Category Archives: Fall Sports

Photo Gallery: Thursday Night Lights

Kaneland Knights football gets a pre-season workout in friendly territory during Thursday’s annual Knights Under the Lights event in Maple Park. The Knights’ first step to try and duplicate regular season success of a year ago occurs on Friday, Aug. 26, against Chicago’s Brooks Prep. This will be the first opening night encounter against someone other than Burlington Central since 2003, when KHS lost a 14-6 battle with defunct Driscoll Catholic. Photos by Madi Cole

Kaneland soccer edges rival Marengo in opener

Photo: Kushstrim Ismaili battles for possession of the ball in the second half of the 2-1 opening win over Marengo. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—While Tuesday’s weather started off less than ideal, the end landscape of the evening was more suitable.

Just the way Kaneland soccer preferred it.

Hosting their rivals from Route 23, Marengo, the Knights got the 2011-12 season off on the right cleat.

With a 2-1 win over the Indians, the Knights begin 1-0.

The result was made a little more remarkable considering the Knights played a man down for all but five minutes of the second half.

The KHS goals came in the first half, with Jordan Escobedo finding the net 14 minutes, 49 seconds into season action thanks to a feed from Kushstrim Ismaili. The match’s difference was scored by Alex Gil with 9:46 left on an unassisted attempt.

Marengo nabbed its goal on a penalty kick.

The JV crew continued its tear from last year with a 6-0 win over Marengo.

The varsity unit tests its mettle in the Jacobs Invite beginning on Friday, Aug. 27.

Kaneland boys’ soccer named its five captains prior to the opening competition against Marengo on Tuesday:
• Anthony Parillo
• Pedro Perez
• Alex Gil
• Jordan Escobedo
• Thanasi Pesmajoglou

Volleyball beats NIB-12 crossover foe

Fabrizius, Dudzinski, Banbury key in KO of Geneseo
KANELAND—Volleyball began 2011-12 in grand fashion.

The Lady Knights didn’t let the two-hour trip diminish their court skills as they beat the host Lady Leafs of Geneseo in a Northern Illinois Big XII conference crossover clash by an 18-25, 25-19, 25-20 result.

Grace Fabrizius paced the team with 12 kills, followed by Katy Dudzinski’s 11. Lauren Banbury had six kills to add to the winning effort.

Dudzinski also added four blocks on the evening.

In sophomore action, the Lady Knights had a come-from-behind win over Geneseo by a final of 20-25, 25-23, 25-22.

The freshman “A” squad swept its contest in a 25-10-25-17 encounter, while the “B” team did the same in a 25-9, 25-15 affair.

On the horizon for the quick-starting Lady Knights: the second night of the Wheaton North tournament on Saturday, Aug. 27.

the Knights ahead: Kaneland looks to reach similar heights from a year ago

Photo: Knights football works on getting back to the playoff promised land at the high school. A year ago the Knights had their best season since 1998. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland Knights football achieved such great heights a year ago.

The best season mark since 1998, an undefeated regular season, and an epic third-round playoff win over Vernon Hills—made possible by player Joe Camiliere, Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan—made it a season to remember, until it was stopped on a cold night in November against powerhouse Montini Catholic.

Fifth-year coach Tom Fedderly isn’t interested in preparing for last year.

“It was a special year, but last year is last year. Every year is different. I’m going to try to take the guys that we have, and our system is flexible enough where we can do things differently depending on the pieces that we have,” he said.

The Knights’ spread attack on offense was successful in large part due to new Elmhurst Bluejay Camiliere’s penchant for taking care of the ball.

With the starting derby yet to be completely decided, senior Ryan Fuchs and sophomore Drew David could see time under center, and have been told the formula for field success.

“They both know they need to take care of the ball and manage the offense. As it looks right now, I’m pretty satisfied with what we’ve got there,” Fedderly said.

With Andrews and Callaghan gone to graduation, and former receiving threat Daniel Helm now playing for Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill., the fourth and fifth option on some days last year now move up as big targets in the form of all Northern Illinois Big XII option Quinn Buschbacher and Sean Carter.

Buschbacher also displayed a knack for the return game in 2010.

“It’ll be good for our quarterback to have weapons like those out there, and they have experience,” Fedderly said.

When the time comes to gain yards via ground attack, the Knights rely on sophomore Jesse Balluff, with Buschbacher and Carter viable options to seek carries, as well.

With Helm not a Knight this season, Kaneland gets a move-in option in the form of Ohio transfer Matt Price.

“He’s six-foot-three, about 195 (pounds), and he’s going to get in the mix, too. He looks like a good player,” Fedderly said.

The offernsive line, carrying infinite importance for protection of the spread offense, looks to curb the loss of tackle Jimmy Boyle to graduation.

Four returnees are suited up for the two-way line in Nick Sharp, Ryan Noel, Ben Kovalick and Alex Snyder.

For the linebacking corps, it looks to be an all new crew with the depth chart still in flux.

In the secondary, Jacob Razo returns and looks to primarily play defense, as will returnee Kory Harner. Joey Cozzi returns for his senior campaign.

Kicker Matt Rodriguez returns to boot the ball through the posts when needed.

Fedderly and staff will continue to work up through the season opener, with new foe Brooks Prep of Chicago on Friday, Aug. 26.

“We just started hitting and we’re still looking to see who our football players are, but we have young kids that I think are going to come along,” Fedderly said.

NIB-12 for Kaneland golf’s taking

Photo: Adam Grams of the Kaneland golf squad is looked to for any chance at season and conference success in 2011. File photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How does a golf squad repeat good fortune of a year ago, despite the loss of two intregral pieces?

KHS coach Mark Meyer, in his sixth season, has some ideas.

“We have good leaders and they know how to do things right,” Meyer said.

With the loss of Josh Schuberg and current Illinois State University Lady Redbird Hayley Guyton to graduation, Krueger and Grams, both seniors, bring their valuable experience on the links into positions of leadership.

A 9-2 dual meet mark and a first-place showing for a Northern Illinois Big XII East Division crown is fresh in their minds.

“The guys coming back like Troy and Adam and others aren’t the most vocal guys, but they know how to lead by example,” Meyer said. “Last year, we elevated our game as a team and shot great at the end. The team is feeling pretty confident and has been working hard in practice.”

The conference should get set for elevated play from a pair of Knight sophomores, Brody Kuhar and Matt Yonkovich.

Coach Meyer looks to turn home course Hughes Creek into an advantage, something that hasn’t always been the case.

“Sometimes we’ve played better away, but I don’t think that’ll be the case this year. It’s a grownup course, and the more you play it, the more you can get comfortable,” he said.

Captains for the roster are Grams, Krueger and fellow senior Anthony Sperando. Other returning seniors are Zach Douglas and Mitch Gemini.

Juniors are Sean Glennon, Luke Kreiter, Stephen McCracken, Dan Miller and Connor Williams, with Kuhar and Yonkovich as the sophs.

