Wasco Nursery April 2015-16
 

Elburn Herald | Sugar Grove Herald

 
KC Flea Market 468 – indf
Category archive

Sports - page 56

KHS softball (14-4) swinging a hot bat

in Softball by

KANELAND—After KHS coach Brian Willis wished for the hitting to catch up to the above-average pitching and defense, the Lady Knights softball contingent spent this past week granting that wish in earnest.

With an April 4 win over Hoffman Estates, a successful road jaunt to DeKalb on Thursday, a convincing victory at West Aurora on Monday and a slim win in Sycamore on Tuesday, Kaneland now sits at 14-4 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII), having won 13 of its last 14 contests.

Hosting the Mid-Suburban League’s Lady Hawks, Kaneland used four runs in the first, three in the third and five in the fourth for a 12-0, five-inning win.

Ellissa Eckert went the distance and scattered just two hits. Sarah Kitz homered, while Allyson O’Herron went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

In DeKalb, Kaneland soared behind the strength of a four-run first and a three-run third for a 9-3 win. Delani Vest’s mound victory included giving up three runs on five hits, but also included a productive afternoon at the plate with an RBI double.

Kaneland enjoyed a combined pitching effort from Alexis Villarreal and Eckert in a 10-3 win against W. Aurora, plus a 3-for-3 day from O’Herron and a 4-for-4 day from Paige Kuefler (4-for-4, six RBI).

In a slim 2-0 win in Spartan-land on Tuesday, Kaneland’s single-run effort in the second and fifth was enough, with Lanie Callaghan scoring a run and Vest striking out eight in the win.

The Lady Knights take on the host Rochelle Lady Hubs on Thursday, April 12, and host Maine West on Saturday, April 14.

Soccer overcomes struggles to find net at W. Aurora

in Girls Soccer by

AURORA—Kaneland soccer will have at least one win under its belt from its usual April stop.

A second-half flurry on Tuesday against Elgin’s Westminster Christian paved the way for a 6-0 win.

In the opening match of the annual Blackhawk Tournament at West Aurora High School, the Lady Knights’ allowance of a first half goal on Thursday led to a 1-0 loss.

Against Westminster Christian, the Lady Knights got on the board, thanks to a Katie Taylor goal after an assist from Courtney Diddell roughly 20 minutes into the action.

The offensive fireworks took place in the second half with Taylor completing her hat trick early. A corner kick by the captain made it 2-0, with another goal coming after an assist by Abby Bend with 20:22 left in the contest.

Just 21 seconds later, Bend scored after a Diddell assist.

The final two goals came from Madi Jurcenko off of a pass from Diddell five minutes later, and an unassisted goal from Aislinn Lodwig.

The 2-3 Lady Knights were slated to finish up at West Aurora against the East Aurora squad on Wednesday, before heading to Dixon to face the Duchesses on Saturday, April 14, at 11:30 a.m. for a Northern Illinois Big XII crossover battle.

Knights baseball brings firepower vs. Dukes, Hubs

in Baseball/Featured by

Photo: Kaneland’s Quinn Buschbacher makes contact for a hit during their home game against Hononegah on April 5. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Dixon’s baseball field is somewhat secluded, and surrounded by tall trees.

Not even that setting could protect them from Kaneland baseball’s offensive onslaught.

Saturday saw Kaneland travel to the former childhood home of President Ronald Reagan and contain the host Dukes by a final of 15-4 in a five-inning contest.

The Saturday win did wonders in getting the sour taste out of the Knights’ mouth after a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Rockton’s Hononegah High School on Thursday in Maple Park.

Kaneland also handed Rochelle two defeats: a 15-2, five-inning special on Monday and a 1-0 win in Ogle County on Tuesday.

Against Dixon, Kaneland (8-5, 2-0 NIB-12) was paced by two runs in the top of the first, then six in the second and a seven-spot in the third.

Trevor Storck balanced things on the mound with three strikeouts and seven hits scattered, while allowing three earned runs.

Tyler Heinle went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, and Clay Denlinger added a 2-for-4 day with an RBI.

Against the visiting Indians, the Knights could only manage a run in the first, with John Hopkins taking the loss on the mound, despite allowing no earned runs over 5.2 innings.

Ray Barry had a double and drew two walks for the Knights.

Against the Hubs on Monday, Kaneland’s nine-run first set the tone in windy conditions.

