Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: January 2018

Saint Viator Cheerleaders Headed to State

IMG_6330For the second straight year—and the fifth year out of six—Saint Viator’s competitive cheerleading squad is headed to the IHSA state championships in Bloomington. The team will perform their highflying routine in the Cahill Gym at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, before they leave for the opening day of competition on Friday.

“We are so proud of the amazing 16 athletes that make up our varsity team,” says Head Coach Amanda Ray. “They’ve had one heck of a season.”

Last weekend, the Lions took third place at sectionals, and were among the top five teams to advance to state. Even better, the team earned its highest score this season—87.23—putting them among the top five squads in the medium school division, going into prelims.

In all, 25 teams qualified at sectionals to earn a state berth. They will perform their routines on Friday with the hopes of scoring well enough to make the top 10, which advance to the state finals.

“We’re really focusing on the execution of every skill in our routine,” Ray adds. “Hitting zero (deductions) and advancing to the state finals on Saturday is tops on the list for this resilient team.”

They have a secret weapon. Among their coaches is Kathaleen Murphy ’12, who was on the Saint Viator squad that won the state title in 2012. She has worked with the team during summers and on breaks from Indiana University, but now that she has graduated she is one of their assistant coaches.

“We are very excited to have her back with us full time this season,” Ray says. “She knows firsthand what it’s like to represent Saint Viator at such a high-level competition.”

Follow the Lions as they compete at state. Performances will be live streamed by the IHSA on the NFHS network. For live performances, visit:

Summer Work Study and Internship Program Hopes to Add 10 New Business Partners This Year

DSC_0010One of the goals of Saint Viator High School’s Summer Work Study and Internship Program is to expand each year and offer different types of work experience—and match the interest—of students needing help in paying their tuition.

Take Sergio Leudo-Carmona ’18 of Crystal Lake. He has performed in each of the Saint Viator musicals during his four years, and when it came time to match his interests, officials found the perfect fit: interning at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in downtown Arlington Heights.

A pair of business partners, Klein, Daday, Aretos & O’Donoghue Law in Rolling Meadows and Mitchell Marketing in Arlington Heights, underwrote the tuition reimbursement portion of his internship.

DSC_0012Consequently, last summer, Leudo-Carmona worked with Holly Marshall, production manager at Metropolis. He was involved in a variety of roles, from learning about budgeting and working in the back office, to helping with auditions and even running the spotlight during select performances.

Leudo-Carmona said he loved experiencing the inner workings of a professional theater, but he soon learned there was a silver lining.

“These internships truly widened my opportunities when applying to college,” Leudo-Carmona said when he spoke at a recent reception for prospective businesses looking to partner with the program.

“Colleges are impressed by students who start interning in high school,” he added. “In fact, one of the colleges that I applied to granted me additional scholarship funds based on my community involvement, specifically my internship experience.”

DSC_0007His classmate, Daniel Isufi of Arlington Heights spoke about his experience commuting every day into Chicago, to work at UHY Advisors, a top accounting, tax and consulting firm.

“The internship taught me how to manage money, file billing invoices, and write and mail checks among other things,” Daniel said. “I learned how the Chicago business district works and I improved my professional communication skills. It was such a great experience.”

Saint Viator’s Summer Work Study and Internship Program began in 2013, through the support of two alumni, Dean Niro ’83 and Andrew Kelleher ’86. What started with three students hosted by their respective law firms, grew last summer to include 17 business partners hosting 18 students.

Participating students earned a combined $54,000 in tuition assistance last summer and more than $213,000 since the program began.

DSC_0003Marcus Henthorn, area vice president with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Rolling Meadows, said his company tried to give their intern as much real-world experience as they could.

“Seeing what Jake was able to accomplish this year was nothing short of incredible,” Henthorn said. “He can already compete with the college interns, and that’s pretty important to us.”

Brian Liedlich, president of Saint Viator High School, said the program is consistent with a Viatorian education, which offers academic excellence and faith formation while offering innovations that keep the school relevant.

