The Riverside-Brookfield High School football team had their work cut out for them as they opened the season with losses against Hillcrest and Bishop McNamara, but the Bulldogs bounced back April 3 with a 60-0 victory over Ridgewood.
“The kids continue to work hard, and we definitely have some scoring threats and some leaders on defense,” said coach Brendan Curtin. “We are turning the corner and finding a rhythm and playing some good football. There have been a lot of challenges for sure, but I do feel like we’re trending in the right direction.”
One of those challenges was word last week that on March 28 one of the team’s players had tested positive for COVID-19 and that after contact tracing, two other players had been deemed “close contacts,” i.e. they been within six feet of that teammate for more than 15 minutes.
A letter sent to RBHS parents stated the player had participated in the Bulldogs’ March 26 game against Bishop Mac. Despite that news, RBHS played its April 3 game against Ridgewood as scheduled.
Through the first two games of the season, RBHS junior quarterback Owen Murphy was 30-for-60 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back/linebacker Ryan Novak led the team in rushing with 49 yards on 15 carries through the first two games, while junior wide receiver Bradley Vaia led in receiving with 105 yards on nine catches.
On defense, senior linebacker Luke Swiatek led the team in tackles with 15, followed by senior linebacker Jordan Medrano with 12 and Novak with 11.
RBHS girls volleyball
The RBHS girls volleyball team dropped their match against Chicago Christian on April 1 to bring their record to 4-3 on the season. Key victories against Elmwood Park, Bishop Mac, Ridgewood and Aurora Central Catholic have propelled them to a winning season thus far, and coach Mary Pakosta is excited for what her team can do in the shortened season.
“This year we are coming back with a bit more experience,” she said. “We are returning six starters, three of them are seniors. I am happy and especially pleased for our seniors in the ability to play in this school year and look forward to the last few weeks of the season.”
Offensively, junior Colette Barnes (outside hitter) leads the team with 46 kills. Sophomore Reagan Mulcrone (middle hitter) has notched 26 kills on 56 attempts this season, with five blocks.
Senior Annalisa Cinkay has contributed 24 kills, while junior setter Emeli Romo has 90 assists, 21 digs and 10 aces. Senior Libero McKenna Sloan has 38 digs and junior defensive specialist Claire Stanislaw has 33 digs.