Category Archives: Community Sports

2nd at USSSA World Series

Northern IL Thunder 18U displays hardware after the tournament in Columbus, Ind. Sam Okapal (bottowm row, left to right), Brittany Boelter, Brittany Davis, Kristen Stralka, Rebecca Randall and Ali Hoffman. Head Coach Dave Randall (top row), Assistant Coach John Stralka, Avery Vivian, Kim Pierce, Lauren Vitiello, Courtney Bosteder, Kelly Coleman, Rae Bosteder and Assistant Coach Marsha Vitiello. Courtesy Photo

Mind, body, spirit

Sandra and Alexander Gale have found success on the karate mats. At the Junior Karate National Championships in Greenville, SC., Sandra won a silver medal in the 10-year-old female beginner kata and a bronze medal in 10-year-old female beginner kumite (sparring). Alexander won three bronze medals, in the 12-year-old male advanced open kumite, the 12-13-year-old male team kumite and the 12-13-year-old male Elite kumite. Alex will also be on the USA Elite Kumite Team and will go to compete in Montreal at the Pan American Junior Karate Championships this month. Courtesy Photo

SGPD announces travel tryouts for baseball

The Sugar Grove Park District announces tryouts for the 2011 travel baseball program. Three teams will play under the banner of Kaneland Youth Travel Baseball in the 2011 season. The teams will be for players that are 11, 12, or 13 years old as of April 30, 2011.

These teams will play a competitive schedule in the Kane County Bronco League, with league games generally played during the week and tournaments on weekends.

The season runs from mid-April through July. Fees will be between $300-$400 per player depending upon fundraising efforts and the number of tournaments anticipated.

Tryouts for the 12U and 13U teams will be determined by team managers. Please contact the managers as listed below. Tryouts for the 11U team will be held on Field No. 2 at the Sugar Grove Sports Complex, located at the intersection of Dugan and Wheeler Roads according to the following schedule:
•Saturday, Aug. 7, 3 to 5 p.m.
•Saturday, Aug. 14, 9 to 11 a.m.
•Friday, Aug. 27, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

2011 Kaneland Youth Travel Baseball Team Managers:

11U team:
John Girolamo, (630) 466-0037,
12U team:
Bryan Williams, (630) 466-1904,
13U team:
Mark Conard, (630) 466-4531,

Elburn, Maple Park baseball tryout info

Elburn Express Travel Baseball has announced tryouts for the 2011 season.

All tryouts will be held at McNair Field in Elburn

(11U) Saturday, Aug. 14, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Sunday, August 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
(12U) Saturday Aug. 28, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 29, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
(13U) Saturday, Aug. 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon; Sunday Aug. 29, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
(14U) Saturday, Aug. 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.; Sunday Aug. 28, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

*** Tryouts are for all athletes residing within the Kaneland School District. For additional information, please go to the Express web site

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Maple Park Baseball League will hold tryouts for the 13U Boy’s Travel Team. This team will compete in the Kane County Bronco League during the 2011 season. The season runs from mid-April through July.

Fees will be between $300 and $400 per player. Players must be younger than 14 as of April 30, 2011. Tryouts will be held at the Maple Park Baseball Field on Saturday, Aug. 28, from 5:30 to7 p.m.

The goal of the Maple Park Travel program will be to develop fundamental skills while instilling a positive attitude and good sportsmanship in a competitive environment.

For more information, please contact Jeff Violett (815) 827-3664 or Tom O’Shea (815) 827-3810.

Express softball holding tryouts

Elburn Express Girls Softball has announced tryout dates for the 2011 season.

Friday, Aug. 6, (12U), 5 to 6 p.m.; (14U), 6 to 7 p.m.; (16U)7 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 7, (12U), 8 to 9:30 a.m.; (14U) 9:30 to 11 a.m.; (16U), 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Unlike Express Baseball, it is not required that you live within the Kaneland School District to participate.

For additional information, please go to the Express website baseball/ express.

