Category Archives: Sports


Camiliere impresses behind center

Former Knights QB thriving as Elmhurst College senior
ELMHURST, Ill.—Down 14-0 at halftime, the Elmhurst Bluejays offense needed to get their team back on track. The quarterback, a senior and second-year starter, capped off drives of 83 and 99 yards with touchdown passes. However, the team just ran out of time, losing to Millikin 21-14.

Kaneland football fans should be familiar with who’s lining up at the quarterback position for Elmhurst.

Sugar Grove native and Class of 2011 Knight Joe Camiliere, starter for three Knight gridiron playoff teams, earned College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week honors after a win over North Park University, and has had a career year in his second season of starting responsibilities.

Camiliere, an All-State signal-caller for the 2010 Kaneland squad that earned a Class 5A semifinalist spot, and a starting outfielder for the 2011 Class 3A champion baseball team, feels he’s at a high after some initial bumps and injuries last year.

The quarterback who had to adjust to the play of high school football as a sophomore six years ago has picked up differences on the Division III level.

“The level of competitiveness is a little different,” Camiliere said. “Everybody on a college team was ‘that guy’ on their high school team and the one to go to. I think as you come in as a freshman, it’s a lot of accepting that and learning.”

First-year head coach Ron Planz is glad to have Camiliere carry out the plans, resulting in a year when adjustments can be excused.

“We look for leadership, and someone who can get into the huddle and be somebody that leads by example and who does things right. That’s number one for someone who’s our quarterback,” Planz said.
Working with Camiliere has also been fruitful for members of the coaching staff who work even more intensely on the offensive side.

“You’re going to need a guy that’s going to want the ball in his hands in the pressure situations,” offensive coordinator Kyle Derickson said. “We have someone right now that will get it done.”

The Bluejays senior has passed for 1,329 yards through seven contests with
Camiliere continued on page 3BCamiliere
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eight touchdowns to boot, in a better position than the early 1-2 stretch.
‘We’ve got athletic guys up front and at skill positons that we like to use. We didn’t start out the year well at all. There was a tough loss to Lewis, a tough win the next week and then a loss to University of Chicago. At the bye week, we just kind of sat down as a group. Nobody panicked or needed to change this or that and the coaches didn’t change anything up. We knew we needed to correct,” Camiliere said.
“We looked for ways that were easier for Joe to get things and worked on that. That’s where you’re seeing the success now through conference. We’ve done a really good job of making sure we’re utilizing his skill set,” Planz said.

Throwing for a season-high 262 yards in a 28-0 shutout of the NPU Vikings back on Oct. 18, Camiliere knows his skills can help the Bluejays attack in the pivotal last third of the 2014 regular season.

“It’s a similar system, and it changes up a little bit, and we do some different things up front and use our speed,” Camiliere said.

In his second year of starting and fourth year of seeing action in the CCIW and around the Midwest, Camiliere has his favorite venues to sling the ball besides his own Langhorst Field.

“As of right now, it’s Illinois Wesleyan (in Bloomington, Ill.). Being able to go down there and walk on that field is something. The 2.5 hour bus ride after a win was great. Carthage (in Kenosha, Wis.) is great, too,” Camiliere said.

With no set plans to play on at any level, the talent that tossed such memorable touchdowns, like the quarterfinal winner to Tyler Callaghan against Vernon Hills in Nov. 2010, is enjoying this final three-game regular season stretch.

“I think this last month will be the last for playing football,” Camiliere said. “Coaching would definitely be something I would enjoy, but I don’t know if it’s something I would get into right away. The game of football has definitely been a big part of my life.”

Earlier in the season, the Bluejays football squad enjoyed a four-game win streak, rallying from early troubles for a current 5-4 overall record. Elmhurst closes out the regular season at home against North Central Nov. 15.
Photos courtesy of Elmhurst College Sports Information director Kevin Juday


Dunn serves up talent, receives unique honor

Future Ball St. Cardinal gets Under Armour All-American consideration
KANELAND—Despite coming up on the short end of a regional final opportunity in Hampshire late last month, senior Ellie Dunn still had something to celebrate for herself and Kaneland volleyball as a whole.

On Nov. 5, Dunn was named as one of 150 players included in the Under Armour All-America Honorable Mentions by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

“Coach Violett texted me and the AD (Peter Goff) shook my hand in the hallway and said congratulations,” Dunn said. “It’s awesome for me to be included. It’s cool to see that honor and to see people I play club with get the honor, too.”

An outside hitter, Dunn was one of seven honorable mentions from Illinois and joins first-teamer Brooklyn Goodsel of Corry, Pa., as future Ball State University Cardinal volleyball players.

Dunn feels that even with the wide variety of players and regions, there are some common threads.

“If you’re on that list, there’s a competitiveness and a drive there that they all have,” Dunn said.

Dunn, who played three years of varsity volleyball at Kaneland for coaches Todd Weimer, Kerri McCastland and Cyndi Violett, made it to three consecutive Regional finals with the Lady Knights, earning a regional plaque in 2012 as a sophomore.

“From the beginning, we always wanted to play hard, no matter who was there. We wanted to be a team and gave our best,” Dunn said.

The senior had 795 total career kills, 211 service points, 139 blocks and 525 digs to hang her reputation on, and might even give her a lift to Muncie, Ind., for future Mid-American Conference play.

“There’s going be talented girls on the team and in the conference; they were the best girls where they were from,” Dunn said. “But it’s awesome to have accomplished.”

KHS cross country sectionals Nov 2014-1

Bower finishes her cross country season at State Meet

PEORIA, ILL.—Kaneland junior Brianna Bower on Saturday stood on the 100 yard long starting line for the start of the IHSA Girls 2A State Cross Country Championships. Looking out toward the wooded hills at the south end of Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill., was a familiar sight for her, as was seeing the entire circumference of the historic 3-mile course ring lined shoulder-to-shoulder with more than 30,000 spectators.

To Bower’s left and right were 175 runners representing 25 advancing teams, and another 35 individual runners who, like her, had punched their tickets to Peoria by being one of the top-seven individual finishers from a non-advancing team at their Sectional.

This was Bower’s third trip to the big dance, where she had placed 32nd as a freshman and 37th last fall as a sophomore, on Lady Knights teams that placed sixth and fifth, respectively. What wasn’t familiar was being in the starting box without her teammates. The previous weekend, Kaneland had fallen one spot short of the fifth and final team qualifying place for the State meet at their Sectional championship, despite running their best race of the season and beating five ranked teams.

So for the first time in her cross country career, Bower was running solo in her silver and black Kaneland Knights checkerboard jersey.

Her focus was on placing in the top 25—a feat that would earn her All-State honors.

The weather earlier in the week in Peoria had been dry, so the footing was firm at this historically fast course. But the conditions were frigid with temperatures in the mid-40s and gusty winds, resulting in a wind chill near 30 degrees.

Bower has a condition known as “exercise-induced asthma” (or E.I.A.), which is a constriction of the airways in the lungs during exercise. It causes shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing during strenuous exercise. E.I.A. is not uncommon among endurance athletes, and it is often triggered or accentuated by cold temperatures. For Bower, it’s like trying to run 3 miles with a belt cinched tightly around her throat. There are inhalers she can, and does, use to ease her condition.

“Brianna got out well and was placed in the top 20 at the halfway mark, then slowed and gradually fell back more than 50 places. I knew right away she was having asthma issues,” head coach Doug Ecker said.

Despite her breathing issues, Bower on the final 600 yard uphill finishing straightaway moved up more than 10 places to finish 57th in the field of 210 of the state’s best 2A runners with a time of 18 minutes, 34 seconds. Bower ran 18:33 last year and 18:09 in 2012.
File Photo

School Board approves assistant softball coach resignations

Kristyn Crawford
Kristyn Crawford
Andrew Franklin
Andrew Franklin

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-1 to accept the resignations of two Kaneland High School assistant softball coaches.

Board trustee Tony Valente was the lone “no” vote. He spoke about the two coaches, Kristyn Crawford and Andrew Franklin, during the meeting.

“We’re losing the majority of our staff,” Valente said.

Valente also mentioned former softball head coach Brian Willis. The School Board on Sept. 29 voted and approved Willis’ release from his coaching position.

Willis had said that a harassment charge was filed against him in May 2014.

“After an investigation, it was found to have no basis,” Willis read from a statement at the Sept. 29 meeting. “The root of the complaint was because an athlete was not playing as many innings as the parents thought she should. And they had to come up with something, thus the harassment charge.”

Valente on Monday called it “troubling” to lose three coaches at the high school, and noted that the coaches are “phenomenal teachers.”

Valente also said he was tempted to call the coaches, but decided to “stay off the dance floor.”

Kaneland Interim Superintendent Renee Goier said that the resignations were due to “personal reasons.”

KHS cross country sectionals Nov 2014-1-4

Knight harrier teams 1 place short at Kaneland Sectional

Junior Brianna Bower qualifies for State as an individual
KANELAND—The Knights’ boys and girls cross country teams were hoping for a little home course advantage at the IHSA Class 2A Sectional meet at Kaneland High School on Saturday.

