Letter: Kane transportation department commended for Bliss Road work

Thank you to Kane County’s Division of Transportation’s John Guddendorf, and the many different crews working with John, for the excellent road work done on Bliss Road starting just south of Interstate 88 and extending past Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.

John kept the community informed throughout the entire project and listened to what each resident had to say about the job. The crews all worked hard in some pretty hot weather, kept delays to a minimum, and kept a safe and clean roadway at all times.

Thank you to John and to all involved in this project for proving that local government can get the job done quickly, efficiently and leave us with a beautiful roadway.

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Graceffa
Sugar Grove

Letter: The last, best chance for the Sugar Grove Library

Finally, after four months of community outrage, the Sugar Grove Library Board has taken a turn toward restoring sanity to the precarious financial situation and acknowledging the possibility they made a mistake.

With the library on the verge of bankruptcy, the board has just voted to engage in mediation with the former director, Beverly Holmes Hughes.

The board, specifically Joan Roth, Art Morrical, Bob Bergman and Julie Wilson, terminated Holmes Hughes in a surprise coup last June—despite her 20 years of service, being named the 2010 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year and the high regard of the whole Illinois library world. This action resulted in three consequences:

First, the community outrage was immediate, grew and has continued at every board meeting since. Second, as an immediate result, the board began spending funds that not only were not budgeted for, but will not be available unless drastic service cuts are made. Interim directors were paid at twice Holmes Hughes’ rate. Lawyers racked up huge fees. Consultants and search firms are on the hook. Third, the board action caused the disbanding of the essential financial support group, the Friends of the Library.

There now exists the very real possibility the library will not continue to exist this year as we have known it. Something has to give—this board has tried to overspend their way out of their mistake. Programs may be reduced or eliminated, hours (or days) may be cut, staff may be laid off.

At the last board meeting, the three trustees who have been trying to bring fiscal responsibility to the library—Bill Durrenberger, Dan Herkes and Anthony Oliver—were joined, in an act of community selflessness and some courage, by Julie Wilson to begin a mediation process with Holmes Hughes.

Mediation will not necessarily result in rehiring Holmes Hughes, but will force the cabal that terminated her to defend their actions and bring out into the open their questionable excuses.

Of course, a professional and competent board would have attempted mediation before Holmes Hughes was terminated. But that was not on the agenda of Roth, Morrical or Bergman. Given their public statements of reasoning and intentions, it is likely these three will make every effort to sabotage mediation. In the past four months, in addition to turning deaf ears to their community, they have engaged in questionable ethics, conflicts of interest and manipulation of facts. It is to be expected they will bring excruciating pressure on Julie Wilson for her turn toward common sense and respecting her community.

For everyone who is concerned about how this board has wasted taxpayer funds, who is concerned about the financial health of the library, who is concerned about the very existence of their library—please make your views known. This might well be the last chance to stop the bleeding, restore the community reputation and begin mitigating this obvious mistake.

Voice your support for the efforts of Trustees Durrenberger, Herkes, Oliver and Wilson. Attend the next Library Board meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27.

Douglas Hartman
Past president
Sugar Grove Library Board

Delnor Foundation holds gala event to benefit cancer care

GENEVA—The Delnor Foundation invites all local residents to make an impact on cancer care in the Fox Valley community by attending the 2011 Gala “Footloose and Cancer Free.” Proceeds from this event, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Q Center in St. Charles, will benefit outpatient cancer services and a new facility for LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva.

“Because of these initiatives, for the one-in-three of us who will eventually receive a cancer diagnosis, thoughtful, coordinated and accessible treatment and support care will be available right in the Fox Valley,” said Craig Collins, chairman of the Delnor Foundation Board of Directors.

Geneva native Matt Rodewald, NBC Chicago reporter and anchor for 670 The Score, will emcee the evening, which will include the presentation of the inaugural Delnor Foundation Community Award honoring the Dellora A. & Lester J. Norris Foundation. Guests will enjoy the State Street Jewelers champagne bar, new silent auction bidding technology using cell phones, and dancing following dinner to the music of Nightshift Orchestra.

