KHS mourns loss of senior

by Susan O’Neill
Kaneland High School senior Andie Christoffel was to graduate on Sunday, his whole life ahead of him. Instead, the 18-year-old passed away on Monday afternoon in a hospital in Rockford, the result of injuries caused when a train hit him on Saturday night.

An employee of the Union Pacific Railroad called 911 at about 10:45 p.m. on Saturday to report the sighting of a figure on the tracks west of Somonauk Road in Cortland. When the Cortland police arrived at the scene, they found Christoffel, who was badly injured.

He was taken to Kishwaukee Hospital by the DeKalb City Fire Department, and then airlifted to a Rockford hospital, where he died on Monday.

Cortland police are working with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and Union Pacific Railroad police to investigate the incident.

“It’s a very, very unfortunate tragic incident,” Cortland Police Chief Russ Stokes said.

Kaneland School District Superintendent Charlie McCormick said a representative of the family informed the school of Christoffel’s condition on Sunday morning. A school official spoke to a member of his family on Monday.

Although the graduating seniors are officially finished with school, the school administration has invited them back to talk with other students, teachers and counselors as they feel the need. McCormick said that Christoffel also had a good mix of friends in the upper classes, as well as in his own class.

A staff person from Conley Outreach has been available at the school.

“We are most pleased to have a resource like that in the community,” McCormick said. “I’m saddened we use it as often as we do.”

In another Kaneland tragedy, high school seniors Blake Denton and Jeff Malewig, both from Sugar Grove, died in a car crash in December 2008 while on their way to the high school.

Kaneland High School Assistant Principal Diane McFarland remembered Christoffel on Wednesday.

“Andie was artistic, creative, compassionate and smart,” she said.

After the Northern Illinois University tragedy last year, McFarland said Christoffel was one of the students who spearheaded putting together a memorial poster for the students.

“He was incredibly compassionate and had an amazing gentle spirit,” McFarland said. “His incredible sense of humor and style will be missed.”

Andie attended the Fox Valley Career Center, where he took graphic arts and high-level computer classes.

Nikki Larsen, the Graphics Communications teacher, was one of his teachers at the career center.

She has been working with the students this week to create a T-shirt and a memorial poster for him.

“She has been a haven for a lot of his friends,” McFarland said.

Ice cream man sentenced for child sexual exploitation

by Susan O’Neill
A former ordained Presbyterian minister and substitute high school teacher has been sentenced to a jail term and ordered to undergo specialized sex offender probation for displaying his genitals in the presence of a small child in 2007.

Douglas R. Jones, 48, of the 100 block of Middle Avenue, Aurora, was driving an ice cream truck for an Aurora-based company in the Walnut Woods Subdivision in Sugar Grove in July 2007 when a resident, the father of a 3-year-old boy, said he saw Jones expose himself. The father said his son was walking toward the ice cream truck parked at the end of his driveway.

Jones was arrested minutes later near a swimming pool in the Prestbury Subdivision.

Jones was sentenced last week by Kane County Circuit Judge Robert B. Spence to 30 months of sex offender probation and a term of 15 days in the Kane County Jail for his conviction of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class 4 felony. Jones will serve his jail term over a number of weekends.

Jones was convicted on Jan. 13 by a Kane County jury.

He had no prior record and had been a substitute teacher in the East Aurora School District.

Under the terms of his probation, Jones is required to participate in individual and group counseling and is prohibited from being in possession of pornography or accessing Internet sites containing pornography and being in or near adult bookstores.

He is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with any children, as well as from living, working or loitering near a school, park, playground, library or any other place primarily used by children under age 18. He must maintain a daily activity log of his whereabouts at all times.

Jones must register as a convicted sex offender for the next 10 years, and the state will seek to have Jones’ teaching certification revoked.

According to a press release from the State’s Attorney’s Office, Judge Spence stated he was troubled that the offense was against a stranger and a very young child. He said he believed Jones was a moderate risk to re-offend and that the jail term was necessary to remind Jones that he must “fully participate and cooperate” with the terms of the probation.

“He can’t have contact with kids anymore,” Sugar Grove investigator John Sizer said. “That was what we wanted.”

Assistant State’s Attorneys Danielle Bechtold and Pam Monaco prosecuted the case.

