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The Chicago Fire could return to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview for a game or two in 2024, depending on the Chicago Bears schedule at the Soldier Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | Messi and Miami to visit Fire in August

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Let the guessing games begin. The Chicago Fire released its MLS schedule for 2024, and there is a chance the team will have to move some of its games from Soldier Field to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. The Fire called SeatGeek its home stadium from 2006 to 2019. From August through…

Stagg’s Shannon Earley (21) fights for a rebound against Bloom in the title game of the Hillcrest Holiday Classic. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Girls Hoops Wrap | Stagg stuns Bloom to take Hillcrest Holiday Classic

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Stagg’s girls basketball team heads into the 2024 portion of the season with a good-but-not-great 10-7 record. But the way the Chargers closed out the 2023 portion of the campaign was spectacular. The Chargers won the 16-team Hillcrest Holiday Classic, held Dec. 27-29 in Country Club Hills. They earned a 45-44…

Saint Xavier women’s basketball player Jaidn Green is one of the keys to a balanced offense for the Cougars. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Sports Reports | Hoops programs seek net gains in 2024

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent A good chunk of the college basketball season has been completed. What have we learned about the men and women’s programs at Saint Xavier University, Trinity Christian College, Moraine Valley Community College and Morton College? Plenty. But there is more to be learned in the next few months. A look at…

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Boys Hoops Wrap | Mt. Carmel wins Pekin Holiday Tourney; Brother Rice’s 15-game win streak ends at Hinsdale

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Mount Carmel extended its win streak to five games after defeating Normal West, East St. Louis and Lake Park at the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament. The Caravan’s 60-41 win over Lake Park earned them their third straight Pekin title. In the title game, Angelo Ciaravino finished with nine points, eight rebounds,…

St. Laurence junior guard Zerrick Johnson goes up for a shot during a game against Downers Grove North at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Tosh Classic maintains spot among top holiday hoops tourneys in Illinois

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The 49th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic took place at York High School from December 26-30. The holiday season mainstay that would have been in its 50th year, but for the Covid-abridged 2020-2021 season, consisted of 32-teams, including some that are highly rated or expected to be contenders for deep postseason…

Cedric Johnson of SXU had 27 points in a win over Indiana University Northwest. Photo courtesy of Saint Xavier University Department of Athletics

College Sports Report | Scorers light it up for SXU, Trinity, Morton

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Boom, boom, boom. Three area men’s college basketball players’ offensive games exploded on Dec. 16. At Saint Xavier, Cedric Johnson had 27 points as the Cougars topped Indiana University Northwest, 77-68, in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup. Johnson shot 11-of-14 from the floor and scored the game’s first two…

Mustang Baseball Academy players Jimmy Duggan, Patrick Juarez and Gideon Earley were Wiffle ball champs in the tournament, which benefited Toys for Tots. Photo courtesy of Evergreen Park High School

Area Sports Report | Evergreen Park Wiffle Ball players aid Toys for Tots

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Toys for Tots was the big winner, but the players also had some fun. The Mustang Baseball Academy (MBA) joined the Evergreen Park High School baseball team for the third annual Wiffle Ball Tournament, held Dec. 13 at high school’s sports complex. Each player who participated got a spot in the…

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Girls Hoops Wrap | Mother McAuley Class 4A Sectional will have local flavor

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The IHSA has announced its postseason assignments for girls basketball, and Mother McAuley will be the place to be in Class 4A. The 18-team McAuley Sectional features the hosts and Class 3A defending state champion Nazareth along with fellow area programs Morton, Reavis, Curie, Kelly, Lyons, Oak Lawn, Richards, Riverside-Brookfield…

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Boys Hoops Wrap | Brother Rice, Sandburg win at Shootout

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Sandburg hosted 11 other schools in their inaugural Shot Clock Charity Shootout. Twelve teams participated in the event, which Sandburg coach John Daniels dedicated to his friend and former Stagg assistant coach Ray Milnes, who died in 2019. Milnes, an Orland Park native, was a volunteer varsity basketball coach for the…

