Photo: Check, please!

The grand opening celebration and ribbon ceremony for Elburn’s Dunkin’ Donuts took place Monday morning. Elburn’s Dunkin’ Donuts managers Noe Zacurias (left) of Geneva and Martin Ramirez (right) of West Chicago, Ill., present a check to band director Aaron Puckett in the amount of $500 for the Kaneland High School Music Department. In return, the Kaneland High School Band performed to show its appreciation.

Search firm announces Kaneland superintendent survey results

KANELAND—Kaneland’s superintendent profile survey results are completed and now available for viewing.

A total of 305 people responded to the online survey. Results can be found at

The objective of the survey is to help educational search firm BWP and Associates determine a superintendent profile featuring characteristics the community would like to see in Kaneland’s next superintendent of schools.

BWP representatives presented a superintendent candidate profile at the Oct. 27 School Board. The profile information is based on stakeholder data received from interviews, focus groups and survey.

Dr. Mark Friedman, president of BWP and Associates, spoke at the meeting, noting the amount of people who participated in the survey.

“(Participation wasn’t) over the top, but it’s not under the bottom,” Friedman said. “300 is okay. We’d like 3,000. But we’ve never seen that.”

The majority of those who responded live in the Kaneland School District, accounting for 68.9 percent, or 210, of the 305 survey participants. More than half of the respondees were district employees.

A total of 296 responded to the question about the district’s most “significant strengths.” Most (60.8) said excellent teachers; 36.5 percent said supportive community, 33.4 percent said good school facilities; and 32.8 percent said supportive parents. Meanwhile, 9.5 percent said the district’s greatest strength is its reputation; 12.5 said effective leadership and culture in district; and 13.2 said curriculum.

Leadership, communication and financial skills were ranked the highest in terms of important skills in a superintendent.

As for the most important characteristics in a superintendent, the most common answers included good decision making, integrity/trust and commitment to community.

Several items were identified the majority of survey participants as “extremely important” in the next superintendent, including experience as a superintendent with proven success record; classroom teacher experience; personnel experience; and strategic planning experience.

Instruction experience was noted as either extremely important or important by the majority of survey participants, while Midwest experience was commonly deemed unimportant.

Letter: Kaneland School Board raising taxes

I had the pleasure of attending the Kaneland District 302 School Board meeting on Oct. 27. The meeting started on time at 7 p.m. sharp, with several people in attendance. Pictures of student athletic participation, pictures of Europe with Kaneland High School students, criteria for selecting a new superintendent and school improvement plans were presented,
leaving the presentation of the 2014 tentative tax levy to begin at 10 p.m. Board voting and discussion began at 10:30 p.m., with very few people remaining to witness the conversations.

I think the taxation levy is one of the most important financial discussions of the School District business year. Unfortunately, the board planned the meeting’s financial discussions to be last on the agenda, as it has been for the last three years. So, you must be wondering how it turned out.

To the surprise of no one, board members deliberated a few minutes, and as they have been consistent for as long as I can remember, delivered their “tax to the max” vote with a count of 5-2, with Tony Valente and Pedro Rivas voting “no.” That “tax to the max” vote now translates into a limiting rate multiplier of 6.0832 times a home value (EAV) of $300,000, giving you and yours a $222 tax increase. And as we all know, that $222 increase will never go away from our future tax bills, so we get to pay this increase forever and ever.

The time is now 10:50 p.m. Public comment allowed me to speak of the board’s recent, impulsive hiring of people.

Salaries and benefits for district personnel account for 80 percent of the district’s operating expense. Obviously, adding more people to the payroll increases the demand for more taxation. The Kaneland School Board approved the addition of 73 people last year, with 49 of those people added since June 2014. Student population went up one person for the year. I guess the student testing results showing 45 percent of the high school students not progressing at college readiness standards might be a stimulus for more staff. Nonetheless, this is a poor state of affairs for our taxation, school system performance and management of board meetings.

I would not profess to be a great manager of schools, but I wonder about the output of this $66.5 million business enterprise as it is today.

Jerry Elliott
Sugar Grove Township

KHS cross country sectionals Nov 2014-1-4

Knight harrier teams 1 place short at Kaneland Sectional

Junior Brianna Bower qualifies for State as an individual
KANELAND—The Knights’ boys and girls cross country teams were hoping for a little home course advantage at the IHSA Class 2A Sectional meet at Kaneland High School on Saturday.

To have a chance to advance to the State championships in Peoria this weekend, the Knights knew they needed to have better performances than they produced at the qualifying meet the previous weekend at the Woodstock regional, where the boys placed fifth and the girls placed fourth in the 10-team fields.

As it turned out, both teams produced their best performances of the season, but both came up just shy of a State berth.

The 18-team Kaneland sectional—one of five held state-wide on Saturday—featured the top-six placing teams from the Antioch, Belvidere North and Woodstock regional meets, plus the top-five placing individuals from teams that did not advance at those meets. It was considered the toughest 2A Sectional meet in Illinois, with 10 of the top-25 ranked girls’ teams on the starting line, including seven of the top-eight ranked teams led by No. 1 Yorkville.

In the boys’ race, five of the top 10 2A teams in the state were in the field, again led by No. 1 Yorkville. At each sectional, only the top-5 placing teams would punch their tickets to Peoria, plus the top-seven individual finishers from non-advancing teams.

At the Kaneland Sectional, it was cloudy and a brisk 37 degrees for the 10 a.m. girls’ race, but the snow and blustery winds from the previous day had disappeared. At the gun, Marengo senior Kitty Allen shot to the front, with only Belvidere North sophomore Jenna Lutzow willing to go with her. Mid-way through the 3-mile race, the duo opened a 100-yard lead on the rest of the field, with Kaneland junior Brianna Bower in the chase pack of 10 runners. In the last half of the race, Bower was in the top-15 and Kaneland senior Victoria Clinton had moved up into the top 30, with teammates Andrea Wells and senior Aislinn Lodwig in tow.

With 100 yards to go, Lutzow passed Allen to win the race in 17 minutes, 33 seconds, and Yorkville packed five runners into the top 22 places to win team honors with a 72-point total. Bower charged home in 12th place in 18:11, with teammates Victoria Clinton, Andrea Wells and Aislinn Lodwig all running under 19:00 in 27th, 35th and 39th place, respectively.

Kaneland’s No. 5 finisher, senior Jessica Kucera, ended up in 70th place in 19:30. Kucera gave the Lady Knights a team score of 171 and a sixth-place finish, ahead of ranked teams like Rockford Boylan, Marengo, Lakes and Woodstock.

Though the Kaneland girls missed advancing to the State championships by one place, Brianna Bower advanced as one of the top seven individual finishers from non-advancing teams.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” head coach Doug Ecker said after the race. “I don’t think any of our seven runners could have finished one place higher today. They left it all on the course and finished our season with a great performance.”

“All I wanted to do today was run a P.R. (personal record),” Bower said. “So I went out fast and pushed hard all the way.”

Bower’s quest for a fast time led her to running an aggressive race, which resulted in her earning her third-consecutive appearance in the State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Peoria, Ill. That, despite suffering a stress fracture in her foot last summer that saw her start the season under-trained and in the back of the pack.

In the boys’ race, things were much the same as for the girls, yet very different for Kaneland. The boys team was closer to a qualifying berth than the girls—missing by only eight points behind Prairie Ridge’s 162.

Prior to the race, head coach Chad Clarey knew an aggressive race was the only way his Knights would emerge from the tough Sectional field.

“Our goal today is to have Austin Kintz and Matt Richtman place in the top 15 individually and make a run at qualifying for the state meet—and for the rest of our team to run faster and closer together than we have all season,” Clarey said prior to the start. “That would be a daunting task with ten of the top-20-ranked 2A teams in the state standing next to them on the starting line, including 19 runners who had qualified for the state track championships last spring.”

At the start, Yorkville’s senior twins Jake and Luke Hoffert sprinted to the front of the race, and stayed there for the next 3 miles. Vernon Hills sophomore Shane Williamson was the only one who took up the chase, which proceeded at sub-15:00 pace. He ran most of the race 50 yards behind the Hofferts and 100 yards ahead of the rest of the chase pack.

