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Featured - page 7

Two spirits

in Featured/Maple Park/Miscellaneous by

Photo: 11-year-old Madison Tegtman, a sixth-grader at Kaneland Harter Middle School, with her horse, Preston, navigates over an obstacle during one of their rides. She has been riding horses since she was only three years old. Courtesy Photo

Sixth-grader and derby horse both get life experience
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Located on Lees Road in Maple Park, Silver Spur Farm houses a youngster diligently working toward doing the very best in competition—and that’s just the sixth-grade student from Kaneland Harter Middle School.

11-year old Madison Tegtman doesn’t pick up a ball or racket. Her idea of unwinding is working in tandem with a 10-year old Oldenburg horse named Preston.

Tegtman has six first-place events under her cap, and most recently competed in Gurnee, Ill.

With an attentive and solid support group like her mother and horse owner Gina, grandparents Ed and Polly Ruzic, and trainer Tasha Lasiowski, Tegtman—who’s been a rider since she was 3—can focus on equestrian events and caring for Preston.

“I come here to spend time with him,” Tegtman said. “When we come here and get ready for everything, we have to clean all our stuff, clean the horse, practice, take lessons, and get ready to have competitions on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Preston just got back into the fold in early September after recovering from a damaged femur, the result of getting kicked by a fellow horse.

“That was my favorite place to compete at (Crosswinds in Marengo, Ill.), because it was his first show with me after his injury,” Tegtman said.

Specifically, Preston competes a hunter jumper horse, similar to obstacle courses that have walls, gates and fences, and has had quite the long road back. The recovery process took 18 months, and the injury occurred six weeks after Preston was acquired from Michigan.

“It’s a long wait, but I was patient and I was happy for everyone else, and they finally let me ride,” Tegtman said.

It was Madison’s patience that helped Preston recover, because Preston’s prognosis was not good.

“Every day, Madison was out there working with him. The vet would check him out and say it was doubtful he would be able to get back to where he was, but they kept at it,” Gina said.

Preston is the first Oldenberg horse owned by the family after owning two ponies previously.

It takes not just a level of commitment, but temperament, to take on the task of loving and caring for a prize animal.

“You definitely have to be patient. The horses are so good for the kids. It teaches them patience and responsibility, and you’re caring for a live animal,” Lasiowski said.

Lasiowski also owns and operates Escapar Farms within the grounds of Silver Spur, and has dealt with her share of local animals.

“It’s a big animal, and it’s got a mind of its own. It’s about learning to read your horse. Going forward in life, I think it teaches you how to read people,” Lasiowski said.

Tegtman and crew are enjoying what they do, and eventually would like to ease into different events.

“There’s higher jumps; more derbies in the future, I think,” Ed said. “All around the Midwest, you have an opportunity to see terrific horses and terrific riders.”

“I want to take him to hunter derbies, so he can get recognized more,” Tegtman said.

Hunter derbies, now moving on to an international stage, involve larger courses that are inclined with the horse’s natural way of moving about, and measures overall brilliance.

Brilliance is what Tegtman seems to strive for, along with her 10-year-old partner.

“When you go to compete, you hope you have a good horse to go with, and I do.”

WCC names Paralympic gold medalist October Featured Alumnus

in Featured/Regional/Sugar Grove by

Photo: Joe Berenyi of Oswego won three cycling medals at the recent 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and has been named WCC’s Featured Alumnus. Berenyi played baseball for the Chiefs before losing his right arm in an accident. Courtesy Photo

SUGAR GROVE—Over the last few months, Waubonsee Community College graduate Joe Berenyi, an Oswego resident, has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, met President Barack Obama, and been hailed as a hero at local and national appearances.

In recognition of all of these recent accomplishments, as well as the many years of dedication and strength that went into achieving them, Waubonsee is proud to name Berenyi its Featured Alumnus for October.

Growing up in Aurora, Berenyi was always an athlete. He played football and baseball at Aurora Central Catholic before playing baseball at Waubonsee in 1988 and 1989. A pitcher and outfielder, his school record of three doubles in a single game still stands.

“Joe was a quiet, tough player,” said Waubonsee baseball coach Dave Randall. “And he’s used that competitiveness to excel in what he’s doing now.”

After graduating from Waubonsee in 1989, Berenyi’s playing days were over, but his competitive fire still burned.

“I had always liked riding my bike, and I started to do it more for exercise,” he said. “But I like to compete, and so entered a few local races.”

Then, in his second year of cycling, the day before a big race, Berenyi was involved in a construction accident that resulted in a broken leg, shattered kneecap and the loss of his right arm.

Needless to say, recovery was not easy, but after a few years, Berenyi decided it was time to try out the truth of the old axiom about not being able to forget how to ride a bicycle. Prairie Path Cycles was able to modify bikes to include electronic shifting gears and brakes that work with just one lever so Berenyi can ride using only his left arm.

By 2009, Berenyi was back in local races, and in 2010 he was at the Paracycling National Championships.

“I was interested to see how I would fare there, because everyone I had raced around here had been able bodied,” Berenyi said.

Berenyi took silver in that first paracycling race and hasn’t looked back since. In this, his first year of international competition, Berenyi won medals in three of his five events at the Paralympic Games—a gold in the 3 kilometer individual pursuit, a silver in the men’s individual time trial and a bronze in the track cycling mixed sprint competition.

“It was bigger, better and more impressive than I expected,” Berenyi said of his Paralympic experience.

At 6,000 strong, the crowd at the games was large and especially loud, given that Berenyi’s competitor in the gold medal race was British.

“The decibel level was like a jet engine, but it didn’t distract me,” Berenyi said. “I knew what I had to do—just pedal.”

Pedaling is mostly all Berenyi had time for while in London. He and his family were able to take the train to Paris for a day, but otherwise, Berenyi was training, recovering and competing. And, of course, living life in the Olympic village.

“The food in the village was very good,” he said. “They have stations with food from all over the world.”

Berenyi will have plenty of chances to sample more international cuisine as he continues to paracycle on the world stage over the next few years. While he hasn’t ruled out competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, right now he’s trying to enjoy being home and adjusting to his newfound celebrity.

After receiving a hero’s welcome when he returned home to Oswego on Sept. 10, he was off to the White House on Sept. 13, where he and a group of 400 other Paralympians and Olympians got a chance to meet the Obamas and Vice President Biden.

