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Montini lacrosse standout named an all-star at national tournament
 
Lombard’s Taylor Minauskas, who is beginning her senior year at Montini Catholic High School this week, recently represented Illinois at the 2016 Brine All-American National Lacrosse Classic, which took place July 19-22 at the River City Sportsplex in Midlothian, Virginia, just outside Richmond. The tournament, which gives collegiate coaches an opportunity to scout some of the nation’s top high school lacrosse players, featured 16 teams and more than 300 players in the girls division. Minauskas began playing lacrosse during her freshman year at Montini. She spent most of her freshman season on the junior varsity team before being called up to the varsity squad for the post-season. She played on the varsity team throughout her sophomore and junior seasons. Before beginning her junior season for the Broncos earlier this spring, Minauskas took part in a tryout to represent Team Illinois at the Brine event in Virginia. Brine, a sporting goods manufacturer that was acquired by New Balance about 10 years ago, produces a wide range of lacrosse equipment, including sticks, helmets, gloves and protective gear. Minauskas played in four games for Team Illinois at the event, taking part in battles against lineups from Ohio, New York, Delaware and Washington, D.C. She completed her time in Virginia by playing in an all-star game featuring standout players from the tournament’s 16 teams. The coaches of the tournament’s state teams selected the players for the all-star contest. “I didn’t think I was going to make the all-star team,” said Minauskas. “It was so cool playing with girls from so many different areas. I made a lot of new friends and had a great time.” Before attending Montini, Minauskas went to Park View Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade and Sacred Heart School from sixth to eighth grade. She participated in a variety of sports at Sacred Heart, but not lacrosse. “I didn’t even know what lacrosse was,” said Minauskas, who was interested in playing basketball when she arrived at Montini. “I was in a basketball camp, and the coach [Montini girls head coach Jason Nichols] said I should try lacrosse because of my aggressiveness and speed.” In addition to playing lacrosse at Montini, Minauskas played basketball during her freshman and sophomore years. She did not play basketball as a junior, but will return to the Broncos’ basketball program for the 2016-17 campaign. While Montini’s lacrosse season takes place in the spring, Minauskas plays the sport year-round as a member of club teams in the summer, fall and winter. She has primarily played defense for the Broncos, but as a club player, she spends most of her time at the midfield position. “Taylor is an intense person,” said Michelle Sebastian, the head coach of Montini’s varsity lacrosse team. “She does her best in everything. She works very hard, and she’s always looking for ways to improve as a player.” Minauskas will continue to play lacrosse at the collegiate level. She has visits lined up at a few schools in the next couple of months. “I’m definitely playing in college,” said Minauskas, who added that she enjoyed the competition and style of play at the Brine event in Virginia. Minauskas, who is exploring the options of playing collegiately at the Division II level, said a majority of girls who played at the Brine tournament have already committed to playing collegiately at a specific school, including some perennial NCAA Division I lacrosse powers like Maryland and Syracuse. Maryland has won three NCAA national titles since 2010. Syracuse has earned a pair of runner-up finishes in the NCAA tournament since 2012. “They really let you play out there, which I like,” Minauskas said after her experience in Virginia. She stated that the officials at the high school level in Illinois tend to stop the action frequently by blowing their whistles to signal an infraction. “It was a lot of fun, and the level of competition made me a better player.”    


Area high schools hold pre-season events on Friday
 
The athletic programs at Glenbard East, Willowbrook and Montini will hold events at their respective high schools on Friday, Aug. 19, to kick off the fall sports season. Glenbard East’s Red and Black Pre-Season Night will feature scrimmages by the Rams’ fall teams. The varsity girls volleyball team will begin its scrimmage at 5:30 p.m. in the main gymnasium. The varsity boys soccer team will take the stadium field at 6 p.m. for a brief scrimmage. Glenbard East’s band will perform at the stadium at 6:40 p.m. The dance team will then deliver its own performance. The varsity football team will begin its scrimmage on the stadium field at 7:15 p.m. The Rams’ co-ed cheerleading squad will give a performance after the football scrimmage begins. A parade of the Rams’ fall sports teams will take place at the end of the football scrimmage. The concession stand will offer pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, cold beverages and snacks during the pre-season night. Proceeds will support the Glenbard East Boosters. Willowbrook will hold its Silver and Blue Community Night event from 5–9 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free, although donations will be accepted, and tickets for a split-the-pot contest will be available. Proceeds will benefit District 88 students. In addition to showcasing Willowbrook’s fall sports teams, the event will recognize the school’s clubs and performing arts students. Montini’s football team, which won the IHSA Class 6A state championship in 2015, will hold its Maroon vs. Gold scrimmage event at the school’s stadium field on Friday. The scrimmage will begin at 6 p.m. All three area high schools will begin the 2016 football season on Aug. 26. Glenbard East will kick off its season with a home game against Lake Forest. Montini will travel to Park Ridge to battle Maine South, while Willowbrook will open its season with a game at Grayslake North.


 
   
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