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The Ritan

Volume Eighty. Number Two. www.TheRitan.com Thursday, December 18, 2008

Knights of Augustine commit to serve


By Luke Konrath
A Student Publication of Sophomore Writer
Saint Rita of Casica High School In recent years, one of the fastest growing and largest extracur-
7740 South Western Avenue ricular organizations at Rita has been the Knights of Augustine.
Chicago, Illinois 60620 Over 120 new and returning Rita students were inducted this
year into the Knights during Rita’s Family Mass on November
16th.

In This Issue The Knights of Augustine is a fraternal order of students that


strives to embody the Augustinian core values of truth, unity, and
love through active prayer and service.
Page 2 Many students have become attracted to the K of A because of
Rita band holds Christmas concert what the fraternity represents and what each of them as members
are able to do for others.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing for a student to join the Knights
of Augustine. For the most part, until now, they have been on
the receiving line,” said K of A moderator, Bro. Jerome Sysko,
OSA. Photo courtesy of Bro. Jerome Sysko, OSA
“The K of A provides a means for students to learn how to give KNIGHTS OF AUGUSTINE officers, from left, seniors Dan Dillon and
to others. They begin to realize how true the words of Jesus are, Brian Allen sign their names into the K of A Pledge book during their recent
induction ceremony, as K of A president, senior Frank Herrera watches on.
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,’” he said.
KNIGHT ACTIVITY TAKES place both in and outside the ing two of the men who graduated from St. Rita High School.
Photo by Al Smith walls of Rita. Monthly meetings are held to organize services “Students are amazed at the sense of community that exists
provided by the K of A and to plan activities that foster building a among all the people that come to the shelter. They are also
Page 3 stronger community such as pool and gym nights. moved by the gratitude that is expressed by the guests,” he said.
Sixth Augustinian Values Institute Knights serve as altar servers, ushers, lectors, and Eucharistic Bro. Jerome explained, “The students help in distributing
held in Tulsa, Okalahoma ministers at school Masses and monthly St. Rita Novena Masses. clothes and toiletries. After that is done they help serving the
Page 5 They also help, Fr. Tom McCarthy, OSA, Rita’s President, lead evening meal. During the meal, students will sit and interact with
Barrack Obama makes history 7th and 8th grade retreats and assist in directing Rita class re- the men and women. After the meal is finished, they help clean up
treats. and return back to school.”
Page 8 The Knights actively participate in annual Augustinian Youth THIS YEAR THE staff in the Campus Ministry Office,
Varsity Mustang Football team Conferences and attend the weekly Thursday St. Rita Novena through which the K of A is operated, plans to guide the Knights
captures 2008 Catholic League Title Members also give their time and energy to help other orga- to go beyond what they are currently involved with.
nizations by collecting donations that assist the efforts of the “We want to go beyond shaking the can for donations and vol-
Knights of Columbus, the Lyons Club, the Kiwanis Club, and unteering at PADS,” said Augustinian volunteer Ms. Meghan
Angel’s Touch. Fitzgerald.
Starting last month and continuing throughout the year, every Campus Ministry and the K of A is planning to participate in a
week four to five members of the Knights of Augustine volunteer larger scale community outreach project that will be much more
at the local Public Action to Deliver Shelter “PADS” shelter. involved than some of the projects worked on in the past.
“Perhaps one of the most moving experiences is the K of A Senior Frank Herrera, the K of A’s newly elected president,
involvement at the PADS shelter,” said Bro. Jerome. along with his fellow officers, senior Brian Allen, and juniors Dan
“Most of the students who go there have never experienced Dillon, Tim Ladd, and Ryan Nolan are working with the entire K
Photo by David Huang poverty. For most of them, it is a first time meeting people who or A fraternity to discuss ideas for this larger outreach project as
literally live on the streets. I think the greatest shock of all is meet- well as other new ideas for K of A in general.

Homecoming and Food Drive successful again


By Kyel White Freshmen kicked off the week as homeroom sections During the food drive, homeroom sections brought in
Senior Writer competed against one another to see who could show the non-perishable food items and competed to see which
most pride and creativity in decorating the hallways of the homeroom could collect the most food to help others in
Rita’s Annual Homecoming Week celebration, largely school. need.
organized by the Student Government officers, has once THROUGH THE EMBELLISHMENT of stream- The homeroom competition was close throughout; with
again come and gone. ers, balloons, posters, and window paint, Mrs. Maureen history teacher Mr. Jerry Pazin hoping for yet another vic-
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families showed Pangrazio’s homeroom was victorious in winning the tory with his homeroom.
their pride in Rita and how much they truly live up to this much sought after grand prize of a pizza party. However, newcomer Mrs. Mary Albrecht edged him and
year’s them and “Commit to the Mustang.” This year’s festivities once again included the always his homeroom out, as the students of her class took home
popular Mustang Olympics, which had the “Golden Gobbler” by collecting a total of 565 items,
several new turns and surprises as well as just 26 more items than Mr. Pazin’s 539.
regular favorites. An overall total of 3,745 items were collected school-
Students were able take a chance at wide. The food was delivered to St. Claire of Montefalco
throwing pies in faculty and staff mem- and St. Rita Parish, St. Basil Visitation Parish, and Angel’s
bers’ faces and saw what students could Touch. St. Claire and St. Rita went on to aid St. Pancratius
eat the most White Castle hamburgers. Parish and Our Lady of Fatima Parish using some of the
Rita’s Augustinian brothers who were food donated by the Rita students.
visiting from Sydney, Australia as part THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT officers and their
of the International Exchange Program moderator, Bro. Gary Hresil, OSA, are gracious to every-
showed everyone that they could talk the one that contributed in helping to feed others in need dur-
talk and walk the walk as they finished in ing the holiday season.
third place for the Olympics. There are many more plans in store for Student Govern-
The senior class was once again tri- ment as the year continues, including proms, dance, the
umphant in the Olympics as they were blood drive, and eventually Spring Pride Week 2009.
able to overtake the rest of the school, the In order to assist the senior, junior, and sophomore class
Australians, and even the faculty to win officers, the freshman class recently elected and inducted
Photo courtesy of Advancement Office first place. its new officers.
A TOTAL OF 3,745 food items were collected by Rita students to help those in need dur- In addition, to the many events associ- At the all-school mass held on November, 26th, Brendan
ing the Student Government’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. From left, Student
Government officials Augustinian Volunteer Mr. Joe Toomey, seniors Jack O’Connor,
ated with Homecoming, the Student Gov- Duffy, Jack Konrath, Dan Ladd, and Shakir Spells were
Dan Harney, moderator Bro. Gary Hresil, OSA, seniors Martin Hopkins, Pat McCa- ernment also recently organized the An- sworn in as officers by Rita’s President Fr. Tom McCarthy,
rthy, and Dylan Dineen show off just a small handful of the food that was collected. nual Thanksgiving Food Drive. OSA, and Mrs. Sally Deenihan, Principal.
December 18, 2008
Page 2
NEWS
Australian exchange proves a success
By Dave Schrader
Assistant Editor and Alex Summerfelt.
Experiencing the best cultural aspects
During the month of October, Rita wel- that Chicago and Rita have to offer was vi-
comed several students who traveled from tal to the success of the Australians visit.
Sydney, Australia to spend time with Rita The students had a tour exploring the in-
students as part of Rita’s International Ex- fluence of American art on the rest of the
change Program. world while visiting the Art Institute of
This cultural exchange opportunity, Chicago.
which is in its second year, allowed the There was also an opportunity for the
Australian visitors a chance to experience Australians to sit in on a Chicago City
the culture of the United States, Chicago, Council meeting, during which time they
and St. Rita High School. met with Chicago’s Mayor Richard M.
The Australian students lived in Chicago Daley and 18th Ward Alderwoman Lona
for three weeks, during which time they Lane.
experienced a plethora of activities, all of An architectural tour of Chicago gave the
which showcased many cultural aspects of students a visual perspective of many of
Chicago and life at Rita as are experienced Chicago’s major buildings that are world-
by Rita students. renowned for their architecture. Photo courtesy of Advancement Office
STANDING IN FRONT of the Rita marquee are the seven Australian students who were a
Those Australian students, who them- THEY EVEN WENT to ESPN Zone,
part of the Rita community for three weeks during October. They are joined by their school
selves attend an Augustinian school, were where they not only were able to have a administrator Mr. Gary Coulter (far left) and Rita’s President Fr. Tom McCarthy, OSA.
Jake White, Kieron McIlvin, Hugo Hart- fun time, but also able to get a feel for the
ley, Clay Simons, Mitchel Allison, Lewis great tradition that is Chicago sports. student hosts in attending classes, dressed the Chicago Catholic League title with a
Evans, Jamie Sargeant. They were accom- Finally, the Australian students attend- as Rita student do, and even enrolled in af- win over Br. Rice during the Homecoming
panied for the start of their journey by and ed a Naval Training Graduation at Great terschool activities to get a feel of how be- game.
their administrator Mr. Gary Coulter. Lakes Naval Base, which allowed them to ing involved and working hard is important The time spent in Chicago by the Austra-
RITA STUDENTS AND families wel- witness and learn about the patriotism of to Rita students. lians was viewed as a huge success by its
comed these young men into their homes the United States. BEFORE LEAVING THE Australians organizers and plans are currently under-
to bring a greater sense of the Rita com- Cultural field trips were only a part of the were given the chance to experience the way for future exchange visits to Chicago.
munity and culture. learning experience, however. Being a part yearly traditions of Homecoming Week However, before Rita receives more visi-
Those students who served as hosts with of the regular Rita school day was also part activities. tors those students who hosted the Austra-
their families were juniors Walker Dunne, of the experience each of these students They were witness to the sense of pride lian guests will be traveling to Australia to
Vince Riggio, Eric Sloyan, Kyle Toth, and took in. had during such events as the Mustang have a cultural learning experience of their
Kevin Yerkes, sophomores Dan McGrath The exchange students joined their Rita Olympics and saw the Mustangs clinch own in April.

