Chicago Sun-Times
Steve Tucker's inside look at various professional and amateur sports

June 2010 Archives

The women's basketball team at Oregon State is in shambles after head coach LaVonda Wagner, a former assistant at both Illinois and Duke, was fired June 1, and a mass exodus of players.

Reports are that the program lost more than 16 players in five years. After a rash of transfers this spring, athletic director Bob De Carolis started an investigation into the program. Media reports said that there was a controlling, abusive environment. The school is still paying Wagner more than $1 million.

If the season were to start, the Beavers would be sure of having just two returning players and  two incoming freshmen. NCAA rules require a minimum of five players.

A new coach  is supposed to be names this week,

Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Jillian Loyden is representing the team at tonight's 2010 WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

"I was definitely shocked and surprised," Loyden said is a release. "There are so many talented players in this league, and to be chosen is an honor. It should be a lot of fun to play with my Red Stars teammates and my teammates of the past."

Loyden, midfielder Karen Carney and forward Cristiane represent the Red Stars for the WPS All-Star Game, which takes place at 7 p.m. at KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. The match is televised on Fox Soccer Channel, and preview coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.

Loyden had a successful offseason when she posted a 7-2-1 record and three shutouts to earn Australia Westfield W-League Goalkeeper of the Year honors when she was on loan with the Central Coast Mariners.

This year Loyden is taking on her larger role in stride. She has played in every minute of 11 matches, has posted three shutouts, 37 saves and a 0.91 goals against average.

The Chicago Slaughter (7-8) is headed to South Dakota and will play the Central West Division champion Sioux Falls Storm (12-3) Saturday night in the second round of the Indoor Football League United Conference playoffs.

The Sioux Falls franchise has not lost a playoff game since the 2004 NIFL Championship, while the Slaughter captured the CIFL Championship trophy last year during a perfect undefeated season. The winner of this weekend's game will advance to the United Conference Championship


Red Stars' Markgraf will miss All-Star game

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The Chicago Red Stars defender and captain Kate Markgraf will miss Wednesday's at Kennesaw, Ga. with an injury.

Markgraf's status is questionable for Sunday's WPS road match against the Washington Freedom. Markgraf leads a Red Stars defense that has allowed a league-low 10 goals through 11 matches.

Three Red Stars will participate in the All-Star game --  forward Cristiane, midfielder Karen Carney and goalkeeper Jillian Loyden.

The match kicks off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel, with a pregame show  at 6:30 p.m.

Huge road win in playoffs for Slaughter

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The Chicago Slaughter (7-8) stunned rival and host Green Bay 46-39 in the first round of the Indoor Football League United Conference playoffs on defensive back Dennison Robinson's touchdown with 1.3 seconds remaining.

The Slaughter tried to run out the clock with a 39-37 lead,but and was tackled in their end zone giving the Blizzard  a safety with seconds to play. But Sam Smith intercepted a Green Bay pass and lateralled to Robinson who ran the ball back for a touchdown.

Slaughter QB Tavares Woodley was 16-for-25 for 217 yards and four touchdowns. Receiver Reggie Gray had six receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns and running back Jarrett Payton ran for 54 yards and a two-point conversion


"Jarrett Payton is a game changer and that was very evident tonight," said Slaughter GM Alan Perkins in a release. "Having him [Payton] in the back field...a guy who can make plays makes a big difference for us.  Woodley stepped up in the Quarterback position tonight, Gray put up great numbers again, and our defense was also key with several interceptions and a safety.  I couldn't be more proud of our guys."

IFL second round match-ups will be determined following the outcome of the remaining first-round games


Masar's goals give Red Stars a road win

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Ella Masar's two goals lifted the Chicago Red Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Boston Breakers, Friday night in Women's Professional Soccer at Harvard Stadium.

Masar's two goals were her first in WPS.

"She has been practicing really well, and I noticed that she was creating a lot of chances," Red Stars coach Omid Namazi said in a release. "I felt it was a good time to give her a start and see how it works, and it worked to perfection. She got behind the Boston defenders and she finished tonight."

The Red Stars are now 3-5-3, and the win was the first for Namazi,.

Next up for the Red Stars is a 4 p.m. match on Sunday, July 4, against the Washington Freedom in Boyds, Md. to end a four-game road trip.

On Friday, the Red Stars got on the scoreboard first in the 13th minute. Defender Kate Markgraf started the attack with a long ball from the back to Red Stars forward Cristiane, who flicked a header to Masar, who made a run behind the Breakers defense.

