Throw your support behind this Bengal pitcher in this week's contest among local high school athletes.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Andrew softball standout Jenna Lenza outpolled 10 others in Patch's weekly MVP poll. She is now eligible for April Patch Athlete of the Month recognition.
Your Patch is a place to celebrate local high school athletes. Show your support for these prep sports MVPs—each of whom is Athlete of the Week in his or her local Patch—by cheering them on in the comments thread, sharing your own photos with the Patch community and voting in the poll. Do you think we're missing someone? Tell us in the comments and share his or her photo to the gallery above. (It's easy. Just click the Upload Photos and Videos link — learn more here.) Read more about this week's MVPs in the photo gallery, and show your support for them by: There is one more way for you to become a more interactive fan: Sign up to become a Patch sports blogger. (Learn more about blogging on Patch here).
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Bengals advanced to the IHSA state title game for the first time since 1985. That wasn't the only thing, however, that made the season special.
It was Friday early afternoon at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, and the Oak Forest baseball team rushed the field. The Bengals had just defeated Nazareth Academy in the Class 3A state semifinals, and they were heading to state championship game. The Oak Forest crowd went crazy in the stands, lending its support to the Bengals team that was playing for all the marbles for the first time since 1985. The dream playoff run for the Bengals was alive for another day. With only two seniors on the Oak Forest team, the underclassmen had a big responsibility to rise up and play beyond their age, and the upperclassmen, Bobby Sheppard and Tim Barry, had a big responsibility to teach and lead them. The start of the season was rough at times. On Saturday…
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Kaneland 11, Oak Forest 3. The game got away from the Bengals in the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Knights put six runs on the board.
Touching All the Bases: And just like that, the season is over. The Knights of Kaneland defeated Oak Forest 11-3 in the Class 3A state championship game Saturday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. Though junior ace Kyle Funkhouser wasn’t available because he pitched a complete game in Friday’s 3-1 semifinal victory over Nazareth, the Bengals were confident with junior starting pitcher Kyle Linares on the mound. Linares already had won three postseason games. After giving up one run in the bottom of the first inning, Oak Forest stayed neck-and-neck with the Knights through the first three frames. The Bengals grabbed the momentum and the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Senior shortstop Bobby Sheppard led off the third with a single, …
Arthur Johnson answered the call in "biggest at-bat of my life" as Bengals topped Nazareth Academy in Class 3A state semifinal baseball game.
As Oak Forest junior Arthur Johnson stepped to the plate in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and the Bengals trailing Nazareth Academy 1-0, he knew it was the biggest at-bat so far in his young life. Johnson coaxed a bases-loaded walk, which tied the Class 3A state semifinal baseball game 1-1. He knew the umpires were calling the zone tight. “I figured anything close, you had to take and get on,” Johnson said. “With the bases loaded, we had to score.” Oak Forest would go on to score two more runs in the inning to take a 3-1 lead, which the Bengals would hold onto behind the pitching of Kyle Funkhouser. Oak Forest defeated Nazareth Academy in the Class 3A state semifinals 3-1 on Friday to move on to the state championship game at 11 …
Friday, June 10, 2011
Oak Forest 3, Nazareth 1. Bengal junior pitcher Kyle Funkhouser spread out three hits in a complete-game masterpiece.
Touching All the Bases: At the beginning of Oak Forest’s baseball season, it was considered a given that Bobby Sheppard, Tim Barry and Kyle Funkhouser would produce for the Bengals. Coach Thaddeus Gatton knew if his team was going to have any success, much would depend on the development of the supporting cast. Those "other guys" came through in the clutch in the fourth inning on Saturday morning at Silver Cross Field in Joliet to lead the Bengals to a 3-1 victory over Nazareth Academy in the Class 3A state semifinals. Oak Forest moves on to the state championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday. To set the stage for Oak Forest’s three-run fourth inning, Nazareth Academy stole the early momentum. In the bottom of the second, Nazareth catcher …
Kyle Funkhouser scatters three hits as Bengals top Nazareth Academy in state semifinal matchup on Friday morning at Silver Cross Field.
Pop, pop, pop. The familiar sound of pitcher Kyle Funkhouser's fastball popping into catcher John Zubek's glove has come to be known as the roar of the Bengal tigers during Oak Forest's storybook baseball season. Funkhouser, a junior who can hit 90-mph on the radar gun and is committed to Louisville, pitched Oak Forest to a 3-1 victory over Nazareth Academy in the semifinals of the Class 3A state tournament on Friday morning at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. He faced 23 batters in seven innings, struck out four and scattered three hits. The win raised Funkhouser's record to 12-0 and pushed Oak Forest into the 3A title game. The Bengals (27-7-1) will face Kaneland at 11 a.m. Saturday as they bid to win their first IHSA state baseball …
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
With the regular season and now five playoff games under their belt, the Bengals can't really be called a 'young' team anymore.
At the start of the season, Oak Forest’s baseball team was considered young and inexperienced. With only two seniors on the roster–shortstop Bobby Sheppard and left fielder Tim Barry—the Bengals were looking for the underclassmen to play “older” than their actual year in school. Now, after a regular season that saw the Bengals become South Suburban Conference champions and a postseason that has yielded titles in the regional, sectional and supersectional rounds, it’s misleading to call this team young anymore. That’s especially true considering that these players have now advanced further in the postseason than any Oak Forest team since the Bengals’ state championship squad of 1985. “We’re becoming so much of a team now,” Sheppard said. “…
Sandburg captures IHSA boys volleyball state championship with a straight-sets victory over Naperville North. Oak Forest and Providence head to state baseball tournament. And Brittany Kaim returns to her roots at Stagg.
No one has enjoyed a miserable spring sports season more than players and coaches at Sandburg. And, here, we're not talking about the up-and-mostly-down weather. No, we're talking about giving it up for the Eagles. Sandburg scored a straight-sets victory over Naperville North to win the IHSA boys volleyball state championship. Bill Siroky, Andrew Muys, Tommy Carmody and a cast of thousands contributed in a highlight-reel performance. Earlier, the Eagles won the IHSA badminton state championship and placed fourth in boys water polo. And it just when it looked like another title was in the offing, Sandburg's bid for its second straight Class 4A state softball championship was cut short in a 10-5 supersectional loss to Moline on Monday. The …
Monday, June 6, 2011
Oak Forest 10, Jones College Prep 2. The Bengals used timely hitting and a strong effort from pitcher Kyle Linares to win the Crestwood Supersectional and advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 1985.
Touching All the Bases: Oak Forest hadn’t advanced to the state baseball semifinals since 1985—the year the Bengals went on to win the Class AA state title—but that drought ended Monday. The Bengals defeated Jones College Prep 10-2 in the Class 3A Crestwood Supersectional at Standard Bank Stadium to punch their ticket to Friday's state semifinals. Junior starting pitcher Kyle Linares continued to fight through an injury to his right (throwing) arm and shoulder to give the Bengals 4 1/3 innings of no-run ball, and the Oak Forest offense provided more than enough support. Linares is fighting tendinitis in his right arm, but he started out hot in Monday’s game. He struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning and struck out the first …