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Volume Eighty.


The Ritan

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Student Publication of Saint Rita of Casica High School 7740 South Western Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60620

By Adam Vargas Political Editor

Ritamen and faculty visit Capitol

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In This Issue

Student Government holds blood drive.

Photo by David Huang

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e Ritan’s Political Editor discusses President Barack Obama Inauguration.


A History of Saint Rita High School Part I: From Humble Beginnings to a Great Depression By Editor-in-Chief Dan Moore


Rita students looked to make an impression on Illinois legislation March 4th as they joined Catholics from all over the state in a rally to bring awareness to state legislators of hot topics concerning education and Catholics alike. Twelve Rita students along with three Rita faculty members traveled to Springfield, the state capitol, to join with some 3,000 for the event known as “Catholics at the Capitol,” where such issues as tax increases for Catholic schools and budget relief for Catholic health care institutions headlined. “IT WAS GOOD to see so many different people unite for such a strong cause,” said Senior Kyel White “The energy of the capital far exceeded my expectations,” he said. Following the assembly, the students made a short walk from the Capitol Building to the Governor’s Mansion with Representative Kevin Joyce (D) of the 35th District, Marist High School, and Br. Rice High School. At the Mansion the participants had a discussion over lunch about today’s world with Rep. Joyce. Questions ranging from how he entered into politics to what he thought about the current economy did well to impress Rep. Joyce, who had nothing but positive things to say about Rita. THE LUNCHEON MARKED just one more event hosted by the Governor’s Mansion this year, which held the record for public events held in 2008 (Illinois hosted hundreds of meetings over the next closest state that held just fourteen). Following the lunchtime discussion, Rita’s were offered the opportunity to tour the Mansion.

REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN JOYCE (D) (left in picture) of the 35th District sits down with several Ritamen during their visit to discuss issues concerning Catholic schools throughout Illinois.

Photo courtesy of Ms. Eileen Sullivan

“I enjoyed touring the most,” Kyel White explained. “It was interesting to see all the artifacts that were passed down from former governors and President Lincoln himself.” Highlights of the treasures included a rare painting of Lincoln’s wife (that was supposed to be destroyed after his assassination) and hand-carved chairs made for Stephen A. Douglas.

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Consumer Electronic Show 2009 shows what is new and hot in technology.

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e troubles of Illinois state politics.

Photo courtesy of

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RITA STUDENTS STAND on the steps of the Illinois State Capitol Building. First row: Augustine Esterhammer-Fic. Second row from left: Gil Martinez, Mike Hall, John Wilkes, Ted Haras, Dave Fashingbauer. Back row from left: David Straple, Mike Kennedy, Adam Vargas, Bradul Ortiz, and Manuel Yu.

Photo courtesy of Ms. Eileen Sullivan

Mustang Wrestlers nish tough season. Rita Basketball wraps up another year.

Rita recruitment efforts shine
Adding a personal touch to recruiting successfully helps increases number of students who take Rita entrance exam
By Kyel White Senior Writer
As this current school year approaches an end, and the members of the Class of 2009 prepare for graduation and life beyond high school, Rita is already looking forward to the incoming Class of 2013. THIS YEAR, 330 and 458 grammar school students attended open houses and shadow days respectively. This was double the amount in attendance the previous year. Moreover, 251 eighth graders took the entrance exam in January, including 40 from local Catholic schools: Queen of Martyrs, St. John Fisher, St. Cajetan, Most Holy Redeemer, and St. Christina. Mr. Craig Ferguson, Director of Admissions, noted that Rita was the only all-male high school in our area with an increase of entrance exam testers. “With the economy in it’s current state,” said Mr. Ferguson, “all Catholic schools are in need of higher enrollment, and we are hoping for over 200 students to enroll for next year.” HOWEVER, WITH RITA’S success in increasing numbers, one might ask, “What is Rita doing differently?” “We added more of a personal touch to recruiting,” said Mr. Ferguson. “We made more phone calls and put more advertisements in suburban papers,” he said. While registration of those students who were accepted to Rita is still ongoing, clearly this year’s recruitment efforts were successful in drawing students to test.

Photo by David Huang

See the back cover for exclusive coverage of St. Rita Varsity Hockey Team’s consecutive Kennedy Cup Championship win.

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Dance next up for Hispanic Culture Club
By Matthew Dunson Junior Writer
On Saturday, April 4, 2009 the Hispanic Culture Club will host its 3rd Annual Dinner Dance featuring Hispanic art, music, and Latin Cuisine. This is one of the many activities hosted by the club throughout the year that have started to become traditions at Rita. The Hispanic Culture Club has been one of Rita’s most active organizations in recent years, and this year continues to grow in popularity with a current membership of over 30 students. “BEING A PART of the Hispanic Culture Club means a lot to me. It makes me feel good to be apart of something this special,” said Junior Roberto Hernandez. Members of the club meet regularly every two weeks and the club is open to everyone, not only students of Hispanic decent. The club was started 5 years ago by its moderator Mr. Antonio Miranda and this year is led as well by its new co-moderator Ms. Soccoro Yanez. had a very busy year with their annual Day of the Dead Altar, its coordinated efforts with the Campus Ministry Office to honor the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a special Mass, and plans to distribute traditional Mexican sweet bread to the faculty for Mexican Independence Day. According to Mr. Miranda, the annual dinner dance is the club’s most time-consuming project. The dance is unique as it is funded solely by the club through donations and sponsors. The past two years have proven to be very successful for the dance. The night has brought out a couple hundred people each year, including Rita students, Hispanic Cultural Club members, families and friends. Those interested in learning more about the Hispanic Culture or in the Hispanic Cultural Club are encouraged to participate in the group and also attend their upcoming dance. As the academic year winds down at Rita, members of the club are also planning community building trip to Six Flags to celebrate another successful year.


April 1, 2009

THE HISPANIC CULTURE Club educates Rita students through the celebration of customs such as the Annual Day of the Dead Altar picture above outside Rita’s dining hall.

Photo courtesy of Advancement Office

The mission of the club is to promote Hispanic culture through Masses, charity work, and events such as the dinner dance. Hispanic Culture Club members give back to the community by taking bimonthly trips to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and donating clothes to St. Pro-

copius Parish. THIS YEAR THE club established two new events: a Christmas party to build more community amongst the club’s members and a trip to Six Flags at the end of the fall. Overall the Hispanic Culture Club has

Can a Mustang Student Go ernment keeps busy and a Caravan member survive in the same house?
By Craig Sabbath Freshman Writer

