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Sports - page 47

Fundraiser set to help send Dyer to Australian track-and-field meet

in Boys Track by

Maple Park—Kaneland High School student-athlete Nathan Dyer was selected by “Down Under Sports” to represent the state of Illinois and compete in a track-and-field competition next June in Australia.

To help raise funds for his trip, there will be an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion Post No. 312, 203 Main St., Maple Park. Tickets cost $7 at the door.

For information, call Penny Dyer at (630) 742-6388.

Lady Knights drop tight match to Geneva, beat Ottawa

in Volleyball by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball could have rolled through this week with two victories as they enter the final third of the 2012 regular season.

It’ll have to be happy with one.

On Sept. 26, the Lady Knights (13-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) went to old standby rival Geneva, where they lost a tough 25-20, 19-25, 25-22 matchup to the Upstate Eight school.

Kaneland beat Geneva for the first time since 1993 last year, but couldn’t make magic happen again in 2012.

KHS came back with a sound two-game win against the Northern Illinois Big XII West division foe Ottawa on Thursday, by a final of 25-11, 27-25.

Against the Lady Vikings, it was sophomore Ellie Dunn leading the way with 12 kills, three blocks and five digs, while Shayna Tucek had 22 digs and two aces to her credit.

Lyndi Scholl had 20 digs, and fellow Lady Knight Ashley Prost added 29 assists with nine digs.

Facing off against the Lady Pirates, Prost had 22 more assists, and Tucek had 11 digs.

“I’m always happy when we can bounce back after a tough loss. We’ve had some real close ones, and we’re improving by the day as a team. Still working on the small things that can make a big difference,” KHS head coach Todd Weimer said.

Kaneland swept Ottawa on all levels of action.

Kaneland has more NIB-12 on the horizon, with a matchup against the visiting Lady Redskins of Morris on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Soccer takes it on the foot vs. DeKalb

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s a given that any Northern Illinois Big XII matchup on the soccer pitch is the furthest thing from a guarantee, regardless of record.

Knight soccer learned that last week with Yorkville, and on Thursday in DeKalb.

Despite an Anthony Parillo goal with 21:17 to go in the first half, the Knights fell victim to the DeKalb attack, losing by a final of 3-1.

Against Morris on Tuesday, the Knights recovered from their previous loss with a 1-0 victory at home.

The Knights sit at 9-3-2, and 4-2-1 in the NIB-12 East. KHS was 8-4-1 through 13 contests in 2011.

Coach Scott Parillo would like to see a couple of extra scoring options for his lineup.

“We have scored 29 goals and Anthony has 14, Kushstrim (Ismaili) has six and we have a couple with one or two goals,” Parillo said. “We need more finishes from other players.”

The KHS freshman handed DeKalb a 6-2 loss on Thursday in additional action, while the sophomores won by a final of 1-0.

KHS prepares for the host Rochelle Hubs on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Kaneland also found out its Class 2A Regional assignment this past week, as the No. 1 seed Knights play the winner of Illinois Math and Science Academy/Sycamore on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. on the grounds of Burlington Central High School.

The last remaining of those three schools takes on either (2) Burlington Central or (3) Hampshire in the title match on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m.

Roast of Rochelle

in Featured/Football by

Photo: Dylan Nauert (20) supplies a good block for running back Jesse Balluff (30). Kaneland went to Rochelle Friday and came away with a solid 34-6 victory. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knights’ passing attack works with defense in 34-6 win at Rochelle
by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—Knights football is making road quests feel like home.

That’s how good they’ve been playing.

Coming to the end of the 2012 opening stretch in which they’ve played four of their first five games on the road, the Knights invaded their first Northern Illinois Big XII East division test: Rochelle.

The Knights held Rochelle’s vaunted wing-T offense in check, subdued the Hubs’ determination after losing to KHS in the Class 5A quarterfinals 10 months ago, and came away with a 34-6 win. That is the sixth consecutive win over Rochelle, a span that started following the Knights’ loss that launched the Hubs’ new football facility in 2007.

The Knights’ staunch defense allowed just 140 yards to the running game of Rochelle, and has allowed just six points in the last three games.

Junior QB Drew David was 11-for-19 for 262 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while receiver Dylan Nauert hauled in five passes for 135 yards and two scores.

“Our line’s been blocking really well. When they give me lots of time and I’m able to get it to those guys, they’re able to make guys miss and can take it all the way at any time,” David said.

After a scoreless tie marked the first quarter of play, the Knights converted points on their fourth drive.

Nauert hauled in a pass, emerged from an attempted tackle, and went down the KHS sideline for an 86-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 6:49 remaining in the first half.

“I knew I had to run the hitch and I ran it. I saw the opening and ran as fast as I could,” Nauert said.