Drew Peters improved to 2-2 and fanned eight.

It was still a challenge for the southpaw to mow down the rival lineup, even with a convincing lead.

“The curveball worked surprisingly (well) in this wind,” Peters said “The fastball came in pretty hard and I was really pleased.”

KHS coach Brian Aversa thought Peters did his duty on the mound, pitching smart with the lead.

“You know, it’s not a close game anymore,” Aversa said. “We’ve got the lead, we can be more aggressive and go after guys. If they hit it, they hit it, and if not, we have to make plays behind him.”

On Tuesday, the lone run was executed by Tyler Heinle with a suicide squeeze in the top of the fifth.

Hopkins went the distance, allowing a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh for the lone blemish.

Kaneland battles Rochelle in a rematch of the 2012 Rochelle Sectional title game won by Kaneland last June, on Thursday, April 12.

Boys track feels outdoorsy at E. Moline

in Boys Track/Featured by

Photo: Alex Snyder throws the discus a huge 112 feet, 11 inches during Kaneland’s home meet against Sycamore on April 10. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights also earn dual win vs. Spartans
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How do you deal with boys track giants from the Quad Cities area along with other very talented outfits?

You show your talent is as big and capable as theirs.

Kaneland boys track put up third-place numbers at the annual East Moline United Kiwanis Invitational at the Soule Bowl in East Moline, Ill., on Saturday with 233.5 points.

Rock Island won the meet crown with 260 points, while the hosts put up 250 points of their own.

Pleasant Valley of Iowa was in fourth with 196 points, and Galesburg was fifth at 195.

Two fellow Northern Illinois Big XII schools competed on Saturday, with Sterling finishing seventh in the 12-team meet (152 points), and Geneseo scoring 141.5 points for eighth.

With the events placed in A, B and C flights, Kaneland found plenty of competitors of their own with top finishes.

Knights standout Kyle Carter was the premiere runner in the 800 meter run “A”, thanks to a two minute, 2.96 effort, .72 seconds better than Beau Salsman of Galesburg.

Teammate Dylan Nauert’s third place in the 300m hurdles “A’ group fit well in the team’s success, thanks to a 41.40-second finish.

Nauert was at it again as part of the 4x100m relay team along with Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier and Sean Carter, as the foursome finished second with a time of 43.84.

In the 4x400m relay “A” flight, Bishop, Nathan Kucera, Kyle Carter and Nauert finished second with a 3:30.48 effort.

Kaneland also found encouraging developments in the field events, with JR Vest taking third in the pole vault with a height of 12 feet even.

Nate Dyer continued his positive trajectory from last year by throwing 45-10 in the shot put. Dyer also took second in the discus throw for coach Eric Baron’s crew, heaving a 144-10 disc.

Bishop found himself in the thick of things again by finishing third in the 100m dash “B” with a time of 11.9.

Kaneland’s Miki Marin emerged first in the 800m run “B” thanks to a 2:05.11, 1.25 seconds faster than Pleasant Valley’s Joe Schuler.

Eric Dillion finished third in the high jump “B” action with a leap of 5-10.

The Knights’ 4x400m relay group finished second in the “B” category with a time of 3:45.01.

In the pole vault “B” event, Knight Dylan Kuipers finished second with a height of 11 feet.

Sean Carter finished a scant .17 seconds behind Rock Island’s Brandon Richardson at 11.82.

Kucera took first in the 400m dash “C” with a time of 52.46, while teammate Clayton Brundige was king of the 800m run “C’ at 2:07.97.

KHS representative Brock Robertson finished second with a time of 43.74 seconds in the 300m hurdles “C”.

Another pole vaulter doing well for KHS was Dan Evers, who finished first in the “C” group with a vault of 10-06.

Kaneland’s Ben Barnes held his own in the “C” long jump grouping by finishing second with a distance of 18-09.5.

In a Tuesday meet against Sycamore, Kaneland won 96-50, thanks to first places from personnel like Nauert in the 300m hurdles (41.3) and Dyer in the shot put (45-11) and discus (140-05).

Conor Johnson also nabbed first in the 3200m run at 10:04.6. Dylan Pennington took first in the 200m dash with an effort of 24.9.

Vest excelled in the pole vault with an 11-foot launch.

Saturday, April 14, brings the latest test for boys track in the form of the Ottawa Invitational.

