Growing up in Brookfield and Riverside, Jim McCarthy found that most of his time was spent playing sports, with football and baseball being his favorites, and excelling in both.

After graduating from Riverside-Brookfield High School, McCarthy became a two-sport athlete at Lake Park College, where he was the football team’s running back and team captain.

Sports took a back seat when “life” took over, including working, marriage and a family and a home in LaGrange Park. The family consists of his wife, Megan; his daughters, Caitlin and Morgan; and his son, J.J.

With his children becoming involved in sports, it gave McCarthy another chance to “get back in the game” this time as a coach. It was also about this time he realized there were few opportunities for children to play organized football or be a cheerleader unless they belonged to a church league. Enter the Lyons Football Club, with Jim McCarthy as a director.

Only in its second season, the Tigers of the Lyons Football Club are hoping to provide an opportunity for those children from area towns, including Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside, to play football and participate in cheerleading. The football program is open to boys in grades two through eight, while and cheerleading is for girls in grades one through eight.

The program has the support of football coaches from Lyons Township High School and RBHS, and it uses LT’s field for practice, while games are played at LT’s Bennett Field in Western Springs. They compete within the Bill George Youth Football League.

The Lyons Football Club strives to teach the fundamentals of football and cheerleading to children as well as good sportsmanship and the chance meet other youngsters from neighboring communities.

It also gives people like Jim McCarthy a chance to get back to the gridiron and not just be a Monday morning quarterback.

For information about the Lyons Football Club, go to or contact Jim McCarthy at 708-287-0605. Go Tigers!

Reminder: On Friday, Feb. 1, The Chew Chew in downtown Riverside will be one of the featured restaurants on WTTW’s Check, Please! Don’t miss it!