Lakeside Bank 2022.July
Stagg senior wide receiver Justin O’Bradovich breaks free from an Oak Lawn defender en route to a 33-yard touchdown reception. Photo by Jason Maholy

Stagg senior wide receiver Justin O’Bradovich breaks free from an Oak Lawn defender en route to a 33-yard touchdown reception. Photo by Jason Maholy

Football: Stagg batters Oak Lawn for first win streak since 2018

By Jason Maholy
Sports Editor

Stagg coach Colt Nero and his Chargers came into this season expecting to win.

Some might consider that a lofty expectation considering the program had entering 2022 lost 23 consecutive games and had not been victorious in Nero’s time at the helm, which began with the truncated 2021 spring season.

But that expectation has been met in each of this year’s first two games. After breaking the win drought and getting Nero his first career victory with an opening-night triumph over Reavis, the Chargers ran their streak to two with a 42-20 trouncing of Oak Lawn on Sept. 2.

The wins are the first consecutive victories for Stagg since September 2018, when it defeated Thornwood and Thornridge in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively.

“Guys are working hard,” Nero said. “We put in a ton of time in the offseason. Guys have bought into what we’re doing and now we’re reaping some of the benefits.

“Two wins feels good, but at the end of the day it’s just two wins.”

Junior quarterback Lebarion Gilmore started the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Dan Sweeney, who made a nice grab in the corner of the end zone.

Oak Lawn’s subsequent possession ended with a failed fake punt on fourth-and-nine from its own 34-yard line. Two plays later, Gilmore found Justin O’Bradovich wide open in the flat, and the senior wideout did the rest, breaking a tackle, eluding another defender and then carrying a third the final 10 yards into the end zone for a 14-0 Stagg lead.

Gilmore completed 7 of 10 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, and added 90 yards rushing.

“He’s our leader,” Nero said of Gilmore. “The guys trust him, the coaches trust him. He works his butt off every day, puts in his time in the film room and in the weight room.”

OL Stagg Sweeney scaled

Oak Lawn’s Jack McGlynn (left) and Hunter Gray converge to take down Stagg wide receiver Dan Sweeney. Photo by Jason Maholy

Sweeney had four receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. O’Bradovich finished with two catches for 45 yards and a TD.

“We’ve got a new mentality,” O’Bradovich said of the Chargers’ early-season success. “This is not all we’re doing. We’re not finished.

“We’re winning, we’re on a streak and I’m just looking forward to next week.

“Next week” is Friday at Lincoln-Way East in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover. The Griffins are off to a 2-0 start and have for the past 18 seasons been among the premier programs in Illinois. East has the highest winning percentage in state history (minimum 250 games) at .832 (208-42). East St. Louis is a distant second at .785.

Stagg also got two touchdown runs from Zach VanLoon (10 rushes, 45 yards) and another from Josh Frolich.

Anthony Sukalo returned an interception 21 yards for a touchdown and recovered a fumble.

For Oak Lawn, Ayham Salah tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jack McGlynn and also ran for a 10-yard score.

The Spartans’ offensive effort was less than crisp, but much of that had to do with the Charger defense. Sophomore defensive tackle Terrence Williams had seven tackles, including two sacks and three tackles for loss. Williams and junior Oswaldo Macias are part of a Stagg defensive front that was disruptive and got consistent penetration into the Oak Lawn backfield.

“They’re awesome,” Nero said of his two tackles. “Those guys had fantastic offseasons, put on weight, muscle and all that, worked on their speed.”

“The offseason” was also referenced by several Chargers’ players as a big reason for the teams’ success. Gilmore said players spent a lot of time together getting to know each other, whether that was in the weight room, engaging in community service projects or just hanging out.

“We’re definitely rolling and it feels good to have people to connect with,” he said of the Stagg offense. “We built a lot of chemistry over the offseason. We did a lot of bonding; a lot of lifting and a lot of bonding, and we’re using it to our advantage.”

Taking on Lincoln-Way East will be a couple steps up from the competition the Chargers have faced in their first two games, but the team is playing with confidence and executing on both sides of the ball.

“Everything’s happening right now because of the time they put in,” Nero said. “It’s not a surprise. It’s probably surprising everyone else but we’re not surprised.

“We expected this.”

OL Stagg Eid scaled

Oak Lawn senior running back Rakan Eid looks for running room during the Spartans’ 42-20 loss to Stagg on Sept. 2. Photo by Jason Maholy

Local News

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…

Red Stars coach Chris Petrucelli was not happy that his team had two players thrown out of Sunday's 3-0 loss to Portland. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars playoff hopes dim with shutout loss in Portland

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer Well, this has quickly turned into a mess and it’s a mess that does not favor the Chicago Red Stars. Heading into last week’s action, it appeared the regular-season finale between the Red Stars and Angel City on Sunday at SeatGeek Stadium would be cut-and-dried. The winner would take the…

Martin Hopkins, a 2009 St. Rita graduate, will lead the school's football program beginning next season. Supplied photo

Area sports roundup: No drama here, St. Rita grad Hopkins named Mustangs football coach

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer There will be no drama waiting to see who the will coach St. Rita’s football team in 2023. Even though there are four weeks to go in the 2022 regular season, the school last week named Martin Hopkins the successor to Todd Kuska. Kuska, in his 25th season as the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Football: Evergreen Park edges Reavis in SSC Red

By Steve Millar Correspondent The back-and-forth battle waged against Reavis in Week 5 was the kind of game for which Evergreen Park prepares. It provided the Mustangs a chance to test how they would respond in an intense situation. They passed the test. “Resilience was the key,” Evergreen Park coach Jerry Verde said after the…

Lyons’ James Georgelos goes in for a tackle of York’s Brian Filosa. Photo by Steve Metsch

Football: York hands Lyons first loss of season

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Lyons’ bid for a fifth win and to essentially clinch a playoff spot was put on hold by York and junior running back Jake Melion. Melion, thrust into the RB1 role because of an injury to starter Kelly Watson, ran for three touchdowns in a 27-14 win for the Dukes. Lions…

regional top school palos heights

Palos 118’s West Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

Palos West Elementary School in Palos Consolidated School District 118 has been named a National Blue Ribbon School award winner by the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made the announcement on September 16. “This is a moment of extreme pride for us here in District 118,” said Supt. Dr. Anthony…

regional ppwc

Palos Park Woman’s Club turns 120

The Palos Park Woman’s Club officially turned 120 years old on August 21, 2022. A celebration was held on that day at the Palos Park Rec Center with approximately 100 people in attendance including members, local dignitaries, family and friends. The Village of Palos Park recently proclaimed August 21 through September 17 as Palos Park…

Northwestern College Summer Quarter Nursing graduates hold lanterns during their Pinning Ceremony, symbolizing the passing of the flame from the founder of professional nursing, Florence Nightingale. (Supplied photo)

Northwestern College holds summer pinning ceremony

Northwestern College’s Violet L. Schumacher School of Nursing held a Pinning Ceremony for its Summer Quarter Nursing graduates on September 8. The ceremony was conducted at the Oak Lawn Public Library’s lower-level conference room, a new location following the college’s recent move from Bridgeview to Oak Lawn. The traditional ceremony marks the formal induction of…

Neighbors

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…

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] 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…

CRR NH Reliable Waterproofing House Ad
SWNH Ameri Corp House Ad