By Pat Brozynski

April 2013 Archives

smalls.jpgIllinois Basketball Coaches Association Assistant Executive Director Jim Tracey of Reavis High School presents Mike and Tina Small with the Chuck Rolinski Lifetime Achievement Award at Illinois Basketball Coaches Association annual banquet at Illinois State University on Saturday, April 27.

Former Regina Dominican basketball coach Mike Small and his wife Tina were honored with the prestigious Chuck Rolinski Lifetime Achievement Award at Illinois Basketball Coaches Association annual banquet at Illinois State University on Saturday, April 27.

"When you think of girls' basketball, you think of Mike and Tina Small, who have put such extreme selfless efforts behind the scenes to make girls' basketball in Illinois what it is today," said Bob Reczek, longtime basketball official and Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Hall of Fame member.

While coaching junior high football in 1970, Small was asked by a group of girls to start a basketball program. At that time, girls played by six-girl rules, which only allowed two girls to cross the half-court line.

In response, Mike and Tina Small founded the Girls Chuck Basketball League in 1971, which required five-person rules on both the elementary and high school levels. It quickly became the largest girls basketball league in Chicagoland and put pressure on the high schools to switch to five-person rules. The league lasted for more than 25 years.

While becoming the winningest basketball coach at Regina Dominican High School. He organized and put pressure on the IBCA to accept girls and women coaches into the organization. With the encouragement of Rolinski and the board of directors, female coaches were welcomed into the IBCA in 1985.

Mike Small was given the title of girls' chairman and Tina assumed supportive, extensive time-consuming responsibilities, including the selection of all-state teams, organizing IBCA banquet awards, and accepting Hall of Fame nominations.

"With every innovation, hard work for change, and demand for equality that Mike has pushed for over his long and successful career, Tina has been the engine that made it possible," Reczek said. "That is why they deserve the award as a team. They are a single unit that worked together to accomplish what they could have only hoped for on their own."

At the same ceremony Saturday, former Simeon star Ben Wilson was posthumously inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame.


The Sandburg and Providence boys volleyball teams will play at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 at Lewis University to benefit the family of the late Sandburg athletic director Bruce Scheidegger. Scheidegger, 54, died in a single-car accident on February 9 in rural Carroll County, Illinois.

Scheidegger taught and coached at Prophetstown High School, Dixon High School and Sterling High School before coming to Sandburg in 2007. He was a member of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

Admission to the game is $5. All Proceeds will go to the Scheidegger Family.


Neuqua Valley senior setter Alex Coyne was named the MVP of the eighth annual Benet Invitational after leading the Wildcats to victory over St. Francis in the championship match Saturday in Lisle.

Also named to the all-tournament team were Jeremy Royko (Neuqua Valley), Robert Smith (St. Francis), Jeff Jendryk (St. Francis), Jacob Stone (Glenbard West) and Andrew Roberts (Glenbard West).

Also, Sawyer Yeazel (Benet), Mike Jurkash (Benet), Jon Chiczewski (Naperville Central), Brendan Surane (Providence), Tyler House (Waubonsie Valley and Andrew Franco (Morton).


What if?

The announcement of the all-tournament team at Benet Saturday was a reminder of what might have been at Waubonsie Valley this season.

Ten of the 12 players named to the all-tournament team in 2012 were seniors. The two non-seniors were sophomore outside hitter Mike Simmons and junior setter Luke Furman of Waubonsie Valley, who led the Warriors to the tournament title.

Both players have been sidelined by injuries this year.

It's always fun to speculate how the state tournament is going to look after the IHSA conducts its "rolling of the peas" for spring sports.

Can you imagine a Lincoln-Way East vs. New Trier semifinal? Or a Minooka vs. Sandburg quarterfinal? How about a St. Francis vs. Stevenson quarterfinal? Or an Oak Park vs. Wheaton North quarterfinal?

Are you thinking that perhaps the quarterfinals should be seeded? Or perhaps that the mapmakers down in Bloomington ought to rethink some of their sectional assignments? A cursory glance at some of the sectionals is proof enough that there is a shameful imbalance.

