Lions 2015-16

Elburn Herald | Sugar Grove Herald

Trillium Sept2015
Category archive


IHSA releases classifications for 2015-16 school year

in Baseball/Boys Basketball/Boys Cross Country/Boys Soccer/Boys Track/Football/Girls Basketball/Girls Cross Country/Girls Soccer/Girls Track/Golf/Softball/Tennis/Volleyball/Wrestling by

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) released the classifications breakdown for the 2015-16, and Kaneland will not see any changes to their sports landscape from the 2014-15 season.

• Baseball: 3A (four classes)
• Basketball (boys and girls): 3A (four classes)
• Cross Country
(boys and girls): 2A (three classes)
• Cheerleading: Middle
(three classes—small, medium, large)
• Dance: 2A (three classes)
• Football: Determined at the
end of the regular season
• Golf (boys): 2A (three classes)
• Golf (girls) AA (two classes)
• Softball: 3A (four classes)
• Scholastic Bowl: AA (two classes)
• Soccer (boys and girls): 2A (three classes)
• Track and Field (boys and girls):
2A (three classes)
• Volleyball: 3A (four classes)
• Wrestling: 2A (three classes)

Enrollment for the high school is up 19 students—1,310 to 1,329 —from the 2014-15 school year to the upcoming year. Since classification cut offs vary from sport to sport depending on the number of schools that participate in each sport throughout the state, the Knights had some close calls this upcoming season. Kaneland was 49 students away from moving up to 4A in basketball, 17 students away from moving to 4A in volleyball, and 11 away from moving up to 3A in track and field.

Photos: Already working

in Football by

The Kaneland varsity football team took part in Northern Illinois University’s 7 on 7 Camp
Senior Tyler Paulson catches a pass and takes it in for a touchdown.

Senior Tanner Robertsen hauls in a pass for a touchdown.

The Kaneland defense lines up against Grayslake North High School for more football training.

Fedderly to join UW-Platteville

in Football by

PLATTEVILLE, WISC.—The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer football team announced its 2015 recruiting class, including Connor Fedderly from Kaneland High School.

Fedderly plans on pursuing a career in accounting at UW-Platteville and will play wide receiver. While performing all four years on varsity level at Kaneland, Fedderly earned first team All State, First Team All Conference, First Team All Area, Academic All State, Academic All Conference, and the school record for receiving yards in a game. In his senior year alone, Fedderly caught 62 passes for 967 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He also played basketball for Kaneland, where he received All Conference honorable mention. Fedderly chose UW-Platteville to play football and because of his accounting major. Connor is the son of Tom and Kathy Fedderly and will join the Pioneer family as a true freshman this fall.

Over the past four years, the UW-Platteville football team has earned an overall record of 32-10 and a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record of 21-7. In 2013, the Pioneers accumulated a 10-1 record and reached the NCAA III playoffs for the first time in program history. The Pioneers are coached by 16-year veteran Mike Emendorfer and play in the Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium, with a capacity of 10,000.

Building a Bronco legacy

in Boys Basketball/Boys Track/Football/Kaneland/Sugar Grove by

Sugar Grove native Fleck earns MAC Coach of the Year honors, contract
extension in 2nd year with Western Michigan University

KALAMAZOO, MICH.—After leading the biggest turnaround in Mid-American Conference (MAC) history, it’s no surprise that P.J. Fleck was recently signed to a six-year contract extension as Western Michigan’s head football coach, and named 2014 MAC Coach of the Year,

Fleck, a Sugar Grove native and 1999 Kaneland High School alum, was hired as the Bronco’s head coach in 2013 when he was just 32 years old, making him the youngest head coach in Division I FBS history and also one of only two college football coaches to have played and coached in the NFL. Fleck played for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2004 and 2005 seasons before an injury forced him to move from playing to coaching. He worked as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012.


“I think Kaneland taught me to believe in myself. I was a freshman starting on the varsity basketball team, and you talk about people not liking you. Well, it taught me to believe in myself and that I truly belong, and that’s what Joe Thorgeson (the head football coach) did for me, and Ken Neahring, our track coach. Because as confident as people thought I should have been in high school, I wasn’t.”P.J. Fleck

Under Fleck’s leadership, the Western Michigan Broncos last season staged a dramatic turnaround from their 1-11 record in 2013, Fleck’s first year as coach. Fleck faced widespread criticism from fans following his first season with the Broncos, something WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard said was expected.

“I totally knew our first year we were going to have some issues with a coaching change and a culture change,” she said. “We only won one game. But that next year, we put together a recruiting class that was the best in the MAC, and the recruits were absolutely committed to P.J.’s philosophy. We were able to put together a year where we had the biggest turnaround in college football history.”

The Broncos went 8-4 this season—their best campaign since 2008—and played in their first bowl game since 2011. WMU lost the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to the Air Force Academy Falcons 38-24 on Dec. 20, but the Broncos’ seven-game improvement in 2014 was the biggest one-year turnaround in MAC history.

Fleck attributed the bowl loss to having a young team—most of the players, which he has recruited himself, are freshmen and sophomores—that lacks the experience and depth of other teams.

“We’re one of the youngest and most inexperienced teams in the country, and we’re playing (an Air Force) team that’s mostly juniors and seniors, and they’re very well-coached,” he said.

For Fleck, though, the most important thing is not whether the Broncos won or lost—it’s about where they are headed.

“I have people ask me, ‘Oh, you’re 8-4. Did you exceed your own expectation of the program? Is the program way ahead of schedule from where you thought?’ I use the same answer I used last year. I knew where the program was developing,” Fleck said. “You saw 1-11, but the program was developing from within with a 12-0 type feel. You might have seen 1-11, but the program was really 12-0 inside.

“And it’s the same thing this year. We’re 8-4, and when you look at where our program’s headed, it’s exactly where I thought it would be. Wins and losses, that doesn’t really matter in terms of when you’re building a program from the ground up. It’s about where you’re headed, and for me, I think we’re on track.”

He’ll get that chance to continue building a program from the ground up. In addition to being named the 2014 MAC Coach of the Year. WMU on Dec. 18 extended Fleck’s contract through the 2020 season. Under the terms of his contract, he’ll make a base salary of $225,000 per year, plus other guaranteed compensation that raise his total compensation to over $800,000 per year.
Success-based bonuses and incentives could push his total income even higher.

Beauregard, who made the decision to extend Fleck’s contract, said the team wanted to lock him into a long-term contract because they knew he would be sought after. She also wanted new recruits to know that they’d have Fleck as their coach for their entire college football career.


“As a head coach, you get scrutinized; you get evaluated every day, whether through the media’s eyes, your community’s eyes, your players’ eyes. And the only profession you can compare that to, the everyday scrutiny, is a singer or an actor. There’s so few opportunities to be normal, and everybody thinks they own a part of you. That’s made me a better man, because my skin is so much thicker than it’s ever been. Every day, I’m learning about myself.”P.J. Fleck

According to Beauregard, when she originally hired Fleck two years ago, she specifically chose him to engineer a program turnaround. She hoped Fleck, who had worked as an assistant coach under Joe Novak at Northern Illinois and under Greg Schiano with Rutgers University and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—both of whom had reputations as program builders—would be able to bring a winning record to the Broncos and transform the program’s culture.

“We made a coaching change, and we were looking for something different than what we had had,” Beauregard said.

Fleck’s experience as both a player and assistant coach at NIU, a fellow MAC school that has offered strong competition to WMU, is part of what interested the Broncos in Fleck, Beauregard said. But beyond that, the program was seeking someone who could bring a positive approach to coaching—something that Fleck has been so successful in creating, she said, that it was a major reason for extending his contract.

The change that Western Michigan sought included far more than just the team’s record. The school wanted to increase attendance at its football games, which had dwindled, and build a larger fan base. It was a long-term mission at the outset.

“Obviously, when you change a culture, it takes time,” Fleck said. “This wasn’t a football program turnaround (or) a win-loss turnaround, it was a true culture turnaround. It was the culture of the community, the administration, the alumni, the boosters who had never even been a part of Western Michigan before. So you talk culture, it’s everything—it’s a complete mindset and belief system.”