The Knights got started with a home matchup against Jacobs on Wednesday and travel to the Geneva Invite on Thursday. Wednesday, Aug. 24, marks the first NIB-12 matchup as the visiting Rochelle Hubs enter Hughes Creek.

“Ultimately, our season boils down to the big tournaments, that can lead to performing well at conference and even State,” Meyer said.

Soccer wishes to carry momentum from ‘10 season’s end

Photo: Jordan Escobedo looks to see his share of scoring chances in 2011. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—While an 11-11-2 record from a year ago might not seem super impressive, the way Kaneland boys soccer went about arriving to that final mark was noteworthy.

Nine overtimes in the playoffs were a byproduct of a regional title—the first for boys soccer since 2004, and the first for a head-to-head sport in Maple Park since 2005.

It was Sterling that ousted the Knights last October in the sectional semifinal, but KHS coach Scott Parillo saw the end of the last season as a possible indicator of what could be in 2011.

“We finally started clicking at the end of the season, which is how you want to do it,” he said. “It was a very young squad last year. Once the playoffs began, I had 22 players on the roster and 11 couldn’t drive.”

Those that know what it’s like to go far return in high numbers for the Knights.

“Hopefully, we won’t start as slow and we’ll be very competitive,” Parillo said.

The depth chart was still in a state of flux with athletes still vying for starting slots, but the returnees who have minutes under their belts will need to provide leadership.

Names like Jordan Escobedo, who brought a dose of athleticism at midfield, as well as a knack for finding the net, return for Kaneland for a senior season.

Escobedo is accompanied by sophomore Anthony Parillo and junior Alex Gil at forward.

Tyler Siebert also provides a spark at midfield and forward for his sophomore season.

The goalkeeper derby has yet to be settled, with three possible entries ready for the opener.

At last count, Kaneland was employing six sophomores on the varsity level, seven juniors and seven seniors.

The road to postseason begins on Tuesday, Aug. 23, against familiar rival Marengo, while conference action begins on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in DeKalb.

“Everything has to go right. Our passing has to be right there. Our defensive intensity has to be right there. I’ve stressed as soon as we lose the ball, we’re on defense. We’re all on offense once we have the ball, and we’ve picked up the intensity in practice,” Parillo said.

Tennis wants to recapture last season

Photo: Madi Limbrick is set for a big year, her third on varsity tennis. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Fourth-year Lady Knights tennis coach Tim Larsen finds himself in a unique spot.

For the first time, Kaneland comes off a season a year ago in which it had a state presence. Kaneland also finished 8-6-1 in dual tussles, and finished second in the Northern Illinois Big XII East division.

Everyone was a true wild card when slotted into the depth charts, and it might even be more of a shootout for the singles and doubles spots, according to Larsen.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of concern about where to put these girls,” Larsen said. “We have a lot of talent and a lot of new girls, including very talented freshmen.”

But girls that achieved success a year ago, like seniors Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Limbrick, bring a track record.

Napiorkowski’s success during the regular season was on the singles front, but went to State as a doubles tandem with Class of 2011 member Lindsay Jurcenko.

“(Lindsay) played with a lot of heart, and the other girls saw her play hard and took a cue from it,” Larsen said.

Napiorkowski is projected for a No. 1 doubles slot with Lindsay’s younger sister, Madi, a freshman.

“Madi is playing really well, and I think the time Amelia spent playing with Lindsay was fantastic for her and for us as a team. Amelia has really shown up to practice as a leader on the court,” Larsen said.

Limbrick, projected for double, brings experience and improvement in both singles and doubles matches.

“We’ve been scrambling to find any experience at all the last two season, and Madi brings a lot and she’s seen an awful lot. I’m looking forward to watching her play,” Larsen said.

In singles action, freshman Samantha Schrepferman and Angelica Emmanouil could make an impact.

Larsen knows its a long season ahead, but feels whatever combination goes out there, they’ll carry fighting spirit.

“Last year, whenever our girls would be down a set, it’s as if they played harder, and it’s about finding another gear when you think you might lose the match,” Larsen said.

The tennis campaign volleys on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in West Chicago against Wheaton Academy. NIB-12 play begins the following Tuesday against Sycamore.

Volleyball plans to build on 2010 with returning core

Photo: Katy Dudzinski brings experience, size and force to the Lady Knights volleyball squad looking to elevate a 19-win total from 2010. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Could this be a lucky seventh for KHS volleyball coach Todd Weimer?

After a 2010 season that featured a record of 19-14, wins over Geneva (first time since 1991) and Sycamore (road win for the first time since 1999) for the first time in a long time, Weimer’s raring to get his girls on the court once again.

“There were a ton of firsts for us last year,” Weimer said. “I’m feeling great. We’re pumped up every morning. I love investing even more into the program, and we’re very excited.”

The Lady Knights flourished last year, but will have to deal with the sting of a regional opener loss to Hampshire, and the graduation of four seniors led by NIU freshman Jessica Lubic.

“Team chemistry is extremely strong and the personalities are great and attitude has been awesome,” Weimer said. “Last year was great and we think this will be a fun season.”

Seniors returning to the Lady Knights include libero Kylie Siebert.

“This is Kylie’s third year on varsity, and it goes through her on our side. She’s the first contact or the first pass, and she’s the best at it,” Weimer said.

Six-foot-two Katy Dudzinski, committed to Wichita State University, also lends skills up front as RS.

“Kylie, Katy and Malory Groen have kind of set the tone for the expectations,” Weimer said.

Additional seniors include OH Kourtni Bingley, MH Groen and OH Grace Fabrizius.

Juniors are marked by OH Lyndi Scholl, MH Keri Groen, S Ashley Prost, DS Rachael Clinton and MH Lauren Banbury.

Sophomores ready to make an impact on varsity are OH Maddie King and S Jenny Lubic.

The season’s first serve is set in Geneseo in a NIB-12 crossover on Monday, Aug. 22, while the first East Division match takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 13, against Morris.

“The setting is great, the defense is great, the passing is consistent. With this whole team, there are very few weaknesses,” Weimer said.

Girls XC looks to better health for success

Photo: Abby Dodis looks to provide a spark with her talent for Kaneland girls cross-country. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s been ideal running weather in mid-August.

Good enough for KHS coach Doug Ecker and the Lady Knights cross-country team to take advantage of.

“So far we’ve been pretty healthy,” Ecker said. “They’ve worked real hard and done a lot of strengthening. Hopefully we’ll stay away from the injuries and sickness that has plagued some of these girls the last three years.”

With the exception of junior all-conference selection Ashley Castellanos’ stress fracture and junior Abby Dodis’ hip injury, the squad can make up for key departures.

“Abby is looking good so far, and Ashley is a competitor. When the time comes, they’ll be ready to race,” Ecker said.

Former State-qualifier Andie Strang and Kris Bowen depart for the university settings, and last-year’s 51st-best runner in Class 2A, Jen Howland, graduated early.

“Three of our top six runners were out at the end of the year, and we still managed to finish fourth in conference and sixth in Sectionals. When they’re healthy, they’re a pretty formidable group,” Ecker said.

