Lions 2015-16

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United on the track

in Boys Track by

Western trek sees boys place fourth in 12-team meet
EAST MOLINE, Ill.—The Kaneland boys track team bus jumped on I-88 and headed west almost as far as it could go within state boundaries to compete in the Kiwani’s Invitational at United Township High School in East Moline, Ill., on Saturday. The meet has become a spring rite for the Knights, and a chance for them to compete with some teams they don’t typically see.

The unusual meet format consists of “A,” “B” and “C” heats and flights, with one athlete in each from each school. The A heats have the higher-rated athletes.

In the A-heat sprints, junior Brandon Cruz placed third in the 100m Dash in 11.71 seconds and sixth in the 200m in 24.28. Junior Sean Spaetzel was fourth in the 400m in 53.35. In the distance races, junior Austin Kintz was third in the 1600m at 4:34.95, and senior Brandon Park was sixth in the 3200m at 10:44.65. In the hurdles, junior Tanner Robertson was sixth in the 110m hurdles, then came back to win the 300m hurdles in 41.87 for the Knights’ highlight performance of the day on the track.

In the relays, Cruz, Robertson, junior John Delach and senior Ben Barnes made an express mail delivery of the baton once around the track to place third in the 4x100m relay in 44.34. In the 4x800m relay, junior Drew Franklin, seniors Andrew Lesak and James Walker and Kintz combined to place second, with Kintz running a lifetime-best 1:58.4 anchor leg to move them up from seventh place over the last two-laps.

In the A-flight field events, junior Mike Rinella won the pole vault at 12 feet. A less-than-healthy Barnes placed third in the long jump at 20’ 3.5”, and senior Tristian Kinder placed second in the discus at 137’ 11”.

In the B-heat distance races, Walker placed fourth in the 800m at 2:10.55, freshman Matt Richtman was fifth in the 1600m at 4:51.54, and junior Will Kuipers was fourth in the 3200m at 10:43.82. In the B relays, Kaneland won the 4x100m relay in 46.28. The Knights placed fifth in the 4x400m relay in 3:49.06, and were second in the 4x800m in 8:57.06—just .7 seconds behind first.

In the B field events, junior Mitch Groen won the pole vault at 12’ 6”—higher than the A-flight winning height. John Delach had a 14-inch personal record to place second in the long jump at 20’ 5”, and took fourth place in the triple jump at 37’ 9”. Senior Zach Thielk was second in the shot put at 45’ 6”, and freshman Clayton Hannula was second in the discus at 122’ 9”.

In the C heats, sophomore Cody Delarme was third in the 400m at 56.00, senior Mitch Reger was fifth in the 800m at 2:17.06, junior Matt Kainrath was sixth in the 1600m at 4:58.72, and sophomore Andrew Kantola was fourth in the 3200m at 10:58.88. Freshman Tyler Nance was third in the 110m hurdles in 18.81, and freshman Drew Gould was sixth in the 300m hurdles at 47.21 in his first race ever.

In the C-field events, Delarme was sixth in the long jump in 17’10” and junior Connor Peterson was fifth in the triple jump at 34’ 10”.

“I was very pleased with our performances in our first outdoor meet of the season,” head coach Eric Baron said. “After the indoor season, it was our first time running the 4x100m relay, the longer dash (100m) and hurdle races (110m and 300m), and throwing the discus, and we had some great performances in all of them. We experimented with some different combinations in the relays, and will continue to do so going forward to find our roles.”

This week, the Knights have a Tuesday dual meet at Sycamore and the Minooka Invitational on Saturday.

“We’re the smallest school in the Minooka meet,” Baron noted. “But we love competing with the bigger schools. We’ve been making progress meet by meet, every week since the start of the indoor season.”

April 11 @ Kiwanis Invitational
United Twp. HS, East Moline, Ill.

