Category Archives: Sports

Howland’s run (and bike and swim)

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—Triathlons are difficult for even the most experienced athlete.

However, one needs the will. Elburn resident and Kaneland High School senior Jen Howland continues to employ that, as well as training and her athletics gifts to continue on the triathlon circuit both stateside and abroad.

Most recently finishing 20th in the junior women’s category at the ITU World Championship Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary, Howland continues to enjoy her work.

“It’s my passion, and I hope to do it for a long time,” Howland said.

The recent cross-country State qualifier has been participating in the event for nine years.

“It was a local Delnor kids triathlon,” Howland said her introduction to the race.

“When I train, it’s for 30-35 hours a week. I’ll be in the pool once or twice a day, run every day and bike every other day,” Howland said.

Having finished in Budapest with a time of one hour, 23 seconds, a two-second improvement over her 2009 World Championship, Howland has big goals ahead.

“I want to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Next year, I’ll start training and pushing myself. I really want to be a professional triathlete,” Howland said.

The junior women’s championship in 2011 is set for Beijing, China.

KHS ends strong at Strombom; begins 2-1

Photo: Zach Ringhouse dialed long-distance on three occasions during the 2010 Consolation Championship of the Leland G. Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School on Saturday afternoon. The 68-44 win over the Spartans was buoyed by Ringhouse’s 11 points. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland’s boys basketball squad was running and gunning so often on Saturday afternoon in Sycamore, you’d swear they swore off Thanksgiving dinner entirely.

Rather, the two wins the Knights finished the Strombom Tourney with resulted in Hampshire and Sycamore feeling sick to their stomachs.

With a 52-42 win over Hampshire and a 68-44 number on the Spartans, the Knights won the consolation bracket for the usual Strombom Tourney stop in DeKalb County.

Huntley beat Dundee-Crown in a 51-47 overtime win for the tournament title.

Kaneland is now 2-1 in the early throes of 2010-11 basketball.

Against the Whip-purs, Hampshire stormed out to a 20-10 lead before Kaneland outpaced HHS 16-3 in the second frame to take a 26-23 lead. The Knights took control of the contest with a 40-33 win after three quarters.

Daniel Helm had a game-high 16 points, and Trever Heinle was close behind with 14.

Against the Spartans, the Knights resembled something akin to an NBA Western Conference squad, beating Sycamore to the ball on both sides of the glass and dialing long-distance on key shots.

All but one Knight got into the scoring column, led by All-Tournament selection Chaon Denlinger’s 11 and Zach Ringhouse’s 11.

Denlinger was glad to see the effort to have Sycamore commit mistakes paid off.

“(Coach Brian Johnson) told us to shoot with confidence, and we figured we could go in and rebound against them and get the boards. It was good to see the scoring spread out more,” Denlinger said.

Already up by 15 after the first quarter, KHS hit all six of its foul shots and got shots from Kory Harner, Ringhouse and Matt Spitzzeri to see the lead balloon to 36-18 at halftime.

Despite Sycamore missing just one shot from the field in the third frame, trifectas from Tyler Heinle and Denlinger helped the Knights and saw the lead balloon to 27 when Spitzzeri hit a bucket with 4:15 left to lead 50-23.

The Knights hit six-of-nine foul shots to maintain the lead in the fourth and left with a consolation championship.

“It lets me know how hard the guys are willing to work, and it lets me know we have a lot of things to work on,” Johnson said. “The football guys are in now, and we have to get them used to what we’re doing. They’re still really raw and have only had a couple practices.”

Kaneland begins its first-ever season of Northern Illinois Big XII conference play with a trip to Morris on Friday, Dec. 3.

Lady Knights hoops match last season’s win total

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Don’t look now, but the varsity Lady Knights basketball squad is showing measurable improvement from last year, with much of the same crew.

After a productive 3-2 showing at the Immaculate Conception Thanksgiving Tournament in Elmhurst, the Lady Knights have already matched their win total from a year ago at 5-4.

The busy Turkey Week festivities included a 69-31 blowout of Luther North on Nov. 23, followed by a 57-46 win over Elmwood Park on Nov. 24 . Kaneland was then edged by host IC in a 46-41 Friday affair. The gathering’s final matchup featured a 61-28 win over Plainfield South on Saturday afternoon.

