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Community Sports

Konovodoff named to All-National Team

in Community Sports/Volleyball by

AURORA—Sugar Grove resident Martha Konovodoff, who completed her sophomore year at Rosary High School in Aurora in May, has been named to the All-National Team by the Junior Volleyball Association.

The award recognizes the top JVA-member club players in the nation (ages 15-18) for outstanding achievement on the volleyball court. The 48 student-athletes chosen are some of the top girls junior volleyball players in the country.

Winners were presented with a personalized award at the JVA Midyear Meeting during the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) National Championships in Orlando, Fla., on June 18.

A 5-foot-7 libero, Konovodoff is a member of Rosary’s varsity team and Sports Performance 16 Elite team. She is a scholar athlete at Rosary, maintaining a high GPA. She was named to the all-tournament teams for WWS, Plainfield Invite, Warrior Blast, and Presidents’ Day 2014; and the 2014 All-Conference Team and All-Area Team. She was recognized as MVP of Rosary’s varsity team in 2014.

Konovodoff, 16, is the daughter of Andrew and Mary Ann Konovodoff of Sugar Grove.

The Junior Volleyball Association is an organization committed to the growth and development of junior volleyball. For more information on the JVA All-National Team Award, visit

Wasco Fastpitch fall ball registration now open

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WASCO—Registration is now open for the Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball league’s (WGFSL) fall ball divisions.

The WGFSL offers the following divisions: T-Ball (Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten), 8U (second grade), 10U (third and fourth grade), 12U (fifth and sixth grade), 14U (seventh and eighth grade) and high school (ninth through 12th grade).

Registration fees begin at $140, and two camps are also available for a separate cost. Registration ends Friday, July 24, after which a late entry fee of $210 will be assessed.

For more information on the league, visit, or call (630) 513-1200.

Discounted registration still available for KYSO programs through July 3

in Community Sports by

ELBURN—Kaneland United SC is taking registrations for its Fall 2015 Recreational, TOPSoccer and Little Knights soccer programs through Friday, July 3 at

The recreational program includes eight games over nine weeks running from Aug. 30 to Oct. 24. Games are played on Saturdays beginning at 9 a.m. Each team typically practices one evening per week and the Club provides free skills clinics for registered players.

Kaneland United SC’s recreational program features small sided games, balanced teams and skills clinics for player development and is focused on providing a fun and enjoyable experience for players and families.

The recreational program is open to boys and girls ages 5 through 17. Registration fees are $105 through July 3, and include a full uniform including jersey, shorts, socks. After July 3, the normal registration rate of $135 is in place. Multi-player discounts are available.

TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a national soccer program for special needs players providing meaningful learning, development and physical participation opportunities for young athletes through soccer. As part of KYSO’s community involvement programs, TOPSoccer is provided free for special needs players.

The TOPSoccer program is held on Saturday mornings from Sept. 12 to Oct. 24.

Little Knights is a clinic-style introduction to soccer program for boys and girls ages 3 and 4. The program teaches basic soccer skills through fun games and activities.

Six 45-minute Little Knights classes are provided on Saturday mornings from Sept. 12 to Oct. 17. Registration fees are $50 by July 3 and include a soccer jersey.

For registration-related questions, contact Kate Love at (630) 463-9001, ext. 720, or by email at

Volunteer coaching positions are also available, and a coach training session and orientation will be held in early April. Email or call (630) 463-9001, ext. 703, for details.

Kaneland United SC is a community focused soccer club, providing area youth with recreational and competitive soccer opportunities, recreational referee development and soccer coach training and development in the Big Rock, Cortland, Elburn, Hinckley, Kaneville, Lilly Lake, Maple Park, Sugar Grove and Virgil area. The club is the merger of the Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization and Kaneland United Soccer Club programs.

This means (water) war!

in Community Sports by

The Sugar Grove Park District youth Red Sox baseball team on
Saturday met at Mallard Park for a practice game ending with water wars and popsicles. The team included assistant coach Gordon Olp (above, back row, from left), head coach Tom Scales and team helper Jack Scales, Evan Ross (front row), Austin Preuss, Jack Schneider, Graycin Slou, Bryan Scales, Bryce Welch, Jacob Whittington, Noah Logan and Evan Olp.