That total culture change Fleck has been working to instill at Western Michigan is symbolized by the “Row the Boat” mantra he’s brought to the Broncos—a metaphor from another sport altogether.

In rowing, Fleck noted, everyone on the team has to row together. Rowers face backward and can’t see where they’re going; they have to have faith that if they just keep rowing together in the same direction, they will reach their destination. It’s not just a mantra for the players, Fleck said, but for everyone in the Bronco community, from the administration to the students to the fans in the wider community.

“If we can get everybody rowing at the same tempo, same speed, same efficiency, same power, in the same direction, we’ll get from point A to point B quickly,” Fleck told fans when he introduced the mantra two years ago. “That’s the goal of this program: win a MAC championship, and win it now. Part of rowing the boat is changing a culture.”

He’s encouraged Broncos fans and community members to hang oars on their walls and in their businesses to show support for the team and to generate the kind of positive energy he wants to see surround the team, and he gives oars away to as many visitors as he can. He’s also brought in a new DJ to play music at home games to up the energy level of the crowd.

But the biggest piece of a culture change is recruiting, Fleck said, which he’s doing differently than most fellow Division I schools. Fleck tries to recruit new players almost exclusively from within a six-hour radius of Kalamazoo, Mich., an idea he picked up from Joe Novak, the Northern Illinois head coach he once played for.

“(Novak’s) belief system is that you’ve got to get mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, the guys at the local coffee shop engaged. They’re now following that team because they know someone on it,” Fleck said. “You have players who all have the same ethic because they’re all from the same area, and family and friends can come to see every game. That’s great support for the players, and your attendance goes up. We want to keep it local and recruit local talent.”

Beyond that, though, Fleck said that he cares as much about a potential player’s character as he does about his football prowess. The characteristics he’s looking for in his new recruits are more about the athlete’s heart than about football.

“We talk about three characteristics in our football program,” Fleck said. “That is a nekton mentality—always attacking, never full, like a Great White shark. I want to know, is he attacking life? Is he growing on a daily basis? Is he charismatic? Then we talk about a Prefontaine pace. (Steve) Prefontaine was the greatest distance runner of all time, and he could go the distance.
“The last part is our farmer’s alliance. We want players who have a very unselfish mentality. We want to know their friends; we want to interview their friends. That’s where we start, and we go from there. There have been plenty of big-time players who we’ve stopped pursuing.”

The character-based approach appears to be working. The Broncos in 2014 had the highest-ranked recruiting class in MAC history. Freshman running back Jarvion Franklin was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year, and 10 Broncos were named to Phil Steele’s 2014 Postseason All-MAC team. Franklin, the top running back in the MAC this season, led the conference with 25 total touchdowns—24 of which were on the ground.

The focus on what Fleck dubs “heartwork” isn’t just limited to the players. Fleck wants to have total commitment from everyone associated with the Broncos, including the fans—something he’s encapsulated in his “Row the Bow” mantra, Beauregard said.

“There’s no doubt that when he first came, there was a lot of skepticism and criticism about ‘What the heck does rowing the boat have to do with Western Michigan football?’” Beauregard said. “But it’s about total belief; it’s about everybody being on the same page of wanting the best for our student athletes. Culturally, it’s been something our students have absolutely loved, and we’ve had more interest in it every day.”

Beauregard said that Fleck’s own experience with tragedy—he and his wife, Tracie, lost a son, Colt, to a heart condition in infancy—has spoken to many of the student-athletes, some of whom have experienced their own life struggles.

“One thing that’s exciting is that it’s not just about football,” Beauregard said. “It’s about keeping going in our lives; it’s a belief that things are going to turn around for you; it’s a commitment that everybody is making 100 percent effort. So they buy into it, knowing that there’s going to be a light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep rowing.”

It’s a philosophy Beauregard describes as “contagious,” noting that Fleck has led the Broncos players to do a lot of community service and also to have the second-highest GPA in team history. The team’s 2.91 GPA won it the MAC Sports GPA Trophy for a fourth consecutive year. Also, the team’s GPA has increased significantly from a 2.4 average in 2013 to the 2.91 average this season.

Fleck attributes his coaching philosophy today to the many people that influenced him throughout his athletic and coaching career, believing he’s learned something from every place he’s been, starting with Kaneland High School.

“I think Kaneland taught me to believe in myself,” Fleck said. “I was a freshman starting on the varsity basketball team, and you talk about people not liking you. Well, it taught me to believe in myself and that I truly belong, and that’s what Joe Thorgeson (the head football coach) did for me, and Ken Neahring, our track coach. Because as confident as people thought I should have been in high school, I wasn’t.”

Kaneland High School inducted him into its Hall of Fame in June, recognizing Fleck’s career achievements, as well as his leading the 1997 and 1998 Knights to back-to-back State championships. An All-State wide receiver, he set school records his senior year with 95 catches and 199 career receptions, then went on to play for Northern Illinois, where he still holds the school record for punt returns (87).

From Novak, the NIU head coach who offered Fleck a scholarship when no other Division I team was interested, Fleck learned the importance of taking a chance and giving people opportunities, he said.

From Mike Nolan, former San Francisco 49ers head coach, Fleck said he learned “how to be a class act”; from Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who gave Fleck his first coaching opportunity, he learned “how to teach young men life”; from Jerry Kill, Novak’s successor as NIU head coach, who offered Fleck an assistant coaching position, he learned how to care for the players.

“And then I went to work for Greg Schiano, and he’s probably one of the hardest people to work for in the country,” Fleck said.

Schiano, who hired Fleck as an assistant coach at Rutgers University, brought him along to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Some of my hardest personal battles I faced (were) when I was working for him,” Fleck said, alluding to the 2010 loss of his newborn son. “He taught me how to push myself, how to never sacrifice what you really want.”

These are lessons Fleck intends to carry forward as he strives to make Western Michigan a nationally recognized program, and as he adjusts to being in a constant spotlight, something he never experienced in the relative anonymity of his previous assistant coaching positions.

“As a head coach, you get scrutinized; you get evaluated every day, whether through the media’s eyes, your community’s eyes, your players’ eyes. And the only profession you can compare that to, the everyday scrutiny, is a singer or an actor. There’s so few opportunities to be normal, and everybody thinks they own a part of you,” Fleck said. “That’s made me a better man, because my skin is so much thicker than it’s ever been. Every day, I’m learning about myself.”

Editors note: P.J. Fleck graduated from Kaneland High School in 1999, not 1998 which was mentioned in the original edition of this story. The Herald regrets the error.

IHSA schools approve three amendments

in Fall Sports/Football/Spring Sports/Tennis/Winter Sports by

Proposed change to football rules fails

BLOOMINGTON, ILL.—Illinois High School Association (IHSA) member schools approved three amendment proposals and rejected three others in the annual referendum that ended Dec. 30, 2014.

The online ballots were tabulated and certified in the IHSA office Tuesday. All the by-law changes will take effect on July 1. Proposal 8, which removes the “dead week” from the IHSA calendar, will likely be interpreted by the Board of Directors to cancel the remaining portion of the originally scheduled “dead week,” which was to begin on June 28.

Schools rejected Proposal 10, which would have revamped the football regular season and the football playoff system, by a margin of 212 for the proposal and 395 against it. Among football-playing schools only, the proposal was rejected by a count of 306-162.

Schools also narrowly rejected two proposals regarding the Scholastic Bowl season. Proposal 17 failed by a 313-291 vote margin, and Proposal 18 failed by just six votes, 305-299. Both proposals were voted down by a 55-to-45 percent margin among Scholastic Bowl-playing schools.

Here is a summary of the proposals and the vote totals:
• Proposal 1 (passed 370-239): Allows the Board of Directors to approve international programs that do not appear on the list of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), and thereby confer eligibility to students in those programs
• Proposal 5 (passed 375-234): Removes the mid-summer “dead week” provision that was approved last year.
• Proposal 10 (rejected 395-212): Would have revamped the football regular season and the football playoff system.
• Proposal 15 (passed 489-96): Moves the date of the first contest of the Girls Tennis season four days earlier, to Thursday of Week 7.
• Proposal 17 (rejected 313-291): Would have removed the season limitation currently in place for Scholastic Bowl.
• Proposal 18 (rejected 305-299): Would have increased the contest limitation for Scholastic Bowl from 18 dates to 30 dates.