It's not like there would be a lot of travel involved, and it would certainly make for a better state tournament if Lincoln-Way East and Minooka did not have to meet in a quarterfinal. And some school is going to walk home with a trophy not because they deserve it, but because they're in the right zip code.

Here are the quarterfinal pairings (in bracket order) and the top teams from each sectional:

O'Fallon Sectional (Minooka, Joliet Catholic, Belleville East) vs. Andrew Sectional (Lincoln-Way East, Sandburg, Lincoln-Way North, Brother Rice)

Niles West Sectional (New Trier, Glenbrook North, Loyola, St. Viator) vs. Whitney Young Sectional (Payton, Whitney Young, Kelvyn Park)

Proviso West Sectional (Lyons, Neuqua Valley, St. Francis, Downers Grove South) vs. Antioch Sectional (Stevenson, Deerfield, Barrington, Vernon Hills)

St. Rita Sectional (Oak Park, Mt. Carmel, St. Rita) vs. Bartlett Sectional (Lake Park, Wheaton North, St. Charles North, Glenbard North).


Named to the all-tournament team at the Brother Rice Smack Attack were Nate Van Dellen (Lincoln-Way East, MVP), Cody Bolan (Glenbrook North), Ryan Paull (Brother Rice), John Hodul (Sandburg), Jake Walenga (Lincoln-Way North), Patrick Flood (St. Francis) and Evan Burnette (Buffalo Grove).

Also named to the all-tournament team were Dan O'Keefe (St. Rita), Brendan Surane (Providence), Earl Schultz (Payton), Austin Overby (Lincoln-Way Central), Andrew Roberts (Glenbard West), Craig Rosner (Marist), Bennet Brueggmann (Carmel, Ind.) and Matt Walsh (Mt. Carmel).


Quote of the Week: "I think our passes started getting better so we could have all three hitters running. Matt (Wascher) helped me get the ball more and that helped our outsides. I don't think we were tired. We're big rivals with Loyola, and after we beat them (in the semifinals) that actually give us more energy. It was like, 'Let's go!' That was a lot of fun." - New Trier's 6-foot-6 junior middle Jack Serrino talking about the Trevians' rally after losing the first game and falling behind 18-13 in the second against Lyons Saturday at the Mustang Invitational hosted by Downers Grove South.


In case you missed it, Minooka defeated Neuqua Valley 25-19, 23-25, 25-19 to win its own invitational Saturday.


Downers Grove North's leading hitter, 6-4 Gilius Blinstrubas, is out for a week or more with a ligament injury in his left foot. His absence really hurt the Trojans, who were the No. 1 seed at Downers South but lost to Oak Park in pool play Friday and to Downers South and Wheaton South in Silver play Saturday.


Need any more reasons to go to the Lincoln-Way East tournament May 2-3? The finalists from the two major tournaments last weekend will be there: Lincoln-Way East, Sandburg, Lyons and New Trier. Toss in Lincoln-Way North and it will be quite the party.

Downers South, Smack Attack schedules released

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Copy of DSC_0335.JPGBenet and St. Francis hooked up in a thrilling three-set match Friday in Wheaton. The match was delayed by a flood in the school's auxiliary gymnasium, forcing the freshmen to play in the main gym.

Deerfield answered a lot of questions at the Lake County tournament Saturday. Despite losing to Stevenson in the finals, the Warriors took out two-time defending champion Barrington in the semifinals, rallying from a four-point deficit in the second game to win 25-23, 28-26.

"All season long, we have definitely known our offense is pretty strong," Deerfield coach Eugene Chung said, "We knew from the beginning that getting through the teams, especially really strong offensive teams, we would have to put up more of a defense against them.

"That been sort of the way we've gone," he added. "We've usually come out of the gate slow, but because of our defense we usually close out games at the end. That was something we've been really really aware of and working on."

Deerfield's defense helped the Warriors pull out a 16-25, 26-24, 15-13 win over Warren in pool play Friday night.

