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Richard's Tommy Mister stiff arms Shepards Devon Landfair at Richards, Friday, October 5rd, 2012 in Oak Lawn, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Tommy Mister’s last day of school at Richards was Friday, and his mother said he’ll start at St. Rita on Jan. 6.
The blue-chip football recruit’s departure was not met with sadness from his former coach.
“We’re a better football team today,” Bulldogs coach Tony Sheehan said Friday afternoon.
He declined further comment, leaving Mister’s mother, Dawn, to speculate about the apparent sour grapes.
“I guess he’s just upset we moved out of the district,” Dawn Mister said. “He just has to grow up and get over it.
“We made a family decision. Coach Sheehan would rather we made a football decision.”
Mister said her family closed Thursday on a home in Lansing after renting in Oak Lawn.
“My husband’s mother, who’s getting older, lives in Lansing,” she said. “We’re three blocks from her.”
As for St. Rita, she said, “I grew up right down the street from St. Rita. I’m very familiar with the area, I’m familiar with the school.”
Further, she said, “Tommy wants to be challenged academically.”
Tommy Mister reportedly has been offered scholarships to attend Notre Dame, Illinois and Indiana.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior began last season as Richards’ quarterback, was injured, then returned as a running back. He earned SouthtownStar All-Area recognition, rushing for 1,076 yards and 15 touchdowns in 137 carries.
Sheehan acknowledged during Richards’ run to the Class 6A quarterfinals that Mister suggested the switch when his replacement at quarterback, sophomore Hasan Muhammed-Rogers, excelled in Mister’s absence.
At the time, Mister said, “I just want to do what’s best for the team.”
St. Rita had a string of 12 straight IHSA playoff berths end when it went 4-5 in the 2012 regular season.
“We’re excited that Tommy is going through the admissions process ... and we’re looking forward to him being part of the St. Rita family,” Mustangs athletic director Mike Zunica said.