Tag Archives: Featured

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Starts and stops

Photo: Sophomore Ryan David had six points for the Knights at DeKalb Tuesday. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—It was a game that had two near-misses.

Unfriendly weather had shelved the Kaneland boys basketball team to Elgin outfit St. Edward on both Jan. 30, and Thursday before finally settling for a Friday tip-off.

With no elements in their way, the Knights worked toward a 65-55 victory.

After yet another makeup contest on Tuesday in DeKalb, the Knights sat at (10-7, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big XII).

The Knights have alternated wins and losses in their last six games.

The DeKalb contest was originally set for Saturday, while the Knights have yet another makeup contest against visiting Sycamore scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, from Jan. 24.

Senior John Pruett continued his high-level of play in 2013-14 with a 29-point evening, followed by classmate Tyler Carlson with 17.

The Knights also benefited from 32 chances at the foul line, allowing for 16 baskets from the charity stripe for a 50-percent night.

KHS and the Green Wave were deadlocked at 13-all before Kaneland stormed to a 30-21 advantage at halftime. Kaneland led 45-36 after three before stretching the lead with a 20-19 fourth frame.

Against DeKalb, Pruett had a game-high 23 points, but DeKalb had four players in double-digits, as the Barbs used a 19-13 opening quarter to pave the way for a 76-70 win over visiting Kaneland. Tyler Carlson had 19 points and Cole Carlson had 15 for the Knights in the loss.

Kaneland continues the NIB-12 tour with a trek to Ogle County on Friday, Feb. 7, against Rochelle, in what continues a five-game road swing.

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Boy Scouts demonstrate creativity in Pinewood Derby

Photo: The Elburn Boys Scouts Pack 107 went all out with its creations for this year’s Pinewood Derby event, held at the former middle school building on Meredith Road on Friday. From Nascar and Spongebob to LEGO and Minecraft, the imaginations were endless. Joshua Duncan (below), 8, of Elburn, picked a Lego set as his prize from Friday night’s name drawing. Photos by Lynn Logan

MAPLE PARK—The Elburn Boy Scouts Troop 107 gathered together on Friday for a lighthearted and fun night of racing homemade cars in the Pinewood Derby.

This year’s Derby was conveniently located in the former Kaneland Middle School on Meredith Road in Maple Park, adjacent to the Kaneland High School property where Troop 107 holds its regular meetings. In years past, the Scouts held the Pinewood Derby at Family Life Church of Elburn on Keslinger Road.

A month and half prior to the racing event, Elburn Scouts Troop 107 and all other Pinewood Derby participants receive a racing kit that consists of a block of wood, four wheels and four axels. With the help of a friend or a parent, the Scouts turn these nine pieces of material into a car or car-like structure that reflects their respective interest.

Chuck Miller, a longtime volunteer for the Boy Scouts, notices each year that the kids really get creative with the assembling of their cars.

“A lot of the kids look around their own homes for ideas,” Miller said. “Their cars reflect their interests at the time. I’ve seen traditional racing cars, cars in the form of tanks, sharks, coffins, Swiss Army knives, an Elburn Herald paper, Thomas the Train, Minions from “Despicable Me,” Minecraft characters and many more.”

When it comes to the racing of the cars, each participant receives four chances to race their homemade car down a 30-foot aluminum track that has a timer connected to it. After each participant races their car four times, their total time for each heat is added up and the winners are announced.

From the Tiger group, in first grade, Nathan Z. from Den 8 received first place out of 16 cars. From the Wolf rank, in second grade, Ethan W. from Den 10 received first place out of 20 cars.

From the Bear rank, in third grade, Joshua S. from Den 7 received first place out of 20 cars. And from the Webelos, in fourth and fifth grade, Andrew S. from the Bacon Ninjas Den received first place out of 33 cars.

Out of 89 total cars, Joshua S. from Den 7 in the Bear rank, received first place.

A full list of winners will be available on Pack 107’s website, www.elburnparck107.org, later this week. And every Boy Scout comes home from the event with a door prize even if their car didn’t place in the event.

Each year, the pack leaders and volunteers noticed how the Pinewood Derby encourages camaraderie and sportsmanship among the Boy Scouts.

“The Pinewood Derby is one of our largest and most popular events where the Boy Scouts really get a chance to demonstrate their craftsmanship,” Miller said. “The Derby also promotes sportsmanship and healthy competition among the boys. All of the Scouts get really excited to race their cars especially the younger kids who are participating for the first time.”

Photos by Lynn Logan:

The cast of “The Laramie Project” includes Justin Schaller (back row, from left), Ben Mitchinson and Patrick Murphy; Rebecca Hof (middle row), Pamela Gianakakos, Sabrina Massa, Laszlo Reed, Peter Lopatin and Trisha Mills; Douglas Orlyk (front row) and Caitrin Mills. Photo courtesy of Sally Jane Photography

‘The Laramie Project’ debuts on Kaneland stage

‘It’s a powerful, powerful production.’
KANELAND—The play “The Laramie Project,” presented by Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) and partnered with the Kindness Campaign, did not open on its expected opening day last Friday, due to frigid weather. However, the show was back on Saturday and Sunday.

Maria Dripps-Paulson, executive director of KAI, said the cancellation was justified.

“It was windy,” she said. “And the drifts—if the wind blew always the exact same direction, we’d be fine. Because it (kept) changing—at one point it was north and then it kind of came from the west—we just couldn’t keep up with the drift.”

Dripps-Paulson said Saturday had a turnout numbering in the 50s. Sunday had about 40 people.

“I believe that every person that came and saw the performance was moved by the performances,” Dripps-Paulson said. “It’s a powerful, powerful production.”

The drama played out on the intimate stage of Kaneland High School’s Black Box Theatre, depicting the feedback from the townspeople in Laramie, Wyo., following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998.

Shepard was a gay college student who was driven to a remote area outside of Laramie where he was tied to a fence and beaten with a pistol.

“The Laramie Project” consisted of 11 cast members. According to Dripps-Paulson, six cast members were adults and five were Kaneland High School students. The youngest in the show were two freshman. “The Laramie Project” also showcased the acting talents of Kaneland School Board member Peter Lopatin and Pamela Gianakakos, who is a first-grade teacher at McDole Elementary School.

Each cast member played numerous roles—typically between six and eight characters.

Diane McFarlin, assistant principal at Kaneland High School and artistic director of “The Laramie Project,” referred to “The Laramie Project” play as a community project.

“We feel strongly that as part of what we try to do in bringing art to the community, that this was an important piece to spur and inspire really good conversations regarding acceptance and certainly kindness for all,” McFarlin said.

KAI and the Kindness Campaign lead an audience discussion following each performance.

“Certainly from our talk-back sessions that we had this weekend, our kids have experienced some feelings of not feeling very safe in school if they’re different,” McFarlin said. “It’s important to see that there are all kinds of people in this world. And everyone has a right to be safe and be accepted in our community.”

What can audiences learn from “The Laramie Project”?

“Out of great tragedy there is hope. Always,” Dripps-Paulson said. “So I think that would be a strong and good message for people to learn from. And I would hope that it would open up some conversations among people to see what true acceptance is.”

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Diddell wins conference crown

Team places sixth
STERLING, ILL.—Sterling High School housed quite the collection of wrestling talent on Saturday, as Kaneland found out firsthand.

Earning some individual glory and having to deal with capable talent in both Northern Illinois Big XII divisions, the Kaneland Knights wrestling squad finished in sixth place with 112.5 team points.

The kings of the conference turned out to be Yorkville with a total of 237 points, followed by Geneseo with 219.5. Rounding out the top five schools were DeKalb at 180, Sycamore at 127.5 and LaSalle-Peru at 120. After Kaneland, Sterling finished seventh with a 110 score, and Ottawa took eighth at 96. Morris, Rochelle and soon-departing Dixon and Streator completed the lineup with 67, 60.5, 37 and 21, respectively.

A year ago, Kaneland finished fifth at the NIB-12 meet in Sycamore.

The Knights saw one of their own get to the first-place promised land, as 285-pound juggernaut Justin Diddell owned his weight class, much like graduate Dan Goress did a year ago at 145.

