Traveling a Rocky road to Hall of Fame

(Reprinted from Dec. 10, 2010)

  Rocky Marciano, Rocky Graziano, Rocky Balboa.
  One retired an undefeated heavyweight champion, one spent some time as a middleweight champion before eventually becoming an actor and one was a box-office champion who was never anything but an actor. And all three are now in boxing’s Hall of Fame.
  Marciano and Graziano, a winner of 67 fights during his career, receiving their sport’s highest honor is understandable. Placing Rocky Balboa — or, more accurately, his creator — there is a bit more mind-boggling.
  But that’s what happened last week when actor Sylvester Stallone was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum at the same time as real-life boxers Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez. To his credit, Stallone was properly respectful about his unexpected prize, saying in a statement that it was his “privilege to have been blessed with the ability to write about the incredible courage and commitment of the many thousands of real-life Rockys whom we have watched perform honorably in the ring.”
  Truth be known, most Rockys never do all that much within the squared circle. For example Chuck Wepner, the fighter on whom the Rocky character is supposedly based, served as a punching bag for Muhammad Ali in a 1975 bout.

Community sports news

Palos Heights man sinks pair of aces

Most golfers will never experience the thrill of making a hole-in-one.
Bob Murphy became part of that group on June 11. Then he accomplished something far more rare: a repeat performance.
Six days after notching an ace at Zigfield Troy Golf Course in Woodridge, the 23-year-old Palos Heights man sank another hole-in-one, this time at Bolingbrook Golf Course. Amazingly, those weren't Murphy's first two aces, but the third and fourth he has recorded since he began golfing.
These latest ones came on holes measuring 109 yards (No. 7 at Zigfield Troy) and 152 yards (No. 17 at Bolingbrook).
Murphy, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a degree in golf enterprise management, has begun a career in his field by serving as the Bolingbrook course's assistant golf pro.

2014 All-Area Baseball Team



CHRISTIAN BOLHUIS, Chicago Christian, P, Jr.
• With 23 varsity wins already banked, Bolhuis is on track to become the Knights’ all-time victories leader in 2015 as he trails record holder Trent Overzet by just six. His 2014 pitching numbers on the Knights’ behalf were almost off the charts — his 100 whiffs topped all area hurlers, and he did that while throwing only 64 1/3 innings and walking just 19 batters. The Suburban Christian Conference Player of the Year posted an 8-3 ledger, allowed 35 hits, sported a minuscule 1.20 earned-run average and held opposing hitters to a meager .146 cumulative average. Bolhuis, the son of Knights football coach Jim Bolhuis, became just the third Chicago Christian baseball player ever named to the all-state team, joining Mike Kamp (2012) and Bob Schaaf (1990). Offensively, this paper’s Player of the Year chipped in a .326 average, .415 on-base percentage, 24 runs, 23 RBI and nine doubles. Bolhuis will be the Knights’ starting quarterback for the third season in a row this fall.

Richards 7-on-7 Tournament

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Bulldogs not hangdog after 2014 ending

Richards football players could have hung their heads while recalling the team's shortcoming against Batavia in last fall’s Class 6A championship game.
And remembering that nine starters from the 2013 state runner-up club have moved on would further the reason to feel crestfallen.
But instead of dwelling on various kinds of losses, the returning Bulldogs are looking ahead to the 2014 season with confidence. They plan on applying the lessons learned a year ago and becoming stronger because of it, robust enough perhaps to be the last team standing this time around.
“Last year, we learned that hard work pays off,” said senior-to-be quarterback Hasan Muhammad-Rogers, who is back for his third varsity season “We did everything that we could. All season we busted our butts [and] Coach [Tony Sheehan] pushed us to the limit.

Summer baseball roundup

  • Written by Ken Karrson

No stretch for Mustangs in seventh

Down to its last at-bat, Evergreen Park made sure its first outing of the summer turned out right.
It was a case of seventh heaven for the Mustangs last Wednesday against Richards. Even when trailing the Bulldogs by three runs entering the final frame, Evergreen discovered staging a rally didn’t require too big a stretch.
Richards contributed a couple errors and a walk in the inning, and Bulldogs coach Brian Wujcik said one of the Mustangs’ hits was misplayed by his team. But Evergreen also did its part as Mark Martin, Joe Piet and Matt Lyons all delivered run-scoring hits.
Lyons’ double actually chased across two teammates, and that provided the Mustangs with the difference in a 7-6 victory.
“He’s a super-strong kid,” Evergreen coach Mark Smyth said of Lyons. “He’s a little bit raw, but he’s all baseball.”
The Mustangs are playing a reduced schedule this summer, in part because Evergreen’s 2013-14 school year extended deeper into June than usual. The plan is to not go beyond the Fourth of July.