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Making a million meals in a weekend

in Elburn/Faith/Featured/Regional by

by Lynn Meredith
St. Charles—Who said it can’t be done?

Christ Community Church (CCC), with campuses in St. Charles, Aurora and DeKalb, took a stab at packaging one million meals for Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) on two weekends in December. It’s likely that they succeeded because they had 4,500 volunteers to help them do it.

With 17 shifts of approximately 180 packagers, CCC put into play a well-organized and executed packaging event that included church members, their friends and other organizations that wanted to help.

“It’s an opportunity for people to bring their friends and neighbors,” said Larry Stratton, director of Community Impact for CCC. “People want to serve, but they don’t always know what the opportunities might be. It’s my job to create an on-ramp for people to go into the community.”

Dave Young of St. Charles and 10 of his Sprint co-workers from Itasca, Ill., decided to package meals for FMSC for their office Christmas party instead of going out to celebrate. They teamed up to package the meals as a group.

“I take any opportunity to serve,” said Sprint employee Mark Adams of Bolingbrook, Ill.

Tanglewood neighbors Jennifer Pecor and Katy Balon from Batavia came out for a second year in a row, bringing kids and friends to work the two-hour shift.

“It’s a good bonding experience with the team,” Pecor said.

Dawn Stover from Elburn worked with her Bible study group from CCC for the second year. Working as a group with each team member having a job to do, they put together meals in plastic bags.

Each package consists of six meals made with four ingredients. The meals were designed by Cargill and the University of Minnesota to meet all the nutritional requirements for one day, so that children living in extreme poverty can continue to grow and develop.

Volunteers scooped cup servings of chicken flavoring, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and white rice, and poured them down a funnel into a plastic bag. The bag is then weighed, sealed and boxed for secure shipment to places like Haiti, Uganda and the Phillipines.

“We partner with 67 countries that have specifically asked to receive food,” FMSC worker Bethany Schwartz told the assembled volunteers during the orientation. “This is part of a long-term solution to help train artisans and farmers, not a one-time fix. We don’t use machines. Machines aren’t going to change the world. You are.”

FMSC announced that it recently broke the 100 million meal mark for the fiscal year.

FMSC packages meals six days a week at their warehouses in Aurora and Schaumburg, Ill. Each month CCC sends a group of volunteers to package meals at the Aurora site.

“It’s a huge opportunity for people to be involved directly with helping the poor,” Stratton said.

Elburn businessman sues County Board chairman

in Elburn/Featured/Regional by

by Keith Beebe
KANE COUNTY—An Elburn resident filed an injunction against Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay regarding pay raises given out to county officials.

James MacRunnels, an Elburn businessman and Kane County Board chairman candidate in 2008, filed the injunction on Dec. 14. The lawsuit alleges that McConnaughay, throughout her tenure as County Board chairman, has provided pay raises to 14 county officials and employees without seeking approval from either the Executive Committee or County Board.

The lawsuit identifies IT Executive Director Roger Fahnestock, former Development Department Director Phil Bus, HR Management Executive Director Shelia McCraven, Finance Executive Director Cheryl Patelli, Health Department Executive Director Paul Keuhnert, Deputy Director of Transportation Tom Rickert, Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong, former Economic Development Director Chris Aiston, Facilities, Subdivision and Environmental Resources Director Tim Harbaugh, Family Health Division Director Theresa Heaton, Water Resources Director Paul Schuch, Network Services Director Robert Shive, IT Chief Financial Officer Bill Lake and Community Health Assistant Director Michael Isaacson as the officials who have been given pay raises or had their salary established by McConnaughay without Executive Committee or County Board compliance.

“I would like (Karen McConnaughay) to admit that she violated county statutes by giving out these pay raises,” MacRunnels said. “I asked my County Board member if he was aware of these raises, and he was not aware (of it). At that point in time, I said the only action I have as a citizen is to get involved and file the suit against her.”

MacRunnels said he believes McConnaughay should have to admit to newspapers and all 90,000 households in Kane County that she gave out unauthorized pay raises.

“That’s punishment enough, but she needs to step up and do that,” he said.

