Category Archives: Sports

Boys XC battles health, competition

FREEPORT, Ill.—Being shorthanded may be a problem for other squads, but not the Knights boys cross country team.

Competing Saturday at the Freeport Pretzel Invitational without their top two runners this season in Nathaniel Kucera and Ryan Bower, the Knights still placed second in the 10-team field.

Winnebago ran tough, placing their scoring five all in the top 13 of the race to run away with the team title with 45 points. Kaneland was next with 78, followed by Rock Falls’ 108, Boylan’s 111 and Jefferson’s 123.

For coach Chad Clarey, it’s all about the packs for his group, and for a second week in a row, the Knights were running together throughout the field.

“Our team continues to do a nice job of packing up, finishing in groups,” Clarey said. “Our top three raced within 10 seconds of each other, and our fifth through seventh also split seven seconds between one another.”

Kyle Carter, who has been progressing since he began running again a little over two weeks ago, led KHS with a 10th place finish with a time of 16 minutes, 2 seconds. Carter was the top Knight a year ago.

“He is battling and taking small victories on this road to full strength,” Clarey said of Carter.

Luis Acosta had a break through race, finishing 11th, and just five seconds behind Carter. Andrew Lesak was the third Knight to finish, placing 15th in 16:12.

Brandon Park ran aggressive, placing 20th overall with a time of 16:46.

Then another KHS pack of Brock Robertson (25th, 17:03), Phil Cutsinger (27th, 17:06) and Mitch Reger (28th, 17:10) finished in a cluster.

Clarey was pleased with Robertson, a senior in his first year on the cross country team, performed.

“(He) finished as our No. 5 today, and he really pushed himself hard through the first 1.5 miles to establish that position,” Clarey said. “He has shown strong improvement these past four weeks.”

Dylan Kuipers (42nd, 17:42), Jimmy Walker (48th, 18:08), Phil Rawers (86th, 21:23) and Connor Pennington (88th, 21:40) also competed for the Knights.

With conference looming, the Knight harriers headed to the Byron Invitational Wednesday (results not available before press time) before the head west to their annual stop at the Sterling Invitational Saturday.

“We will hopefully be back at full strength and depth at conference (Oct. 19 at Morris),” Clarey said. “In the meantime, we work to get healthy, freshen up, and keep pushing that pack further toward the front of the field.”

Clarey is optimistic about his team as they head into the home stretch of the season.

“It’s tough to be patient, but we feel good about where we are headed with such a tight-knit pack,” he said.

Kaneland soccer stung by Barbs in conference battle

KANELAND—Fortunes have been as even as it gets for the Kaneland High School soccer squad this season.

In conference matches like last Thursday’s home matchup against the visiting DeKalb Barbs, the end result refused to break its way.

A heartbreaking 2-1 loss to DeKalb was followed by a Tuesday trek to Morris, where the Knights came back from a 2-1 first-half deficit to win 3-2.

The Knights find themselves with a 6-5-3 record, and a 3-2-2 tally in Northern Illinois Big XII conference action. Just four regular season matches remain.

“I don’t think you can ever be truly satisfied, because there is always room for improvement,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We need to possess the ball better and finish our chances. That is where we haven’t been consistent. We look much better in practice as of late and hope we will continue to improve in all areas. It would be nice to make it back to the regional championship game for the fourth year in a row.”

Against the Barbs, the Knights found a goal just 7:36 into the contest thanks to a Tyler Siebert goal off the assist from Arsim Azemi. The Barbs shut the Knights out the rest of the way, and Kaneland surrendered two goals.

Against the Redskins, Arsim Azemi scored off an Angel Escontrias assist, but the Knights got to halftime trailing 2-1. Escontrias had a big second half, scoring twice while the defense held Morris scoreless sealing the KHS win.

Kaneland learned of its Class 2A postseason assignment last Friday, as it’s housed in the Sycamore Regional. The No. 2 seed Knights play the No. 3 Sycamore Spartans on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m., with the winner facing off against the Tuesday victor between No. 1 Burlington Central and No. 4 Sandwich on Friday, Oct. 25, for the regional plaque.

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Kaneland (6-0) vs. Yorkville (4-2)

at Kaneland High School’s Peterson Field at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, Oct. 11, the Knights host Yorkville High School in a Week 7 NIB-12 battle. The Foxes traveled to Rochelle on Friday, only to lose in a 30-14 clash. Yorkville fell to 4-2 with a 1-1 NIB-12 mark, on the heels of upsetting the Morris Redskins in Week 6 for the first victory over the Grundy County program in 51 years. YHS has lost two of its last three after emerging with a 3-0 start.

The Foxes are coached by area legend Karl Hoinkes, who began with Yorkville in 2011 after having been a longtime coach at Oswego High School.

On Oct. 5, 2012, Kaneland slammed Yorkville at Campbell Field by a final of 55-0, and have solved the Foxes by a combined score of 134-20 the last three encounters.

Nate Dyer had 62 yards in Kaneland’s 35-12 triumph at DeKalb Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

By the numbers

KHS increases regular season win streak to 34 with NIB-12 win at DeKalb
DEKALB—Kaneland and DeKalb have had quite the football battles the last two years.

In 2011, Kaneland found itself visiting the new Dresser Road turf for the first time and down 31-14 before staging a monster second-half comeback in a 49-38 win.

Last year, the Knights put up 66 points on the visiting Barbs.

On Friday, the process was a little more elementary: withstand big plays, ball-control-tinged running, and key passes, leading to a 35-12 win at DeKalb High School.

The win marked the 34th consecutive win for Kaneland football in the regular season. Kaneland improved to a playoff-qualified 6-0 and 2-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII East division, and has never lost a conference game in the group that began in the 2010 season.

DeKalb fell to 3-3, with an 0-2 mark in conference play. Kaneland has never lost to DeKalb in eight straight conference meetings.

“We’ve got a lot a lot of respect for their coach (former Belvidere coach Matt Weckler), and we’ve played him the last two years in the first round,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We have a lot of respect for that offense. They spread themselves out and get into space. If you make one mistake they can make a big play, as we saw. We’re really happy to hold these guys to 12 points.”

For the Knights, Drew David threw three touchdown passes on a night where he was 16-for-26 for 330 yards.

DeKalb running back Dre Brown had 130 yards rushing, a game-high.

After an opening DeKalb drive came up empty, Kaneland used Isaac Swithers (71 yards) and Nate Dyer (62 yards) to move the ball from their own 14-yard line. David mixed in a pass to Brandon Bishop (five catches, 65 yards) before rolling out and throwing a deep ball to tight end Tyler Slamans for a 31-yard touchdown. Slamans’ first-ever varsity TD gave KHS a 7-0 lead with 3:33 to go in the frame. After the Barbs punted another drive away, David found wideout Connor Fedderly for a 27-yard completion, and a bomb in stride to John Pruett (85 yards receiving) for a 58-yard scoring strike and a 14-0 lead with 1:06 left in the first quarter.

DeKalb gathered some momentum back when the second play of the next drive yielded a 77-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jack Sauter up the middle to make it 14-6 with 25 ticks left in the quarter.

The lone scoring drive in the second quarter ended with a six-yard run up the middle by Swithers to make it 21-6 with 6:41 to go in the half. The next two scoring opportunities for Kaneland ended with a blocked field goal and an interception.

Asked to carry more of a load along with Dyer, with an accent on speed for the ground game, Swithers is feeling more comfortable.

“Jesse went down so I just stepped in at running back, and I played last year, but I have to fill his shoes,” Swithers said. “I’m a lot faster on the turf, it’s a nice place to play.”