By Luke Bentley Senior Writer
Many Rita Men cannot even stand being friends or acquaintances with those who either go to Mt. Carmel or Br. Rice, but Senior Frank Herrera has no choice. Frank’s younger brother Alex is a freshman at Mt. Carmel. With a private high school market that is becoming ever more competitive, such as the market Rita is in, situations like the Herrera’s are becoming more common. No longer can it be assumed that family legacy determines the high school choice for brothers, cousins, sons, or other relatives. Originally both Herrera brothers planned to attend Mt. Carmel after they graduated from St. John Fisher Elementary School. However, several things helped to lead Frank on another path toward eventually making Rita his high school of choice. “THE MAIN REASON I checked out Rita was because I met Fr. Tom [McCarthy, OSA, Rita’s President] at a wedding and he convinced me to come and give Rita a look,” said Frank. “When I shadowed at Rita, I loved it and loved the family atmosphere here. I didn’t feel that at Mt. Carmel,” he said. From that point the rest is history. Frank went on to take Rita’s entrance exam and enrolled as a student. Frank is currently a senior and speaks of how he loves every minute of going to school at Rita The same could not be said for Alex however. He took the other

road and became a member of Mt. Carmel’s Caravan. “I LIKE CARMEL better than Rita and more of my friends were going there,” said Alex. One might think that when a Caravan member and a Mustang share a room never-ending arguments and fights over which school is better would exist. That is true when it comes to Frank and Alex. The two brothers have constant arguments about the two schools and their walls are even Carmel and Rita colors. Keeping with the competitive spirit of course, neither will concede and each says he is the winner of the arguments. “I win the arguments most of the time,” said Alex. WHILE IT MAY or may not be the case, Frank has this past season’s Rita-Carmel football game looming over Alex’s head, which he can bring up anytime. “I still haven’t let him forget about that,” said Frank. Even though Frank is the oldest of the brothers, it was not Alex who broke family legacy by attending Mt. Carmel. Frank in fact would have been carrying on a family tradition had he attended Mt. Carmel as his grandfather is an alum of the Caravan. Frank even turned down a car promised by his grandpa had followed in his footsteps and attended Mt. Carmel. Alex is now waiting for that promised car. So how do brothers attend different area Catholic high schools and still live together? It may not be easy at times, but Frank and Alex seem to make it work.

Student Government is in the midst of an activity-filled semester. With the first-semester accomplishments of Homecoming Week 2008, the Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, and the revamping of Rita’s student cell phone usage policy under their belt, the members of student government have been working to keep up their successful momentum. Some of the main focuses the student officials on which have been working this semester include: getting the word out about the new cell phone policy (a policy designed in cooperation with the members of Student Government to help emphasize the seriousness regarding the matter), organizing proms, and Pride Week 2009. Most recently Student Government organized the Annual Blood Drive, collecting another successful amount of life-saving blood donations. Student Government has had constant focus on putting together an overall successful year. However, each class has their own distinct goals. FOR THE SENIOR Class, Student Government President Martin Hopkins stated, “The main goal for the Senior Class is that we want to leave this school and know we have made a difference. We want to be able to look back at our high school career and remember some of the events we ran and we hope our classmates remember them too.” Junior Class Moderator Ms. Lauren Condon and the Junior Class Officers have been focusing on leading the Juniors into becoming the new student leaders of Rita. In February, the class celebrated receiving their school rings and are currently planning the Junior Prom to be held on May 2nd. The Freshmen Class Officers, while new to Rita’s Student Government, are already working to become a part of making the organization strong. They recently hosted one of the highest-attended Freshmen Hawaiian Pool Nights in Rita history and are working to plan some new events in an effort to get more of their classmates involved. LIKE THE FRESHMEN Class Officers, Hopkins and some of the class moderators expressed a desire to work toward creating more events in the future. Hopkins said, “While we work to raise spirit throughout the year, after Homecoming Week and the Annual Food Drive we experience a long period of time leading up to Pride Week where we do not coordinate many large-scale activities or events.” “Our Student Government has done an excellent job at keeping some great Rita traditions alive, and I believe they have the ability to establish some new traditions for future class officers to carry on,” said Freshmen Class co-Moderator Mr. Josh Blaszak. Organizing activities and events is not the only

role of the Student Government at Rita, though. “Our Student Government helps promote the core values here at the school and helps organize fun things for the student body and faculty,” said Br. Gary Hresil, OSA, Director of Activities and Moderator for Student Government. “By organizing events, it helps build on the value of building community, which is the core of an Augustinian school,” he said. Mr. Tony Miranda, Sophomore Class Moderator, added, “The purpose of Student Government is so students can be a part of the events that are going on at Rita and make the school better – so they can be heard.” “I HAVE BEEN somehow involved with Student Government since the fifth grade, so I am very aware of the effect strong leadership can have at a school. I think our Student Government really has the potential to make Rita an even better place,” Ms. Condon stated. The moderators of Rita’s Student Government believe there is great responsibility that is expected of the representatives of such a purposeful organization. Mr. Miranda expressed his belief when he described the role of a representative. “Officers are to be leaders every day. Student Government is only good when it is active.” “A true representative is one who always, under all circumstances, acts like a Rita man should,” stated Ms. Condon. “Our representatives and students who want to run in the future must be students who possess accountability, honesty and humility,” said Mr. Joe Toomey, Freshmen Class co-Moderator. Br. Gary also believes in humility. “We call them representatives because they are equal,” he said. Mr. Miranda also stressed the importance of the rest of the student body in the function of the Student Government. “The Student Government is only as good as the student body. The student body must let the Student Government know what they should be doing.”

SENIOR JACK CLOONAN gives blood to help those in need. The recent Annual Blood Drive was once again a successful effort run by Student Government.

Photo by David Huang

April 1, 2009

Senator becomes
By Adam Vargas Political Editor

Page 3 NEWS Barack Obama The historical beginnings of St. Rita of Casica High School 44th President
change anything. And, while we may have a new president in office, the amount of help our country needs remains the same. As President Obama proclaimed, “Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generation.” America is being tested right now in ways that haven’t been seen in quite some time. But we’ve overcome problems before, as President Obama pointed out when he quoted George Washington as saying “the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it).” So go forth and meet it. Volunteer, serve, do your part to help make this country a better place for those that have to follow us. That’s the message that President Obama tried to convey to the millions of people standing on the mall that day. The millions of people standing on the mall that day, that is what I and others who have seen King’s speech saw during President Obama’s inauguration. When the camera zoomed out to show those millions of people stretching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, we also saw the people from 45 years ago stretching back even further, from the monument to the Lincoln Memorial. WHAT STARTED ON those steps truly had made its way to the walls of the White House, and the American people carried it there. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians they carried that Dream for 45 years across that mall, from August 28, 1963 to January 20, 2009, through the good times and the bad, through the joys and the frustrations of life. Finally, when they reached the Capitol on the 20th, they handed the Dream to President Obama, who brought it home. I cannot help but wonder if Dr. King knew then what the future would hold. I wonder if he looked across the mall to the Capitol and smiled as if he could actually see President Obama being sworn in as the 44th President of these United States. Whether or not he did, I know that others who were there on that day 45 years ago were there again on the 20th, smiling for him. I now join the rest of the world in watching President Obama with anticipation. Part I: From Humble Beginnings to a Great Depression While many may already know the story of St. Rita High School there still some who are not entirely aware of the school’s true history. The story Rita begins with James Edward Quigley, an Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. At the beginning of the 20th century, Archbishop Quigley recognized the potential for great future development in the then-sparsely populated Southwestern region of the City of Chicago. Archbishop Quigley strongly desired the establishment of parishes and Catholic schools there, but was faced with the ageold problem of a shortage of priests. THE SOLUTION? The Augustinians. The Archbishop contacted Very Rev. Martin Geraghty, O.S.A., the then Provincial of the Order at Villanova College in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Fr. Geraghty met with Archbishop Quigley in Chicago on May 11, 1905. After their discussion, it was decided that Fr. Geraghty would send the first Augustinian priests to the Midwest to found a school and a parish, and he would also provide for the purchase of the necessary property. Perhaps to celebrate this new beginning for the Augustinians, the newest Augustinian saint, St. Rita of Cascia (canonized on May 24, 1900) was chosen to be the patroness of the new school and parish. The man selected by the Provincial to guide this undertaking was Fr. James Francis Green, O.S.A. In September of 1905, Fr. Green broke the ground for the construction and, one month later, laid the cornerstone for the new monastery and school. RAPID CONSTRUCTION began, and the first finished 2-story building (later named Green Hall) was dedicated on April 21, 1906 by Bishop Muldoon. The whole project cost approximately $70,000. A third floor was soon added to the building for an additional $17,000. The school was recognized by the State of Illinois legislature on July 13, 1905. The Vatican officially established the first Augustinian monastery west of Villanova on November 6, 1906. The first school year began with a group of 14 students on September 14, 1906 under a faculty of 3 priests: Fr. Green (who served as the Principal of the school and pastor of the parish), Fr. Richard A. Maher, and Fr. William L. Egan. Interestingly, Rita as an academic institution was originally intended to be both a high school and a college. In fact, the stone overlooking the entrance to the building (currently preserved in Mrozek Plaza) reads “St. Rita’s College;” stationary for letters written by the Augustinians living there contained the same title. However, as of the first school year, two academic tracks—a 2-year business track and a 4-year college preparatory track— concentrating on commercial, classical, and scientific studies were taught. No college subjects were taught then in order to concentrate on building the high school department. Rita would never go on to become a college-level institution. IN THE FOLLOWING school year, the number of students increased to 43. In 1908, the first commencement exercises were held when John J. Coppinger graduated from the 2-year business course. Throughout the 1910s, Rita enjoyed a period of steady growth and prosperity. By 1918, there were approximately 136