“This relevant work experience not only provides our students with the opportunity to contribute financially to their education,” Liedlich said, “but it reinforces the thinking strategies and lifelong learning behaviors emphasized in the classroom.

“This unique combination of classroom and workplace learning,” he added, “prepares our students for success in high school, in college and in the years to come.”

New Strength and Conditioning Coach Takes Proactive Approach

IMG_9344Tucked away in his office outside of the Murphy Wellness Center, new Strength and Conditioning Coach Alex Nadolna looks like he could be one of the students. But this 25-year old graduate of New Trier High School and Knox College brings an interesting perspective to his role and it goes beyond maximizing athletic performance.

“For me, strength and conditioning positively changed my life,” Coach Nadolna says.

He describes growing up overweight and out of shape, that is until he started high school and as a freshman football player started learning more about proper nutritional habits as well as strength and conditioning.

“At my heaviest, I weighed 265 pounds, and when I graduated I was 185,” Coach Nadolna says. “Strength and conditioning became a healthy outlet that I really sank my teeth into. It was therapeutic and I try and share my story with all of my athletes.”

Coach Nadolna started this semester, replacing Coach Richard McLoughlin who left to pursue an internship at Stanford University. As a high school athlete at New Trier, he played football and ran track, and went on to play football at Knox.

“I’m a huge proponent of Division III athletics,” Coach Nadolna says. “It’s hard to see your high school sports ending, and it doesn’t have to. There are so many opportunities out there to keep on playing.”

Before coming to Saint Viator, Coach Nadolna was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at New Trier, working under his former coach and mentor, Jim Davis. He also completed an internship with the strength staff at Loyola University, working with its Division I athletes in men’s and women’s sports.

Like his predecessors, Coach Nadolna takes a unified and holistic approach to strength and conditioning. While he has been meeting with different coaches and teams, he believes a broad-based approach to strength and conditioning is needed.

“For complete athletic optimization, the structure and foundation have to be rock solid,” Coach Nadolna says, “before you can target workouts for specific sports.”

One of those sports that Nadolna will coach directly is Saint Viator’s powerlifting team. Now in its second season, the team competes within the Illinois High School Powerlifting Association, which Coach Nadolna helped to form.

“There is no better example of hard work than powerlifting,” Coach Nadolna says. “It you’re willing to come in and put in hard work, then you’ll see success.”

Currently, the team has approximately 15 members, but he plans to open it up to the entire student body, including those who have no experience in the weight room.

“It’s all about creating opportunities,” Coach Nadolna says, “for students to win and improve.”

Finally, in his spare time, Coach Nadolna serves as the assistant director of operations for the Good Athlete Project, whose mission is to help athletes realize their potential through athletics.

“Coach Nadolna shares in our mission,” says Athletic Director Marty Jennings, “of being a champion on and off the field.”

Book it: Myia Clark Sets All-Time Scoring Record

myia2Senior shooting guard, Myia Clark is breathing a sigh of relief. She finally surpassed the all-time scoring mark of 1,523 points set by Assistant Coach Denise Walker ’96, and she couldn’t be more excited.

It happened on Thursday night in the ESCC conference game at Marian Central Catholic High School.

“It’s been a lot of pressure for the last two weeks,” Myia says. “I was a little nervous going into the game (knowing she only needed 8 points to match the record), and when I finally reached it, it was as if a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders.”

It came during the second half of play, when Myia penetrated the Hurricanes’ defense to make a layup, her favorite way to score.

myia“My goal from the beginning was to start on varsity,” Myia says. “Scoring’s always been pretty easy for me, but I never thought about setting a record until last year, when I hit 1,000 points.

“This year, I forgot about it until I reached 1,500,” she adds. “That’s when it really became my goal.”

The game ended in a dramatic finish, when Myia’s 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left in overtime lifted the Lions to a thrilling 55-54 win and gave them their first ESCC win.

Myia says her game has improved under Head Coach Jason Raymond, who took over the program her sophomore year.

“He’s made me a better defender — and that’s opened up shots,” says Myia, who has committed to playing basketball this fall at St. Louis University. “And he’s encouraged me to be more of a leader on the floor, to help my teammates play better.”

