After posting another 30-win season this past spring and winning The Phil Lawler Classic Summer State Championship this past summer, the varsity baseball team returns several key players in 2014, including 6 seniors who recently signed National Letters of Intent to play Division I baseball. Pictured from left to right: CJ Santoyo (University of Utah), Mike Costanzo (Austin Peay State University), Nate Soria (Xavier University), Jake Shepski (University of Notre Dame), Chris Delgadillo (IPFW), and Jake Drada (Western Michigan University).
Santoyo (Tarkington School) is coming off a stellar summer season on the mound including a masterful 1-hit shutout of Marian Catholic in the 2nd round of the summer state playoffs.
Costanzo (St. Christina), an all-area selection in 2013, posted a (10-3) record in the spring and was tops in the area with 101 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched.
Soria (Homer JHS) was the starting catcher for the Mustangs in 2013 posting a .330 batting average with 10 doubles, 3 homers, and 24 RBIs.
Shepski (Homer JHS) spent most of the 2013 season at shortstop while posting a .313 average at the plate to go along with 12 doubles and 23 RBIs.
Delgadillo (Grimmer-Schererville, IN) started several games at second base for the Mustangs scoring 29 runs.
Drada (Orland Jr. High) batted .267 in the spring including 2 homers.
The Mustangs currently have 32 former players competing at the collegiate level, and in Head Coach Mike Zunica’s 17 years at the helm have produced 139 college athletes.
St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare says he likes to “stay under the radar.” But he admits he wants his team to earn its just desserts and bristles when it doesn’t. Like now. Some polls rate the Mustangs, some don’t. And DeCesare can’t understand why.
“Guys who do polls don’t understand ratings. They don’t understand the value of playing against top competition,” he said. “We have played a national schedule. We can play against anyone on any given night.”
St. Rita is 13-5 after crushing Bishop McNamara 90-66 on Friday night. The Mustangs have a date against Curie and 6-foot-9 Cliff Alexander on Tuesday and meet Hales Franciscan on Friday.
“Potentially, this is the best team I’ve had at St. Rita,” said DeCesare, in his fourth season. “We’re still young. We start two sophomores and two juniors. But we have four starters back from last year’s 16-11 team (that lost to Whitney Young in the sectional). We have a lot of experience and the kids are battle-tested.”
In an attempt to prepare for the rugged Catholic League grind and the postseason tournament, DeCesare arranged for a schedule that to date has featured five highly rated out-of-state opponents, including Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, Scott County of Kentucky and St. Raymond’s of New York.
“We have seen every style of basketball from fast pace to slowdown and we have had a great deal of experience playing against the shot clock,” he said. “We have a lot of versatility. We play together as a team. The kids understand the value of finding the open man and sharing the ball.
“We have four guys averaging in double figures. When we do that, we are tough to beat. When we don’t, we have lost. We’re trying to find our edge. I don’t think they understand how good they can be. Once they do, the sky is the limit. The key is to bring the same intensity every night. We will win as a team, not as individuals.”
For the entire story click here Courtesy of CSNChicago.com
Last weekend the St. Rita varsity wrestlers placed 2nd in the Chicago Catholic League Wrestling Championships. St. Rita wrestlers will have the opportunity to regain a 1st Place finish at the Regional Championships next Saturday Feb 2nd at Mt. Carmel.
Craig Ferguson still vividly remembers his first game as head coach of
the St. Rita hockey program nine years ago.
After coaching rival Mount Carmel for six seasons, Ferguson left the
Caravan program for health-related reasons and to concentrate more on
his then-young son’s burgeoning hockey career. He then re-emerged as
the hockey coach at St. Rita, where he also worked in the admissions
“I got some strange looks for a while there,” said Ferguson, who won
his 500th game in November and will retire after his 15th season of
high school coaching this spring. “I’ll admit that it was a little
weird and a little nerve-wracking at first, just walking into the
building here. And then, the first game that I coached for St. Rita
was against Mount Carmel.”
It was the sports equivalent of ripping off a bandage quickly.
Ferguson soon got past the “weird” feelings and started to push the
Mustangs program up the rankings. It was a continuation of his success
at Mount Carmel – where in six years he took the Caravan to one state
runner-up finish in 1998 and also led them to four Kennedy Cups, which
are awarded to the winner of the annual Chicago Catholic Hockey League
Ferguson has won five straight Kennedy Cups with St. Rita and finished
as state champions in two of the past three seasons – including last
year. They also have a young team this season, with the program poised
to do big things again in the near future.
Why hang up the whistle now?
For complete story click here Courtesy of Brian Hedger Chicago Sun-Times
This past weekend, St. Rita High School continued its excellence in athletics as it sends yet another one of its athletes down state to compete for an individual state championship. Tevin Kimble, a junior bowler from Hometown Oaklawn Middle School, competed in the Chicago sectional this weekend posting a 6 game average of 205, which allowed him to qualify to compete in the state championships.
