SUGAR GROVE—Boys and girls ages 8 through 14 are invited to participate in the 31st annual Hitting Camp hosted by Waubonsee Community College. The hitting camp runs from Monday, June 8, through Thursday, June 11, for baseball and fast-pitch softball. Instruction begins each day at 12:30 p.m. and continues until 2:30 p.m. on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus.
The head instructors for the camp, new Waubonsee head coach Brad Unger and Naperville North High School’s Mark Lindo, will teach the fundamentals and techniques of hitting with the emphasis on the basic mechanics necessary to excel at baseball and softball. Station work, group drills and individualized instruction are used to teach each player those skills. The cost is $75 for each participant and $55 for each additional family member. Each participant will receive a camp T-shirt. Brochures are available at Kirhofer’s Sports in Aurora or by contacting Brad Unger at (630) 466-2524 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is on line at www.waubonseetickets.com.
A baseball pitching camp will be offered immediately following the hitting camp. The fee for the pitching camp is $35 and runs from 2:35 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. beginning Monday, June 8, through Thursday, June 11. Registration for the pitching camp is also online at www.waubonseetickets.com.
Photo: Junior Allie Heinzer qualified for the Class 2A State Finals
in four events for the Knights. File Photo
Girls track wins third-straight Sectional; sends 12 to State Finals
HANOVER, Ill.—There won’t be many empty seats when the Knights travel to the IHSA Girls State Track and Field meet in Charleston, Ill. this weekend. The Knights almost doubled the score of second-place Erie-Prophetstown in the 17-team Galena Sectional May 15 to win their third-consecutive IHSA Sectional title and advance five athletes in six individual events, plus all four relays, to the State Championships—12 athletes total.
In the opening event on the track, a team of junior Carly Bartholomew, senior Jessica Kucera, junior Noelle Espino and senior Aislinn Lodwig punched tickets to the State meet with a third-place finish in a season-best 9 minutes, 45 seconds. Freshman Shanya Hurston, junior Allie Heinzer, freshman Jamie Martens and sophomore Carly Elliott then took four more seats on the bus by winning the 4x100m relay in a season-best time of 49.04, which is within a few hundredths of the school record. Next, in the 3200m, junior Brianna Bower added the sectional title to last week’s Northern Illinois Big XII mile title on her resume with a 23-second win in 11:22.07, while senior Victoria Clinton placed fourth in 12:28.78. Next, in the 100m hurdles final, senior Taylor Eaves didn’t advance or score, but ran a PR 16.48 in seventh place.
In the 100m dash final, Heinzer made her second of four trips to the top of the awards podium, winning in 12.76, while Hurston placed sixth in 13.31. Next, in one of the highlights of the meet, the fast-improving Espino beat a stacked 800m field in a PR 2:17.24. The 4x200m relay team of Elliott, Hurston, Martens and Olivia Galor then took its place on the podium after winning in a season-best 1:45.42. They were followed by Heinzer winning the 400m in an impressive time of 57.49—the third best time in the State.
Eaves finished a great meet, and closed out her high school track career, with another PR placing fifth in the 300m hurdles in 49.01. Brianna Bower and freshman standout Andrea Wells combined for eight-points in the 1600m with third- and fifth-place finishes in 5:17.80 and a PR 5:34.50. Elliott placed seventh in the 200m final in 27.26, then a foursome of Martens, Bartholomew, Galor and Heinzer won the final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay, in a school record time of 4:00.49. Heinzer, with wins in the 100m and 400m, and legs on the winning 4x100m and 4x400m relays, led all Knights’ scorers with 25 points.
In the field, sophomores Lexie Guerra and Sydney Davidson got things started by placing first and third, respectively in the pole vault on May 13 in Freeport, Ill., with state-qualifying marks of 10 feet, 3 inches and 9-09 to score 18points for the Lady Knights. The Sectional host did not have a pole vault facility, so the event was forced off-site and placed earlier in the week. Sophomore Maddie Keifer tied for fourth in the high jump at 4-010, and freshman Meghan Andrews placed third in the long jump with a PR jump of 15-011, then placed fourth in the triple jump at 32-04.
“It was a better overall meet than we thought it might be in terms of quality,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “As usual, our athletes competed really hard. And there were a lot of other teams who had kids step up to record season bests, PRs, and State-qualifying marks who weren’t on the radar screen. The 800m produced eight State qualifiers, the 4x400m relay produced seven State qualifiers and the 4x100m produced six. The discus produced five State qualifiers. It was also best organized Sectional meet I’ve ever been a part of. I wouldn’t mind coming here every year if it wasn’t 120 miles away.”
Knights tie Geneseo for 3rd consecutive conference title ROCHELLE, Ill.—While they didn’t necessarily upset top-seeded Geneseo, the Kaneland Knights—with help from a big night in the throws—tied the Maple Leafs for the Northern Illinois Big XII title. The Knights’ 91 points matched Geneseo Friday night in a close meet that saw the top four teams separated by just 9.5 points.
The 2015 Kaneland squad lost 10 State qualifiers from its 2014 State runner-up team to graduation. Before the season, head coach Eric Baron said the 2015 team’s goals are the same as always: win the conference, county and Sectional team titles.”
“The bottom line is, we have a very young team with great talent and very little varsity experience. We are usually a better team outdoors with a longer dash and high hurdles race, and the addition of the 4x100m relay, the 300m hurdles, and the discus,” Baron said after placing fourth at the NIB-12 Indoor Championships last March. “With continued improvement and more big meet experience under our belts, we can be a factor.”
On the track, Friday’s meet started with the Knights placing fourth in the 4x800m relay in 8:13.07 with an all-junior team of Austin Kintz (who led off in 1:57.2), Drew Franklin, Jim Franklin and Sean Spaetzel. Next came a second-place finish in the 4x100m relay in a season-best 43.08 with seniors Ben Barnes and Issac Swithers and juniors Tanner Robertson and Brandon Cruz on the carriers. Robertson then eked out two fifth-place points in the 110m hurdles final with a new personal record (PR) time of 15.93. In the next two events, the 100m and 800m, Kaneland didn’t score, but sophomore Matt Kainrath ran a PR 2:10.64 in the 800m. In the 4x200m relay, however, a Knights foursome of Barnes, Swithers, junior John Delach and Cruz placed second in 1:31.55.
