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Sports - page 38

Barrage of offense

in Girls Soccer by
#7 bringing it back

Firepower dovetails with regular season
KANELAND—KHS coach Scott Parillo believes his team is playing great in this current stretch of the 2013 season.

His current lineup is making it quite hard to argue such a claim.

Kaneland posted back-to-back 7-0 wins over Hinckley-Big Rock on May 1 and Yorkville on Thursday.

That firepower failed to ignite Tuesday, however, when KHS battled conference-foe Sycamore to a 0-0 tie.

Kaneland is now 9-4-3 in the regular season, 6-1-2 in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape.

Against Yorkville on Thursday, the Lady Knights and Lady Foxes had to sit through two lightning delays within the first 10 minutes of play, equaling one hour of sitting time. KHS made up for lost time by amassing six goals in the first half, and getting the necessary seventh with 37:10 left on the clock. The 7-0 deficit meant time sliced in half for the duration of the contest.

Madi Jurcenko changed the scoreboard 10 minutes into the game off an assist from both Courtney Diddell and Delaney Stryczek. Brittany Olson made it 2-0 with 27:50 to go off a feed from teammate Sage Schlehofer. For the 3-0 lead, Kiandra Powell scored the first of her three goals with 12:47 to go in the half from an Emily Grams assist. Powell scored 24 seconds later with a goal from a Gabby Cano assist. Powell completed the hat trick with 6:38 to go off a Grams assist. The first-half scoring was complete with 1:56 to go, thanks to a Diddell goal off of an Olson feed.

Powell was happy to see the evening’s output as much as anyone.

“The passes are going through right, and everyone is just working together as a team,” Powell said.

The night’s scoring was capped on Diddell’s second goal, halving the time.

“We’re starting to play very, very well right now, and it’s a lot of fun,” Parillo said. “They’re talking, shooting and doing whatever we ask them to do. They buy in what we’re trying to preach and it shows. We’ve outscored the opponent 20-0 in the last three games.”

Against H-BR, Michelle Ortiz scored twice, while Diddell and Powell found the back of the net.

Kaneland was set to conclude the regular season on Wednesday at home against Sycamore, before the week-long layoff leading to the Class 2A Rochelle Regional first-round matchup against Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Protecting the lead

in Softball by
#18 homerun

Softball faces off against NIB-12 foes Yorkville, Morris
Kaneland—At 15-3, and 7-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII, Kaneland tried to keep the positive momentum going with a pair of conference wins this week.

Last Thursday’s win over Yorkville dropped the Lady Foxes to 13-8 and 5-2 in the NIB-12. KHS managed to get four runs across in the top of the third and one more in the fifth, making sure the Yorkville run in the seventh was all for naught.

Leadoff presence Lexi Roach had three hits for the victors, while Allie Miller had three RBI to go along with Lanie Callaghan’s additional run scoring hit. Paige Kuefler added a double to the party.

Staff ace Ellissa Eckert nabbed the win in the pitcher’s circle.

Against Morris on Tuesday, Kaneland ran out to a 7-2 win, largely thanks to the bat of Kuefler and the arm of Eckert. Kuefler led the team at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

Eckert pitched a complete game, scattering eight hits and two runs (one earned).
A matchup scheduled for Monday at Oswego East was shelved due to OE making up a conference game with Oswego.

The Lady Knights will travel to Sycamore on Thursday, May 9, with a 4:30 p.m. game time.

Lengthy layoff ends

in Baseball by

Photos by Patti Wilk

KHS baseball team faces full conference schedule
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was familiar territory for Kaneland baseball, trying to tee off against Sycamore, DeKalb and Yorkville pitching.

The Knights had varying degrees of success as the calendar left April.

On Tuesday, Kaneland fell in a tough pitcher’s duel to Sycamore, 2-1. Monday had a home matchup with Sycamore that resulted in a 7-3 loss. On Saturday, a makeup contest with DeKalb ended in a 4-0 win and 4-1 loss in Maple Park. On Friday, Kaneland beat host Yorkville 3-2 and lost 6-3 on April 24.

Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner took the loss on the mound, pitching five innings while surrendering two runs and six hits and collecting five strikeouts. He also went 1-for-3 from the plate with a solo home run.

Against the Spartans on Monday, Blake Sowell was tagged with the loss. Down 4-0, Kaneland scored three in the sixth, but could get no closer. Limbrunner contributed an RBI.

In the positive end of the Saturday split, Kaneland put up two in the first and two in the fourth for the shortened victory. Nick Albano had an RBI, while Kevin Kassinger took the win. The loss featured Kaneland tying the game in the sixth inning off of a Limbrunner RBI, but DeKalb put up three in the top of the seventh for the win. John Hopkins took the loss in relief.

On Thursday, the Knights fell behind 6-0 before posting one in the fourth and two in the sixth. Lane Davis and Joe Komel (two RBI) supplied the run-driving capabilities, while Limbrunner took the loss.

In the April 24 loss, the Knights were plagued by four errors in the field and a difficult strike zone to manage. Tyler Carlson supplied the only hit in the top of the third, while Yorkville scored one in the second, one in the third and two in the fifth to cinch matters.

