Here are the team award-winners for fall sports (Editor’s note: Not every team hands out awards.)
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
The Ramblers captured their first Chicago Catholic League championship since 2014 on the strength of five runners who finished 14th or better. All seven in the lineup — senior Ian Gallo, senior Jack Lynch, senior Eli Miller, senior Zachary Swanson, junior Alex Owens, sophomore Spencer Dzyacky and freshman Spencer Werner — earned all-conference honors.
Most Valuable — Spencer Dzyacky, Jack Lynch
Outstanding Performer — Eli Miller, Zachary Swanson, Spencer Werner
Coaches’ Award — Ian Gallo
Outstanding Performer (junior) — Alex Owens
The Ramblers advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Senior Malley Flanagan was selected to the all-state second team. Senior Anna Gordon, senior Anya Kavanagh and Flanagan all earned all-conference honors.
MVP — Anna Gordon
A two-year captain and four-year varsity veteran, the senior midfielder combined speed, endurance and field awareness to be effective on both offense and defense, according to head coach Anne Nimz.
Most Valuable Offense — Caroline Foley
Playing on the difficult left side of the field, the senior forward still managed to score 10 goals.
Most Valuable Defense — Malley Flanagan, Anya Kavanagh
Four-year varsity players, the senior defenders and captains anchored the back for the Ramblers.
Most Improved — Betsy Leinenweber
After working her way into the starting lineup early in the season, the junior forward finished the season ranked third on the team with eight goals.
Coaches Award — Claire Daffada
Not only did the senior defender exhibit the physical tools succeed, she could always be counted on for her unrelenting effort, according to Nimz.
Sportsmanship Award — Gigi Schaefer
This honor, handed out by the state association, is given to a player who embodies the spirit of the sport. A junior midfielder, Gigi Schaefer is a three-year varsity player.
The Ramblers won their final eight games of the season to finish 11-3 and capture the Class 8A state championship.
Robert W. Skoglund Award — Jack Burke
This honor goes to the player who exhibits excellence in both the classroom and on the football field. The award’s namesake was a 1943 Loyola graduate who played for Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers.
Rev. John P. Beall, S.J. MVP Football Award — Armoni Dixon
Given to the best player on the team. The senior outside linebacker was a disruptive force in his second season as a starter. In Loyola’s 13-3 win over Brother Rice in the Class 8A state final, the Tulane-bound Armoni Dixon had seven tackles to go with one sack. For the season, he finished with a team-high 18 tackles for loss. He also totaled seven sacks.
Michael I. English, S.J. Memorial Award — Sam Schierloh
An award that recognizes the player whose ability, courage and dedication to his craft are second to none. It’s named in memory of a former President of Loyola who encouraged and supported rebuilding the athletic program during the 1960s.
John H. McCummisky, S.J. Memorial Award — Michael Gavric, Michael Kadus
This honor, named for a former teacher at Loyola in the 1960s, is given to the player who showcased a consistent record of good sportsmanship.
Bill and Nicki O’Donnell Award — Artie Collins
Winners of this award are players who provide inspiration to teammates during the least glamorous and most challenging times by displaying leadership and enthusiasm during practice sessions.
MVP of Offense — Rory Boos, Jack Fallon
The senior captains and products of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview enjoyed enviable chemistry on the football field. Rory Boos finished first on the team in receptions (52), receiving yards (814) and receiving touchdowns (10). He’s first on the program’s all-time list for receiving TDs with 21 and second in receptions (97) and receiving yards (1,641). Quarterback Jack Fallon missed three full games toward the beginning of the season by led the Ramblers to eight consecutive wins and the Class 8A state championship. He completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 1,340 yards and 12 TDs. He ran for 380 yards and four TDs.
MVP of Defense — Jake Gonzalez
A senior captain and three-year starter at safety, the Penn-bound Jake Gonzalez led the Ramblers with 135 tackles and is first on the program’s all-time list with 355. He finished with two interceptions, two tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one sack this year. During his three varsity seasons, Gonzalez missed one practice, according to head coach John Holecek.
