Brother Rice players go through their drills during the first day of football practice on Monday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Brother Rice players go through their drills during the first day of football practice on Monday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

‘Coach Q’ era begins at Brother Rice

Spread the love

By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

You might say the man they call “Coach Q” was as cool as a Q-cumber on the first day of high school football practice for the 2022 season.

As an assistant coach, Casey Quedenfeld helped Episcopal High School in Texas win a private school state championship in 2019.

He also was an assistant coach at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, where he learned the craft from Marvin Sanders, who coached at USC and Nebraska.

So, on Aug. 8, when football practice started all around the state, the new Brother Rice head coach sported a shirt that said “One Team, One Way, 100 MPH.”

Yet, minutes before the start of practice, he was calm about the new journey he was about to take. For some, the difference between being an assistant coach and being the boss is huge.

But Quedenfeld was matter-of-fact about how he felt before leading his troops in the first practice.

“It’s just football,” he said. “I’ve had great mentors who have kind of prepped me for this. In all seriousness, it’s nothing new or anything that I’m not accustomed to doing before.”

Quedenfeld is one of four new head coaches at area schools. There were also changes as Argo, De La Salle and Riverside-Brookfield.

Of those four, Brother Rice had the most success in 2021. Former Crusaders head coach Brian Badke bowed out after leading his team to a 10-3 record and reaching the Class 7A state semifinals.

Before the first practice on Tom Mitchell Field on a rainy late afternoon, Quedenfeld spent some time in a classroom with the defense. Last year’s defense gave up 56 points to Joliet Catholic, 46 points to Loyola, 45 to Wheaton North in the semifinals and 36 to Mount Carmel.

Those totals do not exist for Quedenfeld.

“I’m not really worried about what they did last year or two years ago or 10 years ago,” he said. “I’m not really worried about that at all. My philosophy is that I only know what I know, and I’m coming in here to try spread what I know to these young men and the gentlemen who are coaching alongside me. I’m not worried about how many points they gave up last year.”

One of the anchors on this year’s defense is Trey Pierce, an Evergreen Park resident who has committed to Wisconsin.

COACH Q scaled

Casey Quedenfeld directs his first practice at Brother Rice on Monday afternoon. Photo by Jeff Vorva

On offense, replacing Jack Lausch at quarterback will be a challenge. Lausch, who originally planned to walk on to the Notre Dame baseball and football teams, accepted a scholarship offer to Northwestern. His passing and running ability will be missed, but juniors Ryan Hartz, Jake Dugger and Marcus Brown will battle it out at that position in camp to replace him.

Returnees to watch include linebacker Henry Ivers and wide receivers Rickey Taylor, Owen Lyons and Marty O’Keefe.

Texas and California are hotbeds for high school football and Illinois can hold its head high as well. Quedenfeld didn’t want to compare and contrast the talent in the three states but said all are strong.

“In Texas, communities surround themselves in high school, especially in public schools,” he said. “In California, the private schools in Southern California are serious. At Brother Rice, the administration is taking it serious and I wouldn’t have moved if they weren’t serious.”

 

Changing of the Guard

Area football coaching changes for the 2022 season:

School                               New coach                              Former coach

Argo                                  Phil Rossberg                         Tim Connelly

Brother Rice                    Casey Quedenfeld                 Brian Badke

De La Salle                       Marty Quinn                          Mike Boehm

Riverside-Brookfield      Sam Styler                              Brendan Curtin

RICKY DINO scaled

Ricky Smalling, left, and Dino Borrelli — two star players on the 2016 Brother Rice team – take in the action Monday during the first day of practice. Borrelli is serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Crusaders. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local News

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Sisto Brito

‘You just learn to live with the pain’

Spread the love

Spread the loveStatus hearing in July for McCook murder By Steve Metsch The attorney representing a Chicago man charged with murdering a Blue Island man in McCook in February told a judge Wednesday there’s been “a significant and outstanding discovery in this matter.” Attorney Damon Cheronis made his comment before Cook County Circuit Court Judge…

lagrange police logo

Man shot in La Grange; suspect arrested in Stickney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A man was shot Tuesday afternoon in La Grange, according to a news release received Wednesday from the police department. A suspect has been apprehended, the release said. The shooting victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital, the release said. La Grange Police, working with the Major Case…

