Girls pound Pretzel Invite field

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was the 36th annual Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday, but the only number that mattered was “1.”

That will go on the Kaneland High School girls cross country team’s mantle for the 2012 season.

With strong performances that have been no strange phenomenon for the KHS crew, the squad amassed 35 points by finishing with five of the top 15 runners.

Kaneland took first, while Rock Falls finished second with 56. Winnebago took third with a total of 63 and Boylan Catholic from Rockford was fourth with 87.

Sophomore Victoria Clinton beat the pack once again, garnering a first-place nod with a 17 minute, 18 second time, 22 seconds ahead of Winnebago’s Cheyenne Moore.

Next up for Kaneland was freshman Brianna Bower, who’s PR time of 18:50 was fourth overall.

“We did not have any expectations but we knew (Brower) was talented, likes to run, and works hard,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “(She) has a good mindset for running distance.”

Senior Abby Dodis was next for the KHS lineup, taking fifth at 18:58. Fellow Lady Knight runner Amanda Lesak was 12th at 19:33, while sophomore Aislinn Lodwig rounded out the elite five in 19:49, good for 15th.

Jessica Kucera placed 24th, Sydney Strang 29th, and Ashley Castellanos took 32nd to round out the varsity runners.

The JV-level Lady Knights also won their race, led by overall winner and first-year runner Erika Carlson, who won with a time of 20:41.

Kaneland varsity runners don’t suit up until Saturday, Oct. 13, for the Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by LaSalle-Peru.

Ryley Bailey named WIAC Offensive Player of the Week

Platteville, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team defeated UW-Eau Claire, 49-19, last week.

Ryley Bailey, a junior wide receiver from Elburn, played a key role in the win. The efforts by Bailey and McWethy earned them WIAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively.

Bailey caught 11 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Both the 11 receptions and 191 yards were a career best for Bailey and marked the second time in 2012 that he has caught two touchdown passes in a game. The 11 receptions and 191 yards are the most by a Pioneer since a 16-catch, 195-yard effort by Darin Blaser on Sept. 11, 2010, against University of Dubuque (Iowa). Bailey also earned recognition from, as he was named to the Scoutware Team of the Week, and his second touchdown reception was one of 10 plays recognized in the Plays of the Week.

Fundraiser set to help send Dyer to Australian track-and-field meet

Maple Park—Kaneland High School student-athlete Nathan Dyer was selected by “Down Under Sports” to represent the state of Illinois and compete in a track-and-field competition next June in Australia.

To help raise funds for his trip, there will be an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion Post No. 312, 203 Main St., Maple Park. Tickets cost $7 at the door.

For information, call Penny Dyer at (630) 742-6388.

Lady Knights drop tight match to Geneva, beat Ottawa

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball could have rolled through this week with two victories as they enter the final third of the 2012 regular season.

It’ll have to be happy with one.

On Sept. 26, the Lady Knights (13-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) went to old standby rival Geneva, where they lost a tough 25-20, 19-25, 25-22 matchup to the Upstate Eight school.

Kaneland beat Geneva for the first time since 1993 last year, but couldn’t make magic happen again in 2012.

KHS came back with a sound two-game win against the Northern Illinois Big XII West division foe Ottawa on Thursday, by a final of 25-11, 27-25.

Against the Lady Vikings, it was sophomore Ellie Dunn leading the way with 12 kills, three blocks and five digs, while Shayna Tucek had 22 digs and two aces to her credit.

Lyndi Scholl had 20 digs, and fellow Lady Knight Ashley Prost added 29 assists with nine digs.

Facing off against the Lady Pirates, Prost had 22 more assists, and Tucek had 11 digs.

“I’m always happy when we can bounce back after a tough loss. We’ve had some real close ones, and we’re improving by the day as a team. Still working on the small things that can make a big difference,” KHS head coach Todd Weimer said.

Kaneland swept Ottawa on all levels of action.

Kaneland has more NIB-12 on the horizon, with a matchup against the visiting Lady Redskins of Morris on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Soccer takes it on the foot vs. DeKalb

Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s a given that any Northern Illinois Big XII matchup on the soccer pitch is the furthest thing from a guarantee, regardless of record.

Knight soccer learned that last week with Yorkville, and on Thursday in DeKalb.

Despite an Anthony Parillo goal with 21:17 to go in the first half, the Knights fell victim to the DeKalb attack, losing by a final of 3-1.

Against Morris on Tuesday, the Knights recovered from their previous loss with a 1-0 victory at home.

The Knights sit at 9-3-2, and 4-2-1 in the NIB-12 East. KHS was 8-4-1 through 13 contests in 2011.

Coach Scott Parillo would like to see a couple of extra scoring options for his lineup.

“We have scored 29 goals and Anthony has 14, Kushstrim (Ismaili) has six and we have a couple with one or two goals,” Parillo said. “We need more finishes from other players.”