In the third quarter, the Barbs forced Kaneland to punt and converted on an 89-yard touchdown scamper by Brown to close within 21-12 with 8:50 remaining in the third. After Brown fumbled the ball away to Kaneland two drives later, the Knights used a couple of runs by Swithers, a pass to Dylan Nauert, a run by David and a two-yard touchdown run by Dyer to make it 28-12 with 2:14 to go in the third.

The lone score in the fourth quarter came on a David conversion from the eight-yard line with 9:39 remaining for the final 23-point margin.

Girls golfers fair well in conference, Regionals

ROCHELLE, Ill.—Kaneland girls golf individual entry Tori Guyton was the medalist at the Oct. 1 NIB-12 tournament at Fairways Golf Course in Rochelle, Ill., with an 85 afternoon. Teammate Julia VanGemert shot a 94 to place seventh. The girls were set to compete as individuals at the Sycamore Golf Club on Wednesday as part of the girls golf Burlington Central Regional. Both Guyton and VanGemert advanced to the Rockford Guilford Sectional, which will take place Monday at Ingersoll Golf Course in Rockford, Ill. Guyton placed second in the regional, shooting an 83 as the top-advancing individual not on an advancing team, while VanGemert’s 99 was enough to move on to the Sectional as well.

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Kaneland volleyball faces Geneva test

Photo: The Lady Knights volleyball team celebrates a point Wednesday against Geneva. Photo by Patti Wilk

GENEVA—Only one challenge was out there to await Kaneland volleyball, but it was a familiar and daunting one.

KHS traveled to non-conference foe Geneva on Oct. 2 and lost in three games, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23.

The Lady Knights are 9-11, and 3-2 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Lone senior Jenny Lubic had 19 assists. Kathy Nguyen had 12 digs, with sophomore Vanessa Gould and Anna Senese collecting nine digs each.

KHS coach Kerri McCastland still feels like the Lady Knights crew can play up to tough competition in the area, and in time for crucial postseason meetings.

“It’s what we will continue to do everyday,” McCastland said. “Being young in the game and as a team takes time, patience and learning. I’m proud of their commitment. It will get better everyday.”

Kaneland’s busy week includes a Thursday, Oct. 10, meeting in Morris, a Saturday, Oct. 12, trip to the Quad Cities area for the Bettendorf Invitational in Iowa, and a home match on Tuesday. Oct. 15, against the Lady Barbs of DeKalb.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, Kaneland was expected to learn its postseason seed as part of the Class 3A Sandwich Regional. Teams making their regional home in Sandwich were Kaneland, Plano, Rochelle, Rock Falls and Sycamore.

The Sandwich Regional group joins the Monmouth-Roseville, Streator and Stillman Valley Regionals as part of the Princeton Sectional group. A year ago, as part of the Hampshire Regional, Kaneland beat St. Edward and Sycamore to capture the plaque and a sectional berth.

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Rush to the end

Photo: Julia Golbeck competes at Geneva with doubles partner Maddy Michels (not pictured). The Lady Knights tennis team went 1-2 at the Geneva Quad on Saturday.              Photo by Patti Wilk

Tennis competes at Geneva Quad, Mendota, vs. Ottawa
KANELAND—At 12-4, the Kaneland High School tennis outfit is still going strong, with room left over to perfect its game.

After meets against Wheaton Academy and IMSA were rained out, the Lady Knights made their way to the Geneva Quad on Saturday and went 1-2. On Monday, the Lady Knights went to Mendota and won a 3-2 dual. Tuesday saw a home matchup with Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent Ottawa, where it was a 7-0 sweep of the Lady Pirates.

In the Geneva setting, the Lady Knights lost to Geneva 7-1, despite a win from doubles team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil. KHS also lost to St. Charles East 6-2, despite another Jurcenko/Emmanouil win and a Sammie Schrepferman win in singles action. Kaneland rallied to beat St. Charles North 4-3, with Jurcenko/Emmanouil, Schrepferman, Stephanie Zwick and the Kaylee Shoaff/Mallory Dugan team all victorious.

Wins over the Mendota Lady Trojans were secured by Schrepferman (6-1, 6-1) and Zwick (6-1, 6-0) at the singles spots, and Shoaff and Dugan at the No. 2 doubles slot (6-1, 6-1).

A tightly contested battle provided some room for improvement in the coming days for Kaneland, particularly on the doubles end.

“I think our girls got frustrated with the other team’s resiliency and tightened up a bit,” Larsen said. “Maybe it was the long bus ride, maybe it was just a Monday thing. But we’ll be correcting some issues that we encountered this week at practice before this weekend’s tournament, for sure.”

Schrepferman, Zwick and Emily Lutter all took the singles bouts in two sets, while two-set wins on the doubles edge were completed by Jurcenko/Emmanouil and the No. 2 team of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz.

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, yields the annual Northern Illinois Big XII conference meet out at Dixon High School.

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Youth earns spot in national bowling finals

Photo: Mabel Cummins prepares for the upcoming ISYL event at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Courtesy Photo

ELBURN—Mabel Cummins, added another bowling trophy to her collection this past weekend with a win in the 12-under Boys & Girls “Scratch” division at the Illinois State Youth Leaders scholarship event. Mabel joined over a hundred of the state’s top young strikers at Brookmont Lanes in Kankakee, Ill., as they vied for college scholarships and recognition at the United States Bowling Congress-sanctioned competition.

Participants in both scratch and handicap divisions bowled six games, moving one pair of lanes to the right after each game on a very challenging oil pattern that changed rapidly as the day wore on. Mabel posted the highest total pin fall to claim the top spot in her division and earned an invitation to the 2014 Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. The Junior Gold Championships is recognized as the largest and most coveted youth bowling tournament in the United States, showcasing the nation’s elite bowlers as they compete for scholarship funds and individual titles in six divisions for boys and girls up to age 20. Top finishers can earn spots on Junior Team USA, the development squad for America’s international (professional) bowling team.

Although Mabel spends most of her time on the lanes at Funway Entertainment Center in Batavia, she is no stranger to national events, having placed fifth in the U-12 Girls division at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Youth Open Championships in Detroit. She says she doesn’t look forward to the long drives to distant events, but she likes visiting new places and she is really excited about going to Niagara Falls, the most popular attraction in the Buffalo area.

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Friday preview: Kaneland (5-0) @ DeKalb (3-2)

Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Kaneland travels to DeKalb High School for its next challenge on Friday, Oct. 4. The Knights have beaten the Barbs seven straight times since the regular meetings began in 2006, including an afternoon contest in 2009 for DeKalb’s homecoming, 35-6, a 49-38 comeback win from a 17-point deficit on DeKalb’s turf in 2011, and last year’s 66-23 trouncing.

DeKalb comes into the Friday contest with a record of 3-2 (0-1 NIB-12). The Barbs solved Streator with a 42-14 road win last Friday and have averaged 41 points per win. The Barbs are coached by first-year head man and former Belvidere Bucs coach Matt Weckler who is well-versed in facing the Knights. Weckler and Co. were eliminated by the Knights in the past two Class 5A postseason first rounds.

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Taking charge

Kaneland ends back-and-forth with strong 2nd half vs. Rochelle
KANELAND—After a tight, back-and-forth first half between Kaneland and Rochelle on Friday night in Maple Park, the Northern Illinois Big XII East division opener turned the tide on a half-ending touchdown pass from Drew David to John Pruett that gave KHS the lead for good at 21-20.

Kaneland would then go on to score four unanswered touchdowns in the 49-20 win over the visiting Hubs. The meeting marked the end of the regular rotation of meetings between the two schools that began with the formation of the now-dead Western Sun Conference for the 2006 season.

Rochelle is scheduled to move to the West division in the NIB-12 landscape to offset the departure of Dixon and Streator in 2014. The East division will then consist of DeKalb, Kaneland, Morris, Sycamore and Yorkville.

