Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Category: Athletics (Page 1 of 7)

Saint Viator Athletics Implements New, Comprehensive System for Concussion Management

IMG_0007 This fall, Saint Viator Athletics is introducing a new concussion management tool called SportsBrain, which provides online education and baseline concussion testing. Not only does this new tool work to ensure concussion awareness among our student-athletes, parents, coaches, and trainers, but it also supports compliance of state laws. 

“We are really excited to bring SportsBrain to Saint Viator,” said Athletic Director Jason Kuffel. “Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive resources and tools for our student-athletes and coaches in an easy-to-use system. Together, we’ll all be working to protect the young men and women in our care, and ensure ongoing assessment, recovery, and education.”

The online service provides more than simply a baseline to assess injuries, it is a complete system for concussion evaluation and documentation. There is also a system to track an student-athlete’s progress toward a safe post-concussion return-to-play and return-to-learn. 

As it is an online system, it can be accessed from home or school, and training is provided for app use including registration, reading reports, and for those recovering from an injury, how to enter symptoms on a daily basis for ongoing monitoring. Everyone who needs to track a player’s progress can now refer to this single, centralized tool for details of an injury and steps toward recovery. 

“This will be a valuable resource for Saint Viator Athletics,” said Kuffel. “It’s all part of a bigger picture of doing everything we can to keep our students safe and healthy.”

Saint Viator’s Cross Country Invitational to Be Held August 17

DSC_1111The fourth annual Saint Viator Cross Country Invitational is just around the corner. On August 17, the Saint Viator Traveling Cup Trophy will be awarded, and the competition is already looking fierce. 

In past years, this event has drawn over 500 young students from 20 different partner schools in the surrounding suburbs. The participants run a course that stretches around the Saint Viator campus before returning inside the Boler Center for an awards ceremony. Each runner wears a traditional cross country bib with a number and crosses the finish line in front of friends, parents, and coaches.

Chris Bremner, director of enrollment, is hoping for another successful event this year – with even more students taking part in the competition. According to Bremner, the pre-season invite has been the driving force behind the growing popularity of this event. This year, 20 partner middle schools have already signed on, with approximately 40 students from each school competing. 

DSC_0909Participating schools include: Our Lady of the Wayside and St. James schools in Arlington Heights, St. Mary School in Buffalo Grove, St. Alphonsus School in Prospect Heights, St. Gilbert School in Grayslake, St. Hubert School in Hoffman Estates, St. Emily and St. Raymond schools in Mount Prospect, St. Thomas of Villanova, St. Theresa and Immanuel Lutheran schools in Palatine,,, St. Francis de Sales in Lake Zurich, St. Patrick in Wadsworth, Frassati Academy in Wauconda, Holy Family Academy in Inverness, St. Anne School in Barrington, St. Paul of the Cross School in Park Ridge, and Queen of All Saints. St. Juliana, and St. Benedict schools in Chicago  

Members of the Saint Viator cross country team are looking forward to helping out with this event as a way to give back to their communities and share their knowledge with the junior high runners. Two members will lead each race, carrying the Saint Viator flag, while other students will help encourage runners around the course. 

DSC_0958“We pride ourselves on running a great event that showcases these young student-athletes,” said Patrick Gaeger, assistant director of enrollment and the boys lacrosse coach. “The day is all about having fun and introducing the runners to high school cross country. It’s also a great chance for students to meet fellow athletes and coaches and learn more about Saint Viator.”

With hundreds of students and family members expected this year, sponsorship opportunities are now available for those interested in promoting a business and supporting this community event. There are several levels of sponsorship available, beginning at $100. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, go to https://www.saintviator.com/elementary-cross-country-invitational or contact Chris Bremner at (224) 625-1256 or cbremner@saintviator.com.

The Sky’s the Limit for this Lacrosse Star

sps_0110_9894433Summer is a busy time for Serafina DeMunno ’21. She had just two weeks off after her Saint Viator girls’ lacrosse team lost in sectionals on May 22, to when her summer tournament season began with her club team, True Lacrosse.

In all, Serafina figures she will only be home two days in June and probably only two in July between all of the state and national tournaments she is playing with her club team, as well as attending showcase camps and tournaments led by college coaches.

All this after she was named MVP of her team—for the second straight year—as well as East Suburban Catholic Conference player of the year, all-sectional and an all-state honorable mention.