To have a chance to advance to the State championships in Peoria this weekend, the Knights knew they needed to have better performances than they produced at the qualifying meet the previous weekend at the Woodstock regional, where the boys placed fifth and the girls placed fourth in the 10-team fields.

As it turned out, both teams produced their best performances of the season, but both came up just shy of a State berth.

The 18-team Kaneland sectional—one of five held state-wide on Saturday—featured the top-six placing teams from the Antioch, Belvidere North and Woodstock regional meets, plus the top-five placing individuals from teams that did not advance at those meets. It was considered the toughest 2A Sectional meet in Illinois, with 10 of the top-25 ranked girls’ teams on the starting line, including seven of the top-eight ranked teams led by No. 1 Yorkville.

In the boys’ race, five of the top 10 2A teams in the state were in the field, again led by No. 1 Yorkville. At each sectional, only the top-5 placing teams would punch their tickets to Peoria, plus the top-seven individual finishers from non-advancing teams.

At the Kaneland Sectional, it was cloudy and a brisk 37 degrees for the 10 a.m. girls’ race, but the snow and blustery winds from the previous day had disappeared. At the gun, Marengo senior Kitty Allen shot to the front, with only Belvidere North sophomore Jenna Lutzow willing to go with her. Mid-way through the 3-mile race, the duo opened a 100-yard lead on the rest of the field, with Kaneland junior Brianna Bower in the chase pack of 10 runners. In the last half of the race, Bower was in the top-15 and Kaneland senior Victoria Clinton had moved up into the top 30, with teammates Andrea Wells and senior Aislinn Lodwig in tow.

With 100 yards to go, Lutzow passed Allen to win the race in 17 minutes, 33 seconds, and Yorkville packed five runners into the top 22 places to win team honors with a 72-point total. Bower charged home in 12th place in 18:11, with teammates Victoria Clinton, Andrea Wells and Aislinn Lodwig all running under 19:00 in 27th, 35th and 39th place, respectively.

Kaneland’s No. 5 finisher, senior Jessica Kucera, ended up in 70th place in 19:30. Kucera gave the Lady Knights a team score of 171 and a sixth-place finish, ahead of ranked teams like Rockford Boylan, Marengo, Lakes and Woodstock.

Though the Kaneland girls missed advancing to the State championships by one place, Brianna Bower advanced as one of the top seven individual finishers from non-advancing teams.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” head coach Doug Ecker said after the race. “I don’t think any of our seven runners could have finished one place higher today. They left it all on the course and finished our season with a great performance.”

“All I wanted to do today was run a P.R. (personal record),” Bower said. “So I went out fast and pushed hard all the way.”

Bower’s quest for a fast time led her to running an aggressive race, which resulted in her earning her third-consecutive appearance in the State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Peoria, Ill. That, despite suffering a stress fracture in her foot last summer that saw her start the season under-trained and in the back of the pack.

In the boys’ race, things were much the same as for the girls, yet very different for Kaneland. The boys team was closer to a qualifying berth than the girls—missing by only eight points behind Prairie Ridge’s 162.

Prior to the race, head coach Chad Clarey knew an aggressive race was the only way his Knights would emerge from the tough Sectional field.

“Our goal today is to have Austin Kintz and Matt Richtman place in the top 15 individually and make a run at qualifying for the state meet—and for the rest of our team to run faster and closer together than we have all season,” Clarey said prior to the start. “That would be a daunting task with ten of the top-20-ranked 2A teams in the state standing next to them on the starting line, including 19 runners who had qualified for the state track championships last spring.”

At the start, Yorkville’s senior twins Jake and Luke Hoffert sprinted to the front of the race, and stayed there for the next 3 miles. Vernon Hills sophomore Shane Williamson was the only one who took up the chase, which proceeded at sub-15:00 pace. He ran most of the race 50 yards behind the Hofferts and 100 yards ahead of the rest of the chase pack.

A half-mile into the race, Kaneland’s Kintz, Richtman and senior Brandon Park were running in the mid-20s in the field of 147 runners. Over the last mile, Kintz and Richtman kept working their way past tiring early front-runners. Park defended his place in the 20s, and senior Mitch Reger broke away from teammates junior Sean Spaetzel, sophomore Andrew Kantola and junior Will Kuipers.

At the finish, Jake Hoffert crossed the line in 14:49, 1 second ahead of his brother Luke, and Yorkville added places 9, 27 and 28 to win the team title with 67 points. Behind them, a dogfight was being waged for the final four team qualifying spots for the State meet, with runners diving for the finish line and collapsing on the ground due to exhaustion.

In the end, Austin Kintz placed 16th in 15:33, and Matt Richtman placed 17th in 15:39—finishes that left them just two and three places short, respectively, of the final individual State qualifying spot. Park and Reger ran 3-mile lifetime bests of 15:48 and 16:28. And Spaetzel’s 69th-place finish gave Kaneland a team score of 170 points and sixth place—just eight points behind the fifth and final qualifying place for the State Championships.

The Knights’ efforts saw the team finish ahead of five ranked teams. Burlington Central senior Clay Musial qualified as the seventh individual finisher from non-advancing teams.

“This race was the start of something big for these guys,” Clarey said after the race. “It gives us momentum and confidence heading into the track season, and it sets the stage for us to end the cross country season next fall standing on the starting line at the state meet.”

In her third year qualifying for the IHSA State Meet, Bower will toe the line Saturday at 11 a.m. at Detweiller Park in Peoria. As a freshman, Bower placed 32nd with a time of 18:09, and ran 18:33 for 37th place last season. Bower represents the final fall-sport athlete still competing for Kaneland.

Photos by Laura Gampfer

Heartbreak in Hampshire

Volleyball run down by BC in three-game regional final loss
HAMPSHIRE, Ill.—Kaneland volleyball didn’t meet with defeat often in 2014.

But, similar to last season’s regional final end, the Lady Knights fell victim to two unfortunate games in a row. Burlington Central, the No. 2 Hampshire Regional seed, bested No. 1 KHS last Thursday evening by a 14-25, 25-20, 25-20 tally.

Kaneland (24-9-1) finished the season with an eight-match improvement in the first year of head coach Cyndi Violett’s second go-around. The Lady Knights had earned a trip to the final with a sweep of No. 4 St. Edward of Elgin, Ill., on Monday.

“It was a back-and-forth game,” Violett said. “The first one we came out really strong; Burlington came together. It could have gone either way—no big run of points at all. Our serve-receive was breaking down, and we couldn’t get it to our hitters as much as we wanted.”

KHS was defeated by Sycamore in the Sandwich Regional final in 2013 after capturing the first game there, as well.

Taking advantage of disjointed Rocket play and well-placed kills, Kaneland found itself up 20-12 in the first set, and eventually led 22-14. Hannah Nauert’s bump, Riley Hannula’s tip and a joint block by Ellie Dunn and Hannula ended the first game in speedy fashion.

The BC game solidified and was able to keep the match from getting out of hand. Kaneland was only able to muster a 12-9 advantage for its biggest lead. The Rockets tied it up at 16, with Dunn’s emphatic kill giving the Lady Knights its final lead of the game at 17-16. BC would then go on a 7-2 run. A Nauert slap over the net would later close to 23-20 before a KHS tandem block went out of bounds to even the match.

Another even meeting took place in the rubber game, with neither team able to build more than a three-point lead. The Rockets became more cohesive and took advantage of unsuccessful Kaneland sequences for a 14-12 lead. Down 16-15, Kaneland benefited from a Dunn kill and a net violation to go up 17-16, the final Kaneland lead.

BC would score five of the next eight available points for a 24-19 edge before a Nauert set over the net closed it to four. On game point, a block attempt was ruled out sending the Rocket fans on the Whip-pur court in celebration.

Dunn finished with 13 kills against the Rockets, providing 19 digs, five service points and two blocks. Anna Senese had seven service points, six kills and eight digs, while Nauert had eight kills, four service points and two blocks.

Kaneland says goodbye to seniors like Ball State-bound Dunn, Rachel Kintz, Brittany Grider, Senese and Hannula.

“We’re going to miss some key girls,” Violett said “What’s good for this offseason is we still have a lot of great girls. It’s a good nucleus of hitters, not as much power hitters, but still good.”

Sophomore football undefeated for first time

KANELAND—The Kaneland High School football team went 9-0 this fall. It was the first time in school history the sophomore team has been undefeated.

Led by head coach John Pavlak, the Knights allowed only 53 points all season, compared to their 181. They opened the season with a 7-0 win at home over McHenry, then earned a win over Sterling, 6-0. Rich Central was dispatched on Sept. 12 40-20 before KHS earned their first road win—a 21-7 battle over Yorkville. Back at home on Sept. 26, the Knights defeated DeKalb 25-6 and shut out Sycamore 20-0 the following week. On Oct. 10, Kaneland beat Morris 27-14 and beat La Salle-Peru 7-6 in their closest game of the season Oct. 17. In the final game on Oct. 24, the Knights earned their fourth shut-out of the season with a 28-0 win over visiting Rochelle.

“Our kids worked hard from the middle of July through the end of the season,” Pavlak said. “They worked well as a team.”

The lower level football teams practice together at KHS, so the sophomore team was a combination of freshman and sophomore players, according to Pavlak. The focus of the coaching staff—Brian Aversa, Mike Thorgesen, Matt Smith, Steve Auchstetter and Pavlak—is to develop the players in the fundamentals of football, and to install the philosophy of the program.