David threw a pick on the next drive, but after forcing Rochelle to punt, Jesse Balluff caught a pass in stride and raced 58 yards for another score at a 14-0 lead with 1:40 to go before halftime.

Rochelle’s Tony Walsh, the Hubs’ leading rusher on the night, capped an eight-play drive with a four-yard score with 2:41 to go in the third frame, but the extra-point attempt missed to put the score at 14-6.

Whatever good feeling the Hubs had was quickly erased as runs by David, Balluff and Nate Dyer advanced the ball, along with a pass to Zack Martinelli.

Balluff plunged in from the two-yard line to make the score 21-6 with 1:23 to go in the third quarter.

Kaneland’s two scoring drives in the final 12-minute set happened with a Dyer touchdown run with 10:26 to play, and when Nauert caught a 32-yard touchdown pass with 6:27 remaining.

“They’re just getting better and better,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We found out what they’re good at and they’re making improvements. Everything we do starts with the guys up front.”

For the third straight year, Kaneland opened its season 5-0 (1-0 in the NIB-12 East).

The Knights have yet to lose a conference game since the inception of the new school formation in 2010. Their regular season win streak sits at 24, with wins in 26 of its last 28 contests, and they have not lost a road game since losing in Geneva in week eight of 2008.

The Knights host DeKalb on Friday, Sept. 28, with the 1-4 Barbs coming off a win against Streator.

Taking care of business

in Featured/Tennis by

Colleen Landers prepares to serve against Yorkville during the varsity home match on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

KHS racketeers sweep the Rochelle Quad field
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Once the end of the school week hits, many a student would just like to take a breather.

Kaneland High School tennis would just rather take opponents’ breath away.

Just seven days removed from trouncing the field at the Yorkville Quad, the Lady Knights, under coach Tim Larsen, did the same to four other teams at another Northern Illinois Big XII hangout in the Rochelle Quad on Saturday.

The Lady Knights swept the rankings, achieving first place in both singles and all three doubles categories, getting the full-tilt 25 points.

Freeport went second overall with 16 points, while DeKalb went third with 13 points. The host Lady Hubs took fourth with 12 points, and Sterling Newman went fifth with nine points.

With a 6-4, 6-4 win over Freeport’s Nikki Church, Lady Knight sophomore Sammie Schrepferman took first overall in the No.1 singles category.

Kaneland’s Sarah Grams nabbed the spotlight on the No. 2 singles court and won the day with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Rochelle’s Brittany Sanderson.

The three Lady Knight doubles teams owned the day, going a combined 12-0.

Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko were tops in the No. 1 doubles, while teammates Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward secured the No. 2 doubles crown, and the Colleen Landers/ Stephanie Karolewicz tandem broke through in the No. 3 set.

“It was windy, cold and wet when we got there,” Larsen said. “(A) rough day to be out in the elements, but not so bad when you win that many matches.”

Tuesday’s action saw Kaneland send visiting Yorkville High School home with a 4-1 loss. Kaneland posted wins in all doubles action, as well as the No. 1 singles bracket.

Schrepferman battled her opponent at the top singles spot after breezing through the first set 6-0. She dropped the second set 6-4, before flipping the scores to win set three 6-4, securing the victory.

Jurcenko and Emmanouil took their No. 1 doubles match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. Bicos and Woodward followed with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles. Landers and Karol completed the doubles’ sweep with a 6-3, 6-1 win.

“(This was) another good conference win,” Larsen said.

The JV team fell to Yorkville, 3-2.

The Lady Knights meet up at old familiar stomping grounds for the Geneva Quad on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Lady Knights stump Hub rivals

in Featured/Volleyball by

Casey Jacobson (8) makes a dig with support from Shayna Tucek (5) on Tuesday. Yorkville traveled to Kaneland to take on the varsity girls. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—That’s how you get back on an even keel.

The Lady Knight volleyball outfit needed a way to solidify its Northern Illinois Big XII standing at the early outset of the conference slate.

After last week’s loss to DeKalb, the Lady Knights figured the best way to even up their NIB-12 record was a convincing two-game win in Ogle County, 25-15, 25-19, over Rochelle.

Kaneland’s overall record is 12-6 following Tuesday’s loss to Yorkville.

Ellie Dunn had 13 kills, plus two aces by the net for the Lady Knights, and Lyndi Scholl had nine kills and 10 digs in the winning effort. Ashley Prost had 32 assists and eight digs.

Shayna Tucek had 22 digs.

KHS maintained a lead from wire-to-wire, with the exception of a 14-14 tie in game two.

Consistent front-line play and execution allowed Kaneland to enjoy a lead as wide as 17-9 in game one before Rochelle cut it to 18-15.

The Lady Knights went on a seven-point game-ending tear, thanks to sloppy play by Rochelle and a couple of digs by Scholl.