A total of 613 of 810 member schools participated in the amendment balloting—a significant increase from last year’s 57.3 percent. A new email voting procedure is credited with turning out the vote, yielding the second-highest percentage since 1997.

KHS announces All Conference honorees for fall season

in Boys Cross Country/Boys Soccer/Football/Girls Cross Country/Golf/Tennis/Volleyball by

Ninety athletes also earn academic honors

KANELAND—Thirty-four Kaneland High School athletes earned All Conference honors—either first team or honorable mention—for the 2014 fall sports season. In addition, 90 Knights were honored for their academic achievement during their time as student-athletes.

In addition to the honors from the Northern Illinois Big XII conference, these Kaneland
athletes also earned All State honors: Madison Jurcenko (tennis), Angelica Emmanouil (tennis), Samantha Schrepferman (tennis) and Connor Fedderly (football).

2014 Fall Northern Illinois Big XII All Conference

Connor Fedderly, Dan Hammermeister, Isaac Swithers, Andrew Kray and Drew Franklin.
Honorable Mention: Isaiah Baerenklau.

Ellie Dunn and Riley Hannula.
Honorable Mention: Anna Senese, Kathy Nguyen and Hollie Fedderly.

Boys Soccer
Ivan Bohorquez, Angel Escontrias and Jack Wolf.
Honorable Mention: Felipe Speraggi, Andres Tovar and Matthew Gombar.

Boys Cross Country
Brandon Park and Austin Kintz.

Girls Cross Country
Victoria Clinton, Aislinn Lodwig, Brianna Bower and Andrea Wells.

Samantha Schrepferman, Madison Jurcenko, Angelica Emmanouil, Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz.

Jesse Denton and Jake Hed.

2014 Fall Northern Illinois Big XII All Conference Academic Honors

Mitchel Groen, Tanner Robertson, Jacob Gomes, Austin Wheatley, Connor Fedderly, Daniel Hammermeister, Kevin Fuchs and Tyler Kurzrock.
Honorable Mention: Nicholas Soucie, Austin Vickery, Jacob Marczuk, Tyler Paulson, Thomas Price, Luke Olson, Zachary Douglas, Grant Burris, Jorge Espinosa, Brandon Kigyos, Tarkan Cetinal, Steven VanHorn, Alec Aurelio, Nick Wilson and Giovanni Regalado.

Samantha Burgin, Hollie Fedderly, Riley Hannula, Anna Senese, Brittany Grider, Kathy Nguyen, McKenzie McMullan and AnnMarie Franz.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Hedgren, Rachel Kintz and Ellie Dunn.

Boys Soccer
Jason Carlquist, Sam Wolf, Andrew Mathys, Mark Dhom, Timothy Wachter and John Reed.
Honorable Mention: Ivan Bohorquez, Jack Wolf, Michael Meisenger and Jonathan Turyna.

Boys Cross Country
Austin Kintz, Kyle Osbourne, Alexander Gale, Mitchell Reger, Andrew Lesak and Benjiman Smith.
Honorable Mention: Grant Gingrich, Aaron French, Brandon Cruz, Sean Spaetzel, Ian Piazza, Zach Kurz and Joshua Kasap.

Girls Cross Country
Aislinn Lodwig, Murphy Garcia, Victoria Clinton, Samantha Sommerville, Bridget Ransford, Haley Penkala, Brianna Bower, Carly Bartholomew and Lilah Klingensmith.
Honorable Mention: Olivia Galor and Jessica Kucera.

Anna Wendling, Samantha Schrepferman, Colleen Landers, Stephanie Karolewicz, Madison Jurcenko, Emily Grams, Mallory Dugan, Emily Mirocha, Marissa Michi, Allyson McPhee, Katelyn Blaszynski and Britttany Zablocki.
Honorable Mention: Angelica Emmanouil and Heather Albrecht.

Victoria Guyton, Jeremy Faletto, Jacob Sheehan and Zachary Strayve.
Honorable Mention: Julia VanGemert, Jakob Sanders, Jesse Denton and Kevin Healy.

Camiliere impresses behind center

in Football/Sugar Grove by

Former Knights QB thriving as Elmhurst College senior
ELMHURST, Ill.—Down 14-0 at halftime, the Elmhurst Bluejays offense needed to get their team back on track. The quarterback, a senior and second-year starter, capped off drives of 83 and 99 yards with touchdown passes. However, the team just ran out of time, losing to Millikin 21-14.

Kaneland football fans should be familiar with who’s lining up at the quarterback position for Elmhurst.

Sugar Grove native and Class of 2011 Knight Joe Camiliere, starter for three Knight gridiron playoff teams, earned College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week honors after a win over North Park University, and has had a career year in his second season of starting responsibilities.

Camiliere, an All-State signal-caller for the 2010 Kaneland squad that earned a Class 5A semifinalist spot, and a starting outfielder for the 2011 Class 3A champion baseball team, feels he’s at a high after some initial bumps and injuries last year.

The quarterback who had to adjust to the play of high school football as a sophomore six years ago has picked up differences on the Division III level.

“The level of competitiveness is a little different,” Camiliere said. “Everybody on a college team was ‘that guy’ on their high school team and the one to go to. I think as you come in as a freshman, it’s a lot of accepting that and learning.”

First-year head coach Ron Planz is glad to have Camiliere carry out the plans, resulting in a year when adjustments can be excused.

“We look for leadership, and someone who can get into the huddle and be somebody that leads by example and who does things right. That’s number one for someone who’s our quarterback,” Planz said.
Working with Camiliere has also been fruitful for members of the coaching staff who work even more intensely on the offensive side.

“You’re going to need a guy that’s going to want the ball in his hands in the pressure situations,” offensive coordinator Kyle Derickson said. “We have someone right now that will get it done.”

The Bluejays senior has passed for 1,329 yards through seven contests with
Camiliere continued on page 3BCamiliere
continued from page 1B
eight touchdowns to boot, in a better position than the early 1-2 stretch.
‘We’ve got athletic guys up front and at skill positons that we like to use. We didn’t start out the year well at all. There was a tough loss to Lewis, a tough win the next week and then a loss to University of Chicago. At the bye week, we just kind of sat down as a group. Nobody panicked or needed to change this or that and the coaches didn’t change anything up. We knew we needed to correct,” Camiliere said.
“We looked for ways that were easier for Joe to get things and worked on that. That’s where you’re seeing the success now through conference. We’ve done a really good job of making sure we’re utilizing his skill set,” Planz said.

Throwing for a season-high 262 yards in a 28-0 shutout of the NPU Vikings back on Oct. 18, Camiliere knows his skills can help the Bluejays attack in the pivotal last third of the 2014 regular season.

“It’s a similar system, and it changes up a little bit, and we do some different things up front and use our speed,” Camiliere said.

In his second year of starting and fourth year of seeing action in the CCIW and around the Midwest, Camiliere has his favorite venues to sling the ball besides his own Langhorst Field.

“As of right now, it’s Illinois Wesleyan (in Bloomington, Ill.). Being able to go down there and walk on that field is something. The 2.5 hour bus ride after a win was great. Carthage (in Kenosha, Wis.) is great, too,” Camiliere said.

With no set plans to play on at any level, the talent that tossed such memorable touchdowns, like the quarterfinal winner to Tyler Callaghan against Vernon Hills in Nov. 2010, is enjoying this final three-game regular season stretch.

“I think this last month will be the last for playing football,” Camiliere said. “Coaching would definitely be something I would enjoy, but I don’t know if it’s something I would get into right away. The game of football has definitely been a big part of my life.”

Earlier in the season, the Bluejays football squad enjoyed a four-game win streak, rallying from early troubles for a current 5-4 overall record. Elmhurst closes out the regular season at home against North Central Nov. 15.
Photos courtesy of Elmhurst College Sports Information director Kevin Juday

Sophomore football undefeated for first time

in Football by

KANELAND—The Kaneland High School football team went 9-0 this fall. It was the first time in school history the sophomore team has been undefeated.

