by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”How do you try to build on a team that went 3-10 (1-6 Western Sun Conference) and had a large number of departures?
Holly Thomas, senior anchor and an influx of eager new bowlers might go a long way in accomplishing that.
“Holly has already rewritten most of the record book for bowling at Kaneland,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We already know she’s the captain, she’s the leader. We just hope some of the others can come through.”
With Seleana Isaacs, Madi Bluml and Angela Charhut also returning from the 2009-2010 experience, coach Jim McKnight is encouraged at the early outset of practice.
Other varsity and JV fixtures include Alex Hornback, Colleen Ryan, Morgan Wojciechowski, Marissa Avery, Michelle Bohanek, Kayley Larson, Amy Trotier, Raeven Smith and Amanda Strayve.
“We’re hoping that with all the new blood on the team that they will look to Holly for leadership and for example, and so far they’ve been doing a real good job,” McKnight said. “We literally had to start from square one.”
Regardless of the experience, McKnight is encouraged by the initial atmosphere.
“At the last minute, we got a bunch of girls that we weren’t even expecting. I’m seeing more from some of these newer girls and real surprised at the progress,” McKnight said.
Among the biggest new wrinkles in the season is the emergence of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference, Kaneland’s second new conference in five years.
“With the exception of schools like LaSalle-Peru and Streator, we’ve seen most of these other schools.Teams like Sterling and Dixon are perennially very strong,â€ McKnight said.