It's Tuesday of MC/Rita week....Where are the pizza jokes?

septon34

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Best regular season SR v MC game I ever saw was 89. The hitting in that game would never be allowed now. SR and MC were probably the two best teams in the state, even though my Mustangs choked vs. CVS in the playoffs. The atmosphere was amazing.

My personal favorite was the following season when MC trounced SR. It was the last time the two teams played at old Pat Cronin. But SR stood its ground and wouldn't let MC disrespect the tradition of 63rd & Claremont.

Never to be seen again was 88. Two inner city all boys catholic schools playing in a rugged/classic stadium in a dangerous neighborhood. Two of the best 3 teams in the state, both undefeated and playing each other to go downstate and take on the most talented team in the state (East St. Louis). Though the result was heartbraking for us Mustang fans, the atmosphere and what the game represented was amazing.
 
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DeanOfSelection

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Reg season games I also enjoyed the 2000 and 2004 games. MC down 14-0 in 2000 and 14-13 late on the missed pat win 19-14 in last minute and 2004 the rainstorm 42-35. Was so scared when Weyer had the ball at the end.
 

septon34

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Reg season games I also enjoyed the 2000 and 2004 games. MC down 14-0 in 2000 and 14-13 late on the missed pat win 19-14 in last minute and 2004 the rainstorm 42-35. Was so scared when Weyer had the ball at the end.

Didn't start watching high school games until 86, but Weyer was one of the top 5 high school players (just high school performance/dominance) I've ever seen. That was one of the few years where SR was more talented than MC, and yet MC still won; very heartbreaking loss
 

McCaravan

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Best regular season SR v MC game I ever saw was 89. The hitting in that game would never be allowed now. SR and MC were probably the two best teams in the state, even though my Mustangs choked vs. CVS in the playoffs. The atmosphere was amazing.

My personal favorite was the following season when MC trounced SR. It was the last time the two teams played at old Pat Cronin. But SR stood its ground and wouldn't let MC disrespect the tradition of 63rd & Claremont.

Never to be seen again was 88. Two inner city all boys catholic schools playing in a rugged/classic stadium in a dangerous neighborhood. Two of the best 3 teams in the state, both undefeated and playing each other to go downstate and take on the most talented team in the state (East St. Louis). Though the result was heartbraking for us Mustang fans, the atmosphere and what the game represented was amazing.
That 89 SR defense...Hamilton, Kingsbury, Novickas, Graham, Lynch...second best D I've seen in my years (2013 MC being the best)...especially in an era when the run dominated the game, you had to fight for every yard against that front 7....answer me this, how the hell did CVS beat you? Julian was the CPS best then and didn't you destroy them game 1 of the playoffs?
 
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septon34

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That 89 SR defense...Hamilton, Kingsbury, Novickas, Graham, Lynch...second best D I've seen in my years (2013 MC being the best)...especially in an era when the run dominated the game, you had to fight for every yard against that front 7....answer me this, how the hell did CVS beat you? Julian was the CPS best then and didn't you destroy them game 1 of the playoffs?

Rita actually didn't destroy Julian. Beat them by 2 TD's or so if I remember. Give CVS all the credit in the world. They came back from a 10-0 deficit and deserved to win. They also played on Wednesday, but I really think the old format (where teams played 3 games in 7 days; first playoff game on Wed and then second one on Sat) hurt SR. Bottom line though is CVS was teh better team that day. That was the most disappointing loss in 31 years of following SR football. The home playoff losses in the semis to MC in 88 and Palatine in 94 were extremely tough, but those were pick'm games. SR losing to CVS in 89 was just a massive upset.
 
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feeto

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Reg season games I also enjoyed the 2000 and 2004 games. MC down 14-0 in 2000 and 14-13 late on the missed pat win 19-14 in last minute and 2004 the rainstorm 42-35. Was so scared when Weyer had the ball at the end.
I agree. The rain game was my favorite MC / Rita game ever.
 
