Monday, June 29, 2015
For the second straight season, the Class 4A state championship was an all-Southland affair, matching Catholic League Blue powers Providence and Mount Carmel. Last season, it was the Celtics vs. St. Rita. Remarkable moments? We found a few. Tops among them: Mount Carmel outfielder Josh Stowers' amazing catch in the Crestwood Supersectional against Plainfield North.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Before the start of his senior season, Mount Carmel pitcher Nelson Munoz made a prediction to his older brother Xavier. "I told him I was going to go undefeated this year," Munoz said. Quite a boast, considering Munoz was certain to be the ace of the Caravan staff and likely would face every top opponent on a loaded schedule. But for the Daily Southtown's 2015 Baseball Player of the Year, it's not boasting if you can do it. Fast forward to the Class 4A state championship game against Providence on June 13 at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. Munoz stood on the mound with a 14-0 record, one win away from realizing the Caravan's goal.
Mike Himes, formerly of Princeton, director of Videography and Integrated Media at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, has been named an honorary alumnus for making an outstanding impact across the academic, athletic, recruitment and technology program for that school. Himes, was hired by Mount Carmel in 2005 as the assistant director for marketing and enrollment. In that role, he helped lead the recruiting efforts that resulted in Mount Carmel’s largest placement exam in the history of the school. From 2006 through 2014, Himes served as a coach for Caravan Baseball and in 2013, as assistant coach on the varsity staff that helped lead Mount Carmel to its first state championship in baseball. He also served as head golf coach.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Mount Carmel rising seniors Vincent Zarate, of Tinley Park, and Nnamdi Okabuonye, of South Holland, were accepted into the University of Chicago’s Future Leaders of Chicago summer program. The program was founded by a group of civic leaders, educators, and professionals who care about developing Chicago’s next generation of leaders. From August 3-7, Zarate and Okabuonye will meet and engage with business and civic leaders, participate in professional development, and partake in college preparatory activities.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Starting this fall, Class 7A and 8A will be seeded 1-32 and Classes 1A through 6A will have two 1-16 brackets. In recent years, there have been a mix of 1-8 quadrants and 1-16 brackets for all classes. Mount Carmel's Frank Lenti, the state's all-time leader in coaching victories and winner of 11 state titles, also is a fan of 1-32 seeding. "Part of the experience of the playoffs should be for the kids to play new and different competition," he said. The new seeding policy could mean an altered postseason landscape for Mount Carmel, which played Catholic League Blue rivals Brother Rice and St. Rita in the early rounds in 2012 and '13.
Jacobs High School was one of only a few teams to slow down the vaunted Mt. Carmel lineup this season. In late April, the Golden Eagles handed the Caravan one of its four losses this season in a 5-3 victory. So with a spot in the state title game on the line in the Class 4A state semifinals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet on June 12, Mt. Carmel used an early offensive outburst that helped make for a different outcome. The Caravan scored all five runs in the first three innings, three on a pair of homers, and got strong pitching performances from starter Mike Lorenzi and reliever Nelson Munoz in a 5-2 victory.
The top of the eighth inning on June 9 was one of the best innings in the successful coaching career of Mt. Carmel Coach Brian Hurry—but it almost didn’t happen. Plainfield North erased a sixth-inning 5-1 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and knotted the score on a laser-beam homer to right with one out in the seventh. The Tigers had the go-ahead run on first with one out in the seventh, but the Caravan escaped the inning and put on an offensive display in the eighth that sent Mt. Carmel back to the state semifinals. The Caravan (35-4) scored six runs on six hits in the eighth en route to an 11-5 victory in front of 1,669 fans at Standard Bank Stadium.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Providence's talent did not stack up to Mount Carmel's. The Celtics said as much Friday night, the same way they aw-shucksed their chances against St. Rita on the eve of the 2014 state title game. On the only day that counted, Providence was the better team. Again. The never-say-die Celtics rallied from a three-run deficit, forcing extra innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh and coming from behind again with two in eighth to defeat Mount Carmel 6-5 in a heart-stopping Class 4A final Saturday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
Check out images from the IHSA 4A third place game between Jacobs and Oak Park-River Forest and the IHSA 3A third place game between St. Francis and Morgan Park.
