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Boys Basketball | Freshman guard Jennings lifts Richards at Hinsdale Central Classic

By Steve Millar Correspondent Coming off a tough loss to open its slate at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic, Richards got a welcome boost from its youngest player. Freshman guard Marcus Jennings, playing in just his third varsity game, led the Bulldogs with 17 points in a 65-58 win over Morton. Senior guard Eddie Hrebic…

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Boys Basketball | Morton gets one win at Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic

By Steve Millar Correspondent After a tough start to open the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic, Morton came away with a much-needed victory in its third game. The Mustangs, led by senior guard Adrian Anderson’s 16 points, topped Glenbard East, 73-70, in consolation action on Dec. 28. It was a welcome result after sustaining two consecutive…

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Boys Hoops: St. Rita finishes fourth at Proviso West Holiday Tourney

By Steve Millar Correspondent St. Rita went into the Proviso West Holiday Tournament as one of the event’s “big three” teams, along with Chicago Public League powers Whitney Young and Kenwood. The perception was those three teams were far above the rest of the field. In the end, however, the Mustangs finished fourth. St. Rita…

Lenoir-Rhyne's Andre Jefferson (32) chases Tusculum's Tre Simmons (2) out of the pocket during Saturday afternoons game at Moretz Stadium in Hickory. Ernie Masche/Record

College Notebook: Richards alum Andre Jefferson earns college gridiron accolades

By Mike Walsh Correspondent The accolades are adding up for Lenoir-Rhyne University football player Andre Jefferson. Jefferson, who prepped at Richards, was one of three Bears named to the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Super Region Two Second Team for the 2022 season. Lenoir-Rhyne is in Hickory, N.C. The sophomore defensive tackle finished the season…

St. Rita's Todd Kuska, who retired after the 2022 season, will be inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2023. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: St. Rita’s Kuska to be inducted into Hall of Fame

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The plaudits keep coming for retired St. Rita football coach Todd Kuska. Kuska, a former player with the Mustangs and head coach for 25 years, has been named to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame class of 2023. Kuska racked up a 215-93 career mark, which…

Trey Pierce, along with his parents Roderick and Kelly and brother Christian, pose during his signing day after he made it official that he was heading to Michigan. Brother Rice photo

Area Sports Report: Area football players sign letters of intent; SXU hoops stays hot

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Some of the top football players in the area made their college decisions official on Dec. 21, with one of the literally largest signings coming at Brother Rice. Defensive lineman Trey Pierce, all 6-foot-3, 290 pounds of him, signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Michigan. Pierce has…

Former Sandburg star runner Dylan Jacobs did some amazing things for Notre Dame and Tennessee in 2022. Notre Dame photo

SWR Top 10: Dylan Jacobs’ feats top area’s favorite sports stories of 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer It’s a cliché for newspapers to brag about its area sports teams and athletes when putting together these top stories of the year. But, darn it, just look at what has been going on in the land of the Regional, Reporter, Des Plaines Valley News and Southwest News Herald in…

De La Salle alum Francesca Bertucci, who completed her sophomore season at Northern Illinois, was named the Mis-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois University Athletics

College Notebook: NIU’s Francesca Bertucci named MAC Defensive POY

By Mike Walsh Correspondent The 2022 season is likely one that will not be soon forgotten by Northern Illinois women’s volleyball player Francesca Bertucci. Not only did the sophomore libero/defensive specialist win four Mid-American Conference’s West Division Defensive Player of the Week, she also was lauded as the MAC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Bertucci,…

St. Rita's Melvin Bell helps up teammate James Brown during last season's sectional loss to Kenwood. The two Class 4A state powers could be on a collision course in sectional action again this year. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Hoops Wrap: IHSA releases basketball postseason assignments

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Most of the holiday basketball tournaments have not even started, but the IHSA has already released its 2023 postseason assignments. For some area schools, the placements into some sectionals are not exactly gifts from Santa. Area teams Reavis, Brother Rice, Hubbard, Marist, St. Rita, Oak Lawn, Sandburg, Shepard and Stagg…

Gigi Navarrete, a Mother McAuley volleyball standout heading to Northwestern, was named the nation's best player in a vote administered by Scorebook.com. Mother McAuley photo

Area Sports Roundup: Mother McAuley’s Gigi Navarette voted best player in the U.S.