Kaneland improved to 5-0 (1-0 NIB-12), while Rochelle dropped to 4-1 (0-1 NIB-12). It marked the seventh consecutive win for KHS over the Hubs, dating back to a 16-12 win in 2008 thanks to a TD by current Elmhurst College QB Joe Camaliere. Kaneland also managed two victories in 2011 over the Hubs that included a 20-14 Class 5A State quarterfinal.

David was 10-of-20 for 177 yards, two scoring strikes and one interception. The senior signal-caller also had a 58-yard touchdown scamper put forth in motion by key blocks by the line and a receiver in the fourth quarter.

Running back Isaac Swithers, carrying the bulk of the running plays with senior Jesse Balluff out for 2013 with a knee injury, rushed 14 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. Pruett had four catches for 82 yards and two scores, while Dylan Nauert had four catches for 69 yards.

“We just talked about on our end, doing what we do better than the mistakes we were making,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “I just think with what we saw they were doing, I thought there were a couple of things we could take advantage of. We’ve got a lot of weapons. We can throw when we have to, and we can run when we have to.”

The scoring started almost immediately, as Nauert returned the game’s opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown just 17 seconds into the game. Rochelle’s Evan White returned the favor from 96 yards on the ensuing kickoff 15 seconds later, but the extra-point attempt missed for a 7-6 score.

Kaneland then took six minutes to drive for another first-quarter score. A 12-play, 61-yard drive that featured nine runs ended with a five-yard score from running back Nate Dyer with 5:28 to go. A two-point attempt to linebacker Cole Carlson made it 15-6, Kaneland.

The Wing-T formation-leading Hubs took over and went 50 yards in seven plays, ending with a four-yard touchdown by Marquez Felix to make it 15-12 with 1:48 remaining in the first.

Rochelle went on top in the second quarter on a White touchdown run from the nine with 3:04 to go in the half. A Keegan Akers catch was good for the two-point try to send Kaneland into a 20-15 hole.

Kaneland lost the ball on a Rochelle interception, but after holding Rochelle on downs, Kaneland went seven plays for 62 yards for a David-to-Pruett score in the corner of the end zone for 26 yards to go into the locker room up 21-20. The score offset a Nauert TD pass from 16-yards that was negated by a penalty.

“We just ran our offense,” Pruett said. “We just had the open guys, I guess. Whoever Drew threw to, we tried to make plays.”

The lone scoring drive for Kaneland in the third quarter came on a 19-yard scamper by Swithers with 8:42 left in the frame for a 28-20 lead.

Kaneland’s next three touchdowns came within the span of five offensive plays in the fourth quarter. Dyer scored from the one with 11:06 to go for a 35-20 lead. Pruett caught his second TD pass with 7:18 remaining to go up 42-20, and the David rush to daylight capped the scoring with 4:55 left in the game.

The sophomore Knights have only allowed one goal all season—in their season opener against Streamwood—while scoring 39 of their own. They have eight shutouts on the season, and are 7-0-2.
“They have a great time at both practice and games, but do so with great effort and talent,” coach Travis Berth said.

Oct. 3 sports recap

Freshmen Volleyball
vs. Rochelle—On Sept. 26, the freshman A volleyball squad defeated visiting Rochelle 25-17, 25-16, while the B squad followed suit with a 25-17, 25-14 win. No stats were available.
at Yorkville—On Tuesday, the freshman A defeated the Lady Foxes 25-22, 25-16, while the B team fell 19-25, 7-25.

Sophomore Volleyball
vs. Rochelle—On Sept. 26, the sophomore Lady Knights dismantled visiting Rochelle 25-10, 25-13. No stats were available.
at Yorkville—On Tuesday, the team fell just short in two games, losing to the host Lady Foxes 23-25, 26-28.

Sophomore Football
vs. Rochelle—On Sept. 27, Kaneland defeated the visiting Rochelle Twp. Hubs 36-12. No stats were available.

Sophomore Soccer
vs. Yorkville—On Sept. 26, Kaneland continued its string of holding opponents scoreless, by defeating Yorkville 7-0 in Yorkville. Felipe Speraggi and Cameron Pieczyski each had two goals, while Eli Alvarado, Jose Chavez and Peter Castillo each contributed one goal. Speraggi, Andy Tovar, Omar Aguilar and Chavez each tallied an assit in the game. The team now sits at 6-0-2, and are 4-0 in NIB-12 play.
at Sycamore—On Tuesday, the team stretched its opponents’ scoreless streak to eight games, defeating the host Spartans 7-0. Speraggi had three goals, while Pieczyski, Trevor Jahns, Diego Ruiz and Jon Turyna all had one goal.

The sophomore Knights have only allowed one goal all season—in their season opener against Streamwood—while scoring 39 of their own. They have eight shutouts on the season, and are 7-0-2. “They have a great time at both practice and games, but do so with great effort and talent,” coach Travis Berth said.
The sophomore Knights have only allowed one goal all season—in their season opener against Streamwood—while scoring 39 of their own. They have eight shutouts on the season, and are 7-0-2.
“They have a great time at both practice and games, but do so with great effort and talent,” coach Travis Berth said.

JV Tennis
at LaSalle-Peru—On Sept. 26, the JV tennis team traveled to LaSalle-Peru High School and defeated the hosts 5-0. Brittany Zablocki (10-1) and Kayla Corirossi (10-3) each won their singles matches, while the doubles were swept by the pairs of Katie Blaszynski/Emily Mirocha (10-6), Heather Albrecht/Ally McPhee (10-4) and Lauren Karolewicz/Marley Schultz (10-8).
vs. Yorkville—The Lady Knights defeated the visiting Lady Foxes 4-1 on Tuesday. No. 1 singles Emily Lutter won 4-6, 6-4, 10-6, while Zablocki won No. 2 singles 7-6, 6-1. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Blaszynski/Mirocha won 6-4, 6-3, while the No. 3 duo of Karolewicz/Schultz won 7-6, 7-6. The JV squad now sits at 9-3, and 5-0 in NIB-12 play.

Freshman Soccer
at Sycamore—On Tuesday, the Knights dispatched host Sycamore 3-1 to move to 2-5-1, 1-1-0 in NIB-12 play. Javier Correa, Kevin Healy and Danny Perez each supplied one goal, while Laszlo Reed had two saves.

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Tennis swatting away

Photo: Tim Larsen’s Kaneland High School tennis squad poses for a photo after winning the Rochelle Invite Saturday. Courtesy Photo

Lady Knights take care of business on both ends on NIB-12
KANELAND—The remaining six landscapes better brace for Kaneland tennis.

The 9-2 (5-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) squad coached by Tim Larsen ran through visiting LaSalle-Peru last Thursday, 4-1, and headed off to Yorkville on Tuesday in a battle of undefeated conference teams, coming away with a 4-1 win.

In between, the team headed to the Rochelle Invitational on Saturday and took first.

The Lady Knights haven’t lost a conference match since Sept. 12, against Sycamore.

In the final home matchup of the 2013 campaign, the Lady Knights took care of the visiting Lady Cavs. Kaneland split the singles action, with junior Sammie Schrepferman sweeping Ali Kutz in the No. 1 singles battle, 6-0, 6-0.

Junior No. 2 singles competitor Mallory Dugan was defeated 6-2, 7-5.

The traditionally strong doubles side of the net did well in LaSalle County, beginning the No. 1 team of juniors Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 team of juniors Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz won 6-0, 6-1, and the No. 3 team of seniors Stephanie Zwick and Kaylee Shoaff won a 6-3, 6-1 tussle.

At the Hubs-hosted Rochelle Invite, the Lady Knights cut a victorious path in Ogle County, going 19-1 overall. Schrepferman went 4-0 in singles play, while the doubles section went undefeated, as well.

