Category Archives: Fall Sports

KHS serves up the usual

Photo: Ryan Lawrence intercepts a pass in the first quarter. Photo by Patti Wilk

Rushing, D just the combination for 41-0 win at Streator
by Mike Slodki
STREATOR, Ill.—You’ll have to excuse the Kaneland Knights’ football squad for being defensive.

After all, that’s what worked on Friday night.

Traveling south on Route 23, the victory tour rested at Streator High School, where KHS was too much for the winless host Bulldogs in a 41-0 decision.

Kaneland set the tone on the ground and saw power rushes from Jesse Balluff (95 yards rushing), Nate Dyer and trackster-like speed from Dylan Nauert on separate touchdown runs, while the defense was physical and opportunistic—exemplified by a Ryan Lawrence interception return for a touchdown.

KHS made tracks with 287 yards rushing, with the Knight swarm allowing just 110 yards against its crossover foe from the Northern Illinois Big XII West division.

For Kaneland, the regular season win streak hit 23, while Streator’s opposite trajectory hit 22 on the loss streak after Friday.

KHS has now won 28 out of its last 30 contests.

Kaneland has not allowed a score since the final seconds of the win over Huntley on Aug. 31.

For the second week in a row, the running clock clicked in with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter, after Lawrence leaped in the air to grab an errant pass and weaved around blockers to convert on a 34-yard interception touchdown.

“I get a lot of practice with carrying the ball during practice,” Lawrence said. “With the mentality, I had to switch over quick from defense, and it wasn’t a hard task to do. With our defense setting up blocks, it made it so much easier.”

On the opening drive, the last six plays were all Jesse Balluff rushes on the 75-yard drive. It came to an end on a 10-yard scoring run with 8:14 left in the first.

When Streator came up empty on the next drive after a Lawrence sack on fourth down, Balluff scored again on a three-yard TD run that capped a 30-yard drive in six plays. The score made it 14-0 with 4:41 to go in the opening frame.

The next drive was pounded home when quarterback Drew David threw his lone TD pass of the night after escaping Bulldog pressure and hitting a diving Zack Martinelli on an 11-yard score. The conversion with :55 left in the first set the score at 21-0.

In the second quarter, Streator’s initial drive resulted in a punt, and Kaneland made them pay when Nauert turned on the afterburners for a 67-yard touchdown run down the Streator sideline for a 28-0 edge with 10:56 left in the first half.

Kaneland’s next drive in the quarter went four running plays, with Dyer powering in from the three, for a 34-0 lead with 6:34 to go. Dyer originally set the score up on a 27-yard carry that busted up several Bulldog tackle attempts.

The score set in motion the Lawrence pick-six on the next drive, which was the first defensive score for KHS since a Taylor Andrews fumble return in 2010 against the visiting Sycamore Spartans.

“On that play, (Ben) Bradford got a nice shot on the quarterback as he threw it, and I knew no one was going to get Ryan,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Fedderly and company prepare for the NIB-12 East slate, beginning with the familiar rival Rochelle Hubs in Ogle County on Friday, Sept. 21.

KHS defeated the Hubs twice in 2011: 35-14 in Maple Park on Sept. 23, 2011, and a 20-14 Class 5A State quarterfinal win in Rochelle on Nov. 12, 2011.

“We’re going to play a really tough Rochelle team that we played in the quarterfinals,” Fedderly said. “It’s going to be like a playoff atmosphere and playoff football.”

Clean sweep: Kaneland trumps Ottawa on court

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a lucky 7 for KHS tennis last week.

On Sept. 12, the Lady Knights took care of the next Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent in the form of Ottawa, and left with a 7-0 sweep of their Lady Pirate foes.

Kaneland also defeated Ottawa in Maple Park last season by one match.

With Kaneland’s win over Morris on Tuesday, combined with a partial rain-out of the Lady Knights-vs-Oswego match earlier in the week, Kaneland’s dual mark is now 9-3.

Against Ottawa, No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman took charge against her opponent Maya Sakakibara, by a 6-1, 6-0 tally.

Moving back into singles action for the dual was No. 2 player Colleen Landers, who won over Carly Haywood 7-6, 6-2. Stephanie Karolewicz won her No. 3 battle over Symone Stewart, 6-1, 6-0.

Over in the doubles crowd, it was the reliable tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kayla Guenther and Molly Angell.

Jess Woodward and partner Sarah Grams took the No. 2 doubles win with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 result over Maria Cavanaugh and Bailey Bradish, and Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick won the No. 3 match with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 flair.

Also contributing to the cause was the team of Aly and Brooke Harner, who took a 6-3, 7-5 win in the extra match.

“This match was much closer than it looked,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “They have some pretty good players. I’m pleased to say that our girls executed the shots we needed today.”

The JV crew also took care of Ottawa in a 4-1 decision.

On Tuesday, Kaneland swept out Morris with a 5-0 victory.

Schrepferman won in a perfect 6-0, 6-0 match. Senior Sarah Grams won at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-2. Doubles action saw Jurcenko and Emmanouil win 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot. Jessica Woodward and Jennifer Bicos battled at No. 2 doubles for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win. Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 doubles.

Kaneland varsity tennis gets ready for the Rochelle Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22, the same meet that saw a first-place nod a year ago.

Soccer nabs first NIB-12 win of ’12

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—In Northern Illinois Big XII action, every win is of paramount importance on the soccer field.

That’s why it’s a good thing Kaneland got its first win out of the way.

On Thursday in Grundy County, the Knights broke a scoreless halftime tie with two goals in the second 40 minutes to come away with a 2-1 win over the up-and-coming Redskins.

The Knights improved their season tally to 7-1-2 (2-0-1 NIB-12) including Tuesday’s win over Rochelle.

After Morris got on the board first, it was two Kaneland goals in a relatively quick interval that sent KHS on its victory sprint.

Anthony Parillo got on the board with an unassisted try coming with nine minutes, 35 seconds remaining, and Ben Longston kicked the game winner with 5:32 to go on an assist from Kushstrim Ismaili.

KHS coach Scott Parillo felt his roster dealt with the early adversity quite well.

“At halftime we made some adjustments, made some runs and used the wind to our advantage,” Parillo said. “Anthony made a great steal in the box, made a couple of players and goalie miss and put the ball in the back of the net, and we had the momentum.”

In additional action, an Eli Alvarado goal helped the JV side earn a 1-0 win over Morris.

Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Rochelle saw the go-ahead goal come from Parillo off of an assist from Ismaili with 21:42 to go in the game. Rymarz scored the first Kaneland goal in the first half on a free kick with 4:42 left in the first half.

Biddle scored with 24:20 in the second half, with an assist from Gil.

The varsity Knights travel to Yorkville for a contest on Thursday, Sept. 20.

KHS nabs Morris in dual match

Kaneland—Kaneland defeated visiting Morris on Tuesday at Hughes Creek Golf Course, winning the varsity match 151-169.

The Knights were paced by dual medalist winners Matt Yonkovich and Luke Kreiter, who each put up 37 scores.

Connor Williams finished one stroke off the lead with a 38. Dan Miller was the fourth Knight to contribute to the team tally, finishing just two back off the lead with a score of 39.

Kaneland’s number-four score tied Morris’s number-one score.

In JV action, Kaneland defeated Morris by 23 strokes, 181-204.

Jeremy Faletto earned medalist honors with a 43. Jacob Sheehan finished two back with a 45. Zach Streyve scored 46 and Tori Guyton finished with a 47 to complete the Knight scoring.

Kaneland traveled to Jacobs High School on Wednesday in dual meet action, although results were not available at press time. The Knights travel to the Genoa Kingston Invite on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Lady Barbs victimize Kaneland volleyball

Photo: Kaneland volleyball captain Lauren Banberry (below) goes up against swarming DeKalb jumpers during the home varsity match on Thursday. Kaneland’s Lyndi Scholl (right) picks up a dig during the same match against DeKalb at Kaneland High School. Photos by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Over the past several years, Kaneland volleyball has made numerous strides.

But even a program that has amassed back-to-back 19-win seasons will still have its problems with fellow established clubs.

That was the case on Thursday with the Lady Knights ending up on the wrong side of a three-game loss.

DeKalb got the better of Kaneland in a 25-20, 26-28, 25-23 decision, which, when combined with Kaneland’s Tuesday win over Sycamore, brought the KHS tally for 2012 to 11-5, and 1-2 in the Northern Illinois Big XII race.