The lawsuit cites a Kane County code that establishes the Executive Committee’s jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the compensation of all members of the County Board, the rules of order of the County Board, fees, salaries, clerk-hiring for and in all departments of the county, and the amount of the salary and per diem compensation of all county officers not otherwise set by law.

“MacRunnels is talking about a county code where the Executive Committee sets the salaries for the executive directors,” McConnaughay said. “Back in the early ’90s, the Executive Committee delegated that responsibility to the employee’s review, and the setting of salaries to the County Board chairman and to the respective committee chair.”

McConnaughay also said she doesn’t think the lawsuit has any merit.

“The state’s attorney will represent the chairman’s interest in this (matter),” she said.

Knights use last-second heroics for win

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Daniel Helm tries to score any way he can during Friday’s dramatic 49-47 win at DeKalb. The freshman contributed in a big way with 19 points in NIB-12 play. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
DEKALB—Kaneland boys basketball had a sense of the moment on Friday night in Barb-ville.

It’s the last moment that counted the most.

A basket by Chaon Denlinger just before the buzzer sounded took KHS to a 49-47 win over DeKalb on Friday.

After blowing an 11-point lead originally amassed in the second quarter, Kaneland emerged with a small bit of revenge against the squad that ousted them from Class 3A regionals last Feb.

“DeKalb’s tough, this is their home floor,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “Their record’s very decieving, they’re not a one-win team in my eyes. They’re a good team and they fight.”

Kaneland is now 6-2, while DeKalb fell to 1-7. The Knights improved to 3-0.

In the fourth quarter, with the Barbs having taken a 44-43 lead with 5:20 left, Kaneland recovered from its first deficit since the first quarter with a Matt Spitzzeri basket down low to take a 45-44 lead with 4:06 left.

Daniel Helm’s bucket with 3:37 to go increased the lead to 47-44.

After three trey attempts by DHS, Brian Sisler made a basket with 52.2 remaining to close within 47-46.

DeKalb’s Andre Harris went up for a drive to the basket but was intentionallty fouled on a fast break with 26.8 seconds remaining. Harris made the first of two, and Sisler’s attempted layup with 18 seconds left missed. Helm brought it up past halfcourt, where coach Brian Johnson called time out and set up the final exchange.

The passing game that had provided so many opportunities for Kaneland during the game worked as Denlinger inbounded the ball to Drew David, who passed to Helm. Helm passed to David, who found a back-door opening down low to Denlinger for a lay-in before the clock buzzed 0.0.

“We knew they were going to overplay it,” Denlinger said. “We knew they were going to try to get a steal. We don’t run it very often, and if we could just get it to work… I thought I missed it.”

Helm led the way with a game-high 19 points, followed by sharp-shooting Zach Ringhouse with 13 points.

“We started running more of our sets,” Helm said. “That opened up a lot of stuff. The team felt better because there were so many more openings.”

Sisler paced DeKalb with 17 points.

The Knights went up 9-5 after a quarter of play, and increased the lead to 27-19 at the half. The Barbs closed the margin to 41-38 after three.

Meanwhile, the sophomores bested their DHS counterparts by a 45-33 final.

The contests marked the last regular season contests in Chuck Dayton Gymnasium. DeKalb is moving to a new campus near Dresser and Annie Glidden roads.

48th Annual
Plano Christmas Classic

1st round matchups on Monday, Dec. 27
Morris vs. Yorkville, 9 a.m.
Forreston vs. Mendota, 10:30 a.m.
Sandwich vs. Genoa-Kingston, 12:30 p.m.
Rockford Christian vs. Coal City, 2 p.m.
Kaneland vs. Hinckley-Big Rock, 3:30 p.m.
Princeton vs. Seneca, 5:30 p.m.
Plano vs. Hall, 7 p.m.
Newark vs. Somonauk, 8:30 p.m.

Lady Knights drop meeting with Dixon

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Kelly Evers had 12 points in Saturday’s 55-45 setback to the Duchesses. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—A crossover contest with Dixon provided a frigid result as winter approached for Lady Knights girls basketball on Saturday night.

With 20 turnovers and only four shots from the foul line, the Lady Knights fell to 6-7 after a 55-45 setback at the hands of the Dixon Duchesses.

