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Greetings to all of Wildcat Nation.  The 2019-20 athletic seasons were extremely exciting and everyone had a bunch of fun, but it was also quite sad that we were not able to finish out the year the way we had all planned.  During this year NCA had over 280 student-athletes participate in 37 teams that competed in many different sports. There were so many exciting games, including the varsity soccer team capturing the championship and our 8th-grade girls’ volleyball team taking the CCYL championship again (way to go back-to-back) and we had some heartbreak losses too.  These young athletes learned valuable lessons of teamwork and sportsmanship. They have grown not only in stature but also in skill level and confidence. It was amazing seeing how much each and every team improved from the start of the season to the end.

In previous years at the end of our athletic seasons, we all would gather and celebrate the hard work our student-athletes, coaches, parents, and athletic committee have put in during the year. Since we will not be able to all get together and celebrate in person, the Athletic Committee would like to recognize all of our sports teams in these upcoming school-wide emails.  We want to say thank you to all of the hard-working volunteer coaches, to the parents, and to the players.  We will be highlighting teams a few days a week until the end of the school year. This will be a chance for everyone to meet the players and coaches, check out the season summary and find out the winners of the Most Valuable, Most Improved, and Most Spirited awards.  

On behalf of the Athletic Committee, I thank you for all your hard work, support, and trust.                  

Dave Scholtes, Athletic Director
2019 NCA Varsity Soccer:

The NCA Varsity Soccer team had a fantastic season going undefeated for the 4th year in a row. This
year we were fortunate enough to win the Championship by defeating rivals St. James 2-0.
Every player contributed significantly throughout the season and culminated with a full team effort
through the playoffs. This was a special team of Wildcats and the Coaches couldn’t be more proud of

Peer Awards:
MVP- Frederick Krug

Most Enthusiastic- Anna Garcia

Most Improved- Tyler Turner
We would like to recognize the 8th graders, most of whom we coached since the 5th grade. It was a
a pleasure to coach them while watching them grow as players and fine young adults.

Peter Taradash-
If there was another award, determined by the coaching staff, to recognize a player who works hard
in every practice and every game, we would nominate Peter Taradash. Peter was the unsung hero of our
team in every single game we played. He was relentless in the pursuit of the ball and locked down
the critical middle of the field.

Martin Krug-
As the leader of the defense, Martin leads by example and is quick to help other players with
positions or developing skills to improve their game. Martin has an incredible ability to see the
whole field and anticipate events to close down any potential offensive threats. Martin shut down
St James in the final and kept them to only 1 shot on goal.

Freddy Krug-
As the leader of the offense, Freddy also leads by example. He seems to always have another gear when
near the goal and has an incredible drive whenever the ball is near. Freddy put on a show in the
championship game by scoring both goals for NCA.

Ben Devitt-
Ben brought years of experience and on-field knowledge to be a reliable defender when needed and played
upfront if the game called for it. He scored a critical goal in a game where we were short-handed
and in danger of a potential loss.  It kept the unbeaten streak alive. He played lockdown defense throughout the playoffs.

Rami Khosho-
Rami is a competitor. He will always be the scrappiest player on the field and will out-hustle
anyone and loves to have the ball but for the playoffs, we asked him to use his speed and grit to play
defense. Along with Martin and Ben, the defense shut down all threats from the opposing teams. We
loved to unleash Rami in any position and watch him hustle his way to success.

Tyler Turner-
Tyler can hustle. Tyler will battle and battle until he gets the ball. Tyler frustrates opposing
players with tenacity and grit. It is a pleasure to coach Tyler, he is so fun to watch. His fellow
teammates voted him most improved due to his no-quit attitude.

Griffin Bunn-
Griffin brought his game this year. He surprised coaches over and over with his determination.
Griffin turned a corner early in the season that helped pave the way for a season of success. He
hustled after the ball at every turn and helped lock down the middle of the field. Well done

Coaches-  Robert Krug

                Neil Devitt

                Mazin Khosho

                Dell Negrillo

                Jill Brunner
                Freddy Taborda

2019 NCA Varsity soccer squad:
Rowan         Bayley
Devon          Brunner
Griffin           Bunn
Ben              Devitt
Milo              Ford
Ana              Garcia
Emmett        Hixenbaugh
Rami            Khosho
Fredrick        Krug
Martin           Krug
Elena           Lauhon
Miles            Morrow
Haiden         Negrillo
Andy            Nika
Nicholas       Salvatore
Dane            Skukan
Peter            Taradash
Tyler             Turner
Adrian          Uritescu
Cynthia        Waller

8th GIRLS VB:  Coached by Wendy Biety and Dean Honda

Wow.  Where do I start?  This has been such a fantastic run of fun with these girls!  I’m very sad to see the end.


