Category Archives: Featured

Turning the corner kick 2013 Spring Sports Preview

Photo: Kaneland opened its season last year at home against Geneseo. Brittany Olson (above) looks to pass in the second half. File Photo

After 4 trips to Regional finals, KHS looks to advance further
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—For four consecutive years, the Kaneland Lady Knights soccer contingent has made it to the regional final match, only to lose to Crystal Lake Central in 2009 and 2012, and Rosary in 2010 and 2011.

With the loss of just four seniors from a year ago, a talented returning core and a stellar work ethic, KHS coach Scott Parillo expects big things from the group that finished 12-6-1 (7-2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

So does the team itself.

“They talk about it (the regional championship), but they want to do well during the season and build up to the opportunity to play in the regional finals,” Parillo said.

The strength of the lineup begins with team captain and future Purdue athlete Jordan Ginther in goal.

(She’s) shown great leadership. She hates losing and has kind of instilled that in the players. We had a very intense practice (Monday) and the teams hated losing in the drill; bodies were flying around, it was great fun,” Parillo said.

Shoring up the rest of the lineup are defenders and seniors Anne Marie Giese and Brooke Harner. Junior Jess Coia, junior defender Delaney Stryczek, junior midfielder Michelle Ortiz, junior forward Brittany Olson, and sophomore midfielders Madi Jurcenko, Courtney Diddell and Heather Ortiz will also return to lead the team.

This current group of returners hold a big role in the larger picture, especially concerning the newcomers.

“I think they have showed them how to work hard in practice, to give everything they have and still have fun and joke around when it’s needed,” Parillo said.

Entering the mix are new varsity athletes like freshman mid Kiandra Powell, freshman defender Sage Schlehofer, sophomore mid Emily Grams, freshman mid Gabby Cano and freshman defender Nicole Koczka.

“The girls really seem to get along well, they look like they are having fun and they are working very hard in practice,” Parillo said.

In order for the team to be in the NIB-12 thick of things, KHS will have to keep up with some talented outfits.

“The conference will be very competitive. DeKalb and Sycamore look very tough, Yorkville is really starting to pick up steam, Morris is very competitive, as is Rochelle. I would definitely say DeKalb and Sycamore seem to be the teams to beat. The other teams could surprise people though. We have our work cut out for us,” Parillo said.

The season begins on Tuesday, March 19, in Aurora against IMSA, with the first conference tilt on Tuesday, April 2, vs. DeKalb.

KHS Girls Soccer Roster
# Name Position YR.
1 Jordan Ginther Keeper 12
5 Kiandra Powell Mid/Fwd 9
6 Sage Schlehofer Defense 9
7 Heather Ortiz Mid/Fwd 10
8 Anne Marie Giese Def/Mid 12
9 Courtney Diddell Mid/Fwd 10
10 Michelle Ortiz Keeper/Mid 11
12 Madi Jurcenko Mid/Fwd 10
13 Delaney Stryczek Mid/Fwd 11
14 Jessica Coia Mid/Fwd 11
15 Brittany Olson Mid/Fwd 11
16 Emily Grams Mid/Fwd 10
17 Gabby Cano Mid/Fwd 9
18 Brooke Harner Defense 12
19 Nicole Koczka Def/Fwd 9

Elburn’s ‘aqua man’

Photo: Zero Edge Aquariums and Water Features in Elburn is the designer and manufacturer of some of the most unique and stunning acrylic aquariums. Their goal is to create aquatic attractions and elements that stretch the imagination. Their products are displayed globally in residential, commercial aquariums, hotels, resorts, spas, zoological and educational settings. Above is an aquarium from the Zero Edge Classic series. Courtesy Photo

by Cheryl Borrowdale
ELBURN—Brett Perry’s 20-year obsession with coral reefs spawned his invention of the world’s only rimless, overflowing aquariums, as well as a thriving local business that sells them to everyone from enthusiasts to the queen of Thailand.

Zero Edge Aquariums, located at 810 E. North St., is new to Elburn (the business moved to town from St. Charles this past November). Perry, however, is not.

He first developed his patented rimless design here in 2002, when he owned a downtown aquatics store, A Splash of Life, which sold corals he farmed in his basement in Elgin.

“In the beginning, I was kind of a hobbyist gone crazy,” he said. “I just got infatuated with corals and growing corals.”

That infatuation led Perry to take his corals to trade shows. But since standard aquarium designs didn’t show off his corals to the best advantage, Perry decided to build his own.

He wanted one without a lid or visible rim, so that buyers could look straight down into the water and see the corals from all directions. And he thought that making the aquarium overflow would help attract attention.

“It was just a snazzy tank to sell my corals,” Perry said. “The first one was kind of lucky, and at the beginning, I didn’t realize what I had.”

But when Perry’s aquarium attracted more attention at the trade shows than the corals, he realized he was onto something. He spent five years perfecting and patenting the design, and launched Zero Edge Aquariums in 2006.

Since then, the business has relocated three times—from Bloomingdale to St. Charles to Elburn—seeking more space. His wife, Denise, joined the company in 2008, and the couple hired three employees as the business grew.

“It’s going really well,” Brett said. “We’ve been doubling every year. It’s not huge numbers, but this year, from what we can see already, we’re going to be doing twice the amount of work as last year.”

Zero Edge sells a line of standard aquariums, but the rimless variety is their specialty.

“The zero edge aquarium just flows over like an infinity pool, so that’s our signature,” Brett said. “If you think of the typical tank that has a plastic black bracing on the top, the rimless tanks don’t have anything. They’re more open and elegant and beautiful.”

That elegance has attracted customers from all over the world—Spain, Germany, Japan, Brazil—including some high-profile customers, like Queen Sirikit of Thailand, who purchased a Zero Edge aquarium to display in her bedroom. Pitbull, a rapper and host of the Spanish-language television show “La Esquina,” has one of the overflowing tanks at his home in Miami.

Though the Perrys have done very little marketing so far—the focus has been on putting the processes in place, setting up machinery and developing the product line—they’ve been doing a number of large custom orders for businesses.

“We can do custom shaping, custom forming, curved panels, any kind of shape you can come up with,” Brett said.

Among the most interesting examples, he said, is a hexagonal touch pool built for the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s “big island.” The tank, which features sea cucumbers, starfish and crabs, was designed be an outdoor attraction on the beach, and had to be rebuilt when a tropical storm wiped it out.

Zero Edge doesn’t have a showroom open to the public yet, but the company website, zeroedgeaquarium.com, has an online store that offers several different tanks. Denise said that they are looking to expand the types of tanks sold online.

“We have a new line of little desktop tanks,” Denise said. “People think of Zero Edge as overflowing aquariums, but we’ve broadened our line. We have a lot of new types of aquariums that we are starting to put into the business so people can purchase them.”

The rimless aquariums might be more beautiful, but they are suited only for certain types of fish. According to Brett, many fish need a lidded aquarium, or they will jump out of the tank. That’s one reason why Zero Edge makes several types of aquariums, suited to different kinds of fish, and is expanding its product line.

Among the planned additions are specialty jellyfish and seahorse tanks, both of which should be available in the next six months, Denise said.

DeKane Equipment Corp. celebrates 40th anniversary

Photo: Russ Ruh in 2013 will celebrate 40 years of partnership within DeKane Equipment Corporation. Here, he is pictured in front of a company tractor.
Courtesy Photo

by Elizabeth Rago
BIG ROCK—In 1972, Hinckley-Big Rock High School junior Russell Ruh, commonly known as Russ, was hired by partners Robert Hardekopf and Merle Thorson to work in the Service Department of Big Rock Implement Company. With one slip of a gear case, young Russell’s life would not only land him in crutches, but also behind the counter taking inventory of implement parts. Recognizing Russ’s natural knack for managing parts, Robert decided to keep his enthusiastic young employee permanently in the Parts Department.

Forty-one years later, Russ Ruh celebrates the 40th anniversary of his partnership with Hardekopf, James Shrader, Mike Johnstone, Peter Kaus and Brent Shrader of DeKane Equipment Corporation. Adding to the foundation of rich local history in Big Rock, most do not know that DeKane Equipment Corp. first came into existence in 1880.

Before the turn of the century, a gentleman by the name of Levi Davis started a general store establishment, located by what was previously the bandstand (presently the big gazebo) by the big rock on Route 30. Levi’s General Store stocked coffee, sugar, and tea, all of which were delivered via horse-drawn covered wagon. A small ledger book documenting transactions, including livestock taken in as trade for goods offered was found in the 1950’s by future owner, Robert Hardekopf, among stacks of old papers and items from previous owners. Robert brought the ledger book to owner, Carl Thurow, insisting the worn records were too valuable to discard. Carl kept the journal, and incidentally, it has never been seen since.

Since the general store began, ownership changed hands and names three times, and by 1954, Hardekopf and Thorson solidified the current future of the company, Big Rock Implement.

Sixty-five years later, Robert Hardekopf is still walking through the doors of DeKane Equipment, almost half the lifetime of the business itself.
So, what has kept this historic company flourishing since 1880?
“Hard work, quality product lines and consistent superb customer service,” Ruh said. “Companies like DeKane are few and far between now. We work with customers in a 50-mile radius with farm, construction and consumer (lawn and garden) equipment.”

Establishing roots in a small community such as Big Rock also means supporting local organizations and families. DeKane Equipment Corp. staffs 20-25 area employees, has been a major contributor to the Big Rock Fire Department and annually participates in the Big Rock Plowing Match.
“It all starts with establishing a positive personal relationship,” Ruh said of DeKane’s successful past. “Our customers like and trust us because we offer competitive prices, on-site repairs, and if you have a problem, we fix it the first time.”

As the landscape of the Kaneland area has changed over the years, DeKane has stretched its farm equipment service both out west and to the east of Big Rock, and offers Versatile tractors; lawn and garden equipment like Stihl
lawn and garden products; Kubota tractors; Cub Cadet mowers and tractors; Woods; Grasshopper; Scag; Dixon equipment; Honda mowers; generators and Troy Bilt tillers. An ever-evolving business, DeKane Equipment Corp. has come a long way from selling sugar and coffee, but their consistent message of providing customers with high-quality products and friendly, knowledgeable and trustworthy staff members remains true.

DeKane Equipment Corporation will host a 40th anniversary celebration on May 18 at 47W619 US Route 30. The festivities will be suitable for all ages.
For more information about DeKane Equipment Corporation, or to find out more about the 40th anniversary celebration, call (630) 556-3271 or visit www.dekane.com.

Elburn Public Works Superintendent honored at Blackhawks game

Photo: Elburn Public Works Director John Nevenhoven smiles with his wife Melissa and son Ryan at the Blackhawks game on Feb. 15. John was one of two veterans honored prior to the game. Courtesy Photo

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Elburn Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven served in the United States Navy for nine years of active duty before going on to college and marrying his wife Melissa. When the World Trade Center was hit on Sept. 11, 2001, their son, Ryan, was six years old.

John said he wanted to do something to contribute to his country. He knew he couldn’t do it fulltime, so he joined the Navy Reserves in November 2001. He serves one weekend a month, as well as participating in two weeks of training every year at Scott Air Force Base outside of St. Louis. He was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2006, and was set to go again in 2011, but his tour was cancelled at the last minute.

John has been a big hockey fan since he was in high school, and he and his family frequently watch the Blackhawks play. Melissa noted that before each game, two service members are honored, one active duty and one veteran.

She did some research, and through the USO found a contact to suggest John for the honor. That was in August 2011. The family recently received a call from a representative of the Blackhawks to set the date, and on Feb. 15, John, Melissa and Ryan showed up at the United Center at the appointed time.

John said he was escorted to the penalty box, where he stood next to Jim Cornelison, who performs the national anthem before each game. John and a veteran from the U.S. Army walked out onto the ice and saluted the flag while 21,000 fans cheered through the entire song.

