See also: Athletics
St. Rita offers 15 sports, many of which have three levels (Freshmen, Sophomore/JV, Varsity) and we encourage multiple-sport athletes. All sports (with the exception of golf and hockey) participate on our 37-acre campus, with no need to practice at outside venues. We enjoy a proud tradition of athletics and are a consistent contender in the Chicago Catholic League, Regional, Sectional, and IHSA state divisions in all sports. During the 2013-14 school year, St. Rita became the second school in over 100 years of Chicago Catholic League athletics to capture the league titles for varsity football, basketball, and baseball in the same school year.
We are proud of our Tony Lawless Award Winners, which is the top honor given to a senior in the Chicago Catholic League. Recently, Ritamen given this prestigious award include: Jake Shepski (2014, baseball), Dominique Matthews (2014, basketball), Joe Lopez (2014, lacrosse), Nick Goldsmith (2014, soccer), Treston Forbes (2014, track-and-field), Charles Matthews (2015, basketball), Marty Bechina (2015, baseball), Jake Silzer (2016, wrestling) and Austin O'Connor (2017, wrestling). Also, Todd Kuska '90 (football), Jim Juchcinski '97 (lacrosse), Gary DeCesare (basketball), Mike Zunica (baseball), Brian Hagen '04 (volleyball) and Dan Manzella '03 (wrestling) have all won the Lawless Coach of the Year Award in the last three seasons. Head Basketball Coach Gary DeCesare was given the honor to coach during the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Team, with his team winning the game in 2017.
During the 2016-17 school year, St. Rita had many notable athletic accomplishments, including senior Austin O'Connor winning his 4th straight IHSA Wrestling State Championship, three varsity IHSA Regional Championships (basketball, baseball, volleyball), Track-and-Field Sectional Championship, Lacrosse State Quarter-Finalists, and Hockey Kennedy Cup Semi-Finalists. Additionally, our Track-and-Field 4x100 meter relay team placed 8th at the IHSA state meet, our varsity baseball team captured their second straight Steve Bajenski Memorial Tournament, and there were 24 seniors (out of 138) who signed national letters-of-intent to continue their athletic and academic careers in college.
Ritamen often go on to participate in athletics at the collegiate and professional level upon graduation from St. Rita. Since the 2014-15 school year, eight seniors have signed national letters-of-intent to play college basketball, 24 seniors have signed on to play football at the collegiate level, 41 seniors signed for college baseball and many others have continued their playing and academic careers in track-and-field, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, hockey, and other sports. In fact, as of the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year, over 100 St. Rita alumni are currently playing at the collegiate level in football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, lacrosse, track-and-field, volleyball, hockey, soccer, cross country, and more. 39 of those alumni are participating in athletics at the Division One level.
St. Rita alumni currently playing at the collegiate level, include football players Marc Mondesir '17 (Illinois), Connor Kelly '17 (Illinois), Jake Stover '17 (Illinois), Sean Coghlan '17 (Illinois), Tim Zaleski '17 (Wyoming), Thomas Stacker Jr., '16 (South Dakota State), Drew Walega '16 (Eastern Illinois), Brandon Williams '16 (Arkansas State), Tom Rehfeld '15 (Western Illinois), Brandon Gaston '15 (Western Illinois), C.J. Weydeman '15 (Western Illinois), Tommy Mister '14 (Northern Illinois), Matt Byrne '14 (Indiana State), and many others.
Current basketball players include: Chris Williams '16 (Central Connecticut), Charles Matthews '15 (Michigan), Kain Harris '15 (Kent State), Brandon McRoy '15 (Concordia College), Armani Chaney '15 (Tennessee State), Vic Law '14 (Northwestern), Dominique Matthews '14 (UIC), Scott Kingsley '13 (Northeastern State University), and others.
Ritamen playing college baseball include: Steve Washilewski '17 (Kansas), Mateo Zunica '16 (Kansas), Dan Gleaves '16 (Michigan State), Dominic Sarro '16 (Villanova), Marty Bechina '15 (Michigan State), Matt Ryan '15 (Butler), Jake Shepski '14 (Notre Dame), Nate Soria '14 (Xavier), Mike Costanzo '14 (Austin Peay), and others.
Other student-athletes include: Austin O'Connor '17 (wrestling, North Carolina), Adam McCarthy '17 (wrestling, Illinois), Theo Phipps '17 (track, Southern Illinois), Jake Silzer '16 (wrestling, Illinois), Tyrique Thomas '16 (track, Concordia College), Eric Walker '15 (track, Minnesota), Tim McCarthy '15 (wrestling, Illinois), Treston Forbes '14 (basketball & track, Caldwell University), Austin Tiernan '15 (lacrosse, Xavier University), Eric Houlihan '15 (lacrosse, Xavier University), Joe Lopez '14 (lacrosse, Davenport), Keith Burchette '13 (hockey, UMass-Lowell) and many, many more.
Since 2011, there have been 12 St. Rita graduates to play (or currently play) professionally in the National Football League and Major League/Minor League Baseball, including Mike Kafka '05 (quarterback), Ryan Donahue '06 (punter), Matt Conrath '07 (defensive line), Darius Fleming '08 (linebacker, Super Bowl XLIX champion), Bruce Gaston '10 (defensive line, Detroit Lions), Kenny Golladay '12 (wide receiver, Detroit Lions), and Pat O'Connor '12 (defensive line, Detroit Lions). Mark Payton '10 is a member of the New York Yankees AAA-minor league affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders , Anthony Ray '13 is with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Joe Filomeno '11 is a member of the Texas Rangers AA-minor league affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders, and Zack Soria '12 was drafted in 2017 by the Atlanta Braves. Tony Zych '08 is currently pitching for the Seattle Mariners.
St. Rita athletics, however, will never come before a student's academics. Every Wednesday, grade checks are done for all student-athletes. If a student is not academically-eligible, he will not participate in that weeks' games and practices. A student is also expected to maintain good standing in the school across the Campus Ministry and Student Activities Offices.