Community sports news

Community-sports Fall-Sports-Awards BradshawSubmitted photo: Oak Lawn High School’s Becky Bradshaw was named as the top volleyball player in the South Suburban Conference Red this fall. Oak Lawn honors fall athletes

Oak Lawn High School recently honored a number of student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2013 fall season.

  The list of feted individuals included volleyball player Becky Bradshaw, who was earlier named the South Suburban Conference Red Player of the Year, and state-qualifying tennis player Alexis Fletcher. Fletcher shared the team MVP award with Paulina Kotwica in that sport, and both girls were all-conference selections.
  Other tennis players recognized were Emily Salomone and Azizza Hasan, who were both chosen for the Sportsmanship Award.
  Joining team MVP Bradshaw on the All-SSC Red volleyball squad were Christina Egan, Simona Tomczak, Brianna Markusic and Tracy Peck (honorable mention). All of them played key roles in the Lady Spartans’ capturing of an SSC Red title. Named as Oak Lawn’s Sportsmanship Award winner was Tara Hill.

  Dennis McNamara was selected as the SSC Red Coach of the Year.
  Co-MVPs Yara Ismail and Hannah Featherstone led the Lady Spartans girls’ swim team to a conference championship. Featherstone earned all-conference distinction as a member of both the 200-yard freestyle and 200-medley relay units, while Ismail was tabbed in the former event.
  Other All-SSC Red swimmers were Kelsey Townsend (Sportsmanship Award) in the 200-medley relay, Mary Kate Brennan (both relays), Shannon Mottl (200-medley relay) and Samantha Lopez (200-free relay).
  The boys’ cross country team received the SSC’s Sportsmanship Award, Jake Kupres was similarly honored by Oak Lawn as an individual and Nick Minella was the Spartans’ MVP. Minella, Rich Willis and Luis Garcia represented the Spartans on the All-SSC Red squad.
  On the girls’ side, Jasmin Pelaez and freshman Jessica Sciaky were both sectional qualifiers, and Pelaez was also Oak Lawn’s team MVP. Gabrielle Lenihan collected the Sportsmanship Award.
  Golfers Joe Cuculich and Brandon Murley were both chosen as all-regional performers; for Cuculich, that was in addition to claiming All-SSC Red honors and being named the Spartans’ MVP. Sean Baldwin won the Sportsmanship Award.
  Richard Alcantar (team MVP, all-conference pick), Omar Lopez (Sportsmanship Award), Konrad Nykiel (All-SSC Red), Giovanni Barragan (all-conference honorable mention) and Michael Szaflarski (all-conference honorable mention) were Oak Lawn’s top soccer players, while Ray Howard (co-MVP, all-conference), Joe Cosenza (co-MVP, all-conference), Kyle Kuzur (Sportsmanship Award) and Ed Trybula (all-conference honorable mention) were all football standouts.

Rice to hold volleyball reunion matches
  Brother Rice will hold its annual reunion for former Crusaders volleyball players, as well as alumni matches on Friday, Dec. 27, at 7 p.m. in the school’s South Gym.
  All Rice volleyball alumni are invited to play in the matches and attend a post-event reception. There is no need to RSVP.
  “This event has been an annual tradition in our program for many years,” Crusaders coach Br. Paul Ickes said. “I always enjoy welcoming our alumni players back to campus, and I am really looking forward to showing them our new trophy cases.”
  For more information on the reunion, contact Br. Ickes at (773) 428-1957 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Four champions crowned at Peace volleyball tourney
  Champions were crowned in four divisions at Queen of Peace’s 26th annual grammar school volleyball tournament, which was held the weekend of Dec. 7. A total of 37 teams and 339 student-athletes took part in the event.
  Earning titles were St. Dominic (5th grade), St. Christina (6th), Cassell (7th) and St. Catherine of Alexandria’s “A” team (8th). Respective runners-up were Incarnation, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. John Fisher and Our Lady of Guadalupe again in the 8th-grade portion of the tourney.
  Placing third in the latter category was Byrne.

Marist golfer signs letter of intent
  Marist golfer Ashley Kay signed a National Letter of Intent on Dec. 5, becoming the first-ever female to do so coming out of the school’s golf program.
  Kay, who captained Marist to its best girls’ golf season in school history this fall and qualified for the state meet, will attend Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tenn.

Hickory Hills, Palos Hills baseball programs merge
  After years of competing against each other as local rivals, Hickory Hills Youth Baseball and the Palos Hills Baseball Association have merged into one organization.
  The new entity will be known as “Hills Baseball Softball Association,” and provide baseball and softball at all levels for children aged 4-16. HBSA, which will conduct play on fields in both communities, will accept youngsters from throughout the southwest suburbs for recreational participation, as well as for its part-time and full-time travel teams.
  Registration dates are Jan. 11 and Feb. 8 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. each day. Both Saturday sessions will be held at Conrady Junior High School, Roberts Road and 97th Street in Hickory Hills.
  George Czarnik, of Hickory Hills, and Peter Donahue, of Palos Hills, will serve as HBSA president and vice president, respectively. For more information about the new organization or how to become involved with it, contact Czarnik at 599-6983.

Two more baseball camps announced
  Chicago Christian and Lewis University in Romeoville will both host six-week baseball camps during the winter.
  Lewis’ camp will begin Jan. 11 and be directed by Flyers coach Tim McDonough, while the one at Chicago Christian starts Feb. 1 under the guidance of Knights coach and school athletic director Eric Brauer. Both are being held in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy and are open to players in grades 1-12.
  Sessions will be offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning. Registration is now underway, and classes are limited to six players per coach. Previously, a similar camp was announced for Oak Lawn High School with a start date of Jan. 5.
  For more information on any of three camps, visit or call 1-866-622-4487.

Midwest Elite looking for softball players
  Midwest Elite Diamond 19-and-over women’s fast-pitch softball club is looking for college-rostered players to compete in the summer of 2014.
  The team will play in four local tournaments — including nationals — and two round-robin events. All positions will be considered, but specific needs include pitcher, catcher and infield/slapper. No practices are required.
  For more information, contact Bill Lammel at 289-3438 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Openings for Diamond in the Rough
  Diamond in the Rough fast-pitch softball has player openings in its girls’ windmill pitching, beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
  For more information, call Bill Lammel at 289-3438 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Palos Park to host winter basketball league
  Palos Park, in conjunction with the Palos Heights Recreation Department and Worth Park District, will host a winter basketball league for youngsters in grades 1-8 that will play games each Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning Jan. 18 and running through March 15.
  Each child will have one practice and one game per week, with an emphasis being placed on skills development. Separate leagues will be formed for boys and girls, and play will be conducted in a total of four different age groups.
  For more information, call 671-3760.

Oak Lawn High School to host baseball camp in January
  Oak Lawn High School will host a six-week baseball camp, in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy, starting Jan. 5, 2014.
  Former Spartans varsity coach Brian Clifton will direct the program, which has classes available for players in grades 1-12. Sessions will be offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning, but space is limited.
  Registration is currently underway. For more information, visit or call 1-866-622-4487.