Wasco Signup

Registration for 2010 Softball Fall Ball has begun. Players are welcome from all surrounding areas. All girls going into kindergarten through 12th grade are welcomed to register. Practices will start the week of Aug. 9 with games starting on Saturday, Aug. 21. The season will conclude in October with playoffs.

Games will be played on Saturdays only at Verhaeghe Field and Poyner Park. Register on-line or download a form from the website. Registration ends on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 5 p.m. and the cost in $99. After that time, all registrants will be wait-listed, and teams filled in as needed. For more information, e-mail


The Sugar Grove Purple Crush were the first-ever undefeated Majors team, going 17-0 in tournament games. The league includes teams from Elburn, Maple Park and Sugar Grove. Jake Harte (front row, left to right), Adam Rivas and Cameron Pieczynski; Chris Diehl (second row), Ryan Muckerheide and Matthew Perry; Tristan Kinder (third row), Ryan Jobe, Elias Flores, Ian Armesy, Andrew Lesak and Levon McCannon; Coach Tom Muckerheide (back row), Coach Marty Pieczynski, Coach Ron Vickers and Coach Pedro Rivas. Courtesy Photo

Wasco fall ball sign-up

Registration for 2010 fall ball will began July 1. Players are welcome from all surrounding areas.

Practices will start Monday, Aug. 9, with games starting Saturday, Aug. 21. The season will conclude in October with playoffs.

Games will be played on Saturdays only at the home fields at Verhaeghe Field and Poyner Park.

Register online or download a form from the website. Registration ends at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. After that time, all registrants will be wait-listed and teams filled in as needed. This year’s registration fee is $99. For more information, please e-mail

11U Elburn Express

The 11U Elburn Express team won the 11U Wheaton Red, White and Blue Classic Fourth of July Weekend. (Front, left to right) Jake Hed, Jeffrey Van Gemert, Richie Lappa, Preston Havis and Jake Hummel. (Middle) Jack Marshall, Josh Pollastrini, Brett Glennon, Clark Hendricks and Jordan Gurke. (Back) Coach Ross Davidson, Coach Tony Mitchell, Coach Scott Glennon, Coach Mike Pollastrini and Coach John Marshall. (Not pictured) Jack Weigand and Coach Kyle Davidson. Courtesy Photo

Major action

It’s a race to the bag for the Blue Thunder’s Jared Hagan as the Purple Crush won the Sugar Grove Majors championship on July 1 at the Sugar Grove Sports Complex, beating the Blue Thunder 15-11.
Photo by Mary Herra

Wasco Signup

Registration for 2010 Fall softball has begun. Players are welcome from all surrounding areas. Practices will start the week of Aug. 9 with games starting Saturday, Aug. 21. The season will conclude in October with playoffs. Games will be played on Saturdays at Verhaeghe Field and Poyner Park.

Register online or download a form from the website ( and the cost is $99. Registration ends Saturday, Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. After that time, all registrants will be wait listed and teams filled in as needed. If you have any questions, e-mail president@

Maple Park Outlaws

The Maple Park Outlaws 12U Travel team placed second in the DC Lightning Travel tournament on the weekend of June 12 in Cortland. (Front, left to right): Coach Andy Franklin, Justin Peterson, Zach Hurst, Adam Mish, Will Ring, Jack Coyle, Nick Mish and Drew Franklin. (Back) Coach Jim VanHorn, Jacob Violett, Jason Edwards, Coach Jeff Violett, Joe Laudont, Tanner VanHorn, Coach Tom O’Shea and Sean O’Shea. Courtesy Photo

Batter up

The Pythons’ Patrick Milton takes his swings during Saturday morning’s Instructional League Championship against the Shamrocks at the Elburn Community Center fields. The teams consisted of 7-8 year olds, with the Shamrocks claiming the crown after a 12-8 win. Photo by Mike Slodki

Geneva offers new Power Soccer Camp

GENEVA—The camp will be taught by Fox Valley’s own Bonnie Young, the former New York Power and Chicago Red Stars player.