Strength Award — Conor Hough
Most Inspirational Player — Joe Naselli
Most Improved Award — Eddie Eastman (defense), Jared Lombardi (offense)
2018 captains — Luke Desherow, Christo Kelly, Matt Mangan
The Ramblers captured Class 3A regional and sectional championships and finished fifth at the state tournament. Senior Christopher Lee won the individual title at the sectional tournament, and senior Jack Crawshaw finished first at the regional. The Ramblers also took home the Chicago Catholic League title.
MVP — Peter Radler
He’s the only player in program history to earn two state medals. He tied for fifth as a senior and tied for eighth as a junior at the Class 3A state tournament. He plans to play at Holy Cross.
Coaches Award — Casey Kenny
Head coach Tim Kane comment: A good player who just missed out on being on our postseason team. He still continued to work hard and do whatever we asked. He was a third coach for us [at the state tournament].
Most Improved — Will Keenan
Kane comment: Nice young player who, through hard work, quietly developed his game to play good, solid golf.
The GCAC champion Ramblers took sixth place at the Class 2A state tournament after finishing as runner-up at both the regional and sectional tournaments. Junior Mary Boesen shot 75 at Glencoe Golf Club to win regional title at by seven strokes.
MVP — Lilly Gentzkow
The Iowa-bound senior enjoyed the best season of her career. After earning medalist honors at the conference tournament, she finished fourth at the regional and tied for seventh at the sectional before tying for 13th at the state tournament.
Coaches Award — Shea Graf
Most Improved — Cate O’Brien
GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING
Rambler of the Year — Aidan Koconis-O’Malley
MVP — Maddy Reed, Stephanie Udzielak
Most Improved — Kathleen Wannemacher
Coaches Award — Maggie Heintz
The Ramblers won the GCAC Red championship by one point over St. Ignatius.
MVP — Catherine Power, Lizzy Witkowski
The seniors and doubles partners qualified for the Class 2A state tournament. Catherine Power and Lizzy Witkowski also teamed up to finish first at No. 1 doubles in the league.
Coaches Award — Caitlin Ciolek
Head coach Tom Gordon comment: Caitlin sacrificed a lot for us. [A senior], she started at No. 1 singles then moved to No. 2 singles for the conference tournament and took first place. She also played doubles at the Niles West Sectional. Her flexibility and commitment to the team were a big reason why we were able to be successful.
Most Improved — Katherine Beard
The team’s No. 2 singles player last season, the junior thrived at the No. 1 position this year, earning victories over well-regarded players from Latin and Stevenson. Katherine Beard came within one win of qualifying for the Class 2A state tournament.
The Ramblers enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history. They won a Class 4A sectional title, the first since 2015 and third overall, and finished 30-9.
MVP — Mary Kate Lopez (pictured above)
A right-side hitter and setter, the senior led the team in kills (248), assists (389) and blocks (70). The Oregon State signee also had 149 digs and 34 aces. Mary Kate Lopez totaled five kills and one ace to help the Ramblers to a Class 4A sectional championship. In the supersectional, she had eight kills, seven assists and two digs.
Most Improved — Jackie Yau
In only 22 matches, the junior middle blocker had 66 kills and 43 blocks. In the Class 4A sectional final, Jackie Yau had six kills and two blocks. She ended the season with five kills and one block in the supersectional at Warren.
Coaches Award — Julia Martinez
Head coach Mallory Thelander comment: As the season progressed, Julia began to be known among the coaching staff as the “impossible” player. She had the ability to dig up a ball that everyone else had already assumed hit the ground and attack the ball so hard that the other team would not even be able to react to it. It always amazes me when I remember that volleyball is not even her main sport. She dedicated herself to watching film on a consistent basis and critique herself as well as the team in order to improve. She truly is an all-around athlete.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola