GENEVA—The Kane County Cougars will host a Christmas With Ozzie and Santa holiday event from 9:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Dec. 13, inside the upper deck level at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Children can meet Ozzie and Santa, pose for photos with them, and participate in numerous holiday activities. Those activities include a coloring station, ornament decorating station, and a cookie decorating station. The event is free, although there is a nominal cost of $5 per child to participate in the ornament and cookie decorating activities.
Attendees are also asked to bring a gently used winter coat or outerwear item. In conjunction with the South Elgin Lions Club, the Cougars are collecting items that will be donated to area families who are in need this winter. Fans who donate an item will receive one undated reserved seat ticket voucher, valid for a 2015 regular season Cougars game. The Cougars kicked off their annual coat drive earlier this month, and fans are encouraged to stop by the Cougars’ administrative office from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Items must be donated no later than noon on Friday, Dec. 19.
Additional information on the Christmas holiday event hosted by the Cougars is available at kccougars.com or by calling (630) 232-8811.
SUGAR GROVE—Former Ryder Cup player Jean Van de Velde and Bruce Heppler will serve as coaches of the European and United States 2015 Palmer Cup teams, respectively, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition, put on by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), will be played June 12-14. The 20 players will be announced by the GCAA mid-April. Both general admission and parking at the event will be free of charge.
“We would love to see a large amount of spectators on our course in June,” said Rich Harvest Farm’s Tournament Director Vicky McGowan. “With the tournament being just six months away, both the GCAA and Rich Harvest Farms are hard at work to make the tournament a huge success. This announcement only adds to the excitement on our property.”
Consistently ranked in Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, Rich Harvest Farms is an ultra-private, members-only club located in Sugar Grove. Owned and built by Jerry Rich, the course consists of 18 holes and is a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture.
The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) was established in 1958 and is located in Norman, OK. The GCAA is a non-profit organization and is the professional association of men’s collegiate golf coaches. Through its established events and programs, the GCAA maintains a goal of increasing awareness and the status of men’s golf. There are over 750 members in the GCAA representing all three NCAA divisions as well as NAIA and NJCAA.
The GCAA annually administers the Palmer Cup. In addition, the GCAA administers the team that represents the United States in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup. Through its CEO and national office staff, the GCAA is also responsible for coordinating several recognition and educational events each year. The GCAA functions as the primary award granting organization for men’s collegiate golf and has honored thousands of student-athletes and coaches since its inception.
Jean Van de Velde, European Coach
Van de Velde won the French amateur championship in 1986 and represented France in the World Team Amateur and the Continent against GB&I in the St. Andrews Trophy later that year. He launched his professional career in 1987. Van de Velde claimed his first European Tour event at the Roma Masters in 1993. In 1999, Van de Velde finished runner-up at The Open Championship and became the first French player to qualify for the Ryder Cup.
In addition to his appearances in the Ryder Cup, World Team Amateur and St. Andrews Trophy, Van de Velde represented France in 12 World Cups. He helped lead the Continent to victory over GB&I at the 2000 Seve Cup and Van de Velde captained at the 2011 event.
Van de Velde will also serve as Team Europe’s head coach for the 2016 Palmer Cup at Formby Golf Club on England’s Golf Coast.
“I feel very honored to have been appointed coach of the European Team of the Palmer Cup,” said Van de Velde. “It is a privilege, as well as a responsibility, to try guiding some of tomorrow’s future stars of the game. I hope that everyone involved with Team Europe will continue the successes our predecessors established. It is a big task, but we will try our utmost best, in doing so prolonging the values of our wonderful sport.”
Bruce Heppler, American Coach
This will be the second stint as head coach of the United States Palmer Cup team for Heppler. The Georgia Tech head coach was the first American Palmer Cup coach to face a team composed of European Players when the event was held at Cassique in 2003.
Heppler has guided the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Championship every year since 1998, and helped author 11 top-8 finishes in the Finals, including three runner-up showings. Tech is currently on a run unprecedented in school history—seven Atlantic Coast Conference titles in the last nine years and four trips to match play at the NCAA Championship in the last five.
During his tenure, Tech has won or shared 10 Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Only two ACC coaches have led their teams to more ACC titles than has Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have captured or shared 44 team titles overall. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2014 for the eighth time, more than any coach in ACC history except one, and was a finalist for the GCAA’s Dave Williams national coach of the year award.
Since 2000, the Yellow Jackets have finished in the top 10 of the final Golfstat rankings 11 times, and in the final Golfweek/Sagarin top 10 twelve times. Tech has not finished lower than 14th in either ranking in any year.
