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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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Strong second half lifts Mount Carmel over St. Rita for trip to 7A title game

By Steve Millar Correspondent After the Mount Carmel offense was shut out in the first half by St. Rita in the teams’ IHSA Class 7A semifinal, Caravan coach Jordan Lynch remained confident his offense would get going on a cold, windy night. “It was just a matter of time,” Lynch said. “Penalties were killing us,…

Nazareth coach Tim Racki is taking his sixth team to a state championship football game at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Vorva.

Area Sports Report: Nazareth finishes run to Class 5A state title game

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth has played in five state championship football games. But the Roadrunners never took a road this bumpy to get there. After opening the season 1-3 and at one point being 2-4, they had to run the table just to make it to the playoffs. Mission accomplished. They beat Leo,…

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Boys and Men’s 2022-2023 Hoops Preview

HIGH SCHOOLS BROTHER RICE The Crusaders finished 24-7 last season and fell 60-49 to Bloom in a Class 4A regional championship game. While almost every key player — aside from forward Jayden Watson, who transferred to Bloom — will be back from last year’s team, there will be a new coach leading the way. Conte Stamas,…

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Girls Swimming: Sandburg 200M relay sets pool record as Eagles dominate sectional

By Randy Whalen Correspondent When Sandburg strode into Lockport for a dual meet in September, some Eagles swimmers noticed something on Porters’ pool record board. The record for the 200-yard medley relay was 1:49.16, set by Lockport’s Lindsey Merk, Oliwia Wolek, Emily Johnson and Kayley Uy during a 2017 sectional. Eagles coach Donna Driscoll told her 200…

Owen Forberg, left, and Josh Smith of Richards examine their letters-of-intent that they signed on Nov 9. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Runners sign letters, SXU heads to volleyball nationals

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Back in the early 1970s, Richards had an outstanding distance runner, Ray Giff, who went on to run at Indiana University. History has repeated itself. Richards cross country and track standout Owen Forberg put forth an all-state effort at the cross country state finals on Oct. 5, and four days…

Mother McAuley players celebrate their Class 4A state title, which they won Nov. 12 with a three-set victory over Benet at Redbird Arena. Photo by Randy Whalen

Mother McAuley tops Benet for 16th state title

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Playing with the motivation of losing last season’s Class 4A state title match, Mother McAuley was on a mission to bring home the championship this year. Mission accomplished. The Mighty Macs defeated Benet, 25-22, 17-25, 25-14, for the 4A state crown on Nov. 12 at Redbird Arena in Normal. Ellie White…

Nazareth players celebrate their 2nd place finish in Class 3A on Nov. 12 at Redbird Arena in Normal. Pho by Randy Whalen

St. Francis tops Nazareth in three sets for Class 3A title

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Kitty Sandt smiled through the disappointment. There was no reason to dwell on it. The Nazareth senior setter/right side hitter had just ended her high school volleyball career in a familiar place: Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State. In three of Sandt’s four high school years, she saw the…

Kyle Quinn points to his ring finger as St. Xavier celebrates its 24-21 win over St. Francis to make it to the playoffs. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: SXU defense can’t rest in playoff opener v. high-scoring Marian

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Saint Xavier’s defense will be put to the test in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series. The Cougars (9-2) drew the 11th seed in the 16-team tournament that will decide the national champion. They will visit seventh-seeded Marian (Indiana) (8-1) at 12:05 p.m. Saturday at St. Vincent…

Nazareth senior Justin Taylor scored two touchdowns to help the Roadrunners advance to the IHSA Class 5A semifinals with a 29-0 win over Morgan Park. Photo by Steve Metsch

Nazareth blanks Morgan Park, advances to Class 5A semifinals

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Justin Taylor has not forgotten the sting he felt watching Fenwick celebrate its IHSA Class 5A quarterfinal victory on Nazareth’s home field roughly one year ago. Taylor repeatedly reminded his teammates of that scene during practice last week as the Roadrunners prepared for this season’s quarterfinal matchup against Morgan Park. “That…

Jen and Dan Plowman talk about their son, Ryan, during a vigil held in his honor on Wednesday night at Shepard High School in Palos Heights. (Photos by Kelly White)

Vigil honors Shepard High School’s Ryan Plowman

By Kelly White Ryan Plowman will forever be remembered by his classmates and educators as an All-American kid who always put others above himself. The 17-year-old Shepard High School student from Crestwood passed away suddenly after a short battle with mononucleosis on November 5. “Ryan was the epitome of pure heart and soul,” said Renee…

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Moraine Valley home to Southland Saints of rekindled American Basketball Association

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Moraine Valley Community College is the home of the American Basketball Association’s Southland Saints. The Saints, playing in the rekindled ABA — the modern-day incarnation of the professional league that produce several future NBA stars including Julius Erving and Rick Barry — opened the season Nov. 6 and have more…

Riverside-Brookfield's boys cross country team relaxes after winning the state championship in Class 2A Saturday. Photo courtesy of Riverside-Brookfield.

