Community sports news


Oak Lawn recognizes top spring athletes
  Eliana LaSpina and Bob Kametas were tabbed as the Most Valuable Female and Male Athlete, respectively, and those awards highlighted Oak Lawn High School’s recognition of its spring-season student-athletes for 2013.
  LaSpina was given the Geri Vandekreke Award, while Kametas received the Bill Godby Award. Sophomore girls’ basketball coach Dana Annel won the Fred Parks Coach of the Year Award.
  Also feted were John Glover, Jessica Cosenza and Connor Niemiec, winners of the Joe Pajac Scholarship, and Maggie Koll, who received the Tim Nickos Memorial Scholarship.
  Chosen as respective team MVPs were Kametas (baseball), LaSpina (badminton), Marlene Martinez (girls’ soccer), Rachel Burba (softball), Martin Duran (boys’ tennis), Nick Minnella (boys’ track), Victoria Jones (girls’ track), Marc Hansen (boys’ volleyball) and Jon Metelski (fishing). Kametas was also tabbed as the South Suburban Conference Red Baseball Player of the Year, while LaSpina, a state qualifier, finished with one of the top-10 badminton records in school history.
  Rachel Kestian and Tara Hill also advanced to the state badminton meet, while Rami Arabi represented Oak Lawn in the state tennis tournament. Jones, meanwhile, established conference and school records in the 100-meter dash.
  Sportsmanship awards were given to Chris Rafacz (baseball), Claudia Maki (badminton), Megan Pacetti (girls’ soccer), Morgan Jozsa (softball), Nick Garcia Lara (boys’ tennis), John Beattie (boys’ track), Emma Roza (girls’ track), Sean Dunne (boys’ volleyball), Sam Bernier (boys’ volleyball) and Mike Sutko (fishing).
  The Lady Spartans softball squad earned a team sportsman award from the SSC Red.
Former Moraine Valley pitcher selected in MLB draft
  Former Moraine Valley College pitcher Brian Loconsole was recently selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 20th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
  He graduated this spring from Western Illinois University, where he went 3-2 with 23 strikeouts and a 2.86 earned-run average in his final season with the Leathernecks. The right-hander pitched for the Cyclones in 2010 under then-head coach Tom Radz.
  “We are extremely proud that Brian was chosen in the MLB 2013 draft,” Moraine athletics director Bill Finn said. “He has worked hard, never given up and always gave 110 percent. He certainly is a student-athlete who Moraine Valley can point to with pride.”
  After transferring to WIU, Loconsole was named Summit League Pitcher of the Week once and became the Leathernecks’ single-season and career saves leader. He registered nine saves this spring. Loconsole made 40 appearances for WIU totaling 54 1/3 innings and struck out 37.
Peace softball team wins sportsmanship award
  Queen of Peace’s varsity softball team was one of 12 programs to be honored with the South Suburb Officials Association Softball Sportsmanship Award for 2013.
  The SSOA presents the award annually to those squads that rank highest on a comprehensive rating system, which evaluates sportsmanship in three areas: players, coaches and fans. The award recognizes those schools that provide a positive sporting experience for all, including the officials who umpired the games.
  The SSOA Sportsmanship Award has been handed out since 2003 and was developed as part of the IHSA’s “Sport a Winning Attitude” program.
Palos Park golfer registers hole-in-one
  Palos Park resident TJ Mohan became the latest local golfer to score a hole-in-one during a round of play at Silver Lake Country Club.
  Mohan registered his ace June 14 on the 213-yard eighth hole of the Rolling Hills course. He used a driver to hit his shot, which was witnessed by playing partners Ian Kloehn of Palos Heights and Finn McCarthy of Palos Park.
  Mohan’s reaction to his feat? “[I was] jumping up and down and screaming,” he said.
Orland Mayor, trustees present gift to Blackhawks
  Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin and village trustees Kathleen Fenton and Patricia Gira gifted the Chicago Blackhawks with 30-by-50-inch posters that were signed by hundreds of Orland residents.
  The presentation was made last Friday at the United Center.
  “We wanted the Blackhawks to know that they have a huge fan base that is cheering them on to victory,” McLaughlin said. “What a great opportunity it was to show the residents of Orland Park ’s pride in the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks organization was very grateful for our community’s show of support for the team.”
