Category Archives: Fall Sports

Peoria next stop for Lady Knights cross-country

Photo: Maggie Brundige was fourth-best for the KHS on Saturday. Kaneland girls and boys are both headed to State for the first time since 1992. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
BELVIDERE, Ill.—All KHS coach Doug Ecker could have hoped for was a consistent and smart race by his girls cross country team.

That’s what happened, at the very least.

To compound the morning of sunny skies in Belvidere, Ill., at the home of the Bucs of NIC-10 fame, Kaneland’s 130-point, fourth-place total was good to send the entire team down to the State final at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill., this Saturday, Nov. 5.

Yorkville, at 67 points, was first, followed by Crystal Lake Central’s 70 and Dixon’s 113. DeKalb was the last team to qualify for Statehood with 140.

“I was really proud of them, and I thought they ran really well,” said Ecker on Saturday, who keyed the last half-mile as being integral to the Lady Knights’ success.

Now, after years of falling short entirely or sending an individual down to Peoria, Kaneland gets ready to load the bus.

A year ago, Jen Howland represented KHS in Peoria. Four years ago, it was Andie Strang qualifying in her freshman year.

CLC representative Sami Staples conquered the course with a time of 17:39.4.

DeKalb sophomore Kelsey Schrader, who was in the thick of things all season, finished second in 17:42.8.

For the Lady Knights’ attack, the charge was fronted by freshman Victoria Clinton’s 18 minute, 28.4 second charge.

Clinton, who took ninth in the crowded field, was always clear on what was needed for a successful race.

“I just knew I had to do the best for my team and be consistent, and I’ve tried to do that all season,” Clinton said.

Next in line was junior constant Abby Dodis, who finished 18th at 18:52.6.

Freshman Aislinn Lodwig took the third-best total for the Lady Knights, running in 19:04.5, 28th overall.

Junior Maggie Brundige was 37th, finishing in 19:18.5.

First-year cross-country entry Amanda Lesak was 41st at 19:24.4, and Ashley Castellanos was 71st at 19:48.8.

In 98th was Sydney Strang at 20:37.

Keeping the pack relatively close, the top four runners for Kaneland were just 50.1 seconds apart.

A year ago in the Class 2A finals, Peoria Notre Dame took the team crown, while Yorkville finished second, and Springfield took third.

Woodstock’s Kayla Beattie was first in 2010, at 16:22.

The girls’ race has a scheduled start time of 11 a.m.

‘One solid group’ gets to a better State

Photo: Kyle Carter (right) strides on Saturday, as he has done all season, as part of the State-bound Knight boys cross country squad. Photo by Mike Slodki

Fourth-place means 15th trip to State in 25 years
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In a loaded Class 2A sectional hosted by Belvidere High School, Knight boys cross country had quite the challenge ahead of it and quite the trail to conquer.

If qualifying for the State race in Peoria this weekend is any indication, Kaneland went above and beyond, qualifying as a team.

KHS finished Saturday with 208 team points, two points ahead of final qualifying team Grayslake Central.

Belvidere North, with junior star Tyler Yunk, was first with 60 points, and Yorkville was second with 89 points.

Crystal Lake Central was third with 129 points.

The productive showing marks an improvement over a year ago, with one Knight, Trevor Holm, qualifying in 2010. The entire team qualified in 2009 and finished fifth.

“To take a busload of boys and girls to State for this meet hasn’t happened since 1992,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “To share this special day with them is great. We look forward to the chance to represent our community well in Peoria.”

Using a solid, 40-second pack split, something that Clarey has stressed the utmost importance of in 2011, the Knights’ Kyle Carter was the top finisher for his group in 19th place at 15 minutes, 59.9 seconds.

“What a great breakout sophomore season for him. Him and Brandon Huber are probably our most improved runners,” Clarey said.

Following close behind was 33rd-place John Meisinger at 16:18.8.

Teammate Huber was 49th and next for KHS at 16:34.7.

The fourth-best runner for the Knights was integral to the bottom line: Miki Marin, hobbled by a bum hamstring.

“He started passing, and didn’t stop for the last two miles. He ran a perfect race and did everything we asked of him. These boys came together as one solid group,” Clarey said.

Conor Johnson finished fifth for KHS with a time of 16:39, good for 56th.

Also in the mix on Saturday was Luis Acosta, at 17:03 (88th place). Senior Clayton Brundige was 109th at 17:24, and now a three-year member of the Kaneland State caravan, having gone in ‘08 and ‘09.

The boys’ race is set to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Conference chase complete

Photo: Dylan Nauert chases Morris QB Austin Feeney during Kaneland’s 31-28 victory. Kaneland’s 9-0 mark brings forth a conference title and a date with visiting Belvidere on Friday, Oct. 28. Photo by John DiDonna

Early lead holds up for NIB-12 East champs in 31-28 win in Morris
by Mike Slodki
MORRIS—All that stood between a second consecutive Northern Illinois Big XII East division championship for undefeated Kaneland was fellow undefeated juggernaut Morris.

On Friday in Grundy County, only one undefeated football outfit stood tall: the Knights.

Storming out to a 24-0 halftime lead in a first half that saw the Redskins gather just 30 yards, the Knights clung to the lead after Morris scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

But an emphasis on the run and two key interceptions had the Knights emerge the 31-28 victor.

The Knights finished the 2011 regular season campaign with a 9-0 mark and a 5-0 NIB-12 slate, cinching their second straight conference crown and the No. 1 overall team on the IHSA Playoff Points scale in Class 5A.

“It’s huge, and I’m so proud of our kids,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “Coming into the season and losing all the kids that we had, we didn’t know what we had, but we knew we had a lot of talent.”

Morris finished 8-1 with a 4-1 mark in NIB-12 play.

Kaneland continues to roll on the Maple Park grass, finshing their second straight undefeated season.

The Knights have now won 19 regular season games in a row, and 22 of their last 25 contests in regular and post season.

Kaneland found out Saturday that with the No. 1 seed, it’ll host 16th-seeded Belvidere High School on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. at Peterson Field.

Morris, meanwhile, hosts Morton High School on the same night in the upper half of the 5A bracket.

In sophomore action, Morris defeated Kaneland by a 12-6 final.

The varsity Knights outgained the host Redkins by a 328-288 margin, while being almost even in passing yardage, 232-219.

KHS quarterback Drew David was 16-for-32 on the day, with four TD throws, while counterpart Austin Feeney was 20-for-30 for 219 yards and three touchdowns, but had four picks.

David also rushed for a game-high 54 yards.

