Category Archives: Fall Sports

Tennis overcomes early struggles

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A busy week for Lady Knights tennis had key players show progress.

Against the visiting Marengo Lady Indians on Thursday, KHS pulled out a 4-3 win that came down to the final doubles match of the evening.

With a 6-1, 6-7, 10-5 win, Sierra Cruz and Nikki LeBlanc took care of business and allowed Kaneland the slim team win.

The No. 1 team of Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Maria Rossi lost 6-2, 4-6, 4-6. No. 2 tandem of Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon lost a 6-4, 2-6, 4-6 affair, and No. 3 squad of Sam Williams and Jordan Withey lost a 2-6, 6-3, 4-6 matchup.

The singles battles had No. 1 competitor Lindsay Jurcenko win 6-3, 6-0, followed by No. 2 Amelia Napiorkowski’s 6-3, 6-2 win. No. 3 entry Madi Limbrick emerged with a 7-6, 7-5 win.

Wednesday saw Wheaton Academy come into Maple Park and sweep the Lady Knights in a 5-0 rout.

Saturday had Kaneland finish second at the Plainfield North Invite as a team behind Lemont. Jurcenko and Napiorkowski took their brackets, and Ellefsen/Hanlon finished second in No. 2 doubles.

‘I think the season’s going good so far,” Napiorkowski said on Saturday. “I’ve been on varsity for a year, so I try to use that experience.”

On Tuesday along Spartan Trail, the Lady Knights lost a 3-2 matchup despite wins from Napiorowski and the Rosenwinkel/Maddy McMullen team.

KHS is at Minooka on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Photo: Lady Knight Lindsay Jurcenko takes her swings during Saturday’s Plainfield North Invite in which she emerged queen of her bracket. Photo by Mike Slodki

Knight soccer finds its footing early

BURLINGTON—While not entirely sure of what the remaining seven weeks of the regular season will bring, the KHS soccer squad is doing well so far.

Hitting the Rocket Invite at Burlington Central High School on Tuesday, Kaneland played its first match in seven days and stopped Yorkville by a 5-1 final.

Nine minutes, 18 seconds into the matchup with the Foxes, the Knights got a goal from Alex Gil on a feed from Anders Winquist-Bailey.

With 27:12 to go in the first, Derek White put the ball in the net on an assist from Chad Swieca. The first-half scoring concluded with a Jordan Escobedo goal, thanks to an Anthony Parillo assist, with 22:16 left.

With the second half under way and KHS holding onto a 3-1 advantage, Gil scored again with a Thanasi Pesmajoglou assist with 33:42 to go to make it 4-1, and Winquist-Bailey put the final score in the net with a Pesmajoglou assist with 51 seconds remaining.

Earlier in the week, the F/S squad lost to Burlington Central by a 4-1 score on Thursday.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, the Knights continue their Rocket Invite journey against host BC at 6:30 p.m. The Knights square off against either DeKalb, St. Francis of Wheaton or South Elgin on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Boys XC takes care of area foes

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—Tuesday’s opening meet for the Kaneland boys cross-country roster seemed to serve two purposes.

The muggy afternoon skirmish with visiting Wheaton Academy and West Chicago provided a winning experience, as well as a learning experience.

The varsity rankings had KHS win with 27 points, compared to the Wildcats’ 37 and the Warriors’ 70.

However, toward the final leg of the three-mile race, Knight asset Trevor Holm was outpaced by West Chicago’s Gunnar Sterne, who beat Holm by seven seconds at 16 minutes, 46 seconds.

“Holm ran a good race, just outkicked by a better runner at this point. Lessons should be learned every week. He’ll be tougher for it,” Kaneland coach Chad Clarey said.

The next four KHS finishers were separated by 44 seconds. Clayton Brundige finished fourth at 18:11, Grant Alef finished sixth at 18:31, Nate Rehkopf finished seventh at 18:51. Jake Ginther took eighth at 18:55.

Alef was pleased as far as first meets go.

“I think it was a pretty good meet overall,” Alef said. “We definitely still have work to do and have a lot of room for improvement.”

On the JV side, Kaneland beat West Chicago, 15-72.

The race was highlighted by John Meisinger’s 14:34 on the 2.4-mile course, and Luis Acosta’s 15:05.

Future action for the Knights include a home matchup at Elburn Woods with East Aurora and Yorkville on Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Photo: It’s a pack of Knights at Tuesday’s Elburn Woods encounter with West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.
Photo by Mike Slodki

Kaneland volleyball digs to 2-4 beginning

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If the Wheaton North Volleyball Classic would serve as an accurate barometer for how the Lady Knights volleyball team is doing, it looks like there’s progress, with more progress needing to be made for a successful campaign.

Despite the 2-3 record to begin 2010, Kaneland finished fourth out of 12 squads.

With Katy Dudzinski and Jess Lubic making the All-Tournament team, the Lady Knights lost their opening match to last year’s champ Oak Forest on Aug. 25, 25-19, 16-25, 25-18, and came back to beat Buffalo Grove later that night 26-24, 25-21.

Kaneland earned their one win on Saturday against Oak Forest, winning 20-25, 25-20, 25-23. The Lady Knights then succumbed to St. Viator by a 25-8, 25-22 margin.

Against the Hilltoppers of Glenbard West, the Lady Knights lost 25-18, 25-16.

Post-tournament action had KHS losing to visiting Burlington Central on Tuesday, 25-16, 28-26, 25-22.

In meeting one vs. Oak Forest, an overzealous attack led to many balls going beyond the lines.

Kaneland was down 14-6 in the first game before closing to within 20-18 before Oak Forest pulled away.

Front line play from Lubic keyed a 19-6 lead in game two that led to the eventual eight-point win.

“What we saw in game two was very cool and very promising. We really haven’t fully unloaded yet,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said.

The Lady Knights fell behind by as much as 21-9 before the final loss.

Lubic had 12 kills and 28 assists, while Dudzinski added 17 kills and four aces.

In the win over the Bison, Lyndi Scholl had nine kills.

On Saturday, Dudzinski had 31 kills against Oak Forest. Against the Lions of Arlington Heights, Lubic had 37 assists and four aces, while Kylie Siebert had 24 digs against the Hilltoppers.