Funeral2

Obituaries June 13, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the loveREV. EDWARD J. CRONIN Rev. Edward J. Cronin, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and former pastor of St. Alexander Parish in Palos Heights, passed away Sunday, June 2, 2024, at the age of 69. Rev. Cronin was born on Nov. 8, 1954, in Chicago. He attended St. Francis de Sales High…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Terrence Hickey is retiring at the end of June after working 18 years as a building inspector for the village of McCook. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

McCook building inspector retires after 18 years

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After 18 years of inspecting buildings, be it a modest bi-level house or a sprawling multi-million-dollar warehouse, Terrence Hickey is retiring from the village of McCook. His retirement takes effect June 28, Mayor Terrance Carr said during the June 3 meeting of the village board. “I’m jealous,” Carr said. “(He’s…

Members of Summit Girl Scout Troop 56615. (Supplied photo)

New Summit Girl Scout troop off and running

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan There’s a new Girl Scout Troop in Summit, and they have been busy. Troop 56615 is made up of girls from Summit School District 104 from first-grade to third-grade, and between 7-9 years old, making them Brownies in the scouting world. They have 10 girls so far, and Troop Leader…

Neighbors

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com In the final hours of their spring legislative session, Illinois lawmakers approved a tax credit of up to about $300 for families with young children.  The credit is available to Illinoisans with children under age 12 who qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. Although…

Members of House speaker’s staff sue over ongoing unionization conflict

Members of House speaker’s staff sue over ongoing unionization conflict

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Members of a would-be union representing staffers in House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s office filed suit against their boss on Friday, asking a Cook County judge to force recognition of the union. The Illinois Legislative Staff Association, which formed in the fall of 2022, claims Welch’s…

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A hearing officer is recommending the Illinois State Board of Elections dismiss a complaint that alleged conservative radio host and political operative Dan Proft illegally coordinated with former Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey during his 2022 campaign for governor. Proft, a one-time gubernatorial candidate himself, is behind an…

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Jimmy Soto spent more than 42 years wrongfully imprisoned in Illinois Department of Corrections facilities. In 2020, he was moved to the “F-House” at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, a condemned unit, not because he was being punished, but because it was where the facility was housing individuals…

Judge blocks law that would have banned newly slated candidates from ballot

Judge blocks law that would have banned newly slated candidates from ballot

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A Sangamon County judge on Wednesday blocked the Illinois State Board of Elections from enforcing a new law that would have prevented certain General Assembly candidates who didn’t run in the March primary from getting on the November ballot. The move doesn’t void the bill in its entirety,…

“No Schoolers”: How Illinois’ hands-off approach to homeschooling leaves children at risk

“No Schoolers”: How Illinois’ hands-off approach to homeschooling leaves children at risk

By BETH HUNDSDORFER  & MOLLY PARKER  CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS investigations@capitolnewsillinois.com This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois. It was on L.J.’s 11th birthday, in December 2022, that child welfare workers finally took him away. They arrived at his central Illinois home to investigate an abuse allegation and decided…

Brushing off concerns of overspending, Pritzker signs $53.1 billion state budget

Brushing off concerns of overspending, Pritzker signs $53.1 billion state budget

By ANDREW ADAMS JERRY NOWICKI & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed the state’s $53.1 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, the largest in state history.  The signing caps months of work – and tension – among top Democratic leaders in Springfield and within the…

Stalled bills: ‘Dignity in Pay Act,’ Prisoner Review Board changes fail to move

Stalled bills: ‘Dignity in Pay Act,’ Prisoner Review Board changes fail to move

By ALEX ABBEDUTO,  COLE LONGCOR & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com A bill eliminating the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities failed to pass the General Assembly ahead of its May adjournment, although sponsors say they hope to pass it when lawmakers return in the fall. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938…

Time running out to net and protect young plants from cicada-related damage

Time running out to net and protect young plants from cicada-related damage

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com While Illinois’ dual emergence of periodical cicada broods is harmless to people and animals, young trees may sustain serious damage if not protected by mid-June, experts at The Morton Arboretum said. This is the first co-emergence of these two broods since 1803, researcher Katie Dana from the Illinois…

Illinois made a bold promise to end poverty. In Alexander County, it’s hard to tell.

Illinois made a bold promise to end poverty. In Alexander County, it’s hard to tell.

By LYLEE GIBBS JAMILAH LEWIS MOLLY PARKER & JULIA RENDLEMAN Capitol News Illinois & the Saluki Local Reporting Lab news@capitolnewsillinois.com This story, produced in partnership with Southern Illinois University journalism students, was supported by grant funding from the Pulitzer Center. Pink and purple toys line the living room of this tiny public housing apartment in…