by Mike Slodki
MALTAâ€”How can fortunes still be promising with the girls cross-country season in its last throes?
When you run for the Lady Knights.
A solid second-place finish allows Kaneland a berth in the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional this weekend.
Kanelandâ€™s 76-point total was good enough to top Sycamore (88), Rosary (102) and Burlington Central (113) out of the advancing teams. Crystal Lake Central took the regional crown with 34 points and five of the top 10 runners.
Race champion was Cassie Kruse of Hampshire with a time of 18 minutes, 18 seconds.
Kanelandâ€™s Jen Howland was tops for the Maple Park crew with a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds. Close behind was teammate Andie Strang in 11th place at 19:39. Ashley Castellanos continued her strong season-long trajectory in 12th place at 19:43. Lady Knight Kris Bowen was 22nd with an effort of 20:45.
KHS coach Doug Ecker was pleased and is eager to see what lies in store at Sectionals.
â€œThe girls did a nice job of picking one another up, and advancing to the Sectional. Jen Howland continues to improve with each race, which should build her confidence. Andie Strang raced like a senior captain and looked strong,â€ Ecker said.
Saturday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. brings the Belvidere Sectional. Kaneland will see other Sectional champions like Lakes, Woodstock and St. Francis.
KANELANDâ€”Lady Knights volleyball continued their recent roll on Thursday at the home of the Lady Foxes by a final of 25-23, 25-21.
They also put in time at their usual end-of-season stop at Kanelandâ€™s Spikefest on Saturday.
Against Yorkville, Kylie Siebert had 13 digs and two aces. Katy Dudzinski had 14 kills and a block while Jessica Lubic paced Kaneland with 15 assists, an ace and three kills.
The eight-team rumble at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove resulted in Kaneland taking third place with three wins in five matches.
The Lady Knights now head into the â€œsecond seasonâ€ with a 19-13 record (7-3 NIB-12).
At Spikefest, Kaneland began with a 19-25, 25-19, 15-6 win over Aurora Central Catholic. They moved on to a 25-16, 18-25, 15-10 win over regional opponent Hampshire. The first loss of the day came at the hands of Peotone by a 25-23, 26-24 clip.
Kaneland began the crossover play with a loss to Geneva, but came back to beat ACC again in the third-place matchup.
With the regular season at an end, Kaneland (3) tries to erase the bad taste of 2009 by ousting Hampshire (2) from the Kaneland Regional in Class 3A on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.
The regional title game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. against the winner of (1) Sycamore and (4) Burlington Central.
Eight teams competed in the 2010 Spikefest at Harter Middle School on Saturday, October 23. Here, Kylie Siebert (left) and Melanie Thompson of Kaneland wait for the serve in their second game against Peotone.
Photo by John DiDonna
FORSYTH, Ill.â€”Hayley Guyton will always be remembered at Kaneland High School for what she pulled off on the golf course.
Now, she’ll be remembered throughout the State for what she did the last four years.
While not getting to the astounding heights of a year ago, when she was second in the IHSA 2A Girls Golf meet, the senior finished eighth in the state with a total score of 152 over the two-day festivities. Guyton was 11 back from champion Stephanie Miller of Stevenson High School.
Guyton shot a 77 on Saturday and a 75 on Friday.
The senior shot a 39 on the front end and 38 on the back nine. Guyton was sixth after the first day of swinging with a 40 on the front half and 35 on the back end.
In 2009, Guyton went to a playoff with eventual champ Kris Yoo of Conant, shooting a 145.
Kaneland improves to 8-0 with 30-13 win over rival
Photo: Knight Joe Camiliere (12) tries to avoid the Sycamore defense in Kanelandâ€™s 30-13 win over the Spartans on Friday in Maple Park. Photo by Ben Draper
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”It was the biggest regular season game in quite some time for Kaneland.
The Knights played like it.
Facing a fellow undefeated squad in the visiting Sycamore Spartans, the Knights used offensive drives to the best of their ability and came up with timely defensive plays in a 30-13 win over the Spartans.
With the win, Kaneland gets a modicum of satisfaction for last yearâ€™s first-round ousting at the hands of SHS, and has the inside track at the Northern Illinois Big XII East championship at 8-0 (4-0 NIB-12). Sycamore drops to 7-1 (3-1 NIB-12), and faces Yorkville (3-5, 1-4 NIB-12) in the regular season finale.
The latest IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points standings has Kaneland fourth and Sycamore seventh.
Joe Camiliere was the field general coach Tom Fedderlyâ€™s offense requires and went 13-for-19 for 140 yards with a touchdown throw and no interceptions.
â€œI thought he had good time to throw,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. â€œThatâ€™s what we were concerned about. He had enough time to get the ball out of his hands and did a good job tonight.â€
Taylor Andrews was the leader in the rushing category for the Knights with 70 yards on six tries, while KHS had 190 yards on the ground total.
Sycamoreâ€™s Tommy Nice was the gameâ€™s leading rusher with 94 yards.
Quinn Buschbacher was the leading receiver for KHS with six catches totaling 34 yards.
Kaneland outgained Sycamore 330-304.
The game between two playoff-caliber squads in a playoff atmosphere had its first big play when Blake Serpa fumbled on the Knightsâ€™ first drive at their own 30.
Two plays later, running back Eric Ray scored from the 10 with 8:24 to go in the first for a 7-0 Spartan lead.
Using a balanced attack, KHS calmly drove 48 yards in 11 plays highlighted by a third-and-nine catch by Tyler Callaghan. Camiliere plunged in from the one-yard line with 2:24 to go to deadlock matters at 7-7.
The next time Kaneland got the ball they drove down for another score, as Callaghan caught a lofted ball in the corner of the end zone on the first play of the second frame for a 14-7 lead.
