Illinois champions excel in all-star game

By Walter Villa

Saturday’s SportsTownChicago.com high school all-star game featured 36 seniors from across Illinois, including four who recently celebrated state titles.

The four are Meghan Haggerty and Jenna Jendryk from Class 4A Benet Academy (Lisle); Sam Bedard from 3A Mater Dei (Breese); and Shannon Foley from 2A Notre Dame (Quincy).

Bedard, a 5-9 setter, was named MVP of Saturday’s match after her Team White defeated Team Pink 3-1. She had eight assists and six digs.

Promoters of Saturday’s event were able to raise nearly $2,000 toward breast cancer research, which went to A Silver Lining Foundation.

Bedard, a Murray State recruit, had a great senior season, helping lead Mater Dei (41-3) to a second straight state title and a spot in the final POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings.

“My next goal is to start as a freshman (at Murray State),” said Bedard, who plans to study criminal justice. “It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to push myself.”

Haggerty, a 6-3 middle hitter, signed with Wisconsin, and Jendryk, a 6-0 outside hitter, is a Virginia Tech recruit. They combined to lead Benet to a 39-3 record and became the first Benet’ girls team ever to win a state title.

Pretty soon, though, Haggerty and Jendryk will split up for college.

"Meghan wanted to stay close to home, and I wanted to go away from home,” said Jendryk, who had a match-high seven kills on Saturday. “I’m definitely the adventurous type.”

Foley, a 5-7 libero who has yet to pick a college, led the way for Notre Dame (27-9). The multi-sport star already has won

three state titles: soccer as a sophomore, basketball as a junior and volleyball as a senior.

"I think I will play soccer in college,” said Foley, who mentioned Eastern Illinois, Maryville and St. Ambrose as possible destinations. “It’s the sport I’ve played the longest, since I was 3 or 4.”

A forward, Foley scored 46 goals the past two years and made first-team All-State last season. She made second-team All-State in volleyball.

Miami recruit has good genes

Caiti Donahoe, a senior setter for Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), has a famous grandfather.

He’s Earl Morrall, 77, the former NFL quarterback who started 12 games in the Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 perfect season of 1972.

Morrall played 21 seasons in the NFL, won three Super Bowls, made two Pro Bowls and earned one league MVP trophy. At Michigan State, he also played shortstop in the College World Series.

“Not a bad gene pool for Caiti,” said Hugo Jimenez, who has coached Donahoe at the club level for Boomers.

Donahoe, who has a scholarship to play for Miami, is a talented athlete in her own right.

Her coach at Gibbons, Kathryn Farland, said Donahoe was a starter since the first day of her freshman season.

“Caiti is the type of athlete that doesn’t come around often,” Farland said. “She has amazing hands.”