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Sports - page 9

Hard work pays off

in Wrestling by
Individual champions Junior George Strang (from left), sophomore Riley Vanik, head coach Joe Orosco, senior Tom Price-Vanik and sophomore Colin Gussman pose with the first-place plaque from Saturday’s Margaret Flott Invitational, which Kaneland won as a team.   Photo by Stephanie Vanik
Individual champions Junior George Strang (from left), sophomore Riley Vanik, head coach Joe Orosco, senior Tom Price-Vanik and sophomore Colin Gussman pose with the first-place plaque from Saturday’s Margaret Flott Invitational, which Kaneland won as a team.
Photo by Stephanie Vanik

Wrestlers take Flott Invitational championship
KANELAND—Joe Orosco earned his first tournament win as Kaneland High School wrestling head coach Saturday behind four first-place finishes, and seven more wrestlers in the top five, at Kaneland’s Margaret Flott Invitational.

“It’s good to win our own tournament,” Orosco said after the Knights clinched the victory. “I knew coming in with these tougher teams—Naperville North, Machesney Park (Harlem)—they are tough teams, (and) I was thinking we’d wrestle tough, but I didn’t expect to win it.”

Orosco’s crew finished with 196 points, 19.5 ahead of runner-up Naperville North’s 176.5 and Harlem’s 172. Plainfield North (152), Niles North (142), Johnsburg (114), Rochelle (54) and Elgin (41) rounded out the field. The Knights had won four straight Flott Invitationals from 2010-13, and placed second in 2014.

“They did very, very well,” Orosco said of his wrestlers.

Four Knights earned tournament wins on their home mat Saturday: George Strang (junior, 145 pounds), Colin Gussman (sophomore ,170), and brothers Riley Vanik (sophomore, 160) and Tom Price-Vanik (senior, 195).

Strang’s road to the 145-pound championship saw the junior get a first-round bye before edging out Joe Broton of Niles North 5-4 in the semifinal. In the championship, Strang burst out to a 6-2 lead after the first period. After an uneventful second, a Broton escape in the third brought the score to 6-3 before Strang was able to put him away for an 8-4 final. It was Strang’s first tournament win.

“It’s great to have (my first tournament win) at home, because everyone you love is watching you,” Strang said. “Winning the tournament just means we’ve seen improvements, but there’s always things I can work on.”

Gussman pinned Javier Aguirre of Rochelle in his quest for glory at 170 pounds, before earning an 18-13 major decision win over Harlem’s Dalton Hambrock in the semifinal. In the championship, it was all Gussman, earning a 5-0 decision over Calvin Rosenburgh of Niles North.

“I finally feel like I’ve earned it,” Gussman said. “I’ve put all this hard work in, just trying to do my best every day in practice. And I’m hoping this is what I get out of it the rest of the year.”

At 160 pounds, Vanik earned an opening-round 10-3 major decision win over Johnsburg’s Riley Buchanan, and a 10-2 major decision over Rochelle’s Alex Eckhardt in the semifinal. In the championship match, Vanik was up 4-1 after the first period, and pushed his lead to 6-1 before pinning Naperville North’s Steve Schmult in 2:29.

“I’m so happy, because I lost last year (at the Flott Tournament),” Vanik said. “The team works so hard to get everyone better, and knowing I could win at home makes me feel I’m in a much better position than anything else.”

Not to be outdone by his younger sibling, Tom Price-Vanik steamrolled his way to the Flott championship at 195 pounds, earning three pins in as many matches. Price-Vanik wrestled a total of 1 minute, 39 seconds en route to the victory. He opened his day with a :24 pin over Anthony Moore of Johnsburg, and kept his effort short against Tommy Higgins of Naperville North, pinning the Huskie in :49. In the championship, the Knight senior pinned Cameron Cichowicz in :26 to earn the tourney win.

“I’m pretty excited for winning,” Price-Vanik said. “A lot of hard work went into it with the team. We’ve practiced really hard this week.”

Earning runner-up finishes for the Knights were Matthew Redman (126 pounds) and Austin Parks (182), while Mitchell Jones (138) and Zach Thielk (285) earned third place at the tournament.

Also placing were Adam Mish (4th, 120), Zac Parker (4th, 182), Austin Kedzie (5th, 106), Luke Eggenberger (5th, 132) and Hayden Patterson (6th, 152).

With just three seniors and two juniors, Saturday’s win demonstrated the promise the young, talented Knights have going forward.

“I’m really proud of my team. I’m really glad that we’ve been working so hard to get all the accomplishments we have this year,” Price-Vanik said. “Practice has been a lot more intense this time of year—a lot more sprints, a lot more hard wrestling. Really, we have just all turned up the intensity, and it’s working out very well.”

Orosco noted that the team has been working hard at practice.

“We just keep pushing,” Orosco said. “We’ll see some issues during a dual meet and we’ll go back and spend the next practice working on those little minor issues,” Orosco said. “Because it’s those little minor things—like head down, being on your knees—that really set the tone in a match and keep you from scoring and keep you from winning. We’ll spend a lot of time on just the basics.”

The concept of minor things making a big impact is also something Orosco’s wrestlers have bought in to.

“I want to improve my top position, because I usually don’t have enough hip pressure,” Vanik said.

