Tag Archives: Ben Brown

Fall sports preview: Knights stride for better things

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—When Kaneland boys cross country finishes eighth in the Class 2A State gathering in 2008, what do they want to do for an encore?

There’s seven more spots to move up.

Despite graduating runners like Ben Brown, Paul Davies and Matt Weaver, the Knights return talented runners and don’t seem to be hurting for depth.

Matt Reusche returns after finishing 14th in the state a year ago, as does Dominic Furco, who finished 37th overall.

“We have six of our top seven back; we had a really good summer with solid consistent training,” head coach Chad Clarey said. “We’re ready to get started.”

Seniors are Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Jemmar Parrenas, Furco, Nick Sinon, Reusche, Logan Markuson and Tyler Howland.

Juniors are Trevor Holm, Tommy Whittaker, Grant Alef and Cory Gotteau.

Sophomores are Devin Swearingen, Jake Ginther, Kelvin Peterson, Frankie Furco, Clayton Brundige, Stelios Lekkas, John Michek and Nate Rehkopf.

Freshmen are John Meisenger, Nick Messina, Ryan Paulson, Gus Stott, Conor Johnson, Billy Hart and Brad Kigyos.

Developming the competitive mindset with the returnees was hatched in the spring during Knights track, according to Clarey.

“I think from last track season, these kids had some great experiences, both good and bad. Logan won at State, Matt had a good sectional race but didn’t qualify in the 2-mile. So they are more focused than ever, and it makes you hungrier,” Clarey said.

Levita, Brundinge, Ginther and Whittaker were pointed out by Clarey as returning members who could sneak into a higher profile in 2009.

What will determine a successful campaign for the crew always looking to go the distance?

“In the end, if all of our athletes are healthy and have had a full season of training, I anticipate they’d want to set their goals to surpass what they did last fall,” Clarey.

The boys cross country season kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 1, against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods, while the Eddington Invite takes place on Saturday, Sept. 19.

The regular season is scheduled to end at Rochelle for the Western Sun Conference Invite on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Kaneland staff and students strut their stuff

An evening of pride for academic innovation
by Lynn Meredith
In an evening of presentations at the School Board meeting on Monday, Kaneland let the public see the projects that won awards and gave the district pride during 2008-09.

First-place award winning students Ben Brown, Brenda Myers and Jessica Snow presented the community book drive project, “Reading is a Gift,” that was singled out by Student Celebration Skills USA. The students collected 500 books, double their original goal, to donate to Hesed House, Educare and Kindercare in an effort to help break the cycle of illiteracy. Half of their fellow students at Fox Valley Career Center and 10 percent of the high school brought in books to the drive. The group plans to continue this project for the national competition and because it felt good.

“It gave us a sense of happiness knowing that we gave to children,” the students said.

Emily Curran explained the impromptu lesson plan at the competition that won her first prize. Director Larry Imel added that Curran was named Fox Valley Career Center Student of the Year.

The Kaneland Middle School “Red Team” presented its conclusion of the two-year Response-To-Intervention (RTI) pilot program that it brought to a national convention. The team has partnered with Northern Illinois University to implement the federally-mandated program, conducting research and visiting schools. The program has been used extensively in the elementary schools, but Kaneland is one of the few who are bringing it into the middle school.

“We saw that we were way ahead of other schools-both locally and nationally,” team leader Barb Landis said.

Kaneland as a whole received the Bright Red Apple award for educational excellence in five categories.

“This award is a testament to how powerful and strong we are in collaboration, in teachers thinking outside the box, in student performance and of putting student learning first regardless of our financial capabilities,” Curriculum Director Sarah Mumm said.