Sowell was tagged with the loss, while the Foxes’ Kyle Shimp mowed the lineup down with 12 strikeouts.

The last real opportunity to score for KHS was in the top of the fifth when Ty Bellock reached on an error and stole second, but two strikeouts and a grounder to second ended the rally.

It marked the first game after a weather-induced layoff for the Knights, but Aversa knew a bounceback was necessary.

“I wasn’t disappointed in our pitching performance at all,” Aversa said.
“Offensively, we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, defensively same thing. There were dropped balls and a couple anomalies. We’ve got to shake some rust off.”

The Knights, with a 7-11 overall record and 4-5 mark in conference play, host Sycamore on Thursday, May 2.

Kaneland boys track talent on display

in Boys Track by

KANELAND—Boys track’s landscape in the area had best watch out for KHS, as it stands to mow most teams down in its tracks.

With the weather largely improving, Kaneland’s roster took to the track at Marmion Academy on April 24 and the usual late-April Crystal Lake Central Invite on Friday, before traveling to Yorkville for a Northern Illinois Big XII battle that involved Morris.

Against the host Cadets and Chicago’s Jones High School, Kaneland claimed the day with 120 points, compared to 57 for Marmion and nine for Jones.

Winners for the Knights included the 4×100 meter relay, which took its competition in 45.01 seconds, Dylan Nauert with a 15.46 time in the 110m high hurdles and teammate Ben Barnes in the 100m dash at 10.82.

Kaneland’s Nathaniel Kucera ran over the field in the 800m run, thanks to his 2:02.74 effort, while Nauert struck again in the 300m low hurdles at 41.44. Kyle Carter of Kaneland’s 4:36.17 was good enough to win the 1600m run.

Barnes was at it again for Kaneland with a 200m dash win in 22.56, and the KHS foursome in the 1600m relay took the event in 3:32.28.

The field events features standouts like Marshall Farthing, taking the long jump at 20 feet, six inches, Dalvell Triplett winning triple jump competition with a 41-11, Alex Snyder taking the discus at 127-8 and JR Vest besting the pole vault field in 12 feet.

At the Crystal Lake Central Invite, the Knights captured the team title with 140.5 points.

Host CLC was an 82-point show, while Machesney Park’s Harlem was third with 74 points.

Carter was at it again in the 800m run with a first-place entry of 1:58.20, while the 800 and 1600m relay foursomes grabbed first with times of 1:31.92 and 3:22.88, respectively.

Farthing was second in the high jump at 6-3, while Harner was a 13-3.3 in the pole vault for second.

“Our field events have gone unnoticed, and that is a shame. They alone scored enough points at Peterson to win the meet,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “We bring at least two great people per field event. The second athlete is the reason we are winning meets. They score so many points … In the throws and vault, we have such depth that if one of our guys is out, we can put another right in the place who will score.”

Tuesday saw Kaneland travel to Yorkville for a tri-meet against the hosts and Morris. The Knights came away with a big win, earning 103 points, well ahead of Yorkville’s second-place showing of 46 points.

The Knights travel to the annual Kane County Invite hosted by Burlington Central on Friday, May 3.

Kane and gain

in Girls Track by

Castellanos wins triple jump, team takes 3rd at Kane County Invite
by Mike Slodki
GENEVA—For the first time since 2005, the girls version of the Kane County Invite was hosted by Geneva. You’d have to go back to the days of athletes like Kristen Heckert and Holly Gruenke from not-so-long ago.

This past Friday in Geneva, Kaneland girls did their best to keep up with ghosts of KHS past at the traditional homestretch meet, and did well for themselves.

With a total output of 83 points, the Lady Knights beat out Hampshire by 12 points for the third-place slot. West Aurora won its fourth straight invite with 131 points, followed by St. Charles East at 100.5.

The hosts finished with 69 to round out the top five. Former conference rival Batavia finished with 54 to take sixth.

Ashley Castellanos conquered the field in the triple jump by jumping a 35 foot distance. She also finished fourth in the 100 meter dash finals with a 13.27-second time.

“She’s doing very well and performing very consistently,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Castellanos said she felt good things were in store for Friday, and with it, the season.

“It’s beautiful weather out here, it’s perfect and comfortable,” Castellanos said. “There’s a little breeze. I feel like I’m improving each and every meet in the triple jump and working on my phases.”

Teammate Lauren Zick took third in the 200m dash finals at 26.09, after winning the preliminaries, and ran a 59.14 in the 400m dash for a fourth place finish.

Productive sophomore Victoria Clinton, in the 1600m run, finished with a 5:19.22 time, while freshman teammate Brianna Bower managed a fourth overall in the 3200m run with a 11:38.76.

Lady Knight freshman Kyla Goodine can claim a finals appearance in her first-ever try in the Kane County setting, by taking seventh in the entire field of 100m hurdles girls with a time with a 17.69.

“I think it’s going good,” Goodine said. “I still think I have some room for improvement, but I’m working hard and hopefully I can get to State.”

In the 4x100m relay battle, KHS finished second overall with a time of 49.92, thanks to the efforts of Kaltrina Ismaili, Allie Heinzer, Castellanos and Zick. Kaneland came back in the 4x400m relay by having Amanda Lesak, Sydney Strang, Castellanos and Heinzer take fourth at 4:09.79. The 4x800m entries of Lesak, Strang, Aislinn Lodwig and Clinton took third at 9:47.34.