Sean Carter had 161 yards on five catches, and three touchdowns to go along with an interception.

“We knew Morris was a good team,” Carter said. “They are a hard-hitting team, but once we had that first quarter, we just got on a roll.”

Any second-half score against the Redskins would have been nice, but in Sean Carter’s case, it was the difference. His sideline catch-and-run in the fourth quarter gave KHS a 31-14 edge. Carter led the Knights with 161 yards on the evening.

Morris struggled to get things going in a friendly atmosphere, and Kaneland’s second drive yielded a 22-yard field goal by kicker Matt Rodriguez for a 3-0 edge.

One of the most significant halves of football for Kaneland this season continued in the second quarter and led to three touchdowns. David found Zack Martinelli for 13 yards, as well as Carter from 53 and 3 yards out, to take a 24-0 lead by the end of the half.

Morris finally got into the contest and on the board when on the opening drive of the second half, the Redskins drove 77 yards in 16 plays. Anthonee Monson caught a fourth-down, 19-yard TD pass with 4:10 to go to make it 24-7.

Morris amped up the attack and scored on its next drive, thanks to Feeney’s six-yard touchdown with 9:51 remaining to make it 31-21.

Kaneland struck again when Carter caught a 63-yard TD pass to end a four-play drive with 7:39 remaining to make it 31-14.

Morris answered three plays later when Feeney found Jake Ruettiger for a 33-yard touchdown to set matters at 31-21 with 6:37 to go.

Blake Bradford came up with a key interception after Morris recovered an onside kick, but KHS was forced to punt. Morris closed out the scoring with 2:18 to go on a 20-yard TD pass to Danny Friend.

Knight Jake Razo recovered the Redskin onside kick attempt, leading to a drive that saw David lose the ball on the grass, but the officiating crew ruled him down before the fumble.

A couple of additional runs set the result in stone and a jovial Kaneland crew celebrated, for one week anyway.

The playoff landscape is plentiful for the Northern Illinois Big XII this weekend, as Rochelle and Sycamore have action this weekend.

The Hubs, as a 13th seed, travel to Gately Stadium in Chicago to face Urban Prep Charter on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m.

12th-seeded Sycamore plays at Lane Stadium in Chicago at the same time against King High School, the Knights’ first-round opponent a year ago.

The winner of the KHS-Belvidere clash is slated to face either (8) St. Francis of Wheaton, or (9) Burlington Central.

Soccer ousted by Cadets

by Mike Slodki
DeKALB—There would be no last-minute magic for Kaneland soccer on Saturday evening.

After the down-to-the-wire heroics of Alex Gil on Oct. 18, to put the Knights in view of their second straight regional crown, Marmion Academy’s lone goal in the first half was enough to put the Knights’ 2011 season to rest with a 1-0 defeat.

Kaneland eclipsed last year’s win total, however, and finished at 12-7-1.

The Cadets beat East Moline United, 3-0 during Tuesday’s sectional in Freeport, Ill., and will head to the sectional final.

Mick Maley’s goal with 11 minutes, 31 seconds before the halftime buzzer proved to be the final margin.

“We got out-possessed, but (Marmion’s) a good team,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We had our chances early, and who knows?
If we make one of those in the first couple of minutes, it’s a whole different ball game.”

Although he allowed the lone goal, Kaneland goalkeeper Marshall Farthing also swatted away another potential gimme on a penalty kick with 26 minutes remaining.

Volleyball falls in regional to Glenbard S. in three games

Photo: Katy Dudzinski (left) and teammate Keri Groen show their blocking skills during the annual Spikefest on Saturday, in which KHS took third place. The Lady Knights’ season concluded on Tuesday. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In coach Todd Weimer’s regime, the fact that Kaneland was one point away from a regional match victory shows the significant progress KHS has made on the court.

However, it remained at one point on Tuesday, as third-seeded Glenbard South staged a four-point rally on its way to a 19-25, 25-17, 26-24 thriller at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill.

The Lady Raiders face regional host St. Francis on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Kaneland finished the season at 19-15, matching last year’s total, with a 6-4 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

After a 15-4 start to 2011, KHS dropped 11 of its last 15 contests against a stacked schedule.

Kaneland fell behind in game one 14-9 before closing to 17-14. KHS then scored 10 in a row and closed it on a Katy Dudzinski kill for game point.

The Lady Knights fell behind as GS rallied in game two, down 24-15 before the Raiders cinched it.

An even third game saw good front line play, but Glenbard South made good on its service time. Kaneland was down 19-14, but rallied to tie it at 21 and take a 24-22 lead, but could score no more.

“We just couldn’t get out of it, and we’re very disappointed,” Weimer said. “We had a bunch of curveballs thrown at us, some injuries and mismatches. I’m upset that we lost, we really wanted to play St. Francis. It’s hard.”

Kaneland also hosted the annual Spikefest on Saturday out at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove, finishing in fourth place out of eight squads with a 2-3 record.

Weimer’s Lady Knights took care of Aurora Christian 25-20, 25-10, and Hampshire 26-24, 25-7, before losing to tournament champ Metea Valley 25-19, 22-25, 15-9, and then Oswego East 25-20, 25-16. KHS fell to Geneva in the third-place game by a final of 26-24, 25-6.

Metea Valley beat Oswego East in the championship match 25-18, 25-23.

Kylie Siebert and Katy Dudzinski were named to the 2011 All-Tournament team.

Siebert had 80 digs during the tournament, giving her 1,100 digs throughout her KHS career with 12 assists and 10 aces. Katy Dudzinski had 32 kills, giving her 839 for her KHS tenure, and 14 digs, while Ashley Prost added 38 assists and 26 digs.

Against Yorkville on Thursday in the East gym, Kaneland suffered a 25-17, 17-25, 25-22 loss.

KHS says goodbye to seniors Siebert, Dudzinski, Kourtni Bingley, Malory Groen and Fabrizius.

Fifth place at own regional good for boys XC

Photo courtesy

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—When you deal with boys cross-country rosters like Yorkville and Crystal Lake Central, the squeeze for sectionals can be a bit crowded.

Luckily, Kaneland’s crew can worry about Sectionals as an active participant.

The Knights, thanks to a 127-point output, took fifth place at the 2A regional at Elburn Woods on Saturday morning and are headed to Belvidere’s sectional.

The Foxes had 36 points, followed by CLC with 71, DeKalb with 117 and Burlington Central with 118.

Other teams advancing to this weekend were Aurora Central Catholic (138) and Sycamore (142).

