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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rising through the ranks 'Freaky Fast'

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rising through the ranks 'Freaky Fast'

Carl Buergler can still remember the silence on the other end of the phone when talking to former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees.

August 18, 2014 6:30 pm Photos

Photos

MIKE NIETO: T.F. South football reunion should be a good one

MIKE NIETO: T.F. South football reunion should be a good one

Circle Sept. 5 on your calendar.

August 14, 2014 7:00 pm
ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Just take a number, any number

ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Just take a number, any number

When T.F. South coach Tom Padjen instructed his players that uniforms would be given out, one of the players said: "Let's get their early before all the good numbers are taken."

August 14, 2014 4:30 pm Photos

Photos

Former Valparaiso boys and girls basketball coach Dale Ciciora

Mike Nieto talks with former Valparaiso boys and girls basketball coach Dale Ciciora.

August 14, 2014 12:00 am
Houston transfers to Missouri for baseball

Houston transfers to Missouri for baseball

Jerry Houston said he just wants to be closer to home.

August 13, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

T.F. South players listen to coach Tom Padjen

T.F. South players listen to coach Tom Padjen

The T.F. South football team listens to coach Tm Padjen, third from left, after Tuesday's practice.

August 12, 2014 5:05 pm
ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Sandifer anxious for volleyball practice to start

ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Sandifer anxious for volleyball practice to start

With volleyball practice to begin today, new T.F. North coach LaShaunda Sandifer is excited to see how the summer work has paid off.

August 12, 2014 4:30 pm Photos

Photos

New era for T.F. North football

New era for T.F. North football

CALUMET CITY | T.F. North two-way lineman Jamal Williams wanted to make sure the tone was set for the rest of the season.

August 11, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Ciciora wanted to make a difference and he did

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Ciciora wanted to make a difference and he did

VALPARAISO | Dale Ciciora remembers the biggest challenge he got from his high school coach.

August 11, 2014 6:30 pm Photos

Photos

Schools ready for first day of practice

Schools ready for first day of practice

Most schools around the state will open practice today, two days earlier than the usual Wednesday start date, and coaches have mixed feelings about the two extra days.

August 10, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

Kelly, NFL players ready for 'chip' on shoulder (pads)

Kelly, NFL players ready for 'chip' on shoulder (pads)

Eagles right guard Dennis Kelly doesn't mind having a chip on his shoulder.

August 07, 2014 6:00 pm Photos

Photos

MIKE NIETO: Some things to watch for in 2014

As the final days of summer wind down, people are talking about the upcoming football season, which gets underway with Monday's first official practice.

August 07, 2014 4:45 pm

Former Portage boys basketball coach Harold Cox

Times sports writer Mike Nieto talks with former Portage boys basketball coach Harold Cox.

August 07, 2014 12:00 am
Mike Husar Jr. on Rimington Trophy watch list

Mike Husar Jr. on Rimington Trophy watch list

Air Force senior center Mike Husar Jr. knows part of his job is to open big chunks of space for his ball carriers.

August 06, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Pignatiello to be T.F. North baseball coach

ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Pignatiello to be T.F. North baseball coach

Anthony Pignatiello is expected to be named T.F. North's baseball coach, according to North principal Dwayne Evans.

August 05, 2014 7:30 pm Photos

Photos

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Helblings enjoying careers in education

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Helblings enjoying careers in education

Gina and Jason Helbling remember the first time they met.

August 04, 2014 6:30 pm Photos

Photos

H-F's Zach Fulton part of Chiefs' offensive line shuffle

H-F's Zach Fulton part of Chiefs' offensive line shuffle

Zach Fulton doesn't mind showing his versatility.

August 01, 2014 7:00 pm

MIKE NIETO: This is for a good purpose

Somehow, you almost expect him to be waiting for everyone at the 19th hole with a cold drink in hand and asking you how you putted.

