Un-4A-gettable RedHawks

  • Written by Ken Karrson


Un-4A-gettable RedHawks

Marist rules over Illinois softball for 2nd time since 2012.


By Anthony Nasella


Every sports program sets goals for itself at the start of a season.

Depending on the team, those may be modest in nature. Sure, everyone says winning a state title is the main objective, but the truth is only a handful of squads have a realistic chance to achieve such rarified status and therefore must adjust their sights downward a bit.

For Marist softball players, however, shooting for the top was not only a reasonable aspiration but an attainable one as well. The RedHawks made it so on Saturday in East Peoria, where they squeezed out a 1-0 victory over Lincoln-Way East at EastSide Centre that gave them the Class 4A championship for the second time in four seasons.

That win followed a pair of come-from-behind triumphs. Marist, which will carry a 28-game unbeaten streak into 2016, edged Oak Park-River Forest 2-1 in Friday’s semifinal and slipped past Downers Grove South 5-4 in last Tuesday’s Benedictine Supersectional.

What made this latest title particularly noteworthy is that it came under the leadership of a rookie coach. Colleen Biebel took over the reins of the RedHawks’ highly successful softball program from Denise Bromberek, who had guided Marist to its 2012 crown.

“No first-year coach at Marist has ever won a state championship,” school president Brother Hank Hammer said during a welcome-home celebration on Saturday. “And isn’t it wonderful that it happened with a woman’s sports team here in a formerly all-male high school? This is something we would have never dreamed about years ago.”

Current players definitely dreamt about it, though, prior to the start of the 2015 campaign.

“We talked about this in March and set goals at the beginning of the year,” Biebel said. “We said we wanted to win [the East Suburban Catholic] conference and win state, and each girl did not take one step back the whole year. We stayed focused and determined and I could not be prouder of them.

“They’re a mentally tough group of girls. They knew they had to get the job done, and if one didn’t do it then another would. We really took things an inning at a time this season.”

While each of its last three victories came by one run, Marist’s championship-game clash with the Griffins may have redefined the term “nail-biter.” The RedHawks (36-4-2) managed just two hits, but one of them was a triple by pitcher Zariya Gonzalez, who then tallied the contest’s lone run in the second inning by racing home on Vanessa Villasenor’s sacrifice fly.

From there Gonzalez maintained control as she stranded five runners and struck out four. Outfielder Brooke Wilson, who also played on Marist’s 2012 state-winning club, supported Gonzalez with four catches.

“My defense always backs me up,” Gonzalez said. “It feels good to have them behind me catching every ball and making every play. And when somebody didn’t do their job, another teammate picked them up.”

Gonzalez, who won 28 of 32 decisions this spring, said she relished the challenge of having to perform in a tense situation.

“I thought about the pressure the 2012 team had when they won state and I just wanted to be in that position,” Gonzalez said. “I was pretty much in a groove in those final two games and I knew I had to focus on every pitch and just get the job done. We all just wanted to win state and we knew we had to be laid back and positive about the game.”

Biebel wasn’t surprised by either Gonzalez’s handiwork or that of her team as a whole.

“She had her stuff -- [if] I asked for a pitch on the plate or outside, she would hit it,” Biebel said of Gonzalez. “[And if] I’d ask for a changeup, low and inside, she would hit it. She hit every one of her spots and was just stellar. Zariya was hungry for a state championship and she was not going to take anything less.

“Everyone was making the plays, especially in those last two games. It was not an easy ride to get down there and defense is what really pulled us through. We had to play tough defense.”

Wilson, the first female athlete in school history to be a two-time state champion, said the two triumphant clubs “were definitely two very different teams, but both teams put it together at the right time.”

Actually, the 2015 RedHawks rarely failed to be at their best as evidenced by their record. The 2012 contingent, however, sat at .500 well into the season before embarking on a late charge that resulted in 12 straight victories, the last, of course, being the championship-clinching encounter.

“Our first year it was definitely unexpected,” Wilson said of the title. “We got hot in the postseason, which really helped us. This year we were driven to achieve that [preseason] goal of winning state.”

Biebel was grateful for Wilson’s presence.

“Brooke was the No. 2 hitter on that [2012] team and she knew what the experience was like and was able to share [it with the other players],” Biebel said.