Austin Parks managed a third-place finish in the 160-pound category, and teammates Matthew Redman (126) and Nick Mish (106) took fourth-places for their afternoon effort.

Other KHS action featured Adam Mish (113) managing a fifth, while Zach Parker (170) and Riley Vanik (145) took sixth places.

For Diddell, action began with a win over L-P foe Jon Hewitt in 31 seconds, and a semifinal win over Geneseo’s Nick Verbeck in 3:49. In the heavyweight final, DeKalb’s Alex Roach fell victim to a Diddell pinfall in 3:21.

In the 160-pound landscape, Parks began with a win over L-P rival Mike Milasuski by 1:02 fall before falling to Yorkville Fox Tyler Wilkinson in 2:51. Parks recovered in the consolation semi by beating Sycamore’s Michael Beaudoin in 2:30 before acing Cole Hunzeker of Geneseo in the third-place match by a final of 7-2.

Redman beat Logan Mathey of Sycamore, 5-2 to kick things off, before losing to Geneseo’s Hunter Grau by 20-5 count. In the consolation semifinal, Redman recovered sufficiently to beat Dixon’s Jake Johnson by 8-0 major decision. In the third-place match, Redman fell to DeKalb foe Izaiah Webb, 15-13.

Nick Mish began the day with a loss to Geneseo’s Tumbo Tumbarello by 8-4 count, and then regained composure by beating Morris’ Tony Menozi in 5:11. Moving on to the consolation semi, Mish beat Sterling host Tyrone Long in :41 before losing to Yorkville’s Hunter Vester by 4-0 count.

Ahead for the Knight roster is the traditional end-of-regular season tussle with former conference rival Batavia in the Bulldogs’ newly refurbished fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 31.

Photos by Patti Wilk:

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Ky’s the limit

Lady Knight star-turned-college libero wins prestigious Augustana honor
ROCK ISLAND, ILL.—For a rising Kaneland volleyball program in the beginning of this decade, Class of 2012 athlete Kylie Siebert of Sugar Grove could be seen digging plenty of attempts from opponents.

After two seasons as a libero for the Division III Augustana Vikings, Siebert has dug up some high accolades.

As starting libero for the Vikings, most recently 16-15 and owners of back-to-back winning records for the first time in six years, Siebert was named Most Valuable Player for the 2013-14 Augustana unit for her exceptional play.

That came on the heels of earlier namings to the All-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin team and All-CCIW academic all-conference list.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Siebert said on Monday. “As a libero, we sometimes get overlooked.”

From a stint on the KHS squad that won 55 matches during her varsity stay, to a rigorous college circuit, Siebert was glad to have some preparation.

“It’s a lot more commitment. You have to be mentally and physically ready, and it’s a lot different of a workload,” Siebert said.

The sophomore averaged 5.3 digs a game for the Vikings, the fourth best single season rate in program history. The former Lady Knight was also third on the team with 109 assists.

Raising her game against the rotation of capable CCIW teams was satisfying to the former Northern Illinois Big XII MVP.

“There’s teams like Elmhurst, Wheaton, North Central and Carthage. We kind of struggled and get looked at as the underdogs, so this season was a big step,” Siebert said.

Siebert, attending Augustana for a business and marketing major with a minor in multimedia journalism, doesn’t plan to rest after the nice bounty of awards.

“I’m very competitive and I push myself. I’m in a lifting program now and it’s helping out,” Siebert said.

The CCIW leader in average digs per game with 5.95 per conference tilt, Siebert is already looking to a productive back half of her college tenure after adjusting to the high level.

“The college game is very disciplined, and you have to adjust and go with it,” Siebert said. “We have a new coach next year (Kelly Bethke), and I think we can fight to get in the top half of the conference.”

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Hoops for Heroes Feb. 15

Kaneland to host inaugural Day and Knight of Hoops
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland Boys Basketball announced the Hoops for Heroes inaugural Day and Knight of Hoops, to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Six premier varsity/sophomore basketball programs—Kaneland, St. Charles North, Hillcrest, Elgin Larkin, North Chicago and Peoria Richwoods—sporting deep traditions in basketball, community, service and youth sports, will be showcased throughout the day.

In addition to the great action on the court, the event will also have plenty of off-court entertainment as well, including:

• Exhibition games by the Kaneland Youth Basketball and Cagers programs
• Kaneland Pep Bands filling the place with sound
• Team cheers and spirit for all teams, by Kaneland Youth Cheer
• Food and drink by the Kaneland Sports Boosters
• Customizable event clothing, to capture the memories
• 50/50 Raffle with winners all day and “Knight” long
• Draw down raffle following the hoops at Maple Park’s Bootlegger’s Bar and Grill with a $2,000 Grand Prize

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, to honor and empower wounded veterans.

In addition to attending the event, sponsorship opportunities are available as well,

For more information or to donate, click here.

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‘Carrie’s going to be missed’

Photo: Longtime Elburn resident Carrie Petrie (pictured with her daughter, Cara, and granddaughter, Abby) passed away on Jan. 9. Petrie was involved with the Elburn American Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary, played an active role in the Elburn Memorial Day ceremony for many years and helped run the Elburn Community Blood Drive. Her absence has been felt by many in the community. Photo submitted by Cara Bartel to info@elburnherald.com

Community mourns passing of longtime Elburn resident
ELBURN—The passing of lifelong resident Carrie Petrie on Jan. 9 has left a hole in the community of Elburn.

“You never replace someone like Carrie,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “You can get someone to take over her responsibilities, but you never replace her. Carrie’s going to be missed.”

Anderson said his first experience with Petrie was years ago when he and a date stopped in at Robert’s Drive-In in Geneva to get a bite to eat. The restaurant was two-thirds full, and Petrie was not only the waitress who took their order and served them, but the cook who made their meal, as well as the cashier who took their money.

That take-charge, “let’s get it done” kind of attitude has defined her throughout her life, whether she was helping out on the family farm, placing flags on the graves of the veterans for Memorial Day, cooking spaghetti dinners at the American Legion, or managing the Elburn Community Blood Drive every year.

Carrie was the oldest girl in her family. According to her sister Cecelia, Carrie could run a tractor at an early age. During the war, when so many of the men were overseas, she said Carrie was a big help around the family farm. She could drive the horses as well as a set of mules.

“Dad said she was the best hired man he ever had,” Cecelia said.

Carrie, like many of the young girls in her day, wrote to the soldiers fighting overseas during World War II to keep them from being lonely. Grover Petrie from Sycamore was her choice of a pen pal because she thought he had nice handwriting.

When Grover came home from the war, and he and Carrie met, courted and married. They remained committed to caring for the men and women who had served their country.

Grover joined the Elburn American Legion, and Carrie became a charter member of the Women’s Auxiliary. She and the other wives were actively involved in the current American Legion building.

“That kitchen didn’t magically appear,” said Kay Swift, the Petrie’s neighbor. “There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into that building. The ladies were there right beside the men, holding lunches and catering dinners to raise the money.”

The Legion’s spaghetti dinners featuring Carrie’s “private (sauce) recipe,” became an annual event. Swift, who helped out with the dinners, said Carrie had everything so well organized, it didn’t seem to be such a big chore.

Carrie had initially set up the kitchen with a place for everything and everything in its place. Village attorney and Vietnam veteran Bob Britz said that Carrie held everything together.

“I don’t think she was ever in the service, but she would have made a good drill Sergeant,” he said with a laugh.

Together with Britz, Carrie played an active role in the Elburn Memorial Day ceremony for many years. Carrie would read the names of each veteran who had passed away, as well as reciting the poem “Flanders Field” each year. Until several years ago, when the Boy Scouts took over the job, Carrie and a crew of volunteers during the week prior to the service would place flags at the gravesite of every veteran buried in Elburn.

Her dedication and service to veterans included weekly trips to Elgin Mental Health Center, where the 30 or so veterans there would receive packets of gum, cookies, hot chocolate or coffee and other treats that Carrie and other Legion members assembled.

She always felt that no matter what their circumstances were, the veterans deserved the respect and gratitude for the service they gave to their country, Kay Swift said.