Taylor Bradbury had eight assists and an ace while Lubic had seven kills, 12 assists and 12 aces.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a visit to Hinckley-Big Rock on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Photo: Despite five kills and one ace from Katy Dudzinski (right), KHS fell to rival Burlington Central on Tuesday, 25-16, 26-28, 25-22. Photo by Ben Draper

Golf takes swings at NIB12 foes

KANELAND—Kaneland golfers had a nice go of it at Rochelle Golf Club on Wednesday, Aug. 25, taking care of their conference rival by a 163-195 score.

They followed that with more dual action on Tuesday at Hughes Creek, but fell to the visiting DeKalb Barbs 154-163.

The Knights are now 1-1 in dual action.

Leading the way against Rochelle was senior standout Hayley Guyton who shot a 36, good for medalist honors. Teammates Luke Kreiter shot a 42, continuing his early-season momentum from an 80 score at the Geneva Invite. Josh Schuberg also shot a 42, and Adam Grams managed a 43.

Rochelle’s Calvin Anthenat was tops for the Hubs with a 40.

In JV action, Kaneland emerged with a 170-242 victory, thanks to Matt Yonkovich’s 39.

Against the Barbs, Guyton managed a 37 score, while Schuberg shot a 39 and Kreiter had a 43 tally.

The JV ranks came away with a 177-182 win.

Coming up for the varsity troops: a visit to Sterling on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m.

Lady Knights XC runs to 1st place

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—It was anything but lonely at the top for Kaneland High school girls cross country.

With five of the top nine runners, Kaneland powered through for a win over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods on Tuesday. The Lady Knights had 19 points, compared to 38 for WC and 85 for WA.

Leading the course was senior Andie Strang at 15 minutes, 59 seconds. Shortly behind her was her sister, freshman Sydney Strang just two seconds behind.

Abby Dodis was third at 16:54.

“I was especially happy with Abby’s race today,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “This was a good confidence builder for her.”

The sophomore beat her closest competitor by seven seconds.

“I feel like it’s a good first step. We’ve been working on staying in groups in practice, staying together and pushing each other,” Dodis said.

Kris Bowen finished fifth with a time of 17:12.

Next up for Kaneland is the annual Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 9:15 a.m.

Photo: Ashley Castellanos finished 8th overall Tuesday. photo by Mike Slodki

Golf gets opening shots at Geneva, Limestone

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Out of the gate, it’s a decent start for Kaneland High School golf after two meets.

Meanwhile, senior cornerstone Hayley Guyton is leading the Knights pack with a more than decent start.

Thursday marked the crowded Geneva Invite at Mill Creek in Geneva, and ended with KHS placing 12th out of 21 teams with a score of 317.

Geneva took its own invite (291) over second-place St. Charles East (295). Bartlett, Geneva’s “B” squad and Batavia rounded out the top five.

Guyton impressed with a 72 score, and finished third overall in the individual tallies.

Teammate Luke Krieter shot an 80, followed by Troy Krueger at 82, Josh Schuberg at 83, and Zach Douglas and Adam Grams at 88 apiece.

At the Limestone Invite near Peoria, Kaneland tied for eighth place with Batavia at 328 points.

Guyton again led the Kaneland crew with a 79 score, followed by Krueger and Grams with 81 each.

Kaneland coach Mark Meyer likes the early trajectory.

“I like to compare scores from the previous year, and I had expected the team to perform better this year,” Meyer said. “To say the least, the team didn’t disappoint. Our team score at Geneva was 10 strokes better than last year, and our team score at Limestone improved by 39 strokes. The best part is that I still think we can lower our scores throughout the season.”

Knights golf tries to handle host Marengo on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 4 p.m.

Photo: Kaneland golfer Hayley Guyton gets her swings in during Monday’s practice at Bliss Creek in Sugar Grove. Guyton is off to a hot start for coach Mark Meyer’s squad, shooting a 72 at the Geneva Invite and a 79 at the Limestone Invite. Photo by Mike Slodki

Knights get 4-0 kick in opening win over Marengo

by Mike Slodki
MARENGO—It was a tale of two halves for Kaneland High School soccer in its opening match.

At the home of the Marengo Indians, the ending couldn’t have been written any better by a famous British author.

After a scoreless first 40 minutes of action, Kaneland erupted for four goals in the final section for a 4-0 win on Tuesday, beginning the season at 1-0.

“They dominated play in the second half,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We lucked out actually, (Marengo) hit the post a couple of times in the first half. In the second half, we started playing the way we’ve trained to play, which is a few touches, pass the ball, switch the fields, communicate and get the passing lanes open.”

The scoring column opened with midfielder Alex Gil scoring a goal just two minutes, 22 seconds into the second half for a 1-0 lead. Parillo’s son Anthony scored with 23:33 left on a rebound try after Gil’s shot hit the top of the goal.

The third goal came three minutes and one second later, with Chad Swieca scoring on a breakaway. The final deficit was cemented with a goal by Tyler Siebert coming with 16:22 to play.

All the while, goalkeeper J.P. Minogue kept his cool and kept shots away, even in a hotly contested first half.

“I just try and forget about those, forget what happened,” Minogue said. “Just try to keep playing on with the game and hopefully good things will happen now and later.”

The next challenge for soccer is not until Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the annual Burlington Central Invite. The Knights face Yorkville at 4:30 p.m.

Photo: Knight defender Sam Rymarz sends the ball on its way during Monday’s 4-0 shutout in Marengo. The Knights (1-0) used four goals in 21:16. Photo by Mike Slodki

Kaneland Knights at Burlington Central Rockets

Friday, Aug. 27
7:30 p.m.

• On Aug. 28, 2009,
the Knights handled
the Rockets, 35-0.

• KHS goes for its sixth
straight opening win
against BC.

• A year ago, QB Joe
Camaliere threw for
321 yards and 3 TD’s.

• Last year’s contest
was played under a
clear sky and 65
degrees, a change
from 2006 and 2007,
which were both
delayed by rain.

Grid-Iron Men, too: KHS begins life as NIB-12 school

Photo: Leading up to the first ever Northern Illinois Big XII campaign, the Knights partake in drills in Maple Park. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a core of three-year starters and the beginning of a new conference, Kaneland High School football looks to be poised for big things in 2010.