By Dan Moore Editor-In-Chief

Something I heard while watching pre-inauguration coverage on CNN hit me pretty hard, though it honestly didn’t do so until after I had seen the actual inauguration ceremony. A CNN reporter said they’d like to hear Barack Obama comment on how far we’ve come since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in August of 1963; something along the lines of “what started on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 45 years ago has finally made its way to the walls of the White House.” I don’t know if that reporter realized then how unimaginably true and powerful his statement was - I certainly didn’t. It wasn’t until the inauguration ceremony that the reporter’s words really exploded within me. I saw, as you all did, millions of people stretching from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument. AS AMAZING OF a sight as it truly was, it wasn’t new to everyone’s eyes. That’s because on August 28, 1963 a leader gave a different speech, one filled with more longing than celebration, before a crowd of 250,000 that stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. I don’t doubt that some who can recall that day saw what I saw on January 20th. So what did I see? The day before President Obama’s inauguration was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I made certain I recorded the special replaying of his great “I Have a Dream” speech that was airing that morning and gathered my family to watch it. I saw a strong leader, a man of great integrity and courage, preaching from his soul before a large crowd that was deeply moved by that preacher’s dream. Had you then shown me a recording of President Obama’s inauguration, I would have seen the same thing. President Obama didn’t bother to sweet talk anybody during his speech. Simply put, with our country the way it was and is, it wasn’t the time. He didn’t tell us what we’ve done well, but what we need to do. IN FACT, I hardly felt he mentioned the past eight years at all – which is truly symbolic, because while things have gotten tougher since President Bush took office, sitting around and complaining about it won’t

Rita Freshman Shakir Spells attends historic inauguration
By Brad Dorng Freshman Writer
One of the best ways to learn about American history is to witness it first hand. On January 19th, Freshman Shakir Spells did just that as he left for Washington, D.C., in order to attend the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama. On a charter bus with his family and others from his mother’s work, Spells was ready to see the first African American candidate become president. UPON ARRIVING in D.C., Spells stated that he had not seen so many people in one place for such a wonderful celebration. Spells met celebrants from all over the world. People from the Bahamas, Jamaica, West Kenya, Canada, Detroit, Virginia, and Louisiana, just to name a few, were here present to take part in this day in history. “I WANTED to see the inauguration because I knew it would be an historical event, and if I was not there I would have felt left out and upset,” said Spells. “I will never forget that day, and when it is in history books years from now I can actually say that I was there,” he said. Unfortunately, like many others who were attended the inauguration, Spells was not able to get very close to President Obama, nor did he get to meet him, but he was able to hear his voice loud and clear. After the historical event, Spells was able to watch some of the parade and walk around, getting to see government buildings, the Capitol building, and even the Pentagon. Spells made sure he took home plenty of souvenirs to remember his part in history. “I was glad I had this opportunity to see such an amazing thing, and I would not have traded it for anything else in the world,” said Spells.

students and the faculty had expanded to 13 members. The degree of growth eventually forced the splitting of the parish and the high school into separate entities, officially recognized by Rome in 1920. In 1922, Fr. Green decided to retire from his post as Principal to serve full-time as the parish pastor. Fr. Egan was appointed as his successor. During Fr. Egan’s tenure, a gymnasium (later named Harris Gym) was constructed in 1923. A new school building (later named Egan Hall) facing Claremont Avenue containing many new classrooms and science laboratories was also completed in 1926. By the time Fr. Egan retired in the same year, the student body numbered 416. Fr. Joseph Kepperling, O.S.A., was chosen to succeed Fr. Egan as Principal. At this point, Rita had achieved a high level of significance among Catholic high schools in Chicago. Unfortunately, Fr. Kepperling’s work was brought to an early close by his sudden death in 1929. Fr. John J. Harris, O.S.A., then became the school’s fourth Principal. Fr. Harris oversaw the development of a new athletic stadium and various library and mechanical improvements throughout the school. THINGS TOOK A turn for the worse, however, with the economic downturn of the Great Depression. By 1935, the school’s closing appeared imminent. Enter Fr. Ruellan P. Fink, O.S.A. Fr. Fink was offered 3 possible assignments for his ministry, one of which included the struggling Rita in Chicago. Fink was strongly encouraged by his superiors not to choose the seemingly doomed school, but despite all arguments to the contrary, he decided to become the school’s fifth Principal in the summer of 1935. Thus the school was a microcosm of the whole nation, and Fr. Fink came with a New Deal of his own for Rita. The beginning of the 1936-1937 school year marked the beginning of one of the most important developments: the establishment of a new industrial and technical course. A wood shop and metal shop were the first facilities added for this purpose. In 1938, a new technical building was completed and dedicated. Thorough training in wood, metal, and machine shops were offered supplemented by specialized training in electricity, radio and television, automotives, aeronautics, and air conditioning. Other improvements under Fr. Fink’s guidance included further expansion of enrollment in the business curriculum, provisions for an adequate Biology laboratory, and an update to Physical Education facilities. AT THE BEGINNING of Fr. Fink’s first year, the student body numbered approximately 387. Three years later, the student body more than doubled to 855. By the end of the 1930s, the school’s condition had greatly improved. An evaluation of the school in December of 1939 found the school’s education program and instructional staff to be “excellent” and the pupils to be “courteous, interested in the work, and friendly,” despite a complaint that “they are somewhat careless in keeping the building in a clean and tidy condition.” Overall, the evaluation concluded, “The St. Rita High School is a well organized school.” Thus through the perseverance of Fr. Fink, the students, and the faculty, Rita had been rescued from the depths of economic depression. As the school reveled in its success, the world’s eyes turned to Europe as war loomed on the horizon.