Led by head coach John Pavlak, the Knights allowed only 53 points all season, compared to their 181. They opened the season with a 7-0 win at home over McHenry, then earned a win over Sterling, 6-0. Rich Central was dispatched on Sept. 12 40-20 before KHS earned their first road win—a 21-7 battle over Yorkville. Back at home on Sept. 26, the Knights defeated DeKalb 25-6 and shut out Sycamore 20-0 the following week. On Oct. 10, Kaneland beat Morris 27-14 and beat La Salle-Peru 7-6 in their closest game of the season Oct. 17. In the final game on Oct. 24, the Knights earned their fourth shut-out of the season with a 28-0 win over visiting Rochelle.

“Our kids worked hard from the middle of July through the end of the season,” Pavlak said. “They worked well as a team.”

The lower level football teams practice together at KHS, so the sophomore team was a combination of freshman and sophomore players, according to Pavlak. The focus of the coaching staff—Brian Aversa, Mike Thorgesen, Matt Smith, Steve Auchstetter and Pavlak—is to develop the players in the fundamentals of football, and to install the philosophy of the program.

“The kids had a couple of specific goals at the beginning of the season, which was to defend our home field and to win conference—they achieved both,” Pavlak said.

Pavalk said he is excited to see the sophomore team join the current juniors as they move into their varsity playing years.

“Being successful at the varsity level is the ultimate goal (and) why the team works hard and continues to improve fundamentally,” Pavlak said. “Their record this year is something that they should all be proud of, but it should ultimately be used as a reminder of what it took to get there and that they need to continue to do all those things in the future in order to be successful.”

Nice week 9 for Knights

in Football by
_KHS football v. Rochelle Oct 2014-1-8

Photo: Senior Danny Hammermeister No. 55 was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball in 2014. Photo by Laura Gampfer

All cylinders firing in 33-6 win over Rochelle
KANELAND—It wasn’t an ideal ending, but it was on a positive note.

While Kaneland’s 4-5 record meant there would be no playoff football for the first time since the 2007 season, the Knights followed an Oct. 17 smackdown of LaSalle-Peru with a 33-6 win over now crossover opponent Rochelle in Maple Park on Friday. Rochelle ended its season with a 3-6 mark. The rout meant Kaneland outscored its last two opponents by a final of 91-12.

Kaneland has now beaten Rochelle eight consecutive times in regular season and postseason play.

The Knights outgained the Hubs 353-216 on the night. Jake Marczuk went 15-for-25 for 162 yards and two touchdown throws. Isaac Swithers, of the torn ACL from the Week 1 win over Brooks, had a stellar 122-yard night with two scoring runs. Connor Fedderly had 112 yards receiving on nine catches.

Marczuk found Fedderly on the game’s first drive for a 13-yard touchdown with 8:40 remaining in the first for a 7-0 lead. Later, a 21-yard field goal try by Drew Franklin put the Knights up 10-0 with 1:44 left in the first.

Rochelle struck first in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by Adam Rickets with 7:10 to go in the half, but the extra point try missed to keep matters at 10-6. Kaneland answered with a 13-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a throw in the corner to Fedderly, who kept his feet inbounds for a 17-yard scoring throw and a 17-6 lead with :31 left.

Franklin’s 30-yard field goal try to make it 20-6 with 4:47 to go was the lone third quarter score.

Kaneland put together another drive, bleeding into the fourth, with Swithers punching it in from the 3-yard line just five ticks into the frame for a 27-6 lead. Swithers broke free for another TD from 32 yards away, making it 33-6 with 8:26 to go, the final score of the 2014 campaign.

Marczuk, a junior, felt playing with departing offensive mates like Fedderly and Swithers was a privilege.

“The seniors led the way this year, and we get to do the same thing next year,” Marczuk said. “It was great to play with guys like Connor and Isaac Swithers. They’ve been making big plays all year.”

Fedderly ended his career as the go-to through the air.

“It meant a lot to end it this way,” Fedderly said. “We wanted to end on the right note. We’ve been in every game, and we were able to make big plays (tonight).”

Peaking in the Illinois Valley

in Football by

Senior Brandon Kigyos intercepts the football and scores a touchdown for the Knights against La Salle-Peru Friday. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knights’ 58-6 win over LaSalle-Peru has stars on both sides of ball
LA SALLE, ILL.—Having not won since the second week of the year, a five-game losing streak and scratch from the postseason hunt can put the hurt on a team.

On Friday, the penultimate game of 2014 featured a 30-point first quarter deluge for the Kaneland Knights football squad in a 58-6 trouncing of winless LaSalle-Peru.

Kaneland is now 3-5 (0-4 Northern Illinois Big XII), after its first trip to the Illinois Valley grounds since 2011.

Quarterback Jake Marczuk was 8-for-16 for 183 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Isaac Swithers had 85 yards receiving on two catches, while Connor Fedderly had four catches for 79 yards.

The total yards battle went Kaneland’s way, 250-126.

The scoring party got going early when Swithers caught a swing pass, followed a Fedderly block and scampered into the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown just 20 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

After an L-P punt, the Knights put together a 55-yard scoring drive that ended on a one-yard sneak by Marczuk for a 14-0 lead with 7:28 left in the first.

Just as it looked like L-P could progress, senior linebacker Brandon Kigyos stepped in front of a pass attempt and ran 52 yards for a pick-six and a 21-0 lead with 6:23 left in the opening frame.

“It was all teamwork and everyone knew their jobs,” Kigyos said. “All I know is I was in the right position and it came to me. Luckily, it was open field, and I couldn’t make that play without the lead blockers. It was crazy.”

Andrew Kray was part of the swarm that blocked the Cavaliers’ punt attempt on the next drive, and knocked the ball out of the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 edge with 4:19 to go in the quarter.

Closing the first frame scoring was Fedderly on a rare sweep from the two for a 30-0 edge with 1:15 to play.

Mitchell Groen earned himself an interception, which would lead to a 10-yard touchdown toss to Fedderly 17 seconds into the second quarter for a 37-0 lead. Cameron Mignone would return the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for the lone Cavs score 31 seconds into the second for a 37-6 deficit.

With 2:46 left in the half, Fedderly scored again on a 1-yard pass for a 44-6 lead going to halftime.

In the second half, a 39-yard counter to Tyler Paulson had him going down the sidelines for the running clock trigger and a 51-6 edge with 8:55 to go in the third. Alec Aurelio’s one-yard scoring run with 4:30 to go in the third cemented the final 58-6 margin.

“The defense was great. We had one score on defense and some that were pretty close. They set us up. I’m really happy, hoping we’d be ready to play. I’m really happy how we came out,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

All that remains for KHS is a Friday, Oct. 24, home matchup with now-West division foe Rochelle, also coming in at 3-5 after a 21-6 road loss to Sterling. Rochelle hasn’t beaten Kaneland since 2007, and has lost seven in a row to the Knights.

Oct. 23 Sports recap

in Boys Cross Country/Community Sports/Football/Girls Cross Country/Volleyball by

Freshman Volleyball
Oct. 16 vs. Morris—The freshman A team improved to 12-4, 7-0 in conference play with a 25-15, 25-20 win over Morris. The B team also won against Morris 25-22, 17-25, 25-21.

Sophomore Volleyball
Oct. 16 vs. Morris—The Lady Knights won 25-15, 25-13 over Morris.

Sophomore Football
Oct. 17 @ La Salle-Peru—The Knights won 7-6 Friday.

Girls Fr/So Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—The Lady Knights were runners-up to Yorkville at the NIB-12 Conference meet held at Rochelle Twp. High School
8 Grace Dodis, 21:24.3; 11 Katie Huber, 22:14.6; 20. Sandra Gale, 24:03.6; 24. Marissa Dries, 24:49.9.

Girls JV Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—Kaneland was second at the NIB-12 Conference meet, held at Rochelle Twp. High School.
10 Grace Drake, 22:14; 16 Sam Sommerville, 23:15; 17 Murphy Garcia, 23:53; 20 Lilah Klingensmith, 24:06; 22 Haley Penkala, 24:17.

Boys Fr/So Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—The Knights scored just 35 points, but lost to Yorkville by six in the six-team race. Third place was Sycamore with 80 points.
1 Matthew Richtman, 16:35; 2 Andrew Kantola, 16:50; 8 Sam Webster, 17:56; 9 Henry Nosek, 18:00; 12 Anthony Messina, 18:09; 25 Kyle Wells, 19:03; 26 David Wojak, 19:06.

