It’s only been a few weeks since the official end of the 2004-05 school year, but the sports achievements over that time period warrant a little reflection. That’s why we’ve compiled snippets from previous stories of some of the most memorable sports moments of the school year.
Sept. 2004FOOTBALL: It took the Riverside-Brookfield football team about a quarter of football to shake off all of the offseason rust, but after that the Bulldogs found themselves in full 2004-season swing.
Quarterback Mike Marrota tossed three touchdown passes”two to D.J. Wilson”and connected with Tyler Cross for 185 yards through the air as RB rolled Yorkville 34-14 in its season-opener.
A strong ground game and a hard-nosed defensive effort helped the Lyons Township football team to its fifth consecutive victory, a 41-0 thrashing of Leyden. With their fifth win, the Lions clinched a spot in the IHSA playoffs come November.
LT set the tone early, when quarterback Nicholas Saraniecki ran 67 yards for a touchdown on the Lions’ second play from scrimmage. A Daniel Sorce PAT followed giving the Lions a 7-0 lead.
SWIMMING: The RB swim team didn’t exactly play gracious host at its own invitational. The Bulldogs buried the field of nine teams, placing first with 378 points.
Tinley Park was the only team that came near RB, finishing runner-up with a distant 199. University High School rounded out third with 172.
Meghan Crowley, Gail Cervenka, Martha Sitkiewicz, and Jordana Jantze took first in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 4:30.06.
Oct. 2004GOLF: Matt Calby earned his third straight Most Valuable Player Award at the Suburban Prairie (East) Conference golf tournament by shooting an 81 on a cold and blustery afternoon.
Calby, who was co-MVP this year, helped the Bulldogs score a 347 for second place at the tournament.
“Matt adjusted to the conditions and went out there and shot real well,” said RB head coach Bob Johnston of Calby who claimed the third best score of the day.
The Lyons Township golf team made history in the IHSA State tournament at The Den of Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
The Lions finished tied for seventh overall with a total score of 647, breaking the top 10 for the first time since 1994. It was the best finish for the golf program since last winning the State title outright in 1939.
Mike DeRuntz led the Lions by shooting 8-over par in the second round for an 80. DeRuntz kicked off the back nine of Round 2 with two pars and a birdie, and remained solid throughout the remaining holes.
Nov. 2004FOOTBALL: RB’s defense didn’t look particularly good on the stat sheet, giving up 383 total yards. Its offense didn’t look very good on the field much of the second half after an early touchdown. But both halves of the football team clicked when they had to for a 22-12 first-round Class 5A playoff win.
CROSS-COUNTRY: Lyons Township’s Lisa Bokios won the Niles West Girls Cross-country Sectional race outright with a time of 18:32, 19 seconds off any other runner.
The finish paced the Lions to a second place team finish with a score of 93.
The Lyons Township boys’ cross-country team ran to fifth place overall at the Class AA State Meet held at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Two LT runners placed in the Top 10, Ryan Kupall (eighth, 15:07.23) and Tim Maier (ninth, 15:08.07).
SWIMMING: Sara Martinek and Megan St. John led the RB swim team to a first-place finish at the SPC Meet.
Martinek swam to first place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of :54.96, and the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:57.96. St. John took first in both the 500-yard freestyle ((5:30.13) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:06.44).
Lyons Township continued to amaze at the IHSA State Swim Meet at Evanston High School. The Lions, who have finished in the Top 10 at State for the last two years, finished in the Top 15 this year.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Ashley Cusack, Laura Ansilio, Kelly Kono, and Jenna Tschaikovsky swam to LT’s best finish, placing sixth in 1:37 in the finals.
Dec. 2004RB BASKETBALL: A well-timed fourth-quarter run by the RB girls’ basketball team helped deliver a 74-67 win against Lyons Township in a back-and-forth battled that kicked off the Sweet 16 tournament.
