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Rory Dames, shown during the NWSL semifinals in Portland, resigned at the Chicago Red Stars coach a day after the team played in the league’s championship game. Photo by IMI

Pro soccer report: Red Stars lose Dames after losing in NWSL title game

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent After a bizarre season that saw many of their best players injured for much of the time, a 5-0 loss to open the season and the thrill of making it to the NWSL championship game, Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames announced late Sunday night he was resigning. “For 11 years,…

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St. Rita tops Prospect, advances to second straight state title game

By Steve Millar Correspondent After entering the season with huge expectations, St. Rita lost two of its first three games and star senior running back/receiver Kaleb Brown to injury. While some may have written the Mustangs off, they still believed they had a team that could win a state championship. “We’ve been able to stick…

Brian Badke gives his last postgame speech to Brother Rice’s football team after a loss to Wheaton North on Saturday. He is retiring after this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Crusaders playoff run ends with semifinal loss to Wheaton North

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent At age 47, Brian Badke has a lot of good coaching years left in him. But for now, he is stepping away and putting the whistle in storage. He has a lot of good spectating years ahead of him that he wants to take care of, first. The Brother Rice football…

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Girls Volleyball Class 2A State Finals: Chicago Christian takes 3rd place with win over Mater Dei

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor Philosophers and believers in analytics can debate the reality of momentum in the context of having a tangible effect on player performance and the outcomes of athletics competitions. To many if not most sports fans, players and coaches, there is no question momentum is real. And it flows both ways.…

The Red Stars, shown celebrating in Portland, are one win away from a NWSL title. Photo by ISI

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars stun Thorns, will face Spirit for NWSL title

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Talk about coming full circle. The Chicago Red Stars opened the season in May with a full squad and dropped a 5-0 decision at Portland in one of the most lopsided defeats in franchise history. Then, on Nov. 14, with a team depleted by injuries and illness, they shocked the Thorns,…

Mother McAuley sophomore Ellie White follows through on a kill during the Class 4A championship match against Metea Valley. (Photos by Jason Maholy)

Girls Volleyball Class 4A State Finals: Metea Valley tops Mother McAuley in three sets for state title

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor You can’t win them all. Coming into the state finals last weekend, Mother McAuley had won championships in 65 percent of its trips to state, including its last two in 2013 and 2016. After rallying past Edwardsville, 27-29, 25-21, 25-16, in the semifinals on Nov. 12, the Mighty Macs were…

Nazareth players clebrate after winning the Class 3A state championship. (photos by Jason Maholy)

Girls Volleyball Class 3A State Finals: Nazareth defeats Belvidere North for program’s first state title

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor Trailing 12-6 in the third set of the Class 3A state championship match last Saturday at Illinois State’s Redbird Arena, time was running out on Nazareth to right the ship. Belvidere North was riding a wave of momentum going back to the second set and had scored 28 of the…

Amari Venerable (No. 23) and his SXU teammates celebrate a 26-20 overtime victory over the University of St. Francis Saturday in Joliet. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

College Football: Saint Xavier edges St. Francis in OT to clinch spot in playoffs

Jeff Vorva Correspondent With an automatic bid for the NAIA national playoffs on the line, Saint Xavier and St. Francis couldn’t decide anything after 60 minutes of play. So, the Cougars had to make it back into the playoffs in overtime thanks to a 25-yard-run from Amari Venerable on their first play from scrimmage after…

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High School Football Class 5A Quarterfinals: Pick-6 spells doom for Nazareth in loss to Fenwick

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Nazareth made it the Class 5A football quarterfinals with a solid defense and an impressive freshman quarterback. In the end, however, that defense buckled and that quarterback looked like his age against a Fenwick team with 30 seniors on its roster. Friars senior defensive end Suleiman Abuaqel picked off a Logan…

Sandburg’s cross country team celebrates its state championship in Peoria. Photo from Sandburg High School.

Boys Cross Country State Final: Sandburg computes with 3A title; Marist’s Jake Phillips takes fourth in 2A

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Some exhaustive research combined with a little computer wizardry came up with the prediction that Sandburg would win the IHSA Class 3A title by 106 points. A simulation created by Illinois XC Speed Ratings used each state qualifier’s “previous four rated performances and season rating 1,000 times,” then took the average…

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High School Football Class 8A Playoffs: Marist stops Storm, advances to quarterfinals

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist Senior defensive end Jayson Harris-Woodard and the rest of the RedHawks defense were excited for a new kind of challenge against South Elgin. Coming into Saturday’s Class 8A second-round game, the undefeated Storm was averaging 45 points a game with its triple-option attack. “We don’t usually get to see…

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High School Football Class 7A Playoffs: Mount Carmel moves on with batty win over Batavia

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Dennis Furlong had three choices. The Mount Carmel wide receiver took a handoff from quarterback Blainey Dowling on an untimed down with a Class 7A second-round playoff game on the line and the Caravan down by four points to No. 1-seeded Batavia. His first two choices were to catch the Bulldogs’…