“We couldn’t close out both matches,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said of the DeKalb match. “We were up and lost in the end against DeKalb. (We) started out slow and lost in the end.”

There is still time to make headway in what Weimer thinks will be a tight NIB-12 group.

“DeKalb is generally pretty good. Sycamore, Morris and Yorkville are also doing very well. It’s a balanced conference this year,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knight effort was supplanted by Ellie Dunn with 10 kills and four blocks. Teammate Jenny Lubic supplied 18 assists on the evening, while Shayna Tucek had nine digs in the loss. KHS veteran Ashley Prost supplied eight kills of her own.

In other KHS-DeKalb volleyball action, the Lady Knight sophomores took home a 25-16, 25-15 win. The freshman “A” team completed a 25-19, 25-19 victory, while their “B” counterparts managed a 25-17, 25-20 win.

The Lady Knights defeated Sycamore in straight games, winning 25-12, 25-21.

The varsity crew faces the visiting Yorkville Lady Foxes on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Kaneland hosts 43rd Eddington Invite

Eddington Invite race schedule
(All races are 3 miles)

9 a.m. Girls Varsity Race
9:45 a.m. Boys Varsity Race
10:15 a.m.
Frosh-Soph Girls Race
10:45 a.m.
Frosh-Soph Boys Race
11:15 a.m.
Girls Open Race
11:45 a.m. Boys Open

KANELAND—One of Elburn’s oldest sports events, the Eddington Cross Country Invitational, will celebrate its 43rd edition this Saturday, Sept. 15, at Elburn Woods. Hosted by Kaneland High School, the meet commemorates the 25-year teaching and coaching career of Larry Eddington, a long-time Elburn resident who passed away suddenly in 1994.

Still an icon within the Kaneland School District, Eddington chaired the high school’s social studies and English departments and served as president of the Kaneland Education Association, while also coaching boys’ cross country, basketball, and track and field. His teams enjoyed success at the state level, winning the IHSA Class A State Cross Country title in 1987 and countless other awards and championships.

In 1982, Eddington was named “Kane County Educator of the Year.” Over the course of his coaching career, he was honored as “Illinois Cross Country Coach of the Year” three times. He was inducted into the Kaneland School District’s Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his years of hard work and loyalty to Kaneland High School, where the “Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength” is awarded annually by the school’s Athletic Department.

Eddington was an outstanding cross country runner, and track and field athlete at East Aurora High School and at Western Illinois University, where he prepared to pursue his goal of becoming a high school teacher and coach. His legacy is continued by former Knight runner Chad Clarey, who now coaches the Kaneland boys cross country team, and by former teaching colleague Doug Ecker, who coaches the girls team. Larry’s son Mark is the race director for the annual Elburn Days 5K and Mile Run.

At the 2012 Eddington Cross Country Invitational, the 21-team field includes seven girls teams who won their conference championship last fall and four teams that advanced to the State AA and AAA State Championships. Individually, eight individuals in the varsity girls race had performances on the track last spring that earned them “National Elite” designation by ESPNHS.com. Among the returners are Crystal Lake Central and sophomore Sami Staples, a 4:56/10:46 miler/2-miler on the track last spring, who are the defending Eddington Invitational varsity girls team and individual champions.

The boys’ varsity field includes four teams that advanced to the State AA and AAA Championships last fall, three individuals whose performances on the track last spring earned them “National Elite” designation by ESPN.com, and six others who received “State Elite” designation.

The host Kaneland boys’ team is led by junior Kyle Carter, who had a breakout track season last spring running 4:32 and 2:01 for the mile and 800. He is followed by seniors Conor Johnson, Brandon Huber, John Meisenger, and juniors Ryan Bower and Luis Acosta. The Knights placed 15th last fall in the IHSA AA State Championships and have won their first two triangular meets of the season with ease.

The Kaneland girls’ team is led sophomore Victoria Clinton who was the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Champion last year as a freshman and placed ninth individually at the state meet. She is backed by sophomore Aislinn Lodwig, seniors Abby Dodis, Maggie Brundige, Amanda Lesak and Ashley Castellanos, and junior Sydney Strang. The Lady Knights placed eighth last fall in the IHSA AA State Championships and have also notched lop-sided wins in their first two triangular meets of the season.

They are ranked No. 3 in the latest State AA girls team poll by Illinois Prep Harrier, behind Crystal Lake Central and Yorkville.

For Saturday’s Eddington Invitational, Elburn Woods has only enough parking to accommodate participating teams and the meet staff, so spectators are to park at Kaneland High School, where three shuttle buses will ferry them every 10 minutes to the Forest Preserve, which is only about five minutes away.

Demolition Knight

Photo: Running back Jesse Balluff heads for the end zone for a score during the first quarter of Kaneland’s 42-0 home victory against Sterling on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

Kaneland dominates on both sides of ball in 42-0 rout of Sterling
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland and Sterling’s football programs have had two highly anticipated and dramatic meetings in the last seven seasons.

The battle on Friday in Maple Park was no less anticipated, but maybe less dramatic.

A stifling rush defense and an all-cylinders offense paved the way for a 42-0 win over the visiting and AP-ranked Golden Warriors, raising the Kaneland season mark to 3-0. Sterling fell to 2-1.

KHS saw its regular season win streak extend to 22. The Knights have now won 27 out of their last 29 overall contests.

“Sterling is a playoff-caliber team, and we thought it would be a playoff atmosphere,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We really wanted to be up and show that we are a good team.”

Quarterback Drew David employed the run at his disposal and was a modest six-of-10 for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Nate Dyer had 70 yards rushing.

Even before they both shared spots in the Northern Illinois Big XII, KHS and Sterling went toe-to-toe in playoff action in recent years.

The Knights and Golden Warriors battled in a 2006 Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game that saw KHS outlast Sterling in overtime, 52-45.

Two years later, Sterling earned a 23-21 win in the first round of the playoffs.

The margin was wider in 2012, and the Knights got into the act early thanks to a 45-yard touchdown strike to Brandon Bishop for his first score of the still-new campaign for a 7-0 lead with 6:11 left in the first frame.

On the next possession, the Knights got mass yardage from Zack Martinelli for a 27-yard gain, and two plays later, running back Jesse Balluff plunged in from the two for a 14-0 lead with 4:11 to go in the first quarter.

The second quarter was more of the same, as a four-play drive from KHS mixed a little of pass and run and ended with a David touchdown run from the three-yard line with 10:16 to go in the second quarter for a 21-0 advantage.

After Sterling’s drive ended in a punt, Balluff, Dyer and David took turns carrying the ball until Dyer punched it in from the four for a 28-0 lead with 4:20 to go in the half.

On a fourth-and-20 from its own 36, a punt snap went awry and was recovered on the 13 by Cole Carlson. Four plays later, Bishop caught a touchdown pass from the seven-yard line on third down to make it 35-0 before halftime with 1:34 remaining.

The third quarter began with a long and sustained drive on the part of KHS. A 14-play drive concluded with a 22-yard TD run by Dyer, who navigated the holes enough to send the game onto a running clock.

It marks the first running clock achieved by Kaneland since a 56-14 win at LaSalle-Peru on Sept. 16, 2011.

It was that kind of day for Sterling football, and it was that kind of day for linebacker Gary Koehring, playing at a high level this year.

It was no different on Friday, as Koehring and the Knights allowed just 78 yards of offense, 45 in the first quarter.

“Our coaches put us in the right spots, and all we’ve got to do is study what they give us on film and hard work; that’s all we’ve got to do,” Koehring said. “I feel that I’m playing better and buying into what the coaches are saying.”

Up ahead for Kaneland is a trip to Streator High School on Friday, Sept. 14, which ends the crossover portion of the 2012 schedule.

Back to the win column

Photo: Kaneland’s Stephanie Zwick keeps her eyes on the ball during the varsity girl’s home match against Rochelle on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

Tennis rebounds with wins over Rosary, Rochelle
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A win over a Sycamore Spartans tennis squad is often a lot to ask.

Such was the case for the Lady Knights tennis crew on Thursday along Route 23.

After managing to exorcise demons left over from an unexpected loss to IMSA earlier last week, the Lady Knights were able to secure a convincing win after a trip to LaSalle-Peru High School for an East-West crossover battle on Sept. 5.

Additional action saw KHS beat Rosary in Aurora by a 5-2 final, while Rochelle was defeated by host KHS on Tuesday in a 6-0 final.

Kaneland’s tally in dual action sits at 7-3.

