Category Archives: Fall Sports

Perfect 10

Photo: Knight pass-catcher Tyler Callaghan found himself up close and personal with the turf, but not until after the final KHS touchdown in a 42-0 win over Chicago’s King High School. Kaneland now awaits Crystal Lake Central on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights get all they need in first half of 42-0 win
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Before the beginning of the fourth quarter on Friday night, Knights Taylor Andrews and Nick Michels ran from the sidelines to the field in a sprint.

The winner of that footrace was pretty much the only question to answer on Friday.

With 21 points each in the first and second quarter, the top-seeded Kaneland squad eliminated No. 16 King High School by a 42-0 tally.

“It’s always fun to play somebody different,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “In the playoffs, you’re going to see a lot of different things, and preparation is just really important.”

The 10-0 Knights now gear up for eighth-seeded Crystal Lake Central, who outlasted Antioch on Saturday evening in overtime, 24-21.

With the running clock implemented for the entire second half, the Knights got productive nights from their key players and also found them rest.

The 42-0 shellacking of the Jaguars saw Joe Camiliere go 13-for-15 for 217 yards with four scoring strikes.

The senior and three-year starter was also the game-high rusher with 48 yards on two carries.

The leading receiver was Quinn Buschbacher, who grabbed four balls for 75 yards.

Kaneland’s scoring escapades began on it’s second play from scrimmage when Camiliere followed blockers en route to a 45-yard touchdown just 45 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

On Kaneland’s third-drive, Buschbacher scored on a six-yard TD run to cap a four-play drive and made it 14-0.

Kaneland made it three successful third-quarter drives with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Blake Serpa with :57 left in the quarter.

The second quarter featured a 20-yard touchdown pass to Andrews with 11:08 left in the second frame, followed by a 12-yard slant pass to Buschbacher for a 35-0 lead with 8:29 remaining, and a nine-yard paydirt strike to Tyler Callaghan with :57 left in the first half.

The Crystal Lake Central Tigers are 8-2 entering Saturday’s tiff. The Tigers have not suffered a loss since a 14-7 setback to Peoria Richwoods on Sept. 11.

“ A lot of teams coming ahead of us are really good teams,” Callaghan said. “We’ve got a ton of potential, especially with Blake and Joe and our offensive line was really young coming into the year, but now they’re one of our strengths.”

The winner of KHS-CLC is slated to face either No. 4 Vernon Hills or No. 12 Tinley Park in a semifinal matchup.

The King Jaguars might have had a good night on the gridiron if it weren’t for the Knights. While it was going to be a tough night defensively for King, Taylor Andrews also made sure it would be trying on the offensive side. Andrews’ sack of Kendal Harris on third-and-14 from the King 10 pinned the visitors deep in their own territory. The punt landed at the King 27, leading to a Quinn Buschbacher TD run and a 14-0 lead.

And then there were 16:
Second Round 5A contests

#8 Crystal Lake (Central) (8-2) at
#1 Maple Park (Kaneland) (10-0),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

#4 Vernon Hills (9-1) at
#12 Tinley Park (H.S.) (7-3),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 5 p.m.

#15 Grayslake (Central) (6-4) at
#10 Woodstock (Marian) (7-3),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

#6 Lombard (Montini) (8-2) at
#3 Sycamore (H.S.) (9-1),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#4 New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West) (8-2) at #1 Peoria (Richwoods) (10-0),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#2 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (9-1) vs.
#3 Sterling (H.S.) (8-2) at Joliet Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

#4 Chatham (Glenwood) (7-3) at
#8 Jacksonville (H.S.) (6-4)
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#3 Springfield (H.S.) (8-2) at
#2 Marion (H.S.) (9-1),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m.

Howland first girls XC State rep in three years

by Mike Slodki
BELVIDERE—Kaneland girls cross country may not have a large presence in Peoria this coming weekend, but it will be significant.

While the Lady Knights fell short by 68 points and one place in a quest to get the entire roster down to Peoria for the Class 2A State race, junior Jen Howland will represent Kaneland.

Howland, who recently made a return from injuries in time for the State series, finished 12th in the field, finishing the course in 19 minutes, 8 seconds.

“I’m just happy to make the top 25, that was my goal,” Howland said on Tuesday. “I know anything can happen and I just have to try my best and improve my time.”

Senior Andie Strang, who was the last State qualifier in her freshman year, was 24th overall in her final high school race at 19:33.

Sophomore Ashley Castellanos finished her overall consistent campaign with a time of 19:52, good for 37th place. Senior Kris Bowen was next for KHS in her final race, finishing in 20:20.

Meanwhile, Howland spend the prep time this week practicing with the boys team.

“I’m very honored to get down to State, everyone worked real hard this year and pushed themselves,” Howland said.

Kaneland’s 198 points was behind Crystal Lake Central (82), Woodstock (94), Montini Catholic (112) and St. Francis (127).

Kayla Beattie was crowned sectional champ with a 17:03 effort for Woodstock.

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Kaneland’s Jen Howland looks to make the rest of the Class 2A State field eat dust on Saturday.
File Photo

Seeing Redskin

Football cinches first unblemished regular season since 1998
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After Friday’s 47-7 win by Kaneland over Morris, the Redskins were probably glad the two teams met only once this season.

Kaneland had a funny way of repeating itself that way—nine times over.

The regular season-ending win for KHS squares things at 9-0 (5-0 NIB-12).

The victory over Morris gives Kaneland the first undefeated regular season since 1998, under current defensive coordinator Joe Thorgeson, and awards the Knights the first-ever NIB-12 title over Sycamore and Morris.

“I’m so happy for our seniors and all their hard work they put in over the years. It’s something that’s a special thing. Our seniors throughout the whole week talked about not wanting to have any letdown,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

The win also left the Redskins at 6-3 for the regular season, but they live to fight another day. Morris will be the tenth seed in Class 4A’s upper bracket and travel to Bishop McNamara in Kankakee on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

In Friday’s contest, the Knights garnered 402 yards of offense, compared to Morris’ 238.

Kaneland earned 160 yards on the ground on 27 carries and three touchdowns. Kaneland spread the ball through the air to great effectiveness, led by Taylor Andrews’ 66 yards on four catches, and Blake Serpa’s 83 yards on two grabs.

Joe Camiliere was 9-for-11 for 235 yards on two touchdowns.

The Knights wasted little time, as a Quinn Buschbacher swing pass on the first offensive play netted 51 yards. Camiliere went up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown just 21 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

Morris took five plays on the next possession to go 58 yards and ended its drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Austin Feeney to Kjeld Torkelson.

