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Fall Sports - page 15

No lows at 7-0

in Featured/Football by

Photo: Kaneland’s Ryan Lawrence (29) gets in on the ball carrier with help coming from Bradley Johnson (79) and Gary Koehring (5) during the second quarter of the varsity boy’s 55-0 win at Yorkville on Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knights take hunt to Foxes in 55-0 win
by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE—Foxes football must have felt like it was in a valley of the same name after the final buzzer sounded on Friday.

Jesse Balluff and his fellow Knights peaked again, and not for the first time.

With four touchdowns, Balluff and crew triggered a running clock for the fourth time in seven tries in 2012, en route to a 55-0 win over the host Yorkville squad at Campbell Field.

Kaneland improved to 7-0 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII East), while Yorkville fell to 3-4 (0-3). The Knights still have yet to lose a NIB-12 conference matchup since the group’s inception in 2010, and begin 7-0 for the third consecutive season.

Kaneland has now won 26 regular season contests in a row, dating back to the final week of the 2009 regular season, and 28 of its last 30 contests overall.

Like last week, KHS had no trouble getting off to a good start, as it found the end zone on its first five possessions. They did the same on their first six drives in a win over DeKalb on Sept. 28.

Quarterback Drew David and Balluff each had a game-high 75 yards on the ground and helped KHS to 238 rushing yards overall.

David finished the night 8-of-13 for 175 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

Dylan Nauert’s 69 yards receiving led the team.

After the first YHS drive came up empty, Kaneland used six plays to go 62 yards, which ended on an 18-yard TD pass to Balluff in the flat on a crucial third-down play.

Kaneland was up 7-0 with 8:19 left in the first and never looked back.

“I saw the opening and took it,” Balluff said. “Our lineman are just amazing this year, it’s ridiculous.”

Another Yorkville dead-end drive had KHS set up shop at the Fox 41, where runs by Balluff and Nate Dyer set up a 12-yard TD pass to Nauert with 3:50 left in the first for a 13-0 lead.

A drive that spanned two quarters ended after nine plays with a six-yard score from Balluff, making it 20-0 with 8:40 left in the second quarter.

Yorkville found itself punting again, setting up a one-play drive that ended on a 60-yard catch and run TD for Nauert and a 27-0 edge with 3:45 to go in the first half.

Balluff intercepted a pass on defense allowing Kaneland to set up shop at the hosts’ 36. A run by David and pass to Balluff paved the way for Balluff to catch another touchdown in the open field for a 34-0 lead with 2:10 to go in the first half.

“We can score from the 20; we have a very powerful offense. Even at the 50, we can score quicker and score more often,” Balluff said.

KHS was up to old and beneficial tricks to begin the second half, as the opening six-play drive ended with a 31-yard TD run by Balluff with 9:33 to go, which made it 41-0.

The fourth quarter saw additional touchdowns on runs by Tyler Carlson and Isaac Swithers for the final margin.

KHS coach Tom Fedderly keeps seeing the troops improve week after winning week.

“The further we go in the season, the more meaning the games have,” Fedderly said. “We know we need to improve if we want to be a conference champ or be in a big game.”

Kaneland will try to handle Sycamore in Maple Park on Friday, Oct. 12.

A year ago saw the Knights take out Sycamore along Spartan Trail in a 35-21 game. Sycamore comes off a 26-14 win against the Rochelle Hubs and enters Friday with a 5-2 mark.

It’s in the hole

in Golf by

Strong Sectional effort punches Knight golf’s State ticket
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland golf will be taking swings at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13.

It’s not for a campus visit.

Kaneland is one of the exclusive teams that showed exceptional talent and scores at its sectional, qualifing as a team for the Class 2A State Tournament.

It marks the first time KHS has gone to State since 1995, and its first State go-around under coach Mark Meyer, now in his eighth year.

“All season long, we’ve stressed leaving numbers out of their heads and just focus on the next shot,” Meyer said. “It worked, and we are really excited to go.”

After advancing out of the Sycamore Regional on Oct. 3 as meet champion, Kaneland put together a team score of 352 to make the cut as the third best team by seven strokes over Sterling at the Belvidere North Sectional.

Ottawa was Sectional champ at 340, followed by Kaneland’s regional mate Wheaton Academy at 348.

Sterling (359) and Vernon Hills (363) rounded out the top five of the 12-team meet.

Ottawa’s Lane Barbier’s 77 was enough for medalist honors, and Andrew Blackburn of Sterling was the top individual to advance with a 79 score.

But the Knights’ team effort did the trick to extend the noteworthy 2012 season another week.

Junior Matt Yonkovich, the only KHS golfer to qualify for Sectionals in 2011, paced the lineup with an 84 score, followed by Luke Kreiter’s 86. Brody Kuhar shot an 89, while Connor Williams and Dan Miller shot 93 and 95, respectively.

“In golf, you just have to focus on one thing at a time, and the most important thing is that next shot. It can be difficult, but these guys managed to do it,” Meyer said.