July 31, 2014 4:45 pm

PODCAST: Mike Nieto talks with former Valparaiso boys basketball coach Virgil Sweet

PODCAST: Mike Nieto talks with former Valparaiso boys basketball coach Virgil Sweet

July 31, 2014 12:00 am
Bloom's Pugh making a name for himself

Bloom's Pugh making a name for himself

He admits he was a little overwhelmed, but flattered at the same time.

July 28, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Sweet is still king of free-throw shooting method

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Sweet is still king of free-throw shooting method

VALPARAISO | When Virgil Sweet and Dale Ciciora walked into a hot, empty Boucher Gym at Ben Franklin Middle School last week, they recalled the cold, January nights back in time.

July 28, 2014 6:30 pm Photos

Photos

MIKE NIETO: Jennings brings confidence to Thornridge football

MIKE NIETO: Jennings brings confidence to Thornridge football

DOLTON | What many think is a most difficult task doesn't phase new Thornridge football coach Pat Jennings.

July 24, 2014 4:45 pm

PODCAST: Mike Nieto with T.F. North football coach Rich Watson

PODCAST: Times Illinois Prep Coordinator Mike Nieto talks with T.F. North football coach Rich Watson how the Meteors are preparing for the 2014 season.

July 24, 2014 12:00 am
Lynch set for Bears camp

Lynch set for Bears camp

Jordan Lynch knows all the numbers he put up at Northern Illinois as a quarterback don't mean a thing.

July 23, 2014 7:30 pm
Arlene Ramos coming back to coach volleyball at St. Francis de Sales

Arlene Ramos coming back to coach volleyball at St. Francis de Sales

Arlene Ramos' retirement was a short one.

July 23, 2014 6:00 pm
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Pratt still making a difference

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Pratt still making a difference

Homewood-Flossmoor football coach Craig Buzea said that assistant coach Alexander Pratt brings more than knowledge of being a former head coach to the Vikings football program.

July 21, 2014 6:20 pm Photos

Photos

NIETO BLOG: Video in baseball strategy?

The National Federation of State High School Associations approved the use of video for coaching purposes.

July 14, 2014 10:00 pm
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Former Clark football coach weathers the storms

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Former Clark football coach weathers the storms

Former Clark and Calumet football coach Nick Voris jokes that he has the perfect way to keep in shape.

July 14, 2014 6:20 pm
Some schools combine for certain programs

Some schools combine for certain programs

Devin Mahnke made history in 2013 when he took second in the Class 1A state wrestling meet at 182 pounds.

July 12, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

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Bloom has combined programs for years

Bloom has combined programs for years

Bloom Township athletic director Joe Reda breathed a sigh of relief on a May day.

July 12, 2014 7:00 pm
MIKE NIETO: T.F. North's Price knows Shriner's Game more than a contest

MIKE NIETO: T.F. North's Price knows Shriner's Game more than a contest

A.J. Price knows college scouts will be in the crowd at Tucci Stadium on Saturday night at the 40th annual Illinois High School Shrine Game on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus.

July 10, 2014 7:00 pm
PODCAST: Mike Nieto talks with former Gavit star Rich Blastic

PODCAST: Mike Nieto talks with former Gavit star Rich Blastic

Former Gavit and Wabash College football and baseball star Rich Blastic, now plant manager at Huhtamaki in Hammond, talks with Times sports writer Mike Nieto

July 10, 2014 12:00 am

Baseball teams can use video for coaching purposes

They say old-time managers like Casey Stengel managed by the seat of his pants.

July 08, 2014 8:00 pm
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rich Kallok

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rich Kallok

Like many success stories, Rich Kallok's coaching career started by coincidence.

July 07, 2014 7:30 pm
Mount Carmel wrestler Bryce Brill is The Times Illinois Male Athlete of the Year

Mount Carmel wrestler Bryce Brill is The Times Illinois Male Athlete of the Year

Bryce Brill cracks a grin when people ask him if he knows how to spell "success."