On Tuesday night, Kaneland fell in a 53-48 skirmish to visiting East Aurora.

Against Chicago’s Luther North, Kaneland was up 20-3 after one quarter and 37-16 at the half before launching into a 53-25 lead after three.

KHS was 30-for-76 from the field, led by Nicki Ott, Kelly Evers and Tesa Alderman—all with 12 points.

Against former Suburban Prairie Conference mate Elmwood Park, Kaneland found itself trailing at halftime, 23-19, before taking a 40-35 lead after three and then extending the lead in the fourth.

The 38-point second-half effort was fueled by Kelly Evers’ 19-point, 15-rebound game. Ott had 10 points to complement the attack. KHS was 20-for-62 from the field and 14-for-24 from the foul line.

Against the IC opponents, also the Knights, Kaneland used crisp passes and aggressiveness to get opportunities in the field and at the line. Free throws by Emily Heimerdinger and Marina Schafer propelled KHS to a 10-9 lead after one frame.

Baskets by Alderman and Ott gave the Lady Knights a 19-11 lead with 5:31 left in the second quarter, but IC came back to score 10 straight. Ott then hit two free throws, and after IC hit two foul shots of their own with just under a minute left, Ott scored again with 16.7 left to go into the break tied at 23.

The third quarter began hot for the Lady Knights thanks to an Andie Strang basket, and threes by McKinzie Mangers and Alderman. But with the lead at 31-23 with 2:21 left in the third, IC righted its ship and used three baskets to close within 31-30 at the end of the third.

An Emma Bradford foul shot with 3:51 left tied the game at 37 apiece, but Kaneland fell behind and watched the rival Knights hit eight of 13 foul shots to cement the win.

“They’re a good team and an experienced team, that’s varsity basketball. Leading by eight points in the third quarter is nothing, and the game’s not going to end that way. We made a few mistakes here and there but the girls are playing real hard,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Smothering the PSHS Cougars was the key on Saturday, as the Lady Knights were paced by Evers’ 16 points and seven boards. Alderman had 13 points in the win.

Against the Lady Tomcats, Alderman had a team-high nine points, as the Lady Knights were 17-for-50 from the field.

The Lady Knights try to expand their good fortune when Northern Illinois Big XII play begins at Morris on Friday, Dec. 3.

KYSO sign-up now online

Kaneland—Soccer enthusiasts between the ages of 4 and 17 years old can register online to play in the KYSO Spring Season, which will run from April 16 through May 21, 2011.

The Spring Registration Deadline is Jan. 31, 2011. The fee (which includes a jersey, shorts and socks) is $65 for the first player and $60 for any additional players from the same family. There is a volunteer fee of $20 payable at the time of registration. Your fee will be refunded to you once your volunteer activity is completed.

Please visit the website for more information about the Top Soccer program for special needs players from 5-16 ($35 per player), as well as the Crusader Soccer Club Travel Teams.

All KYSO practices and games are held at the fields located just to the east of Kaneland High School (47W326 Keslinger Road., Maple Park). To register online or for more information, visit the KYSO website at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

Kaneland bowlers lose to DeKalb in opener

Photo: Kaneland’s Madi Bluml, shown here at a recent practice, helped the JV effort against DeKalb on Nov. 23. File Photo

KANELAND—With many new faces, KHS bowling is still trying to gel, and still looking for an early win.

In the season opener, Kaneland fell to DeKalb at Mardi Gras Lanes on Tuesday, 3,046-2,314.

The high series for the Lady Barbs was bowled by Brandi Underwood, who struck a 655 series. Teammate Alyssa Mershun was next with a 517 series.

For Kaneland, senior anchor Holly Thomas bowled a 571 series, with a meet-high game of 236. Thomas also bowled a 169 game, as well.

Accompanying series were bowled by Seleana Isaacs at 407 and Amanda Strayve at 374.

The Lady Knight JV ranks had a tough 1,910-1,647 loss to DeKalb, despite the efforts of Michelle Bohanek.
The freshman bowled a team-high 323 series, highlighted by a 147 game.

On Tuesday against visiting Sterling, the varsity lost 3,165-2,100, despite a 445 series from Thomas (high game 165). The JV team lost by a 2,363-1,507 tally.

