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Fall Sports - page 9

Stopping by Byron

in Boys Cross Country by

Early Oct. stop provides Knights look at themselves, field
BYRON, Ill.—Byron Forest Preserve in Byron, Ill., holds a unique October challenge for the Knight boys cross country roster.

The setup and field might be out of the ordinary, but provides opportunity to take stock of what a team has in a critical juncture of the season, just before conference.

Kaneland took care of business with the staggered field and managed five of the top six runners en route to a 16-point afternoon and first place finish. Bureau Valley was second at 76 points and Rock Falls was third at 77.

The race was structured so teams’ runners thought to be tenth fastest would start the race, followed by a 20-second interval before the ninth-fastest runners would go, on through the fastest.

“The best part about the race format is it celebrates the depth if your team, and it is something that we point our fingers toward all the summer running they do,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said “Not all programs work like that in the summer, and those who do are often more prepared when the gun goes off.”

Dylan Kuipers won the 2.87-mile setup at 17 minutes, 29 seconds, followed by two-three-four runners Jimmy Walker (17:54), Mitch Reger (17:55) and Kyle Carter (17:57). Teammate Brock Robertsen, at 18:07, was sixth.

“(It’s a) challenging course, unique format, and sometimes poses as a feel good meet for some of the seniors that we get into the varsity line up who sometimes do not have the chance to shine at other invitationals,” Clarey said.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, the KHS crew heads to Grundy County to face off against host Morris and the rest of the capable Northern Illinois Big XII field, with races beginning at 9 a.m.

Tough road: Kaneland drops battle with Morris

in Volleyball by
VB_Lynn

KANELAND—Finding a groove can be tough in a long volleyball season.

The Lady Knights just hope that comfort finds them before the playoff road begins.

Last Thursday, KHS trekked to the competitive setting of Morris where it lost in three games by a count of 17-25, 28-26, 16-25.

On Saturday, Kaneland went to the Bettendorf Invite in the Quad Cities area where it went 1-2. Tuesday saw the Lady Knights host DeKalb where KHS fell 17-25, 15-25.

Kaneland’s mark is now 10-14, and 3-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In Iowa, KHS fell to Muscatine 13-21, 14-21, then defeated Moline 20-22, 21-12, 15-13 before falling to host and eventual runner-up Bettendorf 14-21, 15-21.

In Tuesday’s loss against the Barbs, Ball State-bound Ellie Dunn provided four kills, three service points, six digs and a block, while senior Jenny Lubic have five service points, six digs, three blocks and 14 kills.

“The flu and injuries took over tonight and all week,” KHS coach Kerri McCastland said. “This weekend, we’ll need to rest and take care. Morris played a relentless match of volleyball and took advantage.”

Kaneland hosts Sycamore on Thursday, Oct. 17, in a NIB-12 skirmish.

Last Friday, the Lady Knights also got wind of the postseason journey that awaits them. McCastland’s crew heads to the Class 3A Sandwich Regional as the No. 1 seed, and faces either No. 4 Plano or No. 5 Rochelle on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m.

Wild in Whiteside Co.

in Girls Cross Country by

Girls XC takes seventh at Sterling Invite
STERLING, Ill.—In a Saturday meet hosted by Northern Illinois Big XII outlet Sterling, Kaneland High School girls cross country had to deal with the talented field from the northern half of the state.

After a sixth-place varsity outing, KHS could consider itself part of that talented field that others had to deal with.

Kaneland’s 234-point total was sixth-best of 25 outlets at the meet. The top three featured Minooka (74), Schaumburg (78) and Hoffman Estates (94). The Lady Knights total was behind Iowa City High School’s 221.

While Riverside-Brookfield’s Mailin Struck won the course in 17 minutes, 2 seconds, Kaneland’s pack was paced by sophomore Brianna Bower, who took 12th overall with a time of 18:40. Senior teammate Sydney Strang continued her way back to health had a 27th place outing with a time of 19:06, while junior Aislinn Lodwig was 62nd overall with a time of 20:13. Rounding out the top five for KHS was senior Erika Carlson at 63rd with a time of 20:16, and freshman Abby Shaw at 70th with a 20:24.

KHS saw personal bests from Bower, Strang and Carlson.

The freshman/sophomore end had Kaneland taking ninth with a 283-point total, highlighted by sophomore Noelle Espino’s 20:23 for ninth place.

“The girls continue to work hard in practice and show improvement on a weekly basis,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “Aislinn Lodwig continues to improve after only three weeks of practice and racing.”

On Saturday, Oct. 19, the girls head down, along with the boys, for the Northern Illinois Big XII conference race in Grundy County, hosted by Morris High School. It marks the final race featuring 12 teams in the conference setting, with Dixon and Streator leaving at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

The road (back) to state

in Tennis by
Junior Jelly Emmanoui

Junior Jelly Emmanoui (right). Photos by Patti Wilk
KANELAND—With conference meets and sectional tournaments on the horizon, it’s getting to be crunch time for Kaneland High School girls tennis.