Chief men’s hoops take Region IV honors

in Waubonsee Sports by

WAUBONSEE—Waubonsee Community College had four men’s basketball players recognized for their outstanding play this past season by the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA’s Region IV Committee.

Deontray Dorsey and Melvin Rowe were both named to the All-ISCC First Team, while teammates Jarvis Griffin and Marcus Franklin were selected to the All-ISCC Second Team. Dorsey was also tabbed All-Region IV First Team, while Rowe and Griffin were chosen to the All-Region IV Second Team.

Dorsey, a freshman from Peoria Central High School, averaged 15.9 points and 3.3 assists in ISCC action while leading the Chiefs to a share of the conference title. The 5’9” guard shot 83 percent (63 of 76) from the foul line, 50 percent (57 of 114) from the field and made 30 steals in 14 league contests. Overall on the season, Dorsey led Waubonsee in scoring average (15.3), total points (489), free throws made (125), steals (58) and three-point baskets (44).

Rowe, a sophomore from Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill., averaged 11.2 points and seven rebounds per conference game. Griffin, a sophomore from Glenbard East High School, averaged 12.2 points-per-game in ISCC play, shooting 54 percent from the field and blocking 10 shots. On the season, the 6’5” forward averaged 14 points a game, netting the second most points (433) on the team.

Franklin, a freshman from Thornton High School in Harvey, Ill., averaged 9.7 points-per-game in conference action. The 6’3” guard dished out 2.5 assists per game and made 27 steals during the Chiefs’ 14 league contests. The Chiefs finished tied for the ISCC’s top spot with a 12-2 conference record, sharing the title with Moraine Valley Community College.

Lady Chiefs nab postseason Skyway hardware

in Waubonsee Sports by

WAUBONSEE—Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball players Colleen Purcell, Karla Vietinghoff and Maxzine Rossler were all recently recognized by the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC).

Purcell and Vietinghoff were both named to the All-ISCC First Team, while the Rossler was tabbed All-ISCC Second Team.

Purcell, a sophomore from Oswego High School, averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in ISCC play. The 6’1” center also made 53 percent of her shots from the field, handed out 39 assists and blocked 17 shots in conference action. On the season, Purcell averaged 11.8 points-per-game, booking a team-high 368 points.

Vietinghoff, a freshman from Hampshire High School, averaged 13.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in league action. The 5’8” forward shot 88 percent (23 of 26) from the foul line and 42 percent (23 of 53) from three-point range during ISCC games. Overall on the season, Vietinghoff averaged 10.9 points, scoring 340 points total.
After helping lead the Lady Chiefs’ soccer team to the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time ever, and becoming Waubonsee’s first two-time NJCAA All-American in soccer, Rossler did not even take a day off before stepping onto the basketball court. The Hinckley-Big Rock High School graduate went on to average 13.3 points and 4.3 assists, while grabbing 69 rebounds and recording 39 steals in the Lady Chiefs’ 14 ISCC games.

Lady Knights track takes 2nd in Oregon meet

in Girls Track by

OREGON, Ill.—KHS opened its outdoor campaign with an 83-point showing in a meet hosted by Oregon High School on Tuesday afternoon.

Burlington Central took the four-team clash with 96 points, while the hosts had 81 points, and Lena-Winslow High School brought up the rear with 12.

Productivity was highlighted with a slew of first-place efforts in the form of personnel like the 3200 meter relay team of Amanda Lesak, Abby Dodis, Sydney Strang and Jessica Kucera, who ran in 10 minutes, 27.89 seconds. Their teammates of Ashley Castellanos, Katrina Ismaila, Madison Keith and Lauren Zick won the 400m relay at 51.78 seconds. Sydney Luse won the 100m hurdles crowd over with an 18.04-second effort.

Nicole Ketza won the discus with a launch of 97 feet, six inches, and Zick won the long jump at 16-09.75. In other field events, Elle Tattoni took first in the shot put with 33-05.5, and Castellanos won the triple jump (33-01).

Third annual golf outing a charm for Knight boys hoops

in Boys Basketball/Sugar Grove by

KANELAND—Foursomes and sponsorships are going fast, but there is still time to join the Kaneland boys basketball program in a day of fun at the third annual golf outing on Saturday, June 9, held at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove.

The golf outing has been developed to bring together the Kaneland community, athletes, parents, alumni and community businesses.

