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April 7, 2010

Naperville, Illinois welcomes home Olympic silver medalist Molly Schaus

Naperville, Illinois welcomes home Olympic silver medalist Molly Schaus

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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US goaltender Molly Schaus in a game against the Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Stars on January 3, 2010.
Image: Sara Melikian.

US Olympic ice hockey silver medalist Molly Schaus returned to her hometown of , Illinois last weekend. Her travels culminated in a visit on Monday to Spring Brook Elementary School, where as a fourth-grader she set the goal of some day being an Olympian. Schaus’s dream was fulfilled this year during the , when she played for the US women’s ice hockey team and won a silver medal. 

As she addressed and answered questions from students and teachers at the grade school, Schaus explained the large amount of work she had to invest to achieve her goals. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that “she has been practicing for three to four hours a day nearly every day for the past year.” She told the students to “make a dream and follow it because you never know what can happen and just have fun with it.”

The nostalgic visit to her elementary school followed a weekend of other appearances in Naperville, including a celebration last Saturday at Rosebud’s Italian Specialties and Pizzeria. Saturday had been declared Molly Schaus Day by Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel, who also gave Schaus a key to the city. 

Schaus has not been the only Olympic alumnus to return to the school; figure skater and gold medalist Evan Lysacek returned to his Naperville hometown and spoke to the students at Spring Brook on March 26. “It’s amazing we had two Olympians come to our school. It’s like 1 million to one that they both get medals,” remarked fourth-grader Alexandra Van Cleave.

Schaus lived in Naperville until moving to Massachusetts during her sophomore year in high school, having attended Gregory Middle School for junior high and Benet Academy during her freshman year of high school. After speaking at Spring Brook on Monday, she visited Gregory later that day and then went home to Massachusetts. She is expected to visit the White House with the rest of her team later this year. She will also start preparing for her final season at Boston College.



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March 15, 2010

Glenbard East defeated by Benet Academy in Illinois basketball sectional

Glenbard East defeated by Benet Academy in Illinois basketball sectional

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Benet Academy Redwings 68 54 Glenbard East Rams
Illinois
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Benet Academy Redwings logo
Image: Benet Academy.

Top-seeded Glenbard East High School was expected to win the Class 4A Neuqua Valley High School Sectional championship on Friday night. Yet with a lot of determination and a strong defense, the Benet Academy varsity boys basketball team defeated the Rams 68–54. 

The game marks Benet’s sixteenth straight victory this season, giving the Redwings a 26–3 overall record. It is also their first sectional championship since the 1982–1983 season, which was the last time Benet advanced to the Class AA state tournament; there they lost to Thornton Township High School in the quarterfinals.

The Redwings’ aggressive man-to-man defense certainly kept the Rams out of their comfort zone amidst the crowds in the sold-out Neuqua gym. As Benet forward Mike Runger said, “We made them play to their weaknesses instead of letting them get comfortable doing what they want to do.”

Benet scored 71 percent of its shots in the first half, while Glenbard East scored only 27. While the Rams led twice in the first few minutes (3–0 and 7–5), the Redwings led 12–7 after the first quarter. A three-point shot made by Dave Sobolewski two seconds before the buzzer gave Benet a 27–16 lead at the end of the first half. 

Glenbard East desperately attempted a comeback in the second half, but Benet maintained a lead ranging from 10 to 18 points. Rams guard made four three-pointers in the fourth quarter, but to no avail. As Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said, “…we knew they were going to come at us and give us a ton of pressure. We were a long, long way from being comfortable at halftime.”

Benet will play Simeon Career Academy from Chicago in the supersectionals at Hinsdale Central High School on Tuesday night. 



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February 12, 2010

Wheaton Academy, Illinois boys basketball team plays Benet Academy, suffers first in-state loss

Wheaton Academy, Illinois boys basketball team plays Benet Academy, suffers first in-state loss

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Benet Academy Redwings 64 55 Wheaton Academy Warriors
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Logo of the Benet Academy Redwings
Image: Benet Academy.

The Benet Academy varsity boys basketball team defeated the Wheaton Academy Warriors 64–55 in a non-conference game Tuesday night, handing the host West Chicago, Illinois, United States school its first loss to a team from Illinois and second loss overall this season.

