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Boys Soccer Preview: Through it all

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Photo: The Kaneland Knights varsity soccer boys finished 12-7-1 last year and fell just short of their quest to clinch a second straight regional title. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—KHS coach Scott Parillo has seen his team go through just about everything on the pitch.

A 2010 postseason saw the Knights play nine postseason overtimes enroute to a regional championship—the first for a head-to-head sport at Kaneland in five years—before losing to Sterling in the sectional semifinal.

In 2011, the Knight roster used a late Alex Gil goal against regional host DeKalb for a win before bowing out to Class 2A State semifinalist Marmion in the regional final.

“They had two D-1 guys, and it was a good team. We were still young with a lot of juniors and sophomores, and we did well,” Parillo said.

Now with nine seniors, 10 juniors and a sophomore on the opening roster, Kaneland wants to improve its win total for the second straight year, after ending 12-7-1 in 2011.

“It’s nice having a lot of experience, and hopefully it works out,” Parillo said.
Stability in goal is personified by senior Marshall Farthing.

“It’s a shame he didn’t get recognized more for how he played in the postseason,” Parillo said of the returnee.

Holes to be filled include the scoring and ball-handling of All-Northern Illinois Big XII forward Jordan Escobedo and honorable mention defender Pedro Perez due to graduation.

Doing their part are returning all-NIB-12 members senior Alex Gil and junior Anthony Parillo.
Other midfield cornerstones are junior Tyler Siebert and Arsim Azemi, while defenders Sam Rymarz and Alec Koczka, another all-conference selection, take charge.

“We have seasoned vets and we’re skilled. We’ve just got to stay healthy,” Parillo said.
Parillo looks for the conference landscape to be tough.

“DeKalb is still tough; Morris’ sophomores won conference, and Yorkville is getting a lot better. Rochelle is solid, so it’s a solid conference,” he said. “We know we can score. It’s important for them to remember to possess the ball, work hard and have fun.”

Kaneland’s tour began on Tuesday at Marengo, and it handles the Jacobs Tournament on Friday, Aug. 24.

Soccer starts with a win
Anthony Parillo led the Knights as they kicked off their 2012 campaign with a 4-1 win over Marengo on Tuesday.

Parillo earned the hat trick, scoring twice in the first half and notching his third goal in the second. Assisting on the goals were Gil, Bohorquez and Koczka.

Gil put in the first goal of the season off an assist fromRymarz.

Varsity Roster—
Marshall Farthing, GK/Mid
Tyler Siebert, Mid/Fwd
Jarred Karr, GK/Mid
Kushstrim Ismaili, Mid/Fwd
Anthony Parillo, Mid/Fwd
Adhurim Azemi, Mid/Fwd
Don Seawall, Mid/Fwd
Alex Gil, Mid/Fwd
Ignacio Toscano, Mid/Fwd
Arsim Azemi, Mid/Fwd
Ryan Longson, Def/Mid
Jason Biddle, Def/Mid
Sam Rymarz, Def/Mid
Ben Longson, Mid/Fwd
Chris Van Dinther, Def/Mid
Alonzo Dominguez, Def/Mid
Matt Vander Sande, Def/Mid
Diego Ochoa, Mid/Fwd
Ivan Bohorquez, Mid/Fwd
Alec Koczka, Def/Mid
Head Coach—Scott Parillo

Varsity Soccer Schedule
• Tuesday, Aug. 21; 4:30 p.m.
At Marengo Community HS
• Friday, Aug. 24; 4:30 p.m.
At Jacobs Invite
• Saturday, Aug. 25; 9 a.m.
At Jacobs Invite
• Thursday, Aug. 30; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Geneva HS
• Friday, Aug. 31; 6 p.m.
At Hinckley-Big Rock HS
• Thursday, Sept. 6; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. IMSA
• Tuesday, Sept. 11; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. DeKalb HS
• Thursday, Sept. 13; 4:30 p.m.
At Morris HS
• Tuesday, Sept. 18; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Rochelle Twp HS
• Thursday, Sept. 20; 4:30 p.m.
At Yorkville HS
• Tuesday, Sept. 25; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Sycamore HS
• Thursday, Sept. 27; 6 p.m.
At DeKalb HS
• Tuesday, Oct. 2; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Morris HS
• Thursday, Oct. 4; 4:30 p.m.
At Rochelle Township HS
• Saturday, Oct. 6; 10 a.m.
Home vs. Plainfield East HS
• Tuesday, Oct. 9; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Yorkville HS
• Thursday, Oct. 11; 4:30 p.m.
At Sycamore HS

Softball star Vest not done yet

in Featured/Softball by

Elite pitcher earns partial scholarship to Northern Illinois
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Delani Vest is not quite done impressing on the softball diamond.