After running out of downs on their second possession, the Knights got back to work on a five-play drive and scored on a five-yard Camiliere TD run with 3:07 to go in the first frame.

Kaneland went up 21-7 soon after, as Serpa blocked a Redskins punt attempt and went 52 yards for a score with 44 seconds left in the quarter.

The Knights kept the late-October festivities going with three more touchdowns in the second frame.

Camiliere hit Buschbacher on an 11-yard scoring strike to complete a seven-play drive with 6:45 to go in the third for a 27-7 lead.

Serpa caught a bomb and strode for an 81-yard touchdown pass with 3:00 to go for a 34-7 lead, and with Morris trying to make something happen, Andrews snuffed out the Redskin threat with a 70-yard interception touchdown with :59 left to go up 41-7 at the break.

“We just came out strong,” Andrews said. “We knew it was going to be a big game. Like we say, everyone did their ‘one-eleventh’ and we fought through.”

The running clock was tripped with a Curtis Secrest 25-yard TD run with 1:03 to go in the game.
In sophomore action, Morris defeated Kaneland 21-19.

The Knights, as the top-seed team in Class 5A’s upper bracket, host the King Jaguars of Chicago’s Public League (16-seed), on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

Kaneland or King will face the winner of (8) Crystal Lake Central and (9) Antioch in the second round.

The first season for Kaneland ended on Friday, and Blake Serpa helped end it in style. The future Chippewa’s blocked punt and touchdown return made life difficult for Morris and continued the renewed output from the Kaneland defense and special teams as of late.

RAISE YOU A KING:
Tidbits about the No. 16 King Jaguars

• The Jaguars are members of the Chicago Public League and play in the Illini Conference, Land of Lincoln division.

• King, at 5-4, is one of only two Class 5A playoff qualifiers to be outscored by their opponents during the season, along with 6-3 Champaign Centennial.

• The Jaguars, coached by Lonnie Williams, put up a season-high 34 points in a 34-26 win over Whitney Young on Aug. 26, but have been shut out twice.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Champion: Kaneland High School* 5 0 9 0 376 95
Sycamore High School* 4 1 8 1 305 118
Morris Com High School* 3 2 6 3 210 162
DeKalb High School* 2 3 5 4 202 203
Yorkville High School 1 4 3 6 146 220
Rochelle Twp High School 0 5 3 6 207 175

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Champion: Sterling High School* 4 1 7 2 188 111
Champion: Geneseo High School* 4 1 8 1 305 89
Champion: Ottawa Twp High School* 4 1 6 3 264 115
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 3 4 5 173 278
Dixon High School 1 4 1 8 142 392
Streator Twp High School 0 5 0 9 66 405

*denotes playoff qualifier

KHS duo make one giant leap for tennis at State

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—Not only did KHS tennis athletes make their way into the history books, they added a chapter.

Lady Knights duo Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski repped the Kaneland area during Thursday’s action in the IHSA State tennis meet and earned the first win in school history.

Jurcenko and Napiorkowski went 1-2 in Thursday’s action that included Kaneland’s first State match win in school history.

The unit earned a berth at the state final in the northwest suburbs after a fourth-place showing at the St. Charles East Sectional, and had their first meeting on Thursday against Rosary’s Angelina Goheen and Katie King. Rosary’s tandem emerged victorious in a 6-1, 6-2 battle.

Jurcenko and Napiorkowski defeated Hampshire’s team of Kendall Walker and Taylor Zilch 6-0, 6-4. The third match was an elimination loss to Emma Peck and Bethany Sexton of Danville by a final of 6-0, 7-6.

Marika Cusick & Caroline Lorenzini of Hinsdale Central won the doubles title.

With the conclusion of the State finals, Kaneland tennis and Coach Tim Larsen say goodbye to Jurcenko and fellow seniors Sierra Cruz, Caiti Ellefson and Meg Hanlon.

Workin’ overtime: Kaneland soccer earns regional title, falls to Sterling in sectional

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was one heck of a late-season run that the Knights’ soccer roster went on, and it will be nice to reflect on in time.

All that will happen once the team catches up on sleep.

Starting with the Class 2A Sycamore Regional opener on Oct. 20 and ending with the Belvidere Sectional semifinal loss to Sterling, Kaneland played in nine overtime periods and came away with its first regional plaque since 2004.

The Knights beat Sycamore to open the playoffs in a 1-0, four-overtime thriller, and then beat top-seeded Rochelle to win the regional on Friday in a 1-0, two-overtime match.

The season came to an end with a 3-2, three- overtime loss to the Sterling Golden Warriors on Tuesday, ending the season at 11-11-2, a four-game improvement on last year’s end.

Sterling was scheduled to face Wednesday’s winner of Burlington Central-Freeport on Friday for the sectional final.

Against the Spartans, Chad Swieca knotted things up with a close-range goal with 21:32 left in regulation.

With the skies darkening and the Knights 55 seconds away from going into the penalty kick phase, Jordan Escobedo hit a header into the net off a corner kick for the win.

“I missed a bunch of goals, so I was pretty mad,” Escobedo said. “I just went down and saw the ball coming and put my head down and saw it in the back of the net.”

Against the Hubs, Kaneland waded through almost 100 minutes of scoreless soccer before Derek White scored with 57 seconds to go in the second overtime to capture Kaneland’s first soccer regional title since 2004 and the first head-to-head regional for Kaneland since the Lady Knights softball team in 2005.

At Belvidere High School, a scoreless tie was broken by Sam Rymarz with 5:11 remaining in the first half from roughly 25 yards out.

In the second half, Sterling got on the board 5:10 into the frame after a ball caromed off of two Knights.

With 3:01 remaining in the contest, the Warriors got another goal to go up 2-1. When all seemed lost, Swieca won a battle with the Sterling goalkeeper and knocked a loose ball in with 1:23 to go in regulation.

Sterling finally scored a goal with Conrado Solis knocking it in with 8:39 to go in the third overtime.

The disappointing end in the sectionals fails to take away from the prolific late-season run of KHS.

“It was fun,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Nine overtimes in three playoff games? It ages you. The thing I’m most proud of is that we didn’t give up.”

Photo: J.P. Minogue stops Sycamore cold during the Oct. 20 four-overtime win over the Spartans. Kaneland was unbeaten in three meetings with Sycamore in 2010, and fought all the way to Sectionals this season. Photo by Mike Slodki

Lady Knights look toward sectional run

by Mike Slodki
MALTA—How can fortunes still be promising with the girls cross-country season in its last throes?

