Rolling through a brutal gauntlet of a regular-season schedule, the Mt. Carmel football team was a perfect 9-0.
The winning recipe was the same throughout: a solid, old-fashioned offense that moved the ball on the ground but could throw downfield as well and a stingy, ball-hawking defense that would bend but rarely broke.
Relying on that formula, Mt. Carmel dominated its way through the Class 7A state playoffs, defeating high-powered Nazareth Academy 37-13 on Nov. 30 at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb to win the state title.
Mt. Carmel’s season-long dominance in its state championship run is The 2019 Beverly Review Prep Sports Story of the Year.
“We knew coming in Nazareth was a tough opponent. They won state last year, so we’d have our hands full,” said Mt. Carmel Coach Jordan Lynch. “Games in November are won up front on the offensive and defensive line. It showed. We controlled up front for sure.”
Mt. Carmel finished 14-0, winning the program’s 13th state championship and first since the 2013 season.
Junior quarterback Justin Lynch, Jordan’s younger brother, ran for a state championship game record 5 touchdowns against Nazareth, also piling up 120 yards.
Junior running back Kenenna Odeluga also rushed for 176 yards.
The Caravan defense dominated against the Roadrunners’ high-flying offense, including Michigan recruit J.J. McCarthy, a junior QB.
Leading the Caravan defense were Austin Maciel-Haygood, Tommy Egan, Jalen Grant, Marty O’Brien, Lance Swain, Jason Thompson and Mario Davis.
Senior wide receiver Tony Livermore was the Caravan’s top receiver and enjoyed every minute of the preseason.
“I’ve been dreaming about this. It’s unbelievable,” Livermore said. “There is no better feeling than holding up the trophy like that. We embraced the opportunity. We came in, and we were prepared.”
The coverage area had plenty of other standout moments on the high school preps scene, including these accomplishments:
—Mother McAuley senior forward Grace Hynes surpassed 1,000 career points with a free throw in a Dec. 22 game against Kenwood. Hynes (Mt. Greenwood, St. Christina) is now in her freshman season at the University of Chicago.
—Morgan Park won its second straight Big Dipper tournament championship at Rich South behind a history-making performance from guard Adam Miller who set a new single-tournament record for points with 131 points over 4 games.
—Br. Rice sophomore Tony Lundy finished in 55th place at the state bowling meet in O’Fallon. Lundy is a Mt. Greenwood resident. St. Laurence junior Jonathan Skalon finished in 57th.
—Mother McAuley defeated Marist 49-39 on Jan. 14 in the annual basketball rivalry game behind big performances from Grace Hynes, Jenna Badali, Lauren Ramsey and Hannah Swiatek.
—The Mt. Carmel wrestling team won the Chicago Catholic League (CCL) title on Jan. 19. The Caravan tied Montini for the team title. It was the team’s first CCL title since the 2016 season. Junior Colton Drousias (113 pounds) was the team’s only individual champion, but all 14 wrestlers placed in sixth place or better for the Caravan.
—Defeating St. Rita in the semifinals, St. Ignatius advanced to the Chicago Catholic Hockey League’s Kennedy Cup finals for a second straight year. The Wolfpack lost to St. Viator in the championship series.
—The Morgan Park Academy girls basketball team finished 21-8, tying the program record for single-season wins set by the 2018 squad.
—Mt. Carmel junior Colton Drousias won the Class 3A state championship at 113 pounds on Feb. 16, finishing the season 35-4. Drousias is a three-time state qualifier. Marian Catholic senior Reece Heller finished second at 152 pounds in the Class 3A bracket.
Other area performers who brought home state hardware included Br. Rice’s Dominic Murphy (Class 2A, third place at 170 pounds), Marist’s Michael Leveille (Class 3A, fourth place at 113 pounds) and Jacob Dado (fifth place at 138 pounds), Mt. Carmel’s Noah Mis (Class 3A, fifth place at 126 pounds), Marian Catholic’s Travis Ford-Melton (Class 3A, sixth place at 126 pounds), De La Salle’s Dominee Daniels (Class 2A, sixth place at 182 pounds) and St. Laurence’s Sean Burns (Class 2A, sixth place at 220 pounds).
—Br. Rice junior Seth Miller finished fourth in the 100-yard butterfly at the state swimming and diving meet on Feb. 23. He also finished 18th in the 100-yard backstroke.
