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Sports - page 52

Westminster Christian hoops camp approaching

in Community Sports by

ELGIN, Ill.—Westminster Christian School hosting a coed basketball shooting camp which will be open to any interested players in grades 3-12 from any school, from Monday to Wednesday, July 9-11.

WCS shooting camp teaches players to perfect their shot through strong rhythmic

drills that lock the necessary shooting technique into the player’s muscle memory. This enables the athlete to execute proper shooting mechanics.

The instructors are:
Jim Irwin: Jim has been a high school basketball coach in Indiana for over 30 years. Coach Irwin has worked as a shooting evaluator at Dick Baumgartner’s shooting camp for 20 years helping 20,000 players improve their shot.

Avis Stewart: Coach Stewart has coached two AAU state championship teams and four state runners up in 10 years.

The camp levels and times are:
Grades 5 through 8 from 9 a.m.—Noon.
Grades 9 through 12 from 1 p.m.—4 p.m.

Please note camp will be from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 11, for grades 5 through 8 and 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, for grades 9-12 The camp site is: Westminster Christian School
2700 W. Highland Ave. Elgin, IL
Camp Fees:
Grades 5-8: $150
Grades 9-12: $150

Players do have the option to attend only 1 or 2 days at a prorated fee. Players may also register on the first day of camp, but please call to reserve your spot. Contact Information: Westminster Christian School, Summer Sports Camps, 2700 West Highland Avenue, Elgin, IL 60124.

Address questions to: Rich Engle, Asst. Coach (407) 924-4673, or Rick Palmer, Athletic Director, (847) 695-0310, ext. 231, Fax (847) 695-0135.

2012 T-ball a ‘hit’

in Community Sports by


The last T-ball game was played in Maple Park on June 16 with the Elburn Super Stars facing the Maple Park Catering Gourmets. The Elburn team was coached by Roy Dennis and Maple Park was coached by Ryan Ruh. T-ball is a sport based on baseball and is intended as an introduction for children to develop baseball skills and have fun. Here, Elburn’s Connor Spence, 5, takes a swing and gets a hit. Photo by John DiDonna

Goaltender Lekkas brings fire to the ice

in Elections/Featured/Miscellaneous by

Photo: Stefanos Lekkas looks to don the mask for AAA hockey once again this year, after competing at a USA Hockey camp in N.Y. Courtesy photo

Elburn resident gearing up for elite camp in N.Y.
by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—Stefanos Lekkas, 16, of Elburn has his particular tools of the trade.

“My mask is white, with all-white straps and an all-white cage,” Lekkas said. “I just fell in love with it early on.”

That’s a common theme for the honor-roll student from Kaneland, who finds a lot to love about the sport of hockey.

Threaded throughout his family, including his two siblings, Lekkas could be seen tending goal for area hockey outlets like the amateur Chicago Mission for the past four years.

Now, Lekkas prepares to head to Rochester, N.Y. for a USA Hockey National Player Development Camp held from July 7-13, at the Sports Centre.

Lekkas is slated for the Youth Select 16 grouping.

It’s no small feat; Lekkas was one of eight goaltenders selected, after being chosen from an Illinois group, and then a five-state grouping in the Midwest.

Lekkas relishes the opportunity to be between the posts, even with the players by definition being the best of a particular area.

“It’s fun, because everyone has respect for each other and everyone is a great hockey player,” Lekkas said.

He was selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League in their futures draft in May, and while not being selected for the under-20 team after a tryout camp earlier this month, he remains property of the franchise.

“I have another year and I’m optimistic that something can happen. They could still call me up as a prospect on a weekend if they need someone,” Lekkas said.

At 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, Lekkas makes the most of his frame with a hybrid style of goaltending.

“With hybrid, you mix technique with athleticism. I’m not tall enough to be a standup goalie and it’s different from butterfly,” Lekkas said.

Lekkas doesn’t consider himself done even when off the ice, taking in National Hockey League contests on occasion.

