Evergreen Park's competitive dance team is heading back to the state meet after winning its first sectional. Evergreen Park High School photo

Evergreen Park's competitive dance team is heading back to the state meet after winning its first sectional. Evergreen Park High School photo

Area Sports Roundup: Evergreen Park dancers make history with first sectional crown

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Evergreen Park was the only team from the area to place in the state’s top 12 in competitive dancing last season.

The Mustangs, who finished a program-best sixth in the state in Class 1A in 2021, are seeking an even better showing this year.

Evergreen Park made history by winning the Geneva Sectional Championship on Jan. 21, earning the program’s first sectional championship. They return to Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington for the two-day IHSA state championships beginning Friday, Jan. 27.

At Geneva, coach Marion Castillo’s Mustangs earned an 82.93 score, a fraction ahead of runner-up Glenbard South’s 82.70.

Nazareth also qualified for state with a fifth-place finish (80.73).

In Class 2A at Geneva, Argo qualified for state by finishing third (85.72) in one of two brackets. In the other 2A bracket, Marist earned a trip to state with a sixth-place finish (81.10).

In Class 3A, Sandburg took fifth at Geneva with an 86.37.

At Warren, Lyons qualified in Class 3A with a fifth-place finish (85.70).

 

Magnificent seven?

The Saint Xavier football team has brought in seven transfers for the 2023 season.

One of the headliners is former Joliet Catholic quarterback Aiden Voss, who played the 2022 season at Iowa Central Community College.

On a field that can be seen from Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field on the SXU campus, Voss was the signal-caller in JCA’s wild 56-49 win over Brother Rice in 2021. The Hilltoppers finished the season perfect and won the IHSA Class 4A state championship.

Other newcomers are linebacker Clark Dilger (Lincoln-Way East/McKendree), linebacker Braxton Geller (returning to SXU after attending Purdue Northwest in 2022), defensive lineman Marcus Griffin (Nazareth/Grand Valley State), running back Tyreese Lee (Eisenhower/College of DuPage) and quarterback Tyler Turner (Phillips/Wayne State) and wide receiver Tywon Lee (Hillcrest/no college football at South Suburban College in 2022)

“We brought in some very talented players at semester, so we’re off to a great start in our recruiting season and it’s nice to get Braxton back, too,” Cougars coach Mike Feminis said. “I truly believe that competition makes everyone better and I can’t wait to get going with our strength and conditioning program. I’m also looking forward to spring ball and watching all of these guys compete. It’s going to be fun.”

 

Scholarship for EP star
Evergreen Park awarded its first Don Ferchau Mustang Defensive Player of the Year award to senior Asael Rubalcava.

Rubalcava earned a $1,000 scholarship for his efforts. He had 91 tackles, five tackles for losses, three interception, two forced fumbles and a sack.

“He led us in most defensive stats and made numerous game-changing plays during the course of the season,” Mustangs coach Jerry Verde said.

Ferchau was a former head coach at Evergreen Park and died in 2019 at 95 years old. Former Mustangs player Nick Mizaur and his wife, Candace, funded the scholarship.

 

Aloha!
Connor Talty, a kicker/punter from St. Rita who will play this fall at Alabama, helped lead Team Mauka to a 22-17 win over Team Makai in the Polynesian Bowl in Honolulu on Jan. 20. Talty kicked a 33-yard field goal to knot the game at 10-10 with 27 seconds left in the first half.

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