“She was a very good motivator,” said Swift, who for the past eight years had helped Carrie run the Elburn Community Blood Drive.

Swift said that when she could no longer donate blood due to a heart condition, she asked Carrie what she could do instead.

“Have I got a job for you,” Carrie responded. And Swift became the blood drive coordinator.

Helen Johnson has known Carrie and her sisters since they were little girls. She said her dad would take the “Gum girls” along with them to basketball games and county fairs, and to Maple Park to make cider.

When Carrie married Grover, they were the first ones to travel to Hackensack, Minn., for their honeymoon, Johnson said. That first trip was the beginning of 40 years of summer fun with family and friends.

“We all cooked together and the guys went fishing,” Johnson said.

Carrie continued to make the drive up to their cabin after Grover passed away. As recently as this past summer, she made the long trip herself, even though her son, Neal, had also passed away, and it was getting harder for her to get in and out of her car.

On her way home, Carrie met her sister Cecelia and her husband Norbert Lund for dinner. Cecelia recalled the numerous nice things that Carrie has done for others.

She used to pick up Cecelia’s daughters and drive them to work at the restaurant in Wasco where she worked, so they could experience what it was like to have a real job. They were able to work their way through college, she said.

“We’re all very proud of her, and all her years of hard work and dedication,” Cecelia said.

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Body of work

Boys track assistant coach accepts award
KANELAND—For two decades, Rob Bieritz has been a part of the fabric of Kaneland track.

Two weeks ago, he was awarded some hardware for his work.

Bieritz, a Batavia resident and a Class of 2001 graduate of Kaneland High School, was one of several honorees by the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association as a recipient of the Dave Pasquini Assistant Coach Award. The award can only be awarded to a coach once in their lifetime, and is for extraordinary effort as an assitant coach for either track and field or cross country.

Bieritz, along with Glenbard South’s Ryan Crissey, Evanston’s George Woodridge, Chicago’s Jones rep Ben Mahon, Neuqua Valley’s Michael Rossi and Sterling’s Tom Depasquale, were honored at a social in Downers Grove, Ill., on Jan. 10.

KHS boys track coach Eric Baron informed the track staff of the honor through email; fitting because Baron is also a winner of the award, along with Randy Olesen.

The award is named after former Glenbrook South High School coach Dave Pasquini, who died of cancer.

“You look at what coach Baron has done and what Randy has done, and all the way back to Ralph Drendel, and it’s as much them surrounding me,” Bieritz said.

Starting assistant track work in 2006 under Baron, Bieritz was influenced as a coach, but first an athlete, under the Kaneland success factory.

“You can’t put a description as to what the coaches taught me, but you try to resemble what they’ve done as much as you can,” Bieritz said.

Bieritz has been able to interact with current coaches as a Knight athlete and a KHS mentor in the lanes.

“Every coach I’ve had, guys like Tom Fedderly and Chad Clarey and others, you learn from them and take what you want,” Bieritz said.

The former 300m Intermediate Hurdles state qualifier has noticed differences in his coaching approach and now has eight years of track nuances to look back with.

It’s all the better for the perennial Class 2A medal threat.

“You try not to coach in general, you have to coach toward each different kid. What you try could affect a kid differently, and you have every style of kid. They’re all different,” Bieritz said.

The award, for assistant coach achievement, was given out before the annual ITCCCA track clinic held at Oak Park-River Forest High School. It could be fitting that an award that went to Bieritz comes shortly before a clinic, signifying that an assistant coach’s work is never done.

“You have to be able to bust your butt at this, so the kids can bust theirs and see the rewards,” Bieritz said. “When the kids see what the rewards are, that’s what it’s all about.”

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Wrestlers continue to roll

Photo: Riley Vanik throws his opponent to the mat during Saturday’s Tournament at KHS. Vanik took second place in the 145-pound bracket. Zach Parker (below) was Kaneland’s lone tournament champ, winning the 182-pound bracket. Photos by Patti Wilk

KHS takes second at Flott, hands Morris convincing loss
KANELAND—Kaneland High School wrestling is 16-7 in dual competition, which is a decent story in itself.

It’s the convincing way the grapplers have won 16 of 23 duals that has been the main detail.

Before KHS battled its way to a second-place finish at its own Flott Memorial Tournament on Saturday, the Morris Redskins learned firsthand what talent the Knights bring to Northern Illinois Big XII duals, with Kaneland on top 45-15.

At the Flott gathering in Maple Park on Saturday, the Knights’ 170.5 point total was 18.5 points behind Central Suburban Conference mainstay Niles North’s champion-worthy total. At 155 points, Larkin was third, followed by Elgin in fourth at 148 points. NIB-12 rival Rochelle was fifth at 130.5 points, while Plainfield North brought up the rear with 103.5 points.

The Knights had one first-place entry on the afternoon in the form of 182-pound Zach Parker, as well as seven others with a second-place finish.
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Parker defeated Niles North’s Zac Khaya by 4:35 pinfall and stuck Rochelle’s Eli Keating with a 60-second pinfall in the championship final.

The plethora of second-place honorees on the Kaneland side began with 113-pound entry Adam Mish, who beat Larkin’s Edgar Trejo by 7-0 count before dropping a 9-5 final to Hub Jeff Board. At 126 pounds, Matthew Redman finished second by beating Niles North’s Maykel Potros 6-1 and losing to Larkin’s Duke Bogicevic in 1:15. 138-pound asset Dane Goodenough took second by beating Larkin’s Joey Rahn in :54 and Plainfield North’s Dan Valenzio in 5:08, before losing to Joe Pazmino of Niles North 5-3.

Riley Vanik of the 145-pound group mowed through Niles North’s Joe Broton by technical fall before dropping a 12-4 major decision to Rochelle’s TC Hager in the final. At 160 pounds, it was Zach Russell finishing as runner-up after a 3:56 solving of Niles North’s Thomas Gaul and 11-8 loss to Elgin rep Devin Syavong. Tom Price of the 170-pound range began with a 1:17 pin of Plainfield North’s Bryan Bott, and beat Larkin’s Victor Cuevas in :38 before losing by DQ to Plainfield North’s Mark DiNardo in the final. In the heavyweight category, Justin Diddell beat Elgin’s Ariel Barraza in :38 and Niles North’s James Edmond by 4-3 count, before losing to Plainfield North’s Nick Wolf in 1:27.

In the dustup with the Redskin rivals, Kaneland got on a roll early with a 7-2 win for Parker over Ryan Kowalczyk and a 195-pound win for Cullen Murray over Morris’ Victor Toissant, 10-3. After a forfeit, Diddell picked up the slack with a 2:45 pinfall over Andrew Faught to begin a five-match win streak for KHS. Nick Mish won a 10-4 decision over Tony Menozi at the 106-pound mark, followed by Adam Mish at 113 pounds taking a 6-1 decision over Morris’ Andrew Smith. KHS teammate Jacob Shearer, at 120 pounds, took a 1:39 pin, followed by Matthew Redman winning his 126-pound match with Dominic Byerly just 34 seconds before regulation ended.

“I don’t really know what to say, we’re just having a really good year and we have a young team,” Redman said. “We’re succeeding with it.”

The Knights ended up with three more victories in the form of Luke Eggenberger at 132 pounds over Morris’ Hunter Herman (2:42 pin), Vanik with a 6-0 win over AJ Vota, and a 1:17 Russell pin over Ryan Olsen.

It was a satisfying win for the group, especially on Senior Night.

“It was nice for the seniors and for the underclassmen to get the pins where they needed them,” KHS coach Monty Jahns. “It was huge and fun. It’s been a really good year so far.”

Ahead for the Knights crew: the Northern Illinois Big XII meet housed by Sterling on Saturday, Jan. 25.

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KHS stops streak on lanes

Photo: Kaneland High School seniors Christie Crews (left) and Michelle Bohanek enjoy one of their last few games as seniors. Photo by Patty Wilk

Bowlers celebrate win, seniors
KANELAND—It was bound to happen, and lucky for Kaneland, it happened with some time left in 2013-14.
Stopping a five loss skid, Kaneland earned a win over the host IMSA Lady Titans on Thursday in non-conference competition.

