Chicago Sun-Times
By Pat Brozynski

Field steps down after 39 years as IC head coach

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Thumbnail image for mollychina.jpgSt. Francis' Molly Haggerty, who led the USA Youth National Team to a second-place finish in Thailand last summer, is one of 25 finalists for's 2013 National HIgh School Sophomore of the Year award,

Jean Field, the sixth-winningest volleyball coach in Illinois high school history, has retired as the head coach at IC Catholic Prep after her 39th season. Field announced her retirement Tuesday night at the Knights' Volleyball Awards dinner.

Just two months ago, Field won her third state title when IC Catholic Prep defeated Albion (Edwards County) 25-15, 25-19 in the Class 2A state final at Redbird Arena in Normal. She amassed 885 wins while at the helm for the Knights including 36 this fall.

"I have been thinking about retiring for a while now," Field said. "The timing was right. The thing I will remember most about the past 39 years are the wonderful players and people that I have worked with.

"All of the accomplishments and the wins are nice, but it has really been the people that have kept me around this long," she added

In addition to her three state titles, Field's teams also finished second (three times), third (once) and made it to the Elite Eight 12 times. She has also won six conference titles, 23 regional championships and 15 sectional titles.

Field will continue as guidance counselor at ICCP.

Nancy Kerrigan D'Amore, a 1985 graduate of ICCP who played at Marquette University, will succeed Field as volleyball coach. D'Amore was a captain of the school's 1984 state championship team and has served as an assistant coach for the past 11 years.


Here's how I voted in the second AP Illinois High School Girls Basketball Poll of 2014 due out this week:

Class 4A

1. Homewood-Flossmoor 11-2
2. Whitney Young 13-2
3. Rolling Meadows 17-2
4. Marian Catholic 13-4
5. Fremd 15-2
6. Wheaton Warrenville South 16-2
7. New Trier 16-0
8. Trinity 14-2
9. Neuqua Valley 13-5
10. Edwardsville 12-0

Class 3A

1. Montini 16-1
2. Joliet Catholic 14-0
3. Morgan Park 11-2
4. Bishop McNamara 13-2
5. Springfield 17-1
6. Quincy Notre Dame 12-1
7. Normal University 16-1
8. Burlington Central 11-2
9. Effingham 15-0
10. Coal City 16-0

How the pollsters saw it:

Class 4A

1. Homewood-Flossmoor (5) 11-2 93 4
T-2. Whitney Young (1) 13-2 88 1
T-2. Rolling Meadows (1) 17-2 88 2
4. Edwardsville (4) 12-0 68 3
5. Wheaton Warrenville South 16-2 64 6
6. Chicago Heights Marian 13-4 51 5
T-7. River Forest Trinity 14-2 44 NR
T-7. Fremd 15-2 44 7
9. Bolingbrook 9-2 22 8
10. New Trier 16-0 17 10

Others receiving votes: Naperville Neuqua Valley 10. Rock Island 8. Geneva 2. Hersey 2. Batavia 1. Hononegah 1. Huntley 1. Oak Lawn 1.

Class 3A

1. Montini (6) 17-1 127 1
T-2. Quincy Notre Dame (5) 14-1 122 2
T-2. Joliet Catholic (3) 14-0 122 3
4. Springfield 17-1 97 4
5. Morgan Park 11-2 77 5
6. Washington 11-1 53 8
7. Bishop McNamara 13-2 51 6
8. Morton 13-3 38 7
9. Normal University 13-1 35 9
10. Burlington Central 14-2 20 NR

Others receiving votes: Richwoods 7. Champaign Centennial 6. Effingham 6. Vernon Hills 4. Mendota 2. North Chicago 2. Coal City 1.


Here is the schedule for the 24th Annual McDonald's Shootout. All games are played at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park. Tickets for each day are $7 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for seniors. A ticket is good for all games that day.

