Tag Archives: Alex Mollohan

Boys track looks to top themselves

Photo: Preparation continues for members of the Kaneland boys track squad that finished 13th in Class 2A a year ago. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
Maple Park—Can the Kaneland High School boys track roster top last year’s exceptional finish?

Seven separate events saw Kaneland representation at the Class 2A State meet in Charleston, and the team finished 13th overall.

Senior Logan Markuson was crowned State champ in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles.

Graduate Josh Bloome and Markuson both medalled in the pole vault, and senior Nick Sinon took third in the high jump.

It sounds daunting on paper, but with a roster eclipsing the 70-person mark and with a glut of talent familiar with success, it’s possible for huge things to happen for KHS boys track.

“I would say we’re pretty excited,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “We started with a lot of ambition and excitement about what we think we can accomplish. Winning the indoor invite this week was a first step.”

Markuson, now quickly climbing up the record books for Knights track, is appreciated by Baron for what he brings.

“He’s just a great person,” Baron said. “ It’s about more than just athletic ability. He hasn’t missed one day of school ever. Every meet, he’ll go out and do what you ask him to do.”

Markuson will look to make a mark in the hurdles, pole vault and 4×400 relay once again.

Sinon returns to the ranks after some offseason experience and has already cleared 6-8 in the indoor long jump.

“He’s looking at big things this year and is a real student of the sport,” Baron said. “We’ll be strong in all of our jumps, and this is going to be a big year for him.”

Helping the KHS cause was a Western Sun Conference indoor championship last week.

Also back on the sprint side is Taylor Andrews, who qualified in the 110m high hurdles and benefited from racing alongside Markuson.

Much will have to be done to absolve the loss of Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel and Brendan McCarthy.

“We’re looking for Tommy Whittaker to have a nice year and Serpa ran well for us, and then there’s some young guys like Curtis Secrest and Andrew Essex, who are working super hard,” Baron said.

On the relay side, Whittaker, Edgar Valle and Markuson return from the 4x400m.

Valle, who Baron marked as an unsung contributor to track during his tenure, also qualified for the 4x800m relay, along with Derek Bus, Sean Paulick and graduated Hayden Johnson.

“Bus qualified for State last year and has come out this year so far and made a statement,” Baron said.

“(Edgar) doesn’t get a lot of limelight, but he’s been a relay guy for us every meet,” Baron said.

The freshmen class comes in with personnel like Brandon Cottier, Alex Gil and Chad Swieca, who are primed for action.

“Cottier looks like a special athlete, and we’re figuring out what his best event is,” Baron said.

On the field side of things, it’s open season.

“Alex Mollohan and Brett Ketza are throwing for us and they look ready to step up,” Baron said.

Baron added Ben Kovalick to the throwing list.

For vault, Markuson and Jemmar Parrenas take the reins. Parrenas has gone over 12 feet in indoor competition.

For now, Baron mentions only a couple of nagging injury issues to Blake Serpa and Whittaker.

“A big thing right now is taking it easy on people when we can,” Baron said.

Seniors looking to contribute are Justin Choate, Brock Dyer, Dominic Furco, Kevin Hodge, Carlos Hufshlag, Joe Levita, Lukas Liebich, Justin Phillips, Matt Swift and Kyle Wagner.

Juniors looking to get in the mix are Cody McGinnis and Matt Spitzzeri.

Baron cited Matt Reusche on the senior side and juniors Matt Cowans and Trevor Holm as athletes that are capable of big things.

Sophomores are Chase Borneman, Clayton Brundige, Tom Chidester, Joe Cozzi, Mitch Dienst, Evan Dukes, Andrew Essex, Frankie Furco, Jake Ginther, Thomas King, Jimmy Lagness, Mickey Marin, John Michek, Thanasi Pesmajoglou, Kelvin Peterson, Nate Rehkopf, Brandon Stahl, Devin Swearingen and Nicholas Wieglos.