“It was kind of neat to hear that crowd,” John said. “I’ve been to tons of hockey games, but this was a different feeling. Seeing those people cheering the national anthem; it’s an incredible event to be a part of, whether you’re on the ice or in the stands.”

Melissa said the whole thing was quite overwhelming, seeing John out there in his uniform.

“It was very emotional,” she said. “We’re very patriotic to begin with. I’m so extremely proud of him and our service members in general. It’s not just about John.”

What made the event even more special was that the event occurred on Ryan’s 14th birthday.

“He was pretty excited and proud,” Melissa said. “It was such a great way to celebrate.”

John is a member of the United States Transportation Command, which monitors and tracks all pieces of Department of Defense equipment shipped around the world. Whether it’s tanks or bullets, blankets or anything else that service members need during their deployment, Scott Air Force Base is the world-wide logistics hub.

Melissa said that when John joined the reserves in 2001, she stood behind his decision because she knew it was important to him. They didn’t know at the time that he would be called up to go to Afghanistan. However, she said the family has a good local support system, and when John had to leave, they made it through his time away.

“It was difficult, but we were able to email and internet chat and talk on the phone,” she said. “We were very lucky. I kept so busy that I didn’t have time to dwell on it. You do what you have to do.”

Now John has one more reason to thank his wife.

“I always wondered how the Blackhawks chose the service members,” he said. “Melissa should get the Wife of the Year award.”

re-’Fleck’-tions from a head coach

KHS alum P.J. Fleck prepares for 1st season as head coach in major college football
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—When asked about former Knight wideout P.J. Fleck, former assistant and current Kaneland High School head football coach Tom Fedderly said, “No one is going to outwork P.J.”

“I don’t know about anyone else, I just try to outwork myself,” Fleck said on Monday.

That could be what led to the Sugar Grove native’s rise through the ranks among NFL and college football staffs. His rise culminated in becoming the youngest head coach in major college football on Dec. 18, when he took over the top spot at Western Michigan University at the age of 32.

He replaced eight-year head coach Bill Cubit, who had been fired after a 51-46 stint leading the Broncos.

After starring for Kaneland High School and Northern Illinois University, and then making the NFL as a member of the 2004 San Francisco 49ers, Fleck entered the coaching ladder as a graduate assistant with Coach Jim Tressel’s Ohio State Buckeyes.

Fleck then went on to be wide receivers coach at NIU and Rutgers before following former Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2012 season.

Fleck has plenty of mentors who have made an impact on him as he prepares for his first season in Kalamazoo, Mich.

“Anytime you’re a coach at any level, you’re built by who you were with,” Fleck said. “I’m all of those guys.”

Fleck’s aspirations always included being a head coach at some level. A chance to lead a program with plenty of Midwestern talent and belonging to a conference with ample television coverage gives him a stage to show what he can accomplish.

“People looked at Nick Saban when he first started coaching and said he had never been a coach before,” Fleck said. “Now it’s wondering if he can win another national championship. You can’t be a head coach until you get the job.”

Assembling the Broncos’ football staff provided a boost to the first-year coach.

“I was excited to assemble my kind of coaching staff. In my short career, I’ve been around a lot of coaching staffs, and now it’s my chance. Every year, you kind of re-invent yourself until you become a head coach,’ Fleck said.

Fleck tries to lead the program back to a winning season, last seen in 2011 when the Broncos went to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and finished third in the MAC West Division.

The Kaneland grad is also getting the head coach/father dynamic down, as the birth of his second child, daughter Paisley, came just 24 hours before he officially took the Broncos’ helm.

“I love it, and somehow I have more energy,” Fleck said. “You have to be able to manage your time, and this has made me a better husband and father.”

The 15th head coach in Western Michigan history has plenty of fans in his corner locally, as Fedderly saw early on what Fleck was capable of accomplishing.

“Just watching him mature and become the man that he is just makes me really proud. He’s just a really good friend and good friend of our family. To see him work his way up as he did and become a head coach at 32 is unbelievable,” Fedderly said.

With mere months remaining before the start of his first season, Fleck reflected on the the biggest change he has experienced thus far in his new role.

“You are the final decision maker. I’ve always wanted to be that. You listen to the coaching staff and hear what they have to say and at the end of the day, you make the best choice,” Fleck said. “Greg (Schiano) was the best I’ve ever seen at making decisions.”

Having to start somewhere, Fleck has reached a pinnacle at his first head coaching stop.

“People have always doubted me at every stop,” Fleck said. “It’s happened my whole life, and I love it.”

Fleck and his WMU team kick things off in East Lansing, Mich., against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday, Aug. 31.

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Boys hoops’ journey ends at Spartans’ hand

Photo: Guard Drew David is fouled while trying to get to the hoop during the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 43-32 loss to St. Francis at the Class 3A IMSA Regional Feb. 27.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Fourth quarter sees fortune upended in 11-point regional loss
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—If it weren’t for a tough fourth quarter, Kaneland boys basketball could be talking about a regional final in Aurora.

An evenly matched game at Illinois Math and Science Academy against the No. 2 seed St. Francis was a tight affair, until the Spartans made a run and stopped the Knights 43-32 on Feb. 27.

The game was rescheduled due to less-than-stellar travel conditions and snowfall on Feb. 26.

Kaneland’s road stops with a 16-12 record for 2012-13, after garnering 17 victories in each of coach Brian Johnson’s first three seasons.

In 2011-12, the Knights powered through to the sectional semifinal in Sycamore before losing to Rockford East.

Aurora Central Catholic pulled an upset over Wheaton Academy, 41-37, in the first game of the evening, while the 3A Regional final on Friday featured St. Francis taking the plaque over ACC by a 46-43 tally.

St. Francis was scheduled to face Sycamore in the Freeport Sectional on Wednesday.

Senior Dan Miller paced the Knights with 10 points, while fellow senior Matt Limbrunner added nine.

It was fitting that the last challenge was buoyed by the two lone seniors in coach Johnson’s program this year.

“Those two came from a sophomore team that went 24-1; you look forward to getting that group. They stick with it and everyone else kind of disappears. They stuck with the program and gave me all they had, and they were my first freshman class,” Johnson said.

Senior Tim Zettinger had a game-high 21 for St. Francis.

In the first frame, Tyler Carlson’s bucket and a later free throw gave KHS a 7-2 lead with 3:17 left, but the Spartans scored the last six points of the quarter, including a buzzer-beating arc from Zettinger to fall behind 8-7.

Kaneland’s shooting touch disappeared the last half of the second quarter, with Limbrunner’s two foul shots breaking a 4:21 drought to close within 15-14. The Spartans’ bucket with 45.9 left extended the lead to 17-14 before halftime.

The Knights’ shooting touch picked up to give the lower seed a lift in the third quarter. Limbrunner hit a shot, followed by two from Miller and a baseline jumper from John Pruett that tied the score at 22-22 with 4:45 to go.

A feed from Limbrunner found Pruett to take the lead for KHS at 24-22 with 2:59. After a foul shot and steal and follow-through from St. Francis, a Limbrunner contested shot gave the Knights a 26-25 edge with 37.2 to go in the third quarter.

With both squads looking for their edge, Miller’s two free throws closed it to 29-28 after St. Francis took a lead.

Kaneland took its last lead of the game on a Limbrunner three with 4:15 to go for a 31-29 lead before St. Francis went on a 14-1 run to close the game. The Spartans went 7-for-8 from the foul line to help their cause. The final point of the season for KHS was a Drew David free throw with 1:16 remaining to close within 37-32.

“We didn’t hit shots down the stretch,” Johnson said. “We didn’t take care of the ball; there were a few times in the third quarter that hurt. Matt (Limbrunner) hit that three, and we got a lead. It could have went either way, and unfortunately it went against us.”

Community Corner: The story of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

by Maria Dripps-Paulson,
Executive director, Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

Once upon a time, a little girl grew up on a farm in rural Illinois. She loved the arts, but was never given the opportunity to go to an art museum or meet a “real” artist in person.

When the little girl grew up, she became an art teacher in the Kaneland School District. Realizing that Kaneland was similar to the rural setting in which she grew up, the teacher began envisioning an event where students, family, and community, far removed from the art culture scene of Chicago, could experience the arts.

She dreamed of the Kaneland Community experiencing the arts in an interactive setting, absolutely free, and the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival was born.

Bonnie Whildin, the little girl turned art teacher, began teaching at Kaneland full time in 1985 with the idea of a Fine Arts Festival fresh in her mind. However, it was not until May 1998, with the collaborative help of another art teacher, that the first Festival actually became reality.

The first annual Kaneland Fine Arts Festival was a two-hour event at Kaneland South Elementary School (now Kaneland John Shields Elementary). Attendance was approximately 200 people, and the presenters were made up of local artists and musicians.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the KCFAF has grown beyond Mrs. Whildin’s vision. Now expanded to its seven-hour celebration of the arts, the Festival saw a need to utilize the Kaneland High School auditorium for performance events held throughout the year. Beginning officially in the fall of 2009, KCFAF began the Festival Performance Series, which brings professional, quality performances to the Kaneland auditorium at affordable prices.

In July 2010, the first annual Kaneland Community Summer Theatre production was performed on the Kaneland High School stage, and will continue this summer with the production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

This year’s Festival will take place on Sunday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found on www.kanelandartsfestival.org or www.facebook.com/kcfaf302.

Publisher’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

‘Mr. Kaneland’ cause a personal one for 2013 winner

Photo: KHS senior Mike Karakourtis poses with his grandmother, Orla, and grandfather, Mike, after winning the Mr. Kaneland 2013 competition. His faux boy band, Alex Carillo, Dalvell Triplett, Karakourtis, Chad Swieca and Diego Ochoa, helped make it happen. Courtesy Photos

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Who knew tuxedos, pink fannie packs and stonewashed jeans could play a part in such an important cause?

Kaneland High School senior Mike Karakourtis entered the 2013 Mr. Kaneland event with the intention of raising money for Delnor’s Center for Breast Health. He proceeded to do just that, raising nearly $1,500 for the center and earning the right to be called “Mr. Kaneland,” thanks to a sprawling dance routine that featured Karakourtis and his friends in some eye-catching boy band outfits.

For Karakourtis, the cause behind the Mr. Kaneland event, which was held on Feb. 15 in the KHS auditorium, is a personal one.

“My nannie survived breast cancer in 2002,” he said. “She’s such an important person in my life, and is one of the sweetest people I know. I feel very fortunate to still have her in my life, as many people lose loved ones to this terrible disease.”

Karakourtis, a North Aurora resident, said he wanted to do the Mr. Kaneland fundraiser and raise as much money as he could as a tribute to his nannie and the fight that she had won against breast cancer.

“My nannie is like an angel in my life, and one of the sweetest people I know,” he said. “I am so lucky she survived, as many women do not.”

Karakourtis’ fundraising consisted of selling $5 bracelets and receiving donations. He was also auctioned off for over $300 during the Mr. Kaneland event.

“One of my favorite parts of the night, aside from knowing my nannie was watching in the audience, was being told our principal, Chip Hickman, bid $70 on me during the auction to be fun and show support of the event,” Karakourtis said. “We have a really great school, with teachers and staff that go out of there way for you, have great school spirit and remember that although they are teachers and administration, they can still let loose and be fun..”

Karakourtis showed up to the event dressed to the nines in a tuxedo, but the sophistocated garb eventually gave way to a wardrobe consisting of sleaveless shirts and pink hats, fannie packs, fingerless gloves and stonewashed jeans for the song and dance routine he performed with friends Chad Swieca, Diego Ochoa, Alex Carrillo and Dalvell Triplett.

Songs featured during the performance were Flo-Rida’s “Right Round,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Enya’s “Only Time” and MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”

“Part of the event is coming up with a talent. Chad, Diego, Alex and Dalvell offered to donate their time and skills and be my back-up dancers,” Karakourtis said. “They were willing to do anything and wear anything to ensure the audience laughed and had a good time. (They were) asking off work to rehearse, missing plans of their own to practice, and even stayed with me sometimes till midnight practicing moves, creating new choreography, cutting music, etc., all to show support of this great cause.”