July 05, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

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MIKE NIETO: Metcalfe excited to be back at head coach

MIKE NIETO: Metcalfe excited to be back at head coach

Liz Metcalfe said she was a little nervous when her Illiana Christian girls basketball team took the floor at the Shepard summer league.

July 03, 2014 7:00 pm

PODCAST: Mike Nieto talks with New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas

PODCAST: Mike Nieto talks with New Orleans Saints running back and former T.F. South star Pierre Thomas.

July 03, 2014 12:00 am
Crete-Monee's Stringer to play football at Indiana

Crete-Monee's Stringer to play football at Indiana

Crete-Monee senior linebacker Omari Stringer has committed to Indiana University.

July 01, 2014 8:00 pm Photos

Photos

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rich Blastic runs Huhtamaki packaging plant

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rich Blastic runs Huhtamaki packaging plant

HAMMOND | When Rich Blastic walks into a store or sees someone carrying drinks from a restaurant, a sense of pride comes over him.

June 30, 2014 7:30 pm Photos

Photos

Illinois Lutheran's Mark Kjenstad is the Times Baseball Coach of the Year

Illinois Lutheran's Mark Kjenstad is the Times Baseball Coach of the Year

STEGER | Illinois Lutheran baseball coach Mark Kjenstad spent more time pacing the floor at night than he did pacing in the dugout during one of the Chargers games.

June 28, 2014 6:00 pm Video Photos

Photos

Illinois Lutheran's Sam Geraci is the Times Baseball Player of the Year

Illinois Lutheran's Sam Geraci is the Times Baseball Player of the Year

STEGER | It caught the ear of Illinois Lutheran baseball coach Mark KJenstad when his 6-year-old son Ryen got everyone's attention at Veterans Park in Steger.

June 28, 2014 6:00 pm Video Photos

Photos

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Thomas sends message to youth

Thomas sends message to youth

LANSING | When T.F. South football coach Tom Padjen calls his former player Pierre Thomas a superstar, he stresses that it is not just because he is a star NFL running back for the New Orleans Saints.

June 27, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

Photos

Podcast: MIke Nieto talks with Mount Carmel's David Dobinrich

Mount Carmel's David Dobinrich talks with Mike Nieto about playing in U.S. Cellular Field

June 27, 2014 12:00 am

NIETO BLOG: Thomas a fun camp

It as hard to tell who was having more fun at the Pierre Thomas skills camp at T.F. South Tuesday -- the young campers or Thomas?

June 26, 2014 10:00 pm
ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Public vs. private prep sports debate continues

ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Public vs. private prep sports debate continues

Is the line about to be drawn in the sand again?

June 26, 2014 5:45 pm Photos

Photos

Marian's Friel is state's top lacrosse goal scorer

Marian's Friel is state's top lacrosse goal scorer

Celeste Friel remembers the day she broke the Illinois girls lacrosse single-season state goals record.

June 26, 2014 5:00 pm Photos

Photos

MIKE NIETO: Does this have legs this time?

Will the kitchen sink be thrown in next?

June 26, 2014 5:00 pm
Marc Condotti is new H-F boys hoops coach

Marc Condotti is new H-F boys hoops coach

Homewood-Flossmoor didn't have to look far to name its new boys basketball coach.

June 24, 2014 7:00 pm
Campers score big at Pierre Thomas camp

Campers score big at Pierre Thomas camp

LANSING | Despite the rain pelting him and the campers, Pierre Thomas stood outside of T.F. South's football stadium Tuesday afternoon and posed for pictures and signed autographs for campers.

June 24, 2014 7:00 pm Video Photos

Photos

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Jeff Stur has a 'Golden Eagle' eye view of things

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Jeff Stur has a 'Golden Eagle' eye view of things

Jeff Stur knew he would have to have some creativity if he wanted to work in the sports marketing and media relations field.

June 23, 2014 7:30 pm Photos

Photos

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