Kaneland was shutout in the 400m, but countered with Tanner Robertson placing second in the 300m hurdles in 41.13. Next, Austin Kintz ran a five-second PR of 4:22.32 for second place in the 1600m, putting him in the mix to score in the State meet. Not scoring in seventh place—but far from unnoticed—was freshman Matt Richman, running a nine-second PR of 4:32.60. The Knights didn’t score in the 200m final, but won the final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay, with a team of Spaetzel, sophomore Cody Delarme, Robertson and Cruz in a season-best time of 3:28.98 for their only win on the track. The running events points tally was Geneseo 54, Kaneland 48.
In the field, Connor Peterson scored a point- placing sixth in the high jump at 5 feet 9 inches. In the pole vault, juniors Mike Rinella and Mitch Groen put 10 points on the score sheet, placing third and fourth at 13-06 and a PR 13-0, respectively. In the long jump, defending state champion Barnes (21-07.5) lost to Antonio Tate from DeKalb by 3 inches, but Delach placed fifth with a PR leap of 20-09 to give the Knights another 10 points. Barnes then rebounded to win the triple jump in 43-01 to post yet another 10 points. In the shot put finals, senior Zach Thielk placed fifth at 46-05, and in the discus, junior Tristan Kinder threw a PR 139-02 to place second. Final tally: 53 points in the field plus 48 points on the track equals conference championship.
“The throws were huge for us today. We were not seeded to score any points in the shot put or discus, but we scored 12,” Baron said. “Our whole team really stepped up. This conference title gives us a lot of momentum and confidence heading into the Sectional meet next Friday at Burlington Central.”
In the freshman/sophomore meet, Kaneland placed second with 75 points behind Yorkville’s 87. The performance of the day was sophomore Danny Walker winning the FS pole vault in 14-0—the No. 4 jump on the state Class 2A best list. Other highlights for the Knights included winning the 4x100m relay in 46.10, placing third in the 4x200m in 1:37.50, sixth in the 4x400m in 3:45.39, and fourth in the 4x800m in 9:00.19—all season bests. Freshmen Drew Gould and Tyler Nance placed sixth and seventh in the 110m hurdle finals after running PRs of 18.02 and 18.01 in the prelims, then Nance came back to place fifth in the 300m hurdles in a PR 45.51. Sophomore Noah Duffey broke the 5:00 mile barrier with a PR 4:59.93 in 10th place.
In FS field events, freshman Drew Gould placed third in the high jump at 5-06, freshman Grant Wilk was second in the pole vault at 11-06, sophomore Delarme was second in the long jump at 18-09, freshman Clayton Hannula was second in the shot put at 40-04, then won the discus by 14 feet with a PR throw of 129-010.
Photo: Senior Joseph Panico fires the ball to first base Monday night in Kaneland’s 3-1 win over Batavia. Photos by Mary Paulson
Knights baseball on cusp of 20 wins
KANELAND—After securing the Northern Illinois Big XII Championship last week, Kaneland baseball certainly hasn’t rested on its laurels.
The Knights picked up back-to-back wins in consecutive days, defeating the Batavia Bulldogs 3-1 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva on Monday and the Hampshire Whip-Purs 8-1 on Tuesday. The wins improve the Knights’ record to 19-10 overall, to go along with its 9-3 record in NIB-12 Conference play.
Playing as the visitors in the home of the Minor League Class A Kane County Cougars on Monday night, the Knights made Senior/Benefit night one to remember. Kaneland pitcher Colton Fellows tossed four innings of one-hit ball as a third-inning reliever to get the win, and Jordan Bock picked up his third save of the season. Infielder Austin Wheatley was 1-4 with a run; Steven Limbrunner went 0-1 with a run and the go-ahead RBI.
Against the Whip-Purs, Kaneland took advantage of throwing mishaps by Hampshire, as well as an outstanding pitching performance by Knights’ starter Matt O’ Sullivan (7 IP, one run, six strikeouts and two walks) to get the home win. Joseph Panico led Kaneland’s offense as he went 4-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Danny Hammermeister (1-3 with a triple and a run scored) Jacob Marczuk (1-3 with a double and 2 runs) and Wheatley (2-4 with a run) also made key contributions offensively to the Knights’ win. Hampshire starting pitcher Kyle Rutkowski (4 IP, three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and no walks) took the loss for the Whip-Purs.
Kaneland head coach Brian Aversa was pleased with his squad’s effort against Hampshire.
“Great pitching. It’s easy to play behind great pitching (and) a couple of big hits,” he said. “We got some guys moving around the bases all right. (We) took advantage of some overthrows; just doing things the right way. (It’s) finally starting to click a little bit for us; (we) just continue trying to improve our game.”
Knights’ starting pitcher O’ Sullivan offered his thoughts on the team’s performance, as well.
“Pretty good. (We) let our defense work. We always find ways to push runs across the board. Even if we’re not hitting, we’re still scoring runs,” he said.
Up next for the Knights, the team will play host to Cary-Grove on Thursday.
Photo: Junior Kiandra Powell moves the soccer ball downfield as the Knights control possession early in the first period. Powell had four goals and an assist against the Foxes.
Knights defeat Yorkville 8-0 before Regional opener by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—And now it counts.
Call it crunch time or the zero hour or whatever you want. It’s playoff time. Your next loss means your season is over. There are no do-overs.
The Kaneland girls soccer team enters this week’s Illinois High School Association’s Class 2A State playoffs with the top seed in the Rochelle Regional, an honor it worked hard for all season.
The Knights are scheduled to play fourth-seeded IMSA at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The Knights easily defeated IMSA (4-11) earlier this season. The winner of that match will take on the winner of Tuesday’s game between second-seeded Rosary and the host school, seeded third, in the Regional championship at 4 p.m. Friday.
