All posts by Mike Slodki

Mike Slodki is a sports reporter for the Elburn Herald. You can reach him at

Boys XC heads off to State

by Mike Slodki
Watch out, Peoria.

The Kaneland boys cross country team rose to the occasion at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional and took care of business, nabbing a fourth-place finish en route to a State berth at Detweiler Park this coming weekend.

Kaneland’s 144 point total was behind Belvidere North (36), Prairie Ridge (113) and Sycamore (142). Marmion Academy also qualified (148).

[quote]”We were fortunate to make it out on the strength of our pack, and the heroic efforts of unexpected runners,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said.

Leading the way for the state-going Knights was Trevor Holm, in 13th place with a time of 16:40, and Matt Reusche in 23rd.

“Course conditions were very slow with all the recent rain. Every point counted today,” Clarey said.

Dominic Furco finished 25th with a time of 16:52. Edgar Valle was 36th-best at 17:06, while Grant Alef finished 57th at 17:23. Throw into postseason fire, freshman Billy Hart contributed to the Knights’ effort with a 75th place time of 17:47.

Dudzinski selects Holy Cross for hoops stop

Senior averaged 17 points, 10 boards in 2008-09 season
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland senior Dave Dudzinski made quite the tough decision on Tuesday; one that will make life tough for opposing teams in the Patriot League.

Dudzinski, a six-foot-nine center that has come into his own patrolling the floor for the Knights, verbally commited to Holy Cross for his college basketball stop.

The Crusaders are based in Worcester, Mass.

“It’s like an Ivy-League alternative,” Dudzinski said on Tuesday. “I think I fit in well with the team, and I really worked hard on all parts of my game.”

Dudzinski was also considering Loyola of Chicago and Austin Peay.

“He had a big smile on his face and glad to have this decision out of the way,” new KHS boys basketball coach Brian Johnson said. “They want to use him as a power forward that can run the floor and he’s going to develop his skills at the college level.”

The Crusaders finished second in the Patriot League a year ago.

“The schools I was looking at were similar, but I liked the coaching staff and they like what I can do,” Dudzinski said.

Holy Cross hired Sean Kearney this summer, after he served as an assistant for Notre Dame hoops.

Dudzinski came into the college process with his parents already having gone through it themselves. Father Dave and mother Barb participated in football and swimming, respectively, at Northwestern.

“The whole process is tough,” said the elder Dudzinski, who played under Dennis Green for the Wildcats. “I’m proud of him for making the decision. It’s a really strong, quality program and he’s really worked on his game.”

Meanwhile, the Kaneland boys gear up for its opening challenge, the annual Strombom Tournament which starts on Tuesday, Nov. 24, in Sycamore at the home of the Spartans.

Brian Willis named new Lady Knights softball skipper

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—A big question concerning the future of Lady Knights softball was answered on Monday.

In an official press release from Kaneland High School, Brian Willis was introduced as the head varsity softball coach after an internal and external interview process involving other candidates.

Willis, in his ninth year at KHS, has coached various levels of boys’ soccer and boys’ basketball. He is currently the advisor of Partners in International Education Club, Model UN and assistant student council advisor.

Willis was involved in varsity softball in May once former varsity coach Dennis Hansen was suspended.

“I stepped in and helped last year and I enjoyed it. A lot of girls encouraged me to go after the job. It’s an opportunity to turn the page and have a fun and positive year,” Willis said.

Willis has been involved in various levels of community softball since 1985.

“I have a passion for softball. Work hard and good things will happen,” Willis said.

Volleyball gears for postseason with 14-17 record

DeKalb stopped Kaneland’s volleyball roster on Oct. 21 by a final of 29-27, 25-22 at the home of the Lady Barbs.

KHS then went on to host the annual SpikeFest gathering, finishing fifth out of eight squads.

With the 1-2 showing at SpikeFest, Kaneland’s regular season mark concludes at 14-17, with a final-ever Western Sun Conference mark of 6-8.

Against the Barbs, Jessica Lubic had 18 assists, eight digs and four aces.

Abby VanDerHeyden added three kills and ten digs. Katy Dudzinski added five kills.

In the sophomore matchup, the Lady Knights handled DeKalb by a final of 11-25, 25-8, 25-15.

The freshman “A” team lost to DHS 25-18, 25-20, and the “B” side took a 25-19, 25-20 win.

At SpikeFest, the Lady Knights lost to Aurora Central Catholic by a final of 25-19, 25-18, lost to Hampshire 25-11, 20-25, 15-10, and beat Peotone 25-12, 25-12.

Geneva beat Hampshire in the championship match.

Now brings the regional grouping for Kaneland. Burlington Central is the site for Kaneland’s first challenge on Thursday, Oct. 29, as the fourth seed, with a 5:30 p.m. matchup against (5) DeKalb.

At 6:30 p.m., (2) Burlington Central faces (3) Sycamore, while top-seeded Hampshire faces the KHS-DeKalb winner at 7:30 p.m. The regional title match takes place on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m.

Photo: Kaneland’s Mallory Groen (15) and Katy Dudzinski (2) take care of business in a 25-12, 25-12 win over Peotone during Saturday’s SpikeFest. Photo by Ryan Wells

Boys XC hit stride at regional

by Mike Slodki
It wasn’t quite the top spot, but Kaneland boys cross country will take it.

They’ll take it all the way to sectionals.

Thanks to a 15-second edge by Marmion Academy’ sixth runner, the Cadets took the Aurora Central Catholic Class 2A regional competition on Saturday at Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora. Kaneland matched Marmion’s total of 66 points, however.

Crystal Lake Central finished third with 70, and won a tiebreaker with Prairie Ridge, while Burlington Central took fifth with 152 points.

Marmion and Kaneland advance to next Saturday’s 2A sectional in Belvidere.

“It’s such a loaded field there that anything can happen,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “We need to stay healthy, focus on our pack split, and go to Belvidere ready to run.”