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April 1, 2009

Should scientists risk world’s fate?
The Large Hadron Collider could bring the apocalypse down upon this lowly planet. First you have to know what this harbinger of death is. The LHC is, and I quote, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator in the world. This means it shoots protons at each other at an ultra-accelerated rate. Bored yet? WHAT’S THE POINT of all this techno mumbo-jumbo? Well, by shooting these protons into each other, scientists hope to find out answers to a great many questions. Questions like if there are other dimensions that we have yet to discover, like the 4th dimension? What is dark matter? Why is gravity so weak compared to other forces? Most importantly though, scientists hope to create a Higgs boson, the “god particle,” that allows all particles, which do not have mass in nature, to acquire mass. The main point of this endeavor is to become exponentially closer to discovering how an atom works. This will in turn help us understand how the world and the universe work. THE DOWNSIDE OF this endeavor is that we could potentially create tiny black holes that would soon grow and envelop the Earth. Alternatively, we could create something called a strangelet. These are tiny bits of matter that when touching something solid, like the Earth, converts it into a large hot lump not unlike our core. The chances of either of those happening are extremely remote, but it is still there. This raises a question. Should we continue on, in the name of science, even though there is a slight chance that our entire existence could be destroyed? The positives might outweigh negatives, however hard that may be to believe. THE HIGGS BOSON alone is by far one of the most important things in natural science. This “god particle” will help unravel the mysteries of the atom, like how the electron can rotate the nucleus and how they can stay in an order. Haven’t you ever wondered why the first orbital of an atom can only carry two electrons? The Higgs Boson will help determine this riddle. Another thing scientists hope to fund out is why gravity is so weak. Why does a tiny magnet picking up a nail off of the ground have a stronger attractive force than the Earth? THEY WILL ALSO discover the truth behind antimatter, the negative answer for every positive particle. This means there could be an entire alternate anti-universe that is in balance with the one we live in. The big question is this: is the world going to be alive to take advantage of these breakthroughs? What really gives humans the right to meddle in affairs only God can handle? We are chancing the death of our planet to learn how something works. While the benefits of this could mean possible time-travel and finding out the workings of the world, it is still unknown ground that we walking on. We are treading on the toes of God, and we could be killed because of it. On the other hand, God has given us intelligence and expects us to use it, to learn about and reflect His Glory. Please note, the editorial is a written view of one St. Rita High School student. It does not necessarily reflect the views of others at St. Rita or the school as an institution.

Shinny new gadgets unveiled at Consumer Electronics Show
By Marty Malone Editor-in-Chief
Even with all the current economic troubles there are still people who want to buy shiny new gadgets to show off to friends. The best place to find out all about these new and upcoming products in the ever-so-changing gadget world was The 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show – or CES 2009 for short. The first CES took place in New York City in 1967 with 200 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees. Over its 42 year history, CES has grown to be the world’s major event to showcase all of the new technology for that coming year, which is why in recent times the show has taken place in January – to set the stage for the rest of the year’s new gadgets. CES 2009 took place January 8th-11th, and although its presence was a little more subdued compared to previous years, CES 2009 did not upset. WITH MORE THAN 2,700 exhibitors filling more than 1.7 million net square feet of exhibit space in the great city of Las Vegas, companies showcased their exciting new products to some 130,000 attendees. Though there were no major breakthroughs like X-ray vision goggles or teleportation devices, there were a few very interesting gadgets. Two in particular really captured the media’s attention. First: Are you sick of trying to jam your cell phone charger chord into its tiny little slot on your cell phone? How about accidentally letting go of the chord to see it slip through the open spot between your desk and the wall, having to then get on your hands and knees and go searching for it? Basically, chords are lame. So many things have gone wireless, why not be able to charge your phone or iPod wirelessly? Both Fulton Innovation LLC and Powermat Ltd. are working to solve chord problems with consumer wireless charging power kits for cell phones and small media players. YOU CAN EXPECT to see many new products coming pre-made with these new wireless batteries built in to them, though add-on units will also be sold for your current gadgets so that they too can get juiced – wirelessly. Expect 2009 to be the year of wireless charging. Second (and what many are calling the Blockbuster of CES 2009): The Palm Pre. From the company that brought you the revolutionary Palm Pilot comes the new Palm Pre – Palm’s answer to the very popular iPhone. Many other cellphone companies have tried to compete with Apple’s iPhone, but there has yet to be a true opponent, a phone worthy of being better than Apple’s iPhone. T-Mobile has the G1 phone powered by Google’s new mobile operating system Android – which was huge news, however, the actual hardware of the G1 turned many off. Verizon began selling the BlackBerry Storm, the first fulltouch screen BlackBerry, and though it was another highly anticipated cell phone, the reviews deemed the device lackluster. With partnerships between AT&T and Apple, Verizon and BlackBerry, T-Mobile and Google, that leaves only one major cellphone company: Sprint. AFTER HAVING BEEN voted the nation’s best 3G coverage of all the networks in the US, and designing a whole new ad campaign featuring its very competitive voice and data plans, Sprint’s future is looking up. Now add the new Palm Pre to the mix, and Sprint finds itself a match made in gadget heaven. Just to give you a hint about how great this phone is expected to be: moments after being announced, Palm’s stock rose 35%. What makes the Pre so worthy of being better than the iPhone? I’d say the one major factor is that Palm is responsible for both the hardware and software of this device. Just as Apple did for the iPhone, the entire Pre was created by Palm. That’s not the only similarity between the 2 companies though: Jon Rubinstein, the new executive chairman of Palm who is responsible for the Pre previously worked at Apple and led development for the ever popular iPod. The major advancements of the Pre really lay in the software. Dubbed WebOS, Palm’s new mobile operating system is specifically designed to run multiple applications seamlessly, unlike some other phones, which dedicate all their memory to one specific application like the internet or contact management. LIKE THE NAME implies WebOS is designed to work with the Internet. One great example of this is what Palm calls “Synergy.” With Synergy, the basic idea is that people can sign into all of their social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Myspace, AIM) and the Pre will automatically search for all of their friends and add them to their contact list, including pictures of them too. With “cards” – which are small application windows that the user can swipe from side to side or swipe apps from the screen – Palm really had a breakthrough in user interface. Each card is its own single program. (I suggest you go search “Palm Pre Cards” on YouTube to see this idea in action.) Palm also plans to mimic iPhone’s App Store with an App Store of its own, creatively named “App Catalog”, which will surely bring new and innovative software to the Pre. Another thing that sets the Pre apart from the iPhone is its physical QWERTY keyboard. Apple notoriously left out a physical keyboard on its iPhone, a decision some people liked, but many others did not. Palm’s famous comfortable keys, built into the Pre on a slide-out keyboard, are a major plus. One other great feature of the Palm Pre is an optional accessory: a wireless charger. What Palm calls the “Touchstone” will be the first-ever wireless charger provided by a cellphone company. Only time will tell how “mainstream” wireless charging will become, or how much of a competitor the Palm Pre will be to the iPhone. However, one thing is for certain, CES 2010 is sure to bring a new wave of technology that will make wireless charging and the Palm Pre old news.

e Ritan is a publication of the students of St. Rita of Cascia High School, 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago IL 60620. Phone: 773-925-6600 ext. 6668. Letters to the editors can be dropped o at the Mel Schreier Ritan O ce located in the academic wing on the northwest end of the second oor, submitted via email to or given to Mr. Josh Blaszak in Room 206. Editors-in-Chief: Marty Malone and Dan Moore Political Editor: Adam Vargas Assistant Editor: Dave Schrader Sta Writers: Luke Bentley, Brian Boyd, Bob Carroll, Dan Ciaglia, Brad Dorng, Matthew Dunson, Cesar Morales, Bobby Raehl, Craig Sabath, and Kyel White Photographers: David Huang and Al Smith Artists: Matt Gooseherst Moderator: Mr. Josh Blaszak
Graphic by Matt Gooeseherst

April 1, 2009


Page 5

By Adam Vargas Political Editor

How will the future look back on President Bush?