In order to punch their ticket to the finale, the RedHawks had to rally against Oak Park-River Forest on Friday. Paige Egan’s fifth-inning RBI single that knocked in Alexis Rogers proved to be the difference for Marist.

Egan had also stroked the game-winning hit versus Downers South three days earlier. That chopper past the infield was good for two RBI and handed the Mustangs only their second setback in 37 games.

“I wanted to put the ball in play,” Egan said, referring to her clutch hit in the supersectional. “I wanted to make sure I was able to do something. I didn't know it would go through when I hit it, but I did know the field had a lot of bounce to it.”

“Paige is our little slapper and she came through with three big RBIs for us in the playoffs,” Bielbel said.

Egan’s hit on Tuesday capped the RedHawks’ rebound from what had once been a 4-2 deficit against Downers South. Marist also trailed 1-0 on Friday before overtaking the Huskies.

“We’ve been strong in making comebacks this year,” Egan said. “We just want to try to win the inning [and] we were relentless in doing that. We picked each other up at the plate and we were sure something [good] was going to happen.

“We knew we had a good team and that Coach Biebel is a good coach. It was a matter of bringing it all together [this season] and becoming one.”

Gonzalez held Oak Park-River Forest in check after surrendering an early homer. She fanned three and stranded five baserunners. Earning the pitching win against the Mustangs was Emily Reilly, who relieved Gonzalez in the third and allowed just two hits the rest of the way.

“Emily Reilly helped us get to state,” Biebel said. “She didn’t get the chance to pitch in Peoria because Zariya was so stellar, but she saved the [playoff] games against Mother McAuley and Downers Grove South. That was huge for us.”

While Biebel admitted to some anxious moments along the way because “the teams that we played were amazing teams,” she said her athletes’ resolve provided comfort.

“The girls’ energy, focus, drive and determination definitely helped me to keep calm and know that we were going to be focused on our task at hand,” Biebel said. “The girls executed when it was needed.”


Hair today, fans gone tomorrow?

  • Written by Ken Karrson




HEADLINE: Hair today, fans gone tomorrow?


            People are fascinated by hair.

            Maybe it’s just an American thing, but there’s no denying the importance of it here in the U.S. The availability of hair-care products is seemingly infinite, gazillions of dollars are spent on them and countless folks devote far more time to working on their coifs than working at their jobs.

            Sometimes fame can be gained from going hairless simply because such a look runs counter to what most of us prefer and thus stands out. Would Michael Jordan have become a household name or Mr. Clean a notable household cleaner without his bald pate as a form of advertisement? Quite possibly not.

            Hair can be unwelcome too if it’s found anywhere but on one’s head, unless we're referring to a man’s chest. Over the years that’s often been thought as a sign of virility, although once those hairs turn gray all bets are off in that department.

            But a woman typically wants hair solely on her head and neither sex is keen about having any that turns two eyebrows into one. And who among us desires even a few strands of hair substituting for parsley as plate garnish at a fine-dining establishment?

            Apparently there’s also one guy who’d prefer to see it removed from the faces of NHL players in the spring. It’d be easy to dismiss this man’s dislike by labeling him some sort of weirdo except for one thing: He’s a very influential weirdo.

            Actually, Mark Lazarus’ feeling about bearded hockey players is quite easy to understand. As chairman of NBC Sports, he has a vested interest in players’ recognition level and, by extension, their potential marketability.

            Lazarus’ network dropped $2 billion -- that’s billion with a “b” -- on the NHL for the sport’s broadcasting rights over a 10-year span. Considering hockey is still seen as a regional sport in some ways, the Blackhawks’ hold over Chicagoans notwithstanding, it’s not at all surprising Lazarus and whoever else has a financial stake in the NHL would want to put the organization’s best face forward.

            But playoff beards have been a tradition for over three decades, dating back to the New York Islanders teams of the early 1980s that won four straight Stanley Cups. At least that’s where credit is given -- or the blame if you’re Mr. Lazarus.

            “Let’s get their faces out there,” Lazarus told one major news outlet. “Let’s talk about how young and attractive they are. I know it’s a tradition and superstition, but I think (the beards) hurt recognition.”

            Maybe, but try telling that to James Harden. The Houston Rockets player was runner-up for the NBA’s MVP award this season, but no one knows him solely because of that; in fact there are probably a number of people who had no idea of how the MVP voting unfolded until it was just mentioned here.