Kaneland begins on the 10th tee beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, with Sean Glennon matching clubs with Washington’s Matt Johnson, Glenbard South’s Eli Qahhaar and Mt. Carmel’s Daniel Dydo.

The Knights have a practice round tomorrow at 10 a.m. before making the trek south for the State meet.

KHS tennis solidifies upper-tier status in NIB-12

in Featured/Tennis by

Photo: Senior Jessica Woodward serves against Morris during the NIB XII Tennis Tournament in DeKalb on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

No. 1 doubles outplays field; Lady Knights finish 2nd to Sycamore
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—If Lady Knights tennis keeps this current level of play up, they’ll be seeing good things come their way in the homestretch of 2012.

While the group wasn’t able to duplicate the 2011 conference title showing, it still managed to show off enough for a second-place showing at the Northern Illinois Big XII gathering held at DeKalb High School Friday and Saturday.

Sycamore’s lineup had a conference-winning 53 points, after finishing second behind Kaneland a year ago, while KHS scored 51 points. Sterling had 42 points to take the West.

KHS had one NIB-12 champ to boast of in the form of No. 1 doubles juggernaut Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, while Sammie Schrepferman took second in the No. 1 singles scrum.

A year ago, it was Jurcenko and graduate Amelia Napiorkowski that seized the No. 1 doubles category while Emmanouil won the No. 2 singles crown.

“(Saturday) was a lot harder in the cold,” Emmanouil said. “But it was just about getting warmed up and then we played a little better.”

Emmanouil and Jurcenko are among the girls getting used to only a high level of play the last couple of years.

“I would say we are as good as the last couple years. Lindsay’s (Madi’s sister) and Amelia’s senior years were good. We definitely are as good as those teams right now I think,” Jurcenko said.

Kaneland battles the competition in St. Charles out at St. Charles East High School on Saturday, Oct. 13. Jurcenko and Napiorkowski were State qualifiers a year ago as a freshman/senior duo.

The nine-team sectional also features Sycamore.

Girls get Sterling meet under belts

in Girls Cross Country by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a truncated lineup that took to the course at Sterling.

It was a way to improve and get even more battle tested en route to conference and beyond for those that participated.

Missing a number of top runners, the Lady Knights outfit tallied 415 points for a 15th-place finish of 22 participating teams at the Sterling Invite on Saturday morning.

Under partly cloudy, autumn-like conditions, it was Pleasant Valley of Iowa that boasted five of the top 11 runners for 33 points.

Southwest Prairie Conference entry Minooka was second with 90 points, and Bettendorf High School of Iowa finished third with 104 points.

Pleasant Valley speedster McKenzie Yanek took the Sterling course with a time of 17 minutes, 34 seconds.

Senior Maggie Brundige led the Lady Knight pack with a time of 19 minutes, 33 seconds, good for 35th place. Junior Sydney Strang continued her way back from illness with a 48th- place finish thanks to a time of 19:33.

“We are all healthy at this point,” KHS head coach Doug Ecker said. “Sydney is still not 100 percent, but is getting close.”

Junior teammate Erika Carlson finished 84th with an effort of 20:36, while senior Anna Piazza finished 116th with a time of 21:57.

Rounding out the top five runners for KHS was junior Megan Franklin in 132nd place with a time of 23:13.

Kaneland gears up for the talented field at the Northern Illinois Big XII race hosted by LaSalle-Peru High School on Saturday, Oct. 13.

A year ago, Kaneland finished second only to Yorkville. Victoria Clinton finished fifth to lead the Lady Knights as a freshman.

Back in the hunt

in Featured/Volleyball by

Photo: Kaneland’s Ellie Dunn (3) gets a spike past Morris defenders during Kaneland’s home match on Oct. 4. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights stifle Morris, take down DeKalb
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—KHS volleyball earned another conference win against a rival, then faced neighbors even further west before accomplishing a first-ever task against DeKalb in a busy week.

Thursday saw a three-game win over visiting Morris, while Saturday saw the usual early-October trip to the Bettendorf Tournament in Iowa. They then earned their first win at the new DeKalb High School. In fact, all levels won at DeKalb on Tuesday, a feat that has head coach Todd Weimer excited.

“All levels won, so (it was a) big program sweep,” Weimer said.

Tuesday’s back-and-forth win over DeKalb saw Kaneland run out to a 25-20 win in game one. Game two turned into a marathon as both teams battled back and forth before DeKalb took the 31-29 victory. Kaneland held firm in game three, earning the match victory with a 25-20 win.

Weimer said the win was especially sweet since his team’s roster had to be juggled. One player was not available, while several others were just returning after long illnesses and injuries.

“(The) varsity did a phenomenal job … just all about teamwork,” Weimer said. “What more do you want?”

The Lady Knights now stand at 16-9 overall, 4-3 in the conference.

“We’re back in the hunt for the conference race,” Weimer said.

The matchup opposite the Lady Redskins of Morris went 23-25, 25-18, 25-22 in favor of KHS despite early difficulties.

Ellie Dunn had 12 kills, two aces and five blocks. Emily Laudont added seven kills and nine digs, while teammate Lauren Banbury contributed seven kills and two blocks.

