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Featured - page 37

Snug Hugs for Kids

in Elburn/Featured by

Photo: Sally Compton of Elburn knit 105 winter caps this year for the Snug Hugs for Kids: Crochet and Knit-A-Thon, a program conducted by Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops. Photo by Mary Herra

Compton knits hats to spread warmth, holiday cheer
by David Maas
Elburn—The holiday season is in full swing, and Sally Compton, 88, is doing her part to spread joy and warmth to kids in need.

Sally, a retired farmer’s wife, was looking for a way to spend her time as less and less work needed to be done on the farm, and knitting seemed obvious.

“She used to knit all kinds of things,” said Kit Compton, Sally’s daughter, “She even used to knit in movie theaters, in the dark.”

For over eight years, Sally has been participating in the Snug Hugs for Kids: Crotchet and Knit-A-Thon, a program conducted by Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops to provide local children in need with winter attire.

For this year’s drive, Sally knitted a collection of 105 winter hats, estimating that she has donated well over 800 hats to the program since she has been a part of it.

“No hats are ever repeated,” Sally declared, pointing to the hats, most of which were brightly colored, some even resembling a box of crayons, “They are all different combinations,” she added.

Sally has already started knitting hats for next year’s drive, thinking of all of the kids who will wear her hats as she knits.

“I think it makes two people warm,” explained Sally, “The children that will wear the hats, and me while I’m knitting them.”

Christmas Stroll trail mix

in Elburn/Featured by

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Join in the community spirit as you hit the trail through downtown Elburn for a mix of fun and food on Friday, Dec. 3.

The town will be lit with the spirit of the Christmas season as businesses and organizations open their doors from 5 to 8 p.m. serving refreshments, giving tours and welcoming the community. From the Town & Country Library to the Elburn & Countryside Community Center, you’ll find enough music, food, decorations and sights to light up the night.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be front and center at the library, giving wish consultations and photo ops. While snacking on refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library, merry-makers can see the Kaneland Madrigal Singers perform at 5:15 p.m., Magic Matt create balloon characters, and Mr. E and Maggie perform ventriloquism from 7 to 8 p.m. Village of Elburn trustees will be on hand to greet. Watson, of course, will be dressed for the holidays.

Learn how quickly a Christmas tree can catch fire as the fire department presents its annual Christmas tree burning at 5:30, 6:15 and 7:45 p.m.

Stop in at the American Bank and Trust to take home a balloon creation, and at Edward Jones to enter a coloring contest and decorate a Christmas ornament. Catch another performance of the Madrigal’s at Ream’s Elburn Market. Then cross the street and wander the wonder of life-sized Kandyland at the Elburn Herald.

The Elburn Community Congregational Church will host cookie decorating and refreshments. Heartland Counseling will present the blessing of the manger.

If you’re tired of strolling at this point, you can hop the free, heated 28-passenger shuttle bus to head to the Elburn Hill Church, where the Lamplight Singers will perform and the Oberweis truck will stand at the ready.

Across the street at the Community Center will be a free train ride with Santa. The Wildlife Center will bring animals to see.

“There is a lot going on,” said Laurie Studdard, Community Center director. “We have about 400 people come through here.”

The Christmas Tree Auction will allow the highest bidders to take home Christmas trees and wreaths decorated by local businesses.

The Silent Auction will raffle off gift baskets, sports memorabilia and games.

Fill up on holiday cheer in Kaneville

in Featured/Kaneville by

by Lynn Meredith
Kaneville—Kaneville is celebrating Christmas with all the delights of the season on Saturday, Dec 4. The village will be alive with food, gifts and entertainment.

The sight of a horse-drawn wagon carrying passengers in a leisurely tour of the town is one mark of an old-fashioned Christmas. Add to that a cookie walk at the United Methodist Church and a cake walk in the gym of the Community Center, both from 9 to 11 a.m., and the picture is complete.

Kids can find Santa at the fire barn and story time at the library on Saturday morning.

Those looking for seasonal gifts can walk the craft displays both at the library and in the gym from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hill’s store will also stock gift baskets that can be purchased.

As part of their customer appreciation, village businesses will serve snacks all morning. Hill’s Store will give out free peppermint ice cream and cocoa. Old Second Bank will have breakfast food until its noon closing.

Setting the Christmas scene, local students will provide musical entertainment at the library.

“We have a lot going on,” business owner Pat Hill said.