It begins with a select group of players that put the “skill” in skill positions.

“We’re excited about having so many guys back with experience,” fourth-year head coach Tom Fedderly said on Monday. “They paid their dues and we want to see what they can do this year.”

Joe Camaliere returns at quarterback, now in his third-year of playing within the spread offense with a flourish.

The senior comes into the Friday, Aug. 27, opener at Burlington Central having tossed just three interceptions in 2009.

“That all comes down to preparation,” Fedderly said. “Making decisions in the game, and Joe takes a lot of pride in taking care of the ball.”

Camaliere will have a void this year, with two-way player Ryley Bailey off to Wisconsin-Platteville.

“Obviously, Ryley was a huge part of what we did last year. But we have guys working hard this year. We look at all of our skills kids back,” Fedderly said.

Running back Blake Serpa, soon to be a Mid-American Conference weapon at Central Michigan University, returns and figures to shoulder a load of the carries.

At the wideout positions are seniors Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan, providing production, height and talent.

“Cally’s about six-foot-five, Taylor’s about six-foot-three and so is Serpa. It’s nice to see those guys out there. They can block, too. They can do it all,” Fedderly said.

The Knights like their height advantage, and plan to use it to their, well, advantage.

“It really helps,” Fedderly said. “It helps when you have a big target to throw to in a space. It helps Joe a lot.”

Junior Quinn Buschbacher also found productive playing time last year, as well as the end zone, and will be counted on in 2010.

“Curtis Secrest is another kid that’s been working hard. We have a number of guys that can catch the ball,” Fedderly said.

Serpa and Secrest figure to be carrying the ball, but Fedderly and staff are looking at more options on that end.

Fedderly also mentioned the offensive and defensive lines could have a younger slant and will be open to competition.

Callaghan and Andrews will get time in at linebacker, and Secrest will get a look at secondary.

Serpa will handle punting, while Chad Swieca will handle extra points.

The Knights’ roster looks to make a big splash in the new Northern Illinois Big XII conference, and will add East Division-mate Morris, and West Division cousins Dixon and LaSalle-Peru to its slate.

“What we’re really excited about is that all these are all similar programs,” Fedderly said. “So our younger kids are going to be playing against similar situations with programs that play sophomores, whereas other schools we played had upperclassmen. I think it’s going to really even out.”

The last time Kaneland invaded a new conference, in 2006, the Knights won the Western Sun Conference title in a one-loss regular season.

Now, coming back onto the field after a three-loss regular season and an 40-13 opening round playoff loss to Sycamore, the Knights look to improve their end result.

“If we want to be a good team, we need to watch turnovers and cut down on the mental errors. When we won, it was when we took care of the ball,” Fedderly said.

After the opener, the first East Division matchup is at Rochelle on Friday, Sept. 24. The regular season ends on Friday, Oct. 22 against visiting Morris.

Parillo high on soccer prospects for 2010

Photo: Junior Anders Winquist-Bailey’sfootwork will be key to improving Kaneland’s seven-win total from 2009. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—While Kaneland soccer fell to a highly talented Antioch team in the 2009 Class 2A regionals, the Knights’ road to progress didn’t end there.

For those that went through the gauntlet of an injury-filled season have another year of experience under their jersey.

Kaneland’s mark of 7-14-1 (2-5 Western Sun Conference) will hopefully be a thing of the past, said coach Scott Parillo.

“We were so young and we’re just as young this year,” Parillo said. “We’ve had more kids come out this year than any other year with 68 kids trying out, which is awesome. We’ve got huge numbers.”

The Knights lost seven seniors to graduation, but the new core looks to serve as a stabilizing force in Maple Park.

Personnel includes Trevor Wolf, Derek White and starting goalkeeper J.P. Minogue. Patrick Bratschun and Alex Weiss make the varsity ranks as seniors for the first time.

While the seniors will be cornerstones, there’s a hidden treasure trove in the junior class.

“As far as juniors, we’ve got Pedro Perez, three-year varsity player; Thanasi Pesamajlou, another three-year varsity player; Alex Dorado and Anders Winquist-Bailey, and we’ve got Jordan Escobedo. It’s a nice group.”

Chad Swieca comes back and highlights the sophomore crew. He’s joined by Alex Gil, who found the net eight times. Alex Koczka, Jason Biddle, Kushtrim Ismaili, Fernando Ramos and Sam Rymarz also lend a foot to the proceedings from the sophomore class.

Meanwhile, Tyler Siebert, Ignacio Toscano and the coach’s son, Anthony Parillo enter the varsity ranks as freshmen.

The Knights invade the pitch on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the Burlington Central Rocket Invite against Yorkville.

“It does look like it’s going to be a pretty exciting time for us. With this much youth, we’ll see what happens,” Parillo said.

The initial NIB-12 action, now featuring ten conference matches, kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 14 against DeKalb.

The regular season is set to end on Thursday, Oct. 14 at Sycamore.

Boys XC wish to re-run great ending

Photo: Trent Holm (left) will serve in a senior leadership role for the Kaneland boys cross-country squad. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How does a team that finished fifth in the Class 2A boys cross country race a year ago repeat the appealing end?

With the same preparation and attack, and new personnel to replace the graduates.

“For the most part, everyone is healthy, but we are resting and repairing some pieces to our team,” coach Chad Clarey said.

Out of the 14 to go to State, nine return.

Clarey has some holes to fill, but the senior leadership of Grant Alef, Trevor Holm and Tommy Whittaker provide stability to a team that lost five of its top seven places.

“We return three seniors and each one of them is an All-State athlete in cross-country, track or swimming in 2009.

Holm finished 23rd in State and Clarey likes his trajectory.

“He has had a good summer. He’ll see where the best runners in the state are and compare himself to that,” Clarey said.

Alef was often the fifth runner for the Knights a year ago and was second and fourth in two events for swimming Junior Nationals recently.

“He’s finally on dry land now and ready to run. I think I’ll be a quicker transition for him. He worked his way up through the lineup last year,” Clarey said.

Whittaker, a sprinter by nature, “has groomed himself to be a nice distance runner and had an excellent offseason,” Clarey said.

