Tag Archives: Curtis Lubic

Local students named to Augustana dean’s list

ROCK ISLAND, ILL.—The following local residents were named to the Augustana College dean’s list for the 2013 spring semester: Emma Anderson (pyschology and sociology-social welfare), Emily Butts (elementary education), Benjamin Hodges (biology), Alex Kurian (business administration-management), Curtis Lubic (biology), Chassidy Mangers (communication sciences and disorders) and Kristen Sanecki (English and French), all of Elburn; Malory Groen (biochemistry), Tara Groen (biochemistry), Anna Novotny (communication sciences and disorders) and Kylie Siebert (business administration-advising), all of Sugar Grove; and Benjamin Damisch (business administration-advising) of Maple Park.

Local students named to Augustana College winter term dean’s list

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—The following students were named to the dean’s list at Augustana College for the 2011-12 winter term: Emma Anderson, Sara Bihner, Kristina Bowen, Emily Butts, Margaret Clarkson, Benjamin Hodges, Alex Kurian, Kailey Maras, April Runde and Edgardo Valle, all of Elburn; and Tara Groen and Curtis Lubic of Sugar Grove.

Students who have earned this academic honor have maintained a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a four-point scale for courses taken during the term.

Area students named to dean’s list at Augustana College

ROCK ISLAND—The following Elburn students have been named to the dean’s list at Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill., for the 2011 spring term: Mary Rhoades, senior, majoring in biology; Alex Kurian, senior, majoring in business administration management; April Runde, senior, majoring in business administration marketing and Spanish; Margaret Clarkson, junior, majoring in business advising; Chassidy Mangers, junior, majoring in communication science and disorders; Kristen Sanecki, junior, majoring in English and French; Emily Butts, sophomore, majoring in pre-elementary education; Emma Anderson, junior, majoring in psychology and sociology with social welfare.

These students from Sugar Grove were also named to the dean’s list: Tara Groen, sophomore, majoring in biology; Curtis Lubic, junior, majoring in biology; Danilo Bruno, sophomore, majoring in pre-teaching Spanish and Spanish.

Students who have earned this academic honor have maintained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a four-point scale for courses taken during the term.

Local students named to Augustana College dean’s list

Rock Island, Ill.—Thirteen local students have been named to the dean’s list at Augustana College for the 2010-11 winter term. Students who have earned this academic honor have maintained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a four-point scale for courses taken during the term.

The students from Elburn are Mary Rhoades, Alex Kurian, Chassidy Mangers, Kristen Sanecki, Edgardo Valle, Sara Bihner, Emily Butts, Emma Anderson, April Runde and Patrick Manser.

The students from Sugar Grove are Danilo Bruno, Tara Groen and Curtis Lubic.