This fundraiser will raise money for uniforms, equipment and fees for summer leagues and shootouts. Thanks to the support of local businesses and donations, a variety of prizes will be available in the raffle. There will also be a silent auction with exciting prizes. The golf outing will be a scramble and costs $400 for a foursome, or $35 if you’d just like to attend the dinner.

If you are interested in playing the event, would like to be a sponsor, or make a donation, contact Brian Johnson at (630) 365-5100, ext. 347, or brian.johnson@ kaneland.org.

KHS softball on tear after Tenn. trip

in Featured/Softball by

Photo: Shortstop Allyson O’Herron catches up to the runner trying to score and saves a run in the fourth inning of Kaneland’s 1-0 home win over Sandwich on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna

Stellar pitching keys additional wins over Sandwich, Morris
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If you thought the method for getting a softball season out of an early funk was going to the state of Tennessee, then you’re stealing the Lady Knights softball team’s way of doing things.

With a number of handy victories that culminated in a 6-1 trip to the Volunteer State, coupled with a slim and tense victory over the visiting Sandwich Indians on Monday afternoon and a convincing decision over invading Morris on Tuesday, the Lady Knights find themselves at 10-4 (1-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) in 2012.

The fortunate return to the win column as of late reverses a trend that saw the varsity crew on the wrong end 21 of 28 times following last season’s early 8-1 start.

In a 14-0, six-inning win on March 28 on the grounds of Macon County High School, Kaneland saw a solid pitching day from Delani Vest, Alexis Villarreal and Ellissa Eckert. Lexi Roach (three runs), Paige Kuefler (five RBI) and Allie Miller (three runs) all went 3-for-5.

In the Cookeville, Tenn. tournament, Kaneland walloped Clay County in a 16-0 shortened affair. Vest and Villarreal surrendered just two hits total, while Roach had a 2-for-3 day at the plate with three runs scored. Vest also went 2-for-3 with three runs scored to help herself at the plate.

Lewis County then got the best of the Lady Knights in a 9-4 outing, helped by five runs in the first and second innings.

In another tournament battle, Kaneland defeated Fayatte with two runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 4-3 win. Vest earned the win with seven K’s and a two-for-three day at the plate.

Next, the Lady Knights used four runs in the second and six runs in the third to propel themselves to a 12-1 win. With Vest getting the win in the circle, Kuefler helped KHS with two home runs and six driven in. Miller went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI.

The two final games on Saturday both went Kaneland’s way against Franklin County of Tenn., a 10-0 shutout and a 12-2 win over Franklin Co. of Ky. Vest, besides earning the win in both games, also went 6-for-6 at the plate, while Kuefler drove in four RBI.

In the clutch, 1-0 win over Sandwich, the hits were hard to come by for both teams, but the defense and pitching came through.

In the top of the third, Sandwich was caught between third and home and foiled by Kuefler and Allyson O’Herron on the way to the plate. Meanwhile, Villarreal had a stellar day in the pitcher’s circle, fanning 13, including the final batter on a 3-2 pitch with the go-ahead run at first in the top of the seventh.

“Once people starting getting on base, I just had to buckle down,” Villarreal said. “I hoped the defense could pick it up a little bit and I could get my strikeout.”

Roach’s groundball and throw was mishandled in the infield, allowing Kuefler to come home with the lone run from third.

Coach Brian Willis was happy with the effort in the field on a day where the hits came at a premium.

“We’re going to have days like this, where the pitching and defense needs to pick you up. Alexis pitched well, and she kept us in the game the entire time,” Willis said.

In the 5-0 handling of the Lady Redskins, Kaneland scored two in the first, two in the third and one in the fifth.

Vest allowed just three hits and fanned seven. Lanie Callaghan made her way from the injury list with a 3-for-3 day with two doubles.

Ahead for the softball squad is a matchup in DeKalb on Thursday, April 5, followed by a battle at West Aurora High School on Monday, April 9, and a trip to Sycamore to face the squad that eliminated the Knights last year from playoff competition on Tuesday, April 10.

No decay in Decatur area for Knights baseball

in Baseball by

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Spring break stories for Kaneland baseball will feature impressive displays against teams from Decatur, Ill.

Going to the former stomping grounds of KHS coach Brian Aversa—Millikin University, the Knights beat Decatur’s Eisenhower High School on March 28, plus handed Decatur’s MacArthur High School a loss on Thursday.