The junior circuit includes Austin Paulson, Jake Ginther, Kelvin Peterson, Frankie Furco, Clayton Brundige, Stelios Lekkas, John Michek and Nate Rehkopf.

“We’ve got solid juniors and eventually we look for the frosh/soph runners to make their push during the season. Kids that might be in that mix are (sophs) Conor Johnson, Billy Hart, John Meisinger,” Clarey said.

Other sophomores include Nick Messina, Ryan Paulson, Gus Stott, Brad Kigyos, Nicholas Albano, Chris Wido, Brandon Huber and Justin Pollastrini.

Freshmen are Luis Acosta, Ryan Bower, Garrett Patterson, Dylan Kuipers, Phil Cutsinger and Kyle Carter.

A new opportunity for getting back to the postseason promised land also brings a new opportunity for fresh conference foes in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

“When we ran in the old Western Sun Conference, we only finished in the top four one time. It was that talented and Sycamore who was a State champ didn’t even win the conference. Geneseo has a nice nucleus, DeKalb is getting better. I think Yorkville would be the team to beat going into all this,” Clarey said.

The regular season begins on Tuesday, Aug. 31 against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy, while the Eddington Invite takes place on Saturday, Sept. 18. Conference is on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Healthy lineup key for Lady Knight runners

Photo: Senior Andie Strang looks to get back to State for the Lady Knights in 2010. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a roster that returns several that missed State a year ago, motivation is available aplenty for Lady Knights cross-country in 2010.

The season of 2009 ended at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional, but with a captain triumvirate of seniors Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Andie Strang returning, helped out by a talented group, the finish line of courses could come up faster this season.

That’s providing that the overall collective health of the girls is better than a year ago.

“We’re fine this year, so far,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “Obviously, the biggest problem the last two years was not work ethic. Kids were getting hurt and sick, but so far.”

Strang, who ran a 19 minute, 16 second course at last year’s regionals, comes off a State trip for girls track, making a winter stress fracture a distant memory.

“She’s run well for us, three-time all-conference and a very good leader. Her and Kris Bowen have been in the top seven since they were freshmen,” Ecker said.

Shaela Collins, Arianna Espino and Kaitlin Munyon round out the senior corps with Ecker hoping for slots in the Lady Knights top ten.

Sophomore assets Maggie Brundige and Abby Dodis return after dealing with various injuries and illness a year ago that hampered the bottom line. Fellow sophomore Ashley Castellanos (19:17 in regionals) also returns to help the sophomore group.

“If nothing happens, we should be in pretty good shape. Our main goal is to stay healthy,” Ecker said.

Perhaps the most intriguing addition to the squad comes in the form of a familiar face from 2008, junior Jen Howland.

Howland skipped last year for injuries and to compete in the triathalon circuit. Howland is now eligible to star in the 2010 ITU Junior Triathlon World Championship in Budapest, Hungary in September.

“She hasn’t had an opportunity to run for her high school in a while. I think she likes the opportunity to run with the kids she goes to school with,” Ecker said.

Howland joins Carolina Tovar and Alexis Villarreal on the junior side.

Freshmen are Brooke Howland, Anna Piazza and Sydney Strang.

Strang impressed in the middle school ranks.

“Sydney was among the top, if not the top middle school runner in the area last year. She’s got talent and she’s worked hard and if she runs consistently she’ll do well for us.,” Ecker said.

The Lady Knights aren’t going for any drastic leaps and bounds, just taking care what’s in front of them.

“We just stress doing what you’re supposed to do and practicing and the times will come,” Ecker said.

The Lady Knights host West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday, Aug. 31 and host the Eddington Invite on Saturday, Sept. 18. The regular season ends with the Northern Illinois Big XII meet on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Young tennis group vying for spots

Photo: Third-year coach Tim Larson leads the initial days of Lady Knights tennis practices that include freshman Abby Meyer. Photo by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—While eight seniors are gone from last year’s Kaneland tennis crew, the three varsity returnees all bring a game that’s been battle tested.

2010 begins with senior and three-year player Lindsay Jurcenko.

Jurcenko comes back with the most success from past rosters and finished strong, placing fourth in the No. 1 singles bracket at the final Western Sun Conference tournament.

“She’s got big goals for herself,” third-year coach Tim Larsen said last Thursday. “Our plan is to get as good a record as we can going into the Sectional tournament, get a nice high seed. She’s really dedicated and has played all year.”

Jurcenko serves in the model of upperclassmen well-versed in the Kaneland tennis system, making that part of Larsen’s job worry-free.

“She’s very competitive. It helps to keep her centered in the middle of the match, but she has the shots and she’s confident.”

Joining Jurcenko are juniors Maddie Limbrick and Amelia Napiorkowski.

“I took a big risk last year with Maddie and Amelia playing varsity singles as sophomores. They were playing a little ahead of their time. They would get frustrated sometimes, but that experience will pay off,” Larsen said.

In the early stages of KHS Lady Knights tennis practice, the lineup Larsen plans to take to court is still in flux with many slots open.

“We’re still early into practice. I’ve talked with a lot of girls that will play varsity for us, and we’re going to try out a lot of doubles team members. I’m going to try and see who’s playing the best and who’s playing the best together,” Larsen said.

Whomever plays No. 1 doubles this season will have quite the amount to live up to, with last year’s top combo Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb graduated.

“The No. 1 doubles team will be a team that didn’t play varsity last year. It’s going to be quick learning, while the No. 3 and No. 4 doubles might be more comfortable,” Larsen said.

The Lady Knights will look to improve on a 4-7 dual meet record from 2009, even though only three members return and the team now has some new opponents thanks to the new Northern Illinois Big 12 conference.

“I’ll tell you right now, I plan on winning them all,” Larsen said. “I feel very good about the ability these girls have. I think we have a shot to win every one of those dual matches in conference.”

With the new conference volleying for the first time, the East Division includes DeKalb, Rochelle, Sycamore, Yorkville and NCIC-school Morris.

“I know the coaches and they know the shots I’m planning to hit, and I know the shot they’re planning to hit, and it’s turned into a fun little conference between us,” Larsen said.