No. 1 singles, and all three doubles entries, played to victory against Yorkville, including the Jurcenko/Emmanouil team.

Schrepferman won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 over a strong Lindsey Schlichting, while Jurcenko/Emmanouil won 6-0, 6-0.

“They were decent players, definitely, but I knew we could win,” Jurcenko said. “They have a really strong team and a lot of depth, so I knew it’d be a struggle for our team, but I knew we could do it.”

Emmanouil feels the duo is playing at a high level.

“Definitely as a team, we’re playing really well right now. All of our shots are really crisp, and I feel like our game is at its peak,” Emmanouil said.

Larsen was looking forward to the conference battle.

“I was nervous the whole afternoon. We got behind in several matches and we had to make a move. All you can do is tell the girls the shots they need to make. They hit enough of them,” Larsen said.

Kaneland was set to trek to West Chicago to face Wheaton Academy on Thursday, Oct. 3, and to meet with IMSA in Aurora on Friday. Oct. 4.

Knight golfers prepare for end-of-season run

KANELAND—Who knows exactly what the Kaneland golfers will be capable of as the 2013 season comes to a close, especially on the heels of last year’s stellar State finish?

Their play as of late could serve as some indication.

Now on a handy streak of five wins in six matches, Kaneland (9-2) was preparing for a Northern Illinois Big XII Conference matchup against the entire field in the meet hosted by LaSalle-Peru High School at Senica Oaks on Wednesday.

KHS was crowned champion in 2012 with a 310, 15 shots better than rival Yorkville. Brody Kuhar earned medalist honors with a 73.

This year, Kaneland comes into the NIB-12 tournament tied with Yorkville and DeKalb at eight points. Rounding out the field, Rochelle, Morris and Sycamore all have two points.

“We feel very prepared for the tournament (Wednesday), but we understand that we are deadlocked with two very good teams at the top going into the championship round,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said. “Nerves tend to play a role during this part of the season, so it will all come down to which team can play steady for all 18 holes.”

Individually, Yorkville’s Evan Dill enters the tournament with 17.5 conference points, but Kaneland’s Matt Yonkovich is close behind at 15.5. DeKalb’s Austin Freeman has 14, Kuhar sits at 11, and Jacob Cook of DeKalb and Fred Washburn of Yorkville each have nine.

Following the conference tussle, it’s IHSA Class 2A Regional time on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at Phillips Park in Aurora for the ACC Regional. Besides Kaneland, Aurora Central Catholic, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Burlington Central, St. Edward, Hampshire, Plano, Sandwich, Sycamore and Wheaton Academy suit up, with the top three teams going to the Freeport Sectional the following week.

In the right direction

Girls CC looks for October improvements
STERLING, ILL.—As the calendar turns to October, it’s time for cross country teams to start coming together and jelling.

The Kaneland girls cross country squad decided to start a little early, with a solid effort in their annual late September stop at Saturday’s Rock River Run, hosted by Sterling High School.

The Lady Knights were third out of the 15 teams with 134 points, behind only Belvidere North (117) and champion Geneva (49). Northern Illinois Big XII conference-mate Dixon actually tied KHS with 134 points, but Kaneland’s sixth runner, Anna Piazza, broke the tie by placing 49th—Dixon’s sixth runner placed 69th.

Kaneland was led by the 1-2 tandem of sophomore Brianna Bower and junior Victoria Clinton. Bower cracked the top 10, placing eighth with a time of 18 minutes, 58 seconds. Clinton was nearby, placing 13th in 19:19.

“Brianna Bower and Victoria Clinton once again ran solid races to lead the varsity,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “Both are looking to make some dramatic improvement in the next few weeks.”

Senior Erika Carlson was the next Lady Knight to finish, placing 35th in 20:23. Junior Jessica Kucera placed 42nd in 20:35, and freshman Abby Shaw closed out the KHS scoring by placing 48th in personal-best 20:57.

“Erika Carlson continues to impress each week with her consistent effort and improvement,” Ecker said.

Also competing for the varsity race were Piazza (55th, 21:12), Noelle Espino (62nd, 21:29), Sydney Strang (64th, 21:32), Aislinn Lodwig (68th, 21:42), Murphy Garcia (135th, 24:34), Grace Drake (146th, 25:27) Christina Delach (147th, 25:31) and Kayla Hedgren (155th, 26:35).

The freshman/sophomore team also placed fourth in the meet, led by top 15 efforts by Katie Huber (7th, 22:29) and Carly Barholomew (15th, 23:02).

Next up, the girls cross country team heads north to the home of the Pretzels for the Freeport Invitational Saturday at 9 a.m.

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Kaneland volleyball solves Hubs, falls short to Foxes, Vikings

KANELAND—At 9-10 (3-2 Northern Illinois Big XII), the new-look and still jelling Kaneland Lady Knights volleyball club will take the big and integral conference victories when it can.

On Thursday, Kaneland solved the visiting Rochelle Hubs in just two games. On Tuesday in Kendall County, the Lady Knights and Lady Foxes battled, with Kaneland falling short in three games, 25-23, 17-25, 15-25. Wednesday saw KHS fall to the visiting Geneva Vikings.

In the 25-20, 25-18 matchup with the purple-clad Rochelle, lone senior Jenny Lubic stabilized the attack with 22 assists to her name. Important cog Ellie Dunn also produced 12 kills, four service points and five digs. Sophomore teammate Vanessa Gould maintained the Kaneland strength with six kills, three service points, four digs and two blocks. Lady Knight Riley Hannula added five kills, three blocks and two service points.

In the Tuesday loss to the Lady Foxes, Dunn provided 10 kills, five digs and an ace, Lubic had nine assists, one ace, Hannula had six kills and Kathy Nguyen 12 digs.

Against Geneva Wednesday, the Lady Knights dropped a close match to Geneva 25-18, 22-25, 23-25. Lubic had 19 assists, five kills and five service points. Dunn provided 19 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks.

Volleyball doesn’t compete until traveling to Morris on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Photos by Patti Wilk

Soccer knee deep in the NIB-12

Knight kickers above .500 after first 11 matches
KANELAND—With a 5-4-3 overall mark and a 2-1-2 mark in the opening stages of Northern Illinois Big XII play, the Kaneland Knights soccer unit is still getting its cleats wet against local rivals.

Soon, they’ll have to jump into the deep end of heavy competition if they wish to separate themselves from the pack.

A slim week of action saw Kaneland go to a scoreless stalemate against visiting Yorkville last Thursday, and a Tuesday match with host Sycamore that ended in a 2-0 Knight shutout.

The tie brought the Kaneland unbeaten streak to four matches before Tuesday’s encounter at Sycamore stretched it to five.

Against the Spartans, Arsim Azemi provided both goals—one in each half—for the Knights. The first off an Anthony Parillo assist, and the other on a Drew Franklin assist.

Coming up for the Knights: a Thursday, Oct. 3, home match with the DeKalb Barbs and a Tuesday, Oct. 8, trip to Grundy County to face the Morris Redskins.

The Knights will find out their Class 2A postseason assignment on Friday, Oct. 4 as part of the Sycamore Regional along with rivals Burlington Central, Sandwich and Sycamore. The foursome sees one squad take the plaque and go to the Burlington Central Sectional.

SONY DSC

Come together

Boys CC packs it up at ACC
AURORA—A change of format at the Charger Classic, hosted by Aurora Central Catholic at Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora, saw the Kaneland boys cross country team in the gold, larger-schools division of the annual event. The gold division not only included four ranked teams in 2A or 3A in Dyestat’s weekly poll, but a strong Trinity team from Kentucky and Linn-Marr from Ohio.

