District 218 Tournament

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Making a name for themselves

New faces key Bulldogs’ sweep to tourney title

  Football took center stage at Richards last week, and some basketball players went along for the ride to DeKalb.
  That’s where the Bulldogs sought to bring home the Oak Lawn school’s first football state championship in 24 years. And among those individuals contributing to a season’s worth of notable achievements were receivers Dedrick Shannon and Spencer Tears, both of whom missed out on preseason basketball practices because of their gridiron obligations.
  Minus those two, as well as a pair of projected reserves, coach John Chappetto’s hoopsters entered the annual Thanksgiving-week District 218 Tournament in shorthanded condition. And the situation worsened when another veteran, guard Deon Alexander, missed the last two of Richards’ four contests for family-related reasons.
  Then, just to top off the mounting unfavorable circumstances, Bulldogs forward Josh Meier was chained to the bench for all but a few minutes of the first half of Friday’s meeting with Marist because of foul trouble.

John McBride Classic

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Max-imum efficiency

Strus carries Chargers to another tourney crown

  It would seemingly be difficult for a 6-foot-6 individual to stay hidden.
  In John Daniels’ opinion, however, Max Strus has somehow managed to do that.
  Daniels, who is in his 11th coaching season at Stagg and 21st overall, unabashedly refers to Strus, a still-growing senior, as the best player he’s ever coached. And the veteran leader insists “it’s not even close.”
  “You know you have a Division I athlete when you have one,” Daniels said. “He’s better than some of the guys who have committed to those schools.”
  By “those schools,” Daniels was referring to the mid-sized NCAA Division I universities in Illinois, none of which has approached Strus with a scholarship offer. The latter’s decision to eschew AAU basketball for baseball at Stagg has likely kept Strus a relatively unknown commodity to the collegiate basketball world.


Drink to our health? Nah, they’ll toast their wealth

(Reprinted from Oct. 20, 2011)

  Is it just me, or are some of you also growing weary of constantly being told what’s good and not good for us?
  I’m talking food and drink here. Most of us are already aware that stepping in front of a speeding train, sticking a fork into a plugged-in toaster and standing under a tree during a thunderstorm are not activities undertaken with health consciousness in mind.
  The dietary police might not be so bad if they arrived at an opinion and then never wavered from it, but theories abound and tend to change with the same frequency as Jennifer Aniston’s love interests. Two items that seem to cause the most confusion are eggs and coffee.

Girls’ basketball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Lady Spartans perfect through five

  Oak Lawn coach Janet Meyers can confidently say that the members of her Lady Spartans team truly enjoying playing basketball with one another.
  And through the first five games of the 2013-14 season, her athletes are also winning.
  That certainly was true at last week’s Glenbard East Tournament, where Oak Lawn captured a championship by triumphing four times in a row. The Lady Spartans edged Downers Grove North 60-58 in the title contest last Wednesday, one day after they slipped past Glenbard South 55-52 in the semifinal round.
  Oak Lawn’s Brianna Markusic was named the tournament MVP, while LaTondra Brooks and Jannah Mahmoud joined her on the all-tourney team. By sweeping their tournament contests, the Lady Spartans are off to their best start to a season under Meyers.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

With 11 of 14 starters from last season’s state championship team having graduated in the spring, this year’s Sandburg wrestling squad is definitely younger.

 The Eagles still have talent, however, most noticeably with defending state champ Johnny Pellegrino. But he’s not going it alone.

 It’s already evident that Sandburg’s youthful makeup isn’t hindering its performances. The Eagles opened their 2013-14 season last Wednesday with a dual-meet win over Homewood-Flossmoor, then went 3-0 at their own quadrangular on Saturday.