Crystal Lake Central entry Alex Baker, a junior, was tops on the traditionally hilly course with a time of 15 minutes, 47 seconds, ahead of Rocket Clint Kliem by 3.3 seconds.

For the Knights, sophomore Kyle Carter came through again with a time of 16:33.1, good for ninth overall.

Junior John Meisinger was next in 16th place with a time of 16:55.2.

Knight junior Brandon Huber was 22nd with a time of 17:08.7.

Conor Johnson of KHS took 34th with a time of 17:25.4.

Knights coach Chad Clarey would like to see more of an effective punch lineup-wide. “We qualified as a team for the Sectional, obviously the most important factor of the day. We’ll go back to work this week, freshen up and make a run for the top five (Saturday) in Belvidere.”

The Saturday, Oct. 29, race begins at 11 a.m., and also features schools like Grayslake Central, Richmond-Burton, and other Northern Illinois Big XII schools like Dixon, Sterling and Rochelle.

Lady Knights XC sees season continue with third place

Photo: The KHS girls XC team practices Tuesday in preparation for the Belvidere Sectional this Saturday. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It would take a team effort to make it out of one of the premier girls cross-country regionals in Illinois.

For Kaneland, that effort was solid enough to garner third place in Saturday’s Elburn Woods clash.

Kaneland’s 84 points was behind champ Yorkville’s 39 and Crystal Lake Central’s 84.

Other advancing teams are DeKalb at 99, Sycamore at 144, Woodstock at 189 and Hampshire at 203.

DeKalb sophomore Kelsey Schrader took the Regional mantle at 18 minutes, 14.9 seconds, which was 10.5 seconds ahead of the closest competitor.

Freshman Victoria Clinton of Kaneland continued to make leaps and bounds of progress with an eighth-place finish of 19:16.7.

Teammate Maggie Brundige had a 14th-place day with a time of 19:35.5.

Aislinn Lodwig, another of Kaneland’s talented freshmen, finished 20th at 19:51.8.

“(We) had several girls under the weather, but they still managed a third-place finish in the toughest 2A regional in the State,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

The Saturday, Oct. 29, gathering hosted by Belvidere kicks off at 10 a.m.

Opportunity knocks for Kaneland

Photo: Tanner Andrews (center) brings down the Sycamore runner as Blake Bradford (left) closes in during Kaneland’s 35-21 road win over Sycamore on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

35-21 win at Sycamore leads to Week Nine showdown at Morris
by Mike Slodki
SYCAMORE—For the second time in three weeks, Kaneland football had to dig deep for a double-digit comeback.

Dig deep it did, and the host rival Sycamore Spartans ended up in a hole.

Using key turnovers and big performances through the ground and air, the Knights improved to 8-0 (4-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) with a 35-21 win over the Spartans (5-3, 2-2 NIB-12).

This marks the second straight win over Sycamore and three wins in their last four meetings.

For the second consecutive year, the Knights have managed an 8-0 start to their gridiron campaign.

Friday’s win marked the 18th straight regular season win for the Knight crew, with the last loss in the regular season coming two years ago in an overtime loss to Geneva.

The second-half comeback sets the stage for a final showdown between the top two listed Class 5A teams on the IHSA Playoff Points scale: undefeated Morris and Kaneland this Friday, Oct. 21, in Grundy County.

Kaneland won the total yards battle, 398-235, and saw Drew David go 15-for-26 through the air for 283 yards along with two touchdowns and one interception.

David also led the way on the ground with 62 yards and a TD.

Senior leader Quinn Buschbacher had 130 yards on five catches, while teammate Zach Martinelli had 79 yards on five catches.

After an early fumble returned by Scott Baker to the five-yard line, Spartan Austin Culton punched it in for a touchdown just two minutes 31 seconds into the contest.

Sycamore then took a 14-0 lead on a 35-yard scoring strike from Ryan Bartels to Jordan Kalik with 5:19 to go in the quarter.

Kaneland finally got going on a 55-yard TD pass to Buschbacher with 3:43 remaining in the first to close within 14-7. The Knights also contributed the lone second quarter score as David found Buschbacher again on a 24-yard TD pass with 2:01 left in the half for a 14-14 deadlock.

Sycamore’s last visit to the end zone came with 7:34 remaining in the third quarter when Ben Niemann caught a 27-yard TD pass on a fourth-and-six for a 21-14 lead.

A fumble by Sycamore was recovered by Knight secondary member Jake Razo. Kaneland capitalized with a three-yard touchdown scamper by Buschbacher with 2:15 to go in the quarter for a 21-21 tie.

Play of the Knight—Sycamore
Jake Razo (8) seems to always give KHS a fighting chance. This time, he recovered the first of two costly SHS fumbles, leading to the game-tying touchdown in the third frame.

In the fourth quarter, momentum shifted Kaneland’s way for good.

After a Jesse Balluff 3-yard touchdown run with 11:05 left in the fourth gave Kaneland a 28-21, its first, Dylan Nauert recovered the Spartan kickoff return’s fumble, leading to a four-yard TD run by David just 51 seconds later.

Tennis sends frosh/senior duo to State gathering

by Mike Slodki
ST. CHARLES—Call it Jurcenko/Napiorkowski Part Deux.

Much like last year, Kaneland added to its recent stretch of unparalleled school success.

The doubles unit of senior Amelia Napiorkowski and freshman Madi Jurcenko had performed at a high level all season, and was put to the test on Saturday during the St. Charles East Sectional.

With three wins, the duo finished third in the gathering and earned a trip to the IHSA State tennis tournament held in the District 214 area.

The Lady Knights finished tied for fourth as a team with Wheaton Academy after gathering 13 points. Bartlett emerged as sectional titleholder.

Kaneland’s final win came over the St. Charles North duo of Ashley Randazzo and Kate Lesswing, 6-3, 7-6.

Napiorkowski knows what it’s like to head to the elite group, after trekking to the finals a year ago with Madi’s sister Lindsay.

“I was just as excited this time; I probably didn’t show it as much,” Napiorkowski said. “The final match wasn’t as intense, plus last year no one in the school had done it before. We have a lot of motivation, not just as individuals, but as a team.”

Meanwhile, freshman phenom Jurcenko has seen big strides since the pairing was put together.

“I had never really played doubles before this, but we both learned each other’s styles and we figured out how to play and what shots we were good at,” Jurcenko said.

Kaneland’s entry is scheduled for battle with the No. 28 seed in the doubles bracket on Thursday, Oct. 20: Benet Academy’s Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes at Elk Grove High School.