Malachi Kreider drives to the basket for a potential Knights basket. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Hoops | Chicago Christian gives Bulls the horns

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Chicago Christian has three seniors on its roster this season and, among them, only one starter. This has opened the door for the Knights’ younger players to fill holes and step up. Junior guard Malachi Kreider did that by scoring a season-high 21 points to carry the Knights to a 58-34…

Stagg's Connor Williams scored 16 points in the Chargers' 92-82 win over previously unbeaten Oak Lawn. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Hoops | Chargers hand Spartans first loss

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Through six years as head coach at Stagg, Marty Strus and the Chargers had never beaten Oak Lawn. That changed in lucky year number seven, as the Chargers topped the Spartans, 49-42, on Dec. 14 in Palos Hills. The victory knocked Oak Lawn from the ranks of the unbeaten, after the…

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Boys Net Roundup | Oak Lawn, Brother Rice among Illinois unbeatens

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent A wrap of area boys basketball teams from games played between December 4 and 10.   Argo  (1-7, 0-3 South Suburban Red) The Argonauts are 1-7, with their only win coming against U-High in the John McBride Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. They dropped South Suburban Conference crossovers to T. F. South…

Stagg flag football coach Saja Alnajjar received two tickets to the Super Bowl from the Chicago Bears. District 230 photo

Area Sports Report | Stagg flag football coach invited to Super Bowl

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Saja Alnajjar said she became a football fan growing up, and one of the first games she watched was Super Bowl XLI between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts in February 2007. Little did she know then that she would someday be a football coach. And little did she know…

SXU coach Sidney Lovitsch gives instructions against Trinity Christian on Dec. 9. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Report | SXU beats Trinity in battle of interim coaches

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer It was a battle featuring two interim coaches on the sidelines. Both Saint Xavier and Trinity Christian College had to find women’s basketball coaches roughly a month before the start of practice this season, and the athletic departments went to work. SXU hired assistant coach Sidney Lovitsch as an interim…

Oak Lawn's Jacky Canales drives in a game against Lindblom on Dec. 9.  Photo by Jeff Vorva

Girls Hoops Wrap | Oak Lawn sees a lot in first 10 games

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Oak Lawn’s girls basketball team beat Lindblom 64-14 on Dec. 9. The Spartans also lost a game 52-18 against Wheaton North on Nov. 24. They have just about seen it all while compiling a 6-4 record to open the season. Close games. Blowouts. But they entered this week with a…

Oak Lawn forward Henry Martinez (32) goes up to block a shot by Evergreen Park guard Keshaun Crawl-Vava during the Spartans’ 68-66 victory on Dec. 8. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball | Unbeaten Oak Lawn edges Evergreen Park on late free throws

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Oak Lawn forward Henry Martinez has long thought about playing for the Spartans. Martinez is not only playing for them, but he is also becoming a key contributor for an Oak Lawn team that entered this week unbeaten. His 20-point performance and some clutch free-throws were instrumental in maintaining that prefect…

Marist’s Stephen Brown finishes with a dunk in the RedHawks’ 49-44 overtime win over St. Laurence on Dec. 1. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball | Marist unbeaten heading into clash with Marian Catholic

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Four quarters were not enough time to determine a winner between Marist and St. Laurence in a Chicago Elite Classic matchup. The RedHawks prevailed, doubling up the Vikings in overtime to take home a 49-44 win and improve to 6-0. The game was played December 1 at Credit Union 1 Arena…

Stagg senior Connor Williams, seen here in a Dec. 2 game against Bolingbrook, has helped Stagg jump out to a fast start this season. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball | Stagg off to a strong start, dr

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Stagg has started the season strong, opening by winning the title at their own John McBride over Thanksgiving weekend. The Chargers won the championship game, 49-45, over Plainfield South. Senior guard Connor Williams was named MVP of the tournament, and teammates David Ortiz and Domas Narcevicius were named to the All-Tournament…

Saint Xavier running back Amari Venerable tries to break a tackle in a loss to Northwestern (Iowa) in the NAIA quarterfinals. Photo courtesy of Saint Xavier University Department of Athletics