The 6-7 Lady Knights (1-2 NIB-12) have now lost four of their last five.

KHS went 18-for-59 from the field and four of four from the foul line. McKinzie Mangers had a game-high 14 on the strength of four three-pointers, while Kelly Evers had 12.

Dixon led 17-11 after one quarter of play and kept a 32-26 lead going into the halftime break before KHS closed within 39-35 after three.

Helping their cause, the Duchesses went 13-for-19 from the foul line.

The sophomore girls moved to 8-0 and 3-0 in conference play, thanks to a 56-27 win over Dixon.

The varsity Lady Knights enjoy a little break before heading to the Oswego East Holiday Classic for the fifth straight season. KHS is set to face South Elgin in its first challenge in Kendall County on Monday, Dec. 27, at 10:30 a.m.

Oswego East Wolves
Winter Classic Tourney

1st round matchups on Monday, Dec. 27
Plainfield North vs. Metea Valley, 9 a.m.
Kaneland vs. South Elgin, 10:30 a.m.
Addison Trail vs. Plainfield Central, noon.
Andrew vs. Aurora Christian, 1:30 p.m.
West Chicago vs. Joliet Central, 3:30 p.m.
Lemont vs. Plainfield East, 5 p.m.
Oswego East vs. Aurora Central Catholic, 6:30 p.m.
Downers Grove vs. East Aurora, 8 p.m.

Grapplers take on four squads tough week

in Featured/Wrestling by

KANELAND—While Kaneland wrestling has nabbed some nice individual wins lately, the dual meet results that are desired are harder to come by.

On Thursday, the Knights dropped a 44-16 result to the visiting Yorkville Foxes. On Saturday, Kaneland faced Dixon, Geneva and Rock Island. KHS lost to Geneva, 46-27, and also lost to Rock Island, before beating Dixon 58-15.

Kaneland’s dual meet mark is now 3-9.

Against Yorkville, 119-pounder Esai Ponce won a decision over Adam Wyeth, 4-1. 130-pound teammate Dan Goress won a 13-4 major decision over Brennan Sharp, Ben Kovalick took a forfeit at 215, and 285-pound entry Jimmy Boyle won a 3-0 matchup with Seth Gonzalez.

On Saturday in Maple Park, wins over the Vikings came from five matches.

Kovalick pinned Viking David James in three minutes, 43 seconds. Boyle eked out a 1-0 win over Jake Mills. Connor Williams won a 103-pound match by forfeit. Ponce pinned Geneva’s Kyle Roberts in 1:44 and Goress took a forfeit.

In the win over the Dukes, Williams, Ponce, Goress, Kyle Davidson, Cory Taber and Nick Michels had wins.

On Thursday, Dec. 23, Kaneland hopes to get some production on the mat this winter break with wins over Mundelein, Richmond-Burton and host Woodstock.

Photo: Dan Goress, shown here in earlier action this season, earned a major decision in his 130-pound encounter against Yorkville on Thursday. File Photo

Geneva Park District ice rink information

in Featured/Regional by

GENEVA—In a continued effort to improve customer service and consolidate its resources to enhance your recreational offerings this winter, the Geneva Park District will open a new outdoor ice complex at Wheeler Park.

Located on North Street/Route 31 in Geneva, the outdoor ice complex will consist of two sheets of ice, one dedicated for general skating and one for hockey.

The rinks will be fully equipped with retainer boards and water tight reflective liners. In addition, a warming shelter is available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and/or school holidays, with lights available until 10 p.m. daily.

Please note that skating will no longer be available at Jaycee and Sunset Park.

For more information, call (630) 232-4542 or visit www.genevaparks.org

SG clown ministry gives back to both fellow clowns, community

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The United Methodist Church in Sugar Grove boasts a “clown ministry” that pools a portion of its earnings each year to provide clown-training scholarships for people in the community.

This year, the clown ministry also wants to provide a slightly different kind of service: putting food on the table for needy families in the area.

“Our goal every year is to fund the Sweetheart Scholarship, which provides training for Christian clowns,” said Karen McCannon, also known as JoJo the Clown. “And this year, we’ll be giving a $500 check to the Sugar Grove Between Friends Food Pantry.”