Scholl’s kill gave Kaneland a 10-point edge and a game one win.

In game two, Kaneland enjoyed a 9-1 lead early before Rochelle closed within 10-9.

After Rochelle’s serving ace, Dunn and Scholl took charge and aggressively pursued the ball to success with tips and kills. Their flurry made it 23-16. With the score 24-19, Dunn hit the ball for a point, and Scholl killed it on the next exchange to cinch victory.

“I think it helped that we had a variety of everyone up there,” Scholl said. “Ashley and Ellie really stepped it up, and everything played out where it needed to be.”

Tucek saved many a ball that made it past the front line, and helped dig the Lady Knights to victory.

“I think it was really important that we stepped it up on defense, and serve-receive was important, too,” Tucek said.

KHS coach Todd Weimer was happy with the conference win and the level of play.

“I think we were trying to find the matchups and reading blocks. We’re going to continue to work on that, and it helps us in the long run,” Weimer said. “We really did a nice job the whole match tonight, and it was nice to see that.”

Yorkville visited Kaneland and defeated the Lady Knights in a back-and-forth three-game match. Kaneland’s 22-25, 25-22, 17-25 loss put the Lady Knights below .500 in conference play, as their NIB-12 record fell to 2-3.

Dunn led the way with 10 kills, one ace and five blocks. Scholl added eight kills and five digs. Emily Loudant contributed six kills, six digs and one ace, and Prost spread out 25 assists to go along with her six digs.

The sophomore squad easily handled game one in their match with Yorkville, 25-7, and then battled through a tough game two to win 26-24. Both the Freshman A and Freshman B teams also added wins over their Lady Foxes opponents.

KHS attempts to handle the visiting Ottawa Lady Pirates on Thursday, Sept. 27, in NIB-12 crossover action.

Girls XC boasts exceptional totals in Sterling

in Girls Cross Country by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Regardless of what the rest of the season brings, Kaneland girls cross country runners can say they brought the best they had at their usual late-September stop.

At the Rock River Run, hosted by Sterling on Saturday, the Lady Knights finished second overall out of 14 teams.

Solidifying that place was the exceptional performance of Kaneland asset Victoria Clinton, who ended up winning the race overall.

Dealing with the three-mile course on a 52-degree day, the Lady Knights’ 65-point output was second only to Geneva’s 38.

Rounding out the top five were Belvidere North (102), Sycamore (136) and Freeport (185).

Kaneland was able to boast five runners in the top 21 overall, most notable the race from Clinton, who ran the course in 17 minutes, 44 seconds, laying waste to the rest of the field and winning it by a 36-second margin.

Freshman Brianna Bower continued her positive trajectory with a 10th-place finish by striding in a time of 18:58. Junior Sydney Strang finally took to the course after being felled with pneumonia for the majority of the season and finished 15th at 19:29.

“It was an excellent race for her, and she’ll only get better as the season goes on,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Senior Abby Dodis finished 18th overall with a time of 19:43, while fellow senior classmate Maggie Brundige rounded out the Lady Knight top five with a 21st place finish of 19:49.

Kaneland’s frosh-soph team took third with a point total of 106, thanks in large part to Brianna Booton’s race of 22:28.

KHS sees its next challenge at the Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Knight soccer leveled by Yorkville

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Tyler Siebert gets tripped up near the goal. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE—It wasn’t a good time for the first Northern Illinois Big XII loss of the 2012 campaign, nor was it to the expected team.

Unable to get out of a two-goal rut at halftime, the Knights soccer team fell to the host Yorkville Foxes at Campbell Field on Thursday by a final of 3-0.

They turned that game around with a Tuesday shutout victory over Sycamore, 2-0.

Kaneland had hit a mid-season stride, and the Knights’ record currently stands at 8-2-2 on the season, with a 3-1-1 mark in conference play.

The last time Kaneland had lost a match was back on Aug. 24 against the hosts of the Jacobs Tournament, an unbeaten streak of seven matches.

Yorkville goal-scoring record holder Artan Emini struck first on a goal with 24:02 remaining in the first half for a 1-0 lead. Alex Gil’s shot was stopped at point-blank range 11 minutes later, and Yorkville found the scoreboard again with a rocket into the net with 1:32 left in the first half past goalkeeper Marshall Farthing.

Yorkville scored a goal that was nullified eight minutes into the second half, but the call proved negated with a third goal that counted with 10:23 to go, icing the match.

The Knights hoped the Thursday setback was an outlier, to say the least.

“The last few practices haven’t been so hot,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Credit (Yorkville), they came ready to play. They’re a good team; I don’t know why everybody thinks they’re not a good team. I guess we’ll find out how we play next time if things change.”