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer It was Navar in doubt. Mother McAuley senior Gigi Navarrete easily won a public vote conducted by Scorebook Live for best high school girls volleyball player in the country. Of 30,761 votes cast, 16,197 (53%) were for the Mighty Macs libero. Coming in a distant second was Ava Safara of…

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Boys Hoops: St. Rita hands Brother Rice first loss

By Steve Millar Correspondent St. Rita came into this season with plenty of hype, boasting a stacked roster led by the top three junior recruits in the state. Three early losses may have left some people questioning whether the Mustangs are legit, but junior forward Morez Johnson said he and his teammates are ready to…

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Chicago Christian seeking new head football coach

By Mike Walsh Correspondent Chicago Christian is looking for a new football head coach. The Knights’ next coach will succeed Tom O’Connor, who in two seasons in Palos Heights compiled an overall regular-season record of 9-9. This season, Chicago Christian won its last four regular-season games, including a 19-0 decision over Ridgewood in Week 9,…

St. Laurence graduate Toriano Clinton rewrote many of the record books during his career at the University of Indianapolis. Photo courtesy of University of Indianapolis

College Notebook: St. Laurence alum rewrites Greyhound record book

By Mike Walsh Correspondent As senior seasons go, it’s tough to top the one authored by University of Indianapolis running back Toriano Clinton. Clinton, who prepped at St. Laurence, was one of three Greyhounds chosen for the 2022 D2CCA All-Super Region 3 Team, and the only one to make the first team. This fall, Clinton…

Jon Gordon, left, poses with Marist runners Matt McKee, Frankie Wagner, Brayden Bartecki and assistant coach Zachary Maslanka at the team's cross country banquet in November. Gordon died Friday. Marist High School photo

Area Sports Roundup: Marist, Nazareth mourns deaths of coaches

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer   It was a sad week for two area schools. The Marist and local running communities were saddened by the death of Jon Gordon on Dec. 9, two days after sophomore Nazareth baseball coach Mario Ortiz. Gordon, the RedHawks’ boys track and cross country coach since 2017, died Dec. 9.…

The sign that the holiday basketball season is here is at Oak Lawn, where the Spartans began hosting its tournament on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Hoops Wrap: Holiday tournament season starts early at Oak Lawn

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Oak Lawn got a jump on the rest of the area basketball world when its girls holiday tournament opened for business Dec. 10. Most area boys and girls holiday basketball tournaments take place the week before or the week after Christmas. But Oak Lawn has a tradition of hosting its…

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Boys Hoops: Evergreen Park holds strong, tops Oak Lawn

By Steve Millar Correspondent Nolan Sexton had for a long time been looking forward to Evergreen Park getting another shot at Oak Lawn. The Spartans beat the Mustangs during each of the junior guard’s first two seasons, including a second-half comeback victory in 2021. Sexton knew exactly what the Mustangs needed to do to make…

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Boys Hoops: Stagg rides hot shooting to win over Sandburg

By Randy Whalen Correspondent The Stagg defense made sure it was not a happy homecoming for John Daniels. Connor Williams scored a game-high 16 points and added seven rebounds, the Chargers made 11 3-pointers and their defense held Sandburg scoreless for nearly 13 minutes en route to a 49-21 victory Dec. 9 in Palos Hills.…

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Boys Basketball: Marist stays unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn. Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the…

Ryan Plowman’s parents, Dan and Jen, receive hugs from the players before Monday night's game. Many knew Ryan from grade school. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Shepard, Stagg teams honor Ryan Plowman

Varsity girl basketball teams from Stagg and Shepard took time out before Monday night’s contest to pay tribute to Shepard student Ryan Plowman, who died earlier this year of complications from mononucleosis. Proceeds from the concession stand were donated to a gofundme campaign in Ryan’s name.  