"That was a testimonial tour defense," Chung said. "We were pretty much done against Warren and we were able to come back from about 16-10 down in game 2 through our defense, tough serving and putting up some big blocks. We ended up winning that match."

Deerfield got contributions from a number of players at the Lake County invite, including junior outside hitter John Harlan (34 kills, four aces, five blocks), outside hitter Zach Hara (35 kills, two aces, 23 digs), Kenison Ready (19 kills, two blocks), Eli Schmidt (15 kills, 14 digs), setter Jordan Fine (101 assists, seven kills, 26 digs) and Jake Brody (two aces, 30 digs).

"The guys played hard and continue to improve," Chung said. "We still have to work on our defense and also on cutting back on our errors as we move forward. It was great to see the guys battle it out and close out a couple of tough matches over the weekend."

Deerfield, which is scheduled to play Glenbrook North on Wednesday, is the No. 3 seed at the Downers Grove South Mustang Invitational Friday and Saturday.


Here is the schedule for the Downers Grove South invitational:

Friday: Team 1 vs. Team 2, 5:00 p.m.; Team 1 vs. Team 3, 6:30 p.m.; Team 2 vs. Team 3, 8:00 p.m.

Seeds are in parentheses. Here are the pools:

At Downers South
Pool E: 1. Downers South (5), 2. Naperville North (12), 3. Hinsdale South (20); Pool D: 1. Lyons Township (4), 2. Stagg (13), 3. Joliet Central (21); Pool B: 1. Barrington (2), 2. Lake Park (15), 3. Maine West (23); Pool F: 1. New Trier (6), 2. Wheaton Warrenville South (11), 3. Evanston (19).

At Lemont

Pool A: 1. Downers Grove North (1), 2. Oak Park-River Forest (16), 3. Lemont (24); Pool H: 1. Willowbrook (8), 2. Glenbard East (9), 3. Oak Lawn (17).

At Niles West

Pool G: 1. Niles West (7), 2. Loyola (10), 3. Maine South (18); Pool C: 1. Deerfield (3), 2. Glenbrook South (14); 3. Niles North (22).

The quarterfinals of the Gold division start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday in the main and little gymnasiums, while the Silver and Bronze divisions are played in the fieldhouse.


Here is the schedule for the Brother Rice Smack Attack tournament:

Friday: Team 1 vs. Team 3, 5:00 p.m.; Team 2 vs. Team 3, 6:00 p.m.; Team 1 vs. Team 2, 7:00 p.m.

Here are the pools:

At Brother Rice
Pool A: 1. Glenbrook North, 2. St. Rita, 3. Brother Rice JV; Pool F: 1. Brother Rice, 2. Glenbard West, 3. St. Patrick.

At St. Xavier University

Pool B: 1. Lincoln-Way East, 2. Carmel (Ind.), 3. Chicago Agricultural; Pool C: 1. Lincoln-Way North, 2. Providence, 3. Reavis; Pool D: 1. Sandburg, 2. Payton, 3. Plainfield East; Pool E: 1. St. Francis, 2. Lincoln-Way Central, 3. St. Ignatius.

At Marist

Pool G: 1. Buffalo Grove, 2. Marist, 3. Mt. Carmel.

The quarterfinals of the Gold division start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday at St. Xavier University.


Stevenson had not won the Lake County invitational since 2009. But the bigger number for the Patriots is 2000. That's the last time they advanced to the state quarterfinals at Hoffman Estates.

"Winning the county tournament is a big deal because a lot of these teams are in our sectional and it gives you a gauge of where you're at," Stevenson coach Tim Crow said. "It tells you what teams have a higher ceiling than others, and you see different types of teams.

"It's always great to see Loyola, is nice to see and play Vernon Hills," he added. "I know they're down a couple guys. We played Deerfield who we never see regularly, so it's good. Hopefully, our ceiling is still fairly high and we can improve throughout the rest of the season."


Prior to its loss Tuesday at Lyons, Downers Grove North (12-1), the top seed at Downers Grove South, was coming off the tournament championship Saturday at Schaumburg.