When you run for the Lady Knights.

A solid second-place finish allows Kaneland a berth in the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional this weekend.

Kaneland’s 76-point total was good enough to top Sycamore (88), Rosary (102) and Burlington Central (113) out of the advancing teams. Crystal Lake Central took the regional crown with 34 points and five of the top 10 runners.

Race champion was Cassie Kruse of Hampshire with a time of 18 minutes, 18 seconds.

Kaneland’s Jen Howland was tops for the Maple Park crew with a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds. Close behind was teammate Andie Strang in 11th place at 19:39. Ashley Castellanos continued her strong season-long trajectory in 12th place at 19:43. Lady Knight Kris Bowen was 22nd with an effort of 20:45.

KHS coach Doug Ecker was pleased and is eager to see what lies in store at Sectionals.

“The girls did a nice job of picking one another up, and advancing to the Sectional. Jen Howland continues to improve with each race, which should build her confidence. Andie Strang raced like a senior captain and looked strong,” Ecker said.

Saturday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. brings the Belvidere Sectional. Kaneland will see other Sectional champions like Lakes, Woodstock and St. Francis.

Boys XC produces third-place at regional

by Mike Slodki
MALTA—While the boys cross-country season is soon to come to an end, the Knights aren’t quite ready to pack up.

Instead, they continue to run forward.

With a third-place team finish of 91, KHS moves on to Sectionals, hosted by Belvidere High School.

Marmion Academy finished first with a 36 point total after getting three of the top six runners.

Crystal Lake Central took second with 43 points, and Kaneland beat out Burlington Central (91) for the tiebreaker. Aurora Central Catholic took fifth and was the last team to make it out of Kishwaukee College intact.

Chris Alvarez of CLC was regional champion after a 16 minute, five second race.

For Kaneland, Trevor Holm was tops with a seventh place finish of 16:35. Grant Alef was next in line for KHS with a 17:01 finish, good for 17th place. Third for the Knights was Conor Johnson in 20th place with a 17:08 effort. The sophomore actually had to run the last 2 and 3/4 miles of the course with just one shoe after losing it in the race.

Teammate Nate Rehkopf finished in 22nd with a time of 17:12 to round out the top four.

“Advancing is the most important aspect of our day,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “We closed the gap on some teams ahead of us earlier in the year. Holm gave us the single-digit we seek from him, racing some elite 2A teams and runners.”

Other teams joining the Knights and fellow Sycamore Regional teams on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 11 a.m. will be Grayslake North, Grayslake Central, Lakes, Richmond-Burton, Wauconda, Belvidere North, Woodstock, Marengo, Marian Central Catholic, Rochelle, Glenbard South, St. Francis, Fenton, Vernon Hills and Wheaton Academy.

V-ball enters regionals with 19 wins

KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball continued their recent roll on Thursday at the home of the Lady Foxes by a final of 25-23, 25-21.

They also put in time at their usual end-of-season stop at Kaneland’s Spikefest on Saturday.

Against Yorkville, Kylie Siebert had 13 digs and two aces. Katy Dudzinski had 14 kills and a block while Jessica Lubic paced Kaneland with 15 assists, an ace and three kills.

The eight-team rumble at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove resulted in Kaneland taking third place with three wins in five matches.

The Lady Knights now head into the “second season” with a 19-13 record (7-3 NIB-12).

At Spikefest, Kaneland began with a 19-25, 25-19, 15-6 win over Aurora Central Catholic. They moved on to a 25-16, 18-25, 15-10 win over regional opponent Hampshire. The first loss of the day came at the hands of Peotone by a 25-23, 26-24 clip.

Kaneland began the crossover play with a loss to Geneva, but came back to beat ACC again in the third-place matchup.

With the regular season at an end, Kaneland (3) tries to erase the bad taste of 2009 by ousting Hampshire (2) from the Kaneland Regional in Class 3A on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.

The regional title game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. against the winner of (1) Sycamore and (4) Burlington Central.

Eight teams competed in the 2010 Spikefest at Harter Middle School on Saturday, October 23. Here, Kylie Siebert (left) and Melanie Thompson of Kaneland wait for the serve in their second game against Peotone.
Photo by John DiDonna

Guyton secures eighth at Girls Golf State gathering

FORSYTH, Ill.—Hayley Guyton will always be remembered at Kaneland High School for what she pulled off on the golf course.

Now, she’ll be remembered throughout the State for what she did the last four years.

While not getting to the astounding heights of a year ago, when she was second in the IHSA 2A Girls Golf meet, the senior finished eighth in the state with a total score of 152 over the two-day festivities. Guyton was 11 back from champion Stephanie Miller of Stevenson High School.

Guyton shot a 77 on Saturday and a 75 on Friday.

The senior shot a 39 on the front end and 38 on the back nine. Guyton was sixth after the first day of swinging with a 40 on the front half and 35 on the back end.

In 2009, Guyton went to a playoff with eventual champ Kris Yoo of Conant, shooting a 145.

Knights win clash with Spartans

Kaneland improves to 8-0 with 30-13 win over rival

Photo: Knight Joe Camiliere (12) tries to avoid the Sycamore defense in Kaneland’s 30-13 win over the Spartans on Friday in Maple Park. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was the biggest regular season game in quite some time for Kaneland.

The Knights played like it.

Facing a fellow undefeated squad in the visiting Sycamore Spartans, the Knights used offensive drives to the best of their ability and came up with timely defensive plays in a 30-13 win over the Spartans.

With the win, Kaneland gets a modicum of satisfaction for last year’s first-round ousting at the hands of SHS, and has the inside track at the Northern Illinois Big XII East championship at 8-0 (4-0 NIB-12). Sycamore drops to 7-1 (3-1 NIB-12), and faces Yorkville (3-5, 1-4 NIB-12) in the regular season finale.

The latest IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points standings has Kaneland fourth and Sycamore seventh.

Joe Camiliere was the field general coach Tom Fedderly’s offense requires and went 13-for-19 for 140 yards with a touchdown throw and no interceptions.

“I thought he had good time to throw,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “That’s what we were concerned about. He had enough time to get the ball out of his hands and did a good job tonight.”

Taylor Andrews was the leader in the rushing category for the Knights with 70 yards on six tries, while KHS had 190 yards on the ground total.

Sycamore’s Tommy Nice was the game’s leading rusher with 94 yards.

Quinn Buschbacher was the leading receiver for KHS with six catches totaling 34 yards.

Kaneland outgained Sycamore 330-304.