Marching, concerts, and practices Rita honors


part of successful year for Rita band Our Lady of
Guadalupe
By Matthew Dunson
or activities.
Junior Writer Band Director Ms. Cindy Gradek and other school admin-
It has been yet another new and successful beginning to istrators have been working together to ensure that all stu-

during special
one of the many cornerstones of Rita: The St. Rita Marching dents have the opportunity to be a part of the band.
Mustangs Band. The Mustangs put on their Annual Christmas Concert De-
Without them playing at football and basketball games, cember 10th and are now gearing up to compete in the State
pep rallies, concerts, and various other school functions, of the Art Catholic Band Competition. That competition
Rita would not be the same place.
Mass ceremony
This year is no exception; the band is preparing for a year
of excellence by changing their practice-time structure and
will be taking place February 21st at Marian Catholic.
JUST ONE WEEK later, the Mustangs will move on to
take part in the Midwest Music Festival at Lemont High
focusing on important goals. School on February 28th.
One of the biggest changes in the band’s practice-time Without a doubt, the biggest upcoming event for the band
structure is that the Rita student members of the band now is the trip they will be making April 10th through April 19th
practice every day during the C and D portions of 4th pe- to Italy. The Mustangs are preparing to travel Italy over
riod. Easter Break, a trip that the Rita band takes part in every
THIS CHANGE HAS been made to allow the band to four years.
focus on improving unity and skill. The change gives stu- “I am really excited about the Italy trip,” said senior band
dents who may not have been able to be a part of the band member and officer Ted Haras.
in the past due to other afternoon commitments the ability Many stops will be made along the tour including one in
to practice during the day and prepare with the other band Rome, however the most important stop will be when the
members. Mustangs visit Cascia and the shrine of St. Rita.
The band also practices as a whole with the female mem- Everyone in the band is working hard and has high expec-
bers of the band who attend area Catholic all-girl high tations for their performances throughout the year.
schools joining the Rita students every Wednesday after- The overall theme of this year, as band President Bran-
noon. Every student in the band is required and able to at- don Cross said, is “to get everyone motivated musically and
tend this practice regardless of their involvement in sports teach the band members self-discipline.”

Photo by David Huang


STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, and guests of Rita
honored Our Lady of Guadalupe at a special Mass
held on her feast day, December 12th. Organized by
Photo by David Huang
the Hispanic Culture Club, the Mass included mu-
THE MARCHING MUSTANGS put on their halftime extravaganza during one of Rita’s varsity football games. From
sic and readings in Spanish as well as a presenta-
front left to right, junior Pat Leonard, freshman Ryan Tomlinson, and sophomore Maxx Axel show off on the saxophone.
tion of the picture depicting Our Lady shown above.
December 18, 2008
NEWS Page 3

