Published on November 24, 2014
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.