Knights prevail over Foxes
ST. CHARLES—The Kaneland Knights softball team fell to the St. Charles East Fighting Saints by a score of 5-2 last April 1. Tuesday saw a reversal of fortunes, as KHS dispatched the Foxes 4-0.
The Knights’ record now stands at 4-2 on the season, with a 1-0 record in the Northern Illinois Big XII.
Against St. Charles, Knights starting pitcher Angie Morrow tossed six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits with three walks and striking out five. Jordan Hall went the full seven innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on four hits with three walks and striking out three for the Fighting Saints.
Kaneland infielder Meg Cohrs was two-for-three, including a home run, while St. Charles East infielder Alexandra Latoria answered with a two-for-three, two-RBI (including a home run) performance of her own. Each team committed three errors in the game.
On Tuesday, the Knights shut down the visiting Foxes behing Morrow’s complete-game shutout. Morrow allowed four hits and two walks, striking out 10. Courtney Davis went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Morgan Sikon went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Next up for the Knights softball team is a matchup at Morris Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Knights close out spring break trip with 2-4 record
EMERSON, GA.—The Knights are happy to be home.
After dropping its first two games during the early portion of their annual spring break trip, the Kaneland baseball team finished out its final four games in Emerson, Ga., in a split. Kaneland’s season record now stands at 2-4 as it begins the local portion of its schedule.
On April 2, coach Brian Aversa’s squad earned its first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Greenup County (Ken.). Matt O’Sullivan went the distance, giving up four hits, no runs and striking out five. Jacob Bachio went 1-for-3 with the team’s lone RBI. Matt Rosko went 2-for-3 with a run. The Knights on April 2 lost to Valdosta (Ga.) 3-0. Colton Fellows was tagged with the loss, giving up five hits, three runs (all earned) and striking out five.
On Friday, the Knights mustered four runs, but could not keep up with McCallie (Tenn.) and their five-run third inning, as KHS fell 7-4. Ahead 2-1 going into the third, Kaneland’s Nick Stratman was tagged with the loss after giving up four hits and six runs (three earned), while walking five and stiking out one. Steven Limbrunner pitched 3.2 innings of relief, giving up one run while Jordan Bock pitched one inning, giving up a walk and tallying one strikeout. Joe Laudont went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI, while O’Sullivan went 1-for-2 with two runs and a walk.
In its final game of the Emerson trip, Kaneland took on O’Fallon of downstate Illinois and came away with an 8-3 win over the Panthers. Laudont went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Joe Panico went 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Jacob Bachio went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, and Nick Stratman went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Ryan David went 6.1 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs (one earned) while walking one and striking out four. Jacob Violett gave up one hit and no runs in relief.
Wednesday’s score from the Knights’ game against Montini was unavailable as of press time. KHS will travel to Harlem Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Knights lose first game during spring break, bounce back with full-strength win
KANELAND—Playing without 10 varsity players, a shorthanded Kaneland girls soccer team lost to West Aurora 5-1 on April 2, during spring break. It was Kaneland’s first loss of the season after easily winning its first three matches.
The Lady Knights were outscored 3-1 in the first half and 2-0 in the second.
The lone Knights goal was scored by sophomore Paige Guyton off junior Nicole Koczka’s assist.
Back at full strength, the Knights on Tuesday handled DeKalb 1-0 behind an unassisted goal by captain Madi Jurcenko. It was the team’s first conference victory of 2015.
The results from Wednesday’s game against East Aurora (at West Aurora High School) were unavailable as of press time. KHS will host conference foe Sycamore on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
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.
April 1 vs. St. Charles East—The Knights mounted a great comeback in their 8-7 win over St. Charles East. The Saints took a commanding 5-0 lead after four innings, but a four-run fifth got KHS within one run. After trading runs in the sixth, the Knights tied the game in the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
St. Charles scored in the top of the eighth, but a two-run bottom frame for the Knights was the difference.
Hanna Theobald went 2-for-5 with a double, while Katie Kurzrock also went 2-for-5. Aly Jesinowski pitched all eight innings, giving up five earned runs while walking three and striking out eight. Jesinowski also went 3-for-5 from the plate with a double and two runs. The Knights are now 2-1 on the young season.
April 3 vs. Benedictine (JV)—The Chiefs won both games of a double-header against the visiting Eagles. In game one, Kaneland grad Blake Sowell went 6.2 innings, giving up six runs and earning an 8-6 win. In game two, the Chiefs won 6-3, thanks to a four-run sixth inning.