Sycamore looked to be on its way to knotting things up, until a backward pass that landed on the grass was scooped up by Andrews for an 84-yard touchdown to the shock of Sycamoreâ€™s faithful.
â€œIt was a backward pass and I was about to give the ball to the ref,â€ Andrews said. â€œI looked over and heard everyone say â€˜go, go goâ€™, so I just took off running.â€
â€œWe were all just screaming â€˜pick it up and run!â€™,â€ Fedderly said. â€œWe knew it was a fumble, it went backwards, what can you say? What a play.â€
Sycamore did come back on a QB Ryan Bartels TD run from 12 yards out with 1:25 to go, making it 20-13.
Kaneland wasnâ€™t done, as they drove 40-yards to the 10, where freshman kicker Matt Rodriguez hit a 27-yard field goal to make it 23-13 at halftime.
With Blake Serpaâ€™s four-yard touchdown run coming with 7:44 left in the third, the scoring was closed at 30-13.
Now Kaneland hosts Morris on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Redskins are playoff-bound, having lost only two games, and are coming off a dramatic 15-8 win in Rochelle on Friday.
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”For the way things ended up at IHSA tennis Sectionals at St. Charles East on Saturday, all you had to do was look at Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski.
â€œThe final point where we won I was thinking, â€˜oh my God we are going to Stateâ€™, and (Amelia) turned around and we just ran at each other. Everyone was crying and jumping. I donâ€™t even remember the next match,â€ Jurcenko said.
In the matchup with St. Charles North’s Kate Lesswing and Abby Roggemann, Kaneland’s unit won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Napiorkowski doesnâ€™t discount the impressive nature of Kaneland tennisâ€™ accomplishment.
â€œEveryone there knew we were singles players and thought they could use doubles strategies against us but we caught on fast. We would adjust our strategies during the match,â€ Napiorkowski said.
Saturdayâ€™s celebration was warranted, and KHS hopes it will continue at the upcoming IHSA State Tennis meet. The meet takes place at courts in District 211, 214 and 220 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and now will feature the first-ever Kaneland presence at the State tennis finals.
The IHSA announced Tuesday that the Jurcenko-Napiorkowski tandem, who took fourth at Sectionals, will face Rosary’s duo Angelina Goheen and Katie King at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Thursday, Oct. 21.
Jurcenko and Napiorkowski lost the third-place match to Bartlett’s Katie Gates and Gabby Gregorio 6-2, 6-1.
St. Charles North took home the sectional crown with 22 points.
Photo: Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski make KHS history as the first reps from the school at the State Tennis meet
starting Thursday, Oct. 21 Courtesy photo
by Mike Slodki
ELBURNâ€”In a tough group of teams, Kaneland had several standouts at the first-ever gathering of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference.
The meet at Elburn Woods saw the Yorkville Foxes take the crown with 46 points, compared to Dixonâ€™s 75.
The Knightsâ€™ 138-point total was good for seventh, ahead of Rochelle (183) and behind Sterling (135).
Sterlingâ€™s Jacob Landis, at 16 minutes, nine seconds, took the course crown by nine seconds over Dixonâ€™s Simon Thorpe.
Next up was Knight Trevor Holm, who has been at or near the top for much of this season.
Holm, who ran his Elburn Woods-best at 16:24, had a good run at this late regular season juncture, according to KHS coach Chad Clarey.
â€œOur goal today was to try and hit some personal records on this course, because itâ€™s far different from the rest that we compete on,â€ Clarey said. â€œTrevor had a great race and heâ€™s still coming back from being sick last week. Heâ€™s in a good spot. He might be disappointed that he didnâ€™t win on his home course, but you canâ€™t always pick your best races.â€
â€œAlthough he may not have been satisfied with the outcome, he will continue to feel fresher and faster with the taper,â€ Clarey said.
Junior Nate Rehkopf was 23rd at 17:24, and also set a new PR for himself.
â€œIâ€™m pretty pleased how weâ€™re doing as a team and how Iâ€™m doing personally,â€ Rehkopf said. â€œTrevorâ€™s been good leading the guys, and itâ€™s usually been me, Clayton Brundige and Grant Alef backing him up. We have a good team on all levels.â€
Tommy Whittaker, running his last Elburn Woods course, ran in 17:49 and set a new PR, as well.
Additionally, junior Jake Ginther finished 33rd with a time of 18:07.
Photo: Tommy Whittaker runs his way to a 17:49 finish during Saturdayâ€™s Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods. Photo by Ashley Leonetti
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Lady Knights volleyball has a funny relationship with the inevitable.
As in, they’ve done a good job of spoiling it lately.
For the first time under Coach Todd Weimer, Kaneland defeated Sycamore. The 25-21, 25-13 sweep of the Lady Spartans came on Senior Night along Spartan Trail.
â€œWeâ€™ve just been working our tail off, and weâ€™ve got a lot of confidence going on right now. We beat Geneva for the first time in 19 years and now we just beat the top-seeded team in the regional. Weâ€™re taking care of business and soaring to new height,s and thatâ€™s our theme this year,â€ Weimer said.
Kaneland also handled Rochelle in Maple Park on Tuesday by a final of 25-19, 25-14.
Kaneland is now 15-11 on the year, and 6-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII action.
The effort was buoyed by Jess Lubic (eight digs, 14 assists, one block, one ace), Kylie Siebert (two kills, 12 digs, one ace) and Malory Groen (three kills, two blocks).
Defeating the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Kaneland 3A Regional could make things interesting in a matter of days.
Up 12-8 on Sycamore, the Spartans made an unforced error to fall to 13-8. Lubic later set the ball to the other side of the net for a 15-10 lead. The Lady Spartans closed within 21-19, but a Katy Dudzinski kill and a block by the junior made it 23-19 and eventually cruised to the four-point win.
