Caravan in the News

The Caravan makes the headlines!  Read the highlights below and make sure to click on the publication name to view the full stories!  Articles remain on this page for three months.  Access archived articles using the filters below.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Mount Carmel Implements IMPACT Service Learning Program
Mount Carmel is thrilled to announce the implementation of the IMPACT service-learning program here at Mount Carmel. We are excited about this wonderful opportunity to continue to strengthen our Catholic, Carmelite identity and instill in our young men a life-long commitment to service-learning and reflection.

Mount Carmel Implements IMPACT Service Learning Program
Mount Carmel is thrilled to announce the implementation of the IMPACT service-learning program here at Mount Carmel. We are excited about this wonderful opportunity to continue to strengthen our Catholic, Carmelite identity and instill in our young men a life-long commitment to service-learning and reflection.

Monday, June 02, 2014
Mount Carmel's Thomas delivers the 'Ako' punch
CHICAGO | Ako Thomas might as well been wearing a boxing glove instead of a batting glove. The junior second baseman lived up to his name, which is pronounced "Kayo" as he wasted no time in knocking down Oak Lawn with his bat instead of his fists. The Michigan recruit was 4-for-4 with three doubles and four RBIs as the Caravan cruised to a 13-0, five-inning win over Oak Lawn to win the Class 4A Mount Carmel Regional title Saturday morning at Haggerty Field. Thomas hit the first pitch in the bottom of the first for a double, which opened the door for a six-run first inning. "I am a first-pitch hitter," Thomas said. "I like to jump on the first pitch and drive it. As the leadoff guy, I have to get something going, get on base and start us up."  Mount Carmel (30-7) sent 11 men to the plate in the first and also batted around in a four-run fourth. Thomas doubled in the first and also in the third. He had an RBI single in the fourth and also scored twice.

Monday, March 03, 2014
O'Keefe Named to All-State Academic Team
Congratulations to senior Dan O'Keefe (St. Mary of Gostyn, Downers Grove), who has been named to the 21st IHSA All-State Academic Team! Nearly 490 nominations were received from IHSA member schools and Dan was one of 26 students selected by the committee of high school administrators who had the difficult responsibility of evaluating all of the worthy candidates for this prestigious award. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014
Illinois DT recruit Enoch Smith Jr. gives testimony to faith, family and football at Michigan State
EAST LANSING — Enoch Smith Jr. boils it down to one thing: home is where the heart is, and he said that's why he chose Michigan State over several other championship-level schools. "I don't have any other explanation,'' said Smith Jr., a 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive tackle from Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. "Every time I went there, Michigan State felt like home." Faith, family and football is what Spartans coach Mark Dantonio preaches, and players seem to welcome that message.

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wrestling: Mount Carmel, Brother Rice outshine Metea Valley
A pair of returning state champs were the undoubted headliners Wednesday night at Brother Rice, and they continued to live up to their billing. Mount Carmel senior Bryce Brill, a two-time state champion headed to Northwestern, topped Metea Valley’s Kenan Carter by technical fall at 152 pounds. Carter recently conquered the 20-team Conant Invitational but couldn’t keep up with Brill’s blend of speed and power.“It’s my senior year, so there really isn’t much to worry about,” Brill said. “I’m just going to go out there and score as many points as possible and try to put on a show.” “I’m fat and happy at 113,” Yates said. “(The) 106 (weight class) was a little too tough of a cut.” Mount Carmel downed Metea Valley 43-26 and 58-6, respectively, before meeting in the finale. That turned into a back-and-forth dual that featured seven lead changes before Mount Carmel emerged a 39-26 winner.

Sunday, December 01, 2013
Mount Carmel Wins 7A State Championship
Defense was expected be the theme of Saturday's Class 7A championship game between Mount Carmel and Lake Zurich. Matt Domer and Mount Carmel's offense crashed the party. Domer, an Illinois recruit, rushed for a game-high 176 yards and two touchdowns to help Mount Carmel to a 30-0 victory at Huskie Stadium. The Caravan, who won Class 8A last season, have 12 titles overall, including 11 under coach Frank Lenti. The program has won state titles in Class 5A, 6A, 7A and 8A.  "Every championship is special and we're proud to win consecutive state titles," Lenti said. "We had good senior leadership and we worked really hard all season."