Earlier this semester an interesting point was brought up during class by Mr. Jerry Pazin, my excellent AP US History teacher. Mr. Pazin said an old professor of his once proposed the idea that tragedies manipulate the public’s view on leaders, namely former President John F. Kennedy. The professor suggested that had JFK been able to complete his term, he may not have been seen in the positive light we now see him (though apparently the professor was slightly more dramatic when expressing this idea). IT’S AN INTERESTING theory because while studying JFK it becomes quite obvious that he, like all the presidents before him, didn’t always have the right answers, which could have weakened public opinion of him after constantly being put to the test just as easily as it could have strengthened it – but who knows. How can a theory such as this be made relevant to former President George W. Bush? Well, what if I told you that the man who received a round of boos from the crowd when he was introduced at the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama on January 20th may well have been remembered as one of America’s finest presidents had he, for some tragic reason, been unable to complete both his terms. While it may seem to some to be a great stretch, even for a hypothetical situation, the reality is as it was absolutely possible. HERE ARE THE questions that need answering: how could a president who apparently was very successful at one point end up having so few on his side? Did he truly deserve those boos he got at the ceremony or were the people in the crowd misinformed? How will future generations view the legacy of Bush? Take a look at the following figure: 92%. Now, how would you feel if I told you that were the percentage of Americans who didn’t like Bush during the final year of his second term? I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who wouldn’t be surprised by that information. I wish I could see those same people’s faces when I say that was actually the approval rating Bush had early in his first term. That’s not only a good approval rating, it’s the best rating earned by a president since opinion polling started in the 1930s – which means he beat his father George H.W. Bush after the Gulf War, Harry Truman after WWII in Europe, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt after his reactions to the attack on Pearl Harbor. What did Bush do right? What did President Bush - a man who entered the White House with half the country thinking his election was a scam after the controversial race against Al Gore - do to achieve such a high rating from the American people? He performed outstandingly well during the worst foreign attack on American soil in United States history September 11, 2001. Truly think about it: how many of us got out of bed today

fearing that there would be a terrorist attack somewhere in our country? How many of us have neglected to travel by a plane since 9/11? The reality is those that have are the minority. President Bush, along with every good citizen of our country, helped us overcome the instinctive panic from the attacks and even grow stronger from it. Bush led the way with the War on Terrorism – an act that most of the country was not only a good idea, but a necessity. Where did Bush go wrong? President Bush’s collected manner during those tragic times slowly calmed the people, and we were grateful. However, the War on Terrorism, while clearly successful at first would drag on longer than anyone had expected and would be a major cause in the fall of his approval rating. After the 92% rating, Bush’s stock would continue to fall steadily, with the only real inclines during the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003 (roughly 75%) and the capturing of Saddam Hussein in December of that same year (around 66%). WITHOUT “HARD EVIDENCE” that the war was working, all the public could focus on was whenever U.S. casualties hit another milestone – with current casualties at about 4,250. While Bush can’t be given 100% of the blame for the state of our economy (he didn’t make you take out those loans anymore than he made the companies give them to you), he didn’t do much to help it. Bush passed major tax cuts between 2001 and 2003 that ultimately helped raise the national debt 84%, from $5.8 trillion to $10.7 trillion. To be fair, the public may be jumping to conclusions concerning Bush and the economy. President Obama has been in office for two months and hasn’t been able to fix it – something that it seems everyone was expecting Bush to do. As numerous leaders and politicians have tried to emphasize to the people, fixing the economy will take time. It became obvious that the problem was more than one leader could handle alone, but it would have been nice if he showed the public a little more effort. Oh, and… President Bush didn’t make many friends during and after the events of Hurricane Katrina. The government was criticized harshly for the lack of a quick and efficient rescue effort. There was a clear lack of food, generators, and National Guard forces to aid those individuals in need. The ultimate heroes of Hurricane Katrina became those that volunteered. However, once again it seems to me that Bush received a lot of criticism just because the public knew he was involved with rescue efforts. FEW EVER REMEMBER the very poor preparation efforts by former Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco as well as her poor relief efforts afterward (it was largely up to her to receive more troops for aid, but she waited much too long before doing so). Violent crimes including shootings and unnecessary
OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE photo taken of the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush.
Photo Courtesy of

looting did nothing to help restore the New Orleans economy and community after the primary relief came. It’s really hard to give all the blame for Hurricane Katrina’s to Bush when he’s not fully responsible. So how will history see Bush? When a man serves as president for just eight years and comes out of it looking older than his father, you can’t say that he sat around stress-free in his vacation home. George W. Bush faced numerous difficult situations during his two terms, and some were handled very well. However, it’s the issues that he didn’t handle so well that the public seems to remember. President Bush left office with a 19% approval rating, the lowest percentage ever given to a president (yes, even lower than Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal with 24%). It kind of reminds me of the BCS system. Say you start the college season with a pretty good team at #1 — we’ll call that team Notre Dame for Darius Fleming. But then they lose the third game of the season by a field goal. They drop a few ranks and a team that has proven to be even better during those first three weeks takes over at #1— let’s call them Villanova for Fr. Philip Cook’s sake. Now say that by the last game of the season, those two teams are #1 (ND) and #2 (Mich.) in the nation. #2 crushes their unranked opponent (let’s throw Mt. Carmel in here for obvious reasons) while #1 loses in overtime to the #3 team (Iowa for Martin Hopkins) while their first-string quarterback is nursing a sore hamstring. Guess who just got knocked out of the BCS championship. Maybe next time Villanova. While President Bush obviously didn’t have an undefeated record going into the last game of the season, he has fallen victim to the same rating system that can’t get its eyes off of that unlucky last game for Villanova. HISTORY BOOKS WON’T be as biased as we are. They will see the good and the bad of Bush’s presidency and grade more accordingly. It will ultimately be a more accurate representation of our 43rd president than any approval rating out there. So will future generations see Bush as a good president or a bad one? I can’t say for sure, but I can say he’ll probably be somewhere in between the numbers of the president with the highest and lowest approval rating in presidential history – himself.