SG resident channels Christmas spirit with decorations

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

Photo: Jerry and Deborah Weiss of Sugar Grove, have been decorating their house at 115 Oxford Ave. since 2005, and it gets more elaborate each year. It has life-sized nutcracker soldiers at the entrance and a full-sized sleigh. Jerry built all of the props himself. Children can come and see Santa at the house from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, and receive a coloring book and candy cane. There is even a mail box to drop letters to Santa. Photo by John DiDonna

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Jerry Weiss loves the Christmas season—so much, in fact, that he’s been in the habit of dressing up both the interior and exterior of his home with a spectacular array of holiday lights and decorations every winter since 2005.

Simply put, Weiss’ extravagant holiday display could evoke Christmas spirit in even the most hardened nonbeliever.

“Growing up, I always liked having the house decorated for Christmas,” he said. “My mom and dad weren’t able to do a lot (of decorating), and my wife and I are both very much Christmas people. Our display grows and grows and grows every year.”

“Grows” might actually be a bit of an understatement. Weiss, a Sugar Grove resident, has developed his holiday home decorations into a sprawling visual spectacle consisting of about 35,000 lights and a ground display.

“I make my own directions, and I start putting down ideas and planning next year’s decorations every year on Jan. 3,” he said. “It does my heart good. I do it for myself and I do it for the kids who want to come see a lot of (Christmas) lights.”

Kids and adults alike will have an opportunity to see those lights up close from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, which is when Weiss will host his annual outdoor Christmas event at his home, 115 Oxford Ave. in Sugar Grove.

“Santa comes to our house every year for this event, and everybody is welcome to attend,” he said. “Every child who attends gets a candy cane and a coloring book.”

Weiss said his holiday lights, which are synced to Christmas music, go on every day at 4:30 p.m. and shut off at 10 p.m.

“Everything (in my yard) has a theme. The front part of the house plays one song while the back of the house plays a different theme,” he said.

Despite his extravagant holiday display and heartwarming turn as Santa Claus during his Christmas show every year, Weiss’ best contribution to the spirit of Christmas just might be the Santa mailbox on his lawn.

“I always see the little kids walking down the street and putting their notes for Santa inside the mailbox. I pick up that mail every night and read it, and it makes me feel good because I know I am making kids feel good,” he said.

And Weiss’ unshakable enthusiasm for the holidays is felt by more than just the children in his neighborhood.

“I have neighbors that say when they’re coming home after a hard day’s work, they’ll turn the corner and see the lights (on my house), and it makes their day that much better,” he said.

Holiday in the Grove festivities appeal to young, old

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

On page 1A of the Dec. 2 edition of the Elburn Herald (Holiday in the Grove festivities appeal to young, old), the Herald erroneously reported that the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce puts on the festivities. While the chamber is an event supporter, the event itself is a community-run, nonprofit organization of community volunteers, separate from the chamber.
The Elburn Herald regrets the error.
The Elburn Herald wants its news reports to be fair and accurate. If you know of an error, please contact:
Ryan Wells, Editor
123 N. Main St., Elburn, IL 60119
e-mail: info@elburnherald.com

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—There are few events as thrilling for a child as that first encounter with Santa Claus. However, most parents, given the choice, would likely rather travel to the actual North Pole than have to tough it out in a mall filled with shoppers who will crush anything (or anyone) standing between them and that last $200 Xbox 360.

Fortunately, there’s a place where kids and parents alike can enjoy a breakfast with Santa and several other holiday activities without enduring a running-of-the-bulls-type shopping atmosphere. Sound like a holiday miracle? Nope, it’s just Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove event.

The 2010 Holiday in the Grove will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, and will offer breakfast and pictures with Santa, a holiday fun fair, craft and vendor show, children’s holiday shop, Mrs. Claus’ sweet Shoppe and free horse-drawn sleigh rides through the streets of Sugar Grove.

“It’s just a great event. The families love it, the children love it, and there are fun festivities for people of all ages,” Sugar Grove Committee Chairperson Carrie Aguerra said.

The Breakfast with Santa portion of the event is co-sponsored by the Sugar Grove Fire Department and kicks off at 7:15 a.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St. Additional seating times for the breakfast will take place a quarter past every hour up until 11:15 a.m. Participants can choose from either a pancake and sausage meal or an egg, sausage and biscuit meal for $5. A meal consisting of two Krispy Kreme doughnuts for $2 will also be available.

After the breakfast, children can go upstairs and have their free picture taken with Santa in front of the fireplace.