Rita sends six to Tulsa, OK for Rita installs new


solar panel system
Sixth Annual Values Institute
By Bob Carroll & Al Smith
By Marty Malone
The three days also gave individuals participating the op- Editor-in-Chief
Sophomore & Senior Writers portunity to congregate with one another and build a larger
community of fellowship. Participants socialized and shared Technological upgrades at Rita have started to be-
Faculty, staff, administrators, and board members from 14 experiences about the schools they came from, which built come a major focus in recent years, and this year has
Augustinian secondary institutions across the world recently connections amongst the various schools located vast dis- been no different as many additions and upgrades
came together for the Sixth Annual Augustinian Values In- tances apart. have been made to keep Rita on the forefront of tech-
stitute. Rita has now had 29 individuals from its community at- nology.
This year’s AVI was held from October 24th to October tend these annual meetings since they first began. Other In addition to the newly renovated state-of-the-art
26th at Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. AVI weekends have been held in various locations such as science labs and the new SMART Boards, Rita has
Participants in this year’s three-day weekend conference Ojai, California; Malvern, Pennsylvania; Rita itself; and now also installed new solar panels on the roof of the din-
came from cities across the United States, but were also Tulsa. ing hall.
joined by others who are associated with Augustinian sec- MANY OF THOSE who have attended the AVIs credit the The one-kilowatt solar panel system was made pos-
ondary education in Rome, Canada, Ireland, England and experience with giving them the chance to better learn about sible through a grant for schools that show an interest
Australia. In total 104 people took part in the AVI, with five the true meaning of the core values and to discover ways of in making their campus more eco-friendly.
individuals coming from the Rita community. incorporating the values into their roles at Rita. USING THE ENERGY created from the solar
Fr. Tom McCarthy, OSA, President, was joined by As- Each year, the members of the Rita community return from panels does provide a money saving benefit for the
sistant Principal Ms. Eileen Sullivan, Director of Campus the AVI and work to let what began during their AVI experi- school as it reduces energy costs. However, the new
Ministry Mrs. Vicki Blaszak, Music Teacher and Director of ence live on with some change that they feel can positively solar panels also create an opportunity for learning.
International Exchange Mrs. Jodi McLawhorn, Math Teacher impact the atmosphere at Rita. Students are learning about how this new technol-
Mr. Josh Blaszak, and Board of Directors Member Mr. Ernie One such change was when the attendees of an AVI a cou- ogy works, and why it is so popular in this modern
Mrozek. ple years ago felt something could be done to better instill the world.
INSTITUTE PARTICIPANTS WERE witness to pre- core values into Rita’s dismissal at the end of the school day. Chemistry teacher Mrs. Sue Krystof is excited to
sentations and shared in discussions with one another on the As a result, the bell was no longer rung at the end of the day incorporate the school’s new solar panel into lessons
various ways they as a group can work together to promote and each day ended instead with the prayer that is now used for her students.
the Augustinian core values of veritas/truth, unitas/unity, and each and every day at 2:17PM. LESSONS ARE ABLE to be designed around ob-
caritas/love in their everyday lives and work in Augustinian The five members who attend this year participated in live- servation of the panels, and data collection allows
schools. ly discussions with many suggestions and thoughts as to how students to measure temperature changes and monitor
Engaged activities surrounding Augustine’s experience as the core values can be better encompassed into life at Rita. the efficiency of the solar collectors.
teacher, the search for Truth, and each school’s institutional These individuals have decided to continue these discussions Assistant Principal and Chairman of the Math and
identity and expression of the Augustinian core values were and plan to meet in the future months to see what else can be Science Division Mr. Joe Partacz commented on
some of what took place during the three days. done by their group to better include the values. Rita’s outlook on modernization and the motivations
behind the solar project: “We at St. Rita feel that we
have to stay ahead of the curve technologically in or-
der to give our students the best education possible.
Our faculty is excited about the new beginnings in our
science department and we look forward to using the
panels this coming school year.”

Photo courtesy of Cascia Hall Preparatory School


SIX INDIVIDUALS FROM the Rita community recently traveled to Cascia Hall in Tulsa, OK for the Sixth An- Photo courtesy of Advancement Office
nual Augustinian Values Institute. From back left are math teacher Mr. Josh Blaszak, Board of Directors Member THE NEW ONE-KILOWATT solar panel system is installed
Mr. Ernie Mrozek, and President Fr. Tom McCarthy, OSA. From front left are Assistant Principal Ms. Eileen Sulli- on the roof located above the dining hall. These panels offer
van, Director of Campus Ministry Mrs. Vicki Blaszak, and Director of International Exchange Mrs. Jodi McLawhorn. Rita both economical, environmental, and educational benefits.

Alumni return after 40 or more years for Ritamen lunches


By Dan Moore date. no difference to me. It is still the same St. “They absolutely love it,” Mr. Schmitt
Editor-in-Chief Past speakers include Head Football Rita.” said.
Frequently, Rita students are told that Coach Todd Kuska, Director of Admis- Mr. Shubat encourages all eligible EVENTS SUCH AS the Ritamen lun-
they come to Rita for four years, but stay a sions and Head Hockey Coach Craig Fer- alumni to participate. In fact, when inter- cheon continue to foster Rita’s rich sense
lifetime. There are few less potent exam- guson, and Junior/Senior Guidance Coun- viewed, he had spent a great deal of time of tradition as well as the core value of
ples of this than the Ritamen luncheons. selor Sr. Mary Alice Hoff, OP. on the phone soliciting the luncheon the unitas/unity.
First started back in 1990 when Rita Rita paraphernalia is raffled off towards previous day! When 2049, 2050, 2051, and 2052 roll
moved from its original campus on 63rd the end of the event, and the alumni are in- “I have always boosted St. Rita,” he around respectively, hopefully all current
and Claremont, the Ritamen luncheons vited to take a tour to explore the campus said. students will take advantage of this op-
are a monthly gathering of alumni who once the luncheon has concluded. The other alumni who attend the lun- portunity to continue to participate in the
graduated 40 or more years ago. ONE OF THE most noteworthy patrons cheons seem to share Mr. Shubat’s senti- Rita family and be a part of these Ritamen
“It was originally only for alumni who of the Ritamen luncheons is Mr. Frank ment. luncheons.
had graduated 50 or more years ago,” said Shubat from the class of 1951.
Rita’s Director of Annual Appeal and lun- Actively involved in Rita since his grad-
cheon organizer Mr. John Schmitt, “but uation, Mr. Shubat’s connection with the
there was such high interest in participa- school lends itself to natural participation
tion among younger alumni that the age in the monthly Ritamen luncheons.
limit was lowered.” “The sharing of what we have as St.
EACH MONTH, THE Rita staff caters Rita alumni, whether we’re there to see
food and beverages to an average turnout our buddies; swap stories; or have a good
of 40-50 people. Alumni catch up on each time, is what makes the luncheons so
others’ lives and swap stories. great,” he said.
Naturally, the Ritamen show great in- When asked if Rita—despite the new
terest in what is currently going on in the campus and passing years—still felt like Photo by David Huang
school. Therefore, a guest speaker will home to him, Mr. Shubat immediately and RITAMEN GATHER AT the front of the chapel during the all-school Mass that was held
address the alumni to keep them up-to- decisively responded, “There is absolutely on December 12th. Monthly luncheons are held for Rita alumni from 40 or more years ago.
Page 4
STUDENT VIEWS December 18, 2008

VIDEO GAME REVIEW:


Editorial Force Unleashed good addition to Star Wars story
Art imitates life? By Bart Wolski
Senior Writer
or Did you ever want to be a Jedi
when you were a kid? Did you
Life imitates art? want to lift a spaceship from a
swamp with nothing but your
mind or use the Force choke to
Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? To me
and many others, the obvious answer would be that art
shut someone up? If so, Star
imitates life. Wars: The Force Unleashed is a
People create art to seem like regular life so we will dream come true.
be absorbed more into that world. They want you to First, there are plenty of offen-
view it how it really was, being as accurate as possible, sive opportunities. You can wield
right? a light saber, shoot lightning, or
That’s where the line blurs. Perhaps those who create use the Force liberally. The real
art actually create a reality that we think life is supposed fun starts when you use these
to be like. Perhaps they are creating a world that shows
powers in combination.
how people are supposed to act. The world created is
supposed to show what you’re supposed to wear and
TRY LIFTING someone in the
how you’re supposed to act. air, charging them with lightning,
JUST TAKE ANY college movie. College is not and then flinging them at a group
all about crazy fraternities one-upping each other and of soldiers! One particularly hi-
throwing the largest kegger around. larious scenario is when you grip
Yet, that is how the movies show it, so we assume a storm trooper and levitate him
college is going to be like that. We believe we are really over to another storm trooper:
supposed to do our best not to remember college. he’ll grab the other guy in a des-
The more we see these presentations and begin to be-
perate attempt for survival!
lieve them, reality starts reflecting that.
Why do you think advertising is so popular? Do you
While the game play is defi-
think people want to start smoking? nitely the star of the show, this
doesn’t mean that the game Graphic by Matt Gooseherst
People want to be like their favorite character, though.
If James Bond smokes, then smoking is one step closer doesn’t try its hand at a story.
becoming a 007 agent. You play as Starkiller, a Sith apprentice trained by Darth III and IV quite nicely though.
Let’s look at some examples. Anybody with an eye Vader, who is ordered by his master to carry out various The game is not flawless, however. There are times
patch is immediately thought of as a pirate. That may less-than-desirable acts as preparation for his upcoming where you will be knocked down and enemies will simply
seem dumb, but the first thing that pops in my head battle with the Emperor. gang up on you and you will have no way of escaping. This
when I see that patch is, “Gyaar.”
Soon, however, Starkiller starts getting attached to his is especially bad at the beginning of the last level, where
I KNOW PIRATES like this do not exist, but the eye
patch has become synonymous with that persona. That
new crew and friends, and conflicts between his views of I couldn’t take 3 steps before losing the first time I tried.
is, in one way, life imitating art. good and evil arise. This is a good premise, but the char- There are lots of random glitches in both the game play
Humans are simple creatures who live off experience. acters are useless. and graphics.
We are also sociable creatures. We are a people who JUNO IS THE love interest whose sole purpose is being Overall, I enjoyed TFU. It’s a good addition to the Star
need to communicate with others or we will go insane. a love interest, and Kota, Starkiller’s mentor after Vader, Wars story and a decent action game.
For those reasons, we want to have the same experi- never actually teaches him anything. I liked PROXY, It has plenty of fan service (including playing as Vader).
ences as others. We want to find a common ground as though, who can be best described as an unbalanced—but Sure, there are flaws, but if you are just looking for a fun
a way to jumpstart the conversation. Movies help to friendly—C3PO. The story does tie Star Wars: Episodes game, this is worth a rental (perhaps even a buy).
do that.

What’s That?
Movies bridge that gap between people so they can all
share in a common experience.
THIS PROVIDES A reason as to why people start
doing things similar to what they see in the movies.
Why do you think movie companies have to put dis-
claimers before movies like MTV’s Jackass? People
will attempt the stunts they see in that movie because
The following question was recently asked of several classes of Rita students.
they, and their friends, think it will be hilarious. What was the best or worst Chrsitmas gift you have ever received?
Every other time you see someone reenacting some-
thing or doing a parody, it’s usually never as good.
They’re not professionals, so whatever they do is usu- Tom Minnick freshman: I think the
ally terrible. Yet people still love it.
People love when others imitate the art they like, so
best Christmas gift that I have ever
they will continue on doing it. They will continue imi- received was a dog, because my dog
tating the art, instead of wanting art to imitate them. is like another part of family now.
Please note, the editorial is a written view of one St.
Rita High School student. It does not necessarily re- Brian Flisk, sophomore: The best
flect the views of others at St. Rita or the school as an Christmas present that I have ever
institution.
received was a autographed Thomas
Jones plaque. It was also the worst
The Ritan is a publication of the students of St. Rita of through because he was traded that
Cascia High School, 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago
year.
IL 60620. Phone: 773-925-6600 ext. 6668. Letters
to the editors can be dropped of at the Mel Schreier
Ritan Office located in the academic wing on the MINNICK Quinn Sweeney, sophomore: I think FLISK
northwest end of the second floor, submitted via the best Christmas gift that I ever
email to editors@theritan.com or given to Mr. Josh received was a trip to Colorado. It
Blaszak in Room 206. was a lot of fun going skiing down
Editors-in-Chief: Marty Malone and Dan Moore the big mountains and I went tubing
Assistant Editor: Dave Schrader down a slope.

Staff Writers: Luke Bentley, Brian Boyd, Bob Car- Brandyn Cheatham, junior: I think
roll, Joe Cahill, Matthew Dunson, Luke Konrath, the best Christmas present I’ve ever
Cesar Morales, Sean Nolan, Craig Sabath, Al Smith,
received so far was a new laptop be-
Alex Summerfelt, Ricky Valadez, Adam Vargas, Kyel
White, Bart Wolski, and Manuel Yu cause I use it all the time and I can
use it anywhere in the house and not
Photographers: Matt Bokoski, David Huang have to sit at a computer desk.
and Al Smith
Artists: Matt Gooseherst Countless other Ritamen: The best
and Warren Higginbothan
SWEENEY Christmas present I ever received CHEATHAM
Moderator: Mr. Josh Blaszak was my Xbox 360s.
December 18, 2008 STUDENT VIEWS Page 5