Key returnees include Sydney Strang, a sophomore, who is hot off a productive track campaign in the spring, and recovered from injuries.

The Lady Knights will also be looking toward Maggie Brundige for exceptional times, as well.

Ecker also noted select freshmen who have looked like Lady Knight contributors.

“Victoria Clinton and Aislinn Ludwig have worked hard and are looking good right now,” Ecker said.

Clinton comes off of an exceptional middle school career and also the triathlon circuit.

The lone senior on the squad is returnee Carolina Tovar.

“Even though it seems like we lost a lot, we’ll be fine as far as experience goes,” Ecker said.

The 2011 campaign kicks off on Tuesday, Aug. 30, against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods, while the first Northern Illinois Big XII taste happens a week later against the Yorkville Lady Foxes and East Aurora.

“Yorkville is the cream of the crop, Dixon is very talented and Geneseo is very good—all very good programs, and I think without the health issues we’ve faced we’ll do well,” Ecker said.

Boys XC curbing loss of 3 key parts

Photo: Knights boys cross-country braves the August environment, and key losses from a year ago. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—On a mid-August day with creeping humidity, the Knights boys cross-country pack attacks practice in a business-like manner—like it’s part of the day’s task.

Don’t let the demeanor or method fuel you, as the passion runs deep for Kaneland’s crew.

They’ll need it to nullify the graduation of State-goer Trevor Holm (Western Illinois University), Grant Alef (University of Minnesota) and Tommy Whittaker.

“They see this almost as a part-time job, but the passion is there. A lot of these kids, this is their favorite sport,” 17th-year head coach Chad Clarey said. “For some, it’s track, but for a lot of them, they really enjoy cross-country.”

“A lot of them see the tradition we’ve had in the past, and they aspire to write their own chapter,” Clarey adds.

On the senior side, Clayton Brundige, sectional entry Nate Rehkopf and newcomer Miki Marin provide a fourth-year spark.

“Senior leadership is very important. We’ve graduated great seniors in the past, but they’ve left their mark,” Clarey said.

Other seniors include Austin Paulson, Kelvin Peterson and John Michek, who Clarey finds have been leading by example with their work put in.

Juniors are varsity returnees and top-7 placements John Meisenger and Conor Johnson, allowing with Nick Messina, Ryan Paulson, Gus Stott, Brad Kigyos, Nicholas Albano, Chris Wido, Brandon Huber, Joey Pollastrini, Brayden Miller and Joe Kuipers.

“John and Conor are two names that will be relied upon heavily to make up that top five,” Clarey said.

Spearheading the sophomore movement with a chance at varsity time are Luis Acosta, Ryan Bower, Kyle Carter and Nathaniel Kucera. Additonal sophomores include Garrett Patterson, Dylan Kuipers and Phil Cutsinger.

Freshman on the Knights’ radar include Adam Lesak, Brandon Park, James Walker and Zachary Justus.

Clarey is eager to see improvement meet consistency, especially in a tight Northern Illinois Big XII.

“Yorkville is the clear-cut favorite, and we’d like to be in the top three. I think we have the capabilities of doing that,” Clarey said.

The season’s starting gun fires on Tuesday, Aug. 30, against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.

A July bump

Weimer
Todd Weimer of Kaneland High School volleyball oversees drills on Thursday during Team “K” Volleyball Camp at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove. The camp was for girls in grades 9-12. Photo by Mike Slodki

Kaneland’s Road to Fall begins shortly

KANELAND—Kaneland High School released its Fall Sports signup information last week.

•You must have a current physical on file in order to try out to practice. There will be no exceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

• A participation fee of $100 per sport, $100 per season for cheerleaders (please indicate season on check), and $100 for pompons per season.

The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory preseason meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend a meeting with their athlete in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The second part of the mandatory meeting will be available on the Kaneland website by Aug. 1, as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Saturday, Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL—Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. Football insurance is available, or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.
Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels must meet in the East Gym at 7:30 a.m. Practice for lower levels will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Lower levels should bring their lunch. Practice for varsity is 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Meetings will take place at 2:15 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL—Tryouts are Aug. 10 through Aug. 12 for all levels from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Bring a water bottle and light snack. Activity will take place in the East Gym. Varsity conditioning is from 3 to 5 p.m.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—Meeting takes place on Monday, Aug. 8, at 8 a.m., in room C114. Players will not golf at this time, but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6 a.m. at Hughes Creek.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels will have tryouts from 9 to 11 a.m., and from 3 to 5 p.m., at the KHS soccer fields.

All players must purchase a spirit pack from the school. Bring cleats, shin guards, water, and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather). Parents who have questions can e-mail coach Scott Parillo at Scott.parillo@kaneland.org.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 a.m. The team meets in the high school cafeteria. The team will also embark on an overnight camping trip from Aug. 11 to 12. Parents with questions can e-mail coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The team meets in the commons at 6:30 a.m.

POMS—Mandatory practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 8 to 11 a.m., and the team meets in the high school commons.

CHEERS—Mandatory practices begin on Thursday, Aug. 11, from 7:30 to 10:15 a.m., and the team meets in the East Gym balcony. Also, the cheerleaders will be in the Elburn Days parade and host the annual dunk tank.

Additionally for all fall sports, Knights Under the Lights takes place on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m.

KHS volleyballers have hand in National Title


Three Kaneland volleyball players playing on the Kane County Juniors 18 Gold team took home the championship at the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz. in late June. Kaneland volleyballers Jessica Lubic, Katy Dudzinski and Kylie Siebert and their team was the top seed entering the tournament, which included teams from Arizona, North Carolina, California and Texas. The team included (front row, from left) Taylor Knauf of Aurora Christian High School, Haley Norris of Rosary High School, Lubic, Siebert, (back row) Coach Coley Pawlikowski, Emily Bemis of DeKalb High School, Kathy Fletcher of West Chicago High School, Courtney Bemis of DeKalb High School, Kendall Baum of DeKalb High School, Emily Paschke of West Chicago High School, Dudzinski and Coach Dan Pawlikowski. Courtesy Photo

KHS football schedule has one new wrinkle

Photo: Quinn Buschbacher, shown here in Class 5A playoff action at Vernon Hills, is one of the returning Knights ready for year two of Northern Illinois Big XII East Division action. File Photo

Knights football opens with 2 home games, faces Chicago’s Brooks
KANELAND—With the Illinois High School Association’s official release of the 2011 football schedules, Kaneland High School now has an official idea of who it will clash with, en route to building upon its 12-1 season of a year ago.

The usual Northern Illinois Big XII East Division foes will travel to Maple Park in the form of Rochelle and Yorkville, while the Knights hit DeKalb, Sycamore and Morris in the road caravan.

In terms of NIB-12 conference opponents, the Knights once again face the Dixon Dukes and LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers, this time on the road.

Knight football deals with the Huntley Red Raiders for the third year in a row in a home battle, after taking the fight to the Fox Valley Conference school last year.

The Red Raiders had a good time of it in 2009, edging KHS, 17-14.