“I don’t know how it happened, but I was chosen to stand in the front row right behind the president,” Berenyi said. “I was right next to [Olympic sprinter] Tyson Gay and two down from [Olympic swimmer] Michael Phelps. I think that photo might end up being the family Christmas card this year.”

Zumba’ing for Elburn Countryside Food Pantry

in Elburn/Featured by

Photo: Lola Salamon (front) of Elburn and the rest of the class get into the swing of Jennifer Olsem’s session during the charity event at the Community Center on Saturday. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—The opportunity to teach a Zumba class and raise funds for the Elburn Countryside Food Panty was so important to Jennifer Olsem, she traveled all the way from Suwanee, Ga., to do it.

Olsem, formerly a resident of Blackberry Creek subdivision in Elburn, taught the Zumba fundraiser on Saturday at the Elburn Community Center.

I wanted to come back to Elburn and give back, and Lola (Salmon, event coordinator) had the great idea of the Elburn Food Pantry,” Olsem said. “With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m sure the Elburn Food Pantry can use all the help they can get.”

Salmon said the event had a pretty good turnout, and some people actually brought non-perishable food items and still paid the class’ $10 admission fee.

“Jennifer had a wonderful time, and she stated it felt great to give back to the community of where she once lived,” Salmon said. “Jennifer was full of pep and energy, and did a wonderful job on boosting all the ladies’ spirits while in the Zumba session.”

Olsem hopes to make the Zumba fundraiser an annual event for the food pantry. And with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Salmon and Olsem want to remind people to drop off non-perishable items at the Elburn Community Center anytime before 5 p.m. each day.

The jaunt from Suwanee to Elburn is a long one, but Olsem doesn’t seem to mind at all.

“I’m happy to be coming back to a community that was so pleasant to live in, and give back,” she said.

Photos: Snakes, lizards and gators—Oh, my!

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

Photo: Dave DiNaso gets some assistance with “Axl,” an American alligator, from Natalie Foss, 5, of Sugar Grove. Photos by Patti Wilk


Dave talks to kids about “Zainy”, a Black Throat Monitor. Dave brought his “Traveling World of Reptiles” to the Sugar Grove Library on Oct. 27. Dave shared his reptile friends with Halloween-costumed kids and their parents, during the library’s Halloween Event. “Traveling World of Reptiles” is an “up-close, live, hands-on experience” with snakes, lizards, turtles, spiders, alligators, frogs and more.


The kids pet “Dino” the Green Iquana.


Zach Tate, 12, of Sugar Grove is covered in snakes, and even his glasses are decorated. Chiquita, an Albino Burmese Python, sits on his lap.

Victorious Victoria

in Featured/Girls Cross Country by

Photo: Kaneland sophomore Victoria Clinton (908) battles with the top group shortly after the half-way point at Saturday’s IHSA State Cross Country meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Clinton would eventually break away from the pack with less than a mile to go, winning the 2A girls State championship, and leading the Lady Knights to 6th place in the team standings. Photo by Justin Vacha

Clinton takes State crown in cross country
by Mike Slodki
Peoria, Ill.—Victoria Clinton, your spot is ready.

The Kaneland sophomore earned her way into IHSA and Kaneland High School girls cross country history by becoming State champ in the Class 2A race at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday.

It’s the first individual crown in the school’s history.

Clinton, who also finished second at the Belvidere Sectional and first at the Kaneland Regional, topped the three-mile course with a stellar time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds. The pace of a 5:39 mile helped best her sectional time by 43 seconds. It was a personal best for the sophomore.

Senior Stephanie Saey of Galesburg was in second place—11 seconds behind Clinton’s winning time.

Clinton strode ahead in the final 800 meters of the competition.

The sophomore athlete helped Kaneland to a sixth-place team finish with 180 points overall.

“(Victoria) ran a very smart race,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “(She) ran with the front pack for the first two miles, took the lead and pulled away the last half-mile. Earning a State championship pretty much says it all.”

Kaneland’s Victoria Clinton is congratulated after being crowned the IHSA Class 2A Individual Cross Country Champion. Photo by Justin Vacha
It was a dream come true and a job well done for the Kaneland standout.

“I felt great, and the Lord allowed me to do the rest,” Clinton said. “As we started closing in toward the second mile, I said I needed to pick it up. With a half-mile left I had to give it my all.”

Fellow Northern Illinois Big XII school Yorkville took the team crown with a total of 66, followed by Normal University at 112.

Montini Catholic finished third in a tiebreaker over Glenbard South at 172, and Marengo finished with 174 points for fifth.

Kaneland’s effort outpaced Crystal Lake Central, which took seventh with 203 points.

“Our team has really been working hard. We all have positive attitudes,” Clinton said.

After Clinton wowed the crowd, the next Lady Knight to cross the finish line was freshman Brianna Bower, who concluded her first campaign in 32nd place with a time of 18:09. Next for KHS was Sydney Strang, who was 38th with a time of 18:14.

Fourth for KHS was sophomore Aislinn Lodwig, who battled through the field with a finish of 18:36 for 69th place, while senior teammate Amanda Lesak finished, 81st with a time of 18:42.

The Lady Knights’ two-through-five runners all ran personal bests in Peoria.
Maggie Brundige finished her final State race with a 98th-place finish at 18:54. Fellow senior Abby Dodis took 120th at 19:15.

“Girls cross country is back to being the successful program it once was,” Ecker said.

Photos: Honoring our Veterans

in Elburn/Featured/Kaneland by

On Wednesday, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School held a veterans celebration and flag raising. VFW veterans were honored and students gave short speeches about their appreciation of our war heroes. Photos by
John DiDonna


Elburn Scout Pack 107 helped raise the colors during the Veterans ceremony
on Wednesday at John Stewart elementary school.


The Mattina Brass Ensemble, a group of seventh and eighth grade brass players from Harter Middle School, played during the Veterans ceremony.



On Wednesday morning, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School held a veterans celebration and flag raising. VFW veterans were honored, and students gave short speeches about their appreciation of our war heroes.