April 7 vs. DeKalb—The Knights improved to 3-0, 1-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII, with a 2-0 win over DeKalb. Julia Lamp (Faith Cowsert assist) and Ashley Painer (Mallory Burgin assist) notched the KHS goals.
• Sarah Grams at guard (soph.)
• Brooke Harner at guard (soph.)
• Ashley Prost at forward (soph.)
Three former Knights on basketball team
OVERLAND PARK, KS—The 2015 edition of Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball began the season with a new coach and big expectations.
Head coach Jim Sury took over the program after the retirement of long-time head coach Dana Wagner, and following the squad’s best season in school history.
In 2014, the Lady Chiefs won the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title for the first time since 1993 and went undefeated (14-0) in league play for the first time ever. In Regional championship play, they got to the district championship game for the first time, and as runner-up, ended the season at 25-7 and a school record for total wins in a season.
This year, Waubonsee had its ups and downs early, falling to a conference record of 4-3 by mid-season. The sophomore-dominated team featured Brooke Harner, Sarah Grams and Ashley Prost, all from Kaneland; Bailey Klass from Yorkville; Lizzy Goll from Plano; and freshman Julianna Wadsworth from Oswego East. The team started to gel and caught its stride en route to rattling off five straight ISCC wins to put itself in a four-way tie for the conference lead. A last-second loss to Oakton CC in the final game of the season left the Lady Chiefs second in the conference with an overall record of 18-12.
Moving on to regional play, Waubonsee closed out February by beating Illinois Valley and Carl Sandburg Community College to earn its second-straight appearance in the Regional IV Division II title game. There, the Lady Chiefs created some “March Madness” of their own by beating McHenry County College 66-49 to advance to the NJCAA National Division II Tournament for the first time ever.
On March 18, in their first game of the national tournament in Overland Park, Kan., the 12th-seeded Waubonsee Chiefs almost pulled-off a stunning upset of 27-1 Monroe Community College from Rochester, N.Y.—a team which had three or more players at least 6 feet tall on the floor at all times. Rallying from a 17-point deficit midway through the second half, the Lady Chiefs fell just short in a 69-63 first-round loss.
Dropping into the consolation bracket, Waubonsee on March 19 made history by eliminating North Arkansas College 78-73 for its first win at the national tournament. WCC did so by making free throws down the stretch, with freshman forward Julianna Wadsworth connecting on 9 of 10 attempts from the charity stripe over the final two minutes to seal the historic victory.
Next, Waubonsee took on Phoenix College on March 20, where its fairy-tale season ended with a 69-59 loss. Phoenix led 41-25 at the half, never trailed in the game, and shot 47.5 percent from the floor, compared to the Lady Chiefs’ 36 percent. Wadsworth led all scorers with 20 points, but Phoenix had three players score in double-digits.
High-powered offense lifts softball to 3-1 record
KANELAND—An 11-run onslaught in the second inning of last Thursday’s softball contest helped give the Kaneland Knights a 14-4 win against the Dixon Dutchesses in five (run rule) innings. Add a 9-3 Monday win over Batavia, but a 9-3 setback Tuesday against Oswego, and the Knights have a 3-1 record to start the season.
Starting pitcher Anissa Becker (1-0) was effective on the mound in her season debut against Dixon. Becker pitched four innings, giving up three runs (none earned) on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Shannon Herrera came in in relief in the fifth inning, giving up one earned run on two hits with one strikeout and no walks.
After Kaneland retired the side in the top of the first, the Knights offense got things going in a hurry in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, infielder Rachel Goress and catcher Paige Kuefler hit consecutive singles to left field. Infielder Meg Cohrs then lined a two-RBI triple to center field to clear the bases for a 2-0 Knights lead. Infielder Courtney Davis hit an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Cohrs to extend Kaneland’s lead to 3-0.
The second inning started off promisingly for Dixon. Infielder Phoenix Smith led off with a double to center field. After a Dutchesses fly-out to center, Becker proceeded to strike out the next two Dixon batters. A stolen base by Smith amounted to nothing as Kaneland held off Dixon’s possible scoring opportunity.