“The kids had a couple of specific goals at the beginning of the season, which was to defend our home field and to win conference—they achieved both,” Pavlak said.

Pavalk said he is excited to see the sophomore team join the current juniors as they move into their varsity playing years.

“Being successful at the varsity level is the ultimate goal (and) why the team works hard and continues to improve fundamentally,” Pavlak said. “Their record this year is something that they should all be proud of, but it should ultimately be used as a reminder of what it took to get there and that they need to continue to do all those things in the future in order to be successful.”

KHS girls tennis three Oct 2014-1

Emmanouil, Jurcenko among State-best at tennis

Photo: Seniors Jelly Emmanouil of Sugar Grove, Sammie Schrepferman and Madi Jurcenko both of Elburn. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Duo officially 9th in doubles, Schrepferman goes 3-2 with consolation end
KANELAND—The last several years of Kaneland tennis has been an exercise in excellence.

A State presence with several qualifiers each year, KHS was always ready to show what it could on the District 214 courts.

In 2014, doubles qualifiers Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko, and singles qualifier Samantha Schrepferman, showed quite a bit.

Schrepferman went 3-2 on her route through the fifth round of the consolation quarterfinals, while the Lady Knight duo made it all the way to the quarterfinals and went 4-2, finishing ninth after consolation quarterfinals.

“I think every match is different,” Jurcenko said. “You’re going to have different opponents every time, so you have to try to win matches a different way. You play to the match.”

KHS, with 13 total team points, finished in a tie with Highland Park for 16th place, tops in school history. Hinsdale Central (49), Stevenson (40) and Lyons Township (33) were the top three schools. Carmel’s Brienne Minor defeated Hinsdale Central’s Isabella Lorenzini to win the singles title, while Stevenson’s Vinaya Rao and Katherine Harvey beat HC’s Erika Oku and Stephanie Dolehide to win the doubles crown.

In her third State singles competition for Kaneland, Schrepferman (30-6), began with a win over Glenbrook South’s Breck Murphy 6-1, 6-4. In the second round, Schrepferman beat Grant’s Gaby Schoenberg 7-6, 6-4. Third-round action brought the first loss over the three-day affair to Palatine’s Asuka Kawai 6-1, 6-0. Fourth-round consolation bracket action saw a 6-1, 6-1 win over South Elgin’s Lisa Derowski, and the final match, in fifth-round consolation action, saw a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Madison Tattini of Bloomington Central Catholic.

Emmanouil and Jurcenko beat Crystal Lake Central’s Maddie Fox and Carely George 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, and Mt. Zion’s Megan Malgemann and Mara Lebo 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in the second.
“I’d say the first win was my favorite one. It was good to get that out of the way,” Jurcenko said.

Third-round action had a tense, three-set win over Whitney Young’s Sloane Williams and Kendall Scruggs in a 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 match. In the fourth round, the Lady Knights disposed of Triad’s Alexis and Kylie McCarthy 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champs Rao and Harvey 6-1, 6-0. In the Rolling Meadows-housed consolation quarters, Williams and Scruggs beat the Lady Knights in a shortened match due to darkness.

The pair of Knight-Dolphin matches during State had their share of disputes over line calls.

“The Whitney Young matches were tough and really emotional. They were interesting matches,” Jurcenko said.

“I think the most noteworthy matches were the two with Whitney Young and the quarterfinal match against Stevenson,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “The Whitney Young matches were difficult on two levels. The girls just didn’t like each other, so as good as all four players are, and as good as the tennis was, it was also an emotional and mental battle on the courts. I would say the win in the third round was an emotional high and the loss in the consolation round was an emotional low for the tournament.”

Play on Thursday in the middle of matches was suspended due to a suspicious package left near the football field, halting play for two hours.

“I really wasn’t surprised at all that they made it that far,” Larsen said. “After watching them play the Sectional tournament, I had said to a couple of people privately that if they could maintain that level of play, it would be hard to imagine anyone beating them. Through all of the distractions, emotions, level of play, time on and off the courts, and the sheer volume of tennis they played over those three days, there were some natural ups and downs on the court, and who could blame them? So, no, I wasn’t surprised, but it was a difficult journey to get there, that’s for sure.”


Kaneland volleyball surprises Yorkville

Photo: Sophomore Hannah Nauert, and junior Annmarie Franz set up senior Ellie Dunn for a spike back over to St. Edwards Tuesday. Photo by Mary Paulson

Lady Knights also handle St. Edward in Regional match
KANELAND—Area volleyball fans are now able to classify Kaneland High School volleyball as an upper-echelon Northern Illinois Big XII conference squad, and depending on how the Class 3A regionals go, something even greater.

To close out the 2014 regular season campaign, Kaneland sought and earned revenge over a Yorkville squad that entered with just one loss on the year in a two-game Thursday sweep. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Kaneland trekked to Hampshire for the start of the regional and solved Elgin’s St. Edward by a final of 25-21, 25-22.

Against the host Foxes, the Lady Knights earned a 26-24, 25-14 duke. It is believed to be the first share of a conference title for the KHS program in over 30 years, as the Kaneland and Yorkville crews each finished with one loss. Kaneland finished 7-1 in East division play.

After the regional win over St. Edward on Tuesday in Hampshire, Kaneland is now 24-8-1 overall.

Ellie Dunn had a key 13-kill total against the Foxes, while Hannah Nauert and Hollie Fedderly supplied 14 assists each. Kathy Nguyen added 11 digs.

Facing the Green Wave, the Lady Knights got six service points, two aces, six kills and 10 digs from Dunn. Riley Hannula supplied four service points, an ace, three blocks and eight kills. Teammate Anna Senese had three service points, four kills and eight digs in the sweep.

Kaneland was set to face (2) Burlington Central on Thursday, Oct. 30, for the Hampshire Regional title, and the right to go to the Rochelle Sectional beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

BC defeated Genoa-Kingston 26-24, 25-14 on Tuesday. A year ago, Kaneland beat Plano in the Sandwich Regional semifinal before falling to Sycamore in the title match, 17-25, 25-12, 25-18.

10/31/2014 update: The Kaneland volleyball team lost to Burlington Central 25-14, 20-25, 20-25 in the Regional final. Their season ends at 24-9-1. See the Elburn Herald next Thursday for more detailed coverage.

Oct. 30 sports recap

Kaneland Youth Football League
Playoff Consolation Round
Saturday, Oct. 25

Yorkville Black 7
@ Kaneland Silver 12

Kaneland White 26
@ Kaneland Black 8

Yorkville Red 20
@ Kaneland Black 6

Kaneland Black 28
@ Kaneland White 26 2OT

Playoff Championship Round
Sunday, Oct. 26

Kaneland White 0
@ DeKalb Orange 13

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald?
Have your coach email them to
or fax them to (630) 365-2251.


Boys pack emerge battle-tested from Woodstock Regional

Photo: Junior Austin Kintz edged this Yorkville runner by .1 seconds to finish 13th at Saturday’s Woodstock Regional. Photo submitted by Patti Wilk to

WOODSTOCK, ILL.—Due to the clutch performance during Saturday’s Class 2A Woodstock Regional, the Knight boys cross country roster lives to run another day.

That day will actually take place at Kaneland High School this Saturday.

With a fifth-place, 125-point finish, the Knights were one of the top six regional teams, advancing to the Kaneland Sectional at the Maple Park grounds this weekend.

Yorkville’s 49 total was king for the meet, followed by Vernon Hills’ 74, Crystal Lake Central’s 76, Prairie Ridge’s 104, Kaneland and Sycamore’s 161. Burlington Central was three points shy of qualifying at 164 at the 10-team gathering.

Jake Hoffert of Yorkville was the fastest runner at 15:43, but Kaneland’s seven served its purpose. Separated by a minute and 46 seconds, the Knights were paced by Austin Kintz’s 16:46 for 13th place.

Matthew Richtman, in his first KHS postseason, was second-best on the team in 19th place at 16:56. Brandon Park ran a 17:11 (22), followed by teammate Sean Spaetzel at 17:38 (33).

Fifth-best for KHS was Mitch Reger at 17:50 (38), followed by Andrew Kantola at 17:59 (42) and Will Kuipers at 18:32 (52).

“We feel fortunate to have advanced from the most talented regional in the 2A field,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “With two state trophy teams and three other State qualifiers from a year ago, it was packed. We realize that very good teams did not advance.”

A year ago, Kaneland finished third with 109 points at the Burlington Central Regional, with Spaetzel the only returnee from the top seven.

The Kaneland Sectional is set to start the boys field at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, with teams from the Woodstock, Antioch and Belvidere Regionals.

“We are happy to head home, where we can host the Sectional and hopefully bring a peak race to the field,” Clarey said.

_KHS football v. Rochelle Oct 2014-1-8

Nice week 9 for Knights

Photo: Senior Danny Hammermeister No. 55 was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball in 2014. Photo by Laura Gampfer

All cylinders firing in 33-6 win over Rochelle
KANELAND—It wasn’t an ideal ending, but it was on a positive note.