No-Way for Knight football

in Featured/Football by

Photo: Quarterback Drew David looks downfield under good blocking during the second quarter at Lincoln-Way West on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Lincoln-Way West builds big lead, eliminates Kaneland in second-round action
by Mike Slodki
NEW LENOX, Ill.—It’s been awhile since the Knight football team has seen that kind of offensive and defensive output from a playoff opponent.

The newest of the four Lincoln-Way schools, the Warriors from the West, used their playmakers to the best of their ability while employing their stingy defense on the way to a 31-15 upset of the Kaneland crew on Saturday afternoon.

In the first meeting of the two schools on the football field, the Warriors pressured Drew David and also broke long gains throughout the day in a meeting of No. 1 and No. 9 seeds in the Class 5A playoffs.

For Kaneland, it marks the earliest exit for the squad since 2009, when rival Sycamore bested the host Knights, 40-13, in a first-round matchup.

The Warriors improve to 8-3 on the year, while KHS finishes the season at 10-1, but still is 6-4 in its last 10 playoff encounters. The Knights will also enter 2013 with its 28-game regular season win streak intact.

Junior Drew David had his toughest game of the 2012 campaign, still nursing an injured hand. He was sacked seven times and threw for 84 yards with three interceptions.

L-WW saw its first scoring drive end with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Justin Keuch to Nick Andrade with 5:20 left in the first for a 7-0 lead.

L-WW struck again in the second quarter on a 10-play drive that ended with a 26-yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat formation by senior transfer Lavonte Blackful on fourth down for a 14-0 edge with 7:47 to go before halftime.

Kaneland fell victim to an interception on the ensuing drive’s second play, and runs by Blackful and Javier Montalvo set up a 22-yard field goal from Joe Leo with 2:00 left for a 17-0 lead going into the break.

The Warriors expanded on their lead when the running attack set up a 10-yard TD strike to Jake Robbins with 8:01 remaining in the third for a 24-0 edge.

Jesse Balluff (30) comforts quarterback Drew David (4) at the end of their playoff loss to Lincoln-Way West on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
A dagger came after a KHS punt set up the hosts at their own 18, but Blackful went 82 yards for a score on a sweep with 2:24 remaining in the third for a 31-0 lead.

Kaneland finally found the end zone thanks to a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Carlson to Zach Martinelli with 2:06 to go. Martinelli ran in the two-point try to make it 31-8. On its next possession, the Knights’ Carlson ran it in from the four with :47 left for the final 16-point margin.

KHS coach Tom Fedderly gave credit to the Warriors, a force to be reckoned with.

“It was tough, but we kind of got behind so much that we really had to go to our passing game,” Fedderly said. “We knew going in that we’d have to mix things up. To their credit, those guys did a great job. Offensively, they moved the ball on us.”

Lincoln-Way West faces Joliet Catholic in the third round, as the Hilltoppers beat Tinley Park on Saturday, 42-21.

Power in Peoria

in Boys Cross Country/Featured by

Photo: Kaneland junior Kyle Carter (1296) and senior Conor Johnson (1298) battle a Yorkville runner shortly after the 2-mile mark at Saturday’s IHSA State Cross Country meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Johnson finished a team-best 15 minutes, 18 seconds, good enough for 36th place, while Carter was just behind in 15:22 (48th place). The Knights placed 13th in the meet. Photo by Justin Vacha

Knights’ 13th-best program in State after Detweiller Park run
by Mike Slodki
Peoria, Ill.—The Kaneland High School boys cross country team set a number of personal and team records at the State Finals in Peoria on Saturday.

The Knights finished 13th overall, improving upon last year’s 15th place finish at State.

Yet, even more important than inching up the team final totals, the Knights set an all-time school record for team time of scoring runners, 78:34. Kaneland’s previous best mark of 78:43 was set by the 1987 State Championship team.

KHS head coach Chad Clarey said the team came to Peoria with a gameplan consisting of a list of goals, both on a personal and team level.

“The team executed our race plan flawlessly, in the deepest and fastest (Class) 2A field ever,” Clarey said. “We averaged 15:42 for our scoring runners, and even that wasn’t fast enough to make the top 10 of this class.”

Keyed by top-40 finishes from leaders Conor Johnson and Kyle Carter, Kaneland finished 13th overall with a team score of 351 points, 20 better than in 2011.

With an 85-point total, Chicago’s Jones High School took the top team trophy, followed by Belvidere North at 126 and Knight conference rival Yorkville at 129.

Former conference-mate Glenbard South was fifth overall at 190, while fellow Northern Illinois Big XII outfit Dixon was 10th.

Kaneland finished 10 points behind East Moline United, and ahead of Fenton’s 376.

“The team has worked so hard through summer heat, cold ice baths, intense intervals and exhausting races,” Clarey said. “We are so proud, and even more blessed to have had this opportunity come and then be answered by seven courageous young men and their teammates.”

John Wold of Glenbard South ran the course in 14 minutes, 16 seconds for the individual title, followed by Crystal Lake Central’s Alex Baker at 14:21, and Riley McInerney of Charleston rounded out the top three at 14:33.

The top-seven of the Knights proved itself formidable in chilly conditions, with the senior Johnson running his final high school race at a 36th-place clip of 15:18, good for a 5:06 pace, shaving 42 seconds off his state run the year prior.

“His (Johnson) senior leadership has been a major reason why we made it this far,” Clarey said. “We are very proud of his character, as well as his running talents.”

Carter was next for the KHS lineup at 15:22, completing his junior season in 48th place in the state. Carter’s time shaved 23 seconds off last year’s appearance at the State Finals.

“We are so proud of Kyle, and all he has managed these past four weeks with an IT band injury,” Clarey said. “He’s overcome a lot, and certainly been a leader on the course and in practices.”

Junior Nathaniel Kucera was 103rd overall at 15:51.

“Nathaniel Kucera didn’t even make our state roster last fall. He turned that disappointment into fuel for a fire that allowed him to post an incredible 15:51 PR,” Clarey said. “His story from 2011 to 2012 will be long remembered, and cherished.”

Senior teammate John Meisinger took 111th at 15:53.

“Seeing seniors like Meisinger leave the course smiling and fulfilled is probably the best part of our day, as coaches,” Clarey said.

Junior Luis Acosta was fifth-best on the team and 139th overall with an effort of 16:12. Kaneland senior Brandon Huber was 157th overall at 16:22, while junior Ryan Bower finished the State lineup at 16:32 for 165th place.