The Knight’s offense completely took control in the bottom half of the inning. After Dixon starting pitcher Allison Newman gave up a lead-off walk to Rachel Urich, Morgan Sikon hit a double to center field. Newman then walked infielder Morgan Weber to load the bases. Goress came to bat again for Kaneland and, in what can only be discribed as a balk, trotted to first and scored Urich with an RBI. With the bases still loaded, Kuefler hit a two-RBI single to increase the Knights’ lead to 7-0. Newman was then replaced on the mound by reliever Erika Smith, who promptly walked the next two batters (Cohrs and Davis) loading the bases once again and giving up another RBI. Mary Clausen was next, hitting a two-RBI single. Urich then walked and a Dixon wild pitch scored Kaneland from third. Sikon slapped an RBI single, Becker followed with a single to center as Sikon took a stolen base, Weber doubled to center and Kaneland scored from third on another wild pitch. Weber then had a stolen base of her own. Goress and Kuefler drew consecutive walks, and another Dixon wild pitch scored the Knights from third yet again. At the end of the inning, the Knights scored an incredible 11 runs to take a 14-0 lead.
Becker quickly retired the side again to start the third frame. In the bottom half, the Dutchesses were able to clamp down defensively on Kaneland. Despite giving up two walks, another wild pitch and a stolen base, Smith was still able to retire the side while giving up no runs or hits, maintaining Kaneland’s lead over Dixon at 14-0.
Dixon’s offense began to show signs of life in the top of the fourth inning, closing the gap to 14-3 heading into the bottom of the frame.
Kaneland’s half of the fourth saw Weber draw a one-out walk and Goress reach base via hit-by-a-pitch. Kuefler then grounded into an inning-ending double play to keep the score at 14-3 heading into the fifth inning.
After the game, head coach Peter Goff gave his thoughts on his team’s second double-digit win in as many games.
“Our girls did a good job of staying focused, getting up in the box and making solid contact.,” Goff said. “I was really encouraged with that and our aggressiveness on the base path. It’s not ‘me,’ it’s ‘we.’ Just being a good team. Being unselfish is what I take (out of Thursday’s game).”
“It was a good game. I think everyone brought something to the table,” Becker said. “Our hitting was on. Our fielding was there, so I think everyone did good and we got an overall win as a team.”
“I thought we were doing really well,” Becker added in response to Kaneland’s 11-run second inning. “We didn’t stop. We just kept pressing it to them (Dixon).”
On Monday against the visiting Lady Bulldogs, the Knights fell behind 1-0 in the third before putting up seven unanswered runs in the bottom of the third and fouth innings. Pitcher Angie Morrow went the full seven innings, giving up three hits, three runs (none earned) with five strikeouts and four walks. At the plate, the Knights had 12 hits, with Weber going 3-4 with a double, triple, two RBI and a run. Kuefler (2-3) and Cohrs (2-4) each had a run and two RBI. Goress had a walk and two stolen bases.
On Tuesday, the Knights lost 9-3 to the Panthers. Davis went the distance on the mound in the loss, striking out four. Goress and Kuefler both hit home runs for the Knights.
Results from Wednesdays matchup against St. Charles East were not avaiable before press.
Next up, the Knights will host Yorkville on Monday, April 6, at 4:30 p.m.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Last weekend, nineteen Kaneland track and field athletes headed south to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill., to put an exclamation point on their 2015 indoor season at the annual Illinois Top Times High School Indoor Championship—the unofficial state indoor championship.
The meet features separate Class 1A, 2A and 3A competitions for both boys and girls, and they earned their way there by being among the top performers in their respective events during the 2015 season.
The meet started for the Knights on Saturday morning with a second-place finish in the boys’ long jump by senior Ben Barnes. The event was won by the national leader and field event “Athlete of the Meet,” Ja’Mari Ward from Cahokia, with a mark of 23 feet, 5.75 inches. Barnes, meanwhile, achieved his best mark of 22’, 2.5” on his final attempt to move from fifth place to second, with a mark that would have also won the class 3A meet title later that afternoon.
Elsewhere in the field events, Kaneland sophomore Lexie Guerra cleared 10’, 0” in the girls’ pole vault to place seventh, after which junior Mike Rinella placed ninth in the boys’ pole vault with a 12’, 6” effort.