Game two went even worse for the hosts. Down 3-1, Kaneland quickly went on a 9-3 run to go up 10-6. Later, sloppy play by the hosts and key front-line play made it 17-9 Kaneland. Game point was a Lubic set over the net, marking the biggest lead of the game and touching off a group celebration.
â€œWe were kind of hoping to come in here and get a win because this was basically for second in conference if we win out. We played DeKalb (last Tuesday) and had a lot of unforced errors, so we came in here knowing we had to control the ball better,â€ Lubic said.
Meanwhile, against the Hubs, Taylor Bradbury had two aces and four digs while Lubic added four kills and nine assists.
Kaneland hosts its annual Spikefest on Saturday, Oct. 23, beginning at 8 a.m.
KANELANDâ€”Kaneland wasnâ€™t the opponent you can overlook when it comes to playing Sycamore in 2010.
Kaneland had the Spartansâ€™ number on Thursday, scoring two second-half goals to win 2-1.
The Knights close their regular season out at 9-10-2 (5-3-2 NIB-12).
Derek White had a goal with 11 minutes, 13 seconds to go, and Jordan Escobedo scored with 2:26 remaining in the contest for the win.
The JV crew finished the regular season with a 2-0 at Sycamore to go 17-0-1, which included 13 shutouts.
Oct. 21, 2010 UPDATE: The Knights faced Sycamore in IHSA Regional action Wednesday night, prevailing 2-1. The game-winning goal was scored by Jordan Escobedo with 55 seconds left in the fourth overtime. Chad Swieca tied the game in the second half. The Knights next game is against Rochelle, at Sycamore, Friday at 4 p.m.
by Mike Slodki
ELBURNâ€”For the majority of the 2010 season, Kaneland girls cross-country has struggled to post a full lineup.
But there have always been encouraging developments. That came to a head at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII gathering on Saturday morning at Elburn Woods.
Kaneland finished fourth overall with 97 points, just two behind DeKalb.
Dixon (40) and Yorkville (46) took the top two slots. Geneseo, Sycamore, Rochelle, Sterling, Ottawa and Morris rounded out the top 10.
While Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb took the course with a time of 18 minutes, 42 seconds, Kaneland bore witness to a season-best day from junior Jen Howland, who posted a 19:20 time.
â€œThe beginning of the race was really good ,and I had my teammates right by me,â€ Howland said. â€œI felt really strong, and going up the hill my teammates were pushing me, and knowing they were working just as hard as I was really pushed me.â€
After Howlandâ€™s all-NIB-12 day, KHS saw senior Andie Strang finish in 13th place at 19:48.
â€œWeâ€™ve always been good about staying pretty modest,â€ Strang said. â€œPeople can get hurt so fast in cross-country, and this was a good race to prepare us for next weekend.â€
Sophomore Ashley Castellanos took 18th overall with an effort of 20:23. Teammate Kris Bowen also had a productive outing with a time of 20:54.
All four runners ran a personal best on their home course.
Awaiting KHS this Saturday, Oct. 23, is the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Kishwaukee College in Malta.
The meet, hosted by Sycamore, also includes Aurora Central Catholic, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Rosary, Burlington Central, Crystal Lake Central and Hampshire.
Photo: Jen Howland supplied her most productive day of the 2010 season at Elburn Woods on Saturday. Photo by Ashley Leonetti
by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLEâ€”Friday night at Campbell Field in Yorkville featured four quarters of Fox hunting.
For Kaneland, the instrument of choice was a scalpel.
Highlighted by a third-quarter drive that went eight minutes, 11 seconds and ended with a Blake Serpa touchdown run, the Knights saw big things from their offense and a steady defense in a 34-13 win over the Foxes.
With the final outcome, Kaneland is now 7-0 (3-0 NIB-12), and heads into a battle of the undefeateds with visiting Sycamore.
Sycamore is now the top-ranked Playoff Points team in Class 5A, while Kaneland is the third-ranked team.
Kaneland gathered 387 yards of offense compared to 225 yards for YHS.
Joe Camiliere had a 13-for-20 for 185 yards evening, with two touchdowns and one interception. The senior has thrown 19 scoring strikes, compared to two picks.
Serpa ran for 91 yards. Sean Carter caught three passes for 77 yards to be the Knightsâ€™ leading receiver.
“I have to tip my hat to Yorkville, they played hard,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “They played a good game and that’s what we expected. That (8:11) drive, that’s something we’ve been talking about putting together for awhile.”
After Taylor Andrews recovered a fumble on a pitch on Yorkville’s first play from scrimmage, Kaneland used three plays to score, thanks to Serpa’s one-yard plunge just 1:44 into the game for a 7-0 lead.Yorkville used a 21-yard field goal by Maxwell Brusveen with 6:22 to go to make it 7-3. The kick marked the Foxes’ first points against Kaneland since 2007.
In the second quarter, Kaneland struck again on a 70-yard pass to Carter in stride with 2:59 to go making it 14-3. Yorkville came back with a 10-play drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Brusveen with 29 ticks left to make it 14-6.
Kaneland began the second half with that 15-play drive that covered 80-yards. Serpa and Camliere ran the ball for most of the drive, sandwiched around a Carter catch. It gave Kaneland the chance to dominate the game via run, and kept YHS offensive assets off the field.
“We had a lead already. We had a touchdown lead, and the line did a great job. It was a long drive and they just blocked on every play. Blake ran the ball better than I’ve ever seen him run,” Camiliere said.
In the fourth quarter, Tyler Callaghan caught his first touchdown pass of the season from nine yards out with 10:09 to go in the game, making it 28-6. After Callaghan intercepted a Brant Corwin pass, Quinn Buschbacher ran it in from the 14 to make it 34-6 with 9:08 to go.
Yorkville closed the scoring with a Liir Emini TD catch from 23-yards out to make it 34-13 with 2:06 remaining. In sophomore action, KHS won 62-25.