A half-mile into the race, Kaneland’s Kintz, Richtman and senior Brandon Park were running in the mid-20s in the field of 147 runners. Over the last mile, Kintz and Richtman kept working their way past tiring early front-runners. Park defended his place in the 20s, and senior Mitch Reger broke away from teammates junior Sean Spaetzel, sophomore Andrew Kantola and junior Will Kuipers.

At the finish, Jake Hoffert crossed the line in 14:49, 1 second ahead of his brother Luke, and Yorkville added places 9, 27 and 28 to win the team title with 67 points. Behind them, a dogfight was being waged for the final four team qualifying spots for the State meet, with runners diving for the finish line and collapsing on the ground due to exhaustion.

In the end, Austin Kintz placed 16th in 15:33, and Matt Richtman placed 17th in 15:39—finishes that left them just two and three places short, respectively, of the final individual State qualifying spot. Park and Reger ran 3-mile lifetime bests of 15:48 and 16:28. And Spaetzel’s 69th-place finish gave Kaneland a team score of 170 points and sixth place—just eight points behind the fifth and final qualifying place for the State Championships.

The Knights’ efforts saw the team finish ahead of five ranked teams. Burlington Central senior Clay Musial qualified as the seventh individual finisher from non-advancing teams.

“This race was the start of something big for these guys,” Clarey said after the race. “It gives us momentum and confidence heading into the track season, and it sets the stage for us to end the cross country season next fall standing on the starting line at the state meet.”

In her third year qualifying for the IHSA State Meet, Bower will toe the line Saturday at 11 a.m. at Detweiller Park in Peoria. As a freshman, Bower placed 32nd with a time of 18:09, and ran 18:33 for 37th place last season. Bower represents the final fall-sport athlete still competing for Kaneland.

Photos by Laura Gampfer

Heartbreak in Hampshire

Volleyball run down by BC in three-game regional final loss
HAMPSHIRE, Ill.—Kaneland volleyball didn’t meet with defeat often in 2014.

But, similar to last season’s regional final end, the Lady Knights fell victim to two unfortunate games in a row. Burlington Central, the No. 2 Hampshire Regional seed, bested No. 1 KHS last Thursday evening by a 14-25, 25-20, 25-20 tally.

Kaneland (24-9-1) finished the season with an eight-match improvement in the first year of head coach Cyndi Violett’s second go-around. The Lady Knights had earned a trip to the final with a sweep of No. 4 St. Edward of Elgin, Ill., on Monday.

“It was a back-and-forth game,” Violett said. “The first one we came out really strong; Burlington came together. It could have gone either way—no big run of points at all. Our serve-receive was breaking down, and we couldn’t get it to our hitters as much as we wanted.”

KHS was defeated by Sycamore in the Sandwich Regional final in 2013 after capturing the first game there, as well.

Taking advantage of disjointed Rocket play and well-placed kills, Kaneland found itself up 20-12 in the first set, and eventually led 22-14. Hannah Nauert’s bump, Riley Hannula’s tip and a joint block by Ellie Dunn and Hannula ended the first game in speedy fashion.

The BC game solidified and was able to keep the match from getting out of hand. Kaneland was only able to muster a 12-9 advantage for its biggest lead. The Rockets tied it up at 16, with Dunn’s emphatic kill giving the Lady Knights its final lead of the game at 17-16. BC would then go on a 7-2 run. A Nauert slap over the net would later close to 23-20 before a KHS tandem block went out of bounds to even the match.

Another even meeting took place in the rubber game, with neither team able to build more than a three-point lead. The Rockets became more cohesive and took advantage of unsuccessful Kaneland sequences for a 14-12 lead. Down 16-15, Kaneland benefited from a Dunn kill and a net violation to go up 17-16, the final Kaneland lead.

BC would score five of the next eight available points for a 24-19 edge before a Nauert set over the net closed it to four. On game point, a block attempt was ruled out sending the Rocket fans on the Whip-pur court in celebration.

Dunn finished with 13 kills against the Rockets, providing 19 digs, five service points and two blocks. Anna Senese had seven service points, six kills and eight digs, while Nauert had eight kills, four service points and two blocks.

Kaneland says goodbye to seniors like Ball State-bound Dunn, Rachel Kintz, Brittany Grider, Senese and Hannula.

“We’re going to miss some key girls,” Violett said “What’s good for this offseason is we still have a lot of great girls. It’s a good nucleus of hitters, not as much power hitters, but still good.”

Sophomore football undefeated for first time

KANELAND—The Kaneland High School football team went 9-0 this fall. It was the first time in school history the sophomore team has been undefeated.

Led by head coach John Pavlak, the Knights allowed only 53 points all season, compared to their 181. They opened the season with a 7-0 win at home over McHenry, then earned a win over Sterling, 6-0. Rich Central was dispatched on Sept. 12 40-20 before KHS earned their first road win—a 21-7 battle over Yorkville. Back at home on Sept. 26, the Knights defeated DeKalb 25-6 and shut out Sycamore 20-0 the following week. On Oct. 10, Kaneland beat Morris 27-14 and beat La Salle-Peru 7-6 in their closest game of the season Oct. 17. In the final game on Oct. 24, the Knights earned their fourth shut-out of the season with a 28-0 win over visiting Rochelle.

“Our kids worked hard from the middle of July through the end of the season,” Pavlak said. “They worked well as a team.”

The lower level football teams practice together at KHS, so the sophomore team was a combination of freshman and sophomore players, according to Pavlak. The focus of the coaching staff—Brian Aversa, Mike Thorgesen, Matt Smith, Steve Auchstetter and Pavlak—is to develop the players in the fundamentals of football, and to install the philosophy of the program.

“The kids had a couple of specific goals at the beginning of the season, which was to defend our home field and to win conference—they achieved both,” Pavlak said.

Pavalk said he is excited to see the sophomore team join the current juniors as they move into their varsity playing years.

“Being successful at the varsity level is the ultimate goal (and) why the team works hard and continues to improve fundamentally,” Pavlak said. “Their record this year is something that they should all be proud of, but it should ultimately be used as a reminder of what it took to get there and that they need to continue to do all those things in the future in order to be successful.”

Delores M. Jarka

Delores M. Jarka (nee Gahlbeck), 80, of Geneva, died at home on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, following a long illness.

She was born on Dec. 17, 1933, the daughter of Harry and Laura (nee Vogel) Gahlbeck. She was raised in Burlington, Ill., and graduated with the Burlington High School Class of 1951.

She started working early in life, detasseling corn in the nearby fields. She went on to work at the Elgin Watch Factory and eventually went to work at Warwick Publishing Company in St. Charles, where she remained for 28 years before retiring.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 40 years, Robert F. Jarka, and her only brother, Clifford Gahlbeck.

She is survived by her loving children, David of Buffalo, N.Y., Kathleen (William Duerr) of Batavia, Donald (Tammie) of Geneva and Edward (Karyn) of Maple Park. She also had six grandchildren she was very proud of: Will and Joseph Duerr, Brad and Adam Jarka, and Rachel and Kyle Jarka.

Visitation and service were held Sunday at Moss-Norris Funeral Home, 100 S. Third St., St. Charles.

Interment was held privately at Union Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 1710 S. Seventh Ave., St. Charles, or at

For additional information contact Moss-Norris Funeral Home at (630) 584-2000 or

Denis L. Bowron

Denis L. Bowron died Thursday, Oct. 30, at Greenfields of Geneva. He was born on July 26, 1937, to Clarice and Lyman “Red” Bowron on Church Street on the east side of Batavia.

His early years were spent hanging out on the Fox River with his dog Choppy, pedaling his Aurora Beacon paper route or helping with his father’s small trucking company, “Bowron Motor Service.” As a teen, he set pins at Batavia Bowl, and spent after-school hours with friends pumping gas at Spuhler’s “Pure Oil” station on Batavia Avenue.

After high school, he entered the Navy, where he learned the boiler trade in the engine room of a destroyer.

Upon his return, he married a west side girl, Nancy Wiberg, and they went on to have four children, Denise Schubkegel, Laura Kapala, Craig and Larry Bowron, and eventually 27 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

After stints at Argonne National Laboratory and Mercy Hospital, he had a 30-year career as a facility operations supervisor at Fermi Lab. He was intelligent and curious, and wondered how things worked.