Werdins share World War II memories of Kaneville

by Susan O’Neill
On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 7, 1941, Kaneville resident Lynette Werdin was helping with lunch dishes and listening to music on the radio.

“The music stopped and said that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor,” she said. “Where’s Pearl Harbor, we wondered.”

Werdin and her husband Dave told the audience gathered for the Memorial Day services at the Community Center on Monday what it was like to live in Kaneville during World War II.

“It was all really scary,” she said. “We had been feeling secure with the Atlantic Ocean between us and the war. We didn’t feel threatened until Dec. 7.”

When the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place in 1941, Hawaii was not yet a state. For all four years of the war, Werdin said she was a teenager in high school. She was about to get a geography lesson every day as a result of the war.

Werdin’s grandmother lived with them, and she would listen to news of the war on the radio every night. In the morning, she would show the rest of the family all the places on the map where the war had taken place the night before.

There were places Werdin had never heard of before, such as the Solomon Islands, the Coral Sea and Midway, Okinawa and New Guinea. Werdin still has the maps, with all the arrows and other markings on them.

“There was such rotten news every day,” Werdin said.

She recalled when rationing began in Kaneville, with items such as dairy products and cheese, meat, coffee, sugar and chocolate. She said her mother used to save little bits of sugar to make birthday cakes for her and her siblings. They were only allowed one pair of leather shoes a year.

Gasoline and tires were the worst things, she said. There were ration cards and stamps. They were limited to just a few gallons a week. As a teenager, she was disappointed when they didn’t have enough gas to get to Sandwich to go roller skating.

With four years during which no tires were made, she said they would often see people on the side of the road fixing flat tires.

Women came out of the kitchens, put on their hard hats and went to work in the war plants. At 16 years old, Lynette went to work on Saturdays and Sundays at Burgess-Norton Manufacturing Company in Geneva. She made 35 cents an hour, $3 for an eight-hour day.

Kaneville residents who were not working would go to Troxel every day and watch for airplanes. They were the air patrol, and protected Chicago from air strikes.

Werdin said that for all four years, no one knew if the United States would win the war. The rumor was that if Japan and Germany won, they would split the U.S. down the middle at the Mississippi River. Japan would take one side and Germany the other.

“We were so relieved when we got word that the war was over,” she said.

Dave Werdin’s job started with the end of the war. Dave spent a year in Japan after the war, helping to rebuild the cities that had been destroyed there.

“Everyone was so sick of killing and destroying,” he said. “World War I taught us a lesson. It bred hatred and this gave us Hitler. The troops weren’t done when the war was over. There was a peace to win.”

PHOTO: A World War II cannon with replica shells was decorated with flowers for the Memorial Service at the Kanevile Cementery on Monday in honor of the day’s events. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Bankrupt developer still plans huge project

Welch Fields delayed by Chapter 11, housing market
by Martha Quetsch
Kirk Homes still plans to build the 350-acre Welch Fields development in Elburn even though the company filed for bankruptcy May 13.

“We are not abandoning the project. We have put quite a bit of work and money into it,” Kirk Homes President John Carroll said. “But we will be a bit preoccupied for awhile with our (Chapter 11) reorganization plan, which is complex.”

Kirk Homes proposed the project six years ago for farmland along both sides of Route 38 just west of Route 47. The development plan includes commercial development and 950 residential units, including single-family homes, attached single-family dwellings, duplexes and townhomes.

So far, Kirk Homes has done preliminary engineering and plat planning for Welch Fields. Village officials and Kirk Homes representatives last met on Feb. 3 to discuss the Welch Fields project. Since then, the village has not received notice from the company regarding any changes in its plan to develop Welch Creek, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.

It might be a few months or longer before the company pursues preliminary planning approval of the project from the Elburn Planning Commission, Carroll said.

Carroll is uncertain when the company will proceed with the next step-pre-annexation approval-because of the housing market decline.

Before the village annexes Welch Fields, Kirk Homes must agree to help pay for expanding Elburn’s wastewater treatment facility to service the additional homes it brings, village officials said.

“Getting our arms around the wastewater treatment contribution will be a big issue,” Carroll said. “We will work it out with village officials, it will just take time.”