Kimble becomes only the third bowler in school history to advance downstate, something that Head Coach Dan Carroll saw coming. “Tevin has bowled great all year and we knew he was capable of this,” Carroll stated. “He has absolutely earned this trip downstate.”
The state championships will take place at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon, IL just outside of St. Louis. The tournament will start on Friday January 25th and conclude the following day. Please check back for all updates and results regarding this tournament.
SPRINGFIELD — Teams from two of the nation’s most respected high school basketball hotbeds took to the Blake Arena court on Day 3 of the 2013 Hoophall Classic and it was clear from start to finish where the power lies geographically this season.
St. Rita High School from Chicago, considered the No. 15 team in Illinois, rolled past Baltimore’s Lake Clifton High School, 71-50.
What the game lacked in four or five-star recruit power, it more than made up for in NCAA Division I prospect depth.
St. Rita featured four players rising in the recruiting ranks, including 6-foot-7 junior forward Victor Law, who scored 17 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and added three steals. Law has interest from a number of mid and high-major Division I programs, including Bradley, Colorado, Harvard, Loyola, Oklahoma and Providence, and proved why with a dominating performance.
“I really try to push myself and coach (Gary DeCesare) tries to tell us what are we going to do when we’re not scoring,” Law said. “Offense isn’t really everything in basketball, so we really tried to take it to the next level.”
Charles Matthews, a 6-foot-5 guard, scored seven points. Just a sophomore, he’s drawn early interest and offers from Arizona, DePaul, Illinois, Providence and Southern Methodist.
Charles’ brother Dominique, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, scored a team-high 18 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
Myles Carter, another up-and-coming recruit with interest from Division I programs, added four points and 10 rebounds while Scott Kingsley chipped in 10 points.
In the end, though, it was clear that the Mustangs were powered by Law.
“My teammates have really done a good job of getting me the ball in good spots,” Law said. “And I’ve been able to knock down the open shots. It’s really not just me. The team is rolling and everything is good when you’re winning.”
Along with highly ranked Whitney Young and perennial power Simeon, St. Rita is one of three Chicago-area teams participating in the 2013 Hoophall.
Lake Clifton was led by Cortell Henson, who scored a game-high 20 points. The 6-foot-4 senior forward also grabbed 16 rebounds. Senior guard Daquan Ross scored 17 points.
Courtesy of Ben Larsen, The Republican (MA)
16 seasons, hundreds of wins and 2 state championships. That is just a few of the accomplishments St. Rita Head Basketball head coach Gary DeCesare had while at St. Raymond’s High School in Bronx, NY. Now he will be going back home.
The St. Rita basketball team is preparing for a trip to New York to take on some of the best teams on the East Coast. On Saturday the Mustangs will face off with the defending state champions in Maryland, Lake Clifton from Baltimore. On Sunday, the Mustangs will take on Coach DeCesare’s former team and defending New York City Champions, St. Raymond’s High School.
Coach DeCesare has a long resume including jobs at Richmond University and DePaul University. However, prior to coaching at the collegiate level, Coach DeCesare spent 16 seasons as the Head Varsity Basketball Coach at St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx, New York. He led St. Raymond’s to two New York State Championships and four City Championships, while being named the New York City or State Coach of the Year four times. “I owe a lot to St. Raymond’s and the people there,” DeCesare stated. “They gave me my start in basketball and really propelled my career. I had the honor to coach some of the best kids in the state each and every year.”
His current Mustang team isn’t too shabby themselves posting an 11-4 record with wins over archrivals De La Salle and Marist High School. The team also recorded an opening season win against Greenwood Elzy who is the defending state champion in the state of Mississippi.
Saturday’s game vs. Lake Clifton will be played at Springfield College in Baltimore, MD and streamed live on masslive.com. The game time is 1:00pm. After the game the team will travel to Springfield, MA as they have been invited to take a tour of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
On Sunday, MSG Varsity will be airing the St. Rita vs. St. Raymond’s game live on their website and open to anyone that would like to watch it. The game can be watched at the following link: www.MSGVarsity.com/liveaccess.
At the conclusion of the game, St. Raymond’s high School will be honoring Coach DeCesare and the 1992-93 team, which won the school’s first State championship.
When asked about the weekend, Coach DeCesare stated, “It will be nice to go back home.”
When the Mustangs grasp the concept, they are a sight to behold.
Victor Law sparked No. 19 St. Rita following an uneven start, scoring 27 of his 29 points in the final three quarters of a 76-56 road victory against Marist in the fourth annual Callahan-Griffin Classic before a full house on the Southwest Side.
Law, who was awarded the MVP trophy, added 10 rebounds, Dominique Matthews scored 17 points and Charles Matthews had 11 for Rita (11-4).
“I’m really close with (Marist guards) L.J. (McIntosh) and Lexus (Williams),” Law said. “They’re two great players. We really try to go back and forth. It’s a neighborhood rivalry.
“I try to put on a show, try to get the crowd excited and get myself going. It felt like a good night. Everything was rolling. We really put them away.”
For complete story click here Courtesy of Mike Helfgot, Special to the Tribune