The Lady Knights were slightly better, at 8-2, after 10 meets in 2011.

On the Sycamore grounds, KHS lost by a score of 3-2. After getting swept on the singles side, doubles victories came via No. 1 team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil in a 6-2, 6-1 encounter, followed by senior leaders Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward at the No. 2 slots, 7-5, 7-6.

KHS coach Tim Larsen and crew tried to power through the setback.

“We lost to Sycamore and then had a really hard practice and switched the lineup a little bit,” Larsen said. “It was to try to get out of a couple of ruts, but there’s no question at the top of our lineup we’re playing really well.”

The JV troops managed a 4-1 win over their Spartan counterparts.

The day before, L-P was handled in a 5-0 manner. Top singles entry Sammie Schrepferman took a 6-1, 6-1 outing, while Colleen Landers won her No. 2 action with a 7-6, 2-6, 11-9 barn-burner.

Jurcenko/Emmanouil won a straight 6-1, 6-2 meeting. The Bicos/Woodward unit took a three-set win, 6-2, 2-6, 10-4. Capping the wins were Sarah Grams and Aly Harner, winning the No. 3 clash with a 6-1, 6-3 showing.

Meanwhile, the JV entries got the best of their Lady Cav counterparts, 5-0.

Against Rosary, Kaneland sported a rearranged lineup and saw two-set wins from Schrepferman, new No. 2 Stephanie Zwick and a three-set victory from Grams at the No. 3 spot.

Jurceno/Emmanouil and Landers/Stephanie Karolewicz (No. 3) took home wins.

In the Lady Knights-Lady Hubs duel on Tuesday in Maple Park, the home team saw wins from Schrepferman (6-0, 6-0) and Zwick in three sets.

Schrepferman feels that she has stood racket to racket with some formidable competition in 2012.

“I feel like I’m playing a lot better from last year,” Schrepferman said. “When it’s not going well, it’s usually unforced errors on my part.”

On the horizon for Kaneland is a trip to Yorkville on Saturday, Sept. 15.

High-end showing for girls XC

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Despite a long drive up Route 47, the Lady Knights girls cross country unit shook off the effects and left all but one roster in its wake on Saturday.

For the 36th annual Wauconda Invite, Kaneland finished second out of 24 teams with 111 team points, second only to Crystal Lake Central’s 86.

Kaneland’s next closest foe was Mundelein High School with 126 points.

“The girls started their ‘invitational season’ on a positive note,” KHS head cross country coach Doug Ecker said.

Lady Knight sophomore Victoria Clinton continued to run well in the first crowded invite of the season, with only 2011 State champ Sami Staples of CLC beating her out.

Clinton ran the course in 18 minutes, 11.58 seconds. Staples won the race in 18:08.12.

Freshman Brianna Bower continues to be a force to be reckoned with early in 2012 with a 21st place finish at 19:34.70.

“Brianna Bower continues to learn and improve with each race,” Ecker said.

Close behind was teammate Abby Dodis in 28th with a time of 19:53.58, as well as fellow Lady Knight Maggie Brundige in 29th, just .02 behind.

Rounding out Kaneland High School’s top five was Amanda Lesak at 19:56.94, good for 31st.

Ecker thought it was a positive start to the slew of weekend invites ahead and pointed out yet more KHS athletes.

“All three seniors had strong races, and sophomore Jessica Kucera ran a PR of over a minute (20.09.69) and she continues to build on her successful track season last year,” Ecker said.

KHS girls cross country heads to very familiar territory: Elburn Woods for the annual Eddington Invite this Saturday, Sept. 15.

Knight runners excel at Peoria

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—One can only hope this past Saturday was a preview for bigger things down the course.

At Peoria High School’s First to the Finish race on Saturday, featuring the best Class 2A has to offer at Detweiller Park, the Knights ran away with a third-place nod.

With 184 team points, the Knights set a new high-water mark for the Peoria meet, after finishing fourth five years ago.

“The boys took advantage of great weather and fast competition to net a third-place finish,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said. “Our pack split of 56 seconds (one through five) was a major factor in the team’s top five showing.”

Northern Illinois Big XII rival Yorkville’s 88 was tops out of 45 schools, followed by Normal U-High’s 119.

Kyle Carter was the flag-bearer for the Knight roster, finishing 10th overall with a time of 15 minutes, 23 seconds—setting a KHS record for the course, and also beating his own 2011 State race time by 22 seconds.

Next for KHS was Conor Johnson, who finished 30th with a time of 15:51, clipping his own state time by nine seconds.

John Meisinger was 40th with a time of 16:05, followed by Ryan Bower with a time of 16:08 (45th place).

KHS coach Chad Clarey was pleased with the 56 second pack split, and the Knights’ depth.

“John Meisinger and Ryan Bower each looked very strong,” Clarey said. “Another major key to our day was Luis Acosta. (He) ran nearly 30 seconds faster than his 2011 State time, and looks like a seasoned veteran.”

Acosta finished 59th at 16:19.

Ahead for KHS is the storied Eddington Invite at Elburn Woods on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Goal barrage lifts KHS

Photo: Ben Longson (14) shoots the ball past the IMSA goalie during Kaneland’s home victory on Thursday afternoon. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

KANELAND—No matter the competition, it looks like Kaneland is getting used to performing at a certain level.

No longer a pushover against teams like Geneva and handling its other current rivals, the Knights continued their season with a 9-1 win against Illinois Math and Science Academy in Maple Park on Thursday before playing to a 0-0 tie against DeKalb on Tuesday.

Kaneland is now 3-1-3 on the season.

Against IMSA, the first 40 minutes could have been called “The Anthony Parillo Show” as the Knight asset garnered four goals in the first 25 minutes of play.

The only goal the KHS crew would need came two minutes, 11 seconds into play on an assist from Arsim Azemi.

Parillo then assisted Tyler Siebert on the second goal 31 seconds later for a 2-0 edge. Parillo was then fed by Siebert for the third goal with 35:26 go play in the first half. A hat trick was then completed on a feed from Alec Koczka with 29:29 left in the half.

Kushstrim Ismaili and Parillo scored the next two times, with Azemi capping the deluge on a free kick with 10:21 left in the half.

Ismaili would complete his own hat trick on two second-half goals: one with 30:41 left on an assist from Ivan Bohorquez and the last with 2:21 remaining.

The JV squad also had a productive day, winning 8-0 over IMSA.

Tuesday’s conference opener against DeKalb concluded with a 0-0 tie. The sophomore unit fell 1-0, and the freshman squad came through for the Knights’ program with a 4-0 victory.

Felipe Speraggi led the way with two goals and an assist. Cameron Pieczynski added a goal and an assist. Alex Mendoza contributed a goal, while additional assists came from Tristan Powell and Tim Watcher.

Northern Illinois Big XII action continues with a trip to the Morris Redskins’ home pitch on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Knights win handily on links vs H-BR

Photo: Kaneland’s Stephen McCracken watches teammate Josh Kilgore putt during their varsity home match against Sycamore at Hughes Creek on Tuesday. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Hughes Creek was the site of a handy dual win for Knights golf on Sept. 5.

Facing Little Ten Conference representative Hinckley-Big Rock, the Knights used a consistent scorecard to vanquish the Royals by a final of 161-192 under clear skies.

The Knights also played Tuesday, losing to rival Sycamore 157-166.

Kaneland is now 4-3 in dual action in 2012.

It was last year’s postseason torchbearer junior Matt Yonkovich leading the way last week with a solid 38, followed by Brody Kuhar, Sean Glennon and Connor Williams with tallies of 41.

“It’s a good feeling to be competitive,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said. “It’s against everyone we play against. It’s never fun to lose, but then again, you can only play against the course.”

Golfers like Yonkovich hope to play quite well against every course, and he is encouraged by the level of recent play.

“We’ve been playing really good lately, and I think the way we’ve been playing will get us through the season. My putting has been really good lately, and I’ve been making almost everything,” Yonkovich said.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, sees the golfers host Morris at Hughes Creek.

Movin’ right along

Kaneland serves up sweep to Streator
KANELAND—Kaneland High School volleyball can’t play Streator every week, so it was best to make the most of its battle with the Lady Bulldogs on Thursday.

Make the best of it they did, with a sweep of the Northern Illinois Big XII West Division rival, 25-9, 27-25.

The sweep in Streator, in addition to a second-place showing at the usual Bartlett Tournament stop this past Saturday and a win at Morris on Tuesday, sets the Lady Knights’ early-season mark at a proficient 10-4.