Photo by Mike Slodki

Gil! Late heroics send KHS soccer to regional final Sat.

Photo: Alex Gil (right) celebrates his game-winning goal on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After struggling in the previous two outings against conference rival DeKalb, the Knights soccer team (12-6-1) triumphed on Tuesday night in Barb-land.

With 72 seconds remaining in regulation, the Knights’ midfielder Alex Gil took a pass from teammate Tyler Siebert on a breakaway and launched the shot to the right of an outstretched goalkeeper for the final 1-0 margin, setting off an ensuing celebration.

“Siebert played a great ball to me and I was just one-on-one with the defender, and I just wanted to get past him and have a quick shot,” Gil said.

It comes in stark contrast to the previous two losses in 2011 to the Barbs, and to last year’s postseason, where the regional champ Knights found themselves playing nine overtimes.

“I kept telling them ‘we can beat DeKalb’,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Just be patient, and you’ve got to play 80 minutes, and it took us 78 minutes and 48 seconds to do it, and so we did it.”

Goalkeeper Marshall Farthing made key stops in the regional shutout, and supplied the Knights with a fighting chance throughout the match.

“The times that they had a chance, we came up big, and the wide field at DeKalb helps us with our game. It’s definitely nice to not play an overtime,” Farthing said.

Kaneland’s regional final test takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22, at DeKalb High School, with kickoff at 6 p.m.

The Knights’ 5-0 win over Sycamore on Thursday in the regular season finale marked their final Northern Illinois Big XII mark at 6-3-1.

Pedro Perez found the net for the 1-0 lead 25 minutes into the match. After the teams went to halftime, the Knights added a four-goal barrage to settle the matter.

Jordan Escobedo scored on two occasions, Kushstrim Ismaili, and Arsim Azemi had ball meet net in the second half.

Lady Knights on good pace after second in conference

by Mike Slodki
GENESEO, Ill.—Three runners in the top 10 equaled a second-place finish for the Kaneland Lady Knights cross-country team after Saturday’s Northern Illinois Big XII conference free-for-all.

Looking to build on improving PR’s and a young lineup ready to carry the load, the KHS crew’s 61 points was second only to conference champ Yorkville’s 32.

DeKalb (72), Dixon (101) and Sycamore (136) rounded out the top five.

Geneseo, Sterling, Rochelle, Morris, Ottawa, LaSalle-Peru and Streator completed the NIB-12 lineup in the six-through-12 spots.

While DeKalb sophomore Kelsey Schrader took the course prize at 18 minutes, 38.5 seconds, it was Lady Knight freshman Victoria Clinton putting herself in the thick of things with a fifth-place finish after a time of 19:05.6.

Following closely was fellow freshman teammate Aislinn Lodwig in ninth place at 19:27.2, and junior Abby Dodis at 19:28.0 in tenth.

The fourth fastest Kaneland runner was junior Maggie Brundige, who completed the course in 20:03.7

KHS coach Doug Ecker sees a positive trajectory.

“Varsity had the best team effort of the year, so far,” Ecker said. “Freshmen continue to improve each race.Teamwise, we are very satisfied with second-place finish in a tough and competitive 2A conference.”

Ahead for the Lady Knights is the IHSA Class 2A regional out at the familiar Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m.

Boys XC sees improvement, third place in NIB-12 action

GENESEO, Ill.—Looking at how the Kaneland High School boys cross-country team performed at the Northern Illnois Big XII Conference meet a year ago, the improvement in the 12-team field is apparent.

Heading into the State series, Kaneland and Co. would love to see even more.

A year after finishing seventh in the conference, KHS upped the performance level to third with a 98-point total in Geneseo, Ill.

Yorkville took the boys crown with 40 points, including four of the top nine runners. DeKalb took second, just four points better than the Knights.

Sycamore and Dixon at 116 and 119, respectively, rounded out the top five.

Geneseo, Sterling, Rochelle, Morris, Ottawa, LaSalle-Peru and Streator went six through 12.

The top runner in the conference for 2011 was Dixon High School’s Simon Thorpe, winning the Maple Leaf course in 16 minutes, two seconds.

The first Knight in the mix was sophomore Kyle Carter, who took fifth at 16:30.3.

“He was very determined the entire race, to battle the elite runners of the field,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “His strong performances of late bode well going into the State series.”

Kaneland next crossed the finish line at 17th place, thanks to John Meisinger’s 17:04. Close by in 19th place was Brandon Huber with a time of 17:08. Conor Johnson was 23rd with a 17:14.6 effort.

With the postseason upon them, Clarey thinks conditions are favorable.

“The end is nearing, and we fortunately got ‘the bad race’ out of our systems. Time to go back to what we do best, on our home course at Regionals,” Clarey said.

This Saturday, Oct. 22, brings the Kaneland Regional to Elburn Woods.

A year ago in Malta, Ill., the Knights took third in the regional and advanced as a team to Belvidere’s sectional.

The top returning runner from 2010’s postseason is Johnson, who finished 20th overall.

Volleyball sweeps rival Sycamore

KANELAND—It had been rough going the past week and a half for KHS volleyball.

Six matches failed to go Kaneland’s way, albeit with a strong slate of opponents.

Who knew the remedy to the Lady Knights’ ills would be…Sycamore?

Kaneland executed a season sweep of the Lady Spartans in Maple Park on Thursday, thanks to a 23-25, 25-18, 25-22 result. It was the first NIB-12 matchup that went three games.

KHS coach Todd Weimer stressed after last week’s loss to DeKalb the need for the team to have each other’s backs on the court, regardless of mistakes. That, plus execution against a high-level opponent meant good things.

“(It was) just everyone playing very well,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said. “Katy (Dudzinski) had 21 kills, Kylie (Siebert) with 31 digs…it was just awesome.”

After last week’s win coupled with a 25-14, 25-16 Tuesday win over host Rochelle, the Lady Knights’ record rose to 17-10 with a 6-3 record in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action.

To help the winning effort, the Lady Knights also had Grace Fabrizius contribute 23 digs, Ashley Prost at 19 assists, and Jenny Lubic add 11 assists.

Maddie King had the match-clinching kill for KHS.

All levels of KHS volleyball were successful against the Lady Hubs on Tuesday.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is the final conference tilt against Yorkville on Thursday, Oct. 20, and Spikefest hosted at Harter Middle School on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Knights knock Foxes

Photo: Knight Drew David (4) enjoyed a five-touchdown evening in the 45-7 win over visiting Yorkville. Photo by Mary Herra

Buschbacher sees plenty of end-zone in 45-7 win over YHS
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—One would have to wonder how the Knights gridiron collection would respond, a week after an emotionally satisfying comeback win at DeKalb, and it being the last regular season home game for the current crop of seniors.

