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.


Boo-hooing booing? That’s a boo-boo

(Reprinted from
Sept. 27, 2012)

  What’s next? A moratorium on foam-finger waving?
  There’s little question that political correctness has permeated our world to a stifling degree. So much is considered off-limits these days I’m not even sure what I’m able to say to myself without insulting me.
  A feel-good society sounds fine in theory, but it’s simply not realistic to expect a 24/7 trouble-free existence. Life is full of plot twists and turns, and all of us must be prepared to deal with unhappiness from time to time.
  And there’s no special immunity granted to athletes and coaches in that regard. There is one difference between sports people and those of us outside their domain, however.
  Vocal reactions aren’t a standard part of our workplaces. Sure, we might occasionally disagree with obstinate co-workers, mutter obscenities to witless supervisors under our breath or receive a managerial tongue-lashing for not working hard enough to ensure the next round of executive-level bonuses, but these things only happen periodically.
  Then again, we also don’t get cheered for a job well done. So whoever revels in the good should be willing to also shoulder the bad.
  But not in these touchy-feely times. Now, there’s no place for criticism, even if it’s warranted.

Volleyball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Mighty Macs state their case away from home

  In an attempt to again become the best volleyball team in the state, Mother McAuley has gone outside the state for preparation.
  Coach Jen DeJarld’s strategy has been to go wherever the competition is fiercest, and for the past two weekends that’s sent the Mighty Macs on road trips. Last weekend McAuley appeared at the 24-school Louisville Invitational and went 4-1 against a string of heavy hitters, a performance good enough to net the Macs runner-up status at the prestigious event.
  “These last two weekends, traveling out of state and playing five of the nation’s top teams, was a great experience for us,” DeJarld said. “The reason we compete in those matches is to be fully tested early on and also to make us aware of what our deficiencies are.
  “I think from one week the level of our play has increased dramatically — the speed of our play has definitely increased. We’ve made a lot of improvements in just one week. I’m really happy at the place we’re at right now.”
  McAuley began play in Louisville with wins over two Kentucky programs: Holy Cross (25-10, 25-15) and Dunbar (25-11, 25-17). Kelsey Clark put down eight of her tournament-total 25 kills in the victory over Dunbar.