Myia says she didn’t celebrate her new status as the all-time leading scorer for Saint Viator’s girls’ basketball, but she did enjoy having Friday off from practice, which Coach Raymond gave the team.

Myia and the team have six more regular season games left before they enter the playoffs, when they hope to better last season’s performance, of making it to the sectional finals.

“Our number one goal is to get to state,” Myia says, “but before that we want to get back to the sectional finals.”

As for Myia’ attitude, now that she’s set the scoring record: “I’m going to be in attack mode.”

Two Seniors Honored by Daily Herald for Volunteerism

Sheehan_DevonTwo Saint Viator seniors joined a rare group Thursday when they were named to the Daily Herald All-Leadership team. Devon Sheehan made the first team and appeared on the front page of the newspaper along with nine other teens from the Northwest suburbs, while Cody Weigand was an honorable mention.

They make the world a better place, officials with the paper said simply.

“These are high school students who empower themselves to make change in the world through volunteerism and encouraging volunteer efforts in others,” editors said in a story that ran with their photo.

In their individual profiles that also appeared in the edition, it became clear why Devon and Cody were selected.

Last summer, Devon fulfilled a long-held dream to return to Camp Sunshine, in Casco, Maine, this time as a counselor. As a child, she had attended the camp for two summers after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and she remembers the freedom and joy she experienced.

Now in remission, Devon wanted to return and mentor other children like her, as a camp counselor.

“They go through so much chemotherapy and spend much of their time in hospitals,” Devon says, “but this camp allows them to be a kid again.”

Devon not only served as a counselor for one week, but she also addressed the group, sharing her own experience with campers, their family members, and other staff.

Turns out, speaking to groups is something Devon does well. Last fall, she was one of three teens who spoke at the Potluck for Peace dinner sponsored by the Children of Abraham Coalition.

“I learned about the group last year, during an interfaith unit in religion class,” Devon says. “I come from an interfaith family, so it really interested me, and I got involved.”

She now is a director of the coalition, which works to advance dialogue and education between teens of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions.

“I’m thrilled to see so many people here,” said Devon of the record crowd that night. “It gives me hope that we can be agents of change in some small way.”

Weigand_CodyCody Weigand was chosen for his commitment to working with the elderly. For the past two summers, he has volunteered–nearly full time–at the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights. What began as a way to fulfill service hours, turned into much more.

“I really enjoyed talking to residents and hearing their stories,” Cody says. “I learned about their backgrounds and where they grew up. They had so much to offer.”

Cody grew up with his grandparents living with his family, so he has a natural affinity for seniors, but now he has a new vision for his future.

“I want to go into law,” Cody says, “and maybe elder law.”

A Saturday Morning Tradition that Changes Lives

20180111_121607A group of six seniors is completing their service requirement in a unique way: together.

Nearly every Saturday morning, they meet at the All Saints Food Pantry in Palatine to collect, sort and distribute food donations. They include Tyler Faber, Ryan Flynn, John Leininger, John Rapala, Will Sheriff and Kenny Yi.

But in the nearly two years they have been doing it, they’re gaining as much as the clients.

“The way I see it, it’s the Viatorian mission, of serving the marginalized,” says John Leininger.

The teens spend three hours there, unloading fresh produce delivered by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, before sorting through donations and ultimately filling grocery bags to distribute to the 40 or so families that will come by that day for food.

“It’s fun helping others, but especially with your friends,” says Ryan Flynn.

“It’s become our Saturday morning tradition,” adds Kenny Yi.

Cindy Williams, director of the food pantry, calls them her Saint Viator team and says she could not have asked for a more mature and helpful group of volunteers.

“They always come ready to help,” Williams says. “They don’t need to be assigned. They see something that needs to be done and they do it.”

She adds that their youthful enthusiasm is contagious and that her agency depends on drawing younger volunteers to continue its service to the community.

“They help a lot in the food pantry, but then they help the clients to their cars with their heavy bundles,” Williams adds. “I see them having conversations with the clients. They’re not just going through the motions, they’re engaging them.”