The game between two playoff-caliber squads in a playoff atmosphere had its first big play when Blake Serpa fumbled on the Knights’ first drive at their own 30.

Two plays later, running back Eric Ray scored from the 10 with 8:24 to go in the first for a 7-0 Spartan lead.

Using a balanced attack, KHS calmly drove 48 yards in 11 plays highlighted by a third-and-nine catch by Tyler Callaghan. Camiliere plunged in from the one-yard line with 2:24 to go to deadlock matters at 7-7.

The next time Kaneland got the ball they drove down for another score, as Callaghan caught a lofted ball in the corner of the end zone on the first play of the second frame for a 14-7 lead.

Sycamore looked to be on its way to knotting things up, until a backward pass that landed on the grass was scooped up by Andrews for an 84-yard touchdown to the shock of Sycamore’s faithful.

“It was a backward pass and I was about to give the ball to the ref,” Andrews said. “I looked over and heard everyone say ‘go, go go’, so I just took off running.”

“We were all just screaming ‘pick it up and run!’,” Fedderly said. “We knew it was a fumble, it went backwards, what can you say? What a play.”

Sycamore did come back on a QB Ryan Bartels TD run from 12 yards out with 1:25 to go, making it 20-13.

Kaneland wasn’t done, as they drove 40-yards to the 10, where freshman kicker Matt Rodriguez hit a 27-yard field goal to make it 23-13 at halftime.

With Blake Serpa’s four-yard touchdown run coming with 7:44 left in the third, the scoring was closed at 30-13.

Now Kaneland hosts Morris on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Redskins are playoff-bound, having lost only two games, and are coming off a dramatic 15-8 win in Rochelle on Friday.

Play of the Knight
Having already climbed back from an early deficit and nursing a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, Kaneland was trying to hold Sycamore from coming into their end zone again on Friday. They not only did that on a wild play, they took it to the other end zone with a heads-up play from Taylor Andrews. Sycamore was at the Kaneland 12-yard line and attempted a backward pass that fell to the ground. Andrews picked it up, and after some hesitation, was joined by several Knights on the way to an 84-yard score.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School* 4 0 8 0 329 88
Sycamore High School* 3 1 7 1 272 118
Morris Com High School* 3 1 6 2 203 115
DeKalb High School 1 3 4 4 164 196
Yorkville High School 1 3 3 5 146 187
Rochelle Twp High School 0 4 3 5 200 137

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School* 4 0 7 1 188 94
Geneseo High School* 3 1 7 1 277 77
Ottawa Twp High School 3 1 5 3 247 115
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 2 4 4 161 250
Dixon High School 0 4 0 8 100 373
Streator Twp High School 0 4 0 8 47 363

*Clinched playoff berth

IHSA.org Playoff Outlook

Tennis duo places fourth at sectional, head to State

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For the way things ended up at IHSA tennis Sectionals at St. Charles East on Saturday, all you had to do was look at Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski.

“The final point where we won I was thinking, ‘oh my God we are going to State’, and (Amelia) turned around and we just ran at each other. Everyone was crying and jumping. I don’t even remember the next match,” Jurcenko said.

In the matchup with St. Charles North’s Kate Lesswing and Abby Roggemann, Kaneland’s unit won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Napiorkowski doesn’t discount the impressive nature of Kaneland tennis’ accomplishment.

“Everyone there knew we were singles players and thought they could use doubles strategies against us but we caught on fast. We would adjust our strategies during the match,” Napiorkowski said.

Saturday’s celebration was warranted, and KHS hopes it will continue at the upcoming IHSA State Tennis meet. The meet takes place at courts in District 211, 214 and 220 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and now will feature the first-ever Kaneland presence at the State tennis finals.

The IHSA announced Tuesday that the Jurcenko-Napiorkowski tandem, who took fourth at Sectionals, will face Rosary’s duo Angelina Goheen and Katie King at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Jurcenko and Napiorkowski lost the third-place match to Bartlett’s Katie Gates and Gabby Gregorio 6-2, 6-1.

St. Charles North took home the sectional crown with 22 points.

Photo: Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski make KHS history as the first reps from the school at the State Tennis meet
starting Thursday, Oct. 21 Courtesy photo

Boys XC finishes seventh at NIB-12

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—In a tough group of teams, Kaneland had several standouts at the first-ever gathering of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference.

The meet at Elburn Woods saw the Yorkville Foxes take the crown with 46 points, compared to Dixon’s 75.

The Knights’ 138-point total was good for seventh, ahead of Rochelle (183) and behind Sterling (135).

Sterling’s Jacob Landis, at 16 minutes, nine seconds, took the course crown by nine seconds over Dixon’s Simon Thorpe.

Next up was Knight Trevor Holm, who has been at or near the top for much of this season.

Holm, who ran his Elburn Woods-best at 16:24, had a good run at this late regular season juncture, according to KHS coach Chad Clarey.

“Our goal today was to try and hit some personal records on this course, because it’s far different from the rest that we compete on,” Clarey said. “Trevor had a great race and he’s still coming back from being sick last week. He’s in a good spot. He might be disappointed that he didn’t win on his home course, but you can’t always pick your best races.”

“Although he may not have been satisfied with the outcome, he will continue to feel fresher and faster with the taper,” Clarey said.

Junior Nate Rehkopf was 23rd at 17:24, and also set a new PR for himself.

“I’m pretty pleased how we’re doing as a team and how I’m doing personally,” Rehkopf said. “Trevor’s been good leading the guys, and it’s usually been me, Clayton Brundige and Grant Alef backing him up. We have a good team on all levels.”

Tommy Whittaker, running his last Elburn Woods course, ran in 17:49 and set a new PR, as well.

Additionally, junior Jake Ginther finished 33rd with a time of 18:07.

Photo: Tommy Whittaker runs his way to a 17:49 finish during Saturday’s Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods. Photo by Ashley Leonetti

Lady Knights volleyball sweeps foe Sycamore

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball has a funny relationship with the inevitable.

As in, they’ve done a good job of spoiling it lately.

For the first time under Coach Todd Weimer, Kaneland defeated Sycamore. The 25-21, 25-13 sweep of the Lady Spartans came on Senior Night along Spartan Trail.

“We’ve just been working our tail off, and we’ve got a lot of confidence going on right now. We beat Geneva for the first time in 19 years and now we just beat the top-seeded team in the regional. We’re taking care of business and soaring to new height,s and that’s our theme this year,” Weimer said.

Kaneland also handled Rochelle in Maple Park on Tuesday by a final of 25-19, 25-14.