Gotham’s Estelle Johnson (left) and the Red Stars’ Kealia Watt battle in Sunday’s playoff game. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars blank Gotham, advance to NWSL semifinals

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Mallory Pugh and the Chicago Red Stars gave their fans a going-away gift. Playing in Chicago’s final home game of 2021, Pugh scored in the 61st minute and the defense made it stick as the Red Stars beat Gotham, 1-0, in the opening round of the NWSL playoffs Nov. 7 in…

Nazareth senior Quentrell Harris powers past Marmion’s Joseph Gordan (50) and Kevin Roche Jr. Harris scored one touchdown in the Roadrunners’ 23-14 victory. Photo by Steve Metsch

High School Football Class 5A Playoffs: Nazareth advances to quarterfinals with win over Marmion

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Powered by faith and trust — two words heard often after a hard-fought victory over Marmion — there’s no telling how far Nazareth can go in the Class 5A playoffs. The Roadrunners (7-4) advanced to the quarterfinals with a 23-14 victory over the Cadets on Nov. 5 in the second round…

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Girls Volleyball: Logan Grevengoed’s 1,001th career kill sends Chicago Christian to supersectional

By Steve Millar Correspondent Senior outside hitter Logan Grevengoed set off a raucous celebration at Chicago Christian on Wednesday night when she put down her 1,000th career kill. No. 1,001 was pretty special, too. That’s the one that clinched a Class 2A sectional championship for the host Knights, who beat Beecher 25-19, 25-13. Chicago Christian (33-6)…

Sandburg senior Nate Gibbons gets ready to swat away a Billy Cernugel pass Saturday in Hinsdale Central’s 41-15 victory over the Eagles. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Eagles have hard time running with the Devils, but eye a bright future

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent It was hard for a strong contingency of Sandburg football fans who were at Hinsdale Central on Saturday afternoon to feel good. After a weird 0-0 first quarter in the first-round game of the IHSA Class 8A playoffs, in which the host Red Devils were called for false-start penalties on three…

Sandburg’s boys cross country team, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3A by two ranking services, poses after winning the Hinsdale Central Sectional Saturday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Sandburg boys eye state title as area sends army to state XC meet

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Sandburg’s boys team and Marist’s Jake Phillips earned sectional championships on sloppy-but-manageable courses on Saturday. A weeklong rain turned many Chicago-area courses to mush, but the Eagles and Phillips soldiered through and are heading with some momentum to this Saturday’s state cross country meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Sandburg, which…

Kaleb Brown, right, and Djabril McNabb talk before St. Rita’s playoff game against Rolling Meadows. Brown was ready to play after missing most of the season with an injury but sat out because of the rain and the Mustangs took a large lead early. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Football Class 7A Playoffs: Sophomore RBs, Ulatowski lead St. Rita in romp over Rolling Meadows

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Kaleb Brown was all dressed up and ready to go. But he will have to wait another week before his return. The St. Rita senior star running back/wide receiver suited up for the first time since injuring a kneecap early in a loss to Mount Carmel the first game of the…

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High School Football Class 7A Playoffs: Brother Rice edges Wheaton Warrenville South

By Steve Millar Correspondent Brother Rice’s offense has been virtually unstoppable all season, rolling to at least 40 points in every game it played. It’s the Crusaders’ defense, however, that is the biggest reason they survived the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. On a night when the offense struggled, the defense made…

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High School Football Class 8A Playoffs: Marist rolls past Glenbard East, gets unbeaten S. Elgin in 2nd round

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Basking in the glow of a convincing postseason victory, Marist coach Ron Dawczak told his players to enjoy it for a night, then focus on their next opponent. That probably won’t be hard for the RedHawks, who — as Glenbard East coach John Walters noted — play a tough schedule every…

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IHSA Football Playoffs: Brother Rice, Marist, Mount Carmel, St. Rita, Richards, Nazareth advance to second round

By Bob Bong Brother Rice was the only area team to advance to this weekend’s second round of the IHSA state football tournament after Saturday’s slate of games. They join five teams that advanced after Friday night’s action. The Crusaders moved on thanks to a 27-26 squeaker over Wheaton-Warrenville South on Saturday. No. 9 seeded…

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Pro Soccer Report: Watt a finish! Red Stars to host playoff game Sunday

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent One more time. The Chicago Red Stars will play at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview for a final game when they host New York/New Jersey Gotham at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, in the opening round of the NWSL playoffs. The Red Stars finished the regular season with the fourth seed thanks…

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5 area teams advance to IHSA second round after Friday night victories

By Bob Bong Five area football teams won their games Friday night to advance to next weekend’s second round of the IHSA state tournament. Marist scored a 42-0 upset over higher seeded Glenbard East. Mount Carmel shut out Thornwood 20-0 in South Holland. St. Rita easily defeated Rolling Meadows 42-7. Richards knocked off Simeon 28-10.…

Maura Tovar and her children, Sean and Bevin, hold a sign that will be erected at the Graves Elementary/Heritage Middle School soccer field to honor the memory of her late husband Bernabe Tovar. (Photo by Enrique Rodriguez)

