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Ream’s through May 2015
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Community Sports - page 6

Photos: It’s Pony League time

in Community Sports by
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Nolan Watts (right) of SG Pony Team 1 pitches to a West Chicago Pony Nationals player Saturday. Matthew Noel (below) of Sugar Grove Pony Team 3 pitches to the West Chicago Pony Cubs player. The Cubs forfeited the game due to missing players, but the teams decided to play a four-inning scrimmage.
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Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland 10U takes title

in Community Sports by

Kaneland 10U
Photo: The Kaneland 10U travel baseball team is all smiles following their championship run through the field at the 10U Cougar Classic during Memorial Day weekend. Pictured are (left to right) front row: Jake Nied, Tyler Conklin, Sam Jackson, Ryan Milton, Ethan Hampton and Kobe DeFranze; second row: Ethan Dobbins, Ryan Mueller, Sam Gomes, Grant Williams and Matthew Sitar; third row: coaches Brian Nied, Bryan Williams and George Milton. (Kevin Gomes not pictured). Courtesy Photo

Geneva—The Kaneland 10U Travel Baseball Team participated in the first of its many baseball tournaments during the Memorial Day weekend, rattling off five straight wins to take the championship of the 10U Cougar Classic.

After their championship run, the team received a trophy, medals, and the Kane County Cougars rewarded the team with autographs and an announcement over the PA system during the Cougars game on May 26.

The newly formed team is coached by Bryan Williams, with assistant coaches Kevin Gomes, George Milton and Brian Nied.

Wasco softball league hosts competition

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WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch and Elite Sports Training Center will host a free Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Competition for area youth on Saturday, April 27, at noon at Poynor Park, St. Charles.

Pitch, Hit & Run is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. This grassroots program is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball/softball skills.

Boys and girls are divided into four age divisions: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14, and have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including Team Championships at Major League ballparks and the National Finals at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game.

The individual Pitching, Hitting and Running Champions, along with the All-Around Champion in each age and gender group at the Local Competition will be awarded and advance to the Sectional Level of Competition (also hosted by Wasco).

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificates and have their parents or guardian fill out a registration/waiver form prior to the start of the competition. For questions concerning the competition, please contact our local Coordinator Denelle at denelle@elitesportstrainingcenter.com.

Staying on track

in Community Sports/Featured by
Skip_Stolley_(3)

Renowned track coach hopes area can become a hub for big meets
by Mike Sandrolini
ELBURN—One of the most successful and innovative cross country/track and field coaches in the country just might be your next door neighbor.

Skip Stolley, whose resume includes stints as an Illinois prep and college coach—he’s also coached more than 60 athletes over the years who’ve qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials—has been living in Elburn for less than a year.

Stolley moved to Elburn from St. Charles last August.

“It’s worked out well for me,” he said.

Last November, the Aurora native was named chairman of the USA Track and Field’s Illinois Long Distance Running Committee, and he quickly set the pace for the organization. Stolley created a nine-race USATF Illinois Road Race Championship Series for 2013, which began in January with the Warm Your Heart Indoor 5K at Chicago’s McCormick Place—an event that featured around 2,100 runners—and wraps up with the Evanston Flying Turkey 5K Nov. 28.

The series also includes the Fox Valley Marathon, to be held on Sept. 22 in St. Charles, and the Sycamore 10K Pumpkin Run Oct. 27.

“There hasn’t been an Illinois USTAF road championship at any distance for more than 20 years,” Stolley said, “and within 60 days we put that plan together.”

But Stolley is hoping the Fox Valley area can become a regional and national competitive running hub over the next few years.

Just before retiring as head track coach at North Park University in Chicago, Stolley founded the Chicago Area Track and Organizing Committee, a volunteer-based coalition of coaches, running enthusiasts, community and business leaders that are interested in bringing major regional and national running events to the area.

Stolley has started working with the Kane County Board on the possibility of developing a permanent cross country course on 780 acres of the Settler’s Hill property. The course would be 10 meters wide and located north of Settler’s Hill Golf Club, bordered by prairie grass with a wide start-finish area.

If development of the course comes to fruition, Stolley hopes it would be completed by the fall of 2015. He said there would be enough parking for 5,000 vehicles, along with permanent rest rooms and concession facilities.

A master plan, he said, would include a permanent finish chute, a press box, a scoreboard, a Jumbotron and underground timing pads. He envisions this course hosting events such as the NCAA, USA, open and world cross country championships.