He was an avid fisherman, loved music—particularly gospel music—and enjoyed refurbishing old mechanical antiques like Challenger pumps. He made bluebird houses and replanted oak savannas. He was a big man with a big heart and a fast wit, and he had an easy way with people. Denis was loved as a dad, grandpa, farfar.

A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 8 S. Lincoln St., Batavia.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Fermilab Natural Areas at

For additional information, contact Moss Family Funeral Homes at (630) 879-7900 or


Richard “Rich” Herra

Richard “Rich” Herra, 73, of Elburn, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family. A big man with an even bigger heart, he leaves this world without a chance to say goodbye, but leaves a legacy of memories to balm our grieving hearts.

He was born May 1, 1941, the son of George and Mary (Kessel) Herra, in Geneva.

Rich grew up in Elburn and attended local schools while helping out at the family grocer on Main Street in Elburn. He was “hired out” on occasion to local farmers, helping them in the fields, season after season. He was so popular, farmers would put in their reservations for “the tall son” when he was busy. He was one of the first classes to attend Kaneland High School. Before he graduated with the class of 1961, Rich was a captain of the football team, inspiring all the “gridiron greats” to follow in his footsteps generations later.

Aug. 3, 1964, was a day to live in infamy–at least for Rich–as that was the fateful day he was introduced to Mary Fulk. They soon fell in love, and the rest was history. Their two hearts became one on Nov. 21, 1965. They began their new life together in Aurora for a time before coming back home to Elburn in 1968, where they raised a growing family. They were blessed with two children, Richard and Rhonda. Almost 49 years of marriage brought millions of both laughter and tears. But one thing was for sure: they were unforgettable.

Rich had a history of working in and for his community. He worked as a part time police officer for ten years and spent 36 years as a volunteer fireman. H & L Altepeter operated in Lily Lake, but Rich and his brother Jack had the opportunity to buy the business, and they renamed it J & R Herra Inc. After a lifetime filled with a work ethic that was second to none, Rich put down his tools and retired in 2009.

He was a lifetime member of the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club, and a faithful member of the Fox Valley Christian Church. Rich was also a proud member of the N.R.A.

Rich’s strength was legendary, and more importantly, true. He would hold the end of a 16-pound sledgehammer with one hand, and gently scratch the end of his nose as easy as holding a pencil. He also was an accomplished marksman who loved to shoot and make new friends at every club.

As a dedicated member of the Elburn Fire Department, Rich felt privileged each and every time he was able to drive the antique Model A fire truck in the Elburn Days Parade and other festive occasions. He was also a practical man, picking the date of his marriage to coincide with deer hunting season.

Although Rich had a look that could stop you in your tracks, there was no one who enjoyed a practical joke or shared an easy laugh like Rich. He once tied the shoes of a whole volleyball team together in intricate knots while they were playing a game, only to return to the bench to see Rich’s handiwork. He also was a favorite dinner companion every Friday night, taking out friends and neighbors. It was only coincidence that most of them were of the female persuasion, jokingly referred to as his “harem.” Some of his favorite spots were as far as 100 miles away.

Rich was a family man through and through, prizing them above all else. But he always had a special place in his heart for his grandson R.J. No one can Rich’s shoes, nor live up to the man who lived his life as a “gentle giant,” but we can admire the footsteps he left for us to follow and never forget the memories he left behind.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary; two children, Richard (Kandy) Herra and their son R.J., and Rhonda (Mike Fung) Herra; four siblings, D. Larry (Maxine) Herra, Leroy (Carol) Herra, Dean Herra and Darlene (Terry) Terrill; one brother-in-law, Glenn (Margie) Fulk; two sisters-in-law, Janet Herra and Ruth Fulk; several nieces, nephews, a host of “shooting buddies” and a countryside filled with friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary; two sisters, Marie Fraunberg and Janet, the latter of which passed away in infancy; brother, Jack Herra; two brothers-in law, Jim Fraunberg and Howard Fulk; and last but never least, his favorite hunting dogs, Lady and Diamond, who were faithful hunting buddies till the end.

Visitation will take place Monday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 8 p.m., at Fox Valley Christian Church, 40W150 Main St. Road, Batavia. A funeral to celebrate his life will take place at 10 a.m., with a time of visitation from 9 to 9:45 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, also at the church. Pastors Dan Fields and Josh LaGrange will officiate, with interment to follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Rich’s name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Rich Herra 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

In honor of Rich and his “timeless” sense of fashion, all are welcome to attend both visitation and funeral in casual dress and/or their best camouflage wear.


Elburn resident grows oversized pumpkins

by Violet Marquardt
ELBURN—For most adolescents, October is a time of costume selection, pumpkin carving and fall festivities. For Elburn resident William Huber, it’s a time to see whether or not he’s reached his pumpking-growing goal for the year.

Huber, 12, has been growing pumpkins at home for about three years. These aren’t average pumpkins, however, with most averaging well over 100 pounds.

“A bad (growing) year for him is nothing over 200 pounds,” said Huber’s father, Michael.

Giant pumpkins don’t just happen; they require a lot of patience and time. William’s devotion withstands the test—each day he pumps 50 to 60 gallons of water to his pumpkins from the creek on their property. He also commits much of his time to researching new ways to help his pumpkins grow bigger.

“He asked me last year for honeybees to pollinate the garden so we ended up ordering three pounds of honeybees,” Michael said.

William begins planning his garden almost 10 months in advance. He studies the weight of the parent seeds and determines which ones to order to produce the largest pumpkins possible. Then, at the end of April, he starts his garden inside.

William’s biggest secret to growing big pumpkins, however, is the fertilizer.

“He used to study fertilizer, and now he knows which kind does what,” Michael said.

This past year, William’s largest pumpkin was a whopping 582 pounds. His previous record was 480 pounds, and that was two years ago.

“(The other day) we were driving down Kirk Road, and people kept slowing down and stopping. I asked William to look behind us and see what was going on. He said that people kept slowing down because some guy was trying to take a picture of the pumpkin we had in the trailer,” Michael said.

William’s pumpkins are appreciated by everyone of every age, but especially by his friends.

“They think it’s pretty neat seeing all of the pumpkins,” William said.

He gives a lot of his smaller pumpkins away to friends, smaller children and those less fortunate. His larger pumpkins, however, he likes to keep and display.

“This year he wants to carve one, so I’ll have to get my saw out for that,” Michael said.

Although William’s hobby of pumpkin growing is relatively new, his love for the outdoors is something he’s had his entire life.

“He’s always looking for something to do outside,” said William’s mother, Robin. “This year he was telling us what to plant (in our garden) this year, and we just let him run with it. I love it. Once he sets his mind to something, he wants to see it through, and he learns everything he can about it, like the honeybees.”

William’s garden is not limited to just pumpkins. This past year, he was able to grow corn and zucchini, and made salsa from what he grew in his garden.

“They did more than they were expecting,” Robin said.

Gardening is a pastime that has been in William’s family for quite some time, so it’s only natural that he picked up the pastime. Michael as a youth also had a garden at his house.

“Growing up, we always had gardens. When I first moved to Elburn back in 1973, my dad asked if I wanted to grow pumpkins. I ended up growing a 104-pound pumpkin, and I entered it in Ream’s Pumpkin Contest,” Michael said.

With a passion he is so wholeheartedly devoted to, William’s parents hope to see him carry it with him for the rest of his life.

“It’d be nice to see him do genetic engineering once he’s older,” Michael said.

For now, Huber is thinking more short-term. He hopes to enter the Sycamore Giant Pumpkin Contest this year. Next year, he wants to grow a pumpkin that weighs a thousand pounds or more. And of course, he already has his plan for growing such a large pumpkin.

“I’m going to need lots of fertilizer,” William said.


Kaneland grad publishes sequel to ‘The Reporter’

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill.—Pete Gallanis’ second book didn’t take long to write, but there’s a good reason for that.

The two books were originally one.

“I wrote ‘The Reporter’ as one book, but the publisher said it was too long, so I just divided it into two books,” Gallanis said.

Gallanis, a 1980 Kaneland High School graduate, said “The Reporter: Book II – Redemption” is now available for purchase.