Kaneland placed 11th with 251 points, just seven behind neighbor Burlington Central. Trinity won the meet with a scant 63 points, followed by Linn-Marr’s 81 and local Batavia’s 101.

Although finishing in the middle of the field, KHS head coach Chad Clarey was pleased with his group’s efforts.

“Our team continues to build some momentum, this week with a very solid pack split of just 24 seconds (from first to fifth runners),” he said. “Brandon Park capped a 40-second pack split from 1-7.”

Leading the way with a tremendous final kick to the finish, Nathaniel Kucera ran a 15:52 to place 40th overall. He was followed closely by Ryan Bower’s 15:54, which was good for 44th.

Luis Acosta (57th, 16:12) led the next three Knights, who were separated by only four seconds, which included Andrew Lesak (59th, 16:15) and a recuperating Kyle Carter (60th, 16:16).

“There’s a big ‘up’ side to this team,” Clarey said. “The way they feed off of one another within the race bodes well for our future in the post season.”

Phil Cutsinger and Park were neck-and-neck with each other, placing 73rd and 74th with times of 16:31 and 16:32, respectively.

The Knights also had three more competitors in the varsity race, with Mitch Reger (91st, 17:04), Brock Robertsen (94th, 17:13) and Dylan Kuipers (108th, 17:33) all contributing.

“We had a great team day, and look forward to getting healthier, faster and stronger team results as the season winds down and we head to October,” Clarey said.

Courtesy photo by Andrew Franklin: Andrew Lesak

Training Bible Coaching

Elburn resident ‘Tri’s’ hard

Photo: Elburn resident Adam Zucco not only is an elite triathlete, but is also an active coach of the sport. He recently placed third out of 563 athletes in the annual Leon’s World’s Fastest Triathlon. Photo courtesy of Ali Engin

ELBURN—Adam Zucco joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1993, yet the Elburn resident soon discovered that the process of actually becoming one of the few, the proud, isn’t as quite glamorous as it’s depicted to be in television commercials.

Zucco, who weighed 240 pounds in college, had to lose what he described as “a ton of weight” to go to boot camp. What’s more, he couldn’t run a mile after he joined the Marines.

“I vowed that I would never be that unhealthy again,” he said.

Not only has Zucco kept that promise to himself, he’s become one of the country’s top triathletes in his age group. On Oct. 12, Zucco—26th in the U.S. among 35-39-year-old males in the Global 2103 Age Group Rankings—will be competing in what is billed as triathlon’s most iconic event: the 35th Ironman World Championship, held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The Chicago Marathon, which is being held the next day, takes place on a 26.2-mile course. By comparison, Zucco and other competitors in Hawaii will have completed 2.4 miles of swimming 112 miles of biking before running the third portion of the Ironman, which is a marathon.

Zucco, who trains year-round and participates in 10 full or half triathlons each season (the season runs from December through October), is putting in between 30 and 35 hours of training per week leading up to the World Championship. The course at Kailua-Kona, located on Hawaii’s Big Island, consists of black lava rock, and Zucco also will be contending with a scorching sun, 90-plus degree temperatures as well as potential crosswinds that can reach 45 mph.

Photo courtesy of Ali Engin
Photo courtesy of Ali Engin

His weekly training regimen usually consists of 20,000 meters of swimming, 400 to 500 miles biking and 45 to 60 miles running. Next month will mark the seventh time Zucco has taken on the Ironman course in Hawaii. Zucco’s father, who got him interested in triathlons during the early 1990s, has competed in 17 Ironman races.

Contestants begin at 7 a.m. and have until midnight to complete the three stages of the triathlon. Zucco’s best time in a full Ironman competition is 9 hours, 16 minutes.

“The winners (of the triathlon) usually go close to eight hours,” said Zucco, who competes in triathlons all over the world and was the No. 1-ranked U.S. triathlete in his age group in 2011.

Asked how he feels after completing a full triathlon, Zucco replies, “I feel pretty good after the next day.”

But he emphasizes that’s because he’s had proper pacing, coaching and nutrition.

“I try to eat very clean,” said Zucco, who added that he limits foods that can spike his blood sugar, such as foods containing starch, whole grains and, of course, sugar.

“I eat a lot of things that either grow naturally, run, swim or fly,” he said with a laugh. “Fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens.”

Zucco said he’ll be taking part in another Ironman triathlon a few weeks after the event in Hawaii.

“I’ll usually start training the next day (after completing a triathlon),” he said. “If you’re well-trained, you should be able to resume a normal life the next day. That’s what baffles my wife (Lindsay). She does the same training and gets pretty sore, but it doesn’t make you a good or a bad athlete. It’s just how your body responds.”

For those who are just starting out in triathlons or are interested in getting started, Zucco offers this advice:

“The biggest thing I’d tell anyone is to choose a realistic goal,” he said. “Just be consistent with your training and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Have a plan; consistency trumps talent.”

Zucco is a world-class triathlete coach in his own right, as well. Both he and Lindsay are USAT Level II certified coaches, and in 2009, Zucco was named the USAT Developmental Coach of the Year. Zucco is an owner and partner in TrainingBible Coaching, along with Joe Friel—an elite triathlon and cycling coach who’s authored, “The Triathletes Training Bible” and “The Cyclists Training Bible.”

“I go all over the place (coaching athletes),” Zucco said.

Zucco also competes in triathlons closer to home. This summer, he finished third overall in the annual Leon’s World’s Fastest Triathlon, which is a quarter distance of a full ironman. Racers swim .9 miles, bike 24.8 miles and run 6.2 miles.

He completed the swim in 18 minutes, 24 seconds, the bike race in 57:44 and the run in 36:31. Kaneland High School junior Victoria Clinton, the defending Class 2A girls state cross country individual champion, also participated in Leon’s Triathlon, and was 44th overall. She recorded times of 20:38 swimming, 1:14.53 biking and 38:19 running.

“In terms of time,” Zucco notes, “the shorter (triathlon) distances are harder because you have to go much faster.”

Eddington_GXC_1

Steady effort at Eddington for girls XC

ELBURN—If one wants to see the quality of the Kaneland girls cross country lineup, one just needs to see the results from the traditional late September staple, the Eddington Inviite

The Elburn Woods-housed event saw the Kaneland group manage an above-average third-place finish out of the 17 teams running on Saturday.

Kaneland’s 122-point total was behind Geneva’s 64 and Crystal Lake Central’s 79. Kaneland bumped Rosary out of the top three by six points, while Belvidere North, at 131, snuck into the top five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Marengo (150), Waubonsie Valley (180), Glenbard East (206), Burlington Central (226) and Hampshire (262).

Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb outlasted the rest of the field with a winning time of 18 minutes, 30.5 seconds.

For Kaneland, sophomore Brianna Bower was the fastest of the black-and-white clad group at 19:16.6, good for fifth overall and a personal best. Junior teammate and State champ Victoria Clinton, in her first 2013 invitational race, was 12th at 19:49.6, followed by junior Jessica Kucera, who took 28th overall at 20:47. Senior Erika Carlson was next for KHS at 21:16.8 for 37th place, and sophomore Noelle Espino was 46th overall at 21:38.7 for her sophomore run of the Eddington.

“(I’m) very happy with the overall effort of all the girls today. Carlson, Kucera and Espino all ran personal best for 3 miles on any course and really competed today on a tough course,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Bower tried to make the most of her home-based opportunity.

“It was really nice, and it was cool and perfect weather to run a race today,” Bower said. “We’re still working up our team with Victoria injured and Sydney (Strang) not feeling good and still trying to get healthy.”
Freshman Abby Shaw showed her strides by finishing as the top Lady Knight in the frosh-soph leg of the morning at 22:25.2, good for 13th place.