Kaneland is now 15-11 on the year, and 6-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII action.

The effort was buoyed by Jess Lubic (eight digs, 14 assists, one block, one ace), Kylie Siebert (two kills, 12 digs, one ace) and Malory Groen (three kills, two blocks).

Defeating the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Kaneland 3A Regional could make things interesting in a matter of days.

Up 12-8 on Sycamore, the Spartans made an unforced error to fall to 13-8. Lubic later set the ball to the other side of the net for a 15-10 lead. The Lady Spartans closed within 21-19, but a Katy Dudzinski kill and a block by the junior made it 23-19 and eventually cruised to the four-point win.

Game two went even worse for the hosts. Down 3-1, Kaneland quickly went on a 9-3 run to go up 10-6. Later, sloppy play by the hosts and key front-line play made it 17-9 Kaneland. Game point was a Lubic set over the net, marking the biggest lead of the game and touching off a group celebration.

“We were kind of hoping to come in here and get a win because this was basically for second in conference if we win out. We played DeKalb (last Tuesday) and had a lot of unforced errors, so we came in here knowing we had to control the ball better,” Lubic said.

Meanwhile, against the Hubs, Taylor Bradbury had two aces and four digs while Lubic added four kills and nine assists.

Kaneland hosts its annual Spikefest on Saturday, Oct. 23, beginning at 8 a.m.

Soccer stages ninth win

KANELAND—Kaneland wasn’t the opponent you can overlook when it comes to playing Sycamore in 2010.

Kaneland had the Spartans’ number on Thursday, scoring two second-half goals to win 2-1.

The Knights close their regular season out at 9-10-2 (5-3-2 NIB-12).

Derek White had a goal with 11 minutes, 13 seconds to go, and Jordan Escobedo scored with 2:26 remaining in the contest for the win.

The JV crew finished the regular season with a 2-0 at Sycamore to go 17-0-1, which included 13 shutouts.

Oct. 21, 2010 UPDATE: The Knights faced Sycamore in IHSA Regional action Wednesday night, prevailing 2-1. The game-winning goal was scored by Jordan Escobedo with 55 seconds left in the fourth overtime. Chad Swieca tied the game in the second half. The Knights next game is against Rochelle, at Sycamore, Friday at 4 p.m.

Photo by John DiDonna

Howland earns all NIB-12 honor at conference

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—For the majority of the 2010 season, Kaneland girls cross-country has struggled to post a full lineup.

But there have always been encouraging developments. That came to a head at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII gathering on Saturday morning at Elburn Woods.

Kaneland finished fourth overall with 97 points, just two behind DeKalb.

Dixon (40) and Yorkville (46) took the top two slots. Geneseo, Sycamore, Rochelle, Sterling, Ottawa and Morris rounded out the top 10.

While Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb took the course with a time of 18 minutes, 42 seconds, Kaneland bore witness to a season-best day from junior Jen Howland, who posted a 19:20 time.

“The beginning of the race was really good ,and I had my teammates right by me,” Howland said. “I felt really strong, and going up the hill my teammates were pushing me, and knowing they were working just as hard as I was really pushed me.”

After Howland’s all-NIB-12 day, KHS saw senior Andie Strang finish in 13th place at 19:48.

“We’ve always been good about staying pretty modest,” Strang said. “People can get hurt so fast in cross-country, and this was a good race to prepare us for next weekend.”

Sophomore Ashley Castellanos took 18th overall with an effort of 20:23. Teammate Kris Bowen also had a productive outing with a time of 20:54.

All four runners ran a personal best on their home course.

Awaiting KHS this Saturday, Oct. 23, is the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Kishwaukee College in Malta.

The meet, hosted by Sycamore, also includes Aurora Central Catholic, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Rosary, Burlington Central, Crystal Lake Central and Hampshire.

Photo: Jen Howland supplied her most productive day of the 2010 season at Elburn Woods on Saturday. Photo by Ashley Leonetti

KHS makes itself at home in 34-13 win at Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE—Friday night at Campbell Field in Yorkville featured four quarters of Fox hunting.

For Kaneland, the instrument of choice was a scalpel.

Highlighted by a third-quarter drive that went eight minutes, 11 seconds and ended with a Blake Serpa touchdown run, the Knights saw big things from their offense and a steady defense in a 34-13 win over the Foxes.

With the final outcome, Kaneland is now 7-0 (3-0 NIB-12), and heads into a battle of the undefeateds with visiting Sycamore.

Sycamore is now the top-ranked Playoff Points team in Class 5A, while Kaneland is the third-ranked team.

Kaneland gathered 387 yards of offense compared to 225 yards for YHS.

Joe Camiliere had a 13-for-20 for 185 yards evening, with two touchdowns and one interception. The senior has thrown 19 scoring strikes, compared to two picks.

Serpa ran for 91 yards. Sean Carter caught three passes for 77 yards to be the Knights’ leading receiver.

“I have to tip my hat to Yorkville, they played hard,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “They played a good game and that’s what we expected. That (8:11) drive, that’s something we’ve been talking about putting together for awhile.”

After Taylor Andrews recovered a fumble on a pitch on Yorkville’s first play from scrimmage, Kaneland used three plays to score, thanks to Serpa’s one-yard plunge just 1:44 into the game for a 7-0 lead.Yorkville used a 21-yard field goal by Maxwell Brusveen with 6:22 to go to make it 7-3. The kick marked the Foxes’ first points against Kaneland since 2007.

In the second quarter, Kaneland struck again on a 70-yard pass to Carter in stride with 2:59 to go making it 14-3. Yorkville came back with a 10-play drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Brusveen with 29 ticks left to make it 14-6.

Kaneland began the second half with that 15-play drive that covered 80-yards. Serpa and Camliere ran the ball for most of the drive, sandwiched around a Carter catch. It gave Kaneland the chance to dominate the game via run, and kept YHS offensive assets off the field.

“We had a lead already. We had a touchdown lead, and the line did a great job. It was a long drive and they just blocked on every play. Blake ran the ball better than I’ve ever seen him run,” Camiliere said.

In the fourth quarter, Tyler Callaghan caught his first touchdown pass of the season from nine yards out with 10:09 to go in the game, making it 28-6. After Callaghan intercepted a Brant Corwin pass, Quinn Buschbacher ran it in from the 14 to make it 34-6 with 9:08 to go.

Yorkville closed the scoring with a Liir Emini TD catch from 23-yards out to make it 34-13 with 2:06 remaining. In sophomore action, KHS won 62-25.