Streamwood, Ill.-based Kirk Homes was founded in 1978 and has developed more than 50 neighborhoods in the Chicago area.

Park District wants feedback on 10-year plan

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove Township Park District residents will have a chance to comment on the Park District’s 10-year master plan before it is approved at the next District Board meeting on Monday, June 8.

The plan includes evaluations and suggestions for improvements of each park and its existing structures and suggestions for standards for future parks. Improvements to current programs and recommendations for future programming are also included.

Last year, the Park District Board hired an outside firm, Leisure Vision, to find out what residents wanted from their Park District and what recreational opportunities were important to them.

Responses from a survey sent to district residents, input from community members and staff in a number of focus groups, as well as an independent evaluation of the condition of the parks was used to create the plan.

Residents said that biking and walking trails were the most important to them, with an indoor fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, golf course and driving range and playgrounds also among the most-desired recreation facilities. Adult fitness and youth sports programs, swimming and golf lessons, and leagues and special events, were the programs chosen most important.

Park District Director Greg Repede said that early childhood programming is also a growth area for the district. While there is no funding currently to build a recreational facility there is no need for one at this point, he said. Sugar Grove Park District residents enjoy resident-level fees at Fox Valley Park District facilities such as the Vaughan Center.

“The consultants said that based on the resources, we’re doing extremely well with what we have,” Repede said.

Repede said the next step would be for the board to go through the plan to prioritize what can be done. He emphasized that residents should not consider the plan a springboard for a referendum.

“We’re not proposing anything except to approve the plan,” Repede said. “It’s a blueprint for the future.”

A copy of the plan is available for public vieweing at the Park District office on Main Street.

Keslinger Plaza developer violates ordiances

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn village officials want the Keslinger Plaza commercial project to proceed, but before that can happen, the developer must comply with village ordinances.

On Nov. 17, 2007, the Village Board approved Grobmar Investments’ final plan for three of its four commercial lots on the northwest corner of Keslinger Road and Route 47.

Since then, the village has not received any payments from Grobmar to bring its escrow balance up to the $20,000 amount required by ordinance. The balance currently is $8,160.

The village previously required Grobmar to maintain a $10,000 balance, but doubled it in November because the developer was seriously delinquent, Community Development Director David Morrison said Tuesday.

Elburn requires developers to maintain a specified escrow account balance to ensure payment of any village expenses related to their projects. In addition, the developer violated the Subdivision Control Ordinance by failing to record the development plat with the county within three months after village approval.

Village officials notified Grobmar in a letter May 20 of the escrow delinquency and the violation, encouraging the developer to comply with its ordinances so that Keslinger Plaza can be developed.

Signed by Village President Dave Anderson, the letter said, “The Village would like to see this project continue to move forward.”

The Elburn Herald phoned Grobmar president Ken Marino Wednesday morning about the developer’s intentions, but he did not return the call before the newspaper’s production deadline.

Village-required escrow accounts
Escrow funds maintained by developers cover Elburn’s costs related to the “considerable review” for development and rezoning projects, Community Development Director David Morrison said during the Development Committee meeting Tuesday.

“We want to make sure the residents of Elburn do not have to pay the costs of development,” Morrison said.

Morrison said the village’s escrow account requirement ensures the village is covered for its costs “in case the developer walks away.”

Village officials plan to bill developers including Grobmar Investments whose escrow balances are delinquent.

County resident dies as result of complications related to H1N1 flu

A Kane County resident died Thursday from complications due to the H1N1 flu virus, the Kane County Health Department reported today. The death is the third linked to the virus in Illinois.

In addition to having the H1N1 virus, the 42-year-old man had underlying medical conditions. Due to privacy concerns, the Health Department will not release any further information about the case.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to this family,” said Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert. “With the case numbers rising across the state and the country, it’s tragic but not unexpected that we would see this happening in our county. We know the virus is in our community and we all need to take steps to protect ourselves and our families. People with chronic medical conditions need to take special care to protect themselves from influenza.”

The total case count at this time in Kane County 35.

Everyday actions people can take to stay healthy are:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
Stay home if you’re sick.

Lions host annual motorcycle ride June 7

The Elburn Lions Club will host its 10th anniversary Motorcycle Ride on Sunday, June 7.

