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MLB scouting sophomore

Forest Parker Ryan Pacyga still has two more years of high school baseball to play for Nazareth Academy in La Grange, Ill., but he’s already caught the eye of major league scouts.

Sunday morning the 6-foot 2-inch, 205 pound 15-year-old was one of just a dozen sophomores invited to attend a Midwest area tryout camp at Triton College for area juniors hosted by the Chicago White Sox. Pacyga was one of just two players among the 95 invited who hit one over the fence at Puckett/Symonds Field. A scout for the Chicago White Sox was impressed.

“I’d drive 800 miles to see a kid your age hit one like that,” the scout said. “Do you even shave yet?”

Pacyga will have to wait to see if he qualified for an invite to perform at the finals in two weeks at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

Back on stage

A Forest Park native who sang in a locally televised competition earlier this year is on her way to DuQuoin, Ill., where she will compete against 10 other state finalists for a chance at a national title.

Carrie Schwebl, a sophomore at DePaul University, is the 2007 Chicagoland champion in the Colgate Country Showdown, a singing competition showcasing the country music genre. The annual contest begins each spring with local competitions sponsored by some 450 radio stations nationwide, according to the contest’s website. The national finals are televised and contestants vie for a $100,000 grand prize.

Schwebl was unsuccessful in her bid for the title of “Chicago Idol,” a televised competition hosted by Fox earlier this year. The state competition for the Colgate Country Showdown will be held Aug. 29 at the DuQuoin State Fair.

Onward, to high school

Eighty-five students will close the book on middle school Wednesday night during an eighth-grade graduation ceremony for District 91 students. For most of the soon-to-be freshman, the middle school convocation marks the end of their education in Forest Park. Only 17 of the students will attend the Proviso Math and Science Academy located in the village, according to a program for the evening’s ceremony. The majority of the class will be dispersed across public and private high schools in the area. District 91 in Forest Park is a K-8 school district.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Proviso East High School in Maywood. Class valedictorians are Patty Graf, Patrick Dorneker, Angel D’Souza and Melanie DeLuc. This will be the fourth year the graduation ceremony has been held at the Maywood high school.

– Staff reports