Sycamore tries to knock off the Knights this Friday, Oct. 15. The Spartans won the 2009 Class 5A first-round matchup 40-13 on Oct. 31, 2009.

Play of the Knight
Quinn Buschbacher has had a productive season so far. He showed why on Friday. Faced with a third-and-7 from its own 35, Buschbacher got the carry and broke two tackles on his way to a 39-yard gain. The play went a long way to widening a close game, and eventually led to a Kaneland score with 3:11 left in the third quarter for a 21-6 lead.

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School* 3 0 6 1 143 94
Geneseo High School* 2 1 6 1 229 70
Ottawa Twp High School 2 1 4 3 213 95
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 1 4 3 141 216
Dixon High School 0 3 0 7 100 328
Streator Twp High School 0 3 0 7 40 315

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School* 3 0 7 0 299 75
Sycamore High School* 3 0 7 0 259 88
Morris Com High School 2 1 5 2 188 107
Yorkville High School 1 2 3 4 122 160
Rochelle Twp High School 0 3 3 4 192 122
DeKalb High School 0 3 3 4 137 172

*Clinched playoff berth

Lady Knights tennis serves up talent at NIB-12, eyes IHSA Sectionals

ROCHELLE—There was no rest this past weekend for Kaneland tennis.

Gearing up for the upcoming sectional, the Lady Knights’ talent was put on display at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet in Rochelle on Friday and Saturday.

After the last volley, Kaneland ended up with a second-place finish in the NIB-12 East gathering with 16 points.

Sycamore took the East crown to become division champ, while Dixon was tops in the West.

For KHS, senior cornerstone Lindsay Jurcenko was a fourth-place finisher in the No. 1 singles bracket, while teammate Amelia Napiorkowski took second in the No. 2 bracket.

Kaneland now gears for the postseason, namely the IHSA sectional at St. Charles East High School on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Four!

Guyton gets last qualifying State spot after Sectional
KANELAND—This is becoming old hat for Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton.

Shooting an 80 at Monday’s IHSA Class 2A Sectional gathering hosted by LaGrange Park’s Nazareth Academy, Guyton made it into the Girls Golf State tournament as the last individual qualifier.

At Willow Crest Golf Club, Guyton was just behind Caitlan Smollen of Chicago’s St. Ignatius (79). Medalist was Glenbard West’s Brooke Kochevar with a 71.

On Oct. 6, Guyton qualified for Sectional with an 80 at the St. Charles East Regional held at St. Andrew’s Golf Course in West Chicago.

The IHSA Class 2A State battle takes place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16, at Hickory Point Golf Course in Forsyth, Ill. Guyton’s Friday tee time is 10:09 a.m. on the tenth tee, along with Kelly Muskat of Barrington, Smollen and Krystal Garritson of Lockport.

Meanwhile, the Knight boys team saw their season end after Monday’s Freeport Sectional.

Finishing 11th out of 12 squads, Kaneland shot a 341. Freeport (307), Sterling (313) and Burlington Central (313) advance to State at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

Coach Mark Meyer bids adieu to senior Josh Schuberg with the conclusion of the season, while fellow senior Guyton continues postseason golf.

Photo: Hayley Guyton gets some suggestions from her coach, Mark Meyer, before the start of the St. Charles East Regional tournament on Wednesday, October 6 at St. Andrews Golf Club in West Chicago. Hayley was the only Kaneland athlete competing. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights soccer finds offense against NIB-12

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In the “world’s most popular sport,” goals can be quite hard to come by, no matter the level.

Leave it to KHS soccer to go against what’s popular.

The Knights lit up the scoreboard in Rochelle on Thursday, winning 6-2 against the regional’s No. 1-seeded Hubs, before being edged by visiting Plainfield East 1-0 on Saturday. Most recently on Tuesday, the Knights solved the invading Yorkville Foxes 5-0.

The recent week of action puts the Knights at 8-10-2 (4-3-2 NIB-12), eclipsing the 2009 win total.

Against the Hubs, KHS jumped on their purple foes for four first half goals: two by Derek White, one by Chad Swieca and one by Kushstrim Ismali.

The second half had goals by Jordan Escobedo, who also had four assists, and Anders Winquist-Bailey.

Against the Bengals of Plainfield East, the Knights gave up a first-half goal and had their chances in the second half, but an Escobedo chance went wide late.

“It just didn’t happen today,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We need to work on health and finishing. We’re one of those feast-or-famine teams. (We) scored twice in five minutes against Rochelle or games like today, that’s kind of been our season.”

Against Yorkville, White scored thanks to an Escobedo assist just 8:44 into the match, and Trevor Wolf put in a goal with an Alex Gil assist with 8:26 remaining in the first half.

Escobedo, Anthony Parillo and Patrick Bratschun found the net.

The JV crew continued its torrid season, earning wins over Rochelle, Plainfield East and Yorkville by a combined score of 12-2. They sit at 15-0-1.

For the varsity side, the next challenge is at Sycamore on Thursday, Oct. 14.

Photo: Thanasi Pesmajoglou looks for an opening during Saturday morning’s 1-0 setback to Plainfield East at KHS. Photo by Mike Slodki

V-ball spikes Geneva for first time since 1991

KANELAND—This past week saw Lady Knights volleyball take care of an NIB-12 opponent, participate in some Iowa action, and vanquish an old foe.

The 13-11 (4-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) Kaneland crew earned i’s first win over non-conference foe Geneva for the first time in 19 years on Oct. 6, then followed that with a win against visiting Morris on Thursday, before going 1-2 in Bettendorf, Iowa, tourney action on Saturday morning. The week ended with a 25-18, 25-11 loss to host DeKalb on Tuesday.

In the 26-24, 23-25, 25-22 win over the Lady Vikings, Katy Dudzinski had 18 kills and three blocks, while teammate Jess Lubic added 32 assists, three kills, three blocks and two aces.

Lower level action saw the sophomores lose 25-22, 14-25, 15-25, the freshmen “A” roster lose 25-18, 25-21, and the “B” side take a 25-21, 26-24 win.

Against the Lady Redskins on Thursday, the Lady Knights swept a 25-13, 25-21 matchup. Grace Fabrizius had 10 kills and nine service points. Kylie Siebert had 10 digs and an ace.

In the Quad Cities, KHS lost 21-10, 21-19 to Bettendorf High School and 21-8, 21-13 to Ankeny High School before rallying to beat West Des Moines Valley High School 21-13, 22-20.

Siebert had 38 digs and 32 receptions on the day while Dudzinski had 24 kills and five blocks.

