The scoreboard says it all. Legendary coaches Lou Prato and Dennis Wierzal were honored by having the Reavis athletic field named after them. Photo by Jeff Vorva

The scoreboard says it all. Legendary coaches Lou Prato and Dennis Wierzal were honored by having the Reavis athletic field named after them. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Put it on the board — Reavis honors former coaches Wierzal and Prato

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff writer

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Reavis football team’s Class 6A championship, and the Rams’ administration celebrated big-time.

The Rams finished runner-up in 1980 and 1981, and those two along with the 1982 state champs were honored with shirts and rings before its Sept. 24 game against Evergreen Park in Burbank.

Two legendary coaches during that era — head coach Dennis Wierzal and defensive coach Lou Prato — were also honored by having the Rams’ field named after them.

“Forever this field will be named after Lou Prato and Dennis Wierzal,” Rams Athletic Director Robert Morack said.

During the ceremony, a statement by former player Ray Cook was read about Weirzal, who won 87 games in 12 years and led the team to five playoff appearances before heading to Moraine Valley Community College to head that since-discontinued program.

“He would always tell us, ‘Good thing happen to good people,’’’ Cook said. “We tried to be good every day in practice and in the games. He had a calmness to his approach and always tried to remain positive. He was a great leader.”

Former player Tim Debow had a statement read about Prato, who started coaching at the Burbank school in 1969 and was head coach from 1983 to 1988. The Rams finished third in state under his leadership.

“He always found a way to get our team fired up and ready to play,” Debow said. “We had one of the best defenses around. We were able to get better and better because of Prato’s drive and determination. During the state playoffs, coach Prato developed several innovative game plans to shut down explosive offenses, leading us to the unreal run of the 1982 state championship.”

REAVIS COACHES e1665379505402

Reavis named its football field after former coaches Lou Prato (left) and Dennis Wierzal (center), seen here with Wierzal’s son, Dave, a former Sandburg football coach. Photo courtesy of the Wierzal family

 

Perfection
Sandburg’s tennis team got ready for the postseason by dominating the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue tournament.

Not only did the Eagles win the tournament with a perfect 42 points, none of their athletes dropped a set.

Josie Canellis won the first singles title which made her the first girls tennis player in Sandburg history to win four conference titles. She won first singles as a freshman and first doubles her sophomore and junior seasons.

 

Hall of Famers
Sandburg announced its 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame class. Athletes will be honored Nov. 11 in the Eagles gym.

Lance Roberts, Allen Bulow, Duane Erickson, Tom Toth, Stephanie Allison (Brandys), Lukas Verzbicas, Marcia Faustin, Gina Ugo-Neff, Joann Holverson, Mike Polz and the 2001-02 boys soccer team will be honored.

 

Hoopfest pairings
The 2023 Dick’s/Coach Kipp Hoopfest has released its pairings. The event at Montini will feature a rivalry battle between Marist and Mother McAuley on Jan. 14. Sandburg will face Sycamore in another matchup.

 

May day
Former Sandburg volleyball setter Bianca May, who is playing at Illinois, has signed  an NIL deal with NextName, a company that supports athletes to purchase digital collectables bearing their NIL.

 

Dig it
Former Sandburg volleyball star and current DePaul standout Rachel Krasowski racked up her 1,000th career dig in her 57th match.

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