Fairy-tale season ends against Warren

  • Written by Frank Gogola

The postseason's feel-good story lacked an appropriate ending.

Being runner-up is certainly nothing of which to be ashamed, however, and that's where Sandburg landed after Warren defeated it 8-4 in the Class 4A softball final Saturday in East Peoria. The Lady Eagles were ahead 3-2 after four innings but were unable to hang onto the lead.
What made Sandburg's playoff run so impressive was that it followed a somewhat average regular season, one in which the Lady Eagles lost 15 times. But after dropping a decision to Lockport on May 23, Sandburg found another gear and peeled off seven straight victories to position itself opposite Warren.
Pitcher Sarah Herold cited the Lady Eagles' 4-3 triumph over Barrington in 13 innings one day after the setback against Lockport as the key element in their revival.
“Barrington, they’re a good team — everybody knows it,” Herold said after Sandburg's supersectional conquest of Naperville Central. “For us to just beat them, I think it really motivated us.
“[It was] like, ‘Listen, guys, we can do this. Yeah, we lost to Lockport or [Lincoln-Way] East, but we beat Barrington.’”
Herold, a postseason fixture for the Lady Eagles (24-16), battled uncharacteristic wildness early on versus Warren as she put two batters aboard in the top of the second inning by hitting them with pitches. That set the table for a two-run double.


Rodman decides to do the write thing

(Reprinted from Feb. 7, 2013)

  Hey, Dr. Seuss, guess what? You have company.
  Children’s books are an important component of the literary world. While they may seem trite to adults, we’re no longer looking at them through innocent eyes or with an untainted conscience.
  Of course, many of us would probably benefit from a rereading. Based on the public actions I witness from a fair amount of folks these days, long forgotten are basic niceties such as politeness, honesty, sharing and showing consideration for others.
  And if a barnyard animal or talking piece of machinery happens to be the one instructing us in print, the message is no less important. Maybe they’ll succeed where Dr. Phil has failed.
  There is a knack, though, to composing a book that is designed to attract a very young audience. Heavy-handedness won’t work, and the morality tale must be presented in a simple, yet effective manner.

Community sports news

Palos Heights to sponsor flag football league

  The Palos Heights Parks and Recreation Department is accepting registration for an NFL Flag Football League it will sponsor this fall.
  Coed teams are being formed for youngsters entering grades 3-8. Games will be played on Sundays from Sept. 7-Nov. 2 at Shepard and in-season practices will be conducted one day per week.
  The cost is $76 for residents, $96 for nonresidents, and the deadline to enter is Aug. 8 unless all spots are filled before that. All participants will receive a team jersey and participation award.
  Individuals can sign up at the recreation department, 6601 W. 127th St.

The retiring types

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Four coaches hang up whistles from the games they love

Much like a hearty stew, there are a plethora of ingredients
— not all of them readily visible — that go into creating a high school sports coach. Just ask a few well-seasoned ones.

Four area leaders who know the recipe quite well won't be around next year, however, to dispense more instructional servings to eager-to-learn student-athletes. Richards'
John Chappetto, Oak Lawn's Janet Meyers, Marist's Denise Bromberek and Brother Rice's Paul Ickes all decided that the 2013-14 school year would be the last one in charge of their respective programs.
Bromberek completed her final assignment on Saturday, when the Lady RedHawks met Sandburg in a Class 4A sectional title
game. The Lady Eagles brought her 12-year softball-coaching tenure at Marist to a halt with a victory.
Bromberek, who is moving out of state with her family, has been the Lady RedHawks' only varsity softball coach since Marist went coed. She led the Lady RedHawks to a state championship two years ago.

Locals tabbed in MLB draft

  • Written by Frank Gogola

 A future major-league career may or may not be in the offing, but at least for one day some southwest suburban players drew the attention of pro baseball teams.

  Major League Baseball’s annual amateur draft took place last week and counted among the first 67 picks was Orland Park native Sam Travis. A Providence Catholic alumnus and junior at Indiana University, Travis was chosen by Boston in the second round.
  He was at his house watching the draft on the MLB Network with a few family members when he received a phone call from an area scout notifying him of the Red Sox’s intention to select him.
  “It’s a dream come true [and] I’m very excited,” Travis said. “It’s going to be very exciting to hopefully someday play in one of the most historic ballparks at Fenway.”
  Travis said he’ll forgo his senior season at IU and join the Red Sox organization. In 2011, Travis was drafted out of high school by Cincinnati in the 40th round after helping Providence place second in Class 4A, but he felt more comfortable enrolling at IU instead of turning professional.
  “At the time, I thought I needed to mature as a person and mature as a player and work on getting a good education,” Travis said. “Looking back now I don’t regret that decision.”
  The 6-foot, 210-pound first baseman was a unanimous choice as Big Ten Player of the Year this spring after batting .347 with 12 homers, 58 RBI, 55 runs and eight stolen bases in 13 attempts. Travis fielded his position at a .997 clip.