Rochelle High School is located about a mile north of Rochelle, Ill., on 1401 Flagg Center Road.
Kaneland closed out its regular season on May 14 the same way it started it: with a lopsided shutout win. Thanks to Kiandra Powell’s four goals, the Knights won 8-0. The win gave Kaneland a season record of 15-3, tying the school record for the most wins in a single season.
“I feel pretty good about the way we’ve been playing,” Kaneland head coach Scott Parillo said. “But I worry about the teams we face.”
And with good reason.
On paper, the Knights are clearly head and shoulders above the others in the Rochelle Regional, having already beaten two of the schools during the regular season. Proving it on the field, however, may be more challenging.
Rosary, whom Kaneland has often handled effortlessly in past regular seasons, beat the Knights 3-0 this spring and has eliminated Kaneland from the Regional four of the last six seasons.
If the two teams should meet again this Friday, Parillo said he won’t have to gave a Knut Rockne-like speech to get his team motivated.
“The girls know the history between the two schools,” he said. “I don’t have to remind them or talk about it.”
Having lost some key players from last year to graduation, Rosary compiled a 7-7-1 record this season. It was scheduled to play Kaneland twice this season, but their first match was cancelled due to bad weather.
Rochelle is the only team in the Regional Kaneland hasn’t faced this season, but Parillo said that shouldn’t matter.
“We know who they’ve played, and we’ve talked to other coaches about them,” he said, noting that they don’t scout teams the way they do in football.
Although they have a few bumps and bruises, which is common for this time of the season, Parillo said the Knights are in pretty good shape.
The winner of the Rochelle Regional will advance to the Rockford Boylan Catholic Sectional to play the winner of the Woodstock Marian Regional at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26.
Kaneland Harter Middle School hosted a IESA Sectional Meet at Kaneland High School on Saturday. The Knights qualified 11 individuals and nine relays to the State meet this weekend. One of the Knights’ qualifiers was the seventh-grade girls 4x200m. Grace Vranicar (above, center) hands off the baton to Cassidy Motkya during the relay. Photo by Mary Paulson
Kaneland Travel Baseball 14U Gold wins the Aurora Baseball Tournament, which took place May 1-3. The team includes Will Marshall (back from left), Jonathan Alstott, Alex Buchanan, Joe Born, Nik Panico, Spencer Brown (bottom row, from left), Aaron Staehely, Joe Such, Nick Ortegel, Dalton Askew and Jackson Clark. Photo submitted by Craig Askew via elburnherald.com
Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to email@example.com or fax them to (630) 365-2251.
May 12 vs. Geneseo—The Knights demolished Geneseo 18-0. Reece Sowell picked up the win for the Knights, who scored 10 runs in the third inning. Trevor Jones went 2-for-3 with three stolen bases, a walk and three runs, while Nathan Westmaas went 3-for-3 with a run and Mitchel Jackson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
May 13 vs. Crystal Lake South—Ashley Painer and Mallory Burgin had goals for the Knights as they beat Crystal Lake South 2-0. Marly Schultz and Mary Collum had assists.
May 14 vs. Prairie Ridge—The Knights tied Prairie Ridge 1-1, thanks to Julia Lemp’s unassisted goal.
May 15 vs. Dundee-Crown—The Knights ended their three-game stint at the Dundee-Crown Tournament with a 5-1 win over the hosts. Burgin had a big day for KHS, scoring two goals and supplying two more assists. Schultz, Gabrielle Faletto and Faith Cowsert had the other Knight goals. Rachel Fielding and Valencia Baez had assists. The Knights sit at 11-2-2, 6-1-1 in NIB-12 play.
May 15 vs. Plainfield North—The Knights fell behind the Tigers and could not get the runs back, losing 8-2. Aly Jesionowski was tagged with the loss, but did hit a triple, as did Katie Moore.
May 18 vs. Plano—The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, and then they poured on the offense, defeating the Reapers 13-3. Jesionowski struck out 16 over seven innings, while walking four and giving up three runs (one earned). Sam Albright (1-for-3) and Lexi Abruzzo (4-for-5) each had doubles, but it was Jesionowski with the showstopper: A walk-off grand slam.
May 19 vs. Rock Falls—The Knights lost to Rock Falls 7-1. Jesionowski went 2-for-3, but was the losing pitcher. Albright went 1-for-3 with a double.
Rich Harvest Farms to host 2 major events this summer SUGAR GROVE—The future competitors on the PGA Tour are likely to be spotted competing at two major amateur tournaments at Rich Harvest Farms this summer: the Palmer Cup June 12-14 and the Western Amateur Aug. 3-8.
“A lot of these players are the next big players on the PGA tour, and we can safely say that some of these players might be playing in the U.S. Open (in June),” Goodbred said.
The Palmer Cup, the collegiate version of the Ryder Cup, pits the top 10 American collegiate golfers against their European counterparts, while the Western Amateur draws the top 156 amateur golfers from around the world to compete in one of the oldest and most grueling amateur golf tournaments.
Both of the events are free and open to the general public, and Goodbred hopes that a large number of spectators—both golf enthusiasts and local families—will come out to see the events.
Though the collegiate players are not yet household names, many of them will be soon, Goodbred said.
On each team, six of the Palmer Cup players are selected by NCAA rankings, with an additional three players selected by the committee and one coach’s pick.
Among the biggest American names at the Palmer Cup will be Beau Hossler of the University of Texas, the 2014 Western Amateur defending champion, and Ollie Schniederjans, a Georgia Tech senior and winner of the 2014 Valspar Invitational. Prominent European players include Jon Rahm, an Arizona State junior and Spaniard who is currently the top-ranked amateur in the world, and Thomas Detry of the University of Illinois, a Belgian who helped Team Europe win the 2014 Palmer Cup.
The tournament, which started in 1997, is named after golf legend Arnold Palmer. The United States currently leads the Palmer Cup series 9-8-1.
“A lot of these players will be turning pro in a year or two,” said Vicky McGowan, Rich Harvest Farm’s tournament director. “The event bears Arnold Palmer’s name, and we’re hoping that he will be here.”