The one significant change is the end of the Kaneland-Burlington Central opening night duel, and the beginning of a meeting between the Knights and fellow Class 5A school Brooks College Prep of Chicago (250 E. 111th St., Chicago).

The Eagles, coached by James Brown, look to rebound from a 3-6 season. Kaneland and Rock Island, whom the Eagles play on Sept. 9, are the non-city opponents this year for Brooks. The Eagles, located in the Chicago Public League’s Illini Conference Heartland Division, last qualified for the playoffs in 2009.

The State semifinalist Knights, under fifth-year coach Tom Fedderly, begin their version of Friday Night Lights against Brooks on Friday, Aug. 26. Huntley comes into town on Sept. 2. Kaneland travels to Dixon for a crossover affair on Sept. 9, and goes south to LaSalle-Peru for the second crossover tussle on Sept. 16.

The conference season begins in earnest on Sept. 23, when KHS hosts Rochelle, and the Knights travel to DeKalb’s new facility off of Dresser Road on Sept. 30. The Knights host the Foxes of Yorkville on Oct. 7 for their fourth and final home game, before finishing in Sycamore on Oct. 14, and Morris on Oct. 21.

Northern Illinois Big XII Schools—Week 1 opponents
Friday, Aug. 26
• DeKalb vs. Ottawa • Kaneland vs. Brooks
• Morris vs. Minooka • Yorkville vs. Streator
• Sycamore vs. North Lawndale Charter
• Dixon at E. Moline U. • Geneseo vs. E. Peoria
• LP vs. Rock Island Alleman • Sterling vs. Moline
Saturday, Aug. 27
• Rochelle at Corliss

‘Grand’ accomplishment


The Kaneland Sports Boosters offer four $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors each year. The student write an essay with the theme “Lessons learned in victory and defeat”. These scholarships were awarded at the Senior Athletic Banquet sponsored by the boosters and the athletic office on May 25th. The winners this year were: (from left) Curtis Secrest, Andrea Strang, Kristina Bowen and Trevor Holm. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland’s extraordinary Joe gives thoughts on Elmhurst

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If the three-year starting tenure under center at Kaneland High School was any indication, the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and the Division III football landscape could be in for a challenge.

That’s because Knight senior Joe Camiliere will be donning an Elmhurst College Bluejays uniform in the fall, after making his commitment in late-April.

Camiliere likes the idea of a forward-moving program.

“What impressed me about the football program is that they are a team that is getting better each year,” Camiliere said. “Since coach (Tim) Lester got there a few years ago, they seem to have improved each year and have gotten more talented as well. I see their program as being similiar to ours in the fact that they tend to be less talked about compared to some of their competition, as we were when we played in the Western Sun. However, they are starting to be talked about more as the program grows under coach Lester.”

The former pro signal-caller Lester nabs an offensive leader who threw the Knights to a Class 5A State semifinal appearance, stopped only by Montini Catholic.

“I believe that having three years of varsity experience gives me the advantage of knowing what it’s like to be starting as a sophomore against juniors and seniors. I know that my role sophomore year was different than my role as a QB senior year. I can improve my skills, because I know that they grew in three years on varsity at Kaneland,” Camiliere said.

Camiliere was NIB-12 East offensive MVP and threw for 36 touchdowns in 2010.

Dudzinski commits to Wichita State volleyball

Sports: Katy Dudzinski has her college choice out of the way, making a verbal commitment to Wichita State University Shockers volleyball last week. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland volleyball fans won’t be shocked that outside hitter Katy Dudzinski will be competing at the next level after graduating from high school in the spring of 2012.

As for Dudzinski, she’ll be joining a program full of them.

Last week, the 6-foot-2 junior made a verbal commitment to play Division I volleyball for the Wichita State University Shockers program in Wichita, Kan.

The Shockers, coached by Chris Lamb, get a premier player in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference and the area, while Dudzinski gets piece of mind after making her college choice.

“Basically, I’ve been playing competitive volleyball since freshman year and I had always liked University of Arizona, but I wondered if I would click there. Once we visited (Wichita State), I fit in with the program and it clicked,” Dudzinski said.

Dudzinski, who also competes with the Kane County Juniors club volleyball outfit, is doing her best to tear up the softball diamond this spring.

The junior had also considered University of Northern Iowa, Missouri Valley Conference-mates with the Shockers, during the recruiting questionnaire stage.

“They had already signed outside hitters, so I checked Wichita State out, and it’s such a great program and I get a full-ride scholarship,” Dudzinski said.

Dudzinski’s older brother Dave just completed his freshman basketball season for the Division I Holy Cross Crusaders.

Now Katy will get a chance to experience differences in the volleyball game.

“It’s tremendously fast and you can feel a little over your head right now. The girls are all in good shape, and it’s a fast sport at the college level,” Dudzinski said.

Dudzinski’s junior volleyball season featured many kills for the Lady Knights in a 19-14 season.

Andrews, Callaghan and Serpa partake in busy signing month

Top photo: Flanked by family members, Blake Serpa (left) and Tyler Callaghan (right) sign their commitments at Central Michigan and St. Joseph’s College on Feb. 9. Taylor Andrews (below) signed with West Point on Tuesday. Photos by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How good was the Class of 2011 group that kept finding the endzone for Kaneland football?

Ask three very lucky institutions of higher learning.

On Feb. 9, Kaneland High School was host to signings by Blake Serpa to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., and Tyler Callaghan to Division II St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. Tuesday featured Taylor Andrews commiting to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Family, various teachers, Kaneland High School Athletics Director Leigh Jaffke and KHS varsity football coach Tom Fedderly were present for both occasions.

For Serpa, whose interest in the Mid-American Conference school dated back to last year, feels that a productive senior year helped his cause and prospects for the next level.

“There’s not the extra (weight) on my shoulders about where I’m going to go, so it’s nice that the pressure was off,” Serpa said. “Defensive end is where they really want me. There could be some packages where I play tight end, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Teammate Callaghan hits the institution that housed the Bears training camp home from 1944-1974.

“I went there and I liked it right away,” Callaghan said. “It’s a small school right off the interstate, and it’s nice to have that close atmosphere.”

Callaghan is expected to contribute at tight end and major in biology.

“I hope to be a big part of the offense, and this system helped a lot. The offense we run is so dynamic,” Callaghan said.

Flanked in Army gear and accompanied by family and Sgt. Jason Hardman, Andrews is glad to see the next phase of his life come into focus.

“I was really looking toward ROTC in college, and I was really set on Wheaton College for awhile. Then West Point wanted me to come out for a visit two weeks ago,” Andrews said. “The first night, I knew I wanted to be there; the whole legacy of everything.”

Andrews’ eventual position is to be determined.

Where the Redbird golfs: Guyton to ISU in fall

Photo: Hayley Guyton, one of the more celebrated KHS golfers in recent memory, has committed to Illinois State University golf for the 2011-12 year. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights senior Hayley Guyton is set to move from trying to best Barbs and Foxes to getting the upper hand on Bears and Braves.

