Martin Hopkins, a 2009 St. Rita graduate, will lead the school's football program beginning next season. Supplied photo

Martin Hopkins, a 2009 St. Rita graduate, will lead the school's football program beginning next season. Supplied photo

Area sports roundup: No drama here, St. Rita grad Hopkins named Mustangs football coach

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff writer

There will be no drama waiting to see who the will coach St. Rita’s football team in 2023.

Even though there are four weeks to go in the 2022 regular season, the school last week named Martin Hopkins the successor to Todd Kuska.

Kuska, in his 25th season as the Mustangs’ boss, will retire after this season.

Hopkins, 31, played football for Kuska and was the student body president at St. Rita in 2009. Hopkins was a member of the 2006 Illijois High School Association Class 7A state championship team.

“I am beyond honored and thankful to be chosen as the next St. Rita head football coach and to carry on the strong tradition of St. Rita High School and St. Rita football,” Hopkins said in a news release. “It is my privilege to follow in the footsteps of a Hall of Fame coach in Coach Kuska, and also the great coaches before him like coach [Todd] Wernet, coach [Pat] Cronin and coach [Ed] Buckley].

“Thank you to my wife, family, friends, and coaches who have molded me into the man I am today. And thank you to St. Rita for making this dream a reality. It feels great to be home.”

Hopkins earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Iowa. He was a student-athlete playing football for the Hawkeyes until an injury forced his transition into a coach and analyst.

Hopkins brings nine years of high-level coaching experience with him to the Chicago school. During his tenure at Iowa, he served as a coach for defense, offense and special teams.

“The St. Rita football program will be in great hands with the selection of Martin,” St. Rita Athletic Director, Curtis Price said. “I look forward to working with him as we form our student-athletes in the Augustinian tradition.”

He is married to Elizabeth Hopkins (Sweeney), a Mother McAuley grad. He is also the son of the late Tom Hopkins, who is an honorary St. Rita alumnus and Margie Hopkins, who is the current St. Rita registrar and receptionist.

The Hopkins family is involved with raising money for families of cancer patients as well as providing sports equipment for area grade schools. The Papa Hops softball tournament has  raised more than $500,000.

 

Love for the coaches

Marist coach Jordan Vidovic picked up his 200th career victory as the girls coach last week and St. Laurence’s Ellen Yopchick racked up her 100th career win.

At Stagg, former coach Missy Mason will be honored with a tournament named after her. The first Missy Mason Classic girls bowling tournament on Feb. 2.

 

Golfing greats

Golf is heading into the IHSA playoffs, but a couple of area golfers got ready for the postseason when they captured conference championships.

Evergreen Park’s Charlie Burns won her third straight South Suburban Conference title and Jillian Cosler of Sandburg won the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue title.

 

Distance dominance

Chicago Christian had a dominant girls cross country performance at the Tolefree/Farley meet Sept. 24 at Midlothian Meadows.

The Knights finished with 21 points in the Olympic varsity division. Runner-up Glenbard South had 100 points.

Senior Anna Enderle won with a time of 19:12.90 seconds. Freshman Kihra Moes took third with a 20:29.10 and junior Grace Mullen was fourth with a 20:28.60. Freshman Kaley Van Til, senor Natalia Kiernia and freshman Mia Caporale finished sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively.

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