After originally planing to join the softball outfit at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove for the upcoming 2012-13 school year, Vest took a partial scholarship offer to play Huskie softball at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Vest, who was an important cog in the Lady Knight softball machine the past four years, as well as the Northern Illinois Big XII Most Valuable Player in 2012, said it came about quite suddenly.

“I was planning to commute to Waubonsee, but my travel team is well-known (the Wasco Diamonds), and Christina Sutcliffe, the new (NIU) coach, had seen some local teams and offered me a scholarship,” Vest said.

Rather than mow down opposing batters in a Huskie uniform, Vest looks to break batters’ spirit by nabbing ground balls as an infielder.

“I’m used to playing in the infield, and have played it for my travel team for the last three years,” Vest said.

Wasco Diamonds 18U coach Steve Cihlar is familiar with what Vest brings.

“She’s been entrenched there for three years for our 18U team and will go to college having played well over 250 games there against top competition. NIU is getting a player that has major college talent,” Cihlar said.

Vest joins an NIU team that finished 19-34 and 7-15 in Mid-American Conference play a year ago. Sutcliffe joined the team in June after seven years as an assistant coach for Miami University of Ohio.

Vest, a 2012 Kaneland graduate, won 20 games for the Lady Knights squad and made things happen in the lineup itself as a leadoff hitter in a year that saw the KHS group reach the Belvidere North Sectional.

As a college student, future Division I athlete, and mother to her son, Braden, born during the 2010-2011 softball season, Vest was relieved, excited and thankful for continued support.

“I think it was a little bit of everything. It’s going to be a little easier as a commuter for the first season. It was a Division I scholarship, and the travel is obviously more, but it was such a great opportunity. I want it so bad. I have my family, and Braden, and everyone has been so supportive,” Vest said.

Vest knows the prestige that comes to the Kaneland program as someone who makes it to the next level.

“Everyone on the softball team could have gone to play somewhere in college, and there were a lot of teammates like my sister (Rilee, at Cornell College), and players going back before me,” Vest said.

With an opportunity on the horizon, Vest has her goal and an opportunity right in front of her, and will see what she has in this intial year of college softball.

“Right now in this first year, I’ll commute from home. We’ll see how I do and see about coming to DeKalb the next year. But, we’ll take it as it comes,” Vest said.

KHS invites fans to witness the ‘Knights Under the Lights’

in Boys Soccer/Football/Kaneland/Tennis/Volleyball by

Kaneland—The Kaneland High School fall sports teams will be introduced to their fans on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m.

The annual Knights Under the Lights event will be held at the various KHS athletic facilities. In addition to individual and team introductions, fans can watch the KHS volleyball, tennis, soccer and football teams scrimmage.

Sports Booster members will be on hand selling concessions, and while there is no admission to attend, the Boosters do ask for a donation to assist the athletics programs.

Kaneland cross country team hosts Baggo tourney

in Boys Cross Country/Girls Cross Country by

Kaneland—The Kaneland cross country team will host its inaugural double-elimination Baggo tournament on Sunday, Aug. 26, at Kaneland Harter Middle School.

The youth winning team will receive new Baggo boards for each team member. Adult winning teams will receive $250 to split, with prizes awarded for second and third as well. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The youth tournament will begin at 12:30 p.m., with a noon check-in. The adult tournament starts at 3:30 p.m., with a 3 p.m. check-in.

Register in advance by emailing your team name, and the names of both team members, to Entry fees will be paid when you check in at the tournament.

WCC offers fall high school baseball

in Baseball/Waubonsee Sports by

Sugar Grove—Waubonsee Community College will host a fall baseball league for high school players who are not participating in any fall high school sports.

