Volume 47 Issue 1
September 9, 2014 | By Patti Peterson |
S portS 2 Benet Herald │ Sports │ September 4, 2014 Luca Valentino ‘15 and Caroline Kohler ‘15 Go, Redwings, Go! Benet Football Team and Cheerleaders Give Back The Benet varsity football team looks to improve upon its 2013 campaign in which it went 6-4 but 3-3 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, good enough for fth place out of nine teams. The Red- wings started last season 6-0 with wins at 8A Downers Grove South and then #9 Crete-Monee. Benet reached #6 in the Chicago Tribune Top 20 before losing its nal four games to Nazareth, Marist, Joliet Catholic, and eventual 7A State Champion Mount Carmel. Benet opened the season at home with a win against Downers Grove South, who nished 2013 with a record of 6-4. The Redwings will then travel to O’Fallon, located less than 20 miles outside of St. Louis, to take on the Panthers; O’Fallon went 5-5 last season. One scheduling change of note is the transition from 6 conference games last year to 7 this year, and the ESCC schedule will begin in week 3 at Notre Dame, who went 7-4 last season. Benet’s rst home conference game is against St. Patrick (2013 record: 7-4), whom the Redwings defeated 37-13 a season ago. After a second con- secutive trip to Marist (9-4), the Redwings will return for Home- coming against rival Nazareth (8- 3), who handed Benet its rst loss last season. Then Carmel (2-7) visits Benedictine Stadium for the rst time since 2011, followed by a road game at defending ESCC champion Joliet Catholic (10-2). Benet’s nal regular season game is Senior Night at home against Marian Catholic (2-7), who have won only seven games in the past three years. The Redwings need to replace all 11 defensive starters from last year’s opener at Downers Grove South, but Coach Pat New empha- sized, “Throughout the course of the season, due to injuries, there were a number of juniors who stepped in defensively for us. Brian Runger, Mac Cooney, Pat McCarthy, and Jack Kelly started games for us last year, and others saw playing time too.” Last year’s team allowed 21.4 points per game, held opponents to 49.3% passing, and 3.2 yards per carry, and this year’s unit will be leaned upon due to several key departures on offense. The key offensive losses include the graduation of opening-day runningback Porter Ontko, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL in week 2 of his season, and six of the top seven receivers in 2013. The only positive outcome from Ontko’s injury was the emergence of Brad Sznajder, who rushed for more than 800 yards, scored 11 total touchdowns, and averaged more than 6.5 yards per carry last season. Sznajder’s brother, sopho- more Jack Sznajder, will start at quarterback. Coach New said of Sznajder, “Jack’s main skillset is as a dual- threat. He is a great competitor and led the sophomore team to a 9-0 record as a freshman. He’s been throwing the ball well, and guys like Myles McKernin, Jack McDonnell, Joe Moseley, Pat Ramatowski, and Karl Schmidt are really supporting him at the receiver position.” Look for the new faces to improve with experi- ence. But enough talk, let’s play football. Benet Football Looks to Rebound Luca Valentino ‘15 The Benet sophomore and varsity football teams held the third annual Benet Football Field Day at Southeast School just west of Benet’s campus on Friday, July 18. The program once again hosted over 100 special education students from SASED, the School Association for Special Education of DuPage County, an organization that oversees academic activities for special needs children in 18 school districts in DuPage County. And this year’s design added to the successes of previous Field Days. Ninety Benet football players, their coaches, and 45 Benet parents directed the kids in various activities including a bounce castle, water gun and water balloon stations, face painting, bean bag toss, and karaoke among others. As usual, the water gun and water balloon stations drew the biggest crowds and the most enjoyment, but new this year was a re hose section set up on a hill on the grounds of Southeast School. The Benet football players manned the re hose and sprayed the SASED campers. Mrs. Mary Runger, a Benet football mom who has managed all three eld days, noted the contributions of private sponsors and Benet parents in their support of the various station activities and materials. She further discussed some changes at this year’s event. First, the Skokie Fire Department provided a re truck “to have these students meet up with re personnel in a non-threatening situation…. It is an educational opportunity for the students;” second, a new and entertaining photo booth was added; and third, senior football buddies “helped out with the teachers in their classrooms,” so the adults could provide more individual aid for the campers. As Mrs. Runger summarized, “There is a great time to be had on this beautiful day!” Senior wide receiver Myles McKernin said of the program, “It’s great to be here with these kids and see another perspective of the world because we’re so blessed, and it’s a lot of fun to give back to these kids. The program is good bonding time and it really brings