Though the Palmer Cup itself goes to the winning team, the tournament will also have an individual winner, selected by the athletes on the winning team as the player whose character is most like Palmer’s. “The players decide even before play actually starts which of their teammates has the most attributes of Arnold Palmer, based on character and humility,” McGowan said.
The preselected player from the winning team is invited to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida, a PGA Tour event and a coveted prize for an amateur golfer, McGowan said.
Though the roster for the Western Amateur won’t be finalized until July, Goodbred anticipates many of the Palmer Cup players will return to compete there. The Western Amateur, which was founded in 1899, is one of the leading amateur tournaments and draws top players from around the world.
Previous winners of the Western Amateur include some of the biggest names in professional golf, including Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw.
What makes the Western Amateur so grueling, Goodbred said, is the format.
“It’s a really grueling format, so you know when this person wins that they not only have the talent, but they have the stamina,” Goodbred said. “A lot of the future PGA stars will be playing this event.”
The five-day tournament is essentially a golf marathon, with 156 players competing on stroke play for the first two days, before being cut down to 44 players. Those 44 golfers play another 36 holes of stroke play before being cut to the top 16, and the final 16 golfers play a final 36 holes of match play to determine the winner of the George R. Thorne trophy. Just making it into the tournament’s Sweet 16 is prestigious, Goodbred said. She noted that 30 of the last 36 PGA Tour Player of the Year awards have been won by players who had previously placed in the Western Amateur’s Sweet 16.
It’s the first time either event has been hosted at Rich Harvest Farms, a privately owned golf course in Sugar Grove that’s been named one of America’s top 100 golf courses. However, the facility has hosted other big-name golf events, including the 2009 Solheim Cup.
Goodbred said that the facility was approached by Palmer himself, along with the tournament chairman, to host the Palmer Cup a few years ago.
“It wasn’t just about the fact that we’re one of the top 100 golf courses or that we’re ranked in Golf Digest,” Goodbred said. “It was about what Rich Harvest Farms does for children and for amateur golf. The event as a whole is about teaching these amateurs, these students who are about to turn pro, how to turn pro. It is mentoring them in how to act, and Mr. Rich loved that idea and would do anything for amateur golf.”
Rich Harvest Farms is not usually open to the public, so the events are also an opportunity for local residents to stroll the grounds of one of Sugar Grove’s most exclusive spots.
McGowan said that while Rich Harvest Farms expected a number of golf enthusiasts to come out for the tournaments, she also hoped local families would turn out.
“We hope we can encourage a lot of families to come and introduce their children to golf and let them see it firsthand,” McGowan said. “Anyone who has an interest in our course can walk the course. At a professional tournament, there are marshals who rope off the fairways, so you can’t see the professionals up close. But with this kind of event, you can walk the fairways and see the players up close. You can follow them around the course.”
Both events are free and open to the public, and Rich Harvest Farms will provide free parking at 2330 Granart Road in Sugar Grove. There will be signage and traffic control to help direct spectators, Goodbred said, with about 175 volunteers working the events.
Concessions will be sold on the grounds for spectators.
Schedule of events
Interested in attending the Palmer Cup or the Western Amateur? All events are free and open to the public. Rich Harvest Farms invites spectators to walk the fairways with the players throughout both competitions.
2015 Palmer Cup
Thursday, June 11 Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. Friday, June 12 Foursome matches begin at 7:30 a.m. Four-ball matches begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13 Singles matches begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 14 Singles matches begin at 8:30 a.m. The Palmer Cup will be awarded in the afternoon, after play is complete. All tee times for the Palmer Cup are off the No. 1 tee.
2015 Western Amateur
Monday, Aug. 3 Players begin practice at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 18 holes of stroke play. Tee times begin at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Wednesday, Aug. 5 18 holes of stroke play. Tee times begin at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Thursday, Aug. 6 36 holes of stroke play by the top 44 players. Tee times begin at 7 a.m. and noon off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Sweet 16 selected in the late afternoon. Friday, Aug. 7 Sweet 16 match play begins. 36 holes. First round begins at 8 a.m. off the No. 1 tee; second round at 1 p.m. off the No. 1 tee. Saturday, Aug. 8 Sweet 16 match play. 36 holes. Semifinal round begins at 8 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. Championship round begins at 1 p.m. Trophy is awarded at late afternoon closing ceremonies, after play is complete.
Parking Free parking available at 2330 Granart Road, Sugar Grove.
Attire Rich Harvest Farms asks that spectators wear golf attire.
05/18/2015 5:51:13 PM: We originally listed in this article the U.S. Open would take place in August. It takes place in June. The above story has been corrected. The Herald apologizes for the error.
KANELAND—Former Kaneland athletes Joseph Fisher (basketball) and Craig Lyon (basketball, track and field) will be inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame for Individual Athletic Achievement during the Senior Athletic Awards Night on Monday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Morris helps Knights earn crown with win over Yorkville
KANELAND—The Kaneland baseball team defeated the Sycamore Spartans 7-6 at home to win at least a share of the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Championship last Wednesday, May 6. On Monday, they would learn they won it outright when Yorkville lost to Morris. The Foxes had won the previous two conference titles.
Against Sycamore, infielder Danny Hammermeister led the offense, going 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI while catcher Joe Laudont was 2-for-4 with a run and the go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Knights’ Steven Limbrunner pitched two innings, giving up two hits with no runs, a walk and a strikeout for the win.
Kaneland fell to Sycamore on the road the following day on May 7, 4-1. Knights’ pitcher Ryan David pitched five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with one strikeout while surrendering five walks in the loss. Outfielder Matt Rosko went 3-for-4 with a run to lead Kaneland’s offense.
The Knights returned to winning ways on Monday, as they defeated the Burlington Central Rockets 9-2. Kaneland starting pitcher Matt O’Sullivan threw five innings with four strikeouts. Outfielder Nick Stratman led the Knights’ offense with two RBI’s in the win.