Such is life in the Missouri Valley Conference circuit of women’s golf, soon to be joined by Guyton.

The Sugar Grove resident signed a letter of intent this month to compete for Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. in the fall.
[quote]
Guyton will move closer to her previous home in the Decatur, Ill. area and remains relatively close to her current school district.

“I know I’m the type of person to get homesick and I still have a lot of friends and family down there,” Guyton said. “I know people going to school in Bloomington, Ill., so it just seemed like the perfect fit. It’s a home away from home and will be more comfortable.”

Head womens’ coach Darby Sligh is eager for what Guyton can bring to Normal.

“We’re incredibly excited to have her. She brings a wealth of experience, and it’s always nice to bring a little local flair to our golf program,” she said.

Guyton, who competed on the Kaneland boys squad under coach Mark Meyer, is ready for adjustments inherent with playing on the girls circuit.

“It’ll be different practicing with the girls all the time. It’s a great group of girls and I’m really excited to play with them,” Guyton said.

Guyton brings the sixth-lowest IHSA Statetournament score of 145, acheived as a junior when she finished second overall, and an eighth-place Class AA finish this past fall.

“I need to be more consistent and hit the ball further, because I want to travel my freshman year, I think that’d be really great. It’ll all help me in dealing with the college pressure,” Guyton said.

In the meantime, Guyton is taking a break from the links aside from the occasional lesson and weightlifting.

It’s a welcome calm leading to the next phase of Guyton’s golf story.

Kaneland High School rises up with fall sports awards

Photo: Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton, was one of the highlighted athletes recognized for her State trip during the fall season for girls’ golf. File Photo

KANELAND—It was time to think warmer thoughts at Kaneland High School, as Friday had the release of the Kaneland High School Fall Sports Awards.

The awards were announced at this late date due to the postseason success of the football squad.

For girls cross-country, the captain trio of Andie Strang, Jessica Stouffer and Kris Bowen were recognized for its service.

Shaela Collins and Kaitlin Munyon took home the most improved runners honor, and Strang was named most valuable runner. Strang, Ashley Castellanos and Jennifer Howland were named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad, and Howland was honored for her State qualifying appearance in Nov.

For the boys cross-country side, Trevor Holm was picked as most valuable runner. and Ryan Paulson took home the most improved runner honor. The Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength went to Tommy Whittaker. Grant Alef, Holm and Whittaker were recognized as captains.

The Golden Knight award, given to one runner in each grade level, was bestowed upon freshman Dylan Kuipers, sophomore Christopher Wido, junior Clayton Brundige and Tommy Whittaker.

Holm was honored for his standing in the NIB-12 All-Conference group, as well as being a State qualifier.

For football, Joe Camiliere, Jimmy Boyle, Taylor Andrews, Blake Serpa, Tyler Callaghan and Curtis Secrest were recognized as captains. Nick Michels won the most improved player nod, and the MVP honor went five ways with Camiliere, Boyle, Andrews, Serpa and Callaghan earning the honor.

Camiliere was named offensive MVP, while teammate Serpa took the defensive MVP. Quinn Buschbacher won the special teams MVP. A slew of Knights were named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel, Buschabcher, Sean Carter, Camiliere, Boyle, Serpa, Kyle Davidson, Jacob Razo, Callaghan and Andrews.

Concerning Kaneland golf, Anthony Sperando was named most improved player on the varsity level, and Hayley Guyton was named varsity MVP. Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar shared the frosh/soph MVP sward. Sean Glennon was awarded the frosh/soph most improved player award. Team leader Guyton was also lauded for her eighth place finish at the girls’ gold State gathering.

For the Lady Knights volleyball crew, Jessica Lubic took the most valuable player award. Katy Dudzinski was named top offensive player, and Kylie Siebert won top defensive player award. The Spirit Award went to Mackenzie Curran, while most improved player was won by Lauren Banbury.

Lubic and Dudzinski were honored for their spots on the NIB-12 Conference team.

For boys’ soccer, Alex Gil, J.P. Minogue, Thansi Pesmajoglou, Trevor Wolf and Derek White were honored for their captaincy. Alex Weiss and Jordan Escobedo were named co-most improved player, while Minogue and White took home the co-MVP award. Rookie of the Year went to Anthony Parillo. The Coach’s Award was given to Gil, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka and Pedro Perez.

All-Northern Illinois Big XII members were announced as White, Minogue, Escobedo, Gil, Chad Swieca and Parillo. Honorable mention members were Perez, Rymarz, Koczka, Wolf, Tyler Siebert, Weiss and Pesmajoglou.

Escobedo was named to the all-Sectional squad, and teammate Gil was an honorable mention.

No State Trip for Knights

Remarkable season for KHS ends in 27-14 loss to Montini
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Too many big plays, not enough time to come back from a large deficit, or facing a daunting program looking for a repeat State championship.

Whatever the main reason, it resulted in Kaneland’s season-ending loss at the hands of Lombard’s Montini Catholic High School in a 27-14 affair on Saturday evening.

The loss marked the Knights’ first loss since Oc. 31, 2009, and ended their 2010 campaign at 12-1.

Montini (11-2) now goes to Memorial Stadium in Champaign to face Chatham’s Glenwood High School in the 5A title game at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27.

“I told these kids they have nothing to be mad about,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said on Saturday. “They played hard. It was a good team that we lost to, but we had a tremendous season.”

The Broncos amassed 405 total yards, compared to the Knights’ 356.

Montini’s Matt Westerkamp, a premier area quarterback, went 21-for-29 for 276 yards with a touchdown pass and no interceptions. Westerkamp also was the game-high rusher in an otherwise pass-happy game with 43 yards and two scoring rushes. Westerkamp’s cousin, Jordan, had a state semifinal-worthy night, catching 10 passes for 186 yards and a score.

Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) echoes many a feeling in Maple Park after Saturday’s Class 5A State semifinal loss at the hands of Montini Catholic High School, 27-14.

For Kaneland’s final effort of the season, senior Joe Camiliere was 26-for-43 for 293 yards and a touchdown, but was knocked out of the game on a third-down hit with 5:28 remaining. Teammate Blake Serpa served as quarterback for the remainder of the contest out of the “wildcat” formation.

Camiliere also rushed 10 times for 38 yards.

Out of five targets in the spread offense, Kaneland’s Tyler Callaghan was the leading receiver with nine catches for 66 yards, while Quinn Buschbacher was close behind with seven catches for 65 yards.

Kaneland’s first drive ended on downs at the Montini 37-yard line. Two drives later, Montini was forced to start at its’ own nine-yard line on a down punt. On a 15-play, 91-yard drive that went into the second quarter, the Broncos’ Anthony Taylor knifed through the secondary for a 15-yard touchdown with 7:28 remaining in the half.

On Kaneland’s next drive, a fourth-and-three from the Montini 43 had a bad snap on a punt, with Serpa’s desperation pass to Kyle Davidson going incomplete. The Broncos turned that into a seven-play drive that ended on a four-yard TD run by Matt Westerkamp. KHS went into the break down 14-0 after a 37-yard field goal try with 1:22 to go was no good.