Coming up for Kaneland girls cross country is the usual Rock River Run in Sterling, Ill., on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Tennis_September23_1

Facing Kendall Co. foes

Photo: Madi Jurcenko, part of Kaneland’s No. 1 doubles team with Jelly Emmanouil, defeated their Oswego opponents Monday 6-0, 6-2. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

KANELAND—Not all competitive matches will go your way. Just ask the roster of Kaneland tennis.

Despite performing admirably in dual action this season at 7-2 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII), the Lady Knights found themselves on the short end of a 4-3 narrow loss to the Southwest Prairie Conference staple Oswego Lady Panthers on Monday in Maple Park, but saw success by winning the Yorkville Quad on Saturday.

A matchup on Sept. 18 against Ottawa was cancelled due to inclement weather.

To begin against Oswego, it was junior No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman winning her match in 7-5, 6-2 fashion. No. 2 junior teammate Colleen Landers was toppled by a 6-4, 6-1 margin, and No. 3 junior singles rep Stephanie Karolewicz lost a 7-5, 6-3 matchup.

On the traditionally strong doubles side for Kaneland, it was No. 1 powerhouse team Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko winning their match 6-0, 6-2. No. 2 team Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick were victors by 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 fashion. No. 3 team Mallory Dugan and Anna Wendling took a 7-5, 1-6, 14-0 loss, while No. 4 tandem of sophomores Brittany Zablocki and Emily Mirocha were bounced 6-2, 2-3, 7-4.

The week was a bit of a departure from the usual Shoaff and Dugan pairing, but KHS coach Tim Larsen has been pleased with their contributions in 2013.

“When the lineup put itself together at the start of the season, they were the two with the talent and experience necessary for the spot,” Larsen said. “The thing they have in common is that they love to compete and are very resourceful with shot selection. Great hands at the net, and very good at keeping the ball in play.”

In the Yorkville Quad featuring doubles action, first places were had by Emmanouil/Jurcenko, Schrepferman/Dugan, Landers/Karolweicz and Zwick/Shoaff.

On Tuesday against Morris, the tennis crew defeated the visitors 4-1. KHS swept the doubles matches, while Schrepferman handled her Morris counterpart 6-1, 6-0.

Upcoming action for Kaneland features the third in a three-match home swing against LaSalle-Peru on Thursday, Sept. 26, and the Saturday, Sept. 28, Rochelle Invitational.

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KHS boys secure 6th at Eddington

Photo: The start of the 44th annual Eddington Invitational boys varsity race. The Knights took sixth place overall. Ryan Bower (left to right), Nathaniel Kucera, Luis Acosta and Andrew Lesak get things going. Photo by Mary Paulson

Bower, Kucera, Lesak elevate Knight totals
ELBURN—Under sunny skies at Elburn Woods, the Kaneland boys cross country saw a talented field try and stake claim to their turf.

Kaneland managed a sixth-place finish at the annual Eddington Invite on Saturday morning, carving out enough of a path to see positive developments.

The Knights were strong enough to finish sixth with 160 team points, just two points behind local rival West Aurora. Crystal Lake Central’s 41, Glenbard West’s 53, Jacobs’ 74 and Benet Academy’s 152 rounded out the top four. Burlington Central (207), Geneva (226), Sycamore (249) and DeKalb (256) filled in the rest of the top 10. Larkin, Dundee-Crown and Marengo rounded out the 12-team field.

Crystal Lake Central’s senior asset Ryan Pitner, with a time of 15 minutes, 51.1 seconds, claimed the Elburn course. Jacobs entry Matthew Johnson was next with a time of 16:02.8.

For KHS, the field was headed by senior Ryan Bower, who finished 21st at 16:48.2. Bower was followed quickly by teammate Nathaniel Kucera, who finished 22nd at 16:51.4. Andrew Lesak, a junior, took 32nd at 17:06.2. Senior Luis Acosta was fourth-best for KHS and finished 42nd and 17:23.3, while junior teammate Brandon Park was 43rd at 17:24. Senior Kyle Carter, working his way back from illness, finished 60th overall at 18:00.1. The Kaneland pack was within 72 seconds of each other, from one through six.

“It’s nice, with this being their last meet on their home course, that it means something to them,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “Running at the Woods is special, and trying to PR is a big part of what they want to accomplish. For the most part, we really did a good job with that. Ryan Bower had a 27-second PR and a career-best on the home course. Kucera also had a PR and a good day, and a big surprise for us was Lesak.”

Kucera thought it was a good race for a relatively healthy KHS to show what it could do in a talent-heavy field, at an important juncture of the 2013 campaign.

“I was feeling a little sick today and congested, so it was a little rough, but I’m happy with my time,” Kucera said. “I mean, we had good competition.”

Freshman Jacob Oury of Hampshire was tops of the frosh-soph competition at 17:01.9. KHS sophomore Sean Spaetzel was sixth at 17:37.8. Senior Brock Robertsen was the top entry for Kaneland in the open race with a time of 18:24.6, good for 14th.

Saturday, Sept. 28, sees the boys travel to the Aurora Central Catholic Invitational.

Sept. 26 sports recap

Freshmen Football
vs. Sterling—The Knights defeated the visiting Golden Warriors 34-6 on Sept. 16.
at Streator—The Knights travelled to Streator Monday and defeated the Bulldogs 41-24. No stats were available for either game.

Sophomore Football
vs. Streator—The sophomore football squad easily dispatched the visiting Bulldogs 44-0 at Peterson Field Friday.

Fr/So Golf
vs. Jacobs—On Sept. 19, the Knight golfers defeated visiting Jacobs High School 170-175. Brett Glennon was the medalist for the Knights with his 38. Jeff VanGemert shot a 41, Drew Diffendal shot a 44, Luke Calabrese shot a 47, Joey Brandonisio and Michael Petrick each shot a 50, and Dan Frank shot a 57.
at Morris—Tuesday saw the Knights travel to Morris and win 171-181. Glennon was again the medalist with a 41, while VanGemert shot a 42. Brandon Cruz shot a 43, Jake Pearson shot a 45, Calabrese shot a 46, Diffendal and Jake Hummel each shot a 49 and Dan Frank shot a 50.

Freshmen Soccer
vs. Geneva—Monday saw the freshmen soccer team tie visiting Geneva 1-1. Javier Correa scored Kaneland’s lone goal on a Nick Turnya assist. The freshmen sit at 1-5-1, 0-1 in NIB-12 play.

Sophomore Soccer
vs. Morris—On Sept. 19, the Knights defeated Morris 4-0. Goals were supplied by Felipe Speraggi (2), Same Wolf and Andy Tovar. Assists were supplied by Brian Kemp, Omar Aguilar and Wolf.
at Somonauk—Saturday saw the Knights earn another shutout, this time over Somonauk. Speraggi scored two goals, while Trevor Jahns, Kemp, Wolf and Cameron Pieczyski each supplied a goal. Assists came from Jahns (2) and Aguilar.
at. Geneva—On Monday, the Knights deadlocked the visiting Vikings 0-0.
at Rochelle—Kaneland held their fourth-straight opponent scoreless Tuesday. Sparaggi had two goals and an assist. Pieczyski had a goal and an assist, while Tovar and Aguilar each had goals. Wolf and Edson Del Real each contributed assists. The Knights are not 5-0-2, 3-0 in NIB-12 play.

JV Tennis
at Morris—On Tuesday, the Lady Knights defeated Morris 3-2. Emily Lutter (10-0) and Brittany Zablocki (10-1) each won at singles, while the No. 3 doubles tandem of Lauren Karolewicz and Marley Schultz won 10-3 to seal the victory. The JV tennis team is 7-3-1, 4-0 in NIB-12 play.

Varsity Volleyball
at Sycamore—Tuesday’s results from a matchup with Sycamore were not available by press time.