—Marist’s Syndey Affolter (Class 4A), De La Salle’s Natalia Trejo (3A), Marian Catholic’s Alyshea Smith (3A), St. Laurence’s Ashley Perez (3A) and Morgan Park Academy’s Amaya McLachlan (1A) advanced to the Girls State 3-Point Showdown. On the boys side, Marian Catholic’s Tommy Ciscato (4A), Evergreen Park’s Michael Schulte (3A), Morgan Park’s Adam Miller (3A), De La Salle’s Alex Raiford (3A), Ag Science’s Kyle Rowan (3A), Leo’s Ahmari Turner (2A) and Morgan Park Academy’s Logan Walton (1A) advanced to state showdown.
—Marian Catholic senior guard Ahron Ulis surpassed 1,000 career points for the Spartans in a Feb. 20 win over Joliet Catholic. Ulis is a University of Iowa recruit.
—The Mother McAuley basketball team finished second in Class 4A, losing to Maine West in the title game at Redbird Arena in Normal on March 2. The Mighty Macs set a new single-season mark for wins, finishing 34-3.
—The St. Rita basketball team won its first CCL title since 2015, finishing the season 24-9 overall.
—Mt. Carmel won its first basketball regional title since 2016. The host Caravan beat Lindlom in the regional championship, advancing to the Class 3A sectional where the team lost to Morgan Park in the semifinals.
—Chasing a third straight state championship, the Morgan Park basketball team lost to rival Bogan in a Class 3A sectional final on March 8. The loss snapped a streak of six straight sectional titles dating back to 2013. The Mustangs finished with a 29-5 record.
—The Leo basketball team won its first sectional title since 2016, finishing 24-9 overall and advancing to the Class 2A Joliet Central supersectional.
—Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) junior wrestler Mikhel Teverbaugh won the school’s first match at the state tournament. A Beverly resident and Clissold graduate, Teverbaugh won the title at 182 pounds at the city meet at 182 pounds.
—St. Laurence fired football coach Harold Blackmon on April 1. In seven seasons, Blackmon led the Vikings to a 41-37 record, two CCL titles and back-to-back state semifinal appearances in 2015 and 2016.
—After seven seasons, including a run to the Class 4A title game in 2019, Ashley Clanton resigned from her position in April as the basketball coach and assistant athletic director at Mother McAuley to take a coaching position at a high school in Georgia. Her husband, Denny Clanton, also resigned as the Mighty Macs’ soccer coach. Keisha Newell was named McAuley’s new basketball coach. She is a Marian Catholic alum and coached previously at Roosevelt University.
—St. Rita volleyball won its first CCL-Blue title since 2016.
—The De La Salle girls soccer team beat Guerin Prep 1-0 on May 5 at the Lyons Township High School soccer complex to win the PepsiCo Showdown championship game.
—The St. Laurence girls soccer team claimed its first regional title in the program’s young history, beating CHSAS on May 10 for the win.
—The Br. Rice rugby team won the state championship in May. The Crusaders also won the CCL title, sealing the league championship with a win over Marist on May 8.
—The St. Rita baseball team won the CCL-Blue, the program’s first title since 2014.
—The Mother McAuley water polo team finished third at state, its 15th state appearance in 18 seasons since the sport was first introduced in Illinois high school sports.
—Roshawn Russell was named the St. Rita basketball coach, replacing Coach Gary DeCesare who was fired earlier in the spring. Russell, a 2008 graduate and Beverly native, is also St. Rita athletic director.
—The St. Ignatius boys water polo team qualified for the state finals for a seventh straight season, ultimately losing to Lyons Township on May 17 in the quarterfinals at Stevenson High School.
—The Marist boys volleyball team beat Glenbard West on June 1 at Hoffman Estates High School in 2 sets to win the state championship, the program’s third, including title runs in 2002 and 2010. Four-year varsity star Marty Jepsen finished with 14 kills and 11 digs, including the game-winner. Lewis is now in his freshman season at Lewis University.
—The St. Rita volleyball team lost to New Trier on May 31 in a 3-set heartbreaker in the state quarterfinals. It was the second straight year that the Mustangs advanced to the state finals.
—The Marist baseball team defeated Providence Catholic 9-5 on June 1 to win the Class 4A Lockport sectional, the program’s first sectional since 2012. The RedHawks (26-11) lost to O’Fallon two days later in the Lincoln Land Community College supersectional.
—The St. Laurence baseball team lost to Montini in the Class 3A title game on June 8 at DuPage Medical Group Field in Joliet. It was the program’s first appearance in a state title game. The Vikings finished third in Class 4A in 2017. St. Laurence finished 34-6.