Crystal Lake Central’s Ryan Alvarez won the course with a time of 15 minutes, 17 seconds. The top Kaneland runner was junior Trevor Holm, who continued his exceptional pace this season with a 15:28 effort on Saturday.

“He’s a leader and a racer in every sense of each word,” Clarey said about the leading Knight from Saturday.

Matt Reusche of Kaneland finished eighth overall at 15:42.

Dominic Furco of Kaneland finished third- best for the Knights at 17th overall at 16:05. Teammate Logan Markuson was 18th at 16:12.

Lady Knights advance to XC sectional

by Mike Slodki
Nothing like Belvidere in late-October.

Kaneland’s girls cross country roster will look forward to finding that out first hand on Halloween.

Due to its third-place performance at Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora on Saturday, Kaneland sets out for Statehood based on its sectional perforance.

Kaneland’s 82 points were behind Crystal Lake Central (72) and Burlington Central (76).

“The girls’ best team effort of the season,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Burlington Central’s Maggie Gannon won the three-mile course with a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds, followed by Holly Plichta of Hampshire at 18:26.

For Kaneland, the top runner was junior Andie Strang, good for her usual output at 19:16, for 11th place. Two places behind was freshman Ashley Castellanos at 19:17.

In 15th place was senior anchor Lisa Roberson, who completed her task in 19:21, a personal best.

In 17th place was freshman Abby Dodis, who ran the course is 19:30.

The team-wide split of 42 seconds was the best for any Kaneland team, made more remarkable by Castellanos and Dodis recovering from the flu.

Kaneland’s Guyton finishes second at girls golf State

by Mike Slodki
It was almost a charmed State trip for Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton.

A team captain and a three-time State goer, Guyton was tied at the end of regulation play with a score of 145, but bogeyed on the par four playoff hole.

Meanwhile, Conant’s Kris Yoo won her second straight Class 2A State championship at Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Carbondale, Ill.

Guyton’s journey to the elite grouping marks the best finish for a KHS golfer in history.

“I think I accomplished a lot by getting all the way to second,” Guyton said. “I think I’ve improved a lot since freshman year.”

Guyton’s 2007 State trip saw her finish in 68th place, while last year’s excursion had her finish 42nd.

The most encouraging aspect of Guyton’s game, according to the junior, was something that she originally had thought of as a weaknes.

“My putting got really good down there. Usually I’m not that great at putting. All the girls were really good that were golfing with me,” Guyton said.

The junior was one over par after 18 holes of action. Ember Schuldt of Sterling was in third place at three over. Homewood-Flossmoor won the team title.

With the golf season now concluded, Kaneland golf sees the departure of seniors Andrew Eberle, J.C. Gillett, Jon Hedrick, Tyler Hochsprung, Hayden Senese and Kyle Straughn.

Photo: Lady Knight junior Hayley Guyton did coach Mark Meyer’s roster proud with a second-place medalist showing in Carbondale, Ill. at the girls golf Class 2A State final. Conant’s Kris Yoo out-performed Guyton in a playoff. Photo by Mike Slodki

Lady Knight tennis concludes at SCE sectional

Kaneland tennis saw its season end on Saturday after the St. Charles East Sectional.

With both St. Charles outfits and Western Sun Conference anchor Geneva, it proved to be one of the more difficult groupings in 2009.

Tied with Wheaton Academy for sixth place, the Lady Knights were behind St. Charles North (30), Geneva (24), St. Charles East (18), Sycamore (12) and Bartlett (8).

Geneva senior Kayla Fujimoto was sectional singles champ, while St. Charles East tandem Lexi Baltes and Erin Bowman took the doubles title.

No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko, No. 1 doubles team Olivia Emmanouil/Liz Webb, and No. 2 doubles unit Randi Bader/Kelsey Lenhardt were eliminated by eventual semifinalists.

The IHSA State tourney takes place on Thursday, Oct. 22, through Saturday, Oct. 24, at District 211, 214 and 220 courts throughout the northwest suburbs.

With the conclusion of the 2009 season, Kaneland tennis says goodbye to seniors Bader, Megan Cline, Emmanouil, Liz Kennedy, Tessa Kuipers, Lenhardt, Joss Nicholson, Mel Mazuc and Liz Webb.

Geneva slips past KHS, 27-24 in OT

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—What might have been a thrilling win for Kaneland High School football on Friday night is now just “what might have been.”

A Michael Santacaterina 2-yard touchdown run in overtime at Peterson Field gave the Vikings a 27-24 win and closed the book on the Kaneland-Geneva football rivalry.

Kaneland moves onto the Northern Illinois Big 12 conference, while Geneva saunters on to the Upstate Eight in 2010. Geneva all but wraps up the WSC championship at 7-1 with a 5-1 conference record, and KHS falls to 5-3 with a 4-2 WSC tally.

For Kaneland, it was the first overtime game since beating Sterling in a still-talked about quarterfinal playoff game, 52-45 on Nov. 11, 2006.

Kaneland was 10 minutes and 22 seconds away from a victory after a 14-yard touchdown strike to Ryley Bailey gave the Knights a 21-14 lead, but Geneva calmly tied the game on a six-yard Santacaterina touchdown run with 7:33 to go in regulation to set up overtime.

KHS outgained Geneva by a total of 276-233, but saw the running game hit a snag with just 10 yards on 15 carries.

“We were just trying to go with the plays that had been successful,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We needed to punch it in and didn’t do it.”

QB Joe Camaliere was 20-for-41 for 236 yards and three touchdowns, with Bailey gathering 175 yards on 13 catches. Teammate Taylor Andrews snagged three balls for 55 yards.

“There’s a lot of good things we can take from this game. That was a very good football team we went to overtime with,” Fedderly said.

Geneva’s Santacaerina had a productive night with 129 yards on 22 carries with four touchdowns.