The second book, dedicated to his wife, Chris, follows the continuing saga of reporter Nic Pappas, now a professor with a doctorate. Admittedly not a reader, Chris said with a laugh that she’s waiting for the movie.

Like most authors of fiction, Gallanis weaves fact and fiction, basing “The Reporter” loosely on the 1993 Brown’s Chicken Massacre in Palatine, Ill.

Ten years have passed since the end of book one, and Pappas reunites with Mary Jane Santos, who has acquired through Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act what he never could: access to the full Brown’s Chicken case file. The pair assembles an investigative team and launches a nationwide manhunt to track down the killers.

Gallanis said that a percentage of the sales from all works bearing “The Reporter” name will be donated to the National Compassion Fund in memory of all affected by the Brown’s Chicken Massacre.

The fund, a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that accepts donations and gives directly to victims and families of those affected by mass, violent crimes such as the mass shootings at Sandy Hook, Columbine High School, Fort Hood and Northern Illinois University.

While touting the second book in the series, Gallanis is also working on a prequel focusing on his protagonist, Nic Pappas, as a high school student at the fictional Kane County High School, loosely resembling Kaneland High School.


At the book signing for the first entry in the series, Gallanis conducted a raffle for a chance to be a character in the prequel. The raffle was won by Sugar Grove resident and fellow 1980 Kaneland graduate, Denise Kuzlick Feltes.

Gallanis said the prequel is being written so that it complements the first two books, or it can stand alone.

Published by Abuzz Press in Bradenton, Fla., “The Reporter: Part II – Redemption” soon will be available in paperback, on Kindle and from It’s currently available at and

Gallanis can be found on Facebook, where he also has created a page for the fictional Palatine Star newspaper.


‘Shop Elburn First’ campaign sports new logo

ELBURN—The “Shop Elburn First” campaign has its own logo, thanks to contest winner and graphic artist Scott Wheatley.

Wheatley, principal and creative director of Strata G Design in Geneva, said he recently read about the campaign, which is designed not only to reinforce the great shopping opportunities that already exist in Elburn, but to entice new businesses into town, as well.

Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett said that Wheatley’s submission represented everything the Economic Development Commission wanted—it’s colorful, bold and vibrant, and captures Elburn’s small town feel and sense of community.

Wheatley said that while there was a certain amount of self-promotion involved, sometimes communities or organizations just need some help with something that is so easy for him to provide.

“I wanted to help the cause,” he said.

Wheatley said he feels a certain connection to Elburn and the surrounding area, from “back in the day,” when he would drive from his then-home in Wheaton, Ill., to attend school at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Wheatley remembers stopping at Ream’s Meat Market, enjoying an ice cream cone at Alice’s, as well as bringing home fresh-picked corn from the farm stands along the way. He now lives in Geneva, but he still enjoys coming out west of Randall Road to enjoy the area, including walks in the Elburn Forest Preserve.

The logo will soon be delivered to businesses in town, and will also be featured during the upcoming Elburn Christmas Stroll, which will take place Saturday, Nov. 29.

According to Willrett, one of the goals for Shop Elburn First is to get people to think twice before going elsewhere to buy products and services that may already be available in Elburn.

“In addition, there are new businesses providing new products and services opening up that we might not find unless we have the Shop Elburn First mindset,” Willrett said.

School Board OKs tentative levy

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday gave thumbs up to preparation of a tentative levy.

School Board members Pedro Rivas and Tony Valente were not in favor of the tentative levy.

The tentative levy will be prepared by Associate Superintendent Julie-Ann Fuchs and presented to the School Board on Nov. 10. The initial tentative levy will carry a 1.5 percent Consumer Price Index. However, following review, the School Board could set the CPI rate at 1, 0.5 or 0 percent.

“If the board approves the introductory 1.5 percent CPI figure, the existing taxpayer could expect to spend about 1.5 percent more than last year,” Fuchs said this week. “The number will vary based on individual property values, but the average will be close to CPI.”

However, even at a zero rate, taxpayers would still pay extra. Fuchs’ report provided examples, such as homes valued at $200,000 to $500,000 paying $87 to $220 more this year.

Examples of taxpayer impact would be about 1 to 2 percent, Fuchs noted. For instance, a homeowner who has an assessed home value of $200,000 would have paid approximately $4,916 last year. This year the approximate cost would be $5,063.

“We can only take so long before people just can’t live here,” Rivas said. “We live with what we have. That’s what we do at home.”

Valente said that programs cannot be cut now, but if the School Board had “managed along the way” in four years, it wouldn’t be where it’s at.

“We’ve got to stop voting and rubber stamping,” Valente said.

Board Secretary Gale Pavlak spoke about the reality of raising taxes from a School Board member point of view.

“I don’t think any of us are comfortable (with increasing taxes),” Pavlak said.

Fuchs will go over any updates at the Nov. 24 School Board meeting. The Dec. 15 meeting is when a levy hearing could be held and a final levy updated. Dec. 22 is the alternate date for a levy approval.


Maple Park resident to compete in NBHA Worlds

Photo: Maple Park resident Catherine Gorenz speeds along on her horse, Lil Peppy. Gorenz recently qualified to compete in two divisions of the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) racing competition in Perry, Ga., in July 2015. Gorenz and her family have owned Lil Peppy since he was 6 months old. Submitted by Anne Gorenz to

by Violet Marquardt
MAPLE PARK—Catherine Gorenz of Maple Park recently qualified to compete in two divisions of the National Barrel Horse Association Barrel racing competition.
The competition will take place in July 2015 in Perry, Ga. This is Gorenz’s first year of competing as an NBHA member.

“I found out that I qualified for NBHA and Worlds after the last show of the season, (as) that’s when no one was able to accumulate anymore points and when the final standings were set in stone,” Gorenz said.

The top five contestants qualified for Worlds, and Gorenz, 16, came in second place on her 10-year-old quarter horse, Lil Peppy. Gorenz and her family have owned Lil Peppy since he was 6 months old.

“A friend told me about him. Originally I wasn’t going to buy him, but when I went to look at him, he was covered in mud and shaking. He was a pretty sad sight,” said Anne Gorenz, Catherine’s mother.

Primarily, Catherine would ride on her mare, Moon. However, the horse suffered a bone chip from a hail storm that occurred last summer. After a surgery and some recovery time, she’s doing much better. For the time being, though, Gorenz solely races with Lil Peppy.

“It was a work in process. He does it all now: barrel racing, pole bending,” Catherine said.

Coming from Champion Cutting Blood, it’s no surprise that Lil Peppy took his new position in stride. Catherine herself also has an extensive background of different riding styles.

“I learned how to ride English style, which is a lighter and different saddle than Western. I also do barrel racing and pole bending, so (Lil Peppy) doesn’t get bored,” Catherine said.

Catherine has been riding horses since she was 2 years old. But just like Lil Peppy, she didn’t start barrel racing until a year ago.

“I’m glad I just got into barrel racing, because (Lil Peppy) was never mentally prepared for it either,” Catherine said. “So we kind of started off at the same place.”

Horses have been a part of the Gorenz family for years. Anne also rode horses when she was younger on her parent’s farm in Aurora. That same farm is also where they house the five horses they own now, including Lil Peppy.

“I’ve had horses all of my life, and of course, when you’re a parent, you want your kids to do what you enjoy,” Anne said. “But really, my mom is the foundation of all of this. We definitely couldn’t have done it without her.”

Catherine’s passion for horses and competing is definitely a family effort, as everyone is involved, including her father, Ed.

“My dad comes over in the morning to feed the horses. Then my mom and I come at night to do chores. I have to give my siblings a lot of credit, too. I don’t know how many teenagers would want to spend their weekends at barrel racing competitions,” Catherine said.

Ed also dedicates a lot of his free time to looking at new horses to acquire.

“He’s always looking for new ways for me to advance,” Catherine.

Horse racing has done more than bring the immediate family closer together—it also developed a bond between Catherine and her cousin, who races horses, as well.

“My friends don’t really understand what I do, but my cousin and I have gotten really close from barrel racing,” Catherine said.

Catherine this past weekend competed at State, where her district team, comprised of her and her four friends, won the battle of the districts.