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Crispy Linnetta

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That 89 SR defense...Hamilton, Kingsbury, Novickas, Graham, Lynch...second best D I've seen in my years (2013 MC being the best)...especially in an era when the run dominated the game, you had to fight for every yard against that front 7....answer me this, how the hell did CVS beat you? Julian was the CPS best then and didn't you destroy them game 1 of the playoffs?
Julian's band was awesome though...lol
 
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RockSoup

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I liked the '94 playoff game when MC had been destroying SR in the regular season that year and the years before since '89 and SR came out with an offense no one had seen that season up to that point. I remember former Bear Merritt having a monster game.

I also enjoyed the 2013 playoff game when the two best teams in the state in any class that year played in the second round. SR had the lead late but MC had a ground pounding drive that won the game 20-15? Great talent on both sides and great passion by both teams
 

McCaravan

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Rita actually didn't destroy Julian. Beat them by 2 TD's or so if I remember. Give CVS all the credit in the world. They came back from a 10-0 deficit and deserved to win. They also played on Wednesday, but I really think the old format (where teams played 3 games in 7 days; first playoff game on Wed and then second one on Sat) hurt SR. Bottom line though is CVS was teh better team that day. That was the most disappointing loss in 31 years of following SR football. The home playoff losses in the semis to MC in 88 and Palatine in 94 were extremely tough, but those were pick'm games. SR losing to CVS in 89 was just a massive upset.
Julian had first team All State QB Torrance Garfield and All State WR, last min MC transfer (kicked out) Mike Griffin, on that team.
 

septon34

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I liked the '94 playoff game when MC had been destroying SR in the regular season that year and the years before since '89 and SR came out with an offense no one had seen that season up to that point. I remember former Bear Merritt having a monster game.

I also enjoyed the 2013 playoff game when the two best teams in the state in any class that year played in the second round. SR had the lead late but MC had a ground pounding drive that won the game 20-15? Great talent on both sides and great passion by both teams

Both great games. I was especially proud of that 2013 team as they got down by 2 scores but battled back to put a scare into MC
 

septon34

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I was still at SR for that 94 game. They came out with fire in their eyes. Wernet gave a great pep rally speech.
 

DeanOfSelection

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I am guessing in 89 Rita was banged up after MC week 9 then the Wed playoff game then a 3rd game in a week
 
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RockSoup

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Best regular season SR v MC game I ever saw was 89. The hitting in that game would never be allowed now. SR and MC were probably the two best teams in the state, even though my Mustangs choked vs. CVS in the playoffs. The atmosphere was amazing.

My personal favorite was the following season when MC trounced SR. It was the last time the two teams played at old Pat Cronin. But SR stood its ground and wouldn't let MC disrespect the tradition of 63rd & Claremont.

Never to be seen again was 88. Two inner city all boys catholic schools playing in a rugged/classic stadium in a dangerous neighborhood. Two of the best 3 teams in the state, both undefeated and playing each other to go downstate and take on the most talented team in the state (East St. Louis). Though the result was heartbraking for us Mustang fans, the atmosphere and what the game represented was amazing.

Oh the 88 game was something. Seats were packed, aisles were packed, sidelines jammed 10 deep. Visitor side near the south end zone creeped about 2 yards onto the field when play was on the north end. School building windows were full. Deserted home's roofs across the street had people on it. It was unreal. Ah semifinals between two teams 7 miles apart on 63rd street before the Internet age:)
 

DeanOfSelection

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I liked the '94 playoff game when MC had been destroying SR in the regular season that year and the years before since '89 and SR came out with an offense no one had seen that season up to that point. I remember former Bear Merritt having a monster game.

I also enjoyed the 2013 playoff game when the two best teams in the state in any class that year played in the second round. SR had the lead late but MC had a ground pounding drive that won the game 20-15? Great talent on both sides and great passion by both teams

I recall Merritt making a circus catch b4 the half in back of the end zone. Following week i saw the Palatine semi as well. Nobody was going to beat PC though in 5A that year.
 

Stangs1991

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In the 89 game I saw Novickas would have to come out every couple of plays so Dr. Wollen could re adjust his dislocated knee. Talk about a tough guy, he would come hobbling off the field damn near tears miss a play or Two and get fixed up and head back out there. Toughest guy I ever saw play football.
 