Looking ahead, the Knights will travel to Yorkville Saturday for the annual Northern Illinois Big 12 tournament. The tourney will begin at 9 a.m, with wrestlebacks begining at 12:30 p.m. and finals at approximately 4:15 p.m.

Following the NIB-12 showcase, Kaneland will travel to Batavia for a dual on Jan. 30 before heading to the Belvidere Individual Regional Feb. 7.

Rowe qualifies for boys bowling sectional

in Bowling by

Photo: Kaneland sophomore Tyler Rowe became the first boys bowling Sectional qualifier for Kaneland High School. Photo by Mary Paulson

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL.—Since the start of the boys bowling season in October, the Kaneland High School boys bowling club had only one date circled on its calendar—Saturday, Jan. 17.

That was the date of the IHSA Regional Bowling Championships, and the club’s only scheduled tournament for the 2014-15 season. Held at Poplar Creek Bowl in Hoffman Estates, Ill., it was one of 16 regional tournaments held statewide last weekend. There, Kaneland sophomore Tyler Rowe became the first male Kaneland bowler to advance to the Sectional tournament, which will be held at Lakeside Lanes in Mundelein, Ill., on Saturday, Jan 24.

The boys bowling club was created during the 2013-14 school year by KHS Assistant Principal Mike Rice, in response to student interest that was largely orchestrated by Rowe.

This season, Rice asked new faculty member Zac Fitzenreider to help him coach the bowlers. The club’s members bowl at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, and include Omar Aguilar, Jordan Bock, River Dunne, Jarod and Justin Erlandson, Kyle Fugger, Caleb Her, Zach Justus, Axel Larsen, Blaine Rivas, Rowe and Caden Sheehan. Among them, only Rowe and Sheehan have competitive bowling experience, and both competed in the regional last weekend. The rest of the club’s members are just learning the game at this point.

Boys bowling was introduced as an IHSA fall/winter sport in 2003. Last year, there were 210 schools statewide that fielded varsity teams, and they compete in a single-class state tournament. Although boys bowling isn’t a varsity team sport at Kaneland, it is a school-sponsored club, so its members are allowed to compete as individuals in the IHSA Tournament.

From the Regional, the top-four teams advanced to the Sectional tournament this Saturday, as well as the top-10 individual scorers from non-advancing teams. Rowe placed ninth in the field of 49 bowlers who competed to advance to the sectional as individuals, with a five-game total of 1,074 pins. His high game of 277 was a lifetime best.

Rowe has only been bowling for three years, but he is passionate about the sport and bowls as many as 30 games a week. He competes in the Illinois Youth Leaders Tournament Series year-round, and has improved his average score of 146 from last year to 170 this season.

“This game is not all about strikes,” Rowe said. “It’s all about picking up spares. If I had picked up all my spares at the Regional, I would have bowled 150 points higher.”

The extra 150 pins would have moved Rowe up to third place in the individual standings.

Rowe’s goal for the Sectional tournament this weekend is to increase his spares percentage. From the Sectional, the top six teams, and the top seven individuals from non-advancing teams, will qualify for the 2015 Boys State Bowling Tournament, which will take place Jan. 30-31 at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon, Ill.

Fitzenreider was asked if there is any hope that boys bowling might eventually become a boys’ varsity sport at Kaneland.

“I couldn’t really speak to that. While some of the boys would certainly like that, there is a lot of progress the program would need to make for that to occur,” he said. “Should we achieve that, at some point we’d most likely host events at Mardi Gras Lanes along with the Kaneland girl’s bowling team.

“Right now, however, our focus is on building interest in the game among the boys and improving the skill levels of our club members.”

Kaneland out-Foxed by Yorkville

in Boys Basketball by

Photo: Junior Mark Lilly drives to the basket under pressure Friday. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knights drop to 7-9 overall, 2-3 in NIB-12
KANELAND—After back-to-back victories over DeKalb and LaSalle-Peru last week, the boys’ varsity basketball team fell to the Yorkville Foxes 61-53 last Friday night.
The Knights are 7-9 overall this season and 2-3 in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

Yorkville came out firing on all cylinders to start the first quarter behind back-to-back three-pointers from guard Kyle Domark (12 points) and forward King Davis (five points). Against the Foxes’ stifling defense, Kaneland managed just three baskets from the field, courtesy of forward Ryan David, guard Tanner Robertson (two points) and center Jacob Gomes (eight points).

Down 12-6 in the second quarter, Yorkville’s defense clamped down on the Knights even further, keeping them scoreless until David split free throw attempts with 3:05 left to play in the half. The Foxes scored 14 points in the quarter (8-0 run in the first 4:55) to Kaneland’s 10, behind an offensive attack led by guard Master Davis (six points,) guard Josh Bondurant (Yorkville game-high 19 points), and a key three-pointer from guard Dan Kaczmarek (13 points.)

Down 26-16 and despite Yorkville’s continued defensive domination, the Knights attempted to stage a comeback led by David’s 12-point third quarter effort (Kaneland game-high 19 points overall, four three-pointers). Yorkville answered with an 18-point barrage through the continued efforts of Domark and Kaczmarek, with a major contribution from guard Cedric Payne (six points).

Trailing 44-31 in the fourth quarter, the Knights battled back to within eight, thanks to the play of David, Gomes and guard Mark Lilly (13 points.) Despite outscoring the Foxes 22-17 in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough, as Kaneland’s second comeback fell short.

Kaneland head coach Brian Johnson broke down the team’s loss after the game.