“I’d have to say my favorite part is definitely the adrenaline rush I get. And the possibility of people starting to know my name,” Catherine said. “People now will look at me and say, ‘Look, that’s the girl with the helmet,’ since I am one of the only people who wears helmets at competitions.”
To prepare for Worlds, Gorenz isn’t doing anything too specific. As of right now, she’s trying to get more consistent on her times with Lil Peppy, who can be motivated by just a few peppermints.

“It’s definitely the Peppy show before each race,” Catherine said.

Catherine doesn’t use Lil Peppy in any jumping classes. Rather, she enlists her horse Hawaii, a female, for such work.

It’s evident through Catherine’s success that all of her hard work is paying off. But for her, the achievement of making it to Worlds is just the start.

“Eventually, I’d love to make it into the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. And I’m sure every barrel racer’s dream is to make it to the National Finals Rodeo,” Catherine said.

With all of her devotion, Catherine is intent on doing great things. But what could end up helping her the most is her humble approach to each race.

“Each race is a learning experience. It’s easy to criticize yourself after every race, but I come out happy that we made it and that I’m still on my horse,” she said.

At the Worlds next summer, Catherine will compete with over 2,000 competitors in her youth division. All of them will vie for the fastest time and top prize in the competition.

“We never in a trillion years would have thought we’d make it this far, especially on a horse we’ve raised since it was 6 months old. But Catherine, she lives, breathes and sweats horses. I’m so proud of them both,” Anne said.

‘Give Back to Pat’

PatHillHill’s friends, community plan event
KANEVILLE—There have been few causes Pat Hill hasn’t championed, and few people in the Kaneville community and beyond whose lives she hasn’t touched.

Kaneville resident, village president and owner of Hill’s Country Store, Hill has a big heart and energy to match.

So when she let people know she has stage four breast cancer that is also in her liver and her bones, their first question was, “What do you need?”

You only have to walk into Hill’s store on Harter Road in Kaneville to get a glimpse into her life’s focus. Some days, it’s hard to find a clear spot on the counter for all the donation jars for various people in need and greeting cards for those who are sick, or just need some cheer.

“Somebody gets a sniffle, and Pat’s got a card out there for you to sign,” her neighbor Al Withey said with a laugh.

Kaneville resident Sandy Weiss said that Hill will often take lunch to elderly people in the area who aren’t able to get out, and stay and visit with them. When people are out of work, it’s not unusual for Hill to give them food.

A local man down on his luck would ride his bike to the store, and Hill would give him coffee and something to eat in the morning, and sandwiches at night. Weiss said Hill and Withey went above and beyond when they helped him obtain social security benefits and a place to live. When Hill found out it was his birthday, she bought him a shirt, wrapped it and gave it to him. The local man told her it was the first birthday present he’d ever gotten.

Kaneville Library Director Ray Christensen said that both Hill and her husband, Cliff, began their giving to the library long before he arrived in town, including contributions to the remodeling fund. When Christensen replaced the lighting in the library, Pat and her husband were among the first to come forward with a pledge.

“Every year, she makes sure every kid in the Summer Reading program gets a free ice cream,” he said. “I don’t even have to ask; it just appears.”

As the village president, she recently facilitated a donation from the village to the library’s Summer Reading program.

Christensen said that Pat has a generous heart, both on a personal level and in her official capacities.

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce chose Pat and Paisano’s owner Annette Theobald as Members of the Year last year—Pat for the individual recognition and Annette in her capacity as a business owner. Theobald said that she and Pat share a belief in giving back to their community and helping others.

That community has come forward in a number of ways to do what they can to help Pat’s family. They have created a meal train online, where people can sign up to make and deliver dinners to Pat’s family. The goal is to sign people up for dinners each night though the end of the year, and so far there are commitments for every night through Nov. 25.

Pat has begun chemotherapy treatment, and there will be a lot of medical expenses for her and her family. The Old Second Bank in Kaneville has set up an account that will allow people to contribute funds to help out with these expenses.

A large fundraising event has been planned for Dec. 6 at Fishermen’s Inn, with owners contributing the venue and the food. A $25 ticket will include a meal and draft beer, with a cash bar for other beverages. Red Woody will provide the music. There will be a live auction, 50-50 and other raffles, and a silent auction to raise additional funds.

Strang’s Nursery has donated a tree, Hughes Creek Golf Course has offered a gift certificate, and others have come forward with pledges for items. Auctioneer Mike Espy is donating his services for the auction. People can donate items to include in gift baskets, gift certificates or cards, tickets to sports events and other outings, and may drop them off at Paisano’s Pizza in Elburn or at the Old Second Bank in Kaneville.

Organizers include Chris Weiss, Annette Theobald, Lisa Campesi, Cathy Kovach and Jennifer Long. They will soon set up a Facebook page for updates on the events. In the meantime, ways people can help include:
• Sign up to bring a meal at
• Make a donation to the Old Second Bank account or mail to Pat Hill Benefit, PO Box 165, Kaneville, IL 60144
• Donate items for the silent auction
• Become a sponsor of the event—Bronze, $50; Silver, $100; Gold, $250; Purple, $500
• Buy a ticket for the fundraiser. Because alcohol is included in the cost of the ticket, you must be 21 or older to attend the benefit.
• Buy a ticket so that someone Pat has helped, but can’t afford to attend, will be able to go.
• Keep Pat and her family in your prayers

For more information, contact benefit organizer Kris Weiss at


Photos: Halloween at Hill’s Country Store

Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville hosted a Halloween Party for the community on Friday, including a car show, costume and pre-carved pumpkin contests. The night also featured movie showings of “Toy Story of Terror” and “Hocus Pocus,” and had raffle prizes and free pizza for all.

Lydia Stover, 5, of Kaneville, won first place for her creative pig pumpkin feasting on a salad.

Mia Rizzi, 6, of Kaneville, won first place for her Princess Elsa costume.

Sheryl Behm of Kaneville guessed 333 candy corns in the jar and won first place Friday evening. There were 338 pieces.

Halloween party to raise funds for Beverly’s battle

SUGAR GROVE—Debbie DeBoer has a couple of good reasons for hosting a Halloween party that benefits Beverly Holmes Hughes’ battle against brain cancer.

The party fundraiser is set for 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Sugar Grove Community House. For the entry fee of $10 per child, kids can play as many games as they like, and win or lose, a prize is collected. Coloring pages and other craft projects will be available, as well.

“We moved here 12 years ago when my oldest son was 1,” DeBoer said. “The first thing I did was find the library and get involved.”

Hughes was the library director at that time. The two women worked together on a variety of projects, including the library referendum, and became friends.

“Bev has always worked so hard; she would help out anybody in need. Even now, being sick, she’s inspiring us,” DeBoer said. “People die every day without warning; she has time to spend with her family and tell them she loves them.

“We’re coming together to show her how much she means to us, and she feels blessed seeing how much she’s loved.”

DeBoer said that when her sons were younger—they are now 10 and 13—the Community House hosted a Halloween party. One of her son’s friends recently mentioned the party, remembering it as a great time.

That single comment spurred DeBoer into action, using games and prizes her family already had at home. Pat Graceffa, Sugar Grove Public Library trustee, rented the Community House, and all fundraiser proceeds will be deposited into Beverly’s Battle with Brain Cancer account at Castle Bank.

Games run the gamut from Bozo Buckets to darts to break balloons. Graceffa said Usborne Books will be available, as well.

“I know the kids will have a blast, and they have one more chance to wear their Halloween costumes,” DeBoer said.

Along with the games, crafts and prizes, Klicks by Katee will provide a photo booth for strips of pictures throughout the event.

Volunteers will be provided by Harter Middle School Social Studies teacher Adam Wickness—he’ll bring 15 basketball players to help with the games.

Helping others is something the DeBoer family—Debbie, her husband, Chris, and sons, Daniel and Brian—does on a regular basis.

“We are doing this because we can help,” DeBoer said. “I like showing our sons what just four people can do. If you don’t see the action, you don’t really know.”

For updates on Holmes’ ongoing battle, donation locations and information on events, visit the Beverly’s Battle with Brain Cancer page on Facebook.


Golf carts on parade in Maple Park

MAPLE PARK—About 15 decorated golf carts with costumed drivers and riders paraded through Maple Park on Saturday.