Contributions were plenty for Kaneland last Thursday, notable by Ellie Dunn with nine kills, Lyndi Scholl with seven kills and Lauren Banbury with two kills and two blocks.

Teammates Jenny Lubic had 20 assists and two aces, while Ashley Prost and Shayna Tucek combined for 15 digs.

Adding to the sweep-fest were the sophomores that won 25-10, 25-5, the freshman “A” team that won 25-15, 25-12, and the “B” squad in a 25-12, 25-14 win.

In Bartlett, the Lady Knights took four wins on the afternoon, with the only loss coming to the only team better than them on that day: West Chicago.

KHS handed the Fenton Lady Bison a three-game loss by a final of 25-14, 23-25, 15-8, and the hosts a 25-20, 25-9 setback.

The next batch of wins occurred against Dundee-Crown High School in a 25-12, 25-4 turn of events, before the Lady Knights took care of Rockford Lutheran, 25-18, 25-21.

The invite championship went the Wildcats’ way at the end of the line, with the Lady Knights dropping a 25-18, 25-17 matchup.

Noteworthy performances tournament-wide were had in the form of Dunn’s 26 kills and 15 digs, Scholl’s 28 kills and 25 digs, and Prost’s 16 kills and eight aces.

Tuesday saw Kaneland’s return to the win column as they battled through a straight-game victory at Morris 26-24, 25-22.

Lubic led the way with 13 assists and four digs. Shayna Tucek contributed 18 digs. Dunn had seven kills and four blocks, Lyndi Scholl put up five kills and two aces, Lauren Banbury added four kills and two blocks, and Keri Green tallied two kills and four blocks.

The Lady Knights battle the incoming DeKalb Barbs program on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Offense name of the game in Knights win

Photo: Dylan Nauert comes down with the ball from a pass by Drew David in the first quarter. Kaneland went on the road to beat Huntley 52-35. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland improves to 2-0 after enduring furious Huntley rally
by Mike Slodki
HUNTLEY—It’s not one quarter of football, but rather four.

Once again, the Kaneland Knights football team had to endure a string of successful drives by the opposition.

Unlike Week 1, the Knights maintained the lead the entire way and saw their lead grow from a one-score situation in a 52-35 win at Huntley High School on Friday.

While the Red Raiders closed a 35-7 halftime chasm to 35-28 in the third quarter, the Knights’ offensive unit clicked despite three turnovers.

An air assault highlighted by junior quarterback Drew David’s four touchdowns and 348 yards passing, plus three touchdowns by wideout Zack Martinelli, helped withstand the Huntley comeback.

KHS coach Tom Fedderly was eager to see his Knights on the gridiron after their opening game in Chicago the previous Saturday.

“These kids have a lot of pride,” Fedderly said. “We had a great week of practice and tried to correct some things. Obviously, there are things we’ve got to improve on. I’m really happy with our first half.”

That first half started with a bang as David executed a flawless ball fake and ran 40 yards for a touchdown for a 7-0 lead just one minute, 23 seconds into the contest.

David later found Dylan Nauert for a 10-yard scoring strike with 7:18 remaining in the first for a 14-0 edge.

A Huntley drive accented the run with an eight-play, 80-yard drive ending on a four-yard QB keeper by Kam Sallee to make it 14-7 with 3:51 to go in the first.

It took just five plays for KHS to respond, this time in the form of a five-yard touchdown pass to Martinelli with 1:03 to go for a 21-7 lead.

The David-to-Martinelli connection hit paydirt twice more in the second quarter. A 10-yard TD with 6:29 to go made it 28-7, while a 12-yard score with 2:07 closed the first-half scoring and increased the margin to four touchdowns.

Huntley roared out of the gates in the third quarter, capping an opening drive with a 28-yard TD pass to Bryce Beschomer with 9:07 to go to make it 35-14.

The Red Raiders then converted two consecutive drive-killing interceptions to touchdowns on their end. Sallee ran it in from 19 yards to close to within 35-20 with 7:40 remaining, and Jake Lackovic caught a 23-yard pass for a touchdown with 4:45 to go, with the two-point try setting the score at 35-28.

KHS brought the momentum back by finding the end zone thanks to a one-yard plunge by goal-line option Nate Dyer with 9:31 left for a 42-28 lead. Matt Rodriguez’ 24-yard field goal gave KHS a three-score lead at 45-28 with 6:27 remaining.

Dyer’s nine-yard touchdown witha 3:06 to play made it 52-28 before a late Huntley TD set the final tally.

Kaneland’s many heroes included David, who also paced the ground game with 98 yards, Kyle Pollastrini with 120 yards receiving, and Martinelli.

Martinelli was reminded of a previous encounter that involved holding on to a big lead.

“It reminded me of Morris (Week 9 in 2011) where I was like ‘not again,’” Martinelli said. “We played three great quarters, and now we have to bring up that third quarter.”

KHS plays its home opener on Friday, Sept. 7, against Northern Illinois Big XII school Sterling. This will be the first meeting since November 2008, in which Sterling ousted Kaneland in a first-round playoff game.

Lady Knights successfully court win vs. DeKalb

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a lineup firmly in place, there’s no telling what Kaneland’s tennis squad is capable of.

Just ask them, or visiting DeKalb.

The Lady Knights took it to their Northern Illinois Big XII sisters in dual action on Thursday by a final clip of 4-1.

Following Tuesday’s loss to IMSA, Kaneland’s mark is now 4-2 through six head-to-head battles.

Sophomore Sammie Schrepferman continues to impress and handled herself accordingly in a No. 1 singles win, 6-1, 6-0, over DeKalb’s Taylor Volk.

It was the doubles category that gave Kaneland the lengths it needed for victory.

Sophs Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil won their match in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep, and seniors Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward took the No. 2 doubles match in a 6-1, 6-2 affair. Capping the victory was the senior No. 3 duo of Sarah Grams and Aly Harner and their 6-2, 6-2 win.

“I’m proud of all the girls today—every one of them,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “(They) all hit great shots and represented Kaneland well today.”

The Lady Knights dropped a 5-2 Tuesday match with IMSA, garnering wins at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles.

“This is a tough loss,” Larsen said. “We could have won four matches for sure.”

Schrepferman came through with a 6-2, 6-1 win in singles play. Jurcenko and Emmanouil rebounded from a first set to come through 2-6, 6-2, 7-4.

“That No. 1 doubles match was fantastic, with four outstanding players,” Larsen said. “Madi (Jurcenko) and Jelly (Emmanouil) showed some serious resolve in that match.”

The JV unit also fell to IMSA on Tuesday, 6-1. The lone victory came at No. 3 singles with Shreya Jain winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.

Ahead for Kaneland tennis is a NIB-12 trip to rival Sycamore on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Girls XC impresses in Oregon

Photo: Jessica Kucera (left) and Maggie Brundige catch up to the West Chicago runners at the finish of the triangular meet with Wheaton Academy and West Chicago at Elburn Woods Aug. 28. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Lady Knights cross country is still getting into the swing of things in 2012, and their best way is to do it in stride.

On a windy Saturday in Oregon, Ill., the Kaneland unit excelled in a wide field on a day when no team scores were kept at the Oregon Invite.

The open race that was 70 runners strong had Kaneland boasting four of the top 10 runners.

While Bureau Valley High School’s Reagan Weidner took the individual mantle with a time of 19 minutes, 30.4 seconds on the three-mile course, Kaneland representation followed soon after.

Sophomore Victoria Clinton paved the way for her colors at 19:34.4 and second place, followed by freshman Brianna Bower at 19:54.1.

“The order is what I thought it might be,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “But they will not always finish in the same order in every meet. Victoria will most likely be the number-one runner most of the time, but the order among the others will change, as it should, if all the girls are healthy and running well.”

In fifth place, senior leader Abby Dodis managed a 20:17.3 time.

Fellow senior Amanda Lesak rounded out the immediate Kaneland charge with a time of 20:32 in ninth place.

Tuesday’s meet at home against visiting East Aurora and Yorkville saw the Lady Knights sweep through the competition on their way to a dual meet win, earning a best-possible 15 points. Yorkville placed second in the tri-meet, with 67 points, followed by East Aurora’s 94 points.

Clinton broke away from the pack and took first overall with a time of 20:01. Dodis took second with a time of 21:29, followed by Maggie Brundige (21:44), Brianna Bower (21:59), Lesak (22:42), Jessica Kucera (23:01), Aislinn Lodwig (23:17) and Sydney Strang (24:01), who completed the Kaneland domination.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a Saturday, Sept. 8, meet at the Wauconda Invite.