Weapon Lyndi Scholl put in four kills and five digs of her own.

Additional Kaneland-Morris action saw the sophomores take a 25-23, 25-16 win, the freshman “A” team win a 25-12, 25-19 affair, while the freshman “B” team emerged with a 22-25, 25-11, 25-23 win of its own.

With their hands full against three teams from the host state, Kaneland went to work against No. 2 ranked Ankeny, but fell 21-10, 21-19.

Against host Bettendorf, KHS lost again by a final of 21-13, 21-17, before righting the ship against Waukee 15-21, 21-17, 19-17 in the modified tourney scoring.

Ellie Dunn set the tone with 16 kills and 10 digs in the three matches. Ashley Prost had 36 assists in her name, while Tucek put together 21 digs.

“It was great to see our girls be the most competitive ever at this very difficult and competitive invite,” Weimer said. “We’re very fortunate that we’re able to go out there and compete fairly well. Even Waukee was very good. There is no weak team out there.”

The Lady Knights take on host Sycamore on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Modified lineup takes Byron Handicap meet

in Boys Cross Country by

Cutsinger, Kuipers emerge from pack for boys XC
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If it’s early October, you’ll know where to find Kaneland boys cross country.

They’ll be in Byron, Ill., ahead of everyone else.

Such was the case on Oct. 3, when the Knight boys cross country outfit made its usual stop for the Byron Handicap Invite.

Kaneland’s mastery of the staggered starts and the other seven schools led to 26 points and a victory.

The host Tigers finished with 43 team points, followed by Bureau Valley and 94 points.

Eliminating a 20-second disadvantage, Kaneland’s Phil Cutsinger finished in 17 minutes, 5 seconds, followed by teammate Joe Kuipers in second at 17:10.

“(Phil’s) worked very hard this season, and we’re happy to see him achieve this,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “Joe is just an amazingly humble and hard-working young man.”

Two Byron runners took the third and fourth spots before Kaneland struck again with Matt Rodway’s fifth-place nod at 17:38.

Nick Albano and Gus Stott helped wrap up the team title, as well, along with Brad Kigyos and Ryan Paulson.

Clarey, even with the top seven runners held out of the lineup, was pleased to see the competition bend toward KHS.

“We held out our top seven runners, and went with the great depth of our lineup versus some talented western fringe schools. Byron was second to us, and put up a great fight. Byron is the seventh-ranked team in Class 1A,” Clarey said.

Ahead for the Kaneland lineup is the LaSalle-Peru-hosted Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet on Saturday, Oct. 13.

“Our bottom line is that we are coming to give the best of ourselves, and to let the chips fall where they may,” Clarey said. “We’ve had a rough string of less than stellar performances at the conference meet for more years than we care to admit. By no means is it because our kids are not prepared or don’t give the best they’ve got. Our training has been built over the years, to help point us toward our best performances coming when we need them.”

Redemption

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Photo: Team Captain Anthony Parillo (5) fights for the ball against Yorkville on Tuesday. Kaneland came away with a 2-1 victory. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights win rematch over Yorkville; add wins over Plainfield East, Rochelle
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Just shoot the ball, because who knows what it’ll bring.

That, in essence, is what KHS coach Scott Parillo was preaching to his troops during halftime and in the second half of a match on Tuesday against visiting Yorkville.

Parillo’s son and scoring option Anthony took it to heart after a booming kick ricocheted off players into the net with 12:54 to go.

The score was the difference in the 2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII win.

Kaneland is now 12-3-2 (6-2-1 NIB-12) after the win over Yorkville, plus wins over visiting Plainfield East, 3-2, and at Rochelle, 4-2.

Down 1-0 at the half to a feisty, much-improved Yorkville team, the Knights came back on a goal from Kushstrim Ismaili with 34:44 remaining. The score remained deadlocked until Parillo’s goal 22 minutes later.

“I actually was surprised it went in,” Parillo said. “The deflection didn’t look like it was going to go in; it was a little slow. Luckily, it made it around him.”

The elder Parillo saw positive and stark contrasts from the losing effort against Yorkville from two weeks ago.

“I don’t know what it is about football fields, but they’re not very kind to us,” Parillo said. “Yorkville is an excellent team. We feel very fortunate to have won this game. I thought we played much better here than at Yorkville.”

Against the Bengals of Plainfield East, goals were scored by Arsim Azemi and Alec Koczka in the first half, with a goal from Parillo with 6:33 remaining to put the action on ice.

In the NIB-12 tussle against the Hubs, Koczka’s goal 22 minutes in helped secure a 1-1 tie, before a goal deluge from Sam Rymarz on a penalty kick, Ben Longson and Parillo on a penalty kick tilted the scales.

Ahead for the Knight soccer outfit is a Thursday, Oct. 11, showdown with potential Burlington Central Regional opponent Sycamore along Spartan Trail.

Champions—Twice As Nice

in Featured/Golf by

Brody Kuhar led KHS with a score of 73 at the Northern Illinois Big XII meet in LaSalle, Ill. File Photo

Golfers win NIB-12, then regional, in 5-day stretch
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Much like the ball off a drive, the Knights’ golf team’s fortunes keep going up and forward.