“It’s really a tragedy that there’s no major meets in the Chicago area,” he said. “This is such a hotbed for track and field and cross country, and high school and college track is just booming.”

Stolley is clearly well plugged into the national cross country and track circuit. In addition to his current roles, he’s been a member of the USATF Men’s Track and Field executive committee, and chairman of the USATF National Club Council. He’s also been the meet director for the 1999 USA National Cross Country Championships in Long Beach, Calif., the 2004 Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the 2006 USATF National Club Championships at Mt. San Antonio College.

In 1983, Stolley served as assistant meet director for the U.S. championships that were being held in Indianapolis. While working the meet, he had conversations with Bob Seagren, the 1968 Olympic pole vault gold medalist who at the time was the head of the PUMA Energizer track club in California. Seagren asked Stolley—who was still the men’s and women’s cross country and track coach at Indiana State University—if he would be interested in becoming the club’s executive director. With the Olympics being held in Los Angeles the next year, Stolley left Indiana State to join the club and moved out to Southern California.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity,” he said.

Stolley later started Track West, a USATF club that catered to developing post-collegiate men and women distances runners. During his tenure with Track West, Stolley helped produce more than 60 qualifiers for the USA Outdoor Championships and 24 athletes who took part in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

“One of the things that I’m most proud of from that club is that the vast majority of those kids were not NCAA champions or medalists,” Stolley said. “They were people who wanted to continue their running careers after college and really developed with us to the point where they were national qualifiers and contending for places on USA teams.”

In 2006, Stolley then formed the VS Athletics Track Club, which supported developing men and women athletes over a broad spectrum of events such as distances, sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws. VSA became a USATF-designated Elite Development Club and produced 10 qualifiers for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in just its third year of existence.

“VS was a great marriage,” he said. “It’s extremely difficult to continue in our sport after college. While most people think that our Olympic teams are made up of the best college athletes, the truth is that the average age of our track and field Olympians is 29.2 years old. That means our best athletes have to find a way to stay in the sport for five, six, seven years after college and continue their development up to the international level.”

Stolley left the VSA for North Park in 2009, moving back to the Chicago area to be closer to his mother, who just turned 90, and his three brothers.

Outside of his affiliations with the Chicago Area Track and Organizing Committee and the USATF’s Illinois Long Distance Running Committee, Stolley hasn’t made a final decision as to what he would like to do in the future. But he did express interest in starting a track club in Illinois similar to Track West or the VS Athletics Track Club.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I would definitely use the VS Athletics model. What clubs there are (in Illinois) are mostly (for) distance running. There’s a real need for an organization like this.”

Spring training hitting, defensive fundamentals camp

in Baseball/Community Sports by

Kaneland—Any children between grades three and eight are invited to attend the Kaneland 2013 Spring Training Hitting and Defensive Fundamentals Camp.

The camp will be held on Monday and Tuesday, March 25 and 26. Grades 3 through 5 will gather from 9 to 10:30 a.m. each day, and grades 6 through 8 will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon each day.

Each child will be filmed while hitting and given an analysis of their swing. Additionally, they will learn the fundamentals of infield and outfield play.

Cost is $50, which includes two days of instruction from KHS coaches and players, and a camp T-shirt, which will be provided to all players who register by Friday, March 15.

For more information, contact Brian Aversa at (630) 365-5100, ext 379, or by email at brian.aversa@kaneland.org.

Softball umpires needed for Wasco Girls Fastpitch

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Wasco—Wasco Girls Fastpitch is now accepting applications for 10U and 12U umpires for the 2013 spring/summer softball season.

Games start the first week of May and continue until the end of June. Weekday games start at 6 p.m., and Saturdays have games all day.

Umpires must be 14 years of age or older. Free training is provided. For more information and an application, visit www.wascofastpitch.com and click on Documents Tab.

Knights Wrestling Club sends pair to State

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Photo: Colin Gussman gets his hand raised in victory at the Sectional Tournament in Rochelle, Ill.
Courtesy Photo

Kaneland—The Knights Wrestling Club (KWC) capped off its season by sending two of its team members down to the state finals.

Prior to that, the team sent 29 to Regionals, held at Sycamore High School in February. KWC left the Regionals with three individual champions: Cayden Parks, Caden Grabowski and Colin Gussman.