Serving against opponents in the varsity ranks will also be seniors Caiti Ellefsen, Megan Hanlon and Sierra Cruz, juniors Jordyn Withey, Maria Rossi, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Sam Williams and Nikki LeBlanc and sophomore Maddy McMullen.

The Lady Knights begin 2010 against Wheaton Academy in Maple Park on Tuesday, Aug. 24, with the first conference action at Sycamore a week later.

The first ever NIB-12 conference gathering is the weekend of Friday-Saturday, Oct. 8-9 in Yorkville.

Volleyball looks for spike in good fortune

Photo: Lady Knights participate in blocking drills last week in Kaneland’s East Gym. Photo by Mike Slodki


by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—Sixth-year Lady Knights volleyball coach Todd Weimer is counting on his girls tasting victory plenty in 2010, despite the sour end to the 2009 campaign.

On Oct. 29, 2009, the Lady Knights were upset by DeKalb in two games to end the season in Burlington.

KHS looks to springboard from last year’s 16-18 (6-8 Western Sun Conference) and a 13-21 (5-9 WSC) record in 2008. They’ve already improved by leaps and bounds from Weimer’s first three years in the program, which produced just seven wins combined.

It begins with four-year starter and setter Jessica Lubic, who has committed to Northern Illinois University. Lubic produces assists and the occasional ace, among other intangibles.

“(Junior) Kylie Siebert, (senior) Taylor Bradbury, (junior) Katy Dudzinski and Lubic are returning. They definitely remember the end last year,” Weimer said about the season-ender which featured Lubic going down in the first game with an ankle injury. “The motivation and desire are extremely high.”

Bradbury handles setting, while Dudzinski performs at outside hitter and Siebert at libero. “They aren’t only looking at the first match or first tournament of the season, they’re looking at the last match and going into regionals,” Weimer said.

Weimer mentioned Siebert as one who could impress the KHS faithful.

“Siebert is digging like you wouldn’t believe and it’s like ‘whoa, where did that come from?”

So far, the initial stretches of practice are what Weimer wants to see.

“So far, we’re excited. From the freshmen to sophomores to the varsity team, they are just very talented. Last time I saw them was November and just to see them come around is awesome,” Weimer said.

Kaneland will need the returnees to lend their considerable talent in order to get wins, and to influence the new varsity additions. “They all bring young and new energy, they bring court awareness and volleyball I.Q,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knights will also welcome back MacKenzie Curran to the sidelines, who flourished as a junior middle hitter but is recovering from brain surgery this spring.

“With what happened to MacKenzie, I think our motivation and desire quadrupled. We want to do really special things for our program and for her. We know she’d be playing on the court busting her butt,” Weimer said.

With a new year, comes a new 12-team conference in the Northern Illinois Big XII and an East division that includes DeKalb, Morris, Rochelle, Sycamore and Yorkville.

“I definitely like it. I think the competition and with what we’re facing I think we’ll be right at the top of our division. DeKalb’s looking pretty good and Sycamore’s looking good,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knights serve first at the Wheaton North tournament next week.

The first NIB-12 matchup comes on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Geneseo, while the regular season ends with Spikefest on Saturday, Oct. 23

Golf’s fab ‘fore’

Guyton, Douglas, Krueger, Schuberg head up 2010 team
KANELAND—If anything, KHS golf returns in 2010 with some experience at State.

As in second place in the State.

Senior Hayley Guyton comes off a stellar showing in 2009 in the Girls State tournament, to be an important part of the boys golf team in 2010.

Guyton joins Kaneland returning assets Josh Schuberg, a senior, and juniors Zach Douglas and Troy Krueger, in having sectional experience from a year before.

“She’s continuing to play really well,” sixth-year coach Mark Meyer said. “Luckily for us, we have quite a few players that have decided to step up their game. We’re going to have a good strong core at the top.”

Schuberg, Douglas and Krueger provide stability for a team that will have some varsity holes to fill.

“Those three made it into sectionals last year which was exciting, and it’s exciting that they’re all coming back.”

Adam Grams also returns to the links ready to help out, bringing the collective tenure of the team up.

“We are going to have a couple of freshman that will probably play a little bit on varsity, and they’ll have to get ready for playing on the varsity team,” Meyer said about personnel like Brody Kuhar.

Last year’s Knights finished 5-7 in dual competition and hope to accentuate the positive.

“We have a little more depth now than last year. Now we’re playing only seven people per conference match. There’s no doubt that one-through-seven we’ve got some solid golfers,” Meyer said.

Solid and more is what the Knight golfers will have to be to get to postseason glory.

Hayley has set pretty high goals for herself at the end with the State tournament. We’ll get together to set some team goals. I’m sure Hayley is looking forward to the girls tournament at the end of the season and understands that she maybe played the best golf of her life at State. If she gets hot at the end of the season, anything can happen. For the boys that made a dent at the end of the season, they’re looking to get back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our team as a whole made a dent in the postseason,” Meyer said.

Beginning the season this past Monday, the first conference action begins on Wednesday, Aug. 25 in Rochelle, with the NIB-12 meet on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Kaneland Athletic Info Fall Sports 2010

KHS athletics has released essential information for all families and students planning fall sports involvement.

1) You must have a current physical on file in order to tryout or practice. There will be no acceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

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

3) The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory pre-season meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18, in the east gym beginning at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend the meeting with their athlete(s) in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The mandatory part of the meeting will be available on the Kaneland website as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL— Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 9, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Football insurance is available to or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.

Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11. All levels will meet in the east gym at 7:30 a.m.

Practice will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. (lower levels—bring your lunch. Practice for varsity is from 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. 11 and 12, all levels 8 to 10:30 a.m. First practice is on Aug. 13, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in the east gym.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11, for all levels from 9 to 11 a.m. The location is at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—The opening meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 9, at 8 a.m. in Room C114. You will not be playing at this time but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 11, and Thursday, Aug. 12, at Hughes Creek at 6 a.m.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11. V/JV/Frosh from 9 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. at the soccer fields. All players must purchase from the school a spirit pack for $30. Bring cleats, shin guards, water and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather).

BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The team will meet in the high school cafeteria. The XC team will also embark on an overnight camping trip on Thursday-Friday, Aug. 12 and 13. Parents with questions can e-mail head coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 a.m., meet in Room C117.