“There isn’t a trophy for what this team achieved, but there’s great satisfaction in knowing that their group set the new standard over another that was Coach Eddington’s greatest cross country team,” Clarey said. “Granted, we are twice the size of a school now than when Larry’s crew won in ‘87.”

Photos: Halloween in Kaneland

in Elburn/Featured/Maple Park/Sugar Grove by

Horrifying House (right)
If you are in Maple Park this week, see if you can find this Halloween decorated house. It has monsters, ghouls, devils, graves, severed bodies and even a giant spider crawling down the front. Photo by John DiDonna

 

Halloween fun at the community center

Creative Beginnings Preschool held its Halloween parties in the gym at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center on Tuesday. Kids had a good time playing games and winning prizes. Gianna, 3, (right) is dressed as “Foofa” from the show Yo Gabba Gabba. Ben Wituk, 3,  (left) shows off his costume and gets a prize. Photos by John DiDonna

 

 

Scary audience

Sugar Grove trick or treaters  (below)went to the Sugar Grove Public Library on Saturday to get treats, do crafts and watch the reptile show. Here a bunch of costumed kids wait for the show to start. Photo by Patti Wilk

Dreams Dance classes offer confidence, friendship

in Elburn/Featured by

Photo: Eight-year-old Sara from St. Charles practices a high kick during her Jazz 1 lesson at the Dreams Dance Academy in Elburn. Photo by John DiDonna

Dreams Dance Academy
Classes on Tuesdays
Elburn Community Center
525 N. Main St., Elburn
(630) 975-3032
jenny@dreamsdance.com
www.dreamsdance.com

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Elburn mom Angela Sobel said her 3-year-old daughter Evelyn loves her ballet and tap class at the Elburn Community Center.

Evelyn is one of the students in the new Dreams Dance Academy (DDA) class for 3 to 5-year-olds. The class is one of four that DDA owner and instructor Jenny O’Brien teaches at the Community Center on Tuesday afternoons and evenings. O’Brien also offers ballet, jazz and hip-hop dance classes for children ages 6 years old and up.

Dreams Dance is a “traveling” dance studio started by O’Brien earlier this year. Her concept is to bring a children’s dance program to existing businesses, such as community centers, fitness studios and daycare centers, where such programs are not currently offered.

O’Brien has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and said that, as a young girl, her dance classes gave her self-confidence. She wants to provide that same opportunity to her students through her classes, to help them to feel good about themselves, and to use their creativity.

“I want to make classes convenient and affordable for parents. But, more importantly, a fun, positive and educational experience for kids,” O’Brien said. “Making a difference in the life of a child is priceless.”

Throughout her childhood, O’Brien took dance classes at park districts, dance studios, and joined the dance team and orchesis in high school. She participated in a traveling ballet troupe and performed in musicals and plays, including “The Nutcracker” and “Nightmare Before Christmas.

She describes the classes she teaches as recreational dancing—for fun, as opposed to dancing competitively. She said she works to create a positive learning environment for her students so that they walk out of her class smiling.

The sessions are once a week for 15 weeks, and cost between $125 and $140 per session.

Dreams Dance is 4-year-old Audrey Noring’s first dancing experience. Her mom, Brook, said that Audrey is building new friendships, as well as learning new things. She is also excited about preparing for the Winter Showcase that will take place in December.

Angela said that her daughter is learning not only about dance, but also about interacting with others in a group activity. Evelyn goes to a Montessori pre-school, but Angela said that the dance class is more social.

“She looks forward to the class,” Angela said. “When we get home on Tuesday nights, she asks me, ‘How long is it til Tuesday?’”


Erin, 8 from St. Charles glances at the teacher to make sure she’s doing it right during her dance lesson at Dreams Dance Academy. Photo by John DiDonna

Fedderly recognized by Chicago Bears

in Featured/Football by

Sixth-year coach gets Coach of the Week award after Morris win
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—In the midst of playoff preparations for a first-round rematch with Belvidere on Oct. 23, KHS coach Tom Fedderly checked his voicemail messages.

“It was Pat McCaskey of the Bears telling me that I’d been named Bears Coach of the Week for Week 9 after our win against Morris,” Fedderly said. “I couldn’t believe it, I thought someone was pranking me.”

The Bears selected a High School Coach of the Week after every regular season game, with Fedderly selected after the last-minute win over Morris to secure Kaneland’s third consecutive Northern Illinois Big XII Conference title and undefeated regular season.

The Coach of the Week program is in its 17th season and also has some nice perks for the winning coaches.

Fedderly and the winning coaches will be invited to attend a “chalk-talk” with Bears coach Lovie Smith and have lunch with the ninth-year coach. That leads up to the Sunday, Dec. 2, contest against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field.

The Bears also make a $1,500 donation to the winning school’s football program.

Honors aside, Fedderly is not just happy for himself.

“This isn’t about me, this really is about the whole staff, who work so hard. It’s nice to see this, we really have young, hard-working coaches that do such a great job,” Fedderly said.

The weekly honor winners are not the only ones that are scheduled to be introduced at halftime, but also the eight state championship winning coaches.

Fedderly hopes there’s a bit of overlap when it comes to his honor.

“We hope we’re in there, but I’m lucky to have this, and it’s about what the staff has been able to do,” Fedderly said.

The Knights travel to Lincoln-Way West High School for their second-round matchup on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m.

First things first

in Featured/Football by

Photo: Kaneland’s Kory Harner takes down the Belvidere receiver in the third quarter of the Knight’s 48-0 home playoff romp on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knight attack
sends Belvidere Bucs
reeling in 48-0 win

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Saturday night seemed familiar.

No. 1 Kaneland and No. 16 Belvidere once again brought in 9-0 and 5-4 records, respectively, to their second consecutive Class 5A first-round meeting.

The obviously similar occurrence to last year would be the Knights football squad emerging as the victor, which was about the only thing the same.

Instead of a 51-45 shootout from a year ago, the Knights jumped out early and stifled whatever Belvidere’s offense could muster in a 48-0 shellacking of the NIC-10 representative Bucs.

Kaneland (10-0) begins a playoff win streak anew after losing in the Class 5A State semifinals to visiting Montini Catholic to close out the 2011 season.