KHS honor roll 2009

High Honor Roll
9th grade
Upashruti Agrawal, Lauren Allen, Abby Bend, Brianna Brehm, Taylor Buri, Lauren Companiott, Brian Edwards, Eric Eichelberger, Kelly Evers, Tyler Fabrizius, Jacob Ginther, Kristen Glover, Noelle Goodine, Kelsey Gould, Adam Grams, Malory Groen, Courtnie Holland, Christina Janes, Nicole Ketza, Thomas King, Benjamin Kovalick, Stelios Lekkas, Austin McElderry, Anna Novotny, Athanasios Pesmajoglou, Drew Peters, Alexa Reger, Nathan Rehkopf, Karyn Ribbens, Kayla Rivera, Nicholas Rodriguez, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Margaret Ruppel, Alejandra Salinas, Connor Sandquist, Melissa Schmidt, Dana Schultz, Ashley Shearer, Kylie Siebert, Ashlyn Slamans, Molly Speckman, Anthony Sperando, Brandon Stahl, Trevor Storck, Katherine Taylor, Mackenzie Theisen, Valerie Tockstein, Catherine Tolan, Kalani Tovar, Delani Vest, Marissa Villafuerte, Mercedes Walper, Nicholas Wielgos, Isaac Williams, Anders Winquist-Bailey, Elliot Witt
10th grade
Priscilla Aguilar, Grant Alef, Taylor Andrews, Stephanie Breen, Jocelyn Cabral, Elaine Cannell, Cory Clausen, Jessica Corbett, Emily Darrow, Lacey Eberle, Caitlin Ellefsen, Collin Ellingwood, Ariana Espino, Amy Fabrizius, Brock Feece, Drew French, Danielle Frost, Allison Grossmann, Emily Heimerdinger, Amanda Helfers, Guillermo Hernandez, Andrew Hladilek, Lindsay Jurcenko, Joseph Kenkel, Jordan Krawczyk, Amanda Lamp, Corey Landers, Alexandra Leonhard, Christian Limbo, Jessica Lubic, Bernice Marsala, Katie Meuer, Danielle Micek, Abby Michels, Richard Miller, Sarah Morgan, Brian Olson, Nicole Ott, Keara Palpant, Brooke Patterson, Karissa Pitstick, Amber Platt, Alyson Rehr, Mackenzie Rich, Alicia Robinson, Linnea Scherer, Joshua Schuberg, Hannah Schuppner, Elizabeth Smith, Andrea Strang, Danielle Thomas, Holly Thomas, Brooke Thompson, Samantha Vazquez, Samantha Wantuch, Breanna White, Amanda Whiteside, Thomas Whittaker, Michael Wille, Caitlyn Young, Cara Zagel
11th grade
Jenna Bartel, Andrea Bruce, Danilo Bruno, Scott Burgholzer, Derek Bus, Emily Butts, Kristyn Chapman, Megan Cline, Stephen Colombe, Lindsey Dodis, Eric Dratnol, David Dudzinski, Joseph Garlinsky, Lily Garrison, Megan Gil, Trever Grimoldby, Tara Groen, Rebecca Hauge, Kevhlub Her, Joseph Herzer, Kevin Hodge, Katlin Howard, Angela Humphrey, Amy Husk, Haley Johnson, Samantha Johnson, Elizabeth Kennedy, Brett Ketza, Kevin Krasinski, Taylor Krause, Micaela Lane, Kelsey Lenhardt, Logan Markuson, Melanie Mazuc, Vincent Micek, Alexandra Morefield, Brianne Myers, Joss Nicholson, Zachary Nolte, Alyse Olson, Tara Olson, Kasey Ostarello, Kylen Pattermann, Justin Phillips, Lisa Roberson, Chelsea Roberts, Michelle Rodgers, Danielle Rose, Paula Ross, Patrick Ruffolo, Kelly Shaw, Nikki Smith, George Spirakis, Natalie Swieca, Kevin Szatkowski, Edgardo Valle, Elizabeth Webb
12th grade
Angelica Acosta, Emma Anderson, Kimberly Anderson, Daniel Arnold, Jessica Arnold, Lindsay Bartel, Kathryn Bergman, Ryan Blake, Emily Curran, Kelly Davies, Stacey Davis, Margaret Dawe, Lindsay Douglas, Samantha Eichelberger, Matthew Galica, Ashley Girard, Lauren Gould, Caitlin Haag, Matthew Haffner, Erica Hankes, Erin Hanold, Sarah Harant, Samantha Hauser, Devin Mae Heath, Jordan Herra, Alexa Hill, Rebecca Holloman, Michael Jenny, Hayden Johnson, Leina Kameyama, Emily Kenkel, Casey Komel, Kathleen Kuhar, Angeline Tracy Limbo, Anna Limbrick, Curtis Lubic, Chassidy Mangers, Briana Minogue, Kathleen Moravcik, Evan Olson, Madeline Osman, Christopher Ott, Sarah Otterness, Perren Palpant, Kelaine Patterson, Jordan Pinkston, Emiliano Ponce, Michael Pritchard, Nicole Prusinski, Jacqueline Ream, Bryan Renaud, Brody Root, Anna Rossi, John Rotella, Kristen Rusnok, Kristen Sanecki, William Schaid, Meghan Schiber, Christine Schieve, Jeffrey Smith, Daniel Spence, Emily Tockstein, Zachary Tolan, Santiago Tovar, Cristofer Vargas, Yasintorn Wongwoottisaroch, Victoria Yurachek, Joanna Zielinski, Jennifer Zmrhal