Blago... Burris... Bust.
By Adam Vargas Political Editor
In recent months the drama of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his US Senate appointee Roland Burris seems like it will never end despite Blagojevich’s impeachment and subsequent removal from office and Burris, despite threats from the Senate promising otherwise, taking his seat in the capital. Fortunately, that’s pretty much all she wrote for Blagojevich - if you don’t count the current book he’s making six-figures for that will describe the dark side of politics (you know, like selling a senate seat for money). Unfortunately, the story just begins for Senator Burris. It’s hard to be taken seriously when your own peers reject your arrival on national television. But, of course, in a system of politics that can be summarized by the belief that numbers are more important than the people behind those numbers, the Democrats ultimately found a way for him to be seated. SADLY, A TERM that begins with controversy can’t help but look to end in controversy. Calls for Senator Burris’ resignation have risen from the Senate (and President Obama himself) again as allegations have been made saying that he lied under oath concerning his relationship with associates of Blagojevich. From my understanding, Burris is currently working on his third version of how he received Blagojovich’s nomination – which doesn’t look good for someone who has no one’s trust as it is. As far as I’m concerned, if possibly lying under oath can keep Barry Bonds out of the Hall of Fame then Burris possibly lying can keep me

FORMER GOVERNOR OF Illinois, Rod R. Blagojevich, stands to the left of his newly appointed senate seat pick, Roland Burris. Both have faced continued controversy.

Photo Courtesy of

from giving him my full respect. Burris has firmly stated in interviews that will not consider resignation and intends to finish out his term in office. AS FOR RUNNING a campaign for the job in 2010, he hasn’t decided yet. He did, however, sign a letter of candidacy for the election prior to being sworn in last January.

However, when you’re already guaranteed strong competition from your own party, things don’t look too bright. SO YES, Senator Burris has said he’ll be in office for two more years and in recent weeks other politicians have backed off their daily calls for his resignation. But here’s to hoping he releases another version or two of that statement.

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Wrestlers finish first season under Manzella
By Luke Bentley Senior Writer
After eight straight years of at least making the IHSA state quarterfinals, the St. Rita Wrestling team knew what they had at stake this year. This year’s team was under the new leadership of first-year Head Coach and Dan Manzella. Coach Manzella, a 2003 Rita Grad, knows the wresting program well. He was a three-time state place winner, a one-time state runner-up, and served as team captain for Rita’s first-ever State Championship team. After graduating seven seniors last year, Coach Manzella kept this year’s Mustangs moving in the right direction and on track to become like the state caliber teams of the past. LIKEWISE, THE YOUNG grapplers were in tip-top shape and ready to take on the new challenge. Coach Manzella set high goals early on for his first team this year. During a pre-season interview Coach Manzella said, “I want to go at least .500 and get an individual state champ and a few placers. I especially want to have my boys keep their grades up.” The team started out the season at the Barrington Invite. The Mustangs finished 20th and had three wrestlers place. Sophomore Kyle McGovern took seventh place at 130 and Juniors Mike Golden and Gonzalo Gonzales took home eighth and sixth at 125 and 285 respectively. The Mustangs then hosted DeLaSalle and Shepard for their first dual meets of the season. Rita suffered a tough loss to Shepard, but they went on to beat DeLaSalle. NEXT UP WERE rivals Mt. Carmel and St. Laurence. The Caravan proved to be too much for the young Mustangs, but they handled St. Laurence easily. The road continued to be tough for Rita as they progressed and faced Bowen and a team from Lowell Michigan. They lost to Lowell, but stomped Bowen 73-3. The wresters’ season continued as they faced Bishop McNamara and Wilmington. They beat Bishop McNamara but lost to Wilmington. The biggest tournament of the year came next for the Mustangs, the annual Al Dvorak Invite. The Mustangs finished 27th in a tough field of teams including four teams from out-of-state. Sophomore Jahwon Akui was the only placer for the Mustangs. Akui took third place in the tournament. THE MUSTANGS TOOK on tougher challenges as they faced last year’s state champion and runner-up in Providence Catholic and Montini Catholic respectively. They fell to both but put up a solid effort. Tough challenges continued for Rita as they faced Belvidere High School and Rockton Honenagah along with St. Ignatius and Amunsden, losing to all four. The Mustangs’ hard work finally paid off when they beat local rival Marist. Their success didn’t last long, however, when they suffered losses to Wheaton North, Libertyville, and Oak Park-River Forest. Still though the wrestlers did not give up hope or determination. As the season was coming to an end, Coach Manzella was looking for a turn around from his wrestlers. With the Geneseo and Chicago Catholic League tournaments coming up, he had high expectations for his wrestlers. “I hope we can finish top three in CCL and see at least two champs at Geneseo,” he said. THEY WRESTLED WELL in Geneseo, but not quite as well Coach expected. The team finished 13th and had two wrestlers place. Junior Cody Zimmerman placed fifth at 119 and Jahwon Akui took first at 160. The CCL Championship was held at St. Ignatius, where the Mustangs went in hoping to upset powerhouses Mt. Carmel and Providence. Rita finished in fourth place, only one


April 1, 2009

WORKING ON TAKING down one of his opponents is Junior Mike Golden. Golden and the wresting team recently completed their first season under new Head Coach Dan Manzella.

Photo courtesy of Mike Patton

Rita swimmers make a splash Varsity Cheerleaders
By Dan Moore Editor-in-Chief
The Swimming Mustangs managed to finish off their season in the green despite the team’s loss in depth from last year. With an overall record of 6-4, Rita—as per usual with their underdog status—defied seasonal expectations. It should also be noted that the Mustangs’ only losses came from some of the best teams in the state such as St. Ignatius, Fenwick, and Br. Rice. In a scheduling oddity, the Mustangs swam against (and defeated) archrival Mt. Carmel a baffling 6 times: three times during the regular season and then at the Evergreen Park Invitational, Chicago Catholic League Championship meet, and Sectionals, respectively. THE SWIM TEAM also handed defeats to St. Viator, Morgan Park, and the brand new De La Salle team. Rita participated in their two usual invitational meets this season—the Riverside-Brookfield Invitational in which they finished last, and the Evergreen Park Invitational in which they finished a laudable fifth place. The Mustangs also finished a respectable ninth in the CCL Championship meet, easily one of the most competitive meets in the state. AT THE IHSA Sectional meet, the swimmers produced multiple medalists and managed to squeak through to fifth place. Senior Mitch Condon was also tragically touched out for the State meet by .5 seconds. Next year’s team also has their work cut out for them as the rebuilding process continues, but the Swimming Mustangs are quite accustomed to overcoming adversity.

away from Coach Manzella’s prediction. Freshman John Anderson and Mike Murphy along with Gonzalo Gonzales all took third place at 112, 135, and 285 respectively. Cody Zimmerman took second at 119. Jahwon Akui took first at 160 and was named the tournament’s MVP. COACH MANZELLA WAS pleased with the season saying, “I’m happy with the team I have. The wrestlers worked to give it all they have. I want the boys to be as good as possible.” The Mustangs headed into the playoffs with high expectations. They took first place in the St. Ignatius regional by a decisive margin. They had 12 wrestlers place in the top four of their weight class. Jahwon Akui (160), John Anderson (112), Senior Dan Golden (171), Mike Murphy (135), Junior Eric Nolen (215), and Cody Zimmermann (119) all took first place. Junior Mike Parker (189) and Sophomore Alex Ramos (103) each captured second place. Sophomores Arman Castillo (125), Jake Lordo (152), and Kevin Steffeter (145) took home third place finishes.

Lastly, rounding out the placeholders was Kyle McGovern (130) who took fourth. THE 12 PLACERS went on to the individual sectional at DeLaSalle. Jawhon Akui and Eric Nolen took third and Dan Golden took first. These three wrestlers went on to represent Rita at the individual state competitions, where Akui finished third overall in the 160-weight class. The last obstacle keeping the Mustangs from an opportunity downstate was facing Mt. Carmel in the sectional. Rita wrestled hard but fell short to the Caravan. Additional honors for the season were given to Jahwon Akui, as he was named the CCL MVP for the second straight year. This was the first time that has been accomplished during an athlete’s freshmansophomore years. Although the Mustangs did not have the season they originally hoped for, Coach Manzella and the underclass Mustangs look forward to next year’s season and are ready to being working toward another excellent season.