Heppler has recruited and developed his share of star players as well. The Yellow Jackets have had at least a pair of All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorees in 16 of the last 17 years, and landed four members of the team on the squad twice (2005, 2011). Tech has had at least two players earn All-America honors 14 of the last 16 years, and Ollie Schniederjans became the Jackets’ 20th first-team selection in 2014. Three of his players, Matt Kuchar, Bryce Molder and Troy Matteson, have been named national players of the year.
Heppler was a 2013 inductee to the GCAA Hall of Fame and serves as the Association’s treasurer.
“I am certainly honored to be selected as part of this year’s Palmer Cup,” Heppler said. “Any time you get a chance to represent your country and peers in any form it becomes a special opportunity. I know Rich Harvest Farms is committed to having a great event for these great players. I’m looking forward to a great week for these special players.”
The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 9-8-1.
KANELAND—After an initial win last week at the Batavia-based Ken Peddy Windmill Classic, Kaneland boys basketball failed to get any winning energy in the invite’s three closing contests.
Now 1-3, the Knights lost to St. Francis of Wheaton on Nov. 25, 50-44, and followed up with another setback to Batavia 59-30. On Friday evening, the invite ended with a 68-45 loss to the Wheaton-Warrenville South Tigers.
“We are still trying to find our identity. Valuing each possession on offense is going to be something that we need to concentrate on. Defensively, we need to trust in our principles and work hard on and off of the ball. We are a young team, and it is going to be a process,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.
Dylan Vaca paced the Knights against the Spartans with a team-high 15, and Ryan David had 12 in the losing effort. The Knights were 13-for-18 from the free-throw line.
Down 8-5 at the end of the first eight minutes, Kaneland charged back for a 21-16 lead at the half. KHS carried a 31-25 lead into the fourth before St. Francis owned the fourth quarter and went on a 25-13 run to end it.
The setback against the host Bulldogs featured Mark Lilly leading the visitors with just seven points. KHS earned 13 of its 30 points from the charity stripe.
Kaneland fell behind 18-3 after the first frame before pulling to 29-20 at halftime. Batavia held Kaneland to just 10 second-half points and found itself up 38-24 going into the fourth frame. The 21-6 run occupying the entire fourth quarter cinched matters.
The Knights failed to get another double-figure scorer against the DuPage Valley Conference rep Tigers, with David leading the way with eight. KHS did go an exemplary 21-for-23 from the foul line.
KHS found itself in another first quarter hole at 21-5 and 38-22 at halftime. Kaneland was outscored 30-23 in the second half.
On Friday, Dec. 5, the Knights travel to Morris for the beginning of Northern Illinois Big XII play.
KHS battles Westmont/ Nazareth/IC Catholic triad to win tournament
KANELAND—After a steady season-opening win over Elmwood Park last week, the Lady Knights contingent took to the IC Catholic courts in Elmhurst, Ill., to complete the pre- and post-Thanksgiving tour.
Kaneland’s final three challenges saw two double-digit wins and a spotless slate for the tournament championship and a 4-0 mark to start the 2014-15 season.
On Nov. 25, the Lady Knights took it to Westmont 48-31, and did the same on Nov. 26 to Nazareth Academy 44-30, before besting IC Catholic 40-31 in the final on Friday.
“We feel like we give ourselves a chance to win if we can take away a few of the things that our opponents like to do offensively. Our team did a nice job of making our opponents work hard for a shot,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.
In the win over the Interstate Eight Conference entry Sentinels, the Lady Knights saw post presence Bailey Crimmins produce 16 points, followed by Morgan Weber with eight.
Crimmins also had eight rebounds in the winning effort, as did Camri Conley, who also swiped five steals. Kaneland was 7-of-14 from the foul line for a 50 percent clip. KHS was 20-of-55 from the field.
Kaneland trailed 12-10 after one, but used a 14-5 run the span of the second quarter for a 24-17 lead. Westmont closed to within 33-27 after the third quarter buzzer before KHS pulled away with a furious fourth.
Squaring off against the Roadrunners of Nazareth, the Lady Knights went 15-for-39 from the field and 10-for-15 from the charity stripe. KHS allowed only seven total field goals on the day.
Morgan and Jen Weber led the way with 11 points each, and Conley pulled down nine boards—from the point guard position—along with three steals.
KHS dialed it down against the opposing IC Catholic Lady Knight squad, going 11-for-32 from the field and 15-for-24 from the line. Crimmins carried the charge with a 13-point, seven-rebound effort. Ally Van Bogaert contributed eight points.
Ahead for Kaneland is the tip-off for Northern Illinois Big XII action in Morris on Friday, Dec. 5.