The 2,080-1,863 win for the Kaneland Lady Knights crew at St. Paul’s in Aurora marked the first dual win for the black-clad roster in exactly five weeks.

KHS followed that up with a Northern Illinois Big XII matchup against visiting Rochelle at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb on Tuesday and ended up on the losing end of a 2,666-2,296 affair.

Kaneland is now 3-8.

In the win over IMSA, noteworthy series came at the throws of junior Dominique Lee at 447, senior Michelle Bohanek at 432 and junior Rena Wojciechowski at 421. Top games were from Lee at 179 and Wojciechowski at 170.

“We did have some good, consistent bowling last Thursday at IMSA,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “The conditions are always a challenge at St. Paul’s Lanes, but we went in there with a good attitude and the idea that we could do well, regardless. It paid off, as most of the girls bowled at or slightly above their season averages.”

Against Rochelle, top series came from Lee at 421 and Bohanek at 411, with Lee notching the top games at 156 and 150. Wojciechowski also rolled a 150.

On Wednesday, Kaneland bowled at Ottawa, and lost to the hosts 2,733-2,537.

The Lady Knights continue their regular season homestretch with the NIB-12 meet on Monday, Jan. 27, at Dixon Plum Hollow Lanes, hosted by Streator.

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Photos: Cheerleaders @ NIB-12 Competition

It was a high-flying Sunday in Morris, as the Northern Illinois Big 12 conference cheerleading squads travelled to the home of the Redskins for the annual NIB-12 Conference Cheerleading Competition. The Lady Knights left with a ninth-place showing as a team, but featured All-Conference athletes in Mattie Garrison, Denise Gombar and Nicole McClellan. KHS also recieved two all-conference honorable mentions for Alexis Lund and Jessica O’Donnell. Freshman Amber Evans (above, left to right), sophomore O’Donnell and freshman Rylee Born show their Kaneland spirit at Sunday’s NIB-12 Competition at Morris High School.

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Downed in DeKalb

Photo: Senior Kelly Wallner was the high scorer for the Lady Knights with eight points against a strong DeKalb squad. Photo by Mary Paulson

DEKALB—Kaneland girls basketball, despite being 9-11 (2-2 Northern Illinois Big XII), has managed to hang tough in many of its 20 contests thus far.

When they end up of the wrong side of a result, such as Friday night in DeKalb, the Lady Knights know they’ve been on the court with tough teams in their own right.

In the Lady Knights’ lone contest of the week, DeKalb handed KHS a 41-25 loss on the strength of a prolific first half.

The Lady Barbs’, winners of their 13th game of 2013-14, held Kaneland to a rough 10-of-38 evening from the field. Kaneland’s top scorer was frontcourt asset Kelly Wallner with eight points. DeKalb junior Madelyne Johnson supplied a game-high 14 points.

Kaneland was also just 4-of-10 from the foul line on the DeKalb hardwood.

KHS kept it somewhat close and trailed 15-10 after the first eight minutes, before managing just two points in the second quarter and falling in a 29-12 hole. In a slower-tempo third quarter, KHS closed it to 33-18 before the final frame.

“The girls did an excellent job defensively holding DeKalb to 41 points,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “They have a lot of weapons. We have struggled shooting the ball this season and we had a rough night shooting on Friday. The effort is there, we just need to knock down some shots.”

The other teams in the NIB-12 landscape are shaping up to how Colombe saw.

“We felt like the conference would be very strong and it is. DeKalb is the defending champ and is until someone else takes it from them. They feature two girls who are D1 recruits. Sycamore has arguably the top player thus far in conference in Bailey Gilbert, and they play very well as a team,” Colombe said.

The girls deal with Sycamore at home on Friday, Jan. 24, and will try to halt a three-game skid.

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Carey family reunited following rough 2013

Photo: The Carey family, Tim, Dylan, Chris and Gavin, at home together just days after being reunited on Dec. 26. Courtesy Photo

SHABBONA, Ill.—When 3-year-old Dylan Carey was finally reunited with his mother, Christine Bateman Carey, on Dec. 26, he wrapped himself around her legs and wouldn’t let go.

Neither he nor his 6-year-old brother, Gavin, had seen her in three months.

Dylan, who has been undergoing treatment for a stage four neuroblastoma, had spent a month in quarantine at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago after a bone marrow transplant. Chris, who suffered head trauma in a car accident on Oct. 12, had been hospitalized at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, undergoing physical, rehabilitative and speech therapies.

Their reunion was “just really awesome,” Dave Bateman, Chris’ father, said.

“Dylan sat down on the couch and glued himself to his mom’s leg. He was just stuck there,” Bateman said. “There were some tears, some adjustments, and then time to play a little bit. Chris tires easily, and that’s to be expected, but the reunion was incredible. She was so glad to be home with the boys, and the boys were glad to see mom. It is the answer to a whole lot of prayers, I can tell you that.”

It was a rare moment of joy for a family that’s been twice touched by tragedy: Dylan’s diagnosis in July with neuroblastoma, a tumor of the adrenal gland that had metastasized into his bones, and the car accident in October that landed Chris in a neuro intensive care unit.

Chris, a 1995 Kaneland graduate and an Elburn native, was already on unpaid family medical leave from her job, as she shuttled Dylan to doctors’ appointments, surgeries and chemotherapy. After the accident, her husband, Tim Carey, also went on unpaid family medical leave to care for his wife and sons, living at Ronald McDonald House to be with Dylan during his surgery and month-long quarantine.

Their medical bills are sky-high. Their incomes have disappeared. The situation prompted friends and community members to raise over $38,000 for the family at the “Superheroes for Dylan” fundraiser in Sugar Grove on Dec. 6.

It was an outpouring of support that the family is grateful for, Bateman said.

“The one thing I want to make sure comes through is the absolute and incredible gratitude that Chris and Tim have for all the support they’ve had,” Bateman said. “The fundraiser, the girls who put on that fundraiser … there were people supporting them before the accident, but after, there was hardly a day that one of her friends didn’t come spend with her in the hospital. It’s been an incredible support from friends and community, and I know they want to express their gratitude for that, and I certainly do.”

Though Chris and Dylan are now home, both are still undergoing intensive treatment.

Dylan is starting targeted radiation therapy and travels to Central DuPage Hospital for radiation treatments five days a week.

“We’re a long ways from being done,” Bateman said. “There’s still a lot of pieces that need to get put together, but the doctors are optimistic about Dylan. I think I used the word earlier, ‘cautiously optimistic,’ and I still am, but I’m more optimistic than cautious at this point in time.”

Chris is traveling to Cadence Health in Aurora for additional rehabilitative therapies twice a week. She’s made dramatic progress since the accident, but she still has further to go, her father said.

“All the tubes are out,” Bateman said. “She can eat and converse, but her memory is not so great. She gets lost once in awhile, where she’ll come out of the woods, but for the most part she’s very conversant. She does not remember any part of the accident, and that’s a good thing. I told Chris, ‘The mind has the amazing ability to block some things, and it’s OK, your mind’s protecting
you from that.’ Everyday she remembers more people. It’s putting things in perspective.”

Chris was highly motivated to recover, Bateman said, because she wanted to go home and start caring for Dylan and Gavin again.

“For Chris, it was, ‘What do I need to do to go home?’ She really worked very hard at it, and she realizes there’s still a way to go, but she’s planning on having a full recovery,” Bateman said. “But we also know that it’s not going to be overnight. It could be more than a year before she’s back to normal, but you achieve a little more normalcy every day.”

Tim’s step-sister, Rachel Saltz, has come to stay with the family for the month, helping take Dylan and Chris to treatments and take care of Gavin, who is back in school. The family is trying to adjust to the dramatic changes in their lives, Bateman said.

“It’s just an ongoing process of getting reacquainted,” he said. “You’ve got a family that has been totally devastated over the last six months, and it’s a matter of adjusting to the new reality. It’s never going to be quite like it was. It’s going to be close, but never quite the same. I give (Tim) an immense amount of credit, simply to be able to weather that storm. As he said, ‘You do what you have to do.’ And that was Chris’ attitude before she was hurt: ‘I can’t change what it is, but I can work on my attitude, and my attitude is that we’re going to get through this.’”