KHS is now 35-3 in its last 38 contests, dating back to the 2009 campaign.

Belvidere finishes at 5-5 after putting up 74 total yards and three first downs, despite the vast talents of quarterback Troy Vandenbroek and wide out Kane Steger.

Running back Jesse Balluff had 110 yards rushing and two scores, while quarterback Drew David continued to work his way back from a nagging hand injury with 128 yards passing and a rushing TD.

On the defensive end, Dylan Nauert picked off three passes and very nearly ran them in for scores before being stopped.

Balluff got things started early, with shades of Quinn Buschbacher’s first play from scrimmage in 2011, taking a direct snap out of wildcat formation all the way to the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown just 81 seconds into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

After a Blake Bradford fumble recovery deep into Bucs’ territory, Balluff scored from the 1 four plays later for a 14-0 edge.

“We knew their defense was the weaker part of their team,” Balluff said. “We scored 51 last year and we knew that was coming, but still, we were worried about their offense.”

The Knights’ next drive had a key third-down pass to Zach Martinelli for 19 yards, and two plays later, David called his own number for a one-yard touchdown sneak for a 21-0 lead with 10:43 left in the second quarter.

Kaneland employed Balluff to gain ground on its next drive, and Matt Rodriguez nailed a 35-yard field goal try with 3:18 remaining in the first half for a 24-0 lead.

A Nauert interception on the first play of the Bucs’ ensuing drive gave the ball back to KHS at the 13-yard line, where Rodriguez hit his second field goal, a 25-yarder, for a 27-0 advantage with 1:30 left in the first half.

Belvidere began the second half with a three-and-out, allowing David to find Kyle Pollastrini after one play for a 56-yard TD strike after the receiver deftly followed a block and galloped down the sideline with 10:49 left in the third for a 34-0 edge.

Nauert had interceptions on the next two Belvidere drives, the final one putting Kaneland at the visitors’ 21.

Fullback Nate Dyer ran the ball six consecutive times before plunging in from the 1-yard line for a 41-0 lead with 3:10 to go in the third to trigger the running clock.

Backup QB Tyler Carlson scampered for a 30-yard TD run with 5:12 to go for the final 48-point margin.

KHS coach Tom Fedderly made sure the Knights were not caught off guard by their foes from the north again.

“We really wanted to make sure we gave them our best effort tonight,” Fedderly said. “I’m really happy with the results. You look at some of the teams they play, and they’re great, like Rockford Boylan, Harlem and Hononegah. We’re just not taking anyone for granted.”

Saturday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m. brings the second-round challenge for the Knights, in the form of a road jaunt to New Lenox, Ill., to face the host No. 9 Lincoln-Way West (LW-W) Warriors. The Warriors, coached by Todd Ernst, finished 6-3 in the regular season and ousted No. 8 Rochelle on Friday night in a 35-0 drubbing of the Hubs in Ogle County.

The Warriors, members of the Southwest Suburban Conference Red Division, outscored its opponents by an average of 24-13 through the regular season, and also made it to the second round a year ago.

LW-W gave up a season-high 19 points back on opening night, Aug. 24, against Kaneland rival Sycamore in a 19-13 setback.

The Knights-Warriors battle marks the first time KHS has been on the road for a second-round matchup since a meeting with the North Chicago Warhawks back in 2006.

Offsetting Rochelle’s loss, the Northern Illinois Big XII saw wins from Sycamore with a 35-13 win over Chicago’s King, and Morris, which beat Rich East 44-0.

KHS clears regional net, subdued at sectionals

in Featured/Volleyball by

Photo: Three Kaneland volleyball captains receive the Regional Plaque at Hampshire on Oct. 25: Jenny Lubic (left to right), Ashley Prost and Lauren Banbury.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights dethrone Sycamore, defeated by R-B on Tuesday
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Volleyball came to its end for Kaneland High School on Tuesday night in Woodstock, Ill., but not before the postseason run had its share of highlights.

While KHS was ousted in the Marian Central Catholic Sectional by fellow Class 2A unit Richmond-Burton, the Kaneland program achieved a monumental Hampshire Regional championship win last Thursday against Sycamore.

The Knights had their work cut out for them on Thursday, battling not just Sycamore, but the ghosts of regionals past.

What occurred was an exorcizing and subsequwnt nabbing of the school’s first regional championship since 1991.

“I think we put everything we had out there and outhustled them as much as we could,” sophomore Ellie Dunn (four kills) said. “We ran for balls that I didn’t even think we could get sometimes.”

Midway through the first set saw the Lady Knights work out to a 15-9 lead, but the Debbie Klock-coached Lady Spartans closed within 15-12. Side outs were exchanged until a Lauren Banbury kill made it 18-14.

After Sycamore closed within 18-17, Side outs and errors played into the match with kill attempts often finding their way out of bounds. The Lady Spartans closed within 21-19, but kills by Lyndi Scholl (seven kills, six digs) and Banbury increased the lead to four. After a spike attempt went over the line, it was a Banbury kill that served as game point with the final six-point margin.

A tight second game saw a lead as big as six for KHS. A Keri Groen kill set the score at 19-17, with a Scholl kill increasing the lead to three.

The Lady Spartan lineup rallied to tie with an ace at 20-20, but a set into the net gave the Lady Knights the lead for good at 21-20. It was an exchange of Side outs that led to game point, with a bump that trailed off, serving as game point for the final two-point margin.

“They are a really good team, so I was expecting just craziness to come,” Banbury said. “I was giving everything I had on the court, and I think the team was, too.”

KHS coach Todd Weimer’s first regional title in his eighth season at the helm came as part of team play that was par for the course.

“I think it’s been a pretty terrific season. We’ve had some really good matches. I don’t know if this was our best match or not, and there’s always room for improvement. But this is the best effort I’ve seen from these girls,” Weimer said.

In Tuesday’s other sectional semi, Marian Central Catholic defeated Grayslake Central, 25-17, 25-9.

The Lady Knight program says goodbye to seniors Tucek, Rachael Clinton, Scholl, Groen, Banbury and Ashley Prost.

Soccer’s sectional dream stopped

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Photo: Tyler Siebert put the Knights ahead 1-0 in the first half during the Class 2A Sterling sectional championship against East Moline United on Friday. Kaneland hung on for two overtimes but lost 3-2. File Photo

Knight’s furthest road ever blocked by East Moline U. after 2 OT
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Kaneland High School soccer was in definite unchartered territory this postseason.