Honor Roll
9th grade
Erin Arndt, Rebecca Arnold, Dhurata Azemi, Raymond Barry, Madison Bluml, Jordyn Boley, Zachary Brown, Acalia Cleaver, Andrew Correll, Ashley Cottier, Ashley Diddell, Alex Dorado, Zachary Douglas, Katelyn Dudzinski, Mitchell Gemini, Ariel Geraghty, Ryan Goodenough, John Goodrich, Matthew Grimm, Samantha Hansen, Samantha Heinle, Austin Henkelman, LaQuanda Hood, Seleana Isaacs, Jordan Jones, Sarah Kitz, Denitza Kolev, Ryan Kolk, Kelly Kovacic, Alec Krueger, Amber-Rose Lano, Cesar Lazcano, Ashton MacKenzie, Aracelli Magana, Jacob Mazuc, Nicholas McCarney, Kayley McPhee, Julianne Miller, Brendan Morgan, Amelia Napiorkowski, Diana Nuno, Konstantin Paraskevov, Austin Paulson, Sierra Perteete, Jordan Phillips, Edker Pope, Jari Ramos-Orbe, Sawyer Rego, Courtney Reiss, Josias Rodriguez, Angela Schramer, Grace Snyder, Erica Sorensen, Meggen Southern, Dalton Stewart, Michael Tattoni, Carolina Tovar, Amber Urich, Bryan Van Bogaert, Savannah Webb, Taylor White, Joshua Williams, Jordyn Withey, Maverick Wojciechowski, Erin Woodill
10th grade
Athina Ajazi, Yesenia Ayala, Kristina Bowen, Taylor Bradbury, Patrick Bratschun, Kayla Burns, Tyler Callaghan, Josiah Camiliere, Shaela Collins, Lauren Crites, Jonathon Delgado, Cali Dickerson, Andrea Dimmig Potts, Brian Dixon, Nicholas Dodis, Michelle Dugan, Tyler Esposito, Zachary Ganz, Angelica Garza, Damien Gilbert, Hayley Guyton , Michael Hammermeister, Megan Hanlon, Anna Henrichs, Elizabeth Hylland, Kelsey James, Kellie Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Allison Jones, Pamela Katsigiannis, Dylan Keith, Maria Kernychny, Skyler King, John Kintz, Kristen Krajewski, Nathan Krauz, Cameron LeBlanc, Mark Merfeld, Kaitlin Munyon, Joshua Nahley, Derek Nordine, Angela Parillo, Angelica Perez, Jimmy Ramirez, Stewart Ream, Kendall Renaud, Keith Runde, Colleen Ryan, Nicole Rymarz, Curtis Secrest, Briana Stark, Charlene Steininger, Bethany Swartz, Robert Thorson, Erich Turk, Alexander Vallejo, Logan Vines, Christian Williams, Ryan Wozniak, Robert Zachara, Kelsey Zollinger
11th grade
Danielle Anderson, Randi Bader, Ryley Bailey, Brittany Bauer, Robert Bergstrom, Chloe Bluml, Dennis Brettman, Edgar Celaya, Jaclyn Diehl, Scott Dienst, Brock Dyer, Andrew Eberle, Olivia Fabrizius, Angela Filippin, Kalina Flamand, Sabrina Gabriele, Lauren Gallucci, Colleen Gebauer, Jeffrey Gillett, Dylan Good, Tyler Hamer, Aaron Hayman, Matthew Ikemire, Jaclyn Isham, Lindsay Kahl, Tessa Kuipers, Caitlin Larson, Brandie Mattice, Jessica McHenry, Donald McLennan, Thomas Orr, Sean Paulick, Brenda Petersen, Izatmar Quiroz, Jordan Rego, Matthew Reusche, Connor Risch, Erin Rocha, Erin Rodway, John Scholl, Alyssa Snyder, Bradley Staker, Daniel Steinmiller, Cody Stults, James Tarchala, Benjamin Tennant, Kayla Thompson, Jacob Tickle, Xavier Torres-Valdovinos, Abigayle VanDerHeyden, Katie Walton, Nicholas Zimmer
12th grade
Cecelia Anderson, Jacob Astin, Garrett Austin, Kathryn Banbury, Joshua Bloome, John Brennan, Michael Chavez, Paul Davies, Laney Deligianis, Samantha Dixon, Alycia Donais, Kevin Durrenberger, Kelsey Fletcher, Alyssa Galvan, Eric Geiger, Lindsay Gierke, Mallory Gigl, Sally Gorenz, Kristen Hamer, Laura Hansen, Kathryn Hatch, Adrian Hernandez, Erin Heyob, Amanda Hilton, Mallory Huml, Brianna Hurst, Sonja Isaacs, Jenna Ivkovich, Krista Johnson, Lydia King, William King, Christopher Kovacic, Meghan Krajewski, Robert Kuti, Nathan Lewis, Robert Locke, Dylan Luse, Grant Mooney, Brittany Nelson, Michael Nguyen, Alexandra Olson, Daniela Parra, Benjamin Paulus, Troy Pritchard, Scott Proctor, Frank Reyes, Leah Richards, Paige Rogers, Sara Rose, Luis Ruiz, Joseph Ruppel, Samantha Sills, Kyle Slamans, Joseph Spitzzeri, Zachary Stavinsky, Jessica Stebbins, Kyle Stryczek, Annelise Weiss, Rick White, Lauren Whittaker, Cassandra Wilson, Mariella Zavala, Dana Zimmer

KHS hands out year-end awards for athletes

Rose, three others highlight senior banquet
MAPLE PARK—The end of the year awards and spring awards were handed out on June 9, recognizing the year-long effort of Knight athletes.

At the Senior Athletic Banquet awards, Knight awards were handed out to the five three-sport athletes from the class of 2009: Katie Hatch for tennis, basketball and track, Chassidy Mangers for cross country, basketball and softball, Curtis Lubic for golf, basketball and baseball, Chris Ott for football, soccer and basketball and Matt Weaver for cross country, wrestling and track.

The female Birkette award went to Mangers, while the male Birkette award found its way to Lubic.

Sara Rose was named the female athlete of the year at KHS, while Mike Pritchard was named male athlete of the year.

For boys track and field, Logan Markuson took the Track MVP, while Nick Sinon won the Field MVP.

Weaver took the Drendel Award home, and seven captains were recognized in the form of Lucas Ross, Weaver, Brendan McCarthy, Colin Zagel, Hayden Johnson, Paul Davies and Joshua Bloome.

Taylor Andrews won the Ron Probst Award.

The boys track had a glut of Western Sun All-Conference reps in the form of Derek Bus, Johnson, Edgar Valle, Markuson, Andrews, Sinon, Bloome and Matt Reusche.

Markuson, Johnson, Valley, Davies, Sinon, Bloome, Bus, Sean Paulick, Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were also highlighted for qualifying for the State gathering at Eastern Illinois University.

For the soccer squad that earned a berth to the regional title match at Burlington Central, Megan Gil, Sarah Goodrich, Paige Rogers and Bridget Crosby were recognized as captains. Crosby was also named most improved player. Savannah Webb took home the rookie of the year. Shelby Koester and Haley Johnson took the coach’s award, while Colleen Gebauer and Gil won the Lady Knights awards. Emily Heimerdinger was named team MVP. Girls soccer had three members named to the All-WSC roster in the form of Gil, Koester and Heimerdinger.

In the freshman soccer ranks, Haley Garcia was awarded Team Leader, Tatiana Brown took home the most improved honor, while Maggie Ruppel won the team spirit award.

In softball, the best offensive player award went to Jessica Lubic and Andrea Potts.