On the track, junior Brianna Bower finished fifth in the 3200m with a 19-second season-best time of 11 minutes, 30.14 seconds, and senior Victoria Clinton ran a 10-second season best to place 13th in 12:11.42. In other distance races, junior Noelle Espino placed 10th in the 800m in 2:27.96—just .05 second behind fifth. In the sprints, sophomore Nicole Sreenan duplicated her 7.85 time in the prelims to place fifth in the girls’ 60m dash final, just two-thousandths of a second out of fourth. After not advancing to the 60m dash final, junior Allie Heinzer ran the 400m with a vengeance, placing fifth and dipping under 60-seconds for the first time ever with a new lifetime best of 59.66.
In the boys’ relays, a Knights foursome of junior Austin Kintz, senior Andrew Lesak, junior Drew Franklin, and junior Sean Spaetzel placed 11th in the 4x800m in 8:35.06. In the 4x200m relay, a team of Barnes, junior Brandon Cruz, senior Tevin Fitzgibbons and junior Tanner Robertson placed 13th after a poor first exchange put them in the back of the race.
“Ben Barnes came through with his patented last-minute heroics to move up to second place on his last attempt in the long jump, and Mike Rinella—and all our other juniors in the relays—gained some big meet experience that will be invaluable to us later in the season,” head boys coach Eric Baron said, “They do a great job with this meet, but it is chaotic with some 600 boys and girls trying to check-in, warm-up on a basketball court, and compete in a small, crowded fieldhouse with an event schedule orchestrated to the minute. The outdoor State meet is the same way, and there is no way to prepare for that other than to be part of it.”
The Kaneland girls, meanwhile, placed fifth in the 4x200m relay with a team of Nicole Sreenan, freshman Shanya Hurston, junior Olivia Galor and sophomore Carley Elliott. Their hotly-contested heat saw a Kankakee runner fall while making the final baton exchange, causing Elliott to have to stop, then leap over the fallen runner to avoid spiking her and, in doing so, lose more than a second to the heat winner and overall second place team, Springfield Southeast. In the final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay, the Knights finished on a high note, however, placing second overall with a four-second season best time of 4:09.62. Freshmen Jamie Martens, Heinzer, Espino, and junior Olivia Galor combined to wage another rousing battle with Springfield Southeast in the second and final heat of the race, which was decided in the final stride to the finish line.
“This was a good meet for us, with everyone performing at or above their season best marks,” head girls coach Doug Ecker said. “We had some bad luck in the 4×200 relay, but we closed the meet with a great race in the 4×400, where Allie Heinzer ran a superb 58.7 split on her second leg to move us into the lead.”
The Knights open their 2015 outdoor season with the girls taking on Oregon in an away dual meet on Tuesday, April 7, then hosting the Holmes Invitational at Kaneland’s Peterson Field on Saturday, April 11. The Kaneland the boys will open their outdoor season at the Kaiwani’s Boys’ Track & Field Invitational at East Moline High School April 11.
Photos submitted by Keith Snyder to firstname.lastname@example.org
Idle soccer focuses on next challenges by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—It was late in the second half of the girls soccer match in Belvidere on Saturday, March 21, when a pigeon flew onto the light structure high above the Kaneland bench.
For several minutes, a half-dozen Kaneland players, sitting near the end of the bench, couldn’t take their eyes off the bird. They seemed more interested in what the bird was going to do rather than what was happening on the field, which they were dominating.
By then, the Lady Knights had played well enough that they were on the verge of a 5-0 win, their third in as many contests to kick off the current season. They’ve been so good, in fact, they have outscored their opponents 24-0, a figure head coach Scott Parillo feels may be a little misleading.
“You never know how good you are when you score eight goals in 19 minutes,” the veteran coach said, admitting that their first three opponents weren’t as difficult as future ones will be. “We know the games are going to be progressively harder.”
“The first few games were supposed to get everyone used to playing together as a team,” senior midfielder Courtney Diddell said.
The question of just how good this year’s club is could be answered next week. After hosting DeKalb on Tuesday, the girls will travel to West Aurora on Thursday before hosting Sycamore on Friday. Both DeKalb and Sycamore are expected to contend with the Lady Knights for the conference crown this season. Kaneland shared the title with the Lady Spartans last year.
Kaneland will close out the week by competing in the West Aurora Tournament in Rosary on Saturday, April 11.
“It’s not ideal,” Parillo admitted about having to come back after such a long layoff and face such tough competition all in one week. “It’s a busy week with four games, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Although any break is nice, this one comes at what could be an inopportune time. After playing three times their first week of the season, the Lady Knights only match last week—against Rosary, who upset them in the Regional title last year—had to be rescheduled due to the weather. The Knights have a game scheduled Thursday against East Aurora as part of the West Aurora Tournament—their first since their game against Belvidere 12 days ago.