—The St. Rita baseball team regrouped from a loss in the state semifinals to beat Hampshire in the Class 4A third-place game, winning 3-2 on June 8 in Joliet. It was the best state finish for the Mustangs since the 2014 squad finished as state runner-up. St. Rita (35-7) also placed second in 4A in 2009 and 2010.
—The Marist softball team advanced to the state finals for the fourth time in the last eight years since 2012, finishing fourth in Class 4A. The RedHawks (36-4) lost to Huntley on June 7 in the semifinals and to Joliet West on June 8 in the third-place game at Eastside Centre in East Peoria.
—De La Salle senior Ryan Curington won the Class 2A state championship in the long jump May 25 with a jump of 23 feet and .75 inches. The state meet was held May 23-25 at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field in Charleston. Curington is in his freshman season at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
—The St. Rita track and field team finished eighth (24 points) at the Class 2A state meet, the team’s highest state finish since 1994. Senior Mick Doyle finished sixth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and also ran on the 4x200 relay that finished second. Sophomore Kaleb Brown finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and eighth in the 200-meter dash.
—Marian Catholic senior catcher Angelo Cantelo capped off an impressive prep career with the Spartans, catching 514 straight innings behind the plate over two-plus seasons. Cantelo, a Blue Island resident, was named East Suburban Catholic Conference (ESCC) Player of the Year and is now a freshman at Lewis University.
—Brett Wiseman, a 2019 Mt. Carmel graduate, was named an Academic All-American. Wiseman was a captain on the hockey and lacrosse teams and also played golf for the Caravan.
—The Br. Rice baseball team defeated Geneva in 9 innings on July 18 to win the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Lawler Summer Classic state title at North Central College in Naperville. Jack Payton (Louisville) hit a solo home run in the ninth that broke a scoreless tie. It was the Crusaders’ first summer state title.
—Jenna Johnson, a 2005 graduate, was named Mother McAuley’s soccer coach. She was named conference player of the year in her senior season for the Mighty Macs and went on to play at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
—Matt McCormick, a 2019 St. Laurence graduate, was named the CCL Lawless Award winner for the CCL-Blue, an honor presented to the outstanding senior in the league. He was the first member of the Vikings to win the Lawless Award since 2011, when the current assistant, Coach Kyle Wood, took home the honor. McCormick was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 40th round of the MLB draft but opted to attend West Virginia University.
—The St. Ignatius girls tennis team won its fourth straight Beverly Bank and Trust 19th Ward Girls Tennis Tournament played at the Beverly Hills Tennis Classic on Aug. 24. The Wolfpack and Mother McAuley tied 8-8 with St. Ignatius claiming the title with the games-won tiebreaker.
—Evergreen Park High School announced on Aug. 27 that, starting in summer 2020, District 124 will install turf baseball and softball fields on the school’s campus at 99th Street and Kedzie Avenue. Construction will include stadium seating for both fields, in-ground dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, a press box and a concession stand. Lights will also be installed for baseball and softball. The project is expected to be completed in August for the beginning of the 2020 high school season.
—Marist defeated host Br. Rice 5-4 in penalty kicks on Sept. 7 to win 3-2 and reclaim the Pulaski Cup. Senior goalkeeper Tom Walsh delivered with 2 saves for the RedHawks in PK.
—Br. Rice beat Marist 17-14 on Sept. 20 in the Battle of Pulaski showdown. The game had added meaning in the rivalry with the Crusaders and RedHawks now both competing in the merged CCL/ESCC-Blue division.
—In the annual volleyball rivalry matchup, Marist defeated host Mother McAuley on Sept. 26 in an exciting 2-set match. The RedHawks and Mighty Macs squared off in the ASICS Tournament championship semifinals with Marist prevailing again.
—Playing at Ridge Country Club on Sept. 26, Mother McAuley won its second straight Caroline Griffin Golf Tournament, shooting a 204 as a team to defeat Marist (214) and St. Ignatius (215). Junior Morgan Soch shot 49 to lead the Mighty Macs. The tournament is named after Caroline Griffin, a 2012 McAuley grad and Beverly native who died in 2015 from a heart condition.
—The St. Ignatius golf team finished in third place for a second straight season at the CCL tournament on Oct. 2 at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club’s course No.-3. Senior Robert Cox led the Wolfpack, shooting 73 to finish third in the individual standings.
—Br. Rice junior Quinn Clifford finished in a seven-way tie for 28th place at the Class 2A state golf meet Oct. 18-19 at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University in Normal.