Boys JV Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—The Knights were second at the JV open race at Saturdays conference meet.
5 Aaron French, 18:00; 6 Zach Kurz, 18:07; 8 Jared Murri, 18:22; 10 Alex Gale, 18:31; 13 Peyton Heiser, 18:43; 15 Ben Smith, 18:51; 26 Cristian Girolamo, 19:32; 29 Nick Moses, 19:45; 30 Jack O’Sullivan, 19:48; 31 Tyler Nance, 19:49; 33 Josh Kasap, 20:00; 39 Austin Parks, 20:15; 48 Grant Gingrich, 21:26; 53 Ian Piazza, 21:44; 54 Jacob Wolfe, 21:49; 62 Kyle Osborne, 23:43; 65 Cole Rutter, 26:40/

Kaneland YFL
Oct. 18, 2014—Playoffs, Round 1
Kaneland Silver 0
@ Kaneland White 27
Kaneland White 0
@ Burlington Blue 24
DeKalb Black 8
@ Kaneland Black 0
Kaneland Black 0
@ DeKalb Black 24
Kaneland Black 14
@ DeKalb Black 39
Kaneland White 6
@ DeKalb Orange 26

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald?
Have your coach email them to

Morris Mishandle

in Football by

Photo: Junior Drew Franklin kicks off after a Kaneland score early in the first quarter. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knights football eliminated from playoff contention
KANELAND—Kaneland’s first play from scrimmage last Friday night resulted in a sack by Morris. The Redskins would get to KHS quarterback Jake Marczuk five more times, and also recover three first-half fumbles, en route to a 26-21 win over the Knights.

The loss was Kaneland’s fifth-straight, and eliminated the Knights from playoff contention for the first time since 2007. Four of Kaneland’s five losses have been decided by seven points or less this season.

“Our kids have battled every single game right down to the last minute, and so I told them I was really proud of them and their effort,” KHS head coach Tom Fedderly said after the game.

Despite the start Friday, Kaneland got on the board first with a 37-yard pass from Marczuk to senior Connor Fedderly. A PAT by Drew Franklin made it 7-0 early.

“They came with some pressure and I thought ‘it doesn’t matter, (our) first drive went right down and scored,’” Fedderly said.

After a see-saw battle of possession, the Knights lost a fumble on Morris’ 18 yard line, and the Redskins made KHS pay, marching 83 yards down the field, and scoring on a Griffin Sobel pass to Chase Hansen with 7:07 to go in the first half. A penalty moved the PAT back for Morris, and it was no good, giving Kaneland the edge by one point.

“Fumbles. We just gotta to hang on to the ball,” Fedderly said.
On the ensuing possesion, another fumble on 2nd-and-10 from Kaneland’s own 29 yard line gave Morris another offensive opportunity.

After Morris was called for holding and faced 1st-and-25 from Kaneland’s 33 yard line, a pass deep into the endzone appeared to be intercepted by Kaneland senior Isaac Swithers, but the officials ruled that both Swithers and Morris’ Jake Walker had equal posession of the ball before both stepped out of bounds, and Walker was awarded the touchdown. Morris could not convert a two-point conversion attempt, thanks to a great defensive play by Knight Kyle Diehl. Morris would hold their 12-7 lead into halftime.

Kaneland’s defense in the third quarter was stout, forcing Morris to punt on three three-and-outs, including the Redskins’ opening posession. The Knights made quick work of terrific field position at the Kaneland 46 yard line after Connor Fedderly’s fair catch on the punt. Five plays later, Connor Fedderly caught his second of three touchdowns on the night, a 7-yard strike. Franklin’s PAT made it 14-12 Knights with 10:13 to go in the third quarter.

The Kaneland Knights honored KHS Junior Julia Pratte, cancer survivor, prior to Friday’s game against Morris. “Coach Julia” lead the Kaneland Varsity Football team through the Knights tunnel on to the field during Friday night’s homecoming football game. Julia, together with the football team captains and head coach Tom Fedderly, did the coin toss. Photo by Mary Paulson
The Kaneland Knights honored KHS Junior Julia Pratte, cancer survivor, prior to Friday’s game against Morris. “Coach Julia” lead the Kaneland Varsity Football team through the Knights tunnel on to the field during Friday night’s homecoming football game. Julia, together with the football team captains and head coach Tom Fedderly, did the coin toss. Photo by Mary Paulson
The offense had a good drive that spanned late in the third quarter and into the fourth, moving from their own 21 yard line, but it was stalled on Morris’ 22 yard line after an incomplete pass to Fedderly on fourth down.

Morris got their offense going, putting together a 78-yard drive that featured a lateral to wide receiver Nathan Guth who in turn threw the ball 32 yards to Hansen to the Kaneland 21 yard line. Four plays later, Morris hit paydirt again, with Griffin Sobol finding Hansen all alone in the endzone for a five yard touchdown pass. Morris converted a two-point conversion to make it 20-14 with 4:19 to go.

Kaneland went three-and-out, including a 3rd-down sack, before disaster struck on the punt. The snap got away from Marczuk, who then kicked it into a Kaneland player, bouncing the ball toward the Kaneland endzone. Morris was able to recover on the Kaneland five yard line, and was back in the endzone two plays later on a Matt Feiden three-yard run. Morris again failed to convert the two-point conversion, but now led 26-14 with only 3:14 to go in the game.

Kaneland proved they still had fight in them, converting on 4th-and-10 from their own 35 yard line. Brock Harner kept the drive alive with his 13-yard catch. On the next play, it was Connor Fedderly with a 37-yard catch to the Morris 15 yard line. Immediately after, Marczuk avoided pressure by rolling out of the pocket and was rewarded by finding Connor Fedderly all alone in the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:07 to go.

“I was just glad that our kids don’t give up. Everybody was out there just fighting to the very end, and Connor came up with some plays at the end, and Jake made some good scrambles and made a good throw,” Fedderly said.

Down 26-21, Kaneland tried an onside kick, but Morris recovered and was able to run out the clock for the victory.

Marczuk ended the night with 19 completions on 35 attempts for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Connor Fedderly led all receivers with 142 yards on eight receptions and three touchdowns. Swithers had seven carries for 75 yards.
“It was a hard-fought battle and it came down to the last drive,” Tom Fedderly said.

Oct. 16 Sports Recap

in Boys Cross Country/Boys Soccer/Community Sports/Football/Girls Cross Country/Middle School/Tennis/Volleyball by

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Girls JV Tennis
Oct. 8 @ Oswego East—The Lady Knights lost 4-3 at Oswego East. Abby Purnell (8-3) and Ava Mandele (8-5) won at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, and Mary Collum and Marley Schultz won 8-0 at No. 1 doubles.

Boys JV Cross Country
Oct. 8 @ Byron Invite—The Knights put up a perfect score of 15 to win the open race at Byron. The course was 2.87 miles.
1 A. Gale, 18:03; 2 D. Wojak, 18:29; 3 K. Wells, 18:31; 4 C. Girolamo, 18:34; 5 P. Heiser, 18:36; 6 T. Nance, 19:04; 7 G. Wilk, 19:25; 8 J. O’Sullivan, 19:38; 10 J. Kasap, 20:00; 12 K. Osborne, 21:07; 15 I. Piazza, 22:25; 16 J. Wolfe 22:26; 18 G. Gingrich, 22:49; 21 C. Rutter, 28:35

Boys Sophomore Soccer
Oct. 9 vs. Morris—The Knights won 5-0 over Morris. Brian Bartholomew had two goals and an assist, while Jose Chavez had a goal and assist. Diego Ruiz and Brandon Luebke also had goals, and Robbie Nachreiner had two assists for KHS.
Oct. 11 vs. Plainfield East—The Knights were down 2-1 to PE with 10 minutes to go in the second half when the Plainfield East coach was given a red card, and the game was left as “undecided.” Christian Medrano scored an unassisted goal for the Knights who are 10-1-2 on the season, 8-0-1 in NIB-12 play.