The Sweetheart Scholarship is named after former ministry member Terri King, who was also known as Sweetheart the Clown.

The current clown ministry, which consists of Jojo, Calico Rose, Tiny T. and Mr. Mumbles, is typically active within the Sugar Grove community, hosting the 4th of July Bike Parade, participating in the Corn Boil and helping with the Fire Department’s open house. The ministry also appears at the farmer’s market during the first Saturday of every month.

“Our group makes a buck or two every so often, and we have a small bit of celebrity in the area, so we thought we’d use that celebrity to encourage people to donate to the food pantry,” McCannon said. “The (Between Friends) Food Pantry started out providing for, I think, 11 families, and now that number is up to about 130 families, and we want to make people aware of just how much help the food pantry needs.”

McCannon said the ministry does not currently plan to dress up for any events related to the Between Friends Food Pantry, but the four members are open to doing an appearance if the opportunity presents itself.

“We don’t usually do anything in the winter, and it takes an awful long time to get dressed up and put on our makeup. But the food pantry supports the entire Kaneland area, and we’d like to support the food pantry,” she said. “We might be open to doing an event (for the food pantry) in the springtime.”

TAILS hosts adoption event at Geneva Commons

in Featured/Regional by

Photo: Marley is a two-year-old lab mix available for adoption a TAILS Humane Society. Courtesy Photo

GENEVA—This holiday season, local animal shelters Animal Care League and TAILS Humane Society encourage animal lovers to adopt a furry new family member in time for the holidays. Adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens will be available at the Jingle Paws Adoption Event Saturday, Dec. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This adoption event will be located in the retail space between LOFT and J.Jill at Geneva Commons.

“We are very grateful to Geneva Commons for providing us with a location to hold our adoption event” said Tom Van Winkle, Animal Care League’s executive director. “With volunteers from TechPro and assistance from Wet Nose, ACL and TAILS hope to find forever homes for at least 50 pets at the Jingle Paws Adoption Event.”

Each year, thousands of homeless pets enter animal shelters in the Chicagoland area. Most pets are relinquished to shelters because of owner-related issues such as economic difficulties and divorce. These dogs and cats are highly adoptable and make wonderful companions, easily adapting to their new families. The Jingle Paws Adoption Event will provide prospective adopters with a large selection of healthy, spayed/neutered, vaccinated pets to choose from.

“The holidays are a great time to adopt,” said Beth Drake, executive director of TAILS Humane Society. “With time off from work, most people have more time to spend with their pets during the holidays than they do most of the rest of the year. As long as adopters ensure that their home is pet friendly, we encourage adoptions during the holiday season. We plan to have adult dogs and cats, as well as puppies and kittens, available for adoption at the Jingle Paws event.”

For more information, contact Animal Care League at (708) 848-8155 or visit online www.animalcareleague.org. You can also reach TAILS Humane Society at (815) 758-2457 or online at www.tailshumanesociety.org.

Acosta marks 1st year as chief

in Featured/Maple Park by

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—This month marks the end of the first year of Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta’s service with the Police Department, and at the Dec. 7 Maple Park Village Board meeting, Acosta reported that all of his goals were achieved.

“I believe that the Maple Park Police Department has grown much in the recent year,” Acosta said.

While establishing a community-policing role within the village, the growth was seen both inside the department, as well as in the broader community.

“The Police Department has a new home, including a booking area, and interview room,” Acosta stated, “Digital equipment and fingerprint services were also added.”

This year, the department conducted audits of its evidence and records systems, as well as drafted a new Standard Operating System.

The department has not only started a program called Kops and Kids at the Movies, which is meant to foster a relationship between the police and Maple Park youth, but also have a drop-in center available for them.

“I also look forward to the future,” Acosta said.

For 2011, proposed department goals include continued upgrades of police equipment, fostering community relationships and establishing a community watch program.

“We thank Chief Acosta for all he has done over this past year,” Trustee Nick Moisa said, “We finally have a Police Department we can be proud of.”