Photo: Top prize

in Community Sports by

The Kaneland 12U Travel Baseball team were crowned champions of the Geneva Cougar Classic, Green Division, which took place May 22-24. The team went 5-1 during the tournament, and were recognized at the Kane County Cougars game on Sunday. The team included coaches Mike DeFranze (back, from left), Kevin Gomes and Bryan Williams, and players Colby Metcalf (middle, from left), Grant Williams, Carter Askew, Ethan Hampton, Ethan Dobbins and Tyler Conklin (front, from left), Sam Gomes, Jake Nied, Kobe DeFranze, Sam Jackson and Ryan Mueller.
Photo submitted by Michelle Conklin

14U Gold is golden

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Kaneland Travel Baseball 14U Gold wins the Aurora Baseball Tournament, which took place May 1-3. The team includes Will Marshall (back from left), Jonathan Alstott, Alex Buchanan, Joe Born, Nik Panico, Spencer Brown (bottom row, from left), Aaron Staehely, Joe Such, Nick Ortegel, Dalton Askew and Jackson Clark. Photo submitted by Craig Askew via

PGA’s next big thing

in Community Sports/Golf/Sugar Grove by
SUGAR GROVE, IL - SEPTEMBER 18: The General clubhouse on the Rich Harvest Golf Links Course, on September 18, 2005 in Sugar Grove, Illinois, United States  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
SUGAR GROVE, IL - SEPTEMBER 18: The General clubhouse on the Rich Harvest Golf Links Course, on September 18, 2005 in Sugar Grove, Illinois, United States  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
SUGAR GROVE, IL – SEPTEMBER 18: The General clubhouse on the Rich Harvest Golf Links Course, on September 18, 2005 in Sugar Grove, Illinois, United States (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Rich Harvest Farms to host 2 major events this summer
SUGAR GROVE—The future competitors on the PGA Tour are likely to be spotted competing at two major amateur tournaments at Rich Harvest Farms this summer: the Palmer Cup June 12-14 and the Western Amateur Aug. 3-8.

“A lot of these players are the next big players on the PGA tour, and we can safely say that some of these players might be playing in the U.S. Open (in June),” Goodbred said.

The Palmer Cup, the collegiate version of the Ryder Cup, pits the top 10 American collegiate golfers against their European counterparts, while the Western Amateur draws the top 156 amateur golfers from around the world to compete in one of the oldest and most grueling amateur golf tournaments.

University of Texas golf team during the first day of play in The Hayt Collegiate Invitational 2015 at Sawgrass in EverBank Field Friday, February 27, 2015 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.. (Gary Lloyd McCullough)
University of Texas golf team during the first day of play in The Hayt Collegiate Invitational 2015 at Sawgrass in EverBank Field Friday, February 27, 2015 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.. (Gary Lloyd McCullough)

Both of the events are free and open to the general public, and Goodbred hopes that a large number of spectators—both golf enthusiasts and local families—will come out to see the events.

Though the collegiate players are not yet household names, many of them will be soon, Goodbred said.

On each team, six of the Palmer Cup players are selected by NCAA rankings, with an additional three players selected by the committee and one coach’s pick.

Among the biggest American names at the Palmer Cup will be Beau Hossler of the University of Texas, the 2014 Western Amateur defending champion, and Ollie Schniederjans, a Georgia Tech senior and winner of the 2014 Valspar Invitational. Prominent European players include Jon Rahm, an Arizona State junior and Spaniard who is currently the top-ranked amateur in the world, and Thomas Detry of the University of Illinois, a Belgian who helped Team Europe win the 2014 Palmer Cup.

The tournament, which started in 1997, is named after golf legend Arnold Palmer. The United States currently leads the Palmer Cup series 9-8-1.

“A lot of these players will be turning pro in a year or two,” said Vicky McGowan, Rich Harvest Farm’s tournament director. “The event bears Arnold Palmer’s name, and we’re hoping that he will be here.”

Though the Palmer Cup itself goes to the winning team, the tournament will also have an individual winner, selected by the athletes on the winning team as the player whose character is most like Palmer’s.
Thomas Detry
“The players decide even before play actually starts which of their teammates has the most attributes of Arnold Palmer, based on character and humility,” McGowan said.

The preselected player from the winning team is invited to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida, a PGA Tour event and a coveted prize for an amateur golfer, McGowan said.

Though the roster for the Western Amateur won’t be finalized until July, Goodbred anticipates many of the Palmer Cup players will return to compete there. The Western Amateur, which was founded in 1899, is one of the leading amateur tournaments and draws top players from around the world.

Previous winners of the Western Amateur include some of the biggest names in professional golf, including Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw.

What makes the Western Amateur so grueling, Goodbred said, is the format.

“It’s a really grueling format, so you know when this person wins that they not only have the talent, but they have the stamina,” Goodbred said. “A lot of the future PGA stars will be playing this event.”

The five-day tournament is essentially a golf marathon, with 156 players competing on stroke play for the first two days, before being cut down to 44 players. Those 44 golfers play another 36 holes of stroke play before being cut to the top 16, and the final 16 golfers play a final 36 holes of match play to determine the winner of the George R. Thorne trophy.
Just making it into the tournament’s Sweet 16 is prestigious, Goodbred said. She noted that 30 of the last 36 PGA Tour Player of the Year awards have been won by players who had previously placed in the Western Amateur’s Sweet 16.