“I’ve been up to Detroit three or four times a year to see a game. I like Toronto, and my favorite team is the Montreal Canadiens,” Lekkas said.

Lekkas is eyeing his next move once the gathering out East concludes.

“I’ll be skating with a AAA team somewhere and want to do a goalie camp,” Lekkas said.

Wherever Lekkas stops one-timers next and on whatever level, it stands to be tough to get the ice out of his blood from now on.

“It’s more than a sport. You’re with a family and it’s cool to be around. I’ll always get used to more hockey time.”

Hybrid goaltenders in the NHL include:
Jonathan Quick
Ryan Miller
Martin Brodeur
Jaroslav Halak

Kaneland holds court in summertime

in Boys Basketball/Featured by

Photo: Drew David moves the ball upcourt against a Belleville West defender during Tuesday’s action at the 27th Annual Morris Boys Shootout. Photo by Mike Slodki

Boys hoops
competes in
Morris Shootout

by Mike Slodki
MORRIS—Twenty-minute halves, a running clock, and kids wearing something akin to rec-league warmups.

But the Kaneland boys basketball trip to the 27th annual Morris Shootout, occurring Tuesday and Wednesday, was anything but rec.

With the Knights in Pool H against the likes of Belleville West, Oswego and Pekin high schools, the Kaneland group was taking this 32-team affair as a chance to show skills.

Even with a 12-point loss to the downstate Maroons in the books to open matters, coach Brian Johnson takes each summer day to see what he has.

“We’re trying to figure out what we have, and we made mistakes, but that stuff usually irons itself out by the time the season comes around,” Johnson said.

The Knight boys have participated in leagues at Geneva and DeKalb high schools, to go along with camps and lifting during the morning hours.

It makes for a different style of basketball once tip-off happens.

“They are competing out there and it’s a little more freelance. There’s a lot of kids out there that play a lot of basketball. We’re a team with kids that play three sports, and it’s a little more freelance when it comes to the summer. We’re not really a freelance team, and I think that will show when the season rolls around.”

Kaneland’s new faces for summer ball are Dylan Nauert, Brock Robertson, Bailey Harvell, Dylan Vaca, Cole Carlson, Tom VanBogaert and Shane Jorgensen.

Returning are Clay Denlinger, Dan Miller, Drew David, Thomas Williams, Tyler Carlson and John Pruett, making for a core to build around once summer progresses to the late fall.

“They’re going to do a nice job-—all the guys coming back. They’re poised to have really nice seasons, and we need to see where everyone kind of fits into play,” Johnson said.

The Knights head off to the Geneva League Tournament on Thursday, June 28.

Xplosion turns clutch into success

in Community Sports by


Kane County Xplosion 16U girls earned first place at the Heartland Shootout in Moline for an ASA qualifier and took first place overall. Madeline Avery, Mackenzie Bretag, Paige Kuefler and Stephanie Prentice all hit home runs. Kaylee Hayton and Stephanie Prentice combined for a 1.08 ERA and 17 strikeouts on the mound. The Xplosion travels to Tinley Park for the next ASA qualifier this coming weekend. The team consists of (front) Madelyn Avery, Amanda Lack, Lauren Zick, Stephanie Prentice and Mackenzie Bretag, (back) Emma Spagnola, Kaylee Hayton, Samantha Phelps, Denise Gumbar, Allison Miller and Paige Kuefler. Courtesy Photo

Hay, what a performance

in Golf by


Hayley Guyton wields the first-place hardware from the 2012 Women’s City Championship at Naperbrook Golf Course on June 20. The current ISU Lady Redbird and former Lady Knight shot a gross score of 76.
Courtesy of Naperville Park District

KYSO registration online

in Community Sports by

KANELAND—Soccer enthusiasts between the ages of 4 and 17 years old can now register online to play in the KYSO fall season, which will run from Aug. 18-Oct. 20. The registration deadline is June 30. The fee, which includes a jersey, shorts and socks, is $85 for the first player and $60 for any additional players from the same family. Register now at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

KYSO is an open-registration organization that serves soccer players across Northern Illinois. All KYSO practices and games are held at the fields located to the east of Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park.