Knight XC tops East Aurora, Yorkville

Kaneland—For the second week in a row, Kaneland’s pack-running mentality proved successful as the Knights cross country team defeated both East Aurora and Yorkville at Elburn Woods on Tuesday.

“Training through another Tuesday meet, our team finished the day healthy, and to win was a bonus,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said. “Making the transition from summer training to the real thing has taken its toll on energy levels, and we have plenty of aches—just like every other team in the state.”

Kaneland’s 15 points were earned based on the Knights’ pack taking the top six spots. Led by Kyle Carter, who took first with a time of 16:51, the Knights’ lead group took first through sixth place, as well as ninth through 11th.

East Aurora finished second with 55 points, followed by Yorkville with 150.

Conor Johnson (17:15) came in second place, good for a 23-second personal best for the short season. Clarey said he has begun to emerge as a key leader on the team.

“It’s good to see him taking a lead role for the pack, being aggressive through mile one and maintaining speed the rest of the way,” Clarey said.

Ryan Bower (17:52), Luis Acosta (18:04), John Meisenger (18:12) and Brandon Hueber (18:13) completed the top six sweep.

A pair of East Aurora runners were sandwiched between the Knight runners, followed by the Kaneland trio of Ryan Paulson (18:50), Sean Spaetzel (19:03) and Matthew Rodway (19:05). Clarey pointed to Spaetzel, a freshman, as an example of the younger runners who are already making an impact on the team.

“Another standout performance came from freshman Sean Spaetzel, who ran his first three-mile race and wound up finishing in the top 10,” Clarey said.

The Knights run next at the First to the Finish Invitational at Peoria on Saturday, Sept. 8.

KHS tops H-BR

Kaneland—The Lady Knights volleyball team improved its record to 5-2 with a Tuesday win over Hinckley-Big Rock.

Kaneland won in straight games, 25-13, 25-11, and set a season record with nine aces.

“We did a great job of being aggressive at the net, along with solid D from the whole team,” head coach Todd Weimer said.

Elize Dunn led the team in kills with 11, to go along with one ace and four digs. Jenny Lubic collected 22 assists to lead the team by far, in addition to two aces and five digs. Lyndi Scholl added four kills and an ace, Lauren Banbury tallied six kills and two aces, Ashley Prost contributed with three kills, one ace and nine digs, and Rachel Clinton and Shayna Tucek combined for 11 digs to help lead the way.

The Lady Knights next travel to Streator for a Thursday, Sept. 6, contest.

Knights soccer blocks H-BR, ties Geneva

Photo: Kaneland’s Arsim Azemi comes face-to-face with the ball while being chased by a Geneva player. The teams fought to a 1-1 tie at Kaneland on Thursday, Aug. 30. Photo by John DiDonna

KHS has just 1 loss through 6 contest
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It looks like the Knights soccer team is an expert in playing close matches.

Outside of being on the wrong end of a rout in one match-up at Jacobs High School, the Kaneland group has made a living off of tight affairs.

It was no different this past week, as KHS traveled to Hinckley to take on the host H-BR Royals in a 2-1 win on Friday.

That was preceded by a 1-1 tie against visiting Geneva on Thursday.

Kaneland now sits at 3-1-2 on the year.

KHS and H-BR scored their goals in the first half. The two Knight goals came as a result of two Arsim Azemi corner kicks, finished by Ivan Bohorquez with 14:19 left in the first half, and 47 seconds later off the foot of Anthony Parillo.

The junior varsity crew enjoyed a 3-1 win over its Royal counterparts to cap the action.

Kaneland managed to tie Geneva, a school which has never lost to Kaneland but had begun the season with three straight losses.

After falling behind 1-0 early, a Kushstrim Ismaili rocket to the net on an assist from Sam Rymarz tied matters with 7:46 remaining in the first half.

Geneva had a real chance to find the lead until goalkeeper Marshall Farthing of Kaneland stonewalled a penalty kick attempt with 25 minutes remaining.

“When it goes down, you’ve got to get your mind into the zone,” Farthing said. “That’ll decide the game right there. If I missed that goal, that’d be a huge differential right there.”

KHS coach Scott Parillo was proud of the troops, despite the lack of a win.

“We definitely picked it up in the second half there,” Parillo said. “They know I wasn’t real thrilled with the way we played in the first half. That wasn’t Kaneland soccer, but we picked it up and we’re getting some guys back.”

The Knights continue action on Thursday, Sept. 6, against Illinois Math and Science Academy in Maple Park.

Golfers chip away at Sterling

KANELAND—While the journey last Thursday for Kaneland High School golf was west, the Knights’ fortunes went north after its Northern Illinois Big XII crossover battle.

A win over the host Sterling Golden Warriors at their home course improved the Knights overall dual record to 3-1 at this early juncture of the 2012 campaign. Tuesday’s close home loss to Wheaton Academy puts the Knights’ dual-meet record at 3-2 heading into Wednesday’s action, of which results were not available as of press time.

Competing at Emerald Hill Golf Club, the Knights used a top-end performance from its top four to emerge with a 153-158 edge.

Paced by co-medalist Matt Yonkovich’s clutch 36, it turns out the Kaneland roster needed every exceptional score.

In order to neutralize Sterling’s Andrew Blackburn’s score of 36, KHS also employed a 37 final score from Sean Glennon, as well as a 40 from both Brody Kuhar and Luke Kreiter.

Sterling also had additional totals from Trevor Sisson (39) and Austin Cook (40).

For the Knights, Jesse Denton also managed a 43, and teammate Connor Williams managed a 45.

In the frosh/soph meeting between the East and West Division institutions, it was Kaneland slamming Sterling by a wide 178-219 margin.

The underclass win was in large part due to Jeremy Faletto and his 43, along with Jacob Sheehan’s 44.

Tuesday saw the Knights lose a one-stroke nail-biter against visiting Wheaton Academy.

Kaneland’s Brody Kuhar came through with a big performance, earning medalist honors with a score of 35. Kreiter finished two strokes off the winning pace, with a 37. Yonkovich followed with a 38, and Williams and Denton each put up 40s for the day.

Kaneland also had play against Hinckley-Big Rock on Wednesday at Hughes Creek, followed by a Friday, Sept. 7, encounter with conference foe Yorkville in Kendall County.

Cutting it close

Photo: Wide receiver Dylan Nauert gets away from a Brooks tackler during Kaneland’s 25-24 road win on Saturday. Photo by Ryan Wells

Knights overcome slow start for 25-24 win
by Mike Slodki
CHICAGO—It wasn’t the start the Kaneland Knights football outfit wanted, but it’ll take the finish.

A late touchdown pass from junior quarterback Drew David to receiver Zack Martinelli with 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter capped the comeback mountain against Chicago’s Brooks Prep Eagles on Saturday for a 25-24 week 1 win.

The second-half flurry completed a 24-6 comeback over the vastly improved hosts at Gately Stadium, which lays a field goal away from Chicago State University.

It was 365 days earlier that Kaneland’s attack produced a running clock for the entire second half in a 44-0 rout over Brooks.

Saturday’s contest echoed last year’s 17-point comeback win in September 2011 at DeKalb, and was a mirror image of sorts to Montini Catholic’s late comeback over Kaneland in the Class 5A State semis.

Kaneland has now won 20 consecutive regular season games in a row, and 25 of its last 27.

The streak was in jeopardy often on Saturday, due to the offensive output from Brooks quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw and tailback Cleveland Clark. Brooks tallied 324 total yards.

“They were running sweeps outside and then started running some options, and we had problems with our option responsibility,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “In the second half, we made some adjustments and tried to bring a little heat from the outside.”

For Kaneland, David went 14-for-30 for 275 yards with two touchdown throws and a pick.

Martinelli caught six passes for 163 yards and two scores.

In the first quarter, Brooks hit paydirt first on its second drive, when Clark powered in from the one-yard line with 3:14 remaining for a 7-0 lead after a nine-play drive.

Dylan Nauert helped answer with a reception, and combined with a face mask penalty, the play netted 30 yards. Back Nate Dyer scored the first Knights touchdown of 2012 with a six-yard plunge, but Matt Rodriguez missed the point afterward to keep it 7-6 with :57 left.

Brooks continued to control the ball and clock in the following frame, and it led to a 21-yard field goal by Jesus Miranda with 5:12 to go in the second quarter for a 10-6 lead.