KANELAND—For starters, KHS coach Joe Orosco and his wrestling squad are producing results like seasoned veterans, even if it’s still early.
Back on Nov. 25, Kaneland rolled into East Moline United and came away with two wins out of three tries, while on Saturday, KHS won handily over Burlington Central and Freeport before falling to Wheaton-Warrenville South.
Kaneland (4-2) took to the Quad Cities area before Thanksgiving and beat Sterling 46-18, lost to Moline 41-25 and vanquished Morton 39-33.
KHS beat Burlington Central 44-21 and Freeport 66-12 before losing to WWS 39-32.
“We started off on Tuesday and saw a lot of mistakes, but they’ve come back today and corrected some of that. We’re seeing matchups we want to see, and they’re progressing better than I thought,” Orosco said.
In East Moline against Sterling, 160-pound Riley Vanik won a 4-3 match, followed by 170-pound Colin Gussman winning a 12-1 major decision. At 182, Zach Parker took a 2:56 pinfall, followed by Austin Parks winning a 20-5 tech fall at 195. Tom Price (220) stuck a 1:32 pin, and later Austin Kedzie secured a 13-1 major decision at 106. At 120, Adam Mish won his 3-0 decision, followed by Matthew Redman doing the same at 126 with a 5-1 mark. Jacob Shearer won a 4:55 match at 138, and KHS grappler George Strang pinned his opponent at 5:02 for the 152 win.
In the loss against Moline, Gussman won a 4-2 match, Parker won 6-2 and Parks took a 13-3 major decision. Price was able to get a 2:32 pin, but Moline won four in a row. The other two wins for the Knights occurred thanks to Redman with a 4-2 win and Vanik in 3:34.
Against Morton, Price took a :51 pinfall, and heavyweight Zach Thielk earned a 4:41 pin. Kedzie stuck a 1:35 fall, and at 145, Mitchell Jones earned a 4-2 nod. With the match coming down to the 170 battle, Gussman was able to win for Kaneland by 2:26 pinfall.
On Saturday versus the rival Rockets, wins came the way of Price (2:11), Thielk (1:12), Mish (:15), Redman (5-0), Strang (5:47), Vanik (4:37), Gussman (13-9), Parker (5-2) and Parks (20-5 TF).
“It’s really aggressive out there, and you have to rely on speed and going around and through. It’s a lot more aggressive here than at the other weights,” Parks said.
Six forfeits took place against the Pretzels, but other wins came courtesy of Kedzie (1:23), Mish (12-6), Redman (1:47), Strang (1:43) and Vanik (1:30).
In the loss against the Tigers, two forfeits were stacked on wins for KHS personnel like Redman (12-0 MD), Strang (5-2), Vanik (4:08), Gussman (5-2) and Parks (9-0 MD).
On Thursday, Dec. 4, Kaneland enters head-to-head Northern Illinois Big XII action at Sycamore.
Westminster Tournament Nov. 25-29
Nov. 25 vs. Luther North—The Knights opened the season with a 54-17 romp of Luther North. Clark Hendricks had nine points, while Jack Marshall had eight. Eleven Knights scored in the game.
Nov. 26 vs. Indian Creek—Kaneland won 58-38. Brock Harner led the Knights with 12 points, while Garrett Hukle had 11 and Josh Pollastrini had 10. Matt Noel and Marshall each had nine points.
Nov. 28 vs. Christian Liberty—KHS won 63-27. Marshall and Hukle each had 11 points to lead the Knights. Noel and Dan Franck each had eight points, while Polastrini supplied six and Luke Calabrese had five.
Nov. 29 vs. St. Edward—The Knights won the tournament championship with their 48-36 win over St. Edward. Calabrese led the team with nine points, while Robby Nachereiner and Jake Hed each had seven points. Noel, Marshall and Pollastrini each had six points.
Dec. 2 vs. Marmion—The Knights fell to 4-1 on the season after a 56-52 loss to Marmion. Hukle had a monster game with 32 points. Noel and Pollastrini each had six points, and Marshall had four.
Girls Freshman Basketball
Leyden Tournament Nov. 25; 29
Nov. 25 vs. Leyden—Katrina Van Horn’s 12 points led Kaneland to a 36-25 win over the tournament host. Shayna Hurston and Addie Ringel each had nine points, while Cierra Kuipers had four.
Nov. 29 vs. Addison Trail—The Lady Knights won 32-14 behind Ringel’s 14 points.
Nov. 29 vs. Riverside-Brookfield—The Knights won 40-13. Faith Cowsert had nine points, while Ringel had eight and Hurston had seven. Nine total girls scored for the Lady Knights. KHS was undefeated at the tournament.
