Celtics Baseball Team Makes History with 3rd Consecutive State Championship Title

NEW LENOX (June 15, 2016) – Providence Catholic High School’s varsity Celtic baseball team earned their third consecutive IHSA Class 4A State Championship Title on June 11 at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.  The Celtics rallied past the Mundelein Mustangs 10-3 in front of a crowd of nearly 4,000; finishing their season 33-9.  This is the first time in Illinois high school history that a varsity baseball team has achieved a three-peat.  This win brings the Providence Catholic Celtics to 30 State Championship titles; the most among private high schools in the state of Illinois.

Following this historic win, several hundred fans returned to Providence Catholic for a pep rally to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Fr. Richard McGrath, O.S.A., PCHS President, kicked off the rally praising the talented student-athletes and coaches.  Head Coach Mark Smith ’88 praised his team for their hard work and sacrifice and thanked his coaching staff, parents and fans for their unending support.  “It is an indescribable feeling and will take some time to sink in that we are the first varsity high school baseball team in the state to win back-to-back-to-back championships.  These guys put their heart into every practice and every game and it has paid off.  I am very proud and honored to be their coach,” said Mark Smith ‘88, PCHS Head Baseball Coach.

The 2016 Varsity Celtic State Championship Baseball team includes:  Colin Airola ’16 (Joliet), Jordan Chavez ’17 (Crest Hill), Connor Creed ’16 (Lockport), Kurt Dankovich ’17 (Homer Glen), Jackson Dvorak ’16 (New Lenox), Kevin Fitzgerald ’16 (Orland Park), Matt Gruszkowski ’16 (Orland Park), Shawn Harper ’16 (Plainfield), Alex Helmin ’19 (Frankfort), Connor Hilty ’16 (Mokena), Drew Hunniford ’17 (Frankfort), Jim Jeffries ’16 (Mokena), Eric Juds ’17 (Orland Park), Tom Kelley ’16 (Orland Park), Mike Madej ’16 (Manhattan), Mike Massaro ’17 (Homer Glen), Kyle McBrady ’17 (Frankfort), Reed McCool ’16 (Plainfield), Steven Meyer ’18 (Homer Glen), Kevin O’Boyle ’17 (Plainfield), Noah O’Brien ’16 (Manhattan), Brendan O’Hara ’16 (New Lenox), Zac Pell ’17 (Romeoville), Dan Porter ’17 (Orland Park), Zack Pych ’16 (Homer Glen), Kyle Struck ’16 (Orland Park), Jackson Stulas ’16 (Lockport), Matt Swanson ’17 (Orland Park), Matt Trzesniewski ’16 (Orland Park), Garrett Walter ’16 (Homer Glen), Matt Waznis ’16 (Joliet) and Tyler Zarembka ’17 (Lockport).  The coaching staff includes Head Coach Mark Smith ’88 and Assistant Coaches Tim Byrdak, Frank Cavallone, Mike Pericht, Garrick Pranchke, Jim Thomas and Jason Vita.  Team Managers include Jim Havlin ’16 (Orland Hills), Brendan Nieukirk ’18 (Tinley Park), Blake LaBelle ’16 (Orland Park) and Joey Strick ’16 (Mokena).

Providence Catholic is a co-educational, college preparatory Augustinian high school located on 75 acres in New Lenox.  A dedicated and caring faculty and staff integrate the core Augustinian values of truth, unity and love into all dimensions of student life. A demanding curriculum, inclusive service programs, competitive athletics and comprehensive extracurricular offerings challenge students in a safe and nurturing environment.  Our most recent graduates earned scholarships valued at nearly $30 million dollars. These seniors performed in excess of 100,000 hours of community service during their high school careers. In addition, Providence Catholic has 30 state championship titles; the most among private high schools in the state of Illinois.  For more information about PCHS, please visit www.providencecatholic.org.

photographs by Burns Photography


Jamie O’Brien
Director of Communications

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