Evergreen Park's competitive dance team is heading back to the state meet after winning its first sectional. Evergreen Park High School photo
Area Sports Roundup: Evergreen Park dancers make history with first sectional crown
By Jeff Vorva
Evergreen Park was the only team from the area to place in the state’s top 12 in competitive dancing last season.
The Mustangs, who finished a program-best sixth in the state in Class 1A in 2021, are seeking an even better showing this year.
Evergreen Park made history by winning the Geneva Sectional Championship on Jan. 21, earning the program’s first sectional championship. They return to Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington for the two-day IHSA state championships beginning Friday, Jan. 27.
At Geneva, coach Marion Castillo’s Mustangs earned an 82.93 score, a fraction ahead of runner-up Glenbard South’s 82.70.
Nazareth also qualified for state with a fifth-place finish (80.73).
In Class 2A at Geneva, Argo qualified for state by finishing third (85.72) in one of two brackets. In the other 2A bracket, Marist earned a trip to state with a sixth-place finish (81.10).
In Class 3A, Sandburg took fifth at Geneva with an 86.37.
At Warren, Lyons qualified in Class 3A with a fifth-place finish (85.70).
The Saint Xavier football team has brought in seven transfers for the 2023 season.
One of the headliners is former Joliet Catholic quarterback Aiden Voss, who played the 2022 season at Iowa Central Community College.
On a field that can be seen from Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field on the SXU campus, Voss was the signal-caller in JCA’s wild 56-49 win over Brother Rice in 2021. The Hilltoppers finished the season perfect and won the IHSA Class 4A state championship.
Other newcomers are linebacker Clark Dilger (Lincoln-Way East/McKendree), linebacker Braxton Geller (returning to SXU after attending Purdue Northwest in 2022), defensive lineman Marcus Griffin (Nazareth/Grand Valley State), running back Tyreese Lee (Eisenhower/College of DuPage) and quarterback Tyler Turner (Phillips/Wayne State) and wide receiver Tywon Lee (Hillcrest/no college football at South Suburban College in 2022)
“We brought in some very talented players at semester, so we’re off to a great start in our recruiting season and it’s nice to get Braxton back, too,” Cougars coach Mike Feminis said. “I truly believe that competition makes everyone better and I can’t wait to get going with our strength and conditioning program. I’m also looking forward to spring ball and watching all of these guys compete. It’s going to be fun.”
Scholarship for EP star
Evergreen Park awarded its first Don Ferchau Mustang Defensive Player of the Year award to senior Asael Rubalcava.
Rubalcava earned a $1,000 scholarship for his efforts. He had 91 tackles, five tackles for losses, three interception, two forced fumbles and a sack.
“He led us in most defensive stats and made numerous game-changing plays during the course of the season,” Mustangs coach Jerry Verde said.
Ferchau was a former head coach at Evergreen Park and died in 2019 at 95 years old. Former Mustangs player Nick Mizaur and his wife, Candace, funded the scholarship.
Connor Talty, a kicker/punter from St. Rita who will play this fall at Alabama, helped lead Team Mauka to a 22-17 win over Team Makai in the Polynesian Bowl in Honolulu on Jan. 20. Talty kicked a 33-yard field goal to knot the game at 10-10 with 27 seconds left in the first half.