Wonder no more, although the 4-3 Yorkville Foxes may still be wondering what hit them.

Offensive juggernaut Quinn Buschbacher led the way with five touchdown catches, including three in the first quarter, and Drew David was 13-for-19 for 261 to go along with the five touchdown throws in a 45-7 win over the Foxes and new head coach Karl Hoinkes.

No letdown was the name of the game on Friday.

“We didn’t talk about that at all,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “Senior night here—the last scheduled home game is huge to these kids. We have a pretty good rivalry with Yorkville.”

Buschbacher had 161 yards receiving on eight receptions on a night the Knights scored on their first four drives.

“It’s Senior Night and my last regular season game here, and I thought about it and I wanted to remember it somehow,” Buschbacher said.

The first drive featured four Jesse Balluff runs and a pass to Buschbacher before the senior caught another pass and ran down the sideline for a 49-yard TD pass with eight minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Jesse Balluff (30) has been an asset carrying the ball, but can contribute just as well without the pigskin. In the first quarter of Friday’s handling of the Foxes, the sophomore excuted a textbook block of a Yorkville secondary member, allowing Quinn Buschbacher to accelarate on a swing pass for the third KHS touchown.

The next drive consisted of four plays and ended with a 15-yard TD pass to Buschbacher with 3:22 left in the frame.

Another swing pass to Buschbacher featured a key block by Balluff enroute to a 17-yard touchdown with :24 left to make it 21-0.

“We run the same screen every year, and I feel we’ve gotten it down to perfection. Balluff just loves blocking, I love the way he plays,” Buschbacher said.

A 41-yard Matt Rodriguez field goal with 6:41 to go in the first half made it 24-0, completing the first half scoring.

The second half featured a touchdown run by Yorkville’s Neil O’Brien (116 yards) from 39 yards out to make it 24-7 with 8:41 left in the third, but KHS answered with David’s fourth TD pass to Buschbacher from 13 yards away to make it 31-7 with 6:17 to go. With 10 ticks remaining in the frame, Buschbacher scored from 12 yards out go make it 38-7.

Ryan Fuchs’ two-yard scamper with 1:42 to go in the fourth closed the scoring on a night that saw Knights wear various pink garb to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

Sophomore action saw Kaneland beat the Foxes 41-0.

Sycamore (5-2) hosts Kaneland in the Week 8 battle on Friday, Oct. 14.

Guyton, Yonkovich see season end at Sectionals

KANELAND—Playoff golf arrived with a vengeance, and had a KHS girls golfer with the last name of Guyton taking on all comers.

It was anything but deja vu, as freshman Tori Guyton, younger sister of current-ISU Redbird Hayley, advanced out of the IHSA Class AA Girls Golf Burlington Central Regional, hosted at Sycamore Golf Club on Oct. 5.

Competing as an individual, Guyton, who competed for Kaneland in the JV ranks this season, shot a 102, earning the last individual qualifying spot for Tuesday’s Buffalo Grove Sectional.

Guyton’s season came to an end shooting that same score at famed Cog Hill in Lemont on Tuesday for the St. Ignatius Sectional.

Geneva’s Megan Rush outshot Guyton by one stroke at the regional. The top individual qualifier was Sycamore’s Carly Hudon at 78.

Wheaton-Warrenville South took the regional crown with a score of 340.

Meanwhile, boys golf saw its season officially come to an end on Monday at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, as sophomore Matt Yonkovich was unable to advance to State as an individual qualifier. The highest qualifying score for an indivudla was 76. Sterling, Marmion Academy and Vernon Hills advanced as a team.

A year ago, KHS played as a team at the Freeport Sectional and finished 11th out of 12.

The 2011 boys golf outfit says goodbye to captains Adam Grams, Troy Krueger and Anthony Sperando, along with fellow seniors Zach Douglas and Mitch Gemini.

NIB-12 crown makes smashing time for KHS

Napiorkowski, Jurcenko, Emmanouil take top honors
ROCHELLE, Ill.—What better way to approach postseason play than a great showing at conference?

With coach Tim Larsen’s rotation performing at a consistent and reliable level much of the year, the level of surprise only rises so high after KHS captured the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference title with a 34-point showing on Friday and Saturday at Rochelle.

Not only did Kaneland win its East Division group by 12 points over runner-up Sycamore, they also outlasted West Division topper Ottawa by seven points.

Kaneland now can boast two 2011 conference champs for tennis as No. 1 doubles unit Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Jurcenko beat Dixon’s selection in the final by a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 count. Additionally, Jelly Emmanouil took the No. 2 singles crown with 7-5, 6-1 win over Brooke Hendricks of Sterling.

The Lady Knights also came away with two second-place finishes as No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman and the No. 3 doubles team of Madi Limbrick and Stephanie Rosenwinkel found themselves on the finals court.

This Saturday, Oct. 15, brings the IHSA Sectional to St. Charles East High School, with Kaneland looking to get a State invite for the second straight season. Napiorkowski and Lindsay Jurcenko made it to State in 2010, becoming the first Kaneland representatives to do so.

Soccer stopped by two schools before NIB-12 win

KANELAND—Kaneland soccer had five matches in nine days, and while the action was close in the second half, the Knights saw chances go the other way this last week.

On Thursday, the Knights hosted conference mate Rochelle and surrendered a second-half goal in a 3-2 setback.

On Saturday, the Knights saw a late second-half flurry by the still-new Plainfield East Bengals in a 2-0 loss.

However, KHS righted their ship somewhat with a 3-2 win over host Yorkville on Tuesday

The Knights are now 10-6-1, with a 5-3-1 record in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Against the Hubs, the Knights went out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a Kushstrim Ismaili goal with an assist by Alex Gil. Thanasi Pesmajoglou also scored. Rochelle tied the score with two goals before the halftime buzzer and scored the lone second-half goal for the final margin.

Against the Bengals, the hosts found the net twice in 62 seconds.

“We played four games this week and we’re tired and banged up,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said on Saturday. “I thought we played better in the second half.”

It was the first half that Kaneland excelled in against the Foxes, with Tyler Siebert, Pesmajoglou and Alec Koczka finding the net within a 10-minute space.