The first score of the game came when Geneva concluded an eight-play, 55-yard drive on Santacaterina’s eight-yard TD run with 2:32 remaining in the first quarter.

After Kaneland’s first three drives ended in punts, the Knights got on the board with a 32-yard TD pass to Andrews on a 3rd-and-19 play. The somersaulting catch with 6:13 remaining in the half deadlocked the contest at 7 going into the half.

In the third quarter, Santacaterina capped an 11-play, 62-yard drive to open the half with a two-yard score to make it 14-7 with 8:39 to go.

Kaneland tied it on the ensuing drive thanks to an Andrews TD catch from the 11 with 5:43 left in the frame, setting up the final quarter’s action.

The Knights’ overtime attempt had Bailey catching a four-yard pass on first down but not able to come down with a second down pass.

A third-down throw to Tyler Callaghan was incomplete, setting up a 23-yard field goal by Chad Swieca for a 24-21 KHS lead.

Needing to hold the Vikings to a field goal or less, Geneva fed Santacaterina the ball on first down to the two, where he punched it in on second down to end the contest.

Now, Kaneland must defeat Yorkville on the road on Friday, Oct. 23 for a more secure playoff standing.

The sophomores lost to Geneva in earlier Friday action 22-8, and the freshmen lost to Geneva 52-7 on Monday.

Play of the Knight:
Joe Camaliere did everything short of taking the ball for himself on Friday.
Check that, he did, and it was at an important juncture in the game.
Facing a swarm of Geneva defenders on a third-and-20 from the Knight 40, Camaliere found holes thanks to blockers and picked up 29 yards for a first down. The drive continued, leading to a Ryley Bailey TD catch.

Photo: Knight WR Taylor Andrews caught two TD’s during Friday’s 27-24 overtime loss to Geneva. The Knights try to get their sixth win of 2009 at Yorkville on Friday, Oct. 23. Photo by Ryan Wells

Kaneland boys run to 2nd in WSC

As the Western Sun Conference sets, Kaneland boys cross country rose to the occasion.

With a second-place finish at Kishwaukee Junior College in Malta on Saturday, the Knights secured their finest finish in the four years of the meet.

While Geneva (49 points) took the meet, Kaneland finished second with 71 points.

Sycamore, Batavia and Glenbard South rounded out the top five, while Yorkville, Rochelle and DeKalb finished in the 6-7-8 slots.

Geneva’s Kevin Sparks won the course at 15 minutes, 27 seconds, but Kaneland’s Matt Reusche and Trevor Holm continued their consistent turnout.

Reusche finished fifth at 16:03, while Holm finished 16:07. Both earned all-WSC nods.

Teammates Edgar Valle (16:24) and Dominic Furco (16:39) finished 16th and 20th, respectively.

With 53 points the JV crew also earned second behind Yorkville. Nate Rehkopf took a 17:17 race to seventh place. Freshman Billy Hart finished eighth at 17:19, and Clayton Brundige took 10th at 17:26.

Soccer blanked by Antioch in KHS regional

by Mike Slodki
Nothing was going to stop Antioch on Tuesday during the IHSA Class 2A regional in Maple Park.

Not even the host.

Kaneland gave up four goals in the first half to the Sequoits enroute to a 6-0 season-ending defeat.

Going into the postseason, KHS was the 13th seed compared to Antioch’s fourth seed. Kaneland finishes 2009 at 7-14-1 and 2-5 in the final Western Sun Conference season.

“We had a really hard time finding the right lineup this season,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “But we were just young, so we’re going to have those bumps and bruises along the way. This is a learning experience for them, and it showed today.”

The final output provides a drop from last season’s end, which had the Knights finish 10-10-3 and make it to the Kaneland Regional title match against Oswego.

On Oct. 14, the Knights lost a 7-0 affair with host Oswego East during Senior Day for the Wolves.

Oswego East scored four goals in the first 40- minutes before adding three in the second half.

With the loss, KHS soccer says goodbye to Kevin Szatkowski, Joe Garlinsky, Genaro Garcia, Carlos Hufschlag, Marcos Dorado and Jake Tickle.

V-Ball falls to Geneva, beats Yorkville, now 13-14

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland’s volleyball squad rocked the pink for Volley for the Cure night, but found no solution for a winning formula against the formidable Geneva Lady Vikings.

Thursday saw Kaneland lose 25-11, 25-15. The Lady Knights then went to the Sherrard Invite, where they prevailed last season, and finished fourth out of 12 teams.

With the loss to Geneva, a 4-1 record in Sherrard, and a three-game win over Yorkville on Tuesday, the Lady Knights find themselves at 13-14 with a 6-7 record in Western Sun Conference play.

The win total matches last year’s 13-win total, with two more days of competition left in the regular season.

Against Geneva, Jessica Lubic had nine assists and Katy Dudzinski had five kills.

The Lady Vikings went out to a 17-4 lead in the first game and a 22-10 lead before closing it out.

In game two, a 14-3 lead for Geneva closed somewhat to 20-10 before the Lady Vikings sealed it.

Despite the loss against a tough Geneva program, KHS coach Todd Weimer found the positive going into the final homestretch of the season.

“Katy Dudzinski and Meredith Ament really stepped up tonight,” Weimer said. “We’re in a tough regional. DeKalb, Hampshire, Sycamore and Burlington Central. The top programs in one regional. It’s a difficult one, and whoever wins that will go down to state.”

Meanwhile, KHS handed Morrison a 21-10, 21-10 defeat, beat Mercer County 21-10, 21-12, lost to host Sherrard 21-16, 14-21, 15-10, beat Illini West 25-14, 25-23 and beat Ridgewood 25-16, 25-17.

Abby VanDerHeyden had 12 kills, four aces and 27 digs throughout the tourney, while Lubich added 79 assists and 21 aces.

Against Yorkville, Kaneland won 21-15, 25-19, 25-9 thanks to Dudzinski’s six kills and six aces, along with VanDerHeyden’s 10 digs.