Girls Bowling | Richards wins regional; Shepard’s Kahlen Ranson rolls to individual title
Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Screaming and cheering parents and friends expressing their staunch support for their bowlers. Teammates fervently hoping for an opportunity to advance to sectional competition next weekend. For good measure, not one but two gender-reveal parties getting ready to begin a few lanes away. Quite a vibrant atmosphere for a…
Cheerleading State Finals: Sandburg takes fourth behind conference rivals
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer BLOOMINGTON — Sandburg’s competitive cheerleaders finished fourth in a state finals competition that looked a lot like a SouthWest Suburban Conference meet. At least it did for the Large Team division competition, in which the top five finishers hail from the SWSC. The 2023 state finals were held…
Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth girls clinch conference crown with win over Carmel
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth’s girls basketball team is eyeing a Class 3A state championship after finishing second to Carmel a season ago. The Roadrunners whipped the Corsairs, 48-24, Feb. 4 to win the East Suburban Catholic Conference for the second straight year. It marked coach Ed Stritzel’s 400th career victory. Nazareth…
Girls Bowling | Reavis wins second straight regional crown; Argo’s Sara Flynn take indie title
Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Two years, two consecutive regional championships for Reavis’ girls bowling team. The Rams made it back-to-back titles in an impressive manner, topping the 13-team field at the Reavis Regional with a pinfall total of 4847, topping second-place Argo (4684) by 163 pins at Palos Lanes in Palos Hills Reavis…
Countryside plans summer concert series, bluegrass festival
Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It might be winter, but it’s never too soon to talk about summertime music. Such was the case Jan. 11 when the Countryside City Council’s Special Events Committee heard from promoter Katie Goggin regarding the city’s annual Summer Concert Series. The committee also heard about the second annual Bluegrass and Brews Festival…
Porfirio resigns township post to take Senate seat
Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Mike Porfirio is now a state senator and the Township of Lyons Board of Trustees has a vacancy. Porfirio submitted his resignation as a trustee, which was accepted by the board at its Jan. 10 meeting. Porfirio was elected to the Illinois Senate in November, and was sworn in as…
Drone takes McCook crime fighting to new level
Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The McCook Police Department has a new weapon to fight crime. A new drone equipped with an infrared camera and the ability to zoom in 200 times was at the village’s latest board meeting on Jan. 17. The village used part of a $50,000 grant from the Secretary of State’s…
Super Hero fun at Our Lady of the Snows
Spread the love Catholic Schools Week was plenty of fun this year at Our Lady of the Snows School, as students were encouraged to dress as a super hero. Parents interested in checking out the school, 4810 S. Leamington, for 2023-24 are encouraged to call (773) 735-4810. – Supplied photo
System is rigged against regular folks
Spread the love. By Ray Hanania Consumers are reeling over massive increases in Nicor Gas costs, and they can’t get answers because the system is rigged against them. Nicor Gas is owned by a massive conglomerate called Southern Gas, which has four gas subsidiaries serving 4.2 million customers. Nicor is the largest serving 2.2 million…
Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen
Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…
Push for state child tax credit begins, could face uphill battle
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A group of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday called for creating a state-level child tax credit that would give low- and middle income families up to $700 per child each year in tax relief. But whether Gov. JB Pritzker includes such a plan in his budget proposal,…
What to know ahead of Pritzker’s budget proposal to lawmakers
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s second-term legislative agenda will kick off in earnest next week as he proposes his fifth annual state budget to lawmakers in the General Assembly. But while a governor’s proposal usually provides the framework for the state’s annual spending plan, it rarely makes it…
CAPITOL RECAP: Supreme Court ruling strengthens internet privacy law
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD — People who’ve been subject to fingerprinting, face or retinal scans as either employees or customers of Illinois companies have five years to file lawsuits if they believe the business violated a stringent state privacy law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week. It’s the latest in a handful of…
Pritzker announces $40 million grant program to promote development-ready ‘megasites’
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced the creation of a $40 million grant program to incentivize the creation of large development-ready areas known as “megasites” across the state. Megasites are large swaths of land, developed to attract businesses such as manufacturing plants, warehouses and distribution centers.…
Illinois’ biometric privacy law strengthened by latest high court ruling
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – People who’ve been subject to fingerprinting, face or retinal scans as either employees or customers of Illinois companies have five years to file lawsuits if they believe the business violated a stringent state privacy law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week. It’s the latest in…
Pritzker seeks more info on AP African American Studies course
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker this week asked the College Board for more information about its reasoning for changing the final framework of a new Advanced Placement course in African American studies after it had been criticized by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Although we are pleased to…
Report pushes for greater focus on teacher recruitment and retention amid shortages
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois schools are still grappling with a teacher shortage that seems to only be getting worse, a recent survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools shows. This mirrors the state’s own data, which shows Illinois’ teacher shortage is at the highest level in…
Illinois’ COVID-19 disaster proclamation to end in May
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol news Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Exactly 38 months after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, Illinois will no longer be under a disaster proclamation as of May 11, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday. That’s the same day President Joe Biden will end the national public health emergency, which…
CAPITOL RECAP: Gun lawsuit restraining order remains in place
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD — A temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois’ new assault weapons ban from being enforced will remain in place after a divided state appellate court panel’s ruling Tuesday. The restraining order was issued Jan. 20 by Effingham County Circuit Judge Joshua Morrison, but it applies only to the 800…
Appellate court upholds restraining order on assault weapons ban
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois’ new assault weapons ban from being enforced will remain in place after a divided state appellate court panel’s ruling Tuesday. The restraining order was issued Jan. 20 by Effingham County Circuit Judge Joshua Morrison, but it applies only…