On the same day, Kaneland defeated Westminster Christian 5-3. Knights’ pitchers Nick Stratman and Jacob Violett combined for nine strikeouts with a 1.00 WHIP each. Infielder Joe Panico had two RBI’s and one hit to lead Kaneland offensively to the win.
A Tuesday tilt against a talented Geneseo team saw the Knights shut out the Maple Leafs 8-0. Pitcher Colton Fellows was masterful in the win, going seven innings, striking out eight, while allowing only four hits and no walks. Offensively, Jacob Violett went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run and an RBI, while Hammermeister went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. Panico went 2-for-2 with a run.
The Knights’ record now stands at 17-10 overall and 9-3 in NIB-12 play.
Kaneland hosts Geneseo again on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Soccer improves to 14-3 by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—It may have been its most important win of the season.
After its shocking 5-0 loss to Sycamore two days earlier, the Kaneland High School girls soccer team desperately needed to beat Morris last Thursday. Not only was it the Knights’ final home game of the regular season, it was Senior Night—the last time their six seniors would ever play in front of their hometown crowd.
There was also another, perhaps more pressing, reason.
With the Regional Tournament at Rochelle starting next week, head coach Scott Parillo said it was very important to get back on the winning track and finish the season on a positive note. The Morris game was the penultimate contest in Kaneland’s regular schedule.
And they got it.
Scoring the first three goals of the game, the Knights cruised to a 3-1 win, their 14th this season against just three losses, leaving them one shy of tying the school record.
Against Morris, defender Taylor Emigh started the scoring with a 25-yard blast, off a feed from fellow junior Nicole Koczka, with 7:22 to play in the first half. It was her first goal of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Junior Kiandra Powell four minutes later made it 2-0 when she converted a pass from Courtney Diddell over the middle. It was Powell’s 12th goal and Diddell’s 11th assist, both team leaders.
Lauren Ortiz completed the scoring for Kaneland five minutes into the second half when she took a pass from Taylor Opperman, lifting a 20-foot shot over the head of Morris keeper Marlene Bashat.
Before anyone had a chance to relax, however, Emily Burring put Morris (7-6-1) on the board just 33 seconds later when she put a shot past Kaneland keeper Emily Chapman.
It was the only goal Morris scored during the contest.
The win gave Kaneland a record of 14-3, and made them 4-2 in the conference.
On another positive note, Parillo was able to play all six seniors on his roster. Besides Diddell and Opperman, that includes Heather Ortiz, Madison Jurcenko, Emily Grams and Colleen Landers.
Diddell, Jurcenko, Opperman and Landers are all co-captains.
It was an entirely different scenario against Sycamore, where you could almost feel disaster brewing in the overcast sky. From the opening whistle, the Spartan’s pinpoint passing and relentless attack seemed to keep the Kaneland players off balance for most of the game.
After leading 1-0 after a wild first half in which both teams had numerous chances to score, Sycamore scored four times, including twice in the first five minutes, and it took the air out of the Kaneland players.
“I think that third goal was the difference,” Sycamore coach Dave Lichamer said. “You can be down by two goals and have the mindset you can fight back, but three goals is different.”
Three of the goals were scored by Alyssa Maillefer, who just missed scoring at least three more.
“She’s very fast,” Lichamer said.
With the win, Sycamore clinched the conference title—which they shared last year with Kaneland—with a perfect 6-0 conference mark, Overall the Spartans, who beat Kaneland earlier this season 1-0, have compiled a 14-4 record.
They will host their own regional next week, which includes DeKalb.
Kaneland’s best chances to score against Sycamore came near the end of both halves. Each time, Sycamore keeper Drew Moulton made dramatic, diving saves to stop them.
Despite the lopsided loss, their worse of the season, Chapman had an outstanding game, recording one magnificent stop—either diving or leaping to bat a shot away—after another. In fact, she faced more shots on goal in the first half than she had in the previous three weeks combined.
Chapman’s best save came with just 1:20 to go in the first half, when she stopped a penalty shot from Sycamore’s Ella Holland. Holland was awarded the shot when she was accidentally tripped from behind by Grams in front of the Kaneland goal.
Saying Chapman played a good game, Parillo—obviously disappointed by the outcome—had words of praise for his entire team.
Knights fall to Leafs, rip Rochelle
KANELAND—In a week that featured two cancellations, the Knights softball crew lost a hard-fought battle against Geneseo 8-7 on May 7, but bounced back in a big way against Rochelle with a 13-0 win on Tuesday.
Kaneland sits at 15-7 overall and a sparkling 7-0 in Northern Illinois Big XII East play.
Against Geneseo, it was all Knights—at least until the sixth inning. Up four runs after the first inning, Kaneland would extent their lead to 7-0 by the end of the fifth. But a monster seven-run inning by the Maple Leafs tied the game and forced it into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Geneseo put a run across, and KHS could not answer in the bottom of the frame, resulting in the 8-7 final score. Mogan Sikon had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Paige Kuefler and Meg Cohrs each went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, while Keufler also had an RBI. On the mound, Courtney Davis went 7.2 innings, giving up eight runs (three earned) while striking out seven.
On Tuesday, it was literally all Kaneland, as they easily dispatched the host Hubs 13-0. Kaneland was led by Cohrs and Morgan Weber, each with home runs.
The Knights are back in action Thursday when DeKalb comes to KHS at 4:30 p.m. Then the team heads to Plainfield North Friday, also at 4:30 p.m., and then to the LaSalle-Peru Invite for three games, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Knights 3rd at Kane County Meet
GENEVA—After torrential rain and thunderstorms forced the Friday postponement of the 96th annual Kane County Boys Track & Field Championships—the second oldest track championship in Illinois—the meet reconvened at Geneva High School on Saturday morning. Despite winning only three events, Kaneland scored in 14 of 18 events and had seven PRs (personal records) en route to a third-place finish behind 3A powers Batavia and West Aurora.
Leading a spirited defense of the Knights’ three consecutive county crowns was senior Ben Barnes, who scored 22.5 points in winning the long jump (21 feet, 5.75 inches), triple jump (PR 44-011.5), and anchoring the 4x100m relay to victory in a 43.91 season best. Barnes won both jump competitions, as is his style, on his sixth and final attempt.