That next game came against rival Sycamore at home on Tuesday. Kaneland turned around its fortunes with a shutout performance against the visitors. Anthony Parillo broke through the scoreless tie with a goal off of a Jason Biddle feed with 21:30 left to play. Gil added an insurance goal, with an assist from Sam Rymarz, with 14:52 remaining in the game.

The sophomore Knights also shutout Sycamore, earning a 4-0 win to put their overall record at 9-2 on the season.

Thursday, Sept. 27, marks the next test for Kaneland, a match in DeKalb.

6th in crowded ACC field marks good day for boys XC

in Boys Cross Country by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Despite an early scare in which an early fall led to a chain-reaction pile-up shortly after the race’s start, the Kaneland boys cross country team saw positive developments at the ACC Invite on Saturday.

“We had a very encouraging and fortunate day. Encouraging to see our pack split 1-6 of just 65 seconds, fortunate that none of our runners were seriously injured,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said.

The Knights finished in sixth place with 169 points, with fellow Northern Illinois Big XII outfit Yorkville finishing second in the Aurora Central Catholic Charger Classic with 92 points, just three behind race king Normal U-High.

Oswego East runner Charles Thornton was tops in the 2.9 mile race with a time of 14:41.9, but the Knights boasted their own impressive totals.

Junior Kyle Carter finished sixth with a time of 14:57.4, and becomes the first KHS runner to break the 15-minute barrier on the course.

“It was a very big day for him, given the training he’s been doing this week,” Clarey said.

Conor Johnson finished in 20th place by running 15:15.2—this after being involved in the pileup of competitors early on in the course. Senior John Meisinger set a PR and finished in 44th, at 15:46.1, and junior Ryan Bower was 61st at 16:00.8, setting another PR by 32 seconds.

The Knights try to leave the field in knots on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Freeport Pretzel Invite.

Golfers clipped by Jacobs, swing in Genoa

in Golf by

Sept. 28: Kaneland won the NIB-12 Conference meet Wednesday, Sept. 26. Knight Brody Kuhar medaled for the champion Knights with a 73, while the team score of 310 easily outdistanced second-place Yorkville’s 325. See next week’s Elburn Herald for in-depth coverage.

KANELAND—Sometimes good totals aren’t enough.

The scorecard can go your way with consistent totals, but the opponent can experience the same phenomenon, but sometimes a stroke better.

That was the case on Sept. 19, when the Knight golfers were given a 162-163 loss to Algonquin’s Jacobs High School at Randall Oaks Golf Club.

The Knights are looking at a 5-4 record in dual action.

Kaneland also took a trip to the Oak Club in Genoa, Ill., for the Fran Noyes Invite on Saturday and finished third.

Brody Kuhar shot a 39 for Kaneland against Jacobs, followed by Connor Williams with a 40, and both Luke Kreiter and Matt Yonkovich with 42.

Sam Kozak of Jacobs earned medalist honors with a 37.

Using Stableford scoring on Saturday, the Knights’ team total of 103 was better than 20 other teams near Route 23.

Huntley was first with 114, and Rockford Boylan was second with 106.

Yonkovich was best among the individuals in the field with a score of 33, while Kreiter was third with 28.

Kaneland was set to travel to Senica Oaks Ridge Golf Club to the Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by LaSalle-Peru on Wednesday, with results unavailable as of press time.

KHS has its regional assignment on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Sycamore Golf Club, for the 10-team regional. The sectional takes place the following Monday, hosted by Belvidere North.

Opening the Tour of Champions

in Community Sports by

Alyssa Nore of Sugar Grove (left) and Paige Klimavicius of Yorkville, both of Premier Gymnastics Academy West in Oswego, were selected to participate in the Kellogg’s Tour of Champions opening and closing numbers on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the United Center. Members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team join 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin and her fellow 2008 Olympic team silver medalists, Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone, in headlining the all-star cast for the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Both girls compete on the Premier West girls team. Alyssa is the 2012 state floor champ and Paige is the 2012 vault/bar champ. Courtesy Photo

Kane County Cougars announce affiliation with Chicago Cubs

in Kane County Cougars by

Organizations sign 2-year player development contract; opening night is April 4
GENEVA—The Kane County Cougars have announced the signing of a two-year player development contract (PDC) with the Chicago Cubs.

Effective last Wednesday, the agreement does not affect the ownership, management or front office staff of the Kane County Cougars in any manner as the Cougars organization looks towards Thursday, April 4—Opening Night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, and the first home game featuring the Cougars’ new affiliation with the Cubs.

Fans can call the Cougars at (630) 232-8811 to inquire about season ticket, partial-season ticket packages and catered event group outings, as well as corporate sponsorship opportunities.

“We are extremely excited about our new relationship with the Chicago Cubs,” said Cougars General Manager Curtis Haug. “The close proximity between both organizations will be mutually beneficial in numerous ways. We believe that the Cubs organization and their philosophies about the minor leagues, including scouting, player development, and involvement in the community, are a fantastic fit for our franchise.”

