The good, the bad and the nutty

  (Reprinted from
Aug. 18, 2011)

  Sports stories come in all varieties. Here are three recent examples representing, in order, the good, the bad and the nutty.
• The 10 degrees of Sensei Keiko Fukuda
  First off, most of us are never going to see our 98th birthday. And the ones who do might not be in any condition to remember the special occasion, or even know where or who they are at that particular moment.
  And when it comes to exercise — well, let’s just say wrapping a shawl around one’s shoulders can constitute a full-fledged physical workout at that advanced age.
  But enough tasteless jabs aimed at my elders. I’d better shut the trap, lest I anger Sensei Keiko Fukada.
  Fukada is 98 years old, which in Asian culture automatically makes her a respected figure. In Fukada’s case, what also helps to engender esteem is the fact that she can beat the snot out of any smart mouths that cross her path.

Sports wrap

  It was a good weekend for Chicago Christian sports.

  While the school’s baseball and softball squads captured regional championships on Saturday, both its boys’ tennis and track teams will be represented at state meets this week after strong sectional showings. Taking the court on the Knights’ behalf will be the doubles tandem of Josh Mollema and Charlie Blim, who were among the top four finishers at the Sandburg Sectional.
  As a team, Christian placed sixth with six points. The host Eagles won the title with 26 points and Stagg was runner-up with 23.
  Advancing for Sandburg were singles player Jonluke Passett and the doubles pair of Jimmy Gradowski and Trent Sichelski. The Chargers’ state qualifiers were Brendan Wolan, Andre Kohn and the doubles duo of Muzamil Al-Khan and Warren Wudtke.

Trinity sports report

Reidsma earns All-America honors

  What a way to cap a collegiate career.
  Senior Andy Reidsma has experienced plenty of memorable moments as a runner at Trinity Christian College, but none greater than last Thursday’s performance at the NAIA National Track & Field Championships. In Gulf Shores, Ala., Reidsma posted his highest national finish ever by placing third in the 10,000-meter run.
  He stayed with the front pack throughout the race and completed his run in 30 minutes, 48.44 seconds to claim All-America honors. Reidsma was at it again on Saturday, when he took part in the marathon, along with Trinity teammate Chris Koutavas. Both of them reached the nationals by registering qualifying times in half-marathons during the season.
  Among a group of 46 competitors that began racing at 6 a.m., Reidsma placed 16th and Koutavas 24th. Reidsma covered the 26-mile distance in 2:52:53.70, while Koutavas stopped the timer in 3:02:48.20.
  Participating in the women’s portion of the national meet were Anna Bos, Jessica Disselkoen and the 3,200-relay squad, which was comprised of Ashley Jourdan, Hannah Schwab, Justine VanDyk and Courtney Kalous. Bos wound up eighth in the 10,000 (37:25.47), which resulted in All-America status for her.
  The 3,200-relay foursome lowered their school standard by five seconds as they clocked a 9:20.21 and placed 12th in a field of 24. That was five spots higher than the Trolls were seeded in the event.
  Disselkoen was 28th in the 3,000-steeplechase after running an 11:43.01.


Softball roundup

  • Written by Frank Gogola and Anthony Nasella

Lady Knights close out Mt. Assisi, claim regional title

  She may have appeared composed, but Chicago Christian sophomore pitcher Davina Gutierrez needed a moment to calm herself Saturday after enduring a six-run fourth inning that cut the Lady Knights’ lead over Mt. Assisi to 7-6.
  “The first thing I thought about was my travel-ball coach, Joe Findlay,” Gutierrez said. “I thought about what words he would be saying to me and what would be going through my mind at that time.
  “And I just thought about what our team has been through together, and I knew that they had my back one way or another, so I knew that we could get through it. … The emotions running through me kind of got the best of me at one point, but I definitely pushed through it.”
  Gutierrez settled down after surrendering a two-RBI single and Terri Dearth’s grand slam and limited the Screeching Eagles to just one more run. The Lady Knights added to their own total as well, which helped them collect an 11-7 victory and the championship of their own Class 2A softball regional at the Trinity Christian College Athletic Complex.
  The defeat not only ended Mt. Assisi’s campaign, but its very existence. The school closed its doors for good on Friday.
  Chicago Christian (14-15), which claimed its fourth regional crown in as many seasons, met Beecher in a Reed-Custer Sectional semifinal this past Wednesday. The Eagles, meanwhile, concluded their final season at 9-19.

SXU sports summary

Thompson solid for Cougars in NAIA golf tourney

  She missed the final-round cut by just a single stroke, but St. Xavier University freshman Taylor Thompson still beat out 102 golfers at last Tuesday’s NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships in Lincoln, Neb.
  Thompson shot rounds of 83, 76 and 79 during her three days at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club, a par-72, 5,962-yard course. Her 238 total was good for 42nd place. The top 40 golfers advanced into the fourth round.
  “Although Taylor missed the cut, she played a great tournament [by] coming back very strong after a shaky opening round,” Cougars coach Mike Mandakas said. “She handled herself very well as a freshman playing alongside the best collegiate golfers in the country. I know Taylor will take a lot from this experience and get herself prepared for a return trip next year.”
  Thompson had a stellar debut season at SXU, registering numerous top-10 tourney finishes and winning the individual title at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Championship. That victory secured for her an automatic bid to the NAIA event and helped Thompson get named the conference’s Women’s Player of the Year.