The field events turned out quite productive as well. In addition to Castellanos’s win in the triple jump, Zick earned second in the long jump at 17 feet, one inch.

Teammate Ellie Tattoni saw a good night in the discus throw, by completing a 119-02 try for third.

Against Morris and Yorkville on Tuesday, Kaneland earned a narrow three-point win over the host Lady Foxes, putting 86 points on the board.

Kaneland travels to the Northern Illinois Big XII meet on Friday, May 3, hosted by DeKalb.

Defense rules the field

in Girls Soccer by

KHS soccer earns shutouts in all 3 games of strong week
Kaneland–Withstanding challenges from conference rivals, Kaneland girls soccer is holding up nicely with just two weeks left in regular season play.

Traveling to Morris on April 25, the Lady Knights beat the host Lady Redskins by a score of 2-0, while entering into a 0-0 stalemate against host DeKalb April 24.

On Tuesday, the Lady Knights trekked to Rochelle, where they shut down the hosts in a 6-0 victory.

KHS sits at 7-4-2 with a 5-1-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

The positive development at Morris came as a result of one goal in each half. Jess Coia struck first with the help of an Emily Grams assist with 20:56 to go in the first half. Grams found the back of the net in the second half thanks to a feed from Kiandra Powell with 18:43 left in the match.

The battle with the Lady Barbs offset the 1-0 loss suffered in early April, showing progress on the Kaneland end.

Tuesday’s big win came at the 10:48 mark in the first half when freshman Kiandra Powell reached the back of the net with an assist from sophomore Heather Ortiz.

The Lady Knights took a 1-0 lead into halftime before blowing the game open with five unanswered goals in the second half.

Powell collected the hat trick, scoring the team’s fourth goal (assist from freshman Nicole Koczka) and final goal (assist from sophomore Courtney Diddell).

Junior Michelle Ortiz started the second-half scoring with a goal at the 34:00 mark (assisted by sophomore Madi Jurcenko), and then another one less than three minutes later, this time off of a feed from sophomore Courtney Diddell.

Jurcenko added another assist later in the second half when she aided Heather Ortiz, who put one through at 6:41.

In addition to Kaneland’s solid week on the field, the Lady Knights learned of their post-season plans when the Class 2A postseason assignments were released to the public on Friday. The No. 2 seed Lady Knights will travel to the Rochelle Regional to open their festivities on Wednesday, May 15, at 4 p.m. against No. 3 Illinois Math and Science Academy.

HHS has one rout under its belt already against the Lady Titans in an early-season matchup.

The winner of that match takes on the winner of No. 1 Rosary and No. 4 Rochelle in the regional title match on Friday, May 17, at 4 p.m. for the right to head to the Freeport Sectional.

The Lady Knights were set to play Hinckley-Big Rock in Maple Park on Wednesday in a non-conference affair, and also host Yorkville on Thursday, May 2.

Familiar face fills coaching vacancy

in Wrestling by
kenny

KANELAND—As seems par for the course, the Knights wrestling program will have a familiar face leading the matmen.

Beginning this fall, the Knights will be steered by new head coach and Class of 2004 alum Jeremy Kenny, who was recommended for the position in April and approved at the KHS school board meeting on Monday.

“For me, I had a feeling it was going to happen,” Kenny said. “After talking to Monty (Jahns) and to have it be official, I think it was relief.”

Kenny, who was a State qualifier under former coach Gary Baum, takes over for fellow alum Jahns, who stepped away to focus more on responsibilities at his day job with Nicor Gas.

Kenny, the former two-year NIU Huskie wrestler, has seen almost every potential wrestler come through the ranks in Maple Park since joining the coaching staff six seasons ago.

“Monty and I ran together with the program; I’ve been able to learn the program, and he gave me flexibility,” Kenny said.

Jahns, himself a decorated Kaneland wrestler who graduated in 1982, helped launch the Knights Wrestling Club in 1987 and had seen virtually all the eventual Knight wrestlers take the mat.

A member of the Kaneland Hall of Fame and a former State qualifier, Jahns served as varsity assistant coach before taking over as head coach from Gary Baum for the 2008-09 campaign.

The Jahns era had a handful of State qualifiers, beginning with Jay Levita in 2008-09, Jimmy Boyle and Kyle Davidson in 2009-10, Boyle again in 2010-11, Stephen Gust, Esai Ponce, Dan Goress and Ben Kovalick in 2011-12, and Ponce, Zach Theis and 145-state State champ Goress this past season.

Kenny, employed as a full-time security guard at KHS, has an idea of a head coaching style already.

“I guess my style is action. I never like to ask the kids do something that I wouldn’t be willing to ask of myself,” Kenny said.

Kenny, who knows what it’s like to be one of the select few grapplers to make it to Champaign, Ill., as part of the 171-pound class, won’t just be a coach, but a fan and believer of the sport.

“I just want to develop the program more,” Kenny said. “I want to help make these kids into good young adults. Wrestling is one of the great sports for life lessons.”