At least one player feels the long layoff may be a little bit of a detriment.
“It has the potential to harm us,” junior midfielder Gabby Cano said. “We have the momentum going right now. We just have to keep pushing.”
What also makes the break a little more challenging, Parillo said, is that a lot of his team will be away on vacation so they won’t be able to practice together.
“We’ll just work on fundamentals,” he said of those who will be there.
“We have to stay sharp during the break,” said Cano, who is confident they can beat both DeKalb and Sycamore. “It’ll be a good game, but we can match up with them.”
For sophomore forward Paige Guyton, she plans to spend this week simply working out and staying in shape. If anything, she feels their good start will motivate the team to do even better, regardless of who they play.
“After three wins, it’ll push us harder to get another W,” she said.
ELBURN—The Kaneland United Soccer Club seeks seven recreational soccer coaches—five needed at the U6 level, and one needed at the U8 and U12 levels. If the club is unable to find coaches, teams and rosters will be rebuilt, increasing the number of players on each team. For more information, visit kanelandyouthsoccer.com.
The Kaneland youth basketball league held a “March Madness” style, single-elimination tournament at Kaneland Harter Middle School on March 21. The fifth/sixth grade boys team from Sugar Grove was seeded fifth going into the tournament, and wound up becoming tournament champions. The team included Tyler Hoeft, Brian Beattie, Jake Franzen, Adam Shell, Ethan Stoker, Joey Tonioni, Kade Hanks, Ryan Hanks, Nathan Crewse, assistant coach Joe Tonioni and head coach Mike Crewse. Photo submitted by Kristen Crewse to email@example.com
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.
Girls Soph. Soccer
March 18 vs. IMSA—The Knights defeated the Titans 8-0. Gabriela Falleto had three goals and Rachel Fielding had two. Mallory Burgin, Willow Dunne and Marry Collum each had a goal. Burgin had two assists, while Marley Schultz, Dunne and Kristen Siebert each picked up one assist.
March 21 vs. Burlington Central—The Knights improved to 2-0 on the season with a 4-0 win over the Rockets. Fielding and Ashley Painer each scored unassisted goals, while Julia Lemp scored on a Tiffany Thompson assist. Faith Cowsert scored on a penalty kick.
March 30 vs. Batavia—The Lady Bulldogs beat the Knights 6-5 Monday. Shannon Herra went the distance on the mound, giving up six runs (four earned) on six hits, striking out 11 and walking four batters.
March 30 @ St. Xavier (Ky.)—A four-run first inning by St. Xavier doomed the Knights, as they lost 8-4.
March 31 vs. Oswego—The Panthers won 19-0 in five innings. Jessica Storck was tagged with the loss. Hannah Theobald went 1-for-2 with a double, and Alexis Abruzzo also went 1-for-2.
March 31 vs. Oswego—The Knights lost 12-4. Oswego out-hit KHS 13-9, but Kaneland also had three errors while Oswego had none. Aly Jesinowski pitched a complete game in the loss, striking out five but surrendering 10 earned runs and three walks. Jesinowski also went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Katie Kurzrock went 2-for-4. The sophomore team is 1-1 on the season.
Baseball travels for spring break games
LOUISVILLE, KY.—The Knights baseball team finally took the field in 2015, losing to Louisville, Ken.-based St. Xavier 4-1 during the opening game of their spring break trip.
Colton Fellows pitched 3.1 innings in the loss, giving up four hits and four runs, with two walks and a strikeout. Steven Limbrunner pitched 1.2 innings and Jordan Bock pitched one inning for the Knights.
At the plate, Joe Laudont went 1-3 with with a triple and the team’s lone RBI. Joe Panico was also 1-3 with a stolen base.
Tuesday saw KHS get a 4-2 loss at the hands of Atlanta’s St. Pius. Matt O’Sullivan threw two scorless innings and had two strikeouts, while Jacob Violett and Nick Stratman each threw scoreless innings as well. Ryan David was tagged for three runs (one earned) over two innings.
At the plate against St. Pius, Violet went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Scores and stats from Wednesday’s game in Emerson, Ga., were unavailable as of press time.
The team will play Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Emerson as it finishes up its spring break trip. Its next game in Illinois is home on Wednesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m. against Montini Catholic.