Madi Jurenko, one-half of the Knights’ undefeated standout junior doubles team along with her partner, Jelly Emmanouil, has already fielded inquiries from friends at Kaneland wanting to know how the pair—which achieved all-state status last fall—will fare if they make a return trip downstate.

“We’re definitely getting a lot of questions,” Jurenko said. “ ‘Oh, are you going to win state?’”

Knights coach Tim Larsen said the sky’s the limit as far as Jurenko and Emmanouli’s potential, but even though they own a 23-0 record as of Wednesday, crowning them state champions is a bit premature.

“It wouldn’t be wise to set a goal as state champions,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent around the state, but it’s safe to say they could be competitive with anybody they play (against).”

Jurenko and Emmanouli boosted their record past the 20-victory plateau last weekend by going 3-0 at the Geneva Invitational. The duo also was undefeated last season prior to the conference and sectional meets, suffering its first loss in the sectional semifinals. Jurenko and Emmanouli went on to win the third-place sectional match, and then posted a 4-2 record at state.

Not bad for a team that hadn’t played together at all before last year.

Junior Madi Jurcenko
Junior Madi Jurcenko

As a freshman in 2011, Jurenko teamed up with senior Amelia Napiorkowski, and they ended up advancing to the state tourney. Following Napiorkowski’s graduation, however, Jurenko and Emmanouli teamed up. It took some getting used to for Emmanouli to adjust to doubles play because Jurenko explained that her new partner had never really played much doubles.

But one would have assumed they had been playing together for quite a while by season’s end.

“We complement each other, and we move well on the court,” Jurenko said. “We talk to each other, and we’re good friends. I’m really good at the baseline hitting groundstrokes. Jelly has a really good wingspan and is good at hitting volleys. And she’s taller than me, so it works pretty well.”

“There’s a bond with doubles players that’s really not like anything else you see in sports,” Larsen said. “The first year, neither one of them knew what to expect, but they had a lot of respect for each; both knew that the other one was a good tennis player. It took a while to catch on with a rhythm as a team, as far as constructing a point; that didn’t happen right away. But at this point, they’ve been on court so long together that you see them reacting to the ball together. It’s something special at this point. They’re two very, very special players.”

Larsen said Jurenko and Emmanouli also are master strategists during a match—an intangible that will particularly benefit them should they return to state.

“Their biggest strength is their ability to adjust their strategy as the match progresses,” Larsen said. “These girls can hit every shot that they need. They have the ability to be smart on the tennis court, not emotional. We’re going to go out and try to win points for the next three weeks, and hopefully it works out well. That’s the goal.”

Girls tennis isn’t divided into classes like nearly every other IHSA sport. Everyone is on equal footing at the state tournament, regardless of the size of a particular school. Jurenko and Emmanouli could be thrown into the mix against teams from perennial state powers such as Hinsdale Central, Lake Forest, Deerfield and New Trier, each of which easily doubles Kaneland’s enrollment.

“It’s intimidating to know these schools have state winners and have good programs,” Jurenko said. “We don’t sell ourselves short, but we know it’s going to be a tough match. We just go into it with an open mind. We definitely want to do even better (at state) than last year. We’re going to have to work really hard, but we want to try and accomplish more at state this year and win more matches.”

Junior Samantha "Sammie" Schrepferman
Junior Samantha “Sammie” Schrepferman

The same dynamics will hold true for Sammie Schrepferman, the Knights’ No. 1 singles player who also is seeking a return trip to state. Schrepferman is putting together quite a season herself, with an overall record that stands at 21-2 prior to the start of this week.

“At this point of season I’m playing better than I did last year,” she said. “I’m able to control my emotions. I’m more focused on my play, instead of opponents dictating play to me.”

The only two blemishes on Schrepferman’s record are losses to Geneva’s Kirby Einek, who defeated her 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday, and to Angela Ye of Sycamore.

“They’re very consistent and aggressive players,” Larsen said. “When she plays against somebody that she knows is a very, very good tennis player, Sammie steps up and plays a great match. It’s fun tennis to watch. Sammie doesn’t like to lose, and I don’t either, but I’m proud of how she plays in those matches.

“Sammie hits the ball well and is serving the ball very hard, which is such a good weapon for her,” Larsen added. “The big issue for Sammie is measuring up her opponent, how much pace you need to generate, where you need to place the ball. It’s like she struggles with herself and she gets frustrated, but she always ends up landing on her feet. There are a ton of things she can do to win a point (with her shots). She figures it out, but the struggle is figuring it out.”

Schrepferman lost both of her state matches in 2012, and of course wants to return to state to better her showing of a year ago.