Dec. 1 vs. LaSalle-Peru—The Lady Knights suffered their first loss of the 2014-15 season, falling to L-P 35-24. Ringel led the way with 15 points, while Van Horn was the next-leading scorer with four.
Girls JV Bowling
Dec. 2 vs. DeKalb—The Lady Knights won by forfeit over DeKalb. Amber Spaetzel led the team with a 322 series, followed closely by Melissa Endrenal’s 321. Natalie Barnhart had a 298 series, while Vanessa Guzman rolled a 281, Ally McPhee a 277, Marissa Michi a 226 and Hannah Leeper a 184.
Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to (630) 365-2251.
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.
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.
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.
KANELAND—Although the nearest beaches are some 60-miles away on the shores of Lake Michigan, Kaneland senior Julia Goldbeck has signed a college athletic scholarship to play sand volleyball at San Jose State University.
Goldbeck’s high school volleyball career has followed a circuitous route from the indoor game to the sand game. At 5 feet, 10.5 inches tall and 150 pounds, she was a starting middle hitter as a sophomore for a Lady Knights volleyball team that advanced to the IHSA regional final. She started playing club sand volleyball as summer conditioning after her freshman year.
Following a coaching change at Kaneland after her sophomore season, Goldbeck became fully-immersed in the sand game and started playing and training for it year-around for a local club team called Team One, which has an indoor/outdoor facility in Aurora and plays in major summer Midwest sand volleyball tournaments at North Avenue Beach and Montrose Beach in Chicago, and at City Municipal Beach in Milwaukee. Team One won the 18 and under USA title at the 2013 National Beach Volleyball Championships in Milwaukee and the 16 and under team title at the 2014 AAU National Beach Volleyball Championships, in Hermosa Beach, Calif.—tournaments where lots of college recruiters saw Julia play.
Sport: Sand Volleyball
Julia says: “I love the strategy of sand volleyball, having to master all the skills of the game, and having to play in lock-step with my partner. My goal is to make an impact on the San Jose State sand volleyball program and to play in the NCAA Championships before I graduate.”
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
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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
Future Ball St. Cardinal gets Under Armour All-American consideration
KANELAND—Despite coming up on the short end of a regional final opportunity in Hampshire late last month, senior Ellie Dunn still had something to celebrate for herself and Kaneland volleyball as a whole.
On Nov. 5, Dunn was named as one of 150 players included in the Under Armour All-America Honorable Mentions by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
“Coach Violett texted me and the AD (Peter Goff) shook my hand in the hallway and said congratulations,” Dunn said. “It’s awesome for me to be included. It’s cool to see that honor and to see people I play club with get the honor, too.”
An outside hitter, Dunn was one of seven honorable mentions from Illinois and joins first-teamer Brooklyn Goodsel of Corry, Pa., as future Ball State University Cardinal volleyball players.
Dunn feels that even with the wide variety of players and regions, there are some common threads.
“If you’re on that list, there’s a competitiveness and a drive there that they all have,” Dunn said.
Dunn, who played three years of varsity volleyball at Kaneland for coaches Todd Weimer, Kerri McCastland and Cyndi Violett, made it to three consecutive Regional finals with the Lady Knights, earning a regional plaque in 2012 as a sophomore.
“From the beginning, we always wanted to play hard, no matter who was there. We wanted to be a team and gave our best,” Dunn said.
The senior had 795 total career kills, 211 service points, 139 blocks and 525 digs to hang her reputation on, and might even give her a lift to Muncie, Ind., for future Mid-American Conference play.
“There’s going be talented girls on the team and in the conference; they were the best girls where they were from,” Dunn said. “But it’s awesome to have accomplished.”
PEORIA, ILL.—Kaneland junior Brianna Bower on Saturday stood on the 100 yard long starting line for the start of the IHSA Girls 2A State Cross Country Championships. Looking out toward the wooded hills at the south end of Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill., was a familiar sight for her, as was seeing the entire circumference of the historic 3-mile course ring lined shoulder-to-shoulder with more than 30,000 spectators.
To Bower’s left and right were 175 runners representing 25 advancing teams, and another 35 individual runners who, like her, had punched their tickets to Peoria by being one of the top-seven individual finishers from a non-advancing team at their Sectional.
This was Bower’s third trip to the big dance, where she had placed 32nd as a freshman and 37th last fall as a sophomore, on Lady Knights teams that placed sixth and fifth, respectively. What wasn’t familiar was being in the starting box without her teammates. The previous weekend, Kaneland had fallen one spot short of the fifth and final team qualifying place for the State meet at their Sectional championship, despite running their best race of the season and beating five ranked teams.
