southtownstar.suntimes.com http://southtownstar.suntimes.com Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT webmaster@suntimes.com http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/southtownstar.gif Southtown Star logo http://southtownstar.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Illiana Speedway 2014 finale a doozy ]]> Lead story image

The local asphalt short-track season came to an end with a bang Saturday night at Illiana Speedway. Or maybe it was a very rude bump. OK, whether it was rude or not is a matter of opinion. The two men involved, Anthony Danta and Brian Campbell, most certainly differed in theirs. It already had been one of the better Bettenhausen Classics of recent vintage, with Brett Sontag and last year’s winner, Brian Campbell battling up front, and a tenacious tussle between Jeff Cannon and Anthony Danta behind them. Things really got interesting around the three-quarter mark of the 100-lap event, … ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:12:55 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29966985-452/auto-racing-illiana-speedway-2014-finale-a-doozy.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29966985-452/auto-racing-illiana-speedway-2014-finale-a-doozy.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Mount Carmel football coach Frank Lenti expects more out of Caravan ]]> Lead story image

Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti can’t remember the last time his Caravan had a 1-2 record. Further, he couldn’t care less. “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “Nobody gives you a trophy for the front end of the season.” What he does care about is how they’ve gotten to be 1-2. And if Monday morning’s conversation was any indication of what’s going to happen at practice in the days leading up to Friday’s annual showdown against rival St. Rita, there aren’t going to be a whole lot of “atta boys” handed out. Lenti was sharp. Pointed. Kinda mad, actually. “It’s really simple,” … ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:10:37 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29906855-452/baranek-mount-carmel-football-coach-frank-lenti-expects-more-out-of-caravan.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29906855-452/baranek-mount-carmel-football-coach-frank-lenti-expects-more-out-of-caravan.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Chicagoland Speedway chief Scott Paddock confident NASCAR on right path ]]> Lead story image

Talking racing with Chicagoland Speedway president Scott Paddock ... If you include the pits, the camping area and suites, Chicagoland Speedway can hold approximately 60,000 bodies. There will not be 60,000 bodies there Sunday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship kicks off with the MyAFibStory.com 400. Capacity crowds at NASCAR events have been a thing of the past for a while. Although NASCAR still is holding its spot as the second-most watched professional sport behind football, what you see on those television broadcasts are a lot of empty seats. Theories? Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway, has his. … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:16:24 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29848585-452/auto-racing-chicagoland-speedway-chief-scott-paddock-confident-nascar-on-right-path.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29848585-452/auto-racing-chicagoland-speedway-chief-scott-paddock-confident-nascar-on-right-path.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: NASCAR’s 2014 Chase for the Cup starts Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway ]]> Lead story image

The track is another year older, the format brand new. To hear Matt Kenseth tell it, if you never have bought a ticket to watch the NASCAR Cup cars run at Chicagoland Speedway, Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 would be a great time to give it a try. “Honestly, it’s a really fun track right now,” the defending race winner said. “It’s kind of like Kansas was before they paved it. “When these tracks start to get older and get some bumps and some character, in my opinion that’s what makes the best racing. It’s the most fun not to only drive, … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:13:20 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29828265-452/auto-racing-nascars-2014-chase-for-the-cup-starts-sunday-at-chicagoland-speedway.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29828265-452/auto-racing-nascars-2014-chase-for-the-cup-starts-sunday-at-chicagoland-speedway.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Across the bowling lanes, Alfie Cohn was ‘King of Chicago’ ]]> Lead story image

When it came to piling up big games, awards and great bowling stories, Alfie Cohn was in some rarefied air. But the biggest number the Tinley Park resident left behind after his passing last week at age 86 were the teammates that benefited from his talent and advice and the amateur bowlers who will carry on the lessons he taught them as one of the Southland’s most popular instructors. “He was from a different era,” longtime friend and bowling partner Peter Van Henkelum said. “When I met him (in 1976) the era had changed, but he adapted and advanced very … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 02:11:30 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29753080-452/baranek-across-the-bowling-lanes-alfie-cohn-was-king-of-chicago.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29753080-452/baranek-across-the-bowling-lanes-alfie-cohn-was-king-of-chicago.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Ricky Baker leads title wave at Grundy County Speedway ]]> Lead story image

Final points standings still are under review and won’t be released for a few more days, but we know who the champions are at Grundy County Speedway, so let’s hail them. Ricky Baker clinched the late-model crown with his second-place finish behind Larry Schuler in Sunday’s Lee Schuler Memorial. Baker finished the season with eight feature wins, nine fast qualifying times and one heat race victory. Second-ranking Eddie Hoffman captured five main events and set five fast times. Other feature winners were Anthony Danta and Brett Sontag (2 each), and John Nutley, Paul Shafer Jr. and Schuler (1 each). “This … ]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 23:59:46 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29683592-452/auto-racing-ricky-baker-leads-title-wave-at-grundy-county-speedway.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29683592-452/auto-racing-ricky-baker-leads-title-wave-at-grundy-county-speedway.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Honors time for Mike O’Neill, John D’Ambrosio and Allie Quigley ]]> Lead story image