Kaneland also took it to host Harlem in Machesney Park, Ill., by a final of 3-1 on Monday to raise its overall mark to 6-4 in 2012.

In the 15-2, five-inning win over Eisenhower, Drew Peters earned his first win of the year (1-1), and the Knights put up five runs in the first and five in the fifth to bookend the barrage.

Jake Razo went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI, while Zach Martinelli smacked a two-run triple.

Against Decatur’s MacArthur team, the Knights put up seven runs in the top of the first inning, needing all of those runs as the hosts crawled back enough to make it a closer 11-7 win for Kaneland.

Bryan VanBogeart, with three innings of relief, took the win with five strikeouts to its credit.
Peters went 1-for-2 at the plate for the victorious Knights.

It was not as kind a day for Peters on the mound on Friday against host Washington High School. The lefty went 4.2 innings and gave up four runs, but just two earned, in an 8-3 setback. The hurler did fan nine batters.

John Hopkins went 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, Washington came back with a four-spot in the fifth and sixth innings to cinch things.

Against the Harlem Huskies, Kaneland’s offensive attack involved a run in the second and two runs in the fourth to break a tie.

VanBogaert’s outing of just three hits allowed was enough to get the win on the mound, and Matt Limbrunner’s two-inning outing earned him the save.

Quinn Buschbacher went 2-for-2 with a double and two stolen bases.

KHS next battles Rockton’s Hononegah High School locally on Thursday, April 5.

Kaneland then heads to Dixon High School to face the Dukes in NIB-12 crossover action on Saturday, April 7, to the site of the 2011 sectional championship grab—Rochelle, on Monday, April 9, and back home to host the purple-clad Hubs on Tuesday, April 10.

In other levels of Kaneland Knights diamond action, the Knight sophomores fell to West Aurora on Monday by a final of 8-6.

Tom Van Bogaert went 1-for-1 with a walk. Tyler Carlson went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, and Nate Hopkins had a 2-for-3 day at the plate with a walk and a run scored. The sophomore Knights still search for their first win after three opening losses.

Two out of three ain’t bad

in Baseball/Featured by

Wins over BC, Marmion make diamond less rough
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—An season-opening loss wasn’t ideal, but soon after, Kaneland baseball acted and played like the champions they were against hosts Burlington Central and Marmion.

March 21 saw Plainfield North best the visitors by a final of 3-1, but the Knights put up huge numbers against the Rockets in a 12-6 win on Thursday. Saturday saw the Knights win over the host Cadets in Aurora by a final of 7-2.

Trevor Storck earned the win (1-0) against Marmion, going six innings and scattering just two runs on three hits.

Ray Barry went 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Quinn Buschbacher went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

KHS plated three runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth for the win.

Against the Rockets, John Hopkins earned his first win over the year with four K’s and four runs allowed. Matt Limbrunner pitched the final three innings in relief for the save.

Buschbacher had a double and HR with four RBI, while Tom Fox also went yard and had a double with three RBI.

Down 4-0, Buschbacher jacked a three-run bomb to leftfield to close within 4-3.

“It was a fastball down the middle,” Buschbacher said. “I needed to help my team and we needed the runs.”

Coach Brian Aversa was happy at the offensive output from needed cogs like Buschbacher.

“Quinn’s a big part of our lineup, and he hit the ball when we needed it,” Aversa said. “We’re going to rely on him this year.”

The top of the fourth had Kaneland on top to stay with four runs. Jake Razo’s RBI single was the go-ahead hit, while Buschbacher and Trever Heinle had an additional RBI. KHS scored one more in the fifth and four more in the sixth to accentuate the lead.

Against Plainfield North. Drew Peters suffered the loss on the hill, but KHS saw an RBI from Heinle. Plainfield North’s three-run output in the first would be all they needed.

Kaneland’s spring break was set to bring it to Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., to play Decatur Eisenhower on Thursday, May 29.

Softball beats Oswego, not fond of BC yardwork

in Featured/Softball by

Photo: The Kaneland varsity girls try to figure out a plan during their 10-5 home loss against Burlington Central on March 21. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, the Kaneland Lady Knights softball crew no longer has to worry about where its first win will come from.

Thanks to a solid performance against the visiting Oswego Lady Panthers, Kaneland picked up its first win of the season on Saturday by a final of 8-0.

It left a better taste than the 10-5 loss to the visiting Lady Rockets of Burlington Central on March 21.