Sunday, November 24, 2013
Mount Carmel Defense Comes Up In State Semifinal Victory
When an offense piles up yardage and touchdowns the way Mount Carmel does, the defense can be overlooked. That's a mistake. Edwardsville knew how tough the Caravan defense was going into Saturday's 7A semifinal game – the five shutouts this season stand out on the Mount Carmel record – and still it didn't help. A trio of Edwardsville turnovers, two of them triggered by Caravan defensive back Deontae Brown, was as big a factor in Mount Carmel's 34-7 victory as anything the offense created. For the second straight week, the Caravan defense held their opponents to numbers that resemble a typographical error. Edwardsville, which entered the game undefeated and left it a stunned 12-1, was held to 3 yards rushing and 142 passing. Mount Carmel (12-1) has allowed only 14 rushing yards on 38 carries in the last two weeks.

Jordan Lynch '09 stock rises as as Heisman race widens
Archie Griffin can rest secure for one more year: Ohio State's Hall of Fame running back will remain the only two-time winner in the history of the Heisman Trophy. LSU's defense ensured that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel would not pull off the repeat. The Manziel who tears apart the SEC â?? yes, even Alabama â?? is not the same Manziel against coordinator John Chavis and the Tigers' steady defense; the latter is average, if not worse, while the former is one of the best quarterbacks in recent college football history. Between Manziel's third loss and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota's second, the race for the 2013 Heisman has lost two of the year's co-leaders. And quarterback Bryce Petty of Baylor, who had found a place among the top five contenders while leading the nation in yards per attempt, fell off in a big way Saturday, too.  At Northern Illinois, Jordan Lynch continues to rewrite the school, conference and FBS record book in helping lead the Huskies to the doorstep of a second consecutive BCS berth. Standing in NIU's path is Fresno State and quarterback Derek Carr, who threw for seven touchdowns Saturday in the Bulldogs' win against New Mexico.

Monday, October 14, 2013
Ice rink, gymnastics center planned for 115th and Western
At a press conference on Oct. 12, city of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District (CPD) Superintendent Mike Kelly and 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea announced that property on the southeast corner of 115th Street and Western Avenue will be redeveloped to offer local residents a venue for gymnastics—and ice skating—in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood.  The press conference drew members of the Calumet Park gymnastics team and hockey teams from Mount Carmel, Marist, Br. Rice and St. Rita high schools.

Thursday, September 26, 2013
McNabb, Walker Inducted to Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame
The annual Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner took place on Wednesday, September 18 at Hawthorne Race Course.  In addition to the induction of NFL legend McNabb and NBA success Walker, others recognized include the 1963 NCAA Champion Loyola Ramblers, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, Rick Pitino, who recently led the University of Louisville Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA Championship, and Eddie Olyczyk. Congratulations, Donovan and Antoine!

Saturday, August 31, 2013
Super 25 Countdown: No. 1 Mount Carmel
When Frank Lenti talks about the perils of overconfidence, it’s not just more coach-speak. It’s a history lesson. Mount Carmel won the Class 8A title last fall, the school’s 11th IHSA championship overall and 10th on Lenti’s watch. The last time the Caravan was coming off a state-title run was 2003, and it didn’t go well. The Caravan slipped from 13-1 and 6A champs in 2002 to 6-6 the following season, including a 33-0 loss to Glenbard South in the first round of the IHSA playoffs. With the talent on the 2013 roster — four Caravan seniors have committed to major colleges — a repeat of that meltdown seems unlikely. But Lenti and his veterans aren’t taking any chances with a team that opens at No. 1 in the Sun-Times Super 25.

Monday, June 24, 2013
Jason Gasser is the Times Player of the Year
Jason Gasser doesn't wonder just how good he would have been if he had concentrated on baseball. He split his time between football and baseball and Gasser, who committed to Northern Illinois to play baseball, has no qualms in an era of specialization. He specializes in winning. Gasser was a three-year starter for the Mount Carmel football and baseball teams. He also is believed to be the first football and baseball starter to win a state championship in each sport in the same school year.

Friday, June 07, 2013
Mount Carmel Determined To Meet High Standards
If top-ranked Mount Carmel can live up to its much vaunted potential Friday and Saturday in Joliet, then the Caravan should have high hopes of bringing home their first state championship in program history.