Younger Lady Knights go west

KANELAND—Under sunny skies in Sterling, Ill., a younger KHS girls cross-country lineup was trotted out to deal with the field spreading from Iowa City, Ia., to Schaumburg, Ill.

Kaneland took fifth with the freshman-sophomore group, thanks in large part to Victoria Clinton’s top finish.

Pleasant Valley High School won the F/S meet, but Kaneland’s 131-point total was good for fifth.

Clinton’s second top finish in a row saw her run at 18 minutes, 57 seconds.

Teammate Aislinn Lodwig was fourth overall at 19:34, while Sydney Strang continued to march back from injuries with a time of 20:26 (17th place). Jessica Kucera finished in 21:38, for 48th overall.

Saturday, Oct. 15, brings the litmus test of where KHS varsity fits in the conference scheme, at the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet hosted by Geneseo of the West Division.

A year ago, Ashley Castellanos of Kaneland made it to the all-conference team with her showing at Elburn Woods.

Knight boys XC takes to Sterling, Byron

KANELAND—At Byron, Kaneland’s 31 points was tops for the meet, above Byron’s 62. Richmond-Burton’s 68-point total was good for third.

With groups shooting out of the gate at 20 second intervals, Kaneland’s Gus Stott took the top spot for the Knights, followed by Nick Albano in fourth.

In Saturday’s Sterling Invite, the freshman-sophomore roster ran to a fourth-place finish with 121 points. Sophomore Kyle Carter’s 16 minute, seven second time was good for second, followed by teammate Luis Acosta, who finished seventh at 16:53.

The varsity group heads off to the second annual Northern Illinois Big XII meet, hosted by Geneseo High School, on Saturday, Oct. 15.

A year ago at Elburn Woods, Kaneland finished seventh out of 12 teams, with the Yorkville Foxes taking the mantle.

Lady Knights in midst of six-match skid

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For awhile, the Lady Knights volleyball contingent was stacking wins.

Now, they look to topple the current stack of losses, with the playoffs entering the picture later this month.

On Thursday, Kaneland dropped a 25-21, 25-20 affair to host Morris, lost to visiting Geneva on Oct. 5 by a final of 25-18, 27-25, and dropped three matches at the Bettendorf Tournament on Saturday.

Finally, on Tuesday during a Pink Out that raised money for the fight against breast cancer, the Lady Knights lost in straight games to DeKalb 25-21, 25-21.

“It was definitely a really fun event,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said. “I can’t tell you how many people helped out.”

The Lady Knights are now 15-10 and 4-3 in NIB-12 play.

Against the Lady Redskins, libero Kylie Siebert had 10 digs, while Grace Fabrizius had five kills. Future Wichita St. weapon Katy Dudzinski added five kills of her own.

The night before, the Lady Knights saw contributions from personnel like Siebert, with 11 digs and nine serve-recieve receptions, Dudzinski with nine kills, Fabrizius with 12 digs, and Lauren Banbury with three kills.

The weekend gathering in the Quad Cities region saw Kaneland first drop a 21-16, 21-19 result to Ankeny H.S. of Iowa, and a 21-14, 15-21, 13-15 clash to Bettendorf before losing 21-13, 21-17 to Moline.

Siebert had 59 digs, while Ashley Prost added 48 assists throughout the tournament.

Early in the first game, the Lady Knights fell behind 12-5 before tying it up thanks to DeKalb errors and a couple of Dudzinski kills, at 19 apiece. DeKalb outscored KHS 6-2 the remainder of the way. KHS last led at 5-4 of the first game.

In game two, DeKalb again stormed out to a 12-4 lead, but tighter play and a kill by Lyndi Scholl, coupled with a Banbury block, brought it to 23-21 before the Lady Barbs took it.

“The players need to keep sticking together and that everyone has everyone’s back. I trust the players. Just because you had a bad night, you need to step up,” Weimer said.

Kaneland was preparing for the visiting Sycamore Lady Spartans on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Photo by Madeline Cole

Tennis’ trajectory still skyward

Photo: The tennis team honored their seniors Sept. 29 after their match with Sterling was cancelled. Photo by Mary Herra

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—This has been an impressive season for KHS tennis by any stretch of the imagination.

The 13-2 dual record has been made more impressive by the Lady Knights powering through the sometimes inclement weather, which has infringed on practice time at points.

Kaneland took care of business in Mendota, Ill., against the Lady Trojans on Monday, and also beat the Hampshire Lady Whip-Purs on Sept. 28 along Big Timber Road.

A 6-1 dual win over Mendota featured two singles wins and a doubles sweep.

“I was nervous about playing today,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “With last week’s weather, we haven’t had much practice time. We looked a little rusty, but we held it together.”

Sammi Schrepferman took a 6-3, 6-3 win in No. 1 singles action, and Jelly Emmanouil took her No. 2 singles encounter 6-1, 6-2.

The No. 1 doubles tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Maddy McMullen (subbing for Amelia Napiorkowski) took a 6-1, 6-1 sweep, and the Jenna Bicos/Jess Woodward.

Shortened matches against Hampshire still produced a convincing sweep of the hosts, with Emmanouil earning an 8-0 win, and Schrepferman continuing to win in an 8-3 affair.

“We’re winning a lot and for me, it builds confidence,” Schrepferman said. “Playing No.1 has made me a better player and try to work harder.”

Napiorkowski/Jurcenko, Bicos/Woodward and Madi Limbrick/Steph Rosenwinkel all came away with victories.

The Lady Knights see the regular season end on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, with the Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Rochelle High School.

Yonkovich shoots to Sectional for KHS golf

KANELAND—Kaneland golf will have a sectional presence after all.

Despite a sixth-place finish in the IHSA Class 2A Regional at the Highlands of Elgin golf course, the Knights’ sophomore talent Matt Yonkovich emerged as an advancing individual and heads to the sectional hosted by Wheaton Academy out at Pheasant Run in St. Charles on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The top three teams to advance were Marmion Academy with a 314 score, Wheaton Academy at 315 and Burlington Central at 322.

Kaneland’s 338 was one stroke behind St. Francis.

“It’s a fair course, and if you play it smart, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t shoot low scores here. What was giving us some trouble today were the greens. They’re in good shape, but for one reason or another, we weren’t putting very well,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said.

Yonkovich, who got a large amount of time on the varsity courses in his first varsity year, shot an 80.

The top advancing individual was St. Edward High School’s Michael Holevas.

On Sept. 28, Kaneland finished fifth with a score of 328 at the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet in Yorkville. The host Foxes took the meet over second-place Streator.

Yonkovich and teammate Adam Grams took an 80 off the course.