Sycamore tries to knock off the Knights this Friday, Oct. 15. The Spartans won the 2009 Class 5A first-round matchup 40-13 on Oct. 31, 2009.
Guyton gets last qualifying State spot after Sectional
KANELANDâ€”This is becoming old hat for Kanelandâ€™s Hayley Guyton.
Shooting an 80 at Mondayâ€™s IHSA Class 2A Sectional gathering hosted by LaGrange Parkâ€™s Nazareth Academy, Guyton made it into the Girls Golf State tournament as the last individual qualifier.
At Willow Crest Golf Club, Guyton was just behind Caitlan Smollen of Chicagoâ€™s St. Ignatius (79). Medalist was Glenbard Westâ€™s Brooke Kochevar with a 71.
On Oct. 6, Guyton qualified for Sectional with an 80 at the St. Charles East Regional held at St. Andrewâ€™s Golf Course in West Chicago.
The IHSA Class 2A State battle takes place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16, at Hickory Point Golf Course in Forsyth, Ill. Guytonâ€™s Friday tee time is 10:09 a.m. on the tenth tee, along with Kelly Muskat of Barrington, Smollen and Krystal Garritson of Lockport.
Meanwhile, the Knight boys team saw their season end after Mondayâ€™s Freeport Sectional.
Finishing 11th out of 12 squads, Kaneland shot a 341. Freeport (307), Sterling (313) and Burlington Central (313) advance to State at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.
Coach Mark Meyer bids adieu to senior Josh Schuberg with the conclusion of the season, while fellow senior Guyton continues postseason golf.
Photo: Hayley Guyton gets some suggestions from her coach, Mark Meyer, before the start of the St. Charles East Regional tournament on Wednesday, October 6 at St. Andrews Golf Club in West Chicago. Hayley was the only Kaneland athlete competing. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”In the â€œworldâ€™s most popular sport,â€ goals can be quite hard to come by, no matter the level.
Leave it to KHS soccer to go against whatâ€™s popular.
The Knights lit up the scoreboard in Rochelle on Thursday, winning 6-2 against the regionalâ€™s No. 1-seeded Hubs, before being edged by visiting Plainfield East 1-0 on Saturday. Most recently on Tuesday, the Knights solved the invading Yorkville Foxes 5-0.
The recent week of action puts the Knights at 8-10-2 (4-3-2 NIB-12), eclipsing the 2009 win total.
Against the Hubs, KHS jumped on their purple foes for four first half goals: two by Derek White, one by Chad Swieca and one by Kushstrim Ismali.
The second half had goals by Jordan Escobedo, who also had four assists, and Anders Winquist-Bailey.
Against the Bengals of Plainfield East, the Knights gave up a first-half goal and had their chances in the second half, but an Escobedo chance went wide late.
â€œIt just didnâ€™t happen today,â€ KHS coach Scott Parillo said. â€œWe need to work on health and finishing. Weâ€™re one of those feast-or-famine teams. (We) scored twice in five minutes against Rochelle or games like today, thatâ€™s kind of been our season.â€
Against Yorkville, White scored thanks to an Escobedo assist just 8:44 into the match, and Trevor Wolf put in a goal with an Alex Gil assist with 8:26 remaining in the first half.
Escobedo, Anthony Parillo and Patrick Bratschun found the net.
The JV crew continued its torrid season, earning wins over Rochelle, Plainfield East and Yorkville by a combined score of 12-2. They sit at 15-0-1.
For the varsity side, the next challenge is at Sycamore on Thursday, Oct. 14.
Photo: Thanasi Pesmajoglou looks for an opening during Saturday morningâ€™s 1-0 setback to Plainfield East at KHS. Photo by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”This past week saw Lady Knights volleyball take care of an NIB-12 opponent, participate in some Iowa action, and vanquish an old foe.
The 13-11 (4-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) Kaneland crew earned i’s first win over non-conference foe Geneva for the first time in 19 years on Oct. 6, then followed that with a win against visiting Morris on Thursday, before going 1-2 in Bettendorf, Iowa, tourney action on Saturday morning. The week ended with a 25-18, 25-11 loss to host DeKalb on Tuesday.
In the 26-24, 23-25, 25-22 win over the Lady Vikings, Katy Dudzinski had 18 kills and three blocks, while teammate Jess Lubic added 32 assists, three kills, three blocks and two aces.
Lower level action saw the sophomores lose 25-22, 14-25, 15-25, the freshmen “Aâ€ roster lose 25-18, 25-21, and the “B” side take a 25-21, 26-24 win.
Against the Lady Redskins on Thursday, the Lady Knights swept a 25-13, 25-21 matchup. Grace Fabrizius had 10 kills and nine service points. Kylie Siebert had 10 digs and an ace.
In the Quad Cities, KHS lost 21-10, 21-19 to Bettendorf High School and 21-8, 21-13 to Ankeny High School before rallying to beat West Des Moines Valley High School 21-13, 22-20.
Siebert had 38 digs and 32 receptions on the day while Dudzinski had 24 kills and five blocks.
Against the Lady Barbs, Fabrizius had five kills, and Lubic added two aces and seven assists.
Coming up for the Lady Knights: a meeting with Sycamore along Spartan Trail on Thursday, Oct. 14.
by Mike Slodki
STERLINGâ€”The annual Sterling Invitational usually provides tough competition for the visiting Kanenald boys cross country crew.
On Saturday, it was again more of the usual.
With Trevor Holmâ€™s 15 minute, 47 second effort good enough for 22nd place, the Knights as a whole finished in 14th place with 371 points out of 28 teams. Kaneland finished behind Bettendorf, Iowa High Schoolâ€™s 367.
Mid-Suburban League outfit Schaumburg took the meet with 73 points, followed by Minookaâ€™s 73. The Saxons held the tiebreaker edge.