TEAM SCORES: 1) Geneseo, 214; 2) United Twp., 212; 3) Galesburg 186; 4) KANELAND 175; 5) Rock Island, 172; 6) Pleasant Valley, 171; 7) Sterling, 144; 8) Thornton Fractional, 128; 9) Moline, 108.5; 10) Alleman, 98.5; 11) Rockford East, 45; 12) Sherrard, 7

100M A: 3) Cruz, 11.71
100M B: 8) Olson, 12.41
100M C: 8) Aurellio, 12.42
200M A: 6) Cruz, 24.28
200M B: 7) Olseon, 24.96
200M C: 7) Rivas, 25.38
400M A: 4) Spaetzel, 53.35
400M B: 11) Dohm, 59.65
400M C: 3) Delarme, 56.00
800M A: 9) Franklin, 2:10.43
800M B: 4) Walker, 2:10.55
800M C: 5) Reger, 2:17.06
1600M A: 3) Kintz, 4:34.95
1600M B: 5) Richtman, 4:51.54
1600M C: 6) Kainrath, 4:58.72
3200M A: 6) Park, 10:44.65
3200M B: 4) Kuipers, 10:43.82
3200M C: 4) Kantola, 10:58.88
110MH A: 6) Robertson, 17.12
110MH B: 9) Glazer, 23.64
110MH C: 3) Nance, 18.81
300MH A: 1) Robertson, 41.87
300MH B: 7) Nance, 47.07
300MH C: 6) Gould, 47.21
4X100M A: 3) Kaneland, 44.34
4X100M B: 1) Kaneland, 46.28
4X200M A: 8) Kaneland, 1:35.68
4X200M B: DQ) Kaneland
4X400M A: 7) Kaneland, 3:40.81
4X400M B: 5) Kaneland, 3:49.06
4X800M A: 2) Kaneland, 8:23.58
4X800M B: 2) Kaneland, 8:57.06
HIGH JUMP A: t7) Peterson, 5-06
HIGH JUMP B: 6) Gould, 5-04
HIGH JUMP C: 7) Glazier, 5-02
POLE VAULT A: 1) Rinella, 12-00
POLE VAULT B: 1) Groen, 12-06
LONG JUMP A: 3) Barnes, 20-03.5
LONG JUMP B: 2) Delach, 20-05
LONG JUMP C: 6) Delarme, 17-10
TRIPLE JUMP B: 4) Delach, 37-09
TRIPLE JUMP C: 5) Peterson, 34-10
SHOT PUT A: 8) Kinder, 39-05.5
SHOT PUT B: 2) Thielk, 45-06
SHOT PUT C: 9) Strang, 31-11
DISCUS A: 2) Kinder, 137-11
DISCUS B: 2) Hannula, 122-09
DISCUS C: 7) Strang, 98-09

Soccer still rolling

in Girls Soccer by

3-1 week sees Sycamore hand KHS second loss of season
by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—One goal—and a freaky one at that—is all that prevented the Kaneland High School girls soccer team from a perfect record last week. In what may have been their toughest week of the season, the girls played four important foes in just five days.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Knights head coach Scott Parillo said.

After ending up on opposite ends of 1-0 scores against conference opponents DeKalb and Sycamore, the Lady Knights ended the week with an impressive 3-0 win over Rosary on Saturday, the team which upset them in last year’s regionals. An earlier season match was postponed because of bad weather.

“We played three real good teams this week,” senior Gabby Cano said.

Following a scoreless first half, Kaneland scored there times in the second half, including a pair of goals by senior Kiandra Powell—the first on an assist from heather Ortiz; the second on a feed from Madison Jurcenko.

Kaneland also blanked East Aurora 7-0 on April 8.

The Lady Knights opened the week, and conference play, with a 1-0 win over arch rival DeKalb on Tuesday, April 7. The lone goal was scored when Kaneland senior midfielder Madison Jurcenko outraced the DeKalb keeper to a loose ball, tapping it into the net.

Although the Lady Barbs put on a wild flurry of shots to close out the game, Kaneland keeper Emily Chapman kept them at bay, recording the first of three shutouts for the week.

It was a different story against Sycamore three days later. Under a heavy grey cloud that threatened to erupt at any moment, Kaneland battled the Lady Spartans, their co-conference champions of a year ago, along with an unrelenting wind with gusts up to 40 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

In this case, the only goal came at the 16:02 mark of the second period when a Sycamore shot bounced off a Kaneland defender to Jenna Lewey, who kicked it past Chapman.

“It was just a freakish goal,” Sycamore head coach Dave Lichamer said afterward.

The Lady Spartans nearly scored again two minutes later, when Chapman finally ended a flurry of shots with an outstanding diving save. Playing another outstanding game, Chapman made a number of diving stops throughout the contest to keep the score within one.

Kaneland’s best two chances of scoring came in the second half. WIth 8:31 to play, the Sycamore keeper came out of the goal to grab a sinking line drive shot that, if it had landed, could have bounded over her. The other chance came with just 26 seconds to play, when she made a diving stop on a shot by Kaneland’s Courtney Biddell to end a final Kaneland attack.