The further out you go in unchartered territory, however, the more threats can cut you down.

Such was the case on Friday evening at the Class 2A Sterling Sectional, where the Knight attack was defeated in two overtimes by East Moline United, 3-2.

The Knights’ journey ended with a record of 16-4-2, thanks to the setback at the hands of the Panthers.

Kaneland had reached its first ever Sectional title match with a 1-0 win over Freeport on Oct. 24.

The Panthers met Arlington Heights, Ill., outfit St. Viator in the Hampshire Super-Sectional meeting on Tuesday.

Kaneland made it to the DeKalb Regional championship in 2011 before being eliminated by Marmion Academy, and was defeated in overtime by semifinal opponent Sterling in the Belvidere Sectional in 2010.

A Panther goal 93 seconds into the first overtime provided the final margin, and Kaneland was unable to match the output in the following 10-minute overtime.

The regulation scoring all occurred in the first half, as Tyler Siebert put one on the board five minutes, 24 seconds into action.

After EMU scored two goals, Alec Koczka scored with 5:01 remaining.

The Knights’ win over the Pretzel lineup was highlighted by a second-half goal from Alex Gil with 20:20 remaining in the contest.

“We had a very good run, and it was a shame it ended, but the boys worked hard all year,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “It is amazing we were able to accomplish all we did when we didn’t have a Saturday practice because of players having to work. That is the way it is; the economy has had an effect on us. I am so very proud of what we accomplished.”

With the loss, Kaneland says goodbye to a handful of seniors instrumental in the success garnered in 2012: Ryan Straughn, Cullen MacKenzie, Sam Kilgore, Marshall Farthing, Kushstrim Ismaili, Gil, Jason Biddle, Sam Rymarz, Ben Longson, Alonzo Dominguez, Diego Ochoa and Koczka.

Calendar puts Kaneville’s rich history on display

in Featured/Kaneville by

“Remember When” Kaneville 2013 Calendar
Available at the Kaneville Library, Hill’s Country Store, by calling Lynette Werdin
at (630) 557-2202 or online at www.createphotocalendars.com

KANEVILLE—At last, there is a calendar to commemorate and depict the history of Kaneville.

The “Remember When” 2013 calendar marries each month of the year to a piece of Kaneville history. Photos of the steam train and electric trolley on Harter Road adorn the January portion of the calendar, while snapshots of the Needham Blacksmith Shop are displayed in the April section.

If the month of May brings to mind Kaneville’s Decoration (Memorial) Day ceremony and parade circa 1903, this is the calendar for you.

“We’ve sold the calendar for two or three weeks now, and we’ve sold about 10 so far,” said Pat Hill, owner of Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville. “We’ve had people coming up from the area, and even Batavia, to get the calendar.”

“Remember When” was put together last summer by Kaneville resident Jeanette Wampach. She said the project was delegated to her by Kaneville resident Lynette Werdin and the Kaneville Historical Society.

Werdin even gave Wampach access to the historical society’s photo library.

“Since I was recently retired, I was able to devote time and my skills to the project,” Wampach said. “I wanted to be very careful and make sure that everything I put in there was accurate.That took a lot of time. I worked quite heavily on the overall project for about two months. The hard part was deciding which pictures would be included; the fun part was actually putting them into the calendar.”

Wampach said the public response to the “Remember When” calendar has been very positive, especially from people who lived in Kaneville but don’t reside there any longer. They’re able to see the pictures and reflect back on their time spent in Kaneville.

“I think it looks awesome. I think Jeannete did a great job on it,” Hill said. “She took hours and hours scanning pictures and finnagling it and putting it together. She probably put over 200 hours into the calendar.”

In addition to nostalgic photographs, the calendar also features great trivia and facts related to Kaneville. A glance at the February portion of the calendar reveals that Kaneville had boys and girls basketball teams in the 1920s. Spatial constraints forced the teams to play on an L-shaped court.

Several other fascinating nuggets of knowledge line the bottom of each page. The July page reveals that tug of war was once a “competitive community sport, and Kaneville’s team drew very large crowds while competing at Kaneville Days.” They were even named Northern Illinois Champs in 1932.

The calendar isn’t all fun facts and glitz, however. It contains a complete listing of village meetings, and the back page features Kaneville Township Historical Society information, community organization contacts and a weekly events summary.

So, can the public expect a “Remember When” Calendar for 2014?

“I think that’s contingent upon the response we see in actual sales, but we’re leaning in that direction,” Wampach said. “We’d like to see this become an ongoing project.”

The calendars are $20 each, and can be purchased from the Kaneville Library, Hill’s Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road in Kaneville, or by calling Werdin at (630) 557-2202.
The calendars are also available online at www.createphotocalendars.com.

Wampach said she will gladly speak with any Elburn, Sugar Grove or Maple Park residents who want to make a “Remember When”-type calendar for their village. Those interested should email Wampach at jewam@aol.com.

This too, shall pass

in Featured/Kaneland by

Photo: Samantha Garcia was crowned 2012 KHS Homecoming Queen at the varsity football game on Oct. 12. Photo by Patti Wilk

KHS senior works her way back to normal after car accident
by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Something told Lisa DeFranze to turn around and go back home that night.

It was July 1, and she and her daughter, Samantha Garcia, had gone their separate ways that evening. Garcia, soon to become a senior at Kaneland High School, drove off in the opposite direction.

When DeFranze arrived back at home, she saw the police officers at her neighbor’s house. Samantha had been in a car accident and was in serious condition.

Sam’s car had gone off the road at the intersection of Route 30 and 47, rolling over six or seven times before she was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to Rush-Copley and then air-lifted to Loyola Medical Center.

Samantha’s condition was very much touch and go that night. She had suffered severe head trauma, and the doctors had to insert a tube in her head to drain the build-up of fluid. She had fractured ribs, her right arm was crushed, and she had multiple pelvic fractures.

The doctor told DeFranze that Samantha would never walk or feed herself again.

But Samantha was 17 years old and otherwise healthy. Before the accident, she worked out a lot at the Vaughan Athletic Center, and she played third base on her high school softball team. She is also a very determined young lady.

