Volume 47 Issue 1

September 9, 2014  |  By  | 

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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