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McCaravan

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In the 89 game I saw Novickas would have to come out every couple of plays so Dr. Wollen could re adjust his dislocated knee. Talk about a tough guy, he would come hobbling off the field damn near tears miss a play or Two and get fixed up and head back out there. Toughest guy I ever saw play football.
I remember that!
 

septon34

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In the 89 game I saw Novickas would have to come out every couple of plays so Dr. Wollen could re adjust his dislocated knee. Talk about a tough guy, he would come hobbling off the field damn near tears miss a play or Two and get fixed up and head back out there. Toughest guy I ever saw play football.

That was the hardest hitting game I've ever seen.
 

Stangs1991

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Found this little gem from 27 years ago in the Chicago tribune. A nice write up about the old Snakepit. Something for the old timers. Fitting for this great catholic league battle.


St. Rita Stadium Takes Final Bow

September 28, 1990|By Barry Temkin.

    • 1138

One of the best-known teams in town will lock the doors at its legendary South Side home this weekend and head for newer, if not greener, pastures nearby. Expect a trickle of tears and a tidal wave of nostalgia.

Oh, and by the way, the following day the White Sox play their final game ever at the old Comiskey Park.

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When St. Rita`s football team makes its farewell performance at the school`s old stadium at 63rd and Claremont Saturday against Leo, it won`t get one-tenth the publicity Sunday`s Sox finale will, but the events do have a lot in common.

Both stadiums are more than places to play; they are also timelines connecting us to a lost era of sports. For Sox fans, that string will be cut forever by the wrecker`s ball. The stadium on Claremont will remain, but that won`t really matter to St. Rita fans because after Saturday, the school`s games will shift to a new facility at its new campus at the former Quigley South High School. The old stadium as well as the old school building have been purchased by the Chicago Board of Education.

That stadium is unique. It`s the football equivalent of one of those cramped second-floor gyms that still exist in some aging high schools or of the 20-yard pools that lurk in the basements of ancient YMCAs.

Run five yards out of bounds on the west side, and you crash into a nine- foot-high brick wall that forms the base of the home stands. It`s not much more spacious on the visitors` side, where a wire fence angles in until it comes within two yards of the field at its northeast sideline. The school building is so close to the north end zone that fans sometimes watch games from the roof, a la Wrigley Field.

Because of the configuration of the building, that end zone is the regulation 10 yards deep in its west corner but only about eight yards at the east end. The south end zone is the proper size, but the goal posts are flush against a 10-foot-high concrete fence.

In older and poorer days, when the school couldn`t afford a lost football, that meant stationing someone in the alley across 64th Street so neighborhood kids wouldn`t swipe the football after an extra point or field goal. That practice has continued to this day.

It`s not cement, though, that makes St. Rita Stadium unforgettable. It`s the coaches and players and teams that performed there and the fans who watched them. Coaches like Pat Cronin, for whom the field was named in 1984, shortly before his death, and Ed Buckley, who coached the Mustangs to a mythical national title in 1963. Players like Jack McHugh from the 1940s, Billy Marek and Dennis Lick, who led Rita to Prep Bowl titles in 1970 and 1971, and Mark Zavagnin, who starred for the Mustangs` 1978 Class 6A state champions.

All of them benefited from the mystique that surrounded the stadium. Standing-room crowds of more than 4,500 were customary then, and the atmosphere was so intimidating that opponents sometimes warmed up elsewhere and didn`t arrive till kickoff.

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``We used to come out and there would be people just all over the place,`` Lick said. ``They`d all be cheering us on, and that helped. I think there was a mystique about the stadium. It was probably the only one like that around where everyone was so close. The fans were right on top of us.``

Until 1977, some of that mystique also came from field conditions that were unsettling if you weren`t used to them. Virtually all the grass was gone by the third game of the season, so it was like playing on concrete or in a swamp.

``When it rained, it was like a mud hole; when it was real hot, it was like a dust bowl,`` said Ray Parello, Class of `45, who has worked the chain gang at thestadium for the last 20 years. ``That`s why we called it `the pit.` ``

``I remember practicing in the rain and the mud,`` said St. Rita head coach Todd Wernet, who played for Cronin in the mid-1970s and succeeded him after the `84 season. ``Then it would not rain for weeks. Your skin would get ripped up, and you`d get shin splints and scabs on your shins and knees and elbows. But playing in that stadium was an experience second to none in high school sports and made football something special playing at St. Rita.``

Conditions, though, got so bad that a 1976 game had to be postponed to another site after rain turned the field into an unplayable quagmire. After that, funds were raised for an underground sprinkler system and new sod, which were installed in 1977.

