Butler invests in Buffalo Grove's DiViesti
Division I colleges are catching on to Buffalo Grove receivers.
For the second straight year, a Bison catcher will move on to a big-time collegiate program.
Mike DiViesti, who led BG in several offensive categories last spring, including home runs (3), RBI (21) and batting average (.307), has committed to Butler University in Indianapolis.
"Mike is someone that has made playing Division I baseball a priority," said BG coach Jeff Grybash. "On top of his skill set, he is a tremendous student (31 ACT) and comes from a tremendous family.
"Combine all of those with a young man whose best baseball is still ahead of him with a monster upside and we feel Butler got a pretty nice package in Mike."
Last year, BG catcher Tommy Ricciardi chose Miami-Ohio.
One of DiViesti's assets is his versatility.
Grybash is even hoping to get the senior on the mound this spring.
"Mike's strengths include many variables that have nothing to do with his physical talent," Grybash said. "Things like his determination and work ethic, his competitive nature and his knowledge of the game."
On the field, Grybash emphasizes DiViesti's size, strong arm, power to the gaps and versatility.
"He has also grown quite a bit in terms of becoming a leader," the BG coach added. "He has embraced the responsibility of being a bona fide leader on and off the field and we as a staff are looking for him to take that to the next level this spring."
"We are extremely excited for the opportunity that Mike has in front of him and he is another prime example of what hard work, academic excellence and the right attitude can accomplish."
Fremd Hall of Honor
A special ceremony took place 11 days ago between the Palatine and Fremd boys-girls basketball doubleheader.
The second class for the Fremd Hall of Honor was inducted.
The hall which recognizes head coaches, assistant coaches and at-large nominees from both athletics and competitive activities for their contributions and achievements.
The newest inductees were coaches Mo Tharp, Henry Sampson and Carol Plodzien.
Tharp was the second boys basketball coach in school history and held the spot from 1975-2002. He had a record of 472-357 with three Mid-Suburban League titles (1988, 1997, 1998) and 11 regional championships.
He also won five sectionals, the 1993 supersectional and a fourth-place finish in the 1993 state finals
Sampson served as the coach for the Fremd speech team for 33 years from 1975 until 2008. He was the head coach for all but two of those years.
His teams won the conference championship 12 of the 22 years that the league offered a speech championship.
His IHSA state-entry teams won 10 regionals and his teams qualified individuals for the state speech finals in 28 of those 33 years. His students captured 27 state finals medals, including 2 state champions and five second-place finishers.
Sampson served on the IHSA state finals committee for 10 years and was the state finals tournament manager for six years.
He served as a member of the Illinois Speech and Theatre Association board of directors for many years and was chairman of the Special Tournament Commission for 8 years. Sampson was also named Illinois Coach of the Year and MSL Conference Coach of the Year twice.
Plodzien was the program's first and only coach until the 2007-08 season, spanning a total of 34 seasons.
The IHSA Hall of Famer won 558 games from 1972 to 1977, including 50 consecutive games to begin her career.
Plodzien won 12 MSL championships, 16 regionals, 5 sectionals and 2 supersectionals. Her 1977 team placed third in the state.
Plodzien is considered a pioneer who helped develop girls athletics to where they are today in Illinois.
Plodzien is currently an assistant coach in the St. Viator girls basketball program.
Valdosta State University (Ga.), the 2012 Division II national champs, continued its winning ways with a 4-1 record this fall. Its only loss was to perennial D-I powerhouse, Florida State University (1-0). Freshman Hanna Lythberg (Prospect) started 3 games for the Blazers and was 2-0. She threw 13 innings allowing 4 hits and finishing with a 0.00 ERA.
Most noteworthy was her 4-inning, no-decision effort against FSU. She only allowed 1 infield hit while striking out two. The Blazers start their 2013 title defense in Pensacola, Fla. on Feb. 2.
Wisconsin-Whitewater senior left guard Jimmy Norris (Fremd) completed his four-year career by receiving two postseason awards.
He was named first-team all-conference for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and named second-team All Region by D3football.com.
During his four seasons, Whitewater had a 52-3 record, winning three consecutive national championships. Norris started 28 of those 55 games and was a starter at left guard the last two years.
When he completes his studies he hopes to teach and coach football and wrestling at either the high school or college level.
• Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology sophomore linebacker Grant DePalma (Prospect) was a first-team all-conference honoree for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
DePalma ranked among the national leaders with 71 solo hits among his 100 total tackles this season.
He earned NCAA Division III National Player of the Week for his efforts in the Homecoming win over Manchester and ranked second on the team with 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
Millikin senior Natalie Robertaccio (Barrington) was named the Big Blue Defensive MVP.
Junior Sarah Christy (Schaumburg, H.S.) was chosen as the Offensive MVP.
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