New Naperville North coach Colletti emphasizes the positive
Erin Colletti, announced Wednesday as Naperville North's new girls basketball coach, brings a positive message.
"My philosophy is to create an environment of growth for our young women to be not only successful on the basketball court but also to be strong, confident, resilient women when they leave this program and go on into post-high school life," she said.
She walks the walk.
In the Huskies program eight years as an assistant on several levels, last season coaching the freshman A team, Colletti comes from a history of success. She was a four-year starter at Sandburg and a four-year dean's list student-athlete at DePaul under coach Doug Bruno.
At DePaul she played for teams that reached the NCAA Tournament all four years and helped the Blue Demons make their first Sweet Sixteen appearance, in 2006.
"It was an awesome experience. It made me who I am," said Colletti, who will succeed Jason Dycus as Naperville North's coach. He resigned to spend more time with his family, said Huskies athletic director Bob Quinn.
On the basketball court Colletti absorbed Bruno's strategy to push the pace offensively and play, as she said, "tenacious 'D.'"
A Naperville North health and physical education teacher, she will return an experienced cast headed by reigning DuPage Valley Conference player of the year Greta Kampschroeder and Kara Rivard, a Daily Herald DuPage County All-Area honorable-mention point guard.
"I'm obviously extremely excited and very honored to be chosen by Bob Quinn and (Naperville North principal) Mrs. (Stephanie) Posey, that I have their confidence to fulfill the head position, and I'm excited to do a good job, obviously, for the girls," Colletti said.
At this point the basketball program will know what's up, but the new coach will make it official in a Friday morning meeting.
"Just so they know firsthand from me that I've been named head coach and the season starts now," she said.
People embarking on spring cleaning can help some positive causes.
Glenbard East's Rams Committed student group is collecting new and gently used athletic shoes to donate to Bata Sole, which will then distribute them to communities worldwide that can use the footware.
Bata Sole is a project of a pair of Glenbard North graduates, Jeff Masangcay -- a gritty guard who played on the Panthers' 2002 downstate boys basketball team -- and his brother, Emmanuel. While visiting their mother's home village in the Philippines in 2012, they saw young players getting after it on the basketball court. None of them wore anything approximating actual athletic footware.
The Masangcays decided to do something about that. After getting Bata Sole rolling, in April 2018 they returned with some 1,000 pairs of shoes and baseball cleats that were a huge hit with the locals.
Rams Committed is collecting new and gently used shoes at drop-off sites during athletic events in the school gym and field house, or at the school's entrance No. 1 and the athletic office through April 30. The group has also contacted the three other District 87 schools for their help in the collection.
• This spring IC Catholic Prep baseball is again partnering with Turn Two for Youth, a North Carolina-based charity that distributes used baseball and softball equipment to people that can use it.
Through May 24 Knights baseball coach Frank DeAngelis is collecting the whole gamut -- gloves, bats, cleats, bases, balls, batting tees, catcher's gear and basically anything second hand but usable on a diamond. Turn Two for Youth works on a national scale, but this effort is geared to areas and organizations near Chicago.
DeAngelis is accepting the gear at the Knights' home base of Plunkett Athletic Complex off West Street in Elmhurst after 3:15 p.m. daily. For large drop-offs probably the best bet is to reach DeAngelis via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In its first season as an Illinois High School Association boys volleyball program, Timothy Christian is doing well. The Trojans are 7-2 entering Thursday's Metro Suburban Red match at Ridgewood. A year ago they were basically a junior varsity club team that played a limited schedule against other high schools also without official teams.
Anchoring the Trojans' lineup is 6-foot-6 sophomore outside hitter Kyle Teune and 6-foot-6 senior middle blocker and outside hitter Hunter Bailey, who will play at Division I Lindenwood.
"Having (Teune) and Hunter with each other is an intimidating sight," said coach Scott Piersma, who also coaches Timothy Christian's girls team. He led them to a third-place Class 2A finish in 2015.
"To have those two guys around to start the program has helped everybody," Piersma said. "Both me, obviously, knowing that I've got guys who can play, but for the other guys it helps them learn the game quicker, too."
Of the Trojans' seven wins only one has gone three sets, though a two-set loss to York showed the newcomers what playoff volleyball will be like.
"It's working out pretty well, it's been good," said Timothy Christian athletic director Jack LeGrand.
"I watched some of the boys play and it's time Timothy caught up and got a boys volleyball team," he said.
That's the thinking at Glenbard South, too.
The Raiders have had a girls volleyball program at least since that state series began in 1974 but never a boys team. Glenbard South and East Aurora are the only schools in the Upstate Eight Conference without boys volleyball programs.
Glenbard South athletic director Tim Carlson said that three years ago, only three boys checked the box pertaining to volleyball on the school's annual interest survey for incoming students. In each of the last two years, he said, that number rose into the teens.
More than 30 incoming students signed an interest sheet for boys volleyball at Glenbard South's eighth-grade activity night a couple weeks ago, Carlson said. Twelve current Glenbard South boys attended a recent meeting to gauge interest in playing, and Carlson suspected others may not have been able to attend.
He's not sure of the levels volleyball will have initially, and the Glenbard District 87 School Board must approve the addition. Carlson plans to quickly devise a basic budget for boys volleyball and apply to the board before this school year ends.
"We feel like there's enough pieces in place to move forward for next year," he said.