The family is still in need of financial help, he said, and additional fundraisers are being planned. Though the Carey family has health insurance, there are co-pay fees for every doctor visit and every medication, as well as co-insurance, the percentage of hospitalization costs and treatment that the family has to pay. Chris’ three-month stay in the hospital was particularly costly, Bateman said, and the bills for her treatment and Dylan’s treatments are just starting to arrive.

Yet despite the challenges, Bateman said he felt hopeful.

“I feel just overwhelming gratitude,” he said. “It’s the answer to prayers that we are so grateful for. And I’m going to be a little selfish and say, we need continued prayers because we’re certainly not done yet. We’re not out of the woods, but we’ve seen some clearings.”

Monetary donations can be made to the “Superheroes for Dylan” account at any Castle Bank, including the Sugar Grove branch at 36 E. Galena Blvd.

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HorsePower to host 2nd annual bowling fundraiser

ST. CHARLES—HorsePower Therapeutic Riding, a not-for-profit organization in Maple Park, will host its second annual bowling fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Charles Bowl, 2520 W. Main Street in St. Charles.

There will be two bowling sessions during the event, with one from noon to 2 p.m., and the other from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.horsepower.ticketleap.com/bowling. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for kids who are age 10 and under. There will be no charge for children under the age of 3.

Non-bowlers are also encouraged to attend with a reduced ticket rate of $15. There is an unlimited amount of tickets available for non-bowlers.

The fundraiser will feature silent auctions, cupcake sales, jewelry sales, pizza and a 50/50 faffle.

Carrie Capes, program director and co-founder of HorsePower, hopes to raise $17,000 at the event on Saturday. The money raised will help to purchase lesson equipment and benefit the students HorsePower currently has on scholarship, while also allowing for more scholarships.

“Our scholarships put kids and adults up on a horse when they normally wouldn’t be able to take lessons,” Capes said. “We currently have seven students who are on scholarship now, and we hope to have fourteen students on scholarship this year.”

There are 35 students who currently take riding lessons at HorsePower. Students who have a physical, mental, emotional or cognitive disability benefit in a huge way from horse riding lessons, gaining communications skills, physical stability and emotional empowerment.

HorsePower Therapeutic Riding was co-founded by PATH certified instructor Capes and Wholesale & Correspondent Lending Officer Justin Yahnig in March 2012 with the hope that people with disabilities would experience the healing and empowerment that comes from a horse.

Anyone interested in donating to HorsePower can visit their website at www.horsepowertr.com and click on the donate button.

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Feeling the freeze in Burlington Central

Photo: Senior forward Brittany Kemp contests a Morris shot Jan. 9. Kemp had four points against the Lady Redskins, but came back with a team-high 11 points Monday at Plano. Photo by Marshall Farthing

Rockets’ wide-open style dooms Lady Knights in between Morris win, Plano loss
BURLINGTON, Ill.—Kaneland girls basketball was on the run often on Saturday at Burlington Central.

Usually, it was to rush back to either side of the floor or trying to deal with Burlington Central’s long-range game, led by Samantha Pryor’s 21 points and three three-pointers, and Shelby Holt’s three treys.

The long night ended with a 54-33 loss. Preceding that, the Lady Knights beat rival Morris on Thursday by a final of 57-45 in Maple Park, but dropped a 44-41 result on Monday to the team responsible for their 2013 regional ouster, host Plano.

Kaneland is now 9-10, with a 2-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII conference action.

Post presence Kelly Wallner led the KHS charge with 15 points against Burlington Central, but the next-closest Lady Knight output was Caroline Heimerdinger with six.

Two quick buckets for Wallner gave KHS an early 4-3 lead just 47 seconds into the contest, but BC found its footing and hit two threes and used a high shooting volume for a 17-6 lead at the end of one. Kaneland ended up missing its last five shooting opportunities of the quarter and were 2-of-6 from the line and just 6-of-16 from the charity stripe on the day.

BC made it through a 21-6 run into the second quarter before Heimerdinger and Wallner came up with buckets to close within 21-10 with 5:33 to go in the half. With baskets from Amber Winquist-Bailey and Wallner, the Lady Knights were able to close within 21-14 with 3:47 to go. The Lady Knights could get no further, and BC closed the half out on a 10-5 run.

The only field goal for the Lady Knights in the third was an Ally Van Bogaert hoop with 5:54 to go to close within 36-22, and BC lead 43-23 at the third-quarter buzzer. The Lady Rockets outscored Kaneland 11-8 in the fourth quarter to close it out.

“(BC) played good defense, obviously,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We took some shots that were a little rushed. It was a combination of those and being a little inexperienced, I think. Obviously, we played at their temp and that was from start to finish.”

In the win over the rival Lady Redskins, Wallner had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Van Bogaert had 13 points and Caroline Heimerdinger pitched in 10 in the winning cause. The Lady Knights went 17-of-50 from the field and went to the line 40 times, hitting 21 opportunities. KHS was up 16-9 after one and 29-11 after two quarters before solidifying a 37-23 lead after three frames.

In the loss against Plano, Brittany Kemp led the way with 11 points and Heimerdinger added nine herself. Kaneland stayed competitive along Route 34 and led 12-7 after one and 24-21 after the first half. Up 35-34 after three, the Lady Knights fell victim to an 0-for-18 cold streak and allowed Plano to emerge with the three-point edge. KHS was 13-of-51 from the field and 12-for-24 from the foul line.

On Friday, Jan. 17, the Lady Knights head to DeKalb to try and separate from the pack in NIB-12 action.

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Bowlers get back into strike of things

Photo: Junior Dominique Lee gets a high five from junior Rena Wojciechowski Saturday. Lee was awarded medals for fourth place individual high game for the morning round, and first place for individual high series in the afternoon round at the IMSA Tournament. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—With its first action of 2014, Kaneland looked to do some damage in three road outings.

On Jan. 8, Kaneland sauntered down to LaSalle-Peru for a Northern Illinois Big XII crossover battle with its West division foe, where L-P took a 2,879-2,375 win. Thursday saw a loss against its Sycamore rival, 2,917-2,494. Meanwhile, Saturday saw the usual January trip to the IMSA Invite, where Kaneland finished sixth of 15 squads, with Marengo taking the day.

The top series on the Kaneland side against L-P were managed by Dominique Lee at 450 and Christie Crews at 476.

Against Sycamore, Lee managed a 490 series, while Crews bowled a 476, and teammate Rena Wojciechowski took a 479.

“The extended Christmas Break took a toll on our performances at LaSalle-Peru and Sycamore last Wednesday and Thursday, but things went better on Saturday. Most of the girls did better on Saturday, and Dominique’s performance was particularly noteworthy,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

At IMSA, Lee’s total of 447 included games of 223 and 224 for a first-place prize in her afternoon round division. Teammate Michelle Bohanek also took a first-place medal in her division, bowling a 333 series (games of 187 and 146). The afternoon session paired off bowlers based on their season averages. After Marengo, Ottawa and Trinity filled out the top three slots.

Kaneland has dropped five duals in a row, and is still looking for its first head-to-head win since Dec. 9. The Lady Knights sit at 2-7.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a dual against the IMSA Lady Titans on Thursday, Jan. 16.

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Knights contain Cadets

Photo: Kaneland varsity boys basketball coach Brian Johnson and his team honor senior Drew David for breaking the program record for most games played. David has played in over 87 games for the Knights varsity basketball team as of Tuesday against Marmion. Photo by Mary Paulson

Late FTs down Marmion in busy three-game week
AURORA—While the Kaneland High School boys hoops squad would have preferred a clean sweep of the week, two out of three will do fine for now.

On Tuesday off of Butterfield Road in Aurora, the Knights got two late free throws from Tyler Carlson to down the host Marmion Academy Cadets 49-47. That dramatic result took some of the sting out of a Saturday road loss to Burlington Central in a 67-43 result, while Friday night had a 42-41 comeback win over the invading Morris Redskins after a Carlson basket with under a second remaining.