The KHS freshman handed DeKalb a 6-2 loss on Thursday in additional action, while the sophomores won by a final of 1-0.

KHS prepares for the host Rochelle Hubs on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Kaneland also found out its Class 2A Regional assignment this past week, as the No. 1 seed Knights play the winner of Illinois Math and Science Academy/Sycamore on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. on the grounds of Burlington Central High School.

The last remaining of those three schools takes on either (2) Burlington Central or (3) Hampshire in the title match on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m.

McDole Elementary to celebrate International Walk to School Day

MONTGOMERY—Kaneland McDole Elementary School in Montgomery will join schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Approximately 650 students from Kaneland McDole Elementary School will be walking to school along with parents, teachers and school administrators.

The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with kids, parents and school administrators walking from the corner of Gordon Road and Simpson Parkway. Walkers will arrive at the school at 9 a.m. All of the students will meet at the school and recite the Pledge of Allegiance together.

In 2011, International Walk to School Day was celebrated at more than 4,000 events at schools across the United States, along with children and adults in 40 countries around the world.

Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community.

The event is being organized by the Kaneland McDole Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), and the staff at Kaneland McDole Elementary.

For additional local information, contact Robyn Lycan at (630) 701-5412. You can also visit, or

Guest Editorial: Newspapers are community icons

by David Porter, director of communications and marketing for the Illinois Press Association

Congratulations. By holding this newspaper in your hands [or reading online], you are participating in a strong community tradition that dates back hundreds of years. You are demonstrating that you don’t simply live or work in this community, but that you are a part of it.

The local newspaper is the cornerstone of a community. This is where the community congregates, so to speak. It’s where we record the daily history of the town, discuss the issues of the day, shop for new items and peddle our used items. It’s where we learn about what’s going on at the school, at city hall and in our neighborhoods. It’s where we track who was born, who passed on and who won the game last night.

The newspaper starts out as a large, blank roll of paper. While reporters, photographers and editors do the work of writing the news and placing it on the pages, it’s the community itself that fills these pages. As the pages are printed, the newspapers are sliced and folded and prepared for delivery.

Then an amazing thing happens.

It’s as if the paper becomes one giant roll again, wrapping the community together. From customers in the salons and barbershops to the diners in the restaurants to the students in the classrooms, everyone has access to the entire community through the pages of the newspaper.

That’s not to say we all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” While there is great joy within these pages, the newspaper also serves as a forum for dissent. It’s a resource for discussion and a catalyst for debate.

The newspaper is as much a community icon as the local schools, the banks, the parks and the library. Any time a community loses one of these institutions, it loses a part of its identity. So, thank you for reading the newspaper today and preserving this rich and rewarding tradition.

Next week is National Newspaper Week in America, and we are proud to be here representing and recording our community.

Letter: Save the Kaneville Post Office

The United States Post Office has begun a process that threatens the village and township of Kaneville with a loss of identity and a loss of vital services.

With a letter and questionnaire, which reached our P.O. Box holders on Saturday, the Post Office is asking us to tell them why the Post Office in Kaneville should remain open, or open with reduced hours. We understand that these letters, within a few days, will also reach Kaneville residents who receive home delivery.

This is a serious issue, and I am asking for the support of every resident of Kaneville Township and village. Please take this letter seriously. Return your questionnaire right away and express your support for keeping the Kaneville Post Office open.

Frankly, as a daily patron of the Kaneville Post Office, I don’t understand the logic of cutting hours or closing our Kaneville Post Office. This small office has large and growing revenues. It has a positive cash flow, and it brings in plenty of revenue every month. And the Post Office is an important landmark business in our small but thriving downtown. It simply does not make sense to close a thriving and growing office that is generating positive revenue in a growing part of Kane County, part of a large metropolitan area.

Don’t hesitate. Don’t delay. Support our local Post Office now, or we may lose it forever. If the Kaneville Post Office closes, we will lose our town name in our address—our town identity. Just a few years ago, Kaneville residents did the hard work to incorporate ourselves as a village. We are small, but we are determined and we are a community. Help us to save our name and our town identity.

Joann Murdock

Letter: A thank you to those who participated in the Sept. 11 Memorial Firemen’s Garden

Sept. 11, 2012. It was the day of remembering, giving thanks to so many people who gave of their time and/or materials. I want to give recognition to the Explorers of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District: Sabrina Sivert, Elise Fichtel, George Wilson, Stephen Coomes, Riley Coomes, Jameson Horn, Joe Miller, Anthony Parielli, Jordan Meadows, Nick Sharp, Colin Deprez and Andrew Oliver, as well as firefighters Alex White, Amelia Hurst and Explorer Advisor Rob Stevens. Without their help, we couldn’t keep the garden of memories looking so good.