The craft and vendor show and children’s holiday shop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Shields Elementary School, 85 Main St. Children will be able to purchase gifts ranging from $1 to $5 from the shop. Purchased items can also be gift wrapped so they’ll be ready to put under the Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, the Friends of the Library will host a used book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Public Library. There will also be food, crafts and raffles available.

A holiday fun fair will take place from noon to 3 p.m. in the upstairs of the Community House. Children who attend will have the opportunity to play old-fashioned games and win prizes.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels will be at the Community House from 9 to 11 a.m. to meet with residents, answer questions, and share coffee.

Mrs. Santa’s Sweet Shoppe will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 176 Main St. Homemade sweets and pies will be available for purchase, and attendees can view a nativity scene display.

Last, but not least, are the horse-drawn sleigh rides, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Guerra, the former President of the John Shields PTO, continues to oversee the Holiday in the Grove festivities even though her children no longer attend the elementary school.

“I became involved with this event about five years back, and then I became a Chairperson,” she said. “The PTO was no longer able to financially fundraise for this event, so (the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce) took it over.”

Most of the Holiday in the Grove festivities are free of charge, with the exception of the Breakfast with Santa. Guerra said the fee for the breakfast reservations helps provide the food for the event, the Between Friends Food Pantry and the Holiday Spirit program, which provides gifts and meals for needy families.

“The Sugar Grove community comes together as a whole to put on this event,” she said.

File photo

A night of fun, food and raffles

in Featured/Maple Park by

Rich Ferdinand of Maple Park holds one of the many pork loins that gets raffled off each year at the Maple Park Family Fund raffle. This year’s raffle will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Maple Park Pub and Grill in downtown Maple Park. There are more than 50 raffles throughout the night and a large seletion of silent auction items. All proceeds from the raffle go to needy families in the Maple Park area. File Photo

Howland’s run (and bike and swim)

in Elburn/Featured/Triathlon by

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—Triathlons are difficult for even the most experienced athlete.

However, one needs the will. Elburn resident and Kaneland High School senior Jen Howland continues to employ that, as well as training and her athletics gifts to continue on the triathlon circuit both stateside and abroad.

Most recently finishing 20th in the junior women’s category at the ITU World Championship Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary, Howland continues to enjoy her work.

“It’s my passion, and I hope to do it for a long time,” Howland said.

The recent cross-country State qualifier has been participating in the event for nine years.

“It was a local Delnor kids triathlon,” Howland said her introduction to the race.

“When I train, it’s for 30-35 hours a week. I’ll be in the pool once or twice a day, run every day and bike every other day,” Howland said.

Having finished in Budapest with a time of one hour, 23 seconds, a two-second improvement over her 2009 World Championship, Howland has big goals ahead.

“I want to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Next year, I’ll start training and pushing myself. I really want to be a professional triathlete,” Howland said.

The junior women’s championship in 2011 is set for Beijing, China.

KHS ends strong at Strombom; begins 2-1

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Zach Ringhouse dialed long-distance on three occasions during the 2010 Consolation Championship of the Leland G. Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School on Saturday afternoon. The 68-44 win over the Spartans was buoyed by Ringhouse’s 11 points. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland’s boys basketball squad was running and gunning so often on Saturday afternoon in Sycamore, you’d swear they swore off Thanksgiving dinner entirely.

Rather, the two wins the Knights finished the Strombom Tourney with resulted in Hampshire and Sycamore feeling sick to their stomachs.

With a 52-42 win over Hampshire and a 68-44 number on the Spartans, the Knights won the consolation bracket for the usual Strombom Tourney stop in DeKalb County.

Huntley beat Dundee-Crown in a 51-47 overtime win for the tournament title.

Kaneland is now 2-1 in the early throes of 2010-11 basketball.

Against the Whip-purs, Hampshire stormed out to a 20-10 lead before Kaneland outpaced HHS 16-3 in the second frame to take a 26-23 lead. The Knights took control of the contest with a 40-33 win after three quarters.

Daniel Helm had a game-high 16 points, and Trever Heinle was close behind with 14.

Against the Spartans, the Knights resembled something akin to an NBA Western Conference squad, beating Sycamore to the ball on both sides of the glass and dialing long-distance on key shots.

All but one Knight got into the scoring column, led by All-Tournament selection Chaon Denlinger’s 11 and Zach Ringhouse’s 11.

Denlinger was glad to see the effort to have Sycamore commit mistakes paid off.

“(Coach Brian Johnson) told us to shoot with confidence, and we figured we could go in and rebound against them and get the boards. It was good to see the scoring spread out more,” Denlinger said.