After a Knights drive to open the second half turned up empty, Montini started at its own 43 and scored three plays later on a 26-yard catch by Jordan Westerkamp. The jump ball snag with 8:35 left in the third gave the Broncos a 21-0 edge.

Using a balanced drive, however, KHS finally got on the board at the 5:56 mark with a 33-yard touchdown catch by Sean Carter, closing the deficit to 21-7.

On the ensuing drive, Montini used a one-yard sneak by Matt Westerkamp with 3:35 to go to go up 27-7.

Kaneland came up short on downs twice in the fourth quarter, the second time saw a bubble screen to Buschbacher from the 10 end a 15-play drive.

Soon after, Kaneland would convert a three-play drive that ended on Serpa’s one-yard run with 2:25 to go to cut the margin to 13.

Unfortunately, Kaneland’s onside kick try fell into the visitors’ hands, effectively ending the season.

The loss didn’t make the 2010 season any less memorable for fourth-year coach Fedderly, or his group of departing seniors.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much those kids mean to me. They’re almost like little brothers. We’ve been around each other for so long, I just think the world of them. No matter what the outcome of this game, these are great kids,” Fedderly said.

Play of the Knight

Kaneland’s program was so good in 2010 that it wasn’t used to coming back from large deficits.
Jordan Westerkamp of Montini cared little about that fact. His jump ball catch in the third quarter, despite the best efforts of Kyle Davidson and Quinn Buschbacher, gave Montini a 21-0 lead.

Kaneland’s history in State Semifinal matchups:
(5A)Montini Catholic 27, Kaneland 14—November 20, 2010
(5A)Marian Central Catholic 22, Kaneland 7—November 19, 2006
(3A)Kaneland 40, Hall 21—November 21, 1998
(3A)Kaneland 41, Marengo 7—November 22, 1997 

2010 NIB-12 All Conference:
NIB-12 East Offensive MVP: Joe Camiliere
NIB-12 East Defensive MVP: Blake Serpa
OL: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel; WR: Quinn Buschbacher, Sean Carter; QB: Joe Camiliere; DL: Jimmy Boyle, Blake Serpa; DB: Kyle Davidson, Jacob
Razo; LB: Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews

Best of NIB-12 XC recognized

KANELAND—Earlier this month, the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference released its girls and boys list for premier All-Conference runners.

The boys and girls side had 21 runners each, based on October’s NIB-12 race in Elburn.

The Lady Knight contingent included junior Jen Howland, senior Andie Strang and sophomore Ashley Castellanos.

Conference champ Dixon was represented by Haley Thorpe, Chelsea Sondgeroth, Brittany Schwarz, Brooke Bailey and Megan Burger.

DeKalb was represented by Kelsey Schrader and Desa Diedrich. Geneseo had Emily Ford and Paige Gatter. Yorkville brought Ali Hester, Casey Kramer, Esther Bell, Bree Steupfert and Leena Palmer.

Sycamore was represented by Tessa Strack, Maggie Lalowski and Morgan Morreale. Rochelle’s lone rep was Hannah Gille.

For the boys’ side, Kaneland’s one representative was senior Trevor Holm.

Conference champions Yorkville added Eric Baker, Zak Arcara, Chris Kellogg, Scott King, Kyle Dhuse and Karl Bomba.

Sterling was highlighted by Jacob Landis and Dylan Harkness.

Dixon had Simon Thorpe, Roy Hummell and Aaron Grady.

DeKalb was repped by Marc Dubrik.

Morris had Heath Hougas as part of the list, while Sycamore had Mark Stice, and Geneseo added Jordan Starkey, Kyle Reiling Jr. and Thomas Sigwalt. Rochelle had Kevin Smith Jr.,and Tyler Rivera.

Better late than never

Photo: Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) (right) follows upfield blocking in the form of teammate Blake Serpa in Kaneland’s win. Photo by Ryan Wells

Camiliere-to-Callaghan with :10 left sends Knights to semi
by Mike Slodki
VERNON HILLS—What is it about Kaneland football and Class 5A State quarterfinals?

After Saturday afternoon, we know the Knights like playing games with a flair for the dramatic. But most importantly, they like winning them. Much like the quarterfinal win over Sterling four years ago, Kaneland pulled out a late win. Joe Camiliere hit an outstretched Tyler Callaghan in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left to stun the host Vernon Hills Cougars and fans, 27-21.

“It’s just something we’ve preached all year long about. Just keep playing. Forget about the last play, see what you can do the next play,” Fedderly said.

With the win, Kaneland now has its most wins in a season since 1998, improves to 12-0 and now hosts Lombard’s Montini Catholic this coming weekend for the right to face either Peoria Richwoods or Glenwood High School of Chatham, Ill. in the Class 5A State final at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

Vernon Hills, which boasts two Division I recruits in DaVaris Daniels (Notre Dame) and Evan Spencer (Ohio State), finished the year at 10-2.

KHS amassed 412 total yards, compared to 383 for the Cougars.

Camiliere was 25-for-41 for 317 yards and four touchdown throws, along with a season-high three interceptions.

“All we want to do is get it to our receivers and just move the chains. When we get in rhythm, we’re hard to stop,” Fedderly said.

Camiliere was also the leading rusher for KHS with 63 yards on 10 carries. Vernon Hills’ Brian Palmer ran 22 times for 91 yards and a TD. Balance was the key for the spread offense as six different receivers were hit throughout the game, led by Blake Serpa’s six catches for 88 yards and a score.

After trading scores in the second and third quarters, the lone fourth-quarter score came from the Knights on the final drive of the game.

After Vernon Hills missed a 38-yard field goal with 2:29 remaining, Kaneland set up shop at its own 20-yard line. A pass to Serpa and Callaghan got the ball to the Kaneland 31 before Camiliere was sacked. Camiliere rattled off two runs to get to the 46 before an incomplete pass. Quinn Buschbacher caught a second-down pass for a first-down at the VH 40, and Sean Carter caught a 17-yard pass over the middle to get to the 23. Carter then caught a seven-yard pass after two incompletions.

Setting up on a fourth-and-three from the 16-yard line, Daniel Helm caught a pass near the KHS sideline after falling on the wet grass—his most important catch of 2010.

A clock-stopping spike set up second-and-goal from the 10, leading to the deciding touchdown.

“I did everything I could to get that ball and came down with it,” Callaghan said. “We came up clutch and Helm, the freshman came up big, too.”

Vernon Hills got the scoring started with a 49-yard touchdown from Chris Argianas to Daniels on a bobbled ball with 6:38 to go in the half. Camiliere found Buschbacher on a 34-yard TD with 10 seconds remaining in the half.

In the third quarter, Palmer broke free for a 21-yard TD run with 10:06 left before Camiliere hooked up with Carter for an 11-yard score with 8:08 to go. Spencer gave VH a 21-14 lead with 1:19 left in the quarter on a one-yard run, but Serpa caught a 33-yard touchdown pass with :22 left to tie matters and set the stage for the fourth.