“This event is dedicated to all local cancer patients and cancer survivors,” Delnor Foundation Gala Co-chair Laura Grim said.

The event is sponsored in part by Fox Valley Orthopaedic Associates, SC, and Tri City Radiology. Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased online at www.supportdelnor.org or by calling (630) 208-3896.

LivingWell presents ‘Developing Authentic Power: 11 Keys to Shifting from Fear to Love’

GENEVA—Personal Wellness/Life Coaches Rose Diaz and Debbie Miller will teach ways that can help people authentically empower themselves by shifting from habits that don’t serve them an inspiring life during a session on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

“Everything we need to be successful in life stems from our ability to love and accept ourselves unconditionally. What blocks us always is fear. We avoid taking risks and we conform to what we think others want instead of what we desire,” Diaz said.

This program is free and open to the public. Please call (630) 262-1111 to register. This presentation will be held at the LivingWell Resource Center in Geneva.

Kane County takes on lead poisoning with $1 million grant

GENEVA—Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren announced last week that Kane County has been awarded a $1.04 million grant to address lead-based paint hazards in area homes and to develop a county-wide Healthy Homes Program.

The county is one of only 39 jurisdictions nationwide to receive the federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Local matching funds for the program, totaling $260,000, will be provided by Kane County and the cities of Aurora and Elgin.

Illinois leads the nation in the number of lead poisoned children. Next to Cook County, Kane County has the highest rate of childhood lead poisoning in the state.

Kane County’s program will provide targeted lead poisoning prevention education for parents, landlords and homeowners, and lead training for local contractors looking for work.

Kane County was selected by HUD, in part, because of its successful track-record under the Illinois Department of Public Health’s “Get the Lead Out” Program, which ran from January 2007 to September 2010. Because of this experience, the county expects the program to be up and running quickly, providing training to local contractors, education to area residents, and rehab work aimed at improving the lives and health of Kane County children.

Malnar and Quinn among AP scholars at Marmion Academy

AURORA—The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program has named 24 Marmion Academy students AP Scholars. Among them were Edward Malnar of LaFox, named a national AP scholar receiving an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams; and Stuart Quinn of Sugar Grove, named an AP Scholar for receiving scores of 3 or higher on three or more exams.

Village gets $100,000 grant for land use updates

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—After initially being approved to receive a $15,000 grant to update the village’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Chicago Metroplitan Agency for Planning decided that wasn’t enough, and awarded the village of Elburn a full grant in the amount of $100,000.

“I think it’s marvelous,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

The village started talking about updating the plan two years ago. Village Administrator Erin Willrett went to work trying to secure grants to fund any proposed changes and got approval for the smaller amount. Anderson said the board now is in the process of establishing the intergovernmental agreement with CMAP and is talking about planning firms that will help in the process.

Anderson mentioned he’s heard some comments around town from taxpayers letting him know they don’t believe in grants.

“From my seat, these grants are our money, the taxpayers of Elburn,” he said. “(It’s) our money coming back to us. I think this is a tremendous benefit to the village.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month focuses on help for victims

KANE COUNTY—October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the color of the ribbon is purple. Mutual Ground, which provides services for victims in southern Kane and Kendall counties, is now decorated in purple ribbons. Organizations, companies and schools that would like their own purple ribbons and more information on domestic violence can call (630) 897-0084.

For many victims in an abusive relationship, seeking help is very difficult. To see what services are available, visit mutualground.org, or call the 24/7 bilingual hotline at (630) 897-0080.

SG Library Board votes in favor of mediation with former director

Measure opens the door to possible return of Hughes
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Library Board at its meeting on Oct. 13 voted 4-3 in favor of mediation between board trustees and former library director Beverly Holmes Hughes.

Board Secretary Bill Durrenberger, Treasurer Daniel Herkes, and trustees Anthony Oliver and Julie Wilson voted yes to mediation with Hughes, while President Joan Roth, Vice President Art Morrical and Trustee Bob Bergman voted no.