            No, what makes Harden eminently recognizable is a beard that would fit right in with those worn by colonialists. It’s become as much of a trademark for him as the chrome dome was for Jordan and Clean.

            There’s no case of mistaken identity whenever one sees a painting of Jesus, and that pudgy guy who spends his Decembers mingling with reindeer and elves has gotten pretty good mileage out of a face filled of whiskers. So too did our nation's 16th president.

            Some may say Jesus, Saint Nick and Abe Lincoln are exceptions, that beards are the domain of the unkempt and connote an overall unsavory quality. According to Lazarus, hockey players “have a great opportunity with more endorsements or simply more recognition with fans saying, ‘That guy looks like the kid next door,' which many of these guys do.”

            But what if the kid next door chooses to look the way former major-leaguer Johnny Damon did before joining the New York Yankees? With his long hair and shaggy beard, Damon resembled the kind of guy whose mug shot might have appeared on “America’s Most Wanted.”

            At least that’s what we’re told. Somehow I don’t think the Boston Red Sox cared much about Damon's grooming habits while he was helping them win the 2004 World Series. Neither did long-suffering Red Sox fans whose wait for a championship was almost as inexhaustible as that of Cubs fans.

            Although Mark Lazarus isn’t trying to be a stick in the mud, he’s falling into that same trap as so many before him: thinking clean-shaven equates to clean living. It sometimes does, but as many debutantes could verify the biggest wolves are often the ones with every hair in place and none of it on their faces.

            Now let me make clear that Lazarus is not suggesting hockey players are suddenly bad guys because they’re sporting facial foliage. His contention is that they’ll be more appealing to a greater number of fans minus the beards.

            But it really shouldn’t matter because the game ought to be enough of a draw on its own merits. Playoff hockey is, in this humble opinion, the most exciting happening in sports.

How can it not be? Heck, those of us watching are barely able to keep our balance while emptying the contents of an ice tray in our kitchen let alone while skating on a surface covered with ice. These guys are magicians who skate fast enough to get ticketed in a school zone and are also the toughest sons of guns around.

So if hockey somehow fails to connect with enough of an audience to satisfy NBC honchos, I highly doubt being able to see Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane in a less-hirsute state is going to make that much of a difference.

And let’s not forget that even with freshly shaved mugs, hockey players still won’t be all that visible thanks to the helmets and face shields they're required to wear. Lazarus isn’t suggesting that safety gets compromised in the name of promotion, so aren’t we really back at Square 1 regardless of how close athletes get to their razors?

Truth is, broaching a subject like beards and attaching any degree of importance to them seems rather silly. You obviously don’t see the NBA worrying about such trivial matters.

Why just the other day I noticed an important story about LeBron James, one that frankly I was surprised to see because I thought everything that could have possibly been written about him already had been. But I learned that James does not use dye on what little hair he has, a declaration that came straight from his barber’s mouth.

Boy, I can rest easy now knowing the truth about LeBron’s head. And now you can officially call me -- and everyone else who perused the article -- hair-brained.



Black Monday

  • Written by Ken Karrson



Black Monday

Three local teams blanked in regional final


By Ken Karrson

Sports Editor


The nation’s workforce tends to hate Mondays.

After results were in for some rain-delayed regional finals, a sizable group of baseball players echoed that same sentiment.

The start of June meant the end of the season for three local teams, and making the defeats sting a little more was the fact that each club was shut out in its last contest of the spring. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was Brother Rice’s 5-0 loss to Marian Catholic in the Class 4A Shepard Regional championship game.

Also falling short were Stagg, which lost 4-0 to Lincoln-Way North in the latter’s regional, and Sandburg, which got rolled 11-0 by host Providence Catholic. The Celtics went on to beat Marist 3-2 in nine innings last Thursday to earn a spot opposite Marian, a 5-2 victory over the Phoenix, in the Marist Sectional title game.

The Spartans, an afterthought of sorts during the East Suburban Catholic Conference season, began their playoff journey with a 1-0 win over Shepard. Behind pitcher Mark DiLuia Marian’s good fortune continued versus the Crusaders, who managed just two hits -- singles by Andrew Dyke and Ryan King -- off the hurler.

“We didn’t play sloppy; they just beat us,” Rice coach John McCarthy said. “They took it to us pretty good.

“You’ve got to credit Marian. They earned it. We couldn’t change momentum -- that was the biggest thing.”