Freshmen are Trevor Anderson, Tanner Andrews, David Barnhart, Ryan Euting, Marshall Farthing, Dan Goress, Kory Harner, Billy Hart, Brandon Huber, Conor Johnson, Brad Kigyos, Jay Markuson, John Meisenger, Jimmy Merletti, Nick Messina, Liam Mulloy, Ben Nelson, Ryan Paulson, Dylan Pennington, Nick Sharp, Ben Sommers, Gus Stott, Chad Swieca, Zach Theis, Chris Wido and George WIlson.

The outdoor season for Kaneland boys track begins on Saturday, April 10, at East Moline United with conference action against visiting Batavia and Rochelle on Tuesday, April 13.

The Kane County Meet is on Friday, May 7, at West Aurora, with the final Western Sun Conference meet on Friday, May 14, at Geneva.

Wrestlers Boyle, Davidson nab one win each at State meet

The Kaneland High School wrestling program can be pleased that they not only sent two wrestlers to the Class 2A State meet at Assembly Hall in Champaign, but also had those grapplers get a win on the Illini mat.

With Kyle Davidson competing at 145 points after finishing third at Sterling High School’s sectional, and Knight Jimmy Boyle also having finished third at the sectional, the Knight duo had opening round matches this Friday and Saturday.

Both Davidson and Boyle both achieved opening round wins before losing quarterfinal matches.

Davidson, who finished the 2009-10 season with a 37-11 record, defeated Rich Central’s Ishmael Rempson in a 7-2 matchup before losing to Triad’s Josh Ballard in a 13-1 major decision. Ballard ended up finishing fourth place overall in the bracket.

For Boyle, who finishes with a sizable 41-win total, got the best of Riverside-Brookfield’s John Schraidt by pinfall in 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Boyle then was defeated by Sprinfgield’s Dave Casper in a 1:48 fall.

In 2009, Kaneland’s Jay Levita was the lone Knight rep down at State, and lost to Springfield’s Dane Atwood, 9-3.

With the season at a conclusion, the grapplers say goodbye to graduating seniors Dennis Brettman, Ben Gust, Joe Levita, Alex Mollohan, Deven Scholl and JT Webb.

Kaneland Knight wrestlers look to be aggressive on mat

by Mike Slodki
This might be the Kaneland High School wrestling version of a high-powered passing offense in football or a run-and-gun in basketball.

“We are preaching attack, be aggressive and six minutes of offense,” Knights head coach Monty Jahns said.

Himself a state qualifier in 1980-81, the second-year coach realizes the importance of every match during a meet and is eager to see it unfold.

“This year, we’ll see how it goes; we have a lot of tough opponents to deal with,” Jahns said.

Gone are personnel like Matt Wagner, Emiliano Ponce and last year’s lone state qualifier at 145-pounds, Jay Levita.

“Kids really looked up to Jay and saw how hard he worked,” Jahns said.

Returning to the forefront is senior 125-pounder Deven Scholl, who nabbed 24 wins last year.

Also looking to contribute are returnees JT Webb, Joe Levita and Ben Gust, all seniors.

Jahns also likes the prospects of senior Dennis Brettman.

“Dennis is going to be at 130 and didn’t get a lot of time in varsity, but went undefeated in JV and has looked real strong,” Jahns said.

At 189 pounds, Alex Mollohan and Ethan Williams return to the ranks after a couple of years off.

Anchoring the 275-pound group is Jimmy Boyle, team leader in wins a year ago with 30.

“Jimmy is a hard worker and pushes himself so we don’t have to,” Jahns said with a laugh.

Kyle Davidson, with 21 wins in 2008-09, battles at 145 while Josh Kuefler returns to pin opponents at 119.

This also marks the final wrestling go-around with the Western Sun Conference.

“I have mixed feelings—we’ve been wrestling Geneva and Batavia forever and they are good teams; overall it’s a good move,” Jahns said.

Photo: Junior Jimmy Boyle looks to make an impact in the 275-pound division for the Kaneland wrestlers. File Photo

Spring Sports Preview: Fully loaded: Kaneland boys track brings the talent

by Mike Slodki
Fourth-year head coach Eric Baron is happy where things are at with boys track.