So for the first time in her cross country career, Bower was running solo in her silver and black Kaneland Knights checkerboard jersey.
Her focus was on placing in the top 25—a feat that would earn her All-State honors.
The weather earlier in the week in Peoria had been dry, so the footing was firm at this historically fast course. But the conditions were frigid with temperatures in the mid-40s and gusty winds, resulting in a wind chill near 30 degrees.
Bower has a condition known as “exercise-induced asthma” (or E.I.A.), which is a constriction of the airways in the lungs during exercise. It causes shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing during strenuous exercise. E.I.A. is not uncommon among endurance athletes, and it is often triggered or accentuated by cold temperatures. For Bower, it’s like trying to run 3 miles with a belt cinched tightly around her throat. There are inhalers she can, and does, use to ease her condition.
“Brianna got out well and was placed in the top 20 at the halfway mark, then slowed and gradually fell back more than 50 places. I knew right away she was having asthma issues,” head coach Doug Ecker said.
Despite her breathing issues, Bower on the final 600 yard uphill finishing straightaway moved up more than 10 places to finish 57th in the field of 210 of the state’s best 2A runners with a time of 18 minutes, 34 seconds. Bower ran 18:33 last year and 18:09 in 2012. File Photo
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-1 to accept the resignations of two Kaneland High School assistant softball coaches.
Board trustee Tony Valente was the lone “no” vote. He spoke about the two coaches, Kristyn Crawford and Andrew Franklin, during the meeting.
“We’re losing the majority of our staff,” Valente said.
Valente also mentioned former softball head coach Brian Willis. The School Board on Sept. 29 voted and approved Willis’ release from his coaching position.
Willis had said that a harassment charge was filed against him in May 2014.
“After an investigation, it was found to have no basis,” Willis read from a statement at the Sept. 29 meeting. “The root of the complaint was because an athlete was not playing as many innings as the parents thought she should. And they had to come up with something, thus the harassment charge.”
Valente on Monday called it “troubling” to lose three coaches at the high school, and noted that the coaches are “phenomenal teachers.”
Valente also said he was tempted to call the coaches, but decided to “stay off the dance floor.”
Kaneland Interim Superintendent Renee Goier said that the resignations were due to “personal reasons.”
Junior Brianna Bower qualifies for State as an individual
KANELAND—The Knights’ boys and girls cross country teams were hoping for a little home course advantage at the IHSA Class 2A Sectional meet at Kaneland High School on Saturday.
To have a chance to advance to the State championships in Peoria this weekend, the Knights knew they needed to have better performances than they produced at the qualifying meet the previous weekend at the Woodstock regional, where the boys placed fifth and the girls placed fourth in the 10-team fields.
As it turned out, both teams produced their best performances of the season, but both came up just shy of a State berth.
The 18-team Kaneland sectional—one of five held state-wide on Saturday—featured the top-six placing teams from the Antioch, Belvidere North and Woodstock regional meets, plus the top-five placing individuals from teams that did not advance at those meets. It was considered the toughest 2A Sectional meet in Illinois, with 10 of the top-25 ranked girls’ teams on the starting line, including seven of the top-eight ranked teams led by No. 1 Yorkville.
In the boys’ race, five of the top 10 2A teams in the state were in the field, again led by No. 1 Yorkville. At each sectional, only the top-5 placing teams would punch their tickets to Peoria, plus the top-seven individual finishers from non-advancing teams.
At the Kaneland Sectional, it was cloudy and a brisk 37 degrees for the 10 a.m. girls’ race, but the snow and blustery winds from the previous day had disappeared. At the gun, Marengo senior Kitty Allen shot to the front, with only Belvidere North sophomore Jenna Lutzow willing to go with her. Mid-way through the 3-mile race, the duo opened a 100-yard lead on the rest of the field, with Kaneland junior Brianna Bower in the chase pack of 10 runners. In the last half of the race, Bower was in the top-15 and Kaneland senior Victoria Clinton had moved up into the top 30, with teammates Andrea Wells and senior Aislinn Lodwig in tow.
With 100 yards to go, Lutzow passed Allen to win the race in 17 minutes, 33 seconds, and Yorkville packed five runners into the top 22 places to win team honors with a 72-point total. Bower charged home in 12th place in 18:11, with teammates Victoria Clinton, Andrea Wells and Aislinn Lodwig all running under 19:00 in 27th, 35th and 39th place, respectively.