It’s the first time either event has been hosted at Rich Harvest Farms, a privately owned golf course in Sugar Grove that’s been named one of America’s top 100 golf courses. However, the facility has hosted other big-name golf events, including the 2009 Solheim Cup.

Goodbred said that the facility was approached by Palmer himself, along with the tournament chairman, to host the Palmer Cup a few years ago.

“It wasn’t just about the fact that we’re one of the top 100 golf courses or that we’re ranked in Golf Digest,” Goodbred said. “It was about what Rich Harvest Farms does for children and for amateur golf. The event as a whole is about teaching these amateurs, these students who are about to turn pro, how to turn pro. It is mentoring them in how to act, and Mr. Rich loved that idea and would do anything for amateur golf.”

Rich Harvest Farms is not usually open to the public, so the events are also an opportunity for local residents to stroll the grounds of one of Sugar Grove’s most exclusive spots.

McGowan said that while Rich Harvest Farms expected a number of golf enthusiasts to come out for the tournaments, she also hoped local families would turn out.

“We hope we can encourage a lot of families to come and introduce their children to golf and let them see it firsthand,” McGowan said. “Anyone who has an interest in our course can walk the course. At a professional tournament, there are marshals who rope off the fairways, so you can’t see the professionals up close. But with this kind of event, you can walk the fairways and see the players up close. You can follow them around the course.”

Both events are free and open to the public, and Rich Harvest Farms will provide free parking at 2330 Granart Road in Sugar Grove. There will be signage and traffic control to help direct spectators, Goodbred said, with about 175 volunteers working the events.

Concessions will be sold on the grounds for spectators.

Schedule of events
Interested in attending the Palmer Cup or the Western Amateur? All events are free and open to the public. Rich Harvest Farms invites spectators to walk the fairways with the players throughout both competitions.

2015 Palmer Cup

Thursday, June 11
Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m.
Friday, June 12
Foursome matches begin at 7:30 a.m.
Four-ball matches begin at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 13
Singles matches begin at 8:30 a.m.
Monday, June 14
Singles matches begin at 8:30 a.m. The
Palmer Cup will be awarded in the
afternoon, after play is complete.
All tee times for the Palmer Cup
are off the No. 1 tee.

2015 Western Amateur

Monday, Aug. 3
Players begin practice at 7 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 4
18 holes of stroke play. Tee times begin
at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. off both the No. 1
and No. 10 tees.
Wednesday, Aug. 5
18 holes of stroke play. Tee times begin
at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. off both the No. 1
and No. 10 tees.
Thursday, Aug. 6
36 holes of stroke play by the top 44
players. Tee times begin at 7 a.m. and
noon off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
Sweet 16 selected in the late afternoon.
Friday, Aug. 7
Sweet 16 match play begins. 36 holes.
First round begins at 8 a.m. off the
No. 1 tee; second round at 1 p.m.
off the No. 1 tee.
Saturday, Aug. 8
Sweet 16 match play. 36 holes.
Semifinal round begins at 8 a.m. off the
No. 1 tee. Championship round
begins at 1 p.m. Trophy is awarded at
late afternoon closing ceremonies, after
play is complete.

Free parking available at
2330 Granart Road, Sugar Grove.

Rich Harvest Farms asks that
spectators wear golf attire.

05/18/2015 5:51:13 PM: We originally listed in this article the U.S. Open would take place in August. It takes place in June. The above story has been corrected. The Herald apologizes for the error.

KUSC to hold competitive program player assessments

in Community Sports by

ELBURN—Kaneland United Soccer Club (KUSC) will hold player assessments for the 2015-16 competitive soccer program from May 19-29. Players interested in participating in the competitive program must pre-register online at or contact Mike Mitchinson at (630) 463-9001, ext. 702.

KUSC fields girls and boys teams in the U10 and above age groups. These are players born between Aug. 1, 1998, and July 31, 2006.

Boys teams compete in the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL), and girls teams compete in the Illinois Women’s Soccer League (IWSL).

Boys assessments will take place May 19-22; girls assessments will take place May 26-29 at Kaneland High School.

Players accepted into the program will be notified shortly after assessments and are invited to register for the 2015-16 season.

Players who are looking for a higher level of soccer skills development and are younger than U10, or are not offered spots in the competitive program, are invited to participate in the club’s Academy program.

Elburn Ladies Golf League seeks golfers

in Community Sports/Elburn by

ELBURN—The Elburn Ladies Golf League is looking for women to join its league at Bliss Creek Golf Course, 1 Golfview Lane, Sugar Grove. Beginner golfers are welcome.