This IHSA-approved league is the area’s longest running and most economical fall league. Over 2,000 players have participated throughout the past 27 years, with hundreds going on to compete at the collegiate level.

The league is scheduled to run from Thursday, Aug. 30, through the end of September.

Games will be played every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of September, beginning at 4 p.m. each day. All games will be played on Waubonsee Community College’s baseball diamond in Sugar Grove, and all players signed up are guaranteed playing time. Each of the eight game days will provide players the opportunity to use Waubonsee’s outdoor hitting facility that features two astro-turfed batting cages and multiple hitting stations.

Individuals interested in playing should attend an organizational meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 4:30 p.m. on the Sugar Grove campus. The meeting will take place in Room 219 of Erickson Hall, Waubonsee’s gymnasium, with a $60 fee due at that time.

For more information, contact Waubonsee baseball coach Dave Randall at (630) 466-2527.

High school softball changes hit-by-pitch rule

in Softball by

Indianapolis—Batters in high school softball no longer will have to make an attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch in order to be awarded first base.

This revision to Rule 8-1-2 was one of four rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Softball Rules Committee at its summer meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

A batter will be awarded first base if “a pitched ball is entirely within the batter’s box and it strikes the batter or her clothing. No attempt to avoid being hit by the pitch is required; however, the batter may not obviously try to get hit by the pitch.”

Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education and staff liaison for softball, said this rules change clears up the gray area of whether the batter made an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch.

“Since a batter is penalized for prohibiting a pitch from entering the strike zone, the committee thought there should be a penalty when the pitcher hits a batter when the pitch is completely inside the batter’s box,” Wynns said.

In Rule 6-1, the committee approved the following exceptions to the penalty for an illegal pitch:
1) If the batter reaches first base safely and each other runner advances at least one base, the illegal pitch is nullified. All action stands and the illegal pitch is canceled.
2) If the batter does not reach first base safely or if any base runner fails to advance at least one base, the coach of the team at bat shall have the option of the result of the play or the penalty of the illegal pitch.
3) If the batter is hit by an illegal pitch out of the strike zone, the batter is awarded first base and each base runner is awarded one base.
4) If ball four is an illegal pitch, the batter is awarded first base and each base runner is awarded one base.

A change was approved by the Softball Rules Committee regarding the color of gloves/mitts. As a follow-up to the change last year that required the color of all softballs to be optic yellow, the committee revised language in Rule 1-4-1 to state that gloves/mitts must not be entirely optic yellow or have that color of marking on the inside or outside of gloves/mitts that would give the appearance of the ball.

The final rules change was Rule 3-6-10, which will allow stopwatches to be used in the coach’s box.

A complete listing of all rules changes approved by the committee is available on the NFHS Web site at Click on “Athletics & Fine Arts Activities” on the home page, and select “Softball.”

Fast-pitch softball is the fourth-most popular sport for girls at the high school level, according to the 2011-12 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, with 373,535 participants nationwide. The sport ranks fourth in school sponsorship with 15,338 schools sponsoring the sport.

Cougars promote Glaucoma Awareness

in Kane County Cougars by

Screenings will be available to fans prior to evening ballgame
Geneva—The Kane County Cougars will welcome Dr. Steven Brown of Chicago Glaucoma Consultants and Dr. Anjali Hawkins of Geneva Eye Clinic on Saturday, Aug. 25. Before that evening’s 6:30 p.m. game, fans can receive a screening and information on glaucoma, a slowly progressive disease that affects over 40 million people worldwide with a painless loss of sight in most cases.

The Cougars will also donate a portion of August’s in-game charity proceeds, along with a charitable match by the organization, to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Based out of San Francisco, the Glaucoma Research Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma.

That evening’s game also include a pre-game autograph session, Cougars baseball caps for the first 1,500 fans courtesy of Tuffy Auto Service Centers, in-game entertainment by Birdzerk, and a post-game fireworks show.