Consider coaching your child’s team. Support and training will be provided. Open registration can also accommodate special needs players between the ages of 5 and 16 years old, who play with Buddy assistance —the fee is $25. More information can be found on www.kanelandyouthsoccer .com regarding the Kaneland United Soccer Club, as well.

Photo Gallery: Take 5K

in Community Sports/Featured/Kaneland by

Robert Johnson seems to be taking Friday evening’s Kaneland Knight Run 5K in stride. All proceeds for the Knight Run were to benefit the Kaneland
Foundation. The 5K was the first of a triple-header that also featured quarter-mile kids’ track run and a one-mile Fun Run/Walk.

Photo by Marshall Farthing

Click here for more photos >> (link takes you to Facebook)

Crosby visits Friendly Confines

in Baseball by

Stat line: 1-1, 9.49 ERA before heading back to Toledo
by Mike Slodki
CHICAGO—Casey Crosby’s first tenure in the majors with the Detroit Tigers was a historic occurrence.

However, he’ll have to do it again by springboarding from Toledo, Ohio.

After having his start pushed back two days in order for veteran starting pitchers Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander to pitch in turn, Crosby missed a chance to start in front of his local fans at Wrigley Field against the Cubs on June 13. Instead, the Kaneland Class of 2007 graduate made a home start on Friday at Comerica Park against the Colorado Rockies, and lasted just 3.2 innings in a 12-4, 10-inning loss. Crosby was sent down after Friday’s setback.

Pitcher Doug Fister, whose disabled list sting paved the way for Crosby’s callup from Class AAA Toledo on May 30, was then activated.

Crosby, in three starts, went 1-1 with a 9.49 ERA in 12.1 innings, while averaging nine strikeouts and 11 walks per nine innings.

The 23-year-old former two-sport standout for the Knights makes the return trip west on I-75, where he went 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA to go with 57 strikeouts and 26 walks in nine starts. He made a start Wednesday against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

While in town with the Tigers on June 13, the lefty was witness to an 8-4 win over the Cubs by his teammates. Things had come a tad easier for Crosby in his second week of major league life, even while simply observing.

“It’s good to be back here, even if I’m not pitching,” Crosby said. “They needed to get the other guys like Justin Verlander their regular rest.”

A bevy of resources available at the top level make a difference, as well.

“It hasn’t changed much since I’ve been up here. There’s still a routine. You get a look at the lineup, and there’s a lot better video and better technology,” Crosby said.

Crosby tried to adjust and build from start to start in his June tenure in the bigs.

“I threw a lot of mistake pitches. I just have to limit damage every time out and maintain consistency when I’m out there,” Crosby said.

Veteran catcher Gerald Laird has handled his share of pitchers in Crosby’s spot, who see their first season shuffling back and forth between levels.

“You just have to be ready and offer what you know and help them prepare,” Laird said.

Laird is on his second tour of duty with the Tigers, after catching for the world champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, and knows a pitcher with tools when he sees one.

“Casey has a fastball that he’s not afraid to throw. All he needs to do is execute; it doesn’t matter who’s hitting,” Laird said.

Toledo hosts Lehigh Valley on Thursday, June 21.

Harter site of football basics, basic fun

in Football by

The five-day Kaneland Youth Football League Skillz and Drillz camp concluded on Friday, with 138 kids participating. Members of the Northern Illinois University Huskies conducted drills on the final day. (Right) RB Akeem Daniels moves around a swarm. (Below) LB and Marmion alum Bobby Winkel answers questions. Photos by Mike Slodki

Youngsters get boost on gridiron from NIU on camp’s final day
by Mike Slodki
SUGAR GROVE—Steamy temperatures on the grounds of Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove made for ideal football conditions.