That wasn`t the only time adversity forced an upgrading of the facility. In 1944, a fire burned down the wood stands, leading to the installation of the current cement version.

The stadium itself dates from 1922, 17 years after the school opened. In 1924, legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne brought a championship intramural team from South Bend to play St. Rita. Rockne won 6-0.

School officials plan to see the old place out in style. Many former players and an alumni band will return, and there will be a souvenir program and ceremonies at halftime and after the game. Then the scene will shift to the new campus for a reception.

The first game will be played there Oct. 20 against St. Francis de Sales. It will still be called Cronin Field, but take it from Gene McGrail, Class of `41 and a veteran of close to 250 games at the old place, it won`t be the same.

``You can`t imitate it,`` he said. ``It`s like Comiskey Park; you can have a new one, but it ain`t going to be like the old one.``

McGrail isn`t looking forward to getting up after the Leo game and making his way toward the exits for the final time, but he does know how he`d like to go out.

``I hope,`` he said, ``someone brings along a record of `Auld Lang Syne`

and plays it as we leave.``


From the Web

http://www.usa-consumer.com/d/?aid=...MyZTAtdHVjdGI0MDg3MBIRYWRuZXQtdXNlZGNhcnMtc2M
 

septon34

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Thank you Stangs1991. I always felt like I missed out by not getting to go to school on the 63rd street campus for at least a year. I loved when my dad took me to games at the old snakepit. We were at the last 3 MC v SR games at the Snakepit. All 3 were highly memorable. 87 was a victory despite domination by MC. 88 was the most exciting HS atmosphere I ever saw. And 90 was the fight where SR stood its ground.
 

Stangs1991

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Tommy Dennis body surfed ontop of the Carmel players at midfield. Awesome sight to see. Unfortunately MC really took it to us that day. But we bounced back and beat Purdue bound Cory Rodgers the next week for the final game. One of the best backs at the time.
 
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MCTD10

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Tommy Dennis body surfed ontop of the Carmel players at midfield. Awesome sight to see. Unfortunately MC really took it to us that day. But we bounced back and beat Purdue bound Cory Rodgers the next week for the final game. One of the best backs at the time.

First of all, i was in this game in 1990 and Rita did not stand their ground. We, my Carmel team were in the endzone warming up and getting ready to run into the middle of the field on how we started the game. Then the Rita team led by Bill Lynch came running to touch the Pat Cronin sign which was removed earlier and made mobile in a wooden type holder. They ran through the side of us as we screamed at each other. I know because I was in the front and Bill Lynch went to grammar school with me and we were yelling at each other. After we ran to the center, Tommy Dennis jumped on one of our guys in the pile and then Dave Lenti grabbed and tossed him off the pile.

That was the end and the sign touching was the most offense or defense Rita played in that game
 

crusader_of_90

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Pat Thelan was on those Rita teams, yes? Golden Gloves heavyweight with a mohawk?

My college roomie went to Rita, graduated in 1991. He introduced me to a few of those guys.
 

septon34

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First of all, i was in this game in 1990 and Rita did not stand their ground. We, my Carmel team were in the endzone warming up and getting ready to run into the middle of the field on how we started the game. Then the Rita team led by Bill Lynch came running to touch the Pat Cronin sign which was removed earlier and made mobile in a wooden type holder. They ran through the side of us as we screamed at each other. I know because I was in the front and Bill Lynch went to grammar school with me and we were yelling at each other. After we ran to the center, Tommy Dennis jumped on one of our guys in the pile and then Dave Lenti grabbed and tossed him off the pile.

That was the end and the sign touching was the most offense or defense Rita played in that game

MC disrespected the tradition. SR stood up to their BS. That was more important than the gane. Was never prouder of my school
 

McCaravan

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MC disrespected the tradition. SR stood up to their BS. That was more important than the gane. Was never prouder of my school
Jesus it was 31 years ago, people have been listening to this rant for three decades, the whole thing lasted about 3 seconds, has been immensely over exaggerated by both sides and had no effect on the 26-0 final that day.....how the hell did a thread from 2017 get resurrected again?