Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ St. Francis stalwart Jake Butler puts his name in school record book ]]> Lead story image

St. Francis of Joliet has a proud baseball tradition, so it never even occurred to senior pitcher Jake Butler that he was sneaking up on any career records. He has pitched his way to a big one: a tie for the Fighting Saints’ record of 30 wins. “It’s great,” said Butler, a Minooka product. “I didn’t even know I was close to getting the record until a couple of days ago. It’s pretty crazy. I ­definitely wasn’t expecting it.” No. 30 came April 16 in a 13-inning, two hit, 3-1 victory over Robert Morris. It was his sixth consecutive complete-game … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:36:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jabari Parker would like to develop his mark vs. Carmelo, Durant ]]> Lead story image

If Jabari Parker could take Carmelo Anthony’s NBA career right now, I wonder if he’d do it. Eleven seasons for Anthony so far. No major injuries. More than $130 million earned from the Nuggets and Knicks alone, with every reason to believe he’ll come close to doubling that over the next five years. The sixth-highest endorsement haul in the sport, according to Forbes — $9 million — in 2013. Seven All-Star Games and one scoring title. Only three playoff series victories, but who’s counting? You or I would take all that in a heartbeat, of course, but we’re not one-and-done … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:39:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jabari Parker leaves Duke for NBA with ‘class’ ]]> Lead story image

On a day that was as big as any athlete could have — in this case, Jabari Parker deciding to leave Duke early and declare for the NBA Draft — the former Simeon star continued to keep everything in perspective. ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:14:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Old school’ approach works for St. Xavier softball ]]> Lead story image

With a pair of ace pitchers and an airtight defense, St. Xavier has locked down ­opposing offenses this softball ­season. That’s just the way the ­Cougars planned it. “We’re really old-school in that we rely on pitching and defense,” said Myra Minuskin, in her 14th season coaching the Cougars (30-4, 14-2 CCAC). “We stress defense from  Day 1 of practice. I tell the players [a batter] can’t control the outcome of an at-bat. You can hit a screaming line drive and someone can make a diving catch. But defense is something we have control over all the time.” Locked in … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:00:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Overlooked Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees gets chance to impress Bears ]]> Lead story image

The Bears’ Halas Hall isn’t a foreign or intimidating place to Tommy Rees. The Notre Dame quarterback has roamed its grounds before. Rees, who played at nearby Lake Forest High, was there “a bunch” when his father, Bill, worked for the team in the late in 1990’s. And Rees said he stopped in during high school. Yet, Friday’s visit will be different. Very different. “It’s a little weird being from right there,” Rees said. “But I just look at it as a great opportunity.” It’s an opportunity during the Bears’ local pro day to prove he has some NFL value, … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:17:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Matt Farrell signs with Notre Dame ]]>

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — High school point guard Matt Farrell has signed a letter of intent to play at Notre Dame this fall. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey described the 6-2, 170-pound Farrell from Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., as extremely skilled with a tremendous worth ethic. Brey compared Farrell to former Notre Dame guard Kyle McAlarney. Farrell averaged 19.5 points, 5.9 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.8 rebounds while leading Point Pleasant Beach to a 29-2 record this season. Farrell joins two high school forwards who signed with the Irish in November: Bonzie Colson Jr. of New Bedford, Mass., and Martin … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:02:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Union questions upstage Northwestern’s spring football game ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Northwestern’s spring football game Saturday was interesting. Lightning and thunder were everywhere. There also was turbulence in the air. ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:54:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Quarterbacks the focus of Notre Dame spring game ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame finished spring camp the same way it started it: without a definitive starter at quarterback. In their final opportunity to showcase their progress, Everett Golson and Malik Zaire put up big numbers Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Zaire completed 18 of 25 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and Golson threw for 154 yards and ran for a touchdown to lead the offense to a 63-58 victory against the defense in the Blue-Gold Game. The Irish didn’t have enough healthy offensive linemen to split the roster into two teams, so the game featured … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:34:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Some Northwestern players say they are unclear on key unionization issues ]]> Lead story image

