dvn 2-5-24 Rothschild-graphic

Area Sports Roundup | Larry Rothschild joins Windy City ThunderBolts

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By Jeff Vorva
Correspondent

First Bobby Jenks.

Now Larry Rothschild.

The Windy City ThunderBolts are stacking their staff with some familiar names from the Chicago baseball scene.

They hired Jenks, a former White Sox closer and member of the 2005 World Series-winning team, as manager earlier in the offseason and recently hired Rothschild to be the team’s pitching consultant.

Rothschild has 47 years of professional baseball experience as a player, coach and manager. He spent 35 years on Major League coaching staffs, including three full seasons and part of a fourth as the first skipper in Tampa Bay Rays history.

“I’m super excited to have Larry joining us,” Jenks stated in a press release. “His experience and knowledge of the game is a real asset to the players. I’m personally looking forward to learning from him to become a better manager, coach and mentor to the players.”

Rothschild was the Cubs pitching coach from 2002-2010. He was on the staffs of the 2003 team that came within five outs of a trip to the World Series, and for the division-winning teams of 2007 and 2008 under manager Lou Piniella.

He has also served as pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres. He has two World Series rings — from the 1990 Reds and 1997 Marlins. During his tenure as Yankees pitching coach from 2011-2019, New York led the American League in both wins and strikeouts.

Rothschild will consult with Jenks and the Windy City pitching staff during spring training and during extended periods of the regular season. The Bolts ranked eighth in the Frontier League in 2023 with a 4.85 team ERA.

“I’m looking forward to working with Bobby Jenks and the ThunderBolts,” Rothschild said in a statement. “Even in a limited role it will be fun to help pitchers improve. As an added bonus, I get to spend some time in my old neighborhood which provided many great memories.”

Rothschild grew up on Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, less than 10 miles from the ThunderBolts’ home park of Ozinga Field. After spending most of his high school years at Morgan Park Academy, he graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor. He played baseball collegiately at Florida State University.

Opening night for the ThunderBolts is May 9.

 

Net gains and losses

The Chicago Red Stars added Brenton Saylor as goalkeeper coach for the club. Saylor joins the Red Stars from the U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams, where he has served as the goalkeeper coach since 2022.

“We’re delighted to welcome Brenton to our coaching staff,” Red Stars President Karen Leetzow stated in a news release. “With over 15 years of experience as a goalkeeper coach ranging from the youth level to the national stage, his experience will reinforce an already talented coaching staff.”

Saylor replaces longtime goalkeeper coach Rade Tanaskovic, who will be moving with his wife and children from Chicago to be closer to other family members.

Tanaskovic joined the Red Stars in 2019, the first year the club made it to the NWSL championship match, and was part of the club’s next three playoff appearances, including the 2020 and 2021 Challenge Cup Championship and NWSL Championship matches.

In his time with the Red Stars and during international breaks, Tanaskovic would often join the United States Women’s National Team as an assistant coach.

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Rade for the last five years,” Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher stated in a press release. “His commitment to this team and meticulous, attention to detail is second to none.”

The team also signed goalkeeper Sydney Schneider to a one-year contract, with a one-year option for an undisclosed transfer fee. Schneider joins the Red Stars from AC Sparta Praha of the Czech Women’s First League.

Schneider was a member of the Kansas City Current, where she signed after spending the 2021 season with the Washington Spirit. The New Jersey native was drafted by the Spirit in the third round of the 2021 NWSL draft out of UNC-Wilmington.

 

Keeping the line going

Sandburg junior football lineman Matt Marek has verbally committed to Indiana.

Sandburg has been a hotbed for linemen, with Michael Schofield and Dan Feeney also being alums. Both were on NFL rosters this season, Schofield with the Detroit Lions and Feeney with the Chicago Bears.

 

Hall of Famers

Moraine Valley Community College will induct three people into its athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony scheduled to be held at 2:45 p.m. Feb. 17, between the Cyclones men’s and women’s basketball games.

Cross country coach Mark Horstmeyer, former volleyball star Kara Kentner and former basketball standout Sharnita Lloyd are the 2024 inductees.

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