Also that weekend on Sunday, Aug. 26, Cougars staff will welcome Misericordia to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark for an on-field check presentation from July’s in-game charity proceeds, along with a charitable match from the Cougars organization. Misericordia, located in Chicago, is recognized as one of the nation’s leading communities for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Distinguished by its network of services and a continuum of care model, Misericordia supports 600 children and adults from diverse ethnic, racial, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds, with disabilities ranging from mild or moderate to severe and profound. Programs include residential options, job training and placement, an array of therapies, fitness and health guidance, social and recreational activities, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

Minor League Baseball recognizes Cougars’ Daddy/Daughter Date Night

in Kane County Cougars by

The Kane County Cougars’ Daddy/Daughter Date Night has been recognized by Minor League Baseball as a finalist for this year’s Golden Bobblehead awards.

The promotion, which took place on June 8 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, is one of seven finalists in the “Best Theme Night” category, and the winner will be announced at the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar, to be held from Oct. 2-5 in Reno, Nev.

Fans can view a complete list of finalists at Over 160 nominations from various Minor League clubs were submitted for consideration. This marks the second straight season in which a Cougars promotion has been nominated for a Golden Bobblehead award, as the organization’s “Night of 100 Promotions” was named a finalist in the “Best Theme Night” category last fall.

June’s Daddy/Daughter Date Night, held in conjunction with Princess Night, offered Cougars families the chance to order a unique “Daddy/Daughter” package that included game tickets, a princess tiara, a photo opportunity with Ozzie T. Cougar, and a chance to watch the post-game princess-themed fireworks show from the outfield grass. Also as part of the Princess Night theme, girls were encouraged to dress in princess attire and participate in a pre-game princess parade.

While in Reno as part of the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar, Cougars staff will present the “Daddy/Daughter Date Night” to their peers affiliated with other Minor League teams, as well as Minor League Baseball staff, who will vote on the awards.

“We’re honored to be recognized by our colleagues as a finalist for one of this year’s Minor League Baseball Golden Bobblehead awards,” said Cougars Promotions Coordinator Jenni Brechtel. “Having one of our promotions nominated as best theme night for the second straight season is a testament to our front office staff, for their creative brainstorming and idea sharing, that is truly a year-round process. We’re looking forward to representing all of our fans who participated in our inaugural Daddy/Daughter Date Night, at this fall’s Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar.”

Kaneland alum battling for starter spot at Augustana

in Football by

Rock Island, ILL.—According to Augustana College’s Associate Director of Athletics Dave Wrath, Kaneland graduate and Augustana Junior Eric Dratnol “might have the inside track for the center position” as the Vikings set their rosters for the upcoming football campaign.

The team is trying to rebound from a difficult 2011 season.

When head coach Rob Cushman was asked to assess the Augustana football team’s chances for the 2012 season, he got right to the point.

“Without question we have a lot of change from a year ago,” said Cushman, whose team went 2-8 overall and 2-5 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin in his first year at the Vikings’ helm. “It starts with a coaching staff that lost some very valuable and longtime members, and it continues with the exciting plans for a new stadium and the fact that we will be playing on a new turf this fall. There is an excitement amongst our players as we start the year. Even with all the changes that have and will happen, this program still has the same goals as always. We want to contend for a conference title and be a factor in the national picture.”

What happened in 2011 was a plethora of games that were decided in the last minutes of games. Of the eight losses, five were decided by less than eight points, and the Vikings trailed CCIW champion North Central on the road by just 10-3 before the Cardinals put up two late scores in the final minutes.

“I have been coaching 30-plus years and I don’t think I have ever seen a season like that,” Cushman said. “We all know that the ball bounces in funny ways, but it sure didn’t bounce our way last year. That was quite a learning experience for all of us, and I think we learned from it.”

The Vikings kick off their season Sept. 1 when they travel to the University of Dubuque.

KYFL partners with Potbelly Sandwich Shop for fundraiser

in Community Sports/Regional by

Geneva—The Kaneland Youth Football League (KYFL) will hold a fundraiser at Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Geneva Commons on Friday, Aug. 24.

A portion of the restaurant’s sales between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. will be donated to KYFL.

For the 2012 season, KYFL has more than 400 participants between the ages of 5 and 12 in its flag football, tackle football and cheerleading programs. Anyone interested in more information can contact Eric Marler, Sponsorship & Fundraising Director, Kaneland Youth Football League, Inc., at, or visit for more information.