"The timing was perfect," Namazi said. "That's how you draw it on the board."

Slaughter heads to Green Bay for playoff opener

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The Chicago Slaughter won the 2010  Indoor Football League Best Fan Base Award. The franchise earned the award based on Chicago's fan-base proving to be the most enthusiastic, having the most character and energy, and providing the most overall appreciation for their team. Chicago is also the league leader in attendance, averaging more than 5,000 a game.

 "We are very excited to receive this award from the league," said Slaughter GM Alan Perkins in a release. "It's easy to love this team with guys like Jarrett Payton, Jim McMahon and Steve McMichael leading the way. Chicago has a tremendous love for football and it showed with the support we received all year from the greatest fans in the country."

Post season play begins this weekend when the  Slaughter (6-8) faces rival Green Bay (10-4) for the fourth time this season, Saturday night in the first round of the IFL playoffs. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m at the Online Trading Academy Field in the Resch Center in Green Bay. 

For more information, contact the Chicago Slaughter at (847) 310-3190 or visit the Slaughter website at


About The IF

Red Stars face Boston tonight

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The Chicago Red Stars are looking for their second consecutive win against the Boston Breakers when the Women's Professional Soccer teams play tonight Allston. Mass.

The Red Stars (2-5-3) had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped by Atlanta last week, 1-0.
"This becomes a very important game for both teams," Red Stars  coach Omid Namazi said, in a release. "Boston is right below us and we'd like to put some distance between us and them."

The Red Stars will be bolstered with the return of England midfielders Karen Carney and Katie Chapman and Sweden forward Kosovare Asllani. All three were with their national teams for 2011 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

Evan Turner is Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year

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From the Big Ten --

    Ohio State basketball player Evan Turner and Penn State volleyball player Megan Hodge were named the Jesse Owens Male and Suzy Favor Female Big Ten Athletes of the Year.


Turner, a graduate of St. Joseph in Westchester,  also won the Wooden Award, Naismith and Oscar Robertson trophies as well as being named National Player of the Year by the Associated Press, Basketball Times, National Association of Basketball Coaches and Sporting News. The conference's consensus Player of the Year, Turner led the Big Ten with 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, ranking second with 6.0 assists. He also became one of just 34 players in NCAA Division I history to record multiple triple-doubles in a season, accomplishing the feat on Nov. 9 and Nov. 24, 2009.

   The Northwestern nominees were quarterback Mike Kafka, a St. Rita graduate, and lacrosse All-America Katrina Dowd


The past winners



1982 - Jim Spivey, Indiana, track and field/cross country

1983 - Ed Banach, Iowa, wrestling

1984 - Sunder Nix, Indiana, track and field

1985 - Barry Davis, Iowa, wrestling

1986 - Chuck Long, Iowa, football

1987 - Steve Alford, Indiana, basketball

1988 - Jim Abbott, Michigan, baseball

1989 - Glen Rice, Michigan, basketball

1990 - Anthony Thompson, Indiana, football

1991 - Mike Barrowman, Michigan, swimming

1992 - Desmond Howard, Michigan, football

1993 - John Roethlisberger, Minnesota, gymnastics

1994 - Glenn Robinson, Purdue, basketball

1995 - Tom Dolan, Michigan, swimming

1996 - Eddie George, Ohio State, football

1997 - Blaine Wilson, Ohio State, gymnastics

1998 - Charles Woodson, Michigan, football

1999 - Luke Donald, Northwestern, golf

2000 - Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, football

2001 - Ryan Miller, Michigan State, ice hockey

2002 - Jordan Leopold, Minnesota, ice hockey

2003 - Amer Delic, Illinois, tennis (co)

2003 - Matt Lackey, Illinois, wrestling (co)

2004 - Damion Hahn, Minnesota, wrestling

2005 - Luis Vargas, Penn State, gymnastics

2006 - Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan, swimming

2007 - Cole Konrad, Minnesota, wrestling

2008 - Brent Metcalf, Iowa, wrestling

2009 - Jake Herbert, Northwestern, wrestling

2010 - Evan Turner, Ohio State, basketball                                                                    




1983 - Judi Brown, Michigan State, track and field

1984 - Lisa Ishikawa, Northwestern, softball

1985 - Cathy Branta, Wisconsin, cross country/track

1986 - Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, cross country/track

1987 - Jennifer Averill, Northwestern, field hockey/lacrosse

1988 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country

1989 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country

1990 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country

1991 - Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, Michigan State, diving  and Joy Holmes, Purdue, basketball

