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August 6, 2013

Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes

Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Image: Chris Eaves.

This past Sunday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill known as “Rocky’s Law” that requires Illinois high schools, through the local school district, to buy catastrophic injury insurance up to US$3 million or medical costs for up to five years, whichever one comes first, that covers student athletes. The insurance must cover student athletes while they are competing.

The legislation was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark. In 2000, the Eisenhower High School football player became paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a tackle during a game. His school based health insurance covered the costs of his medical treatment. A legislator sponsoring the bill noted that the need for this type of insurance is rare. Clark’s mother attended the legislation signing. Her son died last year.

Before parents can claim money from school insurance, they first must pay out US$50,000. Schools have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the law. Schools cannot charge students more than US$5 to defray the cost of insurance. If a school district already requires student to be covered through private health insurance, they are exempted from this law.



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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 2, 2010

Illinois high school girls basketball: Immaculate Conception defeats Wheaton Academy, wins Lisle tournament

Illinois high school girls basketball: Immaculate Conception defeats Wheaton Academy, wins Lisle tournament

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Immaculate Conception Knights 52 41 Wheaton Academy Warriors
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Immaculate Conception High School defeated Wheaton Academy 52–41 last Wednesday, earning the championship title in the Lisle Holiday Cage Classic, a basketball tournament in Lisle, Illinois, United States.

It was the first championship game, and obviously the first championship win, for the Immaculate Conception Knights, which headed into this weekend with a 16–1 record, having won 16 games at the Lisle tournament.

With 3:10 left in the second quarter, both teams were tied 16–16. The Knights stepped up their offense with a 9–0 burst, bringing their score to 25–16 at halftime.

Wheaton Academy didn’t apply its usual full-court pressure, perhaps out of respect for Kasey Reaber’s ball handling skills. They instead hoped to use a different defensive strategy. Of her game-high 18 points, Kasey Reaber scored ten in the third quarter, helping to give her team a 40–26 lead at the end. The Knights’ lead grew to 50–30 in the fourth quarter.

“[Kasey Reaber] is just a phenomenal player. Her first step and that dribble penetration is hard to defend,” said Wheaton Academy coach Beth Mitchell. Her tournament-MVP sister, Taylor Reaber, scored ten points during the game. Both Reabers are former students of Driscoll Catholic High School.

Alexa Sharkey scored ten points for Wheaton Academy, and Meghan Grant nine. With a record of 12–2, the team was kept well below its average of 53 points per game in a contest.


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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 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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