We're not only bringing back Sidelines, we're expanding it
It's like deja vu all over again.
And thanks to Daily Herald sports editor Orrin Schwarz, the Sidelines column is restored.
Sidelines, which ran in the DuPage edition and for several years in Tri-Cities until the pandemic changed things, highlights on- and off-field exploits of high school athletics plus some local college fare and graduate updates.
It'll now involve the full Daily Herald coverage area -- not necessarily on a weekly basis but overall. Readers with topic ideas may reach the writer at the email address at the bottom.
Tribute to a mentor
Before Lake Park's DuKane Conference varsity football game against St. Charles North in Roselle, a ceremony starting around 6:30 p.m. Friday will dedicate Lake Park's West Campus football stadium to retired Lancers coach and teacher Bob Monken.
"It's wonderful that they think enough of me to do this," said Monken, 86.
After his wife and "best friend," JoEllen, died in May, he moved from his longtime Wheaton home to Belmont Village Senior Living in Carol Stream.
The guest of honor at the Lake Park High School Bob Monken Field dedication will be joined by two of his sons -- Tony, taking a night off from defensive coordinator duties at Vernon Hills; and Ted, Glenbard South's defensive coordinator, who'll scamper to Glenbard East for the Raiders game.
A third son, Todd, is the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator.
"It's a really happy moment for dad," said Ted Monken, a former head coach at St. Charles East, Metea Valley and West Chicago.
"We're extremely excited for him to get this recognition for all the years he put into Lake Park, and we're very proud to be his sons."
Twelve Monkens have coached high school, college or professional football.
Bob Monken's nephew, Jeff, is head coach at Army. Bob and his brothers -- Glenn, Mike, Bill and the late Jim Monken -- all are in the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Along with school and District 108 administrators and Lancers football personnel past and present, a who's who of retired coaches-slash-golf-buddies are on the pass list Friday including: Joe Bunge (Naperville Central), Jim Covert (Glenbard West), Jack McInerney (Downers Grove South), Joe Petricca (Palatine), and Ken Schreiner (Hinsdale Central).
Lake Park's career football victories leader, Bob Monken went 151-112 with the Lancers from 1964-93, winning conference championships in three decades. Monken also was Lake Park's first department chair of physical education and briefly served as athletic director.
"I find it a great privilege that I was able to work with Bob Monken as an assistant coach," said retired chemistry teacher Dean Bladel, Lake Park football historian.
"He took a chance on me in 1975 and unbeknownst to him or me that resulted in a 40-year association with Lake Park football."
Bladel credited another of Monken's assistants, former Lake Park Principal Dr. Marty Quinn, for guiding the stadium dedication through fruition. Athletic director Peter Schauer and District 108 Superintendent Mike Wojtowicz also helped push it across the goal line.
"Bob was a mentor to a lot of people, a lot of his coaches, his players. I learned a great deal from him, not just football but in life, and leadership. He was a standup guy, a great guy. Still is," Quinn said.
And Monken still follows Lancers football.
"You bet," he said.
It's No. 1
Girls volleyball doesn't get much better than the Autumnfest tournament this weekend at Glenbard East and St. Charles East.
Phil Brozynski, editor and co-founder of Illinois Prep Volleyball.com, believes that.
Autumnfest includes his current No. 1 team, Mother McAuley, plus Daily Herald No. 1 Benet, No. 2 Glenbard West, No. 4 Huntley, defending Autumnfest champion No. 5 Barrington, and Brozynski's No. 5 team, Oak Park-River Forest.
The 24-team tourney also includes Daily Herald No. 11 Geneva, No. 18 Downers Grove North, No. 20 Wheaton-Warrenville South, Crystal Lake South, Glenbard South, Naperville Central, Prairie Ridge, Schaumburg, St. Charles East, Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, and the host Glenbard East Rams.
Pool play starts at 5 p.m. Friday. Six of the eight pools play at Glenbard East (parking may be a challenge due to Glenbard South-Glenbard East football) with St. Charles East hosting the other two.
Pools at St. Charles East are the Saints, Crystal Lake South, Oak Park, and Geneva, West Aurora, WW South.
Saturday brings three brackets of play to Glenbard East starting at 8 a.m. with the championship match scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
"I would say that even with the absence of (No. 2) Marist, it still is the best tournament in the state, at least at the top," Brozynski said.
On Aug. 11, Glenbrook North's girls golf team won the Prep Tour at Hickory Point in Decatur, site of the Class 2A state finals.
Spartans coach Mike Schroeder didn't make too much of it. Defending champion Hinsdale Central, runner-up Stevenson and fourth-place Barrington had players missing, he said.
Yet the Prep Tour was like a preview. Third in 2A in 2022, Glenbrook North came from 6 strokes down to capture its first girls golf title with a two-day score of 603 to Hinsdale Central's 605. Stevenson placed third, Barrington fourth.
Benet -- led by individual runner-up Jenna Shilts -- Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley placed 6th through 8th.
It was Glenbrook North's 13th overall state championship, the second for Spartans girls after a 1978 swim title.
"They wanted to win really badly last year and they felt confident they were going to win this year, that's the bottom line," Schroeder said.
After all-stater Laura Hu's first-round 73 helped put the Spartans in position for Day 2, the big move came with eight holes left -- a Martha Kuwahara eagle and birdies by Kacie Moon and Alexis Myers on No. 11. On No. 14 consecutive birdies by Alison Chung, Kuwahara and Myers sent Glenbrook North past Hinsdale Central into the lead.
"After that, all the girls just closed it out," Schroeder said. "Everybody played amazing golf in the most pressure-filled situations."
Five of six Glenbrook North golfers finished among the tournament's top 29 players. All six, including freshman Lindsey Huang, return next year to give Glenbrook North the inside track to repeat.
"We're definitely going to try," Schroeder said.