“The decision to change affiliation is never an easy one, particularly after a tremendous two-year relationship with the Kansas City Royals. Both on and off the field, Royals front office staff and coaches were the epitome of class, and the players represented the Cougars with professionalism throughout our affiliation. We’d particularly like to thank (Royals VP of Baseball Operations/Assistant GM) J.J. Picollo and (Royals Director of Minor League Operations) Scott Sharp for being so instrumental in ensuring a great personal relationship between both of our organizations.”

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with the Kane County franchise,” said Cubs Senior Vice President of Scouting/Player Development Jason McLeod. “The benefits of having one of our minor league clubs this close to Chicago are numerous and we look forward to starting this new relationship.”

Knights Wrestling Club registration

in Community Sports by

KANELAND—Knights Wrestling Club (KWC), an IKWF-affiliated youth wresting program serving the Kaneland community, is opening registration for its 2012-13 wrestling season, which is set to kick off this November.

In its 27th year, KWC continues its tradition of instilling the love of the sport, knowledge of technique, and a supportive coaching staff to enable wrestlers to become the best that they can be. As a feeder program for Kaneland High School, there is a strong tradition of turning out some of the best wrestlers Kaneland has to offer.

The program is opened to wrestlers of any experience level from ages 5-14. Sign-ups will take place in the KHS Wrestling Room on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. To view a complete list of registration dates, as well as what is needed at registration, visit www.Knights WrestlingClub.com.

Information can also be found on the club’s Facebook page, Knights Wrestling Club, and on Twitter at WrestlinKnights.

For any questions or comments, contact Michelle Parks at (815) 216-6007 or mmparks227@yahoo.com.

Part of the elite

in Featured/Girls Cross Country by

Photo: The varsity girls make their start at the Eddington Cross Country Invitational on Saturday at Elburn Woods. In center is Victoria Clinton (No. 355), who was the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Champion last year as a freshman and placed ninth individually at the state meet. Photos by Ryan Wells

KHS girls XC team proves it belongs among top tier
by Ryan Wells
Kaneland—As hundreds of runners and spectators descended on Elburn Woods Saturday for the annual Kaneland Eddington Invitational, the Kaneland High School Lady Knight cross country team proved it has what it takes to be among the top teams in the state.

Kaneland took fifth as a team in the highly competitive field, with 117 team points. Jacobs earned the top spot as a team, with 73 points. Marengo placed second with 93, followed by Geneva (102) and Crystal Lake Central (109). Kaneland closed out the top five with 117.

“Obviously, we’re pleased with a fifth-place showing in such a tough field of competitors,” KHS head coach Doug Ecker said.

Not only did the team overall demonstrate that it is among the top tier in the state, individuals showed they belong in the lead group as well.

For Aislinn Lodwig, a Kaneland sophomore who battled through an illness and a painful foot, the competitive atmosphere of the large-scale race was a significant motivator.

“With more teams it just makes me feel better about how I did,” Lodwig said. “I know I can stick with more people than the usual (races), where it’s more spaced out during the race. This course is one of the hardest to run with the huge hills, and it really takes a toll on you.”

Lodwig was the sixth Lady Knight to cross the finish line, with a time of 21:08.

Leading Kaneland was sophomore Victoria Clinton, who took third overall and ran as part of the lead pack throughout the entire course.

Like Lodwig, Clinton’s race served as proof that she was able to reach the goals she had set for herself coming into the race. She took third overall with a time of 18:07.

“My goal was to finish in the top three,” Clinton said. “It was a fast race today; good competition was out here.”

Clinton stayed in the front group that included returning Class 2A champ Sami Staples, a sophomore from Crystal Lake Central, and Katie Adams, a senior from Marengo. The trio was three-fourths of the lead pack, and set a hard pace from the start.

“The first part, we went out really fast, and then I felt it in the (middle); we picked up the pace at the end, and I just had a mental goal to be in the top three; and God allowed me to have a good, fun race,” Clinton said.

Freshman Brianna Bower was the second Lady Knight to finish, taking 20th overall with a time of 19:59.

“That’s a very strong time for our tough home course,” Ecker said.

Bower said she was able to push through a bit of nerves, since it was her first time running in such a significant race at home.

“I felt good today; I was nervous at first. It ended up turning out OK,” she said.

Senior Amanda Lesak placed 29th for Kaneland. She led a Kaneland mini-pack, helping push a trio of Lady Knights to a seven-second split in their three-through-five runners. Lesak credited that trio for the team’s solid finish.

“A lot of my teammates really helped me and pushed me,” she said. “We all push each other so we can push the pace a little bit.”

Lesak said that the fast start was anticipated because of the nature of the Elburn Woods course.

