School may be out, but for Kaneland baseball and sixth-year head coach Brian Aversa, there remains important work to be done.
Aversa and the Knights couldn’t be happier.
“I think it has sunk in,” Aversa said. “I’ll be looking at stats and throw up a high-five for someone and just say ‘we are going to State!, I was just so excited and got about three hours sleep Monday night before researching again.”
Aversa, who started his coaching career in Macon, Ill., for Meridian High School in 2003, is enjoying the week leading up to the road to Joliet.
“We tried to scout the other games as best we could. We gave the team (Tuesday) off to relax, because it was way too hot. We’ll get back to practicing Wednesday and Thursday, and then it’s on to Joliet,” Aversa said.
Aversa, who has now amassed 107 wins as Kaneland coach since an 18-13 start in 2007, will have both parents in tow for Friday’s semifinal game against Waterloo.
In terms of what might give KHS a leg up, or an arm up, on Waterloo, Oak Forest or Nazareth Academy, Aversa points to his playoff pitching rotation of Kyle Davidson, Drew Peters and Bobby Thorson.
“Kyle just gets up and starts chucking, we’ve got a good thing going with him, and he shut Peoria down in the end. Drew is a lefty and throwing real well in the postseason. Bobby is a power pitcher and has real good location,”Aversa said.
Win or lose, the Kaneland skipper knows it is up to the team to forge the final result.
“I told the team the best part of this is they get to write the ending to their own story here.”