Schererville seventh-eighth-grade school wins Catholic Youth soccer title
By Anthony D. Alonzo Post-Tribune correspondent October 31, 2012 11:00PM
At St. Michael School soccer field in Schererville on Oct. 28, SMS player Peter Merlo eludes defenders from St. Casimir School of Hammond. St. Mike's won the Catholic Youth Organization diocesan championship over the Bruisers 1-0.
Updated: December 2, 2012 2:14PM
At St. Michael School’s home soccer field on Sunday the seventh and eighth grade Warriors were able to bundle two notable wins into one chilly afternoon.
The Schererville school claimed the Catholic Youth Organization diocesan championship with a 1-0 win over St. Casimir School of Hammond and marked the retirement of longtime CYO coach Pat Reardon.
Reardon had coached in various capacities at diocesan schools for more than 30 years. With the anticipated graduation of his eighth-grade son, Patrick Reardon, he said this year seemed to be the right time to support his church and sports programs in other ways.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Reardon the senior. “A lot of these boys will go on to compete in high school, some may not… in some ways, I think (CYO sportsmanship) is better.”
He added: “I’m going to enjoy sports from the bleachers.”
The Warriors showed up ready to avenge a narrow loss to St. Thomas More School of Munster in last year’s championship game; they were felled by the Eagles’ final penalty kick. For the championship, they would face the Brusiers team that left things unresolved between them when they knotted up in a 1-1 draw earlier this season.
Against a cutting north wind, St. Thomas More maintained control of the ball on St. Casimir’s territory for a majority of the first 30-minute half. Reardon, a striker, and teammate Joshua Dulski, also an eighth-grader, had launched a few strong kicks at the goal, but they were not quite on the mark.
Before the start of the second half, the scorekeepers reported to the referees that the Bruisers had not complied with a CYO rule that stipulates that all players must get 10 minutes of playing time in each half. For each of the four players who were determined to not have been given fair playing time, the Warriors got a penalty kick.
St. Mike’s went 0-4 from the soccer charity stripe.
Later, at 12 minutes into the second half, Reardon would make up for his missed PK with an equidistant kick on a feed from teammates Dulski and Peter Merlo. His kick cleared the goal and put what would be the game’s only point on the board.
“(St. Casmir) was a great team, but we were hungry,” coach Reardon said. “We were on their side and had more shots on goal.”
After he and his victorious teammates rushed the field for a celebration, Dulski said that the Warriors’ balanced play helped them cruise through the season with a near-perfect record of 10 wins — and the tie with St. Casimir.
“We did really well,” said Dulski. “We played defense when we needed to play defense, and we scored when we needed to score to win.”
Teammate Tommy Keslin agreed and said the season was enjoyable.
“I had fun and it was nice to win,” Keslin said. “It was a great experience.”
St. Casimir coach Fernando Castaneda said his team — part of a much younger program — had made great progress in reaching their overall 9-1-1 record.
In the 5th and 6th grade championship game, St. Mary School of Griffith earned a 4-1 victory over St. Tom’s.