Against the Lady Barbs, Fabrizius had five kills, and Lubic added two aces and seven assists.

Coming up for the Lady Knights: a meeting with Sycamore along Spartan Trail on Thursday, Oct. 14.

Knight boys hit Sterling Invite, finish in 14th

by Mike Slodki
STERLING—The annual Sterling Invitational usually provides tough competition for the visiting Kanenald boys cross country crew.

On Saturday, it was again more of the usual.

With Trevor Holm’s 15 minute, 47 second effort good enough for 22nd place, the Knights as a whole finished in 14th place with 371 points out of 28 teams. Kaneland finished behind Bettendorf, Iowa High School’s 367.

Mid-Suburban League outfit Schaumburg took the meet with 73 points, followed by Minooka’s 73. The Saxons held the tiebreaker edge.

“We were pretty flat today, as a whole team,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “We anticipated this happening at some point. Where some programs may take a weekend off during the season, we run straight through. We liked seeing the boys pack up a little better.”

After Holm, the next Kaneland athlete to cross the line was Nate Rehkopf in 82nd place at 17:02. Teammate Clayton Brundige was in 86th at 17:09, while Grant Alef was right behind at 17:11.

The frosh/soph side finished fourth in their grouping.

The homestretch begins for KHS as Clarey’s crew takes on the field at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Girls run mid-pack in Sterling race

by Mike Slodki
STERLING—Could it be a perfect storm of sorts for the Lady Knights cross country team?

With senior leader Andie Strang running under 19 minutes for the first time since freshman year at Saturday’s Sterling Invitational, and the return of several key personnel, this could be fun sailing for the rest of the 2010 campaign.

“Very proud of all my girls today,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “These are exciting times for us, on a tough week. We’re down a couple runners, but we are not out.”

The Lady Knights finished 12th out of 28 squads with 334 points, edging Sycamore by three points.

The Lady Saxons of Schaumburg High School took the Sterling crown with 49 points followed by Iowa City High School at 86.

Strang’s 18 minute, 51 second effort was good for 22nd place. The next three KHS runners finished in a row in 67th through 69th place.

Ashley Castellanos ran in 20:03, as did Andie’s sister Sydney, running her first race in six weeks. They were joined by Jen Howland, making her return from injuries at 20:06.

The Lady Knights now prepare for the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Barb-eque: Knights batter DeKalb, now 6-0

Photo: Knight Quinn Buschbacher (12) hopes to come down with the ball during Kaneland’s 42-7 win against visiting DeKalb. Buschbacher’s output this season has been key to the Knights’ No. 3 placing in the IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points scale. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Dealing with the hysterics of 2010 homecoming? Fine.

Having to host a DeKalb team that just came off of a win at LaSalle-Peru and was at the .500 mark in week six under coach Marty Sanders? OK.

Knowing that every win amassed creates a giant bullseye on the Kaneland jersey? Bring it on.

It seemed like nothing could get the Knights down on Friday, and Kaneland strode to a 42-7 win over the visiting Barbs.

The win, Kaneland’s fifth in a row over DHS, improved the KHS mark to 6-0 (2-0 Northern Illinois Big XII). It marks the best start for Kaneland since 2006, and the Knights have now won seven straight regular season games dating back to last season.

“This is a special group. We’ve got a couple guys that stepped in big time, and we’re just really happy with the outcome,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Kaneland outgained DeKalb by a tally of 402-286.

Joe Camiliere was a stellar 18-of-22 for 306 yards and five touchdown tosses.

Blake Serpa carried the ball for 70 yards on 10 tries. On the receiving end, Quinn Buschbacher caught eight passes for 153 yards and three scores, while Sean Carter caught five passes for 93 yards and a score.

After coming up empty on their first drive, a Serpa punt pinned DeKalb back on its own eight. Two plays later, QB Brian Sisler was wrapped up by Tyler Callaghan for a safety four minutes, 29 seconds into the game for a 2-0 KHS lead. Three plays later, Kaneland’s Buschbacher caught a 38-yard touchdown pass for a 9-0 lead with 6:03 to go in the first quarter.

The second-quarter scoring had Camaliere find Carter on a 27-yard pass with 9:44 remaining in the half for a 21-0 lead.

Blake Serpa followed blockers for a 45-yard touchdown run with 3:43 to go to make it 28-0, and before the half was up, Jacob Razo caught his first TD of the year, a five-yard grab.

With the Knights entering the third frame up 28-0, the offense was at it again thanks to a Buschbacher 24-yard touchdown catch, making it 35-0.

The Barbs repelled the running clock by Dan Matya’s 84-yard touchdown catch with 7:45 left in the third.

Buschbacher caught a 15-yard pass from Camilere for his third and final touchdown with 3:18 to go in the third.

Play of the Knight
Facing an improved DeKalb Barbs squad, the undefeated Knights needed contributions from both the defense and the offense. Already up 9-0 due to a safety and a passing TD,. Joe Camiliere found frequent target Sean Carter on a 27-yard touchdown in the second quarter to go up 16-0 and to effectively put the contest out of reach.

“All our linemen are working hard,” Buschbacher said. “It’s really showing out there. Joe had all day to throw the ball. I hope it carries out for the entire season.”

In sophomore action, the Knights took a 10-3 battle with visiting DeKalb to capture their Homecoming game.

Kaneland’s week 7 clash is in Yorkville against the 3-3 Foxes. The Knights travel to Kendall County for the second consecutive year, after handing YHS a season-ending 10-0 loss on Oct. 23, 2009. Yorkville beat Rochelle 24-12 on Friday.

Golfers win NIB-12 East, finish third at Regionals

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like KHS has a bunch of straight shooters.

With a fantastic showing at the Northern Illinois Big XII gathering at Whitetail Ridge in Yorkville that yielded a first place in the East Division, and a third-place nod at Tuesday’s Dixon Regional, the Knights golf team shot itself straight to Sectionals.

Thanks to a score of 328 on Tuesday at Timber Creek, the Knights’ third-place finish will send them to the sectional in Freeport on Monday, Oct. 11.

Dixon, with 307, and Sterling with 319, took the top two places.

For KHS, Troy Krueger’s 80 was tops for the Knights, followed by Josh Schuberg’s 82, and Zach Douglas’ and Luke Kreiter’s 83.

“My putting was a little off, but overall I did alright,” Douglas said. “I just try to take one or better on the holes against the other golfers.”

Dixon’s Mitch Homb shot a 70, earning him medalist honors.