The KHS record improved to 9-5, and 2-1 in the Northern Illinois Big XII conference.

The Knights went out to an early 12-5 lead as Marmion struggled to find its shot, and KHS took advantage of turnovers. A John Pruett basket and two Carlson free throws gave KHS a 23-11 lead at halftime. The lead ballooned to 37-22 with 1:59 left in the third before Marmion went on a 12-1 run to end the frame, thanks in part of a late basket and two foul shots due to a technical foul on head coach Brian Johnson.

In the fourth, Pruett fouled out, after being responsible for the only field goal the Knights would make in the quarter. Kaneland would go 9-of-12 in the fourth from the charity stripe, including Carlson going 7-of-8. His front-end shot with 2:45 to go made it 43-40 with 2:45 to go, and two more would give KHS a 45-40 lead with 1:57 left. Another later pair made it 47-44 with 1:02 remaining before a game-tying three try for Marmion athlete Michael Sheehan with 51.2 left tied the score.

With time running out, Carlson was fouled on an offensive putback try with 1.3 to go. After nailing both tries, Tom Van Bogaert stole an inbounds heave to end it.

Pruett and Carlson each had a game-high 16 points for Kaneland.

“(Tyler) made some big free throws, and he was running a play that we run for John, and he was able to execute on that. We ran it earlier and John was able to get a look. It probably helped having Ty down there,” Johnson said.

With Pruett’s exit and Marmion’s comeback, Kaneland handled the in-game adversity well, according to Johnson.

“Having Drew (David) and John in foul trouble and having guys do things they weren’t used to doing, and that puts a lot of pressure on the other guys and I thought they handled it pretty well,” Johnson said.

Against BC, Carlson’s 13 points was the only double-figure total. Kaneland was down 14-10 and 33-23 after the first half concluded. The Rockets pulled away to lead 50-31 at the end of the third quarter.

Carlson had a game-high 18 points in the Morris outing, followed by Pruett’s 14. David (8 points) and Cole Carlson (2) were the only other Knights to find the scoring column. The Knights led 8-7 after one and pulled away some, 19-11 at the half, before the margin closed to 31-25 after three.

After this latest stretch, the Knights roster is home against rival Yorkville on Friday, Jan. 17.

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Becky comes home

MP native returns five months after surviving horrific accident
MAPLE PARK—There weren’t many Christmas presents under the tree for the Nelson family this year, but nobody cared—Dave and Peggy Nelson got to bring their daughter, Becky, home from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago instead.

“We stayed away from too many gifts this year because we put the money into Becky,” said Anne Carson, Becky’s aunt. “We just got her some little stuff, some pencils and some games, because she’s got some younger cousins and we can play with her. She likes to draw, so she got a sketchpad.”

Becky came home to her parents’ dairy farm in Maple Park just two weeks before Christmas and is doing really well, Carson said, though she had to be taken to the emergency room on Christmas day to have an IV reinserted.

A hit-and-run accident in the Cayman Islands on July 1 had left Becky in a coma for nearly five weeks, with a traumatic brain injury and a shattered pelvis. It was a doubly nightmarish scenario because Becky had no health insurance at the time, wracking up huge medical bills while her parents struggled to get her transferred to a hospital in the Chicago area. Despite several brain surgeries and a hip surgery, as well as months of rehabilitation, she still has another surgery and more than a year of rehabilitation ahead of her.

Yet Becky’s progress has been significant, Carson said. Though she is still in a wheelchair and has a feeding tube, she has regained much of her speech.

“She can carry on a conversation with you, she knows everybody, she knows who you are, (and) she can help you do things,” Carson said. “Sometimes her speech depends on whether she’s tired or not, so (the therapists) are working on that to make it more clear. We’re around her all the time, so we can understand her fine.”

Becky is starting to write words again, Carson said, and can write her own name and other people’s names.

Her memory has also returned.

“It seems like everything’s working in her brain, and it seems that she remembers things really well,” Carson said. “Her memory’s totally working. She’ll remember stuff, (such as) something she did with her grandma, who died years ago, and things from her childhood.”

Therapists come a few days a week to continue her treatment at home. Becky is still receiving speech, physical and occupational therapy. A nurse makes regular visits to check her feeding tube, as well.

Another cranioplasty will be scheduled soon, Carson said, to put a metal plate in Becky’s head. Surgeons had to remove a portion of Becky’s skull after the accident to relieve the pressure on her brain, and the plate will replace the missing bone. Doctors initially put the plate in on Oct. 31, but removed it again when Becky developed an infection, leaving Becky with a soft, unprotected spot on her head.

“Medically, it’ll be nice to not have to worry about bumping that anymore,” Carson said.

If the family has a New Year’s resolution, Carson said, it’s to see that Becky keeps making progress.

“I think the next big step is to get her walking again,” Carson said. “She had to stay off the hip for three months (while it healed), so that was a long time she wasn’t putting any weight on her legs. They were doing therapy with her (at the RIC), and she was doing pretty well with the parallel bars, but it’s been harder at home because we don’t have the same equipment for her to do therapy on.”

Carson said the family was overwhelmed with gratitude for the community support. The Nelsons still have some funds remaining from the $24,000 raised at the Help Becky Bounce Back Fundraiser on Oct. 20 in Kaneville.

“Sometimes you have to fight with (Medicaid) about getting stuff paid, but so far that’s working OK,” Carson said. “The money is in the fund for extras and if something isn’t covered, but so far we haven’t spent it all yet. Money-wise, it’s much better.”

Now that Becky is home, several family members have volunteered to help care for Becky during the day, Carson said, which has allowed Peggy to return to work at Old Second Bank in Elburn a couple days a week.

“We just appreciate everybody’s help. With (the community’s) help, we were able to get her home, and Becky’s really grateful to everybody who’s been helping her. She’s always saying ‘Thank you’ and ‘You’re awesome.’ She’s aware of people who have sent her cards and asked about her,” Carson said.

For updates on Becky’s progress, follow the Help Becky Bounce Back page on Facebook.

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Submitted Photo: Snow Wars

Elburn resident Dave Nosek and his kids built this “Jabba the Hutt” snowman on Sunday out of mailboxes, mini-snow shovels and hockey sticks. Photo submitted by Sarah Nosek

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Fishermen’s Inn to reopen as event center in 2014

Photo: Fishermen’s Inn in Elburn, closed since 2009, will reopen as an event center in 2014, featuring a silo that will serve as the main entrance. The Fishermen’s Inn building was purchased in October 2012 by Mark and Patricia Southern. Courtesy Photo

Restaurant has already booked 40 weddings prior to its grand reopening

by Natalie Juns
ELBURN—When Elburn’s Fishermen’s Inn closed back in 2009, the community lost a place where people could gather together for reunions, get-togethers, banquets and weddings. Five years later, Fishermen’s Inn is back with a completely updated facility.
Mark and Patricia Southern, the new owners of Fishermen’s Inn, purchased the facility in October 2012 with the intention of renovating it while still preserving its original barn style. The Southerns are accepting reservations for weddings and events, and already have 40 weddings booked for this year.
The Southerns plan to open Fishermen’s Inn to the public on certain holidays, but they aren’t sure of the specific dates just yet.

“We’ve been getting a lot of feedback on our website (fishermensinn.fishermensinnelburn.com),” Mark said. “People are excited that Fishermen’s Inn is reopening, but they think that it won’t be open to the public. We do want to include the community, and our plan is that we will be open on holidays for the public. We are hoping to open on Easter day to the public.”

There will be three banquet rooms in Fishermen’s Inn: The Veranda on the lower level and the Great Room and the Loft Room on the second level. The Great Room will be sided with historic barn siding from the Kane County area. Outlooking the Great Room, they will have a 3,000-square-foot brick patio bar that is expected to open the middle or later part of 2014.

Beyond the patio bar, there are interconnected brick pathways that wind up to the ceremony site behind the restaurant. In preparation of the weddings they will host, the Southerns last fall planted 20,000 tulip bulbs next to the ceremony site and by the pathways.