College Report | SXU football falls in quarterfinals

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer For three quarters, Saint Xavier went nearly toe-to-toe with the No. 1-ranked football team in the nation. Justin Pringle had returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to bring the Cougars to within three points of Northwestern (Iowa), the top-seeded team in the NAIA playoffs and the defending national…

Richards grad Sean Lewis is the new football coach at San Diego State. Photo courtesy of San Diego State University Athletics

Area Sports Roundup | Richards grad Sean Lewis ready to air it out in San Diego

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The rollercoaster ride continues for Sean Lewis. The Richards alum went from being the head coach at Kent State to the offensive coordinator at Colorado, one of the most talked about college football programs in the country this season because of Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders. He was then demoted…

Argo's Alizza Quinones gets ready to pass the ball against Andrew at last year's Sandburg Holiday Tournament. The Argonauts are scheduled to return to this year's tournament in Orland Park. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Girls Hoops | Sandburg and Oak Lawn to host holiday tournaments

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The field has been finalized for the third Sandburg Holiday Classic, which is the only girls basketball holiday tournament in the area to feature 16 teams. The host Eagles will be joined in the event, to be held Dec. 27-29, by area teams Oak Lawn, Richards, Argo and Riverside-Brookfield. Also…

Mount Carmel players celebrate with their fans after winning the Class 7A state title on Nov. 25 in Normal. Photo by Jeff Vorva.

Mount Carmel beats Downers Grove North for 15th state title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mount Carmel’s plan was to open and close the season in Normal. They wanted to open the 2023 campaign by beating then-nationally ranked East St. Louis in a neutral-site game at Hancock Stadium at Illinois State University, then return 13 weeks later and a win a state championship. Mission accomplished…

Chicago's Scott Johnson runs in a holiday outfit in the 35th running of the Orland Park Turkey Trot. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Cold Turkey Trotting | Young runners heat up Orland Park race held in freezing temps

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The temperature may have been freezing, but the winners were not complaining. The 35th Orland Park Turkey Trot, held per tradition on Thanksgiving, started in 30-degree weather. And the young champs embraced it. Jack Krusinski, 16, of Palos Heights, won the 2.5 mile event with a time of 14:01.04. The…

SXU's Stuart Ross and the Cougars are headed to the NAIA quarterfinals. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | Cougars get revenge on Marian, earn date with top seed

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The Saint Xavier defense made sure to get some revenge for a couple of losses in recent years to Marian University. The Cougars racked up 10 sacks, 15 tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in a 31-21 victory over Marian in the second round of the NAIA…

The St. Laurence girls basketball team won the Beecher Fall Classic. Photo courtesy of St. Laurence High School

Girls Hoops | St. Laurence stages huge comeback to win Beecher Tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer This is not the way to start a championship game. But it’s a pretty good way to finish it. St. Laurence fell behind Rich Township, 19-0, in the Beecher Fall Classic final on Nov. 22. While it could have been easy for rookie coach Claire Austin and her troops to…

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Fournier resigns from TTO to become judge

From staff reports The Lyons Township Trustees of Schools is accepting applications for a vacancy on their board, after Trustee Koula A. Fournier resigned earlier this month after being sworn-in as a Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court. Fournier was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the Maloney vacancy of the 4th…

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Cheesie’s coming to Garfield Ridge

. Popular ‘pub & grub’ coming to Archer/Nashville .  By Tim Hadac A business strip in need of a shot of adrenaline is about get a bit of zing next month. Cheesie’s Pub & Grub, a well known favorite on the North Side, is bringing its casual dining fun to the vacant Lindy’s/Gertie’s building at…

Nancy Diaz, area coach of operations for Panda Express, cuts the ribbon at the new Oak Lawn restaurant on Feb. 15. Joining her for the ceremony were (far left) Oak Lawn Trustee Paul Mallo (3rd) and Mayor Terry Vorderer. Xin Qin, the regional director of operations for the new Panda Express, is at far right. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn welcomes second Panda Express restaurant

