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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…

Schin Kerr, head coach of the Southland Saints of the American Basketball Association

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…

Sandburg freshman Lindsey Gerhardstein, shown receiving encouragement during the SWSC Conference meet earlier in the month, won a regional title on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg cross country runners bring home two titles

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Sandburg doubled its pleasure in cross country regionals. Both the boys and girls came up with regional titles at Midlothian Meadows in Midlothian on Oct. 22. The Eagles girls won their first regional title since 2015, according to the IHSA, with 23 points. Runner-up Mother McAuley finished with 54 points.…

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Mount Carmel comes back to top Loyola, finishes regular season unbeaten

By Steve Millar Correspondent With his team trailing Loyola by 10 points at halftime in a battle between two unbeaten teams, senior quarterback Blainey Dowling had a message for his Mount Carmel teammates. Dowling called upon them to remember who they are. “I gathered the team up and I said, ‘Hey, the first half didn’t…

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Mother McAuley tops Lyons; teams could meet again in sectionals

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Senior Night is always a special event. Especially when senior twins are on the team. The Moonan twins, Maeve and Jillian, played their final home match together at Mother McAuley last week and the Mighty Macs sent them out in style. In a possible postseason preview, McAuley made short work of…

Nazareth’s Zach Hayes makes a catch during a 37-7 win over Benet on Oct. 21. Photo by Steve Metsch

Nazareth steamrolls into playoffs with rout of Benet

By Steve Metsch Correspondent When Nazareth coach Tim Racki was piecing together the Roadrunners’ 2022 schedule, he wanted to ensure the Roadrunners would be battle-tested by season’s end. He loaded the schedule with games against 2021 Class 5A runner-up Kankakee, perennial power Lemont and tough Catholic League opponents including Marist and St. Rita. After a…

Olympic hockey star Kendall Coyne gets ready to cut the ribbon for a Palos Heights park named in her honor. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

New Palos Heights park in Coyne’s name is gold

By Jeff Vorva Olympic hockey standout Kendall Coyne Schofield said some of her success comes from growing up in Palos Heights. “For me, growing up in the city of Palos Heights was a dream,” she said. “There are so many things that make this such a special place. But most importantly, it’s the people in…

San Diego star Alex Morgan, shown in a game against the Chicago Red Stars at Soldier Field earlier in the year, scored the winning goal in overtime in a 2-1 victory over Chicago in the first round of the NWSL playoffs. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars Report: Alex Morgan and Wave sink Red Stars in OT

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer From the Chicago Red Stars point of view, things started out Yuki and ended up yucky. The Red Stars dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to San Diego late Sunday night in the first round of the NWSL playoffs at Snapdragon Stadium. Alex Morgan, who earned the league’s Golden Boot for…

Brother Rice QB Ryan Hartz, shown passing in a game earlier this season, accounted for four touchdowns against Marian Catholic in a game leading up to Friday's showdown with Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: Brother Rice and Marist ready for Battle of Pulaski

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The stage is set. The annual grudge match between neighborhood and conference rivals Marist and Brother Rice takes place at 7 p.m. Friday at Rice. Both teams are 5-3 overall and 0-2 in the East Suburban Catholic/Chicago Catholic League Blue, with both teams falling to Loyola and Mount Carmel in…

Former Stagg star Max Strus lets loose with a 3-point attempt during the preseason for the Miami Heat. Photo courtesy of the Miami Heat

Keeping the fire burning: Miami Heat’s Max Strus seeks to build on breakout season

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer After pouring in 24 points in a preseason game, Miami Heat guard Max Strus did a TV interview. The 26-year-old Hickory Hills native and Stagg graduate was asked about helping young teammates. “I’ve been in their shoes,” he said. “I know what it’s like to get waived, I know what…

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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…

Kennedy Shelby (front row, from left), Karalyn Burke, Jamia Head, Kaitlyn Higgins, Katharine Downey-McGurk, Julianna Black, Helen Joyce. Back row, from left, Tom O'Malley, David Ortiz, Olivia Doran, Katherine Beyer, Paul Lieske, Leo Cassidy, Noah Flores, Noah Valdez, Nicole Reynolds, Bill Sanderson. Not pictured: Kailen Curran and Leo Lesauskis. (Supplied photo)

17 EPCHS students named Illinois State Scholars

Evergreen Park Community High School Principal Bill Sanderson announced that 17 students from the EPCHS graduating class of 2023 have been designated as Illinois State Scholars. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state’s college access and financial aid agency, presents this prestigious recognition of academic achievement to exceptional Illinois high school students annually. This year,…

Rev. Wheeler Parker signs a copy of his book about his cousin Emmett Till at the Summit Library. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Rev. Parker unveils new Emmett Till book in Summit

By Carol McGowan Nearly 150 people showed up to give support to Summit’s Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr. last week on the day his much-awaited book was released. The book, officially released on January 10, is called “A Few Days Full of Trouble,” and is described as “revelations on the journey to justice for my cousin…

The alleged getaway car for two men who attempted a carjacking Wednesday in Oak Lawn. (Photo courtesy of Oak Lawn Police Department)

Oak Lawn carjacking victim fights back

By Bob Bong Two would-be carjackers picked on the wrong victim Wednesday afternoon in Oak Lawn. Two men armed with handguns attempted to carjack an unsuspecting victim about 3:30 p.m. in the 6500 block of West 89th Place, Oak Lawn police said in a release. The victim was able to gain access to a weapon…

Jim Carberry (center) and other Orland Grassland Volunteers gather for brats and other excellent treats after clearing brush all morning at a past Brats 'N Burn event. (Supplied photos)

Orland Grassland Volunteers to hold annual Brats n Burn

The Orland Grassland Volunteers will celebrate the winter brush clearing season with their annual Brats N’ Burn event on Saturday, January 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. After clearing small shrubs and small trees, they will be burning large brush piles to remove the debris. While they are clearing, the brats will be sizzling on the…

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