The varsity troops were scheduled to head to Dixon on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Wrestling starts on mat in Freeport

KANELAND—With a full lineup after the end of football season, it was time to hit the mat for Kaneland wrestling on Saturday morning.

At Freeport High School, Kaneland emerged with a win over the host Pretzels and a 43-22 loss against Kendall County rival Oswego.

In the 51-21 dual win over Freeport, Chris Sabal earned a pin in three minutes, 59 seconds over Tevin Person in the 145-pound clash.

152-pound entry Jordan Wolf earned a 7-2 decision, while 215-pound teammate Ben Kovalick took home a 4-1 decision.

Stalwart Jimmy Boyle won a technical fall, 17-2, over Kendall Parker in the heavyweight tussle.

112-pounder Connor Williams earned a 3:16 pin over Ryan Angell, while Ryan Goodenough took a 5:20 pin in the 119-pound matchup.

In other victories, 125-pounder Tyler Esposito won a 15-1 major decision, and 140-pounder Andrew Essex won by pin over Wade Dodson in 5:47.

Against the Panthers, wins were harder to come by, but 189-pound rep Keagan Mattes took a 62-second pinfall over Jack Smith, and Kovalick added to the mix with a 4-0 decision. Boyle won a 5-0 decision, and the 130-pound clash went to Dan Goress, who took a 14-3 major decision on the final matchup.

On the horizon for Kaneland wrestling is the first Northern Illinois Big XII meeting in school history, at Sycamore on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m., and a weekend meeting at Lemont High School that will also feature Thornton Fractional South on Saturday, Dec.4.

Pom squad holding clinic for kids

The Kaneland Pom Squad will hold its annual elementary school clinic on Jan. 29, 2011 at KHS.

Kids will learn a pom routine, and perform at a KHS Varsity basketball game.

All elementary age girls are welcome. Registrations can be obtained on the KHS athletic website, or through any elementary schools’ virtual backpack.

Please contact Coach Chris Carter at ccarter@kaneland.org with any questiions.

Kane County Cougars now have a Royal feel

by Nick Philips
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—A two-year player development contract has been agreed to by the former Oakland Athletics Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars and Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals.

By switching its Class A affiliate to the Cougars, the Royals ended their 10-year relationship with the Burlington Bees. All of the prospects that the Royals will be putting at the Class A level will play for Kane County, while the Bees’ Class A prospects now will belong to the Oakland Athletics. The teams essentially switched players and affiliations.

Shawn Touney, a spokesperson for the Cougars, said that the team will be an affiliate of Kansas City for at least the next two seasons. At the MLB level, Kansas City has struggled for some time. The Cougars new feature a new selection of prospects to be drafted by the Royals.

“Kansas City has a competitive farm system, so it should be a nice mix for future stars. Kansas City is also nice because of geographic reasons,” Touney said.

This affiliation change makes Kansas City the third affiliate in the Cougar’s history. In 1991, when the team was established, the Cougars were a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, a relationship that lasted only until 1992. During that stretch, the team had a below-average record of 129-143-1.

The next season, they became an affiliate of the Florida Marlins. During a stretch from 1993-2002, the Cougars compiled a 723-655 record and had star players that included Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis and Ryan Dempster. From 2003-2010, the Cougars were affiliated with Oakland Athletics, compiling a 591-520 record. Pitchers Joe Blanton and Dallas Braden spent time with Kane County during that timeframe.

“Our affiliation with Oakland went real well,” Touney said. “We were competitive over the years. We were together eight years, and I believe we made the playoffs six times, which in itself is impressive.”

Touney said that many things will stay the same off the diamond.

“We still plan on doing promotions. Our front office will stay intact. The players coming our way start playing in April,” he said.

No State Trip for Knights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Camiliere also rushed 10 times for 38 yards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Play of the Knight

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

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

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

Lady Knights (2-1) show grit in IMSA tourney

Photo: Knight Tesa Alderman converts on a steal and layup during Friday’s 46-37 triumph over host Aurora Christian during Hoop Happenings. Photo by Ben Draper

Thanksgiving Tournament Lady Knights at Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Slow starts might not be ideal if you’re with Lady Knights basketball, they’ll live with it if it leaves room for mid-game rallies and competent fourth quarters.