1992 - MaChelle Joseph, Purdue, basketball

1993 - Lara Hooiveld, Michigan, swimming

1994 - Kristy Gleason, Iowa, field hockey

1995 - Laura Davis, Ohio State, volleyball

1996 - Olga Kalinovskaya, Penn State, fencing

1997 - Kathy Butler, Wisconsin, track and field (co)

1997 - Gretchen Hegener, Minnesota, swimming (co)

1998 - Sara Griffin, Michigan, softball

1999 - Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue, basketball

2000 - Lauren Cacciamani, Penn State, volleyball

2001  - Katie Douglas, Purdue, basketball

2002 - Christie Welsh, Penn State, soccer

2003 - Perdita Felicien, Illinois, track and field

2004 - Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, basketball

2005 - Jennie Ritter, Michigan, softball

2006 - Tiffany Weimer, Penn State, soccer

2007 - Jessica Davenport, Ohio State, basketball

2008 - Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern, lacrosse

2009 - Maria Hernandez, Purdue, golf

2010 - Megan Hodge, Penn State, volleyball

NU cage squad will play in Italy

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The Northwestern men's basketball team will play at least four games as they visit Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice and Lake Como from Aug. 28 through Sept. 7. The schedule is not set yet,

NCAA rules will allow the team to practice together for 10 days prior to their departure.

Candace Parker's WNBA season is over

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It was announced late last week that Naperville native Candace Parker's shoulder injury will force the Los Angeles Sparks forward to miss the rest of the WNBA season, and likely the 2010 World Championship in the Czech Republic in September as well.

Team USA, is being coached by UConn's Geno Auriemma, who will be assisted by DePaul's Doug Bruno, and it's not going to be easy.

Jim Flynn retires from IESA

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Jim Flynn has retired again.

After a long and successful career with the Illinois High School Association, Jim came to work for the Illinois Elementary School Association in September, 2004.

From Steve Endsley, IESA Executive Director

Slaughter heads back to Green Bay

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The Chicago Slaughter (6-8) will face Central North Division Champions and rivals the Green Bay Blizzard (10-4) for the fourth time this season on Saturday night in the first round of the Indoor Football League (IFL) United Conference playoff competition in Green Bay. 

Post season play begins this weekend and will consists of 16 teams -- the top team from each of the six Divisions plus five Wild Cards in each conference. 

Red Stars Wednesday viewing party

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The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer host a World Cup Viewing Party at Bull & Bear, 431 N. Wells St., in Chicago.

Red Stars players and staff will be on hand as Bull & Bear is showing both Group C World Cup matches -- United States versus Algeria, and England versus Slovenia. The matches take place simultaneously at 9 a.m. Bull & Bear opens its doors at 8:30 a.m.

The morning event includes Red Stars-themed brunch specials, Red Stars ticket and merchandise giveaways.

The Red Stars have their own England and U.S. national team members of the highest caliber. Midfielders Karen Carney and Katie Chapman and defender Anita Asante of  the England Women's National Team. The Red Stars have a host of U.S. WNT members, most recently defender Kate Markgraf and midfielder Megan Rapinoe .

Thayer, Hilgenberg will sign autographs Saturday

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Former Chicago Bears linemen Tom Thayer and Jay Hilgenberg will sign autographs Saturday night at the Chicago Rush game against the Orlando Predators.


Thayer and Hilgenberg will be stationed at the Gridiron Greats Assistant Fund booth in the Allstate Arena concourse beginning at 6 p.m. when the arena doors open.  They will sign autographs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fans will have the option of getting either an autograph or a photo taken with Thayer and Hilgenberg - limited to one per fan - by making a $5 donation to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.

Thanks to Mike Ditka's involvement as owner of the Rush and member of the GGAF's Board of Directors, Gridiron Greats has a presence at each Rush home game, staffing a booth in the concourse with GGAF merchandise for sale to benefit the charity.


Three teams to return to Arena Football League

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The Arena Football League announced last week that it will have three teams rejoining the AFL for the 2011 season --  the San Jose SaberCats, Kansas City Brigade and the 2008 champion Philadelphia Soul. All three franchises were members in the 2008 season, the last season before the league took a one-year hiatus.