School District 104 dedicates field to Bernabe Tovar

By Carol McGowan School District 104 commemorated the life and service of school teacher and soccer coach Bernabe Tovar with the dedication last week of a sports field in his honor. Supt. Troy Whalen hosted the event last Thursday, which welcomed a crowd of nearly 150 at Graves Elementary/Heritage Middle School in Summit. Whalen highlighted…

Sandburg running back Jake Maziarka ran for 179 yards and totaled four touchdowns in a 59-17 win over Lincoln-Way Central in Week 9. Photo by Jason Maholy

Sandburg to dance with Devils in first playoff game since 2015

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor Entering the final game of the regular season, Sandburg may have figured its most difficult work toward completing what once appeared to be an improbable run to the playoffs was finished. After starting the season 1-4, the Eagles needed a win in Week 9 over struggling Lincoln-Way Central to secure…

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Ms. Xheraj's fifth-grade class at Wharton School. (Supplied photo)

Wharton fifth-graders take first place in math competition

By Carol McGowan A class at District 104’s Wharton 5th Grade Center in Summit recently celebrated a big win. Ms. Xheraj’s class took first place in the Region 7 Math Online Sumdog Competition. Sumdog’s free online math contests tout being a fun way to motivate students as they compete against other classes and schools, either…

Cory Kavanagh, 11, of Chicago Ridge, pretends to drive a fire truck at the Chicago Ridge Fire Department's Open House at the firehouse, 10063 Virginia Ave., Chicago Ridge. (Photos by Kelly White)

Chicago Ridge Fire Department Open House

The Chicago Ridge Fire Department hosted an Open House on October 29 at the firehouse, 10063 Virginia Ave., Chicago Ridge. At the free event, attendees were able to take photos on a fire truck, watch demonstrations, hear fire safety talks and participate in a trunk-or-treat.    

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Evergreen Park programs accelerate despite pandemic

By Joe Boyle Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke praised department leaders and local organizations that offered services and activities the past year despite the presence of COVID-19. She referred to the Evergreen Park Recreation Department, which offers a variety of programs for seniors, adults, teens and children. “They have been able to do this during…

PETA graciously donated a 3-foot-tall fiberglass duck to the Oak Lawn Children's Museum, 5100 Museum Dr., Oak Lawn. (Supplied photos)

PETA donates duck to Oak Lawn Children’s Museum

By Kelly White A staple in community, the Oak Lawn Children’s Museum recently received a donation to make them stand out even more. Thanks to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the museum, 5100 Museum Dr., Oak Lawn, now has a 3-foot-tall fiberglass duck that displays plenty of duck facts. “Whenever we have…

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School students, Edward Walsh, 12, of Oak Lawn; and Lola Cruz, 12, of Oak Lawn, were proud to celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, on Thursday, November 4 at the school, 5345 99th St., Oak Lawn. (Supplied photos)

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School celebrates Diwali Festival of Lights

By Kelly White Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School takes pride in its diversified education. Students within the school, 5345 99th St, Oak Lawn, celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, on November 4. “The thing I loved most about this lesson was learning about a different culture and learning about how amazing this festival…

Rats can and do squeeze through holes as small as a quarter. --Photo source: cdc.gov

Rat gripes surging

Infestation ‘out of control’ in Clearing, Garfield Ridge By Tim Hadac Fall is the time when pest-control companies see a surge in calls from homeowners who see mice and sometimes rats trying to get inside sheds, garages and even homes to find shelter for the winter. But this year is far worse. “Rats are out…

Stephanie Esposito, winner of the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge. --Supplied photo

Thousands tried, but she’s Top Dog

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] this second year of the pandemic, Stephanie Esposito found a fun way to safely beat solitary confinement and use her love of a challenge. The Garfield Ridge woman told me when saw a tweet about the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge,…

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St. Dan’s girls drive St. Laurence success

The St. Laurence High School varsity girls volleyball team recently captured an IHSA regionals championship at a tournament they hosted. First, the Vikings first defeated Solorio Academy 25-8, 25-7 on Oct. 26, and then advanced to the finals, where they defeated the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences 25-6, 25-15. The Vikes then moved on…

Celebrating 50 years of successfully serving the area are (from left) Kristen Bagnall, Bill Wantuck Sr., Patricia Wantuck, Bill Wantuck III and Bill Wantuck Jr. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Wantuck Comfort Solutions celebrates 50 years of service

Thousands served in Clearing, Garfield Ridge By Tim Hadac Some small businesses in Clearing and Garfield Ridge have served so many people for so long, you just have to say the family name and folks will know exactly what kind of business you’re talking about. For example, Soukal is one. Pticek is another. And of…

On a cold and rainy Veterans Day, a handful of men, women and children showed their respect for the men and women of the military, at the monument’s rededication at 63rd and Kenneth. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photos by Kelly White

Decades later, they still remember

Grateful SW Siders rededicate a refurbished military monument on 63rd Street By Kelly White The monument at the northwest corner of 63rd and Kenneth, which honors the men and women who served in the nation’s military, was dedicated in 1948—when World War II was still a fresh and often painful memory for millions. Seventy-three years…

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