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Sandburg's competitive cheerleaders perform Saturday in the IHSA finals in Bloomington. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Cheerleading State Finals: Sandburg takes fourth behind conference rivals

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer BLOOMINGTON — Sandburg’s competitive cheerleaders finished fourth in the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet on Friday and Saturday. Wait. That wasn’t an SWSC meet. It was the IHSA state meet, held Feb. 4 at Grossinger Arena in Bloomington. The Large Team division had the feel of an SWSC meet, as the…

Nazareth's quest for a state championship starts on Tuesday. Nazareth photo

Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth girls clinch conference crown with win over Carmel

By 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 also beat…

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Girls Bowling | Reavis wins second straight regional crown; Argo’s Sara Flynn take indie title

By 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 advanced to…

Evergreen Park’s competitive dance team performs a routine that vaulted the Mustangs to sixth in the state on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Competitive Dance State Finals | Evergreen Park has sixth sense again

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer BLOOMINGTON — For the second straight year, Evergreen Park’s competitive dance team qualified for the second day of state competition. For the second straight year, the Mustangs were the first team to perform on the second day. And for the second straight year, they finished sixth in the state in…

Shepard's cheerleaders won the coed division of the Bradley-Bourbonnais Sectional and will head to state. Photo courtesy of Shepard High School

Area Sports Roundup: Shepard, Sandburg and Marist win cheerleading sectional titles

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The area collected three sectional cheerleading championships and head into the state competition with a head of steam. Sandburg, Marist and Shepard came out of sectional competition with trophies and will compete in the IHSA state finals, to be held Friday and Saturday at Grossinger Arena at Illinois State University…

Grace Hynes, a senior at the University of Chicago and a Mother McAuley graduate, shot 17-for-36 from the field and 10-for-13 from the free-throw line during a two game stretch that included a win over previously unbeaten New York University. Photo courtesy of University of Chicago Athletics

College Notebook | Grace Hynes helps Maroons end NYU’s unbeaten run

By Mike Walsh Correspondent Mother McAuley alum Grace Hynes was the University Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Week in women’s college basketball for the timeframe ending January 17. Hynes, a senior at the University of Chicago, had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Maroons’ handed top-ranked New York University its first loss of the…

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Boys Basketball | TF North ends Oak Lawn’s win streak at seven

By Steve Millar Correspondent Oak Lawn had a seven-game winning streak snapped last week in Calumet City, but Spartans coach Jason Rhodes knows it’s still been a heck of a January for a team thriving despite the loss of its leading scorer. Junior guard Corey Lee scored 14 points and senior guard Ayham Salah finished…

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Girls Basketball | Trunk a treasure late as Sandburg tops Lockport

By Randy Whalen Correspondent On Senior Night at Sandburg, it was a freshman who saved the Eagles. Zoe Trunk stole the ball and hit a layup with 10 seconds to play, completing Sandburg’s rally from a 12-point third-quarter deficit in a 37-34 victory over Lockport on Jan. 26 in Orland Park. The Eagles (15-12, 3-3)…

Sophia Figueroa, a sophomore at Sandburg, wrestles for the Andrew co-op.

Girls Wrestling | Sandburg’s Sophia Figueroa eyes state tourney bid

By Steve Millar Correspondent Sophia Figueroa is fired up for the girls wrestling postseason. The Sandburg sophomore competes for the Andrew co-op girls team, which also includes wrestlers from Stagg. As a freshman last season, Figueroa fell one win short of qualifying for the inaugural IHSA girls wrestling state finals. She was pinned by Lincoln-Way…

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Boys Basketball | Evergreen Park breaks out, but can’t overcome Hillcrest

By Steve Millar Correspondent Evergreen Park coach Jim Sexton knows he has a team capable of putting up big offensive numbers behind a bevy of strong shooters. That just has not happened consistently this season for the Mustangs, who have struggled to score more often than not. The offense, however, had a breakout performance last…

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Boys Basketball | Adam Stuursma scores 30, helps rally Chicago Christian to win over Shepard

By Steve Millar Correspondent Chicago Christian went into last week’s game against crosstown rival Shepard having lost eight games in a row. It didn’t seem likely the Knights were going to end that streak when they went to halftime down by 16 points. Knights coach Kevin Pittman implored his team to focus on slowly chipping…

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Boys Bowling | Stagg charges to first state finals appearance

