Roshawn Russell is changing jobs from head basketball coach at St. Rita to associate coach at St Laurence. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Roshawn Russell is changing jobs from head basketball coach at St. Rita to associate coach at St Laurence. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | St. Rita hoops coach resigns for job at St. Laurence

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

The spinning carousal continues for the St. Rita basketball program.

By the time the 2023-24 campaign rolls around, the talented team that picked up national attention last season will look a whole lot different — and it’s not just about players transferring.

Roshawn Russell, who coached the Mustangs the past four seasons and was the 2022-23 Chicago Catholic League Coach of the Year, resigned as Mustangs coach on May 1. He has accepted a job to be the associate coach and assistant athletic director at St. Laurence.

Russell told multiple reporters that this move was his choice and that he was not forced out at St. Rita

St. Rita President John Donahue thanked Russell in a statement.

“He certainly has a strong legacy in our basketball program — as a player and coach,” Donahue wrote. “We wish him luck in his next career opportunity.”

That next opportunity involves a program that finished 23-11 with a regional title under the watch of third-year coach Byron Burt last year. The Vikings could return a core of young talented players who picked up valuable varsity experience as freshmen and sophomores the past two seasons.

“Roshawn’s expansive professional background in a Catholic school makes him an excellent fit at St. Laurence,” St. Laurence Athletic Director Tim Chandler said in a statement. “On top of the contributions he will make to the athletic office, I am thrilled to add a coach of Roshawn’s caliber to our already outstanding basketball program and coaching staff.

St. Rita played a schedule featuring national powers last season and finished 23-11 with a regional title. Prior to Russell’s departure, junior James Brown (a North Carolina recruit) and sophomore Melvin Bell (a Division I prospect) transferred.

Juniors Morez Johnson (an Illinois recruit) and Nojus Indrusaitis (Iowa State) remain with the Mustangs, but with Russell’s departure and the high numbers of comings and goings with transfers, it will be interesting to see if they stay or go.

 

Lyons dominates gymnastics sectional
Lyons won its eighth gymnastics sectional title by dominating its own sectional on May 3.

The Lions, which won the state championship in 2021 and took third last season, scored 145.5 points to finish ahead of the District 230 co-op squad, which had 132.7.

Junior Will Taylor qualified for state for the Lions by winning the all-around with a 49.7. Junior Roman Hanyuk took first in the pommel horse event and Ryan Johnson won the high bar.

Other Lions state qualifiers were Devon Mackenzie, TJ Carr, Ryan Evans and Ryan Renderman.

The co-op’s Dylan Childs won the vault and parallel bars event. Devin Canavan qualified for state in the vault.

The state meet opens May 12 at Hoffman Estates High School.

 

Badminton qualifiers
The area will have a healthy contingent of athletes competing in the IHSA state meet, which kicks off May 12 at DeKalb High School.

Lyons won the team title in its own sectional, with junior Julia Senffner and sophomore Audrey Shell finishing third and fourth, respectively, to qualify for the state meet. In doubles, Lyons’ Aggie Driscoll-Elle Ownby took first while Sofia Garcia-Mia Graziano took third to qualify.

At the Sandburg Sectional, Eagles junior Alexa Petcu and sophomore Brooke Novosel finished first and third, respectively, while the doubles team of Maya Morris and Sara Elagha took third.

In doubles at the Hinsdale South Sectional, Dania Amjad and Natalie Pirozek of Reavis finished third and Sandy Berg and Delilah Trujillo of Oak Lawn placed fourth to qualify.

At the Hinsdale Central Sectional, Ameli Sanchez and Genevieve Tobin of Stagg finished third to qualify for state.

 

Stagg strong in bass fishing
Stagg qualified two boats and Brother Rice qualified one at the Des Plaines River-Big Basin Marina Sectional in bass fishing held May 5.

Stagg’s No. 1 boat brought in a haul of 9 pounds, 4 ounces to win the title while the No. 2 boat finished second with a catch of 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Brother Rice was fourth with 6 pounds, 11 ounces.

The first Stagg boat featured driver and coach Brian Jackson plus Andrew Kaunas and Adam Styrczula, while the second boat featured driver Jim Sawyer plus Alin Lungo, Ron Latwis and Nathan Kielt.

The Brother Rice driver was Mike Bowen and the anglers were Gavin Bowen and Quinn Hansen.

The state meet starts May 19 at Carlyle Lake.

 

Mighty Mustangs
Evergreen Park junior three-sport athlete Eduardo Antunez was named the Chicago Bears Community High School All-Star award.

He was picked because of volunteering his time with the Evergreen Park Stallions youth football program, and for work in the classroom and toward service projects, including Toys for Tots and the high school’s Veterans Day Breakfast.

Senior Carmella Woods broke a 39-year-old school track record when she ran a 400-meter dash at Chicago Christian in 59.33 seconds on April 28.

 

Volleyball seeds
The postseason boys volleyball seeds were released and the area has a handful of top-five seeds.

At the Brother Rice Sectional, Marist drew the top seed while Brother Rice was second, St. Rita third and Reavis fifth.

At the Oswego Sectional, Lyons picked up the top seed.

At the Jones Sectional, Morton is seeded fourth and Mount Carmel fifth.

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