Sports shorts: New Trier sends both its girls and boys water polo teams to state quarterfinals
The Illinois High School Football Coaches Association on Monday released its all-state teams for the spring 2021 football season. Glenbrook North three-year starting offensive lineman Jackson Carsello earned the honor in Class 7A.
A two-year starting left tackle for Spartans coach and former University of Iowa lineman Matt Purdy, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound senior will continue his football career at Northwestern University.
Carsello's father, Tim, also played college football, a lineman at Western Michigan.
In spot duty on the defensive line, Carsello recorded 3 solo tackles and 6 assists, with a sack and 2 other tackles for total negative yardage of minus-24 yards, second on Glenbrook North to starting safety Owen Cassell's minus-25.
Loyola senior defensive lineman Brandon Svets and Maine South junior running back Mike Sajenko each were named to the IHSFCA Class 8A All-State Team.
Augustana College reported earlier this month that Maine South track and field athlete Heather Michalski would continue her athlete career with the Vikings. She also anticipates studying biology and studio art.
Michalski set Maine South's indoor program record in shot put at 39 feet, 8 inches at the 2020 Hawk Invite.
Outdoors, the all-Central Suburban League thrower ranks second all-time among Hawks girls in shot put at 37-1¼, according to Athletic.net. She is third in discus with a throw of 108-2 on May 7 at Jacobs High School in Algonquin.
Trevian twin terrors
New Trier's boys and girls water polo teams, with a combined record of 47-10, both advanced to the Illinois High School Association state quarterfinals.
Ranked fourth by illpolo.com, coach Matt Wendt's girls squad (24-4) faced No. 6 York in the second of four matches Wednesday at Fenwick. The No. 9 Trevians boys (23-6) play No. 3 Neuqua Valley at 5:30 p.m. Thursday also at Fenwick.
This type of success is common in Winnetka. New Trier's boys team has won eight sectionals with a second-place finish in 2017 and a third-place trophy the year before. The girls have won sectionals six of the last seven years, eight overall, with three fourth-place finishes and the state runner-up in 2015.
"I wish I knew the secrets to our success," said Trevians boys coach David Rafferty-Flatter. "It would make duplicating it every year a heck of a lot easier."
Both these programs seem to have done that already. It's not really a secret -- namely training, in the pool and the weight room, and team unity.
Wendt said that, in addition to top-flight tournaments and training programs, "dedication to the sport overall has been the change for our team from when I started 12 years ago in 2010."
The girls team's senior twins, goalie Fiona Conner-Crew and Carmen Connor-Crew, came up big Saturday in the 9-8 overtime win over No. 5 Evanston at the Trevians' own sectional. Fiona kept her team standing with key fourth-quarter saves and finished with 14 for the match; Carmen scored 3 goals.
Entering Wednesday, senior captain Bridget McKenna had scored a team-high 56 goals with 24 assists, and scored the overtime winner against Evanston. Co-captain Emily McKenzie scored twice in the sectional final and has 42 goals and 24 assists.
Another senior captain, forward Kit Bennett, is one of those players championship teams need. She "does whatever the team needs, whether offense or defense, and she has also been a great teammate out of the pool," Wendt said.
For the Trevians boys team, Wendt's sophomore son, Noah, has a whopping 75 goals plus 29 assists. It's a high-scoring lot who include seniors Tom Schermerhorn (33 goals, 16 assists), Jack Kohr (31 goals, 24 assists) and Carter Walsh (31 goals, 15 assists); junior Red Ricciardi (47 goals, 36 assists); and sophomore Thomas Dean (39, goals, 13 assists).
Behind it all is junior goalie Eli Sternweiler, who allows 6 goals a game.
Should the Central Suburban League South champions beat Neuqua Valley they'll face the top team in the state in a 7 p.m. Friday semifinal at Oak Park. Stevenson is 27-0 and beat New Trier twice. The championship game is 7:45 p.m. Saturday, following the girls championship at 6 p.m. Saturday.
And by the way, it sounds like Rafferty-Flatter has identified the secret to New Trier's success after all.
"Our success is a direct result of their commitment to each other and the sport of water polo," he said. "This is a fun group of guys that eat, drink and sleep water polo probably more than the coaches do."
A record 300 high school seniors nationwide have been awarded the Evans Scholarship this year, including 114 from the metropolitan Chicago area.
Supported by the Glenview-based Western Golf Association since it originated in 1930, Evans Scholars is the nation's largest program for caddies. Based on strong caddie record, academics, character and demonstrated financial need, the Class of 2021 scholars will attend Evans houses this fall at 19 partnering universities.
This year's group includes female caddies Reagan Butler of Loyola Academy (University of Illinois) and Maria von Aulock of Maine West (Miami of Ohio). The program has made more concerted effort toward diversity in recent years.
In the 2020-21 school year, a record 1,045 students were enrolled as Evans Scholars. More than 11,300 caddies have graduate through the program since it was founded by amateur golfer "Chick" Evans.
Glenbrook South boys track coach Kurt Hasenstein after his team won their home John Davis Titan Invite:
"What we talked about was the effort they've put in over the last year. When we started in the fall and we knew we could get conditioning days, these were the kids that were showing up. They were doing it, they didn't miss anything, and they were invested.
"And the last three weekends we were able to win invites. We knew we had talented kids and they've put the work in, and the coaches have put the work in. It's fun to come out and celebrate tonight with people that put the time in. Very satisfying."