With a considerably better showing this year compared to the 2011 postseason that saw just one individual advance to Sectionals, the Kaneland lineup was crowned Sycamore Regional champion after play on Monday.

Kaneland’s score was a meet-best 302, followed by fellow advancing teams Wheaton Academy (319) and Burlington Central (322).

“We’re starting to get hot at the right time,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said. “Several guys struggled on the front nine, but came back on the back nine, and we have some people at the bottom of the scorecard playing better and stepping up.”

Junior Matt Yonkovich, the lone sectional golfer from KHS a year ago, led the way with a 72. He was followed by senior Luke Kreiter with a 75.

Kreiter was cited by Meyer as the lone golfer who didn’t struggle on the front nine.

“I just went out there and hit good drives,” Kreiter said. “I took that to the hole. I hit a speed bump on hole eight, but came back.”

Brody Kuhar shot a 76, followed by Sean Glennon’s 79, Dan Miller’s 81 and Connor Williams’ 87.

Kreiter feels that the team is playing at a high level compared to a year ago.

“I think we came into last year’s regional a little nervous, but this year we knew if we play our best, we’ll pull through,” Kreiter said.

The good fortune for the week began at the Sept. 26 Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by LaSalle-Peru.

Kaneland captured the East bracket with a 310 clip, followed by Yorkville’s 325 and Sycamore’s 333. Morris (347), Rochelle (348) and DeKalb (349) rounded out the six. Ottawa’s 318 was tops for the West.

Brody Kuhar’s 73 was tops for the entire field, followed by Ottawa’s Lane Barbier (75).

Yonkovich (76) and Kreiter (80) also provided firepower for the NIB-12 gathering.

Ahead for Kaneland is the sectional hosted by Belvidere North on Monday, Oct. 8, at Timberpointe Golf Course in Poplar Grove, Ill., featuring the advancing teams from the Vernon Hills Regional and the Dixon Regional.

Tennis bests Senior Night with flourish

in Featured/Tennis by

Photo: Kaneland’s Jessica Woodward watches her return shot during the varsity girls match against Mendota on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If only every week could be as successful as this one for Kaneland High School tennis.

The Lady Knights battled non-conference opponent Mendota while hosting Senior Night and came away with a 6-1 dual win to improve to 11-3 on the season.

Kaneland also battled five other teams in the Geneva Quad and garnered a second place.

Against the Lady Trojans, it was the top two singles entries with victories in the form of sophomore Sammie Schrepferman and senior Sarah Grams.

Schrepferman won her match in 8-1 fashion, while Grams won her bout by an 8-0 score.

On a Senior Night where the group of four-year players were celebrated with gifts and speeches, Grams got down to business as best she could.

“I just try to keep the ball in play,” Grams said. “Moving it back and forth with my backhand and forehand, and if I had to chance to move up to the net, that’s what I’d try to do.”

No. 1 doubles unit Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil won their match by an 8-1 tally, and No. 2 doubles team Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward did their part to celebrate their own Senior Night with an 8-4 win.

Brooke Harner and Aly Harner won their No. 3 doubles duel, as did Danielle McCormack and Abby Meyer in the extra match.

Kaneland did quite well for itself at the Geneva Quad, finishing second behind only St. Charles East.

Kaneland outlasted Geneva, Wheaton Academy, St. Charles North and Bartlett.

Kaneland finishes a suspended dual meet at Oswego on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Rout(e) 66

in Featured/Football by

Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland scores on 1st 6 possessions in NIB-12 tilt with DeKalb
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Fellow Northern Illinois Big XII (NIB-12) schools must be shaking their collective heads when it comes to the prospect of facing Kaneland football.

Meanwhile, the Knights continue to raise their fists in triumph.

The latest example was this past Friday, in which the Knights rolled the DeKalb Barbs by a final of 66-23 at Peterson Field in Maple Park.

Kaneland improved to 6-0, with a 2-0 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII East Division play. The Knights have yet to lose a conference game since the inception of the NIB-12.

Additionally, Kaneland has won 25 regular season contests in a row, and 27 of its last 29 overall.

With the latest home victory, Kaneland has not lost at home since an overtime loss at the hands of Geneva in 2009.

KHS has now defeated DeKalb seven times in a row, although that streak was in jeopardy a year ago when the Barbs enjoyed a 17-point third quarter lead before a gargantuan KHS comeback.

“We’re trying to prove every week that we want to be a good team,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We’ve got to be able to beat a team like this to do what we want to do.”

There would be no early lead for DeKalb, with the Knights rattling off 38 straight points after an initial 7-7 tie.

Knight quarterback Drew David was 7-of-14 for 209 yards, while Kaneland also employed two 100-yard rushers due to bullish running. Jesse Balluff had 162 yards on 11 carries, while teammate and usual goal-line option Nate Dyer had 11 carries for 111 yards.

Dylan Nauert had four catches for 128 yards to lead the receiver corps.

The scoring festivities started with a 20-yard touchdown throw from David to Martinelli two-and-a-half minutes into the game for a 7-0 lead.