A Nauert touchdown pass was called back due to offsetting penalties, and the Knights were forced to punt.

Brooks made good on the new opportunity with a Clark five-yard touchdown run to make it 17-6 with :23 left in the half.

Bradshaw accounted for a 39-yard touchdown run on an option play to make it 24-6 with 4:32 to go, but Martinelli caught a 62-yard rainbow 12 seconds later to make it 24-13.

The fourth quarter started to shift the way of KHS, and after a Brooks punt, Nauert’s 48-yard catch brought the ball into Eagles territory. Nine plays later, Dyer’s two-yard touchdown run with 8:29 left closed the gap to within 24-19 after a missed two-point try.

Brooks punted again, allowing Kaneland to orchestrate its go-ahead drive. Martinelli grabbed a 29-yard slant pass to set up his touchdown reception that saw him juke a defender on a screen.

‘We’ve had a lot of hitches all week,” Martinelli said. “We’re coached to turn outside and I saw him turn inside.”

Martinelli knew the offensive side of the ball had to adjust in the final two quarters.

“I talked to Drew at halftime and told him it was just like DeKalb,” Martinelli said. “We’ve got to step it up and calm down. Once he calms down, Drew is probably one of the best quarterbacks in the state.”

Kaneland travels to Huntley High School to face the Red Raiders on Friday, Aug. 31. Kaneland has earned the upper hand in the last three meetings.

As a pack

KHS boys XC team takes 6 of top 7 spots in season opener
Kaneland—Pack running has long been the mantra of the Kaneland High School boys cross country team under head coach Chad Clarey. If the team’s performance in Tuesday’s season-opener is any indication of what to expect this year, the Knights will be just fine.

“We are happy with our first run on the home course,” Clarey said after Tuesday’s win over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy. “We clearly have a lot to work on, but this has a very good feel for the start of a strong campaign.”

The Knights took six of the top seven spots on their way to a 19-point team tally, taking first place by far in the three-team field. Wheaton Academy took second in the tri-meet with 53 points, followed by West Chicago with 108.

Kyle Carter took the top individual spot with a time of 16:39, well in front of the second-place finisher, Noah VanDyke of Wheaton Academy, who crossed the finish line at 17:24.

“Kyle Carter broke away from the pack and finished with our fastest course time for an opening night,” Clarey said.

The Kaneland pack closely followed, as Knights took spots three through seven. Connor Johnson finished third in 17:38, closely followed by John Meisinger (17:40), Louis Acosta (17:43), Ryan Bower (17:46), and Brandon Hueber (18:05).

“Johnson, Meisinger, Acosta and Bower all were within eight seconds of each other. We’ll take that any day of the week,” Clarey said.

Nathaniel Kucera finished as the KHS seventh-man, placing 10th overall with a time of 18:56.

“Our boys opened the season with a very encouraging pack performance,” Clarey said. “We loved seeing them pair up and push through the hilly Elburn Woods course.

The Knights will host another tri-meet on Tuesday, Sept. 4, when East Aurora and Yorkville pay a visit to Elburn Woods.

Tennis overcomes early bump

Photo: The Kaneland varsity girls tennis team is off to a good start this year. Here, Senior Aly Harner serves during their home match against Belvidere on Aug. 23, which Kaneland won 4-3. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A win last week at West Chicago had Kaneland tennis on a smooth track early.

That was until the Lady Knights met up with Wheaton Academy on Aug. 22 in Maple Park.

A 5-2 dual loss was then overcome on Thursday in a 4-3 squeaker against the visiting Blue Thunder of Belvidere North.

Kaneland now has a 3-1 record in dual play, as the schedule gets busier.

In the 5-2 loss to the Lady Warriors, the lone wins were handled by No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman in a 7-5, one-set affair, and by No. 1 doubles tandem Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep.

Wheaton Academy also bested Kaneland JV action.

Against Belvidere North, singles wins were gathered by Schrepferman, 6-4, 6-3, and by No. 3 star Stephanie Zwick, who held her counterpart at bay, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, after Kaneland had already lost three matches.

Emmanouil and Jucenko took their match, 6-2, 6-0, while extra duo Colleen Landers and Kaylee Shoaff won the final match, 6-3, 6-1.

“Madi and Jelly played very good tennis and beat a couple of really good players,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Sammie struggled but kept her composure for a good win. The hero of the day was Stephanie Zwick.”

Monday’s action saw the Lady Knights sweep Glenbard North in a 7-0 home victory, with every match going Kaneland’s way in straight sets.

Schrepferman cruised to a No. 1 singles victory, 6-2, 6-0. Steph Karolewicz earner her first varsity win of the season, 6-1, 6-2. Zwick completed the singles side of the sweep with a 6-4, 6-3 win from the No. 3 spot.

In doubles action, Jurcenko and Emmanouil breezed through a 6-1, 6-0 match. Jennifer Bicos and Jessica Woodward battled for a tough straight-set victory, 6-3, 7-5. Colleen Landers and Sarah Grams earned a 6-2, 6-1 win, and Abby Meyer and Kaylee Shoaff completed the sweep with a 6-2, 7-6 win.

Tuesday’s contest hosting DeKalb High School was rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, and the Lady Knights will take on IMSA at home on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Lady Knights find top-half finish in Wheaton

Photo: Co-captain Lauren Banbury gets a shot through the block in their first match versus Montini, which Kaneland won 25-14 and 25-21. Photo by Patti Wilk

Banbury makes All-Tourney team
KANELAND—”Two out of three ain’t bad,” and in the case of Kaneland volleyball, it nets a fifth-place finish.

Setting off for more action after an initial split of two encounters last week, Kaneland finished with a respectable two out of three wins on Saturday at the Wheaton North Invite.

The Lady Knights record is 4-2 overall after a loss to Stagg, but wins over St. Viator, Wheaton North and Burlington Central.

Against the Palos Hills, Ill. outfit, Kaneland fell 25-22, 18-25, 25-20.

KHS won the next two battles, beating Arlington Heights, Ill. team St. Viator by a final of 25-12, 20-25, 25-22, and mastering the hosts 25-11, 25-19.

Accumulated statistics featured Lauren Banbury getting an All-Tournament team nod with 15 kills. Teammate Ashley Prost had 26 kills and 21 digs.

Ellie Dunn of Kaneland added 11 kills, while fellow Lady Knight Lyndi Scholl had 17 kills.

Kaneland weapon Jenny Lubic had 62 assists and 16 digs, and Metea Valley transfer Shayna Tucek had 51 digs.

Tuesday saw the Lady Knights defeat visiting Burlington Central High School in two games by identical 25-17 scores.

Lubic led the way with 21 assists and 13 digs.

The Lady Knights move on to Hinckley-Big Rock for a match on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Rebound

Knights top W. Aurora, DeKalb after loss to Marengo
KANELAND—Kaneland High School golf coach Mark Meyer knew his team wasn’t as deep as in years past, but believed the talent at the top could more than make up for any holes.

In the first several dual meets of 2012, that talent pool was enough for wins in two of three contests.

In Rochelle on Aug. 22, the Knights took a 157-174 win, before dropping a 174-179 matchup with host Marengo on Thursday.

On Friday at Orchard Valley GC in Aurora, Kaneland took care of the West Aurora Blackhawks in a close 161-167 affair.

Meyer was glad to see the events on West Aurora’s turf unfold.

“Golf is a game that depends heavily on confidence,” Meyer said. “I was glad that we had a match the day after Marengo, because we were able to put that performance behind us and regain some of our confidence.”

Against the Northern Illinois Big XII conference-sharing Hubs, the Knights saw top scores from medalist Connor Williams with a 36, Brody Kuhar and Luke Kreiter with a 39 and Matt Yonkovich with a 41.

Rochelle’s Brandon O’Rourke and Zach Pauser each had 42 for the Hubs.

JV action had Jesse Denton shoot a 42 to lead KHS to a 184-221 win.

On Thursday against Marengo, the Knights saw a 41 from Yonkovich and 45 from Williams and Kreiter.

Against the Blackhawks, the Knights were paced by co-medalist Williams’ 39, while Kuhar managed a 40.

The JV crew had a handy 181-219 win, in part to Jeremy Faletto’s 42.

Tuesday’s action against visiting DeKalb saw the Knights win 160-167, with Yonkovich earning medalist honors with a round of 36.

Thursday, Aug. 30, in Sterling sees the Knights have a NIB-12 crossover dual.