Brianna Hurst was given the best defensive player award. Rose took home the team MVP award, while Jordan Herra took home the most improved honors after her showing at the plate and in the field.

Erin Heyob, Hurst, Mallory Huml, Rose, Mangers and Herra were honored as captains.

Huml, Rose, Potts, Delani Vest and Lubic also brought home All-WSC honors.

For baseball, Curtis Lubic earned the Mr. Kaneland Baseball award, while Pritchard and Joe Gura took the Offensive MVP awards. Jeff Smith won the Defensive MVP award. Joe Spitzzeri took the 41 award, in honor of late teammate Jeff Malewig. Pritchard, Gura and Smith were named to the All-WSC team.

For girls track, Lindsay Gierke, Lisa Roberson and Andie Strang were given the track MVP award, while Kelli Patterson and Jordan Pinkston were named field MVP’s.

Patterson was honored with the Most Improved award.

Laney Deliginais, Alyssa Galvan, Gierke, Patterson, Roberson, Katie Weiss and Lauren Whittaker took home nods for captain.

Named to the all-conference group for the WSC were Whittaker, Gierke, Patterson and Pinkston.

Gierke, Pinkston, Strang, Roberson, Kris Bowen, Sara Wallace and Kelly Evers were also recognized for their State-going effort.

Sports Boosters award scholarships

The Kaneland Sports Boosters award four $500 scholarships a year to two senior girls and two senior boys who have applied by writing an essay entitled “Lessons Learned in Victory and Defeat.” This year’s awards were presented at the annual senior athletic banquet provided by the high school athletic office and the sports boosters. Award winners were Curtis Lubic, Kathleen Kuhar, Lindsay Douglas and Hayden Johnson.
Courtesy Photo

Baseball sees season end at Rockets home

by Mike Slodki
Monday’s Class 3A regional championship showed Kaneland and Burlington Central’s affinity for the long ball.

It was the Rockets who had slightly more of it.

Three costly homers by BC sent Kaneland baseball home for the season in a 6-5 defeat. The loss in windswept conditions ends the memorable season for the Knights at 23-13.

In a season that was accented by the loss of beloved teammate Jeff Malewig in December, the 2009 season is one that won’t soon be forgotten.

“The way we started with all the emotion, we started with these guys and won 23 games, a school record,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “This team is pretty special.”

For the Knights, it’s the third straight season of being ousted in the regional championship.

In 2007, eventual 2A State champ Neuqua Valley beat Kaneland, 4-1. 2008 had Sycamore oust Kaneland 6-5 in Dixon.

In the bottom of the first inning, Knight Jay Levita hit a home run to right centerfield for a 1-0 edge.

In the top of the third inning, Tanner Scott of the Rockets blasted a two-run shot for a 2-1 lead.

The bottom of the third had Jeff Smith reach on a bunt and Jake Fiedler hit a double to put two runners on. Smith scored on a passed ball to tie the game, and Fiedler came home on a fielder’s choice put in play by Joe Gura to take a 3-2 lead.

BC battled back in the fourth when Bill Rodriguez hit a homer to tie the score. Things got bad for KHS when Austin Jarvis hit a homer off Steve Colombe in the top of the fifth to take a 6-3 lead.

The bottom of the fifth saw life from the Knights when Levita hit a two-run shot to close within 6-5.

Ty Hamer shut the Rockets down in the top of the seventh. With one out, Gura drew a walk, but catcher Mike Pritchard grounded into a double play to end the game.

BC’s Nick Hahn earned the win.

On May 27, Kaneland ousted Western Sun Conference rival Rochelle 10-0 in five innings.

Smith gave up just one hit in his complete game effort. Dave Dudzinski’s second-inning homer, Joe Camaliere’s fourth-inning shot and Pritchard’s fifth-inning blast were plenty for the Knights to coast.

The Knights now say goodbye to a cache of seniors: John Rotella, Joe Spitzzeri, Curtis Lubic, Mike and Troy Pritchard, Levita, Ryan Stout, Gura and Smith.

Photo: Tyler Callaghan slides home safely to end the Knights’ 10-0, five-inning win against Rochelle on May 27. Photo by Mike Slodki

Knights outslug foes, match ’08 win total

by Mike Slodki
Knights baseball dealt with conference and non-conference rivals alike the same way: by nabbing the “W.”

The varsity Knights took it to Yorkville on Thursday afternoon under drizzly-turned-to-sunny skies and made short work of it, 12-2 in five innings.

Then, the Knights beat Yorkville on Friday, 5-2, Oswego East on Saturday 9-6, and Sycamore on Tuesday, 11-9.

Kaneland improved to 19-7 with a 10-5 Western Sun Conference record.

Joe Gura earned the win and struck out four batters while giving up just two runs on four hits on Thursday. Jeff Smith ended up 2-for-3, while Joe Camaliere plated three of the Knights’ runs. Camaliere reached on a three-base error, which allowed Jake Fieldler to score for the first run in the opening inning. By the end of the second inning, the Knights enjoyed a 7-1 lead that was buoyed by a Gura homer in the second. Kaneland scored five more runs in the fourth inning to go up 12-1 before the game was finished after the top of the fifth.