The Kaneland-Montini Catholic showdown is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m.

Knight Sean Carter (25) (above) tries to avoid a Cougar defender during Kaneland’s thrilling 27-21 win at Vernon Hills in the 5A quarterfinals. Photo by Ryan Wells

PLAY OF THE KNIGHT

Daniel Helm will have something to remember 2010 by. On fourth-and-three from the 16 of Vernon Hills, Helm slipped on the grass, but caught a first down throw before standing all the way up.

Kaneland confident in 34-7 playoff win

by Ryan Wells
Maple Park—“Confidence” was the word on the lips of the Kaneland players as they exited Peterson Field Saturday night following their 34-7 victory over Crystal Lake Central in round 2 of the IHSA football playoffs.

“We’re all just confident with each other,” said Kaneland wide receiver and defensive lineman Blake Serpa. “We know everyone is going to do their job, and not pay attention to what everybody else is supposed to do, and just execute.”

Perhaps most impressive in Saturday night’s win was how each phase of the Knights’ game built confidence in the other phases.

For example, each of the six booming kickoffs by Matt Rodriguez forced the Tigers to start deep in their own territory, including three that went for a touchback after crossing the plane of the endzone. According to Serpa, who caught two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushed eight times for 41 yards and another score, this simply added to the defensive unit’s confidence, as has been the case all season.

“Our kicker has always given us field position,” he said. “With our defense, we think if they have to drive 80 yards it’s going to be harder for them than it is for us driving the 50 yards that we have to drive.”

Another example of the cyclical nature of the Knights’ confidence Saturday night was how their defensive ability to stop the Tigers emboldened the Knights’ offense, particularly on third down. Not only did Kaneland fare well on third down, converting on eight of 11 attempts, but the offense became even more aggressive on third downs, going for the long play just as often as going for first-down yardage.

In fact, four of the Knights touchdowns—and all of KHS quarterback Joe Camiliere’s touchdown tosses—came on third down. Quinn Buschbacher, who led the receiver corps with 104 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions, said their success on third down is a result of their confidence in each other.

“I think we have a lot of confidence in everybody on the offense,” he said. “I mean, we trust our offensive line to hold their block as long as possible. We also trust Joe, and the receivers, to find the opening, to find the open man.”

The game began with both teams showing confidence; each team putting together a long drive that took the game into the second quarter.

Kaneland opened the game with a drive from its own 32 yard line. They pushed the ball to the Tiger 21-yard-line with a mix of runs and passes before facing a third-and-eight at the Tiger 21 yard line.

That’s when Camiliere found Tyler Callaghan over the middle. Callaghan worked his way toward the end zone, falling across the goal line with 6:50 left in the first quarter. Rodriguez’s extra point gave Kaneland a 7-0 lead.

Crystal Lake Central responded with its own long drive, one that started from its own 20 and ate up the rest of the first quarter and the first 14 seconds of the second. Highlighted by a 33-yard pass to the left flat from quarterback Brett Schuld to reciever Connor Baumann, the Tigers worked their way to a second-and-goal at the Kaneland 9-yard-line.

Tiger running back Dyllon McKinney took a pitch around the left end and dove over the corner of the end zone to knot the score at 7 apiece.

Kaneland had the benefit of great field position on its next drive, starting from its own 46-yard-line. A leaping grab for an 18-yard gain by Taylor Andrews put the ball at the Tiger 36-yard-line, and soon Kaneland found itself facing a third-and-seven from the CLC 33-yard-line. That’s when freshman receiver Daniel Helm caught a pass on a 10-yard turnaround on the right side, shook off a couple of would-be tacklers and raced to a 32-yard touchdown and 13-7 lead. Trouble with the snap and hold on the extra-point attempt left the score at 13-7, with 10:19 left to play in the half.

After forcing Crystal Lake Central to punt on its next drive, Kaneland found itself having to punt away as well. However, the Tigers fumbled on the return, giving Kaneland the ball back with great field position at the Tiger 40-yard-line with 5:13 to go in the half.

Just over a minute later, Serpa took a hand-off and broke through the line off the right tackle, finding the end zone on a 27-yard touchdown run. The TD and extra point gave Kaneland a 20-7 lead with 3:56 remaining in the half.

Serpa helped end the Tigers’ next drive, pressuring Tiger QB Brett Schuld on third-and-11 from their own 19 and forcing him to throw the ball away. The defensive stand led to a Tiger punt and great field position for the Knights, who started their next drive at the CLC 30-yard-line.

On third-and-10 from the Tiger 18, Camiliere tossed a pass down the right seam to Serpa, who was double-covered by the Tigers. Serpa’s leaping grab in the end zone gave Kaneland a 27-7 lead with 43 seconds left in the half, effectively putting the game out of reach for Crystal Lake.

The second half saw Kaneland’s defense clamp down, holding CLC scoreless, and its offense to run time off the clock and make sure that when the Tigers would regain the ball, it was deep in its own territory.

Kaneland added the final points of the night with 3:42 left in the game when Camiliere hit Buschbacher in stride over the middle for a 27-yard touchdown pass.

Holding a 20-7 lead with less than three minutes left in the first half, the Kaneland defense needed to keep Crystal Lake from clawing back into the game before half time. Having just scored a touchdown on the previous drive, Kaneland defensive lineman/wide receiver Blake Serpa worked through the CLC offensive line and put pressure on the Tiger quarterback, forcing him to throw a third-down pass out of bounds to set up a fourth down punting situation. A couple of minutes later, Serpa would score again on a leaping catch in the end zone with less than a minute left in the half, giving Kaneland a 27-7 lead and effectively putting the game out of reach for the Crystal Lake Central Tigers.

Up next …

Vernon Hills
#1 Maple Park (Kaneland) (11-0)
at #4 Vernon Hills (10-1),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

Kaneland will travel to North Suburban Prairie Conference champions Vernon Hills on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m.
Vernon Hills enters the contest as the No. 4 seed with a 10-1 record. The team started the season with an amazing seven-consecutive shutout victories, outscoring its opponents 310-0 during the streak.
Fresh off a 37-22 victory over Tinley Park High School last week, Vernon Hills may prove to be the Knights’ toughest test yet this season.

And then there were 8
Third-round 5A contests
#1 Kaneland (11-0)
at #4 Vernon Hills (10-1),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

#10 Woodstock (Marian) (8-3)
at #6 Lombard (Montini),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

#2 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (10-1)
at #1 Peoria (Richwoods) (11-0),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

#4 Chatham (Glenwood) (8-3)
at #3 Springfield (H.S.) (9-2),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

Photo: Receiver Tyler Callaghan drives to the goal line for the first 6 points of Kaneland’s 34-7 victory over the visiting Crystal Lake Central Tigers in 2nd-round playoff action in Maple Park. The Knights travel to Vernon Hills Saturday at 1 p.m. in quarterfinal action. Photo by Ryan Wells

Holm secures KHS record at State race

by Keith Beebe
Peoria—“Bittersweet” would be an accurate term to describe Kaneland senior Trevor Holm’s performance at the IHSA boys cross country 2A State Finals on Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

Holm finished in 37th place with a time of 15:25, failing to earn an All-State medal. However, his time was both a personal best and the fastest ever for a Kaneland Knight at Detweiller Park, eclipsing the previous record of 15:26 set by Jim Probst in 1987.