‘Round the bases

in Softball by

Softball squad goes 4-1 in packed week
KANELAND—The Lady Knights softball team made its way around the Northern Illinois Big XII this past week and handled itself well.

On April 24, a trip to Morris yielded a 9-6 win, followed by a win in DeKalb on Thursday by 4-3 fashion. Saturday saw a crossover doubleheader against Geneseo split with an 8-3 win and a 13-10 extra-inning defeat.

The Lady Knights came back on Tuesday against Rochelle and steamrolled the visitors in a 9-0 rout.

The Lady Knights sit at 13-3 and 5-1 in NIB-12 play.

Against Morris, the Lady Knights stormed out to an 8-0 lead, with two runs in the second, four in the third and two in the fourth, until the Lady Redskins came back with a close rally.

Sarah Grams smacked a two-run homer, while freshman callup Courtney Davis earned the win.

Against the host Lady Barbs, the Lady Knights staked an initial lead, 4-0, before DeKalb creeped back into the game with three runs in the sixth for the slimmer final margin. Ellissa Eckert earned the win.

Sophomore Paige Kuefler went 3-for-4 with three RBI, while teammate Aly O’Herron went 2-for-3 with a double.

Eckert took the win in the first game, while Geneseo used five runs in the ninth, which was enough to withstand a two-run rally in the bottom of the inning.

Facing the Lady Hubs, an O’Herron single paved the way for a Kuefler homer to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

“I think it was an outside pitch,” Kuefler said. “So I drove it. Our lineup is pretty solid right now.”

A four-run fourth inning saw an RBI groundout from Allie Miller after a Grams triple. Eckert helped her cause with an RBI single after Meg Cohrs advanced to third on an error in right field. Lexi Roach singled and O’Herron smacked a two-run double to put the game out of reach.

Eckert helped the fielders by inducing a number of groundouts, some to herself.

“The defense was solid and the pitching was solid, and it was an all-around good game,” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “Ellissa has pitched fine. She still needs to work on some stuff in terms of consistency and location if we’re going to go very far. But she’s making progress and working hard.”

Kaneland softball continues its run on Thursday, May 2, in Yorkville for a NIB-12 tussle.

Road trip success

in Girls Track by

KHS girls track wins the day Monday at Bureau Valley
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With the Dixon Relays gone by the wayside and Kaneland girls track looking for more meets before the usual Kane County Meet excursion in late April, the Lady Knights found one on Monday in an unlikely location.

That unlikely location provided big dividends, in the form of Bureau Valley High School’s four-team meet in Manlius, Ill.

KHS put together a total of 104 points, compared to Cambridge’s 58.5, Bureau Valley’s 54.5 and West Carroll’s 54.

“The meet at Bureau Valley was a weekday meet that everyone could run in,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “We could not find one locally. It went very well; a nice day. They run a very good meet.”

First-place honors scattered the home of the Storm, beginning with the Lady Knights’ 4×800 meter relay of Maggie Brundige, Amanda Lesak, Abby Dodis and Brianna Bower taking the course at 10:30.33. The 4x100m foursome for KHS ran a first-place 51.55 thanks to the efforts of Kaltrina Ismaili, Allie Heinzer, Ashley Castellanos and Lauren Zick.

Kyla Goodine’s 17.50 in the 100m hurdles took the crown, and teammate Sydney Strang claimed the 800m run at 2:24.89.

The 4x200m relay also enjoyed first-place spoils with a 1:55.34 effort from Ismaili, Rachel Steinmiller, Noelle Espino and Heinzer, and Victoria Clinton outran the field in the 1600m run with a 5:24.66 effort. KHS swept the top five spots in that event.

More relay glory was to come with the 4x200m relay unit of Jessica Kucera, Aislinn Lodwig, Castellanos and Heinzer taking first with a time of 4:20.65.

KHS also made its presence felt in the accompanying field events, thanks to athletes like Zick, with a first-place effort of 17 feet, 1.5 inches in the long jump. Castellanos owned the triple jump group with a mark of 34 feet, 6.25 inches.

On Friday, April 26, the Lady Knights make the leap to the annual Kane County Invite, hosted by current Upstate Eight Conference school Geneva. Tuesday, April 30, has KHS hosting Morris and Yorkville in a Northern Illinois Big XII triangular.

Kaneland looks to try to improve last year’s output, held at St. Charles North. KHS took eighth in the gathering won by West Aurora.

Softball takes tussle with host Oswego

in Softball by

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—It seems par for the course that every week in the spring 2013 season shall bring with it postponement and cancellations.

Kaneland softball can only try to worry about what’s in front of it on a given day, weather or not.

With the April 17 game at Morris postponed and the Thursday contest at Dixon cancelled, the Lady Knights took a trip to their lone game of the week on a beautiful Monday afternoon.

Kaneland came away from Kendall County with a 7-4 victory over the winless Oswego Lady Panthers.
KHS sits at 9-2, and 2-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.
Originally down 1-0 after the first inning, Kaneland came back with a run in the top of the second and two in the third, before OHS scored another run in the bottom of that inning to close within 3-2.

The Lady Knights were able to breathe easier with three in the top of the fourth to go up 6-2. It would remain scoreless until the sixth, when the Lady Knights crossed the plate again before surrendering two in the bottom of the sixth. The victory came despite four errors committed in the field by Kaneland, compared to two for Oswego.

