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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…

Mother McAuley's Ellie White, a Michigan recruit, earned a national player of the year award in volleyball. Photo courtesy of Mother McAuley

Area Sports Roundup: Mother McAuley has another national POY; Red Stars’ scorer has new last name

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer How many national players of the year can one team have? If you are the Mother McAuley volleyball team, you can have more than one. The Class 4A state champions are cornering the market in that regard. Less than a month after senior Gigi Navarrete won a national player of…

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College Notebook | Stagg alum on fire in pool for Illinois-Chicago

By Mike Walsh Correspondent One of the top performers at the recent three-day House of Champions Invitational held at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis natatorium was UIC women’s swimmer Taira Juronis. Juronis, a Stagg graduate, won the 200-breaststroke with a time of 2:16.49, nearly two seconds faster than the second-place swimmer. Juronis also bested her…

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Boys Basketball | St. Laurence looks to keep good times rolling in 2023

By Steve Millar Correspondent A young St. Laurence team is hitting its stride and starting to believe. The Vikings took momentum into the New Year by winning four straight games at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic to capture the tournament’s consolation championship. “It was a pretty big boost getting those four wins,” sophomore guard Zerrick…

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Boys Basketball | Stagg looking for a spark as conference play begins

By Randy Whalen Correspondent The return of Connor Williams and a fast start provided Stagg hope for its first back-to-back wins in nearly a month. A stifling Lockport defense and a slow finish thwarted that possibility. The Chargers scored only 13 points over the final 23:44 of the game and fell to the Porters, 43-31,…

Shepard celebrates coach Tony Chiuccariello's (front row, second from left) 300th career victory on Dec. 27 and two days later celebrated winning the Elgin tournament. Shepard High School photo

Local Hoops Wrap | Four area teams win holiday titles; Shepard coach Chiucciarello notches 300th victory

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer With the odds of 8-to-1, 16-to-1 or even 32-to-1 of winning a holiday basketball tournament, championships are not easy to come by. But the area produced four champions — two boys teams and two girls teams — at the end of December as Mount Carmel won the 16-team Pekin Tournament,…

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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…

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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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