St. Francis Academy offered a number of interscholastic athletics to its female student body, including volleyball, basketball, softball, badminton, tennis, along with track and field.
More often than not, the Angel netters got the school year off on the right foot wth a successful season, with 10 winning seasons in 16 years. Two was a magic number in SFA volleyball history, two district titles, two class AA regionals, two class AA sectionals, two supersectional victories, and two trips to the state AA finals for the Angels. One team even brought home a third place trophy, which speaks for itself in an area that is considered a hotbed for prep volleyball in the state of Illinois.
1973-74 First Season Coach Mary Anne Konopasek
1974-75 10- 5 Coach Mary Joe Moran
1975-76 9- 8 District Champs Coach Sr. Sondra Davis
1976-77 9- 3 Coach Steve Bacharz
1977-78 20- 1 District Champs Coach Diane Barnes
1978-79 13-11 Coach Diane Barnes
1983-84 20- 8 Coach Jodi Traficanti
1984-85 14-11 Coach Jodi Traficanti
1985-86 19-11 Coach Beth Boland
1986-87 37- 5 IHSA Tourney 3RD Pl. Coach James Kelly
Third Place in State
Defeated Oak Park-River Forest 15-12, 15-9
Lost to Oak Lawn Richards 15-7, 15-8
Beat St. Charles for 3rd place 10-15, 15-12, 16-14
1987-88 33-6-2 IHSA Tourney Elite 8 Coach Connie Smyder
Lost to Wheaton St. Francis 15-7, 15-10
GREAT JOB ANGEL SPIKERS!!!!
More success was recorded by St. Francis on the softball diamonds during the 1980’s, winning six regionals (three of them in Class AA) three sectionals, and qualifying for the state finals three times with one fourth place to show. Terry Benter guided the Angels to a mark of 165-75 in seven seasons in the 1980’s.
1975 9- 5 First season Coaches Ed Russell & Mary Anne Konopasek
1980 12- 2 Coach Lynn Boston
1981 20- 6 Regional Champs Coach Lynn Boston
1982 27- 9 Regional Champs Coach Terry Benter
Beat Belleville West 6-0
Lost to Quincy Notre Dame 7-1
(QND eventual state champs)
1983 19-13 Regional Champs Coach Terry Benter
1984 20- 8 Coach Terry Benter
1986 31- 9 AA Regional Champs Coach Terry Benter
Lost to Belleville West 5-0
1987 23- 9 Coach Terry Benter
1988 31-12 AA TOURNEY 3RD PLACE Coach Terry Benter
Shutout Centralia 1-0
Lost to Moline 2-1 in 11 innings
Lost to Chicago St. Francis DeSales for 3rd, 6-2
1989 AA Regional Champs Coach unknown
NICE WORK, ANGEL SOFTBALLERS!!!
Coach Terry Benter also left his mark on the basketball program with a 125-52 record in six seasons at St. Francis. But according to the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org), the Angels only had three losing seasons, and began their history by going undefeated in their first two seasons!
1973-74 11- 0 Coach Mary Anne Konopasek
1974-75 11- 0 Coach Jean LeCuyer
1975-76 8- 4 Coach Mike Vioiit
1976-77 11- 9 Coach Kip Gasper
1977-78 11- 8 Coach Jean LeCuyer
1981-82 16-12 Coach Terry Benter
1982-83 20- 9 Coach Terry Benter
1983-84 24- 7 Sweet 16 Qualifier Coach Terry Benter
Lost to Aurora East 52-44
1984-85 28- 3 Elite 8 Finalist Coach Terry Benter
Defeated Aurora East 62-59 in Supersectional
Lost to Peoria Richwoods in Quarterfinals 65-58
Chris Toscas named to all-tournament team
1985-86 18- 9 Coach Terry Benter
1986-87 19-12 Coach Terry Benter
GOOD JOB BY THE SFA HOOPSTERS!!!
The Angel netters brought home eight plaques from state tournament play. Among the totals were five district titles in six years, three sectional championships, a 10th place finish as a team and an individual who placed fourth.
1977 District Champions Coach unknown
1978 District Champions Coach unknown
1 Hinsdale Central 19
2 Champaign Central 12½
3 LaGrange Lyons 12
4 Winnetka New Trier East 11
5 Barrington 9½
6 Lisle Benet Academy 8
Lincolnshire Stevenson 8
8 Highland Park 7½
9 Northbrook Glenbrook North 7
10 Joliet St. Francis 6½
1980 District Champions Coach unknown
1981 District Champions Coach unknown
1982 District Champions Coach unknown
1984 Sectional Champions Coach unknown
1986 Sectional Champions Coach unknown
1988 Individual Medalist
Jenny Karges—4th in Singles
1989 Sectional Champions Coach unknown
Job well done!!
TRACK & FIELD
SFA showed their worth on the all-weather ovals, taking home a 9th place finish as a team in 1984, and having one relay team along with an individual bring medals from the state finals…including two gold medals.
1984 Team finished 9th overall
Tonya Scott—100 Meter Dash–STATE CHAMPION!!
200 Meter Dash–3rd place
Long Jump———8th place
1985 Individual Medalists
Tonya Scott—100 Meter Dash–STATE CHAMPION!!
800 Medley Relay——————–4th place
One Angel team did win a district title in this sport, which has been long dominated at the state championship by Chicagoland schools.
1979 District Champions
“Melissa McCarthy is an actress known for her portrayal of Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls. She currently plays the role of Dena on the ABC sitcom Samantha Who?.
McCarthy, a cousin of actress Jenny McCarthy, was born in Plainfield, Illinois. She graduated from St. Francis Academy in Joliet, IL. Her career started with stand-up comedy and includes film, television, and theater.
She has had small roles in the films The Kid, Charlie’s Angels, Go, The third wheel and The Life of David Gale. She also did voice work in three episodes of Kim Possible where she played DNAmy. McCarthy is a member of the Los Angeles-based Groundlings improvisational comedy troupe. In 2007 she acted opposite Ryan Reynolds in The Nines, written and directed by John August
McCarthy married her longtime boyfriend, Ben Falcone, on October 8, 2005. They have a daughter, Vivian, born May 5, 2007.”
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If you have more information about the history of St. Francis Academy, its alumni, or its activities, please let us know, We’d enjoy reading your stories and seeing additional photos by e-mail at email@example.com or by sending it to:
Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Ave.
Chicago, Il 60631