Marist volleyball coach receives honor
Marist volleyball coach Julie Popp Hopkins was recently named as a recipient of the Thirty Under 30 award given by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
This award was created to honor 30 of the up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years of age at all levels of the sport. Popp Hopkins was one of only two high school coaches to receive the distinction; the rest were college-level coaches.
The 2013 season was Popp Hopkins’ first at Marist. Under her leadership, the Lady RedHawks went 27-10 overall and a perfect 9-0 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. They also captured a regional championship.
Marist’s efforts garnered ESCC Coach of the Year recognition for Popp Hopkins.
While she obviously strives for athletic success in her program, Popp Hopkins also focuses on the positive influence she and the sport can have on her student-athletes.
“I’m extremely honored to be recognized by the AVCA for the Thirty Under 30 award,” she said. “I could not have accomplished so much without the support of my coaching staff and the administration at Marist High School.”
St. Al’s 7th-graders first in basketball, volleyball
The St. Alexander 7th-grade boys’ basketball team finished first in the Southside Catholic Conference White Division, then added a championship series title to its list of 2014 accomplishments.
St. Al’s roster was comprised of Daniel Scarnavack, Dan Hoge, George Madaras, Connor Pulido, John Mattes, Connor Casey, Caimin Falls and Ramiz Fakhoury. Dan Casey, George Madaras Sr. and Kevin Falls served as coaches.
Also taking the top spot for St. Al’s was its 7th-grade girls, who did so in the St. Alexander Volleyball League 7th Grade AA Division. They rallied to beat Our Lady of the Ridge for the crown on Feb. 28 at Palos Courts.
Featured on St. Al’s roster were Lauren Stapleton, Olivia Gaidas, Lauren O’Gorman, Kayla Turner, Courtney Schultz, Cailin Stevens, Mary Clare Duffy, Meagan Coogan and Annie O’Mara. Mary Beth Coogan and Amy Stevens were the coaches.
Peace coach anticipating good season
Queen of Peace track coach Ashley Dick is preparing for good things this spring.
Dick, who also coaches cross country and is a frosh-soph counselor at the school, is basing her optimism on something concrete.
“The cross country season went well in the fall,” she said. “If it’s any indication of what it is to come with the track and field team, then we will have a great season.”
That doesn’t mean Dick is taking anything for granted. Her goal is to establish a positive culture within the Pride program and raise the bar as to the level of commitment athletes should put into the sport.
Dick is no running novice. She ran both track and cross country for four years at Butler University and, more recently, has competed in five marathons over a three-year span. Previously, she coached the distance runners on Westinghouse High School’s track team, and she continues to work as a summer running coach for Charlie Kern’s Championship Training Academy in Elmhurst.