“It’s not intentional,” he said. “I try to put down a meet-winning jump on every attempt. But since the State meet last year, that’s what’s been happening.”
Other highlights for the Knights were PRs set by junior Austin Kintz in the 1600m (second place in 4 minutes, 27.32 seconds) and freshman Matt Richtman in the 3200m (third in 9:53.66); a fourth-place finish in the 300m hurdles by junior Tanner Robertson in 40.80; and a fifth-place finish in the pole vault in a PR 13-03 by sophomore Dan Walker to add to junior Mike Rinella’s fourth-place points. Other Knights PRs set in non-scoring efforts were recorded by sophomore Adam Rivas in the 200m (24.26) and senior Mitch Reger in the 800m (2:09.15).
“I was really pleased with our team’s effort,” head coach Eric Baron said. “Ben Barnes showed he is one of the best horizontal jumpers Kane County has ever produced. Our 4x100m relay team winning from the slow heat was a very big surprise. Other outstanding performances for us was Matt Richtman breaking the freshman school record in the (3200m), Austin Kintz PR-ing again in the 1600m and Danny Walker scaling 13-03 in pole vault.”
Kaneland competes next in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Championships on Friday, May 15, at Rochelle High School.
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.
May 7 vs. Sycamore—The Knights won 6-2 behind a complete game by Jack Marshall on the mound. Marshall went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two RBIs, while Luke Calabrese went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run, and Jake Hummel went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. The Knights are 16-4, 11-1 in conference play.
May 7 vs. Morris—Kaneland defeated the Redskins 6-2. Julia Lemp had a hat trick for the Knights, while Gabrielle Faletto supplied a goal and an assist. Ashley Painer and Valencia Baez also had goals, while Mallory Burgin and Rachel Fielding had assists.
May 11 vs. Wauconda—Marley Schultz got the Knights on the board off a Falleto assist, and Kaneland didn’t stop there. Burgin (Amanda Diaz assist), Schultz again on a penalty kick, and Lemp (Schultz assist) helped KHS to a 4-0 win. The team sits at a 10-1-2 record, 6-1-1 in conference play.
May 6 vs. Morris—Morris defeated Kaneland 10-3. Katie Moor went 2-for-3 with a triple, while Aly Jesionowski went 2-for-4, but was tagged with the loss on the mound.
May 7 vs. Geneseo—Geneseo used a five-run first inning and eight-run seventh inning to cruise to a 16-4 win over KHS. Jesinowski was the losing pitcher, but went 2-for-4 at the plate. Moore was 3-for-4, while Katie Kurzrock went 1-for-2. The Knights are 5-9, 2-5 in conference play.
Girls track squad still sees plenty of success at soggy NIB-12 Championships
YORKVILLE—On a day when almost every other boys invitational and girls conference track meet in northern Illinois was postponed due to thunderstorms, they were somehow able to squeeze in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Girls’ Championships between lightning strikes and rain squalls on Friday night in Yorkville. There, the young Kaneland girls track squad placed second as the meet host won its second-consecutive league title.
The individual star of the meet for the Knights was junior Allie Heinzer, who won both the 200m in 25.72 seconds and 400m in a personal record (PR) 58.94. Joining her on the winner’s podium was junior Brianna Bower, who won her first conference track title by taking the 1600m in 5:18.87 after placing second in the 3200m earlier in the meet with a PR time of 11:14.97. Sophomore Carley Elliott, freshmen Shanya Hurston and Jamie Martens teamed with Heinzer to move the baton around the track to win the 4x100m relay in a season best time of 49.79—a new conference record.
Conference silver medalists were junior Noelle Espino, who placed second in the 800m in a 2:20.54; a 4x800m relay foursome of juniors Carly Bartholomew and Espino and seniors Jessica Kucera and Aislinn Lodwig that placed second in a season-best 9:49.42; the 4x200m relay team of Hurston, junior Olivia Galor, Martens and Elliott that was runner-up in 1:47.19; and the 4x400m relay of Bartholomew, Galor, Becca Richtman and Martens in 4:10.24 also earned all-conference with their second-place finish.
Other third-place team points were scored by Elliott in the 200m (26.95). Fifth-place points came from Lodwig in the 800m (a 2:28.0, PR), senior Taylor Eaves in the 300m hurdles (49.39, PR), sophomore Maddie Keifer in the high jump, (4 feet, 10 inches), and senior Ally Van Bogaert in the shot put, where the basketball star threw a 30-0. Sixth-place points came from Hurston in the 100m (13.56) and senior Victoria Clinton in the 3200m (12:04.86).
The long jump, triple jump and pole vault were not contested because of slippery, wet runway conditions.
“We were lucky to get the meet in,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “Everyone went home soaked, but several teams would not have been able to come back on Saturday, given their travel times and bus schedules. We lost some big points in the jumps that were canceled, but we weren’t the only ones. We were pleased with our second-place team finish, and are now totally focused on qualifying a bus-load of athletes for the State meet next Friday.”
That “next Friday” is the IHSA 2A Sectional Championships on May 15 at River Ridge High School in Hanover, Ill., where the top-two finishers in each event, plus those who meet the State-qualifying standards, will advance to the Girls State Championships on May 22-23 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.
On Monday, the Knights traveled to Oregon for the annual Sectional Prep meet. Event winners included the 4x100m relay team of Hurston, Heinzer, Martens and Elliott in 50.59, Eaves in both the 100m (17.04) and 300m (49.69) hurdle races, Elliott in the 100m (13.15), Bowers in the 800m (2:32.11), Bartholomew in the 400m (1:04.26) and Heinzer in the 200m (26.11). No team scores were kept at the Oregon meet.
ELBURN—Kaneland United Soccer Club (KUSC) will hold player assessments for the 2015-16 competitive soccer program from May 19-29. Players interested in participating in the competitive program must pre-register online at www.kanelandsc.com or contact Mike Mitchinson at (630) 463-9001, ext. 702.