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

CHEERS—Mandatory practice begins on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Meet in the east gym balcony.

Mandatory fall sports meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.

Knights Under The Lights is Thursday, Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Opening Contests for KHS Fall Athletics

Football—
Friday, Aug. 27, at
Burlington Central,
7:30 p.m.

Volleyball—
Wednesday, Aug. 25, at
Wheaton North Tourney,
TBA

Tennis—
Tuesday, Aug. 24, vs.
Wheaton Academy,
4:30 p.m.

Golf—
Monday, Aug. 16, vs.
Wheaton Academy,
8 a.m.

Soccer—
Tuesday, Aug. 24, at
Marengo,
4:30 p.m.

Boys’ XC—
Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs.
W. Chicago/Wheaton Admy,
4:30 p.m.

Girls’ XC—
Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs.
W. Chicago/Wheaton Admy,
4:30 p.m.

Volley follies

Prospective volleyball athletes participate in the “Circle the Wagons” drill at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove on Tuesday as part of a Kaneland volleyball camp for 7th and 8th graders.
Photo by Mike Slodki

Knights’ 2010 gridiron gauntlet released

Some familiar faces return to the Kaneland Knights football slate in 2010, and some new conference-mates, as well.

After the Western Sun Conference burned out rather than faded away in four years time, the new Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference comes on the football scene, with the group split into two divisions, East and West.

With the IHSA officially releasing the football schedules on Friday, the Knights fill up the East side with former WSC schools DeKalb, Rochelle, Sycamore and Yorkville, but also see former Little 7 and Suburban Prairie Conference rival Morris added to the mix once again.

Once again, the Knights will face Burlington Central and Huntley for the non-conference part of the schedule, but replacing Batavia, Geneva and Glenbard South will be Dixon and LaSalle-Peru of the NIB12 West and Morris.

The Knights visit Rocket Hill to face Burlington Central on Friday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m., and visit Huntley on Friday, Sept. 3, at 7:15 p.m.

All remaining games have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Last year, KHS split the first two contests with a win over BC and loss to Huntley.

On Friday, Sept. 10, the Knights have their home opener against the visiting Dukes from Dixon, under coach Tony Agrimonti. Dixon finished 2-7 a year ago.

Friday, Sept. 17, sees Kaneland host LaSalle-Peru High School with coach Joe Sassano. The 5A Cavaliers finished 7-2 in regular season play and lost in first-round playoff action.

Friday, Sept. 24, brings proper divisional action with a trip to Rochelle for the second straight year. In 2009, the Knights blasted the host Hubs 33-12.

Kaneland hosts DeKalb on Friday, Oct. 1, after traveling to the Barbs’ homecoming and coming away with a 35-6 win. Friday, Oct. 8, sees the Knights travel to Yorkville once again and try to capitalize on last year’s regular-season-ending 10-0 win.

On Friday, Oct. 15, Kaneland tries to get revenge on visiting Sycamore for last year’s 40-13 elimination in round one last Halloween. Kaneland did hand the Spartans a 21-14 loss in Sycamore last year in week four.

The regular season ends on Friday, Oct. 22, with the Morris Redskins coming to Maple Park. This will mark the first meeting between the two schools on the gridiron since Oct. 18, 2003, when the Knights fell victim to a 62-14 result in Morris.

The Knights, who finished 6-4 overall in 2009, have the schedule on paper in their favor. Their opponents finished a combined 41-48 last year.

Week 1
Northern Illinois Big 12 Opponents
Friday, Aug. 27

EAST
DeKalb at Ottawa
Kaneland at Burlington Central
Oswego at Morris
Corliss at Rochelle
Sycamore at North Lawndale Charter (Lane Stadium, Chicago)
Yorkville at Streator

WEST
East Moline United at Dixon
Geneseo at East Peoria
LaSalle-Peru at Rock Island Alleman (Augustana College)
Sterling at Moline

Bailey UWP-bound

“I have an advantage coming from knowing the playbook; we run that offense at Kaneland,” said WR/DB Ryley Bailey, who commited to play football for Division III University of Wisconsin-Platteville in the fall. Bailey had 56 catches and 8 TD’s in 2009.

File Photo

Knights’ Serpa commits to C. Michigan for 2011

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Mid-American Conference football is about to get more of a Kaneland presence.

Kaneland High School junior WR/LB Blake Serpa, who had carries and catches galore for the Knights the last two seasons, made a verbal commitment to the Central Michigan University Chippewas on Friday.

Serpa joins 2007 Kaneland High School graduate Boone Thorgeson, who suits up for Northern Illinois University football at safety, in MAC football.

The 6-foot-2 Serpa, resting up some nagging injuries in boys track, is excited to have the major decision on his post-Kaneland future tucked away.

“It came down to the coaching staff,” Serpa said. “They’re a good group of guys. They said they could try me out on both ends, so we’ll see how that goes.”

Serpa visited CMU in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. last week.

“It’s nice to get it out of the way and concentrate on having fun,” Serpa said. “We’ll have to see how I fit into the program once I get there.”

KHS head coach Tom Fedderly thinks the Chippewas get a talented asset for their program.

“He’s a big kid and he’s getting bigger,” Fedderly said. “He’s a good athlete for his size and after watching some tapes, they saw something they liked.”

Serpa also visited fellow MAC school Western Michigan.

“He seems like he’s happy with the decision and he’s got it behind him now and meeting the coach (Dan Enos) went well,” Fedderly said.

The 12-2 Chippewas won the MAC Championship in 2009 and also nabbed a GMAC Bowl win on Jan. 6.

Kaneland, helped by Serpa’s five touchdowns, finished 6-4 in the 2009 football season, ousted with a 40-13 loss to Sycamore on Oct. 31, 2009.

“We have about six or seven guys coming back who are three-year starters, so next year could be pretty special,” Serpa said.

file photo

KHS boys basketball golf outing news

The Kaneland High School boys basketball program is having its first golf outing on Saturday, June 12, at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove, to bring athletes, parents, alumni and community businesses together.