Soccer takes 2nd at Jacobs

Photo: Defender Sam Rymarz (top left) goes up to block a corner kick in the first half of Kaneland’s 4-1 road win at Marengo on Aug. 21. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights win 2 of 3 in Fox Valley area
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Jacobs High School’s tournament in Algonquin, Ill., usually provides a nice early-season test for Kaneland soccer.

Taking on three teams at the tournament, KHS finished with a passing grade.
With two wins and a loss, Kaneland is now 2-1-1 in 2012.

The hosts took it to the Knights on Friday by a 4-1 clip, but a rebound transpired with a 3-0 Saturday win over Crystal Lake Central and a 1-0 win in penalty kicks over Harvard soon after to clinch second place.

Against Jacobs, Kaneland fell behind 3-0 after the first 40 minutes, and even a Kushstrim Ismaili goal on a feed from Ben Longson with 28:42 left couldn’t undo the damage.

Kaneland got momentum on its side once Saturday hit, thanks to goals from Anthony Parillo (29:28), Ismaili (9:04) and Evan Bohorquez (8:15, second half) vs. Crystal Lake Central.

The uplifting conclusion to the round-robin affair happened after a scoreless regulation against the Hornets. Kaneland’s 5-4 edge in penalty kicks was the difference in match played without the benefit of six Knights due to injury.

“I would say that we did as well as we could with the injuries we have had early in season,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The Jacobs game was a less than stellar effort but we regrouped on Saturday and played a little better. I want to see how we play when we are at full strength.We have been practicing PK’s all season and it paid off.”

Kaneland battles former Western Sun Conference rival Geneva in Maple Park on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Front-loaded

Lady Knight XC opens season with win by taking 4 of 5 top spots

Kaneland—Kaneland High School’s girls cross country team on Tuesday started its season on the right foot, earning a victory in a tri-meet over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday.

The Lady Knights took four of the top five spots in the meet on their way to a 28-point team total. West Chicago took second with 43 points, followed by Wheaton Academy’s 57 points.

Victoria Clinton was the top runner overall, leading the Lady Knights with a 15:01 time. Abby Dodis took third for Kaneland, with a time of 16:01. Brianna Bower earned fourth at 16:26, and Amanda Lesak closed out the overall top five with a time of 15:56.

Kaneland helped its cause with a pack of Lady Knights closing out their top seven as Jessica Kucera (17:22), Maggie Brundidge (17:25) and Catherine Deno (17:30) taking 15th through 17th place.

Kaneland will travel to the Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 1, with a 9:15 a.m. start.

Fabrizius signs with Kishwaukee College

Malta, Ill.—Kishwaukee College recently announced the signing of Kaneland High School graduate Grace Fabrizius to its volleyball team.

Fabrizius earned two varsity letters in volleyball at KHS. In 2011, she helped lead her team to earn second in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference. She earned an honorable mention in the NIB-12 in both her junior and senior years.

“Grace is a positive, hard-working player whom I had the privilege to coach against across the net for three years,” Kishwaukee volleyball head coach Stephanie Gooden said. “Grace is a smart attacker who can see the court and comes from a strong program at Kaneland High School. Grace will create a challenging atmosphere in our gym and help our team become stronger here at Kishwaukee College.”

Football Preview: Kaneland’s Got Talent

Photos: The Kaneland Knights varsity football team (right) hopes to keep its strong defense and improve over last year’s overall record of 21-1. The Knights lost a heartbreaker in last year’s IHSA semifinal 35-31 against Montini. Quarterback Drew David (below) will return to lead the team’s offense. File Photos

Knights’ football feels good about what 2012 holds
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For the second straight season, Kaneland football endured a heart-pounding postseason journey.

For the second straight season, Kaneland had its heart broken against visiting Montini Catholic in the Class 5A State semifinals.

But this Knights crew, behind sixth-year coach Tom Fedderly, looks to start a new journey, and have it go just a bit further.

In the early days of practice, Fedderly is feeling good about his crew that has gone undefeated in regular season play since an Oct. 16, 2009, overtime loss to Geneva, and has won 27 of its last 29 contests.

The Knights can take solace in the fact of having five all-Northern Illinois Big XII players coming back.

“A lot of guys are returning, including four offensive linemen, and that means we can spend more time on the little things,” Fedderly said.

“Obviously, when you look at our team coming back, we have a lot of people back but we have to replace Sean (Carter) and Quinn (Buschbacher), and I think we’ll have some kids that’ll do that,” Fedderly said. “We have our quarterback coming back, and he’s a smart kid.”

That smart kid, Drew David, went undefeated, commanding the vaunted spread offense as a sophomore, and continues in the steps of his three-year starting predecessor, Joe Camiliere.

David passed for 39 touchdowns in 2011 and spurred comebacks against teams like DeKalb and Belvidere.

“When you look at Joe’s sophomore year and Drew’s, it’s about the same. I think they had 10 picks each. This year, we hope to not have as many turnovers. We talk about that a lot. Drew’s a smart kid, and he’s not going to make the same mistake twice,” Fedderly said. “He’s a real competitor, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Jesse Balluff returns to bear the load of the ball-carrying in his junior season.

“Last year, we didn’t know what we had coming off the ACL,” Fedderly said of the running back who battled an injury prior to the start of last season. “As the year went on, he got stronger. We just want to continue the progress with him.”

Carter and Buschbacher leave for collegiate ball in Wisconsin, meaning it’s time for new blood.

“We’ve got Zack Martinelli back and Kyle Pollastrini back; both started last year. Tyler Slamans will be out at tight end. Dylan Nauert primarily played defense last year, but he’ll take Carter’s spot and Brandon Bishop comes up, too,” Fedderly said.

On the line, Alex Snyder returns from an exceptional freshman season, and Joe Komel joins the three other returnees—Shane Jorgensen, Drew Sharp and Zach Theis.

Linebacking crew members Ryan Lawrence, Kory Harner and Gary Koehring are expected to bring more all-conference honors and big hits in 2012.

The secondary needs to replace the opportunistic ball-hawking play of Jacob Razo.

Nauert, Harner, John Pruett and Tanner Andrews are looking for picks and hits in the defensive backfield, with Dan Goress and JR Vest fighting for a spot, as well.

Buschbacher’s exit leaves a return hole, but Martinelli and Bishop are projected to offset that need.

Matt Rodriguez will contribute his kicking and punting skills in 2012.

Kaneland looks to take care of tasks and will rely on not only its coaching staff on the sidelines, but on the field.

“We have experience and really smart kids. Getting to the semis last year, they got big-time experience in big games and I think these kids have their heads on straight,” Fedderly said.

The Knights’ quest begins on Saturday, Aug. 25, against host Brooks Prep at Gately Stadium in Chicago, while the first home game is Friday, Sept. 7, against Sterling.

Varsity Football Schedule
• Saturday, Aug. 25; 4 p.m.
At Gwendolyn Brooks
College Prep HS
• Friday, Aug. 31; 7:15 p.m.
At Huntley HS
• Friday, Sept. 7; 7:30 p.m.
Home vs. Sterling HS
• Friday, Sept. 14; 7:30 p.m.
At Streator High School
• Friday, Sept. 21; 7:30 p.m.
At Rochelle Township HS
• Friday, Sept. 28; 7:30 p.m.
Home vs. DeKalb HS
• Friday, Oct. 5; 7:30 p.m.
At Yorkville HS
• Friday, Oct. 12; 7:30 p.m.
Home vs. Sycamore HS
• Friday, Oct. 19; 7:30 p.m.
Home vs. Morris HS

Varsity roster Seniors
Kyle Pollastrini, WR/LB;
Zack Martinelli, WR/DB;
Blake Bradford, LB;
Ryan Lawrence, RB/LB;
Tanner Andrews, WR/DB;
Dan Goress, RB/LB;
Kory Harner, WR/DB;
Michael Kinder, TE/DE;
Zach Theis, OL/DL;
Caesar Estrada, OL/DL;
Nick Sharp, OL/DL;
Bradley Johnson, OL/DL
Juniors
Dan Evers, WR/DB;
JR Vest, DB;
Drew David, QB;
Gary Koehring, RB/LB;
Matt Rodriguez, K;
Brandon Bishop, WR/DB;
Tyler Slamans, TE/LB;
Tyler Carlson, QB/WR;
John Pruett, WR/DB;
Dylan Nauert, WR/LB;
Grant Wooten, WR/DB;
Jesse Balluff, RB/LB;
Nate Dyer, RB/LB;
Cole Carlson, LB;
Bryan Endrenal, OL/DL;
Justin Diddell, OL/DL;
Tom VanBogaert, TE/LB;
Sam Bower, OL/DL;
Joe Komel, OL/DL;
Shane Jorgensen, OL/DL;
Jaumaureo Phillips, OL/DL;
Evan Ortiz, OL/DL;
Alex Snyder, OL/DL
Sophomores
Connor Fedderly, WR/LB
Head coach
Tom Fedderly

Golf Preview: Familiar faces lead charge to the green

Photos: Junior Matt Yonkovich (right) concentrates before his putt during the varsity golf regional last year at The Highlands in Elgin. Brody Kuhar (below) drives onto the green during the 2011 Boys IHSA Golf Regional. File Photos

KHS golf looks to improve upon 8-4 dual meet finish a year ago
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—You’ll have to excuse seventh-year coach Mark Meyer for not approaching 2012 with trepidation.