Lady Knight (1-5) bowling takes first meet of year

in Bowling/Featured by

Photo: Sophomore Angela Charhut in action against the Lady Redskins of Morris Tuesday. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
DEKALB—It has been tough goings for the Lady Knights through the first four meets, but KHS hopes its fortunes are going up.

The reason to believe the altering luck was exhibited during Monday afternoon’s victory over non-conference rival Illinois Math & Science Academy.

Kaneland took a 2,062-1,930 win over the Lady Titans, but lost on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb to visiting Morris by a final of 2,971-2,240.

Coach Jim McKnight likes the recent win, it‘s showing the hard work paying off and the still-gelling team showing improvement.

“We’re pretty well settling in on who the varsity is going to be, and we’ve been going up against some really tough schools, but to come back here and see the girls come through like this—they’re coming through very nicely,” McKnight said.

Holly Thomas led the way with a meet-high 528 series.

“I can see that I’m improving, and I feel I can do that for the rest of the season. I’m throwing pretty consistent strike balls today,” Thomas said.

The senior also enjoyed a 201 game to close the meet out.

Sophomore teammate Morgan Wojciechowski supported the effort with a 422 series and a 164 game.

The JV ranks took a 1,587-1,418 match with the Titans.

The matchup against the Lady Redskins went the way of Morris for the final 12-point margin.

DeKalb hands Kaneland grapplers Thursday loss

in Featured/Wrestling by

Photo: Esai Ponce won his contest on Thursday with a 6-2 decision in DeKalb. At 119 pounds, Ponce gave Kaneland a fighting chance in a 39-27 loss. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s unfortunate that the Kaneland wrestling squad ran into DeKalb on Thursday evening in Barb-ville, because lately DeKalb’s been running over everyone.

In a Northern Illinois Big XII matchup, DeKalb subdued Kaneland by a 39-27 score in a dual, dropping the Knights to 2-5.

The opening encounter had 119-pounder Esai Ponce earn a 6-2 decision to put KHS up 3-0, but the 125-through 145-pound encounters resulted in a 27-point run for the host Barbs.

Finally, 152-pound entry Kyle Davidson stopped the bleeding with a 13-2 major decision to close within 27-7. With the score 36-7 in favor of DeKalb, the Knights did begin a run. At 189, Keagan Mattes put a 16-0 technical fall forth in impressive fashion.

The work that Mattes has put forth has got the senior believing good things are in store for the remainder of the 2010-11 campaign.

“I always think of going through my matches non-stop. Last year I didn’t do that. It’s more muscle in this weight class, and they still have their speed, but I just have to keep wrestling continuously,” Mattes said.

KHS coach Monty Jahns highlighted the 189-pound victory as a nice pick-me-up.

“Keagan wrestled well and kept attacking. DeKalb’s tough this year. Give them credit, they’ve got a solid lineup,” Jahns said.

At 215 pounds, Ben Kovalick pulled out an 8-4 decision to close the deficit to 36-15, and teammate Jimmy Boyle earned a pin at 3 minutes, 13 seconds.

Steve Gust took a forfeit at 103 pounds, before 112-pound action went the way of DeKalb for the final 12-point margin.

The Knights try and right the mat on Thursday, Dec. 16, in another NIB-12 clash with Yorkville High School in Maple Park.

Knights block Spartans, Royals

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Drew David falls
back after making a shot
during a 23-8 third quarter at Saturday’s
65-33 win at Sycamore High School. The
freshman finished with four points.
Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—Going 5-for-7 in any sport has to be considered a good start.

After a loss nine days ago to Glenbard South, it seems like Kaneland boys hoops has every intention of extending the good start as long as possible.

The Knights put Hinckley-Big Rock down for the count on Tuesday, 59-44, and routed Sycamore on Friday along Spartan Trail by a final of 65-33.

Kaneland is now 2-0 in the first go-around of the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference, as well.

Against the visiting Royals, Daniel Helm scored a game-high 15, and Tyler Callaghan added 13.

KHS led 12-9 after one and 23-19 at the half. The Knights started to pull away in the third and worked on a 43-30 lead going into the fourth quarter, where they secured matters.

The sophomores pulled out a 52-21 win to improve to 7-0.