“Last year it was more nerves for me than anything,” she said. “I expect to be more calm if I make it to state and just go play. I should not go in expecting things, just fight for every point. Everyone (at state) is there for a reason because they won their spots (at sectionals).”

To the last man

in Golf by
Senior Brody Kuhar watches his ball in flight at Tuesday’s golf regional at Phillips Park in Aurora.

Golfers’ Regional total enough to advance to sectional
KANELAND—Just enough was good enough for Kaneland High School golf on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, a Class 2A field featuring the Knights shot on the greens at Phillips Park Golf Course in Aurora for the Aurora Central Catholic Regional. The Knights, by virtue of fifth entry Jeremy Faletto’s score, emerged as a tiebreaker recipient with a 310 over Elgin’s St. Edward, earning a sectional berth.

Kaneland now advances to Freeport Sectional play on Monday with advancing teams from the Grayslake Central and Belvidere North Sectionals.

Kaneland’s play was just behind first place Burlington Central’s 295 and Aurora Central Catholic’s 298. It’s the second sectional berth in a row for the Knight squad.

“It was by the skin of our teeth, no doubt about it,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said. “We talked about nerves going into the day and to just play through that. Everyone in the regional is going through it.”

St. Edward and Wheaton Academy (311) rounded out the top five of the 10-team field. Senior Matt Weber of Burlington Central emerged as the medalist with a 66 outing.

For Kaneland, the troops were paced by senior Matt Yonkovich with a 67 and fellow senior Brody Kuhar with a 78. Junior Faletto’s 81 was third-best for the Knights, followed by senior Stephen Cannell’s 84 and junior Jesse Denton’s 84. Freshman entry Jake Hed shot an 87 for the Knight cause.

“This experience is new for a lot of them,” Meyer said. “We have two returnees from last year’s team, and it’s our top two guys, but this will feel new.”

Last week saw the Knights travel to Senica Oak Ridge Golf Course to take on its Northern Illinois Big XII bretheren on Oct. 2. The Knights placed fourth in the meet with 321 points. Yorkville took the team title with 308, with DeKalb second (312) and Ottawa third (319). Yorkville’s Fred Washburn was the individual medalist with a 70 on the par 72 course. Kaneland was led by Yonkovich, who placed third with a 72. Adding up the season points with the tournament points, Kaneland placed third overall this season in the NIB-12 East Division with 17 points. Yorkville was the NIB-12 champ with 23, with DeKalb right behind at 20. All three teams were deadlocked at 8 points each heading into the tournament.

The sectional on Monday, Oct. 14, takes place at Park Hills Golf Course in Freeport, Ill.

No twist

in Girls Cross Country by

KHS girls cross country wins Pretzel Invite
FREEPORT, Ill.—The Kaneland girls cross country team is getting healthy at the right time.

After their early schedule saw ups and downs with injuries, the group put together a solid effort at Freeport High School’s Pretzel Invitational on Saturday, winning the 11-team meet with 50 points, six ahead of runner-up Boylan’s 56.

Head coach Doug Ecker was pleased with his team after their performance. It was the third year in a row the Lady Knights have been victorious at the land of the Pretzel.

“The girls continue to show improvement both individually and as a team as the season progresses,” he said.

Defending 2A State Champion Victoria Clinton led the way for KHS, posting a second-place finish with a time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds. Freeport’s Ellie Willging was first in 17:47.

Brianna Bower was next for the Lady Knights, posting a fifth-place finish in a time of 18:08.

“Bower continued her string of top 10 finishes,” Ecker said. “(It was) a 30-second improvement over last year.”

Newcomer Abby Shaw contributed as the No. 3 Saturday, placing 13th with a time of 19:41.

Erika Carlson continued to improve as well, besting her 2012 time by 60 seconds, placing 14th in 19:41 this year. Sydney Strang cracked the top five once again, by placing 16th with a time of 19:54.

Rounding out the Lady Knights were Anna Piazza (23rd, 20:28), Aislinn Lodwig (29th, 20:36) and Jessica Kucera (35th, 21:46).

Up next for the Lady Knights is another trip to Sterling on Saturday for the Sterling Invitational. Racing begins at 9 a.m.

Oct. 11 sports recap

in Fall Sports by

Freshman Volleyball
vs. Geneva—On Oct. 2, the Lady Knight freshman split their matches against Geneva. The A team won 25-23, 25-7, while the B team lost 21-25, 25-15, 18-25. No individual stats were available.

Sophomore Volleyball
vs. Geneva—On Oct. 2, the Lady Knights dispatched the Vikings 22-25, 26-24, 25-22. No individual stats were available.

