,” Morton senior Jennifer Villagomez said. “I feel so proud of everyone that they wrestled so hard and didn’t give up.

“I try to help them at practice and tell them, ‘Oh, do this,’ and to see them do it in matches makes me feel so proud of everyone.”

Villagomez (14-1), who pinned Hillcrest’s Cha`Anna Kassim in the finals at 110 pounds, said she was not able to qualify for the girls state finals held by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association in previous years, so she was thrilled to break through in her final high school season.

“I felt like this year I was ready to come forward after so many hard practices,” she said. “I feel like it was all worth it. It feels very exciting.”

Morton junior Leilany De Leon said she dealt with a lot of anxiety throughout the day, but it did not show in her results.

De Leon (10-2) pinned all three of her opponents, including Kankakee’s Estefany Mendez in the 120-pound championship match.

“I get so nervous,” De Leon said. “I was late for my last match because my coach had to talk to me to calm me down. He said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you’re already going to state, just try your best and have fun.’ Also, I didn’t want to lose.

“This is history. I still can’t believe it.”

Also qualifying for state for Morton were Ximena Juarez (2nd at 125), Neida Arreola (3rd at 115), Diana Rodriguez (3rd at 190), Aseel Jadallah (3rd at heavyweight), Paris Flores (4th at 100) and Faith Comas (4th at 135).

The Andrew co-op team qualified six wrestlers for state. Four of them are Andrew students, but two go to the other District 230 schools.

Stagg sophomore Ava McGuire (5-7) finished second at 145, pinning Joselin Rodriguez from Back of the Yards in the semifinals to clinch her spot at state.

Sandburg freshman Emma Akpan (14-6) also was a runner-up, at 170. She had two pins, including one over Homewood-Flossmoor’s Madison Skowronski in the semifinals.

Evergreen Park junior Elliana Balderrama (11-5) bounced back from a loss in the semifinals at 155 to pin her final two opponents at finish third.

In the consolation semifinals — also known as the “blood round” as winners clinch their spot at state and losers are eliminated — Balderrama needed just 16 seconds to pin Back of the Yards’ Rachael Villegas.

“I just used heavy hands and threw her down, got it over,” Balderrama said. “It was a big relief. I knew I had to get the job done.

“This means literally everything. I love the sport. I’m a first-year wrestler and this has given me so many opportunities. I love going out there by myself and putting it all on there on the mat.”

Riverside-Brookfield sophomore Eleanor Aphay (17-7) also came through with a pin in the blood round, defeating Oak Park-River Forest’s Maria Diaz to clinch her spot at state. Aphay finished fourth.

“It feels amazing, especially for my first year wrestling to make it to state,” she said. “It feels like a big accomplishment.”

Mother McAuley’s Maggie Summer, St. Laurence’s Christel Rodriguez and Marist’s Reese O’Keefe all made it to the blood round, but fell one win short of qualifying for state.

Rodriguez and O’Keefe each had to win just one match to reach that round.

Zumer, a freshman competing in a 13-wrestler bracket at 125, had three pins but got pinned by Lincoln-Way Central’s Ashley Villa in the blood round.

Still, it was a memorable day.

“It’s amazing,” Zumer said. “All the girls wrestling, it’s such a great experience. You see all these girls who are just like you doing their best. It’s always so cool with the competitiveness but also the sportsmanship that people might not always see.”

Local News

Palos Heights Alderman Heather Begley said members of the Recreation Advisory Board are now OK with proposed changes that could be coming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Changes coming to Palos Heights RAB despite resistance from McGovern

By Jeff Vorva The Palos Heights City Council is expected to approve new guidelines and regulations for the Recreation Advisory Board on Tuesday and at least one alderman doesn’t like what he sees. Jerry McGovern took issue with the proposed changes. “As many times as I read through this thing, I have to turn around…

Attorney Marcia Owens presents a modified request for additional parking for Wu's House restaurant at Monday's Palos Park meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Wu’s House modifies parking proposal to Palos Park council

By Jeff Vorva Wu’s House restaurant was rejected once in a bid for extra parking space, but is trying again. The eatery, which is located at 12300 S. LaGrange Road, is seeking an extra 82 spots — many on land next to the business. Citizens expressed concerns during a Plan Commission meeting and the request…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound September 28, 2022

Mary Stanek

Halloween candy dish already full

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 We welcome October and its Halloween festivities. I also welcome all of the Halloween treats that have filled my candy dish already. The St. Turibius community will not be going hungry. Thanks to neighbors, friends and volunteers,…

Peggy Zabicki

There is such a thing as a stupid question

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day. Officially, this annual holiday is Sept. 28 but is usually observed on the last school day of September, which falls on Friday, Sept. 30 this year. Whose idea was this? The West Lawn Gardeners group…

Kathy Headley

Weather, and fishing, are just fine

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 The weather has been perfect lately for spending time at Marquette Park, hasn’t it? Whether fishing, golfing, playing tennis or just going for a leisurely walk, folks have been taking advantage of how lucky we are to have…

Joan Hadac

Plenty to enjoy in Gage Park

By Joan Hadac GSWNH correspondent at large Greetings, Gage Parkers! While the search continues for a permanent writer of this column, I’m pleased to report on Gage Park, the neighborhood where I lived for the first 26 years of my life. There’s always something happening in this big, exciting part of Chicago, so here goes.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Volleyball: Marist knocks Mother McAuley from unbeaten ranks

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Kamryn Chaney had the “eye of the tiger” and Marist got a huge win over their arch-rivals. Hosting Mother McAuley in the regular season for the first time in four years, the RedHawks came out focused. Chaney clubbed a match-high 12 kills and added five blocks and eight digs and an…

Richards sophomore running back Miles Mitchell (5) ran for 142 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 49-36 win over Shepard on Sept. 23 in Palos Heights. Photo by Jason Maholy

Football: Richards scores season-high 49 in win over Shepard

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor It took all of 16 seconds for the fireworks to begin in a high-scoring South Suburban Red matchup between district rivals Richards and Shepard. Terangie Eskridge returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Myles Mitchell scored four touchdowns and the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half to top the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Football: Previously winless Sandburg takes down defending champ Lockport

By Randy Whalen Correspondent A season ago, Sandburg turned its season around after a big loss to Lockport. This year, the Eagles hope their season has turned around after a big win over the Porters. Sandburg was winless coming into the SouthWest Suburban Blue matchup against the defending Class 8A state champions, but pummeled the…

Neighbors

Illinois takes Equal Rights Amendment to appeals court

Illinois takes Equal Rights Amendment to appeals court

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Attorneys for the state of Illinois joined their colleagues in Nevada and Virginia Wednesday in asking a federal appellate court to declare that the Equal Rights Amendment has been legally ratified as the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “I have a daughter who intends to…

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday, Sept. 27, to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed individuals. The employer’s insurance premiums…

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed…

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Capitol News Illinois will significantly expand its operations as it enters the fifth year of operations in 2023 because of a significant grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The McCormick Foundation has announced a three-year, $2 million investment in Capitol News Illinois, a nonprofit news organization that provides…

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme involving a red light camera company. Jones, 44, is a Chicago Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2009. He is also the…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the Senate since 2009…

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In Illinois, the role of state treasurer is that of chief investment officer. Treasurer Michael Frerichs has held that position for two full terms, winning by less than 10,000 votes in 2014 before cruising to an 18 percentage-point victory in 2018. He boasts that Illinois has…

CRR NH Airport Heating Cooling
CRR NH Niego Real Estate House Ad