Friday, May 24, 2013
Joliet Catholic Academy has been up-and-down for much of the baseball season, much like the weather, but has hit its stride as of late because of timely pitching and improved defense.
Earlier this spring cold, wet weather made it difficult to grip a bat, say nothing of hitting a fastball. Joliet Catholic Academy’s baseball team scuffled. The Hilltoppers’ offense was inconsistent and their schedule was daunting. For every big win their was an equally gut-wrenching loss and not always the one that stared back at the Hill on the scoreboard. JCA lost a string of players to illness and injury. Matt Testa (elbow), Ryan Bannon (wrist), Zach Jackovich (mono), Brock Pluth (knee injury), Nick Dalesandro (wrist), and Cal Placher (arm) all were sidelined for extended stretches, some for the season. Joliet Catholic Academy coach Jared Voss could have made excuses for the Hilltoppers, who climbed to 19-14 with a 5-1 victory over Oak …
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Here are a few of the stories that had people talking on Channahon-Minooka Patch during the last week.
1. Man Paralyzed in Prime of Life Never Stops Following His Passion 2. Channahon's Fisher Family to Appear on TV Game Show 3. Kremer: You'll Be Rooting for These 2 Slammers Pitchers LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: ChannahonMinookaPatch
Friday, May 17, 2013
Evan Anundsen and Jacob Sanchez represent what Frontier League Baseball is all about—a chance to get noticed or find redemption. The two will suit up for the Slammers' season-opener on Friday night at Silver Cross Field.
Let me introduce you to two young, professional ballplayers who epitomize what independent baseball is all about. Both are pitchers with the Joliet Slammers in the Frontier League ranks. Let me remind you the Slammers, with a new ownership group in place and a new manager in the dugout, open regular-season play against the Traverse City Beach Bums on Friday night. Joliet mayor Tom Giarrante will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Silver Cross Field. Action begins at 7:05. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the two men who stand at the head of the Slammers’ rotation, right-handers Evan Anundsen and Jacob Sanchez. Anundsen will start vs. the Beach Bums. He once was a fourth-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers. He spent seven …
Friday, May 10, 2013
Joliet Central senior Marquisha Crosby has bounced back from an ankle injury that cost her time in the ring. Now, she's looking to conclude her high school career with a trip to the Class 3A state meet in Charleston.
When Marquisha Crosby steps into the shot put ring, she also steps into a whole new persona. She loses that charming smile and unleashes her inner beast. Crosby is the Joliet Central High School senior who won the Southwest Suburban Blue Conference championship for the second year in a row. She recorded a throw of 37-2. She knows she can top that. She has thrown the shot 40 feet in practice. Yet, she surprised herself by rising to the top at the conference meet. Crosby is a two-sport standout at Joliet Central. She rolled her ankle near the end of the girls basketball season. The injury sent her to the sidelines and forced her to miss the entire indoor girls track and field season. “I went up to block a shot and came down on my ankle,” …
Friday, May 3, 2013
Joliet Catholic Academy's Stephanie Tilliman and Alex Kennedy have worked together to keep the Angels' spirits up despite the sting of an uncharacteristically slow start.
Difficult. Trying. Those two words could be used to describe Joliet Catholic Academy’s softball season. Line drives have turned into outs. Excellent pitching as been wasted on occasion by sloppy fielding. Those two words also could be used to describe how JCA senior pitcher Stephanie Tillman and senior first baseman Alex Kennedy have grown to be stronger individuals during their time with the Angels. They have adapted in difficult times, trying times, and remained steadfast leaders on a very young team. Joliet Catholic Academy has six seniors on its roster—four who regularly start—and the rest of its current cast is made up of freshmen and sophomores. The Angels dropped a 10-2 decision to Marian Catholic on Wednesday afternoon that dropped…
Friday, April 26, 2013
Watch: Joliet West assistant coaches Jonathan Murray and Kevin Fitzgerald run the Tigers through drills during a workout in a warehouse on a rainy day.
I am a believer in the theory the best high school coaches also make for the best high school teachers. And, to my way of thinking, a high school coach can be measured by how successfully he or she is able to convert huge assignment helpings into bite-size parts. I also believe the best high school coaches are the ones who surround themselves with capable assistants and know how to delegate tasks. This affords them the luxury of maximizing practice time without feeling threatened by an underling. And, make no mistake, minutes are precious when you’re dealing with the attention spans of typical high school students and athletes. Joliet West baseball coach John Karczewski makes the most of every second he spends with his Tigers, whether they…
Friday, April 19, 2013
Watch: Joliet Catholic Academy boys volleyball coach Rhyen Staley works with his team during a walk-through before a match earlier this week. Louis Dow sets Mike O'Neill for a couple big hits.
In the Joliet Catholic Academy boys volleyball program, Louis Dow and Mike O’Neill have come to be recognized as fixtures. Yep, flip the switch and they turn on their game faces. Dow is JCA’s 6-foot-2 senior setter and opposite-side hitter. He is also the Hilltoppers’ floor leader. He acts as the chief line of communication between coach Rhyen Staley and his teammates. And Dow distributes the ball in a manner that keeps opposing teams from stacking their blockers on one side the net. O’Neill is JCA’s 6-1 senior outside hitter, a left-hander who moves around in JCA’s offense and brings an unmistakable power to the Hill’s attack force. He puts the ball down with authority. And, like Dow, O’Neill lights up the gym with his tenacity. Both are …
Friday, April 12, 2013
One coaches boys volleyball, the other softball. Both bring a passion and a sense of community to their work in the Joliet Township school district.
For the two sisters coaching two different varsity sports at two different campuses in the same school district, the path they followed to reach this juncture can be traced to a single starting point. Home. Joliet Central’s Lindsey Suca and Joliet West’s Heather Suca were raised by life coaches—their parents—and taught from a young age there is a right way and a wrong way to go about your business. Those early lessons made a lasting impression. And, naturally, they’ve become coaches themselves. “Mom and dad both—they influenced me to be the way I am, disciplined,” Lindsey Suca said. “Discipline is huge. That’s what I carry over into my coaching. And, it sounds dorky, but I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little. “So, I even had the…
Friday, April 5, 2013
Jake Herron and Quinn Ahern—the two aces standing at the head of Joliet West's deep pitching staff—credit assistant Joe Host for helping them reach new heights on the mound.
Big arms and big hearts. Jake Herron and Quinn Ahern always could blow the ball by hitters and battle deep into tight ballgames. The thing that’s different this season is they’ve matured into team leaders at Joliet West and refined their mechanics under pitching coach Joe Host. The Tigers, 5-1 heading into Thursday’s game vs. top-ranked Lincoln-Way North, are roaring with a pair of senior aces at the head of a deep pitching staff. And, it goes without saying that pitching is the name of the game in baseball. Always has been, always will be. Joliet West coach John Karczewski has a background in pitching. Yet, he felt like he wasn’t developing his team’s pitching staff as well as he could have because he also was running drills for the rest …
Monday, April 1, 2013
Depth in the starting rotation and power arms in the bullpen lend credence to the belief the Sox can contend in the AL Central. Patch Editor Ron Kremer outlines three reasons to keep your eyes on the Sox this summer.
The Sox open at home Monday (3:10 p.m.) vs. the Kansas City Royals. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet. The forecast calls for temperatures in the upper-30s. Snow flurries are possible.