Girls Sophomore Volleyball
Oct. 9 vs. DeKalb—The Lady Knights won 25-13, 23-25, 25-14.
Oct. 14 vs. Sycamore—Kaneland won 25-21, 25-13.

Girls Freshman Volleyball
Oct. 9 vs, DeKalb—The freshman A squad won 25-19, 14-25, 25-16. The B team tied 19-25, 25-20, 21-21.
Oct. 14 vs. Sycamore—The A team won 26-24, 23-25, 25-12, while the B team fell 21-25, 19-25.

Girls JV Cross Country
Oct. 11 @ Sterling Invite—The Lady Knights placed 9th out of 22 teams Saturday. Andrea Wells led the team with a runner-up finish, while Sarah Daley was 12th. There were no team scores kept in the JV open race.
Fr/So results: 2 A. Wells, 19:45; 12 S. Daley, 20:42; 39 G. Dodis, 21:24; 76 K. Huber, 23:04; 99 M. Dries, 24:47; 100 M. Burger, 24:49.
JV Open results: 132 S. Sommerville, 24:17; 155 H. Penkala, 24:53.

Middle School
Cross Country

Oct. 11 @ IESA Sectional—In one of the toughest sectionals int he state, the Kaneland Harter Middle School cross country team saw its girls team qualify for the IESA State Meet by placing third behind Batavia Rotolo and Yorkville. The girls were paced by Rachel Richtman’s 3rd place in 12:03 over two miles. Lesley Viveros placed 10th in 12:28. Both were all-sectional selections. Also running for KHMS were Cassidy Motyka (15th, 12:37), Grace Purcell (19th 12:45), Tessa Brennan (21st 12:48), Erin Ball (22nd 12:51), and Emma Ball (28th 13:11). The boys squad placed fifth as a team, but saw two boys qualify as individuals. Seventh grader Zach Long took 3rd place in 10:59, while Dan Occhipinti placed ninth in 11:14—a personal record by 50 seconds. The state meet takes place at Maxwell Park in Normal, Ill. The girls team will run at 12:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 1:15 p.m.

8th grade volleyball

Eighth Grade Volleyball

Season recap—The 8th grade girls volleyball team of Kaneland Harter Middle School, coached by Jackie Self, had a successful season in the new Fox River Prairie Conference. This new conference includes St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and Yorkville. The A team was 8-3 overall in the regular season, and beat Geneva South, Yorkville, and St. Charles Thompson in the Conference tournament to claim the title of conference champions. The B team was 10-1 overall and claimed the title of defending champs at the Yorkville B tournament. This talented group of girls worked together incredibly well and have many great years ahead in the high school volleyball program.

Seventh Grade Volleyball
Season recap—The Kaneland Harter Middle School 7th grade volleyball A team, coached by Kevin Hagan, was 7-4 overall in the regular season and took 2nd at the conference tournament. The B team ended 4-7 and took third at the Yorkville B tournament.

Kaneland Youth
Football League

Oct. 11, 2014:
Kaneland White 31
@ Yorkville Red 6
Kaneland Orange 9
@ Kaneland Black 0
Yorkville Black 26
@ Kaneland Silver 30
Yorkville Black 0
@ Kaneland Black 21
Kaneland White 27
@ Yorkville Red 7
Kaneland Black 0
@ DeKalb Black 20
Kaneland White 13
@ Yorkville Red 27
Kaneland Black 11
@ DeKalb Orange 8 (OT)
Yorkville Red 6
@ Kaneland White 20

Oct. 11, 2014:
DeKalb Orange 25
@ Kaneland White 6
Kaneland Orange 19
@ Burlington Blue 0
Kaneland Black 0
@ Yorkville Black 18
Kaneland Silver 19
@ Burlington White 0
Kaneland Black 31
@ Yorkville Red 0
Kaneland White 8
@ Burlington Blue 13
Kaneland Black 14
@ Yorkville Red 0
Kaneland White 6
@ Burlington Blue 27
DeKalb Black 38
@ Kaneland Black 8
Kaneland White 33
@ Yorkville White 6

The following teams have
qualified for the playoffs:

8U White, 8U Silver, 9U Black, 9U White, 10U Black, 11U Black and 11U White.

Compiled by Ben Draper

Kaneland Sports Boosters to give cancer the boot

in Fall Sports/Football/Sports Boosters by

KANELAND—The Kaneland Sports Boosters have announced their plans for the annual pink out, which will take place during the football games the evening of Friday, Oct. 24.

Pink out shirts and socks will be sold the week of Oct. 20 during lunch at Kaneland High School. They will also be sold at the games on Oct. 24.

Anyone that enters the Oct. 24 game with cowboy boots on will receive a free raffle ticket to be entered into a drawing.

Before the varsity game the boosters will be have a parade on the track for anyone that is suffering from cancer, a survivor, or anyone that wants to walk in memory of a loved one. If you are interested in participating please contact Shanne Kuipers at

All proceeds from the pink out will be donated to breast cancer research.

Oct. 9 sports recap

in Boys Cross Country/Boys Soccer/Football/Girls Cross Country/Tennis/Volleyball by

Boys Freshman Soccer
Oct. 1 @ Burlington Central—The Knights won 1-0. Michael Minoque had 16 saves, and Javier Correa had the goal on a Devin Pieczynski assist.
Oct. 6 @ DeKalb—Pieczynski’s goal and Minoque’s five saves helped the Knights to a 1-1 tie on the road against the Barbs.

Girls JV Tennis
Oct. 1 @ Yorkville—The JV tennis team fell 4-1 against the Lady Foxes. The Lady Knights are 3-1 in conference play.

Boys Sophomore Soccer
Oct. 1 vs. Hinckley-Big Rock—The Knights won 2-0. Diego Ruiz (Brian Bartholomew assist) and Tim Wachter (Brandon Luebke) each had goals.
Oct. 7 vs. Sycamore—The Knights rolled 6-2 over the Spartans. John McCaffrey had three goals and an assist, while Bartholomew also had two goals. Ruiz had a goal and an assist, while Robbie Nachreiner and Christian Medrano each had assists. The Knights are 9-1-2 overall, and 6-0-1 in conference play.

Freshman Volleyball
Oct. 2 vs. Sterling—The A team won 25-21, 25-19, while the B team also won 25-12, 25-8.
Oct. 7 vs. Ottawa—The A team lost 15-25, 25-19, 19-25, while the B team lost 25-23, 20-25, 11-15. The A team is 9-4, 5-1 in conference play, while the B team is 2-9, 1-5.

Sophomore Volleyball
Oct. 2 vs. Sterling—The Lady Knights won 25-21, 25-19.
Oct. 7 vs. Ottawa—KHS won 25-19, 25-15.

Sophomore Football
Oct. 3 @ Sycamore—The Knights won 20-0 over the Spartans.

Girls JV Cross Country
Oct. 4 @ Freeport Invitational—The Lady Knights won the eight-team meet with 40 points. Boylan was a close second with 46.
3 O. Galor, 21:09; 6. K. Huber, 21:55; 8 G. Drake, 22:12; 9 L. Klingensmith, 22:13; 15 S. Sommerville, 23:27; 18 M. Garcia, 23:38; 26. M. Dries, 24:26; 29 H. Penkala, 24:30.

Boys Fr/So Cross Country
Oct. 4 @ Freeport Invitational—The Knights won the seven-team meet with 37 points, far ahead of runner-up Rockford East’s 66.
2 A. Kantola, 16:50; 3 A. Messina, 17:13; 5 S. Webster, 17:18; 13 H. Nosek, 18:17; 24 P. Heiser, 19:05; 25 D. Wojak, 19:08; 27 T. Nance, 19:14; 29. K. Wells, 19:17; 32. C. Girolamo, 19:29; 35. G. Wilk, 19:34; 38 J. O’Sullivan, 19:50; 80 C. Rutter, 25:22.

That was Sparta

in Football by

Photo: Junior Steven VanHorn breaks up a 3rd-down pass to a Sycamore wide receiver Friday. “Both defenses played really well,” KHS head coach Tom Fedderly said. Photo by Mary Paulson

Urgency increases after 14-7 loss at Sycamore
SYCAMORE—Kaneland football has yet to pull off a three-game win streak in 2014. It’ll have to in order to be considered for postseason play for the seventh consecutive season.

