Second-round stunner

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Top-seeded Mustangs brought down by Phillips

  Aaron Clayton gave Evergreen Park a sampling of its own medicine Saturday afternoon.
  And it left the Mustangs with a bitter taste, not to mention a batch of unfinished business.
  What Clayton’s end-zone interception did to Evergreen was ruin a late comeback bid against Phillips in Round 2 of the Class 4A playoffs. The Mustangs’ defense had performed similar acts of last-minute thievery itself during the course of a perfect 10-game stretch, most notably versus Richards, which allowed Evergreen to grab a one-point victory in the season’s fifth week and seize control of the South Suburban Conference Red race.

Trojans experience ‘D-Day’

  • Written by Ken Karrson

DeBenedetti, Dolph star for Cougars in victory

  Despite the sound of it, DeBenedetti and Dolph is not a legal firm that advertises during daytime-TV court shows.
  However, the St. Xavier University duo certainly laid down the law to Trinity International University Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Field. Junior receiver Nick DeBenedetti did so by latching onto a career-best 14 passes, which went for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
  While DeBenedetti took care of the offensive side, Zach Dolph served as the Cougars’ defensive ringleader. Two weeks after establishing an SXU single-game record for total tackles, the senior linebacker was at it again, this time with 11 stops and two interceptions, one of which he returned 32 yards for a score.
  Dolph’s six-pointer stretched the Cougars’ edge out to 14-6 in the first quarter. SXU then tallied twice more before intermission to create a lead that would only be marginally threatened over the last 30 minutes.


Not so hard to find one hero

  Sports heroes seem to be in pretty short supply these days.
  While those of us with even a smidgen of common sense realize it’s not wise to have our children latch onto athletes as role models, we also know that it’s bound to happen at some point. High-profile individuals who earn gobs of money and get cheered by millions are always going to seem more appealing than the grownups who yell at a kid to clean up his room, do his homework and take out the garbage.
  What’s dangerous about admiring strangers is that there is no way of knowing what they’re really like as people beyond the jock facade. The man who scores touchdowns on Sunday might be a wife beater on Monday, thief on Tuesday and drug abuser on Wednesday before deciding to begin preparations for the next weekend’s game so that he can again impress fans — especially the young ones — with his on-field exploits.

Volleyball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Mighty Macs back to Normal

  Things are back to normal in the world of Mother McAuley volleyball.
  That’s because the Mighty Macs are headed back to Normal this weekend.
  McAuley will take aim at the Class 4A championship it missed out on a year ago. The Macs reached the Final Four once again after downing Oak Park-River Forest 25-12, 25-14 last Saturday at the Lyons Township Supersectional.
  That victory, which followed sectional conquests of Lincoln-Way North and Sandburg earlier in the week, set McAuley up for a semifinal clash with New Trier Friday at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena.
  Macs coach Jen DeJarld said her squad is seeking to take care of some “unfinished business.” The Macs wound up third in the state in 2012.
  “The girls played some great volleyball to get to this point,” said DeJarald, whose team has won 38 of 40 matches to date. “A lot of preparation and practice still needs to happen, yet we have to keep the girls healthy for Friday.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Eagles take seventh in boys’ cross country

  In spite of 25-mile-per-hour winds that complicated Saturday’s state cross country meet, Sandburg boys’ coach John O’Malley was very pleased with his team’s seventh-place finish in Class 3A.

  The Eagles scored 225 points and posted a cumulative team time of 1 hour, 16 minutes, 46 seconds at Peoria’s Detweiller Park. State champion Hinsdale Central ran a 1:15.01. Occupying the 2-through-6 positions in the team standings were Downers Grove North, O’Fallon, Lyons Township, York and New Trier.
  Tom Brennan’s 15:13 clocking topped Sandburg’s individual performances and earned him the 31st spot overall. Will Becker (38th in 15:17) was next down the chute for the Eagles, followed by Greg Burzinski (48th, 15:24), Sean Torpy (53rd, 15:25), Chris Torpy (55th, 15:27), Harry Becker (80th, 15:36) and Dan Laskero (124th, 15:56).
  “It was a great effort by the kids,” O’Malley said. “They ran really tough and really together the whole race. That was our key [because] we really didn’t have a guy way up front ahead of the pack, but we had a pack that was tight. I think they all got the most out of the meet.