KHS hosts SpikeFest on Saturday, Oct. 24 before regionals against DeKalb in Hampshire on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Girls XC take fourth in WSC meet

It was the final Western Sun Conference meet, and the Lady Knights cross country roster did themselves proud.

With a fourth-place finish, the Lady Knights’ 131 point total tied Glenbard South, but due to sixth runner Shaela Collins (42nd) outpacing GS’s Teresa Witort (46th), KHS got the nod.

Geneva (22), Yorkville (71) and Batavia (76) took the top three.

Finishing in the lower third were Sycamore (133), DeKalb (169) and Rochelle (178).

The effort in the event at Kishwaukee Junior College on Saturday put KHS in decent shape for a prime showing at IHSA Class 2A Regionals hosted by Aurora Central Catholic High School on Saturday.

While Kelly Whitley of Geneva took the crown for the varsity race with a time of 18 minutes, 16 seconds, Andie Strang of Kaneland put herself in the WSC all-conference group with a time of 19:37, good for 13th place.

Freshman Abby Dodis continued her rise at 20:20 (24th place). Teammate Lisa Roberson ran her final WSC race and took 29th at 20:34.

Kelly Evers, running her second WSC race, gave a 31st place effort, at 20:42.

Tennis braves WSC Invite, looks to sectional

by Mike Slodki
Heading into postseason, the KHS tennis crew had to deal with not only opposing teams, but the elements.

Friday’s Western Sun Conference action was shelved due to rain, and everything had to be condensed to Saturday out at Kaneland and Sycamore High Schools. With the rain cleared but the wind still swirling, KHS finished fifth with six points. Geneva (30) took the title.

No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko took fourth after the conference gathering. Jurcenko lost to Batavia’s Kim Sawyer after previously defeating Yorkville’s Ashley Nelson.

“The first set, she just hit everything back,” Jurcenko said. “It was frustrating to get the ball where I wanted it to go. It took me a while, but I was able to figure out how to get a drop shot in there, and it was mainly the key to winning.”

No. 1 doubles team Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb won over Rochelle’s Elizabeth LaFleur and Mikaela Rogers before losing in the third-place match to Batavia’s Kaitlin Mills and Michelle Sapyta.

Saturday, Oct. 17,has Kaneland at the St. Charles East sectional.

Soccer goes 1-2 in run to playoffs

With the regular season wrapping up, Knights soccer is looking for any kind of edge heading into Class 2A postseason play.

The Knights head to the homestretch of regular season play with a 7-12-1 record and a 2-5 record in their final Western Sun Conference go-around.

Kaneland dropped a 3-2 match with the visiting Sycamore Spartans on Thursday, and lost to the host fledgling Plainfield East Bengals on Saturday morning in a 2-1 battle. Tuesday saw a 2-1 win over Belvidere in the last scheduled home match of the season.

Kaneland has lost eight of its last 11 contests.

The Knights made it interesting against their conference rivals with goals by Genaro Garcia and Chad Swieca occurring in the final five minutes

Kaneland was set to finish the regular season with a meeting at Oswego East High School on Wednesday.

Against the visiting Bucs, Jake Tickle and Swieca found net.

The Class 2A regional is hosted by Kaneland and features the 13th seeded Knights facing off against No. 4 Antioch on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. sees (5) Crystal Lake Central against (12) Wauconda.

Knight boys XC sees good fortune

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland boys cross country took to the north and west trails this past week as it gears up for the postseason.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the boys competed at the Byron Handicap Invite with staggered starts and came away with a first-place showing of 22 points.

Meanwhile on Saturday morning, the Knights went to Sterling and finished seventh out of 26 teams wuth 190 points.

At Byron’s hilly course, Tommy Whittaker (17:40), Jemmar Parrenas (18:02), Tyler Howland (18:10) and Matt Reusche (18:14) took four of the first five spots.

At the home of the Golden Warriors, Trevor Holm was 14th at 16:08.

“Our peaking week is this week or next week,” Holm said. “We’re getting people back, and we’re recovered from injuries.”

Reusche continued his strong season with a 16:35 output.

Fenwick’s 71 points was tops for team points.

Kaneland’s frosh/soph unit was second with 71 points, thanks to a fourth-place showing by Clayton Brundige (17:07) and a sixth-place by Nate Rehkopf (17:10).

Kishwaukee Junior College is the site of the WSC meet on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Lady Knight Guyton makes it three times to State

Kaneland golf’s postseason presence is not quite done with yet.

While the boys golf team’s action was shut down for 2009 after Monday’s Class 2A sectional, girls golfer Hayley Guyton performed well enough to advance to the 2009 Class 2A State gathering Friday, Oct. 16, and Saturday, Oct. 18, at Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Carbondale, Ill.

With a score of 75, Guyton finished second and secured a trip to State for the third time in her high school tenure. Abbie Horan of Lakes High School in Lake Villa was sectional champ with a mark of 73.

With her performance at Ingersoll Golf Club in Sterling, Guyton moves on to State, where she tries to improve her last two State appearances. The junior shot a 172 in 2007 to finish 68th and a 167 in 2008 to finish 42nd overall.

“I feel a lot more confident this time around. I feel like my short game is really good and improved,” Guyton said. “I just need to relax, and I want to see if I can make the top 10.”

On the boys end at Emerald Hill in Sterling, Josh Schuberg shot an 83, while Troy Krueger managed an 88, and Zach Douglas shot an 89. Mitchell Homb of Dixon was the medalist with 70, and Dixon and Galesburg scored 317 and 322, respectively to advance to State as a team.

Knights do themselves favor with 35-6 win at DHS

by Mike Slodki
DEKALB—At the start of Saturday afternoon’s chilly Homecoming affair between DeKalb and Kaneland, the host Barbs sent the Knights reeling off the field.

But the Knights kept their composure and soon left DeKalb wishing that the game ended after the first 10 seconds.