“The first mile is always the fastest, because everybody wants to get a good spot,” she said. “Usually people find their pace and find the people they want to run with and settle down a little bit.”

The people Lesak ran with were Kaneland senior Abby Dodis, who finished 31st with a time of 20:30, and senior Maggie Brundige, who took 34th with a time of 20:33.

Sophomore Jessica Kucera paired up with Lodwig to take 52nd overall with a time of 21:10.

“It was great to see Lodwig and Kucera team up on the last portion of the course,” Ecker said.

Each runner faced individual challenges and reached for individual goals, as well as working together to meet the team goal and push each other. Ecker said this is part of the program’s plan as the final stretch run of the season looms ahead.

“This appears to be a deep team—and we need everyone fighting to push forward and get stronger for the conference meet and post-season run,” Ecker said.

Bringing their best

in Boys Cross Country/Featured by

Photo: Kyle Carter (891) dukes it out with DeKalb’s Marc Dubrick at the Eddington Invitational Saturday at Elburn Woods. Photos by Ryan Wells

Boys XC team sets numerous personal records at Eddington
by Ryan Wells
Kaneland—Across the board, the KHS boys cross country team stepped up in a big way for one of the biggest races of the year, the annual Larry Eddington Invitation at Kaneland’s home course at Elburn Woods.

All seven of Kaneland’s runners set some form of personal record on their home course.

“I thought our boys did very well,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said. “All the guys that competed were either hitting their PR for the season on their home course or their career PR here.”

As a team, the Knights finished sixth with 140 points. Crystal Lake Central pulled away in the second half of the race to score 61 team points, good for the overall victory. Jacobs finished second with 91, followed by West Aurora (109), Benet Academy (128) and DeKalb (129). Mooseheart ran in its first-ever cross country race as a team, taking 15th overall.

Kaneland junior Kyle Carter led the team with a fourth-place finish, with a time of 16:08. He said the atmosphere spurred the Knights to push the pace throughout the course.

“It’s quite an honor to represent Kaneland and Larry Eddington, of course, and … we just wanted to represent Kaneland as best we can,” Carter said.

Because Carter trains at Elburn Woods regularly, he said he knew that being familiar with the difficult, hilly course could give the team an edge. He said he tried to come out of the start at a faster pace than usual.

“I went out a little fast, but I was trying to push the pace because most guys can’t handle the hills as good as us, because we work here all the time,” he said.

He said that after the initial burst, the lead group settled in before hitting the two-mile mark on the three-mile race.

“We just got to the two mile, and then the race really began,” he said. “They really took off and then I just hung on.”

Clarey said Carter ran a 29-second personal record on the home course.

“I think he was pumped up about getting started and he wanted to have a strong time,” Clarey said.

Senior Connor Johnson was the second Knight to cross the finish line, taking 18th overall with a time of 16:41, 24 seconds faster than his previous best time.

“This was a huge race for him,” Clarey said. “As a senior, he really stepped up and led our charge to be our No. 2 runner.”

Senior John Meisenger came into the race with a goal of hitting near 17 minutes, and he accomplished it, finishing 34th overall with a time of 17 minutes flat. That time served as an eight-second personal record.

Meisenger said that the early fast pace was a bit faster than he normally runs, but he anticipated it happening at the Eddington Invite.

“That was a faster mile for me coming into the first mile, but we’re used to setting the first mile faster,” he said.

Junior Ryan Bower was the fourth Knight across the finish line, taking 40th overall with a time of 17:15. That shaved 30 seconds off his career best time.

“Ryan Bower is new to varsity; he’s filling that role we need to have somebody come up and be a four or five guy,” Clarey said.

Junior Brandon Huber made a pre-race decision to run the race at all, as he was facing some soreness in his foot that morning. He finished in 17:23, good for 44th overall, cutting some time off his personal best on the course as well.

“He was a little bit sore this morning in his foot and wasn’t sure if he was going to race or not,” Clarey said. “He decided to jump in and wound up being our fifth man in the race. He did very well, especially with that foot pain.”

Junior Nathaniel Kucera beat his career best by 40 seconds, finishing in 17:38, good for 51st overall.

“He’s an important piece to our puzzle as well,” Clarey said. “We just need to make sure he’s feeling healthy.”

Ryan Paulson stepped in at the last minute to run as the seventh Knight, and used that motivation to set a 45-second PR on the home course. He finished in 18:00, taking 60th overall.

“I think it boosts up the momentum,” Paulson said of running as the host team at a big event like Eddington. “It really tries to push you to do better.”

“He’s another senior that really stepped out; when we needed him he stepped in and did a great job on this home course,” Clarey said.

Kaneland will travel to the ACC Invite on Saturday, Sept. 22.

