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updated: 9/9/2013 1:54 PM

Olson clan sports a winning array of achievement

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Welcome to another school year of prep sports notes.

Obviously, this column often highlights the accomplishment of former area prep athletes who are playing at all levels of the collegiate arena.

We'd like to kick things off by going back several years to remember a family that is quite a rarity.

Palatine residents Jack and Sandy Olson were able to watch their children Jodi, Jake and Kelly earn scholarships in a combined four different collegiate sports after they enjoyed standout athletic careers at Hersey High School in the 1990s.

For most parents, having one child commit to a Division I sport is major news.

Even Jack and Sandy made their marks in the sports world.

This past April, Jack was selected into the Chicago 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame in 2012.

Sandy was a terrific all-around athlete who was selected to play on the Midwest United States all-star field hockey team at the University of Michigan football stadium.

Jack and Sandy, who started their professional careers in education, met on Aug. 25 of 1969 and were married four months later on Dec. 21.

Jack said their children grew up in a sports environment and with educational toys.

"Sandy and I felt if they were playing sports 12 months out of the year, they'd stay out of trouble," Jack said.

Jodi Olson Blazek, who currently is the varsity assistant to Hersey girls volleyball coach Nancy Lill, was an all-area volleyball setter for Lill.

Jodi went on to set as a freshman for Iowa State's nationally-ranked team before transferring to Bowling Green where she set the next three years, earning all league honors and setting several records.

Jake Olson played three years of varsity baseball, basketball and soccer at Hersey before accepting a scholarship to Eastern Michigan for basketball. After taking a medical redshirt year, he transferred to Trinity where he played in the NAIA finals. He eventually finished his career playing at Carthage College, where he was the team's top scorer and made 73 3-pointers in 1999.

Jake is now a five-time first-team all-American in 16-inch softball and has played on several world championship teams.

Kelly Olson Casero was a four-year starter in soccer (sweeper) and volleyball (setter) at Hersey. She went on to set for a conference championship and NCAA qualifying team at Valparaiso and then transferred to Eastern Illinois where she played on two soccer championship teams as a junior and senior.

Kelly has also run the Chicago Marathon several times and this year she ran the Boston Marathon with her mother. They crossed the finish line minutes before the tragic bombing incident.

Sandy Olson was a pioneer in women' sports, playing field hockey, volleyball, badminton, tennis and basketball. She also officiated girls and women's basketball and was a finalist in the 'Beat The Champion' bowling championship.

Jack's path to the Chicago 16-inch softball Hall of Fame began in August of 1970 when he started the Scrappers, a team that played its first game in the Ed Kelly Fall Classic Tournament held at Clarendon Park.

The Scrappers beat three "A" teams from Clarendon's League and then lost 9-7 to the Dwarfs of Clarendon's "A" League.

Because of this success, they were asked to play in the Clarendon "A" League the following year.

The Scrappers played there for 12 years and finished second or third each time.

Besides playing at Clarendon, the Scrappers usually finished second at Portage Park, always finished first in the Mather "A" League, and always took first in the Mt. Prospect Classic League and in the City tournament.

One year, they were runners-up at the state tournament at Rand Park in Des Plaines. That year, they also beat the Sobies in the Andy Frain Tournament at the Clarendon and Western Metro Tournament. They also defeated the Runts to make the semifinals at Forest Park.

In 1973 the Scrappers won the Northbrook Fall Tourney of Champions.

Jack won the batting title for hitting .765 during the tournament. In 1974 he won the batting title with a .773 average for the Windy City Classic Tournament in Mt. Prospect.

The Scrappers won three games during that tournament before losing to the Bobcats. In 1983, Jack was a USSA Director and hosted a regional tournament in Mt. Prospect.

The Scrappers qualified and played in the USSA Nationals World Tournament. They ranked fourth in the final rankings after the tournament. In 1974 Jack started the Windy City Softball Magazine out of his offices.