Let’s talk about honors and a few special people who earned some over the past week or so. Friday night, Andrew and host Bremen brought back two of the schools’ most decorated coaches: Andrew’s Mike O’Neill and Bremen’s John D’Ambrosio. Between them, they coached at their respective schools for a combined 42 years, won 248 games and took 23 teams to the state playoffs. Before taking the job at Andrew in 1986, O’Neill already was a local legend because of his success at St. Laurence. After leaving Bremen after the 2003 season, D’Ambrosio went on to another successful career as … ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:12:15 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29622569-452/baranek-honors-time-for-mike-oneill-john-dambrosio-and-allie-quigley.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29622569-452/baranek-honors-time-for-mike-oneill-john-dambrosio-and-allie-quigley.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Clubb brothers flush with success at Grundy County Speedway ]]> Lead story image

It won’t be decided until Sunday who the champions in each division for the season will be at Grundy County Speedway. It’s already etched in stone, though, which will be the top-ranking family. Three Clubbs is the winning hand. Brandon Clubb is having a solid season in the late-model class. The 30-year-old has three heat race victories and has run among the leaders in most of the feature events. He’s on track to finish fourth in points. Meanwhile Cody Clubb, 21, is battling with his 32-year-old brother Jeremy for a spot on the “Top 10” podium at the postseason banquet. … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:16:25 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29539316-452/auto-racing-clubb-brothers-flush-with-success-at-grundy-county-speedway.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29539316-452/auto-racing-clubb-brothers-flush-with-success-at-grundy-county-speedway.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Alexi Pranckus (Andrew), Maggie Murphy (Marist) find success during summer on EVP Tour ]]> Lead story image

Alexi Pranckus and Maggie Murphy can play some pretty mean beach volleyball. But most of the time they’re doing it with smiles on their faces. And they dance, too. It’s all part of the game for this Southland duo, who will be taking plenty of winning momentum into their high school seasons at Andrew and Marist. Pranckus and Murphy, representing the Ultimate Volleyball Club beach program, won all three 18-and-under amateur tournaments they entered this summer on the EVP Beach Tour. “We started playing together last year but we never took first,” Pranckus said. “So this was a big deal … ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:23:06 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29318705-452/baranek-alexi-pranckus-andrew-maggie-murphy-marist-find-success-during-summer-on-evp-tour.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29318705-452/baranek-alexi-pranckus-andrew-maggie-murphy-marist-find-success-during-summer-on-evp-tour.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Grundy County, Illiana speedways looking to halt on-track driver altercations ]]> Lead story image

At short tracks nationwide this weekend the shows will go on as usual. There will be plenty of side-by-side battles, plenty of wrecks, plenty of angry drivers looking for an argument. But it won’t be business as usual. It can’t be. I can’t imagine any green flags dropping until drivers and track owners meet to discuss Saturday’s sprint car tragedy in New York that cost 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. his life and probably will haunt Tony Stewart for the rest of his. It’s been almost a week now, with the chilling video being shown over and over of Stewart’s vehicle … ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:21:12 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29237632-452/auto-racing-grundy-county-illiana-speedways-looking-to-halt-on-track-driver-altercations.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29237632-452/auto-racing-grundy-county-illiana-speedways-looking-to-halt-on-track-driver-altercations.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Ringing endorsement for new Andrew coach Emily McGinnis ]]> Lead story image

If endorsements mean anything, Andrew is getting a real gem in new girls volleyball coach Emily McGinnis. Former Andrew coach Courtney Stoub loves her potential. “I’m excited for the kids,” said Stoub, who resigned to devote time to her new baby boy. “We’ve kind of talked a little bit and I know she has a good volleyball background. “I’m excited and happy for the program and for Andrew and I think she’s going to do a good job.” Jen DeJarld, who had McGinnis as a player and hired her as a freshman coach at Mother McAuley, has seen her work … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:20:30 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29150358-452/baranek-ringing-endorsement-for-new-andrew-coach-emily-mcginnis.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29150358-452/baranek-ringing-endorsement-for-new-andrew-coach-emily-mcginnis.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Dave Weltmeyer was the first driver to take a stock car around the track at Chicagoland Speedway ]]> Lead story image

Flipping through the notebook ... Here’s a trivia question: Who was the first driver to wheel a stock car around Chicagoland Speedway? If you said “The Dyer Flyer,” Dave Weltmeyer, you would be correct. Weltmeyer was driving for the Roulo Brothers Racing team in 2001 when they were brought on by NASCAR to test a stock car on the speedway before the first race was to be run. Jimmy Vasser was brought in to test an Indy car. “They had three layers of asphalt they were using,” Weltmeyer said. “They had two down, but before they put the third one … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:20:58 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29104370-452/auto-racing-dave-weltmeyer-was-the-first-driver-to-take-a-stock-car-around-the.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29104370-452/auto-racing-dave-weltmeyer-was-the-first-driver-to-take-a-stock-car-around-the.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Oak Forest High School giving its historic athletic images a modern twist ]]> Lead story image