â€œWe were pretty flat today, as a whole team,â€ KHS coach Chad Clarey said. â€œWe anticipated this happening at some point. Where some programs may take a weekend off during the season, we run straight through. We liked seeing the boys pack up a little better.â€
After Holm, the next Kaneland athlete to cross the line was Nate Rehkopf in 82nd place at 17:02. Teammate Clayton Brundige was in 86th at 17:09, while Grant Alef was right behind at 17:11.
The frosh/soph side finished fourth in their grouping.
The homestretch begins for KHS as Clareyâ€™s crew takes on the field at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 16.
by Mike Slodki
STERLINGâ€”Could it be a perfect storm of sorts for the Lady Knights cross country team?
With senior leader Andie Strang running under 19 minutes for the first time since freshman year at Saturdayâ€™s Sterling Invitational, and the return of several key personnel, this could be fun sailing for the rest of the 2010 campaign.
â€œVery proud of all my girls today,â€ KHS coach Doug Ecker said. â€œThese are exciting times for us, on a tough week. Weâ€™re down a couple runners, but we are not out.â€
The Lady Knights finished 12th out of 28 squads with 334 points, edging Sycamore by three points.
The Lady Saxons of Schaumburg High School took the Sterling crown with 49 points followed by Iowa City High School at 86.
Strangâ€™s 18 minute, 51 second effort was good for 22nd place. The next three KHS runners finished in a row in 67th through 69th place.
Ashley Castellanos ran in 20:03, as did Andieâ€™s sister Sydney, running her first race in six weeks. They were joined by Jen Howland, making her return from injuries at 20:06.
The Lady Knights now prepare for the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Photo: Knight Quinn Buschbacher (12) hopes to come down with the ball during Kanelandâ€™s 42-7 win against visiting DeKalb. Buschbacherâ€™s output this season has been key to the Knightsâ€™ No. 3 placing in the IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points scale. Photo by Ben Draper
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Dealing with the hysterics of 2010 homecoming? Fine.
Having to host a DeKalb team that just came off of a win at LaSalle-Peru and was at the .500 mark in week six under coach Marty Sanders? OK.
Knowing that every win amassed creates a giant bullseye on the Kaneland jersey? Bring it on.
It seemed like nothing could get the Knights down on Friday, and Kaneland strode to a 42-7 win over the visiting Barbs.
The win, Kanelandâ€™s fifth in a row over DHS, improved the KHS mark to 6-0 (2-0 Northern Illinois Big XII). It marks the best start for Kaneland since 2006, and the Knights have now won seven straight regular season games dating back to last season.
â€œThis is a special group. Weâ€™ve got a couple guys that stepped in big time, and weâ€™re just really happy with the outcome,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.
Kaneland outgained DeKalb by a tally of 402-286.
Joe Camiliere was a stellar 18-of-22 for 306 yards and five touchdown tosses.
Blake Serpa carried the ball for 70 yards on 10 tries. On the receiving end, Quinn Buschbacher caught eight passes for 153 yards and three scores, while Sean Carter caught five passes for 93 yards and a score.
After coming up empty on their first drive, a Serpa punt pinned DeKalb back on its own eight. Two plays later, QB Brian Sisler was wrapped up by Tyler Callaghan for a safety four minutes, 29 seconds into the game for a 2-0 KHS lead. Three plays later, Kanelandâ€™s Buschbacher caught a 38-yard touchdown pass for a 9-0 lead with 6:03 to go in the first quarter.
The second-quarter scoring had Camaliere find Carter on a 27-yard pass with 9:44 remaining in the half for a 21-0 lead.
Blake Serpa followed blockers for a 45-yard touchdown run with 3:43 to go to make it 28-0, and before the half was up, Jacob Razo caught his first TD of the year, a five-yard grab.
With the Knights entering the third frame up 28-0, the offense was at it again thanks to a Buschbacher 24-yard touchdown catch, making it 35-0.
The Barbs repelled the running clock by Dan Matyaâ€™s 84-yard touchdown catch with 7:45 left in the third.
Buschbacher caught a 15-yard pass from Camilere for his third and final touchdown with 3:18 to go in the third.
â€œAll our linemen are working hard,â€ Buschbacher said. â€œItâ€™s really showing out there. Joe had all day to throw the ball. I hope it carries out for the entire season.â€
In sophomore action, the Knights took a 10-3 battle with visiting DeKalb to capture their Homecoming game.
Kanelandâ€™s week 7 clash is in Yorkville against the 3-3 Foxes. The Knights travel to Kendall County for the second consecutive year, after handing YHS a season-ending 10-0 loss on Oct. 23, 2009. Yorkville beat Rochelle 24-12 on Friday.
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Looks like KHS has a bunch of straight shooters.
With a fantastic showing at the Northern Illinois Big XII gathering at Whitetail Ridge in Yorkville that yielded a first place in the East Division, and a third-place nod at Tuesdayâ€™s Dixon Regional, the Knights golf team shot itself straight to Sectionals.
Thanks to a score of 328 on Tuesday at Timber Creek, the Knightsâ€™ third-place finish will send them to the sectional in Freeport on Monday, Oct. 11.
Dixon, with 307, and Sterling with 319, took the top two places.
For KHS, Troy Kruegerâ€™s 80 was tops for the Knights, followed by Josh Schubergâ€™s 82, and Zach Douglasâ€™ and Luke Kreiterâ€™s 83.
â€œMy putting was a little off, but overall I did alright,â€ Douglas said. â€œI just try to take one or better on the holes against the other golfers.â€
Dixonâ€™s Mitch Homb shot a 70, earning him medalist honors.
Last week in Yorkville, Kaneland took its first conference championship in eight years, with a score of 316. DeKalb was second in the East in 321, and Yorkville took third at 324.
Dixon won the West side with 311.
Douglas (75), Hayley Guyton (78) and Krueger (81) earned all-conference honors.