After the Barbs recovered the opening kickoff on an onside attempt, quarterback Dylan Donnelly found Devin Hill on a 46-yard touchdown pass to give DeKalb a 6-0 lead just 10 seconds into the game.

However, the Knights rattled off 35 unanswered points thanks to solid defense and a balanced offense for a 35-6 win.

Kaneland improved to 5-2 (4-1 Western Sun Conference). With Geneva’s 21-14 loss to Rochelle on Friday, the Knights and Vikings have a date for conference supremacy with Geneva having an identical WSC record. The battle is set for Friday, Oct. 17.

DeKalb lost its fourth straight matchup with KHS and dropped to 1-6, 0-5.

“It was a big win for us,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “Getting our fifth win, we took care of business, and we have a big opportunity next week to play Geneva, and we’re all even in the conference.”

Kaneland produced 391 total yards, compared to 131 for the Barbs. Eric Tattoni carried the pigskin nine times for 80 yards, while Taylor Andrews was the big reciever with 161 yards on seven catches. Joe Camaliere was 14-for-21 for 267 yards and two touchdowns.

After Kaneland found itself down 6-0, Kaneland produced a 70-yard, five-play drive that ended on a three-yard TD run by Blake Serpa with 10:12 to go in the first. Chad Swieca’s extra point was good for a 7-6 lead. The scoring play was set up by a screen pass to Ryley Bailey that netted 38 yards.

Ater the Barbs punted, Kaneland put together a 10-play drive for 81 yards that ended on a seven-yard TD run by Serpa. The score with three minutes left in the first frame gave Kaneland a 14-6 lead.

KHS dodged two bullets with two DeKalb touchdowns called back due to penalties. Hill caught a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first that was negated due to an ineligible receiver downfield, and Dalton Watie’s 69-yard run in the second was called back for a hold.

The next actual score came on a 12-yard throw to Tyler Callaghan with 4:51 left in the second quarter. The play gave the Knights a 21-6 lead.

Kaneland increased the lead with a six-yard TD pass to Tattoni for a 28-6 lead with 32 ticks left in the third.

In the fourth, Callaghan almost took an interception back for a score. KHS set up shop at the four-yard line where Camaliere took it in for a touchdown with 2:55 remaining in the game for a 35-6 lead.

In sophomore action, DeKalb took one from the Knights 24-12.

	So close for Tyler Callaghan. 	A fourth-quarter interception by No. 6 almost netted the first defensive touchdown for the Knights, but it did set up KHS deep in Barbs territory on Saturday. 	QB Joe Camaliere scored to make it 35-6 and completed the all-cylinders effort.
So close for Tyler Callaghan. A fourth-quarter interception by No. 6 almost netted the first defensive touchdown for the Knights, but it did set up KHS deep in Barbs territory on Saturday. QB Joe Camaliere scored to make it 35-6 and completed the all-cylinders effort.

Photo: Knight Eric Tattoni (39) evades Barb defenders during Saturday’s 35-6 handling of host DeKalb. It was the first instance of Kaneland traveling to DeKalb High School and not playing at Northern Illinois University. Photo by Ryan Wells

V-Ball (8-12) digs through tough week

Kaneland volleyball went a little west of the border to take a break from the usual Western Sun Conference competition this weekend.

The Lady Knights went through three matches and came away with a 1-2 record, finishing fifth out of eight teams in the Bettendorf, Iowa tournament on Saturday.

Previously, KHS lost to Sycamore in Maple Park on Thursday by a final of 25-16, 25-20.

On Tuesday, Kaneland lost to Batavia in a road matchup by a final of 25-11, 25-15.

Overall, the Lady Knights are 8-12 with a 5-6 WSC mark.

The Lady Knights competed with the No. 1 ranked Ankeny High School girls and lost 21-13, 21-8. Kaneland then took on Bettendorf High School and lost 21-10, 21-12. In Kaneland’s finale, it managed a 21-17, 21-18 win over Dubuque.

For the day, Katy Dudzinski had 12 kills, Abby VanDerHeyden had eight kills and three aces, and Alyssa Snyder had three kills and seven blocks.

When the Lady Knights took on the visiting Spartans, VanDerHeyden had 10 digs while Jessica Lubic added to the attack with 18 assists and eight digs.

In the sophomore outing, the Lady Knghts lost to the Lady Spartans by a final of 25-10, 25-16.

The freshmen “A” team lost 25-19, 25-20, but the “B” squad took a 25-13, 14-25, 25-21 decision.

Against the Lady Bulldogs, KHS saw 12 assists and two blocks from Lubic and 10 digs from VanDerHeyden.

Next up for the Lady Knights is a home match with Geneva on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Girls XC powers through Sterling, Byron

Kaneland girls cross country continues toward the season’s homestretch in productive fashion.

The girls managed an eighth-place finish at their usual Sterling Invite stop with 236 points. The Lady Knights were ahead of Normal West (265) and Geneseo (314).

Schaumburg (29), Iowa City High School (61) and Loyola Academy (143) finished in the top three.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the Lady Knights traveled to Byron for its Handicap Invite that featured staggered starts.

At Sterling, Schaumburg’s top three runners were also 1-2-3 in the 30-team race with junior Colette Falsey taking the crown at 18 minutes, eight seconds.

For KHS, Andie Strang topped the team’s roster with a 21st place showing of 19:28. In 48th place, freshman Abby Dodis continued her rise at 20:23.

“I just know that I can do it, so I just push myself to stay with the top girls,” Dodis said about her current progress. “Everyone just says to go out there and do the best you can.”

Kelly Evers was third for the Lady Knights with a time of 20:28, and Lisa Roberson finished 56th at 20:29. The race under sunny skies and 40-degree conditions had 203 runners.

“Once again our girls team responded to a big challenge, having their best team performance of the season,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “Andie Strang had her season’s best run. She looked strong throughout and is getting going at just the right time.”

