The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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McDonaghs actively participate in basketball, other GBS athletics




With their shoes tied, warm-ups finished and focus strong, senior Sean McDonagh and junior Sarah McDonagh are prepared every season to compete against the top high schools in Illinois for GBS basketball.

From kindergarten to high school, the McDonaghs have grown up dribbling and shooting free throws together.

“Everyone plays in my family; so, that was just something I did basically since birth,” Sarah said.

According to Sean, the siblings used to challenge each other in heated one-on-one games.

“[Sarah] would quit every time we would play basketball together ,because I was too mean and stuff like that,” Sean said. “I’d destroy her, and then she’d go inside crying. I’ve always struggled to handle my competitiveness around her.”

Besides basketball, they are greatly involved in other sports like football for Sean during the  fall and lacrosse for Sarah in the spring.

Sarah credits Annie Lesch, varsity lacrosse head coach, with her success, because Lesch personally recruited her to play.

Like Sarah, Sean gives a lot of credit to his football coach for pushing him to hit the weight room in the fall for football training and practice. According to Sean, this benefits him for basketball in the winter.

“[The weight room] helped me in football a lot, [because] I had to switch from quarterback to tight end this year; so I had to get a lot stronger,” Sean said. “In basketball, I’ve never been the fastest kid, [but] that’s my big advantage, being stronger than the other players I play against.”

Their mother, Mary Lou McDonagh, expresses her support and proudest moment of Sean on the football field.

“I try to go to as many games as I can and just let [Sean and Sarah] know I’m there for them,” Mary Lou said. “This past season… Sean caught three touchdown passes at Prospect high school, and they ended up coming from behind to win the game. It was a fun game and he was so excited.”

Furthermore, Sean and Sarah notably attribute their success to their coaches for guiding them in the right direction every season.  Steven Weissenstein, women’s varsity basketball coach, acknowledges Sarah’s leadership and skills on the court.

“You can put [Sarah] on any player on the other team, and she’s able to guard them,” Weissenstein said. “At the beginning of the year [last year], she came off the bench when one of our starters got hurt. She started for […] several games while that player was recuperating. I remember one game in a Christmas tournament where we were playing a really good team and she hit four [three point shots]in a really short period of time that helped keep us in the game.”

Likewise, Sean exemplifies leadership on and off the court, along with passion and determination, according to Ben Widner, varsity basketball coach.

“A lot of guys would consider him our emotional leader,” Widner said. “[Sean] gets the guys excited and pumped up. That’s probably one of his best characteristics as an athlete. He just loves to compete.”

Widner also recognizes Sean’s ability to unite his teammates and bring home a win.

“The last couple games, [Sean] did a great job rebounding,” Widner said. “We played Maine West, and he set the tone for us [by hitting] a shot early. He talked really well on the floor, and I thought he set the tone for us offensively and defensively [when we played Maine West], so that would be one game that stood out [Sean] had our team ready to play at the start.”

The McDonaghs plan to compete at the college level after high school. However, Sean is currently indecisive about which sport to pursue. Conversely, Sarah has committed to play lacrosse at San Diego State University in California.

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