FB3

Streat Talk

Kaneland (4-0) subdues Streator in inter-divisional game
KANELAND—Friday’s result from Peterson Field in Maple Park was a familiar one.

But Kaneland football was a different unit against visiting Streator, and will be for the remainder of 2013.

The MRI on Tuesday for running back Jesse Balluff revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament after suffering the injury in the Sept. 13 victory in Sterling.

Still, Balluff was a presence on the sidelines, reassuring fellow Knights as they came off the sidelines in the 42-0 win over the Bulldogs of the Northern Illinois Big XII West division.

“That’s just the guy Jesse is,” Knights quarterback Drew David said. “Doesn’t matter if he’s playing or not, he always comes with a smile on his face. Everyone feels terrible for him, and we just tried to rally around him.”

Any further success in 2013 will have to come without the senior ball-carrier, making future wins bittersweet.

“(Jesse)’s such an important part of our team, and such a good friend to all these kids. To have him out here and be vocal and be a team leader, and elected team captain, we expect him to be a leader, and that’s what he is on the sidelines,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

The win marked the 32nd consecutive regular season win for the Knights, and signified the last meeting on the football field between the two squads for the foreseeable future. Streator, the southern-most NIB-12 school, departs for the Interstate Eight Conference for the 2014-15 school year.

Kaneland won the home-and-home series by a combined score of 83-0.

Kaneland had 133 yards courtesy of several ballcarriers on the ground as part of a collective effort.

David was 17-of-24 for 272 yards and five touchdown passes, with one pick. Connor Fedderly caught six passes for 59 yards, while teammate Brandon Bishop had four catches for 110 yards.

Kaneland had 405 yards gained through the night, compared to just 76 for the visiting Bulldogs.

John Pruett caught the first of his three touchdowns from 14 yards out to kick off the scoring, giving KHS a 6-0 lead with 8:29 left in the first quarter. David would score on a 17-yard scramble to make it 13-0 with 1:41 remaining in the frame.

In the second quarter, Bishop caught a short pass near the sideline on the first offensive play and went 59 yards for a score to make it 20-0 just 11 ticks into the frame.

After linebacker Cole Carlson put an end to the next Streator drive with an interception at his own 33, KHS put together a nine-play drive that ended with another scoring strike to Pruett on a deep pattern. The score put Kaneland up 27-0 with :48 to go before halftime.

The third quarter set Streator’s fate in stone, with Pruett catching his third TD pass of the game on a second-and-six from the 11-yard line with 4:37 left in the quarter. David improvised on an errant snap and found Tyler Carlson for the two-point conversion making it 35-0.

After Streator punted, Kaneland used four runs to set up a 13-yard TD pass to Bishop with :24 to go in the third activating the running clock at 42-0.

“Streator was able to stop the run, and like we’ve said all year, we want to be balanced. When we have to throw and they’re making us throw, we’re going to throw. If they’re going to make us run, we’ve got to be able to run,” Fedderly said.

Photos by Patti Wilk

2013_VARSITY

Friday preview: Kaneland (4-0) vs. Rochelle (4-0)

Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. at Peterson Field

Kaneland begins its charge to qualify for the postseason with a tussle against the visiting Rochelle Hubs on Friday, Sept. 27.

Since being divisional-mates since the launching of the brief Western Sun Conference in 2006, Kaneland and Rochelle have met every regular season. That development ends in 2014 with the NIB-12 departure of Dixon and Streator to the Big Northern Conference and I-8, respectively.

The shuffling necessitated a divisional realignment in the NIB-12 football landscape in 2014, with Rochelle relocating to the West to balance out the schools.

Kaneland has defeated Rochelle in seven out of 10 meetings in the last decade of action. The Hubs last defeated Kaneland back in 2007, 35-24, in the opening match of their new athletic grounds. KHS has won six in a row, including 34-6 in Ogle County a year ago. The Knights also swept two victories in 2011 as part of regular season and IHSA Class 5A State quarterfinal play.

KHS comes into Friday’s contest averaging 40.5 points a game, and giving up a grand total of four touchdowns on the season.

Rochelle, with its noted ground attack, comes in with an identical 4-0 record and having scored 58 points in two of its four contests, including Friday’s 58-21 win over the Sterling Golden Warriors.

The Hubs are coached by Kevin Crandall, in his 19th season at the helm, and have qualified for the postseason 15 of the last 17 campaigns, most recently missing the chance in 2010. A year ago, Rochelle was upended in the first round after a 6-3 regular season by eventual Kaneland conqueror Lincoln-Way West.

Photo from RochelleHubsFootball.net

Martinelli_Zack_Football_player_2013

Martinelli playing football at Central College

PELLA, IOWA—Zach Martinelli of Elburn, a wide receiver and recent Kaneland graduate, is a member of the Central College football team.

The Dutch are the third-winningest football team of any college or university in the U.S. since 1975 (.805 winning percentage) and have not had a losing season since 1960. Central has captured a record 30 Iowa Conference championships with 20 NCAA Division III playoff berths, including 17 in the past 26 years.

Coach Jeff McMartin entered his 10th season ranked 12th among active NCAA Division III coaches in career winning percentage, posting a 73-23 (.760) mark. Central returns 44 letterwinners and 19 starters (7 off., 8 def., 4 specialty) from last year’s 5-5 squad.

Coach Scott and his sons

Like father, like sons

Photo: Soccer is a a family thing for the Parillos. KHS senior Anthony (from left) is an NSCAA all-American nominee, while Scott is the head coach and Cody is the assistant coach at Kaneland. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

ELBURN—A father coaching his son is a regular occurrence in sports. But it’s rare to have both your father and brother as your coaches.

Yet that’s the case in the Parillo family this fall. Senior Anthony Parillo, one of the standout players on Kaneland’s boys soccer team, not only calls his father, Scott, “coach,” but also his older brother, Cody.

Cody, 23, is a Knights’ assistant coach who joined the staff this year, while Dad, of course, is the head coach who’s in his 13th season.

“It’s pretty nice,” said Anthony in regard to having his father and his brother as coaches. “He’s been there since I’ve been play (soccer) for as long as I can remember. And me and my brother get along really well. He always backs my decisions no matter what so it’s nice to have him there.”

Asked to compare his father’s coaching style to his brother’s, Anthony replied, “My brother is more laid back and goes with the flow. My Dad’s got the intensity and fire that drive us (the team) to do a lot better.”

Naturally, Anthony and Cody have grown up around the game. Scott coached both his sons in recreactional leagues, and they’ve been around the team since they were boys.

“We have (newspaper) photos of Anthony at age 6 or 7,” Scott recalls. “He would stand on the sidelines with me. Kids (on the team) used to love him and pass the ball to him.”

One of Anthony’s best soccer-related memories as a child occurred in 2004 when the Knights won their first regional title.

“It was a very good team and they were all cool guys,” Anthony said. “I think I was 9 or 10 (at the time). I was like a ball boy back then, a little mascot.”

Cody took a different path, sports-wise. He competed in rec soccer, but bypassed prep soccer and played freshman football at Kaneland. After that, he devoted his time to school and working at Paisano’s Pizza and Grill in Elburn, where he is still employed today.

Even though Cody didn’t play competitive soccer in high school, Scott said Cody is very knowledgeable about the game.

“It’s nice (to have him on the team), I’m not going to lie,” Scott said. “He’s always had a passion for soccer. He knows exactly who I am, my good points and my bad points. It always seems like we’re on the same page.”

“I really enjoy it,” adds Cody, a 2013 Western Illinois graduate who majored in information systems. “I like being around the kids and I like being around the game. It’s nice to have our whole family out there.”