Her stats from last season back it up: She had 108 draw controls—winning face-offs—95 goals, 37 assists, 68 ground ball controls, 3 interceptions, and 48 caused turnovers. She also led her team to a record of 14-2 in the regular season and 15-3 after the playoffs.

D6yLLIMXsAAcGiP“She is hands down one of the best athletes I have ever coached,” says Suzanne Rich, head coach of Saint Viator’s girls’ lacrosse team and a coach with DeMunno’s private club team, True Lacrosse.

“Serafina has been critical to the success of our team and she continues to lead by example,” Rich adds. “She is a team player and always puts her team first. Her goal is to play Division I lacrosse in college and I am doing everything to help her make that dream come true.”

This year, Serafina added even more accomplishments to her list, when she went out for winter and spring track seasons.

During the winter, Serafina tied the indoor record at Maine South in the 50-yard dash at 6.2. Outdoors, she was sectional champion in the 200-meters and qualified for the state finals.

“I called her the beast,” quips Track Coach Wayne Edelman. “She always brought a no-quit attitude and was a very hard worker.”

Serafina discovered track in eighth grade, she says, and appealed to Athletic Director Jason Kuffel to compete in both spring sports at Saint Viator.

“Running just comes naturally to me,” Serafina says, “and it keeps me in shape for lacrosse.”

Lacrosse, however, has been her true love, she says since she followed her older brother into the sport in first grade. She joined True Lacrosse in fourth grade and hasn’t looked back.

sps_0054_9894362Serafina not only plays midfield—where she covers the entire field and plays both offense and defense—but she also opens each game by taking the draw.

“I love being involved in every play,” Serafina says. “I love all the running back and forth and just how fast the game is played.”

Off the field, Serafina reflects her Viatorian education, by serving others. She volunteers at St. Joseph Home for the Elderly in Palatine, working alongside the Little Sisters of the Poor. She also volunteers in the memory care and skilled nursing units at the Garlands of Barrington, and when she’s in school, she uses her fluent Spanish skills to tutor other students.

“I love it all,” Serafina says. “I’m just more productive when I’m busy.”

24th Annual Million Dollar Classic to Celebrate Saint Viator Athletics

1Join us at The Club at Wynstone on Monday, June 24, in North Barrington for Saint Viator High School’s annual Million Dollar Classic. This event raises funds to support Saint Viator athletics and celebrates what it means to be a student-athlete. More than $2.5 million has been raised to benefit the school’s athletic program through the years.

All skill levels are welcomed and encouraged to play on a course known to be “one of the best in Illinois,” according to Golf Digest. In addition to 18 holes of golf, the day-long event includes lunch, dinner, prizes and a raffle for all participants. New this year is a ticket option for a Social Day at the Club, for non-golfers to join in on the festivities.

“The Million Dollar Classic allows the young men and women participating in sports to be champions athletically, academically and spiritually,” said Tom Ramsden, Vice-President of Development at Saint Viator High School. “This is a day when the Saint Viator community can connect over a game of golf with one common goal in mind, to assist the student-athletes within our athletic programs.”

Over 80 percent of Saint Viator students participate in at least one of the 27 sports offered each year. The Million Dollar Classic benefits all athletics programs and, in recent years, has provided funding for a new camera system and digital scoreboards for Mahoney Court. This event allows for further innovation and growth within the walls of Saint Viator High School.

As long-time Saint Viator advocates, the Murphy family has generously gone above and beyond to ensure the event is successful. Dan, JoAnn, Dan ‘04 and Jim ‘08 are the presenting sponsors of this year’s Million Dollar Classic.

Tickets for Million Dollar Classic can be purchased online at www.saintviator.com/mdc.

Guests also have the option of purchasing tickets for the dinner only. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event.

Athletic Director Jason Kuffel, and Director of Development, Kristen Daniels, talk Million Dollar Classic on an episode of the school’s podcast series. Listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saintviatorhs/2019/05/10/2019-million-dollar-classic.

Varsity Softball Hits Back at Cancer

D7s85rvW4AIKZbNThe girls’ softball team had an extra incentive to score runs this year: With every run they scored, the Lady Lions raised more money for a Roselle-based cancer support organization called Phil’s Friends.

At their end of the year banquet, its founder and two-time cancer survivor, Phil Zielke, was on hand to accept their check for $2,254 and share his inspirational story with players and their families.

“For most of us this was the best part of the service project,” says Cecilia Kaiser ’19, co-captain, “because we could see how our hard work would affect others.”