Needless to say, the 2013 Mr. Kaneland event was a memorable one for the resourceful teen.

“No one really knows the hours that are put into these events,” he said. “This was a true testament of (the group’s) friendship, integrity and character, and something I will never forget.”

The group’s performance can be found on YouTube under the title “Mr. Kaneland 2013.”

His faux boy band (left to right), Alex Carillo, Dalvell Triplett, Karakourtis, Chad Swieca and Diego Ochoa, helped make it happen.
His faux boy band (left to right), Alex Carillo, Dalvell Triplett, Karakourtis, Chad Swieca and Diego Ochoa, helped make it happen.
Mike Karakourtis
Mike Karakourtis
KHS senior Mike Karakourtis (above, center) poses with his grandmother, Orla, and grandfather, Mike, after winning the Mr. Kaneland 2013 competition.
KHS senior Mike Karakourtis (above, center) poses with his grandmother, Orla, and grandfather, Mike, after winning the Mr. Kaneland 2013 competition.

Conference Champs

Photo: Tyler Carlson (right) stretches for a score in the second quarter against Rochelle last Friday. The varsity boys came back to pull out a 69-66 win.

KHS comes from behind for conference championship; passes IMSA in regional action
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Kaneland closed out the regular season Friday with a big come-from-behind win over Rochelle to lock up the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Championship. The Knights followed that by opening the post season with a huge 39-point victory over host Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA).

A site of many entertaining and tight battles, the Knights traveled to Rochelle on Friday to conclude the regular season with a close 69-66 victory.

John Pruett led the charge with 19 points, followed by Matt Limbrunner with 16 and Drew David with 10.

Rochelle jumped atop Kaneland’s hopes with an 18-9 lead after one and maintained a 38-26 lead at halftime.

Kaneland righted the game with a 20-9 run spanning the entire third quarter to close within 47-46 before a 23-19 fourth tipped the scales the Knights’ way.

Kaneland engineered dramatic victories to clinch its first conference championship in three decades two years ago, and mustered a comeback win over the Hubs in the Rochelle Regional final a year ago.

Kaneland’s 16th win of the season (16-11) came in the opening round of the Illinois Math and Science Academy Regional on Monday night in Aurora. Kaneland, the No. 3 seed, pounded the No. 6 host Titans by a 79-40 score, and were set to meet No. 2 St. Francis of Wheaton on Tuesday before inclement weather and travel conditions postponed the clash until Wednesday night. Results were unavailable for press time.

“We’re going to have to come with our best game,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said before Wednesday’s tip. “They’re (St. Francis) a very strong and solid team. They work really well together, and their defense is outstanding.”

Earlier action on Monday had the Aurora Central Catholic Chargers edge the Marmion Academy Cadets 53-51. ACC will tip-off against No. 1 Wheaton Academy before the Knights-Spartans meeting.

Four Knights found their way to the double-figures zone on Monday: Dylan Vaca with a game-high 19 points behind four three-pointers, Pruett with 15, Limbrunner with 15 and Dan Miller with 10.

For IMSA, junior Isiah Butler connected on five treys for a team-high 18 points.

In a high-tempo first quarter, Kaneland saw opportunities pay off in either putbacks or trips to the foul line. Miller hit the front end of a pair with 3:40 left in the frame for a 12-3 Knight lead. After Butler hit a three to make it 12-6, Limbrunner’s shot made it 14-6 with 3:01 to play. After another IMSA bucket made it 14-8 with 1:57 to play, Limbrunner sunk a trifecta 36 ticks later to make it 17-8 before a Butler three with 52.8 left closed the first frame scoring at 17-11.

Kaneland then put up a 24-spot in the second quarter and looked at a 41-24 lead going into the halftime break.

A Butler basket five seconds into the quarter closed the deficit to 17-13, with KHS going on a gigantic 13-0 run. Tyler Carlson’s three, Miller’s basket, a Pruett putback, a Limbrunner putback, a Cole Carlson bucket and a Pruett baseliner within a 2:54 span made it 30-13 and had Kaneland sailing.

David, Limbrunner and Pruett put up multiple baskets in the third quarter, and the Knights saw their lead balloon to 27 points, 58-31, after three.

Kaneland’s basket with 22.5 left put the lead at 40 before IMSA inched closer by the end.

Miller and the gang took note of what IMSA was trying to accomplish and after a period of adjustment, was able to execute their desired gameplan.

“It was really good to get a victory tonight,” Miller said. “You’d prefer to make your first baskets, but we focused in practice on getting to the offensive glass. That’s a big part of our game.”

If the Knights defeated Wheaton St. Francis Wednesday night (results were unavailable as of press time), they would face the winner of Wheaton Academy and Aurora Central Catholic on Friday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. at IMSA.

Dan Miller goes up for a shot and gets fouled in the first quarter of Kaneland's come-from-behind 69-66 victory at Rochelle Friday.  Photo by John DiDonna
Dan Miller goes up for a shot and gets fouled in the first quarter of Kaneland’s come-from-behind 69-66 victory at Rochelle Friday.
Photo by John DiDonna
Tom VanBogaert and Dan Miller fight for a loose ball in the first quarter at Rochelle on Friday. Kaneland pulled out a late victory, winning 69-66. Photo by John DiDonna
Tom VanBogaert and Dan Miller fight for a loose ball in the first quarter at Rochelle on Friday. Kaneland pulled out a late victory, winning 69-66.
Photo by John DiDonna
Tyler Carlson stretches for a score in the second quarter against Rochelle last Friday. The varsity boys came back to pull out a 69-66 win. Photo by John DiDonna
Tyler Carlson stretches for a score in the second quarter against Rochelle last Friday. The varsity boys came back to pull out a 69-66 win.
Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's John Pruett (5) loses control and goes down while Tyler Carlson (10) comes to help in the third quarter of the varsity boy's 69-66 win at Rochelle on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s John Pruett (5) loses control and goes down while Tyler Carlson (10) comes to help in the third quarter of the varsity boy’s 69-66 win at Rochelle on Friday.
Photo by John DiDonna
Drew David gets a pass under a Rochelle defender in the third quarter during Kaneland's comeback win. Photo by John DiDonna
Drew David gets a pass under a Rochelle defender in the third quarter during Kaneland’s comeback win.
Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Matt Limbrunner maintains ball control to kill some time in the fourth quarter against Rochelle on Friday. The boys came from behind to win 69-66. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner maintains ball control to kill some time in the fourth quarter against Rochelle on Friday. The boys came from behind to win 69-66.
Photo by John DiDonna

Sugar Grove Presidential Candidates debate

Candidates:
P. Sean Michels – Sugar Grove Village President
Kevin Geary – Sugar Grove Village Trustee

Moderated by Keith Beebe, Editor of the Elburn Herald
Filmed Wednesday, February 13 at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center

The Elburn Herald on Feb. 13 hosted a Sugar Grove village presidential debate between the incumbent, Sean Michels, and his challenger, village trustee Kevin Geary.

Both participants met at the Herald’s new location, 525 N. Main St., in Elburn, and proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes debating topics such as government transparency, village growth and business, video gambling, the Mallard Point/Rolling Oaks drainage issue, and the possibility of re-entering an intergovernmental agreement with the Kaneland School District.

The Herald hosted the debate as a way to kick off its role as co-sponsors in this year’s Sugar Grove Meet the Candidates Night, which will take place on Tuesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St.

The debate between Michels and Geary was video recorded as a way to provide Sugar Grove residents with a fair and quality look at the two village president candidates in action. The entire video will be available on our website, ElburnHerald.com, beginning Friday.

Michels has served as village president since 1999, the same year Geary first took office as village trustee.

Debate Rules and Opening Statements

Question 1:

“Village trustee Geary has said that his campaign is based on the platform of offering open and honest government in order to be accountable to the people served by that body, creating a business-friendly climate within the village. What is the current business climate in the village, and what would you do to improve it? Also, define the current state of growth in Sugar Grove.”

Question 2:

“Define your interpretation of local government transparency. Do you believe Sugar Grove has maintained a consistent and thorough level of transparency. If not, what needs to happen for the village to reach and maintain a higher level of transparency?”

Question 3:

“The Village Board in 2011 chose to not renew its intergovernmental agreement with the Kaneland School District. What was your stance toward the Kaneland IGA at that time, and what would it take for you to consider re-entering an IGA with the School District?”

Question 4:

“You have suggested in the past that the money for the Route 47/I-88 interchange project go toward the improvement of the cloverleaf at the intersection of Routes 47 and 56. Do you still believe the cloverleaf improvement should take precedent over the initial interchange project? If so, why?”

Question 5:

“Why should the village of Sugar Grove allow video gambling?”

Question 6:

“Village trustee Geary, you have been an outspoken critic of the drainage issue in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions. Do you believe the Village Board acted swiftly and accordingly in its attempt to work with Rob Roy Drainage District No. 2 and solve the drainage issue? What would you have done differently?”

Closing Statements:

Full Video (39:44)

Kane County Sheriff, DEA hosts prescription drug seminar at KHS

Photo: The Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA Tactical Diversion Unit on Feb. 13, provided a presentation to staff, faculty and parents on the dangers of prescription drug abuse. The event took place in the Kaneland High School Auditorium. Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez talks about the perscription drug disposal program. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Mary Parrilli
KANE COUNTY—Members of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and DEA presented a seminar on the illegal use of prescription drugs on Feb. 13 at Kaneland High School.

A similar presentation was held at Harter Middle School about one year ago. Due to some current issues at KHS, Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez wanted to host another event—this time at the high school level.

“I’m not saying that there is an overwhelming prescription-drug-use problem at the high school, but we wanted to educate parents and Kaneland staff about the increasing use of prescription drugs among high school and college-aged kids,” he said. “We wanted to teach parents how to make their homes safer.”

Perez, two Kane County Sheriff’s deputies and three DEA agents from Chicago presented to parents and faculty a few choice topics on the illegal use of prescription drugs.

“One thing that parents need to realize is that just because a drug has a prescription, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe,” Perez said.

Perez explained that most painkillers are opiates, which are highly addictive. Kids often take them thinking that it will give them a buzz, not realizing that they are addictive substances. Many times, the use of prescription painkillers leads to the use of heroin.

One of the easiest ways that kids can get a hold of these drugs is via their parents’ prescriptions, Perez said. Often times, a parent has a surgery, or is prescribed something, and then doesn’t finish the whole bottle. In some instances, the kids then steal from the parents’ prescription, and either take the pills themselves, or sell them for anywhere between $20 and $30 per pill. There are even some high school kids who attend various open house events, and go through medicine cabinets, grab what they can, and then turn around and sell the pills.

“It’s not just painkillers, though—high school and college kids, in order to stay up all night or cram for tests, often use Aderall, which is a stimulant,” Perez said. “It puts a lot of pressure on the ones who really need the drug for their ADHD.”

According to Perez, some kids even host or attend “pharma-parties,” where everyone brings a grab bag of pills and places it in a big bowl, which then acts like a candy bowl, free for the taking. Kids often times don’t even know what drug they’re ingesting.

At the presentation, the DEA members handed out prescription drug identification charts to aid parents in the discovery of pills.

Perez and his team discussed ways to prevent the illegal diversion of pharmaceuticals. The biggest thing that people can do is simply not make them available. If you get a prescription, keep it hidden or locked up, away from your kids.

“When parents leave their medications out in the open, this creates what we call a “crime of opportunity,” the same as if you left your iPod sitting in your car, in view, and someone stole it,” Perez said.

It is also important to dispose of the pills properly. Perez doesn’t recommend flushing the pills down the toilet, as they may contaminate the water supply. He does recommend using the Sheriff’s Office prescription drug drop box, located at the office, 37W755 Route 38 in St. Charles, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. All you have to do is drop your pillbox into the drop box. The DEA then picks up the pills and takes them to an incinerator to dispose of them properly.