American Open National Champions

RITA’S VARSITY CHEERLEADING team was recently victorious in their quest at this year’s American Open held in Florida. The high spirited cheerleaders were named national champions at the competition. The members of the Varsity squad include: Kaitlin Crotty, Brie Ann Drozd, Katie Fudacz, Erin Gallagher, Veronica Gerlach, Kayla Hardy, Sarah Harrigan, Theresa Healy, Gabbi Herrera, Meghan Johnson, Mary Kellogg, Kelly Kramer, Jessica Murray, Annie Newark, Raquel Pappas, Melissa Smialek, Susan Wagner, and Alyssa Wasinski. Rita’s Cheerleaders are under the direction of Coaches Jackie Bellan and Kim Williams.

Photo courtesy of Rita Cheerleading Program

SENIOR MITCH CONDON, the Swimming Mustangs’ resident breastroker pictured above swimming his signature stroke, was just barely touched out of an opportunity to swim in the IHSA State Finals.

Photo courtesy of Mike Patton

April 1, 2009

Basketball completes action packed season
By Brian Boyd Senior Writer
The Running Mustangs put together another successful and action-packed basketball season under the leadership of Head Coach Rob Sarmiento and his coaching staff. Kicking off the season with the McGovern Classic, the Mustangs cruised to an easy win against Northside Prep before falling to Lincoln Park. Rita bounced back with an exciting win against Morgan Park, with Junior Lane Barlow dropping in 25 points to go along with Senior Marcell Portwood’s 21. The Mustangs fell to St. Ignatius the next day to finish a respectable 2-2 in the prestigious and competitive tournament. AS THE REGULAR season began Rita suffered two tough losses against Seton Academy and Hales, respectively, before winning a gut-wrenching contest against a tough Von Steuben team. The Mustangs pulled out two more big wins at Providence and Gordon Tech before heading off to San Diego during Christmas break to play in the Annual Augustinian Shootout, where they won two straight games before falling in overtime to Malvern Prep of Pennsylvania. The Mustangs continued their regular season play, traveling to Fenwick to take on their Catholic League rival. In a tense game filled with momentum swings, the Friars pulled away in the fourth quarter to leave Rita with a loss. RITA PUT OUT a 48-39 victory against Eisenhower the next week, followed by a loss at New Trier. From that point, the Mustangs went on a three-game winning streak, defeating Guerin Prep, Loyal, and St. Laurence to improve their record to 11-7 and 4-1 in the Catholic League. Unfortunately, the squad lost three heartbreaking contests in a row against top-tier teams St. Ignatius, Lake Forest, and CCL powerhouse Leo. On February 13th, the Mustangs traveled to CCL arch nemesis Br. Rice. Despite a hostile environment, Rita rallied behind outstanding fan support and tough play to defeat the Crusaders, 54-52, with Marcell Portwood dropping in 16 crucial points. Despite playing such an emotional game, the Mustangs, along with the Mustang Maniacs, brought it together to play another South Side rival, the Marist Redhawks. Even while playing away from home, the loyal supporters provided the cheering to help push Rita to another hard fought win, 70-65. “IT WAS A tough game, playing there, but we really did well. Everyone contributed,” said Senior captain Pat McCarthy. The Senior basketball players went on to celebrate their final home game, where they blew out St. Francis De Sales, 56-37. However, before heading into the playoffs, the Mustangs traveled to Mount Carmel, suffering a loss 60-82. When the regular season wrapped up, the Mustangs prepared for their regional game, a rematch with Marist at Br. Rice. In a truly hard-fought and emotional contest, Rita fell short of a win, 77-67. Although their state title hopes had end-


Page 7

ed, the team put together an undoubtedly successful and exciting campaign. “Every game was a pivotal game,” said Senior Jamere Walton. “I’ve been playing with most of these guys for all four of my years, and I love them, they’re like my brothers. We truly are a team and not a group of individuals, and that’s why we had a successful year,” he said. The Running Mustangs finished 14-12 overall, with a 5-3 record in the elite Catholic League North, earning Rita a tie for third place. The hard work, dedication, and support of all the coaches, players, team managers, and fans gave Rita Photo courtesy by David Huang another successful JUNIOR LANE BARLOW attemps a free throw. Barlow was recognized by being named to the All-Catholic League and Southtown All-Area teams. season. The season also brought special recognition to Junior Lane lic League team and Southtown All-Area Barlow, who was named to the All-Catho- team.

Freshmen basketball wins Championship
By Cesar Morales Freshman Writer
The Varsity Running Mustangs Basketball team wasn’t the only team to have a successful season. Rita’s Freshmen Basketball team did quite well. The Mustangs ended their season with an overall record of 18-3, capturing the Chicago Catholic League Title. LED BY KEY players Collin Folks, Will McNamara, and Mike Foody, the team was characterized by strength and had great fundamentals throughout the season. A key part of the Mustangs’ strategy was discussing plays. Before each game, the newly-formed team met to go over all elements of their play. In addition to these discussions of strategy, the speed of the players also helped put the team ahead of its opponents. Head Coach Mike Connolly commented on the team’s many successes and the help of defense this season. COACH CONNOLLY DESCRIBED the team by saying, “Everybody likes one another. It has been a fun group of guys to be around.” With a great year of success as freshmen, the team looks forward to building upon their accomplishments and finding even more success as sophomores.

The following question was recently asked of several classes of Rita students. As opening day approaches for the 2009 MLB season what thoughts/outlook do you have on this upcoming season? How do your favorite teams and/or players look? Jimmy Daly, Freshman: I think the Chicago Cubs are going to lose on opening day, but will win it all this year. Both Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee will have break out seasons this year. Neil Spore, Freshman: I am stoked for this upcoming season. My favorite team is the White Sox and I am shocked to see that they where picked pre-season fifth for the AL Central. I think that the Sox are way underrated this year and have a feeling that they are going to have a great season. Go Sox! Tom Murphy, Junior: Overall I was happy with this year’s draft. The White Sox are going to be a young team. I wish they still had Nick Swisher and Ken Griffey Jr., but I believe they will win the World Series this year. Jim Crist, Senior: I think that both Chicago ball clubs have a chance to repeat as Division Champions. Both teams did a good job of rebuilding in the off-season. I think the Cubs have a better chance of winning the World Series. I fully expect Carlos Quentin to hit 25 home runs and have 100 RBI’s.

What’s That?

Its check and mate for chess team’s season
By Dave Schrader Assistant Editor
Rita’s Mustang Chess Team recently wrapped up another very competitive season and has a bright outlook for its future. While the Mustangs pulled together many successful efforts, this year’s season did not end as well as team members had originally hoped. The team finished the season without advancing to conference or state playoffs. DESPITE MISSING THE opportunity to be in the playoffs, there were many highlights to note of the season. The highestscoring player for this year was Raymond Kipp, with 41 points. Kyle Sheehan came in second, trailing by only one as he scored 40 points. One of the major standouts this year was Freshman Albert Alfano. He scored 38.5 points and helped propel the team to win in a couple of upsets. The Mustangs also experienced some excellent team victories as they defeated St. Joseph and Marist. This season also gave the Mustangs a chance to prepare for a successful future as a couple players gained some vital learning experience. Players are ready to come back next season even better and more prepared.