The 80-mile “open road” ride through scenic country roads will begin and finish at Elburn Lions Park, 500 S. Fillmore St., Elburn. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Elburn Lions Park. Bikes embark between 9 and 11 a.m.

Vendors, food and beverage will be available throughout the day. Upon returning to Lions Park, all will be entertained by the musical group 61 Beale Street. The event will last until 4 p.m. Additional events will include a huge 50/ 50 raffle, a Poker Walk in the Wark and an Ironhorse Rodeo.

All motorcyclists are welcome and encouraged to attend.

This is a charity event hosted by volunteers to benefit Leader Dog, Camp Lions, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Illinois and Christmas Gifts for Needy Kids, which purchases Christmas gifts for local DCFS youths.

Additional information can be obtained at www.elburnlions.com.

Knights get win No. 22, pound DeKalb

Now that the regular season is done, the stage can set itself for the regionals and beyond.

Looks like the Kaneland baseball team, at 22-12, wants the production to go on for quite awhile.

The Knights, who ended the Western Sun Conference slate with a 13-8 mark, lost their regular season finale to DuPage Valley Conference stalwart Wheaton-Warrenville South on Memorial Day, 9-6.

They closed out the conference side of the schedule with a split against DeKalb, a 14-3, five-inning shellacking at Northern Illinois University and a 5-4 loss to the Barbs on May 20.

Joe Gura went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Mike Pritchard went 2-for-4.

The game was tied at 4-4 until WWS scored one in the third and two more in the fourth to go up 7-4. Gura’s homerun in the seventh was too little, too late. Troy Pritchard fell to 5-3 with the loss.

At the home of the Huskies, Pritchard earned the win, giving up two runs on three hits.

Gura slammed a homerun in the third. Jake Fiedler went 2-for-3. The Knights erupted for five runs in the first, five in the second and four in the third.

Kaneland scored two runs in the third to tie the score at three before DHS came back with a run in the bottom of the inning and never gave up the lead.

Kaneland was set to visit the Class 2A Burlington Central Regional and face off against Rochelle on Wednesday. The Hubs upset Hampshire 5-4 on Monday.

Remembering

Members of American Legion Post No. 630 march from Elburn Lion’s Park to Blackberry Cemetery in Elburn during the village’s Memorial Day ceremony on Monday. Photo by Bob Schilling

S.G. Chamber hosts ‘Living Green’ seminar series

The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry is hosting a series of breakfast seminars designed to help consumers learn more about going green—its benefits, its costs, and what would work best for their circumstances.

Seminar III, originally scheduled for May 7, has been postponed until noon on Thursday, June 11, at the Sugar Grove Fire District on Municipal Drive. Admission is $15 or two for $25, and includes lunch.

For more information or to register, call (630) 466-7895 or visit www.sugargrovechamber.org.

Library seeks recipes from community

Town & Country Public Library
320 E. North St., Elburn • (630) 365-2244

Library seeks recipes from community
The Friends of the Town and Country Public Library is putting together a cookbook in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of the library, including recipes submitted by members of the community. The cookbook will be available in August.

Interested residents can submit their recipes to josephkryszak@sbcglobal.net.

Read on the Wild Side
Read on the Wild Side is the theme of the Town and Country public Library’s 2009 summer reading program.

Summer reading is a 10-week program, and runs from Monday, June 1, through Saturday, Aug. 8.

Wild animals from Big Run Wolf Ranch will be at the library at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, to kick off the summer of events.

The calendar for summer reading programs is available at www.elburn.lib.il.us.

Early liquor sales allowed for motorcycle event

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn Lions Club and Knuckleheads Tavern will sell liquor on Sunday morning, June 7, the day of the Elburn Motorcycle Run.

An Elburn ordinance prohibits liquor sales before noon on Sunday. However, the Village Board unanimously agreed Monday to allow the bar to sell alcohol and the Lions Club a temporary exemption because the event benefits charities.

The Lions hold a public party at Lions Park in conjunction with the motorcycle ride, and Knuckleheads opens early. The Lions will start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. the day of the event, and Knucklheads will start at 10 a.m.