“They were able to finish their shots and we weren’t,” Parillo said after the game. “The ball bounced their way and that’s how it goes.”

Although Cano said the competition was more difficult than the weather, several players admitted the windy conditions were almost as tough against Sycamore.

“It was horrible,” she said. “It changed our game plan.”

“The balls seemed to be making more spins and it fell weird,” junior forward Abby Taylor added. “You have to make adjustments.”

She noted that it definitely made it more difficult than if they were playing an easier team.

“It was really hard running into the wind,” senior defender Taylor Opperman said, adding that the velocity of the wind had a big affect on throw-ins.

It affected goalie kicks, as well.

After playing their only scheduled match this week on Tuesday in Morris (with results unavailable as of press time), the Lady Knights will embark on another challenging sequence next week. It will begin on Tuesday when the girls host Yorkville. After traveling to Ottawa on Wednesday, the team will return home on Thursday to host Sterling before closing out the week in Monroe, Wisc., on Saturday.

Grams, Harner named All-ISCC second-team

in Waubonsee Sports by

SUGAR GROVE—Kaneland graduates Sarah Grams and Brooke Harner, who play for the Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball team, were both named to the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference second team last Friday, April 10. Head coach Jim Sury was selected the Region IV District L Coach of the Year after leading Waubonsee to the Region IV title and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time ever.

Grams averaged 11.8 points per game and had a team-leading 84 three-point baskets. The 5-foot, 4-inch guard also averaged 3.4 assists, handing out 117 on the season. She shot 40 percent from three-point range in ISCC play, and exceeded those numbers at the National Tournament. Grams nailed seven treys, one short of the tournament record, in the Lady Chiefs’ opening game loss to fifth-ranked Monroe Community College. In Waubonsee’s three tournament games, Grams made 13 of 27 (48 percent) from beyond the arc.

At only 5’6” tall, Harner averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while often defending the opposing team’s top scorer. The Kaneland High School graduate also averaged 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals per contest while shooting 91 percent from the foul line in ISCC play. Harner was second on Waubonsee’s squad with 90 offensive rebounds, 250 total rebounds and 117 assists on the season.

In his first season at the helm of Waubonsee’s program after taking over for long-time head coach Dana Wagner, Sury led the Lady Chiefs to the program’s first Region IV District L title and first-ever appearance at the National Tournament. Sury’s squad missed out on repeating as ISCC champions when they lost a last-second game to eventual co-champion Oakton 74-72 in the regular season finale. Waubonsee finished the season 21-14 overall, with the trio of sophomores winning an unprecedented 46 games the last two seasons combined.

These are the breaks

in Softball by

Knights win against Morris, lost to L-P
KANELAND—The Knights used late game-heroics twice last week, but it only worked out once.

Coach Peter Goff’s crew rallied to beat Morris 8-7 on April 9 before falling 3-2 to LaSalle-Peru Friday after the Cavaliers scored a run in extra innings.

The Knights still sit at 5-3 overall, with a 2-0 record in the Northern Illinois Big 12.

Against the Redskins, Morris used a five-run third and another run in the fourth to jump out to a 6-2 lead. But a six-run sixth inning by the Knights was enough to pull out the victory, even though Morris made it interesting with a final run in the bottom of the sixth.

Morgan Weber went 2-for-3 with two hits, a walk and three RBI. Paige Keufler went 2-for-4, while Morgan Sikon went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Angie Morrow gave up seven runs (four earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out eight.

In Friday’s loss to L-P, Anissa Becker pitched all eight innings for the Knights, giving up three runs on six hits. L-P got ahead 2-0 in the second inning, but RBIs by Weber and Rachel Urich in the bottom of the seventh sent the game to extra innings. It was L-P that had the last laugh, scoring in the top of the eighth and holding the Knights at bay in their half of the frame.

Kaneland will hit the road, as a six-day layoff ends Thursday when the Knights travel to Sycamore at 4:30 p.m. The next seven games are away, with the next home game taking place on April 28 against Sycamore.