KUSC fields girls and boys teams in the U10 and above age groups. These are players born between Aug. 1, 1998, and July 31, 2006.
Boys teams compete in the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL), and girls teams compete in the Illinois Women’s Soccer League (IWSL).
Boys assessments will take place May 19-22; girls assessments will take place May 26-29 at Kaneland High School.
Players accepted into the program will be notified shortly after assessments and are invited to register for the 2015-16 season.
Players who are looking for a higher level of soccer skills development and are younger than U10, or are not offered spots in the competitive program, are invited to participate in the club’s Academy program.
Strong week for boys track sets tone for late-season run
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill.—After looking over the seeding marks for the Crystal Lake Central Invitational, Kaneland boys head coach Eric Baron projected the Knights for 55 points, a score that would give them no chance to win their fourth-straight team title. He was a little off—41 points off—as the Knights posted one personal record (PR) after another, event by event, throughout the meet.
As it turned out, Kaneland nearly scored Baron’s projected point total in the field events alone, placing in all six jumping and throwing events and having two scorers in three of those events.
The Knights were as hot as the mid-70 degree afternoon temperatures, and leading the charge was junior pole vaulter Mike Rinella. Coming off an injured hamstring, he won his specialty with a new PR height of 14 feet, 6 inches, and just missed setting a new meet record with three great attempts at 14’ 9”. Adding icing to the cake, sophomore Danny Walker placed third with a PR jump of 12-06. In the long jump, senior Ben Barnes was coming off an injury that had kept him from jumping, for the past few weeks. In his return to the runway, he won the meet title with a jump of 21-03, while Kaneland junior, John Delach, placed third at PR 20-07.
“Mike and Ben really got our team going, “Baron said. “After both had missed several meets with injuries, seeing them come back and win the first events of the meet really stoked us up.”
After the long jump, Barnes came back to place third in the triple jump with a season best 44-0.5. Junior Connor Peterson added more jumps points in the high jump with sixth place in a PR 5-011. In the shot put, senior Zach Thielk and freshman Clayton Hannula placed sixth and eighth with throws of 43-09 and 41-08.75, respectively. Junior Tristan Kinder completed the Knights’ scoring in the field events with fifth place in the discus with a throw of 137-06.
On the track, Kaneland added 47 points to the 49 points they scored in the field. A foursome of junior Sean Spaetzel, senior Andrew Lesak, junior Drew Franklin, and junior Austin Kintz started things off by placing third in the 4x800m relay in a season-best 8:11.92, with Kintz clocking 1:58.5 on the anchor. The Knights followed with third place in the 4x100m relay in 44.48 with a team of senior Aaron Olson, Delach, junior Tanner Robertson, and, a new face for 2015, senior Issac Swithers. Freshman Matt Richtman finished fifth in the 3200m in a PR 10:00.33, and Robinson finished fifth in the 110m hurdles in a PR 16.03. In the 4x200m relay, the Knights switched Robertson for junior Issaih Baerenklau from their 4x100m line up and placed fourth in 1:35.06. Robertson, meanwhile, placed second in his 300m hurdles specialty in 41.37. Kintz doubled back from the 4x800m relay to take third in the 1600m in a PR 4:28.10. Kaneland then closed out the meet, and its team victory, with second place in the 4x400m relay in 3:29.05 with a foursome of Spaetzel, Lesak, Franklin, and Robertson.
“It was great to have some good weather for a change. We took advantage of it and created tremendous momentum for our young team going forward,” Baron said. “We had five freshmen in our lineup, and I told them it was the first time we ever had that many in a varsity invitational. In the second track event of the meet, Issac Swithers’ great anchor leg of the 4x100m relay was huge for us. We’ve been telling our team, ‘Be patient. Believe in our system. We are a program that blossoms every year in May.’ We preach that every athlete matters and every event matters—and we scored in 16 of the 18 events and with several new faces. It was a great team win and confidence-builder for us.”
The Knights will compete in the Kane County Championships at Geneva High School, starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8.
Photo: Sophomore Holly Collingbourne notched an assist on Kiandra Powell’s go-ahead goal against DeKalb April 30. Photo by Mary Paulson
Knights get top seed in Rochelle Regional by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—The Kaneland High School girls soccer team found itself in unfamiliar territory.
Ten minutes into KHS’ conference match against DeKalb on April 30, the Barbs’ McKenny Wallin—off a feed from teammate Sam Myers-Miller—booted a shot past Kaneland goalie Emily Chapman, giving DeKalb a 1-0 lead. It was only the third time this season, and the first in three weeks, the Knights had been behind.
“You want adversity, but when it comes, you don’t want it,” Kaneland head coach Scott Parillo joked afterwards.
“It was kind of a shock to be down so early,” Kaneland junior Kiandra Powell said.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” senior teammate Courtney Diddell said, adding the whole team got off to an uncharacteristically slow start.
Instead of inciting DeKalb’s aggressive offense, which had just missed scoring on several other occasions, it reversed the tone of the match—the Lady Barbs went on cruise control and Kaneland took the offensive.
“It got our butts in gear,” Powell said.
“It was really disappointing,” sophomore Holly Collingbourne said of their slow start. “It put more pressure on us, but we really stepped it up, and I think that caught them off guard. We didn’t give up.”
“I think they thought they had the game,” Diddell said. “But I knew we’d pull through.”
Picking it up offensively, Kaneland managed to tie the score at the 12:45 mark when Diddell slipped through a thicket of DeKalb defenders on a 30-yard run, pushing a shot past DeKalb goal Lauren Haglestein. Although she normally angles toward the corner on such a setup, Diddell explained she saw an opening and decided to take advantage of it, charging toward the DeKalb goal instead.
A few minutes into the second half, Powell gave the Knights the lead for good when she scored among a pack of players in front of the DeKalb goal.
“It hit off my leg and I put it in the corner,” she said. “It was redemption for last year.”
Although that officially concluded the scoring, both sides had numerous chances to put the ball in the net. DeKalb’s best chance came with just two minutes to play in the game when Natalie Vaughn-Lowe got off a shot that sailed over Chapman’s head, only to hit the cross bar behind her and bound away, out of Dekalb’s reach.