â€œThe conference title allowed us to reach our regular season goals and gives our team something to strive for in the coming years. We’re hoping that this year’s performance will set a precedent for upcoming seasons,â€ KHS coach Mark Meyer said.
Photo: Kanelandâ€™s Adam Grams (87 score), shown here in Dixon on Tuesday, makes the trip to Sectionals after enjoying a third-place nod. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Looks like the Kaneland girls satisfied some pretzel cravings.
Netting a third-place finish at Saturday’s Pretzel Invitational in Freeport, the Lady Knights produced a nice effort with 71 total points, and will need more of the same effort to see postseason fortune.
Rockford Boylan, with 45 team points, finished first, and host Freeport took second with 68. Rock Falls, with 87 points, finished behind Kaneland.
KHS put forth an average course time of 19 minutes, 52 seconds, thanks in large part to senior runner Andie Strang. Strang completed her best time ever in Freeport, with a time of 18:47. Due to her top-five finish, she also received an oversized pretzel.
Rockford Boylan’s Kayla Droessler won the race in 18:29.
Ashley Castellanos was next for Kaneland and broke the 20 minute barrier at 19:37, good for 12th place.
Kris Bowen was next in 15th place at 20:02. Maggie Brundige continued her positive trajectory and broke into the top 20 with a time of 20:16.
Additionally, Shaela Collins ran in 20:35, good for 22nd place overall.
“Kris Bowen really helped the team to a thirdplace showing,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.
“Maggie Brundige is gaining confidence with each successful week. Shaela Collins was called on, in a pinch, to complete our fifth scoring place. We are very grateful to Shaela for stepping up.”
In the JV ranks, Kaneland’s Kaitlin Munyon took second with a time of 21:01, and Anna Piazza (21:16) and Carolina Tovar took fourth and fifth (21:25), respectively.
DIXONâ€”Lady Knights volleyball won’t be able to get enough of visiting its neighbors to the west.
On Thursday, Kaneland improved to 10-8 (3-2 NIB-12) with a 25-18, 25-14 sweep of the host Dixon Duchesses.
For KHS, Katy Dudzinski had nine killls, while NIU-bound Jessica Lubic had three aces and 15 assists. Libero Kylie Siebert contributed 11 digs, and Grace Fabrizius had five kills, two aces and five digs.
The sophomore crew improved to 12-4 with a 25-10, 25-17 over Dixon. The freshmen “A” unit dropped to 1-2 with a 25-15, 25-23 loss to Dixon and the “B” team dropped a 25-23, 25-21 matchup, falling to 11-3.
Photo: Kaneland varsity doubles partners Meg Hanlon (left) and Caiti Ellefsen warm up before their home match against Mendota on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Kaneland Lady Knights tennis is still holding its own at this season’s late juncture.
Rebounding from a dual loss to Sterling on Thursday, KHS handled non-conference foe Mendota on Monday in Maple Park.
The Lady Knights are now 8-6-1 in dual competition (3-2 NIB-12).
The lone win for Kaneland in Sterling was the doubles tandem of Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski, who won 6-3, 6-4.
Against the Lady Trojans, it was pro-set scoring due to more matches in the 7-0 win.
Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon, two of the seniors (along with Jurcenko and Sierra Cruz) honored on Monday afternoon, went about business as usual and didn’t let the modified scoring get to their heads in an 8-4 win.
“Not at all,” Hanlon said. “You just think of it as an extra-long set.”
Monday marked the final regular season home meet before NIB-12 conference action in Rochelle this weekend.
“I think we’ve improved a lot over the season,” Ellefsen said. “We’ve been getting better with aiming our shots and hitting them harder.”
by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLEâ€”For a myriad of reasons, Kaneland has had Rochelleâ€™s number lately on the gridiron.
On Friday in the land of the Hubs, that number was 35-8.
Taking advantage of four Rochelle turnovers and spreading the wealth in their running and passing games, the Kaneland Knights matched their 2006 start of 5-0 with a 35-8 win at Rochelle.
â€œSomething we preach all the time, we want to get the ball, and if the other team turns it over, we want to make them pay,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.
Kaneland is now 4-3 over the Hubs in their last seven meetings, and have won four of the last five.
The Knights earned their first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII East win. Rochelle is now 3-2 (0-1 NIB-12).
Successfully thwarting the Hubsâ€™ Wing-T offense, Kaneland outgained Rochelle 304-280.
Knights quarterback Joe Camiliere had a 17-of-28 day for 229 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries. Central Michigan-bound Blake Serpa had 51 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns. No. 2 for the Knights likes the way things are headed.
â€œWe just practiced all week in just coming out and hitting hard,â€ Serpa said. â€œWe knew, up or down, they were going to come out and hit you as hard as they can.â€
For Rochelle, Josh Bernardin had 109 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, while Will Metzger added 73 yards on 12 carries.
Kaneland used nice days from Quinn Buschbacher (four catches, 59 yards) and Taylor Andrews (four catches, 36 yards).
Kaneland used its first drive during Rochelleâ€™s homecoming to go 53 yards in eight plays, ending with a misdirection run by Buschbacher for a seven-yard touchdown with 9:32 left in the first frame for a 7-0 lead. After Hub CJ Navarro coughed up the ball to KHS, the Knights constructed a nine-play, 58-yard drive that ended with Serpa plowing through the middle for a two-yard score. Kaneland then led 14-0 with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.
After Rochelle used an ill-advised pass on a fourth down, Kaneland took over and had Serpa score on an 18-yard touchdown run with 6:49 remaining in the half for a 21-0 lead.
For the final score of the half, Buschbacher shook a defender loose and went in from the 17 for a touchdown pass to go up 28-0 with 30 ticks left in the half.
Rochelle finally got on the board in the third quarter, thanks to a 36-yard scoring scamper from Bernardin with 7:54 to go, the ensuing two-point try cut the lead to 20. Kanelandâ€™s fourth quarter score was a Camiliere-to-Sean Carter five-yard pass with 5:45 remaining.
