Leo salutes Mr. Ed Adams,
teacher, coach, mentor and friend to thousands of young men during his 20-plus years as Hall of Fame track coach for the Leo Lions. With six state championships and 15 sectional titles, Mr. Adams is simply the most successful coach in Leo history … despite the fact that Leo has never had a track for its athletes to practice or compete on.
Mr. Adams is a teacher first. He has always emphasized the “student” in student-athlete, and his greatest accomplishment is the number of young men he has helped develop into responsible, productive Leo Men of character and achievement.
Montini Coach Darryl Thomas summed up DaChaun Anderson’s impact on the Leo Lions as conference coaches were making their All-Catholic League choices after the 2017-18 regular season. “It wouldn’t be much of an All-Conference team if the big kid from Leo isn’t on it,” Thomas said.
Indeed, DaChaun used his junior season to distinguish himself as one of the most dominant big men in the Chicago area. Among his highlights:
- Third team All-City, Chicago Sun-Times
- Honorable mention All-Area, Chicago Sun-Times
- First team All-Chicago Catholic League
- All-tournament team, Big Dipper Holiday Classic
- 28 points and 18 rebounds in a victory over Bishop McNamara
- 19 points and 12 rebounds in a come-from-behind victory over Public League powerhouse Uplift
- 19 points and 17 rebounds in the regional championship game at Marshall.
DaChaun shot 58 percent from the field and 66 percent from the foul line. He and younger brother Kendale, a sophomore, combined to average 22 points and 23 rebounds per game for the Lions.
The stat line
Scoring: 14.9 ppg
Malcolm Bell’s electrifying three-point shooting was a crowd-pleasing factor in the Leo Lions’ 20-6, conference-championship season in 2017-18. Leo’s No. 3 scorer, Malcolm hit 36 percent of his three-point shots, many of them in flurries from well beyond the arc.
Among his season highlights:
- Three-pointers on three consecutive possessions in a come-from-behind victory over Public League powerhouse Uplift
- Four three-pointers and 17 points in the fourth quarter of the regional championship game at Marshall
- Five three-pointers, 19 second-half points and a career-high 26 for the game in an Alumni Night victory over St. Laurence
- Five three-pointers and 21 points in a Senior Night victory over Marmion
- First team All-Catholic League White Division
The Lions were 39-14 in Malcolm’s two seasons as a varsity starter.
The stat line
Scoring: 14.5 ppg
Steals: 1.5 Blocks: 2.3
In addition to leading the Leo Lions to a 20-6 record and a Catholic League White Division championship, Fred Cleveland wrapped up the 2017-18 season as one of the most decorated basketball players in school history. Among his accomplishments:
- Winner of the Lawless Award as MVP, Catholic League White Division
- First team All-Area, Chicago Sun-Times
- Second team All-City, Chicago Sun-Times
- First team Class 2A All-State, Associated Press
- First team All-Conference, Chicago Catholic League
- All-Tournament Team, Washington, Il., Invitational
- All-Tournament Team, Big Dipper Holiday Classic
Fred led the Lions in scoring, assists and steals, shooting 45 percent from the field, 47 percent on three-pointers and 81 percent from the foul line. He was Leo’s first Lawless Award winner since Andre Brown in 2000.
Scoring: 18.1 ppg
Every successful team needs a “glue guy,” a role player who willingly does the little things without complaint and is more focused on team goals that individual ones.
Junior Myles Thomas filled that role for the Leo Lions in 2017-18. Though his contributions didn’t always show up in the box score, Myles did his part to help the Lions to a 20-6 record and the Catholic League White Division championship.
Whether he started or came off the bench, Myles usually guarded the opponent’s top scorer. He gave away height to most of the other players on the floor, but he was a willing rebounder and a loose-ball magnet who gave the lineup the toughness it needed to prevail in close, competitive games against such teams as Romeoville, St. Rita, Uplift and St. Laurence.
And though he made his mark at the defensive end, Myles made teams pay for neglecting him on offense by hitting 44 percent of his three-point shots.
Myles is also an honor-roll student and a welcome addition to the Leo Family.
The stat line
Scoring: 2.0 ppg