Along with Bonnie, the camp staff includes current and former college players, licensed coaches and well-trained elite soccer players. At every level Fox Valley Soccer Club (FVSC) Power emphasizes development of the whole player concentrating on the Power Principles of excellence, desire, discipline and integrity while inspiring confidence, character and teamwork. Bring a soccer ball, water, shin guards, cleats and a sack lunch for extended camp players.

Ages 6-14— $150 residents and $160 non- residents at Persinger Recreation Center from Monday, July 26 through Thursday, July 29, from 9 am-noon.

Ages 11-14 Extended Camp—$225 residents and $235 for non-residents at Persinger Recreation Center from Monday, July 26 through Thursday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kane County Xplosion 16U Red wins tourney

County—The 16U-Red Kane County Xplosion team was in action over the weekend at the 25th Annual Oak Lawn Senior ASA/USSSA qualifying tournament. The Xplosion went 5-1 overall and captured the tournament title by defeating the Lisle Slammers 10-8 in the championship game. The Slammers came out playing small ball and held a commanding 8-0 lead early in the contest. Keeping in step with the wet weather, the Xplosion opened the flood gates and plated 6 runs in their half of the 5th inning. The Xplosion tightened their defense and plated another 4 runs in their half of the 6th inning.

Leah Valesh went 3-0 and Alexa Caputo went 2-0 in the circle for the Xplosion, with Valesh getting the complete game championship victory. For the weekend, Valesh had 8 hits, including 2 triples, Alysha Guy, Taylor Velazquez and Lauren Rhodes each had 7 hits, with Rhodes getting 3 doubles and 7 RBIs. Devin Turner lead the team with 3 stolen bases.

The tournament victory now qualifies the Xplosion 16U-Red team for the ASA Nationals in August.

The Xplosion are in action this weekend at the Elgin Sports Complex for the Northern Illinois Lightning Summer Bash Friday through Sunday.

The Old 97s

Kaneland Soccer Club’s U12 Knights 97 Black competed in the Peoria River City Classic June 18-20. They competed in the U13/U14 bracket going 1-1-2 and qualified for the Championship Game, where they lost in an overtime shootout. Maggie Bend (front). (First row) Becky Richtman, Kiandra Powell, Taylor Emigh, Bridgett Ransford, Lauren Ortiz and Olivia Galor. (Second row) Nicole Koczka, Sage Schlehofer, Ashley Crotteau and Taylor Zitkus. (Back) Asst. Coach Jenifer Chapman, Taylor Opperman, Vanessa Gould, Madison Gray, Emily Chapman, Heather Ortiz and Coach John Bend. Courtesy Photo

Crossroads approaching for Elburn Baseball & Softball

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—If area residents wish to be informed and involved with Elburn Baseball and Softball, there is no better time than now.

That’s because later might not be an option.

According to a letter sent out to all Elburn Baseball and Softball families, the organization, full of 34 teams and approximately 400 boys and girls, will be without many board positions as of July 20.

With appointed members’ kids aging out of the program after the current season ends in June, many will not be returning.

“Elburn Baseball & Softball has enough means, equipment, coaches and fields to have another successful season next year, but without any behind-the-scenes people, there will not be any baseball and softball in Elburn for 2011,” the letter from the board stateed.

It went on to say, “The few of us that are left have already made the decision to fold the league entirely for 2011 if we cannot get enough involvement by the community soon.”

The organization for the 2011 season would typically start in August or September.

“This is the most important time for people to know what’s going on, because it’s toward the end of our season,” Secretary Pete LaSalle said on Tuesday. “At the next meeting in July, maybe we’ll get some people volunteering and stepping up.”

Run with a regular skeleton crew of roughly 10, the organization will need a new president, vice president, field maintenance coordinator, concessions coordinator, registrar and arbiter, among others.

LaSalle and Treasurer Shanne Kuipers are the only board members scheduled to return for another season.

Besides board positions, volunteers are needed for positions in league technology, field maintenance, marketing, and baseball/softball operations.

“We’d still like to have a nice-sized league and have some younger parents of kids in that age brackets to see what the meetings about and get involved and stay for a couple years,” LaSalle said.