“I strongly recommend and encourage people to use (the drug drop box). It is the safest and easiest way for prescription drug disposal,” Perez said.

About 15 people showed up to the event on Wednesday. Perez said he was a little disappointed with the lack of participation by the Kaneland community.

“I thought the presentation went very well for those of whom came by,” he said. “I just really want parents to be educated about this, since prescription drugs are the fastest rising in drug choice for young adults and teenagers.”

SG Police invest in new fleet vehicles

by Elizabeth Rago
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Police Department recently invested in its mission, “To affirmatively promote a feeling of security and safety for every member of our community,” with the addition of three Ford Interceptors, a vehicle specifically designed for law enforcement professionals. The purposeful features included in the new vehicles promote an extra element of safety for the 21-officer force and the Sugar Grove community.

The 2013 Ford sedan model features a 3.5L V6 engine, as well as braking and suspension systems created specifically to perform with advanced control under the daily stress law enforcement vehicles typically undergo.

Sugar Grove Police Sgt. Tom Barna has been pleased with the operation of the vehicles thus far, especially on the windswept highways of Sugar Grove. A self-activating system built within the Interceptor evenly distributes torque, allowing the car to anticipate inclement conditions, providing traction before the wheels of the vehicle start to slip.

“The all-wheel drive of the Interceptor handles well in the winter weather we have recently experienced, compared to the slipping that we experienced in our other vehicles,” Barna said.

Keeping officers safe when responding to calls in situations with dangerous road conditions is just one of the 2013 Ford Interceptor’s strengths. Offering stability, protection and efficiency in several capacities, including Level III ballistic front-door panels, police-tuned suspension and a high-volume cooling system, the Interceptor boasts all heavy-duty components and a focus on driver control, comfort and capability.

Protecting officers and investing in quality equipment goes hand in hand with Sugar Grove’s mission to provide a safe, comfortable environment for its citizens. The 2013 Ford Interceptor will reinforce that mission statement

The Sugar Grove Police Department recently took delivery of three Ford Police Interceptors . 	            Photos by Patti Wilk
The Sugar Grove Police Department recently took delivery of three Ford Police Interceptors . Photos by Patti Wilk
Sgt. Tom Barna and Sgt. Gary Fineli took time out to get the cars ready to be photographed. The interior driver's side is loaded with on-board video surveillance and computer and radio systems.
Sgt. Tom Barna and Sgt. Gary Fineli took time out to get the cars ready to be photographed. The interior driver’s side is loaded with on-board video surveillance and computer and radio systems.
The on-board rifle mount is located over the right shoulder of the driving officer and is securely mounted.
The on-board rifle mount is located over the right shoulder of the driving officer and is securely mounted.

Photos: Mr. Kaneland raises money for health

The Mr. Kaneland event was held on Friday, February 15 in the Kaneland High School Auditorium. The Mr. Kaneland event was created by Kaneland Peer Leadership to raise money for the Delnor Center for Breast Health. This is the seventh year for the event which has raised more than $20,000 for the Delnor Center for Breast Health since beginning the event in January of 2007. This year’s court included: Brad Kigyos, Chris Wido, Tucker DeBolt, Andrew Tobin, Fernando Caballero, Dalvell Triplett, Alec Kovach, and Mike Karakourtis. Here, Alec Kovach sings his heart out for the crowd in the talent portion of the show.
The Mr. Kaneland event was held on Friday, February 15 in the Kaneland High School Auditorium. The Mr. Kaneland event was created by Kaneland Peer Leadership to raise money for the Delnor Center for Breast Health. This is the seventh year for the event which has raised more than $20,000 for the Delnor Center for Breast Health since beginning the event in January of 2007. This year’s court included: Brad Kigyos, Chris Wido, Tucker DeBolt, Andrew Tobin, Fernando Caballero, Dalvell Triplett, Alec Kovach, and Mike Karakourtis. Here, Alec Kovach sings his heart out for the crowd in the talent portion of the show.
Dalvell Triplett plays his musical seletion in the Mr. Kaneland competition.
Dalvell Triplett plays his musical seletion in the Mr. Kaneland competition.
Mr. Kaneland contestant Brad Kigyos tells the MCs, Tanner Andrews and Austen Davis, why he  should win the competition.
Mr. Kaneland contestant Brad Kigyos tells the MCs, Tanner Andrews and Austen Davis, why he should win the competition.
Andrew Tobin sports his casual wear and talks to the audience during the competition.
Andrew Tobin sports his casual wear and talks to the audience during the competition.
The Leadership Team does a "miracle minute", moving through the crowd collecting donations for the cause during the Mr. Kaneland event.
The Leadership Team does a “miracle minute”, moving through the crowd collecting donations for the cause during the Mr. Kaneland event.

Nedra Reeves from Delnor Breast Center gives thanks to the students for raising money at the Mr. Kaneland event.
Nedra Reeves from Delnor Breast Center gives thanks to the students for raising money at the Mr. Kaneland event.

Photos by Kimberly Anderson

‘Dan’-ger Zone

Photo: Kaneland’s Dan Goress wins the Class 2A State Wrestling Championship in the 145- pound weight class at the University of Illinois Champaign on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Goress wins state title for 1st KHS wrestling crown in 20 years
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland last saw one of its wrestlers crowned an individual state champion before current KHS senior Dan Goress was born.

After this weekend in Champaign, Ill., Goress has assured his name will be remembered for a long time.

For the first time since Scott Brewer captured the 145-pound title in 1993, Goress (41-3) became the seventh State champ in school history by taking the 145-pound category after Saturday’s action at Assembly Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois.

“It was really exciting,” Goress said. “During my match, I did what I needed to do to take the lead and didn’t want to make any mistakes. Once I won, I looked up into the stands and saw everybody cheering. It was a feeling that I can’t describe.”

Other State reps for Kaneland included heavyweight Zach Theis taking fifth place, and Esai Ponce in the 132-pound group.

In the preliminary opener, Goress’ skill carried him to a 4-2 decision over Springfield Haratio Austin.

“After my first match, I was really disappointed. They were like, ‘You gotta keep your head up, that’s what the matches are going to come down to.’ You can’t be mad because you won by two points,” Goress said.

Goress then got past Crystal Lake Central foe Kyle Fugiel in the second round by a 4-3 decision.

As part of semifinal competition, Goress defeated Mt. Vernon’s Chase Vosburgh, 5-3, giving Vosburgh just his second setback of the season.

For 145-pound glory in the final, Goress knocked off Montini Catholic counterpart Michael Sepke by a 3-2 margin.

“They’re all solid wrestlers. Every single one of those kids deserved to be down there,” Goress said. “I wasn’t going to get tech falls or major decisions; I was going out there to win. I wasn’t going to try to impress anybody.”

At 285 pounds, Kaneland’s Zach Theis (35-8) earned a 2:11 pinfall over Vernon Hills’ Joe Blitstein in the first round, then lost to Springfield Southeast’s Copache Tyler in 3:06.

Maneuvering his way into wrestlebacks, Theis took it to Tinley Park’s Danny Korycki in 2:09 and Freeport’s Kendal Parker in 3:09. In the semifinal wrestleback, Theis was edged by Chicago’s Lavontay Cobb of King High School by a 5-2 margin.

Theis earned redemption in the final match of his season, beating Northside Prep of Chicago’s Ben Mauk-O’Connor in 2:26 to earn fifth place.

At 132 pounds, Kaneland teammate Ponce (33-5) was defeated in his only match of the journey, losing 5-2 to Mike Gussarson of Antioch, the eventual fifth-place winner.

With the end of the 2012-13 campaign, the Knights say goodbye to David Barnhart, Goress, Stephen Gust, Sonny Horn, Ponce, Nick Sharp, Theis and Connor Williams.

Sports_Wrestle_6

Kaneland's Dan Goress wins the Class 2A State Wrestling Championship in the 145- pound weight class at the University  of Illinois Champaign on Saturday.
Kaneland’s Dan Goress wins the Class 2A State Wrestling Championship in the 145- pound weight class at the University
of Illinois Champaign on Saturday.

Sports_Wrestle_5

After his big state win, Goress hugs Kaneland wrestling coach  Monty Jahns.
After his big state win, Goress hugs Kaneland wrestling coach
Monty Jahns.

Sports_Wrestle_3

Goress is the Knights  first state champion  (145 lb class)  since 1993.
Goress is the Knights
first state champion
(145 lb class)
since 1993.

Heartbreak central

Photo: Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The varsity girls reached the second round of regionals but came up just short, losing 52-51. Photo by John DiDonna

Fast, furious comeback falls 1 point short to Plano in Regional
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—It was almost a comeback for the ages.

Instead, it’s a feeling of sadness that will last the offseason.

On Feb. 13, at the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional, the Lady Knights’ 20-point comeback attempt was almost complete, but Aly O’Herron’s three-point try off an inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds remaining clanked off the side of the rim, leaving KHS on the short end of a 52-51 loss to the Plano Lady Reapers (22-7).

Burlington Central upended Plano in the regional final on Friday by a final of 38-34.

Kaneland’s journey fell short at 16-11, a year after advancing to the Sycamore Sectional final against Belvidere North.

Ashley Prost paced all scorers with 22 points off 11-of-15 shooting. Kaneland was 21-of-51 from the line.

Albana Hoti of Plano led the Lady Reapers with 12 points.

KHS had the ball with 9.5 seconds left, but an Emma Bradford layup attempt was blocked out of bounds with 1.5, setting up the final play.

“We had two options: an inside look and an outside look,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “(O’Herron) was our outside look; we got a shot and that’s all you can ask for.”

Plano ambushed Kaneland in the first quarter thanks to five treys, including three from Hoti, and went on a 13-0 run to lead 22-6 after one, and kept the lead to 30-14 at halftime.

Kaneland was down 42-27 after three quarters, but turned on the juice for a 24-10 run spanning the entire fourth frame.

“It was no one adjustment we made, we just starting getting a bit more composure,” Colombe said.

KHS scored the first eight points of the quarter to cut the lead to seven, then Brooke Harner, Grams and Prost hit baskets.

Down 48-42, Caroline Heimerdinger hit a rainbow three, followed by another basket 48 seconds later to make it 50-47. Prost’s shot with 1:45 to go cut it to 50-49, and marked the end of five consecutive shots made.

Heimerdinger and O’Herron had chances for a go-ahead shot but couldn’t connect.

Prost’s shot with 35.6 to go made the final one-point margin after two Lady Reaper free throws with 48.6 left.

Kaneland says goodbye to Grams, Prost, Ashley Castellanos, Harner, O’Herron and Bradford due to graduation.

“They’re leaders,” Colombe said. “They’re six kids who play with heart, and they’re leaders who will do well whatever they do in life.”

The scoreboard says it all as Kaneland varsity girls dropped a hearbreaker to Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
The scoreboard says it all as Kaneland varsity girls dropped a hearbreaker to Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner goes up for a shot to bring Kaneland closer in the fourth quarter against Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner goes up for a shot to bring Kaneland closer in the fourth quarter against Plano in the second round of regional action at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger drives down the court in the first quarter during Kaneland's regional game against Plano. Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger drives down the court in the first quarter during Kaneland’s regional game against Plano.
Photo by John DiDonna
Sarah Grams looks to pass in the second quarter of Kaneland's close regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Sarah Grams looks to pass in the second quarter of Kaneland’s close regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The  varsity girls reached the  second round of regionals but came up just short,  losing  52-51. Photo by  John DiDonna
Emma Bradford (32) gets ready to launch a shot in the third quarter against Plano on Feb. 13. The
varsity girls reached the
second round of regionals but came up just short,
losing
52-51.
Photo by
John DiDonna
Brooke Harner looses track of the ball in the second quarter of the Lady Knight's hard fought regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner looses track of the ball in the second quarter of the Lady Knight’s hard fought regional game against Plano at Burlington on Wednesday, February 13.
Photo by John DiDonna

Back on track

Photo: Cole Carlson (44) and Matt Limbrunner (42) fight for possession in the third quarter against St. Charles North on Feb. 12. Photo by Patti Wilk

Boys’ loss at Morris brings skid to 5 before win at Dixon
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A trip to Dixon, Ill., was just what the doctor ordered.