If he were allowed to, Nelson Munoz would pitch every game. He nearly did during the Caravan's playoff run to the Class 4A state championship game. The senior right-hander pitched in five of seven postseason games, including the last four. That workload featured two starts and two relief appearances in eight days.
Bob Newton never became the athlete he might have been.Yes, he played football with Nebraska the year the Cornhuskers won their first national championship.Yes, he played for 11 years as an offensive lineman in the NFL, five years with the Chicago Bears, with teammates like Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers and Walter Payton. Then six years with the Seattle Seahawks.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Mount Carmel struck early to earn a shot at its second Class 4A state title in three seasons. The Caravan (36-4) scored its runs in first three innings over first-time finals participant Jacobs. Alex Thomas hit a two-run home run in the third inning for Mount Carmel (36-4). Ryan Sargent allowed five runs on five hits in three innings for Jacobs (29-11).
Friday, June 12, 2015
Alek Thomas wanted to "act like I'd been there before," and he certainly hit that way. Mount Carmel's seniors weren't merely acting. Thomas, a freshman, and Valparaiso-bound catcher Scott Kapers blasted home runs, and Mount Carmel drew within a victory of its second state championship in three years with a 5-2 victory against Jacobs in the Class 4A semifinals Friday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
Perched at third base in the fifth inning of Friday's Class 4A state semifinals, Stevie Krueger thought he might have gotten away with one. Instead, umpires reversed an initial ruling, calling Krueger out for running out of the baseline to avoid a tag and squelched Jacobs' only rally in a 5-2 victory by Mount Carmel. The loss dropped Jacobs (29-11) into the third-place game at 3 p.m. Saturday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
Mount Carmel's game plan Friday against Jacobs was to strike early. The Caravan, in fact, did strike early — and often. Scott Kapers and Alek Thomas hit home runs to ignite a 5-0 lead after three innings in an eventual 5-2 victory over Jacobs in a Class 4A semifinal at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. "It was really important for us to jump out in front," Mount Carmel coach Brian Hurry said. "It's nice to be able to do that. It was big."
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Mount Carmel left quite an impression on Jacobs pitcher Ryan George. "Every player on their team, you could tell that they were real athletes," George said. The Golden Eagles (29-10) have a rematch with powerful Mount Carmel (35-4) set for 3 p.m. Friday in the state semifinals, and wouldn't mind one bit if they could repeat their 5-3 victory from April 30. It was Mount Carmel's second loss of the year and first to a team from Illinois.
It's not very often a smile isn't adorning the face of Ako Thomas.In the dugout, on the baseball field, talking to media after a game — that unmistakable grin generally is present.Thomas, a senior at Mount Carmel, has the type of smile that can light up a room.Why all the happiness, Ako?"I never have had a bad day," he said. "I'm always happy. I'm around a real good group of people. I'm going to a high school that I love. I'm getting an opportunity to go to the college (Michigan) I want to go to. Why not be happy? Life is short."
MORGAN PARK — The Maple/Morgan Park Community Food Pantry has five freezers. But during the summer months, most of them remain empty.Summer is the slow season for donations, according to Matt Taylor, president of the neighborhood food pantry located in the basement of the Morgan Park United Methodist Church at 11030 S. Longwood Drive.Taylor, 75, of Beverly, said the pantry serves some 1,200 families per month. It's open from 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Hungry residents with valid identification can pick up a free bag of food from the pantry every 30 days so long as they live in the 60643 or 60655 ZIP codes, Taylor said.
Since Chris Jones was tricked into thinking he was a baby kangaroo, he became obsessed with hypnotism.The Logan Square resident, Pill Hill native and Mount Carmel High School graduate has learned to become a professional hypnotist. He appeared last month on "America's Got Talent," hypnotizing celebrity judge Howie Mandel — notoriously afraid of touching others — into shaking his hand several times. Jones advanced to the second round of the national competition, which was taped in February and will air on NBC in July.
At the midway point during Round 13 of the Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday, Jeff Boehm had grown frustrated watching and not having heard his name called.The Mount Carmel graduate was going to turn something else on the television at his girlfriend's house in Dyer, Indiana, when he decided to wait it out until the Anaheim Angels made their pick.