Junior varsity member Tori Guyton, younger sister of current Illinois State University golfer Hayley Guyton, was scheduled for regional action in girls golf on Wednesday.

Updatde: Tori Guyton qualified for sectionals. See next week’s paper for more details.

Comeback city

Photo: Knight Zack Martinelli (11) was integral on offense and special teams in the astounding 49-38 comeback win over DeKalb on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights overcome 17-point second-half deficit in Barb-land
by Mike Slodki
DEKALB, Ill.—DeKalb Barbs football, as exhibited by the first playoff run since 1989 a season ago, is much improved.

As exhibited by a prolific first half and a 31-14 lead in the third quarter, the program can be downright daunting for opposing teams.

It would take a special comeback to sting the Barbs, and on Friday the 6-0 (2-0 NIB-12) Knights had it in them.

Five touchdowns, culminating in a 23-yard Jesse Balluff touchdown run with seven minutes, 15 seconds to go in the game, gave the Knights the lead for good in a 49-38 win in the brand new facilities of DeKalb High School.

DeKalb fell to 3-3 (0-2 NIB-12) with the loss.

A 24-point second quarter for the Barbs was capped by two-way player Brian Sisler’s 52-yard interception return with 14 seconds to go in the half for a 24-14 lead.

	It seemed like everyone had a big play in them on Friday. 	Even when a second-half play looked to be going sour, it ended up sweet.  	Quinn Buschbacher (22) extended a play on a pass for 32 yards, but fumbled. However, Kyle Pollastrini helped his fellow wideout with a recovery. 	Jesse Balluff found the end zone to give KHS the lead for good on the next play.

In the third quarter, Sisler snuck the ball in from the three to maintain a 31-14 lead with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter.

“We started to get glassy eyes, but we knew the seniors had to step up with the big play,” KHS secondary member Jake Razo said. “We have a young team, and Brian Sisler is great for DeKalb. We knew we could come back.”

Drew David (17-of-24, 295 yards, 3 TD) found Zack Martinelli with 6:32 remaining in the third on a 23-yard scoring pass to make it 31-21, and the next drive had Quinn Buschbacher scoring on a 26-yard TD pass with 3:25 to go to close within 31-28.

The fourth quarter started dubiously for Kaneland as DeKalb running back Dylan Hottsmith floated a halfback option touchdown pass to Mike Olson with 11:07 remaining in the game for a 38-28 lead.

Kaneland came back with a six-play drive, and David found Sean Carter on a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it 38-35.

Forcing a punt brought KHS back in business, and Buschbacher caught a pass for a 32-yard gain, only to fumble. Kyle Pollastrini was there for the fortunate recovery. Balluff then found paydirt with 7:15 to go.

After another forced punt, Kaneland put the exclamation point on the night, as Balluff scampered for a 27-yard TD run with 5:04 to play.

“Something we told the guys in the locker room at halftime was forget about the mistakes,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We can come back, and this says a lot about guys like Drew and Jesse, who kept it together.”

The sophomores trounced DeKalb, 41-0.

The next challenge for the Knights is Friday, Oct. 7, against 4-2 Yorkville. Peterson Field will also be the site for a Pink Out, with players brandishing pink colors to create awareness of the fight against breast cancer.

Soccer wins pair after loss to conference foe DeKalb

Photo: Anthony Parillo (2) attempts a corner kick last week for the nine-win Knights soccer unit. Photo by Madeline Cole

KANELAND—Kaneland (9-4-1, 4-2-1 NIB-12) suffered its second loss this season to DeKalb in a 2-0 matchup, with a third meeting on the horizon in the Class 2A Regionals.

Against the visiting Bucs, Kushstrim Ismaili scored with five minutes, 59 seconds to go in the first half for a 1-0 lead.

Additionally, the Knights solved host Morris on Tuesday by a 1-0 clip, thanks to Arsim Azemi’s feed from Jordan Escobedo and Josh Williams, coming with 35:57 left.

The Knights host the Rochelle Hubs on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 4:30 p.m.

Girls XC take biggest piece of Pretzel Invite

by Mike Slodki
FREEPORT—No pretzel logic needed for a good showing in Freeport.

The Kaneland High School girls cross country team impressed at Freeport’s annual invite on Saturday, garnering 38 points in the eight-team crowd.

The 38 points bested the host school’s 60, Rockford Boylan’s 75 and Rock Falls’ 80.

Freshman Victoria Clinton crowned herself queen of the 2.9 mile course with a time of 17 minutes, 48.4 seconds, besting Freeport’s Ellie Willging by almost 10 seconds. It marked the first top varsity finish for Clinton.

Kaneland’s Abby Dodis helped Sandwich Willging with a time of 18:09.4 seconds, good for third.

Another talented freshman, Aislinn Lodwig, took fifth with a time of 18:25, and KHS junior Maggie Brundige was 13th at 18:51.88.

“It was nice, after finishing second a few times this year to win a team championship,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “If we are going to finish top 5 at the Sectional, we will continue to need to have strong races.”

The Lady Knights take on the field at the Sterling Invite on Saturday, Oct. 8

Lady Knights get dig on Dixon

Photo: Grace Fabrizius (14) spikes away for the Lady Knights volleyball crew, which has won 15 of 19 contests.Photo by Madeline Cole

KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball continues to go on a tear after solid wins against crossover foe Dixon on Thursday.

With a 25-20, 25-17 win over the visiting Duchesses, the Lady Knights improved to 15-4 (4-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against Dixon, KHS stalwart Katy Dudzinski had 15 kills and 4 aces, Kylie Siebert added nine digs. Ashley Prost added 10 assists. Jenny Lubic added nine assists and an ace.

All other underclass levels came away with wins, as well.

KHS looks toward Morris for an integral NIB-12 match on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Knights take Freeport race

KANELAND—With four of the top seven slots all taken by Kaneland, it was a successful outing over the Pretzels on Saturday morning.

Knights boys cross country’s 34 points was good enough to hoist the Pretzel Invite mantle in Freeport, Ill., solving Rockford Jefferson (56 points), Oregon (86) and Rockford Boylan (86) in the eight-team encounter.

Kaneland sophomore Kyle Carter was second with a time of 15:07.7.

In fourth place, KHS entry Conor Johnson finished in 15:43.0. Teammate John Meisenger took sixth at 15:49.3, and Knight Brandon Huber was seventh in 15:50.1.

KHS hits Sterling on Saturday, Oct. 8.