By Randy Whalen Correspondent For Stagg, it’s a first. For Sandburg, it’s a return trip. Both teams survived the Plainfield North Sectional at Town & Country Lanes in Joliet to advance to the state tournament. The finals will be Friday, Jan. 27, and Saturday, Jan. 28, at St. Claire Bowl in Fairview Heights. The Chargers,…

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Boys Bowling | Reavis rolls to sectional title, sixth straight trip to state

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor A strong all-around team effort and a runner-up performance by Ethan Deluna powered Reavis to the championship of the IC Catholic Sectional and a trip to the state tournament. The Rams totaled 6338 to top second-place Glenbrook North by 100 pins on Jan. 21 at Bowlero in Glendale Heights. Lyons…

McKendree sophomore tight end Jordan Sprycha, and Oak Lawn alum, finished third on the Bearcats in receiving touchdowns with five, and tied for sixth in both receptions (22) and receiving yards (193) for the 2022 season. Photo courtesy of McKendree Athletics

College Notebook: Ex-Spartan Sprycha balling with Bearcats

By Mike Walsh Correspondent The fall of 2022 was successful both in the classroom and on the football field for Jordan Sprycha. In the classroom, the Oak Lawn graduate was one of eight McKendree University chosen to the 2022 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team. CSC Academic All-District Award nominees must be a starter or…

Brother Rice’s Ahmad Henderson shoots a game-winning 3-pointer against Fenwick his sophomore season. He has also had last-second game winners in his junior and senior seasons. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Hoops Wrap: Ahmad Henderson’s late-game heroics lift Rice over Marist

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There is no rule that says Ahmad Henderson needs to sink a game-winning basket at least once a season. If there was such a rule, the Brother Rice senior would follow it to perfection. Henderson worked his closing-seconds magic in one of the area’s hottest rivalries in a 49-48 victory…

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 Staff Writer 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…

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Boys Basketball: Improving Sandburg still seeking first conference win

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Sandburg coach John Daniels doesn’t have to give to his team what he refers to as the “let’s play hard” speech. The Eagles play hard. But as Daniels acknowledged after a 53-43 loss at Lockport on Jan. 17, they “have to play better.” David Vargas led Sandburg (9-14, 0-3 entering this…

Chicago Hounds CEO James English (left) and head coach Sam Harris. (Supplied photo)

Major League Rugby coming to SeatGeek Stadium

Chicago Hounds expansion team to play games at Bridgeview facility By Bob Bong A new professional sports team will be playing its matches at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview next month. The Chicago Hounds, an expansion team for Major League Rugby, will be calling Bridgeview home when they begin their inaugural season in February. “We’re honored…

Nazareth graduate Kaylen Evans hit seven of Morton College's 22 3-pointers Thursday in Cicero. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Hoops Wrap: Morton women go wild from long-range in win over McHenry

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer That Morton College’s women’s basketball team drilled 22 3-pointers in a 111-44 victory over McHenry County might seem amazing. What is more amazing is that it was the second time this season the Panthers had that many treys in game. After the win over McHenry in the Skyway Conference battle…

Stagg freshman Noah Jones (holding plaque) rolled a 300 to help the Chargers capture the boys bowling program's first team regional title. Photo courtesy of Stagg High School

Area Sports Roundup: Freshman Noah Jones rolls 300, leads Stagg to first boys regional title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The Stagg boys bowling team had never won a postseason tournament. That changed Jan. 14, thanks in part to a sensational postseason debut by Noah Jones. In the second game of the Oak Lawn Regional at Palos Lanes, Jones rolled a 300. He wasn’t perfect the rest of the way,…

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College Notebook | Sandburg grad Oblena has big season for Illinois-Chicago volleyball

By Mike Walsh Correspondent Illinois-Chicago women’s volleyball player Jaclyn Oblena was one of two Flames named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team. Oblena, a Sandburg graduate, was named to the First Team. Oblena, a junior libero, appeared in all but one set this season for the Flames, leading the team with 394 digs (3.46…

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Boys Basketball | Depth the difference for Marist in win over Marian Catholic

By Steve Millar Correspondent Keshaun Vaval got off to a slow start, scoring just two points over the first three quarters in Marist’s game last week against Marian Catholic. To add to his underwhelming performance, the sophomore guard committed a potentially costly turnover in the fourth quarter. He knew at that point he had to…

Penelope Hocking of Penn State was taken in the draft in the first round by the Chicago Red Stars. Penn State photo

Red Stars hire new GM, draft four players amid flurry of moves

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer For the past couple of months, the Chicago Red Stars watched player after player leave without replenishing the roster, which was down to 17 players. That changed last week, with the team drafting four players (who must still be signed) and adding two waiver-wire pickups. The Stars last week also…

Chris Toth was a two-year starter at Aurora University, where this season he earned Associated Press Division III All-American honors, among other accolades. Photo provided by Aurora University

Paving a path to the pros?