The decision to mediate came less than three months after Roth, Morrical, Bergman and Wilson voted to approve Hughes’ firing on July 14. Durrenberger and Herkes both voted against firing Hughes. Oliver was not a trustee at the time.

Several members of the public in attendance at the Sugar Grove Community House, where the Library Board meeting was held because of a scheduling conflict, asked the four board members during public comment to put aside their differences and mediate with Hughes, and also spoke at length about the library’s current financial situation. Resident Mari Johnson said the board could get things back on track—and mend its bond to the community—by making compromises and committing to mediation.

“Working to regain the public trust will not be an easy task, but is something that should be on the minds of each board member. You will not be able to move the library forward without the assistance of the public,” Johnson said.

Past Library Board president Douglas Hartman also spoke, chastising the board for bringing the library to “the brink of bankruptcy.”

“The community is owed an exact and specific explanation of the new direction you’re taking this library,” Hartman said. “Is it closing for more hours, more days, weeks (and) months? Is it taking it out on the overworked and underpaid staff? Be responsible, mature trustees and mediate this fiasco. Put it behind us. It is way past time for this board to put the taxpayers first. No more undefined new directions. No more throwing away money we don’t have and will not get. No more guesswork; no more maybes. Start tonight and put things right.”

Prior to the vote for mediation, the board went into executive session for 75 minutes. Durrenberger also announced that interim Library Director Marilyn Boria had voluntarily reduced her hourly pay from $72 to $50 in order to put in more hours for the library and help protect library staff from cutbacks.

“She didn’t want anyone to say anything … but you can’t let that go without public recognition,” Durrenberger said.

Once the meeting had reconvened, Durrenberger made it clear that the vote for mediation simply meant the board would talk to Holmes about whether or not she’d come back under the terms agreed to by both sides.

“I think there are people that would mediate for us at no charge, and I don’t think the delay would be that great. I think (mediation) is what we should’ve done all along, and I don’t think it’s too late to do it now,” he said. “It is what the public wants at this point in time, so that’s why I feel very strongly that (this) is what we should do.”

Oliver and Herkes both echoed Durrenberger’s sentiment. Wilson said she could see both sides of the issue between members of the board and Hughes, and was concerned with the library’s ongoing costs.

Satisfy your ‘sweet tooth’

Photo: Made from Scratch owner Valerie McGrath prides herself on her pastry creations, which she creates only with fresh ingredients. Photos by Sandy Kaczmarski

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Nearly every week last summer, Village Administrator Erin Willrett was asked the same question: when will the bakery open on Main Street? And nearly every week, the answer was the same: she didn’t know and hadn’t heard anything. That is, until last month when Made from Scratch quietly opened, selling homemade pastries and coffee six days a week.

“We opened inauspiciously,” owner Valerie McGrath, said. “I didn’t want a big splash.”

McGrath said it was “kind of a funny opening” anyway. On the eve of opening, one of her bakers was cleaning the dough roller and pinched his fingers in it.

“We had to go to the emergency room at 10:30 that night,” she said. “I didn’t open the next day, because I was like, what do I do now? It’s down to me.”

She took an extra day and quickly revamped the menu, making it very simple: two or three cupcakes, four cookies and some breakfast pastries.

McGrath moved to Elburn about seven years ago, so when she decided she wanted to open a new shop, she thought she’d cut her commute time. She had lived in Hinsdale, Ill., while co-owning Bar Italia in Geneva with her husband for about five years, and was tired of the long commute every day. When he became ill and died shortly after, she closed down.

“It’s a difficult business to be in without a partner and another set of eyes,” McGrath said.

When considering a location, she pointed out that Geneva and St. Charles are saturated with pastry shops and bakeries. She figured, why not in her own back yard?

“Wouldn’t that be nice just to have a pastry shop in downtown Elburn?” she said. “They (Elburn) need this. There’s nothing around here.”