“Too little, too late. When we’ve lost games, we’ve started slow (and) turned the ball over a lot, and it was kind of that formula,” he said. “We did a little too much early on (and) turned the ball over, I think, 22 times for the game. Yorkville played really good defense, (and) got the win.”

Coach Johnson also praised David’s hustling effort in the contest.

“Ryan has to work really hard. He’s kind of like our (Chicago Bulls guard) Jimmy Butler,” Johnson said. “We put him on their best guard all the time. There’s never a time when Ryan’s not working really hard. He worked really hard to try to get us back in the game.”

Kaneland will travel to take on Rochelle this Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Three of a kind

in Girls Basketball by

Photo: Sophomore Morgan Weber goes up for two points early in the first quarter. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knights girls basketball can’t find a way against Yorkville, Aurora Christian, Geneseo
KANELAND—After a string of victories, Kaneland girls basketball saw two losses to Yorkville and Aurora Christian last weekend, and then a loss at the hands of visiting Geneseo on Tuesday.

Even after the recent skid, the team still sits at 11-6 overall, 2-4 in Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference play.

“Just like anytime you lose, we’re pretty disappointed,” head coach Ernie Colombe said.

Yorkville was already up by five points just four minutes into Friday’s contest. Plagued by poor defense and ball-handling, the Knights just couldn’t catch a break, but found a way to knot the score at 9 heading into the second quarter.

Yorkville ultimately took the game 43-34.

“I can’t say that there was one girl who stuck out in that game. Everyone gave it their all (and) perservered,” Colombe said.

Kaneland’s luck wasn’t any better against Aurora Christian in a 50-45 loss.

“There was a lot of stuff going on in that game that was pretty weird,” Colombe said.

Despite being out-rebounded by the Eagles, Colombe noted that the efforts of Camri Conley and Bailey Crimmons gave the Knights a fighting chance.

“We did a lot of things well, but in the end, we just came up short,” Colombe said.

Colombe said the Knights took some positives from last weekend’s contests.

“We definitely found some things we could fix, like rebounds,” Colombe said. “Those two games came down to two things: rebounds and taking care of the ball.”

In Tuesday’s game against the visiting Leafs, Ally Van Bogaert and Conley led the the Knights with 10 points each. Conley also notched seven assists while Morgan Weber secured eight rebounds.

The varsity crew will look to stop its current skid when it visits IMSA Thursday at 7 p.m and then travels to Rochelle Saturday, with tipoff against the Hubs scheduled for 4 p.m.

Bowlers fall to .500 on season

in Bowling by

Senior night Thursday in DeKalb
KANELAND—A pair of losses dropped the varsity girls bowling squad to a 4-4 record.

On Jan. 15 vs. visiting Rochelle, Dominique Lee rolled a 465 series and a 175 high game, but the Knights lost in convincing fashion 2,807-2,272. Melissa Endreanal had a 383 series (134 high game) and Anu Kadampelil had a 378 series (138). Grace Lindgren (358, 135), Katie Hill (356, 132) and Allison Kadampelil (332, 120) also bowled on the varsity lanes.

On Tuesday in Sycamore, it was more of the same, as KHS lost 3,039 to 2,176 to the Lady Spartans. Lee (461, 168) led the way, and Hill (416, 160) had a solid night as well. Rounding out the Knights were Anu Kadampelil (358, 137), Lindgren (338, 133), Allison Kadampelil (303, 117) and Endrenal (300, 132).

Up next for the Knights is senior night Thursday against Lisle at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. The action will start at 4 p.m.

Photo: Grace Lindgren Photo by Mary Paulson

Jan. 22 sports recap

in Bowling/Girls Basketball by

Girls Freshman Basketball
Jan. 14 vs. Sycamore—The Knights lost to the Lady Spartans 25-19. After leading by five after the first quarter, Sycamore led 15-14 heading into the half. SHS outscored the Knights 4-0 in the third and 6-5 in the fourth to seal the win. Addie Ringel led the Knights with 11 points, and Katrina Van Horn had six points. The freshman girls are 9-8 overall, and 4-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

Girls Soph Basketball
Dec. 20 vs. Streator—The Knights opened the Ottawa Christmas Tournament with a 30-27 win over the Bulldogs. Jenna Harvell led the team with 11 points, and went 3-4 from behind the three-point arc.
Dec. 20 vs. LaSalle-Peru—In their second game of the day, the sophomores dispatched L-P 43-29. Harvell and Carley Elliott each had 11 points, while both Kristen Siebert and Addie Ringel had seven. Elliott and Ringel each had five rebounds.
Dec. 22 vs. Geneseo—The Knights lost a two-overtime game to the Leafs 32-31. Elliott led the team with 13. A hail mary shot by Geneseo forced the initial extra frame.
Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa—The Knights played host Ottawa for third place, losing 37-36. Ottawa hit a basket with just two seconds left to seal the win. Jamie Martens led KHS with eight points, while Sydney Davidson had seven, and Elliott, Sieber and Ringel each had six.
Jan. 6 vs. Rosary—Rosary was able to escape KHS with a 25-21 victory, thanks to a 10-6 fourth quarter. Siebert led the Knights with 14 points.
Jan. 10 @ LaSalle-Peru—Kaneland got back in the win column with a 31-22 win over the Cavaliers. Siebert had 13 points and eight rebounds and Harvell had 12 points. The Knights held L-P scoreless in the fourth quarter while scoring 16 points of their own (11 from Siebert).
Jan. 16 vs. Yorkville—The Lady Foxes upended the Knights 44-39. After allowing 17 first-quarter points, the Knights closed within one at the end of the third quarter. YHS was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line to end the game. Siebert led Kaneland with 15 points, while Elliott had 10, Harvell had nine and Davidson had four.
Jan. 17 @ Aurora Christian—The Knights led 23-5 at halftime and saw 11 different girls score in their 43-19 win over the Eagles. Elliott and Harvell led the team with seven points, and Siebert and Lauren Maki each supplied six.