Freshman Soccer
at DeKalb—On Oct. 3, coach Javier Martinez’s Knights defeated the Barbs 2-0 to move to 3-5-1, 2-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII play. Brandon Mires and Nick Turyna each supplied the goals, while Javier Correa and Jared Matthys had the assists. Laszlo Reed had nine saves for KHS.

Sophomore Soccer
vs. DeKalb—On Oct. 3, the Knights continued their shutout streak, winning 6-0 over the Barbs. Andy Tovar had two goals, while Felipe Speraggi, Eli Alvorado, Sam Wolf and Cameron Pieczyski each had one goal. Speraggi and Wolf also supplied two assits, while Luis Ramirez had one assist.
at Morris—Tuesday was more of the same for the Knights, who beat Morris 8-0. Speraggi provided four goals, while Pieczyski, Tovar and Alvarado each had one. Tovar had two assists, while Wolf, Alvarado and Omar Aguilar each had one assist. The Knights are now 9-0-2, 7-0 in NIB-12 play.

Girls JV Cross Country
at Freeport Invitational—Saturday saw the Lady Knights JV runners place a close third with 65 points. Dixon won with 47, and Boylan had 57. Host Freeport had 87 points and Stocktan rounded out the top five with 123.
Running for the Lady Knights were Noelle Espino (4th, 20:36), Katie Huber (6th, 21:18), Sarah Daley (15th, 22:32), Carly Bartholomew (17th, 22:37), Haley Penkala (27th, 23:20), Murphy Garcia (33rd, 23:38), Christina Delach (34th, 23:42), Samantha Sommerville (37th, 24:06), Grace Drake (40th, 24:13), Lilah Klingensmith (43rd, 24:23) and Kayla Hedgren (47th, 24:54).

Boys Fr/So Cross Country
at Freeport Invitational—The Knights dominated the fr/so division at the Pretzel Invitational Saturday, led by individual champion Sean Spaetzel’s 16:23. Kaneland won with 29 points, well ahead of runner-up Dixon’s 73. Rockford Auburn (97), Boylan (98) and Freeport (107) rounded out the top five. The Knights placed six runners in the top 12.
In addition to Spaetzel, the Knights included Noah Duffey (6th, 17:18), Ryan Weber (7th, 17:35), Will Kuipers (10th, 18:06), Alex Gale (11th, 18:08), Aaron French (12th, 18:09), Andrew Kantola (26th, 18:45), Anthony Messina (30th, 19:06) and Danny Walker (43rd, 19:51).

JV Tennis
at Mendota—On Monday, the Lady Knights won 4-1 at Mendota.
No. 1 singles entry Emily Lutter won 8-0, while Kayla Corirossi won 8-6 at No. 2 singles.
In doubles, the No. 2 duo of Heather Albrecht and Ally McPhee won 8-4, while Lauren Karolewicz and Marley Schultz at No. 3 doubles won 8-4.
at Mendota—Tuesday saw the Lady Knights lost a close match with Ottawa, 3-2. Kaneland managed only singles wins, with Brittany Zablocki winning 9-7 at No. 1 singles, and No. 2 singles Corirossi winning 8-4.
The JV tennis team is now 10-4, 5-0 in NIB-12 play.

Freshman Football
vs. DeKalb—Monday saw the Knights defeat the visiting Barbs 21-12 at Peterson Field. No individual stats were available.

Boys XC battles health, competition

in Boys Cross Country by

FREEPORT, Ill.—Being shorthanded may be a problem for other squads, but not the Knights boys cross country team.

Competing Saturday at the Freeport Pretzel Invitational without their top two runners this season in Nathaniel Kucera and Ryan Bower, the Knights still placed second in the 10-team field.

Winnebago ran tough, placing their scoring five all in the top 13 of the race to run away with the team title with 45 points. Kaneland was next with 78, followed by Rock Falls’ 108, Boylan’s 111 and Jefferson’s 123.

For coach Chad Clarey, it’s all about the packs for his group, and for a second week in a row, the Knights were running together throughout the field.

“Our team continues to do a nice job of packing up, finishing in groups,” Clarey said. “Our top three raced within 10 seconds of each other, and our fifth through seventh also split seven seconds between one another.”

Kyle Carter, who has been progressing since he began running again a little over two weeks ago, led KHS with a 10th place finish with a time of 16 minutes, 2 seconds. Carter was the top Knight a year ago.

“He is battling and taking small victories on this road to full strength,” Clarey said of Carter.

Luis Acosta had a break through race, finishing 11th, and just five seconds behind Carter. Andrew Lesak was the third Knight to finish, placing 15th in 16:12.

Brandon Park ran aggressive, placing 20th overall with a time of 16:46.

Then another KHS pack of Brock Robertson (25th, 17:03), Phil Cutsinger (27th, 17:06) and Mitch Reger (28th, 17:10) finished in a cluster.

Clarey was pleased with Robertson, a senior in his first year on the cross country team, performed.