Kyle Rowley headed to St, Mary's

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Last week, 7-foot center Kyle Rowley, who announced he would transfer  from Northwestern after NU's season ended in the NIT, announced that he would be playing for St. Mary's after sitting out a year under NCAA rules.
The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced that Coal City's DePaul-bound pitcher Kirsten Verdun as its Illinois softball player of the year.

Now a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award, Verdun joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alicia Hollowell (2000-01, Fairfield HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Angela Tincher (2002-03, James River HS, Va.) and Kenzie Fowler (2006-07, Canyon del Oro HS, Ariz.).

The 5-10 senior left-handed pitcher finished 40-0 with a 0.30 ERA this season, leading the Coalers (40-0) to the Class 2A state championship on Saturday in East Peoria. Verdun recorded 480 strikeouts and 10 no-hitters in 235 innings and batted .565 with 80 runs scored, 70 RBI, 19 doubles and 12 home runs this spring.

Orender is pleased with start of WNBA season

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    WNBA president Donna Orender was at the Allstate Arena Tuesday night for the game between the Chicago Sky Sky and the New York Liberty.
    Orender had good news to report on the state of the league with television ratings up 33 percent in May.
    "We know that June has been better than May and July, better than June, so we are encouraged by what we've seen so far," she said.
    Orender said that the conference finals (best-of-three) would go to a 1-1-1 format in a change. Before, the higher seeded started on the road and then played at home.

Cappie returns to Chicago to face Sky

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    Cappie Pondexter, one of best female basketball players produced in Chicago returned home Tuesday as the leading scorer for the New York Liberty, which played the Sky at Allstate Arena Tuesday night.

    "I'm really happy in New York, it's a place I wanted to live," said Pondexter, who was a WNBA Finals MVP for Phoenix, before becoming part of a huge three-team trade that saw Shameka Christon and Catherine Kraayeveld land in Chicago, Pondexter in New York and former Sky All-Star Candice Dupree landed in Phoenix.
    "I'm happy and it's always nice to come back to Chicago."
    The move to New York landed Pondexter close to her college home at Rutgers.

Slaughter appreciation night for Blackhawks too

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The Chicago Slaughter (6-6) will host the LaCrosse Spartans (2-10) Saturday night at the Sears Centre for the last regular scheduled Slaughter home game for 2010. In a highly competitive Central North Division, the 6-6 Slaughter is currently in third place behind the Bloomington Extreme (7-5) and first place Green Bay Blizzard (8-4). With just two weeks left in the regular season,the Slaughter is looking to build momentum heading into post-season play.  Kick off for Saturday night's match-up is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.


Saturday Night is "Fan Appreciation Night" at the Sears Centre - not just for Slaughter fans, for Hawks fans as well.  Saturday night's program includes a special appearance by the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew (Blackhawks dance team) and performance by injured Slaughter DE Chris Pisani, who has become a fan favorite this season dancing a mean jig to Dropkick Murphys, 'I'm shipping up to Boston,' to help rally fans during Hawks' home games at the United Center.  Fans in attendance Saturday night wearing their Chicago hockey jersey will be given a 'buy one get one free' ticket offer; fans who have already purchased tickets in advance will receive a voucher for a Slaughter playoff game or for the 2011 season.

After a 43-36 loss at Rochester, the Chicago Slaughter of the IFL (Indoor Football League) will return to action Saturday night at 7:05, hosting the LaCrosse Spartans in its final regular-season home game at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. The game at Rochester was the league's first outdoor contest.

Slaughter running back Jarrett Payton,  son of the late Walter Payton, who left last week's game with a hamstring injury  is expected to play.

Chicago Catholic League baseball awards

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The Chicago Catholic League
Established in 1912
Combining Academic and Athletic Excellence

Blue Division

Tony Lawless Award Player    Mark Payton    St. Rita
Tony Lawless Award Coach    Mark Smith    Providence
Most Outstanding Player        Kevin Koziol    Br. Rice

All Conference
Dan Potempa            Jr    C        Providence
Sam Travis            Jr    3B        Providence
Collin McEnery        Jr    1B        Providence
Matt Trowbridge        Jr    P        Providence
Brandon Magallones        Jr    P        Providence
Kevin Koziol            Sr    P/SS        Br. Rice
Ryan Koziol            So    P/2B        Br. Rice
Brian Baldwin            Sr    P/1B        Br. Rice
Ryan Gyrion            Sr    C        Br. Rice
Mark Payton            Sr    OF        St. Rita
Joe Filomeno            Jr    P/1B        St. Rita
Stefano Belmonte        So    3B        St. Rita
Jeff Boehm            Jr    1B        Mt. Carmel
Chris Sujka            Jr    OF        Mt. Carmel
Adam Panayotovich        Sr    P/C        Mt. Carmel
John Schulte            Sr.    1B        Loyola
Joe Stevens            Sr.    SS/OF    Loyol