McGrath attended Cordon Bleu in Chicago and also is certified in pastries. Her experience includes working at some high-end restaurants in Naperville and Oak Brook in the pastry department. It’s something she specializes in, using only natural ingredients like real butter and eggs. Fruit products will be available when they are in season, so they are always fresh.

“I don’t use any food coloring,” McGrath said. “If you want something pink, it’s gonna be flavored with either strawberry or raspberry.”

Her favorite pastry to make is cake, which she said a lot of people have gotten away from.

“I really do love layer cakes—Bavarian creams and Genoise sponge cakes,” she said.

Her plans include doing more of the “savory” things, such as a quiche of the day and pastry tarts. She’d also like to expand to serve a light lunch with soup, quiche or some other type of vegetable and cheese dish, and sandwiches.

“It’s amazing how many people come in for quiche—a lot of men,” she said. “We change the flavors and use lots of eggs.”

A basic quiche lorraine is with bacon and Swiss cheese, but she’ll also vary it with broccoli and cheddar or wild mushrooms, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.

One item in particular has proven itself to be the most popular.

“I’ve got this one cookie,” she said, with a slight smile. “This thing is called the Chocolate Chubby. They’re 95 percent chocolate.”

She admits it’s a very expensive cookie, but that doesn’t seem to diminish its popularity. She said there’s one guy who works down the street who always buys one for his wife when he comes in for a coffee.

“It’s hysterical. He says she’s addicted to it,” she said.

The corner shop at 2 S. Main St. is bright and cheery, decorated in the black and white checkerboard style of her favorite designer, MacKenzie Childs. The shop is open six days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. She also serves coffee, hot tea, milk, orange juice and bottled water and is looking into getting an expresso machine.

Her goal is to keep the menu changing so customers can always expect something new.

“This is a baby that needs to grow,” she said.

Made From Scratch Pastry Shop
2 S. Main St., Elburn
(corner of Route 47 & North St.)

The shop is open six days a week, Tuesday through Friday:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The shop is bright and cheery, decorated in the black and white checkerboard style

Community aids KUMC after theft

by Keith Beebe
KANEVILLE—Kaneville United Method-ist Church members earlier this month put together several themed gift baskets for the church’s Beef Supper and Bazaar on Oct. 15. The baskets, which included themes such as “Girly Girl,” “Boys Toys,” “Car Care,” “Apple Orchard,” “Pet Care,” “Soup of the Month,” “Pie of the Month,” and “Chocolate,” were meant to help raise additional money during the Church’s annual Beef Supper.

Those baskets went missing sometime between 5 p.m. Oct. 2, and 8 a.m. Oct. 3.

“It was thought that the baskets had been put away somewhere for safekeeping. But the more we looked around and could not locate the baskets, the more concerned we became,” Kaneville Methodist Church member Sandy Gould said. “After many phone calls to those involved, by about 10 a.m. Monday morning it was confirmed that the baskets had been taken.”

Church members then put a dollar value on the missing baskets before reporting the theft to police the next day.

Basketless and with the Beef Supper and Bazaar less than 12 days away, a member of the church got on Facebook and put up a message stating how sad she felt that someone would steal from her little country church. Other members were so stunned, no decision was even made as to whether or not the church should attempt to replace the theme baskets in time for the supper.

“With all the talk among members, the exposure on Facebook, and friends of friends being concerned, new baskets began arriving in about five days,” Gould said.

The church received a whopping 32 baskets in time for the Beef Supper and Bazaar. The church also received a $200 donation from a man who isn’t even a member of Kaneville Methodist Church.

According to Gould, the final income total from the baskets won’t be known until the church’s drawing on Nov. 6.

“The unhappy result of this incident is that our little local church, which has been open to all, is now being locked every night,” Gould said. “And if someone needs to gain entrance for any reason, he must first think ahead and secure a key from the pastor to enter. This saddens the hearts of the members of the Kaneville Methodist Church, as we like to be ‘open’ to any and all.”