Pay attention, please

High school restricts cell phone use
by Lynn Meredith
The experiment to allow students to carry cell phones—even though they are required to be turned off—during school hours has not worked.

“We’ve had more and more issues with cell phones this year,” Assistant High School Principal Ian Smith said. “The students are texting, taking pictures and videos, sharing answers on tests and surfing the Internet during class.”

The school will go back to what it did previously and not allow students to carry the phones on their persons. They will be allowed to use them before and after school.

If caught using the phone, the student will be given detention and the phone confiscated for the day for the first offense with penalties increasing for subsequent offenses.

Vehicle tax stickers due

Vehicle tax (stickers) are due by Sunday, May 31.

Each sticker is $25 per vehicle, but after May 31, a late fee of $10 is assessed. After July 31, a late fee of $25 is assessed.

Stickers can be purchased at the Civic Center, 302 Willow St., between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lunch Bunch gathers June 2

The Kaneville Lunch Bunch will meet at noon on Tuesday, June 2, for a lunch of mixed green salad with barbecue chicken, cheesy potatotes, beverage and dessert.

The cost is $5, and the gather will take place in the village room at the community center in Kaneville. Call Food For Thought at (630) 557-2220 for a reservation.

Natural history field class set for Bliss Woods

Naturalist Mary Ochsenschlager will lead a field class on the natural history of Bliss Woods in Sugar Grove on Thursday, June 4, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The fee is $10 per person. The class is part of the Learn from the Experts series of adult ecology classes sponsored by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the St. Charles Park District, the Geneva Park District and the Fox Valley Park District.

Ochsenschlager, recently retired from the St. Charles Park District, is an active steward at Bliss Woods and has in-depth knowledge of the site. The class will include an overview of the geologic history of the area, the changing landscape, its flora and fauna, and restoration management of the site.

Bliss Woods Forest Preserve is located at 5S660 Bliss Road, Sugar Grove. To register, call (847) 741-8350 or e-mail programs@kaneforest.com.

Conley Outreach offers Friendship Night

Friendship Night, a self-help group for grieving adults, will meet Thursday, May 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 Main St. in Elburn. This month’s topic will be “The Stages of Grief … Will It Ever End?” Light refreshments and a time for informal sharing follow the group discussion.

For more information, call Conley Outreach at (630) 365-2880.

Andrew Christoffel fund established

A memorial fund has been established in memory of Andrew Christoffel at Old Second Bank in Elburn. Friends, family and those touched by his loss may contribute to the fund, which will used to help the family with medical and funeral expenses. Checks may be written to the Andrew Christoffel Memorial Fund and sent to the Andrew Christoffel Memorial Fund, Old Second Bank, 749 N. Main St., or at PO Box 8018, Elburn, IL 60119.

Editorial: How much is a victory worth?

Four years ago, the Kaneland School District was on the verge of losing all extra-curricular activities, including athletics, due to lack of funding.

Voters passed a referendum to preserve athletics and clubs, as well as a large number of academic programs not considered part of the core curriculum.

Voters again passed a referendum in February 2008, this time for construction costs for a new middle school, work on the existing middle school, and other improvements throughout the district.

Fast forward to today, and the Kaneland School District just voted to leave the Western Sun Conference following the 2009-2010 school year and join a new conference consisting of several current WSC schools, as well as schools farther to the west and south (see related story), the farthest of which is 112 miles away.

It is clear that there was not enough support from WSC schools for the conference to remain, making the district’s decision to formally announce its pending departure from the conference one of obvious necessity.

However, the choice of a new conference seems odd when budgets are so tight that staff has to be reduced, field trips have to be cut, the current middle school will not remain open as the new one opens its doors for the 2009-10 school year, and general cost-cutting must occur throughout the district.

It seems odd that there was not more consideration given to the increase in costs when Kaneland athletics teams will add six teams to the conference that are more than 50 miles away.

Based on the comments we have printed in our stories about the switch, the decision was largely based on the fact that Kaneland will face more equitable competition because the new conference will consist of schools closer to Kaneland’s enrollment than the WSC. With similar enrollment numbers, Kaneland will have an easier time facing competition more at its level.

No one can deny that this is a good thing for Kaneland athletics, at least in terms of wins and losses.

