Matthews Stars for Michigan in Run to Title Game

By Tim O'Brien, The Beverly Review

Earning a three-seed in the west region of the NCAA tournament, the University of Michigan men’s basketball team was rolling.

The Wolverines had won via buzzer-beaters and blowouts, advancing all the way to the national championship game.

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan

Then, it all came crashing down on April 2 in San Antonio; Michigan fell to top-seeded Villanova 79-62.

However, despite the obvious disappointment, St. Rita grad Charles Matthews just tried to take it all in.

“Playing in the national championship game, that’s a great learning experience,” Matthews said. “You learn a lot playing on that stage. You’re playing at the highest level of college basketball. We learned from it, and we hope to get there again next year.”

St. Rita To Get Fitness Center After Receiving $2.5 Million Gift

St. Rita High School plans to break ground on a new fitness center Friday, thanks to a $2.5 million gift.

The pledged donation came from Bernard DelGiorno, first vice president of investments for UBS Financial Services. In the past, DelGiorno has made big donations to the University of Chicago.

In recognition of his gift, the all-boys Catholic high school at 7740 S. Western Ave. will officially be now located on the Bernard J. DelGiorno Campus. The school's name, however, will remain St. Rita.

St. Rita High School's Mrozek Family Fitness Center

St. Rita High School's Mrozek Family Fitness Center

Aside from a new fitness center, the money will be used for resurfacing the gym floor and improving the baseball complex. A portion of the gift — $800,000 — also will be used to boost the school's endowment, St. Rita's President Michael Zunica said.

"We really feel good about our facility here. But we always thought we had a phenomenal house with a bad basement in terms of the weight room," Zunica said Wednesday.

Construction of the 6,000-square-foot fitness center is expected to be complete when students return from summer break Aug. 17, Zunica said. The fitness center will be named for Ernie Mrozek, a 1971 St. Rita graduate and who served as the school's president for five years until Zunica was named to the post in 2016.

Junior Ryan Clancy Chasing West Point Dream

Ryan Clancy, from Oak Lawn’s St. Catherine Parish, joined the Celtic Boxing Club in February 2016 and immediately fell in love with the sport.  At the time, he was playing both football and baseball at St. Rita, but ultimately he made the decision to focus solely on boxing.

Recently, Congressman Dan Lipinski visited the Celtic Boxing Club to discuss the admission process for U.S. Military Academies.

Clancy first started to think about West Point when he boxed on a card featuring the Army West Point Boxing Team.  That prompted a conversation between Clancy and their coach furthering his interest in attending West Point.

He decided to apply to West Point’s high school summer camp program and was accepted.  The camp runs for one week in the summer and provides a full West Point student experience for the campers.  This is the first step towards admission to the Military Academy.

The application to the summer camp focused on leadership, grades, athletics, and community involvement.  Clancy, who holds a 4.39/4.00 GPA and scored a 30 on his ACT, easily met the academic requirements and his past experiences playing football and baseball at St. Rita as well as his involvement in his community made him a prime candidate.

When Clancy isn’t spending his time training at the Celtic Boxing Club, he also stays involved in activities outside the classroom at St. Rita, such as the School Culture Committee and the Social Justice Club.