Girls JV Bowling
Jan. 14 vs. Rochelle—The JV Knights defeated the Hubs 1,843-1,783. Ally McPhee led the team with a 353 (131 high game), while Vanessa Guzman rolled a 351 (146) and Natalie Barnhart had a 336 (125). Also bowling was Marissa Michi (295, 101) and Lindsay Skoney (289, 100).
Jan. 20 vs. Sycamore—The JV squad lost 3,082-2,186. Barnhart led the team with a 373 series and 161 high game. Michi (365, 148), Spaetzel (325, 128) and McPhee (267, 114) also bowled for the Knights.

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

Campton United SC launches new recreation soccer league

in Community Sports by

ST. CHARLES—Campton United Soccer Club (CUSC) announced the launch of its new “Grass Roots Soccer League,” an instructional soccer program for beginning/recreational soccer players ages 5-7.

The Grassroots Soccer League’s mission is to develop each player’s soccer skill set while nurturing their understanding and love for the game of soccer.

Players can build friendships, be creative and learn teamwork in a relaxing and cooperative environment.

The league will be typically comprised of neighborhood children attending the same school. Teams will practice once a week with a professional CUSC staff coach along with parent coaches. Teams will also have one game per week. The league will consist of a Coed U6 division and a U7 Boys and a U7 Girls division.

The inaugural season will begin April 11 and last through June 6.

For more information or to register, visit Questions may be directed to JJ Raune at or (630) 377-9292.

Kaneland pom clinic Feb. 27

in Kaneland/Poms by

KANELAND—The Kaneland Pom Squad will host its annual elementary school clinic Friday, Feb. 27, starting at 4 p.m.

The clinic will run from 4 to 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a performance at approximately 7:15 p.m. during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game vs. Sterling.

The cost is $35 and includes dinner and T-shirt.

Registration forms will be available in Virtual Backpack. For more information, email coach Christine Carter at

Jan. 22 Knight of the week

in Wrestling by

Tom Price-Vanik

The senior was one of four Knights to win individual championships at Saturday’s Margaret Flott Invitational. Price-Vanik won all three matches he wrestled, earning three pins. He wrestled a total of 1 minute, 39 seconds on the day.



Knights defeat Barbs, L-P

in Boys Basketball by
Laura Gampfer KHS boys bball v. DeKalb 1-9-15-6crop

Photo: Kaneland junior Mitchel Groen (above, center) and DeKalb junior Ahmed Gadim (15) battle for a rebound in Friday’s 53-52 Kaneland win. Groen finished with 10 points for the Knights. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Team improves to 7-8 on the season
KANELAND—Great defense on both sides of the court makes for outstanding games at any level of basketball, and Friday night’s game between the Kaneland Knights and DeKalb Barbs was no exception.

Playing their first game of the season on home court, the Knights played a back-and fourth game of defensive chess with DeKalb before escaping with a 53-52 victory in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

The Knights led 14-7 after one quarter of play before DeKalb came back to outscore them 17-10 and tied the game at 24 going into the half. The Barbs opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run in the first 3:30, sparked by guard/forward Michael Pollack’s (18 points, three boards) short jumper that began the scoring. Kaneland answered back with two three-pointers from guard Dylan Vaca, who led his team in scoring with 17 points. Vaca went 3/5 from the free throw line and added two more three-pointers during the contest.

With DeKalb up 39-36 at the start of the fourth quarter, the defensive battle and shot-for-shot match kicked into high gear. Pollack continued his dominance for DeKalb, along with guard/forward Jace Kitchen (12 points) and guards Rudy Lopez and Cole Tucker (eight points each). Kaneland responded with key shots from Vaca, forward Ryan David (12 points) and center Jacob Gomes (10 points). Vaca split free throw attempts with 1.4 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Knights.

Kaneland head coach Brian Johnson praised his team’s effort after the game.

“They all played really well tonight and came out and executed the game plan. This is something we can build off of,” Johnson said. “We talked before the game about switching things up between man and zone, trying to communicate.”

On Saturday in LaSalle, the Knights got their second win in as many nights with a 51-43 comeback victory over the Cavaliers, improving Kaneland to 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

The Knights went on a 19-0 run five minutes into the fourth quarter to seal the victory over LaSalle. David led all scorers with 20 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter. He was also a perfect four-for-four from the charity stripe.

Johnson praised his team’s defensive effort in the win.

“They (Cavaliers) got up by about 11 in the fourth, and right around five minutes (remaining), we changed up our defenses a little bit,” Johnson said. “We went to kind of a 1-3-1 half-court trap, and went on a 19-0 run to finish off the game and get the win.”

Johnson praised David’s effort, as well.