A special thanks to Kane County Landscape Material and Supply Co., Wasco Nursery, L & M Greenhouses, Laura Kaiser, Wiltse’s Greenhouse and Produce, Lowe’s of St. Charles, Garden Center, Chief Kelly Callaghan, Administrative Assistant Pam Hall and the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District for their support in keeping the spirit of the garden alive. Also, to my family for their help: Lisa, Philip, Pat, Quinton, Benji and my neighbor Fred Swift.

Please support these businesses with your patronage as they support the spirit of the firemen’s garden with their generous donations of plants and materials. And last but not least, the newspapers Kane County Chronicle and Elburn Herald for their articles of support that they printed.

If I missed anyone to thank, please forgive me.

Paul Wdowicki

Letter: A thank you to Elburn Jewel/Osco

The Elburn Countryside Food Pantry sincerely thanks the Jewel/Osco in Elburn and its team, led by Store Director Luigi De Matteo, for their outstanding support and contributions to the Food Pantry. They are truly a strong and committed partner to the Food Pantry and our overall community.

We encourage everyone to show our community’s appreciation by shopping at the Jewel/Osco for their grocery and pharmacy needs.

Rita Burnham
Coordinator, Elburn Countryside Food Pantry

Church News for Oct. 4

Blessing of the
Animals at St. Gall

ELBURN—In honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, St. Gall Catholic Church will celebrate a Blessing of Animals on Saturday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. in the church parking lot. All are welcome to bring their pets or animals (on leashes or in appropriate cages).
St. Gall is located at 120 W. Shannon St., Elburn. For questions, contact the parish office at (630) 365-6030 or visit

KUMC’s Blessing
of the Animals

KANEVILLE—Kaneville United Methodist Church will hold a service for the Blessing of Animals on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. Traditionally, held on Oct. 4—the Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi—the blessing of animals is an opportunity to thank God for those creatures that enrich human lives.
All members of the community, along with all creatures great and small, are invited to this service, which will take place in the outdoor worship area behind the church. There will be space available for animals that arrive in trailers.
For more information, visit the church calendar online at

KUMC Beef Supper
and Bazaar

KANEVILLE—Kaneville United Methodist Church’s annual Beef Supper and Bazaar will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The bazaar will begin at 4 p.m., with carry-outs at 4:30 p.m. Supper will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Dinner will include roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, coleslaw, cranberry relish, rolls and homemade desserts.
The cost of the supper is $10 for adults, $5 for children grades K-6, and $1 for preschool-age children.

Book of Genesis study
ST. CHARLES—The study of the Book of Genesis will be given by Bible Study Fellowship International on Wednesday mornings, 9:10 to 11 a.m. from now until May 2013 at Riverside Community Church, St. Charles.
A preschool program is available for members. For information, visit

New church pastor
Elburn Community Congregational Church (ECCC) is pleased to welcome its new and permanent pastor, Rev. Bennett McNeal. Attend ECCC worship on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. to welcome and meet him.
Rev. McNeal and his wife Andrea come to ECCC from Lyons, Ill., where he was pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ for more than 10 years. Pastor McNeal holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary. He also holds a master’s degree in Adult Education from National Lewis University.
Prior to his ordination, Rev. McNeal worked as a health care administrator at the University of Chicago Medical Center, as well as at Cook
County Hospital.
Ben and Andrea have three adult children and five grandchildren. Avid sports fans, the McNeals also enjoy music and the arts, as well as spending time with their German Shepherd, Macy. They are excited about the mission efforts and youth program at Elburn UCC, and hope to further our evangelism and community outreach activities.
The community is invited to join in welcoming Pastor and Mrs. McNeal. The church is located at the corner of Route 47 and Shannon Street in Elburn. Sunday school begins at 9 a.m. Children are welcome to attend the 10:30 a.m. church service, which includes a special children’s message.

Molly Grace Herra

Brian and Laura Herra of Elburn announce the birth of their daughter, Molly Grace, who was born June 26, 2012, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. She weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 22 inches long.

The maternal grandparents are Brian and Leslie Nelson of Lily Lake. The paternal grandparent is Jan Herra of Elburn. The maternal great-grandparents are Mary Lubko of Wheaton, Ill., and Andy and Mildred Nelson of Wheaton.

Molly was welcomed home by her brother Owen, 2.

Norma E. Reynolds

Norma E. Reynolds, 80, of Sycamore, formerly of Maple Park, passed away suddenly yet peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 29, at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Ill.

She was born July 3, 1932, in Maple Park, the daughter of Independence and Lillian (Lakin) Needham.

Norma grew up in Maple Park and attended local schools, where she became a basketball cheerleader before graduating with the class of 1950.

