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Moraine athletics wrap

  • Written by Maura Vizza

Spring teams ready to get started

While every Moraine Valley College athlete anxiously awaits a shift away from cold weather, one Cyclones spring sports team must also deal with a change in leadership.
The men’s tennis squad, long the domain of school athletic director Bill Finn, is now guided by Ben Thompson. Thompson inherits a program that welcomes back four members of the crew that took third in regional play a year ago.
While certainly a credible showing, that finishing spot deprived Moraine of a team berth in the national tournament. The narrow miss is being used as motivation by returning all-region player Tim Stewart (Stagg), as well as fellow veterans Ryan Adamski, Christian Lagunas and Brad Smith (Sandburg). Expected to join them as steady contributors in 2014 are newcomers Kevin Karczynski, Mike Broderick, Bryan Jimenez (Shepard) and Alec Mikes.
“I’m very excited for the season and happy with everyone on the team,” Thompson said. “They put in more work than I asked and have gone above and beyond before the season even started.

SXU sports summary

Basketball players gain postseason honors

Some good deeds do get rewarded.
While the 2013-14 men’s and women’s basketball campaigns didn’t feature the kind of postseason success that was hoped for, some St. Xavier University student-athletes nevertheless received individual storybook endings. And in a few instances, those rewards recognized them as both athletes and students.
Five Cougars, in fact, were feted for academics by being named as Daktronics Scholar-Athletes. Tabbed for honors in the NAIA Division II men’s basketball category were senior Brad Karp and junior Brandon Marren, while the trio of juniors Suzie Broski, Maloree Johnson and Morgan Stuut were similarly cited in NAIA Division II women’s hoops.
A total of 134 men and 244 women nationwide were chosen as Daktronics Scholar-Athletes. In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, have achieved junior academic status and have completed at least one year at the nominating school.
Karp carries a 3.56 cumulative GPA while majoring in biology, Marren is at 3.65 while studying history with an emphasis on secondary education, Broski and Johnson both sport perfect 4.0 GPAs while pursuing their respective degrees in biology and management/accounting, and Stuut has a 3.87 GPA as a nursing major.

Community sports news

St. Laurence looking for new basketball coach

St. Laurence is seeking a new varsity basketball coach after previous coach Mark Sevedge was not retained.
Sevedge, who recently completed his fifth season in charge of the Vikings, posted a 31-106 record during his tenure. Prior to taking over for Tom Pallerdy, Sevedge spent six years in the program as an assistant. He also played for St. Laurence in the 1990s.
“We worked hard and I’m disappointed the kids weren’t able to enjoy more success,” Sevedge said.

“I want to thank Coach Sevedge for his 11 years of dedication to the St. Laurence basketball program,” school athletic director Tim Chandler said in a statement. “A decision like this is never easy, especially with a coach who is so passionate about the school. However, I felt that a change in leadership in the basketball program was necessary for the long-term success of the program.”

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

As impressive as Sandburg’s boys’ water polo team was last week — it opened the 2014 season with three victories and scored a total of 45 goals in those matches — Eagles coach Jim Caliendo was most satisfied with his squad’s defensive effort.

Sandburg started with a 10-4 victory over Lincoln-Way North in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover match and then crushed Bremen co-op 18-2 and Hinsdale South 17-4 in nonconference encounters on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
“I’ve definitely seen what I expected on offense because of the kids that I’ve seen who have been leading the way in practice,” Caliendo said. “What I’m really pleased with is our defense.
“Our team defense has really done well against the teams we’ve played thus far. That was a little unexpected and, therefore, a nice surprise.”
Against Lincoln-Way North, Zach Roper paced the Eagles with seven goals. His five goals propelled them past Bremen, and then Roper (six goals) and Mitch Zieler (five) led the charge for Sandburg in its romp over Hinsdale. Sean McNicholas registered 11 saves in the latter match.

2013-14 All-Area Basketball Teams

BOYS: FIRST TEAM

MAX STRUS, Stagg, G/F, Sr.

  • Max StrusThe 2013-14 Player of the Year — who was mentioned by more than one opposing coach this season as the second-best player in the south suburbs behind Marian Catholic and future University of Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis — finished his prep career as the greatest basketball player in Stagg history. That’s the tag applied to Strus by veteran Chargers coach John Daniels, and it’s certainly difficult to debate the claim. After all, Strus was the top performer on Stagg’s finest single-season hoops squad, one that garnered 22 wins and came within two points of defeating four-time defending state champion Simeon for the Class 4A Shepard Regional crown. In his three full varsity campaigns, the Chargers piled up a total of 56 victories. Already a two-time all-area second-team selection, the 6-foot-6 Strus became a first-teamer by accruing per-game averages of 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists while connecting on 82 percent of his free throws and sinking 68 3-pointers. He recorded 10 double-doubles and led Stagg in every major statistical category except assists, where he was second to Kevin White, and Strus departs the program as its No. 1 man in made foul shots (241) and charges taken (31). His 1,140 career points are only 16 off Jeff Miller’s pacesetting mark and put him third overall in team scoring annals. Other notable career stats include 180 assists and 165 3s. Strus’ college destination has yet to be determined, but Illinois State, Nevada and Missouri-Kansas City universities are among his suitors.