OPRF Hockey Club hires new director

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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

The OPRF Hockey Club announced last week that it has hired Dave Dyson to serve as the organization's hockey director and varsity head coach.

Dyson comes to OPRF after a successful seven-year run with the Bartlett Wildhawks Hockey Club.

"When I started in Bartlett, we barely had enough kids for one team," said Dyson. "For the 2012-2013 season, we were able to field three very competitive teams."

Dyson helped transform Bartlett into a hockey powerhouse, taking the varsity team to the Blackhawk Cup Championship game in 2012 and the semifinals in 2013. He was named the Metro West Coach of the Year in 2012 and received the Lori Maly Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

"Coaching hockey at this level is about more than developing better hockey players," he said. "It's about developing better people. Over 80-percent of our kids were on the honor roll last year and we'll expect a strong commitment to academics and community service from the players in Oak Park."

Dyson comes to the Huskies program excited for a fresh start and well aware of the challenges presented by the renovation at Ridgeland Common. "We'll be kind of a nomadic club next season but we'll use it to our advantage to shape our identity and build a culture for success."

The Huskies' spring clinics started the first week of April at Johnny's Ice House East and run through the end of May. The clinics are open to bantam, incoming freshman and returning OPRF players and have given Dyson the chance to meet players and parents.

"There's a real sense of excitement in the hockey community," he said. "We're going to build a Top 10 or 15 hockey program here in Oak Park. It will be hard work but I can't wait to get started."

Lattner headed to Augustana

Fenwick High School student-athlete Danny Lattner announced last week that he plans on attending Augustana College and play for the school's football team.

Lattner played wide receiver, cornerback and quarterback for the Friars, earning All-Chicago Catholic League recognition. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder caught 28 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns his senior year. He helped lead Fenwick to an 8-4 record, an undefeated Chicago Catholic League White Division championship and the IHSA Class 7A playoffs, where the Friars reached the second round.

Lattner, the grandson of 1953 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner, also lettered in lacrosse and rugby at Fenwick.

In addition to his accomplishments on the gridiron, Lattner lettered in lacrosse and rugby and participated in basketball at Fenwick.

Augustana, a Division III school, finished 5-5 last year in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Concordia baseball earns top 25 ranking

Concordia University Chicago's baseball team cracked the top 25 in the current American Baseball Coaches' Association (ABCA) poll last week. The Cougars are ranked 24th nationally in the NCAA Division III.

Concordia was riding a 10-game winning streak overall and in Northern Athletics Conference play when it made the ranking. As of last week, the Cougars were 20-3 overall, and 10-2 in the NAC.

"We're happy to be in the top 25, but we realize that there is a lot of the season left to be played," said third-year head coach Adam Smith. "Right now, we just want to keep doing what we've been doing and focus on our next opponent."

OPRF hoopsters selected to play in all-star games

OPRF boys basketball players Virgil Allen and Alex Gustafson were selected to play in separate all-star games.

Allen, will play in the Nike City-Suburban All-Star game on April 26 (6 p.m.) at Simeon High School. Gustafson was selected to play in the Hoops Classic West Side-South Side game on May 4 (2 p.m.) at the University of Chicago. Former OPRF players Gabe Levin and Ka'Darryl Bell played in this game last year.

Email: bspencer@oakpark.com Twitter: OakParkSports

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