Despite her weariness, Gould also had plenty of praise for the generosity of the community.

“The outpouring of love and concern from members, and people who were not known to the Kaneville Church, has been awesome,” she said. The annual Beef Supper, Bazaar and gift baskets were a great success because of the love shown by God’s people. Thank you, each and every one.”

Editorial: What communities do

Kaneville is a small community; the type of community in which the local church keeps its doors open to continue that sense of being open and inviting to those who seek a spiritual connection.

Earlier this month, someone took advantage of that sense of openness and robbed the Kaneville United Methodist Church.

Each year, the church holds an annual supper and bazaar, and members of the church put together themed baskets to be raffled off. The proceeds from the event, including the raffle, would go to help support the church.

Those baskets went missing early in October, and with less than two weeks before their annual event, the community did what close-knit communities do: they came together.

Through word of mouth, as well as on Facebook, news of the theft spread through the community and beyond, and church member Sandy Gould told Elburn Herald reporter Keith Beebe (see story) that within five days, new baskets began showing up at the church.

By the time the community was done supporting the local church, 32 new themed baskets, plus a separate $200 donation from a member of the general public (who was not a member of the church), had come through the door.

This type of action is what communities do—they come together and support each other when something negative happens. The flip side to that coin is that they are also there to share in the joys when something positive happens; and many times, like with the Kaneville United Methodist Church, it is those community members who take a negative, come together and turn it into a positive.

This is an example of those “small-town values” that are often referred to and difficult to define. For those who do not live or work in a close-knit community, it is something that is hard to understand.

Therefore, it is important to point it out when it happens. It is important to shed light on the community acts of kindness that occur so often, and nearly as often go unrecognized. To those who are part of close-knit communities, “small-town values” do not need defining—they are just the way people live.

Maple Park explores expanding Sunday liquor hours

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—At Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the Maple Park Board of Trustees addressed an appeal from local tavern owners who’d like a change in the hours they are allowed to serve alcohol on Sundays.

“I have allowed hour changes for special circumstances,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “But when they asked for the football season, I can’t allow that large an occurrence without an ordinance.”

Local taverns are asking that on Sundays, they be allowed to serve alcohol one hour earlier, at 11 a.m., and one hour later, until 11 p.m.

“Elburn already has an ordnance that allows these hours,” Curtis said, “And we actually missed out on some business from a group of motorcyclists that came through last weekend.”

“Not only did we miss out on some motorcyclists, but we also might miss out on some of the snowmobilers going through in the coming months,” Trustee Steve Nowak said.

While the board did see the positives of enacting an ordinance, they also discussed possible problems.

“How will this affect the area?” Trustee Susan Faunstock asked. “And how does the Police Department feel about the extra hours?”

“I’ve talked to Chief Acosta about this, and he sees no additional problems for the Department that would arise because of these hours,” Curtis said.

The board then voted to have an ordinance drafted, which will appear on the Village Board November meeting’s agenda for an official vote.

“I see this as a good thing,” Nowak said. “It keeps people in town to watch sporting events, as opposed to going other places.”

Oct. 21 police blotter

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Police responded Friday, Oct. 14 after receiving a report of a burglary to a motor vehicle at the Elburn Metra Station. The victim told police the car was parked late Wednesday afternoon and upon returning to the vehicle the next morning, the passenger side window was smashed and the door was damaged, which appeared to be caused from another car door.

• The Elburn Jewel/Osco reported on Saturday, Oct. 15 that 20 cans of Enfamil baby formula with an estimated value of $400, one box of Huggies diapers valued at $24, and three bags of Huggies diapers valued at $45 were taken from the store. The incident occurred around 11 a.m. and reports say one of two suspects loaded the items in a cart and left the store without paying for the merchandise. The suspects are described as black males in their mid- to late-30s.