The clients, too, have noticed the young men who help them. One of them, an older woman, told senior Will Sheriff that she enjoys seeing them when she comes and that their help means a lot to her.

“And then she hugged me,” Will says. “That’s the greatest thing that’s happened to me in a while.”

While each of the seniors needs to complete 25 hours of service for the year, they are well beyond their requirement, says Bart Hisgen, campus minister.

“This doesn’t happen very often,” Hisgen says, “that you get a group of high school guys to commit at this level. And they do it week after week. They show up.”

Food for the Journey: Sunday, January 7

This week Fr. Charlie Bolser, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for The Feast of the Epiphany.

Lectionary: 20

On this Sunday, we once again hear the story of the Three Magi, who were searching for the place where the Anointed One was to be born. According to the story, they traveled a long distance, looking and searching for the one who was to bring life to the world. They even asked Herod, the ruler of Israel what he knew of this special event. The truth is, Herod, nor any of his officials understood the search, and their goal was to eliminate any threat to their power – to the throne.

The Magi continued their search – following the light that did not lead to the throne of power, but instead to a small insignificant little town, and to a child born in a manger and loved by shepherds. A fascinating contradiction; looking in places that were and are opposite of where we would normally look. We too, often, look in the wrong places, and then not finding what we are looking for – give up!

The story tells us that the Sacred Spirit of God is right in front of us and within us – and all around us. Our call, like that of the disciples, is to open our eyes – the eyes of the soul to see. We need to first, like the Magi, admit that we don’t know where to look – that we are blind. Lord heal our blindness. The success of the Magi depended on their continuing to look in expected places and then in unexpected places. Today, like then, the living Word of God, is a threat to those who are addicted to power and status – to the things that are offered to us as trinkets to silence the craving that comes from within.

The story continues, showing us that Jesus, like Moses, came to lead the people (all of the people) from Egypt to the Promised Land — from slavery to freedom. The Magi had an epiphany – they celebrated a Eureka Moment when they understood the threat to those in power.

It is only in searching — with our eyes of the mind and of the soul wide open — that are we able to experience that Eureka – that Epiphany of understanding.

Fr. Charlie Bolser, C.S.V served as president of Saint Viator High School from 1987-1998. Presently, Fr. Charlie serves as Chaplain at Saint Viator.

2017 Grad a Rare American in Canadian Junior Level Hockey

IMG_0150Colin Cromie ’17 dreams of one day playing in the National Hockey League, but first things first: This fall, Colin started playing for the Langley Trappers, which competes in the Pacific Junior Hockey League outside Vancouver, or more than 2,000 miles from his home in Elgin.

He is one of only two non-Canadians playing on the team, but apparently, he’s fitting in just fine. In his first 25 games, Colin has scored four goals and seven assists, with 11 total points scored. Just last week he was named assistant captain of the team and wears an ‘A’ on his sweater.

Next year, Colin hopes to move up to the Langley Rivermen, who play in the British Colombian League, and all with the goal of playing college hockey.

“This is an amazing achievement,” says Dean Deborah Scerbicke.

British Columbian coaches noticed Colin as far back as three years ago when he played in a prospect camp at the age of 15. They kept him on their radar, and while he could have left his home earlier to play for them — and finish high school in British Columbia — Colin had one goal: He wanted to graduate from Saint Viator.

IMG_0151While a Saint Viator student, Colin played soccer and one spring season of hockey. He concentrated his efforts on playing with the U-18 Chicago Young Americans, which is a AAA, tier-one team that plays in the High-Performance League.

Now playing in British Columbia, he lives with a host family in the area. His parents, Steve and Lori, follow every game by streaming it live on the Internet and they say they are content to watch him play as an amateur.

After all, they are a hockey family. Steve Cromie grew up playing hockey and went on to play at Iowa State University. He recently was inducted into the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois Hall of Fame, and he now serves as a consultant to USA Hockey. Consequently, he and his wife are Colin’s biggest fans, especially with his goal of keeping up his academic eligibility in order to play in college.

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