In addition, the club also had 10 Section qualifiers with Jace Black, Brandon Bryan, Max Gagne, Tommy Kumar, Brenden Parks, CJ Girolamo, Noah Duffey and Gussman.

Sectionals were held at Rochelle High School on March 2. Gussman took third place at 138 pound Senior Division, and Tommy Kumar took third place at 156-pound Novice Division. Those third-place wins earned them a spot at the IKWF State Championships, held March 8 and 9 in Rockford, Ill.

At the state finals, Kumar took eighth overall at the 156-pound Novice Division. Gussman did not place in the state tournament.

Softball umpires needed

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Wasco—Wasco Girls Fastpitch is now accepting applications for 10U and 12U umpires for the 2013 spring/summer softball season.

Games start the first week of May and continue until the end of June. Weekday games start at 6 p.m., and Saturdays have games all day.

Umpires must be 14 years of age or older. Free training is provided. For more information and an application, visit www.wascofastpitch.com and click on Documents Tab.

Cagers take 2nd place

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cagers pic
The Kaneland Cagers 6 Black Team finished in second place in the Grayslake Youth Feeder Tournament on Feb. 23 and 24. The team also finished first on Feb. 10 in the Woodstock ‘Groundhog Day’ Tournament, going 3-0 with wins over Woodstock, Elgin Larkin and Marian. The team included coaches Jeff McDonald, Brian Schaefer and John Marshall; and players (back, from left) Wyatt Peeler, Nick Panico, Andrew Hahn, Sheldon Bartman, Declan McDonald and Chase Carlson and John Schaefer (bottom, from left), Spencer Brown, Zach Denning and Will Marshall.
Courtesy Photo

Soccer club serves community

in Community Sports/Regional by

Photo: Members of the Kaneland United Soccer Club that worked on a
community service project include (back, left to right) Brad Simmons, Tyler Chapman, 10, Tucker Jahns, 10, Soren Bailey, 10, Garrett
Robinson, 10, Trevor Jahns, 13; and (front) Tommy Musaras, 10, Lane Robinson, 8, Sean Gannon, 8, Zander Webster, 9, and Jacob Simmons, 10.
Courtesy Photo

Kaneland—Several members of the boys Kaneland United Soccer Club (KUSC) spent part of a recent weekend helping the residents and staff at Wayside Cross Ministries in Aurora on Jan. 19.

The players and several parent chaperones sorted, stocked and organized clothes and supplies in the organization’s warehouse and the Community Store. Wayside Cross Ministries is an 85-year-old Christian-based organization that assists men, women and children with shelter, job training, meals, and counseling services, with the goal of creating financial and socio-economic independence.

Travel Club Director Brad Simmons said it is important for the players to be well-rounded and to realize the importance of volunteering and helping others.

“They need to understand that being a good person goes beyond playing sports and the importance of giving back to others,” Simmons said.

To honor players who volunteer at least three hours of time to a group, KUSC awards a Community Service patch. The patches are intended to recognize the kids and promote volunteerism throughout the entire club.

Repeat champs

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teamstateduals
A group of local student-athletes helped form the repeat state champion Martinez Fox Valley Elite wrestling team. The team won the Illinois Kids Wrestling Foundation State Dual Meet championship on Sunday at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Ill.

Mitch Jones, 14, Matthew Redman, 14, Riley Vanik, 13, and Nathan Orosco, 12, all of Sugar Grove; Jacob Shearer, 14, of Kaneville; and Luke Eggenberger, 13, of Maple Park, helped the Elite defeat the Plainfield Force 71-17 in the championship finals.

Jones and Vanik were also part of last year’s state title winners.

Kaneland Youth Soccer spring registration deadline nears

in Community Sports by

Elburn—The Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization (KYSO) is taking registrations for spring recreational soccer through Wednesday, Jan 30, at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

The spring season includes six games running from April 13 until May 18. All games and practices are held at the KYSO fields, next to Kaneland High School in Maple Park.

Registration is open to boys and girls ages 4-17. Registration fees are $85 for the first child, $65 for each additional child, and include a soccer jersey, shorts, socks, end-of-season trophies and certified referees. A refundable $20 volunteer fee is added to the first child’s registration to help offset league costs. Refunds are available by coaching, participating on the KYSO Board, or helping with various roles during the season. Email volunteer@kanelandyouthsoccer.com for details.