While Kaneland’s 4-5 record meant there would be no playoff football for the first time since the 2007 season, the Knights followed an Oct. 17 smackdown of LaSalle-Peru with a 33-6 win over now crossover opponent Rochelle in Maple Park on Friday. Rochelle ended its season with a 3-6 mark. The rout meant Kaneland outscored its last two opponents by a final of 91-12.

Kaneland has now beaten Rochelle eight consecutive times in regular season and postseason play.

The Knights outgained the Hubs 353-216 on the night. Jake Marczuk went 15-for-25 for 162 yards and two touchdown throws. Isaac Swithers, of the torn ACL from the Week 1 win over Brooks, had a stellar 122-yard night with two scoring runs. Connor Fedderly had 112 yards receiving on nine catches.

Marczuk found Fedderly on the game’s first drive for a 13-yard touchdown with 8:40 remaining in the first for a 7-0 lead. Later, a 21-yard field goal try by Drew Franklin put the Knights up 10-0 with 1:44 left in the first.

Rochelle struck first in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by Adam Rickets with 7:10 to go in the half, but the extra point try missed to keep matters at 10-6. Kaneland answered with a 13-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a throw in the corner to Fedderly, who kept his feet inbounds for a 17-yard scoring throw and a 17-6 lead with :31 left.

Franklin’s 30-yard field goal try to make it 20-6 with 4:47 to go was the lone third quarter score.

Kaneland put together another drive, bleeding into the fourth, with Swithers punching it in from the 3-yard line just five ticks into the frame for a 27-6 lead. Swithers broke free for another TD from 32 yards away, making it 33-6 with 8:26 to go, the final score of the 2014 campaign.

Marczuk, a junior, felt playing with departing offensive mates like Fedderly and Swithers was a privilege.

“The seniors led the way this year, and we get to do the same thing next year,” Marczuk said. “It was great to play with guys like Connor and Isaac Swithers. They’ve been making big plays all year.”

Fedderly ended his career as the go-to through the air.

“It meant a lot to end it this way,” Fedderly said. “We wanted to end on the right note. We’ve been in every game, and we were able to make big plays (tonight).”


Girls XC goes 4th to Sectional

Photo: Freshman Andrea Wells and junior Brianna Bower work their way through a challenging Woodstock course at Saturday’s Regional. The Lady Knights qualified as a team to the sectional Saturday, which is hosted by Kaneland High School.
Photo submitted by Patti Wilk to

WOODSTOCK, ILL.—Saturday’s Woodstock Regional provided many challenges for the Lady Knight roster.

As it turns out, Kaneland excelled enough to make it to the Sectional in their backyard, by virtue of a fourth-place, 107-point output.

Ahead of host Woodstock by 16 points and Hampshire by 53, Kaneland was behind Yorkville’s exemplary 28-point score, Crystal Lake Central’s 68 and Vernon Hills’ 88.

Prairie Ridge, at 172, was 12 points short of qualifying for the Sectional.

Yorkville junior Skyler Bollinger led the entire field with a mark of 18:42. Tops for Kaneland was junior Brianna Bower with a 20:01 time for 15th place. Andrea Wells, in her first regional, was second on the team with a 20:03, good for 16th place. Not far behind in 19th was Aislinn Lodwig at 20:10. Lady Knight and former State champ Victoria Clinton was in 20th place with a 20:12 effort.

Fifth, sixth and seventh for the KHS crew were 37th place Jessica Kucera (21:32), 44th place Sarah Daley (22:03) and 51st place Grace Dodis (22:40).

“It was the best team race of the season for the girls so far,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “The top four of Brianna, Andrea, Aislinn and Victoria all ran strong races on the toughest course they have run on all year and the toughest 2A Regional in the state.”

Saturday, Nov. 1, will see the Kaneland Sectional at the high school grounds, with select teams from the Antioch and Belvidere Regionals, as well. A year ago, Kaneland finished fifth and qualified for State in Peoria, Ill., on the strength of an 18:31 effort from Clinton.

“(The Regional meet) gives us good momentum going into the Sectional,” Ecker said.

KHS Soccer v. Sterling -1

Soccer picks up 3rd regional title in 5 seasons

Loss to Wheaton Academy in sectional ends season
KANELAND—Kaneland soccer can only take what the yearly calendar gives them, but in this 2014 season, the Knights followed the odd trend of winning a regional plaque in the last three even-numbered seasons.

On Friday, the Class 2A Burlington Central Regional title match saw No. 2 Kaneland defeat No. 4 Hampshire by a 2-0 clip. Kaneland had ousted No. 3 Sycamore back on Sept. 21 in a 3-0 affair, while Hampshire had upended top-seeded Burlington Central in overtime, 3-1.

However, a Sectional opening-round loss to Wheaton Academy put a damper on things, as the Knights lost 0-3.

Kaneland finishes the season with a 13-9-2 record, and had won nine of their final 12 games.

On Tuesday, Kaneland took on the Wheaton Academy Warriors, winners of the St. Francis of Wheaton Regional, up in Hampshire for the Sectional semifinal.

Facing the rival to the north Whip-purs in Kaneland’s fifth consecutive regional final, the Knights got all they needed with two goals. First, Andres Tovar found the net thanks to a Carl Thorbjornsen assist, and with roughly 10 minutes to go before the break, Thorbjornsen capped the scoring column.

“It was a nice win for us; we controlled possession most of the game and finished a couple of shots to put the game away,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “It certainly helps when more players get involved in finishing and scoring. It makes it that much harder to mark just one player.”

The Knights couldn’t get anything going against a strong Wheaton Academy team Tuesday.

“Sectional teams usually do everything well; that is why they are there,” Parilllo said on Tuesday before the game.”We have a very tough opponent in Wheaton Academy (Tuesday), as they have finished fourth (2012) and third (2013), and they are doing very well this year. But that is why we play the game, as anything can happen. If we play well, it should be fun.”

file photo

Wrestlers compete at preseason Nationals

Photos: Kaneland sophomores Riley Vanik (above, left) and Colin Gussman (below, left) earned All-American honors at Saturday’s preseason Nationals meet in Iowa. Photo submitted by Stephanie Vanik to

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA—Six Kaneland students competed in the annual preaseason Nationals meet, which took place on Oct. 25 at the UNI-Dome at the University of Norther Iowa.

A pair of KHS sophomores earned All-American status with their efforts. Riley Vanik placed fifth in the 160-pound division, while Colin Gussman was seventh in the 170-pound division.

Also taking part in the tournament were Kaneland juniors George Strang and Austin Parks, as well as eighth-grader Nathan Orosco and seventh-grader Brenden Parks.


Elburn truck racer sets world record

Photo: Elburn’s Brett Deutsche and his 1969 Chevy C-10 pickup truck won the 2014 National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA) Pro Street World Final title at Texas Motorplex Speedway in Ennis, Texas, with a world record time of 8.81 on Oct. 4. Deutsche (below, right) accepts his trophy from NHRDA’s Katie Radewald. Photos courtesy of NHRDA

ELBURN—Elburn’s Brett Deutsche and his 1969 Chevy C-10 pickup truck won the 2014 National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA) Pro Street World Final title at Texas Motorplex Speedway in Ennis, Texas, with a world record time of 8.81 on Oct. 4. In doing so, it became the first street truck to break 9.0 seconds for a quarter mile.

In footage from the race, the truck leaps forward off the track at the start to open a lead on the former national record holder, en route to reaching a record top speed of 158.19 mph.

Brett and his father Don have been drag racing the truck since 1999, when Brett was 16. Brett was given the pickup by his grandfather, Chuck Deutsch, when Brett was just 15 years old. His grandfather had owned it for about 10 years and decided to give it to Brett so he could redirect his attention on restoring a 1914 Model-T Ford.

Brett and his dad brought the truck into the family’s diesel repair shop in West Chicago, Ill., and went to work stripping it down to the chassis for a complete restoration. After replacing its rusted panels and installing a new truck bed from a 1995 Chevy, Don painted it black with several high-gloss clear coats.

Most important, they replaced its three-cylinder diesel engine with a Chevy 350 gas engine for the speed Brett wanted. The father-son team finished the truck before Brett turned 16 and got his driver’s license. After enjoying it for a year, Brett saved the money to add a supercharger, and then blew up the engine while racing a muscle car. After putting other gas engines in the truck, Brett realized it was about as quick as it was going to get, and lost interest in it as a racing vehicle.

In 2008, he came across a junkyard bus chassis with a new Duramax diesel engine in it. After adding that and an Allison transmission to the truck, Brett in 2011 decided to make it a NHRDA Pro Street class pickup and attempted to reduce its 5,300-pound weight.

To meet the Pro Street class racing requirements, the truck has to be legal to drive on the street, have a factory frame, and weigh a minimum of 4,500 pounds. Brett went to work lightening the truck by removing its bumper and truck bed lining, and adding a lighter radiator and other internal components. Remarkably, he was able to shed 650 pounds from the truck without pulling out all its creature comforts. It still even has air-conditioning.

With its new engine and lighter weight, the truck initially had a quarter-mile best of 9.8 seconds and reached 145 mph. Recently, Brett outfitted it with a drive lockup converter specifically designed for diesel racing. Made of 100 percent Kevlar, the lockup converter keeps the the big diesel’s massive torque from burning up the truck’s clutch.