The gym was filled to standing-room-only capacity and Warriors fans donned white t-shirts specifically made for this event, saying “BEAT BENET” and claiming “There is only one Academy.” Sixteen Wheaton Academy fans wore their school uniforms during the game. Such a show of support ultimately did not lead the Warriors to victory, however, even with 6-foot, 9-inch The College of William & Mary-recruit Tim Rusthoven on their side.

Rusthoven was the focus of Benet’s defensive strategy. As the Redwings point guard Dave Sobolewski said, “We knew that we wouldn’t be able to take him out of the game with just a single guy. We had to take him out with our entire team, and we did a great job doing that.”

Wheaton Academy had a 19–15 lead at the end of the first quarter. Benet would never trail again for the rest of the game, however, with Sobolewski scoring ten points in the second quarter to give the Redwings a 37–32 lead at halftime. Benet eventually led by a huge margin of 56–41 with four minutes and 31 seconds left in the game. The Warriors managed to narrow that lead to 58–53 with 44.2 seconds left, but the Redwings successfully made eight of 12 free throws in the final one minute and five seconds.

Wheaton Academy coach Paul Ferguson commented, “They were very physical. They killed us on offensive rebounds…Benet played a real good game, they shot ball well and rebounded well.” Rusthoven had 21 points and seven rebounds, while Sobolewski also had 21 points but only five rebounds.

The Warriors, now with a record of 20–2, had won seven straight games before this one. “We knew it was a big game from their standpoint. They were 20–1 and hadn’t won by less than 12 points. We came in and took care of business,” said Sobolewski. Benet, with a record of 18–3, now has an eight-game winning streak as well.

The Redwings, still undefeated in conference, are now in contention for their first East Suburban Catholic Conference championship since the 1994–1995 season. Eddie Burns of the Naperville Sun attributes Benet’s success to its defensive strategy, which he says is “making life miserable for the opposition”. As of February 5, the Redwings had let their opponents score an average of 41 points. As forward Mike Runger said, “I think everyone on this team really values defense. Players on this team know that defense is what can get wins.”


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January 18, 2010

Historic gym the site of Benet Academy, Illinois victory over Oswego

Historic gym the site of Benet Academy, Illinois victory over Oswego

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Benet Academy Redwings 40 34 Oswego Panthers
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Benet Academy Redwings

The Benet Academy Redwings boys basketball team defeated the Oswego High School Panthers 40–34 Saturday night at Benet’s historic Alumni Gym. 

Located at Lisle, Illinois, United States, the gymnasium is home to Benet’s winning streak of 102 consecutive home games. The statewide record lasted from November 26, 1975 until January 24, 1987, when Naperville North High School defeated the Redwings 47–46. Benet also achieved 96 consecutive victories in the Western Suburban Catholic Conference at that time. 

The school continued to use the facility, colloquially referred to as the “Old Gym” or the “Small Gym”, until the end of the 1994 season, when a newer athletic center was built on campus. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s when then-coach Marty Gaughan decided to play one game per year in the Alumni Gym to remind the school of its history. “There is just an electricity, and you feel it when you are in there,” said Gaughan, who coached the team from the 1989–1990 season to the 2007–2008 season. 

This tradition continued until the 2006–2007 season, when the Redwings played against long-time rival St. Francis High School. Renovations prevented the gym from being used for athletic events over the past two seasons. This game was Benet coach Gene Heidkamp’s first opportunity to coach in the older gym. “So much history and winning has taken place there, which makes it so special. It is something the entire school community is excited about,” said Heidkamp. 

Saturday’s game was played at the Alumni Gym at the request of Oswego assistant coach Jim Bagley. He wanted his son, senior forward Chris Bagley, to experience the same atmosphere he had as he played for Benet in the 1978–1979 season. Greg Kwiatkowski was also Jim Bagley’s teammate in Benet, and his son, Joe Kwiatkowski, was in the Panthers’ starting lineup as well. “Two of us who played at Benet together and now our son’s play on [Oswego] together and for them to have a chance to play where we played is going to be a great night and great experience,” said the senior Bagley. 

Alumni Gym apparently still had its charm in the second half for the Redwings, whose 15–17 score at halftime worsened into an 11-point deficit in the third quarter. Benet fell behind with a score of 21–29 at the start of the fourth quarter. From that point, the Redwings’ defense began to kick in. Oswego could make only 2 of its 13 field goals in the third quarter. Benet’s offense also gained momentum as center Frank Kaminsky scored all of his 9 points in the fourth quarter. A shot by senior Mike Runger brought the score to 31–31, and two consecutive driving layups by David Sobolewski gave Benet the lead that would last for the rest of the game. 