After a five-game losing streak that would make anyone ill, the Knight boys hoops squad traveled to their Northern Illinois Big XII crossover rival and beat the host Dukes by a final of 76-62 on Saturday.

It helped remedy some of the ill feelings of a 50-46 loss in Morris on Friday that saw KHS outscored 32-19 in the second half.

KHS is now 14-11 (6-3 NIB-12).

Against Dixon, the Knights were paced by Cole Carlson’s 17 and Matt Limbrunner’s 15.

The Knights were up 23-10 after one and 37-22 at the halftime buzzer before expanding the lead to 57-36 after three. The Dukes went on a 26-19 run in the fourth, but all for naught.

Against the rival Redskins, baskets by Dan Miller and Limbrunner made it 12-3 in favor of KHS with 2:14 remaining. Morris’ last bucket made it 12-5 before the end of the frame.

Kaneland converted all four shots from the field and went 5-for-7 from the line, going into halftime with a 27-18 lead.

KHS would only go two-for-nine from the foul line the rest of the way, however.

“(Free throws) have been a topic for about a month now,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Morris would make a charge and take a 36-34 lead with 2:20 to go in the quarter before John Pruett’s bucket tied the score.

Limbrunner’s basket with 1:34 to play sent the end of the frame into a 38-38 tie.

A Redskin three gave the hosts the lead for good at 41-38 with 6:23 to go, as the Knights were forced to play catch-up.

A three by Drew David with seven ticks left closed the lead to 48-46, but two free throws gave the game its final four-point margin.

“We were just poor on both ends of the floor and especially from the free throw line at the end. You’re playing at Morris. I was happy with what we did in the first half. The second quarter worried me a bit,” Johnson said.

The end of the regular season hits on Friday, Feb. 22, in Rochelle.

On Monday, Feb. 25, the Knights, the No. 3 seed in the IMSA Regional in Aurora, faces off against the host Titans at 7:30 p.m., with the winner facing St. Francis of Wheaton (No. 2) on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m.

John Pruett (5) and Tyler Carlson (10) grab a rebound in the fourth quarter against St. Charles North on Feb. 12. Photo by Patti Wilk
John Pruett (5) and Tyler Carlson (10) grab a rebound in the fourth quarter against St. Charles North on Feb. 12.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Cole Carlson (44) and Matt Limbrunner (42) fight for possession in the third quarter against St. Charles North on Feb. 12. 			   Photo by Patti Wilk
Cole Carlson (44) and Matt Limbrunner (42) fight for possession in the third quarter against St. Charles North on Feb. 12. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland's Matt Limbrunner executes a slam-dunk in the third quarter on Tuesday, February 12 against St. Charles North. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner executes a slam-dunk in the third quarter on Tuesday, February 12 against St. Charles North.
Photo by Patti Wilk
The intensity was there as Drew David drives down the court but Kaneland came up short against St. Charles North, losing 61-50. Photo by Patti Wilk
The intensity was there as Drew David drives down the court but Kaneland came up short against St. Charles North, losing 61-50.
Photo by Patti Wilk
John Pruett fights to get a shot off in the second quarter when Kaneland traveled to St. Charles North on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by Patti Wilk
John Pruett fights to get a shot off in the second quarter when Kaneland traveled to St. Charles North on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Tyler Carlson gets off a one-handed shot from the side in the third quarter against St. Charles North on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by Patti Wilk
Tyler Carlson gets off a one-handed shot from the side in the third quarter against St. Charles North on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Baseball career goes to the next level

Photo: Blake Sowell of Elburn with his parents, Roxanna and Brady Sowell, 13-year-old brother, Reece Sowell and coach Brian Aversa. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland—KHS senior pitcher Blake Sowell on Feb. 14 signed a letter of intent, accepting an athletic scholarship to play baseball for the Clarke University Crusaders. Clarke University is a Division II NAIA university in Dubuque, Iowa. Sowell will now attend Clarke in the fall of 2013.

The Crusaders had a 20-win season in 2012 with 20 losses. They were 15-9 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC). The Crusaders are coached by Dan Spain, who is in his second year as head coach. The Kaneland Knights are coached by Brian Aversa and are coming off of a successful 2012 season and a Conference Championship a year after winning the Illinois 3A State Championship.

During the signing event, Sowell expressed his appreciation to Coach Aversa, as well as the other coaches in the Kaneland High School baseball program: coach Dan Hallahan and Ernie Colombe. Sowell said all of the coaches played an integral part of Sowell’s development and success.

MP Police Dept. awarded for Special Olympics fundraising

Photo: Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta makes a new friend during the Special Olympics Kick-off event on Feb. 1. The Maple Park Police Department raised $40,078.81 for the Special Olympics—the fifth-highest total in Illinois—and received a Law Enforcement Torch Run Gold Award for the effort.
Courtesy Photo

by Dave Woehrle
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta on Feb. 5 presented the Village Board with the Police Department’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Gold Award.

The MP Police Department received the award for raising $40,000 for Special Olympics of Illinois in 2012. The amount ranked fifth state-wide among 281 other police departments.

This was the Police Department’s third year of participation in Special Olympic fundraising.

“That’s a lot of effort on behalf of the police and the community at large. It’s good to know we’re a part of this,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Over 20 donations were given from local businesses located in Maple Park, Geneva, St. Charles, Elburn, Carol Stream and Aurora. Cabela’s and Monnett Prescision Grinding pitched in as co-sponsors for the Police Department’s skeet shooting event last May.

The winter games were held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, 2012. The 2012 Illinois games were held June 15-17 at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

Acosta is already looking forward to new fundraising efforts for 2013, with the hope of raising $50,000.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work. We’ll be putting on the same events but trying to get more participants this time around,” he said. “What’s great about giving for this cause is knowing the participants do not pay a dime to participate in any event or coaching. It’s a cause we’re proud of.”

Elburn resident gives back to church through art

Photo: Kaneland junior Jeremy Faivre recently created an oil pastel painting for the Community Congregational Church in Elburn. The church held a dedication to the painting, entitled “The Gift,” on Sunday during the morning service. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Kaneland High School student Jeremy Faivre wasn’t sure what he would find at the Elburn Community Congregational United Church of Christ two years ago, when his mom suggested they begin attending church there. He was 15 years old at the time.

“I didn’t really care for myself or others, and didn’t think others cared about me,” he said.

Jeremy initially asked himself, “What am I doing here?” and said it felt weird to talk about God. He had gone to church when he was very young, but had not been back for a number of years.

Jeremy and his 11-year-old brother, Jacob, then went to the Wednesday night youth group. At first, Jeremy didn’t really want to go.

“(He) dragged me along with him,” Jeremy said. “I guess I owe him a thank-you.”

What Jeremy found there was friendship and acceptance. The other young people in the group were also students at Kaneland, but Faivre had never met them before. Calling it “ironic,” Jeremy said that, after the evening was over, he thought they were the “coolest, interesting, and awesome people ever.”

Jeremy said that his experiences with the church just kept getting better and better. He had felt welcomed by Pastor Michelle Prentice-Leslie when he first arrived, and as time went on, he became close with the other people in his youth group.

He saw himself changing, too.

“He attended almost every time we met,” youth group leader Jessie Van Develde said.

Van Develde said that she didn’t really see the changes taking place. To her, Faivre was always a “kind, compassionate, and wonderful person, a very positive person.”

But Faivre felt the changes inside of him, and he said he was grateful to the church and the people there for their friendship. He decided that he wanted to paint a picture for the church, and when he showed Pastor Michelle some of his work, she encouraged him.

Following youth service on Sunday, the church held a dedication of the painting that Faivre calls “The Gift.” Faivre unveiled the painting that had been hanging on the wall outside the sanctuary. The painting incorporates many symbols that depict Faivre’s life and the church, and messages about who he had been, what he had found, what he learned and who he has become.

The centerpiece of the picture shows two hands touching. The left hand represents himself and, more generally, the human race. There are thorns on that hand, “symbolizing troubles that people go through to become who they are now,” he said.

The right hand, reaching out to the left hand, is Jesus, interacting with the human race.

Other symbols include pizza and items that represent mission trips and other experiences Faivre has had through the church.

“I didn’t know he was having such a hard time,” VanDevelde said. “When he made this painting, it brought me to tears. It’s been a pleasure having him and his mother in church.”

The youth group has gone to conferences and on mission trips to places such as Wayside Cross Ministries After School program in Aurora—a food pantry near VanDevelde’s house—and a vacation Bible school in Indianapolis for low-income children.

VanDevelde said the young people learn something about other people’s lives through these trips. Some of their parents are in jail, and there is always the risk of gangs in their neighborhoods.

Van Develde said that when she was younger, she went on a mission trip and it made a huge impact on her. She wants to provide those experiences for the young people at the Elburn church.

“We’re all learning from each other,” she said.

Kaneland junior Jeremy Faivre recently created an oil pastel painting for the Community  Congregational Church in Elburn.  The church held a dedication to  the painting, entitled "The Gift,"  on Sunday during the  morning service.  Photos by Kimberly Anderson
Kaneland junior Jeremy Faivre recently created an oil pastel painting for the Community
Congregational Church in Elburn.
The church held a dedication to
the painting, entitled “The Gift,”
on Sunday during the
morning service.
Photos by Kimberly Anderson
The Gift" by Jeremy Faivre. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
The Gift” by Jeremy Faivre.
Photo by Kimberly Anderson

Points taken

Photo: Senior Zach Theis won a 3-0 decision against Sterling in the 285 pound weight class at the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional on Saturday. File Photo

Three wrestlers punch State ticket
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It wasn’t 1994 or 2012 levels, but the KHS wrestling squad will take the sectional output.

After sending its biggest State contingent in 18 years a year ago with four representatives, Kaneland continued its upward trajectory in a tough Class 2A Rochelle Sectional.

Esai Ponce (138 pounds) and Dan Goress (145 pounds) are going back to Champaign’s Assembly Hall on Thursday, Feb. 14, as was the style last year, and are joined by heavyweight entry Zach Theis under the guidance of coaches Monty Jahns, Jeremy Kenny and Mike Thorgesen.

Goress and Theis both captured their group’s title after the completion of action in Ogle County on Saturday.

Ponce, a senior, started his high school wrestling tenure in the old 103-pound category and knows his work is not complete just yet.

“At regionals, I thought I was wrestling pretty well,” Ponce said. “At sectionals, I felt like I could have done better, but I still wrestled pretty well. I only had one new opponent from the year in the third-place match and did pretty well against him. That could be an advantage in some cases.

While Rock Island’s Chase Wiggins and Pontiac’s Stephen Richardson claimed the top two spots, Ponce (33-5) earned a 7-0 win over Washington’s Randy Meneweather in the third-place match to end the weekend.

Ponce is scheduled to face Antioch’s Mike Gussarson, who ventures to Champaign with a record of 36-10.

Goress qualified at 138 pounds a year ago, and makes the trip again at a higher weight class.

Goress (38-3) toppled Rock Island junior Jean-Louis Sawadago by 5-2 count.

It almost didn’t matter who was placed in front of Goress this past weekend.

“To be perfectly honest, I didn’t look at anyone in the sectional or my bracket. I wrestled whoever they put in front of me. I just went out there and wrestled and had one goal,” Goress said.

Goress is scheduled to face Springfield entry Haratio Austin (34-7).

Theis, a 32-6 senior, battled fellow Northern Illinois Big XII grappler Curtis Lilly of Sterling in the final and bested the Golden Warrior by a 3-0 tally.

“It’s just getting back to basics and trying to keep the usual this week and going at it over and over,” Theis said. “I’m peaking right now, but there’s always more work to be done.”