Jan. 17, 1947, was a fateful day in the life of both Norma and Toby Reynolds. She happened to be working at the Dairy Bar after a basketball game in Maple Park and caught Toby’s eye. Even though he was too shy to ask her out, a friend intervened and she became not only his first girlfriend, but his last. They were united in marriage on Oct. 11, 1951, just before Toby went into the Army.

Norma kept the home fires burning while Toby served his country, and when he returned from duty in 1953, they continued to make their home in DeKalb and, later, Maple Park.

They were blessed with five children, and Norma was kept busy not only caring for them, but also adding those special touches every day that made their house a home.

As the children grew, Norma honed her sewing skills to a master level. She taught sewing at Stretch and Sew and became a “fashion color analyst,” able to, at a glance, find the most complimentary styles and colors for anyone and everyone.

Her expertise as a seamstress benefitted her family, as well. She not only made their clothes, but also two wedding dresses when her children were married.

Norma provided her talents to the general public, as well, while running a resale shop, Twice Is Nice, in Sycamore for 10 years.

After retiring in 1997, she and Toby made 10 years of memories wintering in Mesa, Ariz., where she was able to swim nearly every day. They also made special trips to visit their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who were spread to the four corners of the country.

She passed on her love of her Chicago Cubs, creating a family of loyal “die-hard” fans, cheering loudly through thick and thin.

Even in retirement, her hands were never idle as she knitted hundreds of helmet liners for the soldiers in Afghanistan. But what gave her the most joy was knitting clothes for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with love in every stitch.

There was nobody better in the kitchen, either. Norma loved to bake, especially pies, making sure that everyone had their favorite.

She will always be remembered for the immense pride she took in her home, but more importantly, the never-ending love she had for her family.

She is survived by her loving husband of almost 61 years, Toby; five children, Valerie Reynolds, Steve (Cathy) Reynolds, Roger (Deb) Reynolds, Jim (Theresa) Reynolds and Scott (Sarma) Reynolds; seven grandchildren, Brian (Kristy) Reynolds and their daughter Olivia, Lisa (Michael) Brinkley and their children Savannah and Tanner, Joe (Casey) Reynolds, Kristi (Ryan) Kunkel and their son Jack, Sarah (Wes) Leos, Kyle Reynolds, Alex Reynolds and her daughter McKenzie; one sister, Nancy (Kenneth) Roof; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; four siblings, Lloyd Needham, Lois Kuchera, LaRelle Campbell and LaDelle Kenyon.

Visitation was held Tuesday at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn. A funeral service to celebrate her life was held Wednesday, also at the funeral home, with interment at Gardner Cemetery in Maple Park.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Norma Reynolds Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at, where you can also find Norma’s full-life story.

Filing period for School Board candidates

Kaneland—Nominating petition forms for the April 9, 2013, school board election in Kaneland Community Unit School District No. 302 are now available. Forms may be picked up from Beth Sterkel in the Superintendent’s office, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park, on any business day between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, is the first day that prospective candidates may circulate nominating petitions for signature (Election Code 10-4).

A school board candidate’s petition must be filed in the same office no earlier than 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, and no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24. Papers will not be accepted after that date.

Candidates’ names will appear on the election ballot in the order in which their nominating papers are received in the secretary’s office. If two or more candidates file simultaneously on the first day (Dec. 17 at 8 a.m., or in the first mail received that day), a lottery will be conducted to determine which name is first on the ballot. The lottery will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 9 a.m. at the Milnamow Administrative Center in the Kaneland District offices. Attendance at the lottery is not mandatory; a representative may attend if desired.

Note that Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, is the last day for filing objections to a candidate’s nominating papers in the office of the board secretary, and the last day for a candidate to withdraw from nomination.

Nominating petitions must contain at least 50 signatures of registered voters in the district and must be securely bound together with pages numbered consecutively. Each page must carry the notarized signature of the petition circulator. A Statement of Candidacy must be turned in, along with a receipt from the county clerk showing that the candidate has filed a Statement of Economic Interest. The loyalty oath is optional.

Three seats on the seven-member Board of Education will be filled at the Monday, April 9, 2013 election. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April 2017. To be eligible to serve, a School Board member must be, on the date of election, a United States citizen at least 18 years of age and a resident of Illinois and the Kaneland district for at least one (1) year preceding the election, a registered voter, not be a child sex offender, not hold another incompatible public office, not have a prohibited interest in any contract with the district, not be a school trustee and not hold certain types of prohibited state or federal employment.

For more information about the nature and duties of serving on a school board, contact the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Ill. 62703) for a free booklet, “Your School Board and You.” The booklet also is available at the association’s website, resources.cfm.

Kids help out

Mia, Katherine, Sarah, Matthew, Josh and Ty (left to right) are students at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School. They are helping to promote the annual John Stewart Fall and Winter Clothing and Toy Sale. The sale will take place at the school on Friday, Oct. 5, 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6, 8 a.m. to noon. Photo by John DiDonna