“We hit a dry spell there, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Defense wins games and they are the best defensive team we’ve faced all year,” said Oswego coach Kevin Schnable.

Benet’s Matt Parisi led his team with 15 points, and Sobolewski scored 12. Oswego’s Andrew Ziemnik also scored 12. 



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January 11, 2010

Illinois high school boys basketball: Benet beats Carmel after losing previous close games

Filed under: Benet Academy,Illinois — admin @ 5:00 am

Illinois high school boys basketball: Benet beats Carmel after losing previous close games

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Benet Academy Redwings 51 33 Carmel Catholic Corsairs
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The defeated the Carmel Catholic Corsairs 51–33 last Friday. The victory brings Benet’s league record to an unbeaten 4–0 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.

The Redwings headed into the game hosted at Mundelein, Illinois, United States, with a record of 10–3, having lost three of its last five games. Benet’s last two defeats came within two points each against Lockport Township High School and Whitefish Bay High School in Wisconsin.

The Corsairs, with a record of 7–9 after the game, lagged behind with a score of 4–20 after the first eight minutes. Benet’s Dan Sobolewski scored a game-high 11 points, and his teammate Dylan Flood scored nine, seven of which he scored in the first quarter. Frank Kaminsky scored ten.

On the other side, Carmel’s Jon Huisel, who also scored ten points, went up against Kaminsky and “held him in check.” Teammate Patrick Cox scored eight points and had five rebounds and three blocked shots.

“But they are a good team,” Carmel coach John Ryan said of Benet. “They haven’t lost in conference, and I think they beat a good St. Patrick team by 14 points (41–27).”


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December 24, 2009

Illinois high school girls basketball: Geneva wins Benet-Naperville North tournament

Illinois high school girls basketball: Geneva wins Benet-Naperville North tournament

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Illinois
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Illinois High School Association

The Geneva High School girls basketball team defeated Glenbard West High School 68–41 last Tuesday, winning the championship title in the tournament hosted by Benet Academy and Naperville North High School. It was the Geneva Vikings’ 41st consecutive regular season victory since the 2007–2008 season, bringing their undefeated record up to 14–0.

After the first half of the game, in which both teams had trouble with the other’s zone defense and had little offensive flow, the Glenbard West Hilltoppers brought their score to within 22–28 in the third quarter, forcing the Vikings to call a timeout. After eight straight possessions in which they scored at least two points each, the Vikings had a 19–7 run that brought their score up to 47–29 before the end of the third quarter.

“We seem to be more of a second half team — that’s when we come out and put pressure on people,” said Viking Kat Yelle. Senior center Lauren Wicinski scored 17 out of her 21 points in the second half after spending a lot of time on the bench in the first half due to foul trouble. The second half also saw an emphasis on unselfish passing; of the Vikings’ 17 field goals in the second half, ten came on assists.

Geneva will play it’s next game against arch-rival and host Batavia High School on January 2 at 6 pm.


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December 19, 2009

Students raise record amounts of money during Christmas fundraiser at Benet Academy, Illinois

Students raise record amounts of money during Christmas fundraiser at Benet Academy, Illinois

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

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Benet Academy

Students at Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois, United States raised record amounts of money this year during their Christmas Drive fundraiser.

The annual two-week event is aimed at promoting the Christmas spirit in helping the poor and needy. Coordination of the fundraiser is a joint effort by the faculty and three students organizations—Student Government, National Honor Society (NHS), and Outreach. Donations from previous years have allowed Outreach to provide food and Christmas gifts to dozens of families during the holiday season. NHS in the past has provided blankets, winter gear, and toys to local families as well.

A semi-formal dance held on Dec. 5 kicked off the Christmas Drive this year. Two weeks of in-school fundraising efforts ensued, including several no-uniform days and Benet’s traditional Penny Wars. In that four-day activity, the four grade levels competed against each other to see who can collect the most pennies. Nickels, dimes, and quarters were allowed but had negative value in the class total. The seniors won this contest, allowing them to have a no-uniform day on Dec. 11. Other activities such as bake sales and a beard-growing contest raised money as well.