Courtney Davis started in the pitchers’ circle, going five innings and allowing two runs on three hits, while Anissa Becker and Ellissa Eckert finished the win in relief.

At the plate, slugging presence Lanie Callaghan went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Ahead for the Lady Knights lineup was the rescheduled conference matchup at Morris on Wednesday, with results not available for press, and a matchup on Thursday, April 25, at DeKalb. The Morris encounter takes the place of an original crossover contest at LaSalle-Peru.

Soccer solves IMSA

in Girls Soccer by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After a Thursday conference tilt against Sycamore was postponed due to torrential rainfall, the Lady Knights soccer crew made up for lost scoring time on Saturday in Aurora on the home grounds of Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Converting an 8-1 win, the Lady Knights were able to bounce back from a hefty non-conference tour a week prior, which included Geneva and St. Charles East.

“We were fortunate that we were able to finish the way we as a team thought we should have doing all season,” KHS head soccer coach Scott Parillo said.
Getting down to business against the Lady Titan lineup, the Kaneland starters found the back of the net five times in the first half and three in the second.

Brittany Olson supplied a hat trick with an assist, while Emily Chapman added two of her own. Teammate Courtney Diddell had a goal and two assists, while Madi Jurcenko scored on a corner kick. Kiandra Powell closed out the scoring column, and Emily Grams added an assist of her own.

This Friday, April 26, sees the release of the Class 2A postseason pairings for Kaneland. The Lady Knights are part of the Rochelle Regional, along with just-seen IMSA, Rosary and the host Lady Hubs.

“We are playing pretty well as of late. It is nice when we can get outside a few times, in that we can work on improving our game,” Parillo said.

The regional is part of the Freeport Sectional and Barrington Super-Sectional. Kaneland has seen its season come to a close twice by the cleats of Rosary and twice by Crystal Lake Central in regional play the last four years.

KHS sits at 5-4-1 with a 2-1 record in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

KHS was set to visit DeKalb on Wednesday, with results unavailable for press time. On Thursday, April 25, the Lady Knights host Morris, while trekking to Rochelle on Tuesday, April 30.

KHS boys track defends its turf

in Boys Track by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Saturday saw a lot of teams having to look up at Kaneland boys track.

There were 15 teams, to be exact.

With a 145.3 point output, the Knights were crowned kings of the usual late-April Peterson Prep on Saturday morning in Maple Park, a comfortable 87 points ahead of DeKalb and ahead of Oswego East’s 57.

Burlington Central claimed fourth with 46.5, while West Aurora garnered 46.3.

Other Northern Illinois Big XII schools included Sycamore in seventh with 38, Yorkville in ninth at 26 and Rochelle in 11th with 18.

Top honors and noteworthy finishes abounded for Kaneland, as the team found a comfortable distance between it and the rest of the field.

The sprint entries came away with a productive Saturday, beginning with Nathaniel Kucera’s second place in the 400 meter dash, with a time of 50.36 seconds, while teammate Dylan Nauert made his presence felt once again in the 300m low hurdles with a second-place time of 40.64.

The 4x100m relay team of Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier, Nauert and Isaac Swithers took the group with a final time of 43.79, while the unit of Bishop, Cottier, Swithers and Ben Barnes finished second in the 4x200m relay at 1:33.06.

Bishop, Kyle Carter, Nauert and Kucera captured the 4×400 with a time of 3:26.08, and the Knights struck again with Conor Johnson, Carter, Luis Acosta and Kucera in the 4×800 with a first-place 8:01.23.

“It was a decent day out, a little cold but still manageable and good for running,” Carter said. “We’ve been doing what we can. In the 400, we’ve been running with each other for three years now. We’re still working on things and getting in shape, but it’s going to be good.”

The field events also featured plenty of black-and-white honors, namely the pole vault that saw KHS sweep the top two spots, with Kory Harner and Dylan Kuipers hitting 12 feet, nine inches.

A similar situation arose in the long jump event, with Barnes (21-1.75) and Tanner Andrews (20-10) nabbing the top two spots.

Barnes enjoys the opportunity to see major field time in his sophomore campaign, and felt good about the team’s fortunes for Saturday and beyond.

“It’s like our whole team is PR’ing. Everyone thinks this is the best weather we’ve had, and I feel like I jumped pretty good in this weather. I can go farther if it’s a lot nicer,” Barnes said.

KHS teammate Dalvell Triplett took second overall in the triple jump with a mark of 42-6.25 for second place.

In the shot put, asset Nate Dyer was second at 51-3, and in the discus at 143.

Kaneland boys track was set to compete in a makeup day at Marmion Academy on Wednesday, and head to the Crystal Lake Central Invite on Friday, April 26, before heading to Yorkville along with Morris on Tuesday, April 30.

KHS boys track defends its turf

in Boys Track by

Boys track team dominant Saturday at Peterson Prep
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Saturday saw a lot of teams having to look up at Kaneland boys track.
There were 15 teams, to be exact.

With a 145.3 point output, the Knights were crowned kings of the usual late-April Peterson Prep on Saturday morning in Maple Park, a comfortable 87 points ahead of DeKalb and ahead of Oswego East’s 57.