Brett says he’s spent a small fortune on retrofitting the truck, and couldn’t have done it without the help of his sponsors. One of Duetsche Racing’s local sponsors is the St. Charles-based company VERTEX, a human resource company. Other sponsors include Danville Performance, which provides the truck’s electronic engine tuning; HSP Diesel, which provided its triple-turbo piping; Wagler Competition, which provided its engine cylinder heads and machining; Neal Chance Racing Converters, which provided its torque converter; Bullseye Power, which provided its turbo-chargers and turbo components; Flexicorps Racing; and, of course, Deutsch’s Diesel Truck Repair. Recently, the truck was appraised at $104,000.

Typically, drag racing events involve a couple of qualifying rounds, then one-on-one elimination rounds that lead to a two-vehicle final. That can require running eight-10 races in a day, creating stress that often results in them breaking down and not being able to make it to the starting line for the next round when they advance.

The NHRDA Pro Street World Final was the final event of an 11-race 2014 national diesel drag racing series where, during the eight-truck elimination rounds, the Duetsche car ran 8.87, breaking the world record of 9.20. In the final, racing against national record holder Jarid Vollmer and his 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, Brett lowered the world best to 8.81 seconds. Even though he only participated in two of the eleven circuit races, Brett finished second in points among 25 scoring drivers.

This Saturday, Brett and his record-setting Chevy C-10 pickup race at the Diesel Truck Blackout Drag Day Fall Nationals at the Byron Dragway in nearby Bryon, Ill.—the final Midwest drag racing event of the year. The competition will start at 10 a.m. and feature several “T & T” races, where drivers can test and tune their race cars in competition on the track.


Youth sports to benefit from Forest Preserve purchase

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Thanks to the Kane County Forest Preserve, Elburn and Kaneland community sports teams will have an expanded field for softball and baseball, soccer, football and lacrosse.

Kane County Board District 18 Representative Drew Frasz attended last week’s Blackberry Township meeting to announce the purchase. The land, originally owned by the Gum family, was sold to the Forest Preserve by Donald Westlake, who was married to Helen Gum Westlake until her death in 2012.

The 62 acres is located on Bateman Road, south of and adjacent to McNair Field, where Elburn’s Youth Baseball and Softball team has played for years. The Forest Preserve paid $10,000 an acre for the land, for a total of approximately $620,000. The closing on the property took place Sept. 30.

The Forest Preserve will enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Blackberry Township, which will coordinate the development and construction of the field with the leagues.

The township has for some time carried an annual line item of $10,000 in its budget for youth sports, Blackberry Township Supervisor Fred Dornback said. He said the township would coordinate the use of the space, and will grade and seed the site, as well as providing rudimentary roads and parking areas.

Then it would be up to the youth sports groups to develop and maintain the fields, he said.

“We won’t be spending any new tax money,” Dornback said. “We’re in the facilitating business.”

Frasz said that he saw a lot of opportunities for people to donate their talent and time. He said the Forest Preserve sees this as a “citizen-led effort.”

The township will apply for an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. If it receives the grant money, those funds, together with local fundraising and individual and company donations, will be used to make the necessary improvements.

One of the Forest Preserve’s requirements will be for portions of the property restored to prairie, with walking trails and benches for anyone to use. In addition, Dornback said one of the wishes of the township, going back to when Dave Anderson was the supervisor, is to have a common area where a family can get together to play volleyball, or kids can play pick-up games.

“When I was a kid, that’s how we did it,” Dornback said.

McNair Field had been leased by Blackberry Township from the Transmission Relay Corporation since it purchased the land in 2003. The lease had granted the local athletic leagues the use of five of the corporation’s 20 acres, located south and east of the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads. The 10-year lease expired in April 2013.

Although the township negotiated a new lease with the owners, it was a short-term agreement.

“This will take away the fear of losing the land,” Frasz said. “It gives more long-term stability.”

Click to view larger map
Click to view larger map

Can’t keep KHS tennis down

Photo: The doubles team of Madi Jurcenko (background) Jelly Emmanouil. File photo.

Second-place finish at St. Charles East Sectional produces two State entries
KANELAND—When you’re in the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles spots for a tennis team, the expectation is that you’ll maintain a certain level of excellence.

KHS was able to put that excellence on display Friday and Saturday on the St. Charles East campus during the Saints’ sectional. No. 1 singles star Sammie Schrepferman reach, State once again with a runner-up finish, and the Madi Jurcenko/Jelly Emmanouil No. 1 doubles tandem took the sectional crown.

Teamwise, Kaneland’s 20-point total was just one behind Geneva. St. Charles North (18), Wheaton Academy (17) and Batavia and Lake Park (12) rounded out the top five.

Schrepferman, a No. 1 singles star for four years, makes her third appearance at the IHSA State meet, while Jurcenko/Emmanouil enter for the third-straight year as a team. Jurcenko qualified for doubles as a freshman with former Lady Knight Amelia Napiorkowski.

Schrepferman’s semifinal victory was over Geneva’s Grace Krueger, 6-1, 6-1, before dropping to champion Kirby Einck 6-3, 6-0. The senior enters the state tournament with a personal record of 27-4 this fall.

The KHS doubles duo, 31-0 on the year, bested the St. Charles North team of Lianne Anderson and Emma Spellman in the final by a 6-0, 6-0 tally.

The first four-time qualifier in school history, Jurcenko doesn’t rest on her laurels of past postseason play.

“We’re always going to be nervous going in to sectionals or State,” Jurcenko said. “But I think our strongest part of our game is communication.”

“Sectionals ends up being really good practice for what to expect when we are at State,” Emmanuoil said. “I think we’re at the top of our game. Together, we are ready and a good team.”

Schrepferman will face Glenbrook South’s Breck Murphy in the first round out at Palatine High School on Thursday, while at Hoffman Estates High School, Jurcenko/Emmanouil will take on Crystal Lake Central’s Maddie Fox and Carley George. For the first time in school history, Kaneland has a seeded entry at State, with the doubles squad a No. 26 seed overall.


Peaking in the Illinois Valley

Senior Brandon Kigyos intercepts the football and scores a touchdown for the Knights against La Salle-Peru Friday. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knights’ 58-6 win over LaSalle-Peru has stars on both sides of ball
LA SALLE, ILL.—Having not won since the second week of the year, a five-game losing streak and scratch from the postseason hunt can put the hurt on a team.

On Friday, the penultimate game of 2014 featured a 30-point first quarter deluge for the Kaneland Knights football squad in a 58-6 trouncing of winless LaSalle-Peru.

Kaneland is now 3-5 (0-4 Northern Illinois Big XII), after its first trip to the Illinois Valley grounds since 2011.

Quarterback Jake Marczuk was 8-for-16 for 183 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Isaac Swithers had 85 yards receiving on two catches, while Connor Fedderly had four catches for 79 yards.

The total yards battle went Kaneland’s way, 250-126.

The scoring party got going early when Swithers caught a swing pass, followed a Fedderly block and scampered into the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown just 20 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

After an L-P punt, the Knights put together a 55-yard scoring drive that ended on a one-yard sneak by Marczuk for a 14-0 lead with 7:28 left in the first.

Just as it looked like L-P could progress, senior linebacker Brandon Kigyos stepped in front of a pass attempt and ran 52 yards for a pick-six and a 21-0 lead with 6:23 left in the opening frame.

“It was all teamwork and everyone knew their jobs,” Kigyos said. “All I know is I was in the right position and it came to me. Luckily, it was open field, and I couldn’t make that play without the lead blockers. It was crazy.”

Andrew Kray was part of the swarm that blocked the Cavaliers’ punt attempt on the next drive, and knocked the ball out of the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 edge with 4:19 to go in the quarter.

Closing the first frame scoring was Fedderly on a rare sweep from the two for a 30-0 edge with 1:15 to play.

Mitchell Groen earned himself an interception, which would lead to a 10-yard touchdown toss to Fedderly 17 seconds into the second quarter for a 37-0 lead. Cameron Mignone would return the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for the lone Cavs score 31 seconds into the second for a 37-6 deficit.

With 2:46 left in the half, Fedderly scored again on a 1-yard pass for a 44-6 lead going to halftime.

In the second half, a 39-yard counter to Tyler Paulson had him going down the sidelines for the running clock trigger and a 51-6 edge with 8:55 to go in the third. Alec Aurelio’s one-yard scoring run with 4:30 to go in the third cemented the final 58-6 margin.

“The defense was great. We had one score on defense and some that were pretty close. They set us up. I’m really happy, hoping we’d be ready to play. I’m really happy how we came out,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

All that remains for KHS is a Friday, Oct. 24, home matchup with now-West division foe Rochelle, also coming in at 3-5 after a 21-6 road loss to Sterling. Rochelle hasn’t beaten Kaneland since 2007, and has lost seven in a row to the Knights.

Oct. 23 Sports recap

Freshman Volleyball
Oct. 16 vs. Morris—The freshman A team improved to 12-4, 7-0 in conference play with a 25-15, 25-20 win over Morris. The B team also won against Morris 25-22, 17-25, 25-21.

Sophomore Volleyball
Oct. 16 vs. Morris—The Lady Knights won 25-15, 25-13 over Morris.