The Spartans tallied once in their initial at-bat, but what really put Rice (26-11) in a bind was Marian’s three-run third that featured RBI from DiLuia (single) and Carlo Falconi (sacrifice fly). Also part of the rally was Lavezz Middleton’s sacrifice bunt that wasn’t fielded cleanly and gave the Spartans a second baserunner with nobody out.

“That was kind of a backbreaker,” McCarthy said of Marian’s uprising. “They were being aggressive, playing confident and things didn’t go our way. I was disappointed for our guys, but unfortunately that’s the way it bounces.”

The Crusaders’ scoring chances were few. They did load the bases in the third, but a popout extinguished that threat. Rice received eight free passes from DiLuia and had one batter hit by a pitch, but it also went down 10 times on strikeouts.

Ryan Kutt was the losing pitcher although he was charged with only two earned runs as the Crusaders finished the day with four errors. Middleton had two hits for Marian, Falconi drove in two runs and Dan Gutierrez (one hit) scored twice.

“It’s tough to take positives from the end of the season,” McCarthy said. “It’s the toughest day of the year for coaches [because] every year you have a unique set of guys. I was very pleased with this group and we had a blast.

“We had a great season. You always think you could have gone further [and] I’d like to have a little more playoff success, but we’re doing the right things and it’s going to break [right] for us one day.”

            Providence     11

            Sandburg       0

The Celtics seized command against the Eagles (18-14) right away last Monday as they struck for five first-inning runs. Leadoff hitter Mike Madej’s solo blast on an 0-2 pitch got it rolling for Providence and Jimmy Jeffries added a three-run dinger before the frame was out.

“The game started off as bad as it could have [for us],” Sandburg assistant coach Chuck Peters said. “There’s not really a way to sugarcoat it -- we just didn’t play well and we got thoroughly beat up. We made mistakes and got handled pretty good.”

While Peters said the Eagles didn’t show any signs of quit, the uphill climb was too steep -- and it grew steadily worse as Celtics pitcher Brent Villasenor never allowed Sandburg to get its offensive footing while his own team kept scoring. Only Dan Dziadkowiec and Ben Kociper had much success against Villasenor, who tossed a four-hitter.

“I think our team got deflated, which is a little disappointing, but [Providence was] the better team and they took it to us,” Peters said. “We hit a couple balls hard, but it was probably the worst playoff game we’ve ever had. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.”

And the best course of action in Peters’ opinion is to simply forge ahead.

“We just have to get back at it next year,” he said.

            L-W North     4

            Stagg   0

Chargers coach Matt O’Neill figured his squad would see Phoenix ace Kyle Ostrowski last Monday, and the Purdue University-bound hurler demonstrated his Division I-caliber abilities by mowing down 12 Stagg batters on third strikes and surrendering just three hits over 6 2/3 innings. Reliever Liam Jenkins finished off the Chargers (18-17) without incident.

Stagg pitcher Nick Gerzon wasn’t too shabby himself as he limited Lincoln-Way North to only four hits, but two of those -- Josh Mutter’s third-inning single and Ben Troike’s fourth-inning safety -- produced RBI. Pat Troike also knocked in a run during the latter frame with his groundout.

Max Downs delivered two of the Chargers’ hits off Ostrowski, including a double. His single in the second and an ensuing hit batsman gave Stagg two runners in scoring position with one out, but a popout and flyout quashed the would-be rally.

The Chargers also left the bags filled in the seventh and stranded a total of 11 men.


Catching up on lots of lost time

  • Written by Ken Karrson



HEADLINE: Catching up on lots of lost time

            Now that a certain columnist has awakened from a winter slumber -- who are we kidding; the spring and fall snoozes got in the way too -- it’s time to address a few things that have occurred since last we met.

            The most recent bit of big news was Bruce Jenner deciding that he no longer liked being best known as an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon. Of course, to younger folks his athletic past gets overshadowed by his association with the wacky Kardashian cabal, which may explain his own erratic behavior over the past couple years that culminated with his announcement that he is going to become a woman.

            None of this really mattered in a sporting sense until one group with way too much time on its hands opted to draft a petition urging the International Olympic Committee to strip Jenner of his 1976 medal. Come on, the man/woman has already stripped himself/herself of all dignity in the eyes of many, so let’s back off, OK?