Just ask the 138 kids participating in the Kaneland Youth Football League (KYFL), as well as the current version of the Northern Illinois University Huskies football squad.

The five-day camp came to an end on Friday with Huskies and possible future Knights scrimmaging against each other, after going over fundamentals throughout the week.

Kaneland Youth Football League camp organizer Tim Betustak was pleased with how the events unfolded and the enthusiasm put into it, with help from Kaneland-area, Marmion and NIU personnel.

“It’s a good mix of guys helping out, and was really a wonderful time,” Betustak said. “It was a great turnout, and the kids did well. They learned fundamentals and had fun.”

The final day of the Skillz and Drillz camp featured 20 Huskies relaying what they knew to the younger set, ages 7 to 11.

“This was fun today,” NIU quarterback and Mt. Carmel grad Jordan Walsh said. “We wanted the kids to have fun and give them a little coaching. You can never know too much about football.”

Betustak, who also took questions from the campers on the final day with players like Northern Illinois’ Bobby Winkel, felt the volunteer time and pedigree made for a successful camp.

“The thing that helped this week was guys going into every level of football. It was a good mix, and the kids can see what these guys experience now,” Betustak said.

It’s experience with the 2012 camp that could pave the way for Betustak, along with Jason Born, Gary Bell, Matt Hahn, Jeremy Cannavan, Ron Hain and countless others from the KYFL body to host a 2013 camp.

Also helping out was a talent who is no stranger to Kaneland-area football: Jody Henningson, who took snaps as the starting quarterback in 2007 and returns to Bemidji State University in Minnesota as a wideout in 2012.

“This is my first time with the kids, and they were a little starstruck today at first, but they had a lot of fun. We were teaching them fundamentals, and this is a great age to learn the basics.”

Kaneland Youth Football League can be reached at KYFL.com.

Gold dreams

in Special Olympics by


Fox Valley Special Recreation Association athletes, shown here at a recent qualifying event, participated 32 strong at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games on June 15-17 at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. Athletes from the area were Janna Blowers of Elburn, and Dustin Dickens, Dan James and Kasia Kreitz, all of Sugar Grove. Courtesy Photo

Waubonsee diamond crews given honors

in Waubonsee Sports by

SUGAR GROVE—The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA Region IV Softball and Baseball Committees both recently recognized Waubonsee Community College players for their outstanding play this past spring. Six members of the Lady Chiefs’ program were honored by the ISCC after Waubonsee captured the league title for the second straight year. Five Chiefs baseball players were also acknowledged for their performance on the field this season.

Brooke Nelson was selected to the All-Region First Team and tabbed as the ISCC’s Player of the Year after helping lead the Lady Chiefs to a 13-1 record in conference action. Alyssa Reimers, Devin Turner, Megan Kuhn and Brittany Davis were all named ISCC First Teamers, while head coach Perry Clark was chosen as the ISCC’s Softball Coach of the Year. Baseball players Chris Anderson, Kyle Limanowski, Harry Vickers and Julian Pena were each named to the All-ISCC Second Team, while Jake Jouris joined Limanowski and Vickers on the All-Region Second Team.

Nelson, a freshman from Batavia High School, batted .446 with 47 runs batted in and 66 hits. A right-handed pitcher, Nelson also won 15 games while compiling a 1.82 earned-run-average over 173 innings pitched.

Reimers batted .322, smacking 64 hits, scoring a team-leading 53 runs and had an on-base percentage of .402 for the season. A freshman from Aurora West High School, Reimers additionally won 12 games and posted a 3.12 era in the circle.

Turner, a freshman from Yorkville High School, finished with a .321 batting average, a team-leading 67 hits, a team-high 48 runs batted in, and 52 runs scored.

Another freshman from Yorkville, Kuhn also batted .321 on the season, ripping a team-leading 12 doubles. Davis, a sophomore from Kaneland, batted .268 with 29 runs scored and a .324 on-base percentage while anchoring Waubonsee’s outfield defensively.

