Catching up with some successful DuPage County collegians
Before the Winter Solstice arrives here let's see what a few DuPage County graduates have been up to in college ...
On Saturday the Division II national football championship will be held in McKinney, Texas. It's between West Florida and Minnesota State-Mankato. The 14-0 Mankato Mavericks boast senior Jack Curtis (Glenbard South), a three-year starter and all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference cornerback who leads his team with 10 passes defended and 8 breakups.
Carnegie Mellon senior defensive end Michael Lohmeier (Hinsdale Central) was among 12 finalists for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy honoring football skill, academics and leadership, won by Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. A two-time first-team selection to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Division III Football Team, Lohmeier led the Presidents' Athletic Conference with a school-record 22.5 tackles for loss and finished his career fourth in program history with 20 sacks, 9 this season.
Starting with a 4.0 grade-point average in business administration, Lohmeier's off-field stats are incredible. He's done stints as an investment banking analyst and an equity research analyst in New York City and in market research in Chicago. He's volunteered for Special Olympics in Pennsylvania and spearheaded a football team fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He's a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and, naturally, Lohmeier is president of Carnegie Mellon's Investment Banking Academy.
The Wisconsin women's volleyball team faced Baylor on Thursday in the NCAA Division I semifinals. The Badgers suited up second-team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American junior Molly Haggerty (St. Francis), Tiffany Clark and Lauren Barnes (Benet) and Riley Bell (Neuqua Valley). Haggerty has 386 kills on the season; Clark's 419 digs leads Wisconsin.
Wisconsin won both the first and last women's National Invitational Volleyball Championships. The tournament, featuring the top teams not in the NCAA Division I bracket, returned for the first time in 24 years. On Sunday Georgia Tech won the NIVC in three sets over South Dakota. Yellow Jackets sophomore outside hitter Mikaila Dowd (Metea Valley), a second-team all-ACC pick, recorded 9 kills and 4 digs.
Junior forward-midfielder Derek Dodson (Waubonsie Valley) scored Georgetown's third goal in the Hoyas' first Division I men's soccer championship victory, a 3-3 contest with Virginia on Sunday settled on corner kicks, 7-6. The 2017 Big East freshman of the year and a team co-captain, Dodson earned all-tournament honors. Twice named first team all-Big East, he led Georgetown with 30 points on 11 goals and 8 assists.
Let's conclude with a couple unique entries.
Winning a championship creates lifetime memories regardless of level. That will be the case for Charlie Kerby (Wheaton Warrenville South). A central defender for Purdue, he was an all-tournament selection after helping the Boilermakers to a 2-0 win over UCLA to capture the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association men's open championship. Ohio State, which has sophomore Rose Mugnani (Glenbard West) as a goalkeeper, won the overall women's championship.
Speaking of Glenbard West, it'll be a busy holiday season for the Pierce family. Justin Pierce, who played basketball three seasons at William and Mary, graduated early then transferred to North Carolina for his last season of eligibility (he's averaging 5.6 points, 4.8 rebounds), heads to the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas on Saturday. Younger brother Alec Pierce, a sophomore receiver at Cincinnati with 34 receptions for 612 yards and 2 touchdowns, faces Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl Jan. 2 in Alabama.
They'll both come home to watch Hilltoppers sophomore Cade Pierce play at the Glenbard West Holiday Classic. Then, all Pierces not playing college sports will travel first to Justin's Dec. 30 game against Yale in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, before heading to Birmingham to watch Alec.