            Amazingly, the IOC for once acted with a smidgen of rationality and said it wouldn’t even entertain the idea. Good because no matter how one might view Jenner’s recent actions, he earned that medal fair and square.

            The argument the petitioners offered was that men and women aren’t supposed to compete in each other’s events, but Jenner was unquestionably male when he participated nearly 40 years ago. Besides, how would being a woman have helped him in that circumstance? It would, in fact, have hindered him.

            So even if he now wants to have it melted down and made into a broach or pair of earrings, Jenner deserves to keep his medal.

            Now as for the whole sex-change thing, I have just one question: Why is he being feted for his courage? Aren’t we going overboard here? Far better examples of courageous individuals in athletics would be college basketball player Lauren Hill, who inspired teammates with her battle against cancer before passing away during this past season; former Kansas City Chief Joe Delaney, who drowned while trying to save three kids who’d fallen into a pond; or baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash while en route with supplies for people living in an impoverished part of the world.

            Those are examples of heroism; a guy unearthing his inner female doesn’t quite fall into that same category. I hope we can all agree on that.


            On a lighter note, you may recall several months ago when Prince William of England and his wife visited the U.S. and took in an NBA game while here. Normally that wouldn’t have been a big deal to anyone but the entertainment-world paparazzi, who salivate at the thought of being in the presence of royalty, either real or theatrical.

            However, a photo that made the Internet rounds was one William and Kate had taken with LeBron James, who had his arm around Kate when the picture was taken. His hand was in plain sight, so that was no problem; what did cause a bit of a stir among the super-sensitive crowd was that James had the temerity to touch royalty.

            Hey, everyone around the NBA refers to him as “King James.” Now, I’m no scholar when it comes to understanding regal hierarchy, but I do know that whenever I play poker king trumps all else, including queen. And since William still has to answer to his grandmother … well let’s just give LeBron a pass.

            The only thing that would have made it unpleasant was if James had worked up a sweat beforehand by taping a commercial or calling a press conference to announce his career plans for 2016, but that apparently wasn’t the case.

            An interesting point in all this is I don’t recall William getting his royal drawers in a bunch over the whole thing. If he had, we would have heard about it and, of course, he would have settled things mano a mano.

            Polo ponies at 20 paces perhaps?


            Remember the story about a Dallas Cowboys player who went to extremes to beat a kid in a video football game?

            Orlando Scandrick was visiting a children’s hospital, which was a very cool thing to do. What was downright cold, however, was the way he resorted to employing trick plays while playing Madden Football with one of the patients.

On the one hand Scandrick’s win-at-all-costs attitude is admirable. Too often we don’t see such determination being exhibited by today’s athletes, who seem content to cash their gargantuan paychecks that are attached to their guaranteed contracts and aren’t bothered at all by a game’s outcome, so Scandrick is a breath of fresh air in that regard.

Making it stale is the fact he didn’t adopt that same mindset on a Sunday against a Green Bay Packer or Washington Redskin but saved it up for use against a helpless kid. When this story first came out, some people weighed in with the idea that Scandrick was teaching something every youngster should realize: Life isn’t fair and things don’t always work out the way we would like.

I assume, though, that a kid in a children’s hospital has already figured that out for himself.


OK, where is it? Where is the mad rush to soccer everyone said Americans were finally going to make in the aftermath of last summer’s World Cup?

To paraphrase an old Phil Collins tune, I guess they missed again.

Don’t say you weren’t warned by the realists. While soccer may be the world’s favorite sport, it’s a world the majority of native-born U.S. citizens simply refuse to enter when so many alternatives exist.

Most of us are perfectly content to let soccer have its place in the athletic sphere and won’t harass fans of it, assuming we don’t get harangued ourselves. But that’s what happens every time a U.S. team steps on the world stage -- we’re informed in a most direct manner that this is the time soccer will catch on in a massive way.

A year ago I tried again to understand what the temporary hoopla was all about, but soccer just didn’t grab me. Don’t hate me, soccer fans, but I felt the entire undertaking was tedious and I grew weary watching it.

Gee, no wonder I dozed off for nine months.


Eagles hold fourth at state

  • Written by Ken Karrson



Eagles hold fourth at state

Win ensures volleyball team a trophy


By Anthony Nasella


            When Sandburg advanced to the boys; volleyball state finals last weekend in Hoffman Estates, it had only one goal: to bring the championship trophy back to Orland Park.