Before the season even opened, Cece and her co-captain, Maggie VanValkenberg ’19, met with Coach Scotillo to discuss weaving in a service project during the season.

D7s85rxW4AAWpvM“Phil’s Friends’ mission hit especially close to home,” Cece says. “I’ve known people who have beaten cancer, and I know how much strength they possess. I also know how difficult it is when they try to go through it alone. Phil’s Friends ensures that no one battles cancer alone.”

Zielke was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2004 and it returned in 2005. He endured many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation as well as a stem cell transplant before finally beating it. In looking back on his journey, Zielke points to the care packages, encouraging cards, and the outpouring of prayers that helped him make it.

He started the organization to bring hope to other cancer patients, through those same types of tangible efforts. In 2009, Zielke left his teaching career to devote himself full time to the organization. Within months, he opened Phil’s Friends Hope Center in Roselle.

The Lady Lions drew pledges for every run they scored, with the hopes of enabling more cancer patients to received care packages, cards, and prayers.

“On days where we played a tough team and didn’t score any runs, supporting Phil’s Friends was a driving force for us to work harder,” Cece says. “On the day we scored 12 runs, Coach Scotillo said that Phil’s Friends would be happy about our successful day.”

At the end of the season, the players realized they had come together more as a team while working for the charity.

D7s85ryX4AAKiSR“Coach Scotillo has always believed that coaching is about more than just the sport,” Cece added. “Phil’s Friends’ message of hope and overcoming obstacles was a perfect lesson for our team.”

College-Bound Student-Athletes Make Their Commitments

SlwrQGpKQ7uQZwJMNPFknA_thumb_837Saint Viator High School held a rare third national student-athlete signing day Friday, to accommodate the growing number of students who are committing to play their sport at the college level.

Teammates, coaches, parents and classmates made for a standing room only crowd in the Academic Commons for the ceremony. Student-athletes seated at the head table include those pursuing football, lacrosse, soccer, synchronized skating, tennis, volleyball, women’s hockey and Division 1 acrobatics and tumbling, at wide-ranging colleges and universities across the country.

This brings to nearly 30 the number of students who formally signed national collegiate letters of intent this year.

“The breadth and reach of the schools our students are going to continues to expand,” said Mr. Brian Liedlich, president. “Our students are high achieving and rise to the occasion. I know they will make a profound impact on all of the communities they are going to.”

College-bound student-athletes included:

  • Bella Pierce – Quinnipiac University (Acrobatics & Tumbling)
  • Hunter Loprino – Belmont Abbey (Lacrosse)
  • Niko Weder – Augustana College (Football)
  • Kevin Murphy – Illinois Wesleyan University (Football)
  • Kaylee Liberty – Endicott College (Women’s Hockey)
  • Payton McDonnell – Loras College (Soccer)
  • Pearl Mueller – Loras College (Lacrosse)
  • Emma Zajac – Ohio Wesleyan University (Tennis)
  • Carrie Leazer – Seton Hall University (Volleyball)
  • Jessica Johnson – Adrian College (Synchronized Skating)
  • Will Hartman – DePauw University (Soccer)

Carrie Leazer was the starting libero for the volleyball team’s first state appearance in 2017, in which they ultimately placed fourth, and she moved to outside hitter this year. Leazer now takes her game to the Seton Hill University Greensburg, PA.

Hunter Loprino will bring his game as an attacker to Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC, where its Crusaders were 14-3 overall last year.

“Hunter is the epitome of not only a leader but a Lions’ Lacrosse member,” says Coach Pat Gaeger ’08. “I have never seen a young man capture the attention of his peers like Hunter does.”

Jessica Johnson holds the distinction of being the first Saint Viator athlete to sign a letter of intent to compete in synchronized skating in college. Jessica skates with the Chicago Jazz Synchronized Skating Team, based in Rolling Meadows, and has competed multiple times at international competitions.

She now heads to Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan, whose squad medaled in every competition it entered this year, including earning the pewter medal at the 2019 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

“Adrian’s program is very competitive,” Jessica said. “It’s a good fit.”

Payton McDonnell brings her soccer skills to Loras College in Dubuque, where her older brother, Miles, also plays soccer.

“With him there, it felt like home when I visited,” Payton said. “They’ve got a very competitive program. They won their conference last year and did well in the NCAA tournament. I hope I can help them make a deeper run next year.”

Her classmate, Pearl Mueller, will be heading to Loras as well, to play lacrosse for the Duhawks.