While the number of kids wouldn’t be a forseeable problem, without people at the top, summer’s landscape would look quite different without a community effort.

“Whatever job people volunteer for, it’s less that the board has to take on. Every little bit helps,” LaSalle said.

The meeting, set for the Elburn Library on Thursday, July 1, is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Feeder hoops programs sticking with what works

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For area basketball of any age to have a chance at success, you need not only players, but organization.

Such is the case with the Kaneland Silver Stars and Cagers, who continue to service the budding area players of middle school age.

Plus, with the Kaneland School District now able to retain middle school sports, there doesn’t have to be changes to the already successful status quo to the feeder programs.

Focusing on grades 5-8, the older SIlver Stars are coming off a record of 46-16. For those who like to finish seasonal action strong, the Silver Stars of the 8th grade variety finished a 15-game win streak and included tournament wins at South Elgin, Grayslake and Elk Grove Village.

Head coach Jeff Heimerdinger and brother-in-law Mark Hotwagner were at the helm for the team that hoops it up in the Neuqua Valley League in Naperville, where each team plays twice against other programs in the Naperville area.

“I think one of our competitor’s coaches summarized it best when he said ‘The Silver Stars are incredibly tough to play because every one of the girls were solid fundamentally and understood their roles’. We went through a development process in year one and then were able to key on strategy more this year because kids were more confident in the basics,” Heimerdinger said.

Although a feeder travel program, all kids must live in the Kaneland School District, allowing the potential future Lady Knights to play as a team for seasons on end.

“We operated under a very simple premise, be accountable to your teammates and represent the program to the best of your ability and with class. We stressed as long as they gave us their best, they could not do anything wrong,” Heimerdinger said.

Since the inception four years ago, Heimerdinger, whose daughter Emily suits up for both basketball and soccer at Kaneland, has noticed definite growth.

“The biggest changes I’ve witnessed in the four years of the program is that teams are now starting to recognize our club and acknowledge how competitive Kaneland is becoming,” Heimerdinger said.

Hotwagner has seen the progress of the girls for several years.

“The girls are growing up, they are able to improvise. You can only call so many plays for them,” Hotwagner said. “Their instincts improve, and the success of the team is breeding more success and confidence.”

“The girls in the program have talent, and they’ve bought into it and they know that they need to execute,” Hotwagner adds.

For the Cagers, board president and 8th grade coach Joe Spitzzeri has wanted to get the 5th through 8th grade boys hoops athletes to get as in touch with the “big” club as possible.

“We’ve had coach (Brian) Johnson come and help with practice drills, and we’ve been moving away from parent coaches for the higher levels and turning toward former Kaneland players to coach,” Spitzzeri said.

The “farm team”/big club connection doesn’t stop there, as the Cagers, now it its sixth year of draining shots, plays its games at KHS as part of the Greater Suburban Basketball Association, along with 75 other area programs. Last year, the Cagers pocketed three tournament championships.

“The whole idea is to learn the high school system and get players familiar with each other,” Spittzeri said.

With everything remaining status quo, one wonders what changes would have been put in place if the Kaneland Middle School sports were not saved.

“I believe it would have created more opportunity for a team like the Silver Stars. The cost is so minimal that parents would have encouraged their kids to participate because there would have been no other option,” Heimerdinger said.

“Our season wouldn’t start until the middle school season ended anyway, so as far as big changes, I can’t really see any,’ Spittzeri said.

That leaves the young basketball talent to worry about what they do on the court, which looks to add on to their organizational success.

Get in on KYSO

Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization (KYSO) is holding its fall on line open registration now through July 26th. A late registration period (with additional $20 fee) begins June 27 and ends July 5.

The fall season begins Aug. 21 through Oct. 23 for children ages 4 to 17.

To register online, visit

The cost is $75 for the first child, $70 for the second from a family.

Top Soccer for special needs players ages 5 to 16 is $25 per child.

Please note that KYSO is establishing a volunteer fee in the fall. Please plan to pay this fee along with your registration fee. We request one volunteer fee per family. Upon completion of your volunteer activities your $20 fee will be refunded to you.