“(He) finished as our No. 5 today, and he really pushed himself hard through the first 1.5 miles to establish that position,” Clarey said. “He has shown strong improvement these past four weeks.”

Dylan Kuipers (42nd, 17:42), Jimmy Walker (48th, 18:08), Phil Rawers (86th, 21:23) and Connor Pennington (88th, 21:40) also competed for the Knights.

With conference looming, the Knight harriers headed to the Byron Invitational Wednesday (results not available before press time) before the head west to their annual stop at the Sterling Invitational Saturday.

“We will hopefully be back at full strength and depth at conference (Oct. 19 at Morris),” Clarey said. “In the meantime, we work to get healthy, freshen up, and keep pushing that pack further toward the front of the field.”

Clarey is optimistic about his team as they head into the home stretch of the season.

“It’s tough to be patient, but we feel good about where we are headed with such a tight-knit pack,” he said.

Kaneland soccer stung by Barbs in conference battle

in Boys Soccer by

KANELAND—Fortunes have been as even as it gets for the Kaneland High School soccer squad this season.

In conference matches like last Thursday’s home matchup against the visiting DeKalb Barbs, the end result refused to break its way.

A heartbreaking 2-1 loss to DeKalb was followed by a Tuesday trek to Morris, where the Knights came back from a 2-1 first-half deficit to win 3-2.

The Knights find themselves with a 6-5-3 record, and a 3-2-2 tally in Northern Illinois Big XII conference action. Just four regular season matches remain.

“I don’t think you can ever be truly satisfied, because there is always room for improvement,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We need to possess the ball better and finish our chances. That is where we haven’t been consistent. We look much better in practice as of late and hope we will continue to improve in all areas. It would be nice to make it back to the regional championship game for the fourth year in a row.”

Against the Barbs, the Knights found a goal just 7:36 into the contest thanks to a Tyler Siebert goal off the assist from Arsim Azemi. The Barbs shut the Knights out the rest of the way, and Kaneland surrendered two goals.

Against the Redskins, Arsim Azemi scored off an Angel Escontrias assist, but the Knights got to halftime trailing 2-1. Escontrias had a big second half, scoring twice while the defense held Morris scoreless sealing the KHS win.

Kaneland learned of its Class 2A postseason assignment last Friday, as it’s housed in the Sycamore Regional. The No. 2 seed Knights play the No. 3 Sycamore Spartans on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m., with the winner facing off against the Tuesday victor between No. 1 Burlington Central and No. 4 Sandwich on Friday, Oct. 25, for the regional plaque.

Kaneland (6-0) vs. Yorkville (4-2)

in Football by
yorkville

at Kaneland High School’s Peterson Field at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, Oct. 11, the Knights host Yorkville High School in a Week 7 NIB-12 battle. The Foxes traveled to Rochelle on Friday, only to lose in a 30-14 clash. Yorkville fell to 4-2 with a 1-1 NIB-12 mark, on the heels of upsetting the Morris Redskins in Week 6 for the first victory over the Grundy County program in 51 years. YHS has lost two of its last three after emerging with a 3-0 start.

The Foxes are coached by area legend Karl Hoinkes, who began with Yorkville in 2011 after having been a longtime coach at Oswego High School.

On Oct. 5, 2012, Kaneland slammed Yorkville at Campbell Field by a final of 55-0, and have solved the Foxes by a combined score of 134-20 the last three encounters.

By the numbers

in Football by
Nate Dyer had 62 yards in Kaneland’s 35-12 triumph at DeKalb Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

KHS increases regular season win streak to 34 with NIB-12 win at DeKalb
DEKALB—Kaneland and DeKalb have had quite the football battles the last two years.

In 2011, Kaneland found itself visiting the new Dresser Road turf for the first time and down 31-14 before staging a monster second-half comeback in a 49-38 win.

Last year, the Knights put up 66 points on the visiting Barbs.

On Friday, the process was a little more elementary: withstand big plays, ball-control-tinged running, and key passes, leading to a 35-12 win at DeKalb High School.

The win marked the 34th consecutive win for Kaneland football in the regular season. Kaneland improved to a playoff-qualified 6-0 and 2-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII East division, and has never lost a conference game in the group that began in the 2010 season.

DeKalb fell to 3-3, with an 0-2 mark in conference play. Kaneland has never lost to DeKalb in eight straight conference meetings.

“We’ve got a lot a lot of respect for their coach (former Belvidere coach Matt Weckler), and we’ve played him the last two years in the first round,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We have a lot of respect for that offense. They spread themselves out and get into space. If you make one mistake they can make a big play, as we saw. We’re really happy to hold these guys to 12 points.”

For the Knights, Drew David threw three touchdown passes on a night where he was 16-for-26 for 330 yards.

DeKalb running back Dre Brown had 130 yards rushing, a game-high.