However, is this good for the district’s financial picture?

School Board member Cheryl Krauspe, who voted in favor of the move to leave the WSC but was the only dissenting vote to join the new conference, said she was told the increased cost would be between $400 and $800 per sport. With 16 sports, that means the estimated annual cost increase is between $6,400 and $12,800. Certainly, when talking about total budgets in the millions of dollars, a few thousand is really a negligable amount.

Yet, was there any discussion as to how many field trips could be reinstated with around $10,000; or if the money could instead be used to prevent a reduction in materials for any number of programs negatively impacted by the district’s financial situation? Was there significant discussion on the impacts of traveling upwards of two hours to, and two hours from, a sporting event? Athletic events less than a half hour away can sometimes last late into the evening. Now imagine a two-hour return drive.

On the surface, it seems there is a small increase in the expenses, and the traveling impacts may be negligable; but at the same time it would be nice to know that officials are consistently looking for ways to reduce costs, not increase them—at least until Kaneland’s finances are sound enough that it can afford to use the new middle school as a second school, not merely to replace the old one. To paraphrase a famous saying, a few thousand here and a few thousand there, and pretty soon we are talking about real money.

We are glad disbanding the WSC did not leave Kaneland twisting in the wind on its own; and we are glad Kaneland will face equal competition, which will naturally lead to more victories.

Yet, there is something off-putting when academics take a financial hit while an increase in athletics is justified because it will translate into more victories.

We were glad to see Krauspe question the costs of the decision, if for nothing else than to ensure that the questions were raised, the information shared, and the district moving forward after being reminded that even a few thousand dollars can have a large impact; whether on the playing field or in the classroom.

Heading west

Kaneland to join new western conference
by Lynn Meredith
Kaneland will join some of its traditional rivals and leave others behind when it becomes part of a new conference starting in the 2010-11 school year.

On Tuesday, the Kaneland School Board unanimously voted to leave the Western Sun Conference (WSC). In a 6-1 vote, it approved joining a newly formed conference that includes schools to the west and south.

DeKalb, Yorkville and Rochelle, schools similar in size to Kaneland, have already followed suit and voted to join the new conference, leaving the WSC non-existent.

“The Western Sun Conference as it is will no longer exist at the end of next school year,” Superintendent Charlie McCormick said. “The WSC will not continue as it is.”

If Kaneland had remained with its traditional rivals, Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, it would have been the smaller school in the conference. In the new conference, Kaneland will play schools that comprise the North Central Illinois Conference Reagan Division. The new conference will include Sterling, Ottawa, Dixon, Geneseo, Morris, LaSalle-Peru and Streator, in addition to DeKalb, Sycamore and Rochelle.

School Board member Cheryl Krauspe voted against joining the new conference. She said she supports the athletic program, the athletes and the teams, but feels that adding travel expenses to an already strapped budget is not something she can support.

“The decision to join the new conference is a tough one for me, because this board in the last few years has had to make hard decisions. We’ve been cutting field trips and teachers and paraprofessionals and supplies and all kinds of things. At this time to increase the travel budget for a new athletic conference doesn’t make sense to me,” Krauspe said. “I remember four years ago when we almost lost our athletic program, and I feel a future responsibility that we don’t get back to that point.”

Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke said that expenses and missed school will be kept to a minimum. Kaneland may still get a chance to play Geneva, St. Charles and Batavia in non-conference games in certain sports, but not all sports.

“The change will enable Kaneland teams to compete on a more level playing field against similarly-sized schools,” Jaffke said.

KHS girls track secures 9th-place finish at State

Lady Knights girls track put an exclamation point on its 2009 story this past weekend in Charleston.

Buoyed by stellar performances in the preliminaries and finals, Kaneland came away with a ninth place finish (26.5 points) in the Class 2A State track meet at Eastern Illinois University.

Rock Island turned out to be the champs with 49.5 points, followed by Springfield Southeast at 48 and Cahokia at 39.

Incidentally, five of the six Western Sun Conference schools were bunched together in the standings. Sycamore and Rochelle tied for seventh at 27, while Yorkville finished just behind Kaneland in tenth at 25 points. Glenbard South was tied with Kankakee with 24 points for 11th place.