DeKalb had its brief celebratory moment on an 88-yard Dylan Hottsmith kickoff return for a touchdown that tied the score 14 seconds later.

KHS responded three plays later on a 60-yard TD pass to Nauert over the middle to make it 14-7 with 8:07 left in the first.

After a Barb punt snap went awry, the Knights took over at DeKalb’s 15-yard line and punched it in with Dyer two plays later on a 4-yard score with 7:29 to go, making it 21-7.

DeKalb came up empty on its next drive, and Balluff ran to the endzone from the 14-yard line with 3:50 to go in the first for a 28-7 lead.

In the second frame, the Knights’ David ran it on the next drive with 9:45 to go for a 35-7 lead. DeKalb was picked off by Kory Harner, setting up shop at the Barbs’ 20. Nauert caught a 19-yard TD pass on the third play of the drive to make it 42-7 with 7:50 to go in the half.

KHS’ Martinelli returned a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown, which would have set the Knights’ third running clock of the season into effect, but it was called back on a holding penalty, and David threw a pick near the goal line to end the drive.

Matt Rodriguez hit a 43-yard field goal on the next drive for a 45-7 lead with 1:51 to go in the half.

A punt by DeKalb was swarmed by Kaneland special teams, giving the ball to KHS at the 18 of the Barbs.

Nauert caught a TD pass that was negated by a holding penalty, which led to Rodriguez missing a 28-yard field goal attempt at the end of the half.

The third-quarter scoring began on a DeKalb touchdown throw with 6:25 to go, which made it 45-14. Balluff’s 80-yard touchdown run 21 seconds later brought the margin to 52-15.

Martinelli caught a four-yard score on the next drive to kick in the running clock with 3:13 to go in the third for a 59-14 edge.

Dyer closed the scoring out in the fourth quarter with 8:35 to play on a touchdown run.

Massive touchdown runs on Friday had the offensive line to thank.

“On both sides, the line is playing at a very high level,” lineman Jamaureo Phillips said. “We have ups and downs, but we are consistent and we’re working on it.”

Kaneland heads to Kendall County to visit the Yorkville Foxes on Friday, Oct. 5. Yorkville comes off a 44-41 loss to visiting Rochelle this past Friday, and sits at 3-3 with an 0-2 mark in NIB-12 play.

Knight boys run circles around Freeport

in Boys Cross Country by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—There’s nothing like a victory pretzel.

You can ask the Kaneland High School boys cross-country team.

This past Saturday brought the 36th annual Freeport Pretzel Invite, and it was won by Kaneland.

The Knights’ total of 31 was due to five Knights placing in the top 12 runners in the entire field.

Second place was owned by Rockford Jefferson with 60, followed by Winnebago in third at 74, and Rock Falls at 110.

A key to the Kaneland harrier success was the team’s pack split, which KHS coach Chad Clarey always stresses as being a key to success.

“One of our best pack runs of the season today, with a 1-7 split of just 63 seconds,” he said.

Junior asset Kyle Carter overtook the field after the mile mark and won the course in 15:23.55. Next for KHS was Conor Johnson who ran an impressive time of 15:34.01 after a late push.

John Meisinger finished sixth with a time of 15:57.83.

“His 15:57 was one of his best performances of the season, and a key to the team win,” Clarey said.

Teammate Ryan Bower took ninth at 16:15.38, continuing his first-year varsity trajectory. Luis Acosta was the fifth Knight runner to finish, in 12th at 16:20.22.

“We need to rest, recover and push hard to maintain the great start we’ve built for ourselves,” Clarey said. “This is a special group, with outstanding senior leadership. We hope to continue this, bringing all 31 boys to the finish.”

The boys battle competition at the Sterling Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Girls pound Pretzel Invite field

in Girls Cross Country by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was the 36th annual Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday, but the only number that mattered was “1.”

That will go on the Kaneland High School girls cross country team’s mantle for the 2012 season.

With strong performances that have been no strange phenomenon for the KHS crew, the squad amassed 35 points by finishing with five of the top 15 runners.

Kaneland took first, while Rock Falls finished second with 56. Winnebago took third with a total of 63 and Boylan Catholic from Rockford was fourth with 87.

Sophomore Victoria Clinton beat the pack once again, garnering a first-place nod with a 17 minute, 18 second time, 22 seconds ahead of Winnebago’s Cheyenne Moore.

Next up for Kaneland was freshman Brianna Bower, who’s PR time of 18:50 was fourth overall.

“We did not have any expectations but we knew (Brower) was talented, likes to run, and works hard,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “(She) has a good mindset for running distance.”

Senior Abby Dodis was next for the KHS lineup, taking fifth at 18:58. Fellow Lady Knight runner Amanda Lesak was 12th at 19:33, while sophomore Aislinn Lodwig rounded out the elite five in 19:49, good for 15th.

Jessica Kucera placed 24th, Sydney Strang 29th, and Ashley Castellanos took 32nd to round out the varsity runners.

The JV-level Lady Knights also won their race, led by overall winner and first-year runner Erika Carlson, who won with a time of 20:41.

