Lyons boys volleyball players have a spirited celebration after beating Lockport to win the 12-team Argo Invitational on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Vorva
Area Sports Roundup: Lions grow together while winning Argo Invitational
By Jeff Vorva
A few last-minute changes in the schedule forced Lyons to head into the Argo Invitational with just two matches under its belt this season.
While some of the other teams in the tournament had played more matches, the Lions adapted and won the 12-team tournament with a 5-0 record, including a 25-23, 15-25, 25-23 victory over Lockport in the championship matchup on April 2 in Summit.
The players celebrated after the title match as if they won a state championship.
Playing five matches in two days, even with injuries and missing players, did Lyons a world of good.
“I think it’s working,” senior outside hitter Joe Watkins said. “The chemistry is coming around. When some guys would get down, other guys would pick them up. It’s just everybody coming together toward that one goal.”
Watkins and sophomore hitter Luka Kostic were named to the all-tournament team.
Last year, the Lions finished 11-14 and wrapped up the regular season with a three-set non-conference loss to the Porters.
Lyons (6-1) opened the tournament with a 25-17, 25-14 victory over Reavis on April 1, then beat Argo, 25-13, 25-19, in pool play. The advanced to the semifinals with a 25-9, 25-16 win over Mount Carmel in the quarterfinals, then topped Hinsdale South, 25-13, 25-21, to set up the title showdown with The Porters. Lockport was a state quarterfinalist in 2021 and entered the match with an 11-1 record.
Other area teams participated in the tournament, with Stagg beating Mount Carmel, 25-14, 24-26, 15-10, for fifth place and Argo defeating Oak Lawn, 26-24, 16-25, 15-9, for seventh place. Stagg’s Matthew Wojciechowski was an all-tournament selection.
St. Laurence finished 3-0 in the Bronze Bracket on Saturday, including a 25-19, 15-17 win over crosstown rival Reavis, while Shepard and Reavis each finished 1-2.
Max Camp Coming
Stagg High School and DePaul University will host the first Max Strus Basketball camp in June.
Strus is a member of the NBA’s Miami Heat and getting regular playing time.
Some of the proceeds from the camps will go to the Andrew Weishar Foundation.
Crusaders Nationally Ranked
After a perfect showing at the National High School Select competition in Georgia, Brother Rice’s baseball team picked up the No. 22 ranking in the nation according to Perfect Game USA and is ranked second in the regional rankings.
Cather Zion Rose was named as the National High School Select MVP while Jack Lausch, Amir Gray and Cole Van Assen were all-tournament selections.
Ruby Red Hot
Oak Lawn softball player Ruby Amigon is off to one of the hottest starts in the area at the plate.
Even playing in less-than-ideal weather situations, the senior hit .750 in the first three games and drove in five runs.
Honoring the Pope
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Donn Pall was scheduled to have his number retired at Evergreen Park Community High School on April 5.
Pall, nicknamed “The Pope” during his days with the White Sox, pitched in the majors from 1988 to 1998. He was with the South Siders from 1988 to 1993 and spent time with the Cubs in 1994. He won a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 1997. He finished his career with a 24-23 record and a lifetime 3.63 ERA.
He is the uncle of former Sandburg and Michigan pitcher Bryan Pall, who is in the Seattle Mariners’ minor league system.
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