Against the host Spartans, the Knights were buoyed by Chaon Denlinger’s 20 points, which were highlighted by six three-pointers. Helm added 13 points and Trever Heinle added 10.

Kaneland turned a 13-3 first quarter lead into a 26-18 advantage going into the locker room at the half. The Knights opened the floodgates in the third and led 49-26 going into the fourth quarter.

The Knights go on to DeKalb for a meeting with the Barbs on Friday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.

KHS girls hold off Sycamore, lose to Barbs

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Lexee Guerra battles for possession during Kaneland’s 43-36 win on Friday evening in Sycamore. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Call it Rivalry Week.

The Lady Knights unit from Kaneland took to the court against familiar opponents in a new Northern Illinois Big XII setting, and split their two contests.

On Friday, KHS traveled to Sycamore and came away with a 43-36 win over the Spartans, while visiting DeKalb on Tuesday and falling 45-36.

With a 6-6 record and a 1-2 slate in NIB-12 action, the Lady Knights have already eclipsed their win total from the 2009-10 campaign in just 12 games.

Against their Spartan Trail foes, Kaneland was paced by post player Kelly Evers’ 10 points and Tesa Alderman’s nine points. KHS pulled down 32 boards, helped out by nine each from Evers and Nicki Ott. KHS was 15-for-57 from the field and 11-for-18 from the foul line.

Ashley Berlinski led Sycamore with 16 points.

A 9-8 lead at the end of the first frame grew to a 21-16 lead at the break before Sycamore closed within 31-28 after three.

With the score at 40-34, Andie Strang made three of four foul shots to ice matters.

The sophomores handled Sycamore in a 49-18 affair.

Against the Lady Barbs, Kaneland was 11-for-30 from the field and 12-for-20 from the charity stripe. Alderman was leading scorer with nine points, and also added four steals.

It was anything but smooth sailing for the Lady Knights, trailing from wire to wire and falling behind 17-5 at the end of the first eight minutes to a Lady Barbs outfit that has won 10 of its first 11.

DeKalb missed its first 10 shots and missed three foul shots, but continued its aggressive and physical play. Lexee Guerra layed a bucket in, followed shortly by an Alderman three to cut it to 17-10 with 5:25 left. DeKalb went on a 5-0 run to lead 24-10 at the break.

Things started picking up for the Lady Knights, as an Ott jumper from the top of the key, a basket by Evers and two free throws by Guerra closed Kaneland to within 29-22 before a Taylor White three-point attempt from beyond the half-court line went in at the buzzer, putting DHS up by 10.

“That didn’t help, that’s kind of how the game was going, but what can you do about that shot,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

The Lady Knights managed to cut it to 37-28 on an Emma Bradford basket with 4:38 to to, but the margin shrunk no further.

“We can’t struggle like that on offense in the first half. The other big thing (in the first half) was with three and a half minutes left we had them at six fouls, and we needed to get to the free throw line and stop the clock and we never got the seventh foul,” Colombe said.

The sophomore crew improved to 7-0 with a 40-23 win.

Kaneland’s next challenge is a NIB-12 crossover with the visiting Dixon Duchesses on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.

Kaneland High School rises up with fall sports awards

in Boys Cross Country/Boys Soccer/Featured/Football/Girls Cross Country/Golf/Tennis/Volleyball by

Photo: Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton, was one of the highlighted athletes recognized for her State trip during the fall season for girls’ golf. File Photo

KANELAND—It was time to think warmer thoughts at Kaneland High School, as Friday had the release of the Kaneland High School Fall Sports Awards.

The awards were announced at this late date due to the postseason success of the football squad.

For girls cross-country, the captain trio of Andie Strang, Jessica Stouffer and Kris Bowen were recognized for its service.

Shaela Collins and Kaitlin Munyon took home the most improved runners honor, and Strang was named most valuable runner. Strang, Ashley Castellanos and Jennifer Howland were named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad, and Howland was honored for her State qualifying appearance in Nov.

For the boys cross-country side, Trevor Holm was picked as most valuable runner. and Ryan Paulson took home the most improved runner honor. The Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength went to Tommy Whittaker. Grant Alef, Holm and Whittaker were recognized as captains.