With a chance to at least tie the Sycamore Spartans during the Spartans’ homecoming week on Friday, Kaneland’s offense put together a sustained drive until an interception in the endzone with 14 seconds remaining cemented a 14-7 loss to Sycamore.

For KHS, its season sits at 2-4 (0-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) for the first time since 2007. The four-game skid notes the longest in-season losing streak since 1993.

The competitive-yet-hard-luck streak means the Knights are 3-6 in their last nine overall contests, playoffs included.

Kaneland and Sycamore’s meeting on Friday was a tad more low-scoring than last season’s 31-21 road loss, and a stark difference from Kaneland’s 30-point per game output.

Juniors Jacob Gomes (below, No. 53) and Andrew Kray (No. 75) hold the Sycamore offense on a 3rd down Friday.
Juniors Jacob Gomes (below, No. 53) and Andrew Kray (No. 75) hold the Sycamore offense on a 3rd down Friday.
Despite just 81 yards passing during the defensive struggle, Knights quarterback Jake Marczuk was the game’s leading rusher with 129 yards on the ground.

After battling through an early stalemate that involved Knights receiver Mitchell Groen recovering a fumble out of the air—to no avail—on offense, the Spartans converted on a one-yard touchdown run by Brett Weaver to make it 7-0 with 2:05 left in the second quarter.

Marczuk’s 4th-down attempt to Connor Fedderly from the Spartans’ 42 was a no-go, ending the final first-half drive.

In the third quarter, Marczuk’s grasp on the ball was loosened during a scamper and Sycamore recovered on its on 29. Three plays later, Spartan Dion Hooker ran for a 63-yard score to take a 14-0 lead with 8:38 to go.

Marczuk finally brought the Knights to the scoring column with 7:09 to go in the fourth on a nine-yard run to make it 14-7. After forcing Sycamore to punt, a forced fumble during Fedderly’s return went to Sycamore. KHS was able to dig deep and block a 32-yard field goal attempt and take over at its own 29. Using the strength of a 21-yard run by Marczuk, the Knights found themselves in Sycamore territory.

On 2nd and 10 from the 32, Marczuk was sacked, but gained 21 yards on a run to the 16. After a pass attempt to the middle of the end zone to Fedderly went incomplete, a slant to Fedderly in the end zone was snagged by Sycamore’s Bryce Hansen to end it the Knight hope.

“(Coach Joe Ryan) does a great job with his kids, and it was just a hard-fought game. I think we did some things to kind of hurt ourselves. They did a tremendous job. We had to put drives together, and Sycamore stepped up and did a good job. Both defenses played really well.” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Kaneland has a date with the 2-4 Morris Redskins on Friday, Oct. 10. Morris has ceased to beat Kaneland since rejoining the conference landscape together in 2010.

Down to the Barbed Wire

in Football by
__KHS Football v. DeKalb -1-5

Photo: Senior Zack Thielk manhandles a DeKalb player during Kaneland’s 37-34 loss against the Barbs. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Late comeback try falls short in first-ever conference loss to DeKalb
KANELAND—It seems like 2014 has the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference upside down.

DeKalb and Yorkville are atop the current landscape, with Kaneland, Sycamore and Morris looking up.

The Knights, after a valiant fourth-quarter comeback and a penchant for matching visiting DeKalb’s big plays, had the ball and a chance to at least tie the game with 42 seconds to go, but a Barb interception on the drive’s second play ended the threat and set the final in DeKalb’s favor, 37-34 on Friday.

“That’s what we preach to these guys,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We’ve got to come here and have a chance at the end if we don’t make a lot of mistakes. That’s something we really worked on all week. We really had a good week of practice.”

Kaneland falls to 2-3, with an 0-2 mark in the Northern Illinois Big XII. It marked the first losing streak in conference play since the NIB-12’s 2010 kickoff. The Knights have not had a 2-3 mark in regular season play since the 2007 campaign, after wins over Burlington Central and Batavia, with losses against Marmion Academy, Rochelle and Sycamore.

DeKalb is 5-0 and has already matched its 2013 win total, with meetings against Morris, Rochelle, undefeated Yorkville and undefeated Geneseo still to come.

“These guys have been playing for a while. This is their year, and they have a lot of really good seniors and they’ve got a pretty good sophomore quarterback,” Fedderly said.

Kaneland QB Jake Marczuk was 23-for-36 for 420 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Wideout Connor Fedderly had 294 yards receiving and two touchdown catches, including a 61-yard bomb that brought the game to its final margin. Tyler Paulson had four catches for 69 yards.

DeKalb’s Rudy Lopez picked off a tipped pass to end the first drive of the game, and the Barbs converted with a 63-yard scoring scamper by Eriq Torrey. Danny Hammermeister blocked the PAT to make it 6-0 with 8:44 left in the first frame.

Knight Drew Franklin kept the hosts in it with a 25-yard field goal with 5:06 remaining in the first, and Brandon Kigyos’ fumble recovery paved the way for a 29-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the frame for a tie score.

In the second quarter, DeKalb’s 29-yard field goal with 10:13 to go gave the Barbs a 9-6 lead. Sophomore QB Derek Kyler’s one-yard sneak with 6:51 to go in the half made it 16-6, but Marczuk found Fedderly in the corner of the end zone from the 10 to make it 16-13 with 5:20 to go. Fedderly’s 37-yard catch earlier in the drive had set up the possession’s good tidings.

DeKalb would answer on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Lopez with 2:53 to go, making it 22-13 to close down the first half scoring.

A 15-yard touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion by University of Illinois recruit Dre Brown with 9:24 to go in the third, made it a daunting 30-13 margin. Kaneland’s offense would march 65 yards down the field and punch through on an Isaac Swithers four-yard touchdown run to make it 30-20 with 6:38 to play in the third.

The Barbs’ Brown seemingly put the game away with a 15-yard touchdown run and dive into the end zone just four seconds into the fourth to make it 37-20, but Marczuk’s 16-yard touchdown run with 10:09 to go brought the margin to 37-27.

Fedderly’s catch-and-run with 4:00 to go closed it to three, and DeKalb was forced to punt after four straight penalties made it 2nd and 47 from its own 16-yard line. After a downed punt, Kaneland set up shop with 42 ticks left from their own 27. An attempt to Fedderly was incomplete, and with 31 seconds left, Barb Thomas Lowie snatched the pass after a bobble to ice the contest.

Kaneland’s next challenge is the host Sycamore Spartans on Friday, Oct. 3. Sycamore is 3-2 after a 42-0 shellacking of host Ottawa on Friday.

Local athlete on Central College football team

in Football/Hometown by

PELLA, IOWA—Kaneland graduate and wide receiver Zack Martinelli is a member of the Central College football team.

Central has captured a record 30 Iowa Conference championships with 20 NCAA Division III playoff berths, including 17 in the past 27 years. The Dutch have not had a losing season since 1960. Central is 2-1 heading into Iowa Conference play. Coach Jeff McMartin has an 81-28 (.743) record, and is in his 11th season for Central.

Oct. 2 Sports Recap

in Boys Cross Country/Boys Soccer/Community Sports/Football/Girls Cross Country/Golf/Tennis/Volleyball/Waubonsee Sports by

Sophomore Football
Sept. 26 @ DeKalb—The Knights defeated the Barbs 25-6. No individual stats were provided.

Boys JV Cross Country
Sept. 27 @ Aurora Central Catholic—The boys freshman/sophomore team placed sixth at the Charger Classic in Aurora. Kaneland also had runners compete in the open race, but no team score was kept. Fr/So results: 8: A. Kantola, 16:55; 23: A. Messina, 17:32.4; 28: S. Webster, 17:48.4; 33: H. Nosek, 18:05.6; 58: C. Girolamo, 18:53.7; 69: D. Wojak, 19:14.7; 77: K. Wells, 19:31.7. Open results: 63: P. Heiser, 19:20.7; 97: G. Wilk, 20:11.6; 127: J. O’Sullivan, 21:20.1; 139: Josh Kasap, 22:21.6; 140: G. Gingrich, 22:21.6; 155: J. Wolfe, 23:14.3; 159: K. Osborne, 23:29.1; 180: I. Piazza, 26:42.9; 185: C. Rutter, 29:07.5.