Mount Carmel baseball team blanks Neuqua Valley in Class 4a semifinals
It figures Mount Carmel would use the running game, even in the first week of June. But it made complete sense, given the way the Caravan stitched together an 8-0 victory over Neuqua Valley on Friday to advance to the state championship in Class 4A. Mount Carmel plays Libertyville for its first championship in baseball at 5:30 p.m. The Caravan's runs on Friday weren't scored with booming blasts to the outer reaches of Silver Cross Field, or beyond the fences. Instead, it was basic baseball, slap hitting and station to station running, a steal with the opportunity demanded, and taking advantage of miscues.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Daniel Sunjata: A character who can't be typecast
Daniel Sunjata attended Mount Carmel High School in Chicago and was a linebacker for the Caravan football team, which took two state championships during his tenure. A television and film actor, Sunjata is perhaps best known to audiences for his role as Franco Rivera in the FX series "Rescue Me," in which he co-starred with Denis O'Leary, and for his role as Nurse Eli on "Grey's Anatomy." The actor has had supporting film roles in "Noel," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," "The Dark Knight Rises" and others.

Monday, November 26, 2012
MC Wins 11th State Title
Big plays were huge in bringing Mount Carmel an 11th state football championship Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.  The Caravan’s 28-14 victory over Glenbard North in the Class 8A championship game was built on a quartet of long-yardage plays, two by Draco Smith and two by Justin Sanchez.  The Big Four critical to the outcome: a 78-yard touchdown run by Smith; a 63-yard interception return by Justin Sanchez that set up Mount Carmel’s third touchdown; Smith’s 25-yard scoring dance down the right sideline in the fourth quarter; and Sanchez’s 15-yard pick-off that stopped the Panthers’ last good chance to score inside the Caravan 20. Read the full story in the Northwest Indiana Times by clicking the link above.

Monday, November 12, 2012
Mount Carmel's offense rolls in second half
Mount Carmel’s offense wasn’t exactly stalled in the first half on Saturday against Lyons Township, but it wasn’t humming, either. The Caravan’s one touchdown drive was a 12-play march that garnered 30 yards in the air and 50, including Draco Smith’s 7-yard scoring dash off right tackle, on the ground. Otherwise, the Caravan gained only 44 yards, the last eight of which set up Ivan Strmic’s 47-yard field goal. There was a similarity to how the offense sputtered against Providence, a game the Caravan narrowly won. But the second half against the Lions? Mount Carmel gained 176 yards and scored 35 points, a touchdown on every possession leading to a 45-10 rout in a Class 8A quarterfinal game. And while the two scores set up by botched Lyons kickoff returns at the start of the third quarter were the shock treatment that led to a 24-10 lead, the drive that put the game away may have been the 14-play, 59-yard excursion against a wind gusting to 31 mph. The 7 minute 13 second drive was capped by Don Butkus’ 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal to make it 31-10.

Monday, October 22, 2012
MC Grad Lynch '09 Turning Heads at NIU
After each game, containing another superb run/pass performance, Jordan Lynch seemingly receives another honor.
And the Division I talent evaluators who wrongly pegged him as an athlete, not a quarterback, should be demoted. 
At this rate, I would urge Lynch to include a trophy case on his Christmas wish list. Through Northern Illinois University’s first seven games, the junior has earned three Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the week honors, an honorable mention distinction for the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week and recent inclusion to the Manning Award Watch List, named in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.

Monday, October 08, 2012
Fast start paces Mount Carmel to rout
Star senior quarterback Don Butkus threw two touchdown passes and added a third rushing score as the No. 5 Caravan scored five touchdowns on their first 10 plays from scrimmage in thrashing the Vikings 52-0 in a Catholic League crossover Saturday at Gately Stadium.The Caravan (6-1) throttled the overmatched Vikings (1-6) with their size, speed and precision. One play after a Kyle Thomas blocked punt gave Mount Carmel first and goal at the two-yard line, Butkus started the onslaught with a sneak for the opening score.He was just getting started. Butkus threw touchdown passes of 16 yards to Dominic Villa and 47 yards to Vincent Speller as Mount Carmel erupted for 35 points in the less than nine minutes to start the game.

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