Kaneland varsity runners don’t suit up until Saturday, Oct. 13, for the Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by LaSalle-Peru.

Ryley Bailey named WIAC Offensive Player of the Week

in Football by

Platteville, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team defeated UW-Eau Claire, 49-19, last week.

Ryley Bailey, a junior wide receiver from Elburn, played a key role in the win. The efforts by Bailey and McWethy earned them WIAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively.

Bailey caught 11 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Both the 11 receptions and 191 yards were a career best for Bailey and marked the second time in 2012 that he has caught two touchdown passes in a game. The 11 receptions and 191 yards are the most by a Pioneer since a 16-catch, 195-yard effort by Darin Blaser on Sept. 11, 2010, against University of Dubuque (Iowa). Bailey also earned recognition from D3football.com, as he was named to the Scoutware Team of the Week, and his second touchdown reception was one of 10 plays recognized in the Plays of the Week.

Lady Knights drop tight match to Geneva, beat Ottawa

in Volleyball by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball could have rolled through this week with two victories as they enter the final third of the 2012 regular season.

It’ll have to be happy with one.

On Sept. 26, the Lady Knights (13-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) went to old standby rival Geneva, where they lost a tough 25-20, 19-25, 25-22 matchup to the Upstate Eight school.

Kaneland beat Geneva for the first time since 1993 last year, but couldn’t make magic happen again in 2012.

KHS came back with a sound two-game win against the Northern Illinois Big XII West division foe Ottawa on Thursday, by a final of 25-11, 27-25.

Against the Lady Vikings, it was sophomore Ellie Dunn leading the way with 12 kills, three blocks and five digs, while Shayna Tucek had 22 digs and two aces to her credit.

Lyndi Scholl had 20 digs, and fellow Lady Knight Ashley Prost added 29 assists with nine digs.

Facing off against the Lady Pirates, Prost had 22 more assists, and Tucek had 11 digs.

“I’m always happy when we can bounce back after a tough loss. We’ve had some real close ones, and we’re improving by the day as a team. Still working on the small things that can make a big difference,” KHS head coach Todd Weimer said.

Kaneland swept Ottawa on all levels of action.

Kaneland has more NIB-12 on the horizon, with a matchup against the visiting Lady Redskins of Morris on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Soccer takes it on the foot vs. DeKalb

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s a given that any Northern Illinois Big XII matchup on the soccer pitch is the furthest thing from a guarantee, regardless of record.

Knight soccer learned that last week with Yorkville, and on Thursday in DeKalb.

Despite an Anthony Parillo goal with 21:17 to go in the first half, the Knights fell victim to the DeKalb attack, losing by a final of 3-1.

Against Morris on Tuesday, the Knights recovered from their previous loss with a 1-0 victory at home.

The Knights sit at 9-3-2, and 4-2-1 in the NIB-12 East. KHS was 8-4-1 through 13 contests in 2011.

Coach Scott Parillo would like to see a couple of extra scoring options for his lineup.

“We have scored 29 goals and Anthony has 14, Kushstrim (Ismaili) has six and we have a couple with one or two goals,” Parillo said. “We need more finishes from other players.”

The KHS freshman handed DeKalb a 6-2 loss on Thursday in additional action, while the sophomores won by a final of 1-0.

KHS prepares for the host Rochelle Hubs on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Kaneland also found out its Class 2A Regional assignment this past week, as the No. 1 seed Knights play the winner of Illinois Math and Science Academy/Sycamore on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. on the grounds of Burlington Central High School.

The last remaining of those three schools takes on either (2) Burlington Central or (3) Hampshire in the title match on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m.

Roast of Rochelle

in Featured/Football by

Photo: Dylan Nauert (20) supplies a good block for running back Jesse Balluff (30). Kaneland went to Rochelle Friday and came away with a solid 34-6 victory. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knights’ passing attack works with defense in 34-6 win at Rochelle
by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—Knights football is making road quests feel like home.

That’s how good they’ve been playing.

Coming to the end of the 2012 opening stretch in which they’ve played four of their first five games on the road, the Knights invaded their first Northern Illinois Big XII East division test: Rochelle.

The Knights held Rochelle’s vaunted wing-T offense in check, subdued the Hubs’ determination after losing to KHS in the Class 5A quarterfinals 10 months ago, and came away with a 34-6 win. That is the sixth consecutive win over Rochelle, a span that started following the Knights’ loss that launched the Hubs’ new football facility in 2007.

The Knights’ staunch defense allowed just 140 yards to the running game of Rochelle, and has allowed just six points in the last three games.

Junior QB Drew David was 11-for-19 for 262 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while receiver Dylan Nauert hauled in five passes for 135 yards and two scores.

“Our line’s been blocking really well. When they give me lots of time and I’m able to get it to those guys, they’re able to make guys miss and can take it all the way at any time,” David said.

After a scoreless tie marked the first quarter of play, the Knights converted points on their fourth drive.

Nauert hauled in a pass, emerged from an attempted tackle, and went down the KHS sideline for an 86-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 6:49 remaining in the first half.