Barrack Obama’s win re-draws U.S. political map


By Adam Vargas
Senior Political Commentator

By now you have all heard that Barrack Obama


has been elected to become the 44th president of the
United States.
Having monitored the numerous elections over the
past two years, I can tell you that it was truly an uphill
climb for the President-elect.
Obama’s road to the White House involved many
challenges that needed to be handled perfectly: a pri-
mary that looked to be as much a guarantee for Sen.
Hillary Clinton as Ohio used to be for the Republican
party, a pastor that didn’t exactly help his cause, and
a maverick from Alaska that attacked his policies as if
she were hunting game back home.
Obama overcame such obstacles as swaying pas-
sionate Clinton fans, defeating a worthy opponent in
Sen. John McCain during the general election, and 219
years of the American presidency not once being held
by an African-American.
The president-elect ultimately overcame everything
that critics tried throwing at him thanks to the help of
millions of Americans across the country who heard
his call for change, never forfeited their willingness
to hope, and said “yes we can” when history said “no PRESIDENT-ELECT BARRACK Obama will officially being his historic first term as President of the United States on January
20, 2009. Above in blue are the states Obama won on election night, and the red states which were won by Senator John McCain.
you can’t”.
HOWEVER, BEFORE WE knew that Obama
would indeed overcome the final challenges standing
between him and history, all we knew were some polls
and statistics.
Christmas a time for new video games
That was because all the campaigning that Obama By Dave Schrader
and McCain had done over the past two years really Assistant Editor for, as far as I can tell, fifty waves. It ized. You are a runner and you relay
came down to one final night: election night. may sound boring, but it’s good ol’ messages that are meant to be kept
Despite the common inaccuracies of political poll- Many new video games are cur- fashioned fun, especially on the level secret in a city that is watched by its
ing, I could not help but constantly check the most rently coming out. For the past nine with lasers. government and where any dissent is
recent numbers for the crucial battleground states that months, very few games have been Then there is also the new Call of punished. If you remember the first
both candidates coveted. released. Then now, as we get into the Duty: World at War. This is the fifth ten minutes of Casino Royale, that’s
What made the 2008 political map so interesting was Christmas season, suddenly the flood- main game in the Call of Duty fran- exactly what this game is like for the
the fact that almost all the battleground states were gates open and big releases pop off chise. They are now coming out every eight hours it lasts.
states that McCain should have had working for him. every week. year, but being produced by different IT IS FUN, and the game is beauti-
Of the seven states that finished with the two candi- Some recent ones would be Gears of developers. CoDWaW is developed ful. You never get the sense that you
dates within 6% of each other, all seven had been won War 2, Call of Duty: World at War, by Treyarch, which means absolutely are just a floating camera, as you’ll see
by President George W. Bush four years ago. and Mirror’s Edge, all of which I’ll be nothing to most, but they were the ones your arms pumping as you run or your
That included the state of Virginia, which had voted reviewing. who made the abysmal Call of Duty 3. legs hang as you swing. The skyline is
for the Republican nominee ten straight elections lead- FIRST, I WILL take a look at So I came in expecting garbage. lovely as you vault across rooftops.
ing up to the 2008 elections, and Ohio, where no Re- Gears of War 2. The sequel to the Luckily, I didn’t bother with the The problem is that the game does
publican has ever not won and then moved on to be blockbuster that was Gears of War, main campaign. Since the multiplayer not adjust for you. So one misstep or
elected president except for Abraham Lincoln. which allowed me to curb stomp peo- for CoD 4 was amazing in about every if you’re a couple inches from grab-
If one were to ask any news pundit what they found ple from the comfort of my own home, aspect, you can’t do much to ruin it. bing the ladder, you became a face-
most interesting about the way the elections were un- has arrived. Now, the original Gears Which is good, as the online is basi- less puddle of goo on the street below.
folding, they would likely have gladly told you it was was broken. People were picking up cally CoD 4 in a WWII setting. Thankfully, the game loads quickly as
the way Obama was preparing to change the way the weapons while shooting them. Then THE ONE THING I don’t like, you will die, a lot. The game is short,
political map was colored. add in the fact that the shotgun was too which is a small gripe, is the helicop- too. It clocks in around nine hours and
McCain was pushed so far back against the ropes powerful. Every other gun was point- ter has been replaced. Now, I know there is no real reason for you to con-
that he even began spending massive funds on the state less up close, as a good person could the helichopper wasn’t used in WWII tinue playing.
of Pennsylvania for its electoral votes. This was de- blow you away in a couple of shots. (or invented, for that matter) but the There you have it. Three games
spite the fact that Obama had comfortable lead in that That made online something I could dogs just aren’t satisfying. I demand that deserve everyone’s attention, and
state. not play. I could Lancer like no to- look up in terror as they get gunned I haven’t even mentioned Left 4 Dead.
So the stage was set. All Obama really needed to morrow, but that didn’t stop anyone down, not be able to shoot my dog in a Gears of War 2 gets a 4.75 out of 5 for
do was maintain his lead in states like Pennsylvania unless my friend was also shotgunning couple hits and be fine. However, I do being ridiculously fun and allowing to
while McCain had to win almost all of the swing states them. So I was elated to find out that like to believe I have a bunch of Rin not be useless online. Call of Duty:
– many of which he was trailing in. it became exponentially weaker. This Tin Tin’s at my beck and call and can World at War gets a 4 out of 5 because
As polls slowly began to close and states started to has changed the game for the better. unleash them to kill and maim when I the WWII setting has been done to
gain their colors, it became apparent that McCain’s Another thing that bettered it was so please. death, but being exactly like Call of
hopes for a victory were becoming more and more of Horde mode. Take five people and put I also had a chance to take a look at Duty 4 is great. Mirror’s Edge gets a 4
a stretch. them against an oncoming onslaught Mirror’s Edge. This is a first-person out of 5 as well for being ridiculously
Obama was projected the winner of McCain’s cov- of Horde (the enemy) and hopefully platform game. It’s like a first-per- fun to play, but unfortunately makes
eted Pennsylvania, given claims on Ohio, and even don’t die. You do this over and over son Prince of Persia, except modern- you want more.
rights to make a forty-year-old Republican state just
another example of change.
In the end, President-elect Obama managed to paint
the nation blue.
IN TERMS OF the seven swing states, Obama
won five. Montana and Missouri stayed red with Mc-
Cain. Overall, Obama took nine Bush states from
McCain; three from the west (Nevada, Colorado, and
New Mexico), three on the Atlantic coast (Virginia,
North Carolina, and Florida), and three neighboring
his home state of Illinois in the Midwest (Iowa, Indi-
ana, and Ohio).
So, as I said, it has been a long two years for Obama
and anyone who has been following him. And despite
the fact that the steep-hill climb to the White House
sometimes seemed even insurmountable, the final vic-
tory was well worth it all.
It is now believed by many, including myself that
change is coming to our great country. That change
officially begins on January 20, 2009 when President-
elect Barrack Obama is set to take office.
December 18, 2008
Page 6
MUSTANG SPORTS
Strong finish to season for varsity soccer
By Luke Bentley
Senior Writer “The Fenwick game was the turning point
in our season because we started to really
After a slow start to the season, the Mus- believe in our ability after that game,” said
tangs varsity soccer team tried to get off to Head Coach Antonio Godinez.
a better second half this year. The Mustangs continued on in their sea-
The attempt worked when the Mustangs son and finished the regular season with a
earned a 3-1 victory at Guerin Prep. They 3-0 victory over Evergreen Park.
then lost to a tough Oak Lawn team 4-0. IN THEIR FIRST regional game, the
However, they were able to bounce back Mustangs faced Farragut. With the score
with a 3-0 victory over Gordon Tech, end- tied 0-0 at halftime it looked like it would
ing their conference play and finishing with be a battle to the end, but Donahue had dif-
a record of 4-2. ferent plans.
Following conference play, the Mustangs The senior captain put three goals in the
went on to play a very tough St. Ignatius back of the net to give the Mustangs their
team and lost 5-1 and were scheduled to first playoff victory in four years.
play Fenwick on senior night. Coach Godinez commented on the vic-
The Fenwick game was a very important tory saying, “This win gave the St. Rita
Photo by Al Smith
game for the seniors who have been a very soccer program a great sense of satisfac-
SENIOR CAPTAIN LARRY Damico is heading the ball down the field. Damico and the varsity
successful class in the past four years. tion because it is the first playoff game we Mustangs had a slow start to their season, but their second half proved to be more successful.
SENIOR CAPTAIN KYLE Donahue have won in a few years.”
came up with a huge goal in the first half Donahue commented on the game as well season, Coach Godinez said, “I felt we did pay the price in the off-season. I would
to give the Mustangs the lead. Fenwick saying, “It was a huge win. It felt great finish strong and that was evident because like to thank the St. Rita community, espe-
would later score in the second half and tie scoring those goals in a regional game.” we scored against one of the top teams in cially the parents that put in so much time
it up at 1-1. The next game the Mustangs had to face the state, Hinsdale Central.” and dedication into our soccer program,”
The Mustangs felt pretty good coming ended up being their toughest test yet. Hin- Coach Godinez is already looking for- he said.
off with a tie to such a top rated team like sdale Central came to Rita to move onto the ward to next season. Four varsity Mustang players made All-
Fenwick. regional finals. Hinsdale was too much for “I’VE ALREADY started thinking Catholic League Honors: senior captains
“It was a great feeling scoring that goal, the Mustangs to handle as they won 4-1. about the starting lineup for next year. This Larry Damico, Mike Kinney, and Kyle Do-
especially on senior night,” said Donahue. When asked about his reaction on the will all depend on my boys’ willingness to nahue and junior Jose Calles.