White Division

Most Outstanding Player        Kyle Wood    St. Laurence

All Conference

Kyle Wood            Jr    OF/P    St. Laurence
Tom Keating            Sr    1B        St. Laurence
Joe Sadowski            Sr    2B        St. Laurence
Mike Chimera            Jr    3B/P        St. Laurence
John Rafferty            Sr    P        St. Laurence
Mark Kasper            Sr    OF        De La Salle
Mark Munizzi            Jr    C        De La Salle
Pat Haynes            So    P/IF        De La Salle
Chuck Trentz            Sr    OF        De La Salle
Joe Horrigan            Sr    OF        Fenwick
Kevin Sweeney            Sr    SS        Fenwick
Tyler Sewall            Jr    OF/P    Fenwick
Jack Fischer            Sr    SS/P        St. Ignatius
Justin Meier            Sr    C        St. Ignatius
John Reynolds            Sr    OF        St. Ignatius
Michael Breault        Sr    OF/3B    Bishop McNamara
Tyler Calvert            Sr    SS        Bishop McNamara

Red Division

Most Outstanding Player        Jeremy Ryan    Gordon Tech

All Conference

Danny Britt            Sr    P/CF        Gordon Tech
Jeremy Ryan            Sr    P/1B        Gordon Tech
Dan Kriko            Sr    C        Gordon Tech
Israel Rodriguiz        Sr    2B        Gordon Tech
Justin Garry            So    OF        Gordon Tech
Alex Vasquez            Sr    SS        St. Francis de Sales
Timothy Gonzales        Sr    1B        St. Francis de Sales
James Nowakowski        Sr    C        St. Francis de Sales
Shane Burmistrz        Jr    OF        St. Francis de Sales
Phil Byrd                So            Leo
Aramis Johnson        Fr            Leo
Anthony Carter        So            Leo
Derrick Coleman        So    P        Hales
Christian Coleman        Sr    IN/OF    Hales
Rod Boykin            Fr            Hales
Miles Wilson            Sr    IN/OF    Seton
Desmond James        Sr    OF        Se

Three local girls at USA Basketball trials

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Bolingbrook's Ariel Massengale and Morgan Tuck and Niles West's Jewell Loyd are among the 36 athletes who will participate in the 2010 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials on June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Col.
Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky and Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm were named the WNBA's Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors.

Fowles led the league in both points (25.5) and blocks (2.5) per game, while also averaging 11.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assist per game in leading the Sky to a pair of wins. The Sky is now 4-4 after starting the season 0-4 mark.
In Saturday's win over Tulsa at Allstate Arena, Fowles scored a career-high 32 points, 13 boards, four blocks and a steal.  

Fowles career night gives Sky fourth straight

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Sylvia Fowles career-high 32 points lifted the WNBA's Chicago Sky to a 95-70 win over Tulsa Saturday to give the Sky a franchise best fourth consecutive victory and even the team's record at 4-4.
Shameka Christon added 17 for the Sky

Saturday night fever -- Fowles, Sky on high

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After three quarters, the WNBA's Chicago Sky had a 68-61 lead over the Tulsa Shock Saturday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

Center Sylvia Fowles had 24 points through three quarters for a career high, eclipsing her previous career high of 23. Fowles made two free throws with 9.8 second to play in the third quarter for her new personal best.

The Sky, which had equaled its franchise-best with three consecutive victories was looking for its fourth win in a row.

Ten minutes to go ...

I received this on Facebook ...

Making a difference for Special Olympic Athletes in Chicago...

What: Step up to the Plate for Special Olympics Chicago!
When: June 12 (2:30pm-6:30pm).
Where: Bourbon Street (3359 West 115th Street)
Why: To root for your favorite team! Sox vs. Cubs

$30 for 4 hours of beverages, buffet and baseball.

Chicago Invitational ??? or maybe not

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College mens basketball's Chicago Invitational Nov. 26-27 at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, has an eight-team field of Purdue, Southern Illinois, Richmond, Wright State, Austin Peay, Oakland (Michigan), Southern and Charleston Southern.
So what's Chicago about this event ?