On Friday, the Knights took care of Yorkville in a 5-2 game that was continued from a Thursday stoppage due to rain. Resuming action with Kaneland leading 1-0, Yorkville came back to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth. The Knights scored three in the top of the sixth and Fiedler walked, later coming home on a second baseman error. Jeff Smith improved to 4-1 in the win.

Kaneland nabbed its 18th win of the season, just one off its 2008 mark, with a 9-6, come-from-behind win vs. Oswego East on Saturday.

Mike Pritchard went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a homer to left center. Jay Levita went 2-for-3 and Curtis Lubic went 2-for-2.

Lefty Troy Pritchard improved to 4-1 in a five-inning outing.

Kaneland struck first in the bottom of the second, thanks to a two-out RBI single by Lubic for a 1-0 advantage.

After Oswego East scored two in the top of the fourth inning, KHS managed to deadlock the affair on a Smith sac fly in the bottom of the inning. The Wolves took advantage of suspect fielding by the Knights to go up 5-2 after the top of the fifth, but Kaneland came back with four of its own in the bottom of the fifth.
Fiedler doubled and Camaliere walked. An errant pickoff throw put runners at first and third when Gura walked to load the bases. Mike Pritchard made it 5-4 with a two-run double and Levita gave the Knights the lead at 6-5 with a two-run single. Pritchard was up to his old tricks in the bottom of the sixth with his three-run homer in the teeth of a strong wind.

“I was just looking for my pitch with no strikes on me, and I got ahold of it,” Pritchard said.

“We didn’t really feel comfortable until the final out. We came through offensively and defensively at the end. Mike’s home run was a big lift, and he’s a leader out there,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “We’re going to tighten up the screws and get some guys going here.”

On Tuesday, Fiedler’s two-run homer keyed the win, played at Road Ranger Stadium in Loves Park, home of the Frontier League’s Rockford Riverhawks.

Baseball continues the homestretch of the regular season on Thursday, May 14, at Sycamore and Friday, May 15, at Batavia.

Baseball runs into tough week

by Mike Slodki
Through 20 games, Knights baseball has seen more of its share of steady performances.

However, this week provided more difficulty than most.

The Knights (14-6, 6-4 Western Sun Conference) went 1-3 in a week that had them lose to Plainfield South, Rochelle and Batavia.

Kaneland’s lone win was vs. the rival Hubs.

Tuesday saw Batavia beat the visiting Knights 3-2. The Bulldogs scored one in the third, sixth and the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

Joe Gura was tagged with the loss, and went 2-for-3.

On a Saturday visit to the Plainfield South Cougars, Kaneland fell 8-3.

Ty Hamer (1-1) went six innings in the loss and strick out two batters.

Three singles in the bottom of the first led to an early 1-0 deficit. A sac fly and a double in the fourth inning sent the Knights down 3-0. Plainfield South added one more in the fifth and four in the sixth before the Knights finally crossed the plate three times in the seventh inning. Curtis Lubic had two RBI in the losing effort.

On Friday, the Knights defeated Rochelle in Maple Park by a 5-2 score, thanks to a winning effort from Troy Pritchard (3-1) and a bullpen outing by Joe Gura (fourth save).

An RBI double by Gura in the third inning tied the score at 1-1. Two more runs came home in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead.

Two more came home to pad the final margin. Hamer had two RBI on the day.

Last Wednesday vs. Rochelle, Jay Levita’s double gave Kaneland a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Rochelle scored two to knot it up in the bottom of the first inning. Rochelle then scored three runs in the top of the third. Levita’s RBI single in the top of the sixth brought it to 5-3 before Rochelle scored an insurance run in the sixth.

Jake Tickle scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to close within two runs, but KHS stranded runners at first and second when the game ended.

“We can’t make errors like we did in the field today,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “Rochelle took advantage. They hit a couple balls at us and that should have been it, but the inning would keep going. (Steve) Colombe took the loss (3-1), but I think he’ll be alright.”

The Knights travel to Batavia on Thursday, April 30.

No stopping Knights baseball

This Kaneland baseball team is on quite a run.

Four consecutive victories this past week brought coach Brian Aversa’s group to 12-3 (4-2 Western Sun Conference).

Last Wednesday, April 15, the Knights wrote off Glenbard South in a 6-5 road win. Steve Colombe improved to 3-0 while Joe Gura collected save No. 2.

On Thursday, Kaneland more than doubled up on the visiting Raiders in an 11-5 win, and lefty Jeff Smith improved to 2-1.

Friday had Ty Hamer nabbing the win (2-0) and Gura getting his third save. Curtis Lubic went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.

On Saturday, Kaneland beat the visiting Fenton Bison by a 3-0 final thanks to a dominant Troy Pritchard (2-1) and his one-hit shutout.

The Knights were scheduled to visit Rochelle on Wednesday and host the Hubs on Thursday, April 23, and Friday, April 24.

Spring Sports Preview: After hard times, KHS baseball answers call for 2009 campaign

by Mike Slodki
The past 12 months have seen curveballs thrown at the players on the Kaneland High School baseball team.

Thrown by life, not by pitchers.

First, Joe Spitzzeri dealt with X-Linked lymphoproliferative disease, but found his way back to health and a spot on the team. Then in December the team dealt with the tragic death of teammate Jeff Malewig.

The events of the past year give way to a squad that is familiar with crises, but also conduct baseball matters with maturity.

Along the way, they hope to build on a good 2008, according to third-year coach Brian Aversa.