Kaneland now sits at 1-3.

KHS got all the offense it needed in the first four innings against Oswego, scoring two in the first and second, one in the third and three in the bottom of the fourth.

Senior Delani Vest picked up the win in a complete-game effort, fanning six while allowing just two hits.

Shortstop Allyson O’Herron went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while teammate Sarah Kitz added a triple and an RBI.

The win beat the overall result of the clash with the Lady Rockets. Leads of 2-0 and 5-4 could not hold up to the four-homer barrage of BC.

Alexis Villarreal suffered the loss in relief, but KHS saw good box scores from Vest (2-for-4, triple) and catcher McKinzie Mangers (2-for-4).

Kaneland couldn’t withstand three homers from sophomore Brooke Gaylord, however.

Kaneland’s 2-0 lead was put on the board by an RBI grounder from Lexi Roach and a double by Mangers.

After BC tied the score in the top of the second, the Lady Rockets scored two more in the fourth for a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, three straight infield singles by Allie Miller, Vest and Roach loaded the bases, and O’Herron knocked home two with a game-tying single. Freshman Paige Kuefler’s RBI double gave Kaneland a 5-4 lead.

BC used defensive lapses from KHS and timely hitting from its own lineup to put up five runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to clinch the win.

All Kaneland coach Brian Willis wanted was for his lineup to move past the less-than-ideal ending.

“We’ve played 21 innings this year, and we’ve had one bad inning,” Willis said. “If you have that bad inning, this is what’s going to happen. (Gaylord) was in a zone today, give her credit.”

Additional softball action had KHS beating BC 5-0 behind Anissa Becker’s pitching effort.

Ahead for the Lady Knights lies a trip to the lower reaches of the state, as they take on Macon County High School on Friday, March 30, as part of their spring break excursion.

Wasco searching for umps

in Community Sports by

WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch is looking for 10U and 12U/14U umpires for the 2012 Spring/Summer season. For 10U games, applicants must be 14 years of age or older and complete umpire training in Lily Lake on Saturday, April 14. 12U and 14U should be patch umpires but will be considered applicants based on experience.

Visit wascofastpitch.com or leave a message at (630) 513-1200.

KHS soccer falls to Rosary Royals

in Girls Soccer by

AURORA—Kaneland Lady Knights soccer must be sick and tired of these Royal meetings.

Much like the ending to their regional bid in 2011 and 2010, the Lady Knights soccer crew fell short against the host Rosary Royals by a final of 2-0.

With the setback, the Lady Knights fall to 1-2 in the early goings of 2012.

The frosh/soph soccer matchup with Rosary went similarly, with the KHS lineup losing 2-1, despite an Aislinn Lodwig goal and Colleen Landers assist.

Kaneland looks to get back into the win column with its usual stop at the West Aurora Tournament which means on Thursday, April 5. The Lady Knights took the first-place hardware in 2010.

State department

in Baseball/Featured by

Photo: Jake Razo (center) was not afraid to dirty his uniform on the quest for a state title. File Photo

Defending 3A Champs look for precious medals once again
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—2011 was a summer to remember in the annals of the relatively short history of Kaneland High School baseball.

A 13-game winning streak to end the season included the first ever regional, sectional and super-sectional championships for the 26-10 Knights, and ended with dominant showings against Waterloo and Oak Forest in the Class 3A State finals in Joliet, Ill. resulting in State hardware.

For the first time ever, coach Brian Aversa and company go into a season calling themselves defending champs.

“We have to get back to doing the work that we did last year,” the sixth-year coach said. “Coming into this season, I think the guys understood that. We’re where last year isn’t an expectation, but it’s what could happen with hard work.”

Aversa, who has compiled a record of 109-61 as Knights skipper, knows he’s got roles to fill on the diamond after last year’s captain core finished out their senior campaigns a year ago.

“We were state champs last year, but we’re not this year. We can get there, but we have to take care of A, B, C, D and E,” Aversa said.

Kaneland hopes to continue the streak of a Northern Illinois Big XII rep making it to the State finals, as LaSalle-Peru made it in 2009, and DeKalb did the same in 2010.

“Our schedule prepares us very well; we have Plainfield North, Burlington Central and Marmion. I don’t know if you can get much tougher than that,” Aversa said.