GENEVA—The Kaneland Sports Boosters will host their annual spring fundraiser, a Knight to Remember with Red Woody, on Saturday, April 18, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva.
The event featues a live concert by the band Red Woody, silent auction, raffles and more. Proceeds benefit all Kaneland sports programs.
Tickets are $25. For more information, or to buy tickets, call (630) 715-9230 or email email@example.com.
ELBURN—Elburn Youth Baseball and Softball teams will not play at McNair Field, after discussions with the land owner to renegotiate a lease with Blackberry Township reached an impasse late last year.
After the expiration of a 10-year lease between Blackberry Township and Burr Ridge, Ill., company Transmission Relay Corporation, the township was able to negotiate a temporary lease for the 2014 baseball and softball season. Those pair of leases granted local athletic leagues the use of five of the company’s 20 acres at the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads.
However, the land owners and the township had not been able to reach an agreement about liability issues regarding the property by the time the league had to begin making plans for this season’s games.
According to Blackberry Township Supervisor Fred Dornback, the owner wanted the township to be responsible for paying all attorneys’ fees, should any concerns arise regarding the use of the property.
Dornback said he could not agree to such open-ended liability on the township’s behalf. His suggestion to the company was that, if a situation like that were to occur, the court with jurisdiction could decide who would be responsible for legal fees. Transmission Relay Corporation would not agree to that.
Dornback notified EYBS league officials of the situation prior to the beginning of registration for this year. Still to be resolved is the league’s ability to remove league backstops and other equipment from the property. The equipment is worth about $70,000, according to Dornback.
A portion of a 62-acre plot south of McNair Field, purchased by the Kane County Forest Preserve last year, will eventually provide another ball field for the EYBS league, but the field will not be ready for use until 2017.
The Forest Preserve District bought the land for approximately $620,000, with taxpayer money received as a result of the district’s successful open space referendum in 2011.
Dornback wrote in a memo to Township Board members that he would be meeting with a landscape architect and other stakeholders to determine the best utilization of the space.
Soccer starts 3-0; outscore opponents 24-0
by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—Before every game, Scott Parillo encourages his team to jump out to an early lead if at all possible.
“You love to have a couple of quick goals,” said the head coach of the girls soccer team.
It’s a philosophy his players have bought into.
“It gives us a lot of confidence,” sophomore forward Paige Guyton said. “It makes us want to play even harder.”
“It makes my job easier,” added Gabby Cano, a junior midfielder. “We can start focusing on defense.”
Still, no one quite expected this.
Scoring within the first four minutes of each game so far, the Lady Knights have outscored their first three opponents by a combined score of 24-0. After topping Hinckley-Big Rock 9-0 in its season opener last week, Kaneland overwhelmed IMSA 10-0 before topping Belvidere 5-0 last Saturday morning.
In fact, the new season was barely three minutes old when senior Madison Jurcenko found the net for the team’s first goal of 2015. A minute later, she fed senior teammate Courtney Diddell with the Knights’ second score. Diddell was one of three players to score a pair of goals.The others were freshmen Abby Taylor and Lindsay Penkala, a nice way to start their varsity careers.
“It puts everyone’s spirits up,” Diddell said about scoring so early in a match. “The first few seconds everyone is so nervous.”
The Knights didn’t have much time to notice anything against IMSA as they got on the scoreboard within the first 47 seconds. Diddel, playing another outstanding game, led the Kaneland onslaught with three goals, two of them coming in the first half.
“When you score seven goals in 19 minutes, that’s a pretty good start,” Parillo said.
It was a little tougher start against Belvidere, as the Knights had to wait almost three minutes before notching their first score. Driving down the left sideline, sophomore midfielder Holly Collingbourne swung around Belvidere defender Jasmine Morena to get off a pass to Diddell. Emerging from traffic in front of the goal, Diddell tapped the pass into the corner of the net past Belvidere keeper Tanna Cross.
“Holly crossed it and I finished it,” Diddell explained.
It was 2-0 five minutes later when Guyton beat Cross one-on-one before Collinborne scored on a long kick at the 14-minute mark. A pair of second half goals, including Guyton teaming up with Diddell for one score and another by senior midfielder Heather Ortiz, closed out Kaneland’s scoring.
Belvidere’s best two chances of scoring came in the opening and closing minutes of the second half.