“I knew I had to run the hitch and I ran it. I saw the opening and ran as fast as I could,” Nauert said.

David threw a pick on the next drive, but after forcing Rochelle to punt, Jesse Balluff caught a pass in stride and raced 58 yards for another score at a 14-0 lead with 1:40 to go before halftime.

Rochelle’s Tony Walsh, the Hubs’ leading rusher on the night, capped an eight-play drive with a four-yard score with 2:41 to go in the third frame, but the extra-point attempt missed to put the score at 14-6.

Whatever good feeling the Hubs had was quickly erased as runs by David, Balluff and Nate Dyer advanced the ball, along with a pass to Zack Martinelli.

Balluff plunged in from the two-yard line to make the score 21-6 with 1:23 to go in the third quarter.

Kaneland’s two scoring drives in the final 12-minute set happened with a Dyer touchdown run with 10:26 to play, and when Nauert caught a 32-yard touchdown pass with 6:27 remaining.

“They’re just getting better and better,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We found out what they’re good at and they’re making improvements. Everything we do starts with the guys up front.”

For the third straight year, Kaneland opened its season 5-0 (1-0 in the NIB-12 East).

The Knights have yet to lose a conference game since the inception of the new school formation in 2010. Their regular season win streak sits at 24, with wins in 26 of its last 28 contests, and they have not lost a road game since losing in Geneva in week eight of 2008.

The Knights host DeKalb on Friday, Sept. 28, with the 1-4 Barbs coming off a win against Streator.

Taking care of business

in Featured/Tennis by

Colleen Landers prepares to serve against Yorkville during the varsity home match on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

KHS racketeers sweep the Rochelle Quad field
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Once the end of the school week hits, many a student would just like to take a breather.

Kaneland High School tennis would just rather take opponents’ breath away.

Just seven days removed from trouncing the field at the Yorkville Quad, the Lady Knights, under coach Tim Larsen, did the same to four other teams at another Northern Illinois Big XII hangout in the Rochelle Quad on Saturday.

The Lady Knights swept the rankings, achieving first place in both singles and all three doubles categories, getting the full-tilt 25 points.

Freeport went second overall with 16 points, while DeKalb went third with 13 points. The host Lady Hubs took fourth with 12 points, and Sterling Newman went fifth with nine points.

With a 6-4, 6-4 win over Freeport’s Nikki Church, Lady Knight sophomore Sammie Schrepferman took first overall in the No.1 singles category.

Kaneland’s Sarah Grams nabbed the spotlight on the No. 2 singles court and won the day with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Rochelle’s Brittany Sanderson.

The three Lady Knight doubles teams owned the day, going a combined 12-0.

Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko were tops in the No. 1 doubles, while teammates Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward secured the No. 2 doubles crown, and the Colleen Landers/ Stephanie Karolewicz tandem broke through in the No. 3 set.

“It was windy, cold and wet when we got there,” Larsen said. “(A) rough day to be out in the elements, but not so bad when you win that many matches.”

Tuesday’s action saw Kaneland send visiting Yorkville High School home with a 4-1 loss. Kaneland posted wins in all doubles action, as well as the No. 1 singles bracket.

Schrepferman battled her opponent at the top singles spot after breezing through the first set 6-0. She dropped the second set 6-4, before flipping the scores to win set three 6-4, securing the victory.

Jurcenko and Emmanouil took their No. 1 doubles match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. Bicos and Woodward followed with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles. Landers and Karol completed the doubles’ sweep with a 6-3, 6-1 win.

“(This was) another good conference win,” Larsen said.

The JV team fell to Yorkville, 3-2.

The Lady Knights meet up at old familiar stomping grounds for the Geneva Quad on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Lady Knights stump Hub rivals

in Featured/Volleyball by

Casey Jacobson (8) makes a dig with support from Shayna Tucek (5) on Tuesday. Yorkville traveled to Kaneland to take on the varsity girls. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—That’s how you get back on an even keel.

The Lady Knight volleyball outfit needed a way to solidify its Northern Illinois Big XII standing at the early outset of the conference slate.

After last week’s loss to DeKalb, the Lady Knights figured the best way to even up their NIB-12 record was a convincing two-game win in Ogle County, 25-15, 25-19, over Rochelle.

Kaneland’s overall record is 12-6 following Tuesday’s loss to Yorkville.

Ellie Dunn had 13 kills, plus two aces by the net for the Lady Knights, and Lyndi Scholl had nine kills and 10 digs in the winning effort. Ashley Prost had 32 assists and eight digs.

Shayna Tucek had 22 digs.

KHS maintained a lead from wire-to-wire, with the exception of a 14-14 tie in game two.

Consistent front-line play and execution allowed Kaneland to enjoy a lead as wide as 17-9 in game one before Rochelle cut it to 18-15.

The Lady Knights went on a seven-point game-ending tear, thanks to sloppy play by Rochelle and a couple of digs by Scholl.

Scholl’s kill gave Kaneland a 10-point edge and a game one win.

