Stout "D" helps Fenwick capture Prep Bowl Title


Stout "D" helps Fenwick capture Prep Bowl Title

Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010
12:07 AM

By Clyde Travis

There are just a few things that are constants in the world today; death, taxes, and Catholic league defense. Fenwick used a whole lot of defense and just enough offense to shut down Curie 6-0 and capture the 77th Annual Prep Bowl Friday, at Soldier Field.

The teams played even in the first half and left the field at half time with the score knotted at 0.

Curie opened the second half with a 62-yard kick off return to the 20 of Fenwick and appeared poised to take the lead. But the Friars trumped the kick off return with an 85-yard interception return on Curies first play from scrimmage by Ricky Sorrentino.

The play was set up by a bone crushing hit by defensive tackle Steven Sreniawski on quarterback Reese Fleming.

When I saw that kill shot on the quarterback, I saw the ball, I caught the ball, and ran as fast as I could, said Sorrentino.

Fenwicks defense was the story all day as they never allowed Curies high-powered offense to get going, stopping them in the red zone five times and knocking Fleming out of the game on two occasions.

But the Condors squandered several other opportunities as they had a touchdown called back and a long punt return nullified on costly penalties. But the big one came with 2:48 remaining in the third quarter on a sure 13-yard touchdown pass to a wide open receiver that was dropped with no Fenwick player within five yards.

We play in the best conference in the state, the best conference in America and it only prepares you for games like this, said Sorrentino.

Fleming and his brother, running back Kevonta McIntyre, did their best to keep the Condors in the game and were the focal point of the Friar defense despite McIntyre rushing 25 times for 104 yards and Fleming going 11 of 15 for 131 yards.

But the two big hits on Fleming took its toll. Those hits really limited his mobility, said Curie coach Tyson LeBlanc. He accounted for almost over 3,000 yards of total offense. But it cut down our options after he got hurt.

Fenwick gained 140 yards on the ground with Jack Stibich gaining 71 yards on four carries with 46 coming on one play.

They had 14 yards in the air for a total of 150 yards total offense to Curies 255 yards.

Fenwicks defense was led by defensive tackles Sreniawski with 11 tackles, Glen Somers with nine tackles, and Stibich with nine.

Im very proud of these kids; they knew what we had to do, stop the quarterback and the running back. And thats what they did, it was a great defensive effort and our offense got the key first downs in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory. Said Fenwick coach Joe DiCanio.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Looking ahead to opening night matchup against Celtics

Bulls Talk Podcast: Looking ahead to opening night matchup against Celtics

In our latest installment of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill get you set for opening night against the Celtics. 

They debate realistic expectations for the team and break down the decision to start Taj Gibson at power forward. Later, Schanowski and Gill analyze the team's biggest concern, defense. 

Finally, CSN New England's Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely joins the panel to discuss what Rajon Rondo has left in the tank. 

Check out the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast below: 

Disappointed in 2016, Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez believes team has opportunity in offseason


Disappointed in 2016, Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez believes team has opportunity in offseason

The first full season for Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and the first season for coach Veljko Paunovic did not yield notably better results than the year before.

A year ago, the Fire managed just 30 points, the lowest total in club history, and gave up a league-worst 58 goals.

Despite much change within the team and staff, the Fire managed 31 points this year and picked up one fewer win. The Fire scored one fewer goal than last season (42 vs. 43) and allowed the same number of goals.

Rodriguez, when speaking at the final of three Q&A sessions with local media on Tuesday, even remarked that “it’s incredible” how similar the two seasons were.

“When I first came here and I first took the job just over a year ago, I have to be honest, I never for one second saw a last place finish,” Rodriguez said. “I thought that progress would see more results and I thought it would be much easier to show tangible progress than what I think most people can look at this year.”

Still, Rodriguez spoke highly of the additions he and Paunovic made in the offseason, saying all of them “proved themselves as MLS players” to some degree. The Fire do have more younger players that appear to be viable long-term options than a year ago thanks to the emergence of rookie defenders Jonathan Campbell and Brandon Vincent, for example.

But if the on-field results didn’t show the change, where is it?

“I think one big thing that has changed over the course of our eight or nine months with the group is we learned how to compete,” Rodriguez said. “What we didn’t learn was how to win. We had many self-inflicted wounds throughout the year. We unfortunately seemed to repeat some mistakes, some of that can be attributed to youth, some of that can be attributed to lack of cohesion that only comes by being together over time.”

[Final MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls red-hot going into playoffs]

Many of the players had exit physicals on Tuesday at Toyota Park, although some are already out of town, marking the official start of the offseason. As the offseason begins, the Fire enter rebuilding yet again. The Fire have now missed the playoffs in four straight seasons and six of the past seven.

Rodriguez believes moves made in 2016 have better positioned the club for this coming offseason.

“I know that we’re in a better position on the team’s salary budget than we’ve been in the past,” Rodriguez said. “I know that we’ve assembled a group of very hungry players that are either entering their prime or in their prime. We have two first-round picks. We have two DP slots. We have allocation money. So we’ve set the stage.”

There will be change within the Fire this offseason, but Rodriguez wouldn’t detail if it will be similar to last offseason when just 10 players from 2015 were retained, and two of those were shipped off midseason, or if it would be a more moderate rebuild. Rodriguez said that eight players currently have guaranteed contracts heading into 2017: defenders Johan Kappelhof, Michael Harrington and Joao Meira, midfielders John Goossens and Collin Fernandez and forwards Michael de Leeuw, David Accam and David Arshakyan. Meira’s contract initially had a club option for 2017, but met a clause that guaranteed the contract for next year.

The first date to know for this offseason is Dec. 13, when the expansion draft for Minnesota and Atlanta will take place. Before then, the Fire will have to announce which contract options they will pick up and which they will decline as well as which players they will protect for the expansion draft. After that, most of the moves will likely happen in January, when the international transfer window opens and when the MLS SuperDraft takes place.

“I know already that the first expectation is January and what will happen in January and everyone is pointing to January,” Rodriguez said. “I’ll just repeat it again, for me it’s about getting it right, not getting it fast. It’s about assembling a team that we believe can build and yield a championship program, one that’s sustainable. Today, is the first official day that we’ve begun work on 2017 although we laid groundwork and have been eyeing for this.”