Back in December, we gave you the Top 10 area sports highlights of the Fall season. Now it’s time to highlight the accomplishments of area high school sports teams of the winter-a grueling season I am only able to trudge through thanks to a constant fix of area sports (and a weeklong vacation in Florida). Because I sympathize with people who have Attention Deficit Syndrome, I have reduced the Top 10 to a Top 5 (actually it’s because I have Attention Deficit Syndrome). Reminder: No brooding, grandstanding or wagering!

Top 5 winter sports highlights:

No. 5: There’s more to being a gymnast than cartwheels, somersaults and chalk stains. The OPRF gymnastics team had one of its best seasons in years when the Huskies finished second at regionals and advanced several tumblers to sectionals, including M.G. Senseng, Catherine Malin, Kaci Cunningham, Christine Weidman, and Nicki Johnson.

No. 4: There was comfort in John Comfort’s two key free throws in the closing seconds of the Fenwick boys basketball team’s 59-50 victory over Gordon Tech in February. Actually, the entire team was extremely comfortable at the charity stripe, nailing 10-of-10 in the fourth and 23-of-24 in the game.

No. 3: The OPRF wrestling squad took out its frustration from losing to Lyons Township by pummeling its crosstown rival Fenwick, 49-23. Ellis Coleman (119-pound weight class), Dan Martin (145) and Max Brooks (215) pinned their opponents, while Weldon Rogers (140) and Peter Lovaas (152) forced technical falls.

No. 2: The date was Dec. 21. It was the regular season. The two teams hadn’t met during the regular season in years. The OPRF boys basketball team came into Fenwick’s fieldhouse with a holiday gift for their crosstown rival. In front of over 1,000 spectators, the Huskies handed the Friars a 58-44 loss. OPRF bolted to a 9-0 start and never looked back.

And the No. 1 highlight of the winter sports season was … drum roll, please … drum roll! … Thddddd, thddddd, thdddddd! Stop! Stop the drumming!

The Fenwick girls basketball team wins the IHSA Class AA State championship with a 35-27 victory over Bolingbrook, a team featuring former Friar Samantha Woods, in a physical, low-scoring contest at Redbird Arena in early March. It was a triumphant finish to a successful high school career for senior starters Devereaux Peters, Alison Jackson, Erin Power and Holly Harvey, as well as perhaps a glimpse at what’s to come. Freshman Tricia Liston started for the Friars and scored 10 points.

Those who were snowed from the Top 5? Fenwick hockey finished runner-up in the Blackhawk Cup; Fenwick swimming finished second at the MCAC tourney; OPRF hockey reached the quarterfinals of the Chicago Blackhawk Charities Holiday Tourney; and you, the reader, from me.

I should have gone with a Top 10.


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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...