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There has been an “Xplosion” of talent in the Lincoln-Way area when it comes to youth talent on the court.

The Xplosion, a nonprofit youth basketball organization, is now entering its 10th winter season with both boys and girls teams throughout the Lincoln-Way area.

It all started with a simple idea by a trio of parents  – Bill Hayes, Frank Toland and Jay Layman – to start a Lincoln-Way District 210 feeder program.

Danny Ciamprone

Having left her glass slippers at home, Mokena princess-in-training Adrianna Villarreal made do with white sparkly dance shoes. 

Villarreal, along with her father, Jose, were among the royal subjects who attended the Mokena Community Park District’s Cinderella Ball held April 18 at the District Recreation Program Center in Mokena.

“He’s a pretty good dancer,” Villarreal said of her father’s performance on the dance floor. 

Danny Ciamprone

The annual outdoor flea market for the Mokena Community Park District will take place from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at The Oaks east soccer field, 10847 W. La Porte Road, in Mokena.

Guests can enjoy the day selling, buying and swapping everything from fresh produce to new and used crafts, clothing, tools and more. Concessions will also be available.

Danny Ciamprone

Factors surrounding an inevitable school closure were at the forefront of discussion at a special meeting of the Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 Board of Education Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Lincoln-Way East Fine Arts Center.

The meeting focused primarily on clarifying facts surrounding the forthcoming school closure and discussing the factors the district is considering.

Meredith Dobes

The smallest of moments can lead to big things. Lemont resident and current member of the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association, Jeff Yackley, was always an avid athlete and enjoyed playing basketball and other sports.

But when he was 20 years old, Yackley said he was involved in a motorcycle accident in Frankfort which could have not only cost him sports, but also his life.

Amanda Jarzynski

On June 14, the 11 and younger Mokena Blast girls’ softball team made it to the championship game in the Naperville Father’s Day tournament.

The team took second place in the 12 and under bracket – one division up – with a final score of 2-1.

The team includes Kathryn Ponton, Ashlyn Agnich, Ashley Carter, Morgan Dapkus, Laila Summers, Abbie Caskey, Hayley Wlodarski, Megan Smith, Eliza Rex and Madelyn Del Cotto. 

The team is coached by Ed Wlodarski, with assistant coach Mike Dapkus and manager Mike Agnich.

Rebecca Susmarski

It would have felt like something was missing if a Lincoln-Way school was not represented May 16 during the Illinois High School Association’s boys gymnastics state finals, held at Hinsdale Central.

Lincoln-Way East senior Tyler Greenberg took care of that.

Greenberg competed on parallel bars and still rings, and he advanced to the evening’s championships on still rings with the state’s fourth-best score of 9.05. He was 48th on parallel bars with a 7.55.

Rebecca Susmarski
Central Command confirms friendly fire

Nearly three months after an operation in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of five U.S. soldiers — including Lincoln-Way East graduate and Mokena resident Pvt. Aaron Toppen — the United States Central Command released documents confirming it was a friendly fire accident.

Danielle Tabor

St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mokena recently welcomed its newly elected student council members.

The newly elected members were inducted after the school Mass on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the church. 

The seven student leaders on the executive board for the 2014-2015 year are McKenna Bandyk of Mokena, executive assistant; Sarah Noone of Mokena, treasurer; Alexandria Perns of Mokena, vice president; Maura Murphy of Mokena, president; Emma Canniff of Mokena, secretary; Athan Bastas of Mokena and John Morrison of Mokena, bookstore managers. 

Rebecca Susmarski

The members of the Lincoln-Way East varsity poms team displayed their sisterly bond in a Sunday, Dec. 14 competition, and it paid off for them winningly. 

The 3A division poms team, comprised of juniors and seniors, placed third in their division at the Illinois High School Association’s 2014 Bremen Invitational in Midlothian. The Griffins performed the routine that they intend to perform for the IHSA sectionals and, hopefully, state finals. 

Danny Ciamprone

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