All cylinders firing

Photo: Knights Kory Harner, Gary Koehring and Jacob Razo nullify any future gains by Rochelle QB Nick Moore during Friday’s 35-14 victory. Kaneland has started 5-0 for the second consecutive year. Photo by John DiDonna

Regular season win streak at 15 with 35-14 win over Hubs
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Knights football was the recipient of heavy contributions from sophomore quarterback Drew David, saw steady ground gains from Jesse Balluff, and was helped out through the air from the likes of Sean Carter and Quinn Buschbacher.

Or as Kaneland football might as well call it, “Friday.”

Kaneland’s overall game was strong enough to ward off an early interception and a strong Rochelle running game that netted 209 yards to leapfrog the Hubs in a 35-14 win.

The Friday win marks the fifth in six tries for Kaneland against Rochelle since the two became regular conference mates in 2006.

But KHS would have done itself a disservice by discounting the tussle, according to KHS coach Tom Fedderly.

“It’s a big conference game, and it’s a big rivalry. I really respect what these guys do over there,” Fedderly said. “We knew it was going to be a physical challenge.”

Kaneland also rockets to the top of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference standings along with Morris, with both schools at 5-0 and 1-0 in NIB-12 play.

It was Razo to the rescue. Jacob Razo (8) took the sting out a Kaneland miscue in the first quarter, and sent the Knights on their way to the end zone. After a Derek White interception gave the ball to Rochelle, the Hubs drove until Razo made an acrobatic pick off QB Nick Moore, saving a 7-0 Knights edge. The Knights then drove 88 yards to make it 14-0 in the first quarter.

The IHSA Playoff Points scale has the Redskins and Knights as spots 1 and 2 in Class 5A through five weeks.

On Friday, the Knights amassed 449 yards of offense, compared to 218 for the Hubs, but were outgained on the ground, 209-166.

David impressed again in his fifth start for Kaneland, going 14-for-23 for 283 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Balluff had 100 yards rushing with a touchdown.

Carter had 100 yards receiving with five catches and two scores, while Buschbacher had 89 yards through the air and a touchdown.

Will Metzger had a productive night for Rochelle, gaining 136 yards on the ground.

KHS got on the board early with a 27-yard TD run by Buschbacher just a minute and 40 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

On the next drive, Rochelle’s Derek White picked off a pass, but Hub QB Nick Moore threw an INT into the hands of Jacob Razo of Kaneland, negating the turnover.

The Knights then used the run to power 88 yards and found paydirt on a 12-yard TD pass to Carter with :57 left in the frame for a 14-0 edge.

“We take it one game at a time,” Carter said. “We have our goals and we’re working at it, and I think we’re on track to do what we want to do.”

Rochelle then scored on a fourth-and-four pass from the eight-yard line, thanks to a Nick Moore-to-White touchdown pass. That made it 14-7 with 7:17 left in the first half.

The Knights’ next drive ended on a 22-yard pass to Carter with 6:20 to go, making it 21-7.

Kaneland’s first-half scoring concluded on a 23-yard scoring strike to Buschbacher with 1:40 to go, making it 28-7.

That marked the end of the scoring until the fourth, when Balluff powered in from the six-yard line on the first play of the frame for a 35-7 lead.

Rochelle scored on a Metzger plunge with 5:34 to go for the final margin.

The sophomores also beat the Hubs, 21-8.

Kaneland’s next quest is the host DeKalb Barbs on Friday, Sept. 30.

For the next home game, Kaneland will have a Pink-Out night against Yorkville in two weeks.

Soccer dishes shutouts to Yorkville and Sycamore

Photos: Alec Koczka (20) and Arsim Azemi (3) battle for a head shot near the goal during Kaneland’s varsity game at Sycamore on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—Once again, the Kaneland High School soccer roster found a way to acquaint itself with the back of the opposing net on Thursday.

Make that multiple ways to acquaint itself.

Using two goals in the first half and three in the second, KHS solved the visiting Yorkville Foxes by a 5-0 final in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.

With that matchup in the books, along with a formerly improbable 2-0 shotout win in Sycamore, the Knights are 7-3-1 and 3-1-1 in NIB-12 clashes.

Jordan Escobedo got things going on Thursday with a goal about 13 minutes into play. Escobedo then fed Alex Gil with 26 minutes, 4 seconds left in the the half for a 2-0 lead.

Anthony Parillo convered on an unassisted opportunity with 33:53 left in the game, and Alex Gil took a pass from Escobedo once again with 30:49 to go for a 4-0 lead.

Kushstrim Ismaili closed the barrage out with an assist from Kris Leeseberg with 8:58 remaining.
The JV team improved to 6-3 with a 7-0 solving of the younger Foxes.

In what was described by KHS coach Scott Parillo as swamp-like conditions, the Knights’ two first-half goals were enough against the Spartans, thanks to a Parillo goal from a Thanasi Pesmajoglou feed just seven minutes into the game and an Ismaili goal from Parillo 12 minutes later.

The Knights’ march continues on Monday, Oct. 3, with a non-conference clash against the visiting Belvidere Bucs.

Lady Knights tennis snags first at Rochelle Invite

KANELAND—In a lighter week for Kaneland High School tennis, the Lady Knights’ action still carried quite a bit of weight.

Traveling to Rochelle for the host school’s invite, the Lady Knights came away with a first-place total of 24 points, compared to second-place Freeport’s 21.

Samantha Schrepferman went 4-0 on her way to a first in the No. 1 singles bracket, while Jelly Emmanouil went undefeated in No. 2 singles. The No.1 doubles tandem of Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Jurcenko went 3-1 and took first, while the No. 2 doubles unit of Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward took a second place at 3-1.

KHS golf earns win over rival DeKalb in conference action

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Consistency and depth are two intangibles that KHS coach Mark Meyer preaches and touts for his Knights golf outfit.

Those were put into motion on Thursday, when KHS traveled to Kishwauee Country Club in DeKalb, Ill., and solved the Barbs in a 160-176 affair.

With the regular season in its homestretch, the Knights are 8-4 in dual competition.

“I think the big difference this year is consistency, and we’re a much deeper team than before,” Meyer said. “Where last year we had one or two players able to make par or one over, now we have like six or seven that can do that.”

Headlining for the Knights were Connor Williams and Adam Grams, who both shot a 39. Brody Kuhar shot a 44, and Zach Douglas shot a 45.

Kaneland had eyes on a repeat for Northern Illinois Big XII conference glory with the Wednesday meet in Yorkville, and heads to Regionals in South Elgin, Ill, on Tuesday, Oct. 4.