Kaneland’s No. 5 finisher, senior Jessica Kucera, ended up in 70th place in 19:30. Kucera gave the Lady Knights a team score of 171 and a sixth-place finish, ahead of ranked teams like Rockford Boylan, Marengo, Lakes and Woodstock.
Though the Kaneland girls missed advancing to the State championships by one place, Brianna Bower advanced as one of the top seven individual finishers from non-advancing teams.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” head coach Doug Ecker said after the race. “I don’t think any of our seven runners could have finished one place higher today. They left it all on the course and finished our season with a great performance.”
“All I wanted to do today was run a P.R. (personal record),” Bower said. “So I went out fast and pushed hard all the way.”
Bower’s quest for a fast time led her to running an aggressive race, which resulted in her earning her third-consecutive appearance in the State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Peoria, Ill. That, despite suffering a stress fracture in her foot last summer that saw her start the season under-trained and in the back of the pack.
In the boys’ race, things were much the same as for the girls, yet very different for Kaneland. The boys team was closer to a qualifying berth than the girls—missing by only eight points behind Prairie Ridge’s 162.
Prior to the race, head coach Chad Clarey knew an aggressive race was the only way his Knights would emerge from the tough Sectional field.
“Our goal today is to have Austin Kintz and Matt Richtman place in the top 15 individually and make a run at qualifying for the state meet—and for the rest of our team to run faster and closer together than we have all season,” Clarey said prior to the start. “That would be a daunting task with ten of the top-20-ranked 2A teams in the state standing next to them on the starting line, including 19 runners who had qualified for the state track championships last spring.”
At the start, Yorkville’s senior twins Jake and Luke Hoffert sprinted to the front of the race, and stayed there for the next 3 miles. Vernon Hills sophomore Shane Williamson was the only one who took up the chase, which proceeded at sub-15:00 pace. He ran most of the race 50 yards behind the Hofferts and 100 yards ahead of the rest of the chase pack.
A half-mile into the race, Kaneland’s Kintz, Richtman and senior Brandon Park were running in the mid-20s in the field of 147 runners. Over the last mile, Kintz and Richtman kept working their way past tiring early front-runners. Park defended his place in the 20s, and senior Mitch Reger broke away from teammates junior Sean Spaetzel, sophomore Andrew Kantola and junior Will Kuipers.
At the finish, Jake Hoffert crossed the line in 14:49, 1 second ahead of his brother Luke, and Yorkville added places 9, 27 and 28 to win the team title with 67 points. Behind them, a dogfight was being waged for the final four team qualifying spots for the State meet, with runners diving for the finish line and collapsing on the ground due to exhaustion.
In the end, Austin Kintz placed 16th in 15:33, and Matt Richtman placed 17th in 15:39—finishes that left them just two and three places short, respectively, of the final individual State qualifying spot. Park and Reger ran 3-mile lifetime bests of 15:48 and 16:28. And Spaetzel’s 69th-place finish gave Kaneland a team score of 170 points and sixth place—just eight points behind the fifth and final qualifying place for the State Championships.
The Knights’ efforts saw the team finish ahead of five ranked teams. Burlington Central senior Clay Musial qualified as the seventh individual finisher from non-advancing teams.
“This race was the start of something big for these guys,” Clarey said after the race. “It gives us momentum and confidence heading into the track season, and it sets the stage for us to end the cross country season next fall standing on the starting line at the state meet.”
In her third year qualifying for the IHSA State Meet, Bower will toe the line Saturday at 11 a.m. at Detweiller Park in Peoria. As a freshman, Bower placed 32nd with a time of 18:09, and ran 18:33 for 37th place last season. Bower represents the final fall-sport athlete still competing for Kaneland.
Volleyball run down by BC in three-game regional final loss
HAMPSHIRE, Ill.—Kaneland volleyball didn’t meet with defeat often in 2014.
But, similar to last season’s regional final end, the Lady Knights fell victim to two unfortunate games in a row. Burlington Central, the No. 2 Hampshire Regional seed, bested No. 1 KHS last Thursday evening by a 14-25, 25-20, 25-20 tally.
Kaneland (24-9-1) finished the season with an eight-match improvement in the first year of head coach Cyndi Violett’s second go-around. The Lady Knights had earned a trip to the final with a sweep of No. 4 St. Edward of Elgin, Ill., on Monday.
“It was a back-and-forth game,” Violett said. “The first one we came out really strong; Burlington came together. It could have gone either way—no big run of points at all. Our serve-receive was breaking down, and we couldn’t get it to our hitters as much as we wanted.”
KHS was defeated by Sycamore in the Sandwich Regional final in 2013 after capturing the first game there, as well.