Belvidere’s Vanessa Rivera was running down a free kick from 20 yards out when Kaneland’s senior defender Emily Grams outran her to the loose ball, kicking it away from the Kaneland goal. The other came when Kaneland keeper Emily Chapman grabbed a chest high, line drive shot from Vanessa Martinez from point blank range.
“It was good to see her preserve the shutout,” Parillo said.
The game ended on a bit of an ugly note when Belvidere senior Briana Perez—celebrating her 17th birthday—received her second yellow card of the match, resulting in a red card and immediate ejection. The first was for pushing the back, the second for a hard foul.
After playing at Rosary on Wednesday, the team which eliminated them from last year’s regional (results not available before press), the Knights are off until they host DeKalb on Tuesday, April 7.
Top photo: Sophomore Holly Collingbourne (above) had an assist against IMSA on march 19. The Knights won 10-0. Photos by Laura Gampfer
Knights dominate BC in softball opener
KANELAND—The varsity softball team made its 2015 opener a memorable one, as it soundly defeated the Burlington Central Rockets 11-0 at home last Thursday afternoon. The five-inning (run-rule) victory gave the Knights a 1-0 record to start their season.”
Junior Courtney Davis (1-0) started on the mound for Kaneland and dominated in her opening day start. Davis struck out five and allowed only two walks with no hits or errors in a shutout victory. Burlington Central pitcher Emily Kisch (0-1) gave up 11 runs (all earned) on 11 hits with two strike outs while giving up two walks in 4.5 innings of work.
The Knights took care of business at the plate in a big way as well. Davis went 2-2 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore Rachel Goress went 2-2 with an RBI and three runs scored. Juniors Alexis Mullins (double) and Mary Clausen each went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored, and senior Paige Kuefler (double) also went 2-3 with an RBI while adding another run.
Head coach Peter Goff praised his team’s win after the game.
“I’m really happy,” Goff said. “They came out and performed. They were really locked in. Every single day, they come to school, get their stuff done in the classroom and come out here and practice really hard. They focus on their own. (I’m) just really happy with their effort today.”
Goff also praised the performance of Davis as well.
“Courtney had really good control of the ball today and her placement. I think that’s what was key. (She) kept on the outside (and) we had some (opposing players) try to pull the ball and had some easy ground balls for our infielders,” he said.
“I’m just really excited. The team as a whole did good. It wasn’t just our defense. Our offense carried us too,” Davis said. “I’m just really happy the way it (the season) started.”
Davis considered where this particular win ranked for her.
“For here at Kaneland, it’s got to be one of the better games. It’s nice to come out and beat the team that you lost to last year in the last game of the season. To come out here, and beat them by so much … to pitch a no-hitter is always quite nice,” she said.
The squad plays host to Dixon this Thursday at home at 4:30 p.m.
Photo: Sophomore Sarah Daley hands off to sophomore Becca Richtman in the 4x800m relay
Saturday. Photo by Marshall Farthing
Girls impressive on the track
STERLING, Ill.—A young girls’ track team came home from the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Indoor Invitational last Saturday with second-place honors—and a dominating 96-point performance in the meet’s 10 track events.
Held at the Westwood Sports Center, the Knights won the 60 meter, 200m, 400m, and 4x200m relay, and placed second in the 400m, 800m, 3200m, 4x400m relay and 4x800m relay. They had two scorers in every track event except the 60m hurdles, where they did not place. Ten of the Knights’ 12 scorers in individual events were underclassmen.
Heavily-favored Yorkville continued its conference meet winning streak, however, by amassing 146 points to Kaneland’s 110. The difference came in the field events, where the Knights’ only points came from first- and fourth-place finishes in the pole vault by sophomores Lexie Guerra and Sydney Davidson, respectively.
The Knights were missing some jumpers who were playing in a major Midwest club volleyball tournament, and others who were ill and did not compete. Yorkville, on the other hand, scored in all five field events, won the high jump and shot put, and had two scorers in the high jump, pole vault, triple jump, and shot put. In total, the Foxes tallied 61 field event points to Kaneland’s 14.
Meet highlights for the Knights included sophomore Nicole Sreenan overcoming early-season low back problems to win the 60m dash and contribute a great leg to the 4x200m relay, which set a new conference indoor record. But the star of the meet was junior Allie Heinzer, who was third in the 60m, won the 200m and 400m meters, and anchored the winning 4x200m relay. The meet was a “coming out party” for Allie who, as a sophomore, had a great season last year but was hidden individually to a degree by running mostly the sprint relays. In total, Allie scored 28.5 points for the Knights.