Already up by 15 after the first quarter, KHS hit all six of its foul shots and got shots from Kory Harner, Ringhouse and Matt Spitzzeri to see the lead balloon to 36-18 at halftime.

Despite Sycamore missing just one shot from the field in the third frame, trifectas from Tyler Heinle and Denlinger helped the Knights and saw the lead balloon to 27 when Spitzzeri hit a bucket with 4:15 left to lead 50-23.

The Knights hit six-of-nine foul shots to maintain the lead in the fourth and left with a consolation championship.

“It lets me know how hard the guys are willing to work, and it lets me know we have a lot of things to work on,” Johnson said. “The football guys are in now, and we have to get them used to what we’re doing. They’re still really raw and have only had a couple practices.”

Kaneland begins its first-ever season of Northern Illinois Big XII conference play with a trip to Morris on Friday, Dec. 3.

Kaneland bowlers lose to DeKalb in opener

in Bowling/Featured by

Photo: Kaneland’s Madi Bluml, shown here at a recent practice, helped the JV effort against DeKalb on Nov. 23. File Photo

KANELAND—With many new faces, KHS bowling is still trying to gel, and still looking for an early win.

In the season opener, Kaneland fell to DeKalb at Mardi Gras Lanes on Tuesday, 3,046-2,314.

The high series for the Lady Barbs was bowled by Brandi Underwood, who struck a 655 series. Teammate Alyssa Mershun was next with a 517 series.

For Kaneland, senior anchor Holly Thomas bowled a 571 series, with a meet-high game of 236. Thomas also bowled a 169 game, as well.

Accompanying series were bowled by Seleana Isaacs at 407 and Amanda Strayve at 374.

The Lady Knight JV ranks had a tough 1,910-1,647 loss to DeKalb, despite the efforts of Michelle Bohanek.
The freshman bowled a team-high 323 series, highlighted by a 147 game.

On Tuesday against visiting Sterling, the varsity lost 3,165-2,100, despite a 445 series from Thomas (high game 165). The JV team lost by a 2,363-1,507 tally.

The varsity troops were scheduled to head to Dixon on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Photo Gallery: Sweatt brothers take on Chicago Wolves

in Elburn/Featured by

Elburn natives Bill and Lee Sweatt traveled with their AHL team, the Manitoba Moose, to Chicago to take on the Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena Tuesday. The Moose lost 2-1 in a shootout. The next time the Moose travel to Chicago is March 6, 2011 at 3 p.m.
Photos by Ben Draper

Almburg earns national recognition

in Featured/Maple Park by

Photo: Adam Almburg (far right) of Lincoln Highway 4-H Club received Reserve Champion Steer during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisvile, Ken. Courtesy Photo

Maple Park—Adam Almburg, a member of the Lincoln Highway 4-H Club in Maple Park, raised a steer that was named Reserve Champion Steer during the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisvile, Ken., on Nov. 14.

The judge evaluated 64 steers at this year’s competition. Exhibitors ages 8 to 21 vied for a coveted position in the Sale of Champions Nov. 18. Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers, wethers and hogs are included in the sale. Last year’s Grand and Reserve Champion Steers brought $26,500 and $22,000 respectively.

Steers of many breeds competed against one another in the North American Junior Steer Show. Steers are castrated beef cows and are judged on musculature, structural soundness and overall balanced eye-appeal. The judge looked for the highest quality, market-ready animal.

The Junior Steer Show at the NAILE is the final show of the season for many exhibitors. Steers are fed specific feed mixes to increase muscle mass while maintaining the proper muscle-to-fat ratio. Some fat content in the meat keeps steaks tender and juicy. Exhibitors spend months improving their steers’ quality and training them for the show ring.

Almburg is from Malta, Ill.

St. Charles parade honors community leaders

in Elburn/Featured/Regional by

Elburn resident, Lazarus House founder, named parade Co-Grand Marshal
ST. CHARLES—Darlene Marcusson, Elburn resident, founder and executive director of Lazarus House, as well as Alderwoman Betsy Penny, were named by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership (DSCP) as Co-Grand Marshals for the 2010 Electric Christmas Parade. The parade takes place on Main Street in downtown St. Charles on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 5:30 p.m.

“Both women, who recently announced plans to retire from their respective positions, have made a positive and lasting impact on the St. Charles community,” said Jennifer Faivre, Executive Director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, the group responsible for organizing the parade. “It seems very fitting that they are honored at this event, the purpose of which is to create the sense of community spirit that both women so deeply embody.”