Girls Fr/So Cross Country
Sept. 27 @ Sterling—With only four runners, the Lady Knights didn’t factor into the scoring at Saturday’s Rock River Run in Sterling, Ill. Results: 6: G. Dodis, 21:20.7; 26; K. Huber, 23:14.9; 61: M. Dries, 26:42.6; M. Burger, 28:38.

Boys Freshman Soccer
Sept. 24 vs. Burlington Central—The Rockets shut out the Knights 4-0. Michael Minogue had five saves.

Boys Sophomore Soccer
Sept. 20 vs. Mendota—Kaneland won 3-2 over Mendota. Peter Castillo had two goals, and Brian Kemp had one. Assists came from Jon Turyna, Diego Ruiz and Brian Bartholomew.
Sept. 20 vs. Genoa-Kingston—The Knights won in overtime on penalty kicks. The score was tied 1-1. Jose Chavez scored on a Christian Medrano assist. KHS converted all five penalty kicks.
Sept. 23 vs. Yorkville—Kaneland defeated the Foxes 1-0 on a Chavez goal (Ruiz assist).
Sept. 25 vs. Sterling—The Knights and Warriors tied at 2. Brandon Luebke (Ruiz assist) and Bartholomew (John McCaffrey assist) had the Kaneland goals.
Sept. 30 vs. Ottawa—The Knights defeated Ottawa 4-0. Ruiz (Medrano assist) and Bartholomew (McCaffrey assist) each had a goal, while Medrano (one unassisted and a Chavez assist) scored twice. The Knights are 6-1-2, 4-0-1 in conference play.

Girls JV Tennis
Sept. 25 vs. Ottawa—The Lady Pirates defeated KHS 4-1. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Lauren Karolewicz and Marley Schultz was the lone Kaneland winner, defeating their Ottawa oppenents 10-5.

Freshman Volleyball
Sept. 25 vs. Aurora Christian—Kaneland defeated Aurora Christian 25-12, 25-19. No individual stats were provided.
Sept. 30 vs. Yorkville—The KHS freshman A team defeated Yorkville 25-12, 25-19 to move to 4-0 in conference play. The freshman B team lost 25-23, 25-16 to fall to 0-4 in conference play.

Sophomore Volleyball
Sept. 25 vs. Aurora Christian—The Lady Knights defeated Aurora Christian 25-12, 25-12. No individual stats were provided.
Sept. 30 vs. Yorkville—Yorkville narrowly defeated the Lady Knights 25-16, 18-25, 25-23. Kaneland is now 2-2 in conference play.

WCC Womens Soccer
Sept. 24 @ Oakton CC—Waubonsee defeated Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Ill., 2-1 in overtime. Andrea Garcia and Haley Kilbride had the WCC goals, while Kelli Cardine and Elizabeth Goll had the assists. Lisa Gaffino had four saves. WCC had 35 shots on goal, and is 7-2 on the season.

WCC Mens Soccer
Sept. 23 @ McHenry—Waubonsee tied McHenry 1-1. Akim Suraji had a goal from a Ramon Eurioles assist in the second half.
Sept. 28 @ Augustana—WCC earned a win over Augustana 3-2 in Rock Island, Ill. David Renoso (Juan Ponce assist) and David Sanchez both scored in the first half for WCC, while Suraji (Alex Del Toro assist) put in the game-winner in the second half. WCC’s men’s soccer is now 5-3-1 on the season.

Boys Fr/So Golf
Sept. 25 @ WWS—Wheaton-Warrenville South defeated the Knights 162-186. Dan Franck led KHS with a 45, and was followed closely by Joey Brandonisio’s 46. Jake Hummel (47), Jacob Milton (48), Michael Petrick (53) Brock Williams (53), Jake Romas (54) and Rhett Espe (55) also competed for the Knights.

Kaneland Youth
Football League
Sept. 27, 2014

Yorkville Black 6
@ Kaneland White 33
Burlington White 12
@ Kaneland Black 6 (OT)
DeKalb Orange 25
@ Kaneland Silver 0
DeKalb Black 0
@ Kaneland Orange 20

Burlington Blue 12
@ Kaneland Black 6
DeKalb Black 14
@ Kaneland White 13

Burlington Blue 22
@ Kaneland Black 8
DeKalb Black 50
@ Kaneland White 32

Burlington Blue 6
@ Kaneland Black 35
Yorkville White 7
@ Kaneland White 42

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald?
Have your coach email them to or fax to (630) 365-2251.

Can’t avoid the rush

in Football by

Photo: Senior Isaac Swithers was back in action Friday night, scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 44 yards. Photo by Ben Draper

Yorkville’s Kurtz rushes for 303 yards, 4 TDs, hands KHS 41-25 loss
YORKVILLE—Local observers of football have eyed a Yorkville football program on the rise.
On Friday, at Campbell Field, the Kaneland Knights were set up for a fall.

Behind 303 yards and four touchdowns for Foxes running back Mike Kurtz, the Knights’ three-quarter-long comeback—and a lead lasting all of 12 seconds—was negated by a furious rally in a 41-25 defeat.

Kaneland falls to 2-2, and 0-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII. Yorkville improved to 4-0, and 1-0 in the NIB-12.

The victory for Yorkville marks the first win over Kaneland’s program since Oct. 5, 2002, in what was a 34-13 decision at Yorkville’s homecoming. Kaneland’s win streak over Yorkville, over head coaches Jim Still and Karl Hoinkes, stopped at 11 encounters.

KHS has now lost two games in a row for the first time since dropping games to Batavia and Glenbard South in the 2008 season, a campaign that saw the Knights go 5-4 in regular season play. In Kaneland’s last nine combined regular season and playoff games dating back to last year, KHS is now 5-4.

“A credit to them, (Yorkville executed). We’ll look back on this and we’ll try to look at the positives,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Kaneland actually outgained the Foxes 371-368, with Yorkville failing to complete a pass in six attempts.

Knights QB Jake Marczuk was 20-for-36 for 252 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions, eventually resulting in three Yorkville touchdown drives. Marczuk was also the leading rusher for KHS with 68 yards, and a returning Isaac Swithers had 44 yards on the ground and two TDs.

On the pass-catching front, Tanner Robertsen caught six balls and Connor Fedderly caught seven, both for 83 yards.

“(Tanner) had a good game, he was a positive; Swizz (Isaac Swithers) was one and Connor was, too. We made some plays. We have playmakers; we just have to take a look at our mistakes,” Fedderly said.

A Brody Sharp interception concluded Kaneland’s first offensive possession, while Kurtz made them pay with a seven-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead with 8:06 to go in the first. Kaneland answered with an 11-play, 60-yard drive that concluded with a 25-yard field goal from Drew Franklin for a 7-3 score with 3:18 to go in the first.

Yorkville would next strike in the second quarter on QB Nathan Scott’s bootleg from the one 54 seconds into the frame for a 14-3 lead. Kaneland’s Franklin would bring the visitors closer with his boot from 23 yards out to make it 14-6 with 6:47 to go.

Another long drive for Kaneland that began on Isaiah Berenklau’s pick ended in a one-yard TD run for Swithers with 1:04 to play in the half to make it 14-13.

In the third quarter, after a nine-yard run by Tyler Paulson, Swithers busted through to the end zone with 5:52 to go to give the Knights their first lead at 19-14. Kurtz would scamper for a 65-yard touchdown run to give Yorkville the lead for good at 21-19.

Sharp would pick off another Kaneland pass, which would lead to a fourth-down bootleg by Scott for an 11-yard touchdown run with 3:31 to play the frame for a 28-19 lead. After a Knight punt, Yorkville’s Kurtz would convert on yet another 65-yard TD run for a 35-19 lead with 1:23 to go in the quarter.

Fourth-quarter scoring consisted of Kurtz’ 20-yard run with 9:06 to go, and a 33-yard bomb from Marczuk to Robertsen with 6:51 to go for the final 16-point margin.

Kaneland now plays visiting DeKalb, which comes in at 4-0 and is the top team on the IHSA Playoff Outlook for Class 6A. Kickoff is slated for Friday, Sept. 26, at 7:15 p.m.

Photos by Ben Draper

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