Jake Razo, Tyler Heinle and left-hander Drew Peters shore up the Knights lineup and played important roles in the State run. Razo in the outfield, Heinle at the backstop and Drew Peters on the mound take the reigns as leaders.

“They’re leaders and will lead by example. That will filter down to the younger players and even the seniors,” Aversa said.

The pitching rotation comes with the State-championship winning hurler Peters, junior John Hopkins, righty seniors Trevor Storck and Bryan Van Bogaert. With the bullpen being a work in progress, the hope is someone emerging like last year’s late season closer Kyle Davidson.

The outfield loses some key personnel to graduation, but Aversa is eager to see what the new crew can do.

“We have great speed out there, we have guys like Razo, Ray Barry, Quinn Buschbacher, Kyle Pollastrini, Mike Tattoni. They are all speed guys,” Aversa.

With guys like Bobby Thorson, who made a case for “Mr. June”, and Sam Komel no longer patrolling the infield, Kaneland hopes it’s set for 2012.

Senior Tom Fox earns a regular starting gig at third base.

“Tom will be a big surprise, and he has a great baseball mind and played in the shadow of Bobby and Drew French and getting more confidence in his abilities,” Aversa said.

Trever Heinle takes over at shortstop, and junior Joe Pollastrini mans second. Jordan Jones and Peters will split time at first base.

Kaneland knows the NIB-12 setup makes the lineup battle-tested and could lead to potentially bigger things, hopefully on par with last year.

“DeKalb will be up there, and we can’t look past schools like Yorkville and Rochelle; they finished last but run a regional. We’re going to take it one series at a time,” Aversa said.

The Knights’ journey was set to begin on Wednesday at Plainfield North, and they head to Burlington Central on Thursday, March 22.

Lady Knights track to make most out of depth

in Featured/Girls Track by

Photo: Lauren Zick looks to make her sophomore season more amazing than her freshman campaign in the 400m run. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Numbers are down, and the roster no longer includes assets like Andie Strang, Kris Bowen and Brooke Patterson.

But third-year Lady Knights girls track head coach Doug Ecker is eager and optimistic about what returns.

“We lost good kids, but we picked up some,” Ecker said. “Our numbers are down overall. We have some crossover from a successful cross-country season. So far, so good. We have some kids hurt, but we’ll make the most out of our depth.”

A fifth-place finish at the Kane County Invite and four events with a State seal of approval meant a big finish to 2011.

Still around from the Charleston group are sophomore Sydney Strang, who was in the 4x800m relay, and sophomore Lauren Zick, who finished ninth in the 400m dash.

“Zick is a great athlete and can run anything from a 55 to an 800, with her best race probably the 400, and has improved in the long jump. Sydney did well in the distance events and is getting faster and stronger,” Ecker said.

The indoor track season provided a nice barometer, but slots still need to be figured out.

“It is different, with no discus and no low hurdles, but things still need to get hashed out,” Ecker said.

Going the distance for KHS this season will be personnel like Strang, who has had a nice start in the mile event, as will Amanda Lesak, in events like the 4x800m.

Lesak will also be counted on in the hurdle events, as well.

“She’s someone that we hope will do well in the hurdles and middle distance races,” Ecker said.

Nicole Ketza, Brittany Kemp and freshman Elle Tattoni are getting looks in the field events, with Ketza and Kemp having hours chalked up in the shot put and discus.

“Kemp is someone that did the shot for us as a freshman, and Marina Schaefer is someone we are looking at for big things in the discus once she bounced back from injuries,” Ecker said.

Sydney Luse returns for her junior year, having placed in the hurdles and pole vault.

“We have good kids in these events, but we’d like to shore up our depth because you have to score in a lot of events,” Ecker said.

For sprints, returnee Ashley Castellanos will see time after excelling in the triple jump last year.

“DeKalb and Sycamore have some of the fastest girls in the state, but Ashley is right up there, as well, and will help us,” Ecker said.

A place is being looked at for senior Kelly Evers, who is coming off of injuries the past track season after going to Charleston three years ago in the 4×800 relay.

Other veterans who carry over from last year’s track group and cross-country are juniors like Gabby Aguirre, Maggie Brundige and Abby Dodis.

“Maggie has been injured in the past, but I think she’s gotten past that now and she’s done well for us so far,” Ecker said. “Abby has already run 12-flat for the 2-mile. They would be stars in any other conference, but our conference is so top-heavy with distance runners, it’s unbelievable.”