Taking advantage of disjointed Rocket play and well-placed kills, Kaneland found itself up 20-12 in the first set, and eventually led 22-14. Hannah Nauert’s bump, Riley Hannula’s tip and a joint block by Ellie Dunn and Hannula ended the first game in speedy fashion.
The BC game solidified and was able to keep the match from getting out of hand. Kaneland was only able to muster a 12-9 advantage for its biggest lead. The Rockets tied it up at 16, with Dunn’s emphatic kill giving the Lady Knights its final lead of the game at 17-16. BC would then go on a 7-2 run. A Nauert slap over the net would later close to 23-20 before a KHS tandem block went out of bounds to even the match.
Another even meeting took place in the rubber game, with neither team able to build more than a three-point lead. The Rockets became more cohesive and took advantage of unsuccessful Kaneland sequences for a 14-12 lead. Down 16-15, Kaneland benefited from a Dunn kill and a net violation to go up 17-16, the final Kaneland lead.
BC would score five of the next eight available points for a 24-19 edge before a Nauert set over the net closed it to four. On game point, a block attempt was ruled out sending the Rocket fans on the Whip-pur court in celebration.
Dunn finished with 13 kills against the Rockets, providing 19 digs, five service points and two blocks. Anna Senese had seven service points, six kills and eight digs, while Nauert had eight kills, four service points and two blocks.
Kaneland says goodbye to seniors like Ball State-bound Dunn, Rachel Kintz, Brittany Grider, Senese and Hannula.
“We’re going to miss some key girls,” Violett said “What’s good for this offseason is we still have a lot of great girls. It’s a good nucleus of hitters, not as much power hitters, but still good.”
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.”
Photo: Seniors Jelly Emmanouil of Sugar Grove, Sammie Schrepferman and Madi Jurcenko both of Elburn. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Duo officially 9th in doubles, Schrepferman goes 3-2 with consolation end
KANELAND—The last several years of Kaneland tennis has been an exercise in excellence.
A State presence with several qualifiers each year, KHS was always ready to show what it could on the District 214 courts.
In 2014, doubles qualifiers Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko, and singles qualifier Samantha Schrepferman, showed quite a bit.
Schrepferman went 3-2 on her route through the fifth round of the consolation quarterfinals, while the Lady Knight duo made it all the way to the quarterfinals and went 4-2, finishing ninth after consolation quarterfinals.
“I think every match is different,” Jurcenko said. “You’re going to have different opponents every time, so you have to try to win matches a different way. You play to the match.”
KHS, with 13 total team points, finished in a tie with Highland Park for 16th place, tops in school history. Hinsdale Central (49), Stevenson (40) and Lyons Township (33) were the top three schools. Carmel’s Brienne Minor defeated Hinsdale Central’s Isabella Lorenzini to win the singles title, while Stevenson’s Vinaya Rao and Katherine Harvey beat HC’s Erika Oku and Stephanie Dolehide to win the doubles crown.
In her third State singles competition for Kaneland, Schrepferman (30-6), began with a win over Glenbrook South’s Breck Murphy 6-1, 6-4. In the second round, Schrepferman beat Grant’s Gaby Schoenberg 7-6, 6-4. Third-round action brought the first loss over the three-day affair to Palatine’s Asuka Kawai 6-1, 6-0. Fourth-round consolation bracket action saw a 6-1, 6-1 win over South Elgin’s Lisa Derowski, and the final match, in fifth-round consolation action, saw a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Madison Tattini of Bloomington Central Catholic.
Emmanouil and Jurcenko beat Crystal Lake Central’s Maddie Fox and Carely George 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, and Mt. Zion’s Megan Malgemann and Mara Lebo 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in the second.
“I’d say the first win was my favorite one. It was good to get that out of the way,” Jurcenko said.
Third-round action had a tense, three-set win over Whitney Young’s Sloane Williams and Kendall Scruggs in a 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 match. In the fourth round, the Lady Knights disposed of Triad’s Alexis and Kylie McCarthy 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champs Rao and Harvey 6-1, 6-0. In the Rolling Meadows-housed consolation quarters, Williams and Scruggs beat the Lady Knights in a shortened match due to darkness.
The pair of Knight-Dolphin matches during State had their share of disputes over line calls.
“The Whitney Young matches were tough and really emotional. They were interesting matches,” Jurcenko said.
“I think the most noteworthy matches were the two with Whitney Young and the quarterfinal match against Stevenson,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “The Whitney Young matches were difficult on two levels. The girls just didn’t like each other, so as good as all four players are, and as good as the tennis was, it was also an emotional and mental battle on the courts. I would say the win in the third round was an emotional high and the loss in the consolation round was an emotional low for the tournament.”