Sophomore soccer has one of the best years in Rita history


By Luke Bentley The next game up for the Mustangs was their
Senior Writer biggest of the year, as the DeLaSalle Meteors
would come to Rita for a rematch and battle over
Rita’s sophomore soccer team finished their season like the CCL White Championship.
they started: with a victory. The Mustangs took care of DeLaSalle in the
The team this year was one of the best sophomore soc- pouring rain, this time with a late goal by sopho-
cer teams in Rita history. more captain Luke LeBeau. The Mustangs won
The team led by sophomore captain Luke LeBeau and 1-0 and celebrated a well-deserved conference
freshman captains Mark Murphy and Stan Sojka finished championship.
with a record of 8-5-3. The sophomore Mustangs also Coach Carlson commented on the game, “It
captured the Chicago Catholic League White crown. was the worst possible conditions with the best
Head Coach Mike Carlson could not have been happier results. Everyone stepped up, and we knew what
with the team’s season. we had to do; they got it done.”
“It was a great season, one of the best we have ever TWO DAYS AFTER the CCL White win, the
had,” said Coach Carlson. Mustangs made a statement when they took on
“The boys gelled together so well and they really the CCL Blue champion St. Ignatius and defeat- Photo by Al Smith
CAPTAIN LUKE LEBEAU dribbles the ball down the field. The
stepped up when needed,” he added. ed the Wolfpack 2-1.
sophomore Mustangs finished the season winning the CCL White title.
THE MUSTANGS STARTED their CCL play with a The overall successful season was rounded up
decisive win over St. Laurence 8-2. However, then came with a loss to Fenwick 3-1 and an easy win for freshman class and we are preparing already.”
their first loss of the season to DeLaSalle 3-1. The Mus- the Rita Mustangs over the Mustangs of Evergreen Park While another successful season is anticipated for next
tangs quickly rebounded with a win over Kankakee 6-4. 7-0. year, the coaching staff is already expecting some chang-
They then played a tough Marist team who defeated the The sophomore team did not compete in the Chicago es.
Mustang 3-0, and it did not get easier when they tied Latin Catholic Sophomore Cup this year due to weather and Assistant Coach Afework Zellelew “AZ” will not be re-
0-0. field constraints. turning as he has chosen to commit to coaching his young
Later, the Mustangs once again took care of St. Lau- Coach Carlson already anticipates a successful season son’s soccer team and Assistant Coach Meghan Fitzgerald
rence in a rematch with the Vikings and went on to tie for next year’s sophomore Mustangs as he said, “We can will be moving on from Rita following the completion of
local suburban power Oak Lawn. expect even better things next season. We have a great her Augustinian Volunteer year.

Rita basketball team kicks off Rebuilding a key task


season with McGovern Classic for Mustang swimmers
By Dan Moore showing, and the varsity swim-
By Cesar Morales Editor-in-Chief mers have had some excellent
Freshman Writer been good. times despite the early stage of the
Coach Sarmiento commented that five seniors The key task for the 2008-2009 season.
Basketball season is already underway for the on this year’s team—Pat McCarthy, Ryan Dem- Mustang swim team is rebuilding. The high concentration of un-
Mustangs. Rita kicked off their season with a 2-2 ming, Curtis Pettit, Jamere Walton, and Marcel With much of their depth gradu- derclassmen holds promise not
record in the Annual McGovern Classic Basketball Portwood—will be among the best. ating with last year’s senior class, only for this year, but also for the
Tournament. HE BELIEVES THESE five will do a lot for the Mustangs will have to fill many future seasons of the Swimming
Standout players in the tournament were junior Rita this season. However, another key element of events with new swimmers. Only Mustangs.
Lane Barlow, and seniors Ryan Demming and this season will be young players rising to high po- approximately 37% of the team MEANWHILE, expect great
Marcel Portwood. sitions because of their experience. consists of more-experienced up- things from the team’s veteran
HEAD COACH ROB Sarmiento has a good Coach Sarmiento like other coaches is hoping for perclassmen. swimmers, especially senior
feeling about the outcome of this year’s season. a very successful season that includes all his play- HOWEVER, AS Head Coach Mitch Condon.
The Mustang’s players have been preparing for ers staying healthy and remaining injury free. Chuck Knibbs is fond of saying, Coach Knibbs is joined this year
the season by participating in conditioning exer- As for the freshmen and sophomore teams, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” by two new Assistant Coaches:
cises such as running and weight lifting since Sep- Coach Sarmiento feels that they too look to have In fact, the rebuilding process science teacher Mr. Don Krystof,
tember. very successful seasons this year. is already well underway. In their who coached swimming at Ev-
Currently he feels the team needs to work more “The sophomore team’s prospects are good, and first meet of the year, Rita defeat- ergreen Park High School, and
on improving its offence, while maintaining and the freshmen team seems to be one of the best in a ed rival Mt. Carmel. Augustinian volunteer Mr. Joe
continuing to work on its defense that so far has while,” said Coach Sarmiento. The junior varsity had a strong Toomey.
December 18, 2008
MUSTANG FOOTBALL Page 7

Sophomores CCL Champs Freshmen


Mustangs
By Sean Nolan
Sophomore Writer

Starting the season 4-1, Rita’s sophomore

celebrate
football team continued on their path of glory
throughout the remainder of the season suffering
only one tough loss to Mt. Carmel.
A triumph came for the Mustangs when they