Jack played first and third base during his softball career. But his primary value to his teams was his organization and his ability to get on base.

Jack also formed a women's 16-inch team and his wife, Sandy, was a pitcher. The team finished fourth, third, and second in the ASA Women's World Tournament in Harvey. Each year they lost to the Hall of Fame honored team, Rose and Crown.

Jack and Sandy are still playing a sport today.

They play golf three or four times a week for six months in Illinois and six more in Florida, making the sport a year-round activity.

It only makes sense for an all-around sports family.

Pro volleyball

Former Wheeling and University of North Carolina standout Ingrid Hanson-Tuntland, a resident of Prospect Heights, signed another professional volleyball contract this season to return to Sweden.

She began her professional volleyball career with Sweden in 2010. She then went to Denmark in 2011 and Belgium in 2012.

Her inspiration to professional athletes locally and globally is well-known.

During her off-season, Hanson-Tuntland tours local Midwestern volleyball camps, coaching and guiding younger women to higher goals as an athlete.


Augustana sophomore quarterback Sam Frasco (Prospect) was 16-of-21 for 101 yards in the Vikings' season-opening 20-10 win over Mount St. Joseph in the inaugural Austin E. Knowlton Kickoff Classic at Lindberg Stadium.

Frasco led a 10-play, 72-yard march for the game's first score. He also rushed for 27 yards and completed 3-of-3 passes on the drive.

Frasco finished with 63 yards from 18 carries.

• South Dakota sophomore linebacker Colin Buscarini (Rolling Meadows) had 4 solo tackles and 1 assist for the Coyotes, who have started the season at 1-1.

• MIT's Justin Wallace (Fremd) rushed for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns in 32 carries in the Engineer's 28-26 season-opening win at Pomona Pitzer in California.

Women's golf

Augustana freshman Jenny Geraghty (Prospect) shot an 82 for the Vikings' top score at the Monmouth Fighting Scot Invitational at Gibson Woods Golf Course. Geraghty tied for seventh place in a field of 79 competitors, helping the Vikings (339) to a fourth-place finish among 14 teams. Mount Mercy (315) won the tourney.


Patrick Potter has been named the head coach for the fencing team at Maine West.

Potter graduated from Maine West in 2009 and Illinois State in 2013. He is a special education teaching assistant at Maine West.

Similar to lacrosse or hockey, fencing is not an IHSA-sponsored sport due to the lack of teams in the state with a program. There are fewer than 10 fencing programs in the state and they compete in the Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference.

Women's soccer

Augustana freshman Jessa Rizzo (Fremd) has scored 3 goals for 6 points as the Vikings have gotten off to a 3-0-1 start this season.

Men's soccer

In a 1-0 victory at Georgia State, Liberty junior goalkeeper Scott Sutarik made 7 saves, the second-most in his career, to record a shutout in the Flames' season opener.

Sutarik and the Liberty defense were strong early. The host Panthers sent a flurry of shots at the Flames' net over the first 34 minutes of play, only to come away empty. During the stretch, Sutarik made 3 saves, two on corner kicks by Georgia State, keeping the game scoreless.

Sutarik turned away two more shots in the final minutes of the first half, sending the game to intermission at 0-0.

At 80:32, Liberty scored game's lone goal.

Once again, Sutarik came up with another save in the 84th minute. Off a corner kick, the junior corralled a header by Andrew Webber, Sutarik posted his highest save total in a contest since making a career-high 8 stops in a 1-0 victory over Campbell on Oct. 5, 2012 at Liberty's East Campus Fields.

It was Sutarik's 12th career shutout.

Women's tennis

Augustana freshman Lauren Goggin (Buffalo Grove) is 5-0 this year at second singles and her sister Dana (Buffalo Grove) is 3-0 at No. 3 singles.

The twins have also posted a 4-1 record in doubles, alternating at No. 1 and No. 2.

The Vikings are 5-0 in dual meet competition and 3-0 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

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