After an opening DeKalb drive came up empty, Kaneland used Isaac Swithers (71 yards) and Nate Dyer (62 yards) to move the ball from their own 14-yard line. David mixed in a pass to Brandon Bishop (five catches, 65 yards) before rolling out and throwing a deep ball to tight end Tyler Slamans for a 31-yard touchdown. Slamans’ first-ever varsity TD gave KHS a 7-0 lead with 3:33 to go in the frame. After the Barbs punted another drive away, David found wideout Connor Fedderly for a 27-yard completion, and a bomb in stride to John Pruett (85 yards receiving) for a 58-yard scoring strike and a 14-0 lead with 1:06 left in the first quarter.

DeKalb gathered some momentum back when the second play of the next drive yielded a 77-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jack Sauter up the middle to make it 14-6 with 25 ticks left in the quarter.

The lone scoring drive in the second quarter ended with a six-yard run up the middle by Swithers to make it 21-6 with 6:41 to go in the half. The next two scoring opportunities for Kaneland ended with a blocked field goal and an interception.

Asked to carry more of a load along with Dyer, with an accent on speed for the ground game, Swithers is feeling more comfortable.

“Jesse went down so I just stepped in at running back, and I played last year, but I have to fill his shoes,” Swithers said. “I’m a lot faster on the turf, it’s a nice place to play.”

In the third quarter, the Barbs forced Kaneland to punt and converted on an 89-yard touchdown scamper by Brown to close within 21-12 with 8:50 remaining in the third. After Brown fumbled the ball away to Kaneland two drives later, the Knights used a couple of runs by Swithers, a pass to Dylan Nauert, a run by David and a two-yard touchdown run by Dyer to make it 28-12 with 2:14 to go in the third.

The lone score in the fourth quarter came on a David conversion from the eight-yard line with 9:39 remaining for the final 23-point margin.

Girls golfers fair well in conference, Regionals

in Golf by

ROCHELLE, Ill.—Kaneland girls golf individual entry Tori Guyton was the medalist at the Oct. 1 NIB-12 tournament at Fairways Golf Course in Rochelle, Ill., with an 85 afternoon. Teammate Julia VanGemert shot a 94 to place seventh. The girls were set to compete as individuals at the Sycamore Golf Club on Wednesday as part of the girls golf Burlington Central Regional. Both Guyton and VanGemert advanced to the Rockford Guilford Sectional, which will take place Monday at Ingersoll Golf Course in Rockford, Ill. Guyton placed second in the regional, shooting an 83 as the top-advancing individual not on an advancing team, while VanGemert’s 99 was enough to move on to the Sectional as well.

Kaneland volleyball faces Geneva test

in Volleyball by
141

Photo: The Lady Knights volleyball team celebrates a point Wednesday against Geneva. Photo by Patti Wilk

GENEVA—Only one challenge was out there to await Kaneland volleyball, but it was a familiar and daunting one.

KHS traveled to non-conference foe Geneva on Oct. 2 and lost in three games, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23.

The Lady Knights are 9-11, and 3-2 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Lone senior Jenny Lubic had 19 assists. Kathy Nguyen had 12 digs, with sophomore Vanessa Gould and Anna Senese collecting nine digs each.

KHS coach Kerri McCastland still feels like the Lady Knights crew can play up to tough competition in the area, and in time for crucial postseason meetings.

“It’s what we will continue to do everyday,” McCastland said. “Being young in the game and as a team takes time, patience and learning. I’m proud of their commitment. It will get better everyday.”

Kaneland’s busy week includes a Thursday, Oct. 10, meeting in Morris, a Saturday, Oct. 12, trip to the Quad Cities area for the Bettendorf Invitational in Iowa, and a home match on Tuesday. Oct. 15, against the Lady Barbs of DeKalb.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, Kaneland was expected to learn its postseason seed as part of the Class 3A Sandwich Regional. Teams making their regional home in Sandwich were Kaneland, Plano, Rochelle, Rock Falls and Sycamore.

The Sandwich Regional group joins the Monmouth-Roseville, Streator and Stillman Valley Regionals as part of the Princeton Sectional group. A year ago, as part of the Hampshire Regional, Kaneland beat St. Edward and Sycamore to capture the plaque and a sectional berth.

Rush to the end

in Tennis by
531

Photo: Julia Golbeck competes at Geneva with doubles partner Maddy Michels (not pictured). The Lady Knights tennis team went 1-2 at the Geneva Quad on Saturday.              Photo by Patti Wilk

Tennis competes at Geneva Quad, Mendota, vs. Ottawa
KANELAND—At 12-4, the Kaneland High School tennis outfit is still going strong, with room left over to perfect its game.