The Southerns are in the midst of building a silo that will be the main entrance from the parking lot on the west side of the building. The entrance will feature a curved circular ceiling with a sweeping staircase that will drop off visitors at the second level between the restaurant’s Great Room and the Loft Room.

Mark’s sister, Linda Hagen, and Patricia are managing the marketing, promoting and corresponding side of the new Fishermen’s Inn. Those who are interested in booking a wedding there can call (630) 365-9697 for more information.

“The word has spread, and we are looking forward to the grand re-opening,” Hagen said. “We are also thrilled to provide it and give back to the community this way. People will enjoy reliving their memories and creating new ones with their families.”

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Knights renew UC rivalry with Geneva

Photo: Senior Cole Carlson tries to recover a rebound in the first quarter of Kaneland’s 54-51 loss to Geneva at the United Center Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Late 3-pointer dooms Knights; KHS closes Plano tourney as 9th-place team
CHICAGO—It’s been the home site of three Bulls championship-winning seasons, and two previous meetings between former conference rivals Kaneland and Geneva.

On Saturday, the United Center housed the first meeting of the Knight and Viking boys hoops teams in nearly four years and saw momentum ebbs and flows until a late three-pointer from Nate Navigato with 3.7 seconds left from Geneva cinched a 54-51 loss for Kaneland. Geneva has won all three meetings at the United Center, including December 2008 and February 2010.

Kaneland (7-4) also ended its Plano Christmas Classic tour on Dec. 30, with a 47-42 win over Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Dixon.

Against Geneva, Tyler Carlson had a game-high 21 points, while John Pruett had 16.

Carlson found himself with minimal adjustment to the NBA setting on Saturday.

“Just with the backdrop on the hoop,” Carlson said. “It’s kind of hard to judge how to shoot it and see how far away you are. You see bleachers instead of walls back there but we had a pretty good adjustment.”

Down 37-33 going into the fourth quarter, and down by as much as 10 with two minutes left in the third, Kaneland went to work after ending the third frame on a long-distance heave by Carlson.

A basket by Drew David and two baskets with a pair of foul shots from Pruett had Kaneland in a 42-39 lead with 4:53 to go.

Pruett hit two foul shots to extend the lead to 44-41 with 3:59 to go, and Ryan David’s two free throws broke a tie with 2:55 to go to make it 46-44. Geneva and Carlson traded a foul shot to make it 47-45 with 2:27 remaining. The Vikings would score five in a row to take a 50-47 lead with 1:16 remaining, and Pruett’s free throw with 56.8 to go would close it to 50-48.

After Geneva hit the back end of two foul attempts for a 51-48 lead with 44.6 to go, a play drawn up for Carlson had the senior connecting on a three-point try with 17.1 remaining.

With Geneva connecting on the late trifecta, the Vikings fouled David with 2.3 seconds left. With David missing two straight, Connor Fedderly grabbed the errant attempt and missed a three try from the corner that ended the tight contest.

Kaneland had led 13-12 after the first quarter and was down 20-19 at the half.

“We had some big moments, and it was nice to see the guys compete against a team and a coach I think very highly of,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “We competed and wanted to get the win, and it just didn’t happen.”

Johnson stressed to the team beforehand to treat Saturday’s contest like a home game.

“Yesterday, we were able to get into Aurora University and practice on a bigger floor, and I thought our wind was good and were able to press a little bit, and everybody played hard,” Johnson said.

Geneva didn’t miss a shot in the fourth quarter and was 8-for-11 from the charity stripe.

In the Plano Christmas Classic finale for Kaneland, Carlson had a game-high 19 points, while Pruett had 17 of his own. The Knights were up 12-6 after one and 20-17 at the half before nursing a 34-25 lead at the end of three.

The Knights host the visiting Morris Redskins, the 2013 Plano Christmas Classic runner-up, on Friday, Jan. 10.

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Waubonsee’s Wagner feels good about collecting 200

Waubonsee Community College head women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner celebrated her 200th victory recently. She is a 1992 Kaneland graduate that went on to play at Aurora University. Courtesy/File Photo

Kaneland alum’s milestone victory paves way for memorable year
SUGAR GROVE—To illustrate how Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner approached a milestone 200th coaching victory, which occurred on Dec. 8, it was almost an afterthought.

“(Sports information specialist) Steve Moga told me before the season that I was going to get it, and I forgot about it for awhile,” Wagner said. “It was a road victory and the girls and team moms got together and signed a frame picture they took. It was a nice surprise.”
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The 73-68 win over the St. Ambrose University varsity team is one of many highlights so far for the 9-5 Lady Chiefs, featuring former Kaneland standouts Sarah Grams and Brooke Harner.

“These girls work hard and buy into the system, and it pays off,” Wagner said. “It’s been a good year for the transition game, and the way we run the floor has been great.”

In her 15th year, Wagner will step down at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, as Waubonsee has enacted a rule that coaching positions will be for non-full-time staff members.

“It’s bittersweet, which is why it’s nice to have this good year. We’ll move onto the next phase, and I’m excited for the future,” Wagner said. “I’m excited to go on a different path.”

Wagner works as Waubonsee’s Assistant Athletic Manager, runs Waubonsee’s intramural programs, handles all of the school’s on-campus athletic events and is facilities coordinator for the hoops squad’s home, Erickson Hall.
With Erickson Hall undergoing renovation to hold a 59,000-square-foot fieldhouse, Wagner’s duties involve that heavy undertaking that benefits Waubonsee athletics in the long run.

“It’s great for recruiting when you walk these kids through the facility. It’s going to be unbelievable, that building will be my ‘real job’ and take up a lot of time after this year,” Wagner said.
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Not only involved in area basketball, since her days as a player at Kaneland, Wagner has worked with many standouts that have seen her evolve as player and coach.

“When I got this job, the first person I coached was Dick Rink (former KHS girls basketball head and assistant coach). I asked him to be my assistant coach after that, and I think we tried adding the number of games he and I had been involved with. It was too many,” Wagner said.

A member of Kaneland’s Class of 1992, Wagner was an All-Little Seven Conference selection in basketball. She then went on to star for Aurora University as a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, was selected the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference (NIIC) Player of the Year three times, and was named Aurora’s Female Athlete of the Year three times. Wagner remains the Spartans’ all-time leading scorer with 1,693.

With 200 victories, and more looked for as Waubonsee makes its way through Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference action and beyond, Wagner can not only look over a memorable moment, but a memorable coaching tenure. The accomplished coach will just be in the market of bettering WCC rather than just a girls’ roster.

“You have girls that come in here and want to play and don’t want to spend a lot of money, be closer to home, and get their gen-eds done,” Wagner said. “A lot of area girls basketball teams are getting better and starting younger. The hard work pays off. I’m moving on, and looking at the positive.”

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Take extra precautions as temperatures drop below freezing

Elburn Herald photo by Patti Wilk

Warming Centers in Kane County >
Note: Many local municipalities offer more warming centers, too. Call your local municipality to find out the nearest center in your area.

CHICAGO – Dangerously low temperatures are in the forecast and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants individuals and families to be safe when faced with the hazards of cold temperatures.

“Subfreezing temperatures can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don’t take the proper precautions,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA Regional Administrator. “It is important for everyone to monitor their local weather reports and take steps now to stay safe during times of extreme cold temperatures.”

During cold weather, you should take the following precautions:

• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold;
• Dress in layers and keep dry;
• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance;
• Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
• Bring your pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water.
• Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight – and keep the fuel tank above half full.

You can find more information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures at http://www.ready.gov/winter.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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Lord of Life Church welcomes new pastor

Photo: Lord of Life Church pastor Matt Blackford relocated from Fort Collins, Colo., to Elburn last November with his wife, Amy, and their 1-year-old son, Axel. Blackford began preaching at Lord of Life on Nov. 17, and has spent the bulk of his time visiting with members of his congregation and the community. Courtesy Photo

LA FOX—The new senior pastor at Lord of Life Lutheran Church is on a mission: he wants to build a relationship with his flock this year.

Pastor Matt Blackford began preaching at Lord of Life on Nov. 17, and he’s spent much of his time visiting with members of his congregation and the community so far.

