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Cleveland Cavaliers guard-forward Max Strus hits a 3-pointer last season over the Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown. Photo courtesy of Max Strus

Hometown Hoops Hero: Stagg alum Max Strus discusses his rise through the NBA, hitting big shots and his annual youth hoops camp

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent A lot of changes have taken place for Max Strus during the past year. While the Cleveland Cavaliers guard has played in an NBA Finals and been featured as No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s “Top Plays,” among other noteworthy events, the Stagg alum is the same homegrown kid who grew up…

Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson (left) earned two big awards for her recent goal-scoring spree. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Swanson picks up Best XI of Month honors

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson picked up some big honors recently, including being named to the NWSL’s Best XI of the Month for June. This is the seventh time in Swanson’s career and the fourth time as a Red Star she has won a best of the month award. In…

St. Laurence finished second in the state in Class 4A and is looking to win it all in 2024. Photo by Jeff Vorva

A bevy of changes ahead for the 2024 high school football season

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The IHSA’s annual posting of the coming season’s football schedule always gets people talking. This year is no exception. Tears for Fears meets David Bowie as there are changes, changes and more changes; fans might need pencils and scorecards to keep track. As a public service, we here at Southwest Regional…

Houston's Natalie Jacobs (left) and Red Star Ally Schlegel jostle to get to the ball on June 6 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Swanson scores again, Naeher has clean sheet as Fire edge Dash

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Mallory Swanson is Olympics-ready after scoring her fourth goal in four games. Swanson’s left-footed shot in extra time in the first half was the difference in the Chicago Red Stars’ 1-0 win over Houston on July 6 in an NWSL battle before an announced crowd of 5,566 at SeatGeek Stadium in…

Orland Park's Krysta Stanko (in sunglasses) has won the women's division of the Veterans Liberty run three straight years. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park woman wins third straight Veterans Liberty Run

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent She did it again. Three for three. Orland Park resident Krysta Stanko won her third straight women’s division championship at the Veterans Liberty Run, held July 3 at Centennial Park in Orland Park. Stanko, an Andrew graduate who will be a sophomore at Governors State, ran the 2-mile course in 12:40.2,…

Worth resident Calista Stefaniak won the Tinley Park Stars and Stripes 5K run for the second year in a row. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Worth resident Calista Stefaniak wins Stars and Stripes 5K

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Calista Stefaniak won her second straight women’s title in the Tinley Park Stars and Stripes 5K, held June 29 at the village’s McCarthy Park. Stefaniak, 25, of Worth, ran the course in 20:22.6. She also won the event in 2023 and was runner-up in 2022. “I love how it makes me…

Sandburg junior Jackson Canellis has made hundreds of sandwiches for BEDS Plus. He plans to run 12 miles from Wrigley Field to Guaranteed Rate Field to raise money for the organization. Photo supplied

Sandburg junior to run from Wrigley Field to Sox Park

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Sandburg junior Jackson Canellis isn’t sure if he will be wearing a Cubs or White Sox jersey on Aug. 10 during a 12-mile run. That decision will be up to those who donate to his cause. Canellis, a volunteer at BEDS Plus, is organizing a unique 12-mile run from Wrigley Field…

The Chicago Red Stars' Mallory Swanson was selected for her second Olympics. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Swanson, Naeher headed to Paris seeking gold

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Two Chicago Red Stars standouts are going to Paris to represent the U.S. in the Summer Olympics. Goalie Alyssa Naeher and forward Mallory Swanson have been named to the United States Women’s National Team. Naeher was on U.S. Olympic teams that played in Rio de Janeiro and 2016 and Tokyo in…

Stagg alum Laurie Markatos is an assistant coach with the Greek national softball team.

Laurie Markatos, Dylan Jacobs looking toward 2028 Summer Games

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Laurie Markatos predicted there would be a “flood of tears” her first day on the job. Markatos, The Regional News and The Reporter’s Softball Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997 when she played for Stagg, is an assistant coach of the Greek National Softball Team, also known as the…

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Stagg tabs Allee Hernandez to guide girls hoops

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Allee Hernandez has accrued many years of basketball experience as a player and as an assistant coach. She will soon embark on a new experience as a head coach at Stagg, where she will be the Chargers first new head coach in 16 seasons. She succeeds Bill Turner, who stepped down…

St. Laurence senior guard Zerrick Johnson finds an opening against Metea Valley during a game at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Hoops | St. Laurence, Marist, Oak Lawn among teams striving to reach next level

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent   High school boys basketball does not stop in March and pick back up in late autumn. For many players, playing hoops is a year-round commitment. AAU ball is a big reason for, that there are summer camps, shootouts or other events at most schools during the summer. The 21st annual…

Alyssa Naeher clears a ball at North Carolina on June 23 in a 3-1 Red Stars loss. IMAGN photo