April 16 sports recap

in Girls Soccer/Softball by

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Sophomore Softball
April 7 vs. Yorkville—The Lady Foxes defeated the Knights 6-3. Aly Jesionowski stuck out nine, but gave up five earned runs and five walks. Katie Kurzrock went 2-for-4, while Jesinowski went 1-for-4 with a double.
April 10 vs. LaSalle-Peru—L-P crushed the Knights 13-2. Jesinowski gave up eight earned runs in the loss, stricking out two. Katie Moore hit a home run for the Knights, while Kurzrock went 2-for-3.
April 11 vs. Rosary—Kelly Shell went five innings, stiking out five while surrendering four walks and four runs (two earned), and Jesinowski got five strikeouts in relief as the Knights dispatched the Royals 9-4. Kurzrock and Jesionowski each went 2-for-4 with a double, while Alexis Abruzzo went 2-for-5, and Moore had a double. The Knights are 4-3 overall, 1-1 in conference play.

Freshman Softball
April 8 vs. LaSalle-Peru—The Knights fell to 0-3 after a 14-0 loss to LaSalle-Peru. Jessica Shell stuck out three in the effort.
April 11 vs. Rosary—Four errors cost the Knights in their 13-9 loss to Rosary. Maddi Baker went five innings, striking out two and giving up 12 runs (six earned). Shell pitched one innning in relief, giving up one earned run and a walk. The loss dropped the team to 0-4, 0-1 in the conference.

Girls Sophomore Soccer
April 10 vs. Sycamore—Mallory Burgin’s goal (unassisted) was all it took for the Knights to defeat the Spartans 1-0.
April 11 vs. Geneva—It was the first game Kaneland won in 2015, earning a 1-1 tie with the Vikings. Burgin (unassisted) again supplied the team’s only goal. The team is 4-0-1, 2-0 in the conference play.

Finding the .500 mark

in Baseball by

KANELAND—Setbacks to Sterling on Saturday and Morris on Tuesday blemished a solid week for the KHS baseball team, as they won three more games. Coach Brian Aversa’s team sits at a 5-6 record.

On April 8, the Knights got the best of host Montini with a 2-1 win. Colton Fellows pitched six innings, earning seven strikeouts while only giving up two hits and a run. Matt O’Sullivan pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Austin Wheatley went 1-for-3 with a run, and O’Sullivan picked up a walk, hit and RBI.

An April 9 game against Harlem was cancelled.

On Friday, April 10, Marmion came calling to KHS, and left with a 12-5 loss, thanks to a nine-run third inning by the Knights. Ryan David improved to 2-0 on the year, picking up the win with five strikeouts, but giving up two walks and five earned runs. Wheatley went 2-for-4 with three runs, two stolen bases, a double and two RBI. Joe Panico went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double, a home run and four RBI. Joe Laudont went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and two RBI, and Nick Stratman also went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run.

Saturday’s game saw the visiting Golden Warriors score four late runs in the top of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie that sent the game to the extra frame. Jacob Bachio went 2-for-4 with two runs, while Kevin Fuchs went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI.

The Knights earned a win over conference foe Morris on Monday. The Knights took a 1-0 lead on a Laudont home run to left field, but Morris scored three runs in the top of the sixth to put the visitors ahead. Kaneland answered right back with two runs, with Wheatley drawing a walk and advancing to third on a Panico double to left. Laudont and Stratman would advance both runners home on successive sacrifice flys. In the bottom of the seventh, Danny Hammermeister singled to the short stop, and eventually scored the winning run for the Knights in walk-off fashion.

Tuesday, the Knights travelled south on Route 47 to play at Morris, losing 9-1. O’Sullivan was tagged with the loss, giving up seven runs (one earned), while striking out three. Wheatley had the lone RBI for the Knights, and also stole a base.

Thursday will see the Redskins come calling back at the KHS varsity field at 4:30 p.m. in the series’ rubber game. The Knights on Saturday will visit Geneva at 1 p.m. before three games against DeKalb next week.

Elburn Ladies Golf League seeks golfers

in Community Sports/Elburn by

ELBURN—The Elburn Ladies Golf League is looking for women to join its league at Bliss Creek Golf Course, 1 Golfview Lane, Sugar Grove. Beginner golfers are welcome.

The nine-hole league plays on Wednesday mornings, beginning May 13 and ending in September, with a tee-off time of 7:30 a.m.

An informational coffee time will take place on Wednesday, April 22, at 10 a.m. at Bliss Creek Golf Course. For more information, call Joan at (630) 466-4435.

St. Charles East downs Kaneland

in Softball by

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.