Kaneland Sports Boosters to team up with Dodge Aug. 16

in Kaneland/Sports by

KANELAND—The Kaneland Sports Boosters are teaming up with Dodge for a great, fun-filled event during “Knights Under the Lights” on Aug. 16.

Sports and athletic activities are a valuable part of the high school experience, enriching the lives of students and their communities. Yet, schools are often short of funds for their sports and athletic programs. Parents are frequently asked to reach into their own pockets for equipment, uniforms, travel expenses and more.

Dodge and its dealers are committed to the communities where they do business, and Dodge supports organizations that work to benefit students, like the Kaneland Sports Boosters. Since 1993, Chrysler Group LLC has helped raise millions for elementary schools across the country through the company’s popular Drive for the Kids program.

Since 1996, Dodge Booster Club Fundraisers have provided support for student enrichment at the high school level and showcased a new generation of Dodge.

The concept is simple: the Kaneland Sports Boosters Test Drive Event Fundraiser is an exciting opportunity that can result in big cash rewards. During the event, participants earn $20 to support the Kaneland Sports Boosters by taking a brief test drive in a new Dodge. All licensed drivers, age 18 or older, are eligible. The whole community can participate. The more test drives you take, the more money for Kaneland sports and athletic programs.

This event is friendly and fun. There is no sales pressure. Participants are not required to buy anything; kids don’t sell anything. Busy parents appreciate the chance to check out the latest automotive innovations and talk about cars with knowledgeable representatives from Dodge.

There will be giveaways and raffles for all participants. Kaneland Sports Booster will also directly award the top girls sport and boys sport who produces the largest percentage of test drivers with 10 percent each of the total amount raised. So get the word out to all your family, friends and neighbors, and come out to Knights Under the Lights. Watch a preseason sports event and test drive a new Dodge to help the Kaneland Sports Boosters support all their Kaneland athletes and programs.

WCC’s VandenBorn earns Dick Durrant Award

in Featured/Waubonsee Sports by

Sugar Grove—The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference recently named Waubonsee Community College’s Kelsey VandenBorn as one of the co-winners of the Dick Durrant Academic Athlete of the Year Award for 2011-2012.

The Dick Durrant Award is given annually to the male and female student-athletes in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) who attain the highest grade point average after completing four semesters of college work, and at least 48 semester hours of credit.

Begun in 1979, the award is named after Dick Durrant, who was an outstanding teacher, coach and athletic director at Elgin Community College from 1961 through 1985.

Durrant championed the philosophy of academic as well as athletic excellence while at Elgin.
Durrant was known for his concern for students, his sense of fair play and his attitude of education before athletics.

VandenBorn, a nursing major from Batavia High School, finished the school year with a perfect 4.0 grade point average while being a leader on Waubonsee’s volleyball team. The sophomore was tabbed to the All-ISCC First Team after leading Waubonsee with 88 blocks.

The 6’1” middle blocker was second on the team with 222 kills, and also recorded 69 digs and registered 21 aces last fall for the Lady Chiefs. VandenBorn is the 18th Waubonsee student-athlete, and first since 2007, to earn this award. Waubonsee had seven consecutive recipients from 1993 to 2000, while 14 of the Chiefs’ honorees overall have been female student/athletes.


in Community Sports/Featured by

Photo: The Kaneland Knights 12U team is all smiles following their 10-9 win in the championship game of the Kane County Bronco League season-ending tournament. The Knights finished the year with an 18-2 record. Team members included Colin Noel (front row, left to right), Brennan Hare, Jake Romas, Luke Gomes and Trevor Jones; Josh Marczuk (middle row, left to right), Jack Douglas, Dylan Baker, Austin Berens, Reece Sowell and Michael Rivas-Vera; and coaches Kevin Gomes (back row, left to right), Mike Noel, Mike Romas and Mike Berens. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland Knights 12U team takes KCBL tourney championship
kaneland—The Kaneland Knights 12U baseball team concluded its 18-2 season with a championship victory in the Kane County Bronco League (KCBL) Tournament in late July.

The team faced the Oswego Cobras in the championship game, and the two teams battled into extra innings.