Loss to Courage brings Red Stars’ winless streak to five games

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Chicago Red Stars historic start to the season is all but forgotten. In the last five matches, the Red Stars have failed to win, with the latest setback being a 3-1 loss on the road to North Carolina on June 23 in an NWSL battle. The Red Stars are 5-7-2…

Mount Carmel guard Grant Best looks to drive to the basket while be defending by Lyons senior Ian Polonowski during a game at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Summer League Basketball | Illinois powers compete at Riverside-Brookfield Shootout

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent School’s out for the summer, but high school athletes across Illinois are remaining active during the summer sports season. This includes basketball players, who can be found at camps, open gyms, camps and even weekend tournaments. Among the more high-profile hoops action in the area was the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout, which featured…

Dana Rettke, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, will play on the U.S. women's volleyball team at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Dana Rettke and Ryan Murphy heading to Paris Summer Games

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area fans of the Summer Olympics will have extra reasons to cheer athletes from the United States in the upcoming Paris Games. Dana Rettke of Riverside is a member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team and Palos Heights native Ryan Murphy will represent the country in swimming. Rettke, a 6-foot-8 middle…

Shepard basketball coach Corey Wolf draws up a play during the Astros game against Argo June 14 at the Stagg Shootout. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Corey Wolf ‘living the dream’ as new Shepard hoops coach

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent For Corey Wolf, obtaining the ultimate high school basketball prize started in the summer of 2007. Wolf was playing for a Richards team that had showed much promise, having gone 26-3 and winning a regional title the previous season. Then-Bulldogs coach John Chappetto let his players know when summer league play…

Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Kansas City. IMAGN photo

Staab header helps Red Stars forge draw with KC

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Heading into the weekend, only Kansas City and Orlando were unbeaten among NWSL teams. The teams were tied atop the league standings, with each sporting 8-0-4 records. They now share another common denominator: Both have forged draws with the Red Stars. Red Stars defender Sam Stabb’s header in the 90th minute…

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Red Stars unhappy with Riot Fest conflict

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Among the bands that will headline the newly minted Riot Fest music festival are Chicago-area natives Fall Out Boy. The annual concert featuring an eclectic mix of musical acts will be held in Bridgeview Sept. 20-22 — and boy, oh boy, there is a lot of fallout from the Chicago Red…

Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo is looking forward to the 35-second shot clock, which will be used for the first time in Illinois high school basketball when he is a senior. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It’s about time | Illinois high school hoops gets 35-second shot clock beginning with 2026-27 season

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Count Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo as someone who can’t wait for the 2026-2027 basketball season. The rising guard/forward will be a senior that year, and he will embrace the IHSA’s implementation of a 35-second shot clock for varsity boys and girls basketball. “It’s a good feature,” Morakinyo said after a game…

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Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,” Marist coach…

Chicago Red Stars player Penelope Hocking signs autographs before the team's match against Bay FC on June 8 at Wrigley Field. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Record crowd sees Bay FC top Red Stars at Wrigley Field

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Historic Wrigley Field hosted its first professional women’s sporting event in 80 years when the Chicago Red Stars hosted Bay FC on June 8. An NWSL-record announced crowd of 35,038  came out on a cool, rainy evening on the North Side and saw the expansion team from the San Francisco Bay…

Marist seniors Caroline O’Brien (left) and Camryn Lyons hold the Class 4A state runner-up trophy after St. Charles North defeated the RedHawks, 7-2, in the championship game on June 8 in Peoria. Photo courtesy of Marist High School Athletics

Softball | St. Charles North rides big inning over Marist for Class 4A state title

By Randy Whalen Correspondent The final game was in doubt until the late innings but, in the end, Marist came up short in its bid for a second consecutive state championship. St. Charles North (25-6) broke open a tied game by scoring five times with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, eventually capturing…

Marist's Nathen Toth (3) was named the boys volleyball state finals MVP by the Illiniois Volleyball Coaches Association. File photo

Boys Volleyball | Marist’s Nathen Toth named state finals MVP

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent   With the IHSA boys volleyball state semifinals and finals championships held on the same day, the round of four tends to get overshadowed once the smoke clears. But Marist’s 28-26, 26-24 semifinal win over Glenbard West in a battle of two of the top five teams in the nation, according…

York's Ben Brown, shown getting ready to serve against Marist in the state championship on June 1, is the son of Chris Brown, who helped Oak Lawn finish fourth in the state in 1993. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Brown family legacy continues in world of Illinois boys volleyball

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Brown family’s legacy continues in the world of boys volleyball. Twins Chris and Eric Brown helped Oak Lawn finish fourth in the IHSA volleyball tournament in 1993, the second year the boys state tournament took place. Though the twins graduated that year, that season served as a springboard for the…

Two-time national wrestling champion Austin O'Connor, a St. Rita graduate, won his MMA debut on June 9 in Texas. North Carolina photo

Don’t sleep on grappling great | St. Rita grad Austin O’Connor starts MMA career with a win