Clark guided Waubonsee to the ISCC title for the second consecutive year, compiling a 24-2 mark in conference during that time.

Anderson, a left-handed freshman pitcher from Waubonsie Valley High School, posted a 2.66 era in ISCC play. Limanowski, another freshman from Waubonsie Valley High School, batted .320 in conference action. Overall on the season the Chiefs’ right fielder batted .333.

Vickers, also a freshman from Waubonsie Valley High School, finished with a .310 batting average in ISCC games. On the season, Vickers had a .424 on-base percentage, a team-leading 18 stolen bases, a team-high 49 hits and 39 runs scored. Pena, a freshman from Aurora West High School, hit .290 in league action.

Jouris, a freshman from DeKalb High School, batted .288 on the season with a team-leading 27 runs batted in, 10 doubles and 15 stolen bases.

Lekkas among elite chosen for hockey camp

in Elburn/Miscellaneous by

ELBURN—Junior Stefanos Lekkas of Elburn is set to attend the USA Hockey National Player Development Camp held from July 7-13, at the Sports Centre in Rochester, N.Y.

Lekkas, a goaltender, is slated for the Youth Select 16 grouping. He was selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League in their futures draft in May.

KYSO registration online

in Community Sports by

KANELAND—Soccer enthusiasts between the ages of 4 and 17 years old can now register online to play in the KYSO fall season, which will run from Aug. 18 through Oct. 20. The registration deadline is Saturday, June 30. The fee, which includes a jersey, shorts and socks, is $85 for the first player and $60 for any additional players from the same family. Register now at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

KYSO is an open-registration organization that serves soccer players all across Northern Illinois. All KYSO practices and games are held at the fields located just to the east of Kaneland High School (47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park).

Consider coaching your child’s team. Support and training will be provided. Open registration can also accommodate special needs players between the ages of 5 and 16 years old, who play with Buddy assistance —the fee is $25. More information can be found on www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com regarding the Kaneland United Soccer Club, as well.

Pitcher Park honored in Ohio

in Baseball by

LIMA, Oh.—After winning 31 games and advancing to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament, the University of Northwestern Ohio baseball team was honored by the WHAC with three players on the first team All-Conference list and six more on the honorable mention roll.

Pitchers Austin Park, a 2008 graduate of Kaneland High School, and outfielder Ben Smith were named to the first team. Pitchers Juan Espinosa and Pichi Torres, infielders Dylan Brammer and Ben Schubert, catcher Cory Cook, and designated hitter Kevin Cyrus appear on the honorable mention list.

Park was 5-0 with a team-leading 19 appearances, with a 0.96 ERA and 29 strikeouts, while being named to the All-Academic team.

Former Knight Crosby now in MLB win club

in Baseball/Featured/Sports by

Photo: Casey Crosby went 5.1 innings for his first-ever win as a member of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff.
Originally scheduled to start against the Cubs on Wednesday, he is slated to pitch on Friday, June 15, against
Colorado. Mark Cunningham/Detroit Tigers

KHS grad holds
Indians at bay, Tigers player development impressed

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After his Major League Baseball debut on June 1, Casey Crosby knew he had to push on after a less-than-desirable result.

“You don’t dwell on it and you move on, and the experience is for the better,” Crosby said on June 5.

The member of Kaneland High School’s class of 2007 came back against the American League Central Division rival Cleveland Indians, and earned his first win (1-1) after leading the effort in a 7-5 result.

The lefty went 5.1 innings, two full innings more than his losing effort against the visiting New York Yankees.

Crosby allowed three earned runs on five hits, while striking out two batters and walking three. He threw 91 pitches, 54 for strikes.

Four pitchers followed the former Knight two-sport standout, with Tigers closer Jose Valverde tossing a perfect ninth.

For a highly-touted draft pick like Crosby, selected in the fifth round five years ago, it’s rewarding for the personnel keeping tabs on promise.

