Glenbard North's Diem goes to head of NIU's class
Upon further review, here are a few things that happened during the summer that have nothing to do with Lollapalooza.
Diem not a dime a dozen
In June, Northern Illinois University named the members of the 31st induction class into its athletic hall of fame. The inductees, seven individuals plus the 1991 women's gymnastics team, included Ryan Diem, who went from Glenbard North to an 11-year NFL career as an offensive lineman with the Indianapolis Colts.
The 1997 Panthers graduate earned the NIU nod as a three-time all-Mid-American Conference pick, including first-team honors as a junior and a senior. The 320-pounder was a Football News third-team All-America his senior season in 2000. He went on to start 150 of 157 games for the Colts, most all of them at right tackle, and helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI — the first player from Northern to be on a Super Bowl champion.
In his March 26, 2012, retirement address, Diem thanked several of his former Glenbard North coaches. In addition to his football exploits, since 2005 Diem has held a celebrity golf event, Allie and Friends, that entering this year had raised more than $900,000 toward the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.
Diem and the rest of the NIU Hall of Fame class will be inducted Oct. 11 as part of the Huskies' homecoming football weekend against Akron.
Another hall of famer
On Oct. 5 former Illinois State University volleyball player and West Chicago graduate Stacey (Anderson) Stewart will be introduced as part of ISU's 2013 Hall of Fame Class.
A Redbird from 1986-89, she was the Gateway Conference player of the year as a senior and a three-time all-conference selection. She earned first-team all-district in 1988 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Stewart ranks fourth at ISU in career assists and eighth in digs.
Also in June, volleyball player Bianca Cifaldi, then a Wheaton Academy fresh grad, was named one of the National Christian School Athletic Association players of the year. The 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Itasca, now playing at Kent State, earned the NCSAA Large-school distinction.
Cifaldi's 417 kills as her team's lone senior helped the Warriors to a 28-8 record and the title in the Suburban Christian Conference's Gold Division, in which she was named player of the year. Cifaldi's credentials passed a stringent four-tiered selection process to be named the NCSAA player of the year.
Leaps and bounds
St. Francis 6-foot-8 senior middle blocker Jeff Jendryk, who took up volleyball only in the summer of his sophomore year, has skyrocketed onto the radar about as high as his 11-foot, 9-inch jump touch. Earlier this year, around the time he committed to Loyola-Chicago, Jendryk was among "25 underclassmen to watch" by Volleyball Magazine. He's now an upperclassman to watch.
Naperville Central sophomore Tiffany Chen teamed with Indiana's Lauren Goodman to win the girls 16-and-under doubles title at the United States Tennis Association Midwest Section Closed Junior Championship in late June. They defeated the team of Hinsdale Central freshman Isabella Lorenzini and Ohio's Alexandra Sanford. Hinsdale Central grad Marika Cusick, now at Cornell, lost in the 18U doubles championship.
Hinsdale Central junior Martin Joyce teamed with Michigan's Paul Oosterbaan to win the boys 18-and-under doubles title. Joyce, the reigning Illinois High School Association boys singles champion, also advanced to the 18U singles championship before losing to New Trier graduate Thomas Fawcett.
Out with a bang
Several local football players strapped it on one last time at the prep level July 13 at the Illinois High School Shrine Game at Illinois Wesleyan University. Seniors Joe Marconi of Glenbard West, Dennis Thurow of Neuqua Valley, Liam Kennedy of Montini and Scott Mitchell of Downers Grove South were on the East Team.
Next year is the 40th anniversary of the game, and the game's alumni association is seeking as many former players and coaches as possible to attend the event on July 12, 2014, in Bloomington. An online form is available on the Shrine Game website.
No. 1 Akinosun
The University of Illinois women's track team lost a real good one when Waubonsie Valley graduate Morolake Akinosun followed her coach to the University of Texas. On Aug. 25 at the Pan American Junior Championships in Columbia she led off a gold-medal effort in the 400-meter relay. Akinosun made up the lane stagger before her handoff and the U.S. team won by more than two seconds. Akinosun also placed fourth in the 100 dash and fifth in the 200. Cary-Grove graduate Josh Freeman won the men's shot put.
At the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Neuqua Valley grad Chris Derrick placed 18th in the 10,000-meter run. Jacobs product and Olympian Evan Jager took fifth in steeplechase.
At the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics in July, Lake Park graduate Scott Filip, now at Rice, placed third in the decathlon. Filip's Lancers teammate, Gio Basso, won the decathlon for 15- to 16-year-old boys. Another current Lancer, Marcus Jegede, took second in the triple jump at 49 feet, 1 inch. West Aurora's Emma Spagnolo finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at 13.84 seconds, and fifth in the 400 hurdles.
Earlier at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships at Drake, which includes top college freshmen and qualifies the top two finishers to the Pan American Juniors, Glenbard West grad and Georgetown runner Mike Lederhouse finished sixth in the 1,500.
Filip finished third in decathlon, 13 points out of second place. He led the decathlon after five events, winning the long jump and high jump and tying in the 100 dash at 10.81 seconds. Filip returned the next day to record personal bests in all five events.
"He is looking forward to returning next year and trying to become a champion," said Tom Kaberna, Lake Park horizontal jumps guru and coach of the DuPage Track Club.
Follow Dave on Twitter @doberhelman1
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