Meghan Hutchens led the Bulldogs’ late surge with a game-high 24 points, 15 of which came in the final frame. Maggie McCloskey added 21 points on seven field goals, five of which were three-pointers, and a pair of free throws.
Mike Halusek led RB boys to a non-conference, 95-70, thrashing of Addison Trail. Halusek scored a game-high 27 points for the Bulldogs, who had all five starters score in double digits.
Jan. 2005LT BASKETBALL: The Lyons Township boys’ basketball team continued its perfect West Suburban (Silver) Conference mark by pummeling Glenbard West 59-39.
The Lions used a potent offensive attack to gain a quick 18-2 lead.
Mallory Heydorn and the LT girls’ basketball team threw everything they had at WSC foe Glenbard West, running away with a 61-45 rout.
Heydorn finished with 18 points, to go along with her nine assists, and seven steals. Lauren Kazmierczak also scored 18 for Lyons.
Feb. 2005BASKETBALL: Lyons Township clin-ched a share of the WSC with a 36-29 victory over Hinsdale Central. Heydorn led the Lions with 13 points, four steals, and four assists.
Lyons also defeated Barrington 54-38 in the Sweet 16 tournament on the same day.
While both the Riverside-Brookfield and Lyons Township boys’ basketball teams brought plenty of punch on the outside in a match-up between the two rivals, it was the Lions’ inside game that set the stage for their 79-67 win over the Bulldogs on “Pack The Place Night” at LT.
Together the two teams hit 19 three-pointers, but it was LT’s ability to score from the paint that pushed the Lions over the top and the Bulldogs out of the picture. LT center Adam Powers scored 25 points and Andrew Corcoran scored 21 off the bench to overshadow RB’s Alex Devaris, who scored a game-high 34 points and connected on eight three-point baskets. The Bulldogs go on to clinch their fourth straight SPC title by rolling to a 67-49 win over Westmont.
March 2005SWIMMING: The LT boys’ swim team did what no Lions team has done since 1972, and that was finish among the top 10 teams in the State.
Senior Pat McGrath led the way with a pair of top-five finishes in individual events, and three LT relays made it to the meet’s second day as the Lions finished eighth in team points.
April 2005HALL OF FAMER: The path to accomplishment doesn’t always lead back home for those who travel it. RB football coach Otto Zeman, who considers RB his home, feels fortunate that his path did.
Zeman, an RB graduate who will begin his 24th season as head football coach in the fall, was among the 15 new inductees to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He earned the honor by using his innovative offensive schemes to lead his alma mater to a 137-92 record since taking the head job in 1982.
May 2005 BASEBALL: In what had become a come-from-behind season for the RB baseball team, it was only appropriate that the Bulldogs land a SPC conference title with a come-from-behind win.
With the title on the line in the rubber match of a three-game series with Ridgewood, the Bulldogs overcame a two-run deficit by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 5-4 win at home.
LT baseball overcame an early six-run deficit by scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning of an eventual 16-7 win against Willowbrook.
Steve Kehr drilled a three-run home run and two batters later, Dan Brewer hit a two-run shot that left the yard. Kehr, who finished with four RBIs, collected the fourth on a sac fly later in the same inning.
Brewer later added a three-run triple to drive in five runs on the afternoon.
June 2005SOFTBALL: The RB softball team faced little resistance as it steamrolled to a fourth straight regional title in the Class AA postseason tournament.
The Bulldogs, now the winners of nine straight, beat De La Salle 11-1 in five innings in Saturday’s regional. That came after a 14-1 five-inning win against Tilden in May 24th’s playoff opener.
When RB head coach Dan Hull said the field of talent would be tight at the Morton Class AA Sectional, nobody could have guessed how right he would be.
Both semifinals as well as the final at Morton went into extra innings and all were decided by one run.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, a mistake left them on the losing end of a 2-1 sectional semifinal with Lyons Township on June 1. That game lasted nine innings and ended when the Lions scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning before holding on for the win.
Brad Spencer, Brendan Murphy, and Michael McCormick contributed to this report.