Girls & Women in Sports Day summit a huge success

 
 
Updated 2/11/2019 5:55 PM

Prospect's Rebecca Schilz and Elk Grove's Jackie Randall had an idea.

And the District 214 girls athletic directors couldn't be happier they followed through with it.

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On Feb. 2, they propelled the 33rd anniversary of the annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day into the local spotlight with a Sports Summit held at the Forest View Educational Center.

The recognition day brought together District 214 athletes and parents who were treated to an afternoon of honoring the many ways that sports push girls and women to achieve excellence and realize their boundless potential.

"We were able to bring some pretty amazing women together to celebrate women in sport and all of our young females working so hard to become magnificent at their craft," Schilz said. "Jackie and I were very pleased with the afternoon.

"And we feel blessed to work in a district that supports our passion for creating opportunities for young individuals to recognize their potential and feel how impactful their lives are destined to be."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Panel members included Kiley Walsh (Prospect), Diamond Boyd (Elk Grove), Amanda Brown (Northwestern University, Athletic Department, Assistant Director of Career Enhancement and Employer Relations), Laura Joya (Wheeling High School), Natalie Curtis (Hersey High School), Jackie Kemph (Rolling Meadows High School) and Lindsey Hamma (Buffalo Grove High School).

"Our panel of district 214 alumni were so gracious with traveling from all parts of the Midwest," Schilz said. "They were eager to give back to the programs that supplied them with so much during their athletic careers."

Boyd, who starred in basketball and volleyball at Elk Grove, is the varsity girls basketball coach at Libson High School in Libson, Iowa.

"Now I get to be that person to give my players that confidence that my coaches gave to me," she told the audience.

Prospect's Kiley Walsh reflected on her time in high school. She was asked for one piece of advice she would offer a high school athlete.

"You can only control the things you can," she said. "One of those is preparation."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kemph provided an honest reflection of how fresh the culmination of her collegiate career feels for her.

"Jackie is now an accountant, and she reminded me of a conversation I have had many times with my student-athletes," Schilz said. "She said to embrace the time you are in high school and competing.

"I could feel from Jackie's expression that she misses the competition, however, I also felt how competitive of a soul she has and I guarantee that came from sports.

"Schilz and Randall were grateful to Mary Wise (women's volleyball coach at the University of Florida) and Dr. Tanya Prewitt-White (sports psychologist from the University of Illinois-Chicago) for joining the afternoon.

"Mary said the best teammates make the best coaches," Schilz said. "She said to be a giver and infuse life into your teammates."

Wise's message was about embracing the team, competing for the unit and falling into failure.

"She said don't ever underestimate a group of well-connected women because they will run through a wall for you," Schilz said.

Dr. Prewitt-White addressed the power of self belief and how to embrace fear.

"Her message of capitalizing on fear through self-efficacy is so important for our athletes," Schilz said. "She said not only through competition but also while their lives move beyond athletics. The really great athletes talk positively to themselves. Some of us do it innately and some of us have to be trained."

Schilz and Randall were quite pleased by the day.

"It truly was a wonderful experience sharing the afternoon with such a powerful group of women leaders," added. "I know many coaches and parents who felt very moved by our speakers and the message each conveyed."

Softball

Georgia Southern freshman pitcher Jess Mazur (Fremd) was strong in her collegiate debut, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits in 4⅔ innings as the Eagles posted a 6-5 win Saint Francis (PA.).

• Loyola senior pitcher Keenan Dolezal (Barrington) gave up 4 hits in 5 innings with 3 strikeouts to earn the win in a 2-0 shutout over Purdue Fort Wayne at the Rosemont Dome. Ramblers freshman designated hitter Abbey Jacobsen (Barrington) went 2-for-2 with a double.

• Purdue sophomore Rachel Krzysko (Barrington) had a hit, 2 walks and 2 runs in the Boilermakers' 13-9 eight-inning win over Pittsburgh at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, SC.

Baseball

Oakton Community College baseball coach Bill Fratto, whose team has been ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll, was named the 2019 Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago College Coach of the Year.

Fratto was honored at a ceremony held Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Tinley Park Convention Center.

"Receiving respect at the ceremony was quite emotional," said Fratto, a resident of Wheeling. "As a coach, you earn the benefits of the achievements of your players, and we had a storybook season in 2018."

Fratto said he was proud of everyone and the incredible things they achieved to put him in the situation to win this prestigious honor.

"I'm very humbled and grateful for this award," he said in a release from Oakton's Steve Respys. "This achievement also gives national recognition to the college and provides another reason why players should come to Oakton. Fratto was among an esteemed group of baseball honorees, including former Chicago White Sox announcer Ken 'Hawk' Harrelson, Bren Spillane, Pat Murphy, Dan Plesac, Daniel Palka and Natalie Niekro, among others.

The recognition is among several postseason coaching accolades Fratto received after guiding the Owls to a historic 2018 season that culminated with the team's first national championship and a school-record 44 wins in his 13th season.

His previous awards include the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports NJCAA Division III National Coach of the Year, Division III World Series Coach of the Year and Region IV Division III Coach of the Year.

Men's volleyball

Lewis redshirt sophomore TJ Murray (Barrington) had 8 kills in the No. 10-ranked Flyers (9-4) sweep at Quincy (25-18, 25-20, 25-14). Lewis outhit Quincy in the match .338 to .331.

Men's soccer

Cental College (Pella, IA) senior defender Kiel Pederson (Hersey) has been named American River Conference honorable mention. The 5-foor-10 midfielder/forward earned his fourth varsity letter and was named All-Iowa Conference honorable mention for the third straight time. He played 18 games last fall collecting 1 goal, 2 assists, 4 points, 16 shots (8 on goal).

Men's basketball

Colgate junior Rapolas Ivanauskas (Barrington), who averages 15 points and 8.5 rebounds, scored a career-high 33 points with 10 rebounds and 5 assists in an 84-62 win over Lehigh 84-62. Colgate (14-10, 6-5 Patriot League) swept the season series with Lehigh for the first time since 2014-15. Colgate scored a season-high 50 points in the first half, led by Ivanauskas' 18 points.

On the air

Prospect grad and state tennis qualifier Donovan Eckhardt co-stars in the series 'Windy City Rehab' on HGTV. The show's star and designer Alison Victoria buys vintage homes in her native Chicago and then transforms them into buyer-friendly dream properties.

In the pilot episode, Victoria and her lead contractor, Eckhardt, update a dilapidated brick two-flat built in 1903. It's in Victoria's own neighborhood of Bucktown, an eclectic and popular area near Lincoln Park characterized by quaint streets, great outdoor spaces, a thriving night life and lots of restaurants.

Women's track

Augustana senior Ashley Talken (Wheeling) was eighth (10-0) in the pole vault as the Vikings placed fourth at the Keck Select Invitational in Bloomington, Ill.

• Email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com

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