STATEMENT GAMES: Stagg's first title after 12-year drought worth bragging about

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

Page 3 Stagg tennis with statement games


Photo by Jeff Vorva

Michal Wolan, a sophomore at Stagg, won a sectional title Saturday and helped his team to its first sectional title since 2003. 

Stagg won its first boys tennis sectional championship since 2003 and Chargers coach John Daniels did a lot of bragging…

…about his counterpart at Sandburg.

From 2004 to 2015, Sandburg won 11 out of 12 titles (Marist won one in 2009) while Stagg was getting shut out. The first thing Daniels did after clinching the Stagg Sectional on Saturday was to heap praise on Eagles coach Brian Ostrander.

“He’s probably the best coach in the south suburbs,” Daniels said. “You can tell by how much his team improves. He’s a really good coach.’’

But Daniels had plenty of time to give some love to his team, which scored 31 points to hold off the Eagles, who had 24.

Michal Wolan, whose brother Brendan won the previous two individual sectional titles, kept the family tradition going as the sophomore was beating Sandburg’s Jonluke Passett, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 3-2 before Passett retired. The Sandburg senior left-hander battled through injuries all season but still qualified for the state tournament for the fourth straight year.

“I think Michal got it together after the first set,” Daniels said. “I think he was nervous in the first set and was trying to go for winners every time. But after that, he understood that by making Jonluke work a little bit, you don’t have to hit it hard to have a winner.’’

Wolan qualified for state as a freshman in doubles and went 2-2 with partner Warren Wudtke.

The state meet begins today, Thursday, at various sites in the north and western suburbs.

“I just need to keep playing my game and finishing,” Wolan said. “I actually had fun last year – I enjoyed it very much. I can’t wait until I play there this year.’’

Stagg freshman Kevin Wancik will make his state debut after claiming third on Saturday and Shepard junior Paul Milkus will make his second state appearance after taking fourth.

Stagg’s doubles team of Patrick Harper-Luke Schendl, Sandburg’s Adam Caridi-Anthony Coffel, Oak Lawn’s Michael Rodriguez-Patrick Skupien and Chicago Christian’s Charlie Blim-Li Zhang finished first through fourth respectively and will head to state.

At the University High Sectional in Chicago, both of Brother Rice’s doubles teams made it to state as Ryan Cunnea-Brenden Leibforth finished third and TJ Saas-Joe Mendala took fourth. Cunnea is a Crestwood resident while Leibforth is from Evergreen Park, Saas is from Chicago and Mendala is from Oak Lawn.


At Downers Grove North: Sandburg was the lone team from the area to win a sectional title as the Eagles won the Class 3A sectional Friday night racking up 98 points – 10 ahead of runner-up Lockport.

The Eagles’ sectional champs were Chris Torpy in the 800-meter run (1 minute, 54.36 seconds) and his twin brother Sean Torpy in the 1600 (4:12.65) plus the 4x800 relay team (7:42.70).

Other Eagles who qualified for the state meet, which opens Friday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, were Ayo Abiona in the 100 and 200, Jibreel Brown in the 400, Dylan Jacobs in the 1600 and the 4x100 relay team.

Shepard qualified three athletes – Neiko Carter in the long jump, Caleb Washington in the 3200 and Corey Williams in the 100 high hurdles.

At Morton: Brother Rice had a sectional champion with Jelani Edmond in the discus with a heave of 155 feet, 9 inches. Also qualifying for the Class 3A state meet was Tajh Silas in the 110 high hurdles.

At Glenbard South: In Class 2A, two St Laurence athletes won sectional titles to extend retiring coach Terry Murphy’s season for one more week. Murphy has coached at the Burbank school for 40 years.

The Vikings’ Doug Kosch won the shot put with a 44-9 ½ and Lonnie Chambers won the discus with a 144-8.

Evergreen Park’s Joey Ryan qualified in the pole vault.

At Seneca: In Class 1A, the Chicago Christian 4x400 relay team (3:35.71) and Elijah Butler (200, :22.18) were sectional champs and will compete at state. The Class 1A meet starts Thursday.

Also qualifying were Ben Friesen in the 400 and the 4x800, 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.


The St. Laurence No. 1 boat finished 28th out of 64 teams while the No. 2 boat took 48th at the state meet Friday and Saturday at Carlyle Lake in Carlyle.

The first boat, featuring Matt Misicka and Paul Petan, caught three fish totaling 4 pounds and 9/16th ounces. The second, featuring Anthony Ptak and Brandon Cavanaugh, caught one for 1 3/16th.

It was the fourth time the Vikings qualified for state and the first time the school qualified two boats.

Elkville (Elverado) won the state title with 10 fish totaling 21 5/16th.