Lindsay Gierke claimed her spot as one of the most exceptional track athletes in school history with her showing on Friday. The senior finished second in the 100 meter hurdles at 14.67 seconds, second only to Cahokia’s Laquitsha Bejoile (14.48). Gierke made the finals by tying for first in the preliminaries with a 15.02 effort in her heat.

Gierke also finished fourth in the 100m dash at 12.28 seconds, after finishing second in her prelim heat at 12.35.

Gierke also finished third overall in the 300m hurdles event at 45.14 seconds. Cahokia’s Bejoile took that event as well at 44.92. The Lady Knight senior finished second in her prelim heat at 46.13.

Sophomore Andie Strang was up to her old tricks at her second trip down to State. Not only did she finish 10th in the 800m run (2:22.95) but was also part of the ninth-place 4x800m relay squad that finished in 9:47.58. Strang joined Kris Bowen, Kelly Evers and Lisa Roberson for the honors.

Lady Knight Jordan Pinkston took home a fifth-place tie overall in the pole vault at 10 feet, three inches. In the prelims, Pinkston went 10 feet, and teammate Sara Wallace finished with nine feet.

Photo: Lady Knight senior Lindsay Gierke goes for the finish during Friday’s Class 2A girls track State gathering in Charleston. Gierke came away with a second overall in the 100m hurdles, a fourth in the 100m dash (pictured) and a third in the 300m intermediate hurdles. Photo by Ben Draper

Boys track crowned Sectional champs, send vanload to State

by Mike Slodki
Before the season, boys track coach Eric Baron had a good feeling about his team’s chances this season.

The Freeport Sectional this past Friday made Baron seem downright clairvoyant.

The Knights captured a sectional title with 88 points, a two-point edge over Sycamore, and sent seven separate events to the State final this Friday at Eastern Illinois University.

A year ago, Kaneland sent five events to the big meet.

Freeport finished third at its own home with 60 points, while Burlington Central finished fourth (58 points).

The Knights send junior Logan Markuson to Charleston in several events, the first being pole vault, where he finished third at 14 feet, 9 inches. Teammate Josh Bloome also made sure more Kaneland members will join in the fun, finishing fifth at 13-9.

Nick Sinon continued on his tear, adding Sectional champ to his Western Sun Conference honors with a 6-3 effort in the high jump.

The Knight foursome of Derek Bus, Sean Paulick, Hayden Johnson and Edgar Valle is going down in the 4×800 relay, thanks to a sectional title time of 8 minutes, 6.27 seconds.

Knight distance runner Paul Davies made the grade with a third-place showing in the 3200 meter run (9:49.21).

Markuson (14.88) and Taylor Andrews (15.32) were up to business as usual in the 110 meter high hurdles and join the State crowd in that event. Markuson also took a sectional title in the 300m intermediate hurdles with a 38.87 second tally.

“We’re just building concentration and getting ready,” said Markuson, who qualified in 2008 for the pole vault. “It won’t be too out of the ordinary, but a little more intensity than usual.”

In Markuson’s opinion, the sectional success was contagious.

“I think the 4X800 really started things off for us, That was huge and that set the tone. Everyone was really stoked after that.”

Finally, the Knights’ 4x400m relay squad of of Johnson, Markuson, Tommy Whittaker and Valle won first at 3:24.72.

Photo: Kaneland’s Nick Sinon takes to the skies during Friday’s Freeport Sectional. Sinon joins the Knights contingent going to Charleston for the Class 2A boys track State event. Photo by Ben Draper

Kaneland’s ‘09 kicks ended by Crystal Lake Central

by Mike Slodki
A productive Kaneland soccer season launched the girls into their first ever regional championship match on Friday night.

Unfortunately, at the home of the Burlington Central Rockets, that’s where the launch ended.

Dealing with top-seeded Crystal Lake Central, the Lady Knights dropped a 3-0 result in a physical contest.

The loss, coming after a high-intensity 1-0 win over Hampshire last Tuesday, ended the Lady Knights’ 2009 campaign at an above-average 11-9-3.

That’s the best winning percentage in team history, eclipsing a 2005 squad that went 11-10-1.

That team, also coached by Scott Parillo, defeated Hinckley-Big Rock in a class A opening round matchup before losing to Wauconda in Hampshire.