—The Marian Catholic football team finished the regular season 5-4, clinching the program’s first playoff berth since 2010. With a Week-9 regular season win over Leo, the Spartans also won the CCL/ESCC-Red division championship.
—The St. Ignatius tennis duo of senior Ivvy Hicks and sophomore Helena Cilella both earned 9-16 seeds at the Class 2A state tournament with both finishing 3-2 and advancing to the fifth round of the consolation bracket.
—Playing as a doubles team, sisters Emilia and Aylin Flores of St. Laurence advanced to the Class 1A state tournament. The sisters were the first Vikings tennis players to advance to state.
—The St. Rita soccer team defeated rival Br. Rice 2-1 on Oct. 25 to win a Class 2A regional championship, the program’s first since 1990. The Mustangs lost to Oak Forest in a sectional semifinal.
—St. Ignatius senior setter Kate Danaher, a three-year starter for the Wolfpack, set a new program mark for career assists, surpassing Sophia Dodd’s previous record (1,836). Danaher passed Dodd with 18 assists in a win over Herscher on Oct. 19 at the Plainfield Central Fall Harvest tournament. Danaher is a Brown University recruit.
—The Marist soccer team lost to Lincoln-Way West on Nov. 2 at the Lincoln-Way East sectional championship in a tough 3-2 defeat. The RedHawks last won a sectional championship in 1999.
—The Mother McAuley volleyball squad won its 38th straight regional title dating back to 1982. The Mighty Macs lost to Marist in the sectional final.
—Capping a historic season, the St. Laurence soccer team made its first run to the state finals, finishing fourth overall with a 19-6-1 record. The Vikings lost 2-0 to eventual state championship Benet Academy on Nov. 8 at Hoffman Estates High School in the semifinals and lost 2-1 to Troy Triad on Nov. 9 in the third-place game.
—The Marist volleyball team finished in third place in Class 4A, losing to Benet Academy in the semifinals but regrouping to beat Fremd on Nov. 16 in the third-place match at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena in Normal. It was the third straight state trophy for the program after the RedHawks won state in 2017 and 2018.
—Marist senior cross-country runner Thomas Leonard qualified for state for a third straight season, finishing in 49th (15:03.53) in the Class 3A race at Peoria’s Detweiler Park. St. Ignatius finished in third place in the Class 2A race, its first state trophy since 1982. Br. Rice junior Eddie Burke led the Crusaders at the Class 2A meet, finishing in 80th (16:08.50).
—The St. Ignatius girls cross-country team finished fifth (208 points) at the Class 2A state meet, the highest finish in program history. Beverly’s Rhiannon O’Keefe finished 20th overall in her fourth state appearance with the Wolfpack. Mother McAuley sophomore Evelyn Rowan finished in 156th place in the Class 3A race. De La Salle freshman Keyaira Moore (54th) and Evergreen Park’s Ariana Martinez (156th) also starred in Class 2A.
—The Morgan Park football team advanced to the Chicago Public League championship game, losing to rival Simeon 30-16 on Nov. 22 at Gately Stadium. The Mustangs last won a Chicago Public League title in 2007 and a Chicago Prep Bowl title in 2005.
—Br. Rice and Marist advanced to Class 8A state semifinals in football. The Crusaders made back-to-back semifinal appearances for the first time in program history. The RedHawks also qualified for the semifinals for a second straight season.
—The St. Rita football team advanced to the Class 5A state championship, losing to Rochester on Nov. 30 at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb. The Mustangs finished 10-4 overall after starting the season 1-3. It was the program’s first championship appearance since 2006.
—Mother McAuley senior guard Jenna Badali surpassed 1,000 career points in a Nov. 23 win over Crystal Lake Central. Badali is a Lewis University recruit.
—Rebounding from a loss to Hillcrest in the state playoffs, St. Laurence defeated Simeon on Nov. 29 to win its first Chicago Prep Bowl crown since 1978. It was the program’s fourth Chicago Prep Bowl title overall. The Vikings finished 8-5 and beat De La Salle in the CCL championship on Nov. 22.
—The St. Ignatius girls swimming and diving team finished 10th at the state meet on Nov. 22-23 at New Trier High School, the first top-10 finish for the Wolfpack since the 2012 squad finished eighth. Junior Abbey Taute helped lead the way, finishing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle.
—De La Salle boys basketball Coach Tom White won his 400th career game when the Meteors defeated Payton 73-63 on Nov. 27 at the St. Patrick Thanksgiving Tournament. White started coaching at De La Salle in 1995.