There is no favoritism shown to Anthony, who’s a team co-captain, on the field … or in the classroom, for that matter. Anthony had his father as a teacher for U.S. History last year, and Cody was a student of Scott’s for both U.S. History and Government classes.

“You have to treat him as a player and not your son,” Scott said. “He doesn’t call me Dad on the field. I have to treat him like any of the other players.”

But both Scott and Cody value and rely on his feedback—as well as those of co-captains Tyler Siebert and Ivan Bohorquez—during games and at practice.

“He’s just like any other captain,” Scott said.

“He gives his input. They see some of the stuff (on the field) I don’t catch. We always ask the captains during halftime if there’s anything we (the coaches) didn’t address.”

“He’s a four-year varsity player,” Cody said. “When Anthony speaks up, we take his input seriously.”

There are times, though, when the team can enjoy a few laughs, and the Parillos are right in the middle of the levity. They try to keep the team loose.

“I think they (team members) enjoy listening to us joke around, and the dynamics between us are good,” Cody said. “The rest of the players, it lifts their spirits just joking around and having fun out there.”

Anthony Parillo is coming off a 2012 season in which he scored a team-best 19 goals as a midfielder for the Knights, who advanced to the Class 2A sectional title game. Prior to the start of the 2013 campaign, Anthony was a National Soccer Coaches Association of American prep all-American nominee.

“It’s fun to go out and watch him,” Cody said. “He’s really good. I think it (being an all-American nominee) is awesome and it’s going to open a lot of doors for him.”

“It’s pretty cool of having that honor of being one of those types of players,” Anthony said, “but I don’t really care about individual awards. I care what we do more as a team.”

And Scott? He takes pride in whatever Anthony and Cody do in life.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with soccer,” he said. “They’re fun, I love them, they have good senses of humor, they have dreams and aspirations just like everybody else. They’re my boys.”

Preview: 44th annual Eddington Invite

ELBURN—The 44th annual Eddington Cross Country Invitational is Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at Elburn Woods.

The meet commemorates the 25-year teaching and coaching career of Larry Eddington, a long-time Elburn resident who passed away suddenly in 1994.

On the girls side, the team race appears to favor Geneva, Crystal Lake Central and Marengo, with Benet and Jacobs potentially a factor as well. Top individuals in the girls race include Lauren Van Vlierbergen of Jacobs, Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb, Allie Sprague and Katie St. Clair of Marengo, Maddie Dagley and Mary Fleming of Crystal Lake Central, McKenzie Altmayer and Brooke Nusser of Geneva, and Brianna Bower of Kaneland.

In 2012, four teams from the Eddington went on to qualify for state at either the 2A or 3A level Seven individuals went on to earn all-state honors. The Lady Knights took fifth at the meet in 2012, as Jacobs earned the team title.

On the boys side, Crystal Lake Central returns to defend their 2012 team title, as does 2012 runner-up Jacobs. Perennial 2A power Belivdere North joins the fray this year as well. The Knights finished sixth in 2012, paced by returner Kyle Carter’s fourth-place finish individually.

The girls varsity race kicks off the day at 9 a.m., followed by the boys varsity at 9:45 a.m. The girls f/s race is 10:45 a.m., and boys f/s is 10:45 a.m. Open races conclude the day, with the boys starting gun going off at 11:15 a.m. and the girls starting 11:45 a.m.

Parking for the meet will be at Kaneland High School, with regular shuttles going to-and-from the Elburn Woods course every 10 minutes.

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Split decisions

Photo: The Knights golfer are 7-2 overall, with the conference tournament on the horizon. Against visiting Sterling Sept. 12. Jessie Denton (above) shot a 43. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

KANELAND—Knights golf continues to see impressive scores from those it needs to count on in the regular season homestretch.

Kaneland (7-2) dropped a crossover battle with visiting Sterling on Thursday, 161-164, before coming back and seeing what its depth could do against Hinckley-Big Rock, 177-220 on Friday. Tuesday saw the Knights defeat Sycamore 152-174.

Against the Little Ten Conference Royals at Indian Creek GC, the top four scores by Kaneland were gathered by medalist Jacob Sheehan with a 42, CJ Wehrmann with a 43, Jake Hed with a 46 and Jakob Sanders with a 46.

Facing off against the Golden Warriors, Matt Yonkovich shot a 37, matching Sterling’s Ryan Hurley. Other noteworthy KHS scores were Jesse Denton’s 43, Zach Strayve’s 40 and Stephen Cannell’s 44.

Yonkovich’s progress is not as surprising as observers might think.

“Matt’s play this season has been very consistent. Thus far, we have counted his score in every match of the year and his scoring average is only slightly above par. This hasn’t come as much of a surprise however, because he put a lot of work into his game over the summer, and had similar scores in his IJGA and MAJGT tournaments,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said.

On Tuesday, Yonkovich led all golfers with a 34, while Brody Kuhar supplied a 38 and Hed a 39.

With the run-up to conference rapidly approaching, the Knights club hosted Jacobs for its final home meet of 2013 at Hughes Creek in Elburn Thursday.

Still battling

Tennis endures first loss of dual slate, but bests Sycamore
KANELAND—While win after win is nice, the odds of a long, continuous stretch of them are hard to come by in a competitive landscape.

Kaneland began with four dual wins in a row, and looked good against rival Sycamore this week, but fell to Aurora mainstay Rosary on Monday.

On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to Ogle County for another chance at a Northern Illinois Big XII win in Rochelle and swept the Hubs 5-0.

KHS is now 6-1, with a (2-0) mark in NIB-12 play.

The Thursday matchup with the Lady Spartans ended in a 3-2 victory for the Lady Knights. While Sammie Schrepferman and Stephanie Zwick suffered losses in singles play, it was the doubles side that helped rally the effort.

The No. 1 doubles tandem of Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko won a 6-0, 6-0 sweep, and the No. 2 side of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz took a 6-1, 6-0 match. No. 3 doubles unit Kaylee Shoaff and Mallory Dugan won a 6-4, 7-6 match to secure the team win.

Against Rosary in the 4-3 loss, Schrepferman earned the lone singles win with a 6-2, 6-1 decision, the Emmanouil/Jurcenko team won a 6-0, 6-0 clash and the Shoaff/Dugan team won 7-5, 6-1.

At Rochelle Tuesday, KHS swept all matches, with singles Schrepferman (6-0, 6-0) and Zwick (6-4, 6-2) and doubles Emmanouil/Jurcenko (6-0, 6-1), Karolwicz/Landers (6-2, 6-0) and Shoaff/Dugan (6-1, 6-0) all notching wins.

KHS coach Tim Larsen feels the Lady Knights can’t be in the business of overlooking anyone.

“There’s no room in this sport for taking anything lightly. We’re just trying to get ready for each opponent right now. (We) lost a close match to Rosary (Monday) and we feel like we left a lot of points out on the courts, so our next few practices will have a very fine focus on the shots we’re not executing as well as we should.”

Kaneland was scheduled to host crossover opponent Ottawa on Wednesday, and head to the usual late September Yorkville Quad stop on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Ups and downs

KANELAND—Coach Scott Parillo’s Soccer team had an up and down week, securing a road win over IMSA 9-1, but falling to conference foe DeKalb in Barbland Tuesday by a score of 3-1.

KHS now sits at 3-3-1, 0-1 in conference play.

Against IMSA, the Knights lit up the scoresheet. Anthony Parillo had two goals and three assists, Drew Franklin had two goals, Angel Escontrias, Ivan Bohorquez and Michael Meisenger each had a goal and an assist, while Adhurim Azemi and Kyle Romas each scored a goal.

Against DeKalb on Tuesday, Ignacio Toscano supplied the lone Knight goal when he scored on a header off an assist from Parillo.

Next up for the Knights is a home match against Morris today, before they travel to Geneva Monday.