Heading home

in Baseball by
Senior Dan Hammermeister (above) waits for his pitch against O’Fallon Saturday. Junior Jake Marczuk (below) hit a single to right field and sprints down the first base line to beat the throw to first Saturday in Emerson, Ga. The Knights played six games in Kentucky and Georgia. 							       Photos by Mary Paulson
Senior Dan Hammermeister (above) waits for his pitch against O’Fallon Saturday. Junior Jake Marczuk (below) hit a single to right field and sprints down the first base line to beat the throw to first Saturday in Emerson, Ga. The Knights played six games in Kentucky and Georgia. 							       Photos by Mary Paulson
Senior Dan Hammermeister (above) waits for his pitch against O’Fallon Saturday. Junior Jake Marczuk (below) hit a single to right field and sprints down the first base line to beat the throw to first Saturday in Emerson, Ga. The Knights played six games in Kentucky and Georgia. Photos by Mary Paulson

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.

Short handed

in Girls Soccer by

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.

April 9 sports recap

in Girls Soccer/Softball/Waubonsee Sports by

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to or fax them to (630) 365-2251.

Sophomore Softball
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.

WCC Baseball
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.

Sophomore Soccer
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.

Waubonsee makes first National Tourney appearance

in Girls Basketball/Waubonsee Sports by
Brooke Harner bringing the ball across mid-court against North Arkansas College on Thursday, March 19.
Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
Knights making a difference 3 former Knights help
• Sarah Grams at guard (soph.)
• Brooke Harner at guard (soph.)
• Ashley Prost at forward (soph.)
Brooke Harner bringing the ball across mid-court against North Arkansas College on Thursday, March 19. Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
Brooke Harner bringing the ball across mid-court against North Arkansas College on Thursday, March 19.
Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
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.

Sarah Grams (13) playing defense in Waubonsee's 78-73 victory over North Arkansas College at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament on Thursday, March 19. Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
Sarah Grams (13) playing defense in Waubonsee’s 78-73 victory over North Arkansas College at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament on Thursday, March 19.
Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
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.

Ashley Prost (30) defending North Arkansas College's Danielle Graves during the Lady Chiefs' 78-73 triumph, the first ever win for the program at the National Tournament Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
Ashley Prost (30) defending North Arkansas College’s Danielle Graves during the Lady Chiefs’ 78-73 triumph, the first ever win for the program at the National Tournament
Photo submitted by Steve Moga to
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.

Onslaught continues

in Softball by
Sophomore Morgan Weber tags out a Batavia base runner trying to steal second base on Monday.							  Photo by Ben Draper
Sophomore Morgan Weber tags out a Batavia base runner trying to steal second base on Monday.							  Photo by Ben Draper
Sophomore Morgan Weber tags out a Batavia base runner trying to steal second base on Monday. Photo by Ben Draper
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.

Photos by Ben Draper

Knights close out indoor season at Top Times Indoor Championships

in Boys Track/Girls Track by

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

The wait

in Girls Soccer by

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.

Kaneland Sports Boosters spring fundraiser April 18

in Sports Boosters by

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

Photo: From fifth seed to … champions!

in Community Sports by

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

April 2 sports recap

in Baseball/Girls Soccer/Softball by

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald? Have your coach email them to 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.

JV Softball
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.

JV Baseball
March 30 @ St. Xavier (Ky.)—A four-run first inning by St. Xavier doomed the Knights, as they lost 8-4.

Freshman Softball
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.

Sophomore Softball
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.

No break

in Baseball by
Junior Joe Laudont makes an incredible play at home to get the final out in the inning, but the Knights couldn’t take down the St. Xavier Tigers in Louisville, Ken. The 4-1 loss on Monday was followed up with a 4-2 loss to Atlanta’s St. Pius Tuesday. The baseball team finishes up their spring break trip with four games in Emerson, Ga.   			   Photo by Mary Paulson
Junior Joe Laudont makes an incredible play at home to get the final out in the inning, but the Knights couldn’t take down the St. Xavier Tigers in Louisville, Ken. The 4-1 loss on Monday was followed up with a 4-2 loss to Atlanta’s St. Pius Tuesday. The baseball team finishes up their spring break trip with four games in Emerson, Ga.   			   Photo by Mary Paulson
Junior Joe Laudont makes an incredible play at home to get the final out in the inning, but the Knights couldn’t take down the St. Xavier Tigers in Louisville, Ken. The 4-1 loss on Monday was followed up with a 4-2 loss to Atlanta’s St. Pius Tuesday. The baseball team finishes up their spring break trip with four games in Emerson, Ga. Photo by Mary Paulson
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.

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