After meets against Wheaton Academy and IMSA were rained out, the Lady Knights made their way to the Geneva Quad on Saturday and went 1-2. On Monday, the Lady Knights went to Mendota and won a 3-2 dual. Tuesday saw a home matchup with Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent Ottawa, where it was a 7-0 sweep of the Lady Pirates.

In the Geneva setting, the Lady Knights lost to Geneva 7-1, despite a win from doubles team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil. KHS also lost to St. Charles East 6-2, despite another Jurcenko/Emmanouil win and a Sammie Schrepferman win in singles action. Kaneland rallied to beat St. Charles North 4-3, with Jurcenko/Emmanouil, Schrepferman, Stephanie Zwick and the Kaylee Shoaff/Mallory Dugan team all victorious.

Wins over the Mendota Lady Trojans were secured by Schrepferman (6-1, 6-1) and Zwick (6-1, 6-0) at the singles spots, and Shoaff and Dugan at the No. 2 doubles slot (6-1, 6-1).

A tightly contested battle provided some room for improvement in the coming days for Kaneland, particularly on the doubles end.

“I think our girls got frustrated with the other team’s resiliency and tightened up a bit,” Larsen said. “Maybe it was the long bus ride, maybe it was just a Monday thing. But we’ll be correcting some issues that we encountered this week at practice before this weekend’s tournament, for sure.”

Schrepferman, Zwick and Emily Lutter all took the singles bouts in two sets, while two-set wins on the doubles edge were completed by Jurcenko/Emmanouil and the No. 2 team of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz.

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, yields the annual Northern Illinois Big XII conference meet out at Dixon High School.

Friday preview: Kaneland (5-0) @ DeKalb (3-2)

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Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Kaneland travels to DeKalb High School for its next challenge on Friday, Oct. 4. The Knights have beaten the Barbs seven straight times since the regular meetings began in 2006, including an afternoon contest in 2009 for DeKalb’s homecoming, 35-6, a 49-38 comeback win from a 17-point deficit on DeKalb’s turf in 2011, and last year’s 66-23 trouncing.

DeKalb comes into the Friday contest with a record of 3-2 (0-1 NIB-12). The Barbs solved Streator with a 42-14 road win last Friday and have averaged 41 points per win. The Barbs are coached by first-year head man and former Belvidere Bucs coach Matt Weckler who is well-versed in facing the Knights. Weckler and Co. were eliminated by the Knights in the past two Class 5A postseason first rounds.

Photo gallery: Homecoming Football Game

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Photos by Patti Wilk and Mary Paulson

Taking charge

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Kaneland ends back-and-forth with strong 2nd half vs. Rochelle
KANELAND—After a tight, back-and-forth first half between Kaneland and Rochelle on Friday night in Maple Park, the Northern Illinois Big XII East division opener turned the tide on a half-ending touchdown pass from Drew David to John Pruett that gave KHS the lead for good at 21-20.

Kaneland would then go on to score four unanswered touchdowns in the 49-20 win over the visiting Hubs. The meeting marked the end of the regular rotation of meetings between the two schools that began with the formation of the now-dead Western Sun Conference for the 2006 season.

Rochelle is scheduled to move to the West division in the NIB-12 landscape to offset the departure of Dixon and Streator in 2014. The East division will then consist of DeKalb, Kaneland, Morris, Sycamore and Yorkville.

Kaneland improved to 5-0 (1-0 NIB-12), while Rochelle dropped to 4-1 (0-1 NIB-12). It marked the seventh consecutive win for KHS over the Hubs, dating back to a 16-12 win in 2008 thanks to a TD by current Elmhurst College QB Joe Camaliere. Kaneland also managed two victories in 2011 over the Hubs that included a 20-14 Class 5A State quarterfinal.

David was 10-of-20 for 177 yards, two scoring strikes and one interception. The senior signal-caller also had a 58-yard touchdown scamper put forth in motion by key blocks by the line and a receiver in the fourth quarter.

Running back Isaac Swithers, carrying the bulk of the running plays with senior Jesse Balluff out for 2013 with a knee injury, rushed 14 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. Pruett had four catches for 82 yards and two scores, while Dylan Nauert had four catches for 69 yards.

“We just talked about on our end, doing what we do better than the mistakes we were making,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “I just think with what we saw they were doing, I thought there were a couple of things we could take advantage of. We’ve got a lot of weapons. We can throw when we have to, and we can run when we have to.”

The scoring started almost immediately, as Nauert returned the game’s opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown just 17 seconds into the game. Rochelle’s Evan White returned the favor from 96 yards on the ensuing kickoff 15 seconds later, but the extra-point attempt missed for a 7-6 score.

Kaneland then took six minutes to drive for another first-quarter score. A 12-play, 61-yard drive that featured nine runs ended with a five-yard score from running back Nate Dyer with 5:28 to go. A two-point attempt to linebacker Cole Carlson made it 15-6, Kaneland.