Sophomore action had KHS beat Rochelle 47-8.
Kanelandâ€™s next NIB-12 test comes on Homecoming Night, Friday, Oct. 1, against the DeKalb Barbs (3-2, 0-1 NIB-12). DeKalb handed host LaSalle-Peru a 41-20 loss on Friday. Kaneland has won the previous four meetings between the schools by a combined score of 168-34.
Top photo: Knight John Kintz (20) gives Rochelle ball-carrier Will Metzger nowhere to run during Fridayâ€™s 35-8 dismantling of the host Rochelle Hubs. The win elevated Kaneland to 5-0 (1-0 NIB-12) and to the fourth spot in Class 5Aâ€™s IHSA Playoff Points list. Photo by Ben Draper
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Knight soccer found a good way to see how its skills were progressing.
Engage Yorkville and Sycamore.
With five goals against the host Foxes on Thursday, Kanelandâ€™s 5-0 win led to a 1-1 tie against visiting Sycamore.
After the first instance of KHS even tying the Spartans, Kaneland has improved to 5-4-2 on the season, with a 2-1-2 mark in the first NIB-12 slate.
The two first-half goals against Yorkville for Kaneland were put in by Jordan Escobedo, 18 minutes, 54 seconds into the first half (from Chad Swieca) and with 2:07 remaining in the first half on a goal by Swieca from Thanasi Pesmajoglou and Alex Gil.
In the second half, goals were scored by Alex Weiss on an assist from Gil, Anders Winquist-Bailey from Gil and Kushstrim Ismail on a penalty kick.
Against the Sycamore unit, with roughly 12 minutes remaining, Escobedo hit a rocket of a shot into the net for a tie score.
The end result was a welcome change from the first half on Tuesday.
â€œWe told them at halftime to pass the ball around and weâ€™ve got to take some shots. Thatâ€™s the only way weâ€™ll score. Possess 90 percent of the game, but if weâ€™re not willing to take the shot, weâ€™re not going to score,â€ KHS coach Scott Parillo said.
Photo: Kaneland captain Derek White completes a header in the 5-0 win over YHS. Photo by Ben Draper
KANELANDâ€”With the tennis season essentially in its homestretch, this is not a Lady Knights team that is dragging across the finish line.
KHS handed Northern Illinois Big XII conference mate DeKalb a 4-1 dual loss in Maple Park on Tuesday that raised Kanelandâ€™s mark to 7-5-1 (4-1 NIB-12).
No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko managed a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 win over Dana Jorgensen, and No. 2 player Amelia Napiorkowski had a 6-0, 6-0 win over Brooke Wilson.
In doubles action, No. 2 team Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon took care of Heidi Pittsley and Madison Marten by a 6-3, 6-3 count. No. 3 team Maddy McMullen and Stephanie Rosenwinkel beat Samantha and Taylor Volk by a 6-2, 6-4 count.
by Mike Slodki
STERLINGâ€”While gradually working its way back to a full lineup, the lineup Kaneland girls cross country had at its disposal put together a nice Saturday.
The annual Rock River Run at Hoover Park in Sterling saw the Lady Knights finish fifth of 14 teams with a point total of 160.
The tally gave KHS a two-point edge over Freeport. The top three schools in Sterling were Dixon (36), Normal West (61) and Geneva (72).
“We’re still missing a couple people, but we should get them back next week, so I’m happy today,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.
The top time for the course was handled by Normal West’s Emily Brelsfoard, who ran in 17 minutes, 57 seconds, a 5:59 mile pace.
For KHS, senior Andie Strang finished 13th with a time of 19:35. Teammate Abby Dodis finished 22nd overall and continued her season’s strong trajectory with a time of 19:51.
Ashley Castellanos finished 35th overall with a time of 20:29, while following shortly after was fellow Kaneland runner Maggie Brundige in 39th place (20:34).
“It was nice to see Maggie finish her race. Ashley wasn’t feeling well but she finished. Andie ran a good race and so did Abby, and she’s never been that high up the finish. They’re making progress,” Ecker said.
Coming up for the Lady Knights: the Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School.
Photo: Kanelandâ€™s Abby Dodis charges ahead during Saturdayâ€™s Rock River Run. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
STERLINGâ€”With a personal best on the Rock River Run course at Hoover Park in Sterling, all Knight athlete Trevor Holm could say was, â€œMy teammates think itâ€™s gross.â€
Nobody was recoiling after the effort on Saturday, however.
With a time of 15 minutes, 32 seconds, the senior bested his course time by 40 seconds.
â€œI just tried to stick with Belvidere (North),â€ Holm said. â€œI guess it worked out for me. I didnâ€™t want to let them go. Coming into the race I think five of them were ranked higher than me and only two of them beat me today.â€
For Kaneland, 148 points was good enough for fourth place overall, edging Dixonâ€™s 152-point total.
Belvidere North (28), Geneva (73) and Normal West (97) earned the top three places.
Blue Thunder entry Paul Zeman, with a time of 15:16 , won the course. For Kaneland, Holmâ€™s fifth-place effort, was followed next by 30th place Clayton Brundige with a time of 16:48. Next on the Knights docket was Nate Rehkopf in 32nd with a time of 16:49, and Conor Johnson finished in 35th at 16:54.
The Knight crew faces the Freeport Invite for its next challenge on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m.
Photo: Trevor Holm is the lone Knight amongst Belvidere North runners during Saturdayâ€™s Rock River Run at Hoover Park at Sterling. Holm finished fifth overall at 15:32. Photo by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Kaneland rose back up to the .500 mark with a strong victory at Rochelle by a final of 25-14, 25-8 on Sept. 22, and elevated its season tally with a 25-10, 25-18 win against Yorkville on Tuesday.