“We’re ahead of where we’ve been since I’ve been here. We are as deep and as good as we’ve been in awhile,” Baron said.

That’s good news for KHS fans, and uneasy news for their competition.

Drawing comparisons with the Class A juggernaut from 10 years ago that sent personnel like Bill McKeown and P.J. Fleck, the 66-person team is quite deep.

“We have people fighting for spots, but it’s a pleasant problem and they can’t wait to get out there,” Baron said.

A year removed from sending graduated Phil Christensen to State in the shot put and discus, Logan Markuson in the pole vault, Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel, Brendan McCarthy and Tommy Whittaker in the 4×200 relay and Hayden Johnson, Whitaker, Edgar Valle and Markuson in the 4×400 relay, the Knights return all the State-goers but Christensen.

“Kids get their eyes opened the first time down there, and they get very serious about getting back a second time,” Baron.

Armed and ready for a repeat trip to State are runners like Ross, who looks to make his mark in the 100m dash, 200m dash and relays.

“He’s as fast as I’ve ever seen him,” Baron said.

Hayden Johnson is ready for the 400 and 800 runs and provides great leadership, according to Baron.

Matt Weaver will try to separate himself in the hurdles, and both the 400 and 800.

“We’ve seen what he could do in cross country and we really need him out there,” Baron said.

The distance end of things reveals Paul Davies, who saw a personal best in the two-mile indoor race this season. McCarthy, Brett Ketza, Alex Mollohan and Eric Dratnol also see action at various events.

Matt Reusche can make an impact in the distance and the relays after qualifying for State in cross country.

Nick Sinon, who saw a productive indoor season that included a first-place finish at the WSC indoor meet, looks to do damage in the high jump, and Dominic Furco is set up for distance.

Sinon could also be an entry in the triple jump, while Sean Paulick will try the long jump.

Other ingredients to the mix are Taylor Andrews in the triple jump and Johnson in the long jump.

Newcomers to the track program are Blake Serpa, who’ll try his craft at sprints and relays, and Jimmy Boyle in the throwing events.

The hurdles look to have Markuson, Andrews and Weaver helping the Knights’ cause.

Trying to fill the shoes of Christensen and remaining healthy will be tantamount to the KHS success, but Baron feels that this crew can turn the local competition on its ear.

“This is a group that’s extremely eager to please and great to be around, and we’d like to see improvement from last year. That’ll determine a successful year, rather than trophies,’ Baron said.

The outdoor season begins on Tuesday, April 14, as Kaneland and Rochelle go to Batavia. The famed Peterson Prep kicks off on Saturday, April 25. The Kane County Meet takes place on Friday, May 8, and the WSC meet happens on Friday, May 15, at Batavia.

Photo: Alex Mollohan, seen throwing at the WSC indoor meet last week at Sycamore, looks to be one of the field contributors for a successful 2009 in Kaneland boys track. Photo by Ben Draper

Kaneland chess team earns second place

The Kaneland chess team took part in the Far Side Suburban Chess Conference Championships on Saturday.

The event was a success, as the Knights took second place in the 11-team conference, falling short only to state powerhouse IMSA.

Alex Mollohan and Lucas Ross each won two matches. John Rotella won all three of his matches, good for second place at his board. Taylor Kruause chipped in with a win at board 4. Sophomore Dylan Draper played four boards ahead of his normal position and still managed to earn a win and a draw at board 5. Keli Patterson took home first-place honors at board 6 with a perfect 3-0 day. Cory Clausen also went 3-0 on the day to earn second place at board 7. Zach Brown took home first-place honors with two wins at board 8.

Vickie Likeum earned a draw at her match in the open tournament. Connor Sandquist and Alex Siebert tied for fifth place in the open, each going 3-1. Alejandro Barragan swept through the open tournament at 4-0, taking home first-place honors.

The team looks forward to carrying this momentum into the state championships in two weeks in Peoria.