Burlington Central claimed fourth with 46.5, while West Aurora garnered 46.3.
Other Northern Illinois Big XII schools included Sycamore in seventh with 38, Yorkville in ninth at 26 and Rochelle in 11th with 18.

Top honors and noteworthy finishes abounded for Kaneland, as the team found a comfortable distance between it and the rest of the field.

The sprint entries came away with a productive Saturday, beginning with Nathaniel Kucera’s second place in the 400 meter dash, with a time of 50.36 seconds, while teammate Dylan Nauert made his presence felt once again in the 300m low hurdles with a second-place time of 40.64.

The 4x100m relay team of Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier, Nauert and Isaac Swithers took the group with a final time of 43.79, while the unit of Bishop, Cottier, Swithers and Ben Barnes finished second in the 4x200m relay at 1:33.06.

Bishop, Kyle Carter, Nauert and Kucera captured the 4×400 with a time of 3:26.08, and the Knights struck again with Conor Johnson, Carter, Luis Acosta and Kucera in the 4×800 with a first-place 8:01.23.

“It was a decent day out, a little cold but still manageable and good for running,” Carter said. “We’ve been doing what we can. In the 400, we’ve been running with each other for three years now. We’re still working on things and getting in shape, but it’s going to be good.”

The field events also featured plenty of black-and-white honors, namely the pole vault that saw KHS sweep the top two spots, with Kory Harner and Dylan Kuipers hitting 12 feet, nine inches.

A similar situation arose in the long jump event, with Barnes (21-1.75) and Tanner Andrews (20-10) nabbing the top two spots.

Barnes enjoys the opportunity to see major field time in his sophomore campaign, and felt good about the team’s fortunes for Saturday and beyond.

“It’s like our whole team is PR’ing. Everyone thinks this is the best weather we’ve had, and I feel like I jumped pretty good in this weather. I can go farther if it’s a lot nicer,” Barnes said.

KHS teammate Dalvell Triplett took second overall in the triple jump with a mark of 42-6.25 for second place.

In the shot put, asset Nate Dyer was second at 51-3, and in the discus at 143.

Kaneland boys track was set to compete in a makeup day at Marmion Academy on Wednesday, and head to the Crystal Lake Central Invite on Friday, April 26, before heading to Yorkville along with Morris on Tuesday, April 30.

KHS takes 2nd at Jenni’s ABC meet

in Featured/Girls Track by

Track team battles cold, competition at home on Saturday
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—What happens when you can’t get a grasp on your ABC’s?

Keep trying.

Kaneland girls track squad was able to take to the frigid grounds at Peterson Field for the annual Jenni’s ABC Meet on Saturday.

When the dust settled, the Lady Knights were able to walk away with a second-place finish out of six teams.

“In cold weather you have to stay more active, a longer warm-up where you build up more slowly, and dress appropriately for the cold,” said KHS head track coach Doug Ecker. “I thought the girls competed very hard on Saturday and were focused on not letting the weather distract them. It showed in their performances.”

The Huntley Red Raiders came away with the first-place honor, thanks to a 324-point output, compared to Kaneland’s 301. Boylan Catholic of Rockford managed third place thanks to a 219-point total.

Aurora outfit Rosary (203), Rock Falls (171) and Lemont’s Mt. Assisi Academy (66) filled out the bottom half of the standings.

With the track and field events grouped in “A” “B” and “C” flights, the room for success was ample for the Kaneland program.

For the 100 meter dash “A” event, it was Kaneland’s Lauren Zick who was able to power through the field and manage a first with a 12.30 second effort.

Zick came through again in the 200m dash “A” event with a first-place time of 25.65 seconds, followed closely by Kaneland teammate Allie Heinzer in second with a time of 27.57. In the 800m run “A” event, Kaneland’s presence was marked by the top two finishers: sophomores Victoria Clinton (2:34.47) and Jessica Kucera (2:43.76) followed with a win in the “B” flight.

The 1600m run “A” event saw Lady Knight Sydney Strang take the race with a time of 5:40.30, 22 seconds better than her closest competitor.

Meanwhile, in the 3200m run “B” event, it was KHS competitor Brianna Bower outlasting the field at 11:46.39, followed by fellow Lady Knight Abby Dodis at 12:27.80 in the “A” flight.

In the 300m hurdles “A” competition, the Lady Knights were represented in the top tier by Amanda Lesak with a second-place finish of 51.14 seconds.

Relay action saw a second place for the 4x400m relay “A” foursome of Lesak, Ashley Castellanos, Clinton and Zick with a time of 4:17.72, while the 4x800m relay “A” unit of Lesak, Kucera, Aislinn Lodwig and Maggie Brundige conquered the field at 10:29.45.

The field events had their share of highlights, beginning with Christina Delach in the pole vault. The junior managed a meet-best nine feet, six inches. Kaneland’s Zick (17-06) and Castellanos (16-08.25) took care of the long jump field at the top two places.

Castellanos’ 33-09.5 was also tops in the triple jump field.

