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Five memorable moments from Montini fall sports

Published: Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 3:30 p.m. CDT
(Sarah Minor file photo -
Montini quarterback Alex Wills throws the ball during the Broncos' playoff game against Morgan Park on Nov. 2. Wills and the Broncos made it to the state championship game for the fifth consecutive year this fall.

As usual, Montini had a number of dominant sports teams this fall. The football team made its fifth straight trip to the state title game, but they weren't the only set of Broncos to have a successful fall season. Here is a list of the top five accomplishments, victories and moments from Montini's fall sports season, in no particular order.

1. Football returns to state final

Throughout the regular season, Montini proved to be dominant on the football field. They opened the season with wins over bigger class schools Maine South and East St. Louis and went undefeated in the regular season. The play of Ohio State recruit Dylan Thompson and Notre Dame recruit Nile Sykes led a stout defense, and the offense put up big numbers thanks to senior quarterback Alex Wills and the likes of Tyler Tumpane, Leon Thornton and Niko Italia.

The Broncos made it to the Class 5A final where the undefeated run came to a close against Sacred Heart-Griffin. Oddly enough, the last time Montini didn't win state, 2008, was also the last time they went undefeated in the regular season. Despite ending on a sour note, Montini matched a school record for wins in a season with 13.

2. Volleyball wins 29 matches

At the beginning of the year, Montini girls volleyball coach Steve Dowjotas said the team could be something special. As it turned out, he knew his team's talent pretty well. The Broncos went 29-4 and proved to be an elite team this fall. After beating a talented Nazareth team in a regional semifinal, the Broncos ran into defending state champion St. Francis. Montini was able to take the first game, but fell in three. The unlucky draw cut short what could have been a special postseason run. St. Francis didn't lose another game the rest of the postseason and won its second straight state title. Seniors Joyce Balash, Bridget Lucas and Natalie Lopez were among the standouts. Junior St. Louis recruit Monica Loftus is expected back to lead the team next season.

3. Soccer wins first regional ever

For the first time in program history, the Montini boys soccer team won a postseason trophy. The Broncos entered with the top seed in the Class 1A regional and blew away Westmont 6-0 in the semifinal. In the final, host Lisle awaited. The Lions took Montini to penalty kicks, but the Broncos were 4-3 winners and went on to play for a sectional title.

4. Keefe leads Bronco golf to state

The Montini boys golf team had a memorable postseason. The Broncos were third at the Class 2A St. Ignatius regional, finishing four shots off the title. Junior Adam Keefe and senior Tommy Vivirito each shot 80s to lead Montini. At the sectional at Broken Arrow, Montini maintained that third place spot to head to state. Montini took 12th at state and Keefe was the highest individual on the team, tying for 15th on the final leaderboard.

5. Girls runners make state

The Montini girls cross country team extended its run of state appearances to four years running. After finishing just sixth at the regional meet, the Broncos moved up to third in the sectional to head back to Peoria. Brittany Fisher was third at the sectional and placed 14th at state. Fellow senior Maggie Hallerud was 38th and helped Montini finish 11th in the team standings.

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