The nine-hole league plays on Wednesday mornings, beginning May 13 and ending in September, with a tee-off time of 7:30 a.m.

An informational coffee time will take place on Wednesday, April 22, at 10 a.m. at Bliss Creek Golf Course. For more information, call Joan at (630) 466-4435.

Photo: From fifth seed to … champions!

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The Kaneland youth basketball league held a “March Madness” style, single-elimination tournament at Kaneland Harter Middle School on March 21. The fifth/sixth grade boys team from Sugar Grove was seeded fifth going into the tournament, and wound up becoming tournament champions. The team included Tyler Hoeft, Brian Beattie, Jake Franzen, Adam Shell, Ethan Stoker, Joey Tonioni, Kade Hanks, Ryan Hanks, Nathan Crewse, assistant coach Joe Tonioni and head coach Mike Crewse. Photo submitted by Kristen Crewse to

McNair Field not in play for Elburn baseball league

in Community Sports/Elburn/Regional by

ELBURN—Elburn Youth Baseball and Softball teams will not play at McNair Field, after discussions with the land owner to renegotiate a lease with Blackberry Township reached an impasse late last year.

After the expiration of a 10-year lease between Blackberry Township and Burr Ridge, Ill., company Transmission Relay Corporation, the township was able to negotiate a temporary lease for the 2014 baseball and softball season. Those pair of leases granted local athletic leagues the use of five of the company’s 20 acres at the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads.

However, the land owners and the township had not been able to reach an agreement about liability issues regarding the property by the time the league had to begin making plans for this season’s games.

According to Blackberry Township Supervisor Fred Dornback, the owner wanted the township to be responsible for paying all attorneys’ fees, should any concerns arise regarding the use of the property.

Dornback said he could not agree to such open-ended liability on the township’s behalf. His suggestion to the company was that, if a situation like that were to occur, the court with jurisdiction could decide who would be responsible for legal fees. Transmission Relay Corporation would not agree to that.

Dornback notified EYBS league officials of the situation prior to the beginning of registration for this year. Still to be resolved is the league’s ability to remove league backstops and other equipment from the property. The equipment is worth about $70,000, according to Dornback.

A portion of a 62-acre plot south of McNair Field, purchased by the Kane County Forest Preserve last year, will eventually provide another ball field for the EYBS league, but the field will not be ready for use until 2017.

The Forest Preserve District bought the land for approximately $620,000, with taxpayer money received as a result of the district’s successful open space referendum in 2011.

Dornback wrote in a memo to Township Board members that he would be meeting with a landscape architect and other stakeholders to determine the best utilization of the space.

KYSO town hall meeting March 24 in Elburn

in Community Sports by

ELBURN—There’s been a lot of change this past year with Kaneland United Soccer and there’s exciting plans in the works.

The organization will host its 2015 Travel and Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, March 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Elburn Lions Club.

Town hall topics will include direction of the club for 2015 and 2016, meet new leadership and parent Q&A.

Accelerated Rehabilitation will present a parent education program on concussions and managing youth sports injuries.

To RSVP for the town hall, visit

Cagers win Fox River Valley championship

in Community Sports by

cagersThe Kaneland Fourth Grade Cagers won the Fox River Valley Travel Basketball League
Tournament on March 14 at the NIU Recreation Center. The team included coaches Jim Wituk (back, from left), Cyndi Violett and Jeff Violett; Ethan Krol (middle), Parker Violett, Collin Miller, Zach Weirersheuser and Jake Brost; Jackson Kelso (front), Troyer Carlson, Jake Gagne, Anthony Urban and Luke Wituk.
Photo submitted by Theresa Miller to

Photo: Cagers prevail

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The eighth-grade Cagers boys basketball team put on quite a show in capturing the title at the 22nd annual Princeton Shootout. The team included assistant coach Noel Delgado (from left), Spencer Brown, Sheldon Bartmann, Brett Wallner, Will Marshall, Chase Carlson, Wyatt Peeler, Kyle Angelotti, Chris Angelotti, Drew Hahn, Declan McDonald, Joe Such and head coach Hunter Emigh. Photo submitted by Neil Wallner via

Photo: Neuqua Champs

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The Kaneland sixth-grade Silverstars won the Neuqua Valley Road to Success basketball tournament Sunday. Team members included Nora Crimmins (top row, from left), Kylie Holubecki, Abby Peeler, Taylor Carlson, JZ Weiss, Mya Saltijeral, Jordan Weber, Delaney Lancaster, Chloe Conley (front row, from left) and Kelsey Modaff. The team is coached by Lori Crimmins, Stacy Carlson and Chad Conley. The team will finish its season in the Grayslake tournament this weekend. Photo submitted by Lori Crimmins through

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