This mural at the BMW Championships in Olympia Field was designed by two local students. Photo courtesy of Dittoe Public Relations

This mural at the BMW Championships in Olympia Field was designed by two local students. Photo courtesy of Dittoe Public Relations

Area Sports Roundup | Local artists win BMW Championship mural contest

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Miley McCullum is a member of Lyons’ varsity golf team.

Kaylee Davenport of Mother McAuley doesn’t play golf at all.

But the two have a common bond in the golfing community.

They both had their artwork ideas on display at the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, held in Olympia Fields Aug. 15-20. The two local students, along with Gavan Little of Schaumburg, were the winners of an art contest and the mural, which was painted by artist Brett Whitacre, was displayed near the main entrance at Olympia Fields Country Club.

The theme was “Golf in Chicago.”

McCullum, a junior, submitted artwork that included the city’s iconic skyline.

“I tried to think about Chicago and I thought about the skyline being pretty — especially at nighttime,” she said. “So that was the first part. From there, I went ahead and found different videos of BMW championships and important moments. I took screen shots of their reactions and incorporated that into my mural.”

She said she started in art at 4 years old when her mother gave her a fashion sketch book.

Miley McCullum with design scaled

Aspiring artist and Lyons golfer Miley McCullum. Photo courtesy of Dittoe Public Relations

Davenport, an Oak Lawn resident, created an idea using Tiger Woods joyfully yelling after a win in 1997.

“I was reading the rules, and I imagined this perfect art piece that I could create, and I couldn’t sit down and let it pass me by,” she said. “It turned out better than I thought, actually.

“I had a vague image in my mind of what if would look like, and when I finished I said, ‘OK, that’s pretty good.'”

The sophomore said she began creating art by drawing stick figures of family members, and it evolved from there.

“There is something about having all of this power in my hands and creating anything I want,” she added.

The winning artists won a prize pack that included tickets to the tournament, merchandise and a pin flag signed by BMW champs Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas.

Kaylee Davenport

Aspiring artist and Mother McAuley student Kaylee Davenport. Photo courtesy of Dittoe Public Relations.

 

 

Volleyball champs
The first weekend of the 2023 girls volleyball season saw many area teams hitting the road for tournaments. But there was one tournament right in the heart of Palos Heights.

Chicago Christian held its 12th Knight Invitational. De La Salle won the 10-team tournament, beating Bishop Noll of Indiana, 25-19, 15-18 in the title match on Aug. 26.

Meteors’ senior setter Giuliana Graczyk earned MVP honors. Jennifer Falk was named to the all-tournament first team and Haley Chavez was named to the second team.

Richards finished sixth, Chicago Christian seventh, Stagg eighth, Reavis ninth and Shepard 11th.

At the Matea Valley/Oswego East Tournament, Mother McAuley topped St. Laurence, 25-9, 25-10, for the title.

Elle White led the Mighty Macs (7-0) with nine kills. Kayla Birmingham had seven for St. Laurence (3-3).

In Aurora, Marist won the 32-team Mizuno Crimson Classic, hosted by Plainfield North and played at the Great Lakes Volleyball Center. The RedHawks beat Oak Park, 25-19, 25-22. Marist junior outside hitter Bella Bullington was named MVP.

 

New coach at SXU
Jeffery Willis has been named the new assistant coach for the Saint Xavier men’s basketball team.

Willis spent the last four years at Northwestern Ohio, where he helped recruit seven Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference All-Conference players. He started his coaching career at DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Fla., as the lead post graduate assistant coach, a role in which he worked with all three of the school’s boys basketball teams.

A former NAIA player, Willis was a four-year varsity player at Bethany College (Kansas). He graduated with a double major in business administration and sports management.

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