Yes, the Knight golfers have to go into battle without their departed senior captain trio of Troy Krueger, Adam Grams and Zach Douglas.

But Meyer is confident that the remaining names jotted on the scorecard a year ago can achieve great heights this year.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Meyer said. “We may not be quite as deep, but we have a lot of talent at the top.”

Finishing 8-4 in dual competition and earning a fifth-place nod at the Northern Illinois Big XII meet a year ago, Meyer will count on a top five of seniors Luke Kreiter, Sean Glennon and Connor Williams, juniors Brody Kuhar and Matt Yonkovich.

Yonkovich was the lone individual to advance to sectionals in 2011 as a sophomore, shooting an 80 at regionals to help cap his first varsity year.

“Kuhar and Yonkovich came up with the two best averages on the team last season, they really stepped up their game. Luke is becoming a great golfer,” Meyer said.

While the lineup’s last spot has yet to be filled, the Knights will depend on a consistent score from everyone.

“We have three golfers that are capable of shooting low 70s. We’ll have to see about that last spot and that’ll help the depth, but we’re looking for consistent scores,” Meyer said.

The Knights won’t rest easy on the links with the beginning of the season already under their belt with meets in Plainfield and Geneva, and they look forward to the meet with Marengo on Thursday, Aug. 23.

“It can only help. A bad start won’t doom you, but a good start can help set expectations for you,” Meyer said.

Kaneland’s first home NIB-12 meet is with visiting DeKalb on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Golf season already underway
Kaneland High School golf has looked productive in its first couple of outings.

The team kicked off the KHS athletic season with a third-place finish in the Plainfield North Invite on Aug. 13. Its team-wide score of 314 was just behind Benet Academy’s 306 and Lockport’s 312. KHS finished just ahead of Marmion at 314 in the 16-team meet.

Kuhar earned the top morning for the Knights with a score of 75, which included a round of 37. Teammate Matt Yonkovich shot a 77 to prop Kaneland up in the 16-team invite.

Last Thursday at the Geneva Invite, the Knights took fourth with a total of 304. Marmion’s 288 accumulation was good for the win. Kuhar managed a 74 tally for 10th overall and best on the team.

Varsity roster
Seniors
Sean Glennon
Luke Kreiter
Stephen McCracken
Daniel Miller
Connor Williams
Juniors
Stephen Cannell
Joshua Kilgore
Brody Kuhar
Matthew Yonkovick
Sophomores
Dominick Cozzi
Jesse Denton
Jeremuy Faletto
Victoria Guyton
Sterling Matias
Cody Pitstick
Jacob Sheehan
Zachary Strayve
Julia VanGemert
CJ Wehrmann
Freshman
Drew Diffendahl
Head coach
Mark Meyer

Varsity Golf Schedule
• Monday, Aug. 13; 7 a.m.
At Plainfield North Invite
• Thursday, Aug. 16; 7:30 a.m.
At Geneva Invite
• Saturday, Aug. 18; 8 a.m.
At Lemont Invite
• Wednesday, Aug. 22; 4 p.m.
At Rochelle Twp HS
• Thursday, Aug. 23; 4 p.m.
At Marengo Comm HS
• Friday, Aug. 24; 4 p.m.
At W. Aurora High School
• Monday, Aug. 27; 2 p.m.
At 18-hole Quad at Mill Creek
• Tuesday, Aug. 28; 4 p.m.
Home vs. DeKalb High School
• Thursday, Aug. 30; 4 p.m.
At Sterling High School
• Tuesday, Sept. 4; 4 p.m.
Home vs. Wheaton Academy
• Wednesday, Sept. 5; 4 p.m.
Home vs. Hinckley-Big Rock HS
• Friday, Sept. 7; 4 p.m.
At Yorkville High School
• Saturday, Sept. 8; 8 a.m.
At Batavia Invite
• Tuesday, Sept. 11; 4 p.m.
Home vs. Sycamore High School
• Tuesday, Sept. 18; 4 p.m.
Home vs. Morris High School
• Wednesday, Sept. 19; 4:30 p.m.
At Jacobs High School
• Saturday, Sept. 22; 8 p.m.
At Genoa Kingston Invite
• Wednesday, Sept. 26; 8 a.m.
At NIB XII Conference

Boys Cross Country Preview: Making excellence familiar

Photo: Conor Johnson tries to create distance between himself and the field at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill. last year during the Class 2A State race. The 15th best boys’ cross country program is slated to return five of seven top runners in 2012. File photo

Cross country team looks to return to top-tier at state
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—One has to be considered a top-tier team in Class 2A after securing 15th place in the boys cross country finals a year ago.

But Kaneland won’t be satisfied.

Yet, while Kaneland looks to aim even higher this year, the program also has to see how to replace important losses.

Gone from the 2011 season’s top seven are Miki Marin and Clayton Brundige, but the remaining top five look to be a force to be reckoned with.

“The very bottom line for us is it’s a 12-week season,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said. “It’s a long campaign and there’s always a push by many different teams toward the end. We slowly progress our way toward the season.”

Kyle Carter came on strong as his sophomore season went on, and eventually put up top team numbers.

Carter’s 39th place finish could serve him well as a reminder of what’s possible.

“He had a great season last year. He ran a PR for the course at State, and he’s looking for more this year. He wants more out of himself and wants more out of this team,” Clarey said.

Also returning are senior leaders Conor Johnson, John Meisinger, Brandon Huber and junior Luis Acosta, all with pivotal postseason experience.

“Conor and John stand out right away. Both of them are working through some of those aches and pains. They’ve been in the program. This is their fourth year, and that experience makes a huge difference,” Clarey said.

Huber was touted as the most improved runner a year ago by Clarey, having run 16 minutes, 16 seconds at State.

‘We’re going to use our depth, and we’ve got a huge senior class,” Clarey said.

The sense of the moment allowed Kaneland to power through a stacked sectional hosted by Belvidere a year ago, and it will be a challenge to break through that upper class lineup.

The season opens at Elburn Woods on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with a meet against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.

Varsity roster
Seniors
Nick Albano
Conor Johnson
Bradley Kigyos
Joe Kuipers
John Meisenger
Nicholas Messina
Ryan Paulson
Joseph Pollastrini
Matthew Rodway
Christopher Wido

Juniors
Luis Acosta
Ryan Bower
Kyle Carter
Phillip Cutsinger
Nathaniel Kucera
Dylan Kuipers
Marcus Stott

Sophomores
Andrew Lesak
Brandon Park
Connor Pennington
Philip Rawers
James Walker

Freshmen
Aaron French
Alexander Gale
Joseph Kuchera
William Kuipers
Kyle Osborne
Sean Spaetzel
Ryan Weber

Head coach
Chad Clarey

Varsity Boys Cross Country Schedule
• Tuesday, Aug. 28; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. W. Acad., W. Chicago
• Tuesday, Sept. 4; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. E. Aurora, Yorkville
• Saturday, Sept. 8; 11 a.m.
At First to the
Finish Invite—Peoria
• Saturday, Sept. 15; 9 a.m.
Home—Eddington Meet
• Saturday, Sept. 22; 9 a.m.
At ACC Invite
• Saturday, Sept. 29; 9:30 a.m.
At Freeport Pretzel Invite
• Wednesday, Oct. 3; 4:15 p.m.
At Byron Handicap Invite
• Saturday, Oct. 6; 9 a.m.
At Sterling Invite
• Saturday, Oct. 13; 9 a.m.
at LaSalle Peru
NIB XII Conference