“Dylan (Vaca) and Ryan are our top scorers for the season. (Ryan) started off a little slow; now he’s playing really confident and taking shots that are good shots.”

Kaneland is at home this Friday night vs. the Yorkville Foxes. The game tips off at 7 p.m. following the varsity girls game.

Defense, rebounds key Knights victories

in Girls Basketball by

Photo: Morgan Weber had a career-high 26 points Tuesday against Plano. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—Despite a rocky beginning, the Kaneland girls can take pride in their 52-41 win over the Lasalle-Peru Cavaliers on Saturday.

“(The girls) overcame a sloppy first half (with 18 turnovers),” head coach Ernie Colombe said.
After ending the first quarter with a mere five points to their rival’s eight, the girls quickly knotted the score at 14 just before the half.

“That turned the pressure on,” Colombe said.

Adding to the team’s success was Carmi Conley, who led the way with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jen Weber also took charge and supplied the team with 12 points.

In the end, Lasalle-Peru fell behind nine points, and the Knights claimed another victory.

On Tuesday, the Knights dispatched the visiting Plano Reapers 78-45 to move to 11-3 on the season (2-2 in Northern Illinois Big XII play). Morgan Weber had a career night for KHS, scoring 26 points and nabbing four steals.

“(Our) defense disrupted Plano’s offense, and led to 22 Reaper turnovers,” Colombe said.

Vanessa Gould scored eight points and also had four rebounds, four steals and three assists in the winning effort. Bailey Crimmins had nine points and eight rebounds, and Kylie Modaff had eight rebounds and three assists.

Up next for the girls will be a home game on Friday against Yorkville at 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 15 sports recap

in Bowling/Boys Basketball/Girls Basketball by

Boys Soph. Basketball
Jan. 9 vs. DeKalb—Down by two with seconds left, Jake Hed hit a go-ahead three-pointer for the win against the Barbs 54-52. Hed led the team with 21 points, and ended with four three-pointers. Neil Glazier finished with 13 points, while Jack Marshall and Brock Harner each had eight.

Girls Fresh. Basketball
Jan. 10 vs. Sterling—The Knights won 28-22. Shayna Hurston and Cierra Kuipers each had nine points, while Logan Guerra had four.
Jan. 12 @ Morris—The Knights lost 40-12. Hurston had four points. The freshman team sits at 9-7, 4-2 in conference play.

Girls JV Bowling
Jan. 12 vs. LaSalle-Peru—LaSalle-Peru defeated the Knights 2,062-1,727. Natalie Barnhart led the team with a 368 series, while Vanessa Guzman rolled a 336. Also bowling was Amber Spaetzel (299), Marissa Michi (284), Ally McPhee (233) and Lindsay Skoney (207). Barnhart’s 128 was the high game.

‘Syco’ Saturday

in Wrestling by

Photo: Head coach Joe Orosco has been pleased with sophomore Matt Redman. “(He) has really turned it up since losing a disappointing overtime loss due to some stalling calls … at the Berman tournament at the end of December.” Photo by Stephanie Vanik


Margaret Flott Memorial Invitational
Saturday, Jan. 17 • 9 a.m.

Knights bounce back with strong tournament after 41-19 loss to DeKalbby Ben Draper
KANELAND—A 41-19 setback on Friday against conference rival DeKalb wasn’t what head coach Joe Orosco was hoping for after two days of school were cancelled. But the varsity wrestlers regrouped for Saturday’s vaunted Sycamore Invitational, placing eighth out of 26 teams.

Orosco’s crew still has a sparkling 12-5 dual record for the 2014-15 season.

Against Class 3A DeKalb, the team earned just five wins.

“Definitely not our best effort for a conference opponent,” Orosco said. “(We) came out flat and only won five out of 14 matches, some that we weren’t supposed to lose.

“But (we) wrestled a lot better at the Sycamore tournament on Saturday,” he added.

Saturday saw the Knights grapple with 10 ranked teams, according to Class 2A No. 2 Washington won the tournament with 564.5 points, while Class 3A No. 7 Hononegah was runner-up with 506. Only Washington and No. 11-ranked Sterling (sixth place, 394) were the only Class 2A schools to defeat No. 6 Kaneland’s 347.5.

Sophomore Riley Vanik continued his terrific season at 160 pounds, placing fourth overall. Vanik earned early-round wins over Hononegah’s Sylvester Vijil (fall, 2:27) and Downers Grove South’s Ramarro Lamar (fall, 1:54) before posting 9-0 major decision over Bloomington’s Shawn Safford. Vanik was defeated 5-0 by sixth-ranked Jake Lanning of Pontiac before losing to Grant’s Mike Kouvelis 9-6 in the third-place match.

“Riley Vanik continues to improve as the season progresses,” Orosco said.

170-pounder Colin Gussman won by fall over Waukegan’s Fidel Lopez in the opening round, and dispatched Downers Grove South’s Ramy Abd 14-7 before losing a 1-0 match to fifth-ranked Anton Krocko of Hampshire. Gussman won 13-6 over Grant’s Justin Gilich in the consolation round before winning the fifth-place match over Pontiac’s Levi Ransom 3-2.

Austin Parks also earned a fifth-place finish in the 182-pound class. It was all pins for Parks, as he pinned Thomas Rollette of Hononegah in 3:26 to open the tournament, and another fall over Grant’s Kenny Sahs. In the quarterfinal, Mahomet-Seymour’s Hunter Crowley pinned Parks in 5:58. In the consolation bracket, Parks earned a pin in 2:24 over York’s Brian Nudera and a :55 pin over Huntley’s Petros Mihlapolas in the fifth-place match.