The 19-12 Knights of a year ago had a regional comeback win over host Dixon before seeing a rally fall short against Sycamore in the title game.

“The hunger is still there. You see a determination from these guys and a deep work ethic, and it’s not something they talk about, but you know it’s there,” Aversa said.

A switch from previous years is that the Knights will look to pitching to get them through games more than relying on hitting.

Coming back to the squad are senior leaders Mike Pritchard and Joe Gura, both all-Western Sun Conference members a year ago.

Pritchard looks to be behind the plate, following in the footsteps of celebrated backstops Brian Claesson and Kevin McMahon. Gura looks to fill the hole at shortstop.

Pritchard hit .377 as a junior, while Gura hit at a .400 clip, going to Aversa’s hope of good balance of senior leadership along with ability from the juniors.

On the mound for the Knights: a list that looks to include seniors Troy Pritchard, Jeff Smith, Gura and Spitzzeri. Patrolling the outfield are projected to be senior Jay Levita and sophomore Joe Camaliere. Candidates for third base include Curtis Lubic.

Other seniors looking to make a contribution are 3B/P John Rotella, OF/P Ryan Stout. Juniors are OF/P Ty Hamer, OF/P Steve Colombe, 1B/P Dave Dudzinski, IF Blake Kendrick, C Aaron Hayman, 2B/SS Jake Fiedler and OF Aaron Lamp.

Kaneland’s third-place conference mark a year ago is something that was a good benchmark and will look to carry the Knights again if the conference is anything like it was a year ago.

“Up and down, the conference will be tough again,” Aversa said. “There is no one you can overlook; Batavia, Sycamore, Geneva have a lot of guys returning that we look to do well against.”

Aversa thinks whatever lineup he dishes out will have the necessary components to do battle in the WSC and beyond.

“We’re looking for a good balance of pitching and depth on defense, and they’re ready.”

4/2/09 Note on omission
In the Elburn Herald’s baseball preview article on March 26, SS/P/2B Jake Tickle was omitted. The sports department regrets the error.

WSC, team honors dished at Winter Sports Awards

Last week saw Kaneland High School dole out its winter athletic awards with four sports being recognized on various levels.

In varsity girls basketball, Mallory Huml was given defensive player of the year, and Mallory Carlson was named most improved player. Katie Hatch and Sarah Rose were named co-MVP’s. Cece Anderson won the Kaneland Knight Award, and Rose was also recognized as a member of the all-Western Sun Conference team. Rose, Anderson, Hatch, Huml, Brianna Hurst, Chassidy Mangers and Alyssa Galvan were also recognized as captains.

In sophomore basketball, Jessica Stouffer and Liz Hylland took the Kaneland Knight awards, while Sydney Bilotta won defensive player. Andrea Dimmig-Potts and Katie Taylor were named co-offensive player of the year. Keara Palpant was given MVP honors.

For the freshman level, Anna Olson took the hustle award, and Katie Tolan won most improved. Christina Janes was named Queen of the Boards, while McKinzie Mangers was given the Dedication award. Kylie Siebert won the Lady Knight award.

For boys basketball, Dave Dudzinski was honored for making the All-WSC team, and was also named as the team’s offensive player of the year.

The Most Improved Player award went to the tandem of Christian Dillon and Sean Paulick. Dudzinski took the team MVP honors, and Curtis Lubic earned the defensive player of the year nod.

Brody Root, Dillon, Mike Prtichard, Lubic, Chris Ott and Joe Spitzzeri were also recognized as captains.

On the freshman level, Eric Eichelberger and Brandon Stahl earned most improved honors, while Jake Razo took home outstanding defensive player, and Jordan Jones was outatanding offensive player.

For the Lady Knights bowling team, Jessica Stebbins was given kudos for high game, high series, and high average.

Danielle Rose earned the most improved award. Emily Curran took home the coaches award and Stebbins, Curran, Kathleen Moravcik and Cassie Wilson were recognized as captains.

For wrestling, Jay Levita was named most valuable wrestler, as well as getting the Bob Domena Memorial Award for hardest worker, and was also given accolades for making the All-WSC team and State.

Jimmy Boyle took the most improved award, while Devon Scholl won the Dave Osman Award for most dedicated. Boyle was given the Russel Anderson Memorial Award, and Matt Weaver took the Heart and Soul Award.

Levita, Weaver and Scholl were also recognized as captains.

KHS dropped by Hampshire in regional

by Mike Slodki
As much as the five-game winning streak a month ago represented good times, these last three games had the look of a hard-luck end.

Wednesday, March 4, saw Hampshire beat Kaneland for the second time this season, in a 47-38 result at the Burlington Central Regional in Class 3A. Wheaton Academy then went on to defeat the Whip-purs on Friday night in Rocket-land, 47-42 to capture the regional title.

Sharp-shooting Mike Pritchard provided boosts throughout the game for the Knights and kept them in the fight with a game-high 15 points. Christian Dillon had eight and Dave Dudzinski was kept to seven points in the season finale.

“Outside of Mike, we really had no offense,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “He kept us in the game all night long.”

Last season saw Kaneland lose in a 56-55 regional skirmish with BC to end its season.

The Knights end at 13-13 (5-9 Western Sun Conference), which is a three-game improvement from a year ago.