Kaneland hopes for a strong body of work this season, and a productive homestretch.

“Conference is important. Geneseo, DeKalb are up there and Dixon is getting stronger, not to discount anyone else. We don’t quite have the depth they do, but we’ll be right there with them.

Kaneland softball looks toward captains to right ship

in Featured/Softball by

Photo: Samantha Hansen brings speed and bat prowess in her role as a captain for the Lady Knights softball squad in 2012. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—An 8-1 start a year ago turned into a 14-19 finish for a softball group hoping for bigger things.

With a solid group of captains ready to pick up where graduated seniors Rilee Vest and Andrea Potts left off, KHS softball looks to experience to have a more consistent season-long outing.

Third-year coach Brian Willis makes no bones about what the team needs to do in 2012.

“If we play well every day, we’ll be in there at the end,” Willis said.

Heading up the charge to make sure the Lady Knights play well every day are Willis’ captains.

Senior pitcher Delani Vest, who has the advantage of being on the Kaneland roster from the get-go this season, brings talent from inside the pitcher’s circle.

Other senior captains include infielder Samanatha Hansen and catcher McKinzie Mangers, and junior shortstop Allyson O’Herron.

“The people that left, we can’t replace them because they were such a valuable part of our team. We need to adjust to what we have,” Willis said.

With the four captains bringing experience to the forefront, the Lady Knights don’t look to see themselves playing catch-up.

“They are four girls that have been with me since I got here, and I expect their leadership on and off the field,” Willis said.

With the rotation set-up, first and foremost will be Vest.

“She’s very focused this year and close to the form she was back as a sophomore. As a captain and with her athletic ability, she’ll be ready to go,” Willis said.

Accompanying Vest in the rotation is returning pitcher and outfielder Alexis Villarreal, a senior.

“Alexis got a lot of valuable innings last year, she worked hard in the offseason and threw an awesome game on Friday night,” Willis said.

McKinzie Mangers returns to complete the battery in her final KHS season.

Freshman Paige Kuefler mans third base, and is off to a prolific start behind the plate.

O’Herron returns at shortstop and brings consistency on the offensive and defensive end.

At second, Hansen and sophomore Allie Miller are giving coaches a tough decision.

Rosary transfer Hayley Contorno takes over at first as a sophomore, coming off good numbers in Aurora at first and hurler a year ago.

“She’s established herself not only as a solid ballplayer but a solid person,” Willis said.

In the outfield, Kaneland expects to see sophomore slugger Lanie Callaghan return to full strength next month, along with juniors Danielle McCormack, Kristen Gabrielson, Sarah Grams and Taylor Krawczyk, Morgan Newhouse and Lexi Roach looking for innings.

“We have a nice mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores. They want to keep our program strong and don’t want to go out on a negative note,” Willis said.

Colombe honored as 3A/4A coach of the Year

in Girls Basketball/Kaneland by

KANELAND—The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) selected Ernie Colombe as the District 5 Girls Basketball 3A/4A Coach of the Year. The IBCA honors the Coach of the Year at the IBCA Hall of Fame Banquet in April.

Colombe took over as coach of the Lady Knights in the 2006-07 season and took Kaneland to its first regional championship and sectional final berth in 2012.

Softball drops 2 initial contests of ‘12

in Softball by

KANELAND—It was unfortunate that the end result of Kaneland Lady Knights softball failed to match the ideal weather of the past week.

Despite hanging tough with both Marengo and Jacobs high schools, the Lady Knights began 2012 with two losses.

In the season opener against the host Lady Indians off of Route 20, KHS fell 5-3, despite pounding out 10 hits.

Captain Delani Vest suffered the loss in the pitcher’s circle.

Encouraging developments included varsity newcomer Paige Kuefler going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while Lexi Roach went 2-for-4.

The Lady Knights took a 1-0 lead before Marengo tied it in the bottom of the second. Kaneland went up 2-1 before Marengo put up two each in the bottom of the fifth, as well as the sixth.

Against Jacobs of Algonquin, Ill., Alexis Villarreal went 6.2 innings and gave up two runs on eight hits before surrendering the differential run in the top of the seventh in a 2-1 setback.

Kuefler went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and run scored.

Softball was set to face off with visiting Burlington Central on Wednesday, and looks for a weekend win against Oswego in Maple Park on Saturday, March 24.

1 54 55 56 57 58 112
Go to Top