“He was a young kid making his first start and facing New York and obviously he didn’t have the start he wanted, but he adjusted well and did things differently in his next start,” Dave Owen, Tigers director of Player Development, said.

Owen, fresh from a trip to Detroit to prepare for the MLB Draft earlier this month, was able to see Crosby in his major league infancy.

“Obviously he’s a great competitor and had success and injuries,” Owen said. “He’s a terrific athlete and ready to emerge and help the club, and we hope he has a long career ahead of him.”

Crosby was the sixth player from the Tigers’ 2007 draft taken. The odds are immense to make it, but Crosby and teammate Rick Porcello are products of the designed strategy.

“You root for everyone to make it and want to see everyone succeed, top to bottom, no matter what round they are taken,” Owen said. “Each call-up is unique and there’s joy when they come up because you get to know them and build relationships with them.”

Owen, who also swung a bat for the 1984 National League East champ Chicago Cubs, believes Crosby has tools in his favor that stand to be heightened.

“He has a plus fastball, and a great changeup. He’s a three-pitch guy and he’s going to gain experience along the way,” Owen said.

Crosby dips into interleague play on Friday, June 15, against Colorado.

Spring kind to Kaneland athletics in awards season

in Baseball/Boys Track/Girls Soccer/Girls Track/Softball by

Photo: Delani Vest capped a stellar senior season for Lady Knights softball by nabbing the NIB-12 MVP honor. File photo

KANELAND—A highly successful 2011-12 spring season was recognized with team awards dished out earlier this week, as well as honors from the end-of-year senior athletic banquet.

Awards were released on June 3.

Leading the charge was sectional semifinalist softball, which boasted the Northern Illinois Big XII MVP in pitcher Delani Vest. Joining the senior on the all-conference list was Paige Kuefler, Hayley Contorno, Allyson O’Herron and McKinzie Mangers, with teammate Lexi Roach an honorable mention.

Vest, Mangers, O’Herron and Sam Hansen were recognized as captains. O’Herron was named defensive player of the year, while Roach was named most improved player. Kuefler and Lanie Callaghan were named co-offensive players of the year, while Contorno and Kristen Gabrielson took home the Lady Knight award.

The senior athletic banquet awards recognized University of Wisconsin-Whitewater bound Sean Carter as Male Athlete of the Year, Kelly Evers as Female Athlete of the Year, Clayton Brundige as the Male Birkette award winner for dedication, and both Evers and Katy Dudzinski as the Female Birkette award for dedication recipient.

For boys track, Carter was named the Track MVP, while Nate Dyer took home the Field MVP honors. Brundige and Brandon Stahl were co-winners of the Drendel Award. Brundige, Carter, Miki Marin, Stahl, Nate Rehkopf, Kelvin Peterson and Mitch Dienst were recognized as captains. Dylan Nauert was named the winner of the Ron Probst award.

Finally, Kaneland’s boys track group of Luis Acosta, Brandon Bishop, Kyle Carter, Sean Carter, Dyer, Shane Jorgensen, Nate Kucera, Nauert, Tanner Andrews, Brandon Cottier, Marshall Farthing, Kory Harner, Conor Johnson, Dylan Pennington, Brundige and Marin were recognized as All NIB-12.

Meanwhile, the 11 State qualifiers were also lauded for their trip to Eastern Illinois University.

For Knights baseball, Tom Fox, Drew Peters, John Hopkins, Trevor Storck, Jake Razo and Tyler Heinle were named to the All NIB-12 team, with Bryan VanBogaert an honorable mention.

VanBogaert, Storck and Ray Barry took home the most improved player nods, and Trever Heinle was the recipient of the 41 Award in memory of Jeff Malewig. Fox was named the offensive MVP and Tyler Heinle was named defensive MVP, with Razo nabbed Mr. Kaneland Baseball for 2012.

The girls track season yielded quite the prestigious awards, with Amanda Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Maggie Brundige, Sydney Strang, Jen Howland, Lauren Zick and Kaltrina Ismaili being recognized as state qualifiers.