Marcusson founded Lazarus House in 1997 in response to the need she saw for a shelter in her own community. While serving on the Board of Directors for Hesed House, she discovered that there were people from the St. Charles community travelling to either Aurora or Elgin to seek shelter during the winter months. In addition, those facilities would close in the summer, forcing people to come back to St. Charles and sleep on public benches.

At that point, Marcusson made it her mission to create a place within the community where people could seek safe shelter. At first, she wasn’t sure that she could garner the community support to make her vision a reality, but soon came to realize that her fears were unwarranted.

“I have never seen such kindness and generosity,” Marcusson said of the people of St. Charles. “This community has been amazing in embracing our mission.”

When asked about being Co-Grand Marshal with Betsy Penny, Marcusson said, “I am pleased and honored to be serving in this capacity with my dear friend Betsy Penny.”

Penny, who is no stranger to community service, met Marcusson while she was working to open Lazarus House and became a founding member. Today, Penny not only sits on the board of Lazarus House, but she volunteers several days a week providing tutoring services to individuals working toward their GED.

Penny will retire as Alderwoman at the end of her current term, a position that she has held for over 15 years. She says that she took on this role because she feels a calling to serve her community, which she does in many capacities. In addition to Lazarus House, Penny volunteers her time with St. John Neumann’s Eucharistic Ministries, Kiwanis Club and Kane County Relay for Life. Penny has also been an integral part of the Electric Christmas Parade for the last 13 years by serving on the parade committee.

“My motto is ‘Faith, Family and Friends,’” said Penny of what drives her. “I believe that people are the most important commodity in our world.”

Marcusson and Penny will ride together in the parade, the culmination of the Holiday Homecoming festivities that start at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, with Lighting of the Lights in Lincoln Park. The events kick-off on Saturday, Nov. 27, with a free holiday movie and concert. Afternoon events include horse-drawn sleigh rides in Lincoln Park and visits with Santa at his house on the 1st Street Plaza.

Don’t forget the stuffing!

in Featured/Maple Park by

Ansley Ruh helps sort the food at Grace United Methodist church in Maple Park on Nov. 21. She is the daughter of Kari and Ryan Ruh, who coordinated the turkey food drop. Grace United Methodist and St. Mary’s Catholic church teamed up to gather turkeys, hams and other food items to help families in need. The food will help families in need in local communities. Photo by John DiDonna

No State Trip for Knights

in Featured/Football by

Remarkable season for KHS ends in 27-14 loss to Montini
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Too many big plays, not enough time to come back from a large deficit, or facing a daunting program looking for a repeat State championship.

Whatever the main reason, it resulted in Kaneland’s season-ending loss at the hands of Lombard’s Montini Catholic High School in a 27-14 affair on Saturday evening.

The loss marked the Knights’ first loss since Oc. 31, 2009, and ended their 2010 campaign at 12-1.

Montini (11-2) now goes to Memorial Stadium in Champaign to face Chatham’s Glenwood High School in the 5A title game at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27.

“I told these kids they have nothing to be mad about,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said on Saturday. “They played hard. It was a good team that we lost to, but we had a tremendous season.”

The Broncos amassed 405 total yards, compared to the Knights’ 356.

Montini’s Matt Westerkamp, a premier area quarterback, went 21-for-29 for 276 yards with a touchdown pass and no interceptions. Westerkamp also was the game-high rusher in an otherwise pass-happy game with 43 yards and two scoring rushes. Westerkamp’s cousin, Jordan, had a state semifinal-worthy night, catching 10 passes for 186 yards and a score.

Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) echoes many a feeling in Maple Park after Saturday’s Class 5A State semifinal loss at the hands of Montini Catholic High School, 27-14.
For Kaneland’s final effort of the season, senior Joe Camiliere was 26-for-43 for 293 yards and a touchdown, but was knocked out of the game on a third-down hit with 5:28 remaining. Teammate Blake Serpa served as quarterback for the remainder of the contest out of the “wildcat” formation.

Camiliere also rushed 10 times for 38 yards.

Out of five targets in the spread offense, Kaneland’s Tyler Callaghan was the leading receiver with nine catches for 66 yards, while Quinn Buschbacher was close behind with seven catches for 65 yards.

Kaneland’s first drive ended on downs at the Montini 37-yard line. Two drives later, Montini was forced to start at its’ own nine-yard line on a down punt. On a 15-play, 91-yard drive that went into the second quarter, the Broncos’ Anthony Taylor knifed through the secondary for a 15-yard touchdown with 7:28 remaining in the half.