Play on Thursday in the middle of matches was suspended due to a suspicious package left near the football field, halting play for two hours.
“I really wasn’t surprised at all that they made it that far,” Larsen said. “After watching them play the Sectional tournament, I had said to a couple of people privately that if they could maintain that level of play, it would be hard to imagine anyone beating them. Through all of the distractions, emotions, level of play, time on and off the courts, and the sheer volume of tennis they played over those three days, there were some natural ups and downs on the court, and who could blame them? So, no, I wasn’t surprised, but it was a difficult journey to get there, that’s for sure.”
Photo: Sophomore Hannah Nauert, and junior Annmarie Franz set up senior Ellie Dunn for a spike back over to St. Edwards Tuesday. Photo by Mary Paulson
Lady Knights also handle St. Edward in Regional match
KANELAND—Area volleyball fans are now able to classify Kaneland High School volleyball as an upper-echelon Northern Illinois Big XII conference squad, and depending on how the Class 3A regionals go, something even greater.
To close out the 2014 regular season campaign, Kaneland sought and earned revenge over a Yorkville squad that entered with just one loss on the year in a two-game Thursday sweep. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Kaneland trekked to Hampshire for the start of the regional and solved Elgin’s St. Edward by a final of 25-21, 25-22.
Against the host Foxes, the Lady Knights earned a 26-24, 25-14 duke. It is believed to be the first share of a conference title for the KHS program in over 30 years, as the Kaneland and Yorkville crews each finished with one loss. Kaneland finished 7-1 in East division play.
After the regional win over St. Edward on Tuesday in Hampshire, Kaneland is now 24-8-1 overall.
Ellie Dunn had a key 13-kill total against the Foxes, while Hannah Nauert and Hollie Fedderly supplied 14 assists each. Kathy Nguyen added 11 digs.
Facing the Green Wave, the Lady Knights got six service points, two aces, six kills and 10 digs from Dunn. Riley Hannula supplied four service points, an ace, three blocks and eight kills. Teammate Anna Senese had three service points, four kills and eight digs in the sweep.
Kaneland was set to face (2) Burlington Central on Thursday, Oct. 30, for the Hampshire Regional title, and the right to go to the Rochelle Sectional beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
BC defeated Genoa-Kingston 26-24, 25-14 on Tuesday. A year ago, Kaneland beat Plano in the Sandwich Regional semifinal before falling to Sycamore in the title match, 17-25, 25-12, 25-18.
10/31/2014 update: The Kaneland volleyball team lost to Burlington Central 25-14, 20-25, 20-25 in the Regional final. Their season ends at 24-9-1. See the Elburn Herald next Thursday for more detailed coverage.
Photo: Junior Austin Kintz edged this Yorkville runner by .1 seconds to finish 13th at Saturday’s Woodstock Regional. Photo submitted by Patti Wilk to email@example.com
WOODSTOCK, ILL.—Due to the clutch performance during Saturday’s Class 2A Woodstock Regional, the Knight boys cross country roster lives to run another day.
That day will actually take place at Kaneland High School this Saturday.
With a fifth-place, 125-point finish, the Knights were one of the top six regional teams, advancing to the Kaneland Sectional at the Maple Park grounds this weekend.
Yorkville’s 49 total was king for the meet, followed by Vernon Hills’ 74, Crystal Lake Central’s 76, Prairie Ridge’s 104, Kaneland and Sycamore’s 161. Burlington Central was three points shy of qualifying at 164 at the 10-team gathering.
Jake Hoffert of Yorkville was the fastest runner at 15:43, but Kaneland’s seven served its purpose. Separated by a minute and 46 seconds, the Knights were paced by Austin Kintz’s 16:46 for 13th place.
Matthew Richtman, in his first KHS postseason, was second-best on the team in 19th place at 16:56. Brandon Park ran a 17:11 (22), followed by teammate Sean Spaetzel at 17:38 (33).
Fifth-best for KHS was Mitch Reger at 17:50 (38), followed by Andrew Kantola at 17:59 (42) and Will Kuipers at 18:32 (52).
“We feel fortunate to have advanced from the most talented regional in the 2A field,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “With two state trophy teams and three other State qualifiers from a year ago, it was packed. We realize that very good teams did not advance.”
A year ago, Kaneland finished third with 109 points at the Burlington Central Regional, with Spaetzel the only returnee from the top seven.
The Kaneland Sectional is set to start the boys field at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, with teams from the Woodstock, Antioch and Belvidere Regionals.
“We are happy to head home, where we can host the Sectional and hopefully bring a peak race to the field,” Clarey said.