Throughout the game, it was evident that Hampshire was going to be effective in shutting the inside game of the Knights. Kaneland was then forced to try outside shooting, but clanked its first four tries. A feed from Dudzinski to Dillon with 1:28 remaining in the first gave KHS an 8-7 lead until Hampshire’s basket with 56 seconds in the frame sent Kaneland down 9-8.

Pritchard came to life in the second quarter and accounted for all the points by the Knights. A field goal 25 seconds into the quarter gave Kaneland a 10-9 lead. Another jumpshot with 5:47 to go tied the score at 12-12, and a fadeaway gave Kaneland a 14-12 lead with 4:20 to go before Hampshire closed the half on a 6-0 run for an 18-14 deficit. A Pritchard three-pointer with 6:27 to go closed within 20-17, but a Steve Colombe shot and a Dillon basket off the glass were the only other field goals of the quarter. The Knights trailed 28-22 with eight minutes remaining.

Dealing with several six-point leads throughout the contest, a Hampshire trey made it 31-22 just 11 seconds into the frame. Pritchard’s additional three closed it to 31-25 with 7:05 to go. Brody Root’s bucket with 6:18 remaining closed within 31-27, but Hampshire held the Knights at bay, even extending the lead to 46-36 on two free throws with 29 seconds to go.

After the conclusion of the game, Kaneland said goodbye to seniors Chris Ott, Joe Spitzzeri, Lubic, Ryan Blake, Pritchard, Root and Dillon, all of whom saw valuable time on the floor in 2008-09.

“All seven are class acts,” Hansen said. “They’re good kids, they’ve got good work ethic, and they’ve been the heart and soul of our team all year.”

Knight boys make good on road trip; now 13-10

by Mike Slodki
Suddenly, the Knight boys basketball team is not one opposing teams want to face.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

With a 57-45 non-conference win at Marmion Academy in Aurora on Saturday, and a 63-54 Western Sun Conference win at Sycamore, coach Dennis Hansen’s Knights are now 13-10, having won five in a row.
KHS is now 5-7 in conference play.

Sycamore fell to 8-13.

Against the Cadets, center weapon Dave Dudzinski scored 20 points, Brody Root added 14 and Ryley Bailey had 12 of his own.

The Knights trailed 8-7 after one quarter, but had a monster second quarter and outscored the Cadets 21-14 for a 28-22 halftime lead.

Kaneland increased its lead to 42-32 after three before closing it out.

Against the Spartans, Dudzinski had 26 points, which matched the game-high of Sycamore’s Michael Buckner. Christian Dillon added 14 of his own.

“We’re playing really well and just trying to get the ball to Christian and Dave,” Mike Pritchard said. “If they’re double-teamed, we’re making a lot of outside shots.”

Up 9-8 in the first quarter, Ryan Blake hit a three pointer with 1:05 remaining for a four-point edge. After the Spartans hit a bucket with 51.2 remaining, Root came back with the final basket of the frame with 38.3 to go for a 14-10 lead.

When Root hit another jumper 59 seconds into the second quarter for a 16-10 lead, Sycamore went on a 7-1 run to tie the score at 17 with 4:46 remaining. Dudzinski hit a shot in the lane and Curtis Lubic soon followed with a bucket to retake the lead at 21-17 with 3:47 to go. After Buckner hit a free throw with 1:53 to go, Dudzinski hit two more shots, the last with 6.1 seconds to go for a 25-18 halftime edge.

Two buckets by Dillon and one by Dudzinski increased the lead to 31-20 with 6:14 to go. With two baskets by Root, Kaneland earned its biggest lead of the night at 39-26 with 2:56 to go.

Dillon’s bucket with 1:26 to go in the frame made it 43-31 before Will Strack’s three-point play and a Buckner free throw closed the third-quarter scoring at 43-35.

Sycamore continued to fight back on its home floor, even cutting the deficit to 49-43 on a Strack three with 3:39 to go. Kaneland tempered the attack with a Dudzinski field goal and a Blake shot to add some breathing room at 53-43 with 2:53 to go.

Dillon, Root and Dudzinski all saw time at the foul line to add to the total before the final buzzer.

“We’re all pointing toward regionals right now,” Hansen said. “We just have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing. Tonight we played all man-to-man. It worked so well that we stayed with it.”

Only two more regular season contests are in the way before the Class 3A regionals start at Burlington Central, with Hampshire the Knights’ opponents.

KHS goes up against Geneva in Maple Park on Friday, Feb. 20.

Photo: Mike Pritchard directs a pass during Friday’s nine-point win at Sycamore. Photo by John DiDonna

Local residents recognized as students of the month

Kaneland High School students Ryan Blake (Residential/Commercial Electrician II), Robert Kuti (Small Engines I), Joseph Spitzzeri (Small Engines I), Zachary Born (Welding I), Brenton McCuan (Auto Technology I), Adam Ross (Auto Technology II), Ernest Baldwin (Welding I), Jesus Caltzontzin (Auto Technology I) and Curtis Lubic (PC Maintenance, Repair & Networking) have been recognized as “students of the month” by the Fox Valley Career Center.

To receive this honor, students are selected by their program instructors because they have demonstrated the ability to do excellent work and accomplish goals for their particular career training during the past month.

Boys hoops getting big performances

KHS follows loss at Batavia with wins over BC, Rochelle

by Mike Slodki

Knights boys basketball wants this to keep going.