On Kaneland’s next drive, a fourth-and-three from the Montini 43 had a bad snap on a punt, with Serpa’s desperation pass to Kyle Davidson going incomplete. The Broncos turned that into a seven-play drive that ended on a four-yard TD run by Matt Westerkamp. KHS went into the break down 14-0 after a 37-yard field goal try with 1:22 to go was no good.

After a Knights drive to open the second half turned up empty, Montini started at its own 43 and scored three plays later on a 26-yard catch by Jordan Westerkamp. The jump ball snag with 8:35 left in the third gave the Broncos a 21-0 edge.

Using a balanced drive, however, KHS finally got on the board at the 5:56 mark with a 33-yard touchdown catch by Sean Carter, closing the deficit to 21-7.

On the ensuing drive, Montini used a one-yard sneak by Matt Westerkamp with 3:35 to go to go up 27-7.

Kaneland came up short on downs twice in the fourth quarter, the second time saw a bubble screen to Buschbacher from the 10 end a 15-play drive.

Soon after, Kaneland would convert a three-play drive that ended on Serpa’s one-yard run with 2:25 to go to cut the margin to 13.

Unfortunately, Kaneland’s onside kick try fell into the visitors’ hands, effectively ending the season.

The loss didn’t make the 2010 season any less memorable for fourth-year coach Fedderly, or his group of departing seniors.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much those kids mean to me. They’re almost like little brothers. We’ve been around each other for so long, I just think the world of them. No matter what the outcome of this game, these are great kids,” Fedderly said.

Play of the Knight

Kaneland’s program was so good in 2010 that it wasn’t used to coming back from large deficits.
Jordan Westerkamp of Montini cared little about that fact. His jump ball catch in the third quarter, despite the best efforts of Kyle Davidson and Quinn Buschbacher, gave Montini a 21-0 lead.

Kaneland’s history in State Semifinal matchups:
(5A)Montini Catholic 27, Kaneland 14—November 20, 2010
(5A)Marian Central Catholic 22, Kaneland 7—November 19, 2006
(3A)Kaneland 40, Hall 21—November 21, 1998
(3A)Kaneland 41, Marengo 7—November 22, 1997 

2010 NIB-12 All Conference:
NIB-12 East Offensive MVP: Joe Camiliere
NIB-12 East Defensive MVP: Blake Serpa
OL: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel; WR: Quinn Buschbacher, Sean Carter; QB: Joe Camiliere; DL: Jimmy Boyle, Blake Serpa; DB: Kyle Davidson, Jacob
Razo; LB: Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews

Lady Knights (2-1) show grit in IMSA tourney

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Photo: Knight Tesa Alderman converts on a steal and layup during Friday’s 46-37 triumph over host Aurora Christian during Hoop Happenings. Photo by Ben Draper

Thanksgiving Tournament Lady Knights at Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Slow starts might not be ideal if you’re with Lady Knights basketball, they’ll live with it if it leaves room for mid-game rallies and competent fourth quarters.

Down 16-5 in the second quarter to host Aurora Christian on Friday night, the Lady Knights rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and cut down on mistakes in the second half to swipe a 46-37 result on Friday. At night three of the IMSA Hoop Happenings the next afternoon, Kaneland beat Earlville 62-34 to take the consolation championship.

The Lady Knights, under fifth-year coach Ernie Colombe, are 2-1 in the early outset of the season.

In the night two win over the Lady Eagles, Emily Heimerdinger had a game-high 17 points, followed by Tesa Alderman with six.

The Knights were 13-for-47 from the field and 19-for-29 from the free throw line.

Alderman, on the floor for stretches in which KHS was behind, rallying, and holding the lead, feels the formula for Friday’s win could be the way to go.

“Certain people got on fire and we worked as a team,” Alderman said. “Some of the drills we do in practice really help us in how to handle crunch time.”

After trailing 9-5 to AC at the end of the first frame, things got worse for Kaneland, as the Lady Eagles took their 16-5 lead with 3:17 to go in the half.

Heimerdinger hit two foul shots and a lay-up a minute later. Nicki Ott followed with a basket, and Heimerdinger hit two free throws to close within 16-13 with 1:23 remaining. After Alderman hit a free throw to close within two, Kelly Evers sunk both her foul shots to tie, and Alderman stole the ball and finished with a layup with 18.7 seconds to go to take a two-point lead. KHS eventually went into the break leading 18-17.

