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Boys Basketball: Marist, Brother Rice stay 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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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…

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Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

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Godspeed, Officers Verta and Harrison

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] It’s always good to know that even in these challenging times, there are men and women are willing to step forward to brave those challenges. And leave it to Garfield Ridge and Clearing to lead the way. I say that as I…

Virginia Wrobel (from left) and Dorothy Novotney, of the Evergreen Park Senior Citizens Council, present checks to Mayor Kelly Burke from proceeds from the annual "Memories to Go" village-wide garage sale. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park honors longtime employee

By Joe Boyle The Evergreen Park Village Board took care of some local business before Thanksgiving Day meals will be served. James Bender, a 27-year employee of the Evergreen Park Public Works Department, was selected as the “Employee of the Quarter” and honored at the village board meeting on Monday night. Mayor Kelly Burke recognized Bender…

Police Chief Dan Vittorio holds up the badge as officer Robert Carroll has Thor, the department's new canine officer, on a leash during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials say pension relief will not hinder homeowners

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan said the finances of homeowners need to be addressed while paying off pension deficits. Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22 that making budget adjustments for next year has to keep residents in mind due to rising inflation. “We may be…

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2 men arrested for Lyons carjacking were out on bond

By Bob Bong Lyons police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in an attempted carjacking in the 7700 block of 45th Place around 2 p.m. on November 29. Justin Lebron, 20, of Cicero, and Cesar Lopez, 18, of Waukegan, were captured after a foot case, police said. Police Chief Tom Herion said…

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.  

Paul Stein (at left) and Odysseus Tsarouhis, co-owners of Reichman Jewelers, will be closing the store that has been at 4439 W. 95th St. In Oak Lawn since 1984. (Photo by Dermot Connolly )

Reichman Jewelers to close Oak Lawn store

July shooting of co-owner was deciding factor By Dermot Connolly Violent robberies at their own store and others in the area have led the longtime owners of Reichman Jewelers in Oak Lawn to close their business, which has been located at 4439 W. 95th St., since 1984. Reichman Jewelers dates back to 1908, and was at…

Christmas tree lights that were put up at Veterans Memorial Park in Worth were damaged over the weekend. Lights were cut and ripped off a couple of trees. A police report has been filed. New lights were being put up to replace the damaged ones. (Supplied photo)

Christmas tree lights damaged at Worth Veterans Park

By Joe Boyle Damage took place sometime over the weekend to the Christmas tree lights that were put up at Veterans Memorial Park in Worth. Bob O’Shaughnessy, supervisor of the Worth Park District, said they noticed that the Christmas tree lights were cut by an individual or individuals. O’Shaughnessy and employees noticed the damage after…

Worth Village Clerk Bonnie Price stands alongside the Mitten Tree, which can be found in the Worth Village Hall. Residents can drop off gloves, mittens, hats or scarves for those in need this holiday season up until Dec. 12. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Mitten Tree returns to Worth Village Hall

By Joe Boyle The holiday season is not always warm and bright for some residents who are experiencing hardship. But providing some hats, gloves and mittens can at least give those a helping hand as Christmas approaches. The Mitten Tree has returned to the Worth Village Hall, 7112 W. 111th St., and with it is…

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Health: Free Head and Neck Cancer Screening December 7 at Northwestern Medicine Orland Park

Northwestern Medicine will offer a free head and neck cancer screening at its Orland Park location from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 7. The non-invasive oral, head and neck screening will check for abnormal, irregular, or discolored areas or lumps that are different on one side compared to the other. Northwestern Medicine Orland…

Bob O'Shaughnessy, supervisor for the Worth Park District, holds up a sign that shows a plan for development of Altman Park that dates back to the early 1980s. A resolution was passed by the Worth Village Board that will allow Altman Park to be managed by the park district through a lease agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Altman Park eyed as a future recreation jewel in Worth

By Joe Boyle When Bob O’Shaughnessy was appointed supervisor of the Worth Park District eight years ago, he had one main priority. His primary goal was to have the area known as Altman Park be managed and cared for by the Worth Park District. So, O’Shaughnessy was delighted when the Worth Village Board voted unanimously…

Angel Williams, of South Carolina, enjoyed being able to phone home to his mom and his fiancé. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Brookfield VFW Post gives 45 Navy recruits a happy Thanksgiving Day

By Steve Metsch It had been about three months since Brittney Rodriguez sat down to enjoy a home-cooked meal. It’s not that the food is terrible at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in North Chicago, Rodriguez said. It’s just not as good as Mom’s cooking. “They have their days, but it’s not a home-cooked…

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