Back-to-back championships!  And no one else was even close!  That is just the tip of the iceberg of what I will cherish when I think about these girls!  Dedication in practice, dedication to continuous improvement, dedication to being a well-oiled machine on the court - that’s how I will remember the time spent in the gym with this team.  And I believe that none of them have peaked on their talent curve.  I hope I get to watch them continue their journeys if they play in high school!

I don’t want to pigeon-hole these girls with such specific “awards” because they each bring everything to the table and could do anything on the court that was asked of them – and often did.  These are a few stand-out talents for each of my girls:

Anne Marie – Most Dedicated to Improvement, especially on defense.  Even during water breaks at practice, Anne Marie would grab a ball and a teammate (usually Antonia) and get some good minutes of power-pepper in.

Antonia – Most Likely to Scare Opponents with Her Serve (and overall power).  Antonia consistently gave us extra points in every game with her serving aces.  This also made a great practice for our team with serve-receive because we got to practice with the best server in the league!

Avila – Most Likely to Make a Daring Play at the Net.  So happy (and relieved) to have an injury-free season and enjoy the natural talent that Avila brings to the court.  So many good plays at the net!

Gabby – Most Likely to Downplay Her Natural Talent with a Smile.  Gabby is solid in all skills but always looked pleasantly surprised when she made a great play.  No surprise to her coach, by the way!

Josie – Most Likely to Stay Calm No Matter What.  You can’t ruffle this kid on the court – no matter what is going on.  She stays the course and makes the plays that her teammates count on her to make!  She always kept the other side guessing how (and where) she would put the ball back over the net.

Kate – Most Likely to Be Put in at Any Position and Succeed!  Kate never flinched at any opportunity to get on the court and she thrived in every position she played!  A coach’s dream!

Sydney – Most Likely to Get a Good Block (more fun than anyone can imagine!) AND Most Likely to Find the Hole on the Court.  I sometimes felt Sydney was the only one who REALLY listened to my tips on body position and ball placement.  Her success with blocking and putting the ball in the back corners made for some great plays by her this season.


I’ve always kept my teams small so everyone got more playing time.  The one downside to that strategy is when it comes time to vote for awards.  Compound that with the fact that any of these girls could win in almost any category and that makes every category a tight vote.  Every time.


MVP:   Josie Biety (honorable mention to Antonia Zofko who deserves more than a passing shout-out in this category)

MSP:   Anne Maria Martinez

MIP:   Sydney Coomer



When I look back to 4th and 5th grade when we started together, I couldn’t envision where we would eventually end up.  But the love of the game led you all the way to a championship and the best volleyball skills in your league at Queen of Angels.  You led the way in playing real volleyball when most other teams were still stuck in the “bang the ball over the net” phase.  I am incredibly proud of you and hope you fully appreciate what you have accomplished over the years we spent together!  I have no doubt there are some future volleyball coaches in this group!

Here are my unofficial awards for these girls:

Anna:  Best Serve Placement.  Teams are always creeping up from the baseline, especially at this level of play.  Anna got many points for her team by serving deep and keeping the other team off-balance from cheating forward too much!

Annie:  Best at Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone to Try New Skills.  Annie matched up against solid teammates in practice every week and every week she held her ground and worked new skills into her arsenal to try at game time.  This is not always a natural path for girls in this age group, I’ve found.  So I especially appreciate her confidence in working into the next level and showing others they can do it too!

Bella:  Most Focused on the Court.  Bella was “all in” when she was on the court.  She could be counted on to know what was coming and what was supposed to happen next.  She never took her eyes off the ball – a constant coaching tip that doesn’t always get “heard” – and really helped get her team focus on making the plays happen. 

Bianca:  Best Sheepish Smile After a Point-Winning Hit!  You would think after multiple winning hits, it would become old hat.  But Bianca’s shy smile when she knew she “nailed it” was always a joy to see.  And, let’s face it, it’s much better than a fist pump when celebrating in a Catholic school league.  Such a kind soul!

Callie:  Best Leadership in Setting.  The setter has to be the quarterback and make the plays happen. Callie stepped into this role many times and made good things happen for her team.  Her confidence at the net also really took off this past season!

Cat:  Best Confidence Shown in Mastering Skills.  Cat was newest to volleyball but you would never guess that when she was on the court.  Every time she was on the court, she played as if she’s always been there.  She didn’t hesitate to throw some surprises in there just for fun – and frequently turned them into points!

Miriam:  Best at Trying New Plays (ie, great “tips”).  Miriam took ownership of her role as a setter and made great play choices to mix things up and get extra points.  Kudos for making exciting things happen and keeping the other team on their toes!