The Golden Knight award, given to one runner in each grade level, was bestowed upon freshman Dylan Kuipers, sophomore Christopher Wido, junior Clayton Brundige and Tommy Whittaker.

Holm was honored for his standing in the NIB-12 All-Conference group, as well as being a State qualifier.

For football, Joe Camiliere, Jimmy Boyle, Taylor Andrews, Blake Serpa, Tyler Callaghan and Curtis Secrest were recognized as captains. Nick Michels won the most improved player nod, and the MVP honor went five ways with Camiliere, Boyle, Andrews, Serpa and Callaghan earning the honor.

Camiliere was named offensive MVP, while teammate Serpa took the defensive MVP. Quinn Buschbacher won the special teams MVP. A slew of Knights were named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel, Buschabcher, Sean Carter, Camiliere, Boyle, Serpa, Kyle Davidson, Jacob Razo, Callaghan and Andrews.

Concerning Kaneland golf, Anthony Sperando was named most improved player on the varsity level, and Hayley Guyton was named varsity MVP. Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar shared the frosh/soph MVP sward. Sean Glennon was awarded the frosh/soph most improved player award. Team leader Guyton was also lauded for her eighth place finish at the girls’ gold State gathering.

For the Lady Knights volleyball crew, Jessica Lubic took the most valuable player award. Katy Dudzinski was named top offensive player, and Kylie Siebert won top defensive player award. The Spirit Award went to Mackenzie Curran, while most improved player was won by Lauren Banbury.

Lubic and Dudzinski were honored for their spots on the NIB-12 Conference team.

For boys’ soccer, Alex Gil, J.P. Minogue, Thansi Pesmajoglou, Trevor Wolf and Derek White were honored for their captaincy. Alex Weiss and Jordan Escobedo were named co-most improved player, while Minogue and White took home the co-MVP award. Rookie of the Year went to Anthony Parillo. The Coach’s Award was given to Gil, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka and Pedro Perez.

All-Northern Illinois Big XII members were announced as White, Minogue, Escobedo, Gil, Chad Swieca and Parillo. Honorable mention members were Perez, Rymarz, Koczka, Wolf, Tyler Siebert, Weiss and Pesmajoglou.

Escobedo was named to the all-Sectional squad, and teammate Gil was an honorable mention.

KHS to host its 33rd annual madrigal dinner

in Featured/Kaneland by

The Kaneland High School Madrigal Singers will perform Friday through Sunday at the high school cafeteria. Tickets are $20 each, and dinner is included. Photo by Ben Draper

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Anyone who fears that the Kaneland High School cafeteria has been transformed into a Medieval Times can rest assured—it’s just the 2010 Kaneland Madrigal Dinner.

The 33rd annual madrigal dinner (or feaste, as it says on the dinner ticket) combines food, song and theatre performed in a joyous and somewhat comedic 16th century-type English setting. The actual performance will be followed by a feast including chicken and wassail, which is a hot cider.

The show uses a “Royal Court” of 16 student actors, as well as over 20 instrumentalists and 30 choir members to celebrate the Christmas season in a fun, unique way.

“The madrigal dinner includes about 90 kids altogether, and it really allows these high school kids to showcase their talent,” said Peggy Rosko, who is a “mom coordinator” for the event. “The show does a great job of incorporating kids from different musical programs – choir, theatre and band – and it features great holiday music and entertainment.”

Choral Director Bryan Kunstman will lead the choir during the event.

Show times for the Kaneland Madrigal Dinner are 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. The Friday, Dec. 10 show is sold out. Tickets are $20 each.

“It really is a fabulous event, and it says something for the high quality of Kaneland High School (arts)” Rosko said.

Manitoba hockey team has case of the SWEATTS

in Elburn/Featured/Miscellaneous by

Elburn native Bill Sweatt battles with Chicago Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino but comes up empty in the shootout portion of the Manitoba Moose 2-1 loss at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. Sweatt, a left winger, is contributing to the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks as its fourth-leading scorer.
Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
ROSEMONT, Ill.—Look a little close to see which team is the home favorite.