Sophomore standout Elle Tattoni was able to wrangle second place in the shot put with an effort of 34-.5, and do well in the discus throw with a second-place, 98-1 effort. The top finisher in the category was Boylan’s Lindsay Herra at 124-1.

The girls head to the Wauconda Invitational on Friday, April 19.

KHS basbeball team faces reduced schedule

in Baseball by

Knights down DeKalb in only completed game of week
Kaneland—The weather has proved to be the toughest opponent for the Kaneland varsity baseball team.

Following a flurry of cancellations and postponents, the Knights were finally able to take the field Tuesday for an impromptu double-header at DeKalb.

That adjusted schedule was thanks to Monday’s called game following a 30-minute wait in the hopes that Mother Nature would allow the teams to get some field time.

After Kaneland and DeKalb coaches agreed to call Monday’s game and turn Tuesday’s into a twin-bill, KHS head coach Brian Aversa commented on the impact the weather has had on his team.

“As a coach it’s frustrating,” he said. “This is (starting pitcher) Blake Sowell’s fourth or fifth game cancelled when it’s his turn in the rotation, and as a player it’s got to be really mentally tough to stay ready to go.”

Sowell warmed up in the hopes Monday’s game would go as scheduled, but had to redo his warm-up routine the following day.

“It’s one of those things where it’s difficult coming into a game and finding out its been cancelled, especially after I’ve warmed up,” Sowell said on Monday. “But its like going to school or going to work, you just have to go and do it.”

He went out and did it again, getting the start for Monday’s make-up game, moved to Tuesday and this time in DeKalb, as the first game in an intended double-header.

He pitched a complete-game gem, surrendering just one run (unearned) on three hits and three walks. He struck out seven, leading the Knights to a 3-1 victory.

Lead-off hitter Dan Miller led the Knights from the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. John Hopkins and Kyle Pollastrini each went 1-for-3 with a run scored, and Josh Cohrs went 1-for-4 with an RBI to contribute to the winning effort.

The game went scoreless until the Knights knocked first in the top of the third. Hopkins started the offensive output in the third with a hard ground ball single past second. He stole second and then scored on a Josh Cohrs double to center.

Carlson helped add to the lead in the top of the fourth, drawing a lead-off walk and taking second on a Pollastrini single. He took third on a DeKalb error, and then scored on a passed ball, with Pollastrini taking third. Miller’s single to left brought Pollastrini home, and Kaneland found itself with a 3-0 lead.

Sowell and the Kaneland defense stifled DeKalb until the bottom of the sixth, when things became tight. Sowell surrendered a lead-off single in the sixth, but bounced back with two strikeouts in a row. DeKalb then scored on an error, and with a walk to the next batter, DeKalb had two runners on with two outs and the leading run at the plate.

Kaneland shut the potential rally down as Zack Martinelli snagged a fly ball to right field to close out the inning and the game’s scoring.

The second half of the twin bill made it through the end of the fourth inning before being delayed, potentially to be resumed Thursday.

Kaneland’s record currently stands at 5-6.

Fifth Third Bank Ballpark to host sports card, memorabilia show

in Kane County Cougars by

GENEVA—Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, home of the Kane County Cougars, will host the “Take Me Out to the Card Show” trading card and sports memorabilia event, scheduled for Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event, being directed by DanCamCom and Autograph Authentics Plus, will be held inside Fifth Third Bank Ballpark’s upper deck level and include local hobby shops and sports memorabilia retailers. Admission is $3 for adults, along with children age 13, with $1 from each admission being donated to Ozzie’s Outreach, the Cougars’ charitable foundation. Youth baseball and softball players wearing their team uniform will receive a special door prize.

A pair of well-known Chicago sports figures will be present that day as well. Chicago Blackhawks legend Hockey Hall-of-Famer Denis Savard is scheduled to sign autographs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Autograph pricing is as follows: $15, or two for $25, on any item except for the Blackhawks Ambassadors “Blue Line” photo, which is $40. Authentic Autographs Plus will have pucks, mini-sticks, mini-helmets and 8X10 photos available for purchase. Also, former Chicago Cub Randy Hundley will sign autographs from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Autograph pricing is as follows: $10 or two for $15, on any item, with an additional $5 for inscriptions.

For more information on the event or to reserve dealer space, contact event organizer Dan Campana at dan@dancamcom.biz.

Tight contest goes Lady Knights’ Way

in Featured/Softball by

Heimerdinger hit wins it in bottom of 7th against Sycamore
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like three cancellations this past week just delayed the inevitable.

But the win over visiting Sycamore on Tuesday afternoon for KHS softball was anything but.

Muddling through shelved contests with Morris and Maine West, the Lady Knights took to the field against Sycamore and went out to a 3-0 lead before Sycamore put up a three-spot in the top of the sixth.

Kaneland took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the inning before the visitors deadlocked it again.

It was a Caroline Heimerdinger bases-loaded single to drive Sarah Grams home with the winning run with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh to cinch a 5-4 win.

Kaneland is now 8-2 and 3-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape.

The scoring began with cleanup hitter Lanie Callaghan’s two-run shot to left field for a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Kaneland failed to get any runs out of a bases loaded chance in the bottom of the third.

It remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Aly O’Herron’s sacrifice fly brought home Heimerdinger.