Stella:  Best at Keeping the Team Focused.  Stella plays a great mental game as well as a physical game.  She knows how things are supposed to work and tried to keep everyone focused on that goal.  And in the right place on the court! 



MVP:   Annie Goode

MSP:  Cat Gonzalez

MIP:  Bianca Bania


Coach Dean Honda: A great big thank you for sticking around!  I so appreciate your time and effort despite not having a “horse in the race.” I know you started out wanting to just make sure your SMM girls were in good hands – but you invested so much more than we could ask.  This has been a very fun ride to share with you!  Thank you!

Girls, I really cannot fathom not being in the gym with you anymore.  The school gyms and the gym at Queen of Angels became “home” to me because I was there with you for what are now so many fond memories.  This past season I almost felt more like a spectator than your coach at the games because you were so prepared and so in sync – I got to sit back and truly enjoy the game!  It has been such a fun ride and I hope when you look back on our time together that you have the same smile on your face and in your heart that I do!  Thank you so very, very much for everything you gave me!   And congratulations on your many personal and team accomplishments!

7th/8th Cross Country:

Thanks so much to all our incredible runners. You made our 2019 season so much fun with your spirit and competitive drive! We love how you cheered each other on and how older runners motivated younger ones at practice and on the courses. We’re proud of each of you. We want to give a special shout-out to those selected to run at the IESA Sectionals’ race and to Sam Berlinghof for qualifying for IESA State!

We’ll dearly miss our 8th graders - several of who joined us in our inaugural XC season 4 years ago - and we look forward to watching them grow as high school cross country athletes. Good luck to our graduates Sam Berlinghof (Jones), Sydney Coomer (Lane), Ben Devitt (Notre Dame), Emma Ferrell (Lane), Anna Korfmacher (Jones), Kate Sipchen (Loyola Academy), Isabel Stoltz (Payton) and Max Ulmer (Loyola Academy).

V Girls (7th & 8th grade)

Leah Malloy

Nene Wrenn*

Sydney Coomer*

Emma Ferrell

Anna Korfmacher*

Kate Sipchen*

Isabel Stoltz*


V Boys (7th & 8th grade)

Emmet Ewing

Nate Fulkerson*

Matt Hogan

Haiden Negrillo*

Nicky Salvatore*

Ben Devitt

Sam Berlinghof**

Max Ulmer*

A single * indicates a runner who were on the IESA Sectional Team and a double ** indicates a runner who made it to the IESA State Meet.

V Girls (7th & 8th grade)

MVP- Sydney Coomer

Most Improved- Anna Korfmacher

Rookie of the year- Leah Malloy

V Boys (7th & 8th grade)

MVP- Sam Berlinghof

Most Improved- Matt Hogan

Rookie of the year- Haiden Negrillo

8th Girls Lacrosse:

Roster:  Josie Biety, Cat Gonzalez, Annie Goode, Avila Griffin, Ashley Lanfair-Graves, Anne Marie Martinez, Gabriela Pesantez, Hannah Sheehy, Kate Sipchen, Isabel Stoltz, Julia Wachalska, and Antonia Zofko

Coaches:  Wendy Biety and Mary Ann Goode

 What I wouldn’t give to have enjoyed this last full season with you!?!?  As much as I love volleyball and have much more experience to draw on for coaching, I have really come to LOVE lacrosse.  We have learned a lot of this together and everyone one of you has amazed me with your collected skills over three prior seasons.  The comments I’ve gotten over the years from other parents and coaches in the league as to how accomplished you all look has been a real feather in your caps!!  I was really looking forward to a big finish on the heels of our previous winning seasons.  And, of course, watching you get aggressive and work together the make things happen on the field is incredibly exciting.  I really hope you all had as much fun as I did!  Thank you for the most challenging and rewarding coaching experience!  I am immensely proud to send all of you off to the next level and hope you have coaches who continue to foster your love of this game!


Mary Ann, I thank you for even considering taking on this final year of lax with me.  I am sad we didn’t get to end our tenure together as planned but I so appreciate everything you brought to the table and hope I get to sit by you at some Lane Tech LAX games next Spring!


Photo credits and appreciation to Anita Healy (from 2018)!!  Greatest apologies to Ashley and Avila who didn’t play last year so I don’t have any photos of you in action.  ☹

Copyright © 2018 Northside Catholic Academy. All rights reserved.

Primary School Campus: 6216 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773-743-6277  Fax: 773-743-6174

Middle School Campus: 7318 N. Oakley Ave., Chicago, IL 60645
Phone: 773-271-2008  Fax: 773-764-1095 

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Northside Catholic Academy · 6216 N. Glenwood Ave · Chicago, IL 60660 · USA