“I liked the community at Loras,” Pearl said. “Everyone there was very welcoming.”

Athletic Director Jason Kuffel thanked all of the parents, coaches and teammates for their support over the years. He went on to commend the student-athletes for all of their hard work and bringing their passion to the game,

“We will watch for you and root for you as you take your game to the college level,” Kuffel said. “It truly is a great day to be a Lion.”

 

Saint Viator Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Reach New Heights

BB7F2256-4C7F-479E-9B33-0988236DA61BBoth the boys and girls basketball teams are having a great winning season. The boys basketball team battled for first place in the ESCC on Feb. 15, a game that was also televised on the UTOO network as the game of the week. The Saint Viator community of current and future students, alumni, parents, grandparents and friends packed the gym to witness a decisive victory over Marian Catholic, ranked #7.

This win comes after the boys team received the #1 seed in the Grayslake Central Sectional. Next, the boys will play for the Conference Championship on Feb. 20, and Saint Viator will be hosting the Regional Championship during the week of Feb. 25.

Saint Viator High School also hosted the girls 3A Regional, in which the girls basketball team won their fourth consecutive regional title. The girls team now moves on to play in the Carmel Sectional Semi-final on Monday, February 18, at 6:00 p.m. vs. #4 seed Johnsburg.

If the girls win against Johnsburg, they will play the winner of #5 seed Carmel vs. #2 seed Marengo on Thursday, Feb. 21, for the Sectional Championship. Athletic Director Jason Kuffel attributes recent successes to the dedication of both the coaching staff to their students, and the student athletes to their craft.

“This is a great time in Saint Viator Athletics,” said Kuffel. “This is the first time in school history that both our boys and girls basketball teams have been awarded the #1 overall seed in their respective sectional in the same year.”

Cole Kmet ’17: From ND to Cooperstown

Cole Kmet '18.

Cole Kmet ’17.

Cole Kmet ’17 holds a rare distinction among student-athletes at the University of Notre Dame. Not only is he a dual-sport athlete, but he is the first dual-sport athlete to have been the starting pitcher in a baseball game since 2010.

That uniqueness was not lost on officials during last season’s Shamrock Series football game, played at Yankee Stadium, when the Fighting Irish faced the Orange from Syracuse. Turns out Kmet was the only player who also plays baseball to appear in the game.

For the record, he caught one 17-yard pass during the game and came in multiple times on special teams and as a blocking tight end.

Sports writers found it ironic that this left-handed pitcher was wearing pinstripes at Yankee Stadium, to play football.

Now, that moment will live on in history. Last month, officials with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Coopersburg announced they had requested and received Kmet’s helmet be added to their collection.

Photo courtesy of Katie Meyers/Fighting Irish Media.

Photo courtesy of Katie Meyers/Fighting Irish Media.

It is the only football helmet to be acquired by the Hall of Fame, though there are other pieces of football history preserved in Cooperstown, officials said.

Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications & education at the museum said that while the majority of their collection comes from the baseball diamond, they also collect other pieces that tell the story of baseball’s connections off the field.

“We were particularly interested in collecting the helmet used by Cole,” Shestakofsky said, “a two-sport athlete who also stars on Notre Dame’s baseball team, as he clearly has a love for baseball.”

The acquisition had to be approved by the NCAA compliance department, and Kmet, himself, but that was an easy call.

“It’s obviously very cool and a tremendous honor to have something of mine in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Kmet said. “It’s cool to know that when I go there someday I can see my helmet in the hall.”

He also liked the uniqueness of the acquisition.

“How cool to have a piece of football memorabilia make its way all the way to the Baseball Hall of fame,” Kmet added.

Kmet learned of the honor in late December, during a football practice in preparation for the team’s Cotton Bowl appearance as part of college football’s Bowl Championship Series semi-finals.

“We were able to have our head baseball coach, Mik Aoki, come out to a football practice to surprise Cole that the Hall of Fame wanted his helmet,” said Michael Scholl, assistant director of athletics communications. “So that was a special moment and made it even more unique.”

No doubt, Kmet and his family will make a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. After all, they are a baseball family, with Casey Kmet ‘19 committing to play baseball this fall at Notre Dame, and learning this month that he is a pre-season All-American.

Cross Country Teams Return to State Meet

DqxLgyRUwAApWc9The boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams left with a bang on Wednesday for the IHSA state finals. Literally, Saint Viator’s drum line led them through the hallways as teachers and students alike cheered on these state-bound runners.