Sycamore finally struck in the sixth, first on a two-run homer, and then stacking runners until a flyball to right evaded Callaghan’s attempt, tying the contest.

Three consecutive Lady Knights reached base, ending with Paige Kuefler’s RBI single that drove in Lexi Roach to make it 4-3.

Ellissa Eckert (W) relieved starter Annisa Becker in the seventh, but Sycamore tied the score at 4.

In the bottom of the seventh, Grams doubled and Hayley Contorno singled. Allison Miller was hit by a pitch to load the bases, setting the stage for Heimerdinger’s third and decisive hit.

“That was clutch by Caroline, but we left a lot of baserunners out there,” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “I don’t know if the odds were with us and we were due for a hit there, but Caroline did strike the ball well all day.”

“I was told it needs to be in the outfield so that’s the only thing I was looking for,” Heimerdinger said. “I mostly put it out of my head when we were tied.”

Kaneland was set to travel to Morris on Wednesday, before heading to Dixon for a crossover contest on Thursday, April 18.

Soccer bests NIB12 rivals

in Girls Soccer by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—KHS soccer picked up a much-welcomed conference win last Thursday against Rochelle, and added to the win column with another conference victory Tuesday at Yorkville.

After the 5-0 rout of visiting Rochelle, the Lady Knights’ momentum was stifled by non-conference St. Charles East at home on Saturday, 2-0, and under the lights in Geneva on Monday via 1-0 tally.

Through nine matches, Kaneland sits at 4-4-1 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against the Lady Hubs, the Lady Knights had plenty of opportunities to hit the back of the net in both halves, but success was hard to come by.

With 9:33 remaining in the first half, Madi Jurcenko finally converted for Kaneland on an assist by Jess Coia for a 1-0 lead before halftime.

The battle looked to be headed toward a close end, before KHS opened the scoring floodgates. Heather Ortiz scored the first of her two goals with 21:10, and then with 5:48 off a Jurcenko feed.

“The coaches were telling me not to think about it too much and to dribble because I had the foot skills. I went out there and tried to have fun,” Ortiz said.

The final two goals came by Emily Grams with 1:10 left, and Kiandra Powell closed the scoring column with :41 to go off a feed from Sage Schlehofer.

“I think we just wore them down,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The one good thing about Rochelle is they didn’t quit. They put up a heck of a fight. But we’ve got to finish. Our next two games are incredibly tough.”

Against the Lady Saints, the Lady Knights gave up a goal each in the first and second halves, while against Geneva, the KHS crew couldn’t power through a one-goal chasm in the first half.

At Yorkville on Tuesday, Kaneland put up four first-half goals on their way to a solid 4-1 victory.

Olson scored twice for the Lady Knight, putting up the first (assist by Courtney Diddell) and last (assist by Jessica Coia) goals for the team. Ortiz scored on a feed from Olson, and Jurcenko scored at the 14:00 mark, assisted by Schlehofer.

Kaneland hosts Sycamore on Thursday, April 18.

Boys track take 2nd in Ottawa

in Boys Track by

OTTAWA—It was easy as ABC for Kaneland boys track on Saturday during the Ottawa ABC Invite.

Hosted by conference outlet Ottawa, the Knights tackled the challenge of the meet staggered by flights and came away with second place.

The Knights’ 182 point total was second to Metamora’s 182 and ahead of Bolingbrook’s 127 in the 15-team gathering.

The field events had a sizable KHS presence, with Alex Snyder taking second in the “C” shot put at 42-05. The “C” pole vault was captured by Kory Harner, who’s effort of 12-06 was good for first, while teammate JR Vest took the “B” group at 12-06, as well. Dylan Kuipers completed the Knight sweep of the vault with a 13 foot win.

The high jump showcased KHS talent, with Tanner Andrews earning a 5-10 in high jump “B,” good for second place. Long jump action saw Kaneland’s Dalvell Triplett jump an 18-2.5 in the “C” long jump.

On the track side, Knight Brock Robertson’s 43.30 time was good for first in the 300m hurdles “B” event.

Kaneland’s Kyle Carter made his distance work pay off with a first place in the “B” 1600m run (4:38.24).

In the 4x400m relay event, the KHS foursome of Brandon Bishop, Nathaniel Kucera, Carter and Dylan Nauert took first with an effort of 3:30.12, beating Oswego East by 3.48 seconds.

Ahead for the Knights is the usual late-April staple Peterson Prep housed in Maple Park on Saturday, April 20.

Wasco softball league hosts competition

in Community Sports by

WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch and Elite Sports Training Center will host a free Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Competition for area youth on Saturday, April 27, at noon at Poynor Park, St. Charles.

Pitch, Hit & Run is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. This grassroots program is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball/softball skills.

Boys and girls are divided into four age divisions: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14, and have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including Team Championships at Major League ballparks and the National Finals at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game.

The individual Pitching, Hitting and Running Champions, along with the All-Around Champion in each age and gender group at the Local Competition will be awarded and advance to the Sectional Level of Competition (also hosted by Wasco).

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificates and have their parents or guardian fill out a registration/waiver form prior to the start of the competition. For questions concerning the competition, please contact our local Coordinator Denelle at denelle@elitesportstrainingcenter.com.

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