Taking a fresh(man) approach

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Cougars’ kids play pivotal roles in win over Eagles

 This winning is kid stuff.

No one within the St. Xavier University football program actually takes success for granted, but most of the Cougars’ achievements over the past decade have been realized through the efforts of seasoned performers. Rarely during that span has SXU had to rely heavily on contributions from younger athletes.

  That’s not the case in 2013, however, especially on the offensive side, where nine redshirt or true freshmen have already logged significant playing time. Understandably, that’s resulted in a few hiccups — against NCAA Division II power University of Indianapolis, for example, the Cougars were guilty of five turnovers.
  And even in Saturday night’s Mid-States Football Association crossover game with Robert Morris University, SXU’s offense was less than dynamic through the opening half. The Cougars carried a 17-10 lead with them into intermission, but they needed a trick play to grab that advantage just before the break.
  In addition, a fumble deep in SXU territory had given the Eagles their touchdown.
  “They’re getting an opportunity [to play] earlier than they would have in other years,” Cougars coach Mike Feminis said of his younger guys, “and we know there’s going to be mistakes made. But we’re not using their age as an excuse.

An A-plus for the ‘D’

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Bulldogs stay perfect by shutting down Astros

  Score an A-plus for Richards’ “D” Friday night in Palos Heights.
  While the Bulldogs’ offense wasn’t bad, either, Richards coach Tony Sheehan saw enough flaws to resist giving it a similarly high grade. The same thing couldn’t be said of the visitors’ prevention corps, which completely hamstrung host Shepard.
  Already struggling to develop a consistent attack before meeting up with their District 218 and South Suburban Conference Red rival, the Astros found no answers opposite the Bulldogs, who not only pitched a shutout but also held Shepard to less than 70 total yards.
  “Offensively, it’s a tough deal,” said Astros coach Dominic Passolano, whose squad got tagged with a 29-0 setback. “We started to get some drives going, but their linebackers are fast. We’d get to the outside and they’d run us down.”

Taming of the Tigers

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Eagles manage to squeeze past high-powered Joliet Central

  Instead of the usual whip, chair and gun, Sandburg used a forced fumble, interception and unexpectedly robust offense to do some Tiger-taming Saturday afternoon.
  The big cats in question hailed from Joliet West, and the danger they presented to the Eagles was a ferocious passing attack. Tigers quarterback Anthony DiNardo completed 32 of his 55 throws for a whopping 452 yards, numbers that would normally spell disaster for defense-oriented Sandburg.
  “I’m an old-school guy who likes games [with] 14-10 or 17-14 [scores],” Eagles coach Dave Wierzal said. “When you’re doing that last guy-with-the-ball-wins [thing], that’s not what I want.
  “We knew we were facing a team that could generate a lot of offense. Our concern was that it would turn into a shootout and we’d have to outscore them.”
  That’s exactly how the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue contest shook out, but much to Wierzal’s surprise, his guys were equal to the task. In fact, they were a little better than their high-powered hosts.


At least a few moments worth remembering

  Where were you when?
  That question gets raised every time the anniversary date of a significant world event comes back around. For Baby Boomers, nothing may be more frequently asked than their whereabouts on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  The first moon landing in 1969 receives similar recall treatment, as does the Challenger explosion in 1986, the latter largely because so many people witnessed the craft’s takeoff on television and then, sadly, its fiery demise.
  Of course, a more recent example of a where-were-you-when moment was the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

At Saturday’s Shepard Doubles Quadrangular, Stagg’s girls played almost perfect tennis while facing off against Chicago Christian, Morton and the host Lady Astros.

  In 18 matches, which encompassed six doubles contests against each school, the Lady Chargers went 17-1 to come away with a dominating team victory. The Lady Knights were second with nine wins, Morton totaled eight and the Lady Astros logged two.
  Stagg’s winners versus Christian included the tandems of Nicole Pamphilis-Jillian Atkenson, who defeated Grace Furlong-Haley Reiher 6-1, 6-3; Leeza Bodnar-Silvia Kulbokas, who topped Rachel Hamstra-Jill Kuipers 7-5, 6-2; and Natalia Rodzyk-Serena George, who prevailed 6-2, 6-0. Also victorious were the teams of Jenny Stamos-Aneta Dziadowiec (7-6 (7-5), 6-3 over Bre Vollan-Kyla Mitchell), Jovia Manolis-Noor Elmosa (7-5, 6-3 over Jill Dowdy-Kayla Bulthuis) and Dovile Guzaskaite-Ashley Dettlaff (6-4, 6-3 over Cali Fiandaca-Ann Tang).