“I thought Trevor was a little disappointed after the race that he wasn’t able to repeat as an All-State athlete even though he ran 10 seconds faster this year,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “We’re very proud of him, though. He gutted it out and left everything he had out on the track.”

Holm was slightly less enthusiastic about his performance despite the record-setting time.

“It wasn’t my best race. I peaked way too early into the season and it was just downhill from there,” he said. “I could’ve run a way lower time. I ran 15:09 in the beginning of October, and it was by myself. I felt great then, but I just peaked too early.”

Clarey said this was Holm’s first completely healthy, 12-week season since his freshman year.

“In past years, he’s had to get himself prepared and ready on a shortened timetable because of illnesses at the start of his season, but he did a great job all season long this year,” he said. “And Trevor’s basically been going at maximum speed with training and everything since the end of last season.”

Clarey also pointed out the significance of Holm breaking the Kaneland record in his final high school race.
“The fact that Trevor ran a personal-best race at the end of his career is something special, even if it didn’t net an All-State medal this year. And he went out by setting the fastest time on that course,” he said.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Photo: Kaneland’s Trevor Holm was unable to repeat as an all-state athlete, even after running the fastest time in Knight history at the state meet. Holm finished 37th at the IHSA State Meet with a time of 15:25.
File Photo

Howland sets season best at state

by Keith Beebe
Peoria—A two-year layoff from cross-country running didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Kaneland High School’s Jen Howland at the IHSA 2A State Final on Saturday in Peoria.

Howland, a world-class triathlete who competed in the International Triathlon Union’s Women’s Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last September, finished in 51st place with a season-best time of 18:26.

“For someone who had not run high school cross country (in) over two years, I would say she did a great job,” KHS Coach Doug Ecker said. “She only started practicing with us the last week (of) September (and had) only five to six weeks of practice and limited meet experience.”

Howland missed the last two cross-country seasons because of injuries, including two broken legs brought on by stress fractures in her shins in 2009.

Photo: Kaneland’s Jen Howland (880) finished 51st at Saturday’s IHSA State Cross Country meet. In what is considered the fastest race in the history of the state meet, Howland’s time of 18:26 would have been good enough for All-State last season. Photo by Linda Bell

IHSA football finals to be on ESPN3.com

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—On Sept. 3, 2010 the match-up between defending Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state football champions Wheaton Warrenville South (7A) and Maine South (8A) was carried exclusively on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 live broadband sports network, as well as ESPNU.

The IHSA and its broadcast partner When We Were Young Productions (WWWYP) have announced in conjunction with ESPN that the 2010 IHSA Football State Championship contests will be carried live on ESPN3.com, marking the first time that ESPN has broadcast a high school state association state final event in any sport on any of the network’s platforms.

The IHSA’s eight state championship football games will once again be broadcast around the state on local television via the IHSA TV Network when the contests unfold at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium in Champaign on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-27. ESPN3.com will carry the live television feed from all eight contests, which can be accessed via www.ESPN3.com . The IHSA’s webstreaming portal, www.IHSA.tv, will not carry the games live, but will have each contest archived after its conclusion.

“I am not sure there is a company or organization on the planet that has defined sports and sports coverage in my lifetime more than ESPN,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “The opportunity to align ourselves with ESPN3.com is very exciting and unique to say the least.”

Kaneland volleyball ousted in regionals

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a productive season for Kaneland volleyball that saw KHS coach Todd Weimer’s crew overcome obstacles and stack a nice number of wins.

But the 19-14 Lady Knights’s ended just the same.

Kaneland was conceivably 12 points away from eliminating second seed Hampshire during Thursday’s Kaneland Regional. but the Whip-purs rallied and surged ahead, stopping Kaneland 22-25, 25-20, 25-18 to go to Saturday’s final against top seed Sycamore. The Lady Spartans eliminated Burlington Central 25-17, 25-22.

“It’s tough. The team’s had a productive season. For us, it’s been small steps. Finally winning a conference match, doing well in a tournament, getting close to .500, over.500, hosting a regional. This is one step at a time,” Weimer said.

Going neck-and-neck in the first game, Kaneland found itself down 16-15 before solidifying play and taking the lead for good at 19-18. Needing two points to cinch the game win, Malory Groen and Jessica Lubic (two kills, 24 assists) combined on a block, and Hampshire’s dig attempt went out of bounds to secure the three-point margin.

The second game was bumpier for Kaneland, as they fell behind 10-7 and later 17-12 before Kaneland tied it at 18. However, Hampshire closed out the second game with a 7-2 run.

Kaneland led by as much as 11-9 in game three, but Hampshire warded off any Kaneland comeback chance. With Kaneland down 18-17, the Whip-purs went on a 7-1 run to close the match.

The Lady Knights say goodbye to seniors Lubic, Melanie Thompson, Taylor Bradbury and Mackenzie Curran.

Holm representing KHS boys at State

by Mike Slodki
BELVIDERE—According to KHS coach Chad Clarey, Knight runner Trevor Holm ran his race strategy to perfection.

Based on Saturday’s perforance at the IHSA 2A Belvidere Sectional, Holm will finish his senior year in style.

One of the productive Knight anchors throughout the year, Holm finished 10th overall with a 16 minute clip.

Holm feels, despite the accolades, it was not his best race of 2010.

“No, I felt tired and I really had to push myself at the end. I was getting over being sick, but I was getting confidence toward the end,” Holm said.

Meanwhile, Kaneland as a whole unit fell short of State by one place and 28 points.

With 231 team points, Kaneland was behind Belvidere North (30), Crystal Lake Central (87), Marmion Academy (96), Glenbard South (183) and Woodstock (203).

“We wanted our 2-5 to be less than 30 seconds. Today they were 25 seconds. It was good enough to beat nearly all off the teams battling for the last qualifying spot. We just couldn’t counterbalance the 1-2 punch of Woodstock.

After Holm, teammate Nate Rehkopf was 44th overall with a time of 16:54. Close behind was Grant Alef in 45th place just one second behind Rehkopf.

In 58th, Conor Johnson finished in 17:05, while John Meisinger was 74th at 17:19.

Holm wishes the entire team was represented at State, but is glad to be down there as a lone Knight.

“It was a goal of mind, and it’s great that one of us gets to go down there instead of no one. We deserve recognition,” Holm said.

About last year…
IHSA 2A State Finals
Kaneland finished in 5th place (192 points)
Trevor Holm – 18th place (15:35)
Dominic Furco – 34th place (15:56)
Edgar Valle – 45th place (16:08)
Matt Reusche -47th place (16:11)
File Photo