Sugar Grove
• Sugar Grove Police on Oct. 17 performed a traffic stop for improper lane usage on a vehicle traveling south on Route 47. Police then noted that the driver of the vehicle, Caleb Russell, 34, of the 7200 block of Galena Road in Bristol, Ill., was falling asleep while answering their questions.
After Russell performed a field sobriety test, police requested that a Kane County Sheriff canine perform a search of Russell’s vehicle. The canine alerted police to the vehicle’s center console, where they discovered a small, knotted baggie that contained cannabis. Police also located a bladder and tube containing synthetic urine, which Russell said was used to defeat drug tests.
Russell was issued an Ordinance Violation for possession of cannabis and released from the scene.

Holiday Spirit needs your help

KANELAND—Holiday Spirit, a joint program between the Kaneland schools and Conley Outreach/West Towns, is in need of organizations, businesses, churches and other groups to adopt local families in need this holiday season.

Last year, Holiday Spirit provided assistance to 141 children in 63 families through the generous donations from this community. Unfortunately, the need will be just as great this year.

Individuals or groups interested in adopting a family can contact Nicole Pryor, social worker at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, at (630) 466-8500, ext. 108, or nicole.pryor@kaneland.org. You may also contact Carol Alfrey (West Towns Coordinator) at (630) 365-2880 or conleyor@conley-outreach.org.

Monetary donations are also needed to purchase last-minute gifts and for gas gift cards. Checks payable to Holiday Spirit can be sent c/o Conley Outreach, P.O. Box 931, Elburn, IL 60119.

Going bonkers for BUNCO

Young volunteers Michelle Kohlert (left to right), Ashley Kohlert, Molli Oliver and Rylee Oliver helped out at the 8th Annual Bunco for Breast Cancer event at Elburn Lions Park on Oct. 12.

Carrie Campbell of Elburn gets a pink hair extension courtesy of Freddy Martinez from Shear Ambition Hair Salon in Batavia at the event which included raffles, food and of course, a Bunco tournament.

Getting an early spot at a Bunco table are Blanca Souders of Kaneville and her future daughter-in-law, Haleigh Anderson of Woodridge. The 8th Annual Bunco for Breast Cancer event was held at Elburn Lions Park on Oct. 12 and 13.

Photos by John DiDonna

Opportunity knocks for Kaneland

Photo: Tanner Andrews (center) brings down the Sycamore runner as Blake Bradford (left) closes in during Kaneland’s 35-21 road win over Sycamore on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

35-21 win at Sycamore leads to Week Nine showdown at Morris
by Mike Slodki
SYCAMORE—For the second time in three weeks, Kaneland football had to dig deep for a double-digit comeback.

Dig deep it did, and the host rival Sycamore Spartans ended up in a hole.

Using key turnovers and big performances through the ground and air, the Knights improved to 8-0 (4-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) with a 35-21 win over the Spartans (5-3, 2-2 NIB-12).

This marks the second straight win over Sycamore and three wins in their last four meetings.

For the second consecutive year, the Knights have managed an 8-0 start to their gridiron campaign.

Friday’s win marked the 18th straight regular season win for the Knight crew, with the last loss in the regular season coming two years ago in an overtime loss to Geneva.

The second-half comeback sets the stage for a final showdown between the top two listed Class 5A teams on the IHSA Playoff Points scale: undefeated Morris and Kaneland this Friday, Oct. 21, in Grundy County.

Kaneland won the total yards battle, 398-235, and saw Drew David go 15-for-26 through the air for 283 yards along with two touchdowns and one interception.

David also led the way on the ground with 62 yards and a TD.

Senior leader Quinn Buschbacher had 130 yards on five catches, while teammate Zach Martinelli had 79 yards on five catches.

After an early fumble returned by Scott Baker to the five-yard line, Spartan Austin Culton punched it in for a touchdown just two minutes 31 seconds into the contest.

Sycamore then took a 14-0 lead on a 35-yard scoring strike from Ryan Bartels to Jordan Kalik with 5:19 to go in the quarter.