Up 26-24 in the third quarter, Lexie Guerra hit a layup, followed soon after by an Andie Strang shot to go up 30-25 with 1:48 to go in the frame. Heimerdinger hit a three-pointer with 1:04 left to go up 33-25, before AC scored the final five points of the quarter.

After an Emma Bradford putback with 7:08 to go in the game gave KHS a 35-30 lead, the Lady Eagles put two baskets and two foul shots together to go up 36-35 with 5:09 remaining.

Bradford then hit a shot to go ahead for good with 4:51 left, and Alderman hit a baseline jumper to go up 39-36 with 3:46 to play.

Heimerdinger, Strang and Alderman hit seven out of eight foul shot attempts to end the game up nine.

“The whole game you have to hit free throws, especially in the fourth quarter, and we took care of the ball. We didn’t turn it over too many times. There’s some stuff we want to clean up but we did a good job handling the ball,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Facing Earlville in the consolation title game, Evers led the Lady Knights with 14 points while Cory Harrison had 12 points. Ott and Heimerdinger added eight points apiece.

Kaneland was 25-for-61 from the field and 12-for-23 from the charity stripe.

Kaneland stormed out to a 21-8 lead after one and was up 39-12 at the break before going up 52-23 after three.

Meanwhile, the sophomore crew has leapt out to a 2-0 start with a 36-35 Monday win over Geneva, led by Ashley Prost’s 11 points, and a 42-18 handling of Marengo. Prost led the balanced scoring column with nine points.

The Lady Knights try and improve on their early success with a matchup against Thanksgiving Tournament host Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.

Editorial: Community leaders need to agree on a school fee structure

in Featured/From the Editor's Desk by

Residents within the Kaneland community may face additional financial pressures once the struggling economy begins to ease up if our local leaders fail to reach a consensus by Jan. 1, 2011.

That is the date the existing intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between Kaneland and the nine municipalities within it—Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park, Kaneville, Montgomery, Aurora, North Aurora, Virgil and Cortland—is set to expire.

The IGA establishes a fee schedule of impact, transition, and land-cash fees that the municipalities agree to charge developers when new growth comes into the School District.

The idea behind the fees is to develop a way for residential growth to pay for itself.

Because Illinois school districts are funded primarily with local property taxes, and because Illinois property taxes are paid in arrears (at the end of the tax year, as opposed to the beginning), there is a significant delay between when new growth occurs and when the property taxes from that new growth make it to the School District.

The impact, transition and land-cash fees are designed to provide the funding to fill in that gap, without asking the current residents to subsidize the incoming ones.

With Kaneland being among the geographically largest school districts in Illinois, and much of that land being undeveloped farmland, there is potential for high volumes of growth as the economy begins to improve. Our area already experienced this in the 1990s and early 2000s, when our population doubled multiple times and our region was among the fastest-growing in the nation.

If no mechanism is in place for growth to pay for its own way, current Kaneland residents will be hit with higher-tax pressures to pay for new growth at the very moment that the light at the end of the tunnel is upon us.

The IGA was on the verge of being extended for another three years until last week. Prior to that, Kaneland had reached agreement with all municipalities except for Sugar Grove. At the Nov. 16 Sugar Grove Village Board meeting, Sugar Grove released a revised version of the IGA, which essentially cut the impact fees in half and reduced the transition fees to zero. Sugar Grove’s trustees decided to hold off on a decision on the IGA until a consensus could be built.

The difficult thing for those not in Sugar Grove to understand, us being included in that list, is that the only thing that prevented a consensus on the originally proposed IGA was the village of Sugar Grove.

Clearly, Sugar Grove’s leadership seeks residential growth as a way to draw in commercial growth, which would strengthen the community’s tax base and ultimately reduce the property tax pressures on its residents. With the economy struggling, they feel there is a need to provide incentives to prospective developers, and among those incentives would be a reduced school fee table.

While there are elements to Sugar Grove’s philosophy that may appear logically sound, the element its leadership is either not recognizing or disregarding is that if the school fees are significantly reduced or eliminated, current residents will feel more fiscal pressure. In effect, they would be subsidizing new residential growth until enough of it occurs to draw in suitable commercial growth, which is designed to ease the very fiscal pressure made worse by the plan.

In other words, the cure is potentially worse than the disease.

No one expects everyone to blindly sign off on every proposed agreement for the sake of solidarity. However, our community should be able to expect its leaders to work together and find a way to prevent current residents from being forced to subsidize new ones.