everyone together.” The JV and varsity cheerleaders are known for their outstanding spirit and stunts, but on Sunday, August 17, the teams shared their energy with the people of Shepherd’s Table at Daybreak Shelter in Joliet. Shepherd’s Table, a Catholic Charities organization, provides free, sit-down meals to locals who struggle nancially. The cheerleaders worked together to prepare a lunch of pasta, meatballs, vegetables, mashed potatoes, and salads. Some of the girls also brought homemade cookies, which they frosted with the kids staying at the shelter. After much preparation, the girls served their meal to the many patrons who had gathered. The directors of Shepherd’s Table take pride in serving their guests as if they were at a restaurant instead of having them line up with trays. The girls would take their orders and then bring the food to the tables. “I liked that we actually served them their food like at a restaurant,” said senior Jacquie Kaufman. “Even though they have fallen on tough times, they should still be treated with dignity like everyone else.” Senior Hannah Weinewuth summed up the day, “It was a great experience that I am so happy to have participated in. I love the girls on this team, and being with them made it that much more special.” While the cheerleaders are looking forward to performing at upcoming football and basketball games, they are also very excited for their next outreach projects. During the week of October 20, they will host their annual Youth Clinic during which they will teach aspiring cheerleaders a routine and perform with them at the halftime show on October 24. Also in October the JV and varsity teams will sponsor a coat drive to support the families of Chicago Public Schools. “Cheer isn’t just about performing at games,” said Weinewuth. “We love sharing our spirit with the school and the community.” With the tryouts complete, the Benet girls volleyball teams are ready to hit the court! As for the upcoming season, the Redwings hosted the thirty-second Annual Benet Academy Invitational on August 29 and 30. This tourna- ment brought a great level of competition coming from many different schools. These games were located in both the Alumni and St. Ronald gymnasiums. Benet won the tournament. The varsity team will be facing some tough teams this season, such as Marist High School and Joliet Catholic Academy. Be sure to come out to support the girls at their big home games such as Downers Grove North on September 5 at 6:00 p.m., JCA on October 9 at 6:15 p.m., and Marist High School on October 23 at 6:15 p.m. These games will all take place in the St. Ronald gymnasium. Another packed game will be against St. Charles North on Friday, September 26 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Charles North High School. The girls varsity team is loaded with key players this year who have a tremendous amount of talent and ability to contribute to the team. A few of the seniors returning to the oor are Natalie Canulli (libero), Rachel Fara (middle blocker), Dana Grif- n (outside hitter), and Marija Cyvas (middle blocker). Junior Tiffany Clark is also returning to the team, bringing her skills as an outside hitter. The team also has two freshmen girls joining them this year, Lilly Johnson and Sydney Reilhan. Johnson joins as an outside hitter and Reilhan joins as a middle blocker. As a team tradition, the team went to a ropes course and com- pleted the high ropes. This activ- ity brought the girls volleyball team together and got the team ready for the volleyball season! Girls Volleyball Set for the Season Meghan West ‘18
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S portS 2 Benet Herald │ Sports │ October 31, 2014 Back in August, senior co-captains Kelly Wentland and Alanna Galvin gathered their teammates together to begin dryland practices for the 2014 school season. As school started, practices ramped up to include six days in the water and two on land. Their training is denitely paying off in their meets. The team racked up 330 points in the Downers Grove North Trojan Challenge invita- tion meet in September and is continuing to improve as all the team members work hard. Several meets are scheduled for October and will help the girls prepare for the sectionals and state meets in November. While the physical conditioning in swimming is important, the team has found that another component is just as vital—supporting one another’s efforts. As Wentland explains, “A lot of the sport is mental.” The girls support each other’s goals and cheer each other on at practices and meets. Having teammates cheering you on by the side of the pool can make all the difference in a sport in which winning comes down to fractions of a second. Freshman swimmer, Anna Gard, feels that she and the other fresh- men felt immediately welcomed into the team by the upperclass- man swimmers. She says that the girls work hard and stay upbeat because they all support each other. In addition to upcoming meets, the team has also sched- uled time for bonding during pasta parties and other special events. The Conference Championship will be held on November 1. Swim Team Racing Towards State Meet Sarah Habeck ‘18 The 2014 