Theis draws Chicago’s Lamar Johnson (19-6) of Crane Tech in the opening match.

The 2A tournament begins at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Feb. 14.

Kaneland's Dan Goress won with a 5-2 decision in the 145-pound weight class against Rock Island on Saturday.  File Photo
Kaneland’s Dan Goress won with a 5-2 decision in the 145-pound weight class against Rock Island on Saturday.
File Photo
Kaneland's Esai Ponce (right) wrestling at 132 pounds, won with  a 7-0  decision against Washington at the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional on  Saturday.         File Photo
Kaneland’s Esai Ponce (right) wrestling at 132 pounds, won with
a 7-0
decision against Washington at the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional on
Saturday.
File Photo
Senior Zach Theis won a 3-0 decision against Sterling in the 285 pound weight class at the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional on Saturday. 	           File Photo
Senior Zach Theis won a 3-0 decision against Sterling in the 285 pound weight class at the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional on Saturday. File Photo

KHS stifles Sandwich in first-round action

Photo: Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland’s 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

O’Herron outscores Indians by lonesome in 50-14 result
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—You wouldn’t know the Kaneland Lady Knights had a week-long layoff by Tuesday night’s regional performance.

It turns out Sandwich High School didn’t know what hit it after Tuesday night.

After a regular season finale at Rochelle was cancelled last Thursday, Kaneland went to work in a No. 3 vs. No. 6 Class 3A Burlington Central Regional first-round game and allowed a season-low in points for a 50-14 win.

Kaneland improved to 16-10 and has won four in a row after a three-game skid. Sandwich ended 2012-13 play at 4-23.

Aly O’Herron outscored the Lady Indians by herself with 20 points on six three-pointers.

“Anytime I can get into the zone, I’ll get some open looks,” O’Herron said. “When I feel it, I feel it. Any shooter will say that.”

The defensive output marks the lowest point total allowed since a 52-19 win over Illinois Math and Science Academy back on Feb. 2.

O’Herron’s trifecta, Kelly Wallner’s basket, Sarah Grams’ trey and Caroline Heimerdinger’s (eight points) three made it 11-2 with 3:01 to go to in the first quarter, closing the frame’s scoring.

Kaneland outscored Sandwich 11-2 in the second quarter, as well, with an O’Herron bomb and two Emma Bradford foul shots setting the eventual halftime score at 22-4 with 1:36 remaining.

With Sandwich struggling to finish possessions thanks to three KHS steals, the Lady Knights converted those gifts into a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by Heimerdinger and a shot by Ashley Prost to make it 36-8 with 1:21 left in the third quarter to close the frame’s scoring.

O’Herron’s two threes and an offensive putback by Heimerdinger with 4:10 to go made it 44-10, allowing the second-string rotation to get floor time.

“The defense was solid, and it has been pretty solid,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Our conference is strong in girls hoops and people forget that sometimes. We’ve played pretty solid defensively all year.”

Kaneland was scheduled to face two-seed Plano on Wednesday in the regional semifinal, with results unavailable before press time.

The winner of Plano/Kaneland was set to face No. 1 Burlington Central or No. 5 Hampshire on Friday, Feb. 15, in Burlington.

Brooke Harner (22) leads the defensive wall with help from Ally VanBogaert (34) in the third quarter against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12 at Burlington. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (22) leads the defensive wall with help from Ally VanBogaert (34) in the third quarter against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12 at Burlington.
Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland's 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday.     Photo by John DiDonna
Emma Bradford keeps the ball away from Sandwich defenders during Kaneland’s 50-14 Regional win at Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Sarah Grams knocks the ball loose in the second quarter at the Burlington regional on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland led the whole game, winning 50-14. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Sarah Grams knocks the ball loose in the second quarter at the Burlington regional on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland led the whole game, winning 50-14.
Photo by John DiDonna
Ashley Prost goes up for two points in the third quarter of Kaneland's Regional victory over Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by John DiDonna
Ashley Prost goes up for two points in the third quarter of Kaneland’s Regional victory over Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (left) and Ashley Prost grapple for the ball against Sandwich during their regional game at Burlington on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland won the contest easily with a 50-14 romp. Photo by John DiDonna
Brooke Harner (left) and Ashley Prost grapple for the ball against Sandwich during their regional game at Burlington on Tuesday, February 12. Kaneland won the contest easily with a 50-14 romp.
Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger goes up for a shot in thefirst quarter of Kaneland's 50-14 regional win against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12. Photo by John DiDonna
Caroline Heimerdinger goes up for a shot in thefirst quarter of Kaneland’s 50-14 regional win against Sandwich on Tuesday, February 12.
Photo by John DiDonna

Rough patch

Photo: Tom VanBogaert, No. 21 (left to right), Tyler Carlson, No. 10 and Dan Miller, No. 22, fight for the ball under the basket in the first quarter of the Knights varsity home game against DeKalb on Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Boys basketball losing streak hits 4
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Most teams hit a stretch of the season where it seems like a win can’t be bought.

Currently, Kaneland is in that quagmire, but time still remains to get back to the torrid winning levels of December and January.

The Knights saw their losing streak hit four games with three losses this week.

On Saturday, the Knights dropped a 66-46 bout with the host Wheaton Academy Warriors, while Friday saw DeKalb get revenge for a December loss to the Knights, 50-45 in Maple Park. Tuesday saw Kaneland fall to St. Charles North 61-50.

Kaneland is now 13-10 (6-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) as the Knights begin their final stretch of regular season games.

“These last two conference games are going to be difficult,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “They are against two quality teams in Morris and Rochelle. It makes it even more difficult since those games are on the road. We will see what we are made of.”

Against the Warriors, the Knights saw 16 points from Matt Limbrunner as the only double-figure output.

WA took an early 10-2 lead after the first quarter and extended the chasm to 26-12 at halftime. Kaneland held steady in the third quarter and the buzzer sounded with KHS down 42-28 before Wheaton Academy widened the lead by six to close the game out.

Wheaton Academy went 24-for-34 from the foul line to hurt Kaneland’s chances.

Against DeKalb, the Knights fell victim to just the fifth win all year for the visitors.

Dan Miller had a game-high 17 points in a losing cause.

Teammate John Pruett added 16. Kaneland was 13-for-19 from the foul line.

DHS took a 7-3 lead after one quarter of play, while the Knights battled back for a 17-16 lead going into the halftime break.

DeKalb took the upper hand in the third frame and took a 38-33 lead, before the 12-12 stalemate in the fourth quarter.

“DeKalb played an excellent game against us,” Johnson said. “They limited our looks at the basket on offense and penetrated our defense towards the end of the 4th quarter. It was a tough lose, but I was proud of how our seniors (Dan Miller and Matt Limbrunner) performed on their Senior Night.”

Against St. Charles North on Tuesday, Kaneland battled to a 28-28 tie at halftime. St. Charles North remained one step ahead of the Knights throughout the second half, opening up a six-point lead through the third and extending the lead to 11 by the end of the game.

Limbrunner led the way with 19 points, followed by Tyler Carlson’s 11.

The Knights take on host Morris on Friday, Feb. 15. Kaneland beat the Redskins on a Carlson layup back on Nov. 30, 2012.

Tom VanBogaert, No. 21 (left to right), Tyler Carlson, No. 10 and Dan Miller, No. 22, fight for the ball under the basket in the first quarter of the Knights varsity home game against DeKalb on Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Tom VanBogaert, No. 21 (left to right), Tyler Carlson, No. 10 and Dan Miller, No. 22, fight for the ball under the basket in the first quarter of the Knights varsity home game against DeKalb on Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Dan Miller gets jammed up after grabbing a rebound in the third quarter against DeKalb on Friday, February 8. Photo by Patti Wilk
Dan Miller gets jammed up after grabbing a rebound in the third quarter against DeKalb on Friday, February 8.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland Junior Tom VanBogaert beats the DeKalb defenders to the basket in the third quarter at home on Friday, February 8. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland Junior Tom VanBogaert beats the DeKalb defenders to the basket in the third quarter at home on Friday, February 8.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Matt Limbrunner gets some points in the second quarter of Kaneland's home varsity game against DeKalb on Friday, February 8. Photo by Patti Wilk
Matt Limbrunner gets some points in the second quarter of Kaneland’s home varsity game against DeKalb on Friday, February 8.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland's John Pruett (5) battles a DeKalb defender in the third quarter on Friday, February 8. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland’s John Pruett (5) battles a DeKalb defender in the third quarter on Friday, February 8.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Drew David gets a pass off to Tyler Carlson under the basket in the third quater when Kaneland faced DeKalb on Friday, February 8. Photo by Patti Wilk
Drew David gets a pass off to Tyler Carlson under the basket in the third quater when Kaneland faced DeKalb on Friday, February 8.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Michels kicks off re-election bid with fundraiser

Photo: A fundraiser was held to re-elect Sugar Grove Village President P. Sean Michels on Jan. 29 in the Pine Room at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove. Attendees included Sugar Grove and surrounding area residents, Sugar Grove Village Trustees, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson and Mayor of Aurora Tom Weisner. The Michels family is (left to right) Madelyn, Sophie, Nick, Abby, wife Valerie and Sean.
Photo by Patti Wilk

by Dave Woehrle
SUGAR GROVE—A heavy, unseasonable rainstorm wasn’t enough to prevent more than a hundred people from attending Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels’ campaign kickoff fundraiser at Bliss Creek Golf Course’s Pine Room on Jan. 29.

Michels, who will run for re-election against village trustee Kevin Geary on the April ballot, has served as village president since 1999.

“I’m impressed with the turnout,” Michels said during the fundraiser. “We’ve been utilizing Facebook and other social media outlets to get our campaign rolling by connecting with more people, and it’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces coming out to show support.”

Michels’ family, friends and constituents socialized, ate pizza and discussed local issues during the two-hour event. Michels’ father, Jim, said the event was “a real shot in the arm” for the campaign.

“This is a contested election, so you can’t take anything for granted,” he said.

The event was co-sponsored and supported by Cordogan Clark and Associates, IBEW Local 701, Plumber/Pipefitters Local 501, Schram Construction, Producers Chemical and Morton Private Wealth Strategies.

Michels said his campaign will focus on his experience and accomplishments, and his continued vision for a better Sugar Grove. A pamphlet created by Friends of Sean Michels highlights his economic record during the recession, and notes that the village since 2007 has reduced its staff by 20 percent by implementing smarter technology.

“Lower governmental costs translate into lower taxes,” Michels said.

Michels also mentioned his work in creating the 25-acre Sugar Grove Sports Complex on Wheeler Road. A potential stop at Rich Harvest Farms for the 2016 LPGA Tour is also in discussion.

If re-elected, Michels plans to address target issues such as reducing real estates taxes, creating an impact fee agreement with the Kaneland School District, attracting more businesses to the Route 47 corridor, constructing a retirement apartment complex and establishing a Metra Station in Sugar Grove.

Michels addressed the crowd at around 6:30 p.m.

“I want to thank all of you for coming out tonight to show your continued support, but we are not done by any means. We need to establish a vision for the future, and we can only do this as a community,” he said.

Kane County Board member Melisa Taylor, a former Sugar Grove village trustee, said the election should be interesting.

“Both candidates are great men, and I think both would do a good job,” she said. “We’ll have to see what happens.”

Trustees Rick Montalto, Robert Bohler and David Paluch endorse Michels.

Michels spoke briefly of Geary during a pre-fundraiser phone call, noting how drainage problems in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions have become a “political issue.”

“That situation was quite a fiasco because of certain individuals who would not compromise, but the issue has been resolved,” Michels said. “As far as Geary, I just don’t know what his message and plans are other than to cut spending, which is something I’ve done for years.”

