Oak Park Youth Baseball's U9 Blue Eagles team completed an 11-4 season by placing second in the PONY regionals at Ridgeland Common. The performance followed a first-place trophy in the Oak Lawn tournament, where they topped previously unbeaten Elk Grove Village in the finals. Earlier in the season, the Blue Eagles bounced back from two losses to earn third place in the 16-team Homer Heat tournamentâ€"launching an eight-game winning streak.
Oak Park and River Forest High School student and athlete Brad Bolen won his third straight U.S. Judo Jr. Olympics championship in Atlanta, Ga., competing in the 55kg (121.3 pounds), Under 17 Division. After a disappointing third place finish at the U.S. Judo Association Jr. Nationals in Toledo Ohio, Bolen bounced back with an impressive first place finish at the nationals, in Irvine Calif., defeating last year's champion Arnold Toriumi from Hawaii in the finals, and winning the tournament's male "Fighting Spirit" Award.
Bolen will be a junior this year and is a member of the OPRF varsity wrestling team.
The 14 year old PONY tournament team won the Oak Park Regional to advance to the Zone tournament. They won three straight games in the Regional to advance to the Zone, improving their record to 16-1. Results are below:
Thursday July 28
Oak Park 13, Channahan 4
(Stephen Ragalie earned the win on the mound. Michael Locasto, 5-for-5; Scott Rasley was 2-for-4, HR; Joe Ketcik was 4-for-5, HR).
Friday July 29
Oak Park 12, Rockford 0
(Michael Loni earned the win on the mound with a complete game shut-out.
Scott Rasley 2 for 3, HR; Stephen Ragalie was 2 2B; Jordan Sheer 2-for-3)
Saturday July 30 (Championship)
Oak Park 3, Rockford 1
(Neemah BassariRad retired 18 of the last 19 batters to earn the complete game win. Oak Park won the game behind great pitching and terrific defensive performances by John Frueh (catcher), Logan Miller (shortstop), and Joe Ketcik (third base). Jordan Sheer had a huge pinch hit double to spark the Oak Park offense)
Other members of the team include: Luke McLeese, Michael Turco, Ryan Mullin, Nick Bicak, Sean Cavanaugh, Austin Brown. Oak Park is coached by J.P. Coughlin, Rob Ruffulo, and Gregg Ragalie.