The deadline is Jan. 1. We urge our community leaders to make something happen before then.

Photo Gallery: Kaneland 46, ACS 37

in Featured/Girls Basketball by

Emily Heimerdinger scored 17 and had 8 rebounds as the Lady Knights defeated Aurora Christian in Aurora as part of the IMSA Tournament. Kaneland sits at 1-1 on the season.
Photos by Ben Draper

KHS’ curriculum helps in the long run, depending on how it’s used

in Featured/Kaneland by

Photo: Kaneland High School seniors Mark Merfeld and Alyson Rehr, and junior Kyle Prost, attend Bradley’s visit on Oct. 8. Photo by Diana Nuno

by Diana Nuno, Kaneland Krier Editor
“When will I ever use this?”

The cliched complaint leaves the lips of countless students every day, frustrating teachers as they scramble for a short answer that won’t waste the entire block.

In a subject such as English, it’s not a mystery as to why the agenda or curriculum is the way it is—the real-life application of reading and writing skills is clear. But with some classes, such as chemistry or AP calculus, that’s not the case.

So how do science, math and history courses prepare students for college and the real world?

“Taking AP biology is the equivalent to taking biology your freshman year of college, giving students a feel for what college is really like,” science teacher Doug Ecker said

Some students go to college, some put it off and some even decide not to go at all. Students who take both Algebra I and Geometry have an 80 percent chance of ending up in college, according to the College Board. At least three years of math is recommended, including Algebra II, to be fully prepared for college.

Math is about far more than just equations and parallelograms—it trains and disciplines the mind. It helps develop the ability to identify and analyze patterns, develop logic and critical thinking, see relationships and solve real-world problems.

“Students don’t realize that algebraic expressions will be used later in life,” said Kenneth Dentino, math department head.

Granted, it’s doubtful that anyone is going to randomly ask for the Pythagorean theorem, but the problem-solving skills are essential when entering college or the work force.

History courses help inform students as a person and citizen; they offer context that aid in understanding the world around them and improve reading comprehension by increasing background knowledge. Knowing what’s going on also rounds out an individual and enables educated decisions in the voting booth.

Listening and understanding concepts now can set an individual apart from the rest of the candidates in situations such as applying for jobs, scholarships and college interviews. It can make students more prepared and ready for college life.

Check yourself

Erika Schlichter, curriculum coordinator, said benchmarks are much more helpful to students because then they know for sure whether they are ready or not. Find out if you’ll be ready for college with the checklist below.

Freshman Year
• Take EXPLORE test—Taken during eighth grade and freshmen year, this is the first assessment that monitors college readiness. Check whether your scores indicate you’re likely to succeed, and if not, study hard in those areas.
• Visit careercruising.com—Shown during Applications of Technology with one of the counselors, this site measures interests and possible career choices.
• Schedule sophomore year around interests—With many elective options, it’s vital that you gear future classes towards your interests and possible careers. Take challenging classes.

Sophomore Year
• Take PLAN test—The PLAN asks questions from hobbies to what industry interests you most. When the scores arrive, check to see whether you’re meeting college benchmarks. Arrangements should be made to deal with low scores.
• Keep GPA at or above 3.0—It is important to keep your GPA at 3.0 or above. Shoot for above, because keeping your head just above water doesn’t prepare you for college.
• Schedule junior year around future career—Junior year is when AP classes and electives focused on your interests are available. Try to take at least one AP class before graduation.

Junior Year
• Take PSAT/ACT/SAT—This year is the beginning of the end. The PSAT, ACT and SAT are important for the future. Study hard and take test-prep courses.
• Meet with your counselor—Your counselor can help you start planning and tell you about the colleges visiting KHS. Make sure you’ve met all the requirements for your dream college; many require more than Kaneland High School does.
• Visit possible colleges—College visits are the next step before applying to colleges. Explore the campus and get a feel for the atmosphere. Certain colleges let you even spend the night.

Senior Year
• Apply to colleges—The first step to the rest of your life. Make sure that the college you choose is a good fit for you and your career plans. If starting at a community college, have a major picked out for when you transfer.
• Keep a stable GPA—Keeping a stable GPA is the most crucial step for the high school graduate. Don’t let grades fall just because it seems like the end—college is hard and you need to be ready.
• Graduate—Finally, the time is here. After completing all the requirements and tests, it’s time to say goodbye. Spend the summer reading to keep your skills up.

Sources: Counselor Andrew Franklin
and Curriculum Coordinator Erika Schlichter
Compiled by Diana Nuno

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