Community sports news

Oak Lawn Sharks seeking players

The Oak Lawn Sharks 14U baseball team is seeking one or two players to add to its roster.
The Sharks are part of Oak Lawn Baseball’s accelerated program and play a full-time schedule of spring and summer games following fall and winter workouts. They take part in tournaments that pit them against top-flight competition.
For more information, contact Gary Renken at 903-1472 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Oak Lawn baseball team feted for academics
Members of Oak Lawn High School’s 2014 baseball team were recently feted by the IHSA for their work away from the field.
The Spartans qualified for the organization’s Team Academic Achievement Award, thanks to a cumulative 3.1 grade-point average. Three of last spring’s seniors — Mitch Swatek (Southern Illinois University), Jake Slusinski (St. Xavier University) and Matt Dunne (Roosevelt University) — were among Oak Lawn’s top classroom performers, as were underclassmen Joe Dodaro and Alan Spies, both of whom carried GPAs of either 4.0 or above due to advanced placement classes.
In recognition of their scholastic accomplishments the Spartans will be featured on the IHSA website and included in the 2014-15 state finals baseball program.
“It’s satisfying that this achievement is becoming a trend,” Oak Lawn coach Bill Gerny said. “As a coaching staff we stress academic success. The players have risen to the challenge and made the classroom a priority.”

AYSO Roundup

Strong production continues in Palos AYSO

While a few teams flashed rugged defense, offense remained a key component for several Palos AYSO soccer squads in recent contests.
Following is a recap of reported matches.
Blues Clues 2, Team #2 1
Two goals from Connor Casey, plus sharp netminding by Casey, Maria Hennessy and Danny Russo lifted Blues Clues to a win over Team #2.
Martin Kizaitis assisted on one of Casey’s markers. Providing good defense in front of the keepers were Dylan Paddemors, Adam Dajani, Kelsey Kelley, Brandon Atkinson, Izzy Martinez, Hailey Wreza and Nick Kopanis.
Food 2, HMG 1
Koralia Juruklis and Mia Pagnotta both scored as Food edged HMG. Scott Kodelski (two), Griffin Sterlinga and Patrick Clancy were all credited with assists.
Also aiding the winning cause were Stefanos Aidons, Alyssa Barraco, Abigail Compagner, Kaleb Donahue, Kyle Donague, Jeff Korbitz, Donna Mulchrone, Elizabeth Sodetz, Ryan Soohoo, Cailin Stevens and Omar Taha. Compagner, who shared goalkeeping duties with Kaleb Donahue, continued playing after being hit in the face with the ball.
Derek Michnaik accounted for HMG’s lone goal. Netminder Sam Schilling also performed well in a losing effort.

Going to the ‘Dogs

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Richards roughs up Astros in league opener

The Bulldogs were more like junkyard dogs Friday night.
What Richards wanted to prove was that its Week 2 loss to Geneva was nothing more than a hiccup, something able to be cured with little difficulty. And those two words pretty much described Shepard’s level of resistance at Korhonen Field.
In fairness to the Astros, their prospects for a second straight win took a major hit when quarterback Chris Hennington did likewise. The senior signal-caller suffered an injury on Shepard’s initial play of the evening and coach Dominic Passolano admitted the circumstances “just derailed us.”
The Astros’ defense did what it could to repel the Bulldogs, frustrating them in a few instances when a touchdown seemed inevitable because of great field position. Richards, however, still found Shepard’s end zone often enough to cruise in with a 33-0 triumph in its South Suburban Conference Red opener.
“We were [ticked] off about last week and there were constant reminders on the little things that cost us the game,” Bulldogs coach Tony Sheehan said. “We harped on that a little bit and the kids responded well. Our defense really responded well because [the Astros] didn’t do much.”

Not weekend weakened

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Ferguson TDs key Cougars’ upset of Indy

When asked if beating the University of Indianapolis on Saturday was special to him, St. Xavier University senior running back Khary Ferguson responded with a hearty, “Yes, sir!”
Obviously, scoring a win over the No. 15-ranked team in NCAA Division II was memorable for everyone on the Cougars’ roster. Elevating it even more in Ferguson’s eyes, was his status as an Indianapolis native.
The Greyhounds weren’t interested in recruiting Ferguson even before he injured his knee and required surgery early in his senior high school season. When the matchup at Bruce R. Deaton Field was over, however, they likely wished they had.
SXU’s offense wasn’t a juggernaut, but Ferguson gave it exactly what it needed: productivity to complement the Cougars’ strong defensive play. He racked up 63 rushing yards on nine carries and reached the Indianapolis end zone twice, including on a fancy 29-yard sprint in the opening quarter.
Behind Ferguson’s heroics, two Abdul Mahdi field goals and that aforementioned prevention unit, SXU had enough in its arsenal to knock off the Greyhounds 19-14 and avenge a lopsided 2013 loss.
Before the contest Cougars coach Mike Feminis had warned his players that “nobody better be surprised three hours from now after we’ve won the game,” and Ferguson said Feminis’ confidence in his players went a long way.

Rice bags first win over Loyola since 2008

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Blue hasn’t always been a popular color at Brother Rice.

Ever since their entry into the powerful Chicago Catholic League Blue, the Crusaders have usually played second — or third or fourth — fiddle to other members of the division. That’s understandable seeing as how three programs have at least one state football championship to their credit since the CCL Blue’s inception and the fourth has been a runner-up.
That latter team is Loyola Academy, which had beaten Rice every year since 2008. The Ramblers’ 2013 victory was, in fact, one of just two double-digit wins foes collected against the Crusaders last fall.
So when Loyola visited Joe Johnston Field Friday night for the latest renewal of the series the supposedly smart money was on the Ramblers continuing their mastery over Rice. That turned out to be a fool’s bet, however.
Fresh off a payback to neighboring Marist for a 2013 loss, the Crusaders continued down that same revenge-seeking path and Loyola became their latest victim.
After spotting the Ramblers the game’s first touchdown, Rice rattled off 16 unanswered points over the middle two periods, an output that was just enough to nail down a 16-13 triumph in both squads’ CCL Blue opener.