In game two, Kaneland enjoyed a 9-1 lead early before Rochelle closed within 10-9.

After Rochelle’s serving ace, Dunn and Scholl took charge and aggressively pursued the ball to success with tips and kills. Their flurry made it 23-16. With the score 24-19, Dunn hit the ball for a point, and Scholl killed it on the next exchange to cinch victory.

“I think it helped that we had a variety of everyone up there,” Scholl said. “Ashley and Ellie really stepped it up, and everything played out where it needed to be.”

Tucek saved many a ball that made it past the front line, and helped dig the Lady Knights to victory.

“I think it was really important that we stepped it up on defense, and serve-receive was important, too,” Tucek said.

KHS coach Todd Weimer was happy with the conference win and the level of play.

“I think we were trying to find the matchups and reading blocks. We’re going to continue to work on that, and it helps us in the long run,” Weimer said. “We really did a nice job the whole match tonight, and it was nice to see that.”

Yorkville visited Kaneland and defeated the Lady Knights in a back-and-forth three-game match. Kaneland’s 22-25, 25-22, 17-25 loss put the Lady Knights below .500 in conference play, as their NIB-12 record fell to 2-3.

Dunn led the way with 10 kills, one ace and five blocks. Scholl added eight kills and five digs. Emily Loudant contributed six kills, six digs and one ace, and Prost spread out 25 assists to go along with her six digs.

The sophomore squad easily handled game one in their match with Yorkville, 25-7, and then battled through a tough game two to win 26-24. Both the Freshman A and Freshman B teams also added wins over their Lady Foxes opponents.

KHS attempts to handle the visiting Ottawa Lady Pirates on Thursday, Sept. 27, in NIB-12 crossover action.

Girls XC boasts exceptional totals in Sterling

in Girls Cross Country by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Regardless of what the rest of the season brings, Kaneland girls cross country runners can say they brought the best they had at their usual late-September stop.

At the Rock River Run, hosted by Sterling on Saturday, the Lady Knights finished second overall out of 14 teams.

Solidifying that place was the exceptional performance of Kaneland asset Victoria Clinton, who ended up winning the race overall.

Dealing with the three-mile course on a 52-degree day, the Lady Knights’ 65-point output was second only to Geneva’s 38.

Rounding out the top five were Belvidere North (102), Sycamore (136) and Freeport (185).

Kaneland was able to boast five runners in the top 21 overall, most notable the race from Clinton, who ran the course in 17 minutes, 44 seconds, laying waste to the rest of the field and winning it by a 36-second margin.

Freshman Brianna Bower continued her positive trajectory with a 10th-place finish by striding in a time of 18:58. Junior Sydney Strang finally took to the course after being felled with pneumonia for the majority of the season and finished 15th at 19:29.

“It was an excellent race for her, and she’ll only get better as the season goes on,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Senior Abby Dodis finished 18th overall with a time of 19:43, while fellow senior classmate Maggie Brundige rounded out the Lady Knight top five with a 21st place finish of 19:49.

Kaneland’s frosh-soph team took third with a point total of 106, thanks in large part to Brianna Booton’s race of 22:28.

KHS sees its next challenge at the Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Knight soccer leveled by Yorkville

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Tyler Siebert gets tripped up near the goal. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE—It wasn’t a good time for the first Northern Illinois Big XII loss of the 2012 campaign, nor was it to the expected team.

Unable to get out of a two-goal rut at halftime, the Knights soccer team fell to the host Yorkville Foxes at Campbell Field on Thursday by a final of 3-0.

They turned that game around with a Tuesday shutout victory over Sycamore, 2-0.

Kaneland had hit a mid-season stride, and the Knights’ record currently stands at 8-2-2 on the season, with a 3-1-1 mark in conference play.

The last time Kaneland had lost a match was back on Aug. 24 against the hosts of the Jacobs Tournament, an unbeaten streak of seven matches.

Yorkville goal-scoring record holder Artan Emini struck first on a goal with 24:02 remaining in the first half for a 1-0 lead. Alex Gil’s shot was stopped at point-blank range 11 minutes later, and Yorkville found the scoreboard again with a rocket into the net with 1:32 left in the first half past goalkeeper Marshall Farthing.

Yorkville scored a goal that was nullified eight minutes into the second half, but the call proved negated with a third goal that counted with 10:23 to go, icing the match.

The Knights hoped the Thursday setback was an outlier, to say the least.

“The last few practices haven’t been so hot,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Credit (Yorkville), they came ready to play. They’re a good team; I don’t know why everybody thinks they’re not a good team. I guess we’ll find out how we play next time if things change.”

That next game came against rival Sycamore at home on Tuesday. Kaneland turned around its fortunes with a shutout performance against the visitors. Anthony Parillo broke through the scoreless tie with a goal off of a Jason Biddle feed with 21:30 left to play. Gil added an insurance goal, with an assist from Sam Rymarz, with 14:52 remaining in the game.

The sophomore Knights also shutout Sycamore, earning a 4-0 win to put their overall record at 9-2 on the season.

Thursday, Sept. 27, marks the next test for Kaneland, a match in DeKalb.

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