Down 16-5 in the second quarter to host Aurora Christian on Friday night, the Lady Knights rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and cut down on mistakes in the second half to swipe a 46-37 result on Friday. At night three of the IMSA Hoop Happenings the next afternoon, Kaneland beat Earlville 62-34 to take the consolation championship.

The Lady Knights, under fifth-year coach Ernie Colombe, are 2-1 in the early outset of the season.

In the night two win over the Lady Eagles, Emily Heimerdinger had a game-high 17 points, followed by Tesa Alderman with six.

The Knights were 13-for-47 from the field and 19-for-29 from the free throw line.

Alderman, on the floor for stretches in which KHS was behind, rallying, and holding the lead, feels the formula for Friday’s win could be the way to go.

“Certain people got on fire and we worked as a team,” Alderman said. “Some of the drills we do in practice really help us in how to handle crunch time.”

After trailing 9-5 to AC at the end of the first frame, things got worse for Kaneland, as the Lady Eagles took their 16-5 lead with 3:17 to go in the half.

Heimerdinger hit two foul shots and a lay-up a minute later. Nicki Ott followed with a basket, and Heimerdinger hit two free throws to close within 16-13 with 1:23 remaining. After Alderman hit a free throw to close within two, Kelly Evers sunk both her foul shots to tie, and Alderman stole the ball and finished with a layup with 18.7 seconds to go to take a two-point lead. KHS eventually went into the break leading 18-17.

Up 26-24 in the third quarter, Lexie Guerra hit a layup, followed soon after by an Andie Strang shot to go up 30-25 with 1:48 to go in the frame. Heimerdinger hit a three-pointer with 1:04 left to go up 33-25, before AC scored the final five points of the quarter.

After an Emma Bradford putback with 7:08 to go in the game gave KHS a 35-30 lead, the Lady Eagles put two baskets and two foul shots together to go up 36-35 with 5:09 remaining.

Bradford then hit a shot to go ahead for good with 4:51 left, and Alderman hit a baseline jumper to go up 39-36 with 3:46 to play.

Heimerdinger, Strang and Alderman hit seven out of eight foul shot attempts to end the game up nine.

“The whole game you have to hit free throws, especially in the fourth quarter, and we took care of the ball. We didn’t turn it over too many times. There’s some stuff we want to clean up but we did a good job handling the ball,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Facing Earlville in the consolation title game, Evers led the Lady Knights with 14 points while Cory Harrison had 12 points. Ott and Heimerdinger added eight points apiece.

Kaneland was 25-for-61 from the field and 12-for-23 from the charity stripe.

Kaneland stormed out to a 21-8 lead after one and was up 39-12 at the break before going up 52-23 after three.

Meanwhile, the sophomore crew has leapt out to a 2-0 start with a 36-35 Monday win over Geneva, led by Ashley Prost’s 11 points, and a 42-18 handling of Marengo. Prost led the balanced scoring column with nine points.

The Lady Knights try and improve on their early success with a matchup against Thanksgiving Tournament host Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.

KYSO registration open

Kaneland—Soccer enthusiasts between the ages of 4 and 17 years old can register online to play in the KYSO Spring Season, which will run from April 16 through May 21, 2011.

The Spring Registration Deadline is Jan. 31, 2011. The fee (which includes a jersey, shorts and socks) is $65 for the first player and $60 for any additional players from the same family. There is a volunteer fee of $20 payable at the time of registration. Your fee will be refunded to you once your volunteer activity is completed.

Please visit the website for more information about the Top Soccer program for special needs players from 5-16 ($35/player), as well as the Crusader Soccer Club Travel Teams.

All KYSO practices and games are held at the fields located just to the east of Kaneland High School (47W326 Keslinger Road., Maple Park). To register online or for more information, visit the KYSO website at www.kanelandyouthsoccer.com.

Best of NIB-12 XC recognized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sterling was highlighted by Jacob Landis and Dylan Harkness.

Dixon had Simon Thorpe, Roy Hummell and Aaron Grady.

DeKalb was repped by Marc Dubrik.

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

Better late than never

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAY OF THE KNIGHT

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

Winter sports preview: KHS ready to begin A.D. (after Dave) in 2010-11

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Not only do the Knights of Kaneland boys basketball want to deal with the ghosts of last year’s regional heartbreaker against the DeKalb Barbs, they also have to deal with the six-foot-10 gap in the middle of their lineup that finished 17-10 in 2010.