The Trojans needed to go three games twice to win the Schaumburg tournament. The Trojans defeated St. Charles East 23-25, 25-20, 25-22 in the semifinals, then rallied to beat Palatine 20-25, 25-19, 25-16 in the championship match.

St. Charles East defeated Schaumburg 25-23, 25-22 for third place, and Fremd beat Hinsdale Central 25-17, 23-19 for fifth.

So when is 4-3 better than 5-2?

When you're stuck in Pool D at the Springfest boys volleyball tournament at Glenbard East.

Glenbard North and previously unbeaten Glenbard West and St. Francis all found themselves in Pool D at Saturday's Springfest tournament. Seedings are based on the previous year's finish (oddly, all three could have ended up in the same pool next year, but that story comes later).

As fate would have it, Glenbard West beat Glenbard North 27-25, 26-24, Glenbard North beat St. Francis 22-25, 25-12. 15-10, and St. Francis beat Glenbard West, 15-25, 25-15, 16-14, rallying from a 14-12 deficit in Game 3 after blowing a 12-8 lead.

All three teams finished with a 2-1 record in pool play. At many tournaments, the first tiebreaker among tied teams in a pool is the number of games won and the second is point differential. Glenbard West and St. Francis were 5-2. Glenbard North finished 4-3.

However, at Springfest, the first tiebreaker is point differential. That gave first place in the pool to Glenbard North, which had a 42-point differential after amassing 31 points in a 25-9, 25-10 whipping of Elgin Larkin, beating St. Francis by 15 and losing to Glenbard West by four.

Glenbard West's point differential was 33 (built primarily on a 25-7, 25-12 win over Larkin), and St. Francis' was 12.

So despite winning more games than Glenbard North, Glenbard West was relegated to the Silver bracket (where the Toppers lost to Benet 25-21, 25-22 in the fifth-place match. Benet had lost in pool play to eventual champion Neuqua Valley) and St. Francis was sent to the Bronze.

The situation raised an important ethical question. Since the number of games won did not matter, Glenbard West would have been better served tanking one of its two games against Glenbard North and going to a third game, where it could have built up its point differential.

After all, by beating the Panthers in two games by a total of four points, the Hilltoppers ultimately hurt their chances of winning the pool. Had they lost a game by two points, they could have played a third, tried to win by at least nine points, and overcome the point differential.

It's complicated, but here is how it works:

Glenbard North's point differential was 42 after losing both games to Glenbard West by two points. Had the Panthers won a game against Glenbard West by two instead of losing, their point differential would have been 46 heading into Game 3. Glenbard West would have been sitting at 29 instead of 33.

To make up the 17 point difference (46-29=17), Glenbard West would have to win 15-6 in Game 3 (the third game in pool play was played to only 15). That would give them nine more points (29+9=38) and taken nine points away from Glenbard North (46-9=37).

That would have given first place in the pool to Glenbard West, 38-37. Of course, how could anyone have predicted the need to play the math game since the teams met in the second match of the day?

Glenbard West thought it was doing the best thing for itself by winning in two games. How wrong the Toppers were. Of course, the entire debate would be moot had Glenbard West held on to beat St. Francis.

So how could all three teams have found themselves in the same pool next year?

Glenbard North finished fourth, losing in the championship semifinals to Downers Grove South and in the third-place game to Glenbard East. Glenbard West finished sixth, losing to Benet in the fifth-place game. St. Francis finished 11th, beating West Aurora in its finale.

Had Glenbard West beat Benet and St. Francis lost to West Aurora, the three teams would have finished fourth, fifth and 12th and found themselves in the same pool in 2014.

Accountants, calculators and Tylenol® would have been mandatory.

And unless the tournament rules are changed to make the first tiebreaker in a pool the number of games won instead of point differential, they might be anyway.

Jeff Jendryk.jpgJeff Jendryk (left) and St. Francis will be among the teams vying for the title at this weekend's Springfest hosted by Glenbard East.

