Downers Grove North to light up gym in Dunlap's memory

  • Downers Grove North will dedicate Tuesday's girls volleyball match against York to the memory of Beth Dunlap.

    Downers Grove North will dedicate Tuesday's girls volleyball match against York to the memory of Beth Dunlap. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

Updated 10/10/2019 11:20 AM

Beth Dunlap remains in the hearts and minds of the entire Downers Grove North community.

The Trojans' home girls volleyball game next Tuesday against York has been dedicated as a "BethStrong" match to celebrate her life and to raise funds for the Beth Dunlap 18 Fund.


A rising junior volleyball player, as she crossed the street to go to school on Feb. 19, 2019, Dunlap was struck by a driver under the influence.

Sustaining unrecoverable injuries, she passed away on Feb. 22.

A pre-match ceremony in her honor will take place before warmups for the varsity match Tuesday, at around 5 p.m.

Those who donate to the Beth Dunlap 18 Fund, which serves underprivileged youth volleyball players, will receive a purple, LED bracelet.

At the appropriate moment "we will light up the gym as a symbol of Beth's light that continues to shine," according to Trojans assistant coach Meghan Nauss.

A bake sale and sales of "BethStrong" T-shirts will also benefit the fund.

We predict a sellout.

Not so fast

"Wedge" is a perfect nickname for a golfer. It suggests a great approach game.

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But the case of Willowbrook junior golfer John "Wedge" Donovan has a twist.

Donovan, who got wedged out of a sectional slot in a playoff against Downers Grove South's Michael Wronkiewicz on Monday, is John Franklin Donovan III.

His two forebears were John Wayne fans, so they gave young John his nickname based on Wayne's character from the film, "The Fighting Seabees" -- Wedge Donovan.

That was that. Except for this ...

"I'm going to start calling you, 'The Duke,'" Warriors coach Gary Walker told Donovan in a text message.

"Sounds good," Wedge said.

Napervilles unite

The results of the District 203 Mikey Gustafson/Connor Hunt Match Play Cup, Sept. 19 at White Eagle, are in.

As we wrote when previewing the match, the fact that Naperville North topped Naperville Central was secondary to the overall cause.


The real meaning was the $9,752 the two programs donated to the Swifty Foundation and the Connor Hunt Memorial Foundation.

Since its inception the Match Play Cup has donated about $30,000 to combat pediatric cancer.

Fifty years in a day

Soccer requires great stamina. Experiencing Saturday's complete 50th anniversary celebration of Wheaton Warrenville South boys soccer requires even greater stamina.

"I'm really excited about having the opportunity to put this together," said Guy Callipari, in his 29th season coaching Tigers boys soccer and nearly as long with the girls.

"It's nothing short of a small wedding, so we're hoping for a pretty good time," he said.

The itinerary begins with the 12:30 p.m. varsity reserve game against Hoffman Estates, the school the Tigers beat for their 600th win as a program. The 2 p.m. varsity contest also includes teacher appreciations, senior recognitions and Tigers "Youth Day."

After the game and a Grange Field photo of assembled soccer alumni it's on to a meet-and-greet in the school commons. Then the gathering moves to the auditorium for a 5:15-6:30 p.m. presentation on Tiger soccer history.

That'll include a short film followed by speakers including but not limited to WW South principal Dave Claypool, coaches Gary Luckey and Frank Bucciferro and former stars Charlie Fajkus, Randall Babb and Christine Tomek -- whom Callipari noted is the sole female inducted into the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Afterward it's on to the cafeteria for dinner and more history before a final three hours of socializing at Arrowhead Golf Club.

With soccer alumni in from California, Florida, Kansas and Texas, the event promises to be a lively historical retrospective.

"The foundation is our tradition, and what we hope to do each and every year is not only give credit but make certain that we maintain that same integrity in donning the Tiger jersey that those in our past did," Callipari said.

Twitter: @doberhelman1

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