After the excitement, the two teams and their coaches boarded buses bound for Detweiler Park in Peoria, where the state finals will take place on Saturday. Coach Wayne Edeleman leads both the girls’ and boys’ teams, with the help of assistant coaches Bill Stanczak, John Curtin and Trisha Stapleton.

While both teams have run at the state meet before, this year’s berths are special, their coaches say.

“The girls embraced one another, starting with June summer camp, and they are now reaping the rewards of morning runs and tempo runs, with a run at Detweiller Park on Saturday,” says Coach Stanczak.

The boys’ team lost five seniors off last year’s state team, and they feared they might not make it out of sectionals, Stanczak adds.

“Their regional and sectional championships came through hard work and determination,” Coach Stanczak adds, “and the energy of a freshman runner (Mike Schumacher) who split the lead running role with Patric Natindim.”

Dqid0DhXgAE4kPUEven though the boys’ team made it to state last year, this year’s team won its first sectional title in program history. In all, Saint Viator boys are making their seventh state appearance, all coming since 2011.

At last weekend’s sectional, the Lions were led by Mike Schumacher (10th, 16:44), Matt Goss (15th, 16:58.5), Patrick Natindim (16th, 16:59.5), Jason Doland (25th, 17:24.4), Patrick Schumacher (27th, 17:27.3), Nathan Kochera (56th, 18:08.6) and Connor Flynn (58th, 18:15.1). Also accompanying them to state are Dan Bottcher, and Richard Varvara.

The girls’ team is just as strong. They qualified for state for the fourth time in program history and second year in a row, while also winning regionals. Among recent years, they also have qualified for state in 2009 and 2012,

Leading the Lions and heading to state are Katie Castelli (4th, 18:44.5), Payton McDonnell (5th, 19:09.9), a four-time state qualifier, Joy Bergstrom (7th, 19:39.4), Maura Hogaboom (16th, 20:30.5), Mary Grace Hegberg (17th, 20:30.6), Claire Bottcher (18th, 20:32.6) and Mia Rafferty (33rd, 21:41.3). Alternates also making the trip are: Sophis Limberakis, Celia Carnel, Natalie Krause, and Holly Ferrara.

Saint Viator Golfer Leads Team to ESCC Championship

CrawfordTimmy Crawford ’19 has been medaling at IHSA golf tournaments since his freshman year, but now as a senior co-captain, his golf game took on a new challenge.

“It’s a different kind of pressure,” Timmy says. “Now, as a senior, I know I’m expected to medal.”

And medal he did, at last week’s ESCC conference meet. Timmy earned the first-place medal, for the second time in four years, and led his team to a conference championship. He is the first in Saint Viator’s boys’ golf program to take first in conference, two times.

“It’s a pretty awesome achievement,” says Coach Jack Halpin, of Timmy, who scored a 70 at the tournament, or two under par.

Timmy’s latest medal capped a season where he finished in the top five in every tournament and took first in four of them. Over the summer, he competed in American Junior Golf Association tournaments in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, and all before prospective college coaches looking on.

Still, he says, if there’s one thing he’s learned during his four years in Saint Viator’s golf program, it’s that it’s not about individual honors.

“Playing at Saint Viator has taught me a ton about the team aspect of the sport,” Timmy says. “Before my freshman year, all I did was play for myself, but now I realize that every shot counts toward the team score. You want to play better to help the team.”

Timmy grew up playing golf with his grandfather, Bob Brehm, and his uncles, including Greg Brehm ’79, and so along with his love of basketball, he knew he wanted to play golf in high school and beyond.

In order to advance his game, Timmy works out in the weight room at Saint Viator, while playing four to five times a week indoors during the offseason. He also works with John Perna ’00, who played golf for Coach Halpin and later at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Perna now runs a golf academy, TPS Player Service, where he trains professional, collegiate and top junior players. At his Downers Grove facility, he and his staff work with players to understand ball flight physics while improving performance under the most intense tournament pressure.

“It’s not golf instruction, it’s golf training,” Timmy says. “He uses a launch monitor to measure our ball flight and other technology to help with putting while helping with the mental aspect of the game and course management.”

Still, Timmy and his teammates have more pressing things on their mind than mechanics. They hope to advance out of regionals, which take place Tuesday at Old Orchard Country Club in Prospect Heights.

“We finished second last year at the state championships,” Timmy says. “This year our goal is to get back to the state championships, and this time win it.”

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