By Joe Boyle A large crowd of customers began lining up outside the new Panda Express in Oak Lawn the morning of Feb. 15 and were not disappointed when they entered the restaurant. A major draw to the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was that the first 88 customers to enter the restaurant would receive…

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Evergreen Park officer arrests armed driver after traffic stop

By Joe Boyle What appeared to be a routine traffic stop resulted in the arrest of an armed man in Evergreen Park. At Monday’s Evergreen Park Village Board meeting, Police Chief Michael Saunders requested that Officer Adrian Ortiz receive a commendation for making an arrest of a suspect who may have been a danger to…

Ruby, Palos Hills mascot, visits the local McDonald's. (Supplied photo)

Palos Hills to start posting job openings

By Nuha Abdessalam The Palos Hills Economic Development Department will start making job postings accessible for locals to scope out the job scene. Mayor Gerald Bennett and aldermen highlighted the city’s flourishing local business climate during the city council meeting on Feb. 15. Ald. Donna O’Connell said the city’s Economic Development Department will be able…

Oak Lawn Library patrons were able to talk to local authors at the library's second annual RomCon. (Photos by Kelly White)

Love is in the air at RomCon 2024

By Kelly White Love made an appearance at the local library this past weekend. Back by popular demand again this year, the Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 Raymond Ave., Oak Lawn, held RomCon 2024, celebrating the romance genre on February 17. “RomCon is a time for fellow romance readers to get together to meet romance…

Richards High School students met after school on January 31 at the high school, 10601 Central Avenue in Oak Lawn, to make fleece comfort blankets for pediatric cancer patients at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital. (Supplied photos)

Richards students make blankets for kids with cancer

By Kelly White Richards High School students brought warmth and love to those who need it most this winter season. Under the supervision of Richards Activities Facilitator, Deborah Swanson, 75 students met after school on January 31 at the high school, 10601 Central Avenue in Oak Lawn, to make fleece comfort blankets for pediatric cancer…

Fernway students scoot with their new scooters on Feb. 14. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Fernway Park School receives kindness – and scooters

By Jeff Vorva Scooters. Dollars. Kindness. Those were the three themes of the day on Feb. 14 at Fernway Park Elementary School in Orland Park thanks to a group of high school athletes in the Buddy’s Helpers group. There were 102 students in first and second grade at the school who were greeted in the…

Joey’s Red Hots will open its seventh location on Monday at 9135 W. 159th St. in Orland Hills. (Photo by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Joey’s Red Hots to open Monday in Orland Hills

By Bob Bong Co-owner Anthony Nardo is not one to miss an opportunity to expand the reach of the Joey’s Red Hots empire. The Orland Park-based chain of restaurants has set Monday, February 26, as the opening date for its newest Joey’s location, in Orland Hills. Nardo and his partner Nick Iozzo jumped quickly when…

Orland Park's Fawzy Hassan speaks to the Orland Park Village Board on Monday in front of a backdrop of posters of members of his family who served the United States in wartime. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

No ruckus this time between Orland board, protesters

By Jeff Vorva More than 80 people crowded Orland Park’s Village Hall Monday night with many there to protest the village board’s decision not to draw up a resolution asking for a ceasefire in Gaza. Unlike a Feb. 5 meeting, in which there was yelling and chants and Mayor Keith Pekau having police clear the…

Investigator Joel Frias holds the plaque that he just received from Police Chief Tim Denton (left) for being selected as "Officer of the Year." (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Worth approves new parking, traffic regulations

By Joe Boyle Two ordinances were passed at the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night requiring changes for pedestrian crossings and vehicular traffic. Police Chief Tim Denton said one ordinance needed to be amended regarding pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It needed to be made clear that individuals should not be walking along main streets and…

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Palos Heights City Council rejects City Hall renovation

By Bob Bong Palos Heights aldermen rejected a $1.7 million renovation project for its aging City Hall building at a sometimes testy City Council meeting Tuesday night. Aldermen voted 5-3 to shoot down a plan that would have made some bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, moved the Building Department back to the…