All KYSO practices and games are held at the fields located just to the east of Kaneland High School (47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park).

If you are a serious soccer player, join in at the Crusader Soccer Club Tryouts which will be held Tuesday, June 1 and Wednesday, June 2.

Wasco Fastpitch has openings

Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball has a few openings left for 14U which is girls currently in grades seventh and eighth. WGFSL is a recreational softball league open to all area girls grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays so parents can attend and readily participate. Practice starts in April, and most games conclude late June/early July. Join the most respected and well-established leagues around.

Players may download a registration form at or call our hotline at (630) 513-1200.

Area girl excels in postseason wrestling

The United States Girls Wrestling Association held its 9th Annual Girls State Wrestling Association Championships on March 21 at Sandwich High School.

The area had some successful representation with third-grader Marissa Vanik of John Shields taking third place in her division. Wrestling for Knights Youth Wrestling during the regular season, Vanik defeated Aurora’s Andrea Aguuire in the third-place match.

The USGWA National Championships will be at Eastern Michigan University, April 3-4.

Ragin’ Cagers

The Kaneland Cagers 6th grade team won the 2010 Rochelle Shoot Out basketball tournament Feb 20 and 21. The Cagers reeled off 4 straight wins in bracket play Sunday defeating Richmond-Burton, DeKalb, Genoa and Burlington Central in the championship game by the score 23-12. Bottom row: Brett Hansen, Jake Marczuk, Tanner Robertson. Middle row: Ryan David, Austin Kintz, Noah Jones, Ross Cortino, Jake Gomes, Tanner Van Horn, Dylan Vaca, Mitchel Groen, Jason Edwards, Coach Dan Marr. Top row: Coach Eric Wicklund. Courtesy Photo

Silver Stardom

Quickly getting used to the idea of tournament wins, the 8th Grade Kaneland Silver Stars are shown here after conquering the Storm Chasers Classic Tournament at South Elgin High School on Saturday and Sunday. The unblemished tourney champs dusted off feeder teams from Willowbrook, Schaumburg, Palatine and Glenbard West. The Silver Stars also took the championship mantle at the President’s Day Shootout at Elk Grove High School Feb. 13-14. Shown here are: front row, left to right: Amber Winquist-Bailey, Caroline Heimerdinger, Jessica Jablonski, Jennifer Alderman, Sydney Strang. Back row (left to right): Coach Mark Hotwagner, Marina Shaefer, Alyssa Andersen, Brittany Kemp, Sarah Childers, Maddie Hester, Coach Jeff Heimerdinger. Courtesy Photo

Heiss honored by W. Aurora

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College’s long-time head men’s basketball coach Dave Heiss was recently honored by his alma mater, West Aurora High School.

Heiss was inducted into the Blackhawks’ Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior to their varsity boys’ basketball game against Glenbard East on Saturday, Feb. 20. Heiss, currently in his 24th season leading the Chiefs’ basketball program, was one of five people selected to the 2010 class of inductees. Among those joining Heiss was Carol Bell, wife of Waubonsee cross country and men’s tennis coach, John Bell.

In 1980, Heiss was an All-Upstate Eight Conference performer for the Blackhawks when his team finished third in the state. He went on to play at Eastern Wyoming Junior College, where he led the NJCAA Region IX in scoring as a sophomore. Heiss then transferred to Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where he was All-Northern Sun Conference his final two years. Heiss was invited to the Utah Jazz rookie and free agent camp in 1986 and played for the Jazz’ rookie team in the Pro-Am League that summer.

Heiss began coaching the Chiefs in 1986 and has built the program into a perennial power. He led Waubonsee to 480 victories in his coaching career, including this season’s squad, which is currently 21-8 overall heading into the post-season. Under his guidance, the Chiefs have won 20 or more games a dozen times, and tallied 19 wins on four other occasions. His squads have won nine Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) titles with 55 of his players being named All-Conference, including eight league MVP Awards. Heiss is also the ISCC’s all-time record holder for career wins with 216 and counting.