It is not being contested in Chicago and there are no Chicago-area teams.

Last year Northwestern won it and beat Notre Dame in a Friday night semifinal. And the games were played at the UIC Pavilion, which the last time I looked was in the city of Chicago.

AT returns to town

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Former Whitney Young and Oklahoma standout Amanda Thompson was back in town Saturday night as a member of the Tulsa Shock, who played the Chicago Sky in a WNBA contest at Allstate Arena.

Also on the Shock is former North Carolina standout and Olympic sprinter Marion Jones.

Chicago Red Stars sign Asante

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The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer signed defender Anita Asante, a member of the English National team as a free agent following the dissolution of St. Louis Athletica. She should be available next week for the team's game at Washington, pending league approval.

Asante is joining England teammates Karen Carney and Katie Chapman.

To make room for Asante, the Red Stars released midfielder Brittany Klein.

Red Stars add Nikki Washington and Elise Weber

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The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Friday the acquisition of midfielder Nikki Washington and defender Elise Weber, a prep star at St. Viator,  in the wake of the the dissolution of Saint Louis Athletica last week.

The Red Stars released defender Ifeoma Dieke and forward and Naperville  native Michele Weissenhofer.

"We're excited about the additions of Nikki and Elise to our roster," Red Stars coach Omid Namazi said, in a release. "Nikki is a dynamic attacking player who will add another dimension to our game. Elise brings an attacking dimension to the left back. ... Obviously releasing players is very difficult, and we'd like to thank Ifeoma and Michele for their contributions to the Red Stars."

Washington has been placed on the team's 18-player first team roster and is questionable to play for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Beat. She has made strong progress recovering from an ACL injury during her final season at North Carolina.

Weber, who was drafted by Athletica in 2009 and played at Notre Dame, has been named to the developmental roster. WIth Weber, St. Viator won state championships in 2002, 2003 and 2005.


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From John Bostrom

The high school football tripleheader that was named the Preseason Prep Bowl will be played on Sunday Aug. 29 at Soldier Field.

The event was moved to Sunday because the Bears will be hosting the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL preseason game on Saturday night.

A great lineup starts with Mount Carmel playing Simeon at noon
Game 2 at 3:15 p.m. features Providence against Mount Carmel
The last game on the card at 6:30 pits Niles Notre Dame against Fenwick

Notre Dame has ties to the McCaskey  family, which owns the Bears

Alex Marcotullio to Great Britain trials

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Northwestern freshman guard Alex Marcotullio was invited to the Great Britain U20 training camp.

A native of Warren, Mich., Marcotullio appeared in all 34 games for the Wildcats last season, averaging 4.8 points and 14 minutes.

Marcotullio qualifies to compete for Great Britain based on the fact that his maternal grandfather is a native of Scotland.

"I think this is a tremendous opportunity for Alex," Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said in a release. "He's coming off a nice freshman season and anytime you have the chance to play against good competition and potentially face different kinds of players from all over the world, it's a great thing"

Six walk-ons land on NU football team

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Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald announced that six non-scholarship players had earned positions on the Wildcats for this fall.

From a NU release they are:

Hayden Baker
6-2 • 260, Cary-Grove
Projected Position: Offensive Line

High School: A near-consensus all-state selection in 2009, earning first-team nods from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, Chicago Tribune and Champaign News-Gazette ... A Chicago Sun-Times Top-25 All-Area team selection ... ESPN Chicago All-Area Preps team ... Two-time selection (2008 and 2009) to the Daily Herald and Northwest Herald all-area teams ... Team's two-time Offensive Line MVP (center) ... Helped lead the Trojans to the 2009 state title, the school's first, with a 34-17 win over Providence Catholic ... In state title game, faced Providence's all-state nose tackle Steve Laski ... Trojans went unbeaten in conference play two straight years (2008-09) ... Helped Cary-Grove amass 5,289 total yards, which included 4,444 rushing yards ... Trojans, using a triple-option offense, scored 546 points in two seasons ... Team, which went 53-1 in regular-season play from 2004-09, received MaxPreps Tour of Champions Trophy ... Team captain ... His football record with the Trojans was 41-3 ... Also competed in wrestling, track and lacrosse ... Won the lacrosse team's "Physical Presence" award ... Also won the "Harlem Big Man Challenge" lineman competition ... High Honor Roll eight semesters ... NHS, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar and two-time Academic All-State selection ... Coached by Bruce Kay. 
Personal: Born Hayden Patrick Baker ... Son of Robert and Mary Ellen Baker ... Uncle played football at Iowa and played in the Rose Bowl ... Anticipated major is biological sciences.

