Last night's Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame at Hawthorne Race track was a lesson in courage, conviction and commitment. Leo High School had several tables purchased by Leo and Purdue football great Bob Sheehy and Boxing Coach and one of the Directors of the Sports Hall of Fame Mike Joyce. Patti Bidwill, of the Bidwill Family Foundation and daughter of Sports Legend Stormy Bidwill was Bob Sheehy's guest.
There were iconic names honored - Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Franbk Thomas, John Hannah and Gerry Sullivan, but it was the words from the lesser known names that had the most spiritual impact with their acceptance speeches.
Linda Mastandrea, Paralympic Gold Medal Champion, spoke of path that heroes take with so many other people - we never accomplish things on our own. Blue Island High School Olympian and mentor to so many young athletes Willie May, All American, Indiana University continued on the theme.
However it was Mount Carmel's Ted Cachey who was most poignant. Cachey captained every team he played for from grammar school through University of Michigan. However, Mr. Cachey talked about academics.
A Latin instructor at Mount Carmel understood the young freshman, Cachey's deficencies with English composition and instructed the boy to write - something- every night. The next day, Cachey was to place the essay or pargraph under the priest's office door.
The Carmelite would correct Cachey's grammar, punctuation, spelling and rhetoric, but never assign a grade.
Cachey kept those written lessons and read one last night. It was about Guts- intestinal fortitude - which had been the rubric of athletic education. Guts is a four letter word that must pertain to so much more than a football field, the hardwood, the track, the pool, or the ice. GUTS is perseverence. Cachey told a roomful of great athletes and me about Guts. Work at what you must work at every day, correct your mistakes, do not expect praise for what you are obliged to do and lead a happy life.
Here are the happy people of whom Ted Cachey spoke so well decades ago as a kid at Mount Carmel High School - with a lot of guts.
CHICAGOLAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME
WithTHE NATIONAL MS SOCIETY-ILLINOIS CHAPTERand THE STANDING TALL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION present:
THE 14th ANNUAL INDUCTION AWARDS DINNER-THE HONORABLE RICHARD M. DALEY, Honorary Chairman
Ray Meyer College Coach of Year Award
NCAA Champion, Duke University
New England Patriots Lengend will recieve the George Connor Lifetime Achievement Award for invaluable Contributions to the game of football
Doc Rivers (upon availability)
Marquette University, Coach of NBA Boston Celtics 2010
Rocky Wirtz, Chairman, Chicago Blackhawks
Bill Madlock, Chicago Cubs
Ted Cachey, University of Michigan
Ed Maracich, Big Ten Official
Simeon Rice, Univeristy of Illinois, NFL
Jim Corno, Comcast SportsNet
Jerry Vanisi, Chicago Bears & NFL Executive
Emmett Bryant, DePaul University, NBA
Jeremy Roenick, Chicago Blackhawks
Matt Senffner, Providence Catholic HS
Larry Wert, NBCU Chicago
Richard Hazelton, Legendary Thoroughbred Trainer
Nick Rassas, Notre Dame All American
Linda Mastandrea, Paralympic Gold Medal Champion
Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox
Gerry Sullivan, University of Illinois, NFL
Willie May, All American, Indiana University
A few of the Leo High School Halle of Fame Inductees-
John Collins - boxing
Johnny Galvin -football
Andy McKenna -Sports Owner
Whitey Cronin- Coaching