MOSAIC Spring 2014 - Page 18

SEMINARIAN FORMATION Two-time Tournament Winners Lions fight back to claim Mundelein and Josephinum championships Alberto Nickerson, Sacred Heart seminarian O a frigid, late-January weekend, the Sacred Heart Lions traveled to their sixth Fr. Patrick O’Malley Mundelein Basketball Tournament, held at Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. Following a first round loss to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, the Lions dispatched Conception Seminary College in the semifinal, and then played a rematch against Kenrick-Glennon for the championship. Down 30-21, the Lions fought back but found themselves down by twelve points with ten minutes to go, and two points down with two minutes remaining. The Lions tied the score 45-45. With five seconds remaining, Jared Holzhuter’s second foul shot went through the net, sealing the victory for Sacred Heart. Checking out the team trophies and representing the entire Sacred Heart Lions basketball squad are Clint Olson, left, Scott Jablonski, Vince Richardson, John Machiorlatti, Jared Holzhuter, and Lions coach Fr. Mike McDermott, SJ. Not even the polar vortex could cool the excitement of the Sacred Heart community— though a snowstorm did delay the winning team’s return. Another point of pride: Sacred Heart’s Vince Richardson won the tournament’s MVP award. The Lions also won its fourth consecutive Josephinum Tournament championship. It was held the weekend of February 15, at the Pontifical 16 MOSAIC The Lions played well and looked good, too, in their new uniforms, courtesy of a surprise gift by a Sacred Heart supporter. College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. This marks only the second time the Lions won the Mundelein and Josephinum championships in the same year under Coach Fr. Mike McDermott SJ; the last time being in 2011. Clint Olson won the MVP award this time, while deadeye Scott Jablonski won the 3-point shootout contest. Reflecting on the team’s success, Father McDermott says, “We played very well as a team; there are no big egos; the players like each other and help each other continually. “There is also a lot of grit in the players. Not only did we lose a game in each tournament and come back to win, but also we came back to win games in which we were down.” The players looked sharp, too, wearing their new uniforms purchased through the donation of a generous benefactor. “We are very grateful,” Coach McDermott says, especially “so that we don't look like a rag-tag team when we first come out on the floor. The Sacred Heart Lions match up well with all other seminary teams.” To bring home the championships is a great feeling, Holzhuter says, although “no one is under the illusion that seminary basketball carries any weight in the world. “But there’s something special about striving after a goal with brothers. To see that oversized trophy on the receptionist’s desk, to have the whole community congratulating us—it means a lot.”