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Prep Sports

Area roundup: Minooka girls volleyball heading to the Elite Eight

Minooka girls volleyball earned its place in the Elite Eight with a 27-25, 25-21 victory over Beleville Althoff in the championship game of the Class 4A O’Fallon Sectional.

Heidi Bonde had 15 kills and two blocks to lead the Minooka (32-7) attack, while Desiree Anderson had seven kills and eight digs.

The Indians will play at 7 p.m. Friday at the Normal Community Supersectional where they will face a strong Benet team.


Howland wins Bears award: The Bears named Trent Howland, a junior running back at Joliet West High School, the Bears “High School All-Star” for Week 9.

On Oct. 25, Howland helped West win its first SPC Conference championship in 50 years with five touchdowns in Joliet’s 43-7 win at Plainfield Central.  

Howland will be invited to the Bears vs. Kansas City game Dec. 22, and will join his fellow “High School All-Star” honorees, respectively, for a pregame photo on the field.

They each also will receive a framed certificate signed by Bears general manager Ryan Pace, head coach Matt Nagy and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The “High School All-Stars” program is sponsored by Athletico Physical Therapy.  

Each week for nine weeks, an outstanding high school football player was selected through the Bears “High School All-Star” program. Each of the nine players has the opportunity to donate $500 to the youth football program of his choice. The nomination criteria for the program includes on-field performance, community involvement and good sportsmanship. Deserving high school players are nominated by a panel of local prep authorities, and the winning player is selected each week.

Coal City’s Daniel Jezik also was awarded with this honor earlier in the season.


Urlacher guest speaker at Brown & Gold: Combining the 100th anniversary of the NFL and the Bears franchise with the University of St. Francis’ upcoming 100th year as an academic institution of higher learning, the University of St. Francis Athletic Department has announced that 2018 NFL Hall of Fame inductee and former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher will be the guest speaker at its 43rd annual Brown & Gold Night. The event will take place at the Pat Sullivan Center Nov. 22.

Urlacher will become the seventh NFL Hall of Famer to speak at the event, joining the likes of former Bears’ standouts Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka and Dan Hampton as well as the Minnesota Vikings’ Carl Eller and Paul Hornung and Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers.  

Ten other Hall of Fame inductees from their sports also have been guests of the University, including college basketball coaches John Wooden, Al McGuire and Ray Meyer, Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable, Cubs pitcher Fergie Jenkins, Blackhawks forward Denis Savard, White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas and USF’s own Gordie Gillespie.

Urlacher played all 13 of his seasons wearing the blue and orange of the Bears and was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. 

The annual fundraiser begins with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the program at 8 p.m. The event also will include silent and live auctions. Tickets are available for $60 each or a table of 10 for $600. Corporate sponsorships also are available. For information, contact the USF Athletic Department at 815-740-3842 or visit


Slammers release 2020 schedule: The Joliet Slammers have released their 2020 season schedule. The Slammers open their 10th season at home against two teams new to the Frontier League. They will play the Trois-Rivieres Aigles May 15 to 17 and will welcome the New Jersey Jackals May 19 to 21. The Slammers will close out their May home schedule against yet another new team, the Rockland Boulders, on May 26 to 28.

June highlights are 12 home games at DuPage Medical Group Field. The remaining two new teams to the league will be in town June 5 to 7 when the Quebec Capitales visit, and the Sussex County Miners come to Joliet on June 9 to 11. Division rival Schaumburg makes its first visit June 16 to 18, and the Lake Erie Crushers visit June 23 to 25. The IHSA boys baseball state championship for Classes 3A and 4A also will be held June 12 and 13 at DuPage Medical Group Field.

Game times, fireworks dates and promotional nights will be released at a later date.

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