Sophomore Football
Oct. 17 @ La Salle-Peru—The Knights won 7-6 Friday.

Girls Fr/So Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—The Lady Knights were runners-up to Yorkville at the NIB-12 Conference meet held at Rochelle Twp. High School
8 Grace Dodis, 21:24.3; 11 Katie Huber, 22:14.6; 20. Sandra Gale, 24:03.6; 24. Marissa Dries, 24:49.9.

Girls JV Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—Kaneland was second at the NIB-12 Conference meet, held at Rochelle Twp. High School.
10 Grace Drake, 22:14; 16 Sam Sommerville, 23:15; 17 Murphy Garcia, 23:53; 20 Lilah Klingensmith, 24:06; 22 Haley Penkala, 24:17.

Boys Fr/So Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—The Knights scored just 35 points, but lost to Yorkville by six in the six-team race. Third place was Sycamore with 80 points.
1 Matthew Richtman, 16:35; 2 Andrew Kantola, 16:50; 8 Sam Webster, 17:56; 9 Henry Nosek, 18:00; 12 Anthony Messina, 18:09; 25 Kyle Wells, 19:03; 26 David Wojak, 19:06.

Boys JV Cross Country
Oct. 18 @ NIB-12 Meet—The Knights were second at the JV open race at Saturdays conference meet.
5 Aaron French, 18:00; 6 Zach Kurz, 18:07; 8 Jared Murri, 18:22; 10 Alex Gale, 18:31; 13 Peyton Heiser, 18:43; 15 Ben Smith, 18:51; 26 Cristian Girolamo, 19:32; 29 Nick Moses, 19:45; 30 Jack O’Sullivan, 19:48; 31 Tyler Nance, 19:49; 33 Josh Kasap, 20:00; 39 Austin Parks, 20:15; 48 Grant Gingrich, 21:26; 53 Ian Piazza, 21:44; 54 Jacob Wolfe, 21:49; 62 Kyle Osborne, 23:43; 65 Cole Rutter, 26:40/

Kaneland YFL
Oct. 18, 2014—Playoffs, Round 1
Kaneland Silver 0
@ Kaneland White 27
Kaneland White 0
@ Burlington Blue 24
DeKalb Black 8
@ Kaneland Black 0
Kaneland Black 0
@ DeKalb Black 24
Kaneland Black 14
@ DeKalb Black 39
Kaneland White 6
@ DeKalb Orange 26

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KHS volley ball v. Morris Oct 2014-1-3

Volleyball hitting stride

Photo: Senior Ellie Dunn had 12 kills, seven service points and seven digs against Morris Oct. 16. Dunn was All Tournament at the Eastland tournament in Lanark, Ill., last weekend. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Key conference win coupled with solid Eastland trip
KANELAND—Opposing teams can’t envy the task of having to deal with a steadily climbing Lady Knights volleyball program.

That’s at least what Morris and several schools had to experience at the Eastland tournament in Lanark, Ill.

Last Thursday, the visiting Morris rival was handed an 18-25, 25-14, 25-21 loss, and the Lady Knights followed that with a tournament win at Eastland.

With an unblemished week, the Lady Knights are 23-8, and 6-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII, a conference that also features 29-1 Yorkville.

Against Morris, Ellie Dunn had 12 kills, seven service points and seven digs. Anna Senese had three kills, three service points and two digs, and Riley Hannula had eight kills, two blocks, four service points and an ace.
In the 5-0 excursion to Eastland, victories took the form of 25-9, 25-11 vs. Rockford Auburn; 25-14, 25-18 vs. River Ridge; 25-23, 25-18 vs. Galena; 25-21, 24-26, 25-15 to the hosts; and 25-15, 16-14 vs. Freeport’s Aquin.

Kaneland has a trip to Yorkville to close out the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 23, before trekking to Hampshire for the IHSA Class 3A Regional on Tuesday, Oct. 28. The No. 1 seed Lady Knights face either No. 4 St. Edward of Elgin or No. 5 Sycamore at 5:30 p.m., with the emerging school facing either No. 2 Burlington Central, No. 3 Genoa-Kingston or No. 6 Hampshire in the Thursday, Oct. 30, regional title match.

KHS Soccer v. Sycamore Oct 2014-1-7

Packing a regional punch

Photo: Ivan Bohorquez (right) stepped up for the Knights in the second half of their Burlington Central Regional win over Sycamore. The senior had two unassisted goals. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Soccer’s semifinal win at BC
BURLINGTON, ILL.—It took a while to get going, but Kaneland’s cleats found footing on the pitch.

Not only could that be an accurate observation for Tuesday night’s Class 2A Burlington Central Regional semifinal win over Sycamore, but it’s apt for Kaneland soccer’s entire season thus far.

After starting the 2014 campaign 4-6-2, the Knights are now 12-8-2, having won eight of 10.

The 3-0 shutout win under frigid conditions followed a regular season-ending 4-0 shutout loss to NIB-12 champ Yorkville back on Thursday.

Against No. 3 Sycamore, No. 2 Kaneland got its first goal from Angel Escontrias with 13:47 left in the first half from near the top of the box, negating Michael Meisinger’s close miss just two minutes earlier.

“That was a great play by everybody. We’ve been passing the ball better, and we managed to get it up there,” Escontrias said. “Lately, we’ve come together as a team, and we’re like family.”

In the second half of play, Ivan Bohorquez connected with 28 minutes left, using his speed and maneuvering away from the Spartan defense on a rocket attempt.

With 25:27 left, Bohorquez’ corner kick attempt evaded traffic in the box to go in the net for the clincher.

“I don’t know if we were tentative or what in the first half. At halftime, I said we needed to play smarter,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “I said, ‘Let’s start putting the ball in the corners and stop trying to go down the middle.’”

Kaneland now faces upstart No. 4 Hampshire, which beat Sandwich 7-1, in a Friday play-in, and knocked off No. 1 Burlington Central in overtime. The regional title match is Friday, Oct. 24, at 4:30 p.m.


New heights for Guyton

Kaneland golf program’s lone State rep finishes 76th
DECATUR, ILL.—The State golf gathering is getting to be old hat for the Guyton clan.

However, there is a first time for everything, as Friday and Saturday marked the first go-around for Lady Knight senior Tori Guyton.

Guyton, who had qualified for the Decatur, Ill.-based gathering at Red Tail based on her Oct. 11 Wheaton Academy Sectional performance, made it through Friday and Saturday with a 76th-place finish (179) in Class 2A.

Guyton’s weekend saw improvement, smashing a 91 on Friday and an 88 on Saturday for the total output.

The senior battled to a tie with Sandburg senior Patty Meza. Guyton was barely ahead of Glenbard West’s Samantha Moody and Waubonsie Valley’s Kayla McHale at 180.

“It was certainly a talented field of girls this season, and considering the windy conditions, the girls put up some impressive scores,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said.

The top three scores at State belonged to Neuqua Valley’s Jessica Yuen at 142, Waubonsie Valley’s Bing Singhsumalee (144) and Lincoln-Way West’s Alexis Biedrzycki (148).

Friday had Guyton shoot a 44 on the front nine and 47 on the back nine for a 91 and 85th place, while the Saturday action had a 47 on the front and 41 on the back.

“We were very proud of Tori’s success this season,” Meyer said. “She made it to sectionals in her freshman, sophomore and junior years, but came up just a bit short of qualifying for the State tournament in those years. She showed great determination to improve every season, and as a result, she finished her high school career with a trip to State.”

Guyton was the first State girls golf qualifier for Kaneland since sister Hayley in 2010, by virtue of an 81 at the Conant Sectional back on Oct. 13.


Girls pack acclimates well in Rochelle for NIB-12

ROCHELLE, ILL.—When you are ahead of all other conference outfits with the exception of Yorkville, it’s been a pretty good Northern Illinois Big XII race.

On Saturday in Rochelle, the Kaneland girls cross country squad put shoes to grass in the annual conference gathering in West division territory, and came away with a 78 score and second place overall.

Yorkville, with 18, was a runaway winner, and Sterling (91), LaSalle-Peru (94) and Geneseo (111) cemented the top five slots. Morris (172), DeKaln (199), Ottawa (208) and Sycamore (214) rounded out the top nine point-garnering outfits.

Yorkville’s Skyler Bollinger (18:04), Erin Reynolds (18:34) and Lauren Daffenburg (18:37) were a triple threat at the front of the line. Lady Knight junior Brianna Bower’s 19:03 was good enough for top team finisher and ninth place overall. Hard-charging freshman Andrea Wells joined Bower in the All Conference category with a 19:12 and 11th place.

Other noteworthy Kaneland finishers were senior Aislinn Lodwig in 14th at 19:12, senior Victoria Clinton in 18th at 19:29, and sophomore Sarah Daley in 25th at 20:42. Both Lodwig and Clinton earned All Conference honors.

Rounding out the top seven were junior Carly Bartholomew (39th, 21:50) and senior Jessica Kucera (40th, 21:52).

