Shooting star Yohn makes Bradley’s hall of fame

Katie Yohn’s all-around skill, and especially her long-range shooting, stood out on the basketball court.

The Bradley Braves remember. A 2009 graduate of St. Edward High School in Elgin, Yohn will be inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame during halftime of the men’s basketball game Feb. 24.

“I was a little surprised,” she said. “My class is pretty stacked with amazing athletes.”

One of them, Fremd product Mike Tauchman, was inducted Jan. 20 due to being in spring training with the Chicago Cubs on Feb. 24.

Yohn set St. Edward records for scoring and 3-pointers and continued in that vein in college. Selected to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) all-freshman team in 2010, when she finished in 2013 the 5-foot-11 guard ranked eighth all-time among Bradley scorers and first in 3-pointers.

She set the 3s record in 2013, making three, including the game-winner with 1.9 seconds left to beat Missouri State 80-79. She now ranks No. 2 at Bradley in 3s.

Yohn was the first MVC player with 1,300 points, 200 3-pointers, 450 rebounds, 250 assists, 80 blocks and 175 steals, according to Bradley.

Off the court she majored in medical technology. Yohn uses that now as a clinical account manager for iotaMotion, an Iowa City-based medical device company that makes a robot that assists with cochlear implant surgery. Yohn will even consult in the operating room.

Being able to help people regain their hearing “makes me feel like I’m a small part” of that success, she said.

She was a large part of Bradley’s success, helping the Braves reach the 2010 and 2012 Women’s Basketball Invitationals, the equivalent of the men’s National Invitational Tournament. Those were Bradley’s first postseason tournaments.

Yohn played one professional season with the St. Louis Surge, then played five years abroad, mainly in Germany, before retiring in 2021 after 30 years in the sport.

Now living in Chicago, she credited St. Edward girls basketball coach Michelle Dawson and former girls volleyball coach Jaime Dovichi for making her the athlete she was.

“She dedicated herself to improving every practice and spent countless extra hours in the gym working on her ballhandling and shooting,” Dawson said. “Leading by example, Katie pushed and encouraged her teammates to get better.”

A setter on St. Edward’s 2008 Class 2A third-place volleyball team, the three-sport athlete was inducted into school’s hall of fame in 2014. She also earned an Illinois High School Association “Do What’s Right! Sportsperson of the Year award in 2009 and was the Daily Herald Kane County female athlete of the year for 2008-09.

Including parents Janice and Steve, siblings and relatives, friends and former teammates, Yohn will have a cast of about 25 people at Bradley’s induction ceremony.

“I’ve got a very good support system, and it’s probably a reason why I did so well,” she said.

Prospect athletic director Scott McDermott, who started as a speech enthusiast as a Prospect freshman, has been honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Courtesy of Scott McDermott


High school sports, they say, is an extension of the classroom.

High school activities such as speech and debate have an even more direct correlation, and in this sweet spot Scott McDermott thrives.

In his first year as athletic director at Prospect, his alma mater, McDermott is the rare AD whose background weighs more heavily on the “activity” side of IHSA offerings.

“My experience in high school was as an actor, and as I got into teaching I really kind of honed in on the power of helping kids understand how to tell their story and how to put it in writing,” said McDermott, 53.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) on Jan. 23 recognized McDermott’s passion and ability with a 2023-24 Outstanding Performing Arts Educator Award. Three of the 56 honorees came from Illinois.

Specifically, McDermott was an NFHS section winner as an Outstanding Speech and Debate Educator.

“I’m not much of an awards guy for myself, it’s never been my thing,” said McDermott, the father of four children, all high achievers in speech and drama. He credited his wife, Julie, for her support throughout his career.

“When they told me they wanted to nominate me I did say I think there are other people probably better suited. I always feel the spotlight should be on the kids,” he said.

For example, he was set to receive the NFHS award last weekend at the IHSA speech state tournament in Peoria but had to postpone because he was in Champaign to support Knights sophomore Jaxon Penovich’s march to the Class 3A 190-pound wrestling title.

While Penovich was battling to the top of the podium, in Peoria so too were four Prospect champions in state speech: Emily Caravello and Kelly Jordan in dramatic duet acting; and Anna Parisi and Dylan Maye in humorous duet acting.

McDermott is in his second tour at Prospect. Starting in 2009 he was divisional head for special education then associate principal until 2020, when he took the principal position at Wheaton Warrenville South.

He started in education in 1994 at Glenbrook South in special education, as an assistant dean, and as a speech and softball coach.

He’s coached five national speech champions, three Illinois high school championship teams, and more than 25 state speech champions.

Plus, as the NFHS pointed out, McDermott has founded speech camps, won the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association’s John M. Hires Distinguished Service Award in 2020, and in 2023 was nominated for the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame.

Starting in speech as a Prospect freshman in 1985, McDermott’s philosophy remains relevant as ever.

“I think there’s nothing more important that we could be doing with our kids than teaching them how to communicate, sharing their stories; how to have empathy for other people’s stories and have them put their words on paper in ways that allow people to consider opinions that might be contrary to their own, and consider possibilities that they might not have previously considered,” he said.

Scott McDermott Courtesy of Prospect High School


Still basking in the glow of the Feb. 14 Halas Hall news conference officially sanctioning an Illinois High School Association state series for girls flag football, Willowbrook senior flag player Emma Anderlik received further acknowledgment.

On Feb. 19 also at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, she was among three recipients of the first Girls Flag Football Changemaker Awards at the National Football Foundation’s Chicago Metro Chapter awards ceremony.

A first-team receiver and defensive back on the 2023 all-state team assembled by the Chicago Bears, Anderlik was joined by players from Solorio and Lane Tech.

Batavia senior linebacker Ben Brown received a Bears Community Champion Award. He received 11 letters of recommendation for it.

Brown recovered from a serious knee injury as a freshman to make 66 tackles with a team-high 7 sacks this season for the Bulldogs.

No. 1 in his class, he’s a three-sport athlete with a 4.375 grade-point average on Batavia’s 4.00-point scale. He earned a supervisor’s award for a part-time job and has volunteered for toy drives, food pantries and charities. He even rakes neighbors’ leaves.

Coach Matt Rahn and College of DuPage were honored for winning a third straight NJCAA Division III championship. North Central College, NCAA Division III runner-up, also was saluted.

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