Getting a preliminary count on the unionization vote by Northwestern players slated for April 25 would make even the country’s best pollsters dizzy. Those who have chosen to speak have indicated they will vote against unionization. No one knows whether that group represents an outspoken minority or is an indication of how the vote will turn out. Many players have remained ­silent on the issue. What is apparent is that the number of players opposing unionization keeps growing. Defensive tackle Sean McEvilly, superback Dan ­Vitale and linebacker Collin ­Ellis said after the team’s final spring practice on Saturday that they … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:34:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ QB hope Wes Lunt makes poor first impression in Illini spring game ]]> Lead story image

CHAMPAIGN — If this was the beginning of the Wes Lunt era, it couldn’t have gone much worse. ◆  Play 1: Lunt’s pass was tipped as he released it and should have been intercepted. ◆  Play 2: Lunt’s pass never had a chance to be complete and was intercepted. Even for a somewhat meaningless spring football game, that was bad. And for the 5,000-plus who turned up at Memorial Stadium on Saturday to watch Lunt and the Illini, it had to be disappointing. Welcome to Illini football, right? Nah, no need to be cynical at this point, especially not about Lunt, … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:34:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Notre Dame Stadium to switch to artificial turf ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Athletic director Jack Swarbrick tried to come up with a solution to keep a grass playing surface at Notre Dame Stadium. He said there wasn’t one. Swarbrick announced Saturday that the university will switch to FieldTurf at the iconic stadium. ‘‘Everybody is in agreement: If we could get the best surface there in grass, we’d love to have that,’’ Irish coach Brian Kelly said. ‘‘We just haven’t been able to get to that. This is the best option available to us.’’ A decision was reached in February. Officials will begin installing the FieldTurf after commencement weekend … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:34:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Spring football highlights: Ohio State ]]> Lead story image

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With several of his best players either injured or held out of Ohio State’s spring game, coach Urban Meyer had to look at the progress of individuals instead of the big picture. “I’m not trying to evaluate an offense. Who cares?” Meyer said after the Gray squad slipped by the Scarlet 17-7 on Saturday before a crowd of 61,058 at sunny Ohio Stadium. “There’s guys out there who will never play or are not ready to play now. I wanted to see who’s going to compete, who’s going to make plays, not who’s going to fit into … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:50:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Spring football highlights: Nebraska ]]> Lead story image

LINCOLN, Neb. — Coach Bo Pelini cradled a cat in his arms as he walked out of the tunnel and raised it over his head like that scene from the “Lion King.” No, spring games at Nebraska aren’t like those strictly business affairs of yesteryear where Tom Osborne would run play after play to give even the players on the lowest unit a chance to shine in front of a big crowd. The cat — a nod to the avatar on a popular Pelini parody Twitter account — was just a start to the diversions in front of 61,772 at … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:48:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Spring football highlights: Iowa ]]> Lead story image

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s coaching staff has at times raved about its crop of redshirt freshman wide receivers. Hawkeyes fans in central Iowa on Saturday got to see why the unit appears to have such a bright future. Newcomer Andre Harris caught a pair of long touchdown passes at an open workout at Valley High in West Des Moines, about 120 miles from campus. Derrick Willies added another TD following broken coverage, and A.J. Jones and Derrick Mitchell Jr. certainly looked ready to compete for playing time next fall. The Hawkeyes have plenty of depth at wide receiver. … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:46:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Spring football highlights: Purdue ]]>

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Danny Etling is the Purdue football team’s returning starting quarterback. Fellow sophomore Austin Appleby has been pushing him this spring during practice. And freshman David Blough threw the only touchdown pass during Saturday’s Gold and Black spring game in Ross-Ade Stadium. Second-year coach Darrell Hazell clearly was not ready to name his starter for the 2014 season after the Gold rallied for a 12-7 victory against the Black. Etling, who finished 10 of 17 for 96 yards and no interceptions, directed the game-winning 12-play, 59-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive that gave the Gold a victory. Redshirt freshman … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:42:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Spring football highlights: Indiana ]]>

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Tre Roberson watched Nate Sudfeld dazzle Indiana’s coaches all spring. It was Roberson’s turn Saturday. The junior quarterback ran 65 yards for one touchdown, threw 16 yards on a scramble for another and hooked up with Shane Wynn for completions of 56 and 59 yards, leading the cream past the crimson 24-14 in Saturday’s annual spring game. A year ago, the big question was whether Roberson could regain his form after missing most of 2012 with a broken left leg. Having a full offseason to focus on football, rather than rehab, has changed everything. “It helps a … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:40:00 -0500