Benet cross country team looks to achieve its goal of a second consecutive State appearance at Detweiller Park in Peoria. So far, they are on pace to make it there. After several strong showings at previous meets, the varsity team traveled to Detweiller for the Peoria High School Invitational on October 4 and showed its full potential. Three of the top seven Benet runners nished in under 16 minutes: senior Brady McLaugh- lin (15:42), senior Jackson Tuttle (15:50), and junior Matt Kowalczyk (15:59). Junior Zach Kowalczyk and sophomore Jeff Girardot both ran 16:06, with junior Kelly Crombie and senior Sean Harnik close behind at 16:08 and 16:20, respectively. Other key runners include senior Sean Kirwan, junior Luke Sam- mons, sophomore Jack Zinsky, sophomore Connor Towne, and freshman Ryan Knapp. McLaughlin observed, “We’re putting it all together at the right time.” With performances like the one in Peoria, he couldn’t be more right. The boys’ success is evident even off the course. Outstand- ingly, four varsity runners scored perfect scores on their ACT tests: seniors Brady McLaughlin and Sean Harnik and juniors Jimmy Rabe and Zach Kowalczyk. “Am I surprised? No,” said coach Mr. Kevin Renicker. “This could have happened on any team at Benet. Cross country is mentally disciplined sport. It’s a team and individual effort, just like school. Are you going to let information just pass you by and get bogged down by negatives. The cross country boys are like-minded in their discipline and determina- tion. So it’s not surprising that this would happen.” The team once again won the ESCC Conference Champion- ship. McLaughlin was the indi- vidual champion, followed by senior Jackson Tuttle in second, junior Kelly Crombie in third, junior Matt Kowalczyk in fth, sophomore Jeff Girardot in sixth, junior Zach Kowalczyk in thir- teenth, and senior Sean Harnik in sixteenth. With a great season already, the boys now prepare for their sec- tional meet and most likely the State meet. The Benet Academy varsity football team nished its regular season with a record of 6-3 and 4-3 in the East Suburban Catho- lic Conference, good enough for fourth in the ten team confer- ence. The Redwings opened the season with four straight wins over Downers Grove South (6- 3), O’Fallon (4-5), Notre Dame (4-5), and St. Patrick (2-7) and were ranked #18 in the state. However, Benet lost its next two games to Marist (4-5) and on Homecoming to conference champion Nazareth (9-0). At 4-2, the Redwings’ next game against Carmel was a key game for play- off seeding, and the Redwings pulled out the home victory by a score of 24-21. After a shutout loss at Joliet Catholic (7-2), the Redwings trounced Marian Catholic (1-8) 66-7 on Senior Night. Senior tailback Brad Sznajder broke both the career and single- season Benet rushing records this season; Sznajder has rushed for 1411 yards this season and 2225 in his career. The Redwings received a #6 seed in the Class 8A playoffs, although Benet had been projected as a Class 7A school. Benet will open the post- season at #14 Hinsdale Central (7-2), a team with whom Benet matches up fairly well. The Red Devils are led by 6’7 senior quar - terback Matt Rafferty and pulled off two of the biggest upsets of the regular season: at then-#1 Bolingbrook and against then-#8 Oak Park-River Forest. Hinsdale Central has scored 28.6 points per game and allowed 20.2 points per game, while the Red- wings have scored 23.4 points per game and allowed only 16.0 points per game. Coach Pat New said about the Red Devils, “[They are a] tough, disciplined team with a big offensive line. I see them as a lot like us.” The Redwings are in the bottom half of the Class 8A bracket, which is much more wide open than the top half. Let’s hope for a deep run in the playoffs. Benet Boys Cross Country Aims or State Benet FootballPrepares or IHSA Playofs Jack Zinsky ‘17 Luca Valentino ‘15 The girls swim team prepares for another successful season. The boys cross country team prepares for another race with their signa - ture huddle. Goal-Oriented Soccer Season Brian Hunt ‘18 The boys varsity soccer team has gone through the roof this year. This season they went 15-4-2 for the regular season and 6-0 for in-league games. They started the season with a 3-0 win against Downers North. From that point on, they won against teams like Nazareth, Waubonsie, and Joliet Catholic. This amazing streak was slightly halted by two ties but started again with a 5-0 win against Marist. Senior captain Kyle Kenagy has been named a Soccer All Ameri- can which means he will com- pete with the best high school players from across the nation. These elite players will comprise two teams—east and west—in a match that will take place in December in Raleigh, North Carolina. Only three players from Illinois including Kenagy were selected. This marks the rst time in the history of Benet that a player earned this honor. Freshman Artur Pach said, “Kyle Kenagy depicted a hardworking and sportsmanlike attitude that I can learn a lot from. When he leaves, we will have to adjust our playing style to continue to be successful.” The Benet soccer team continues their run with hopes of kicking their way to state.