A year ago, Yorkville’s 52 bested Kaneland’s 66 total for first place out at Morris, with Clinton earning the top KHS spot in fifth at 17:56.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, at Emricson Park in Woodstock, the Lady Knights join Burlington Central, Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge, Hampshire, Sycamore, Vernon Hills, Wauconda, Woodstock and Yorkville for the Class 2A Woodstock Regional. Teams and individuals would then trek to the Kaneland Sectional on Saturday, Nov. 1, with the best from Antioch’s and Belvidere’s Regionals.

Photo: Freshman Andrea Wells


Boys cross shows talent in Ogle County for NIB-12 race

Junior Austin Kintz (left) bides his time with the lead pack just after the first mile at Saturday’s NIB-12 championship meet at Rochelle. His patience would be rewarded, as he would place sixth overall at the meet, earning All Conference honors. Photo by Ben Draper

ROCHELLE, ILL.—Kaneland boys cross country can be encouraged after the final dress rehearsal for survive-and-advance postseason action.

This past Saturday out in Ogle County, Rochelle hosted the annual Northern Illinois Big XII conference race, it’s first as a West outpost.

With 23 points, Yorkville was able to corral six of the top 10 spots, and Sterling finished in second with a 76.

KHS finished with 91 points and a third place, while Sycamore (128) and Geneseo (154) rounded out the top five.

The Foxes’ Jake Hoffert (15:30), Trevor Wills (15:37) and Luke Hoffert (15:39) claimed the top three spots.

Knights junior Austin Kintz had 15:56 for an All Conference sixth place, 3.5 seconds ahead of Sterling’s Jacob Gebhardt.

At 16:17, Knight Brandon Park was able to hit 13th place and nab an All-NIB-12 honor. Third-best for KHS was Mitch Reger with a 16:35 for 21st place overall. At 25th place, Sean Spaetzel ran in 16:56, and classmate Will Kuipers was 26th at 16:57. James Walker (31st, 17:04.4) and Andrew Lesak (32nd, 17:04.7) rounded out the varsity squad.

“Overall, we are happy with third, and we feel like we have momentum building as we get healthier each week,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said.

With not much time left for Kaneland to make its mark, Clarey is liking where things are headed.

“(I’m) very proud of them all; (we) feel like things are picking up at the right time heading into Regionals,” Clarey said.

In the freshman/sophomore race, the Knights took the top two spots, courtesy of freshman Matthew Richtman (1st, 16:36) and sophomore Andrew Kantola (2nd, 16:50). The duo pulled away from the Yorkville pack in the last mile.

Saturday, Oct. 25, has the Class 2A Woodstock Regional featuring rivals Burlington Central, Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge, Hampshire, Sycamore, Vernon Hills, Wauconda, Woodstock and Yorkville. Along with Antioch and Belvidere Regional brethren, the best will advance to the Kaneland Sectional on Saturday, Nov. 1.

Seventh-grade football enjoy undefeated season

With an Oct. 18 win over Yorkville, the Kaneland Harter Middle School seventh-grade football team finished 9-0 on the year and were crowned conference champions. Up 6-0 on an early interception return for a touchdown by Dylan Calabrese, Yorkville would push the pace and lead 14-6. A screen pass to Colton Doll for a 65-yard touchdown, coupled with a Max Gagne two-point conversion, made it 14-all. Joe Smith found Gagne again right before halftime, with Gagne running in a two-point conversion to make it 22-14 Knights. The defenses clamped down in the second half, and two key first downs late helped the Knights run out the clock to clinch the championship.
Photo submitted by Sharon Smith to

Harter lady harriers earn 6th at state meet

Long All State for boys
NORMAL, ILL.—The Kaneland Harter Middle School girls cross country team finished in 6th place at Saturday’s IESA State Cross Country Championship, held at Maxwell Park in Normal, Ill. It was the first time the girls team had qualified for the meet.

Leading the way for the Lady Knights was seventh-grader Rachel Richtman, who finished in 32nd place, covering the 2-mile course in 12 minutes. Rounding out the Knights top 7 were Cassidy Motyka (38th, 12:08), Lesley Viveros (45th, 12:12), Erin Ball (93rd, 12:36), Grace Purcell (97th, 12:38), Emma Ball (112th, 12:44) and Tessa Brennan (144th, 13:00).

On the boys side, seventh-grader Zach Long earned all-state honors with a 12th-place finish with a time of 10:42. Long was the top seventh grade boy in the entire state of Illinois. Also running at the state meet was seventh-grader Daniel Occhipinti, who placed 47th with a time of 11:09.


No stopping the Lady Knights

Photo: Senior Sammie Schrepherman was runner-up at No. 1 singles for Kaneland at the NIB-12 tournament. Photo by Tiffany Kufer

Tennis takes non-conference battle with OE, wins NIB-12 weekend
KANELAND—It turns out a sweep on Oct. 8 was a welcome precursor to KHS tennis good fortune.

After a 7-0 win over host Oswego East, the Lady Knights participated in the annual Northern Illinois Big XII conference meet at DeKalb and came away as conference champions.

The title marks the second in a row, after a runner-up finish in 2012.

Kaneland (8-2) used a lot of close finishes to its advantage, with No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman earning second behind Sycamore star Angelina Ye.

No. 1 doubles tandem Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil were crowned champs of their group, along with No. 2 duo Colleen Landers and Steph Karolewicz. No. 3 doubles team Mallory Dugan and Anna Wendling were third, as was No. 2 singles entry Brittany Zablocki.

Schrepferman earned a 6-0, 6-0 win over Ottawa’s Savanna Weitzel and a 6-0, 6-0 win over LaSalle-Peru’s Ali Kutz before losing to Ye in 6-3, 6-0 fashion.

The Kaneland Lady Knights tennis squad repeated as Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Champions Saturday.  Photo submitted by Tim Larsen to
The Kaneland Lady Knights tennis squad repeated as Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Champions Saturday.
Photo submitted by Tim Larsen to

Zablocki beat L-P’s Olivia Pearson 6-2, 6-7, 7-3 and lost to Sycamore’s Kathryn Sullivan 6-0, 6-1 before beating Geneseo’s Sommer Gagnon 6-1, 6-4 in the third-place match.

Jurcenko/Emmanouil beat the L-P team 6-3, 6-0 and Geneseo’s duo 6-0, 6-0 before laying waste to Morris 6-1, 6-2.

Landers/Karolewicz beat Yorkville’s entry in the semis by a final of 6-2, 6-1 before beating Geneseo 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.

Dugan/Wendling outlasted Ottawa in the third place match for No. 3, 6-4, 7-5.

The weekend was actually hosted by Kaneland on the DeKalb grounds along Dresser Road.

Preceding the victorious conference event was a total sweep of the Wolves opponent. Schrepferman, No. 2 singles Brittany Zablocki and No. 3 singles Kayla Corirossi emerged with sweeps, as did the Jurcenko/Emmanouil, Colleen Landers/Steph Karolewicz, Dugan/Wendling and Emily Mirocha/Kaelyn Blazsynki pairings.

“The biggest thing when we scheduled this meet earlier was to get these girls ready for sectionals,” assistant coach Dominic Bruno said. “Our sectionals have switched, but it’s still a good opportunity to prepare for sectionals and hopefully for State.”

Schrepferman still feels she can perform at a higher level, even after the DeKalb gathering and the win over the Wolves.

“I don’t think I played the best. I still played good, but the wind was hard to adjust to,” Schrepferman said. “I’ve figured out what my weaknesses are and what I need to focus on.”

All that remains is the survive-and-advance IHSA sectional at St. Charles East on Saturday, Oct. 18. Kaneland joins squads Bartlett, Batavia, Glenbard North, Geneva, Lake Park, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.

“With the rainout last weekend, we missed the opportunity to see what some of the other (sectional) teams look like,” Larsen said. “I know that Kirby (Geneva) will be the singles player to beat, but with so many girls having graduated since we last went to St Charles for the sectional, we’re going in half-blind. But none-the-less, we feel confident that we can be competitive in this tournament, and we’ll do the best we can to get some positions into that State Tournament.”

Kyle Osbourne

Osborne a medalist at Byron Invitational

Junior earns first medal of CC career
ELBURN—Kaneland junior Kyle Osborne earned a medal for his 12th-place finish in the Open boys race at the Byron Cross Country Invitational on Oct. 8.

The celebration by Kyle, his mom, coaches, teammates and fans that followed the achievement is noteworthy because Kyle is developmentally-challenged. In Kyle’s case, he is challenged by what are called “developmental delays.” Medically, this means that Kyle has not achieved developmental milestones at the pace most youngsters do in language, intellect and motor skills.

The sport of cross country running is demanding for able-bodied athletes, so it is remarkable that Kyle has chosen to participate in it for the past three years given his physical limitations.

Cross country is a team distance-running sport over natural terrain, where each team’s top-five finishers score the same number of points as their finish place. Most high school cross country races are between 2.5 and 3 miles in distance. The race at Bryon Forest Preserve was 2.85 miles. The sum total of each team’s top-five places is their team score, and the low score wins. The way the numbers crunch, the first team to have five runners finish almost always wins, making it a team sport where a team’s fourth- and fifth-best athletes have unusual significance.

Kyle has improved his running strength and aerobic endurance over the past three years, but he has balance issues that can make it difficult for him to run in a straight line, especially at the end of a race when he is extremely fatigued. He also lacks fine motor skills, which usually requires someone to assist him in pinning his bib number to his uniform before his race.