The inaugural event was sponsored by the Maple Park Fun Fest Committee. Each entry paid a $5 fee, which will help defray the cost of the December Make ‘n’ Take event at the Maple Park American Legion.

“It was just for fun,” event organizer Cathy Lay said. “Everyone threw out candy just like a real parade, though.”

Lay said residents decorated with a variety of themes, including the Flintstones, Duck Dynasty and a variety of Halloween themes, from pumpkins and pirates to skeletons.

“We were the die-hard Cubs fans with our cart decorated in red, white and blue,” Lay said.

The parade ended at the community pig roast to benefit Special Olympics, sponsored by the Maple Park Police Department. Police Chief Mike Acosta picked the winners of the golf cart parade, Bill and Sue Olsen.

“We had a pumpkin theme with lights all over the cart, and my husband wore a gorilla costume,” Sue said. “Two of our grandchildren, Ava and Cole (Olsen), rode with us. We even had the dog in a pumpkin costume.”

The Olsens were awarded a gift basket that contained a Casey’s gift card, candy and Halloween decorations.

“It was a lot of fun,” Sue said. “And we couldn’t have asked for better weather.”

Photos by Tiffany Kufer

KHS girls tennis three Oct 2014-1

Emmanouil, Jurcenko among State-best at tennis

Photo: Seniors Jelly Emmanouil of Sugar Grove, Sammie Schrepferman and Madi Jurcenko both of Elburn. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Duo officially 9th in doubles, Schrepferman goes 3-2 with consolation end
KANELAND—The last several years of Kaneland tennis has been an exercise in excellence.

A State presence with several qualifiers each year, KHS was always ready to show what it could on the District 214 courts.

In 2014, doubles qualifiers Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko, and singles qualifier Samantha Schrepferman, showed quite a bit.

Schrepferman went 3-2 on her route through the fifth round of the consolation quarterfinals, while the Lady Knight duo made it all the way to the quarterfinals and went 4-2, finishing ninth after consolation quarterfinals.

“I think every match is different,” Jurcenko said. “You’re going to have different opponents every time, so you have to try to win matches a different way. You play to the match.”

KHS, with 13 total team points, finished in a tie with Highland Park for 16th place, tops in school history. Hinsdale Central (49), Stevenson (40) and Lyons Township (33) were the top three schools. Carmel’s Brienne Minor defeated Hinsdale Central’s Isabella Lorenzini to win the singles title, while Stevenson’s Vinaya Rao and Katherine Harvey beat HC’s Erika Oku and Stephanie Dolehide to win the doubles crown.

In her third State singles competition for Kaneland, Schrepferman (30-6), began with a win over Glenbrook South’s Breck Murphy 6-1, 6-4. In the second round, Schrepferman beat Grant’s Gaby Schoenberg 7-6, 6-4. Third-round action brought the first loss over the three-day affair to Palatine’s Asuka Kawai 6-1, 6-0. Fourth-round consolation bracket action saw a 6-1, 6-1 win over South Elgin’s Lisa Derowski, and the final match, in fifth-round consolation action, saw a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Madison Tattini of Bloomington Central Catholic.

Emmanouil and Jurcenko beat Crystal Lake Central’s Maddie Fox and Carely George 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, and Mt. Zion’s Megan Malgemann and Mara Lebo 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in the second.
“I’d say the first win was my favorite one. It was good to get that out of the way,” Jurcenko said.

Third-round action had a tense, three-set win over Whitney Young’s Sloane Williams and Kendall Scruggs in a 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 match. In the fourth round, the Lady Knights disposed of Triad’s Alexis and Kylie McCarthy 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champs Rao and Harvey 6-1, 6-0. In the Rolling Meadows-housed consolation quarters, Williams and Scruggs beat the Lady Knights in a shortened match due to darkness.

The pair of Knight-Dolphin matches during State had their share of disputes over line calls.

“The Whitney Young matches were tough and really emotional. They were interesting matches,” Jurcenko said.

“I think the most noteworthy matches were the two with Whitney Young and the quarterfinal match against Stevenson,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “The Whitney Young matches were difficult on two levels. The girls just didn’t like each other, so as good as all four players are, and as good as the tennis was, it was also an emotional and mental battle on the courts. I would say the win in the third round was an emotional high and the loss in the consolation round was an emotional low for the tournament.”

Play on Thursday in the middle of matches was suspended due to a suspicious package left near the football field, halting play for two hours.

“I really wasn’t surprised at all that they made it that far,” Larsen said. “After watching them play the Sectional tournament, I had said to a couple of people privately that if they could maintain that level of play, it would be hard to imagine anyone beating them. Through all of the distractions, emotions, level of play, time on and off the courts, and the sheer volume of tennis they played over those three days, there were some natural ups and downs on the court, and who could blame them? So, no, I wasn’t surprised, but it was a difficult journey to get there, that’s for sure.”


Kaneland volleyball surprises Yorkville

Photo: Sophomore Hannah Nauert, and junior Annmarie Franz set up senior Ellie Dunn for a spike back over to St. Edwards Tuesday. Photo by Mary Paulson

Lady Knights also handle St. Edward in Regional match
KANELAND—Area volleyball fans are now able to classify Kaneland High School volleyball as an upper-echelon Northern Illinois Big XII conference squad, and depending on how the Class 3A regionals go, something even greater.

To close out the 2014 regular season campaign, Kaneland sought and earned revenge over a Yorkville squad that entered with just one loss on the year in a two-game Thursday sweep. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Kaneland trekked to Hampshire for the start of the regional and solved Elgin’s St. Edward by a final of 25-21, 25-22.

Against the host Foxes, the Lady Knights earned a 26-24, 25-14 duke. It is believed to be the first share of a conference title for the KHS program in over 30 years, as the Kaneland and Yorkville crews each finished with one loss. Kaneland finished 7-1 in East division play.

After the regional win over St. Edward on Tuesday in Hampshire, Kaneland is now 24-8-1 overall.

Ellie Dunn had a key 13-kill total against the Foxes, while Hannah Nauert and Hollie Fedderly supplied 14 assists each. Kathy Nguyen added 11 digs.

Facing the Green Wave, the Lady Knights got six service points, two aces, six kills and 10 digs from Dunn. Riley Hannula supplied four service points, an ace, three blocks and eight kills. Teammate Anna Senese had three service points, four kills and eight digs in the sweep.

Kaneland was set to face (2) Burlington Central on Thursday, Oct. 30, for the Hampshire Regional title, and the right to go to the Rochelle Sectional beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

BC defeated Genoa-Kingston 26-24, 25-14 on Tuesday. A year ago, Kaneland beat Plano in the Sandwich Regional semifinal before falling to Sycamore in the title match, 17-25, 25-12, 25-18.

10/31/2014 update: The Kaneland volleyball team lost to Burlington Central 25-14, 20-25, 20-25 in the Regional final. Their season ends at 24-9-1. See the Elburn Herald next Thursday for more detailed coverage.

Oct. 30 sports recap

Kaneland Youth Football League
Playoff Consolation Round
Saturday, Oct. 25

Yorkville Black 7
@ Kaneland Silver 12

Kaneland White 26
@ Kaneland Black 8

Yorkville Red 20
@ Kaneland Black 6

Kaneland Black 28
@ Kaneland White 26 2OT

Playoff Championship Round
Sunday, Oct. 26

Kaneland White 0
@ DeKalb Orange 13

Don’t see your results in the Elburn Herald?
Have your coach email them to
or fax them to (630) 365-2251.


Boys pack emerge battle-tested from Woodstock Regional

Photo: Junior Austin Kintz edged this Yorkville runner by .1 seconds to finish 13th at Saturday’s Woodstock Regional. Photo submitted by Patti Wilk to

WOODSTOCK, ILL.—Due to the clutch performance during Saturday’s Class 2A Woodstock Regional, the Knight boys cross country roster lives to run another day.

That day will actually take place at Kaneland High School this Saturday.

With a fifth-place, 125-point finish, the Knights were one of the top six regional teams, advancing to the Kaneland Sectional at the Maple Park grounds this weekend.