195-pound senior Tom Price-Vanik placed sixth, earned quick wins over Sterling’s Saul Sarrano (fall, :38) and Sergio Villalobos (fall, :23) before getting pinned by sixth-ranked Woodstock North wrestler Cody Barnes. He came back to earn another pin in 3:49 over Josh Davis of Rock Island, before losing by fall to Kyle Gara of Marengo (ranked eighth in the 182 weight class).

Junior George Strang placed seventh in the 145-pound class. Stang earned wins over Mundelein’s Kamil Olechno (technical fall, 18-2), Hampshire’s Max McGowan (5-3) and the seventh-place match over Pontiac’s Kevin Gschwendtner (9-3).

Junior Zac Parker placed eighth at 182, and earned two wins: a pin in 5:43 over Austin Miller of Rockford East and a 4-3 decision over Washington’s Ethan Sperry. Zach Thielk placed eighth at 285, with wins over Moline’s Jesse Doyle (fall, 1:09) and Huntley’s Dominic Swanson (2-1 decision).

Rounding out the Knights’ top-10 finishers was 138-pounder Mitchell Jones, earning wins over Mundelein’s Alex Hendon (9-3 decision), Hampshire’s Josh Bybee (9-3 decision) and Belvidere’s Henry Flores (11-6 decision).

Austin Kedzie (11th, 106 pounds), Matt Redman (11th, 126), Hayden Patterson (11th, 152), Jacob Shearer (16th, 132), Adam Mish (18th, 120) and Ben Lycan (20th, 220) also competed for the Knights.

Of note at Sycamore, the Knight scored at every weight class with the exception of 113 pounds, which KHS did not contest.

The Knights now prepare for a tough test against Class 2A No. 4 Geneseo. The varsity team takes the mat at 6:30 p.m. at KHS.

Saturday will see the annual Kaneland-hosted Margaret Flott Wrestling Invitational. The action starts at 9 a.m., and will also feature a special ceremony, as four individuals from the Kaneland High School wrestling program will be inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame for Personal Athletic Achievement.

With just over a week until the Northern Illinois Big XII meets to crown a champion, Orosco plans on working all avenues to put his boys in a position of success.

“At this point, we are working just as much on mental toughness and the proper mindset as we are on our technique and conditioning,” Orosco said.

Four former KHS wrestlers inducted into Hall of Fame
KANELAND—During Saturday’s Flott Invitational, four individuals from the KHS wrestling program will be inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame:
• Steven R Henrikson (‘75)
• Kevin Callaghan (‘85)
• Jason Polz (‘87)
• Scott Brewer (‘92)
Community members are invited to a reception prior to the induction at 11:30 a.m. in the KHS library.
The induction will take place in the east gym at 1 p.m.

7th place for Poms at NIB-12 Championship

in Poms by

Three girls earn All-Conference honors
ROCHELLE, ILL.—The Kaneland Girls Pom Pons team last Sunday placed seventh at the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Dance Championships held at Rochelle High School.

It was the Knights’ highest finish in the three-year history of the NIB-12 Conference tournament, after having placed eighth the past two years.

“We are very excited about our seventh-place finish. Our girls have really been working hard, and our team score was 10-points higher than last year. Going forward, our goal is to be in the top-three at conference within the next two years,” coach Christine Carter said.

There are 24 girls on the Kaneland Poms squad that performs at football and boys and girls basketball games. Tryouts are held in March for the following school year, and involve Poms’ coaches looking for girls with good basic dance skills and outgoing personalities.

The Knights had three girls earn individual All-Conference honors last Sunday: Amy Grace Vanderschaff, Rachel Kowalski and Aimee Frost. Two other members, Amy Croft and Morgan Gillogly, received honorable mention awards. The other members of the Kaneland Competive Dance Team are Sam Ciccone, Kiley Roach, Kaity Eutsler, Zoe Haenisch and Taylor Heiser.

The IHSA Competitive Dance Sectional will take place on Saturday, Jan. 24, at DeKalb High School. From there, the top-six place-winners among the 16 competing Class 2A teams will advance to the 2015 State Championships, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30-31, at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill.

About Competitive Dance
IHSA-sanctioned pom pons competitions (also called “Competitive Dance”) began in 2013-14. Currently, 251 Illinois schools field competitive dance teams state-wide. Dance routines are accompanied by music and must be from 1 minute, 45 seconds to 3 minutes in length. Judges evaluate the movement of each team’s members to the rhythm of the music, their body positions and group alignments, posture, expression of style, control, movement flow and continuity. No ethnic, folk or tap dance moves, nor ballet movements, are permitted to be included in the team’s routine. The average of four judges’ scores is the team’s final score.

Kaneland bowling falls to Cavaliers

in Bowling by

DEKALB—Dominique Lee bowled a 529 series, but in the end, LaSalle-Peru (L-P) outdistanced the Knights 2,852-2,464 Monday.

The Knights bowled a collective 923 in game one against the Cavaliers—including a 205 from Lee—but saw their totals fall to 739 and 802 in games two and three, respectively. L-P, paced by Gabbi McCabe’s 551 series and a 519 by Tiara Gelgin, scored 986, 957 and 909 to win the three games outright.