The Wing-T formation-leading Hubs took over and went 50 yards in seven plays, ending with a four-yard touchdown by Marquez Felix to make it 15-12 with 1:48 remaining in the first.

Rochelle went on top in the second quarter on a White touchdown run from the nine with 3:04 to go in the half. A Keegan Akers catch was good for the two-point try to send Kaneland into a 20-15 hole.

Kaneland lost the ball on a Rochelle interception, but after holding Rochelle on downs, Kaneland went seven plays for 62 yards for a David-to-Pruett score in the corner of the end zone for 26 yards to go into the locker room up 21-20. The score offset a Nauert TD pass from 16-yards that was negated by a penalty.

“We just ran our offense,” Pruett said. “We just had the open guys, I guess. Whoever Drew threw to, we tried to make plays.”

The lone scoring drive for Kaneland in the third quarter came on a 19-yard scamper by Swithers with 8:42 left in the frame for a 28-20 lead.

Kaneland’s next three touchdowns came within the span of five offensive plays in the fourth quarter. Dyer scored from the one with 11:06 to go for a 35-20 lead. Pruett caught his second TD pass with 7:18 remaining to go up 42-20, and the David rush to daylight capped the scoring with 4:55 left in the game.

Oct. 3 sports recap

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The sophomore Knights have only allowed one goal all season—in their season opener against Streamwood—while scoring 39 of their own. They have eight shutouts on the season, and are 7-0-2.
“They have a great time at both practice and games, but do so with great effort and talent,” coach Travis Berth said.

Freshmen Volleyball
vs. Rochelle—On Sept. 26, the freshman A volleyball squad defeated visiting Rochelle 25-17, 25-16, while the B squad followed suit with a 25-17, 25-14 win. No stats were available.
at Yorkville—On Tuesday, the freshman A defeated the Lady Foxes 25-22, 25-16, while the B team fell 19-25, 7-25.

Sophomore Volleyball
vs. Rochelle—On Sept. 26, the sophomore Lady Knights dismantled visiting Rochelle 25-10, 25-13. No stats were available.
at Yorkville—On Tuesday, the team fell just short in two games, losing to the host Lady Foxes 23-25, 26-28.

Sophomore Football
vs. Rochelle—On Sept. 27, Kaneland defeated the visiting Rochelle Twp. Hubs 36-12. No stats were available.

Sophomore Soccer
vs. Yorkville—On Sept. 26, Kaneland continued its string of holding opponents scoreless, by defeating Yorkville 7-0 in Yorkville. Felipe Speraggi and Cameron Pieczyski each had two goals, while Eli Alvarado, Jose Chavez and Peter Castillo each contributed one goal. Speraggi, Andy Tovar, Omar Aguilar and Chavez each tallied an assit in the game. The team now sits at 6-0-2, and are 4-0 in NIB-12 play.
at Sycamore—On Tuesday, the team stretched its opponents’ scoreless streak to eight games, defeating the host Spartans 7-0. Speraggi had three goals, while Pieczyski, Trevor Jahns, Diego Ruiz and Jon Turyna all had one goal.

The sophomore Knights have only allowed one goal all season—in their season opener against Streamwood—while scoring 39 of their own. They have eight shutouts on the season, and are 7-0-2. “They have a great time at both practice and games, but do so with great effort and talent,” coach Travis Berth said.
The sophomore Knights have only allowed one goal all season—in their season opener against Streamwood—while scoring 39 of their own. They have eight shutouts on the season, and are 7-0-2.
“They have a great time at both practice and games, but do so with great effort and talent,” coach Travis Berth said.

JV Tennis
at LaSalle-Peru—On Sept. 26, the JV tennis team traveled to LaSalle-Peru High School and defeated the hosts 5-0. Brittany Zablocki (10-1) and Kayla Corirossi (10-3) each won their singles matches, while the doubles were swept by the pairs of Katie Blaszynski/Emily Mirocha (10-6), Heather Albrecht/Ally McPhee (10-4) and Lauren Karolewicz/Marley Schultz (10-8).
vs. Yorkville—The Lady Knights defeated the visiting Lady Foxes 4-1 on Tuesday. No. 1 singles Emily Lutter won 4-6, 6-4, 10-6, while Zablocki won No. 2 singles 7-6, 6-1. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Blaszynski/Mirocha won 6-4, 6-3, while the No. 3 duo of Karolewicz/Schultz won 7-6, 7-6. The JV squad now sits at 9-3, and 5-0 in NIB-12 play.

Freshman Soccer
at Sycamore—On Tuesday, the Knights dispatched host Sycamore 3-1 to move to 2-5-1, 1-1-0 in NIB-12 play. Javier Correa, Kevin Healy and Danny Perez each supplied one goal, while Laszlo Reed had two saves.

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