Not the snow, but the conference and nonconference wins alike.

KHS came back on Tuesday night at Rochelle 64-59.

Kaneland also found momentum throughout a 65-51 win vs. Burlington Central on Saturday, after succumbing to Batavia on the road, 54-38.

The Knights saw their record improve to 8-6, with a 2-4 mark in the Western Sun Conference.

Christian Dillon came through at the home of the Hubs with 17 points, followed by Brody Root with 14, which included an 8-for-8 night from the line, and Dave Dudzinski had 13 on the night.

The Knights started off with a 17-13 lead after the first eight minutes, but fell behind 30-25 at halftime. Kaneland closed within 37-33 before the final fourth quarter rally.

Dave Dudzinski had 16 points against the Rockets, while Mike Pritchard had 11 and Ryan Blake had 10.

Matt McCurdy led BC with 13.

The Knights went with a slightly different lineup to start matters with Steve Colombe, Joe Spitzzeri, Chaon Denlinger, Brody Root and Dudzinski, and it yielded benefits.

“We had a lot of guys step up tonight,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “We made some shots early and made the easy baskets.”

Burlington Central enjoyed an early 12-8 lead before Curtis Lubic nailed a shot with 51.7 seconds to go, cutting the lead to two.

The final sequence of the first frame had Lubic snare a steal and pull up for a successful three-pointer at the buzzer to go up 13-12 after one.

During a second quarter run, Dudzinski had a steal and six points which helped the Knights go up 26-19 with 4:40 to play in the half.

A shot by Christian DIllon and three consecutive buckets by Ryan Blake keyed a 9-0 run and a 35-19 lead with 2:47 to go before the Knights went into the locker room up 37-21.

The Knights increased their lead to 45-23 in the third quarter on a Denlinger lay-in with 2:06 remaining. Kaneland led 45-27 at the end of the third. The fourth quarter had Kaneland hitting seven out of eight shots down the stretch to cinch the win.

“We matched up well with Burlington Central,” Christian Dillon (6 points) said. “That second quarter was great and we really spread it out. Everyone got into the game.”

Against the formidable Bulldogs, Dudzinski had 19 points to lead Kaneland in a losing effort.

Batavia had an 11-8 lead after one and 24-22 after two. Kaneland fell victim to a third quarter that went 15-6 in Batavia’s favor before a 15-10 fourth quarter destroyed the Knights’ chances.

Lower class action had the sophomore boys lost a triple overtime game to Burlington Central on Saturday,79-73,falling to 2-10. Taylor Andrews led the Knights with 18 points, while Andrew O’Herron had 13.

On Friday night, Kaneland lost 50-23 to Batavia.

Rochelle handled the sophomores on Tuesday night, 38-31

Kaneland hopes to extend its winning ways on the varsity slate with a trip to Glenbard South on Friday, Jan. 16.

KHS boys basketball ready to deal with season’s challenges

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Knights return 10 in effort to bounce back from 10-17 season

by Mike Slodki

            Beginning at the Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the first sight for opponents of Kaneland boys basketball will be the junior in the middle, Dave Dudzinski.

            But opponents will need to be on the lookout for the tenacity and shooting touch that led to victories against schools like Yorkville in overtime, a 29-point comeback at Geneva and a last-second regional win vs. Sandwich.

            With 10 returnees supplanting the loss of personnel like Nick Wagner and Kevin Green, Kaneland could be prime for significant improvement from last year’s 10-17 record (6-8 Western Sun Conference).

            Dudzinski averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game as a center threat, and spent part of the summer in Orlando, Fla. as part of an AAU Nationals exhibition.

            “His sophomore year was good, and we expect even bigger things this year. We’re hoping we get a big year out of him,” third-year coach Dennis Hansen said on Tuesday.

            Seniors on the squad include Chris Ott at guard and guard Joe Spitzerri making his comeback from X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, an immune disorder. Other seniors include guard Curtis Lubic, guard Ryan Blake, forward Mike Pritchard, guard Brody Root and forward Christian Dillon.

            Juniors are guard Ryley Bailey, guard Donovan Williams, forward Steve Colombe, forward Sean Paulick, new addition junior Pat Fleming and Dudzinski.

            The lone sophomore on the squad is Chaon Denlinger.

            With rosters set a little over a week ago, Kaneland boys basketball is working on its game in the trenches.

            “So far, it’s been a lot of conditioning and defensive stuff. They’re familiar with what we do,” said Hansen, who has John Pavlak as assistant coach. “Biggest thing with this group is being consistent, which was a problem last year.”

            The players can put what they’ve learned and rehashed starting against Harlem High School of Machesney Park at the Thanksgiving tradition, the Strombom Tournament. Hansen looks for the experience to be useful.

            “I think so, it’s loaded with talented teams every year. It’ll have good solid ballclubs, and it’ll serve as a measuring stick,” Hansen said.

            Any early-season test to prove Kaneland’s mettle could send the Knights on their way to Western Sun success.

            “It seems to be wide open; Glenbard South and Batavia seem to have the advantage right now. Rochelle is a solid club. It’s wide open, and we hope to be there at the top,” Hansen said.

            The first slated conference battle is on Tuesday, Dec. 2, vs. Glenbard South, with the final regular season contest vs. Geneva on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.