            The Eagles had to settle for fourth place, however. Vernon Hills ended their title bid -- not to mention a 28-match win streak -- in the semifinals by squeezing out a 25-23, 20-25, 25-23 victory on Saturday. Both physically and emotionally drained after that encounter and then forced to wait a long time before taking the court again, Sandburg fell to Addison Trail in just two sets, 25-18, 25-23 in the third-place match.

            The Eagles (36-6) beat New Trier 30-28, 18-25, 25-18 in Friday's first quarterfinal after advancing to state on the heels of a 25-15, 25-20 vanquishing of Marist last Tuesday in the Shepard Sectional championship match.

            “We brought home hardware and it’s always nice to do that,” Sandburg coach Sean Airola said. “It just wasn’t the trophy we wanted. It was all or nothing for these guys.

            "We played a long hard match against New Trier, and the next day after we lost to Vernon Hills the players had a four-hour gap of sitting around. [So] it was tough for them to play in that third-place [match].”

            The Eagles' loss to Vernon Hills prevented them from getting another shot at Glenbard West, the eventual state champ. Sandburg had won a head-to-head encounter with Glenbard at Brother Rice's Smack Attack, the most notable triumph during the Eagles' lengthy win streak that had begun April 20 and one of only two losses suffered by the champs this season.

            Paul Chmura and Jake Hanes had 12 and 10 kills, respectively, versus Vernon Hills, but the duo was also guilty of 11 hitting errors between them. Also chipping in along the net were Tajai Lang (seven kills) and T.J. Vorva (five).

            "This is the state tournament and we weren't going to down easy," Chmura said.

            Sandburg never find a rhythm against Addison Trail as it put down just 19 kills and posted a .180 attack percentage. Things had been much better opposite New Trier as Chmura (17 kills), Hanes (14), Vorva (six), Grant Burden (39 assists), Lang (five blocks) and Colin Ensalaco (12 digs) all lent a hand.

            Hanes also had an embarrassing moment in the latter match when a ball he had thrown in the air to serve wound up hitting him on the head when it descended

            "That was the worst toss of my life,” said Hanes, whose seven kills had spearheaded the Eagles' sectional-clinching victory over Marist. “I was thinking I was going to make a foot fault and I was thinking about jumping, but I just let it drop and it hit my head."

            Despite coming up short of their goal, the Eagles drew nothing but praise from Airola, who watched them get on a major roll after going 8-4 over their first dozen matches.

            “We started out a little rough but got better as the season went on," he said. "We played one of the toughest schedules in the state and we proved to be one of the best teams in the state. We showed a lot of heart [and] we did a lot of great things this year."

                        GIRLS' SOCCER

            After finishing with a 7-8-3 record in 2014, Stagg put together a stellar season in 2015 as it tripled its victory total and earned the program's first sectional title since 2006 and just its second overall.

            But the Chargers' magical campaign came to an end at the Class 3A Normal Supersectional, where Collinsville shut them out 3-0. In the process, Stagg also saw a 12-match unbeaten streak get halted.

            “The hardest part about Tuesday was saying goodbye to a really good group of girls who were so committed and so driven,” Chargers coach Chris Campos said. “We lose some significant seniors, so the loss was definitely bittersweet. This season was a definite success for Stagg soccer.

            “We finished with the best record in Stagg history (21-4) and had the big winning streak before our final loss to a very good Collinsville team. We tried to put our best foot forward on Tuesday, but we just fell a little short.”

            To be sure, Stagg was in the hunt after 32 minutes as it was locked in a scoreless tie with Collinsville thanks to some stellar play by goalkeeper Claire Heneghan. However, Collinsville’s height and depth began to make a difference in the second half.

            The Chargers, who had recorded three straight shutouts heading into the supersectional, almost scored when Hannah Mussallem and Veronica Stafira paired up but Mussallem’s shot was stopped by the Collinsville keeper.

            “We had a so much support from the community and the school,” Campos said. “This season was an experience the girls will remember and carry with them for the rest of their lives.

            "We lost some great seniors like Allison Stefan, Hannah Mussallem and Claire Heneghan, but we have nine freshmen and bunch of juniors who got experience this year. So we’re definitely looking forward to the future and [will] try to get back to where we were and keep improving day by day the way this team did.”