At Byron, Kaneland took fourth with 77 points. Byron won the event with 18, and Rock Falls took second with 70 points.

Lady Knight Haley Johnson finished 10th with a time of 21:52, Kaitlin Munyon took 15th at 22:13, while Shaela Collins finished at 22:14.

This Saturday, Oct. 17, has the Lady Knights headed to Kishwaukee Junior College for the Western Sun Invite hosted by Rochelle at 9 a.m.

Kaneland @ DeKalb preview

Kaneland (4-2, 3-1) vs. DeKalb (1-5, 0-4) 1 p.m. at DeKalb High School

Saturday afternoon’s contest could make for a rude homecoming if you’re

Kaneland will be raring to get the offense going after submitting its lowest
output of the season on Friday in a 21-7 loss to Glenbard South, while
DeKalb is hosting homecoming on the grounds of DHS after losing a 55-0 game
to Geneva on Friday.

The Knights will be coming off of their worst offensive output since an Oct.
17, 2008 matchup with Geneva, 42-7. The Knights were victims of a Geneva
team winning its 17th Western Sun outing in a row.

While this marks the final WSC meeting between the Knights and Barbs, the
two teams will still be conference mates in the new Northern Illinois Big 12
beginning in 2010. Kaneland has won the previous three meetings with the
Barbs by a combined score of 133-28.

The Barbs have lost five in a row after kicking the Coach Marty Sanders era
off in style with a 38-12 win in week one over Ottawa. Sanders’ previous
head coaching stop was the Kewanee High School Boilermakers from 2003-2007
in which the NCIC school went 11-34.

Here’s where to go:

View DeKalb High School in a larger map


Knights struggle all game long in 21-7 loss to Glenbard S.
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—In less than desirable conditions, Kaneland football neither reigned nor poured it on Friday.

Glenbard South came into enemy territory for the Knights’ homecoming and came out with a 21-7 win.

Kaneland drops to 4-2 (3-1 Western Sun Conference), while Glenbard South improved to 4-2 (3-1 Western Sun Conference).

This marked the third straight victory for the Raiders over Kaneland. The Knights had not beaten the Raiders sincer 2006. The game marked the last outing between the two football programs for the foreseeable future, due to the dismantling of the WSC, effective at the end of the school year.

The Knights amassed just 125 yards of total offense and succumbed to Glenbard South’s 353 total yards. GS quarterback Trace Wanless passed for just 83 yards, but had a touchdown pass and rushed for 148 himself with a touchdown.

“He’s a special player and a great athlete,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said about the Raiders signal-caller.

Joe Camaliere was 9-for-18 for 92 yards and a touchdown. Ryley Bailey had two catches for 48 yards.

The scoring started on Glenbard South’s third drive, when on the fourth play, Wanless completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Nick Slezak in the flat for a touchdown. Glenbard South’s score gave them a 7-0 lead with :28 left in the frame.

Kaneland fought back with its first drive of the second quarter, with a 7-play, 64-yard drive. Bailey caught a screen and followed his blockers for a 42-yard touchdown that came with 8:13 remaining in the half to tie the score.

Kaneland’s offense struggled thereafter, coming up empty on five second-half drives.

Meanwhile, Glenbard South took the lead (14-7) for good on a 10-yard TD run by fullback John Hentges, capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive with 7:33 left in the third.

After the Knights punted away, Wanless called his own number on the second-play of the next drive and scored on a 52-yard run with 4:46 to go in the third for a 21-7 lead.

The Knights players and coaching staff look to rebound against DeKalb on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10.

DeKalb comes into the contest at 1-5 (0-4) on a five-game losing streak, and got trounced 55-0 on Friday at Geneva.

“We told them next week’s the biggest game of the season, and we want to see how they respond and prove themselves every week and get better,” Fedderly said.

Photo: Knight Joe Camaliere (12) tries to evade Glenbard South tacklers for a positive gain during Friday’s 21-7 loss. The Homecoming night contest marks the last conference outing between the two programs. Photo by Ben Draper

Boys XC rocks Pretzel Invite

Kaneland High School boys cross country snacked on their competitors at the Pretzel Invite on Saturday.

The annual event, hosted by Freeport High school, yielded a productive outing, with six of the top 10 varsity finishers representing the Knights in a first-place team finish.

With 26 points as a team, KHS beat Rock Falls (79) and Rockford Boylan (93) out of the top three.

Junior Trevor Holm won the course with a time of 16 minutes, 19 seconds, followed by Boylan’s Matthew Melloch at 16:20. Following him was Knight Dominic Furco in third at 16:30. Joe Levita finished sixth at 16:45, while Logan Markuson took seventh at 16:45.

Edgar Valle finished ninth with an effort of 16:49, while Matt Reusche finished 10th at 16:51.

The Knights’ younger crew also found victory with a 22-point, first-place effort in the frosh/soph race, beating Freeport (62) in the five-team gathering. Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson and Clayton Brundige finished 2-3-4.

Overall, KHS coach Chad Clarey had much to be pleased with.

“We continue to have our work cut out for us,” Clarey said. “To see them carry out the plan for each race was exciting. A day like today was not possible without the full summer’s worth of training.”

With a full lineup, the Knights could be a force to be reckoned with come postseason.

“Trevor Holm won his first varsity race, and dominated from the start. He’s taken some nice initiative this fall, and is clearly becoming an important piece of our puzzle,” Clarey said.

Volleyball drops match to GS

While Lady Knights volleyball continues to look strong against formidable Western Sun Conference teams, there still is room for improvement.

On Tuesday, Kaneland lost a home battle with Glenbard South by a final of 27-25, 25-21. Despite Jessica Lubic’s 12 assists and two blocks, the Lady Knights are now 7-8, with a 5-4 mark in Western Sun Conference play.

Abby VanDerHeyden added three kills for the effort.