KHS serves up the usual

in Featured/Football by

Photo: Ryan Lawrence intercepts a pass in the first quarter. Photo by Patti Wilk

Rushing, D just the combination for 41-0 win at Streator
by Mike Slodki
STREATOR, Ill.—You’ll have to excuse the Kaneland Knights’ football squad for being defensive.

After all, that’s what worked on Friday night.

Traveling south on Route 23, the victory tour rested at Streator High School, where KHS was too much for the winless host Bulldogs in a 41-0 decision.

Kaneland set the tone on the ground and saw power rushes from Jesse Balluff (95 yards rushing), Nate Dyer and trackster-like speed from Dylan Nauert on separate touchdown runs, while the defense was physical and opportunistic—exemplified by a Ryan Lawrence interception return for a touchdown.

KHS made tracks with 287 yards rushing, with the Knight swarm allowing just 110 yards against its crossover foe from the Northern Illinois Big XII West division.

For Kaneland, the regular season win streak hit 23, while Streator’s opposite trajectory hit 22 on the loss streak after Friday.

KHS has now won 28 out of its last 30 contests.

Kaneland has not allowed a score since the final seconds of the win over Huntley on Aug. 31.

For the second week in a row, the running clock clicked in with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter, after Lawrence leaped in the air to grab an errant pass and weaved around blockers to convert on a 34-yard interception touchdown.

“I get a lot of practice with carrying the ball during practice,” Lawrence said. “With the mentality, I had to switch over quick from defense, and it wasn’t a hard task to do. With our defense setting up blocks, it made it so much easier.”

On the opening drive, the last six plays were all Jesse Balluff rushes on the 75-yard drive. It came to an end on a 10-yard scoring run with 8:14 left in the first.

When Streator came up empty on the next drive after a Lawrence sack on fourth down, Balluff scored again on a three-yard TD run that capped a 30-yard drive in six plays. The score made it 14-0 with 4:41 to go in the opening frame.

The next drive was pounded home when quarterback Drew David threw his lone TD pass of the night after escaping Bulldog pressure and hitting a diving Zack Martinelli on an 11-yard score. The conversion with :55 left in the first set the score at 21-0.

In the second quarter, Streator’s initial drive resulted in a punt, and Kaneland made them pay when Nauert turned on the afterburners for a 67-yard touchdown run down the Streator sideline for a 28-0 edge with 10:56 left in the first half.

Kaneland’s next drive in the quarter went four running plays, with Dyer powering in from the three, for a 34-0 lead with 6:34 to go. Dyer originally set the score up on a 27-yard carry that busted up several Bulldog tackle attempts.

The score set in motion the Lawrence pick-six on the next drive, which was the first defensive score for KHS since a Taylor Andrews fumble return in 2010 against the visiting Sycamore Spartans.

“On that play, (Ben) Bradford got a nice shot on the quarterback as he threw it, and I knew no one was going to get Ryan,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Fedderly and company prepare for the NIB-12 East slate, beginning with the familiar rival Rochelle Hubs in Ogle County on Friday, Sept. 21.

KHS defeated the Hubs twice in 2011: 35-14 in Maple Park on Sept. 23, 2011, and a 20-14 Class 5A State quarterfinal win in Rochelle on Nov. 12, 2011.

“We’re going to play a really tough Rochelle team that we played in the quarterfinals,” Fedderly said. “It’s going to be like a playoff atmosphere and playoff football.”

Clean sweep: Kaneland trumps Ottawa on court

in Tennis by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a lucky 7 for KHS tennis last week.

On Sept. 12, the Lady Knights took care of the next Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent in the form of Ottawa, and left with a 7-0 sweep of their Lady Pirate foes.

Kaneland also defeated Ottawa in Maple Park last season by one match.

With Kaneland’s win over Morris on Tuesday, combined with a partial rain-out of the Lady Knights-vs-Oswego match earlier in the week, Kaneland’s dual mark is now 9-3.

Against Ottawa, No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman took charge against her opponent Maya Sakakibara, by a 6-1, 6-0 tally.

Moving back into singles action for the dual was No. 2 player Colleen Landers, who won over Carly Haywood 7-6, 6-2. Stephanie Karolewicz won her No. 3 battle over Symone Stewart, 6-1, 6-0.

Over in the doubles crowd, it was the reliable tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kayla Guenther and Molly Angell.

Jess Woodward and partner Sarah Grams took the No. 2 doubles win with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 result over Maria Cavanaugh and Bailey Bradish, and Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick won the No. 3 match with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 flair.

Also contributing to the cause was the team of Aly and Brooke Harner, who took a 6-3, 7-5 win in the extra match.

“This match was much closer than it looked,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “They have some pretty good players. I’m pleased to say that our girls executed the shots we needed today.”

The JV crew also took care of Ottawa in a 4-1 decision.