“Our team score of 923 (in game one) was our highest of the season, so that was a nice accomplishment,” coach Jim McKnight said. “We struggled through game two, but came back better in game three.”

The loss saw KHS fall to a 4-3 record on the season.

In addition to Lee, Kaneland saw contributions from senior Katie Hill (416 series, 156 high game), Melissa Enrenal (408 series, 169 high game), Grace Lindgren (407 series, 142 high game), Allison Kadampelil (391 series, 152 high game) and Anu Kadampelil (313 series, 113 high game).

The bowlers took on Rochelle Wednesday evening, with results unavailable as of press time.with Rochelle defeating the Knights 2,807 to 2,272. Lee led with a high series of 465 and a high game of 175.

“We still have a lot of bowling left this season, and some very tough matches coming up,” McKnight said. “We hope we can overcome all the days off, semester exams and schedule changes and do well in the State series.”

Photo: A happy, chilly reunion

in Boys Cross Country/Girls Cross Country by

Alumni of the Kaneland Cross Country team for the fifth consecutive year braved the cold and met up on Dec. 30 for their annual Alumni 2 Run. The alumni met at Waubonsee Community College and ran 4 miles with head cross country coach Chad Clarey and head track and field coach Eric Baron. The group then had breakfast at the Golden Acres restaurant in Sugar Grove. Photo submitted by Chad Clarey to

North Stars stampede Kaneland hoopsters

in Boys Basketball by

Junior Jacob Gomes tries to pass the ball against St. Charles North’s stifling defense. Photos by Mary Paulson

KHS 0-4 all-time on Bulls’ floor; Knights take ninth place in Plano
KANELAND—While the Knights boys basketball team (5-8) wasn’t facing the likes of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol on Saturday afternoon, at times it might have felt like that was the case.

St. Charles North sent Kaneland’s all-time record in United Center play to 0-4 after a 70-43 handling. Kaneland’s previous three losses—in 2008, 2010 and 2013—occurred at the hands of Geneva.

The final two contests for KHS in 2014 took place at the Plano Christmas Classic, and saw the Knights solve Genoa-Kingston 53-45 on Dec. 29 and edge rival Yorkville 63-61 on Dec. 30, earning ninth place overall.

The tournament was won by Dixon over Mendota, 57-45, on Dec. 30.

An additional bright spot for the Knights was an All-Tournament honor for Ryan David, thanks to his 83-point total through five games.

Against St. Charles North, Kaneland was led by Jake Marczuk with nine points. The 27-point drubbing is the Knights’ worst loss to date at the 21-year-old United Center.

Early buckets by Jacob Gomes and Dylan Vaca had the Knights and North Stars tied at six apiece, but SCN sprinted down the court on many of its possessions and found the net in spurts for a 15-6 edge with 2:40 remaining in the quarter. Tanner Robertsen’s pair of foul shots with 2:23 to go helped the Knights close to within seven points before SCN’s five-point outburst, ending the first frame with a 20-8 score.

In the second, David’s three-pointer and an offensive putback by Mitchell Groen closed the deficit to 23-16 with 4:40 to go in the half. However, the North Stars closed out the half with a 9-1 run for a 32-17 edge at the break.

The North Stars managed to put the game out of reach thanks to a 17-8 third frame, despite the best efforts of baskets from David, Groen and Connor Fedderly. Marczuk’s three-pointer with less than a second to play marked the final margin.

“St. Charles North is really good,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “They have some dynamic players. They do a heck of a job and compete every time they run the floor. You’ll get punished on the other end.”

The spectacle also presented an eight-minute scrimmage as an opportunity for players on both benches to see some NBA floor time.

“It’s a neat situation and cool that the kids got in there. It’s fun to see the kids play on an NBA floor, and there’s a lot of smiles out there,” Brian Johnson said.

Preceding the loss in Chicago, the Knights were able to finish the Plano gathering with four wins in five tries.

In the win over DeKalb County outfit G-K, the Knights found 21 points from Vaca’s talents and 10 from David. The Cogs led 13-11 and 22-18 after the first and second quarters, but KHS stormed back after ending the third frame down 37-31, with a 22-8 fourth quarter rally. The Knights were 18-for-48 from the field, but nailed six three-point tries.

Against the rival Foxes, Vaca paced the crucial win with 27 points, while David followed up with 17. King Davis led Yorkville with a team-high 18.

Kaneland trailed 25-23 after eight minutes of action, but overcame Yorkville to lead 38-33 at halftime. A tight third quarter saw the Knights up 47-40 at the end of the third before Yorkville’s 21-16 march to the final deficit.

KHS heads deep into the Northern Illinois Big XII slate with a meeting against DeKalb on Friday, Jan. 9, in Maple Park.

Coming up Rosary

in Girls Basketball by
Laura Gampfer KHS girls bball v. Rosary 1-6-15-2

KANELAND—A team can only move forward through the schedule with the wins it has.

When it comes to Kaneland High School girls basketball, it could get to a point where the girls aren’t just moving forward, they’re blazing a trail.

With a nifty 62-37 win in Maple Park over Aurora counterpart Rosary on Tuesday evening, the Knights took its first challenge of the 2015 side of the schedule with aplomb.

KHS sits at 9-3, with a 1-2 tally in Northern Illinois Big XII action.

