Brittany Bock hopes to become the Adrian Peterson of women's soccer.
On Jan. 29 we ran an item highlighting the 2005 Neuqua Valley graduate's excitement to get past an injury-plagued 2013 campaign with Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League. The Houston Dash's No. 1 pick in the NWSL Expansion Draft, she was primed to rejoin Dash coach Randy Waldrum, who also coached Bock at Notre Dame.
The excitement continued into the Dash's inaugural game April 12, when in the first two minutes against visiting Portland the midfielder received a pass and her left leg "just kind of stuck" in the turf. Citing the Houston Chronicle, Soccer America Daily reported the injury came in the first 23 minutes, but Bock said it happened just 1:28 in, and she played the remainder on a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. She had surgery April 24.
"I tried to stay in as long as I could, but it just kept buckling," Bock said.
"I had a fresh start, I was playing for my college coach and feeling good, feeling strong," she said. "I loved my team so much, I'm one of the leaders and I play a big role on this team. For this to happen, 1:30 in, I think that's why I stayed in, like, wake me up from this dream."
It happened one day after her 27th birthday.
"Happy birthday," she said sarcastically.
Bock actually sounded positive both before and after the surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital. Last Wednesday she said she'd been reading up on Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's return to stardom from knee surgery and was thinking how she could help her team even in her absence.
"I know I'm out for the season, so I know it's just getting myself as healthy and as strong as I can and go from there," she said. "Hopefully, I'll inspire my teammates though I know I won't spend another minute on the field."
Bock was heartened that her mother, Kelly, flew to Houston to support her last week, and now she's looking at a 6-9-month recovery process with full recovery expected. On Wednesday she'd already completed her second therapy session, encouraged by her ability to bend the knee 95 degrees. She looks to start jogging in about three months.
"Just progressing every day," Brittany said.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time, celebrating the small victories as my friends are telling me," she said.
West Chicago basketball star John Konchar committed last Friday to play at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. The 6-foot-4 senior forward set the Wildcats' all-time and single-game scoring records. To the Fort Wayne Mastodons he brings senior-year averages of 29 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2.5 blocked shots.
Glenbard West's girls lacrosse team had the honor of playing in the first high school lacrosse match at Wrigley Field on Sunday, beating Maine South 9-2. Midfielders Bridget Caffrey and Jamie Bishop each scored 3 goals in support of catcher, er, goalie Fiona Campo, who made 14 saves.
In honor of Ernie Banks, they played two at Wrigley that day. New Trier beat Lyons Twp. 14-8 in the nightcap.
The first lacrosse game ever played at the 100-year-old ballpark came just the night before, the Northwestern women beating USC 12-7 in front of 5,145 people.
Up and down
The compelling part of the April 23 email from North Central College was not the Cardinals placing seventh in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin men's golf championship the prior weekend, but their top finisher.
It was Thomas Stacey, or as we remember him from his days as an all-state Glenbard North pole vaulter, Tommy. The senior initially started with the North Central track program and is in his first year in the golf program.
Another Cardinals golfer down in Springfield? Mack Tracey, the former Wheaton Warrenville South football player and track sprinter. Interestingly, Tracey began his collegiate athletic journey as a receiver in the Northern Illinois football program; he's only used two years of eligibility though he graduated high school in 2010.
Speaking of Tiger collegiates, Wheaton Warrenville South boys volleyball coach Bill Schreier pointed out that the school is guaranteed to be represented in the NCAA Division I men's national championship match Saturday at Loyola.
In Thursday's semifinals, middle hitter Matt Callaway and Penn State take on outside hitter and Loyola and former teammate Thomas Jaeschke. The winner plays either Brigham Young or Stanford.
In fact four local players have gotten into at least 32 sets for Penn State: Callaway, Joey Farrell (Glenbard East), Spencer Sauter (Naperville North) and Zack Parik (Downers Grove North).
Cool steel on ice
Admit it -- the Winter Olympics only whet your appetite for ice skating.
This thirst can be quenched Saturday in a pair of performances in Woodridge, the Seven Bridges Ice Arena's annual Spring Ice Show.
The noon and 5 p.m. skates will feature athletes ranging from kids in the Seven Bridges Basic Skills Program through adults who compete nationally.
The real reason we bring this up is several area high schoolers are participating. Neuqua Valley's Lauren Townsend, Waubonsie Valley's Lauren Karlin and Brianne Safer, Downers Grove North's Nick Vrdoljak and Kelli Marcin, and Naperville Central's Katarina Pearson and Noelle Kirkman all are competitive figure skaters.
There is an admission charge; call (630) 271-4400 for information.
Skaters will perform routines to musical selections from Tool, Skinny Puppy and Sleater-Kinney. Just kidding -- we're guessing Pharrell Williams and Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite."
She stuck the landing
Another nod to individual competition, St. Francis sophomore Shea Mahoney will compete May 7-11 at the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics National Championships in Jackson, Miss. She earned the bid by finishing first in both floor and all-around at regionals April 11-12 in Michigan.
Since she is a member of the Junior Olympic National Team and the Summer Games are in just two short years, we wondered if Mahoney harbored that goal. Evidently not. From Shea's mother, Shannon, St. Francis administrative assistant Megan Jamen relayed the information that last summer Shea decided not to pursue an attempt at the United States team.
Instead, she has decided to accept a full scholarship to Alabama, one of many offers she gained after competing last year at the Junior Nationals.
In other St. Francis news, Spartans wrestler and track athlete Nathan Gartlan received a Sixth Congressional District Excellence Award by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in an April 24 presentation in West Chicago.
Gartlan joined Benet's Kyle Hand, Downers Grove North's Yessenia Barrera, Downers Grove South's Andrew Molina, Glenbard North's Sienna Crosby, Glenbard West's Sarah Park, Wheaton Academy's Katie Mann and Wheaton North's Leah Schwartz in picking up this honor saluting academics, extracurriculars, community service and school citizenship.
These days it seems excelling in high school basketball requires a year-round commitment. So too for the people who assemble the top basketball shootouts.
Bob Rylko of The Integrity Group recently announced the pairings for the 18th annual "High School Hoops Showdown," the prep boys doubleheader that returns to Hinsdale Central on Jan. 24, 2015.
Three of the four teams lined up won 23 games last season. The first game pits St. Viator (23-6) against Lyons Twp. (17-11). The nightcap brings in a pair of 23-7 teams -- coach Gene Pingatore's St. Joseph Chargers against Nick Latorre's Hinsdale Central Red Devils, headed by 6-foot-8 Matt Rafferty.
Circle your calendar.
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