Kaneland finally got going on a 55-yard TD pass to Buschbacher with 3:43 remaining in the first to close within 14-7. The Knights also contributed the lone second quarter score as David found Buschbacher again on a 24-yard TD pass with 2:01 left in the half for a 14-14 deadlock.

Sycamore’s last visit to the end zone came with 7:34 remaining in the third quarter when Ben Niemann caught a 27-yard TD pass on a fourth-and-six for a 21-14 lead.

A fumble by Sycamore was recovered by Knight secondary member Jake Razo. Kaneland capitalized with a three-yard touchdown scamper by Buschbacher with 2:15 to go in the quarter for a 21-21 tie.

Play of the Knight—Sycamore
Jake Razo (8) seems to always give KHS a fighting chance. This time, he recovered the first of two costly SHS fumbles, leading to the game-tying touchdown in the third frame.

In the fourth quarter, momentum shifted Kaneland’s way for good.

After a Jesse Balluff 3-yard touchdown run with 11:05 left in the fourth gave Kaneland a 28-21, its first, Dylan Nauert recovered the Spartan kickoff return’s fumble, leading to a four-yard TD run by David just 51 seconds later.

Tennis sends frosh/senior duo to State gathering

by Mike Slodki
ST. CHARLES—Call it Jurcenko/Napiorkowski Part Deux.

Much like last year, Kaneland added to its recent stretch of unparalleled school success.

The doubles unit of senior Amelia Napiorkowski and freshman Madi Jurcenko had performed at a high level all season, and was put to the test on Saturday during the St. Charles East Sectional.

With three wins, the duo finished third in the gathering and earned a trip to the IHSA State tennis tournament held in the District 214 area.

The Lady Knights finished tied for fourth as a team with Wheaton Academy after gathering 13 points. Bartlett emerged as sectional titleholder.

Kaneland’s final win came over the St. Charles North duo of Ashley Randazzo and Kate Lesswing, 6-3, 7-6.

Napiorkowski knows what it’s like to head to the elite group, after trekking to the finals a year ago with Madi’s sister Lindsay.

“I was just as excited this time; I probably didn’t show it as much,” Napiorkowski said. “The final match wasn’t as intense, plus last year no one in the school had done it before. We have a lot of motivation, not just as individuals, but as a team.”

Meanwhile, freshman phenom Jurcenko has seen big strides since the pairing was put together.

“I had never really played doubles before this, but we both learned each other’s styles and we figured out how to play and what shots we were good at,” Jurcenko said.

Kaneland’s entry is scheduled for battle with the No. 28 seed in the doubles bracket on Thursday, Oct. 20: Benet Academy’s Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes at Elk Grove High School.

Photo by Mike Slodki

Gil! Late heroics send KHS soccer to regional final Sat.

Photo: Alex Gil (right) celebrates his game-winning goal on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After struggling in the previous two outings against conference rival DeKalb, the Knights soccer team (12-6-1) triumphed on Tuesday night in Barb-land.

With 72 seconds remaining in regulation, the Knights’ midfielder Alex Gil took a pass from teammate Tyler Siebert on a breakaway and launched the shot to the right of an outstretched goalkeeper for the final 1-0 margin, setting off an ensuing celebration.

“Siebert played a great ball to me and I was just one-on-one with the defender, and I just wanted to get past him and have a quick shot,” Gil said.

It comes in stark contrast to the previous two losses in 2011 to the Barbs, and to last year’s postseason, where the regional champ Knights found themselves playing nine overtimes.

“I kept telling them ‘we can beat DeKalb’,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Just be patient, and you’ve got to play 80 minutes, and it took us 78 minutes and 48 seconds to do it, and so we did it.”

Goalkeeper Marshall Farthing made key stops in the regional shutout, and supplied the Knights with a fighting chance throughout the match.

“The times that they had a chance, we came up big, and the wide field at DeKalb helps us with our game. It’s definitely nice to not play an overtime,” Farthing said.

Kaneland’s regional final test takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22, at DeKalb High School, with kickoff at 6 p.m.