Yorkville’s 49 total was king for the meet, followed by Vernon Hills’ 74, Crystal Lake Central’s 76, Prairie Ridge’s 104, Kaneland and Sycamore’s 161. Burlington Central was three points shy of qualifying at 164 at the 10-team gathering.

Jake Hoffert of Yorkville was the fastest runner at 15:43, but Kaneland’s seven served its purpose. Separated by a minute and 46 seconds, the Knights were paced by Austin Kintz’s 16:46 for 13th place.

Matthew Richtman, in his first KHS postseason, was second-best on the team in 19th place at 16:56. Brandon Park ran a 17:11 (22), followed by teammate Sean Spaetzel at 17:38 (33).

Fifth-best for KHS was Mitch Reger at 17:50 (38), followed by Andrew Kantola at 17:59 (42) and Will Kuipers at 18:32 (52).

“We feel fortunate to have advanced from the most talented regional in the 2A field,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “With two state trophy teams and three other State qualifiers from a year ago, it was packed. We realize that very good teams did not advance.”

A year ago, Kaneland finished third with 109 points at the Burlington Central Regional, with Spaetzel the only returnee from the top seven.

The Kaneland Sectional is set to start the boys field at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, with teams from the Woodstock, Antioch and Belvidere Regionals.

“We are happy to head home, where we can host the Sectional and hopefully bring a peak race to the field,” Clarey said.

_KHS football v. Rochelle Oct 2014-1-8

Nice week 9 for Knights

Photo: Senior Danny Hammermeister No. 55 was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball in 2014. Photo by Laura Gampfer

All cylinders firing in 33-6 win over Rochelle
KANELAND—It wasn’t an ideal ending, but it was on a positive note.

While Kaneland’s 4-5 record meant there would be no playoff football for the first time since the 2007 season, the Knights followed an Oct. 17 smackdown of LaSalle-Peru with a 33-6 win over now crossover opponent Rochelle in Maple Park on Friday. Rochelle ended its season with a 3-6 mark. The rout meant Kaneland outscored its last two opponents by a final of 91-12.

Kaneland has now beaten Rochelle eight consecutive times in regular season and postseason play.

The Knights outgained the Hubs 353-216 on the night. Jake Marczuk went 15-for-25 for 162 yards and two touchdown throws. Isaac Swithers, of the torn ACL from the Week 1 win over Brooks, had a stellar 122-yard night with two scoring runs. Connor Fedderly had 112 yards receiving on nine catches.

Marczuk found Fedderly on the game’s first drive for a 13-yard touchdown with 8:40 remaining in the first for a 7-0 lead. Later, a 21-yard field goal try by Drew Franklin put the Knights up 10-0 with 1:44 left in the first.

Rochelle struck first in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by Adam Rickets with 7:10 to go in the half, but the extra point try missed to keep matters at 10-6. Kaneland answered with a 13-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a throw in the corner to Fedderly, who kept his feet inbounds for a 17-yard scoring throw and a 17-6 lead with :31 left.

Franklin’s 30-yard field goal try to make it 20-6 with 4:47 to go was the lone third quarter score.

Kaneland put together another drive, bleeding into the fourth, with Swithers punching it in from the 3-yard line just five ticks into the frame for a 27-6 lead. Swithers broke free for another TD from 32 yards away, making it 33-6 with 8:26 to go, the final score of the 2014 campaign.

Marczuk, a junior, felt playing with departing offensive mates like Fedderly and Swithers was a privilege.

“The seniors led the way this year, and we get to do the same thing next year,” Marczuk said. “It was great to play with guys like Connor and Isaac Swithers. They’ve been making big plays all year.”

Fedderly ended his career as the go-to through the air.

“It meant a lot to end it this way,” Fedderly said. “We wanted to end on the right note. We’ve been in every game, and we were able to make big plays (tonight).”


Girls XC goes 4th to Sectional

Photo: Freshman Andrea Wells and junior Brianna Bower work their way through a challenging Woodstock course at Saturday’s Regional. The Lady Knights qualified as a team to the sectional Saturday, which is hosted by Kaneland High School.
Photo submitted by Patti Wilk to

WOODSTOCK, ILL.—Saturday’s Woodstock Regional provided many challenges for the Lady Knight roster.

As it turns out, Kaneland excelled enough to make it to the Sectional in their backyard, by virtue of a fourth-place, 107-point output.

Ahead of host Woodstock by 16 points and Hampshire by 53, Kaneland was behind Yorkville’s exemplary 28-point score, Crystal Lake Central’s 68 and Vernon Hills’ 88.

Prairie Ridge, at 172, was 12 points short of qualifying for the Sectional.

Yorkville junior Skyler Bollinger led the entire field with a mark of 18:42. Tops for Kaneland was junior Brianna Bower with a 20:01 time for 15th place. Andrea Wells, in her first regional, was second on the team with a 20:03, good for 16th place. Not far behind in 19th was Aislinn Lodwig at 20:10. Lady Knight and former State champ Victoria Clinton was in 20th place with a 20:12 effort.

Fifth, sixth and seventh for the KHS crew were 37th place Jessica Kucera (21:32), 44th place Sarah Daley (22:03) and 51st place Grace Dodis (22:40).

“It was the best team race of the season for the girls so far,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “The top four of Brianna, Andrea, Aislinn and Victoria all ran strong races on the toughest course they have run on all year and the toughest 2A Regional in the state.”

Saturday, Nov. 1, will see the Kaneland Sectional at the high school grounds, with select teams from the Antioch and Belvidere Regionals, as well. A year ago, Kaneland finished fifth and qualified for State in Peoria, Ill., on the strength of an 18:31 effort from Clinton.

“(The Regional meet) gives us good momentum going into the Sectional,” Ecker said.

KHS Soccer v. Sterling -1

Soccer picks up 3rd regional title in 5 seasons

Loss to Wheaton Academy in sectional ends season
KANELAND—Kaneland soccer can only take what the yearly calendar gives them, but in this 2014 season, the Knights followed the odd trend of winning a regional plaque in the last three even-numbered seasons.

On Friday, the Class 2A Burlington Central Regional title match saw No. 2 Kaneland defeat No. 4 Hampshire by a 2-0 clip. Kaneland had ousted No. 3 Sycamore back on Sept. 21 in a 3-0 affair, while Hampshire had upended top-seeded Burlington Central in overtime, 3-1.

However, a Sectional opening-round loss to Wheaton Academy put a damper on things, as the Knights lost 0-3.

Kaneland finishes the season with a 13-9-2 record, and had won nine of their final 12 games.

On Tuesday, Kaneland took on the Wheaton Academy Warriors, winners of the St. Francis of Wheaton Regional, up in Hampshire for the Sectional semifinal.

Facing the rival to the north Whip-purs in Kaneland’s fifth consecutive regional final, the Knights got all they needed with two goals. First, Andres Tovar found the net thanks to a Carl Thorbjornsen assist, and with roughly 10 minutes to go before the break, Thorbjornsen capped the scoring column.

“It was a nice win for us; we controlled possession most of the game and finished a couple of shots to put the game away,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “It certainly helps when more players get involved in finishing and scoring. It makes it that much harder to mark just one player.”

The Knights couldn’t get anything going against a strong Wheaton Academy team Tuesday.

“Sectional teams usually do everything well; that is why they are there,” Parilllo said on Tuesday before the game.”We have a very tough opponent in Wheaton Academy (Tuesday), as they have finished fourth (2012) and third (2013), and they are doing very well this year. But that is why we play the game, as anything can happen. If we play well, it should be fun.”

file photo

Wrestlers compete at preseason Nationals

Photos: Kaneland sophomores Riley Vanik (above, left) and Colin Gussman (below, left) earned All-American honors at Saturday’s preseason Nationals meet in Iowa. Photo submitted by Stephanie Vanik to

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA—Six Kaneland students competed in the annual preaseason Nationals meet, which took place on Oct. 25 at the UNI-Dome at the University of Norther Iowa.

A pair of KHS sophomores earned All-American status with their efforts. Riley Vanik placed fifth in the 160-pound division, while Colin Gussman was seventh in the 170-pound division.

Also taking part in the tournament were Kaneland juniors George Strang and Austin Parks, as well as eighth-grader Nathan Orosco and seventh-grader Brenden Parks.