Team captain Zach Hayes holds the trophy as Coach Tim Racki and the Roadrunners celebrate the school’s fourth state football championship in nine seasons, and first since 2018. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Nazareth rally celebrates fourth state football championship

By Steve Metsch Two huge cheers rocked the Rooney Student Center at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park late Monday morning. The first was when Zach Hayes – joined by the coaches and teammates – walked in carrying the IHSA Class 5A state football championship trophy high over his head. The second was when school…

Runners get off to a fast start at the Orland Park Turkey Trot, where a record 1,000 runners signed up. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park man wins Turkey Trot; St. Laurence runner takes women’s title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The number 19 meant good things on Thanksgiving morning. The top two finishers in the 34th running of the Orland Park Turkey Trot had “19” as part of the number on their bibs. Brandon Lukas, 25, of Orland Park, wore No. 7519 and took first place with a time of…

The varsity Orland Park Pioneers team had a huge 2022 season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Orland Park Pioneers honored; local hoops teams win Thanksgiving tourney titles

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Two youth football teams teams were honored by the Orland Park Village Board for winning Super Bowl championships in their respective divisions. The Orland Park Pioneers’ varsity and super lightweight players received awards and recognition Nov. 21 from the board and Mayor Keith Pekau, who has the distinction of playing…

Nazareth players celebrate winning the fourth football championship in the school's history on Nov. 26 in Champaign. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Football Class 5A State Championship: Roadrunners win shootout for fourth state title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth opened the season in August with a 2-0 win over Kankakee. It closed the season the afternoon of Nov. 26 with a 45-44 win over Peoria at Memorial Stadium in Champaign to take the IHSA Class 5A state championship. In between was a rollercoaster of wins and losses and…

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Viking girls are golden

The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane de Chantal), Asia…

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She kept her promise

. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] . Never underestimate a woman’s love for her man. Gary and Kimberly Hughes met in 1996. They fell in love and were wed in 1998. They bought a home near 61st and Natchez and were on their way to raising…

Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

By Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the company of…

Michael Benjamin has a laugh after being named Orland Park’s Officer of the Year during a ceremony on Jan. 16. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park cops honored and defended

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park hosted its police awards ceremony last week and, as usual, Mayor Keith Pekau expressed his gratitude for the job the police force does. He also was irked by some comments he has seen online with negative comments on a post. On Jan. 7, Orland police responded to…

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Casten scolds sheriff on new gun control law

Says he can’t pick which laws to enforce By Tim Hadac U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) and several other Democratic members of the state’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, expressing concern over his Jan. 13 statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act (H.B. 5471).…

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2023 Illinois tax filing season now open

From staff reports The Illinois Department of Revenue began accepting 2022 state individual income tax returns on Monday, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service began accepting federal individual income tax returns. “Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible in the tax season and choose direct deposit in order to ensure…

Palos Park Police Officer Ross Chibe, shown at a village council meeting in 2021, and the Palos Park force are staying on top of a sextortion scam that has become prevalent. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park tries to stay ahead of the curve on sextortion scams

By Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Police Department is trying to stay ahead of a disturbing trend that has not been talked about publicly very much. When it comes to the topic of sextortion scams, the Palos Park police are monitoring things very closely and Detective Ross Chibe was called on to provide some wisdom…

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Former hospital employee charged in Palos Heights identity theft

From staff reports A Hazel Crest man was charged last week with aggravated identity theft stemming from an incident that happened on December 27. Palos Heights police took a report on December 27 from a patient at Northwestern Palos Hospital who reported their wallet was missing and then observed two unauthorized charges on her debit…

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed is running for the council again despite health issues. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Despite serious health woes, Reed ready to keep serving for Palos Park

By Jeff Vorva G. Darryl Reed knows his time on Earth could be short. He gets it. He doesn’t like it. But he gets it. The Palos Park commissioner has been dealing with intestinal failure for the past two years and his doctors have not been sugarcoating it. Reed, a former Marine and lawyer, is…

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LaGrange man charged in Summit phone store robbery

From staff reports A LaGrange man has been charged with the robbery last week of the T-Mobile store at 5640 S. Harlem Ave. in Summit. Michael Lang Anderson, 26, was arrested in LaGrange after he was found hiding under some stairs, police said. Police said he robbed the store on January 10. Community activist Raul…

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…

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