Other standout performances for Kaneland included junior Brianna Bower’s second place in the 3200m and fourth-place finish in the 1600m, freshman Jamie Marten’s second place in the 400m, and junior Noelle Espino’s second place in the 800.
“We’re especially proud of Noelle,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “She’s overcome some major challenges and lowered her 800m best by almost 10 seconds from last season to win that silver medal in the 800m, and she won another silver in the 4×400 meter relay.”
Other critical team scoring came from sophomore Carly Elliott with fifth place in the 200m, senior Victoria Clinton with fifth place in the 3200m, and from junior Carly Bartholomew and senior Aislinn Lodwig with sixth-place points in the 800m and 1600m.
Looking ahead to the outdoor season, Ecker was optimistic.
“We are very pleased to have more than 50 girls out for track and a lot of young talent,” he said. “I feel that we have the potential to score more points in the field events as the season progresses, now that we can finally leave training in the hallways behind and actually jump outdoors off runways and into pits. We are very excited about this team.”
Top Times Qualifiers
Maddie Keifer: High Jump
Lexie Guerra: Pole Vault
Brianna Bower: 3200m
Victoria Clinton: 3200m
Noelle Espino: 800m
Jamie Martens: 400m
Allie Heinzer: 60m & 400m
Nicole Sreenan: 60m
Photo: Anthony Messina gives the baton to Mark Dohm during the 4x800m relay Saturday. Photo by Marshall Farthing
Boys track qualifies four events to Top Times
STERLING, Ill.—A junior-dominated boys’ track and field team acquitted themselves well at the 2015 Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Indoor Invitational, placing fourth behind DeKalb, Geneseo and Yorkville, and gaining some valuable big meet experience in the process. Sixteen of the Knights’ 24 individual event entries were underclassmen.
According to DyestatIL.com, the meet featured 33 elite athletes. One of those was senior Ben Barnes, who led the Knights by placing fourth in the triple jump, third in the 60m dash, defending his conference title in the long jump, and running a great leg of the second-place 4x200m relay—performances that scored a team-high 22 points in the meet.
“We were missing three major scorers this weekend who were out ill, including freshman distance runner Matt Richtman,” head coach Eric Baron said.
In their absence, highlights for the Knights included junior Sean Spaetzel’s third-place finish in the 400m, junior Mike Rinella’s third place in the pole vault, junior Austin Kintz’s fourth place in the 800m, junior Connor Peterson’s fourth place in the high jump, and fifth-place finishes in the 60, pole vault and shot put by junior Brandon Cruz, junior Mitchell Groen and senior Zach Theilk. Several of them were making comebacks after missing training with the flu.
“I was especially pleased with Ben Barnes long jumping 21 feet, 6 inches from well behind the board, dominating his heat of the 60 to take third overall, making major improvements in the triple jump, and running a great lead-off leg of the 4x200m relay for us,” Baron said. “As a returning state champion, expectations for him are high, and he has had no problem meeting them, meet after meet. I also have to mention Jim Walker, who missed most of the cross country season last fall with mononucleosis. Jim has turned that setback into a comeback and led off our 4x800m relay Saturday in 2:10. He will run 2-flat by the end of the outdoor season and is providing the vocal, visible senior leadership we need for this young team. He has truly established himself as our captain.”
Baron said he expects to have Ben Barnes, Mike Rinella and Kaneland 4x200m and 4x800m relay foursomes compete in the Top-Times Indoor Invitational next weekend at Illinois Wesleyan University—the unofficial state indoor track and field championships.
Baron also looked ahead a bit to competing outside.
“We are usually a better team outdoors than indoors, with a longer dash and high hurdles race, and the addition of the 4x100m relay, the 300m hurdles—where we think Tanner Patterson will be a star—and the discus,” Baron said. “With not having to train in hallways, our distance runners are going to get the mileage they need, and we will be able to practice on runways, jumping pits and throwing circles for the technical events. I can’t wait.”
Baron said he expects to have Ben Barnes, Mike Rinella and Kaneland 4x200m and 4x800m relay foursomes compete in the Top-Times Indoor Invitational next weekend at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Coaches, players and family take to the field for a day of pulling weeds, edging the field and cleaning dugouts, for Kaneland baseball’s annual Field Days on Saturday. Senior Nick Stratman (top) pitched in for the Knights Field Days. Photos by Mary Paulson