Brian O'Keefe, the 6-foot-3 outside hitter from Wheaton Warrenville South Tiger Classic champion Glenbrook North, was named the tournament's most valuable player in balloting by the participating coaches.

Also named to the all-tournament team were: Stagg outside hitter Kamil Barnas; Glenbrook North libero Cody Bolan; Sandburg sophomore outside hitter Paul Chmura; Neuqua Valley setter Alex Coyne; and Hilliard Darby setter Thane Fanfulik and middle hitter Jarrod Kelso.

Also, Naperville North setter Gert Lisha; Lincoln-Way Central outside hitter Austin Overby; Minooka junior opposite Mitch Perinar; Lincoln-Way East junior libero Josh Phalen; and Minooka outside hitter Matt Svetlecich.

Also, Downers Grove South middle hitter Nick Timreck; Barrington middle hitter Peter Van Fossan; and New Trier setter Matt Wascher.


Glenbrook North created little preseason buzz following the graduation of Sun-Times all-area selections Pat and Kyle Bedford and two other starters from last year's state runner-up.

Apparently, the Spartans used that "under the radar" time to build a little team chemistry.

"We do a lot of offseason work," said Tiger Classic MVP Brian O'Keefe. "We all get together so that we're a team even before the season starts. Then when we get on the court, it's like we're a team already and we just need to get the volleyball part down."

Glenbrook North (9-1) has the volleyball part down OK. The Spartans bounced back from last week's loss to Sandburg at the Bison battle to defeat the Eagles in Saturday's WW South semifinals before taking down Hilliard (Ohio) Darby in the championship match.

"Winning this tournament is huge," libero Cody Bolan said. "We've never actually won this tournament before, so this is really special."


The surprise of the Tiger Classic at WW South was Neuqua Valley, which defeated New Trier to win the Silver bracket and was a 34-32 third-game, pool-play loss to Sandburg from advancing to the Gold bracket.

"Considering the field. I'm really proud of the way the guys played," Neuqua Valley coach Erich Mendoza said. "We had a lot of unknowns coming into the season, but we're just really steady all the way around, we pass well and play good defense.

"We don't have that one player you have to key on offensively," he added. "We just play really well as a team. (Libero) Matt Porter had a ridiculous tournament. He passed the ball really well, and (setter) Alex Coyne really did a great job offensively."

Coyne represented Neuqua Valley on the all-tournament team.

"It's hard to pick one hitter over another," Mendoza said. "We're really balanced all the way around. We might get four kills from one outside, three from another, three kills from one middle and three kills from our rightside. That's how all our matches went."


St. Francis' 6-7 junior middle hitter Jeff Jendryk, younger brother of former Benet standouts Jessica (Illinois) and Jenna (Dayton) Jendryk, was invited to join the USA Youth National Team that will compete at the FIVB World Championships to be held in Mexico June 27-July 7.

But Jendryk, who plays for Sports Performance's 18 Mizuno, reportedly declined the invitation because the World Championships run concurrently with the 2013 USA Volleyball Boys' Junior National Championships in Reno, Nev.

Also selected to join the national team was Mt, Carmel's 6-10 junior middle blocker Matt Walsh.


Three local players were invited to participate on the 2013 USA Men's Junior National Training Team. Twelve players will be selected from the initial field of 21 to represent USA Volleyball at the Junior World Championships in Turkey in late August.

The players invited to participate on the training team will compete in a final tryout June 15-21 in Southern California. The team will represent USA at the Pan Am Cup in Argentina in late July and the World Championships in Turkey in late August.

Among those selected to participate on the training team are Loyola's Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton Warrenville South) and Lewis University's Greg Petty (Downers Grove North) and Bobby Walsh (Mt. Carmel).


Brother Rice is looking to fill three spots in the 24-team, fifth annual Brother Rice Smack Attack played at Brother Rice, St. Xavier University and Marist on April 19-20.

There is a $400 entry fee and a five-match guarantee. If interested or know of any schools looking to fill a tournament slot, contact Brother Rice coach Paul Ickes at,

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