With the wins over the Lady Hubs and Foxes, the Lady Knights improved to 9-8 with a 3-2 mark in Northern Illinois Big 12 play.
Katy Dudzinski had six kills for KHS, while teammate Jessica Lubic had 11 assists, 14 serving points and three digs.
Grace Fabrizius had three kills, three blocks, four digs and two aces. Kylie Siebert had five digs and six receptions.
Lower-level action had KHS with a 25-14, 25-19 sophomore win. The freshmen “A” squad took a 27-25, 25-17 win, while the “B” roster came away with a 25-20, 17-25, 25-19 win.
Against YHS, Taylor Bradbury had four aces and four digs, to go along with three assists, while Lubic had 11 assists, two blocks and an ace.
This past week also had the Lady Knights given their postseason assignment. KHS will host the October regional and host fellow schools Burlington Central, Hampshire and Sycamore, as part of the Belvidere Sectional and Hampshire Super-Sectional.
The Lady Knights take to the court on Thursday, Sept. 30, going to NIB-12 crossover opponent Dixon.
by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Much like the summer hours that tick away into fall, the chances for the visiting LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers ticked away with every scoring drive put together by the Kaneland Knights.
When it was all said and done, the Knights saw another running clock go to their advantage on the gridiron in a 56-7 handling of LP.
With the win, Kaneland improved to 4-0, the first time it has done so since 2006 and the third time in the last six campaigns.
â€œWe were talking all week about how we need to fine-tune everything as we get into conference play,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. â€œWeâ€™ve got a tough game at Rochelle, and Iâ€™m feeling pretty good about our team.â€
Putting up 574 total yards, including 327 yards on the ground, the Knights finished their Northern Illinois Big XII crossover slate on a good note.
Knights signal-caller Joe Camiliere was 9-for-14 for 235 yards and a touchdown.
The leading rusher for Kaneland was Central Michigan University-bound Blake Serpa, who rumbled for 118 yards and two scores on nine carries.
Camiliere also rushed for 74 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.
Quinn Buschbacher caught two balls for 101 yards and a touchdown, and incidentally, had his third touchdown of the season called back on a penalty.
KHS came up empty on its first drive, but after forcing a punt, Taylor Andrews used the second play of the next drive for a 42-yard touchdown run. Andrews weaved his way through blocks and avoided the Cavalier defenders.
â€œIâ€™ve just got to give credit to the O-line,â€ Andrews said. â€œIt was Serpa on the lead block and I just followed.â€
Andrews followed that up on the next drive with a 13-yard touchdown around left end for a 14-0 lead with one minute remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, LP used a one-yard quarterback sneak by Zack Cinotto to close within 14-7 with 11:14 to go in the second quarter, but KHS scored 21 points in the space of 6:31 to go up 35-7 at halftime.
With 7:31 to go, Serpa plowed in from the three-yard line.
After a Jacob Razo interception, Serpa avoided tacklers and drove toward the left corner on an exceptional 60-yard TD run, where he dove for the corner from the three-yard line. Just before the half, Buschbacher scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass by following his blockers.
The three second-half touchdowns were scored on a Camiliere sneak with 2:46 left in the third quarter, a 7-yard Curtis Secrest touchdown run with 10:33 remaining in the contest, and a Nick Fornero 13-yard touchdown run with 3:34 to go.
The East part of the NIB-12 schedule begins on Friday, Sept. 24, with a trip to Rochelle. Of the previous four meetings, the Knights have dropped only one, in 2007. The Knights have split the last six meetings overall with Rochelle.
The Knights sophomore squad won over LP, 38-0.
Top photo: Tyler Callaghan puts pressure on L-P quarterback Zack Cinotto. Photo by Ben Draper
ELBURNâ€”Kaneland boys cross country had to wade not only through 18 other full varsity teams, but also the weather at the annual Eddington Invite.
During intermittent storms, the Knights amassed 212 points, which was good for seventh place.
Crystal Lake Central (78), Jacobs (92) and Dundee-Crown (93) hit the top three.
“We finished strong, and we packed up well. We liked the way the boys responded to the delay in start due to lightning and soggy conditions. We’re making improvements that can’t always be seen in the race results,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said.
Kaneland cornerstone Trevor Holm led the Knights with a 15 second PR on his home course with a time of 16 minutes, 26 seconds, good for eighth place overall. Next for the Knights was Clayton Brundige in 39th place with a time of 17:34 and Nate Rehkopf in 40th place at that time. Both Knights improved their best time by 25 seconds each.
Grant Alef (18:14), Jake Ginther (18:15) and Tommy Whittaker (18:19) took up 62nd through 64th place.
Ahead for the Knights is their usual late-September trip to the Rock River Run hosted by Sterling on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 8:30 a.m.
Kaneland ties rival Rochelle in storm
KANELANDâ€”The young Knights took care of visiting Morris on Thursday by a final of 3-0.
The lone first-half goal was managed by Anders Winquist-Bailey with 28:58 remaining, thanks to an Alex Gil assist. Six minutes, 45 seconds into the second half, Anthony Parillo put the ball in the net after J.P. Minogue fed him the ball. The scoring closed with a Gil goal with 18:23, left against the Redskins.
Against the visiting Rochelle Hubs, a scoreless tie was stopped with 35:51 remaining in the contest due to torrential rainstorms in the Kaneland area.
Kaneland sits at 4-4-1 on the season and 1-1 in the new Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.
KHS gets ready to take on host Yorkville on Thursday, Sept. 23, and visiting Sycamore on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
The JV ranks continue to work wonders with a 2-0 win over Morris and a 4-1 win over Somonauk on Saturday.
Photo: There was some shoving during a goal kick in the first half of the Kaneland varsity soccer match against Rochelle on Tuesday. The official game was called early because of severe weather, resulting in a 0-0 tie. Photo by John DiDonna