Dave Dudzinski takes his impressive skills to Holy Cross this fall, still leaving coach Brian Johnson a talented roster.

“It’s something that’s going to be really different for the boys,” the second-year coach said on Tuesday. “We relied heavily on Dave. He was our best player and one of the best players in the state of Illinois. The guys are going to have to have an adjustment period where they deal with trying to figure themselves out.”

Seniors include forwards Chaon Denlinger, Tyler Callaghan and Matt Spitzzeri and guards Matt Cowans, Andrew O’Herron and Zach Ringhouse.

Juniors are forwards Sean Carter and Bryan VanBogaert and guards Trever Heinle, Tyler Heinle and Jacob Razo. Sophomores are Kory Harner and Dan Miller at guard, along with Kyle Pollastrini at forward.

Three frosh are along for the ride in the form of guards Drew David and Thomas Williams and forward Daniel Helm.

“We’re going to lean on Chaon and push him to be a complete player both offensively and defensively as a 2 or 3, and he’s got a deadly shot,” Johnson said.

The team is eagerly awaiting a full-strength roster after football season concludes, and to write a new chapter after the disappointing end.

“I know the guys here from last year definitely had a bad taste in their mouths, but want to get back and have that feeling of playing in a game like that. I think about it a lot and what I could have done differently,” Johnson said about the 50-47 regional title loss.

As usual, Kaneland begins things at the Strombom Tournament in Sycamore on Tuesday, Nov. 23, against Chicago’s Hope Academy.

Winter sports preview: Thomas leads bowling down Kaneland lane

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How do you try to build on a team that went 3-10 (1-6 Western Sun Conference) and had a large number of departures?

Holly Thomas, senior anchor and an influx of eager new bowlers might go a long way in accomplishing that.

“Holly has already rewritten most of the record book for bowling at Kaneland,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We already know she’s the captain, she’s the leader. We just hope some of the others can come through.”

With Seleana Isaacs, Madi Bluml and Angela Charhut also returning from the 2009-2010 experience, coach Jim McKnight is encouraged at the early outset of practice.

Other varsity and JV fixtures include Alex Hornback, Colleen Ryan, Morgan Wojciechowski, Marissa Avery, Michelle Bohanek, Kayley Larson, Amy Trotier, Raeven Smith and Amanda Strayve.

“We’re hoping that with all the new blood on the team that they will look to Holly for leadership and for example, and so far they’ve been doing a real good job,” McKnight said. “We literally had to start from square one.”

Regardless of the experience, McKnight is encouraged by the initial atmosphere.

“At the last minute, we got a bunch of girls that we weren’t even expecting. I’m seeing more from some of these newer girls and real surprised at the progress,” McKnight said.

Among the biggest new wrinkles in the season is the emergence of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference, Kaneland’s second new conference in five years.

“With the exception of schools like LaSalle-Peru and Streator, we’ve seen most of these other schools.Teams like Sterling and Dixon are perennially very strong,” McKnight said.

Winter sports preview: Wrestlers look to increase 19-win total in 2010-11

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a solid core coming back for coach Monty Jahns’ third season at the helm and a program that thrives on aggressiveness, opponents will have to take short relief in the fact that the Knights are still waiting for athletes to get back from football.

Those include returning State qualifiers Kyle Davidson and Jimmy Boyle. Davidson’s weight class could be 152, while Boyle will stake claim to heavyweight status.

After making it to the big dance in Champaign in February, this year takes on a different light as returnees from State.

“I think they will get that respect,” Jahns said. “I would hope that they’ll take that and lead the team with it. We want to develop six or seven more of those guys this year.”

Returnees also include Zach Ganz (189), Josh Kuefler (who returns from a December injury at 130), Keagan Mattes (189), Cody McGinnis, Nick Michels (171), Tyler Esposito (119) and super sophs Esai Ponce (112) and Dan Goress (125).

“(Esai and Dan) have put a lot of time in the weight room and gained some size so they’ll be able to compete physically with a lot of these kids,” Jahns said.