“We feel like this team is starting to come together in terms of how we are practicing and also in terms of our mindset,” head coach Ernie Colombe said. “This group is starting to have more of an attack mentality on both sides of the ball.”

The Knights were 21-for-50 from the field, and 15-for-24 from the foul line in the Tuesday meeting. Needed parts of the victory machine were supplied by post presence Bailey Crimmins and Jen Weber, each with 15 points apiece. Point guard Camri Conley added 10, as well. Crimmins also pulled down seven of the 42 team boards.

“The girls did a great job of looking into Bailey Crimmins early as Rosary tried a box and one” Colombe said. “We had great contributions from Jenni Weber and Madi Edwards off the bench.”

Up 20-9 after the end of the first eight minutes, the Knights increased their advantage to 33-17 at the first half’s end. Rosary fell behind 50-27 before the final frame of play.

The next obstacle for Kaneland is Friday, Jan. 9, with a non-conference journey to Aurora Christian.

Kaneland wrestling locks win up vs. Plano, takes 15th at Berman Classic

in Wrestling by

Photo: Adam Mish lost to Plano’s Juan Lazarit, but the Knights still defeated the visiting Reapers, who are ranked No. 11 in Class 1A, 39-27 Saturday. Photo by Stephanie Vanik

KANELAND—At 12-4 on the season, Kaneland High School wrestling has shown talent and a penchant for pulling out needed wins.

Such was the case in a Saturday win over Class A powerhouse Plano in a 39-27 meeting. Additionally, a large tournament like Palatine’s Berman Winter Classic, back on Dec. 29-30, shows how Kaneland, which finished in 16th place overall, stacks up against larger established programs.

Against Plano in the win that kicked off the 2015 portion of the season schedule, KHS saw a 10-3 win for 126-pound Matthew Redman, 1:16 pin for 138-pound Mitchell Jones, 13-6 win for 145-pound George Strang, :21 stick for 160-pound Riley Vanik, 1:35 pin for Zach Parker at 182, and an 8-1 win for heavyweight Zach Thielk.

At the Palatine-hosted Berman Classic, the top finisher in Knight garb was Vanik, who nabbed fifth overall in the 160 group. Tom Price managed a sixth in 195, Redman took seventh in 126, and Thielk also took seventh in his heavyweight skirmishes.

“There was a lot of talent there, which was good, because we had an opportunity to see how we stacked up,” KHS coach Joe Orosco said. “The boys worked hard. There were a few matches that I wish we could’ve had back, but overall they wrestled tough. Last year, we placed 21st out of 32 teams, with three placers.”

Kaneland’s 77.5 points was ahead of 16th-place Hinsdale South. The top five teams turned out to be Barrington (219), Oak Forest (200.5), Deerfield (163.5), Lincoln-Way West (149) and Metea Valley (141).

Redman’s day began with a 2-1 overtime loss to Glenbard East’s Drew Fugiel, sending him to the consolation bracket. Redman earned a forfeit before collecting a 9-0 major decision over Vince Liebich of Lake Park and a 6-1 win over Deerfield entry Aaron Brailov. Redman’s journey continued with a 2-0 loss to Riverside-Brookfield’s Gavin Sutton before getting revenge on Fugiel with a 10-4 win in the seventh-place match.

Vanik began his journey with a :38 pinfall over the tourney host’s Elvin Lama-Sosa, before solving Plainfield East’s Antonio Jameson in a 7-1 match. After being upended by Barrington’s Travis Cysewski 4-2 in the semis, Vanik was edged by LW-W rival Gabe Montalvo 3-2. In the fifth-place match, Vanik earned a 1:47 win over Lake Park’s Devin Brady.

Price beat Metea Valley’s David Rojas in :53 before losing to Hinsdale South’s Robby Regan in 9-2 fashion. Price moved to the consolation side and took down Oak Forest’s JT Melvan in 1:53 and Deerfield’s Christo Moran in a 5-0 match before losing to Geneva’s Austin Chaon in the consolation semis, 5-2. In the fifth-place match, Price was ousted by Barrington’s John Depersia in 5:07.

Thielk began with a 6-0 decision over LW-W foe Steve Lotz before losing to Glenbard East’s D’Andre Johnson in 2:29. Thielk then took down Metea Valley foe Bobby Papienik in 2:07 before losing to Barrington’s Alex Zentner, 5-3. Thielk secured seventh place with a 2-0 win over Rock Island’s Erick Cole.

Additionally, Colin Gussman took eighth in 170 action, as did Austin Kedzie at 106.

Kaneland wrestling continues with Northern Illinois Big XII action on Thursday, Jan. 8, in DeKalb.

Sweet revenge

in Bowling by

Photo: Varsity Anu Kadanpelil lines up her approach as she prepares to bowl in game two. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knight bowlers earn home win over Huntley, making up for earlier loss
KANELAND—Much like 2014, losing to Huntley is officially old news for Kaneland High School bowling.

On Tuesday, at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the host Knights made up for a loss back on Dec. 18 to the Red Raiders of Huntley, with a close 2,521-2,461 victory. KHS sits at 4-2 after the first dual of the 2015 slate.

Leading the Kaneland charge were Dominique Lee with a 496 series, Grace Lindgren with a 481 series and Katie Hill with a 463. Lee also contributed the high team game with a 202.

Kaneland will see what the IMSA Invite is made of on Saturday, Jan. 10.

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