TF North alum Anthony Pignatiello takes reins of football program – local scores

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TF North
TF North hosted TF South on April 17, 2021. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Scores from TFS and Marian Catholic

TF North

LANSING, Ill. (March 31, 2023) – As a 5-foot-8 quarterback and receiver for the TF North football team, Anthony Pignatiello knew he wanted to stay around the game.

“I kind of knew during my junior year that my playing days would come to an end sooner or later,” he said.

So he decided to head off to college to pursue an education degree with the intention of coming back to Calumet City as a teacher and coach.

That happened in 2012, when Pignatiello joined football coach Artie Rogers’ staff. He wound up coaching both football and baseball, serving as the Meteors’ head coach in the latter sport till stepping down after last season.

Pignatiello also sought the head football coaching job during two other hiring cycles before heading to powerhouse Lincoln-Way East as an offensive assistant.

But now Pignatiello is back home at TF North after being approved as the Meteors’ new head coach at this week’s District 215 board meeting.

TF North finished 1-7 last season under interim coach Jason Richardson, who took over when Tristan Stovall resigned two weeks before the season opener.

The Meteors’ last winning season was 2014, when they finished 5-4 under Rich Watson. Their last playoff berth was in 2011 under Rogers, and their most recent postseason win came in 2002 under Tim Zasada.

TF North has struggled with low numbers in recent seasons. Pignatiello hopes to get enough players in the program to eventually return to fielding three teams: varsity, JV and freshman.

A more immediate priority is assembling a staff, including a defensive coordinator. He plans to call offensive plays.

“I have some really good people in the building who will hopefully be joining the staff,” Pignatiello said.

Another focus is having a good working relationship with the town’s two feeder programs: the Calumet City Thunderbolts and Calumet City Chargers.

“We’ll do our best to keep the Burnham and Cal City kids at home,” Pignatiello said.

Offseason work is underway. Pignatiello is mapping out a schedule of 7-on-7 competitions and Tyler Fortier — his successor as head baseball coach and sponsor of the school’s strength and conditioning club — is helping to coordinate weight-room workouts.

“There’s kind of a lengthy (to-do) list,” Pignatiello said.

But he can’t wait to get started.

TF SouthTF South

Baseball

The Red Wolves opened South Suburban Conference play by splitting a pair of crossover games. After losing 19-0 at Richards on Tuesday, they beat Reavis 3-1 at home on Wednesday.

Tyler Earmsmuth pitched six innings of one-run ball for the win on Wednesday, striking out four. He also was 1-for-3.

Jack Starcevich struck out the side in the seventh for the save and also went 1-for-3 with a double. Rakim Ali also contributed at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Khanon Gresham and Jake Stachelski each went 1-for-2 against Richards and Gresham stole a base.

TF South (3-2, 1-1 SSC) is off till Sunday when it opens its spring break trip to Florida.

Girls track and field

The Red Wolves opened their outdoor season on Tuesday by winning a four-team meet with 108 points. Reavis (80), Shepard (41) and Tinley Park (25) also competed.

South had a pair of double winners as Rashiya Warfield swept the 100- and 300-meter hurdles in 17.76 and 55.17, and Nyrobi Moore took first in the 200 (28.44) and long jump (4.80 meters, 15-9).

Also taking firsts for the Red Wolves were Janiya Lucas in the 100 (12.43), Earehc’ Hill in the 400 (1:05.80), Olivia Jarrett in the high jump (1.37M, 4-6), and the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 relay teams.

Softball

The Red Wolves picked up their first win of the season on Wednesday, 23-12 over Joliet Central.

Freshman Izzy Sprehe went the distance for the win and added four hits and five runs scored. Also having big games at the plate were Rebekah Whitfield (4-for-4, homer, double), Emily Dominiak (4-for-6, 2 triples, 4 runs) and Christina Aguilar (5-for-5, 3 runs).

TF South (1-3, 0-1 SSC) also dropped its conference opener 16-0 to Reavis on Monday. Dominiak struck out six and allowed six earned runs in three innings.

TF United (TF South/TF North co-op)

Girls soccer

TF United fell 5-0 to Lemont in South Suburban Conference action on Tuesday.

Marian Catholic

Marian Catholic

Softball

The Spartans improved to 3-0 with a 4-1 road win over Manteno on Wednesday.
Katie Pollock pitched a seven-hitter for the victory, allowing no walks or earned runs while striking out four. Zinnia Rosas was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Ella DeNormandie drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.

Marian also beat Bishop McNamara 14-2 at home on Monday. Pollock got the win, allowing one run (unearned) while striking out four in three innings. She also was 3-for-3 with a homer and three RBI, while Kayden Porter went 2-for-3 with a homer and six RBI, and Isabel Alvarez finished 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Boys volleyball

The Spartans opened their home schedule with a 25-8, 25-17 win over Rich Township on Tuesday. Justin McGary had 13 assists and Tony Soto added eight for Marian (4-3).

Girls soccer

The Spartans blanked visiting Rich Township 6-0 on Monday to move to 2-5. Chloe Perry and Julia Keating led Marian with two goals each. Monserrat Coyt had a goal and an assist, while Olivia Pressler stopped one shot for the shutout.

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