8-1 finish
brought home a great win over Loyola Academy,
27-14.
The Mustangs’ success continued as they came
up with a 27-14 win over Fenwick. However,
during that Fenwick game, while putting the team By Ricky Valdez
first and working toward a win, Harry Zelek suf- Freshman Writer
fered a season-ending injury while recovering an
onside kick. The 2008 football season has come to an end.
Rita’s Homecoming game was next for the The freshmen Mustangs finished out its last 5
Mustangs. They took on one of their biggest ri- games well, winning 4 and losing 1.
vals, the Crusaders of Br. Rice. Their record overall at the end of the season
LED BY OFFENSIVE linemen Joe Nash and was 8-1. This placed the Mustangs second in
Tom Hitz, the Mustangs took care of the Cru- their conference.
saders and sent them home defeated with a final Photo courtesy of Mike Baron The first game for the second half of the sea-
score of 27-14. This victory clinched the Chicago TRAVIS STARKS RUNS the ball during the sophomore Mustangs’ game versus Br. son was against Providence. The game was
Rice. The Mustangs 27-14 victory over the Crusaders clinched them the CCL Title. played very well and ended in a St. Rita Victory
Catholic League Championship for the sophomore
Mustangs. The Mustangs and their coaches believe this was a great 39-0.
The Mustangs did not let the CCL Championship keep them season overall as they look back on their many great achieve- THE NEXT GAME, was the first game the
from playing hard in their final game of the season against ments, including the winning of the CCL title. freshmen got to play under the lights at home.
Collins Academy. The players look forward to moving up to varsity next year, That game was against Loyola Academy, a well-
Although the game was cancelled due to rain after the first and some were already given that chance to move up at the end known school with a good football team.
quarter, the Mustangs led Collins 14-0. of this season. The game started with an early rushing touch-

Rita football tradition marks 100 years


down and great defensive stops; the game fin-
ished with a 41-6 score and a win for Rita.
Next was Fenwick. This game was a must
By Craig Sabath Those statements manifest in them- while attending Rita. win for the freshmen. The game was dominated
selves as a very large portion of the at- Coach Kuska explained that the game with an early start for the offence and a great
Freshman Writer
tendees at our varsity home games are of football may have changed through defensive game, and it ended with a great win
From 63rd and Claremont to 77th and Rita students, faculty and staff members, the years to “a more passing offense,” for Rita 27- 0.
Western, from Pat Cronin to Todd Kus- alumni, and parents. but the expectations of our football team The Crusaders of Br. Rice were the next up
ka, the tradition of Rita football marks it When asked what football does for the have skyrocketed. for the Mustangs as they faced off to compete
100th year this year. young men here at Rita, Fr. Tom replied, Mr. Conlon expects the players “to al- for the conference championship.
The celebration is not just 100 years “I think it’s a way to show that they’re ways give 100%” and “be the best they While the game started off slow, it became
of football’s existence; it is a celebration using the gifts and talents God has given can.” more interesting towards the middle and the
of many accomplishments: a national them… it builds community” FR. TOM ADDED to those remarks end. However, it was a heartbreaker as Rita lost
championship, two state championships, Rita football is a well-engrained cul- saying, “I just want them to do their best 27- 6, but it was a hard-fought game on both
five Prep Bowl victories and twenty-two tural aspect of Southside Chicago. For and be gentlemen.” sides.
Catholic League championships. many it has become a great opportunity Year after year, the football team ex- THE PLAYERS GAVE what they had, but
FOOTBALL IS AN outstanding as- to congregate with others. ceeds those expectations. Fr. Tom is Rita came up a little short in the end.
pect of Rita. Many believe there is noth- A staggering 81,270 gathered for the also awe-struck by the selflessness of the Rita then took on Tinley Park public school
ing that can replace what football brings 1963 Prep Bowl, where the Mustangs players. opponent Victor J. Andrew. The offense and de-
to the school. obliterated Vocational 42-7. The annual “When I read the quotations of our fense, along with special teams were a big part
However, Fr. Tom McCarthy, OSA, Rita vs. Mt. Carmel game draws thou- players that are interviewed in the news- of the game. The offense put up 49 points and
Rita’s President, wishes to dispel any no- sands. These attendance numbers pro- paper, they’re not talking about them- the defense kept Andrew to 14 points.
tion that we are a football school. Rather vide a true testament to the popularity selves— they’re talking about the team, Finishing with a respectable record, the team
he believes we are, “A great school that of Rita football not just within the Rita they’re talking about our school and to was excited to have done well, but was still dis-
has a great football program [with] great community, but the entire Southside. me that’s unbelievable,” said Fr. Tom. appointed they did not capture the champion-
kids, great Ritamen, and great students HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, Todd Coach Kuska was quoted early in the ship.
who are also good football players.” Kuska recalls going to almost every season in the Chicago Sun Times say- The coaches reiterated to the team just how
“Football for St. Rita is a source of game while in grammar school. ing, “The 2008 Mustangs need to set the well they all played and how much fun they as
pride and tradition whether you are on “The most memorable game I came to tempo for what they want to be and leave coaches had with the team.
the field or in the stands,” said Athletic in grammar school was the semi-final their own legacy. Some kids might not The freshmen players of this team look on
Director Bob Conlon. game in 1985,” he said. remember Lick or Marek or Cronin. But to next season with great expectations for their
“It builds community and lives up to Coach Kuska, a member of the class they are aware of the tradition. We talk sophomore season.
our charism of unitas,” he said. of 1990, was a football player himself about it. We want to keep it alive.”

Quinn and Schaller enjoy 50 years as coaches


By Craig Sabath and St. Rita grammar school. He eventually moved on to loves the rush of winning and Coach Quinn loves to
Freshman Writer a coaching for St. Rita High School in the 80s, where he watch the kids grow and develop.
100 years of football at Rita was not the only milestone remains coaching the freshmen class to this day. They both agree that the athletes have changed over
celebrated during the recent football season. The pairing of Coach Quinn and Coach Schaller began the years.
The Rita community honored Coach Jack Quinn and when Coach Schaller brought his little brother out to one “They have gotten bigger, stronger, and faster,” ex-
Coach Gene Schaller’s as they each marked 50 years of of Coach Quinn’s practices at Visitation. plained Coach Schaller.
coaching football. NOT MUCH TIME passed, when Coach Schaller “They also lack the discipline of the children in the
This is a remarkable achievement the entire Rita family found himself helping Coach Quinn. The two have been past and differ in the manner in which they approach the
has been very proud to celebrate with the two coaches. together ever since. game. Though they are generally fine when it comes to
Coach Quinn graduated from Mt. Carmel in 1959 and In addition to his coaching career with Coach Quinn, discipline, they just need to be tightened up a little bit,”
went on to work for the Edison Company. Coach Schaller has also had coaching stints at Curie High said Coach Quinn.
AFTER BREAKING HIS leg, his brother Tom asked School, Mt. Carmel, and St. Cajetan. A KEY MOMENT in Coach Schaller’s career was be-
him to help him out with football at Visitation gram- Coaches Quinn and Schaller try to motivate their play- ing inducted into the St. Rita Hall of Fame.
mar school, something Coach Quinn never even thought ers through talks and going out and having some fun. Coach Quinn describes his key moments as winning
about up to that point. They do this day by day, one week at a time. three consecutive freshmen championships and crushing
While he was reluctant at first, Coach Quinn soon de- Though they have had their share of good and bad Mt. Carmel on the freshmen level this year.
cided to give it a try. Fifty years later, he finds himself teams, they have been fortunate with the individuals they Coach Quinn and Coach Schaller both expect nothing
still coaching. have worked with. but the best of Rita in the next ten years. They both are
After leaving Visitation in 1971, he went on to Nativity They both love their careers as coaches. Coach Schaller proud to be a part of the Rita family.
Page 8
MUSTANG FOOTBALL December 18, 2008