The KCBL utilized what is known as “California Rules” for extra innings, which is a way to speed up the conclusion of a game. Each team begins each extra inning with an automatic one out with a runner on second. Each batter begins their at-bat with an automatic 1-1 count.

Oswego started off their half of the extra inning by driving one run in.

When Kaneland took their turn at the plate, the Knights secured their victory with a walk following by a two-run drive into right-center field.

Kaneland Knights 13U hosts tryouts
Black 13U Travel Baseball tryouts
Thursday, Aug. 9 • 6 to 8 p.m.,
& Saturday, Aug. 11 • a.m. to noon.

Sugar Grove Sports Complex
901 Wheeler Road

Xplosion takes 3rd in nationals

in Community Sports/Featured by

Photo: The Kane County Xplosion 16U softball team battled for a series of come-from-behind wins for the Class A Northern National Tournament. The team included Coach Don Miller (back, center); Coach Wally Spagnola (standing, left to right), Lauren Zick, Denise Gombar, Samantha Phelps, Kaylee Hayton, Allison Miller and Coach Mike Kuefler; Paige Kuefler (kneeling) and Stephanie Prentice; Emma Spagnola (sitting, left to right), Madeline Avery, McKenzie Bretag and Amanda Lack. Courtesy Photo

Kane County 16U softball team takes talents to Nebraska
North platte, neb.—With a never-say-die attitude, the Kane County Xplosion 16U softball team earned several come-from-behind victories to earn a third-place finish in the Class A Northern National Tournament in North Platte, Neb.

In game one of Pool Play, the girls beat the Echoes Adrenaline from Omaha, Neb., 6-4. Offensively, Lauren Zick and Emma Spagnola each had two hits and accounted for three of the runs, while Amanda Lack had a triple and Samantha Phelps added a double. Stephanie Prentice got the win with five strikeouts. Lauren Zick turned in the defensive play of the game with a diving catch in center field.

Game two saw the girls win 14-5 over the JR. Phoenix from Wisconsin. After falling behind 5-1, the girls put up 10 runs in the top of the fourth to blow the game wide open. Madeline Avery and Allison Miller were both 3-for-4, with Avery knocking in three runs in the fifth with her first homer of the tournament. Kaylee Hayton got the win.

The Orland Park A’s were the first opponent of Bracket Play, and after spotting them four runs in the first inning, the girls shut them out the rest of the way for a 7-4 win. McKenzie Bretag was 4-for-4 and Avery 3-for-4 to lead the team offensively, with Prentice notching the win. Kuefler was stellar at third base on defense.

Next up were the Wisconsin Bandit’s Black, and in a hard-fought game the girls came out on top with a 7-6 win. After jumping out to a quick lead, the girls found themselves behind 5-4 in the fifth. The girls were able to score two in the top of the seventh inning to come from behind for the win. Avery added her second home run of the tournament and was 3-for-4, while Kuefler and Phelps were 2-for-4.

Next up were the Bridgeview Redbirds, and once again the girls fell behind early. Kane County was down 4-0 after three innings before the bats came alive, scoring six runs in the last three innings for another come-from-behind win, 6-5. Phelps led the charge, going 3-for-3.

On Sunday, the girls came out flat for the first game and lost to the eventual champion. Kuefler notched her first home run of the tournament, and Lack went head over heels for a diving fly ball. After dropping to the loser’s bracket with three teams remaining, the girls once again faced the Bandits Black and came up one run short in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The girls finished the season at 40-15-2.

Tryouts for the Kane County Xplosion are this week; interested girls should check for details.

Kaneland brings out alumni for soccer

in Boys Soccer/Girls Soccer by

The seventh annual Kaneland High School Alumni soccer game was held this past Saturday at the high school’s varsity soccer field. Many soccer alumni and some current players enjoyed a friendly game on a beautiful summer evening. Any current or former Kaneland soccer players interested in playing in next year’s game and are not already on the contact list should call Bill Durrenberger at (630) 466-9085.