Often, that someone is assistant coach Tim Mordini who is a para-professional at Kaneland High School. As such, Tim works in what is called “The Armory,” tutoring students like Kyle and assisting them with their homework. Kyle is enrolled in the “Life Skills Curriculum” at Kaneland, which includes special math, reading and science classes.He also takes some mainstream classes, including horticulture, journalism and P.E. Kyle has also served as a student manager for Kaneland boys basketball teams since seventh grade. He practices with the team a few times a week and has been able to dress for one game each year, where he has drained a couple of 3-pointers. Kyle will also be playing on a Special Olympics basketball team through the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association this fall.

Like head boys coach Chad Clarey, Tim Mordini ran cross country at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Previously, he has been an assistant cross country coach at Wheaton North and Lake Forest high schools.

“Kyle is an extremely out-going, happy-go-lucky young man,” Tim said. “He is a popular student, a member of the student council, and a great teammate whose positive attitude and willingness to work hard is evident in everything he does.”

Mordini and Kyle’s parents, Tammy and Bill of Elburn, believe his improved physical conditioning from running cross country has helped with improving his developmental issues. But most of all, it has improved his self-confidence.

Tammy and Bill got Kyle involved in sports at an early age, starting with T-ball in Elburn. Kyle was able to participate in baseball while it was still coach-pitched, with the help of his coach, Randy Jones, who would help him run the bases. When the game was no longer pitched by the coach, Kyle moved into the manager position where he attended practices and games every season. In 8th grade he decided to join the track team because it was something in which he could participate with everyone else. After having a good experience in track, Tammy enrolled Kyle in the Kaneland Summer Running Camp. There, Clarey encouraged Kyle to join the cross country team. Kyle’s effort, attitude, and dramatic improvement that fall led to his receiving the freshman Golden Knight award at the end of the season., which is given to the athlete who demonstrates the best attitude and commitment to the team philosophy.

Kyle is also involved in a horse-therapy program in Maple Park called Horse Power. Kyle’s mom says he is learning to sit “tall in the saddle,” and that it has helped Kyle develop a more erect running posture, which has helped his cross country performances this fall.

Ironically, prior to his race at Bryon, Kyle spoke about trying out for the football team during his senior year next fall. His medal-winning performance now has him committed to being a four-year cross country athlete at Kaneland High School.


Morris Mishandle

Photo: Junior Drew Franklin kicks off after a Kaneland score early in the first quarter. Photo by Mary Paulson

Knights football eliminated from playoff contention
KANELAND—Kaneland’s first play from scrimmage last Friday night resulted in a sack by Morris. The Redskins would get to KHS quarterback Jake Marczuk five more times, and also recover three first-half fumbles, en route to a 26-21 win over the Knights.

The loss was Kaneland’s fifth-straight, and eliminated the Knights from playoff contention for the first time since 2007. Four of Kaneland’s five losses have been decided by seven points or less this season.

“Our kids have battled every single game right down to the last minute, and so I told them I was really proud of them and their effort,” KHS head coach Tom Fedderly said after the game.

Despite the start Friday, Kaneland got on the board first with a 37-yard pass from Marczuk to senior Connor Fedderly. A PAT by Drew Franklin made it 7-0 early.

“They came with some pressure and I thought ‘it doesn’t matter, (our) first drive went right down and scored,’” Fedderly said.

After a see-saw battle of possession, the Knights lost a fumble on Morris’ 18 yard line, and the Redskins made KHS pay, marching 83 yards down the field, and scoring on a Griffin Sobel pass to Chase Hansen with 7:07 to go in the first half. A penalty moved the PAT back for Morris, and it was no good, giving Kaneland the edge by one point.

“Fumbles. We just gotta to hang on to the ball,” Fedderly said.
On the ensuing possesion, another fumble on 2nd-and-10 from Kaneland’s own 29 yard line gave Morris another offensive opportunity.

After Morris was called for holding and faced 1st-and-25 from Kaneland’s 33 yard line, a pass deep into the endzone appeared to be intercepted by Kaneland senior Isaac Swithers, but the officials ruled that both Swithers and Morris’ Jake Walker had equal posession of the ball before both stepped out of bounds, and Walker was awarded the touchdown. Morris could not convert a two-point conversion attempt, thanks to a great defensive play by Knight Kyle Diehl. Morris would hold their 12-7 lead into halftime.

Kaneland’s defense in the third quarter was stout, forcing Morris to punt on three three-and-outs, including the Redskins’ opening posession. The Knights made quick work of terrific field position at the Kaneland 46 yard line after Connor Fedderly’s fair catch on the punt. Five plays later, Connor Fedderly caught his second of three touchdowns on the night, a 7-yard strike. Franklin’s PAT made it 14-12 Knights with 10:13 to go in the third quarter.

The Kaneland Knights honored KHS Junior Julia Pratte, cancer survivor, prior to Friday’s game against Morris. “Coach Julia” lead the Kaneland Varsity Football team through the Knights tunnel on to the field during Friday night’s homecoming football game. Julia, together with the football team captains and head coach Tom Fedderly, did the coin toss. Photo by Mary Paulson
The Kaneland Knights honored KHS Junior Julia Pratte, cancer survivor, prior to Friday’s game against Morris. “Coach Julia” lead the Kaneland Varsity Football team through the Knights tunnel on to the field during Friday night’s homecoming football game. Julia, together with the football team captains and head coach Tom Fedderly, did the coin toss. Photo by Mary Paulson

The offense had a good drive that spanned late in the third quarter and into the fourth, moving from their own 21 yard line, but it was stalled on Morris’ 22 yard line after an incomplete pass to Fedderly on fourth down.

Morris got their offense going, putting together a 78-yard drive that featured a lateral to wide receiver Nathan Guth who in turn threw the ball 32 yards to Hansen to the Kaneland 21 yard line. Four plays later, Morris hit paydirt again, with Griffin Sobol finding Hansen all alone in the endzone for a five yard touchdown pass. Morris converted a two-point conversion to make it 20-14 with 4:19 to go.

Kaneland went three-and-out, including a 3rd-down sack, before disaster struck on the punt. The snap got away from Marczuk, who then kicked it into a Kaneland player, bouncing the ball toward the Kaneland endzone. Morris was able to recover on the Kaneland five yard line, and was back in the endzone two plays later on a Matt Feiden three-yard run. Morris again failed to convert the two-point conversion, but now led 26-14 with only 3:14 to go in the game.

Kaneland proved they still had fight in them, converting on 4th-and-10 from their own 35 yard line. Brock Harner kept the drive alive with his 13-yard catch. On the next play, it was Connor Fedderly with a 37-yard catch to the Morris 15 yard line. Immediately after, Marczuk avoided pressure by rolling out of the pocket and was rewarded by finding Connor Fedderly all alone in the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:07 to go.

“I was just glad that our kids don’t give up. Everybody was out there just fighting to the very end, and Connor came up with some plays at the end, and Jake made some good scrambles and made a good throw,” Fedderly said.

Down 26-21, Kaneland tried an onside kick, but Morris recovered and was able to run out the clock for the victory.

Marczuk ended the night with 19 completions on 35 attempts for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Connor Fedderly led all receivers with 142 yards on eight receptions and three touchdowns. Swithers had seven carries for 75 yards.
“It was a hard-fought battle and it came down to the last drive,” Tom Fedderly said.


True Norse

Thorbjornsen bringing lift to Knights soccer
KANELAND—Nesodden is a town in southern Norway, not far from Oslo, the capital.

It’s also where, after the standard eligibility wait, the Kaneland Knights soccer team secured its latest find.

With the soccer team now in double-digit wins after a mediocre start, play from a gelling roster has been helped by exchange student and sophomore Carl Thorbjornsen.

Thobjornsen, son of an American father and Norwegian mother, is living with his father stateside in Aurora while he attends Kaneland.

“A lot of people in Norway go to other countries in high school, so this was more of the same,” Thorbjornsen said.

The tall athlete, who supplied a hat trick and other important contributions since joining the squad two weeks ago, had a bit of a feeling out process.

“I started, before I came here, in cross country. I love to run and play soccer,” Thorbjornsen said. “I approached coach (Scott Parillo), and at first I thought they didn’t have a soccer team. But later I found out they had. So he said I needed to wait 30 days.”

The striker, a fan of Real Madrid and standout Ronaldo, feels he has been able to adjust to the American high school game.

“It’s a bit different. It plays a bit faster, but it’s getting easier,” Thorbjornsen said.

Also getting familiar and easier is learning under the tutelage of Parillo.

“He’s funny in like a strict way, and he’s tough. He was like one of my coaches in Norway,” Thorbjornsen said.

Thobjornsen wishes to join the military as a pilot as a possible career path, but still has a cache of memories to draw from on the pitch as he continues high school and university time back in Europe.

“It was probably in Norway, and I was top scorer for my team and got a trophy with all my goals. That was nice,” Thorbjornsen said.

It’s pretty rudimentary in a game with many basic elements, what shall determine this year as a success for the sophomore.

“I like to be a part of the team, and I also like to win. It’s both. I’d like to win conference, but have a good time,” Thorbjornsen said.

Thorbjornsen and the Knights face host Yorkville on Thursday, Oct. 16.