Tag Archives: Blake Denton

Kaneland Knights baseball remembers

2-1 Knights pay tribute to friends on Opening Day, retire Malewig’s jersey
by Mike Slodki
This opening day was unlike any other, for bittersweet reasons.

There were smiles and tears throught Thursday’s contest between Kaneland and Burlington Central on the diamond, as Kaneland fans and players remembered Jeff Malewig and Blake Denton, who died in a car accident in December.

Before the contest, a moment of silence was observed, KHS coach Brian Aversa led Jeff’s father Tom out to the left field wall where a plaque with Jeff’s number 41 is now placed. The foul poles are now adorned with “BD” and “JM”.

The day’s events, capped by a large crowd in Maple Park, crystalized the relationship between Malewig and the rest of the team.

“He kept them laughing, that’s for sure,” Tom Malewig said. “They all love him. They’re playing real hard out there and from what I can see, it’ll last a while. It’s hard not to get affected by today.”

Wearing jerseys with “41” patches and red wristbands (for Malewig’s love of the St. Louis Cardinals), the Knights took care of business on Thursday against the Burlington Central Rockets by a final of 6-0. Lefty Jeff Smith pitched five innings and righty Steve Colombe finished the final two for a combined three-hitter.

On Saturday, Marmion Academy bested Kaneland in Aurora by a 5-2 final, and the Knights recovered on Monday to handle hosting Plainfield Central 7-3 in eight innings.

The 2009 Kaneland baseball squad will sport a "41" patch on their jersey sleeves and an embroidered "41" on thier caps in honor of Jeff Malewig, who was killed in a car accident last year. Malewig's jersey number 41 was retired by Kaneland in a ceremony March 26. In addition, the initials "JM" for Malewig, and "BD" for Blake Denton, who was also killed in the same accident, will be featured on the outfield foul poles.<em> Photos by Sarah Rivers</em>
The 2009 Kaneland baseball squad will sport a "41" patch on their jersey sleeves and an embroidered "41" on thier caps in honor of Jeff Malewig, who was killed in a car accident last year. Malewig's jersey number 41 was retired by Kaneland in a ceremony March 26. In addition, the initials "JM" for Malewig, and "BD" for Blake Denton, who was also killed in the same accident, will be featured on the outfield foul poles. Photos by Sarah Rivers

Against the Rockets, Joe Gura kicked things off in the bottom of the third with an RBI double and Mike Pritchard hit an RBI groundout for a 2-0 lead. Jake Fiedler smacked an RBI double in the fifth to add on to the lead.

Smith felt his outing was a good way to set the tone for the future.

“We defeated a good team today, and I thought my curveball and control were pretty good,” Smith said.

But the afternoon was about a teammate no longer there.

“We didn’t feel whole out there,” Aversa said. “It didn’t feel right. (Jeff) completed a part of us. It was great to us play with emotion and it was a special day.”

The sophomores fell to Burlington Central, 8-2.

Against the Cadets, Gura was tagged with the loss.

The Knights’ Colombe earned the win against the Wildcats, while Fiedler went 2-for-6. Pritchard went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs driven in.

KHS hits downstate Illinois and beyond for spring break, beginning with a game at Springfield High School on Thursday, April 2, and a game in Farmington, Mo., on Friday, April 3.

Letter: Thank you for supporting us

We would like to thank our families, friends and neighbors, Jewel-Osco in Sugar Grove, Orchard Valley Community Church, the Kaneland Community and neighboring communities, Blake’s many friends, classmates, students and staff at Kaneland High School and Middle School, for your overwhelming support and generosity as a result of our tragic loss of Blake. Your continuing thoughts and prayers have helped us to endure this inconceivable loss.

We are thankful that we were given 17 years, 4 months and 20 days with Blake, and we are so proud of him. When Blake was not going to school or working at Jewel, he enjoyed life to the fullest with his many interests including baseball, basketball, football games with friends, fishing, going to movies, golfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, bowling, dinners at Buffalo Wild Wings and watching Green Bay Packer games. He truly embraced the many things life had to offer.

Academics came easy to Blake. He was focused on a career in financial accounting, planning to attend Waubonsee College for two years and then on to the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Blake was intelligent, had a great sense of humor, was level-headed, caring, honest, responsible, respectful and mature beyond his years. Hearing time and again about Blake’s great smile and laugh and the positive impact he had on so many people he came in contact with has been a true testament of his great character.

Blake set an impeccable example for his younger brothers to follow. They looked up to him so much.

We all miss him terribly, and we know many of you do as well. It’s difficult to express how truly thankful we are to all of you for your heartfelt support and generosity, and we’re amazed by the strength and character exhibited by the classmates who had to endure this double tragedy of two friends, Jeff and Blake. Our only comfort now is knowing that Blake lived a wonderful life, which was far too short, and has left us with many wonderful memories. Life will never be the same for us, but we know Blake’s smiling down on us all now from Heaven.

The family of Blake Allen Denton
Sugar Grove

Chamber honors its own

by Susan O’Neill
The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry honors several of its members each year with awards in one of five categories. This year the chamber also recognized several organizations with special awards for their contributions to the community.

Press release award
The village of Sugar Grove won this category for its speed and thoroughness in keeping the community informed. Village Clerk Cindy Welsch regularly provides information to the community through press releases, the village website and announcements with utility bill mailings about the normal flow of events and services. In addition, village staff were quick to provide vital information to residents during the village’s recent floods.
In the Groove award

Castle Bank received this recognition for employee Lisa Lund’s role in promoting chamber membership and making sure that new members feel welcome. Chair of the membership committee, Lund helped increase membership through several membership drives in the area. She also implemented an orientation process for new members that combines a formal introduction to the community and the organization with informal follow-up and contacts.

Looking So Good Award
Waubonsee Community College won in this category for the new construction on the Sugar Grove campus as the college moves forward with its 2020 Master Plan. Attractive and functional, the Science Building completed in 2006, the Academic and Professional Center in 2007, and the Student Center in 2008 feature state-of-the-art technology to enhance the learning and social experiences of its students.
Chamber Spirit award

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. is recognized with this award for its consistent support of the business and residential community. A sponsor of the Farmer’s Market, Corn Boil and other chamber community events, EEI provides office support and equipment, funding and employee volunteers to ensure their success.
Newcomer award

Brightest Stars Preschool owner Amy Peters has only been in town a short time, but she has jumped in with both feet to participate in community events. In addition to her morning and afternoon pre-school classes, Peters has provided musical and educational programs for children through the library, the Farmer’s Market and the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.

In recognition for stepping up
Special recognition goes to the Village Bible Church and Conley Outreach for providing a place and comfort to students following the fatal accident that claimed high school students Blake Denton and Jeff Malewig.

The Village Bible Church immediately made its building available for students to congregate, and Conley Outreach provided counseling and support as students and teachers attempted to deal with the tragedy.

In recognition for keeping your cool under pressure
Special recognition goes to Oak Trust Credit Union employees for their courage and assistance in apprehending the man who attempted to rob their Sugar Grove branch. Thanks to their quick thinking and observational skills, the Sugar Grove Police, together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were able to quickly locate the man and bring him into custody.