During an all-school assembly on Friday, the last day of the drive, Student Government President Kyle Marinko announced that preliminary calculations put the amount of donations at US$53,392.82, a record for the school. Last year’s drive collected approximately US$42,000. A final total has not been officially announced, since Student Government officials continue to count additional donations that have been received.


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December 12, 2009

Benet Academy, Illinois boys basketball team defeats Naperville North after scoring crucial three-pointer

Benet Academy, Illinois boys basketball team defeats Naperville North after scoring crucial three-pointer

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Illinois
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Illinois High School Association

The Benet Academy Redwings’ varsity boys basketball team defeated Naperville North High School Tuesday night after scoring a tie-breaking three-point goal at the buzzer.

Both teams from DuPage County, Illinois, United States, entered the game held at Naperville North undefeated, having won tournament titles during the Thanksgiving holiday and conference openers. Benet defeated St. Patrick High School 41–27 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference opener last week. The Redwings and the Huskies faced each other last year as well in the postseason regional opening round game, with the former defeating the latter.

The two teams played evenly in the first quarter, but Naperville North’s reserves achieved an 11–0 run starting at the end of the first quarter. Benet did not score any goals in the second quarter, leaving it with a 15–27 loss at halftime. The Redwings, however, began to recover in the third quarter with only eight turnovers and a 22–17 rebounding deficit, but they still lagged behind with a score of 27–37 at the end of the third quarter. The team ultimately rebounded in the fourth quarter when senior forward Dylan Flood scored five consecutive three-point goals.

Cquote1.svg I was lucky enough to hit it. Cquote2.svg

—Dave Sobolewski, junior guard

With only 8.1 seconds left in the game and a tie of 42–42, Benet had possession of the ball and called a timeout. Naperville North fouled twice and also called a timeout with 3.4 seconds left. Junior guard Dave Sobolewski received a pass from Flood and scored a three-point goal at the buzzer, leading Benet to victory as fans stormed the court. “I was lucky enough to hit it,” said Sobolewski.

Due to the victory, Benet earned a record of 5–0, while that of Naperville North was 5–1. Benet will continue to play several away games over the next few weeks and into the Christmas and New Year holiday, with only one of its first thirteen games being a home game. The home game will be played against Marian Catholic High School on Saturday night. One school Benet surely will not be playing against this year, however, is St. Francis High School. In an address to the student body last year, Principal Stephen Marth ended the long-lasting rivalry with St. Francis, citing concerns about student misconduct during the game held between the two schools on February 14, 2009. Benet and St. Francis are not in the same conference.



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November 24, 2009

Benet Academy, Illinois students support classmate with leukemia

Benet Academy, Illinois students support classmate with leukemia

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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Administrative building of Benet Academy

Students at Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois, United States, have raised money and offered support for Jenna McKeown, a classmate who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

Miss McKeown, a 17-year-old senior from , was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on October 28 after she went to the doctor’s office with a sore throat and extreme fatigue. She has just finished her first ten-day round of induction chemotherapy at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

News of the diagnosis spread quickly among the student body with the help of social networking sites such as Facebook. Students formed an online support group and set up a Mass to be held the next morning at 7:15 am in the school’s chapel. Students, teachers, and parents attended the service.

Cquote1.svg These activities are to show support and solidarity for Jenna through our thoughts and prayers. Cquote2.svg

—Michael Macaluso, teacher

Within twelve hours of diagnosis, friends made plans to supply enough meals to the McKeown family for the next three months. One thousand orange lapel ribbons were made the following weekend and passed out to students to wear the Monday following Miss McKeown’s diagnosis. One senior pupil filmed a video of messages from teachers and students, and several students shaved their heads to show support for their classmate. Kyle Marinko, President of Student Government, announced that orange Livestrong-type gel bracelets are to be sold during the school’s annual Christmas Drive fundraiser. “These activities are to show support and solidarity for Jenna through our thoughts and prayers,” said Michael Macaluso, an English teacher and moderator of Student Government.

Miss McKeown’s illness is an aggressive, yet curable, form of leukemia; she needs to have two more rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in January. Despite this, she remains positive, adopting the slogan “Be positive!” when it coincidentally matched her blood type, B+. In an effort to replenish the supplies needed for this treatment and support other patients in need of transplants, friends and family will staff a blood drive and register people for the National Marrow Donor Program tomorrow at Benet Academy.



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