Omid Namazi named Red Stars head coach

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The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer named Omid Namazi as its new head coach on Thursday.

Namazi 's debut will be Sunday when the Red Stars (2-4-1) hosts the Atlanta Beat (0-5-1) at 5 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel). Helping Namazi on the sidelines  will be University of Illinois women's soccer coach Janet Rayfield as an assistant, and Nathan Kipp for goalkeeping.

Namazi was the head coach of the San Diego Spirit of the Women's United Soccer Association.


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HOOPS4HEALTH is holding its first annual Chicago Basketball Legends Clinic featuring former Illinois stars  Luther Head and Dee Brown on July 10 at the McGaw YMCA in Evanston.

Head, who plays for the Indiana Pacers, and Brown, who plays in Italy, will by joined by Mickey Johnson (Lindblom, Aurora U., Bulls);  Larue Martin, one the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft by Portland; Cedrick McCullough (Proviso East, Northern Illinois); Brooks coach Chris Head; Armond Williams (Austin, UIC); Jimmy Miles (Rich Central, Valparaiso, Harlem Globetrotters); and Orr coach Kermit Thompson.

For information, call camp director Brendan Kolton at (847) 809-5449

Indoor Slaughter heads outside

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The Chicago Slaughter (6-5) indoor football team face the Rochester Raiders (8-4) in the first outdoor IFL game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.
The 6-5 Slaughter is tied with the Bloomington Extreme (6-5) one-game behind the division-leading Green Bay Blizzard (7-4).  
The Slaughter are currently in a wild card spot with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
"We are peaking at the right time with our offense and defense hitting on all cylinders," Slaughter GM Alan Perkins said in a release. "Our team is 6-2 in our last eight games and we have a real shot at winning our division. We're a strong playoff contender."
The Slaughter will face the LaCrosse Spartans in their last home game of the regular season at 7:05 p.m. (CDT) on June 12 at the Sears Centre Arena.
For more information or for tickets to the June 12 game, please call the team office at (847) 310-3190 or visit the team website at

Bulls' Jannero Pargo comes through for the kids

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    Bulls guard Jannero Pargo has a huge hit as a guest at the HOOPS4HEALTH spring basketball youth camp at the Winnetka Community House on Wednesday.

    Pargo, a standout at Robeson High School and Arkansas was a late fill-in at Brendan Koltan's youth camp. Pargo had a family emergency and was forced to cancel an appearance last week, but he came through for the camp's next-to-last session.

    "He really came through at the last minute and he was great," Koltan said. "He spoke to the kids about commitment and was unbelievable talking about the health aspect of playing. he played horse with the kids and there was some one-on-one. The kids just loved him and he brought some t-shirts for the kids."
Two of the four teams in the Arena Football League with league-best 6-2 records will face off Friday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont when the Jacksonville Sharks come to town to face the Rush.

The Chicago  Rush is coming off back-to-back road wins at Dallas and Cleveland. The game will be broadcast nationally Friday  as the Arena Football League game of the week on the NFL Network.

    Quarterback Russ Michna has thrown for 2,329  yards and  41 touchdowns for the Rush. Jacksonville had a five-game winning streak snapped last week in Spokane.


Red Stars, WPS revise schedule

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Women's Professional Soccer released its revised  schedule following last week's dissolution of St. Louis Athletica. The Chicago Red Stars maintain a schedule featuring 12 home matches and 12 road matches, and the four-team WPS playoff format for Sept. 19-26.

The Red Stars added one home date (7 p.m.Sept. 1, vs. Philadelphia Independence) to fill the loss of the Sept. 11 home match against St. Louis.

Three home dates feature a different opponent,.

In July, the Red Stars have added two road matches against the Washington Freedom (July 4) and Philadelphia (July 28), eliminated the original July 18 match scheduled for St Louis on and changed opponents for July 7 and 10.
In August, the Red Stars added an Aug. 19 match at Washington, eliminated the Aug. 15 match at Philadelphia and eliminated the original Aug. 28 match at St. Louis. On Aug. 11, Chicago will host Philadelphia instead of Atlanta.