On Tuesday, Kaneland swept out Morris with a 5-0 victory.

Schrepferman won in a perfect 6-0, 6-0 match. Senior Sarah Grams won at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-2. Doubles action saw Jurcenko and Emmanouil win 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot. Jessica Woodward and Jennifer Bicos battled at No. 2 doubles for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win. Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 doubles.

Kaneland varsity tennis gets ready for the Rochelle Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22, the same meet that saw a first-place nod a year ago.

Soccer nabs first NIB-12 win of ’12

in Boys Soccer by

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—In Northern Illinois Big XII action, every win is of paramount importance on the soccer field.

That’s why it’s a good thing Kaneland got its first win out of the way.

On Thursday in Grundy County, the Knights broke a scoreless halftime tie with two goals in the second 40 minutes to come away with a 2-1 win over the up-and-coming Redskins.

The Knights improved their season tally to 7-1-2 (2-0-1 NIB-12) including Tuesday’s win over Rochelle.

After Morris got on the board first, it was two Kaneland goals in a relatively quick interval that sent KHS on its victory sprint.

Anthony Parillo got on the board with an unassisted try coming with nine minutes, 35 seconds remaining, and Ben Longston kicked the game winner with 5:32 to go on an assist from Kushstrim Ismaili.

KHS coach Scott Parillo felt his roster dealt with the early adversity quite well.

“At halftime we made some adjustments, made some runs and used the wind to our advantage,” Parillo said. “Anthony made a great steal in the box, made a couple of players and goalie miss and put the ball in the back of the net, and we had the momentum.”

In additional action, an Eli Alvarado goal helped the JV side earn a 1-0 win over Morris.

Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Rochelle saw the go-ahead goal come from Parillo off of an assist from Ismaili with 21:42 to go in the game. Rymarz scored the first Kaneland goal in the first half on a free kick with 4:42 left in the first half.

Biddle scored with 24:20 in the second half, with an assist from Gil.

The varsity Knights travel to Yorkville for a contest on Thursday, Sept. 20.

KHS nabs Morris in dual match

in Golf by

Kaneland—Kaneland defeated visiting Morris on Tuesday at Hughes Creek Golf Course, winning the varsity match 151-169.

The Knights were paced by dual medalist winners Matt Yonkovich and Luke Kreiter, who each put up 37 scores.

Connor Williams finished one stroke off the lead with a 38. Dan Miller was the fourth Knight to contribute to the team tally, finishing just two back off the lead with a score of 39.

Kaneland’s number-four score tied Morris’s number-one score.

In JV action, Kaneland defeated Morris by 23 strokes, 181-204.

Jeremy Faletto earned medalist honors with a 43. Jacob Sheehan finished two back with a 45. Zach Streyve scored 46 and Tori Guyton finished with a 47 to complete the Knight scoring.

Kaneland traveled to Jacobs High School on Wednesday in dual meet action, although results were not available at press time. The Knights travel to the Genoa Kingston Invite on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Lady Barbs victimize Kaneland volleyball

in Featured/Volleyball by

Photo: Kaneland volleyball captain Lauren Banberry (below) goes up against swarming DeKalb jumpers during the home varsity match on Thursday. Kaneland’s Lyndi Scholl (right) picks up a dig during the same match against DeKalb at Kaneland High School. Photos by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Over the past several years, Kaneland volleyball has made numerous strides.

But even a program that has amassed back-to-back 19-win seasons will still have its problems with fellow established clubs.

That was the case on Thursday with the Lady Knights ending up on the wrong side of a three-game loss.

DeKalb got the better of Kaneland in a 25-20, 26-28, 25-23 decision, which, when combined with Kaneland’s Tuesday win over Sycamore, brought the KHS tally for 2012 to 11-5, and 1-2 in the Northern Illinois Big XII race.

“We couldn’t close out both matches,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said of the DeKalb match. “We were up and lost in the end against DeKalb. (We) started out slow and lost in the end.”

There is still time to make headway in what Weimer thinks will be a tight NIB-12 group.

“DeKalb is generally pretty good. Sycamore, Morris and Yorkville are also doing very well. It’s a balanced conference this year,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knight effort was supplanted by Ellie Dunn with 10 kills and four blocks. Teammate Jenny Lubic supplied 18 assists on the evening, while Shayna Tucek had nine digs in the loss. KHS veteran Ashley Prost supplied eight kills of her own.

In other KHS-DeKalb volleyball action, the Lady Knight sophomores took home a 25-16, 25-15 win. The freshman “A” team completed a 25-19, 25-19 victory, while their “B” counterparts managed a 25-17, 25-20 win.

The Lady Knights defeated Sycamore in straight games, winning 25-12, 25-21.

The varsity crew faces the visiting Yorkville Lady Foxes on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

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