Kaneland Almuni White team (above) members included Nick Williams (back, left to right), Matt VanderSande, Eric Griesinger, Chris Feldott and Ryan Straughn. Santiago Tovar (front, left to right), Kevin Durrenberger, player/coach Max Andrews, Evelio Blanco and Scott Thompson. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland Almuni Blue team members included Josh Williams (back, left to right), Spencer Johnson, Josh Hill, Cooper Andrews, Mike Giese and coach Joe Garlinsky. Joe Garlinsky (front, left to right), Kaitlin Roy, Emily Heimerdinger, Samantha Wantuch and Justin Garlinsky. Courtesy Photo

Former Cougar duo hits the bigs

in Featured/Kane County Cougars by

Dan Straily (right) and Mickey Storey (inset), former Kane County Cougars, made their respective big league debuts on Friday. Courtesy Photos

Minor League Baseball’s strikeout leader debuts for Oakland; Storey debuts for Astros
GENEVA—A pair of Kane County Cougars alumni made their Major League debuts on Friday evening.

Pitcher Dan Straily, a member of the 2010 Cougars, made his Major League debut, starting for the Oakland Athletics against Toronto. Another pitcher, Mickey Storey from the 2009 Cougars squad, made his debut for the Houston Astros against Atlanta.

Storey and Straily become the 119th and 120th former Cougars to reach the Major Leagues. Both players join pitchers Pedro Figueroa and Sean Doolittle, who both debuted earlier this season with Oakland, as Cougars to make their big league debuts this season.

The 23-year-old Straily was part of the Cougars’ 2010 Opening Day roster and was a 10-game winner that season, going 10-7 with a 4.32 ERA and 148 innings pitched. Straily won 11 games the following season at Class-A Advanced Stockton, and opened this season at Double-A Midland. The right-hander, who was not regarded as one of the A’s top prospects by numerous publications this past spring, quickly caught the attention of Minor League Baseball earlier this season and hasn’t backed off since. The right-hander struck out a career-high 15 batters on May 18 for Midland, and was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento the following month. In eight starts with Sacramento, Straily went 5-2 with a 1.36 ERA, and at the time of his promotion on Thursday, led Minor League Baseball with 175 strikeouts. The next closest pitcher has 138 strikeouts. Straily becomes the first Cougar from the 2010 team to reach the Major Leagues.

Storey pitched in 13 games for the Cougars in 2009, all in relief. The right-hander only allowed one earned run in those 13 games before receiving a promotion to Class-A Advanced Stockton on June 25 that summer. The only other Cougars alumnus to make his big league debut with the Astros was Tommy Martin (’91 Cougar) on April 2, 1997.

Friday’s occurrence marks the third time in franchise history that two former Cougars made their big league debuts on the same date. Vic Darensbourg (’93 Cougar) and Gabe Gonzalez (’95 Cougar) both debuted with the Florida Marlins on April 1, 1998. More recently, Trevor Cahill (’07 Cougar) and Ronald Belisario (’02 Cougar) made their big league debuts on April 7, 2009, for Oakland and the Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.

The Cougars organization, which began in 1991 and is presently affiliated with the Kansas City Royals, has had at least one former player make a Major League debut in each season, dating back to 1993. The list includes Major League All-Stars, World Series champions and former Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winners.

Guyton still swinging wicked club

in Golf by

Storied KHS golfer sharpened skills at Illinois Women’s Open
by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—For those that missed last week’s golfing performance from Sugar Grove resident and former Kaneland golfer Hayley Guyton, she laughed while offering, “You didn’t miss much.”

That’s just the level of standard that the current Illinois State University women’s golfer and four-time IHSA State qualifier holds herself.

Guyton still managed to finish 39th at the July 25-27 2012 Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Ill. The pool of nearly 100 competitors was mostly concentrated in the Midwest.

“It was great to see people from the college meets there, and it’s good to compete against them in the summer,” Guyton said. “It’s fun to get to compare where we’ve been.”

Guyton managed to hold her own with scores of 76, 80 and 82.

Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., native Samantha Troyanovich took the open with a total tally of 215.

Guyton, who finished in second place at the 2009 IHSA State meet after a playoff, competes at around five tournaments a summer including a 2012 Naperville Women’s City Championship-best 76 back in June, when she’s not suiting up in the Bloomington-Normal, Ill. area for the Lady Redbirds.