Page 8

Mustangs earn a spot in the record books as back-to-back Kennedy Cup Champions
By Dan Ciaglia Senior Writer
Turn the clocks back to last year, Rita’s Skating Mustangs were in the Final 4 of the state tournament, won first place in the Chicago Catholic Hockey League regular season, won the Kennedy Cup, and made it to the semi-finals of the HIT League. Now turn them back to present, it appears almost nothing has changed. The long road that started back in September couldn’t have ended any better for the hockey team and their coaches this year. The Mustangs made their case for another powerful and dominating season early by winning the Great 8 Invitational, New Trier Invitational (where they outscored opponents 30-1), going 2-1 in the Loyola Invitational, and 2-1 again in the National Invitational in New York. At one point in the regular season, the team had won 16 straight games. Once again, the Mustangs were among the top teams in the state. RITA EARNED THE sixth seed in the state tournament, which was indeed very questionable considering the incredible amount of wins the team earned. They took out their frustration and justified their case for a higher seed by notching wins against the third-seeded Barrington 2-1 and the first-seeded New Trier Green 3-2 right before the playoffs began, sending a message to the entire state to look out. The Mustangs would meet NTG again in the HIT League Finals, but this time they weren’t as lucky. Traveling to the north side, the #1 Trevians barely edged the Mustangs 2-1, but there were still many games to be played. THE FIRST ROUND state game against Lyons Township looked more like a scrimmage for the Mustangs, coming out with a 6-1. From then on it just got tougher, but the team accepted the challenge. Next up was St. Viator, who was coming fresh off their Kennedy Cup loss the night before and looking to keep their season alive in state. They proved to be no match for Rita’s power. It wasn’t as easy as some would have hoped, but the Mustangs were able to edge them 4-2. About 40 hours later, the Mustangs were looking at a rematch with #3 Barrington in the quarterfinals. Facing an all-state goalie, the Mustangs looked at their toughest challenge thus far. Rita’s offensive attack laughed at his allstate selection by putting four pucks past him and earning a second straight spot in the final 4 against second seed Loyola. As the saying goes though, all good things must come to an end. Loyola’s size and speed were just too much for Rita to handle with a 5-1 loss, ending the team’s hope for a state championship. Certainly the players were down, but many of them will tell you the CCHL and the Kennedy Cup is more important to them. Even if it weren’t, they most certainly played like it was. The term domination is an understatement in describing the Mustangs Catholic League regular season performance. They earned first place once again in the regular season by posting up an astonishing 22-2 record and was placed in the #1 slot in their road to the cup. The quarterfinals were a breeze against St. Ignatius with wins by margins of 9-1 and 6-4. The semifinals put the Mustangs up against #3 Mount Carmel. Game 1 was scary, frightening, and may have caused some heart attacks in one of the most exciting hockey games. THE MUSTANGS WERE without their human highlight reel captain Senior Chris Cimoch due to a suspension, so it was going to be close. The Caravan reached a big enough lead of 4-1, where their goalie had the audacity to taunt the student section. Rita couldn’t do anything about it, so the team put on a show and scored 5 unanswered to stun the certain victorious Carmel squad with a 6-4 win. The second game was a different story with Cimoch back. The team had a certain swagger that allowed them to score the first six goals of the game and walked away with a 6-1 pounding and a second straight bid to the finals. THE FOE WAS once again the Fenwick Friars, the only team to give the Mustangs trouble in the season. Game 1 was an instant classic in a battle of “you score then we score.” Both teams scored two goals each in the first six minutes of a game that saw six lead changes. Neither team could pull it off in regulation, but the rebounding abilities of CCHL All-Star Defenseman Junior Jack McDonnell handed the Mustangs a victory in Game 1. It was now do or die for the Friars. They came out swinging in a very physical manner knowing their backs were against the wall. It was another fantastic and close game, but Rita was able to pull it off again with two goals from Senior Ryan Carroll and the clincher by Senior Alex Zemke. With a face-off in Rita’s zone and six seconds on the clock, Coach Ferguson and the Mustangs held on to a 3-2 lead to bring the Kennedy Cup back to Rita for a second straight year, the only varsity hockey team in school history to do so. The Senior Varsity Mustangs – Chris Cimoch, Ryan Carroll, Alex Zemke, Kevin Kiehn, and Joe Cahill – skated out to accept the cup to bring it back to Rita. Four-year varsity first line captain Cimoch earned MVP honors for the final series, along with another All-State team selection, and All-Catholic League honors. The other Mustangs to receive the AllLeague honors were forward Carroll, defensemen Kiehn, McDonnell and Junior Hank Capouch, and Junior goalies Sean Gerich and Bill McGrenera. CCHL Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to Cimoch and Goalie of the Year was awarded to both Gerich and McGrenera. “Overall, this season was fantastic and special. We accomplished not only the state final 4, but also back-to-back Kennedy Cups. My four years have been amazing here and this season just topped it off thanks to the coaches and team,” said Cimoch. Cimoch nailed it right on the head. The team played fantastic, fought incredibly hard for six months, and capped off another storybook season.


April 1, 2009

Photo courtesy of Scott Allen

THE VARSITY MUSTANGS gather around the Kennedy Cup. For the second straight year, Rita has triumphed to become Kennedy Cup Champions. The Mustangs’ season mirrors that of last year, as the team also advanced to the Final 4 of the state tournament.

JV Mustangs gear up to continue championships
By Bobby Raehl Freshman Writer
Being a young team, living up to great expectations can be a demanding job. This year’s Junior Varsity Skating Mustangs were ready to take on that task though. For two years in a row Rita’s Varsity Skating Mustangs have taken it all home by winning the Kennedy Cup and making it into the Illinois State Final 4. This leaves the new Rita Men of the JV squad a lot to work toward. This season gave the young Mustangs an opportunity to develop their skills and begin working on achieving such high expectations. THE JV MUSTANGS, like many newly formed sport teams, got off to a rough start for their season with a difficult loss to Notre Dame. That rough start however, did not keep the Mustangs down. Rita’s young players quickly started to come together as they began to know one another better. LOOKING NEW AND improved, Rita won many match-ups including those against Br. Rice, Providence, and Mt. Carmel with some losses along the way to schools such as Fenwick and Marist. Overall, the JV Mustangs finished the season with a record of 10-8-2 in the Chicago Catholic Hockey League where they also placed sixth. “The season ended up being a great one for us. We started the season on a bad note, but we got to know our teammates better and ended up winning a good majority of our games,” said defenseman Freshman Matt Turner. Looking at the team’s talent for the future, Varsity Head Coach Craig Ferguson liked what he saw in the JV players. “They did great in their conference this year. They have good energy and progressed very well,” said Coach Ferguson. Coach Ferguson also noted some freshmen he saw on the rise that will hopefully be able to continue bringing success to the Hockey program. Those freshmen include: Matt Blaszkicwicz, Michael Krch, Joe McDonnell, Bob McGeever, Matt Turner, and Zach Bernicky. This strong freshmen hockey squad should prove ever more powerful in future years when they join their classmates Jack Warren and Stan Sojka, both of whom played on the Varsity team this season as freshmen.