The Knights’ 5-0 win over Sycamore on Thursday in the regular season finale marked their final Northern Illinois Big XII mark at 6-3-1.

Pedro Perez found the net for the 1-0 lead 25 minutes into the match. After the teams went to halftime, the Knights added a four-goal barrage to settle the matter.

Jordan Escobedo scored on two occasions, Kushstrim Ismaili, and Arsim Azemi had ball meet net in the second half.

Lady Knights on good pace after second in conference

by Mike Slodki
GENESEO, Ill.—Three runners in the top 10 equaled a second-place finish for the Kaneland Lady Knights cross-country team after Saturday’s Northern Illinois Big XII conference free-for-all.

Looking to build on improving PR’s and a young lineup ready to carry the load, the KHS crew’s 61 points was second only to conference champ Yorkville’s 32.

DeKalb (72), Dixon (101) and Sycamore (136) rounded out the top five.

Geneseo, Sterling, Rochelle, Morris, Ottawa, LaSalle-Peru and Streator completed the NIB-12 lineup in the six-through-12 spots.

While DeKalb sophomore Kelsey Schrader took the course prize at 18 minutes, 38.5 seconds, it was Lady Knight freshman Victoria Clinton putting herself in the thick of things with a fifth-place finish after a time of 19:05.6.

Following closely was fellow freshman teammate Aislinn Lodwig in ninth place at 19:27.2, and junior Abby Dodis at 19:28.0 in tenth.

The fourth fastest Kaneland runner was junior Maggie Brundige, who completed the course in 20:03.7

KHS coach Doug Ecker sees a positive trajectory.

“Varsity had the best team effort of the year, so far,” Ecker said. “Freshmen continue to improve each race.Teamwise, we are very satisfied with second-place finish in a tough and competitive 2A conference.”

Ahead for the Lady Knights is the IHSA Class 2A regional out at the familiar Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m.

Boys XC sees improvement, third place in NIB-12 action

GENESEO, Ill.—Looking at how the Kaneland High School boys cross-country team performed at the Northern Illnois Big XII Conference meet a year ago, the improvement in the 12-team field is apparent.

Heading into the State series, Kaneland and Co. would love to see even more.

A year after finishing seventh in the conference, KHS upped the performance level to third with a 98-point total in Geneseo, Ill.

Yorkville took the boys crown with 40 points, including four of the top nine runners. DeKalb took second, just four points better than the Knights.

Sycamore and Dixon at 116 and 119, respectively, rounded out the top five.

Geneseo, Sterling, Rochelle, Morris, Ottawa, LaSalle-Peru and Streator went six through 12.

The top runner in the conference for 2011 was Dixon High School’s Simon Thorpe, winning the Maple Leaf course in 16 minutes, two seconds.

The first Knight in the mix was sophomore Kyle Carter, who took fifth at 16:30.3.

“He was very determined the entire race, to battle the elite runners of the field,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “His strong performances of late bode well going into the State series.”

Kaneland next crossed the finish line at 17th place, thanks to John Meisinger’s 17:04. Close by in 19th place was Brandon Huber with a time of 17:08. Conor Johnson was 23rd with a 17:14.6 effort.

With the postseason upon them, Clarey thinks conditions are favorable.

“The end is nearing, and we fortunately got ‘the bad race’ out of our systems. Time to go back to what we do best, on our home course at Regionals,” Clarey said.

This Saturday, Oct. 22, brings the Kaneland Regional to Elburn Woods.

A year ago in Malta, Ill., the Knights took third in the regional and advanced as a team to Belvidere’s sectional.

The top returning runner from 2010’s postseason is Johnson, who finished 20th overall.

Using your noodle for boys hoops

The Kaneland boys’ basketball program hosts their third annual spaghetti dinner for the Kaneland community on Monday, Nov. 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

The price is $5 per person, and food will be served by the boys in the basketball program, along with a chance to meet the players and coaching staff. RSVP to Brian Johnson by phone at (630) 365-5100, ext. 347 or by e-mail at brian.johnson@kaneland.org.