Letter: Fox River’s math just doesn’t add up

Because of the Nov. 4 referendum, the recently formed Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District has been spending a lot of time defending their Fire District in the press. In one of their letters, they stated that “change tends to bring out strong emotion.” They are correct—change can be quite emotional, especially when that change affects your tax dollars.

Drew Frasz, our Kane County Board Representative (Dist. 18), stated in a Letter to the Editor, “Many government bodies have struggled with down revenues over the last few years, but hostile takeovers of areas that have been well-served by fiscally responsible agencies is not something I support.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Fox River needs to acquire more rooftops to pay off their $4.4 million debt to continue to operate. This disconnection is about money, not public safety. If this were about public safety, as Fox River claims, they wouldn’t have repeatedly tried to stop the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District (ECFPD) from opening a station in Lily Lake to better serve the district. If this were about public safety, they wouldn’t have repeatedly tried to stop the villages of Elburn and Lily Lake from opposing and speaking out against the disconnection and supporting the ECFPD, who has served and protected their citizens for over 132 years.

Are you willing to take on Fox River’s $4.4 million in debt? If you choose to disconnect from Elburn Fire, this is exactly what the referendum covers—you are taking on their debt. Eventually you and your hard-earned tax dollars will be called upon to retire that $4.4 million in debt, as well as pay for all the extra equipment and personnel they will need to serve you and your family.

While Fox River continues to acquire more debt and has done so since its inception, ECFPD has no debt, no hidden costs and no new taxes. Fox River’s math just doesn’t add up.

Let the facts speak for themselves, and let your voices be heard.

Kelly P. Callaghan
Fire Chief, Elburn & Countryside
Fire Protection District

Letter: In response to a previous letter

I have made numerous attempts to contact Ms. Denise Klock in regard to her allegations of response times leading to “needless property loss and death.”

Due diligence to substantiate her claims have included attempts to contact her by phone, email and certified mail. Certified mail receipt indicates she picked up the letter on Oct. 22. Each attempt has been unsuccessful, with no contact from Ms. Klock to substantiate any claim made in the Elburn Herald. A review of department records has also failed to identify any incidents as described. Any future substantiated allegations will be fully investigated.

Greg Benson
Fire Chief, Fox River & Countryside
Fire/Rescue District

Letter: Vote ‘no’ on Nov. 4 disconnection referendum

Vote “no” on Nov. 4, on the referendum to disconnect from Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District.

United we stand by the brotherhood of the Elburn & Countryside Fire District. You have served us with dedication and professional people over the years. I have served as trustee on the board for 37 years. I have lived in the Elburn district for 77 years. We, as a team of volunteers, built Station No. 1, plus four additions to the building as needed. In 1974, the ambulance building was complete for service. Then Station No. 2 was built on Hughes Road.

For about seven years, Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District has been working with the village of Lily Lake to locate a site for a third station. Elburn now has a station in Lily Lake.

Elburn will continue to give class-one service to all the people in our district. Please vote “no” on Nov. 4 referendum to disconnect.

Jim Feece

Letter: A puzzle that matters

The fire disconnection referendum on the Nov 4 ballot poses a bit of a puzzle, i.e. a “financial aptitude test,” if you will. The issue presents an optical illusion where a proposed change may look smaller or better than it actually is.

On the one hand, people of the Elburn area have folks from outside the district suggesting that current residents can get their fire service for a lower tax rate. However, under that new proposal, what is not so apparent is that residents will also assume a possible fee-for-service schedule of charges and a substantial additional debt that they are currently not obligated to pay.

In over 20 years of experience serving citizens of Kane County, it is my impression that voters don’t want to pay twice for services they need, i.e., once on their property tax bill and again if they unfortunately need the service. Whether the proposed new service provider currently charges fee-for-services or not, they have a cost recovery fee schedule in Ordinance 2013-07, which gives them the power to charge fees. However, your current Elburn service has no similar ordinance or current capability.

And don’t all of us have enough federal and state government debt on our backs without now unnecessarily assuming a portion of a new fire protection provider’s current $4-5 million of local fire district debt?

On the other hand, you have the local fire department that has performed admirably for over a century, is deeply committed to the Elburn area, involved in countless community activities and carries no debt. The Elburn Fire Protection District wisely sets aside a portion of taxes received each year for future capital needs, almost just like our grandparents used to do when they had large purchases.

Speaking only for myself and not the County Board, I agree with district representative and neighbor Drew Frasz, along with Elburn Village President Dave Anderson and several trustees, who recommend a “no” vote on this referendum.

Chris Lauzen
Kane County Board Chairman

Letter: The facts are simple

I have been listening to people talk and reading articles about Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District, and decided to do some research.

Personal feelings aside, it’s time to look at the facts. The city of St. Charles was the agency originally responsible for providing coverage for the areas that now belong to Fox River. Fox River Board President Jim Gaffney is quoted as saying, “The Fire Protection District has three primary responsibilities: to respond quickly, to provide professional and certified emergency services, and to do so in a cost-effective way for taxpayers” (all quotes pulled from

When costs for covering this area became too high for the city, they began to seek out other options, and creating Fox River and Countryside District was the option selected. This district has a very clear and defined purpose. They do not need to be seeking to increase their district size, unless the only purpose for this increase is to build revenue, which we have all heard the astounding amount of debt that Fox River has accumulated in their four short years of existence. Yes, I just said four years. According to documents, Fox River District was first announced in a press release on Nov. 24, 2010, to begin on Jan. 1, 2011. That means, according to the figures, that Fox River has gone approximately $1 million in debt each year of its existence—an issue that Jim Gaffney was concerned about happening to the city of St. Charles, as he was quoted: “Our financial advisors told us that even without any further increases in our contract obligations, the district would become insolvent by 2013 at the latest.”

The facts are simple. St. Charles found a way out of providing service to these areas because they knew the expense would be too great without requesting a referendum. And now Fox River District is attempting to convince people that they can provide better services for less money. However, the facts show that Fox River is financially irresponsible, and since seeking a referendum would require that they explain their current debt situation, they sought out other means. Instead of trying to reduce costs, they are seeking to increase their size and, of course, their funding source. I ask you these questions: what happens when adding these homes and funds isn’t enough? What will the next tactic be? A referendum? Does South Elgin Fire Department need to be gathering their ammunition to fend off an attack on its district?

Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District was created because the people that live here were concerned about being able to help their family, friends and neighbors. Elburn and Countryside Fire District does not contract any of their personnel—they are all hired, trained and retained by the district because of the quality and commitment they have to the people of the communities they serve. Elburn and Countryside Fire District is still in operation today because it has the support of the communities it serves.

The communities would not seek out to disband. This request to disband is an effort of a drowning agency to grab onto a life preserver. Unfortunately, Fox River has forgotten that they are supposed to be the rescuer.

So, my friends, please remember to vote “no” on Nov. 4. Elburn and Countryside has been there for you, your family, your friends and your community for 132 years without asking you for anything … until now. Please show your support to these men and women who give up so much of their time to keep you safe and secure.

Mary Miller

Editorial: Helping one of our own during a time of need

Like many of you, we received news late last week that Kaneville Village President Pat Hill is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This week, Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill spoke with the Kaneville community to get a better sense of the next steps in Hill’s fight against her cancer. Meanwhile, the next step on our end is to encourage the entire Kaneland community to participate in two upcoming fundraisers that will benefit Hill and her family.

The first event is called “Pink Out for Pat,” and will feature Premier Designs jewelry. It will take place Saturday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kaneville Community Center, 2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville.

Pink Out participants will have an opportunity to browse through versatile, affordable jewelry, so be sure to bring your Christmas list. And if you purchase a total of $75 (before tax and shipping), you can choose another item, up to $50 in value, for just $10.

Cash or check is preferred for this event. If you can’t stop by the event, contact Tina Romas at (630) 363-5477 or and place an order. To view an online catalog, visit Access code: 1234.

The second fundraiser to assist Hill with her medical bills will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at Fishermen’s Inn, 43W901 Main Street Road, Elburn.

Even if you’re unable to donate much to this cause, every little bit helps. Pat Hill has worked tirelessly to make Kaneville and the local community a great place to live and visit, and we urge the public to consider giving back during this time of great need.

Over 100 Years of Dedicated Service