Varsity football finishes excellent season


By Brian Boyd ney with a home game against the Bradley-
Senior Writer Bourbonnais Boilermakers.
Right from the get-go, the game was
The Mustangs varsity football season all Rita. After a failed onside attempt by
may have ended two games earlier than Bradley-Bourbonnais on the opening kick,
many had hoped for, but the season over- which they deferred, the Mustangs scored
all was filled with numerous successes 23 points in the first quarter alone, and that
and was once again a winning season for set the tone.
Coach Todd Kuska and his hard working The Mustangs rolled to a 44-0 vic-
players. tory, with Larry Garrett throwing for three
After an emotional win against Mt. touchdowns and sophomore Jahwon Akui
Carmel, the varsity Mustangs traveled to running for two scores.
Providence to take on another Chicago The defense, led by senior Martin
Catholic League Blue rival. Hopkins and Dave Marciano, was impen-
The Mustangs’ offense struggled to get etrable, shutting out the Boilermakers in a
the ball moving, but did enough in the hard-hitting fashion. Dan Dispensa also
closing seconds of each half to get the job had an interception.
done. The following week, on a cold, blustery
WITH 45 SECONDS left in the second November night, the Thornton Wildcats
quarter, senior Larry Garrett heaved a traveled to Doyle Stadium to take on the
41-yard bomb that was pulled in by senior Mustangs, who were riding a 4-game win-
Dan Dispensa, which led to a senior Dave ning streak into the showdown.
Marciano touchdown run from the one- The always explosive and game-chang-
yard line, tying the game at seven for the ing Dave Marciano scored all three of the
half. Mustangs’ touchdowns, and the defense
Providence kicked a field goal in the once again put on a show, limiting a very
second half to take a 10-7 lead, but potent Thornton offense to just 13 points.
the Mustangs wouldn’t quit. With a Standout Jahwon Akui had another huge
defense that persevered throughout the night, running for 170 yards while chip- Photo by David Huang
entire game’s adversity, the offense pulled ping away at the defensive line of the JUNIOR SHANE CONLON (left) gets ready to attempt a kick with junior Kyle Jachim.
through in the final minutes of the game. Wildcats. Conlon, Jachim, and the rest of the varsity Mustangs recently completed another winning sea-
Rita won the game on a 7-yard touch- LOOMING ON THE horizon was per- son for Rita. The Mustangs made it to the Quarter Finals of the Class 7A IHSA State Playoffs.
down strike from Larry Garrett to Dan haps the toughest challenge the Mustangs
Dispensa in the waning seconds, with would face all year. Conveniently enough, The Mustangs tacked on another score at each level.
the final score at 14-10 in favor of the it was located 300 miles away. with a Larry Garrett touchdown pass to The underclassmen on the football
Mustangs. The Mustangs’ football team and their senior Tom Rohan to take a 28 to 7 lead. squad have huge talent, and are capable of
Following another huge CCL win, the faithful took the 6-hour ride to East Saint Then, the Flyers got going. East Saint accomplishing great feats next year.
Mustangs traveled to Loyola to take on the Louis, hoping for another state playoff Louis scored 14 points in the third quar- DAN DISPENSA SUMMERIZED the
Ramblers at their homecoming. win. The Flyers had won their conference ter to close the gap to 7 heading into season saying, “This season was a blast.
On that Saturday afternoon, the Mustangs as well, and with a 10-1 record, their only the fourth. The Flyers scored again in Playing football here has been the best
played hard, but were ultimately defeated loss was suffered at the Kirk Herbstreit the fourth, and with the game tied at 28, time of my life.”
in a 24-0 loss. For the first time all season, Ohio-USA challenge. Martin Hopkins recovered a fumble, but Captain Tom Rohan said, “I have abso-
the offense did not seem on track, and The schools are two of the most pres- Rita wasn’t able to convert. lutely no regrets about this season. Anytime
Loyola took advantage of the momentum. tigious in the state, with a combined 52 East Saint Louis scored, and the game your team gives it everything it’s got, you
After tasting bitter defeat for the first state-playoff appearances and eight state was in the books. Rita fell to eventual have to be proud.”
time all season, the Mustangs were moti- championships. With such history in each state champion East Saint Louis 35-28. The players and entire Rita family look
vated to never let it happen again. program, many knew it would be an out- COACH KUSKA REFLECTED on to Coach Kuska and his staff with grati-
THE MUSTANGS WON their next standing game. the loss and season: “Although it wasn’t tude for another remarkable season and
three games, including a Homecoming After the arduous trek, the Mustangs the result we wanted, these guys played contributing even more to the 100 year old
win over Br. Rice to win the CCL Blue hit the field, and did so in dominating hard all year. As a class, they’ve accom- Rita football legacy and prestige.
Championship and other wins over fashion. plished so much, and I’m very proud of Even more prestige was given to the
Fenwick and Hope Academy. These wins Rita scored 14 unanswered points in the them.” Mustangs football program as 16 Rita play-
brought Rita’s regular season to a close first quarter with runs by Dave Marciano Wins and losses aside, the Mustangs had ers made the All-Catholic League team:
with an 8-1 record. and Jahwon Akui, with the offensive line another excellent season and added anoth- (First Team): Dan Dispensa (CCL Blue
Despite the Catholic League Title, the creating mammoth holes. er Chicago Catholic League championship Offensive MVP), Ryan Demming, Martin
Mustangs had their eyes on the grand AFTER A SCORELESS second quar- to the hardware drawer. Hopkins (CCL Blue Defensive MVP),
prize: a class 7A state championship. ter, the Mustangs were set to receive As a whole, this senior class has been Ronald McNamara, Dave Marciano, Matt
Due to Rita’s history of athletic excel- the kick to start the second half. Dave one of the most successful in school his- Munizzi, Daniel O’ Neill, Tom Rohan,
lence, this has been the perennial goal, Marciano followed his blocks and ran the tory. (Second Team): Jahwon Akui, Nick
and this year, the 100th celebration year of kick back with unprecedented determina- Collectively (freshman, sophomore, and Ardolino, Joe Campagna, Chris Chaney,
Rita football, proved to be no different. tion, giving the Mustangs a huge 21-7 lead senior year), the class of 2009 posted a Larry Garrett, Mike Martin, Jack O’
The Mustangs began their playoff jour- in the third. 28-2 record and won three CCL titles, one Connor, and Erik Rickert.

Photo by David Huang Photo by David Huang


SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACK Jahwon Akui (center) runs the ball in a playoff match- SENIOR QUARTER BACK Larry Garrett (back center) attempts a pass. Seniors Tom
up versus the Bradley-Bourbonnais Boilermakers. The Mustangs went on to shut down the Rohan, Mike Martin, and Kevin McCormack (left to right) assist on the play. Garrett,
Boilermakers with a final score of 44-0, which advanced Rita to the Class 7A Quarter Finals. Rohan, and Martin were among 16 Rita players to make the All-Catholic League team.