There has been a running joke among Nora Hoguiesson-Fink and her family and friends about one of the photos of her that has been hanging on the cafeteria wall at Oak Forest High School since 1997. “It was right above the water fountain,” she said. “It was pretty amusing. Everyone would always say, ‘Oh, every time we get a drink of water we see your face.’ ” Fink, a decorated four-sport athlete at Oak Forest from 1992 to ’96, looked at the empty space above the water fountain Monday. “Should I have a sad face or smile?” she said after … ]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 06:20:13 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29056344-452/baranek-oak-forest-high-school-giving-its-historic-athletic-images-a-modern-twist.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/29056344-452/baranek-oak-forest-high-school-giving-its-historic-athletic-images-a-modern-twist.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Erica Ensor makes impressive midgets series debut ]]> Lead story image

The back of the field is a common and ultimately smart place to be for a driver making his or her first start in a new division. Erica Ensor sure didn’t stay there, though, after starting in the 14th position in Saturday’s Illini Racing Series Sportsman midget feature at Grundy County Speedway. The 17-year-old Sheridan native did what she pretty much has always done during her racing career: head straight for the front. She passed several cars early via the outside and won a couple of side-by-side battles on the bottom. Ultimately, she finished fourth behind Patrick Bruns, Jimmy Clark … ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:15:32 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28944959-452/auto-racing-erica-ensor-makes-impressive-midgets-series-debut.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28944959-452/auto-racing-erica-ensor-makes-impressive-midgets-series-debut.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: Logan Love makes the turn back to victory circle ]]> Lead story image

Logan Love has his swagger back. The 2011 Grundy County Speedway street stock champion was absolutely dominant Friday, winning his heat and a feature for the first time in two years. He did it in impressive style, finding his way to the front via the outside groove and leading the last half of the main event. Welcome back to victory circle. “This was our fifth night in a brand new car,” the 26-year-old Plano native said. “We thought we would come out (this season) and this is what it would be like. But it took us a while to get … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:17:18 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28809225-452/auto-racing-logan-love-makes-the-turn-back-to-victory-circle.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28809225-452/auto-racing-logan-love-makes-the-turn-back-to-victory-circle.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Bowlers use summer leagues to hone skills, stay sharp ]]> Lead story image

One way to stay cool during the summer is to toss some games at the local air-conditioned bowling center. Kevin Kullman, of Lockport, does that twice a week for a minimum of two to three hours, and bowls in a league on another night at Strike ’N Spare II in Lockport. He isn’t necessarily trying to beat the heat. “I treat my game like racers do with their cars in the winter,” the top-average bowler in the Southland said. “I break every little piece down and go through it, get the kinks out. “My grandfather (area short-track stock car legend … ]]> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 06:21:15 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28788642-452/baranek-bowlers-use-summer-leagues-to-hone-skills-stay-sharp.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28788642-452/baranek-bowlers-use-summer-leagues-to-hone-skills-stay-sharp.html <![CDATA[ Auto Racing: At Illiana, pure racing from pure stocks ]]> Lead story image

Something very cool happened at the end of a very frustrating Saturday at Illiana Speedway. The rainout, the fifth of the season, was the result of a combination of a downpour in the morning and a very unpromising forecast that made it difficult for both drivers and fans to decide whether to come out to the track. Illiana owner/promoter Mike Mikuly, watching the radar and seeing projections for a long break in between precipitation, decided at 1 p.m. to go for it. Word spread via social media, but by the start of practice at 4 p.m. it became apparent the … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:37:06 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28716733-452/auto-racing-at-illiana-pure-racing-from-pure-stocks.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28716733-452/auto-racing-at-illiana-pure-racing-from-pure-stocks.html <![CDATA[ Baranek: Valen Manns ups her game on soccer field, volleyball court ]]> Lead story image

Between May 30 and June 23, Lincoln-Way North’s Valen Manns had one of the most excellent adventures a high school athlete possibly could imagine. During this time she: Played on Illinois’ biggest high school soccer stage, recording an assist in a Class 3A state semifinal. Traveled with her club volleyball team to Orlando, Florida, to play in the 2014 AAU Girls Junior Nationals. Competed against some of the best volleyball players in the nation at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. Was one of just 14 girls to earn All-American honors in the 17 Premier Division. “I’m still in … ]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 06:22:06 -0500 http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28665627-452/baranek-valen-manns-ups-her-game-on-soccer-field-volleyball-court.html http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/sports/baranek/28665627-452/baranek-valen-manns-ups-her-game-on-soccer-field-volleyball-court.html