On Sept. 26, Kaneland hosted freshmen and sophomore volleyball teams at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove in lower-level tournaments.

The freshmen Lady Knights placed third with a 1-2 record. Their lone win came against Burlington Central in a 23-25, 25-17, 15-13 match. Previously, Kaneland lost to Dekalb, 25-18, 25-11, and to Rosary 25-14, 25-20.

DeKalb, with a 3-0 record, took the invite over Rosary with a 25-9, 25-13 win.

The Kaneland sophomores finished fourth with a 1-2 record, but managed a 25-15, 25-15 win over DeKalb. DeKalb’s 25-22 win over Burington Central sealed its championship.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Oct. 15, KHS volleyball hosts Dig Pink Night-Volley for the Cure. With the Lady Knights facing Geneva, the freshman “A” and “B” matches begin at 5 p.m. in the West Guym, while the sophomore match starts at 5 p.m. in the main gym.

Volleyball skills contests begin after the sophomore match, and the varsity match begins at 6:30 p.m. Pink volleyball shirts will be on sale for $10. A silent auction will also take place, with all profits from the evening benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Strang gets top-10 finish in Freeport for girls cross country

Lady Knight runners had a successful outing at the colorfully named Pretzel Invite, hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday.

Coach Doug Ecker’s roster managed a second-place finish with 68 points, falling behind just Winnebago High School, which had 50 points.

The top runner in the race was Winnebago’s Tessa Hoefle at 18 minutes, 52 seconds. The lone top-10 runner for the Lady Knights was junior Andie Strang, who completed the course in 19:51. Teammate Ashley Castellanos was next for KHS at 20:17, good for 11th place. Abby Dodis finished 14th at 20:28, while Lisa Roberson took 18th at 20:51.

“The 60 second split 1-5 was very important,” Ecker said. “Roberson, (Kris) Bowen and (Shelby) Koester really gave us that lift to earn a trophy … I thought it was a good team victory.”

Kaneland’s frosh/soph contingent took third overall with 56 points. Arianna Espino (22:07) and Jessica Stouffer (22:08) took fourth and fifth, respectively.

The girls head out to the Sterling Invite on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m.. Kaneland was set for the Byron Handicap Invite on Wednesday.

Golf sends three to Class 2A Sectionals

With the end of the regular season, the Knights golf team goes home as a unit, but several individual golfers fight another day.

At Class 2A regionals for the boys golfers at Senica Oak Ridge Golf Course, hosted by LaSalle-Peru, Knights Josh Schuberg (83), Troy Krueger (83) and Zach Douglas (85) advance to sectionals at Emerald Hill GC on Monday, Oct. 12.

Last Wednesday in Yorkville, the Knights finished fifth out of eight teams at Whitetail. With a score of 330, the Knights beat Sycamore (337) and Rochelle (338).

Yorkville was the Cinderella winner at 307, while Batavia (318), DeKalb (322), Glenbard South (322) and Geneva (325) rounded out the standings.

Andrew Morreale of DeKalb shot a 75 to gain the individual medalist honor.

Hayley Guyton, who now goes her own route to compete at girls postseason at Timber Point Golf Course, shot an 80 to excel for Kaneland. Troy Krueger shot a 96.

Guyton placed first at the Belvidere North regional with a 78. She advances to the Rockford (Guilford) Sectional at Ingersoll Golf Course in Rockford on Monday.

KHS gets kicks vs. Indian Creek, Rochelle

Kaneland Knights soccer weathered a lean week to take two out of three recent contests.

KHS took care of Shabbona’s Indian Creek High School in Maple Park by a final of 5-1 on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The Knights (6-10-1, 2-4 Western Sun Conference) found goals from Gennaro Garcia (twice), Derek White, Pedro Perez and Jack Tickle. Marcos Dorado added two assists.

On Saturday morning in Batavia, the Knights dropped a WSC match with a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs.

Anders Winquist-Bailey scored the lone goal for the Knights.

Against Rochelle in a road match, the Knights built a 5-1 lead on their way to a 6-4 win. Garcia, Winquist-Bailey, Jordan Escobedo and Alex Gil found the net.

The Knights, who are set to face Antioch in the Class 2A regionals at Kaneland on Tuesday, Oct. 20, host Sycamore on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Tennis loses to Syc., WSC meet next

While the Lady Knights and Lady Spartans played tennis under cover of darkness on Monday evening, it was no mystery about the final result.

Sycamore’s 5 1/2-1 1/2 win in a rain makeup meet sent the Lady Knights dual record to 4-7.

The lone Kaneland win on Monday was had by the No. 2 doubles tandem of Randi Bader and Kelsey Lenhardt in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 effort.

Liz Webb and Olivia Emmanouil battled to a 7-5, 6-7 tie, with Anna Buzzard and Megan Hickey before the match was called due to darkness.

The meet marked the last home meet for seniors Webb, Emmanouil, Lenhardt, Bader, Mel Mazuc, Tessa Kuipers, Liz Kennedy and Megan Kline.

KHS hosts the WSC meet on Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10.

Kaneland uses two late scores in 21-17 win

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—What a note to go out on for the Kaneland-Batavia rivalry.

As Kaneland and Batavia football go out to greener pastures, namely the Northern Illinois Big 12 and the Upstate Eight, the Knights put on one to remember, coming back to beat the Bulldogs on Friday in Maple Park, 21-17.

With the win, the Knights improve to 4-1 and keep pace with Western Sun Conference-leader Geneva at 3-0.

Batavia, in danger of being skipped over for the postseason, fell to 1-4 with an 0-3 mark in WSC play.

Kaneland won the first down battle, 16-10, and outgained the Bulldogs 229-204.

“We didn’t really make any adjustments, we just executed,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We just kept our heads and didn’t panic. They really showed their maturity.”

In a game played under wet conditions, Joe Camaliere, who had difficulty with many snaps in the first half, went 14-of-21 for 183 yards and a touchdown. The junior found the end zone on two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to key the win.

