Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Leo Varsity # 13 -Sophomore Martez Hampton played last night like legendary Leo coaches Jimmy Arneberg, Tom O' Malley and Jack Fitzgerald were on his butt.

The Leo Lions

1 James Shields G Jr. 5-6
3 Tybias Scott G Sr. 5-8
4 Sean Moore Jr. G Jr. 6-3
5 Blake Wilson F Sr. 6-3
10 Marshon Tucker (C) F Jr. 5-9
11 Lantz Roberts G Sr. 5-9
13 Martez Hampton G So. 6-3
15 Luther Woods F Sr. 6-6
20 Jarrod Cooper G Sr. 6-1
33 Russell Woods PF Jr. 6-8 215
34 Karon Braggs (C) F Jr. 6-3
42 Kaylon Rimpson F Jr. 6-2
55 Lazarick Johnson F Jr. 6-4

Head Coach - Mr. Noah Cannon

Bishop McNamara Fighting Irish
2 Delano Samuels Senior G 5'10 155
3 Keyon Thomas Senior PG 5'8 155
10 Jonnie Evans Junior PG 5'9 165
12 Mitch O'Brien Junior G 6'0 165
14 Rashad Springer Junior F 6'5 175
20 Te'Andre Watson Junior G 6'2 155
22 Erron Hall II Senior G 6'2 170
24 Jamar Rivera Senior G 6'3 165
25 Luke Jarvis Senior F 6'5 175
32 Jay Slone Junior F 6'3 180
55 Michael Hoekstra Junior C 6'7 205

Head Coach: Justin LaReau

I picked up the Southtown Star a few minutes ago to see if they had a story on the great game played in Herscher, IL for IHSA 2-A Sectional between Chicago's Leo High School Lions and the Fighting Irish of Bishop McNamara Kankakee, IL.

Nope. Swell coverage of New Trier, which was located north of Madison Ave. last time I looked. New Trier, as I recall is in Winnetka, with a campus Northfield.

The Leo Scores were available.

I witnessed a great game in Herscher, Illinois last night. I taught at Bishop Mac from 1975-1988 and know many of the parents of kids on the Fighting Irish roster, having had the poor kids in my English classes. I saw the once beefy Kyle Turro, an outstanding football player, know lithe of frame due to parenting five bairns himself. I saw Julie Mowrey, now a teacher at MAC and the stunning Donna Douglas who continues to look like a prom queen/volleyball stand-out. Dave Hoekstra, who suffered my American and British Lit torments salved by my late wife Mary's art instruction in the 1980's, is the proud father of Mac's Center Mike Hoekstra who dominated the boards all night long. There was Scott O'Brien and his mom watching hot shooting Guard Mitch O'Brien. Scott was a great Mac player himself.

Bishop McNamara controlled the game under the boards and from the free-throw line, as well as outside shooting. Leo was plagued by the invisible cover over the hoops all night it seemed and our free throw shots were colder than a mother-in-law's kiss. Leo President and hardwood veteran of our three-floor gym, Dan McGrath kept the stats - " We are 2-10 in free throws."

Leo brought a Fan bus packed with kids and Leo Alumni and their spirited joyful noise got our guys to dig deeper and close the deficit with the fiery will of LION!

With two minutes to go, led by the outstandingly aggressive play of Kieron Bragg(34), Jarrod Cooper (20), Martez Hampton (13) and the star of the comeback Tybias Scott (3) Leo tied the Irish at the buzzer.

I missed most of the Leo dominated OT 4minutes, because one of our most loyal Alums lost a valuable item that fell under the Herscher bleachers. As Director of Development, yours truly crawled under the stands in a futile search and was joined by decorated Vietnam Veteran and Leo Hall of Fame-er Jack Farnan. Herscher High School football coach John Wakey and I shared remembrances of days past amid the gum, pop, popcorn and snot rags, " Hickey, you ever learn anything about football?"

Not a whit, John, but thanks for asking. Always a sound and healthful thing to be reminded of one's less than formidable gifts. John Wakey is a man and a half and credit to the teaching professional. We climbed out from under the stands without finding a very precious item lost. With prayers to St. Anthony it will turn up.

Leo controlled the OT. Bishop McNamara is a magnificent team and a great school. I spent some of the happiest years of my very happy life there. The Lions managed to score more baskets in the Over Time.

The Lions were tested by the Fighting Irish. The Finals are Friday in Herscher.

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