A few minutes earlier, Vaughn-Lowe was on another run when Kaneland senior Heather Ortiz—playing another outstanding game—took the ball away from her before she could get a shot off, only a few feet from Chapman.
“It was an amazing effort to come back,” Parillo said afterward. “We’re not used to that, but it was a lot of fun.”:
“We just had to keep at it,” Powell added.
“This happens for a reason,” Diddell said, adding that the entire Kaneland team put in the needed effort to pull out the win.
The win gave the Knights a season record of 13-2 while making them 4-1 in the conference. It was their eighth in a row after their 1-0 loss to Sycamore four weeks ago. Besides being their second win in a row against DeKalb—they topped the Lady Barbs 1-0 earlier this season—it gave Kaneland a tough match, something Parillo has been wanting as the teams prepare for the playoffs later this month. Kaneland has the top seed in the Rochelle Regional, while DeKalb (10-6) is seeded third in the Sycamore Regional.
“I don’t know how they play against anyone else, but they always play us physical,” Collingbourne said of DeKalb, noting that this was probably their biggest win of the season so far. “It was intense the whole game.”
The Knights lost to Sycamore Tuesday 5-0, dropping their record to 13-3-0, 4-2-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII. The team is scheduled to host Morris on Thursday before traveling to Yorkville on Thursday, May 14.
Photos by Mary Paulson
IHSA pairings announced
As expected, the Kaneland girls soccer team has the top seed in the Rochelle Regional, which will be played later this month.
The Knights, entering this week with a 13-2 record, will play No. 4 seed IMSA at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. With the second seed, Rosary will then take on Rochelle, seeded third, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20.
The winners of those two matches will meet for the Rochelle Regional Championship at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 22.
The Rochelle Regional Champs will then advance to the Rockford Boylan Catholic Sectional to take on the winner of the LaSalle Peru Regional at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. The winners of the Sycamore and Freeport regionals will clash at 5 p.m. that same day.
The winners of those two sectional matches will then meet for the Sectional title at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 29.
The winner there advances to the DeKalb Super-sectional on Tuesday, June 2..
This year’s State championships will be played in Naperville on Saturday, June 6.
According to Kaneland head coach Scott Parillo anything can happen in the playoffs, especially in a sport like soccer in which an unexpected bounce of the ball can affect a game, as well as an entire season. A year ago, the Knights were upset by Rosary—a team they had beaten twice in the regular season—on penalty kicks in the Regional championship.
“Anything can happen,” Parillo said.
Kaneland has already beaten Rosary and IMSA earlier this season. A second match with Rosary had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
Two of Kaneland’s conference opponents, Sycamore and DeKalb, will both compete in the Sycamore Regional, along with Burlington Central and Hampshire.
Photos: Freshmen Sandra Gale (right) and Meghan Andrews (below) saw action at the Kane County Girls Invitational at St. Charles East April 30. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Knights fifth at Kane County Meet
ST. CHARLES—In competition as stiff as the frigid, gusty, north winds, the Kaneland girls placed fifth out of 16 local teams at the annual Kane County Girls’ Track and Field Championships on April 30. Kaneland was the highest placing Class 2A school in the meet and scored 31 more points than sixth-place St. Charles North. According to the website Dyestat Illinois, there were 129 state elite-level performers in the meet.
With wind chills that hovered in the 40s for the entire afternoon and evening, the Knights got things started on the track with a fifth place finish in the 4x800m relay in a season best time of 9 minutes, 51.70 seconds, with junior Brianna Bower, senior Jessica Kucera, junior Noelle Espino and senior Aislinn Lodwig on the baton carries. Despite losing their best short sprinter, sophomore Nicole Sreenan, for the rest of the season with a chronic lower back injury, next came a second-place finish by the Knights in the 4x100m relay in 50.46 with a team of freshman Shayna Hurston, junior Allie Heinzer, freshman Jamie Martens, and sophomore Carley Elliott. Then came unexpected points from freshman Andrea Wells in the 3200m. Wells, seeded 14th in the second heat, bucked the wind to place seventh with a :15 second personal best time of 12:10.06.
Next to put points on the Knights’ scorecard was Elliott with an eighth-place finish in 13.20 in the 100m final. Noelle Espino followed with a third-place in the 800m in 2:24.06, and three freshmen—Cierra Kuipers, Sayna Hurston and Jamie Martens—passed the baton on to Elliott in the 4x200m relay to anchor them to third place in 1:49.57. Heinzer followed by continuing her busy day with third place in the 400m in 59.69.
After failing to score in the 100m hurdle finals by one place, senior Taylor Eaves got points in the 300m hurdles with an eighth-place finish in 50.80. Bower doubled back from the 4x800m relay to run a :04 second lifetime best of 5:13.87 in the mile (1600m) for eighth place. Heinzer finished her day with a second-place finish in the 200m final in 26.11, and in her sixth race of the day, Elliott placed eighth in 27.56. The Knights closed out the meet on the track with a fourth-place finish in the 4x400m relay in 4:12.91 with a team of junior Carly Bartholomew, Kuipers, freshman Becca Richtman and Martens.
In the field, the Knights’ 1-2 punch of sophomores Lexie Guerra and Sydney Davidson placed second and third in the pole vault with jumps of 10 feet and 9-06, respectively. Sophomore Maddie Keifer was sixth in the high jump at 4-010. Freshman Meghan Andrews was seventh in the long jump with a new personal best of 15-07.25, and junior Julia Schaefer placed seventh in the discus with a season best throw of 92-07.
“This was one of the best Kane County meets I’ve seen in terms of the depth of talent in every event. We had a great meet and I’m really proud of how well our team competed, “ head coach Doug Ecker said. “The leadership we see from so many of the underclassmen on this team is a preview of the super-successful adult leaders they are destined to become. If we have good weather conditions for the conference meet, were going to completely rewrite our team (personal records) list.”
The Knights will travel to Yorkville on Friday, May 8, for the NIB-12 Conference Championships.