The fundraiser will raise money for uniforms, equipment and fees for summer leagues and shootouts. Thanks to the support of local businesses and donations, a variety of prizes will be available in the raffle. There is also scheduled to be a silent auction with prizes. The golf outing will be scramble and cost $400 for a foursome and $35 for the dinner.

Those interested in playing, sponsorship or making a donation, contact Brian Johnson at (630) 365-5100 ext. 347 or brian.johnson@kaneland.org.

P.J. Fleck named wide receivers coach at Rutgers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaneland shines spotlight on fall athletes with awards

Monday saw Kaneland High School dish out their annual awards for the fall sports season.

For girls cross country, Shelby Koester and Lisa Roberson were recognized by the team as captains, while Shaela Collins and Jessica Stouffer won the most improved runners nods. Junior Andie Strang took home the Most Valuable Runner award and was also recognized for her all-Western Sun Conference nomination.

In Knights golf action, the varsity most improved player award was given to Adam Grams, while Most Valuable Player was Hayley Guyton. Rhys Childs took home the frosh/soph MVP, and Dan Miller was named the frosh/soph most improved player. Guyton was also lauded for her second-place finish at the girls’ golf State gathering.

For soccer, Kevin Szatkowski, Marcos Dorado, Joe Garlinsky and Genaro Garcia were recognized as captains, and Alex Dorado and Sam Rymarz were given coach’s awards. Jake Tickle won the most improved player award, while J.P. Minogue was named team MVP thanks to his play in goal. Marcos Dorado, Derek White and Minogue were named to the All-WSC squad, while Dorado was also named the 2009 All-Sectional team.

For the tennis troops, Randi Bader, Lindsay Jurcenko and Kelsey Lenhardt were recogznied as garnering the best individual records this season with 18-7 records. Most Valuable Player awards were dished out to Jurcenko, Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb. Bader, Webb, Megan Cline and Mel Mazuc were recognized as captains. Jordyn Withey took home the team spirit award, while Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Jess Woodward nabbed the most improved player honors.

For the State-going boy cross country, Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Dominic Furco, Matt Reusche and Logan Markuson were recognized as captains.

Trevor Holm and Reusche took the most valuable runner awards, while Levita was named most improved runner. Valle and Markuson were given the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. The Golden Knight award, given to one representative of each grade level, was given to freshman Brad Kigyos, sophomore Jake Ginther, junior Tommy Whittaker and to Furco, a senior.

Reusche and Holm were lauded for their nomination to the all-Western Sun Conference team.

John Meisinger, Ginther, Billy Hart, Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson, Holm, Reusche, Levita, Valle, Furco, Markuson, Whittaker and Clayton Brundige were recognized as State qualifiers.

For the playoff-going Knight football team, Brock Dyer, Ryley Bailey, Brett Ketza, Eric Dratnol and Derek Bus were recognized as captains, while Kyle Davidson won the most improved player award. Dratnol was named the Most Valuable Player. Bailey was named the offensive MVP and Taylor Andrews won the defensive MVP award.

Bailey, Joe Camaliere, Andrews, Tyler Callagahan, Dratnol, Ketza, Jimmy Boyle and Blake Serpa were given all-WSC honors, as mentioned in last week’s Elburn Herald.

In volleyball, Jessica Lubic was named the Most Valuable Player, while Katy Dudzinski was given the top offensive player nod. Kylie Siebert won the top defensive player nod. Tara Groen was named best server, and Meredith Ament took home the spirit award. Mackenzie Curran won the most improved player nod, and Lubic and Dudzinski were nominated for the all-Western Sun Conference roster.

Photo: Tennis asset and tri-MVP Lindsay Jurcenko was one of the many KHS athletes noted for exceptional play during the fall season. File Photo

Kaneland Knights football recognized for talent, smarts

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland High School learned of five football players that were not just exceptional on the field, but in the classroom as well.

Linemen Brett Ketza and Eric Dratnol, cornerback Taylor Andrews, linebacker Tyler Callaghan and quarterback Joe Camaliere were named to the Class 5A All-Academic All-State team last week.

“That’s what we really strive for,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “To achieve in the classroom and to be leaders on the field is great.”

Not only did those five get recognized for classwork and ability, they also joined lineman Jimmy Boyle, linebacker Blake Serpa and wideout Ryley Bailey for the final version of the All-Western Sun Conference team.

The offensive co-MVP’s of the conference were Glenbard South QB Trace Wanless and Sycamore RB Marckie Hayes.

The defensive co-MVP’s of the conference were Glenbard South DL Austin Teitsma and Geneva DL Frank Boenzi.

Kaneland Boys Cross Country 5th in state

Holm earns All State honors
by Ben Draper
Peoria—On an unseasonably warm day for early November, the Kaneland High School boys cross country team etched itself into the record books once again, placing fifth in the class 2A state finals in Peoria, Ill.

The finish bettered last years’ eighth place finish, and was the highest finish for the Knights since 1999, when they placed second in the class 1A field.

Led by junior Trevor Holm, the team featured a 36-second split between their lead runner and junior Grant Alef, Kaneland’s fifth and final scoring team member—a historic feat according to head coach Chad Clarey.
[quote]
“Today we raced to a school-record (for the state finals) 36-second pack split, bettering the 1987 (Kaneland) state champs by two seconds,” Clarey said. “The pack was outstanding today.”

Clarey was pleased with how his team faired overall.

“These boys put themselves right among the best in the school’s great history at the state finals,” he said. “Every bit of this awesome performance was satisfying.”

Holm earned personal accolades, placing 23rd overall with a time of 15 minutes, 35 seconds, which was good enough for All State—the 10th Knight in school history to achieve the honor.

“Holm got into medal contention early, held on for All State, and gave us the strong start in team points,” said Clarey.

In the 2008 state finals, Holm placed 100th, 53 seconds behind his 2009 time.

The 2009 boys cross country team after the state meet. Courtesy photo
The 2009 boys cross country team after the state meet. Courtesy photo

On Holm’s heels, seniors Dominic Furco (44th overall, 15:56), Edgar Valle (60th, 16:08) and Matt Reusche (63rd, 16:11), and junior Grant Alef (64th, 16:11) rounded out the Knights’ scorers. Seniors Logan Markuson (76th, 16:19) and Joe Levita (121st, 17:02) battled for Kaneland as the team’s sixth and seventh runners.