Last week in Yorkville, Kaneland took its first conference championship in eight years, with a score of 316. DeKalb was second in the East in 321, and Yorkville took third at 324.

Dixon won the West side with 311.

Douglas (75), Hayley Guyton (78) and Krueger (81) earned all-conference honors.

“The conference title allowed us to reach our regular season goals and gives our team something to strive for in the coming years. We’re hoping that this year’s performance will set a precedent for upcoming seasons,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said.

Photo: Kaneland’s Adam Grams (87 score), shown here in Dixon on Tuesday, makes the trip to Sectionals after enjoying a third-place nod. Photo by Mike Slodki

Knight soccer tries working out of 1-3 week

KANELAND—There is still time to right the ship, but Kaneland soccer is smarting from conference and non-conference setbacks alike.

DeKalb bested Kaneland in a battle situated on Barb Boulevard, 2-0 on Thursday. The JV squad under Travis Berth beat DeKalb 1-0 and improved its mark to 11-0-1 on the season.

This past week also included Kaneland’s trip to the Jacobs Tournament in Algonquin, Ill., where the Knights went 1-2, and a 2-1 loss against Morris.

Kaneland is now 6-9-2 on the year, with a 2-3-2 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In the opener of the tournament on Friday, Kaneland lost to Jacobs, allowing one goal in each half. The second game on Saturday saw KHS get a goal 14 minutes, 18 seconds into play by Anthony Parillo off a Derek White assist for the win.

Romeoville got the best of Kaneland in another Saturday clash, 1-0, to end the tournament.

Against the Redskins on Tuesday in Maple Park, the Knights were down 1-0 after the first 40 minutes. Kaneland’s Chad Swieca scored on a feed from Alex Gil in the second half, but it was not enough.

The varsity Knights continue their journey on Thursday, Oct. 7, when they travel to Hub country against Rochelle.

Meanwhile, the Knights found out they secured the second seed in the Class 2A Sycamore Regional, where they will square off against third-seeded Sycamore. The winner of the Wednesday, Oct. 20, showdown faces the winner of the Rochelle/Yorkville vs. Sandwich match on Friday, Oct. 22.

Holm, youngsters take care of Pretzel Invite business

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—You’ll have to excuse the KHS boys cross country roster for being full.

They feasted on the Pretzel Invitational on Saturday.

Keyed by a first-place effort from senior star Trevor Holm, the Knights’ 45-point total beat out Rock Falls (57) and Rockford Boylan (57). It’s their third Pretzel title.

Holm’s 15 minute, nine second time was 21 seconds better than Boylan’s Matt Melloch.

The Knights had a big boost from sophomore call ups Conor Johnson and John Meisinger. Johnson finished in eighth place with a time of 16:16, while Meisinger took tenth at 16:22.

“Our biggest keys to success, and the championship, came from sophomore call ups,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “Each were able to garner top-10 places, racing with some tough, top runners of the other schools.”

Junior Nate Rehkopf took 14th at 16:29.

The JV ranks saw KHS take second place with 36 points, behind Rockford Jefferson’s 25.

Ryan Paulson finished fifth with a time of 17:23 and Ryan Bowen took eighth at 17:36.

Kaneland’s next challenge is the Sterling Invite on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Girls cross country take third in Freeport

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the Kaneland girls satisfied some pretzel cravings.

Netting a third-place finish at Saturday’s Pretzel Invitational in Freeport, the Lady Knights produced a nice effort with 71 total points, and will need more of the same effort to see postseason fortune.

Rockford Boylan, with 45 team points, finished first, and host Freeport took second with 68. Rock Falls, with 87 points, finished behind Kaneland.

KHS put forth an average course time of 19 minutes, 52 seconds, thanks in large part to senior runner Andie Strang. Strang completed her best time ever in Freeport, with a time of 18:47. Due to her top-five finish, she also received an oversized pretzel.

Rockford Boylan’s Kayla Droessler won the race in 18:29.

Ashley Castellanos was next for Kaneland and broke the 20 minute barrier at 19:37, good for 12th place.

Kris Bowen was next in 15th place at 20:02. Maggie Brundige continued her positive trajectory and broke into the top 20 with a time of 20:16.

Additionally, Shaela Collins ran in 20:35, good for 22nd place overall.

“Kris Bowen really helped the team to a thirdplace showing,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

“Maggie Brundige is gaining confidence with each successful week. Shaela Collins was called on, in a pinch, to complete our fifth scoring place. We are very grateful to Shaela for stepping up.”

In the JV ranks, Kaneland’s Kaitlin Munyon took second with a time of 21:01, and Anna Piazza (21:16) and Carolina Tovar took fourth and fifth (21:25), respectively.

Kaneland digs up win at Dixon HS

DIXON—Lady Knights volleyball won’t be able to get enough of visiting its neighbors to the west.

On Thursday, Kaneland improved to 10-8 (3-2 NIB-12) with a 25-18, 25-14 sweep of the host Dixon Duchesses.

For KHS, Katy Dudzinski had nine killls, while NIU-bound Jessica Lubic had three aces and 15 assists. Libero Kylie Siebert contributed 11 digs, and Grace Fabrizius had five kills, two aces and five digs.

The sophomore crew improved to 12-4 with a 25-10, 25-17 over Dixon. The freshmen “A” unit dropped to 1-2 with a 25-15, 25-23 loss to Dixon and the “B” team dropped a 25-23, 25-21 matchup, falling to 11-3.

Lady Knight racketeers 8-6-1

Photo: Kaneland varsity doubles partners Meg Hanlon (left) and Caiti Ellefsen warm up before their home match against Mendota on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland Lady Knights tennis is still holding its own at this season’s late juncture.

Rebounding from a dual loss to Sterling on Thursday, KHS handled non-conference foe Mendota on Monday in Maple Park.

The Lady Knights are now 8-6-1 in dual competition (3-2 NIB-12).

The lone win for Kaneland in Sterling was the doubles tandem of Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski, who won 6-3, 6-4.

Against the Lady Trojans, it was pro-set scoring due to more matches in the 7-0 win.

Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon, two of the seniors (along with Jurcenko and Sierra Cruz) honored on Monday afternoon, went about business as usual and didn’t let the modified scoring get to their heads in an 8-4 win.

“Not at all,” Hanlon said. “You just think of it as an extra-long set.”

Monday marked the final regular season home meet before NIB-12 conference action in Rochelle this weekend.

“I think we’ve improved a lot over the season,” Ellefsen said. “We’ve been getting better with aiming our shots and hitting them harder.”