Three SXU football players named preseason All-Americans
  St. Xavier University senior football players Zach Dolph, Jacob Ghinazzi and Nick Pesek have been chosen for the 2013 Beyond Sports Network Preseason NAIA All-America team.
  The online sports media network named Dolph as a member of the first team at linebacker, Ghinazzi as a second-team safety and Oak Lawn alumnus Pesek as an honorable mention running back.
  All three were instrumental in helping lead the Cougars to an 11-2 overall record and a berth in the 2012 NAIA Football Championship Series semifinals. Dolph set a single-season school record with 128 total tackles, including 64 solos, during the 2012 campaign. He also led the Cougars with 19 1/2 tackles for loss that totaled 62 negative yards and three forced fumbles.
  Ghinazzi finished last season with 76 total tackles (45 solos), three interceptions and six pass breakups. Pesek paced the Cougars in rushing last fall with 1,125 yards on 180 carries and scored 10 touchdowns, eight of them on the ground. He also became the first SXU player to surpass 2,000 yards in career rushing.
  The Cougars move over to the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League for the 2013 season and open the schedule with a home crossover game against defending national champion and former Mideast League rival Marian (Ind.) University on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Moraine’s Fraser competes in national golf event
  Moraine Valley College sophomore Jeremy Fraser took part in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Men’s Golf National Championship in late May and finished 73rd in a field of 122 competitors.
  Fraser’s appearance was his second consecutive one in the national event, a feat accomplished by only one other Cyclones golfer in school history. In 2012, Fraser was accompanied by the entire Moraine squad, which landed in the No. 12 position in the final team standings.
  This time, Fraser went it alone at the Goose Pond Colony in Scottsboro, Ala., where he fired three consecutive 77s before concluding with a final-round score of 78. Although he has generally fared better in cooler weather, Fraser was able to maintain consistency throughout, both off the tee and on the greens.
  “He consistently drove the ball 300 yards [and] I’m very happy with how he played,” Cyclones coach Bob Freudenthal said. “He’s had two great years at Moraine Valley.”
  Fraser will attend Lewis University in the fall on a golf scholarship.
NAYS hoops tourneys headed to nearby sites
  North American Youth Sports will hold youth basketball tournaments at Plainfield East High School and three Bolingbrook sites during the month of July.
  The Plainfield tourney will run July 19-21, while those in Bolingbrook will be conducted July 24-28 at Bolingbrook High School, the Annerino Recreation Center and Bolingbrook Recreation and Aquatic Center. The respective deadlines for entry are June 28 and 30.
  The cost is $265 at Plainfield with a minimum per-team guarantee of five games, while the Bolingbrook sessions will be $600 with a nine-game guarantee. Each tournament is open to youngsters in grades 5-12.
  For more information or to obtain an entry form, call 1-866-352-5915 or visit
Richards to host 7-on-7 football tournament
  Richards High School will host its annual 7-on-7 football tournament on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the fields at 107th and Kilpatrick.
  Schools scheduled to attend include Brother Rice, Sandburg, Marist, Chicago Christian, defending Class 8A champion Mt. Carmel, TF South, Class 7A runner-up Lincoln-Way East, Loyola Academy, De La Salle, Hinsdale Central and Harlan in addition to the Bulldogs. This will be the only 7-on-7 competition for some of those programs this summer.
  For more information, call Skip Pearson at 217-0021.
Sports camps at Moraine Valley
  Moraine Valley College will conduct basketball and volleyball camps the week of July 15-18.
  The basketball camp, for youngsters entering grades 3-8, will run from 9-10:30 a.m. daily, while the volleyball camp will go from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day. The latter is open to youngsters in grades 5-9. Leading the respective camps will be Moraine athletic director Bill Finn and Cyclones volleyball coach Gloria Coughlin.
  The cost of each camp is $70. Participants can register only through Moraine’s athletic department.
  For more information, call 974-5727 or visit
Community Sports 01Submitted photo: Badminton player Eliana LaSpina and baseball player Bob Kametas were chosen as Oak Lawn High School’s top female and male athlete, respectively, at a recent awards banquet.
Community Sports 02Submitted photo: Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin (middle) and village officials Joseph LaMargo, Kathleen Fenton and Patricia Gira meet Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith last Friday during a presentation of signed posters to the hockey team.