But even Guyton can get rattled occasionally, which she admitted occurred in her first collegiate year.

“The level of competition and ability against the other teams was really high and you found yourself having to play differently, but I am golfing with a lot more confidence now,” Guyton said.

As part of a Redbirds squad that missed a Missouri Valley Conference crown by three strokes, Guyton is eager to show her skills with a year of collegiate play under her belt for a roster with multiple conference titles.

“I love getting out and playing all the courses, like the one at Missouri. I’m playing in the evenings and at the course all weekend, and I’m up for it and really excited. It didn’t sit well with us when we lost,” Guyton said.

Sixth-year ISU coach Darby Sligh has offered valuable help with Guyton’s game as it continues to transition.

“My coach really helped me, and now I’m really practicing with more confidence,” Guyton said. “I’m lacing the ball more.”

Guyton and the rest of the Redbird crew will putt against the field at its very own Redbird Invitational at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8-9. ISU also treks to the island of Oahu in March 2013 for the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational.

Wherever the course, Guyton is using the action locally to up her golf game.

“I have a purpose out there.”

Knight Dyer takes his shot in Baltimore

in Boys Track by

KANELAND—Kaneland High School track standout Nate Dyer may not have won a first this past weekend in Baltimore, but he can still consider himself part of the upper-upper echelon.

The lineman and thrower traveled to Morgan State University to compete in the 2012 USATF National Junior Olympics this past Thursday through Saturday, and did his part in three events.

Dyer placed 11th overall in the hammer throw out of 27 participants, beating his personal best by 16 feet. Dyer had previously set the state record at the State Junior Olympics in Kankakee, Ill., by 19 feet.

Dyer placed 12th in the discus out of 32 athletes, and placed 11th in the shot put out of 50 kids.

This was the second occasion that Dyer went to the National stage, having last been there in 2010.

Dyer was able to qualify for the Morgan State gathering with his output at the Regional Junior Olympics in Franklin, Ind., in early July. The junior achieved first places in both the hammer throw and shot put, and second places in the discus and javelin.

SG Corn Boil 5K sees exceptional times (with photo gallery)

in Community Sports/Featured by

SUGAR GROVE—A sunny day brought out the best in area runners for the annual Sugar Grove Corn Boil 5K trek.

The Saturday race also brought in excess of 300 competitors.

Saturday’s overall race champion was Yorkville resident Patrick Austin, who finished first in his group with a time of 16 minutes, 11.2 seconds, equivalent to a 5:13 pace.

Hinckley’s Jake Austin was close behind with a time of 16:26, good for a 5:18 pace.

Knight cross country and track standout Kyle Carter, an incoming junior at KHS, finished third with a time of 16:44.9.

Oswego resident Ashley Golembeski was 11th overall and top female with a time of 19:56.7. Next on the female side was Sugar Grove’s Dorcey Bartholemew in 45th place with a time of 23:44.6.

Lisle’s Michael Lucchesi won the 2011 version of the race, with a time of 16:06.4.

Former KHS volleyball standout Katy Dudzinski finished 64th with a time of 25:01.2

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Baseball gearing up in 2013

in Community Sports by

Kaneland Travel
KANELAND—The Kaneland Travel Baseball Program, which will begin in the summer of 2013, has released its tryout dates and information for the 11U, 12U and 13U travel baseball teams that will compete in the KCBL next year, with a birthday cut-off day of May 1. Beginning with the summer of 2014, the KTB will incorporate 10U and 14U for a total of five levels of travel baseball.

The following information is for those tryouts:
Friday, Aug. 3: 11U—5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 12U 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
(at Wheeler Park)
Saturday, Aug. 4: 13U—9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
(at McNair Field in Elburn)
Sunday, Aug.12: 11U, 12U, 13U 1 to 3 p.m.
(at McNair Field)

This is for anyone at any of the age levels that couldn’t make the other tryout dates. All the participants are run through the same tryout. There will be a pre-registration form posted on the Kaneland Travel Baseball website,, that can be printed and filled out and brought to tryouts, or a parent will need to fill one out once you arrive. These tryouts are only open to those students who will go to Kaneland High School and reside in the district. If you have any questions, contact coach Brian Aversa at

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