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.


St. Rita Welcomes WCIU, The U's Morning Show in anticipation of tonight's Game of the Week

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St. Rita High School was featured today on WCIU, The U’s morning show, The Jam.  The show’s man about town, Jon Hansen spent the morning with the St. Rita Marching Band and St. Rita cheerleaders in anticipation of tonight’s WCIU, The U Game of the Week – the much anticipated St. Rita vs. Mount Carmel matchup.

Check out the footage on the Jam's Facebook Page.

If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch it on the U-Too!  The varsity game will air on the U-Too at 7:30 pm. Viewers can find The U Too on WCIU-TV 26.2, XFINITY 230/360, RCN 35, Dish 48, AT&T U-verse 24 and WOW 107.

Or, come out to the game, stay for the party and then watch the replay this weekend! All St. Rita fans, adults, and friends are encouraged and invited to attend the Oktoberfest event after the game ends. There will be great food, refreshments, and music for all!  

Encore broadcasts of the game can be seen Saturday at 6 PM and Sunday at 9 AM over on WMEU 48.2, Comcast 359, RCN 32 and WOW 184!

Go Rita Go!

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Russell Excited For Opportunity As St. Rita A.D.

Just seven years removed from graduating from St. Rita, Roshawn Russell '08 returned to his alma mater in 2015 as the school’s assistant admissions director.

He admits it was a little weird, but pretty cool, to see the school from the faculty’s perspective.

Now, Russell is seeing St. Rita from another point of view.

A 2008 graduate, Russell is in his first year as St. Rita athletic director.

“It’s been cool being on the other side of the fence. It’s weird at the same time being back at my high school,” Russell said with a laugh. “I definitely feel prepared with the years I spent in college. It prepared me for this moment. I’m really humbled. This is that dream job I never saw coming.”

St. Rita Grad Tells Historic Story

By: Tim O'Brien, The Beverly Review

Tim Maher is a self-proclaimed “dees, dems and does” kind of guy. He joked that he’s not a good speller and recently went to the library for the first time in years.

However, that hasn’t stopped the 1971 St. Rita High School graduate from writing a new book about a St. Rita football team that made history in the Chicago Catholic League (CCL).

Maher recently released his self-published book, “Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust,” the story of the 1970 St. Rita football team that became city champions.

Maher was a senior and captain on the team that finished 9-2-1, ultimately beating Lane Tech in front of a crowd of over 65,000 at Soldier Field to win the Prep Bowl championship.

“I’ve been in sports all my life. I knew that we as a team had done something special,” Maher said. “I didn’t know how special until I started looking into it. No team had done what we did. We were ‘Hoosiers with helmets on.’”