For the 103-pound slot, look for sophs Stephen Gust and Connor Williams to grapple opponents, while the middleweights will be decided between a handful of juniors and seniors. Cory Taber looks to get time at 160. Ben Kovalick looks to cement the 215-pound category

A 19-10 dual meet record looks to be eclipsed, and Jahns’goal of 20 could be a possibility if some factors fall into place.

“It’s all basics,” Jahns said. “Basics and hard work, and we’ve got a good group here now. They’re all working and busting their butts to get in shape early and be ahead of their opponent.”

Winter sports preview: Girls hoops rely on improved bunch

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—You wouldn’t know this was a team that went 5-23 a year ago.

With the loss of only one player to graduation from a year ago, 11 returnees and a summer league season that was nothing to sneeze at, an improved season is not too much to ask if you’re fifth-year coach Ernie Colombe.

“We’re pretty excited,” Colombe said about his team that banged up most of 2009-10. “We don’t know what will happen record-wise, but I do know we’re improved, and the girls have worked real hard dating back to the spring with some girls playing AAU, lifting, running and summer league.”

Captains will number five for the Lady Knights: seniors Kris Bowen, Trinae Coachman, Emily Heimerdinger, Nicki Ott and Andie Strang.

“We rely on those seniors to step up for the team in a lot of ways,” Colombe said.

Strang and Heimerdinger have seen the most minutes of the captains throughout their varsity career.

“Emily’s really stepped up and she’s a lot better than she was at the end of last year. She wants success in basketball after having success on the soccer field; she got a taste of that and wants it to carry over. We definitely missed Andie down the stretch last year. She was hitting shots and was great on defense for us.”

Returning at the junior level are guards Tesa Alderman, McKinzie Mangers and Katie Taylor, and center Kelly Evers, fresh from a standout summer campaign.

“Tesa has the natural ability, we think, to be a great player in our conference. We’re trying to get her focused on some smaller things and details that maybe go unnoticed during games,” Colombe said. “Nicki also had a good summer and improved her shot.”

Six-foot-two center Cori Flowers, a transfer from Aurora Christian, joins Evers in the post.

“Realistically, we have five or six girls that people might be surprised by when it comes to contributions, based on last year,” Colombe said.

Colombe is joined by Tom Dillivan, and new assistant Kelsey Flanagan, a 2006 grad from KHS who played at DePauw in Indiana and was part of successful teams in the last decade.

Lady Knights lose opener on late 3

AURORA—It would be a fantastic beginning to the 2010-11 campaign for Kaneland Lady Knights basketball if it weren’t for the pesky last shot.

In the opening contest of the season for the Lady Knights on Tuesday evening in Aurora at Illinois Math and Science Academy’s Hoop Happenings, Tesa Alderman hit a game-tying three-pointer, but Rock Island’s Whitney Hoover hit a trey with two ticks left.

The bang-bang exchange dropped Kaneland, 51-48.

The Lady Knights now gear up against either Aurora Christian or Yorkville in the second round, which will tip-off at Aurora Christian High School.

For Kaneland, post player Kelly Evers led the charge with 17 points and nine boards. Emily Heimerdinger had nine points and three steals. Andie Strang had five points and eight boards.

Kaneland was 19-for-50 from the field, with four three-pointers.

KHS led early, 14-5 after the first quarter, but the Lady Rocks took a 23-21 lead at the half. Kaneland rallied for a 37-36 lead before the fourth-quarter stage was set.

The next contest for KHS tips off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19.

Kaneland confident in 34-7 playoff win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up next …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holm secures KHS record at State race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howland sets season best at state

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

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

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

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

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

IHSA football finals to be on ESPN3.com

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

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

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

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

Kaneland volleyball ousted in regionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holm representing KHS boys at State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chief XC Region IV kings

GALESBURG, Ill.—For the fourth consecutive year, Waubonsee Community College brought home a regional championship.

The Chief men’s cross country team had three of the top 10 finishers during Saturday’s Region IV Regional Championship at Carl Sandburg College.

Waubonsee’s Greg Adelman finished third with a time of 28 minutes, nine seconds. Teammate Max Sliwa was fourth with a time of 28:11 and Stephen Clark was sixth with a time of 28:19.

Perfect 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then there were 16:
Second Round 5A contests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howland first girls XC State rep in three years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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