Area Sports Roundup: Riverside-Brookfield wins first cross country state title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Riverside-Brookfield’s boys cross country team brought home a state championship, the first championship — according to IHSA records — is the the school’s first state title an any sport. And four of the five runners who scored for the Bulldogs are underclassmen and could be back next season to defend…

Junior defensive back Caleb Greer set the tone early with an interception in Lyons’ 24-13 second-round playoff victory over Plainfield North. Photo by Steve Metsch

Football Class 8A Playoffs: Lyons takes down Plainfield North

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Lyons scored three touchdown during a wild third quarter and its defense shut down the Plainfield North offense in the second half, and the Lions advanced to the IHSA Class 8A quarterfinals. The visiting Lions (9-2) posted a 24-13 win beat the previously undefeated Tigers (10-1) on Nov. 4. They will…

Brother Rice running back Te'Shon McGee picks up yards against Collinsville during the Crusaders’ win in the Class 7A playoffs on Nov. 5. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: Brother Rice and Mount Carmel to meet for fourth time in two seasons

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer For the fourth time in two seasons, league rivals Brother Rice and Mount Carmel will do battle. The way the playoffs have shaken out, 24th-seeded Brother Rice (7-4) will visit top-seed Mount Carmel (11-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday in the IHSA Class 7A quarterfinals. The matchup materialized after second-round action…

Royals second baseman Michael Massey throws to first after forcing out Seby Zavala in the Aug. 30 game. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

From Brother Rice to the big leagues: Palos Park’s Michael Massey is having a Royal summer

By Steve Metsch Whether his career ends tomorrow, next year or in 10 years, Michael Massey is definitely enjoying Major League Baseball. He’s the local kid done good, living the dream. He’s a major league baseball player, starting at second base for the Kansas City Royals. Massey, 24, grew up in Palos Park where he played Little…

St. Rita coach Todd Kuska addresses his troops after Friday's playoff win over Geneva. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: Catholic League teams power through first round of playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The Todd Kuska Era at St. Rita is coming to a close. The retiring coach would prefer it would come two days after Thanksgiving, meaning the Mustangs would be playing in the IHSA Class 7A state championship game for a second straight season. The 12th-seeded Mustangs took the first step…

Riverside-Brookfiekld, ranked second in the state in Class 2A before the postseason began, won a sectional title Saturday and heads to the state meet with some steam. Photo courtesy of Riverside-Brookfield.

Postseason Roundup: Riverside-Brookfield boys lead bevy of area teams going to state

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer An army of area cross country teams and runners will compete at the state finals on Saturday. The leading boys team invading Detweiler Park in Peoria is Riverside-Brookfield, which won the Kaneland Class 2A Sectional Oct. 29 with 97 points. Junior Cooper Marrs led the way for the Bulldogs with…

Lyons receiver Travis Stamm get a lift from lineman Cooper Komsthoef after scoring a touchdown in the win over Naperville Central in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs.Photo by Steve Metsch

Lyons tops Naperville Central in first round of 8A playoffs

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Practice paid off for Lyons quarterback Ryan Jackson, and it didn’t involve a single pass. Jackson looked good throwing the ball in the Lions’ Class 8A playoff opener against Naperville Central on Oct. 28. The junior completed 10-of-15 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. But it was his…

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Girls Volleyball: Sandburg wins 18th straight regional crown

By Steve Millar Correspondent Sandburg’s girls volleyball team faced off with Lincoln-Way Central twice in the regular season. Both were hard-fought three-set matches, but the Knights beat the Eagles both times. Still, senior outside hitter Claire Hildebrand was optimistic heading into the teams’ third meeting in Thursday’s Class 4A Rich Township Regional championship game. “I…

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Boys Soccer Playoffs: Mount Carmel holds off Washington for sectional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent Mount Carmel survived an upset bid from Kankakee in a Class 2A Brother Rice Sectional semifinal, prevailing 4-3 in overtime. But the poor defensive effort was a wake-up call for a Caravan team that has prided itself on shutting teams down all year. “That was way too many goals,” Mount Carmel…

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Wilmington rolls over Chicago Christian to begin title defense

By Tim Cronin Correspondent WILMINGTON – Extravagant as the pregame ceremony introducing the Wilmington Wildcats to their loyal fans is — complete with fireworks, a motorcycle escort, running through the grove of trees beyond the south end zone and thence to a fan corridor on the Becker Field grass — it has nothing on the…

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Nazareth dup place in top 12 at state girls tennis finals

By Steve Millar Correspondent Makenzie Hyland advanced to the fourth round in the consolation bracket at the girls state tennis finals last season with doubles partner McCahey Hardy. This year, the Nazareth senior found herself back in the same round with new partner, junior Audrey Moster. She was determined to go beyond. “It’s my senior…

Arms are raised by (left-to-right) the referee, Nolan Baudo and Mike Donegan after Donegan's touchdown reception against Brother Rice Friday night. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: Marist great late in win over rival Rice; area teams prep for playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Marist didn’t have too much time to savor its’ come-from-behind rivalry 34-16 win over Brother Rice. Twenty-fours hours later, the IHSA announced its playoff pairings, with the RedHawks (6-3) drawing the eighth seed and on the road at 15th seeded Naperville North (7-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in the Class…

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Bedford Park Job Fair Flyer-Final Draft

Looking for work? Check out this job fair Tuesday in Bedford Park

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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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