Christina Delach, Nicole Ketza, Elle Tattoni, Lesak, Gabby Aguirre, Strang, Zick, Ismaili and Howland also secured Northern Illinois Big XII honors.

Carolina Tovar and Ketza were recognized for their work as captains. Lesak took home the team’s most improved trophy.

The Track MVP honor was given to Strang, while the Field MVP honor went to Tattoni.

Kaneland soccer congratulated Jess Coia, Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek and Katie Taylor for making All NIB-12, while Brittany Olson made the honorable mention list.

Melissa Bohorquez, Ginther, Taylor and Taylor White were recognized as captains, while Brooke Harner was named Most Improved Player for the Lady Knights.

Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko capped impressive campaigns by garnering Rookie of the Year honors.

Taylor Opperman, Heather Ortiz and Stryczek were named winners of the Coach’s Award.

Michelle Ortiz and Olson were named winners of the Lady Knights Award, while the co-MVPs were revealed as Taylor and Ginther.

MWL Stars colliding in KC

in Kane County Cougars by

GENEVA—The Kane County Cougars are making final preparations for next week’s Midwest League All-Star Game, to be held on Tuesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The mid-season classic will feature some of the best talent in Minor League Baseball with 68 Midwest League players who were selected All-Stars last week.

Fans attending the Midwest League All-Star Game next Tuesday will be treated to numerous events and promotions throughout the day, beginning with a Fan Fest that kicks off at 11:30 a.m. The event will feature a variety of fun including music, food and drink, and opportunities to take batting practice and play catch on the field from noon to 2 p.m. A rock-climbing wall, trackless train and plenty of kid-friendly attractions such as face painters, jugglers, magicians and balloon artists will all be part of the Fan Fest, too, provided by ChicagoFun.com and A Moon Jump 4-U. The first 1,500 fans through the gates that day will receive a commemorative All-Star Game aluminum sports bottle.

The evening’s game will be preceded by an extended-length autograph session from 5:10 to 5:40 p.m. and will feature both All-Star rosters. Entertainment that will be featured during next Tuesday’s All-Star Game includes in-game performances by the Zooperstars, live organ music during the game by famed Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, music by the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band, a post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers, and a booming fireworks show to follow. The Cougars will also welcome iconic Chicago performer Wayne Messmer, who will perform the National Anthem before the game. A long-standing Cougars tradition, fans may run the bases after the game.

A total of tree Cougars players will participate in the game. Outfielders Jorge Bonifacio and Lane Adams will form two-thirds of the starting outfield for the Western Division All-Stars. Cougars pitcher Matt Ridings is part of the 34-man Western Division squad as well, which will be managed by Cougars skipper Brian Buchanan.

Other Midwest League All-Stars who are part of the game include Francisco Lindor of Lake County (Cleveland Indians), ranked as the 29th best prospect in Minor League Baseball, and Beloit’s Miguel Sano (Minnesota Twins). Sano is one of the top sluggers in the Twins’ farm system, and is on pace for more than 90 RBI this season.

Tickets for the Midwest League All-Star Game includes admission to that day’s Fan Fest. A limited quantity of tickets remain for the Midwest League All-Star Game; fans can call (630) 232-8811 or visit kccougars.com to secure their seats.

Former Midwest League All-Stars include Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Greg Maddux, among many other former and current big league stars. The last time the Cougars hosted the game in 2007, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and reigning National League Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw was on the All-Star roster.

Closest to the Pin

in Boys Basketball/Wrestling by


KHS wrestling coach Monty Jahns tees off during the Kaneland Boys Basketball Program 3rd Annual Golf Outing, which was held on Saturday at Bliss Creek Golf Club in Sugar Grove. The golf outing has been developed to bring together the Kaneland community, athletes, parents, alumni and community businesses. The fundraiser raised money for uniforms, equipment and fees for summer leagues and shootouts. Photo by Patti Wilk

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