DeFranze said the family decided to listen to Samantha’s neurosurgeon, who said kids are resilient, and everybody’s different.

Sam spent the first two weeks in the intensive care unit and two additional weeks in the hospital before transferring to Marionjoy Rehabilitation Center for two months of intensive rehab.

Less than four months later, Samantha is walking with assistance, her speech is coming back and she still has her sense of humor. Recently, she got dressed up and went to the KHS Homecoming dance for an hour, where she was chosen Homecoming Queen.

Samantha with some of her many post-auto accident supporters wearing their “This, too, shall pass, Samantha Garcia” T-shirts. Photo by Patti Wilk
“It was overwhelming,” she said. “I felt normal again.”

Samantha is doing her exercises every day, and she began working with a tutor this week. She said she is looking forward to playing softball and running again, and can’t wait to go back to school.

Samantha’s friends text her and come over to visit. They also organized a fundraising benefit for Samantha in September at the AmVets Post No. 106 in Aurora. About 350 people showed up. Her friend Baylee Lancaster said the fundraiser featured a bags tournament, a silent auction and 50/50 raffles, and they made T-shirts and bracelets to commemorate the benefit. They raised $22,000 to help Samantha’s family with her medical expenses.

The arm that was injured is her softball-throwing arm, so getting her strength back there is important to her. For now, she is just working on the basics, with speech, physical and occupational therapy.

DeFranze said Samantha just became weight-bearing as of last week. Her speech is also getting better, but her voice is soft.

“She gets very fatigued,” DeFranze said.

Several months before the accident, Sam got a tattoo on the top of her foot.

The butterfly was to remember her grandmother; perhaps the message was for Samantha, too. It says, “This, too, shall pass.”

Samantha will go back to school in January, and she expects to graduate with her class. DeFranze said that Samantha is impatient and wants so much to get back to normal again.

“She’s come a far way,” DeFranze said. “She doesn’t realize how far.”

Elburn Jazzercise turns five

in Elburn/Featured by

Photo: Heather Coulter works hard leading the Jazzercise class at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Jazzercise

Elburn Community Center
525 N. Main St., Elburn
Classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at
5:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.

Participants can pay walk-in fee or sign up for a number of months of unlimited classes

www.jazzercise.com

Come to a free class on Thursday, Nov. 1 to celebrate five years in Elburn
by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Seven women who began taking Jazzercise at the Elburn Community Center five years ago still come to the classes.

These women, together with newer Jazzercise students, will celebrate Elburn Jazzercise’s fifth anniversary by bringing friends and acquaintances to a free class to show them why they love the classes so much.

The women take Jazzercise for a variety of reasons.

“It’s a great stress reliever,” Batavia resident Lisabeth Cummings said.

Some of the women have lost dress sizes, and some do it to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Others, such as Elburn resident Carol Williams, said they come partly for the energy and the fun they have together.

“It’s become a social thing,” she said.

Williams said that a number of the students have become good friends through the classes. They play Bunco once a month, donating each month’s winnings to the host’s favorite charity. They also take trips together, and have gone to visit former classmates who relocated to Nashville.

The students all agree on one thing: they love Heather.

Heather Coulter, Elburn Jazzercise’s instructor, has an enthusiasm that’s infectious. She has been teaching the class in Elburn since it began five years ago, on Nov. 1, 2007.

Cummings has been taking Jazzercise classes since 1984 in places such as Las Vegas, Texas, Florida and the Midwest, and also joined the East Bank Club in Chicago and worked with a personal trainer. She said Coulter is “the draw.”

“She makes the time go fast,” Cummings said. “She just has so much energy and a good sense of humor.”

Coulter uses a headset microphone to call out the moves to be heard over the music, which is a mixture of hip-hop, Latin, pop and jazz. The class’ first 40 minutes or so are spent in dance-based aerobics to the beat of the music, with Coulter occasionally yelling out, “Are you having fun?”

The answer is always a rousing “Yes!”

The exercise program switches to Pilates moves, kickboxing, core and weight training for the remainder of the hour, and ends with a slowed-down medley of stretches and Yoga postures.

A licensed physical therapist during the day, Coulter currently owns a franchise at six Jazzercise locations, including the ones in Elburn and Sugar Grove.

Franchisee-owner June Armbruster has done Jazzercise for 17 years. Four years ago she became certified and started teaching classes in Sugar Grove.

Armbruster said she teaches between five and eight classes a week, and tries to teach some of the classes at all locations. The participants range from high school students to women in their 60s and 70s.

“They’re our best spokespeople,” she said. “They bring their friends, and they talk it up at work.”

NIB-12 champions

in Featured/Football by

Last-minute heroics lead to win over Morris, 3rd-straight conference crown
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—It was anyone’s ballgame to win.

By virtue of heightened play on their last drive, coupled with a bit of luck, it turned out to be Kaneland’s ballgame.

Echoing the dramatic narrative histrionics of a year ago in Grundy County, it came down to the Knights’ final possession against Morris on Friday, with Drew David throwing a five-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to Zach Martinelli with :27 left for a 33-30 win.

“We’ve run that route numerous times all year, and Drew put that ball on the money,” Martinelli said. “It couldn’t have been any better. I saw it coming and I was smiling.”

The win cemented Kaneland’s third straight undefeated regular season. Kaneland’s program has now won 28 regular season games in a row. Counting the postseason, KHS is 34-3 in its last 37 contests.

The Knights also finish the regular season as Northern Illinois Big XII East division champions and have never lost a conference game.

Kaneland outgained the visiting Redskins by a count of 408-280 and advanced 200 yards on the ground in the win.

Jesse Balluff provided immense support for the Knights with a 140-yard rushing effort with a touchdown, and even took some snaps out of the Wildcat formation to relieve David, who is still recovering from a nagging hand injury.

Morris quarterback Zach Cinnamon had a team-high 81 yards rushing.

His counterpart, David, was 13-for-21 for 208 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

“I didn’t play last Friday, and I felt a little out of the game rhythm, but once we got back on the field for the first play I was good to go,” David said.

Martinelli was the top receiver with six catches for 124 yards.

KHS struck first in the opening frame, thanks to a third-down pass under pressure to Martinelli for a 59-yard touchdown with :10 left in the first for a 7-0 lead.