On Nov. 30, the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League took the Allstate Arena ice for the 24th time in the 2010-11 season, but it wasn’t against an ordinary opponent.

Their foe was the Vancouver Canucks’ top affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, featuring brothers Bill and Lee Sweatt, who have taken to the ice for the first time this season as professional teammates.

Originally from Elburn, and now based in Colorado, the Sweatts saw big minutes of ice time, but saw their efforts fall just short in a 2-1 loss that went to a shootout. Bill was the last Moose entry of five to aim for Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino, but was stopped. Chicago’s Darren Haydar scored for the only goal past Eddie Lack for the final result.

Seasoned hockey players will tell you ‘that’s hockey’ but coming to the suburban Chicago area for the first time as pro teammates made a cold November night anything but ordinary.

“That’s exactly what it is,” Lee said. “We just didn’t score enough goals.

Playing for the biggest pro hockey team in hockey-crazy Manitoba, the Sweatts can provide what a phenomenon playing the national sport can truly be.

“It’s way different,” Bill said. “Chicago’s getting a little hockey-crazy because of the Hawks, but it’s just on a different level. They’re obsessed with it.”

The Moose (12-9-0-3) currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference’s North Division and got a goal from center Cory Hodgson with 5:59 remaining in the second period, only to be matched by Jason Krog’s shot with 2:25 remaining in regulation.

But both Sweatts put their franchise in a position to win with needed contributions. Rookie Bill has 13 points with five goals and eight assists as the fourth-leading point gatherer on the squad, while Lee has four goals and four assists as the sixth-leading points nabber.

Bill, 22, was the second-round pick of the Blackhawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, behind the first-round pick of Patrick Kane, but after sticking with his standout college hockey career at Colorado College (CC), he found himself traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Kris Versteeg. Waiting until ownership of his rights expired, Sweatt signed with Vancouver, capping a crazy stretch.

“Absolutely, I’m happy,” Bill said. “No matter what happened, I knew I was going to have to play in the minors and work my way up and learn the pro game a little bit, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Lee, 25, who played at CC with his brother for a year and was undrafted, enjoys playing in North American after making the rounds in Latvia, Austria and Finland over the last four years.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be in Finland and Austria. I would say they all have their pros and cons, Riga (Latvia) has the wildest fans, but I like Winnipeg. The fans are great there.”

The Moose, with Sweatts in tow, return to Rosemont on March 6, 2011.

Elburn native Lee Sweatt does what he can as defenseman during the Manitoba Moose 2-1 shootout loss to the local Chicago Wolves on Nov. 30 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. He graduated from Colorado College like his younger brother, Bill, and spent last year split between teams in Latvia and Finland. Photo by Ben Draper

Wrestling earns win over T.F South

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Photo: Kaneland varsity wrestlers faced off against Sycamore at Sycamore High School on Thursday, December 2. Here, Jimmy Boyle (285 lbs) lifts his opponent off the ground. Boyle won this match 10-2. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—On the first weekend of the season with tangible snow on the ground, the Knight wrestlers made opponent T.F. South feel like an ill-equipped car—no traction.

In a 40-22 win over T.F. South on Saturday, KHS earned one win at a triangular at Lemont High School, but fell in a 48-21 clash to the host Indians. KHS also dropped a Northern Illnois Big XII matchup at Sycamore, 51-19 on Thursday.

The Knights now sit at 2-4, with an 0-1 mark in the first go-around of Northern Illinois Big XII action.

In the win vs. the Rebels, the fun began in the 189-pound matchup as Keagan Mattes picked up a pin in two minutes, 32 seconds. Mattes was already up 2-0 when he secured the winning combination. With the Knights leading 12-0, heavyweight asset Jimmy Boyle went the distance in a 10-0 decision for a 16-0 KHS lead. Boyle never fell behind after an early takedown.

Up 34-9 after several forfiets, Knight Andrew Essex took his 140-pound matchup over James Cooper in 3:32, after already leading 8-1. That marked the final fall to go Kaneland’s way before the Rebels closed the margin.

Up ahead for Kaneland wrestling is a trip to conference-mate DeKalb on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m.

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