A fundraiser was held to re-elect Sugar Grove Village President P. Sean Michels on Jan. 29 in the Pine Room at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove. Attendees included Sugar Grove and surrounding area residents, Sugar Grove Village Trustees, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson and Mayor of Aurora Tom Weisner. The Michels family is (left to right) Madelyn, Sophie, Nick, Abby, wife Valerie and Sean. Photo by Patti Wilk
A fundraiser was held to re-elect Sugar Grove Village President P. Sean Michels on Jan. 29 in the Pine Room at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove. Attendees included Sugar Grove and surrounding area residents, Sugar Grove Village Trustees, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson and Mayor of Aurora Tom Weisner. The Michels family is (left to right) Madelyn, Sophie, Nick, Abby, wife Valerie and Sean.
Photo by Patti Wilk
P. Sean Michels (right) in conversation with Tom Weisner, Aurora Mayor, and Bob Bohler (center), Sugar Grove village trustree. 		   Photo by Patti Wilk
P. Sean Michels (right) in conversation with Tom Weisner, Aurora Mayor, and Bob Bohler (center), Sugar Grove village trustree. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kathy Morton, Sugar Grove resident and Sean Michels supporter, having a laugh with Sean. 						   Photo by Patti Wilk
Kathy Morton, Sugar Grove resident and Sean Michels supporter, having a laugh with Sean. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kim Jablonski (right), Sugar Grove resident and Sean Michels supporter, came to enjoy the evening and also picked up a few campaining signs for her yard.                             Photo by Patti Wilk
Kim Jablonski (right), Sugar Grove resident and Sean Michels supporter, came to enjoy the evening and also picked up a few campaining signs for her yard. Photo by Patti Wilk

Geary hosts Town Hall meeting

Photo: Sugar Grove Village President candidate Kevin Geary held a Town Hall meeting on Jan. 31 at the Sugar Grove Community House, and spent the majority of the event fielding questions and concerns from village residents. Geary will oppose current Village President Sean Michels on the April 9 ballot. Courtesy Photo

by Mary Parrilli
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove village president candidate Kevin Geary hosted a Town Hall meeting on Jan. 31 in order to meet with village citizens and field their questions and concerns.

Geary, a resident of Sugar Grove since 1996, has served on the Sugar Grove Village Board since 1999.

“My goal is to engage people in government. I want people to participate, and to make the government their government,” Geary said. “I believe in an open and honest system.”

Village resident J.R. Mooney spoke first during the forum.

“Where is the town? Sugar Grove lacks understandable ‘townness,’” he asked.

Geary agreed, suggesting various ways to remedy the situation, including the recommendation that people participate in more town events, like the annual Sugar Grove Corn Boil. Geary acknowledged the significance of this problem, adding that it’s “worth it to look into more solutions.”

Business in Sugar Grove was another concern mentioned during the meeting.

“Yorkville seems to bring in a lot of business, Kevin. Should Yorkville be a model for Sugar Grove?” village resident Tom Spry asked.

Geary replied that, although Yorkville is a good model for business, it is essential to recognize that its economy was damaged by the national economic downturn, due to the mass housing buildup in the area, and many businesses were hurt. According to Geary, Sugar Grove is approximately 90 percent residential, which is about 10 percent less than the typical healthy city.

Geary also discussed the idea that updating the road system in Sugar Grove could facilitate commercial growth and make life easier for commuters. He suggested using federal funds to improve the U.S. roads in Sugar Grove, and advocated revisiting the idea of the Prairie Parkway.

“Why isn’t anyone bringing up the obvious lack of ethical practice that has been done in this town involving the current administrator, who gave $9 million to his dad’s business?” Mooney asked. “To me, that was unconscionable. The people better wake up and fix this, and make this honest, open and ethical.”

Village President Sean Michels’ father, Jim, is the president of Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI). The firm has done engineering work for the village of Sugar Grove.

Geary stated that he would initiate, create and implement a system based on processes.

“By creating a strict process, just like a recipe for a chocolate cake, we can ensure sound results,” he said.

Geary said he wants to create a bidding process, and pass an ordinance along with it.

The recurring topic of the night was government transparency and accountability.

“I want more transparency, period. How do we do that, Kevin?” asked Sean Herron, a candidate for Sugar Grove village trustee.

Geary suggested many possible routes, such as putting all village actions on the website, recording video for each session and posting it online, and webcasting board meetings.

Several guests asked what actions it would take to get Geary elected, noting that there were not enough people in the room to make that happen. Geary suggests knocking on doors, educating themselves and their neighbors, and speaking up.

Sugar Grove resident Michelle Scales said she hosted a small get-together for coffee at her house and had Geary attend to speak to the group. She suggested that other people could do this, too.

During the meeting, Geary emphasized that he is riding on a platform of open, honest government, citizen participation, leadership and the maxim of “we the people.”

Success at 1st postseason stop

Photo: Dane Goodenough, wrestling at 122 pounds, gets a momentary upper hand against a Belvidere North foe at the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna

KHS grapplers have fine 2nd-place showing in Sycamore
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If it weren’t for the hosts, KHS could brag even more. But KHS isn’t the bragging type of team; it is more the diligent worker-type.

With 144.5 team points during Saturday’s Class 2A Sycamore Regional, KHS earned second place overall.

Sycamore’s 210 total was the runaway winner, while Rockford Boylan had 108.5 total points and a third-place finish.

Glenbard South (99.5), Belvidere North (83.5) and Rockford East (76.5) stuck slots four through six, and Burlington Central (49.5), St. Francis (45) and Belvidere (41) rounded out the nine-team field.

KHS finished third overall at the 2012 DeKalb Regional, showing improvement over a year’s time.

“They’re just totally focused, you can see it,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said, “They put forth the effort, and I’m impressed.”

Esai Ponce earned the 132-pound championship mantle by beating Belvidere North’s Psalm Frambro in 4:23 and a 10-2 major decision in the final over BC’s Brady Weinrich.

Teammate Sonny Horn was crowned regional king of the 138-pound class after beating Sycamore’s Andrew Larsen in 5:16 and moving on to pin St. Francis’ Alex Alcantara in 3:10.

Knight Dan Goress continued the KHS domination of the middle weights by taking the 145-pound class. Goress completed a 19-4 technical fall over Rockford East’s Frank Eslora and an injury default over Sycamore’s Dylan Foster.

Heavyweight Zach Theis captured the group’s title by sticking a :22 pin on Belvidere North’s Jake Rodgers and winning 2-0 over Rockford East’s Mike Estergard in the final.

Vet Stephen Gust was second overall in the 113-pound group. Gust won a 4-2 OT battle with Belvidere North’s Riccardo Roman before losing to Sycamore’s Kyle Akins in a 15-0 technical fall in the final.

At 120-pounds, Connor Williams managed a third-place finish after an 11-6 win over Mason Castillo of Rockford East and a 6-0 sweep of Sycamore’s Collin Druck.

At 220 pounds, senior Nick Sharp’s third-place finish was highlighted by a 3:50 pin over Boylan’s Zach Matthews and a 1:30 pin over Matthews in 1:30.

At 106 pounds, Adam Mish finished fourth. In the consolation bracket, Mish took a 5-1 decision over Burlington Central’s Nick Maldonado before losing to Sycamore’s Bryce Hansen 7-5 in the third-place encounter.

“This week, it’s a little different with the numbers down. There’s a little bit more fine-tuning and individualized coaching,” Jahns said.

KHS sends its exemplary individuals to the Rochelle Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 9, along with athletes from the Pontiac, Rock Island and Morton Regionals.

Kaneland's Adam Mish (106 lbs) wraps up his St. Francis opponent during the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday, February 2 at Sycamore High School. Adam went on to win this match with a pin. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Adam Mish (106 lbs) wraps up his St. Francis opponent during the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday, February 2 at Sycamore High School. Adam went on to win this match with a pin.
Photo by John DiDonna
Dane Goodenough (122 lbs) gets a momentary upper hand against a Belvidere North foe at the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday, February 2. Photo by John DiDonna
Dane Goodenough (122 lbs) gets a momentary upper hand against a Belvidere North foe at the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Sonny Horn is about to pin his Burlington Central opponent during his first match at the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Sonny Horn is about to pin his Burlington Central opponent during his first match at the IHSA Sycamore Regional Tournament on Saturday.
Photo by John DiDonna
Dan Goress gets a quick pin against Belvidere North early in the Regional  tournament on Saturday at Sycamore. Photo by John DiDonna
Dan Goress gets a quick pin against Belvidere North early in the Regional tournament on Saturday at Sycamore.
Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Austin Parks tries to escape from his Rockford East opponent during his match at the IHSA Sycamore Regional tournament on Saturday, February 2 at Sycamore High School. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Austin Parks tries to escape from his Rockford East opponent during his match at the IHSA Sycamore Regional tournament on Saturday, February 2 at Sycamore High School.
Photo by John DiDonna
Zack Russell works his way out of a situation during his match against Rockford East at the IHSA Sycamore Regional tournament on Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna
Zack Russell works his way out of a situation during his match against Rockford East at the IHSA Sycamore Regional tournament on Saturday.
Photo by John DiDonna

Back on track

Photo: Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Girls secure NIB12 win in Yorkville, smash IMSA
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—At the very least, Kaneland girls basketball won’t be headed into the season’s homestretch on the way down.

After a 7-0 beginning to the season, KHS had been mired in a stretch that saw them go 5-10.

This weekend brought a much-needed refuge from that slide, as the Lady Knights took it to Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora on Saturday by a final of 52-19, and also involved a bit of revenge on Yorkville in a 42-35 Friday win.

Kaneland also travelled to Marengo on Tuesday night, where the Lady Knights dominated in a 50-34 win.

The Lady Knights are 15-10 and 5-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII action, with just one regular season game left.

Against the Lady Titans, the Kaneland crew was down 6-2 early in the first quarter before tying the score at 6-6 by the end of the frame and going on a 35-2 run to cinch it. The run included a 19-0 third frame in favor of Kaneland.

KHS went 19-of-54 from the field and 11 players found the scoring column, with Aly O’Herron and Sarah Grams putting up eight points each.

Facing Yorkville, which earned a Jan. 4 victory in Maple Park, the Lady Knights began matching shot for shot against the Lady Foxes and were tied at eight after the first quarter.

In the second, Ashley Prost’s long two-pointer with 4:43 to go in the half made it 15-12. Vanessa Gould’s conversion off an Emma Bradford feed with 3:09 left made it 17-14, and Brooke Harner’s steal and basket with 1:39 closed out the second quarter scoring at 19-14.

KHS maintained the lead and got two key baskets from Bradford to up the lead to six with 50.1 ticks left, and Kaneland saw itself up 28-22 after three.

The Lady Knights helped themselves with three-pointers from Grams and O’Herron in the fourth, and went 8-of-10 from the foul line to put it out of reach. KHS saw as big as an eight-point lead in the close affair.

“We played together today,” Bradford said. “One of the girls said ‘we played as a fist today and not a hand.’ We were on the same page today and it really worked out.”

KHS coach Ernie Colombe saw the win as welcome, especially after stifling personnel like Mackenzie Bollinger to 10 points.

“The team rose to the challenge. We talked about rebounding, and we rebounded well. We still had a few too many turnovers, but we got better in that area and stepped up,” Colombe said.

Tuesday saw another solid effort from the Lady Knights, as they turned a two-point first-quarter advantage into a 19-point lead after three. Kaneland’s defense held Marengo to just four points in the second period, and they added to the lead with a 10-point third-period advantage.

Bradford led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds. Post also reached double figures, with 10 points to go with eight rebounds. O’Herron added seven and Harner put up six. Grams scored five and contributed a season-high seven assists. Kelly Wallner chipped in four points, and Ally VanBogaert and Marina Schaeffer each put in two.

Kaneland goes to Rochelle on Thursday, Feb. 7, before playing Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, as part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional.

Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland's 52-19 romp on Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
Brittany Kemp moves the ball around an IMSA defender during Kaneland’s 52-19 romp on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Castellanos (12) , Brittany Kemp (35) and Katherine Brinkman (10) run a tight defense against IMSA on Saturday, February 2. The Lady Knights dominated, winning 52-19. Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Castellanos (12) , Brittany Kemp (35) and Katherine Brinkman (10) run a tight defense against IMSA on Saturday, February 2. The Lady Knights dominated, winning 52-19.
Photo by Patti Wilk
An IMSA defender hits the deck while Jessica Jablonski (43) takes off and Ashley Castellanos (12) grabs the ball in the fouth quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
An IMSA defender hits the deck while Jessica Jablonski (43) takes off and Ashley Castellanos (12) grabs the ball in the fouth quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Prost drives to the hoop on the way to a score in the third quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win at IMSA on Saturday, February 2. Photo by Patti Wilk
Ashley Prost drives to the hoop on the way to a score in the third quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win at IMSA on Saturday, February 2.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Kelly Wallner shrugs off an IMSA defender and goes to the hoop in the fourth quarter at IMSA on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kelly Wallner shrugs off an IMSA defender and goes to the hoop in the fourth quarter at IMSA on Saturday.
Photo by Patti Wilk
The scoreboard says it all late in the game as Katherine Brinkman (10) drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Kaneland's 52-19 win at IMSA. Photo by Patti Wilk
The scoreboard says it all late in the game as Katherine Brinkman (10) drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 52-19 win at IMSA.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Boys downed by WC foe, beat Yorkville

Photo: Matt Limbrunner bends the rim on a dunk in the fourth quarter on Friday. Kaneland traveled to Yorkville and pulled out a win, 47-39.
Photo by Patti Wilk

KHS stands at 14-6 as home stretch beckons
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The good news is Kaneland hasn’t felt what it’s like to be on the losing end of many games this season.

The bad news on Tuesday night was that the team received a reminder of what it does feel like to lose.

Dealing with a fast-paced West Chicago visitor on both ends of the floor, the Knights fell victim to a game that blew up in the third quarter. A mini-comeback got the score back to 54-43 by game’s end.

Kaneland did earn another needed Northern Illinois Big XII conference win on Friday night in Yorkville in a 48-39 affair.

KHS has its current mark at 14-6 (6-1 NIB-12).

On Tuesday, a pair of baskets by Dan Miller and another pair by John Pruett gave Kaneland an early 9-3 edge in the first quarter before West Chicago scored seven straight to close the quarter with a one-point lead.

A Tyler Carlson three-pointer made it 12-10 for the hosts. West Chicago tied it at 12 before a Pruett basket with 4:22 made it 14-12. Miller’s shot with 2:33 to go gave KHS its final lead at 16-15 in the second frame. The Wildcats scored the final six of the quarter for a 21-16 halftime lead, and outscored the Knights 21-10 to break the game open in the third.

While KHS outscored West Chicago 17-12 in the final eight minutes, the 27-10 run in the game’s middle spelled doom for the hosts.

“They made a lot of shots, they stepped up and knocked down shots,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “I thought that was the difference; they shot with a lot of confidence. We weren’t very aggressive and didn’t do the things you need to do to win.”

Against Yorkville, Matt Limbrunner had a game-high 16, followed by 14 from guard Drew David.

David had three of the team’s six crucial trifectas.

The Knights and Foxes were tied at 14 after one quarter before KHS took a 33-28 lead at the half. The scoring slowed down with the Knights hanging to a 41-31 lead after three quarters.

Kaneland will host rival DeKalb on Friday, Feb. 8.

Kaneland's Drew David steals a pass from Yorkville in the second quarter of the Knight's 47-39 varsity win on Friday, February 1. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland’s Drew David steals a pass from Yorkville in the second quarter of the Knight’s 47-39 varsity win on Friday, February 1.
Photo by Patti Wilk
John Pruett goes up for a score in the second quarter of Kaneland's 47-29 win at Yorkville on Friday, February 1. Photo by Patti Wilk
John Pruett goes up for a score in the second quarter of Kaneland’s 47-29 win at Yorkville on Friday, February 1.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Matt Limbrunner bends the rim on a dunk in the fourth quarter on Friday, February 1. Kaneland traveled to Yorkville and pulled out a win, 47-39. Photo by Patti Wilk
Matt Limbrunner bends the rim on a dunk in the fourth quarter on Friday, February 1. Kaneland traveled to Yorkville and pulled out a win, 47-39.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland's Matt Limbrunner fights for the ball against Yorkville on Friday, February 1. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner fights for the ball against Yorkville on Friday, February 1.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Tyler Carlson adds some points in the third quarter of Kaneland's 47-39 win at Yorkville on Friday, February 1. Photo by Patti Wilk
Tyler Carlson adds some points in the third quarter of Kaneland’s 47-39 win at Yorkville on Friday, February 1.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Varsity Head Coach Brian Johnson, discussing strategy with assistant coaches and team during a fourth quarter timeout at Yorkville on Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Varsity Head Coach Brian Johnson, discussing strategy with assistant coaches and team during a fourth quarter timeout at Yorkville on Friday.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Bowling campaign ends in Schaumburg

Photo: Angela Charhut

Lady Knights collect another dual win in final head-to-head
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—While the pins stopped falling after Saturday’s IHSA Sectional hosted by Schaumburg High School, Kaneland’s senior-laden lineup was able to see hard work pay off on Jan. 30 in the final dual opportunity of the year.

At Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the Lady Knights took it to visiting Lisle by a final of 2,604-2,425.

Ellissa Eckert bowled a team-high series of 509, followed by Morgan Wojciechowski’s 444.

Eckert’s 178 was good for team-high game, followed by a 176 by Wojciechowski.

Kaneland’s 2012-13 dual mark ended at 3-6.

At Schaumburg, Lake Park’s 5,481 pin count was tops, along with fellow advancing team Schaumburg’s 5,478.

Kaneland finished in 13th out of 17 squads with a mark of 4,126, 90 behind Streamwood.

Kaneland says goodbye to seniors Angela Charhut, Ellissa Eckert, Anne Salerno, Amanda Strayve and Morgan Wojciechowski.

Candy company honors Walker, SG Food Pantry for area service

Photo: On Thursday Pam and Ernie Bolen, owners of Mamie’sToffe in Plano and their son, Josh (far left), gave the Sugar Grove Food Pantry and Julie Walker (in green) their “Random Acts of Candy” award for all they do for the community. Melisa Taylor (right) is the executive
director of the Food Pantry. Courtesy Photo

by Mary Parrilli
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Food Pantry volunteers on Jan. 24 were honored for their service by Mamie’s Toffee of Plano.

Ernie and Pam Bolen, the owners of Mamie’s Toffee, gave out two handmade awards—one, a box of Mamie’s candies, went to Julie Walker of Sugar Grove; the other, a tray of various food items, went to the entire Sugar Grove Food Pantry.

The Bolens created an awards system, “Random Acts of Candy,” with the intention of honoring community members who go above and beyond. Community members nominate awardees via Facebook.

Marguerite Ledone, a Pampered Chef Consultant and friend of the Bolens, nominated Walker, who volunteers at the Sugar Grove Food Pantry, and goes above and beyond for her community in other ways, as well.

“(Julie) is an amazing woman, to me,” Ledone said. “(She) runs the Sugar Grove Community House, she fosters dogs, she transports dogs from Joliet to Batavia, and to top it all off, she is a mother of two and a wife.”

The Bolen’s decided to honor Walker and the rest of the food pantry team, and went to the food pantry location to present their gifts.

Walker was sick with the flu, and it took some convincing on Ledone’s part to get her into the shelter that night. Walker ultimately showed up for a few minutes.

“It was a quick ceremony. A few words were said, thanks given, pictures taken and food enjoyed,” Ledone said.

It was quite literally a short and sweet evening at the Sugar Grove Food Pantry.

“Ernie and Pam recognize that their community helps tremendously with the success of their business, and they wanted to give something back. That’s why they started Random Acts of Candy,” Ledone said.

They’re rollin’

Photo: Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner scores two of his 22 points on the way
to beating Sterling on Saturday. Photos by John DiDonna

No need for last-second magic against Sterling
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—No mad celebrations on the floor were needed this time.

While slightly different than the dramatic win over rival Sycamore last week, the Knights came away happy with a big win over visiting Sterling, 60-33, on Saturday evening.

KHS improved to 12-6 (5-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) with the crossover victory, and has now won six in a row. The Knights have not lost since Dec. 29, 2012, at the Plano Classic.

“The team is truly playing as a team in all aspects of the word,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “They have grown to trust each other on the defensive end of the court and understand how to work well together offensively. This team is a hard-working group with a bunch of selfless individuals.”

Inside man Matt Limbrunner paced the victors with a game-high 22, while Tyler Carlson added 10.

“As for Matt, we expected a big year from him. He had a nice and productive summer. We were hoping that he would take the next step in his game and become a player that other teams would constantly have to worry about. We still think that he can do even more, but at this point he is playing very well,” Johnson said.

Before the Knights’ tip-off, Johnson and Co. recognized Rich and Nancy Miller with the fourth annual “Friend of the Program” award. The Millers, uncle and aunt to Knight player Dan Miller, are both Kaneland High School graduates. Rich and Nancy’s heavy and passionate involvement took to the stratosphere once the boys’ and girls’ teams made it to the 1982 State tournament.

Starting in 1986, Rich coached his son Denny’s team in the town league. This was the first year the league was put together, with the head coaches leading the charge.

From 1989-1992, Rich and Nancy became members of the Kaneland High School Boosters.

In 1991 and 1992 they proudly watched their son, Denny, as he competed on the varsity basketball team. On senior night, all the parents wore matching T-shirts onto the court.

During the 1996 season, Rich began keeping the scorebook for Kaneland High School basketball games, and continued to do so through 2004. Throughout those years, Rich also helped referee the Little Dribblers’ games in Maple Park and Elburn.

Kaneland travels to Yorkville on Friday, Feb. 1.

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Crossed over

Photo: Vanessa Gould tries to get by a Sterling defender on Saturday evening. The Lady Knights came back, but lost the home contest, 52-40. Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights drop tussle to Sterling
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It wouldn’t be a nice way to end the season, but for KHS girls basketball, the beginning of the end won’t even start for another two weeks.

Facing conference mate Sterling on Saturday afternoon, the visiting Lady Warriors took it to the Lady Knights by a final of 52-40.

Kaneland fell to 12-10 in its only competition of the week, and remains 4-4 in Northern Illinois Big XII East division play.

Kaneland has lost three skirmishes in a row, and is now 4-6 in its last 10 outings.

On an afternoon that saw KHS shoot 14-for-47 from the field, perimeter threat Aly O’Herron tallied a game-high 18 points, while teammate and post presence Ashley Prost put up 10. O’Herron also put up four-three pointers and three steals on a six-for-12 day from the field.

Sterling got the jump early with a 12-3 lead after the first eight minutes. The Lady Warriors maintained a lead going into halftime with a 24-12 advantage.

Kaneland countered somewhat and closed the deficit to 34-24 after three before Sterling outscored the hosts 18-16 in the final frame.

In additional news, Kaneland was informed of postseason details last week.

The Lady Knights, sectional finalists of a year ago, are part of the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional as a third seed.

Kaneland is set to play No. 6 Sandwich on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. That contest follows the matchup between (4) Sycamore and (5) Hampshire at 6 p.m.

“We have been scouting and game planning for each upcoming opponent and also for each potential regional opponent since the sites were announced awhile ago,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We are trying to keep the team focused on the upcoming game and taking things one game at a time. As a staff, we are preparing for the regionals by scouting and putting some films together, etc. We are also working on a few changes that we feel may help us gain an edge at the end of the season.”

The Kaneland-Sandwich victor plays No. 2 Plano of the Interstate Eight Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. The Spartans-Whip-purs winner will match up with top-seed Burlington Central that same evening at 6 p.m.

The regional title game is Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with the winner headed to the Genoa-Kingston Sectional and joining winners from Stillman Valley, Sterling and Woodstock.

KHS travels to Yorkville on Friday, Feb. 1. The Lady Foxes bested Kaneland back on Jan. 4 in a 39-26 encounter in Maple Park.

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