A kickoff return for a touchdown by Morris was called back because of a penalty, negating Morris’ chance to answer.

Morris’ first score came on a Cinnamon touchdown run from the 15-yard line with 4:21 remaining in the half.

KHS seemed to be moving toward another score, but a tipped pass was picked off by Josh Lincoln at the 5-yard line and returned all the way back to the 16-yard line of KHS. With time for one play, Fernando DelToro’s 33-yard field goal try ended the half with the Redskins taking a 10-7 lead.

Third-quarter scoring got underway with Balluff galloping over a tackler and going for a 53-yard touchdown with 8:38 remaining for a 14-10 lead in the third quarter.

The following drive went eight plays, featuring Balluff runs and a pass to Kyle Pollastrini. However, the drive stalled, allowing Matt Rodriguez to boot a 41-yard field goal for a 17-10 lead with 3:10 remaining.

Morris took five plays to find the end zone as Anthonee Monson scored on a 16-yard TD pass with :56 left in the frame to tie the score.

The fourth quarter began with six Balluff runs and a 39-yard field goal for a 20-17 lead with 9:52 remaining in regulation.

Morris used an Austin Hogan kickoff return to set up shop at the KHS 31. Reese Sobol scored on a 20-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the drive for a 24-20 Morris lead with 8:01 remaining.

Kaneland made good on the next drive: an eight-play, 70-yard drive that ended with Dylan Nauert catching a touchdown pass from the 14 out of trips formation for a 27-24 edge with 4:10 remaining.

The two squads traded punts with Morris scoring next, thanks to a 49-yard scamper by Cinnamon with 1:58 remaining. The extra-point try was no good, but Morris still led 30-27.

After two incomplete passes, David rushed for 15, 33 and two yards to put the Knights in solid Redskins territory.

A pass to Pollastrini was good for 19 yards, which set up the final successful play.

Morris had a chance to drive 69 yards in 21 seconds, but Cinnamon was sacked on the final play.

“We go every week saying it’s going to be a four-quarter game,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly. “We’ve got to play every single second of the game until the last play is done, and we had to do it tonight.”

Kaneland, as the No. 1 seed on its side of the bracket, will host No. 16 Belvidere at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Kaneland held on against the Bucs in the first round of the 2011 playoffs for a 51-45 barnburner.

IHSA Class 5A Playoff Notes
No. 1 Kaneland will host Belvidere High School in the first round of the Class 5A State Series.

Belvidere comes to Kaneland with a 5-4 overall record, and averages a 12.2 scoring deficit for the year.

Meanwhile, Kaneland enters the playoffs with a perfect 9-0 record, outscoring its opponents by an average 28.1 points per game.

Back to the top

in Boys Soccer/Featured by

Photo: Kushstrim Ismaili tries to get control of the ball in the rain during Kaneland’s 5-1 playoff win against IMSA at Burlington on Oct. 17. Photo by John DiDonna

Soccer crew wins 2nd regional plaque in 3 seasons
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Saturday’s Class 2A Burlington Central Regional title match between No. 1 Kaneland and No. 2 Burlington Central was a tight affair between two teams playing with a well-disciplined edge.

While that can fill any accomplished team with some degree of pride, what really seals the deal is the hardware the Knights secured after a 2-1 win.

An initial two-goal lead held until the end, despite constant pressure from the host Rockets, and Kaneland came away with its second regional title in three seasons. The Knights last won a regional in 2010, but were defeated by Sterling at Belvidere High School in the sectional semifinal in a postseason that featured nine overtime frames.

Kaneland got to the regional promised land due to a 5-1 win over Illinois Math and Science Academy on Oct. 17.

Kaneland now takes on Freeport, which beat Belvidere on Saturday as part of the Belvidere Regional on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The Knights (15-3-2) took it to the Rocket rivals (17-4-2) early with a booming rocket of a kick by Alex Gil with 19:20 remaining in the first half.

“We practice switching the field and going back and forth,” Gil said. “We go left and right, and I was able to get it in.”

The Rockets were barely able to catch their breath before Alec Koczka’s header in the same area where Gil’s goal ended up made it 2-0 with 18:05 to go.

Burlington Central kept pressing and ended up halving the deficit with a goal from Alan Camarena with 10 minutes left on the first-half clock.

The second half had the majority of the action around Kaneland’s goal and a final flurry was set away, volleyball style, by goalkeeper Marshall Farthing with :16 left.

“That was just a quick reaction I had,” Farthing said. “I didn’t know what else to do. It just came right in and I stuck my hands out.”

The Knights’ win over the Titans featured a 5-0 lead at halftime, thanks to goals from Tyler Siebert, Kushstrim Ismaili, a free kick by Sam Rymarz and two goals from Anthony Parillo.

The Knight-Pretzel encounter was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Sterling, with the winner facing either East Moline’s United Twp. or Rochelle in the final on Friday, Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m.

Results of Wednesday’s contest were unavailable at press time.

Big win keeps Girls XC party going

in Featured/Girls Cross Country by

Effort of top 7 nabs 1st regional crown in 20 years
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If you don’t have totals worthy of a sectional, your season comes to an end in girls cross country.

Luckily, KHS won’t have to worry about that matter, as their 43-point total at their own regional on Saturday morning grabbed a first-place regional plaque.

The one-point win over Crystal Lake Central sends the Lady Knight roster to the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional along with Crystal Lake and Prairie Ridge, which amassed 80 points.

Kaneland had five of the top 15 runners to put the team over the top, most notably sophomore Victoria Clinton, who ran in 18 minutes, 5.7 seconds.

“It was an excellent race by the entire top seven and an overall team victory,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Next for Kaneland was Brianna Bower, who continues to make waves as a freshman with a time of 19:33.8

“(Brianna) finished sixth as she continues her steady improvement with each race,” Ecker said.

Sydney Strang finished ninth with a time of 19:55.6, while the next KHS representative was senior Abby Dodis with a time of 20:16.3, good for 12th.

Senior teammate Amanda Lesak was 15th best in the field with a time of 20:27.

The upcoming Belvidere Sectional takes place on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m. for the girls, along with eligible teams from the Antioch and Belvidere North Sectionals.

A year ago, Kaneland was the fourth-best roster to advance to State, thanks to a one-two punch from Clinton (18:28) and Dodis (18:52).

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