Belvidere North won the team title with 77 points behind individual winner Paul Zeman, followed by Normal University’s 119 and Springfield’s 132, to round out the trophy winners. Peoria Notre Dame’s 168 and Kaneland’s 192 rounded out the top five.

“We wanted to leave Detweiller Park leaving everything on the course, and with no regrets,” Clarey said. “We accomplished everything we set out to do—and five seniors will savor this day the rest of their lives. We are so grateful for all they’ve given.”

The Knights cross country team says goodbye to seniors Furco, Levita, Markuson, Jemmar Parrenas, Reusche, Nick Sinon and Valle.

file photo

Under the Western Sun

Two WSC teams remain in the 2009 IHSA football playoffs
Kaneland’s round-one foe Sycamore (8-3) easily dispatched Wheaton Academy 42-0 in Sycamore. The No. 9 Spartans now face No. 12 Montini at home Saturday at 1 p.m.

No. 3 Glenbard South (9-2) also faired well in 5A, defeating No. 6 Vernon Hills 33-27 in Glen Ellyn. The Raiders will now take to the road to face No. 7 Woodstock Saturday at 7 p.m.

In class 7A, No. 3 Geneva fell to No. 2 Wheaton-Warrenville South 30-16 in Wheaton. The Vikings finish the year 9-2.

Henningson contributes at next level

Kaneland class of 2008 Knight Jody Henningson (10), shown here catching a hail-mary touchdown pass in Bemidji State University’s 35-34 loss to Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 24, is getting some increased playing time for the Beavers.
The former Kaneland WR/QB had 15 catches for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bemidji State football is 8-3 for the season.
Courtesy of BSU Sports Dept.

Boys XC heads off to State

by Mike Slodki
Watch out, Peoria.

The Kaneland boys cross country team rose to the occasion at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional and took care of business, nabbing a fourth-place finish en route to a State berth at Detweiler Park this coming weekend.

Kaneland’s 144 point total was behind Belvidere North (36), Prairie Ridge (113) and Sycamore (142). Marmion Academy also qualified (148).

[quote]”We were fortunate to make it out on the strength of our pack, and the heroic efforts of unexpected runners,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said.

Leading the way for the state-going Knights was Trevor Holm, in 13th place with a time of 16:40, and Matt Reusche in 23rd.

“Course conditions were very slow with all the recent rain. Every point counted today,” Clarey said.

Dominic Furco finished 25th with a time of 16:52. Edgar Valle was 36th-best at 17:06, while Grant Alef finished 57th at 17:23. Throw into postseason fire, freshman Billy Hart contributed to the Knights’ effort with a 75th place time of 17:47.

Spartans oust Knights in 5A opener

Kaneland caught in rush during 40-13 loss
If this were a major production, then Sycamore stole the second act.

Getting revenge for a September contest in which the Kaneland Knights beat the Spartans 21-14, Sycamore ran, ran and ran some more in a 40-13 first-round beating of Kaneland.

The loss on Saturday evening put an end to the KHS Class 5A playoff quest at 6-4. Sycamore will now host 16th-seed Wheaton Academy on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m., after the Crusaders upset top-seeded Hillcrest in the lower bracket.

Sycamore gained an immense 415 yards on the ground, while passing only once for 13 yards. Kaneland gained 207 yards on offense, while rushing for 62 yards.

For Sycamore, running back Joe Dougherty ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, while teammate Markie Hayes had 172 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.

QB Joe Camaliere was 17-for-32 for 145 yards for the Knights, passing for two touchdowns. Blake Serpa rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries.

Taylor Andrews caught five balls for 79 yards and a touchdown.

The Spartans got the scoring underway with 6:34 left in the first quarter on a Hayes 9 -yard touchdown run. Kaneland tied matters just 61 seconds later with a Andrews touchdown catch from 43 yards out.

Hayes gave Sycamore a lead it would never relinquish on an 8-yard touchdown run to go up 14-7 with 1:08 left in the first.

Sycamore scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, beginning with Dougherty’s 51-yard touchdown run with 5:28 left for a 20-7 lead. Dougherty struck again with a 29-yard scoring run to go up 27-7, with Spartans QB Trevor Mathey hitting CJ Compher on a 13-yard touchdown pass with eight ticks remaining in the half for a 33-7 lead.

With no scoring in the third quarter, Dougherty scored his third TD of the contest, a five-yarder with with 10:16 to go. On the final play of the game, Camaliere found Ryley Bailey for a 9-yard touchdown for the final 27-point deficit.

Photo: Knight Taylor Andrews (11) takes to the air during Kaneland’s first-round exit to visiting Sycamore on Saturday. Photo by Ben Draper

Volleyball eliminated by DeKalb in regional

Dekalb ended the Lady Knights’ 2009 volleyball campaign with a 25-20, 25-15 sweep at the Burlington Central Regional’s first-round match on Thursday evening.

The fourth-seeded Lady Knights finish coach Todd Weimer’s fifth campaign with a record of 16-18 (6-8 Western Sun Conference), a far cry from the first three years of the program, which had a combined seven wins.

Jessica Lubic, who had 14 assists and one ace, left midway through the second game with what was thought to be a sprain.

“She’s in good spirits, it’s just a really bad sprain,” Weimer said. “She’s one of our captains and a third-year starter, kind of our quarterback out there.”

In the first game, relatively tight action ensued with a 5-5 tie early on before DeKalb took a 10-6 lead. With strong front line play and DeKalb getting a case of the errors, KHS stormed ahead for a 16-13 lead.

After a couple of hitting errors tied the score at 17-17, DeKalb went in for the kill and went on an 8-3 run to finish.

Alyssa Snyder had four kills and three blocks. Abby VanDerHeyden had three kills and three digs. Katy Dudzinski added four kills.

“We just controlled that whole match, positively and negatively. We were neck-and-neck, and there were a lot of errors on our part. We just have to take care of the ball,” Weimer said.

With the loss, Kaneland volleyball says goodbye to five seniors: Ashley Dunn, a transfer from West Chicago High School, Abby VanDerHeyden, Tara Groen, Jordan Hester and Alyssa Snyder.