Off the court, Heiss earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Bemidji State and his master’s degree from Chicago State University in 1992. Heiss has been a full-time faculty member in Waubonsee’s Physical Education Department since 1992. He was instrumental in the establishment of Waubonsee’s S.T.A.R. program, an academic monitoring and tutoring program for student/athletes. The S.T.A.R. program was the first of its kind in Illinois at the community college level when it was begun in 1991, and has since served as the model for similar programs at colleges around the country. Additionally, Heiss has guided the Chiefs’ golf program for the last 18 years, orchestrating two Skyway Conference title winners and a Region IV crown, while helping 31 golfers reach All-Conference status. A life-long resident of Aurora, Heiss has three children, D.J., Danielle and Demi.

Elite VanBogaert

Elburn native and Rosary graduate Elyse VanBogaert recently became the 20th player in Loyola women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 point plateau, achieved on Feb. 4 against Youngstown St. VanBogaert is now 19th on the Lady Ramblers all-time list with 1,054 points.
Courtesy of Loyola Sports Information

Long makes Elmhurst women’s history

Updated Feb. 17, 2010 @ 8:10 a.m.

Lyndsie Long broke the Elmhurst College record last night at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. Read about it here.

by Mike Slodki
For four seasons now, Kaneland High School 2006 graduate Lyndsie Long has been knocking down jumpers at Elmhurst College.

Very soon, she could be knocking down history.

The senior majoring in physical education has four more regular season games remaining to break the all-time scoring record for the Bluejays (14-7, 7-3 Conference). Long, of Sugar Grove, has 1,695 career points and is 86 points away from breaking it.

Elmhurst also plays in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) postseason tournament later this month.

In a loss on Saturday at Illinois Wesleyan, Long put up 26 points. In a loss to Milliikin on Feb. 2, Long scored 29, and against Augustana, she scored 24. On Jan. 23, Long matched her career-high of 33 in a win over Wheaton.

Averaging 23.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, Long needs to average 21.5 points per game for the remainder of the season, something that she hopes will happen.

“I knew this record breaking was a possibility, but I wasn’t concerned about it because I just want my team to succeed and win games,” Long said. “My brother will text me with his calculations of how many more points I need and what I need to average each game for the rest of the season to break the record, so it’s always in the back of my mind. I just need to maintain my scoring average and it will all work itself out.”

The leading scorer in the CCIW, Long is the type of player whose gifts lend themselves to the scoring crown at Elmhurst.

“Lyndsie is a very smart player,” Elmhurst coach Tethnie Werner said. “Over her career, I can see how she has matured on the mental aspect of the game. Teams come in with the game plan to bump her on every screen, double her off the dribble and at the post area. Early on she would get frustrated and that would allow her game toget off but not anymore,” Elmhurst coach Tethnie Werner said.

With Long on a torrid pace for the second-place Bluejays, the No. 2 place holder on the Kaneland girls basketball list, doesn’t find her overall game changing that much, showing the key to record-breaking might be staying the player she currently is.

“I wouldn’t say I’m playing ‘differently’, but I’m coming to realize that this is my senior year and I only have a month or so left of basketball,” Long said. “This is helping me to push not only me but my teammates to be the best we can be. I don’t play any differently knowing that I’m close to breaking the school record. When it comes time for gametime my only focus is helping my team win that game.” 

A three-time all-CCIW selection, Long has also been named named CCIW Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on three occasions this season, and if the scoring honor comes her way, it will have happened to a special player.

“Her goal is to win the game no matter who scores. Lyndsie’s game has grown so much since her freshmen year,” Werner said. Lyndsie is a great person and worked extremely hard to put herself in this position.”

In the meantime, Long and the Bluejays prepare for a clash against the North Park University Vikings in Elmhurst on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m., marking the first of three regular season games remaining.

“This team is a group of girls that love each other on and off the court,” Long said. “However, basketball is a long season so every team will hit road bumps along the way.  We are a team that can get past those road bumps quickly, which is another reason why we have been successful.”