24th Annual McDonald's Shootout

Friday, January 17

Warren vs. St. Ignatius , 6 p.m.
Andrew vs. Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 18

Plainfield East vs. Brooks, 9 a.m.
Bogan vs. Plainfield North, 10:30 a.m.
Wheaton North vs. Hillcrest, 12 p.m.
Oregon-Davis (Hamlet, Ind.) vs. Benet, 1:30 p.m.
St. Thomas More vs. Geneva, 3 p.m.
Pickerington North (Ohio) vs. Maine West, 4:30 p.m.
Prospect vs. Wheaton-Warrenville South, 6 p.m.
Burlington Central vs, Fremd, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, January 20

Providence vs. Willowbrook, 9 a.m.
Kokomo (Ind.) vs. Marist, 10:30 a.m.
Pickerington North (Ohio) vs. Bloom, 12 p.m..
Batavia vs. Joliet Catholic, 1:30 p.m.
Vernon Hills vs. Fenwick, 3 p.m.
Bolingbrook vs. Montini, 4:30 p.m.
Marian Catholic vs. Rolling Meadows, 6 p.m.
Neuqua Valley vs. Trinity, 7:30 p.m.


Minooka is looking for one more team to complete the field for its girls varsity volleyball invitational October 17-18 (the weekend after Columbus Day). If interested, contact Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher at


The St. Ambrose University (Davenport, Iowa) men's volleyball team will play Cardinal Stritch at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January, 21 at Lincoln-Way East.

Eleven members of the St. Ambrose team are from the Chicago area, including 6-5 sophomore George Langheld and 6-1 sophomore Nathan Royer of Lincoln-Way East and 6-6 sophomore middle blocker Clay Hermann and 6-5 senior opposite Jon Hamm of Lincoln-Way Central.

Other Chicago-area players for St. Ambrose are John Johnson (St. Rita), Anthony Natalino (Marist), David Suwada (Fenwick), Corey Grove (Andrew), Jimmy Leyden (St. Patrick), Jamie Schnittker (Buffalo Grove) and Henry Lamp (Lake Forest).


St. Francis 6-foot outside hitter Molly Haggerty, who led the Spartans to the Class 3A state title last fall, is one of 25 players named as a finalist for's 2013 National High School Sophomore of the Year. Haggerty had 330 kills, 285 digs, 40 aces and 78 blocks for St. Francis.

"She is the best blocker I have had in this program," St, Francis coach Peg Kopec said. "She is just beginning to reach her potential, which is frightening."

Haggerty was a Sun-Times All-Area selection and was a member of the USA Youth National Team that finished second in the world at a tournament held in Thailand during the summer.

The 25 finalists were selected from a field of 300 nominations. Among the other 25 finalists are Morgan Elmore, a 5-10 setter from Mercy Academy in Louisville, and 6-5 middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris and 5-10 setter Jenna Gray of's mythical national champion St. James (Lenexa, Kansas).


Benedictine University is currently searching for a head coach to lead the NCAA Division III men's volleyball team it plans to add beginning in the fall of 2014.

Men's volleyball becomes the 20th NCAA Division III sport offered by Benedictine, which with the addition of men's volleyball now offers 10 men's and 10 women's sports. Men's and women's lacrosse began play in the spring of 2013.

Benedictine becomes the third area Division III school to add men's volleyball recently. Dominican University will begin play this spring and North Central College in Naperville announced that it would add men's volleyball in 2016.

Benedictine also becomes the third member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) to offer men's volleyball, joining the Milwaukee School of Engineering, which has been sponsoring the sport for several years, and Dominican.

Currently, seven other Illinois schools offer men's volleyball at various levels. Last spring, 61 schools throughout the country competed at the NCAA Division III level.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for our University," Director of Athletics Mark McHorney said. "We feel that there is amazing potential for growth in this sport and we want to capitalize on the incredible talent of student-athletes in the Chicago metropolitan area."

Men's volleyball at Benedictine will participate as an independent for the 2014-15 season.

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This page contains a single entry by Back Row published on January 14, 2014 3:23 PM.

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