In September, the Red Stars added a Sept. 1 home match against Philadelphia (7 p.m. kickoff) and eliminated the original Sept. 11 home match against St. Louis.

The Red Stars are exploring the possibility of hosting an exhibition match on Sept. 11.

The Red Stars (2-4-1) host the Atlanta Beat (0-5-1) at 5 p.m. Sunday at Toyota Park, with the game televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. The team is offering a Family 4 Pack for this match: 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 soft drinks for only $76. Call (708) 496-9500 for tickets.

JUNE -- 6, vs. Atlanta Beat, 5 p.m. (televised on FSC);
12, at Washington Freedom, 6 p.m.; 19, at Atlanta Beat, 6 p.m.; 25, at Boston Breakers, 6:30 p.m.
JULY -- 4, at Washington Freedom, 4 p.m.; 7, vs. Atlanta Beat, 7:30 p.m.; 10, vs. Sky Blue FC, 6 p.m.; 21, at Atlanta Beat, 6:30 p.m.; 25, vs. Boston Breakers, 3 p.m.; 28, at Philadelphia Independence, 6 p.m.
AUGUST -- 1, at Sky Blue FC, 6 p.m.; 7, at FC Gold Pride, 9 p.m.; 11, vs. Philadelphia Independence, 7:30 p.m.; 19, at Washington Freedom, 6:30 p.m.; 22, vs. FC Gold Pride, 5 p.m. (televised on FSC).
SEPTEMBER -- 1, vs. Philadelphia Independence, 7 p.m.; 5, vs. Washington Freedom, TBD (televised on FSC).
* All times listed in Central Standard
* Home games in BOLD

Kaela Davis commits to Tennessee

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Blue Star Basketball is reporting that high school freshman Kaela Davis, the daughter of former Bulls player Antonio Davis, made a verbal commitment to attend Tennessee.

Davis, who used to live in the Chicago area, now resides in Georgia.

The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association named Northwestern seniors Katrina Dowd and Danielle Spencer and sophomore Shannon Smith first team All-Americans.

Also honored from the NCAA runner-up Wildcats were sophomore Alexandra Frank, a second team selection and freshman Taylor Thornton was a third teamer.

Granite City catcher is Gatorade's pick

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Gatorade, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, selected catcher Jake DePew of Granite City its 2009-10 Illinois Baseball Player of the Year.  DePew is the first Gatorade Illinois Baseball Player of the Year winner from Granite City. 


   Oregon State fired head women's basketball coach LaVonda Wagner after several losing seasons and a player exodus. Wagner, 68-85 in five seasons, had four players, including leading scorer Talisa Rhea get releases in April. Two others left the program during the season.

    Wagner was named the Beavers' coach in 2005 after serving as an assistant at Duke, Illinois, under Theresa Grentz,  and East Tennessee State.

Chicago Rush defensive back and kick returner Chris Martin was been named the Arena Football League's JLS Ironman of the Week for his performance in the team's 52-49 win at Cleveland Saturday. 


Martin returned a Cleveland kickoff 57-yards for a touchdown with 14 secondsto play, giving the Rush its sixth victoryin eight games.  The return was Martin's first of the season for a touchdown..

Emery Moorehead autographs at Rush game Friday

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Former Bears tight end Emery Moorehead will sign autographs Friday night at the Rush game against the Jacksonville Sharks.

Moorehead, graduate of Evanston High School, will be stationed at the Gridiron Greats Assistant Fund booth in the Allstate Arena concourse beginning at 6 p.m. when the arena doors open.  He will sign autographs from 6  to 7 p.m. Autographs are free, but limited to one per fan. 

In addition, Gridiron Greats will be selling Mike Ditka autographed commemorative GGAF jerseys at the booth.

Thanks to Ditka's involvement as owner of the Rush and member of the GGAF's Board of Directors, Gridiron Greats will have a presence at each Rush home game, staffing a booth in the concourse with GGAF merchandise for sale to benefit the charity.

Red Stars Kosovare Asllani is Player of the Week

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  Forward Kosovare Asllani was named Women's Professional Soccer's Player of the Week after lifting the Red Stars to a 1-0 upset of first-place FC Gold Pride Saturday.

The 20-year-old Swedish national-teamer, who won a "treble" last year with Swedish club Linkopings FC, scored her first goal in the 55th minute, redirecting Marian Dalmy's feed.

The goal was just the Red Stars' fourth of the year, but it was enough to provide a victory in General Manager Marcia McDermott's first game on the sideline.

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