P.J. Fleck named wide receivers coach at Rutgers

Editor’s note: P.J. Fleck was a standout athlete for the Kaneland Knights in football, basketball and track from 1995-99.
PISCATAWAY, N.J.—Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano announced Thursday that P.J. Fleck has joined the Rutgers coaching staff as the wide receivers coach.

Fleck comes to Rutgers after three seasons as the wide receivers coach at his alma mater, Northern Illinois. Fleck also served as the Huskies’ recruiting coordinator last year.

“We are excited to have P.J. join our football family at Rutgers,” said Schiano. “He will fit in well on our staff and we look forward to having him and his family with us at Rutgers.”

A native of Sugar Grove, Ill., Fleck spent the last three seasons tutoring the Huskie wide receivers. Two of his 2008 receivers – Britt Davis and Matt Simon – signed free agent contracts with the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints, following their collegiate careers.

“I am extremely grateful and super excited for the opportunity Coach Schiano has given me and my family,” said Fleck. “I look forward to joining the Rutgers football family and the entire Scarlet Nation.”

A leader on Northern Illinois’ 2003 10-win team, Fleck began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2006. He worked with the Buckeye tight ends and wide receivers and assisted with the special teams in his one season in Columbus, which culminated in a trip to the BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz.

Fleck began his coaching career after two seasons as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. After signing with the 49ers as a free agent in 2004, he spent most of that season on the practice squad before making an appearance versus New England late in the year. He was placed on the injured reserve roster in 2005 before retiring from professional football in June 2006.

Fleck earned first-team All Mid-American Conference honors for Northern Illinois in 2003 while helping NIU to a 7-0 start that included upset victories over Maryland and Alabama. As a senior, he led the Huskies with 77 catches for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns, a reception total that still ranks second on the school’s single-season list.

Fleck still owns the school record for career punt returns (87), is second in punt return yards (716), ranks third in career catches (179) and is fourth in receiving yards (2,162). He was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior and was twice voted team captain by his teammates.

A 2004 graduate of Northern Illinois in elementary education, Fleck is married to the former Tracie Striebel. The couple has one son, Carter Joseph (C.J.).

Fleck and his wife annually host the P.J. Fleck “Live Your Dream” Football Camp that benefits the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation (Friends of Carra), Alapecia Foundation (Locks of Love), Coach Kill’s Cancer Fund and the P.J. Fleck Scholarship Fund.

Elburn Baseball and Softball parent meeting

In 2009, Elburn Baseball and Softball had 38 teams, six travel teams and its first-ever all-girls t-ball team. The organization is anticipating as big a turnout as last year’s 500-kid total.

Elburn Baseball & Softball is in need of new faces to fill some of the volunteer positions for the upcoming 2010 season. Any help that you or your family are willing to give benefits the kids in the program. All duties are important to the success of the 2010 season. Duties that do not get filled will not get done. Some positions can use more than one person.

Join EBS for a parent meeting on Monday, Jan.11, 2010, at 7 p.m. located at Lions Park in Elburn.

Wasco fastpitch signup

Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball will begin registration on January 1, 2010. WGFSL is a recreational softball league open to all area girls grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays so parents can attend and readily participate.

Practice starts in April and most games conclude late June/early July. Players may register on-line at or call our hotline at 630-513-1200 for a form. Registration concludes February 28, 2010. After that date, players will be wait listed. Fees are the same regardless of where you live no “out-of-district” fees. Space is limited. For more information, please visit our website at

Elburn Baseball and Softball parent meeting

In 2009, Elburn Baseball and Softball had 38 teams, six travel teams and its first-ever all-girls t-ball team. The organization is anticipating as big a turnout as last year’s 500-kid total.

Elburn Baseball & Softball is in need of new faces to fill some of the volunteer positions for the upcoming 2010 season. Any help that you or your family are willing to give benefits the kids in the program. All duties are important to the success of the 2010 season. Duties that do not get filled will not get done. Some positions can use more than one person.

Join EBS for a parent meeting on Monday, Jan.11, 2010 at 7 p.m. located at Lions Park in Elburn.