New man on the job

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Phillips coach McAllister named Evergreen football boss

  When Evergreen Park recently lost Dan Hartman as its head football coach, athletic director Jim Soldan knew where to look for a replacement: toward the one school that administered a loss to the Mustangs in 2013.
  Troy McAllister wasn’t the only man who applied for the vacant position at Evergreen; the contrary, in fact, was true. The former Phillips boss was one of 45 applicants, and Soldan stated that “a good third of those were all current head coaches.”
  That was quite a change from previous personnel searches Soldan conducted. When former coach Mike Barry was hired in 2008, for example, virtually no other active head coaches showed interest.
  Of course, Barry’s task was rather monumental: to lift the Mustangs out of the depths. He laid the foundation for Hartman, who guided Evergreen to three straight playoff berths during his brief tenure.
  “A lot of people say, ‘People use [our school] as a stepping-stone,’” Soldan said. “But if you had told me we’d have 27 wins in three years, six of them in the playoffs, I’d have hired Dan Hartman anyway. We do get a lot of coaches that don’t stay, but that’s the way it is [at many places] today.”
  McAllister could be different, however. Although a native of Canada, McAllister has sunk roots in Illinois, and he is the first Mustangs football coach since Dave LaBarbera in 2002 to be an in-state hire.

A busy week at Marist

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Three state tournaments all part of the sports schedule

  Separated by a few hundred yards and approximately 10 minutes, Marist’s baseball and softball teams were on opposite ends of two walk-offs Saturday as the latter hoisted a Class 4A regional trophy afterward.
  Athletic director Bob Lim offered Marist to the IHSA as a host for both baseball and softball regionals, and the RedHawks’ presence in each final simply added extra flavor to the events. And if that wasn’t enough, the school was also the site of a boys’ volleyball sectional last week.


Getting in the last word about words

  (Reprinted from Nov. 11, 2012)

  Where would we be without words?
  Some of us would be out of work, but all of us would be inconvenienced and negatively affected in some manner. Everything from term papers to grocery lists to ransom notes would be impossible to compile, and orators would be rendered silent.
  Imagine if, during this election season, we weren’t subjected to a single political ad. Yes, go ahead and take several moments to imagine …
  Sorry, that was a dream from which I was in no hurry to awaken. Words are the cornerstone of our existence, and there is no shortage of them — except inside the sports world.
  As any veteran reporter will tell you, trying to coax certain athletes or coaches into opening up and offering insightful comments can be a very frustrating experience. They’ll either supply one-word answers or quickly develop a crusty attitude and treat the questioner with the same disdain normally reserved for a freeloading relative.

SXU sports summary

Nonnemacher named NAIA Pitcher of the Year

Her softball season is over, but Nicole Nonnemacher collected one more prize last week — the biggest one of all, in fact.
Not only was the St. Xavier University sophomore a pitching stalwart for her own school, she was also recognized as the NAIA’s best in 2014 by the organization’s All-America selection committee. One of just 20 first-team members nationwide, Nonnemacher was chosen as the national Pitcher of the Year.
That gave the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference a clean sweep of major awards. Olivet Nazarene University second baseman Hannah Gardner was tabbed as the NAIA Player of the Year.
Nonnemacher is the third SXU student-athlete to receive the NAIA’s top award in a sport. Jimmy Coy was the national football Player of the Year in 2012 and softball player Colleen Kilduff, now the head coach at Mother McAuley, was feted eight years before Nonnemacher.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Eagles’ relay team second at state

  Second-best isn’t so bad when contenders emerge from across an entire state.
  That’s the position Sandburg’s 3,200-meter relay team held after that race was run Saturday afternoon at the Class 3A boys’ state track meet in Charleston. Owners of the fastest time in Friday’s prelims at O’Brien Stadium, the Eagles couldn’t quite duplicate that feat when first-place medals were at stake.
  They actually bettered their Friday clocking by nearly six seconds, but Neuqua Valley completed the event .56 seconds ahead of Sandburg, which finished in 7 minutes, 40.77 seconds on Saturday. Matt Hetzler, Denis O’Callaghan, Chris Torpy and Sean Torpy comprised the Eagles’ relay quartet, which began its assault on possible gold with a 7:47.56 effort at the Romeoville Sectional.
  That time was second-best among 25 qualifiers, and then Sandburg lowered it to 7:46.53 in its state prelims heat.