Wednesday, May 22, 2013
One of the most popular Chicago Bears is now calling it quits, according to CBS Chicago.
Chicago Bears veteran of 13 years Brian Urlacher officially retired Wednesday morning, according to CBS Chicago. The 34-year-old linebacker says he has no regrets ending a professional career playing exclusively for the Chicago Bears. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards,” Urlacher told CBS news. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13 year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.” Urlacher recently made news in March when he couldn’t strike a new contract deal with the Bears—claiming the one-year $2 million offer was “a slap in the face.”
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Shorewood resident and Minooka Fire Protection District firefighter and paramedic Jimmy "The Freak" Fritz is almost ready to step into the cage for his second MMA fight.
Jimmy "The Freak" Fritz overheard some folks talking about Mixed Martial Arts fighting when he was working out one day at a fitness center in Shorewood. His interest was piqued. Today, he is training for his second pro fight—a June 1 welterweight match vs. Justin Brock in Valparaiso, Ind. Fritz, 25, is a Shorewood resident who works as a firefighter and paramedic with the Minooka Fire Protection District. He trains at SUDA International Center on Republic Avenue in Joliet. Here you can watch him sparring with one of his trainers, James Hill, co-owner of SUDA International.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Shorewood resident and Minooka Fire Protection District firefighter Jimmy 'The Freak' Fritz is teaching children how to lead a healthy lifestyle and chasing his dream of making it big in MMA fighting.
He is called Jimmy “The Freak” Fritz. He walks into burning buildings and pulls out victims of smoke inhalation. He works as a firefighter and a paramedic with the Minooka Fire Protection District. He teaches young children the art of self-defense and holds a two-stripe purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is six months into his pro career fighting in the MMA ranks. His trainers know him as “The Freak” for another reason. “When he first came in, he was very awkward,” said James Hill, co-owner of SUDA International Center, the Joliet-gym where Fritz trains six days a week. “He had started lifting weights. So, he was very strong. “But he was very stiff when he moved. He just looked like ‘The Freak.’ These names just have to come to us. …
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Who doesn't want to own a piece of Joliet memorabilia that has ties to the greatest Chicago Bears team of all time?
Is it politically incorrect to say that we barely recognize Joliet native Tom Thayer from this football card showing him as he looked when he played for the University of Notre Dame? Not that Tom's not a good-looking guy sans hair -- in fact, he probably looks better (check out the two photos and decide for yourself) -- we're just sayin'... Well, that's neither here nor there. The point of this post is the young Thayer's card is being sold on eBay and can be yours if you're willing to pony up $6.90, plus $2.25 for shipping. Tom's claim to fame, aside from his Joliet roots and Joliet Catholic Academy football days, was being part of the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears. He now does team play-by-play analysis on WBBM-AM (780). His …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I&M youth gymnasts Jared Bieker, Tyler Ratcliff and Mekhi Cortes have formed a close bond while raising the performance bar to an all-new level over the last fourth months.
Everywhere they go, they are outnumbered. Rarely, are they outscored. The three young boys who make up the I&M Gymnastics Team of Channahon won 5-of-6 meets from December to mid-April, including a sweep of the Level IV state championships in Rockford. Next they are headed to Disney World to ride Space Mountain and see if they can cap a memorable season with one more joyride at the GIJO Nationals June 14-15 in Orlando, Fla. With these Three Amigos—Jared Bieker, 11; Tyler Ratcliff, 10; and Mekhi Cortes, 8—it’s all for one and one for all. Not only do they train together for six hours each week, they also play together when they’re outside the gym. They’re best friends. Ratcliff was the Level IV state champ in the all-around. Bieker followed …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The baseball team is asking fans to submit name ideas for their newest addition. The winner will receive four game tickets and a chance to throw out the first pitch.
This pooch has everything -- looks, charm, jowls. Everything, that is, but a name. That's where the Joliet Slammers hope fans will step up to the plate. The latest addition to the Joliet minor league baseball team, who will tag along with team mascot Spikes, is -- what else? -- a hound dog puppy. An homage, no doubt, to Elvis Presley's song You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog and the fact that the King starred in the movie Jailhouse Rock. So, presumably, he needs a name that conjures up prison guards, striped inmate uniforms and life behind bars. Submit your name suggestions online at jolietslammers.com/namethedog by 5 p.m. May 3. The person who provides the winning entry will receive four tickets to the Slammers Bark in the Park game on May…
Monday, April 22, 2013
Golf course manager and golf pro Brian Smith said his customers love the experience of playing on a track that takes them on a journey away from home for an afternoon.
Much has changed in and around the Village of Channahon since Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Club opened 20 years ago. Little has the course been affected. And that’s a good thing, according to first-year golf course manager and head pro Brian Smith. Heritage Bluffs, built by Wadsworth Golf Construction Company and designed by famed golf architect Dick Nugent, was widely acclaimed right from the get-go and remains a staple on Golf Digest’s Place to Play list. Smith, who worked at Heritage Bluffs as an assistant pro during its infant days, has returned just on time to help mark the course’s 20-year anniversary. He is putting together a number of events leading up to the Anniversary Scramble on Aug. 4. The event—a two-person rotating format …
Monday, April 15, 2013
Two deaths and several injuries have been reported after explosions rocked the area near the race's finish line Monday. It's not clear whether any Shorewood runners were among those injured.
Two explosions Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon have left two dead and several wounded, news sources are reporitng. Read more Patch coverage here. Bloodied competitors and volunteers were seen leaving the scene and a medical tent near the finish was being used to treat the injured, the New York Times reported. Nearly 40,000 people compete in the Boston Marathon annually with runners coming from all over the world. Runners from Shorewood were also registered for this year’s race, according to the race’s website. The two local runners: Gabriel G. Ellis, 30, and Alyssa M. Getta, 24. Ellis finished in 3:07.12, according to Boston Marathon searchable results online. And Darline Boyle sent this email regarding Ellis: Dr. Gabe …
Watch: In chilly, rainy conditions Heritage Bluffs golf pro Brian Smith demonstrates how to play the 430-yard, par-4 seventh hole at Heritage Bluffs in Channahon, Patch's Hole of the Month for April 2013.
At Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Club, the question of what is the signature hole comes with as many as 18 different answers. "Every hole is the signature hole," said golf pro Brian Smith. Smith was named pro at the Channahon Park District course last June after Mark Fehrenbacher retired. The two worked together during the infant days of the Dick Nugent-designed layout, which will be celebrating its 20-year anniversary on Aug. 4. Smith then took a post at Coyote Run in Flossmoor. He spent eight years commuting from his home in Shorewood to the south suburbs before landing back at Heritage. "Over the years, it's flucuated," Smith said of what is considered Heritage's top hole. "When I was here back in the '90s and the early 2000's as an …
John Krenkel is the driving force behind a new youth football program that will serve parishioners at St. Ann of Channahon, St. Mary of Minooka and Holy Family of Shorewood.
He played football in high school and college. He grew up in a family that taught him the value of being a part of a religious community. Now, Channahon’s John Krenkel wants to inspire others by sharing what he learned on the gridiron and spreading the message of his faith. Krenkel, a 35-year-old project manager/financial professional with BNY Mellon and the father of three children between the ages of 5 and 12, is the mover-and-shaker behind the launch of the St. Ann Parish Football program. The program, in its first year, will serve the families of three parishes—St. Ann, St. Mary in Minooka and Holy Family in Shorewood. Registration is under way now and spring workouts begin April 20 with two levels of play—junior varsity (fourth- …