Sandburg grad Chris Toth optimistic about following his father’s footsteps to the NFL By Mike Walsh Correspondent When your father is able to list blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino on his resume, chances are pretty good that football is a strong component of your family’s lineage. Such is the case for Aurora…

St. Rita junior James Brown opened the year verbally committing to North Carolina. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Scuffling St. Rita eyes big March

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer They have never had a nickname, such as the Fab Four. But that title could have applied. The foursome of James Brown, Morez Johnson, Josh Pickett and Jaedin Reyna came to St. Rita High with high expectations, with all four receiving scholarship offers from Northern Illinois before playing a single…

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Promoter Katie Goggin discusses the Countryside Summer Concert series. She has to book acts well in advance. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside plans summer concert series, bluegrass festival

By 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 from Sharon…

Newly elected Judge Nick Kantas gives the oath of office to Senator Mike Porfirio. (Supplied photos)

Porfirio resigns township post to take Senate seat

By 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 a state…

Deputy Police Chief David DeLeshe (left) and McCook Mayor Terrance Carr said the new drone will help investigate crimes. It can also be used to find hot spots in fires. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Drone takes McCook crime fighting to new level

By 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 office to…

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Super Hero fun at Our Lady of the Snows

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

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Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen

Overnight 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 a.m. on…

Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

Ramzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club. Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.…

Oak Lawn resident Clayton J. Beck III displays his work of art accompanied by the model at the first unofficial event for the Acorn to Oak Studios at the Pilgrim Faith Church campus. Beck will be on hand to moderate the first official session to be held Sunday at the church. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn studio wants to be haven for artists

By Joe Boyle An acorn may be the symbol that inspires the Oak Lawn community to unleash its artistic talents. The first official session of the Acorn to Oak Studios will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the north wing of the Pilgrim Faith Church campus, 9411 S. 51st Avenue,…

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EPCHS names Matthew Dugan next principal

From staff reports Evergreen Park Community High School has hired Matthew Dugan as its next principal. Dugan’s appointment was made official during the January 24 meeting of the Evergreen Park Community High School Board of Education. Dugan will become principal on July 1, upon the retirement of current Principal Bill Sanderson. “I am thrilled and…

Willow Springs resident Jim Distasio was the first speaker to criticize the proposed land sale for use as an industrial park. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Township school board rejects sale of 70-acre parcel in Willow Springs

By Steve Metsch The sale of 70 acres in Willow Springs to a developer who wants to build an industrial park has been rejected by the Lyons Township High School District 204 board, but the door remains wide open to a sale. The board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to reject bids of $46.5 million from…

Children enjoying themselves at Flying High in Countryside on January 14. (Supplied photo)

Venezuelan asylum seeking families enjoy a night out at Flying High in Countryside

By Carol McGowan Twenty-three adults and 30 children of Venezuelan families seeking asylum enjoyed a fun night out on January 14 courtesy of Flying High in Countryside. The event was a collaboration between St. Cletus Church in LaGrange, and Flying High, at 5400 East Avenue in Countryside. Flying High opened their gym doors over 30…

All that's left of Georgis Catering is a burned out shell. To the right, is mom and Dad's Deli, which suffered smoke and water damage. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Georgis Catering owner vows to rebuild after fire

By Bob Bong Georgis Catering owner Buz Georgis is maintaining an upbeat outlook despite the destruction of his business in an early-morning fire Friday at 63rd Place and Central Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. “It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said Monday. “But we are moving forward and we plan on being somewhere. We…

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BEDS Plus Soup & Bread event to raise money to assist the homeless

By Steve Metsch One way to warm up on a cold winter’s day is with a bowl of soup. And on Sunday, soup lovers can sample 20 different soups and also get the warm feeling received by helping a local charitable organization. BEDS Plus, which helps the homeless through the southwest suburbs, is bringing back…

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