Senior Ryley Bailey, who caught the first touchdown pass, snared six balls for 105 yards.

Batavia’s Danny Seiton rushed for 94 yards on 17 carries.

Kaneland struck first on a seven-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a 46-yard touchdown pass to Bailey with 8:46 to go in the first. Bailey reversed his field and avoided tacklers on his way to the end zone. The extra point attempted was botched and kept the score at 6-0.

With five errant snaps having to be recovered, the Knights offense spun its wheels, allowing the Bulldogs to crawl back into the game.

A 12-play, 93-yard drive ended in a 24-yard touchdown run by Seiton and gave Batavia a 7-6 lead with 2:27 remaining in the half.

Batavia pounced again, thanks to a Braden Hartmann score from the 1 with 2:10 to go in the third quarter. That sent Kaneland to a 14-6 deficit.

A 13-play drive that continued into the fourth quarter for the Knights was keyed by Blake Serpa, who got nine touches. On first-and-10 from the Bulldogs’ 11, Camaliere ran to the right side of the end zone and went in for the score with 9:23 to go. The QB then found Taylor Andrews in the middle of the end zone for a two-point conversion to tie matters at 14.

Batavia came right back with an 11-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Mike Clopton to give BHS a 17-14 lead with 3:41 remaining.

Starting from its own 35, Kaneland got an Andrews catch on second down. Bailey caught a 15-yard pass play at the 30 and had the ball stripped, but the officials ruled his forward progress stopped.

Four plays later, Camaliere recovered from a broken play at the line to score from the three with 2:07 left, putting the Knights up to stay.

Batavia failed to convert on fourth down, and QB Noel Gaspari was stopped by Serpa.

“We could just keep going,” Blake Serpa said. “Offensively, we knew it was going to come. Defensively, we knew we had to stop them.”

In sophomore action, Kaneland lost to Batavia 14-7. Batavia beat KHS in the freshman contest on Monday, 17-14.

Kaneland hooks up with 3-2 Glenbard South at Peterson Field on Friday, Oct. 2.

Glenbard South defeated Kaneland on Oct. 3, 2008, 47-31.

Photo: Kaneland’s win was made possible on both sides of the ball, but things really got going in the fourth quarter. No. 32 Brock Dyer stopped Bulldogs RB Edmund Kabba on a third-and-2 from the Knights 26. Dyer set up shop in a hole made by blocking and won the duel. Batavia settled for a field goal, but KHS came back with a winning TD. Photo by Ben Draper

Golf gears up for homestretch

Kaneland golfers had satisfactory outings vs. Belvidere North and at the Fran Noyes Invite, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

On Monday against the fledgling vistors, the Knights improved to 5-7 in dual competition with a 176-183 win at Hughes Creek.

On Saturday, out of 22 teams at Genoa-Kingston, KHS took 11th with a score of 86.

Monday saw Hayley Guyton shoot a 42, good for medalist honors. Troy Krueger managed a 44, followed by J.C. Gillett and Josh Schuberg hitting a 45.

On the JV front, the Knights took care of Belvidere North by a 186-205 final. Sean Glennon and Adam Grams shot a 46, while Rhys Childs and Anthony Sperando found a 47 on the course to key the victory.

In the Noyes Invite, which uses Stableford scoring, incorporating higher point totals for successful shots on the course, Kaneland’s total was ahead of Timothy Christian’s 86, and behind Rockford Christian’s 88. Rockford Lutheran (126) and Rockford Boylan (113) finished with the two best days.

“It rewards birdies and eagles more than pars, and it’s kind of fun. The kids need to try and be aggressive,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said on Saturday.

As the regular season hits its end, Meyer looks for the regionals to be the Knights’ time to shine.

“Our eyes are set first on the conference,” Meyer said. “We want to finish a couple slots higher than we are at the beginning, either sixth or seventh. The kids that do well at regionals are the ones that can settle their nerves a little bit. The regionals have been on the calendar since the beginning of the year, and those that are confident enough look forward to that.”

Tuesday, Oct. 6, sees KHS hit the LaSalle-Peru Regional, with sectionals hosted by Sterling on Monday, Oct. 12.

Lean times for KHS soccer (4-8-1)

Kaneland soccer’s trip to the St. Charles East Invite usually provides a hefty challenge, and Wednesday, Sept. 23, proved no different.

The Knights’ opening match ended with a 3-1 loss to Glenbard North of the DuPage Valley Conference.

Kaneland also dropped a 3-2 meeting with Plainfield South on Thursday in the invite, a 3-1 match to Burlington Central in the final meeting of the Invite, a 3-0 Western Sun Conference clash at DeKalb on Monday and a 3-0 skirmish to visiting Geneva on Tuesday.

The rough week sent KHS down to a 4-8-1 record, and 1-2 in the WSC.

Falling victim to two goals in the first 40 minutes for a 2-0 halftime deficit against the Glenbard North Panthers, Kaneland regrouped and played better on both ends of the pitch, finally finding the net thanks to a Marcos Dorado penalty kick. The margin kept firm thanks to clutch goal play by J.P. Minogue. The goal with 36:41 remaining in regulation made it 2-1, but a third Panther goal with 17:59 to go on a breakaway made it 3-1. An Alex Gil shot with just under seven minutes to go was defended, and the clock ran out before the Knights could catch up.

“We came out flat,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “Credit Glenbard, they came out and played. We weren’t getting any 50/50 balls; we weren’t passing well. I thought in the second half, we played better. J.P. played a great game, not that the game wasn’t ugly, but it could have been really ugly if he wasn’t in there.”

Jordan Escobedo’s goal against Plainfield South gave the Knights a 1-0 lead at the half, but PS scored three in the final four minutes for the win. Jake Tickle scored in the second half for KHS.

Chad Swieca scored the lone goal against the Rockets, in a match that had BC score two goals in the second half for the win.