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The “Irish Nightmare” was not about to be put to sleep. Austin O’Connor, a four-time IHSA state wrestling champion during his years at St. Rita, made his professional MMA debut on June 9; and despite some pre-match taunting from opponent Camden Fontenot — who claimed he would put O’Connor to sleep…

Providence's Enzo Infelise dives into third for an RBI triple with Pancho Vazquez ready to field the throw. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | Providence edges Mount Carmel in extras to punch ticket to state

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After a stirring upset of unbeaten Nazareth to win the Class 4A Reavis Sectional championship, Mount Carmel’s bid for a trip to the state finals ended with a 3-2 extra-inning loss to Providence in the supersectional round. Celtics shortstop Jackson Smith’s single off Matt Murphy drove in Eddie Olszta with the…

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Argo Alumni Night returns

By Carol McGowan The tradition of Alumni Night at Argo Community High School returns on Friday, January 14. The Alumni Dinner, at which the school provides a free buffet dinner to alumni, will take place from 5-8 p.m. in the Bulow Auditorium.  Many of all ages have gathered in the past for great food and…

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Palos 118 hosting Community Feedback Forums Monday, Tuesday

Palos School District 118 will host a series of community forums for the public on Monday and Tuesday, January 10 and 11, as part of its first phase of strategic planning. The Palos 118 school board is engaging the entire school community in discussions that will lead to identifying the attributes and skills all Palos…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

Bobby Rush to retire after 15 terms 

From staff reports  U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, the state’s longest serving member of Congress, announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election this year, stepping down after almost 30 years of representing Chicago’s South Side and southwest suburbs. Rush, 75, formally announced that he will not run for a 16th term in Congress, but vowed to…

Stagg’s health team poses with the District 230 board at it was honored for winning its fourth straight Blue Ribbon award. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Stagg health team earns fourth straight Blue Ribbon award

By Jeff Vorva  District 230 Supt. Robert Nolting likened the Stagg Health Education department to the New England Patriots. For the fourth straight year, Stagg won the Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Education from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Staff members said Stagg was the first school in Illinois…

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz said it will be up to businesses in his city to comply with new mandate set by Cook County. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights: Business owners must choose whether to comply with mandates 

By Jeff Vorva  Palos Heights is not cracking down on businesses that violate Cook County COVID-19 mandates regarding proof of vaccinations. But the city will help if asked. Among the mandates, which started Monday, businesses including restaurants and gyms must have patrons show proof of vaccinations, which is a controversial topic for some. The Village…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau reads part of a scathing email that wished bad things on him and his family on Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Mayor reads hate mail before diving into COVID and crime issues

By Jeff Vorva  Before Tuesday’s village board meeting, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said he received a disturbing email. The mayor, who shoots from the hip when it comes to his beliefs is a controversial public figure and figures to get hate mail. This one was especially nasty. “I figured that since I got this…

Brandon Kizer

Stepson charged in Evergreen Park murder

By Bob Bong  A 24-year-old Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in the New Year’s Eve shooting of his stepfather in Evergreen Park. Brandon K. Kizer, 24, of the 8100 block of South Loomis in Chicago, was charged Sunday with first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Young, 52, on the morning of…

Mary Fabis (right) shows her award from Anita Cummings. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Dermot Connolly

Honored for service to business

Fabis earns UBAM award  By Dermot Connolly The United Business Association of Midway recently honored founding member Mary Fabis with a Lifetime Membership Award for Outstanding Service for her 35 years of work with the business organization she continues to serve as a board member. Fabis, now 92, has owned and operated Archer Travel agency…

With a long and colorful life, Mary Ellen St. Aubin had no shortage of good memories. --Supplied photo

She was a ‘Munchkin by marriage’

Mary Ellen St. Aubin dies at age 101 By Joan Hadac Mary Ellen St. Aubin once said that if her life could be summed up in a movie title, it might be It’s a Wonderful Life. That life came to a conclusion late last month. Mrs. St. Aubin was 101 years old. “I’ve enjoyed my…

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Fire and ice

December was unseasonably dry and warm, but it was cold enough late in the month to form icicles on a Bedford Park Fire Department truck– even after it returned from a blaze that gutted a warehouse in the 6500 block of South Lavergne, just steps south of Clearing. The weather forecast for this weekend calls…

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‘They made us look like fools’

Parents furious over one-two stumble by CPS By Tim Hadac As Chicago Public Schools were set to re-open earlier this week, parents of CPS students were still fuming over what most seemed to see as a two-part stumble by district administrators. “We did exactly what they asked of us, and they made us look like…

Joan Hadac

Toasting 2022 with champagne and herring

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com Hello everyone. So, the holidays are over. How did you celebrate? I love Christmas because I get to see family, some of whom I haven’t laid eyes on since Christmas 2019. New Year’s is a much quieter celebration. I have to admit,…