KYSO also provides a TOPSoccer program for players with special needs. TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a national soccer program created to train young people with disabilities in a caring coaching environment. The program is generally carried out by volunteers at the local level, with financial support from US Youth Soccer and local youth soccer organization such as KYSO.

About KYSO
KYSO provides Big Rock, Elburn, Hinckley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sugar Grove and Virgil youth with recreational soccer opportunities. KYSO has approximately 50 recreational soccer teams for boys and girls ages 4-14 (U5-U14). KYSO recreational program teaches soccer through the use of smaller teams and fields, maximizing participation by all. The program also allows young players to learn and enjoy soccer in a positive and fun environment, usually in their own community with the same children with whom they go to school.

For the player who is primarily interested in fun, fitness and friendship, KYSO provides a healthy activity through its recreational and small-sided games program. This program emphasizes fun and de-emphasizes winning at all costs. Every child is guaranteed playing time, and the game is taught in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.

Wasco softball began registration on Tuesday

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Wasco—Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball (WGFSL) began registration on Tuesday.

WGFSL is a recreational softball league open to all area girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays so parents can attend and readily participate.

Practice starts in April, and most games conclude late June/early July. Players may register online at www.wascofastpitch.com, download a mail-in registration form or call (630) 513-1200 for a form.

Registration concludes at the end of February. After that date, players will be put on a wait list.

For more information, visit www.wascofastpitch.com.

Knights Wrestling Club kicks off season

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The Knights Wrestling Club sent nine wrestlers to the Neuqua Valley Invitational on Saturday to open the club’s season. Four of the Knights wrestlers placed: Cayden Parks took first place in the Tots Division, Collin Gussman took second place in the Senior Division, Sam Girolamo took fourth place in the Intermediate Division, and Jace Black took fifth place in the Intermediate Division. The Knights will host their home tournament on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Kaneland High School.
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Photo: Cayden Parks, 5, works on pinning his opponent at the Neuqua Valley Invitational. Courtesy Photo

Soccer club supports community

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Photo: Members of the winning U9 and U11 Kaneland United Soccer Club include Samy Awad (front, left to right), Kevin Schilling, Ryan Love, Nate Love, Anthony Buchanan, Joshua Pehl, Will Sands, Jack Rissman and Sean Gannon; U9 coach Mike Mitchinson (back row), U11 coach Brad Simmons, Jacob Simmons, Tommy Musuras, Matthew Northrup, Tucker Jahns, Erick Barrigan, Garrett Robinson, Zach Smith, Tyler Chapman, Zander Webster, assistant U9 coach Joel Rissman and LivingWell Development Coordinator Lori Hanson. Courtesy Photo

The Kaneland United Soccer club recently partnered with the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva and collected nearly $1,000 in cash and gift cards to go along with nearly 100 items needed from the organization’s wish list. A contest was held to see what teams could raise the most money and what team could collect the most items.

The U9 boys team, coached by Mike Mitchinson and assisted by Joel Rissman, collected the most items, while the U11 boys team, coached by Brad Simmons, raised the most money.

The club conducted their campaign during October, in part, to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Cheering for the Chiefs

in Community Sports/Waubonsee Sports by


Members of the U11 and U14 girls travel teams from the Kaneland United Soccer Club (KUSC) spent the Columbus Day holiday with the Waubonsee Community College women’s soccer team and watched as the Chiefs defeated Morton CC 2-0. From the KUSC teams are, bottom row, Elaina Eckert, Amber Painer, Rachel Richtman, Becky Richtman, Gina Cortino, Kylie Kurz, Chloe Laws, Kaylee Bilotta, Sophie Laws, Willow Dunne, Mary Collum, Abby Shaw, Marley Schultz, Erica Eckert; and middle row, after the WCC team members, Bailey Prichard, Brooke Simmons, Ashley Painer. Photo Courtesy of KUSC

Crafters needed for Susan G. Komen Fundraiser Weekend

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St Charles—Crafters are welcome to apply for a spot at the Susan G. Komen “Pretty in Pink” Softball Tournaments to be held on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21, at Verhaeghe Fields, Silver Glen and Burlington Roads in St Charles.

Wasco Girls Fastpitch is seeking exhibitors of handmade items, including jewelry, autumn and holiday decorations, fashion, youth apparel and more. For more information, call (630) 513-1200 or email secretary@wascofastpitch.com.

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