The Tigers drew first blood with a shot over goalkeeper Sophie Blank’s head in just 6 minutes, 40 seconds into the match for a 1-0 lead.

The two teams stalemated until a header found its way in just 1:31 before halftime to make it a 2-0 margin.

Crystal Lake Central’s final score came with 36:52 left in the contest.

Parillo lauded the girls’ season despite the less-than-ideal end result.

“We really did well,” Parillo said. “We had freshmen and sophomores starting at different points. We’re young and this is going to leave a bad taste in their mouths. Crystal Lake Central did everything they needed to do to win, but this is the first time to a final for us and it was a good experience.”

Kaneland says goodbye to five seniors: Savanna Castillo, Brittany Chase, Bridget Crosby, Danni Garcia and Sarah Goodrich.

“We had pretty good leadership. Three were captains and it’s a shame to lose them, they were all good kids,” Parillo said.

Lady Knights finish 2nd in WSC, look toward playoffs

Softball comes into its regional action with a formidable 25-8 record, but it doesn’t include a share of the conference title.

Kaneland (10-4 Western Sun Conference) earned a 1-0 win over Batavia on Thursday before losing a 5-1 rain makeup showdown with host Glenbard South that officially decided the WSC. The Lady Knights ended the regular season with a 6-1 win vs. Rosary on Saturday.

Against Batavia, a Sara Rose homer in the top of the first was all KHS needed in a 1-0 win. The knock was one of the two hits the Lady Knights had. Delani Vest (16-5) got the win with six strikeouts in her name.

Against the host Raiders, Vest gave up four earned runs and fanned five.

Rose and Jessica Lubic came through with doubles and Rilee Vest went 3-for-3. Kaneland’s one run came in the top of the sixth which made it 4-1.

Kaneland took care of the Royals, thanks to a solid performance by Delani Vest in the pitchers’ circle and the plate. Vest hit a homer and went 2-for-3, striking out seven. KHS put up six runs in the sixth.

Kaneland freshmen continue their productive season with a 3-2 win over Glenbard South. The sophomores defeated Rosary 12-2 for a win this week.

Interim coach Ken Neahring and Kaneland softball were set to do battle with third-seeded Hampshire out at the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional on Wednesday. (2) Kaneland needed to get past the 12-16 Whip-purs in order to face (1) Burlington Central on Saturday, May 30, at noon for the regional title.

WCC set for 25th hitting camp

Boys and girls ages 8 through 14 are invited to the 25th Annual Hitting Camp hosted by Waubonsee Community College. The camp runs from Monday, June 8, through Thursday, June 11, for baseball and fast pitch softball. Instruction begins each day at 12:30 p.m. and continues until 2:30 p.m. on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus.

The head instructors for the camp, Waubonsee’s Dave Randall and Naperville North’s Mark Lindo, will teach the fundamentals and techniques of hitting with the emphasis on the basic mechanics necessary to excel at baseball and softball. Station work, group drills and individualized instruction are used to teach each player those skills. The cost is $70 for each participant and $50 for each additional family member. Each participant receives a “Hitting Camp” T-shirt. Application forms are available at Kirhofer’s Sports in Aurora, Tri-Cities Sports in Batavia or by contacting Dave Randall at (630) 466-2527.

Summer Cheerleading Camp Registration

Registration is now being taken for Elburn Basketball’s Summer Cheerleading Camp. Girls entering grades 2-8 are welcome. No prior experience is necessary. The Camp runs Monday, June 22 through Thursday, June 25 (Mon.-Thurs.), from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Elburn Community Center. The cost of the program is $40 and due by Monday, June 1. For more information, or to obtain a registration form, visit www.elburn.com/basketball.

KHS boys hoops camp rescheduled

Due to scheduling issues, the 9th-12th grade Boys Basketball camp is being rescheduled. The new dates for the camp is June 15th through the 18th, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the High School East Gymnasium, and June 22nd through the 25th, from 8 to 10 a.m. in the High School East Gymnasium. If you have scheduled a session in this camp and need to now withdraw due to a conflict, please contact Leigh Jaffke at ext. 224 or at leigh.jaffke@kaneland.org.