“I think it’s really important for me to build relationships and build people’s trust during my first year in the community,” Blackford said. “I’m visiting now with several people in their homes, sitting around the table talking to them, sharing food with them. I’m calling people up and letting them know I am here. I’m here many evenings visiting with the youth, the adults, and the volunteers, so that they see that I care and trust my leadership. The church, in my opinion, rises and falls on leadership, and I take seriously the responsibility of how important it is for the pastor to be a leader.”

Blackford and his wife, Amy, moved to Elburn from Fort Collins, Colo., with their 1-year-old son, Axel, in November. After he was ordained in 2007, Blackford spent six years as an associate pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, where he was the director of Multi-Site Ministries and in charge of expanding the church to a second location in Gredley, Colo.

When he accepted the call to Lord of Life, he replaced Pastor Phil Ressler, who had served as the church’s senior pastor for nine years before heading to Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Old Bridge, N.J.

Lord of Life contacted Blackford in August to see if he’d be interested in the senior pastor position, and then invited him and a handful of other candidates to visit the church and meet some of the members. By September, the church had unanimously voted to extend a call to Blackford to be their senior pastor—and within weeks, the Blackford family began packing their bags for a move to Illinois.

“I like to say that it’s the good Lord who moved me here,” Blackford said. “I was really excited to lead my own congregation, and I saw that this church has a lot of key parts to do great things for the Lord. They are outreach-focused and very Bible-based.”

The same faith that led Blackford to Elburn led him into the ministry in 2003. Originally a graphic designer and artist based in Denver—Blackford has a bachelor’s in graphic design from Concordia University, Nebraska—he left the field to attend Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo.

“I painted murals all over Denver, and I had a successful business, but I missed being around people,” Blackford said. “I was facing walls all day. A close friend from college said, ‘Why don’t you consider using your gift for the Lord?’ I wasn’t married at the time, I had no kids, no debt, and I loved the Lord and the church, so I gave it a shot.”

He met Amy while doing his pastoral internship in Woodbury, Minn., in 2006. Her parents were members of his congregation and invited him to meet their daughter, who was headed to St. Louis University for a master’s in social work. For him, it was love at first sight—though it took her a little longer.

“I walked in the door of their house, and I thought to myself, ‘I want to marry this woman.’ I knew right away,” he said. “I asked her out that night, in front of her parents, and her parents didn’t say anything, so she said, ‘I guess. I don’t have anything else to do.’”

Amy worked as a hospice care social worker in Fort Collins, providing end-of-life care to the dying, until the birth of their son in 2012. The couple is expecting their second child this April, and Amy is involved in Lord of Life’s Mom-to-Mom group, which meets on Wednesday mornings.

Blackford said that she plans to become more involved in the church over time.

“We’re both still figuring out her role,” Blackford said. “We’ve only been here a month, so she’s getting to know the church on her own terms to figure out where she fits best.”

Both of them are excited to be in a church with many young families and vibrant children’s and youth ministries, he said.

Blackford hopes that building a strong relationship with the congregation at Lord of Life will provide the foundation for his ministry, which he describes as twofold: to care for his flock and to go make disciples.

“Caring for God’s people has a direct influence on how people then go out into the world and live their lives, at work and in their family, as parents and as friends,” he said. “By being in God’s word and in fellowship here, we are strengthened and influenced to go out and be the presence of Jesus in the world.”

He wants to lead his congregation to “be Jesus’ hands and feet outside these walls,” he said, so that they serve the poor and share the Gospel with others.

Parishioners may have already noticed more of an artistic bent at Lord of Life as well. Blackford still considers himself an artist and said he enjoys designing materials for the church, from the bulletin to the website.

At Redeemer Lutheran, he even incorporated his art into the sermons themselves, painting and preaching at the same time and encouraging some of the younger members to draw along with him.

“On Good Friday a few years back, I added the blood to Jesus’ wounds on a painting (during the sermon),” Blackford said. “A lot of kids came up to me afterward to show me their drawings of Jesus, and it was very powerful.”

He hasn’t painted during a sermon at Lord of Life yet, but he plans to—he’s interested in using art and technology as tools to help reach people, he said.

“I think it’s important to know what’s on the cutting edge to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “Just like Martin Luther had the printing press as a tool, today we have the Internet and all kinds of technology that can help us to more effectively connect people with Jesus.”

Blackford said he is eager to get to know more church and community members, and he invites them to come to services and introduce themselves to him or to call him at (630) 513-5325.

Lord of Life is located at 40W605 Route 38 in Elburn and has worship services on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday School is offered during the 10 a.m. service, and nursery care is available during both services. For more information, visit the church’s website at lolchurch.net.

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Christmas Classic begins with minor holiday hangup

Photo: Senior Tyler Carlson had averaged 16.5 points per game at the 2014 Plano Christmas
Classic. The Knights lost their first game last week, but won three straight to place ninth in the tournament. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knights get back on track against Genoa-Kingston, Mendota
PLANO—For one to survive and advance in the historic setting of Plano Christmas Classic, in its 51st year, a team has to get off on the right foot.

In the tournament opener on Dec. 26, the No. 4 seed Knights boys basketball team (7-3) suffered a 57-50 loss to the No. 13 seed Newark Norsemen of the Little Ten Conference.

The Knights then battled No. 5 seed Genoa-Kingston, which had lost to No. 12 Aurora Christian in yet another minor upset, on Friday afternoon, ending in a 52-40 comeback win.

After Friday’s result, the Knights battled Mendota on Saturday and eked their way to a 65-64 win.

Kaneland then defeated Dixon to claim ninth place on Monday. In 2012, Kaneland finished in fourth place overall, and won it all in 2009, its first year back to the tournament after holiday stops in DeKalb and Marengo.

Against the perennial small-school powerhouse Newark on Thursday morning, the Knights were led by guard Tyler Carlson with 15 points and forward John Pruett with 14. Backcourt general Drew David had 11 points to supplant the effort.

For Newark, the brother combination of Jack Clausel (19 points) and Will Clausel (16 points) made life difficult for the Knights on the heels of holiday celebration.

Kaneland was 23-for-65 from the field during the loss, including a mediocre 9-for-33 in the second half.

The Knights led 16-10 after the first eight minutes of play, and fell victim to an offensive barrage from the Little Ten stalwart, trailing 31-29 at the halftime horn. Newark powered through even more in the third frame and took a 43-35 lead before Kaneland closed the margin slightly in the loss.

On Friday in action against the Cogs, Carlson had 15 points, while David and Pruett each supplied 12. KHS was 20-for-53 from the field and 17-for-24 from the foul line. G-K was led by Tommy Lucca’s 13.

Two three-pointers by David and a keen bucket down low from Pruett helped give Kaneland an early 12-6 lead in the first quarter, but a free throw and three-pointer closed it on G-K’s end to 12-10 by the end of the frame.

Connor Fedderly hit a three to break a tie and make it 15-12 with 5:25 left in the half, breaking a five-minute scoring drought. G-K then converted on five consecutive shot opportunities and led 22-20 with 1:01 remaining. The Cogs then hit the back end of a pair of free throws to go up 23-20 at halftime.

The third-quarter tide turned fairly quickly when Pruett’s bucket, David’s try and Ryan David’s basket gave Kaneland a 27-23 lead just 1:10 into the frame.

Carlson put in a putback for a 31-25 lead with 2:05 to go before G-K made its only field goal of the quarter, a trifecta, to close within 31-28 with 1:28 to go before Pruett’s free throw pair with 38.4 to go stretched the lead before the buzzer at 33-28.

The fast-break tempo that Kaneland used to its benefit soon gave way to ball control, peppered by a three-pointer and putback by Carlson and a basket by Cole Carlson to make it 40-28 with 6:07 to go. KHS made 10-of-12 foul shots down the stretch to get the lead to much as 13 at 48-35 with 1:07 to go.

David and crew noticed the difference in on-court performance.

“We made good plays, it gave us one-on-one momentum,” David said. “We come into each game, you don’t really have time to change things too much. But when you get on the floor, you definitely have to adjust.”

After the loss to Newark, the G-K game was a little more like it.

“We need to be more fundamentally sound because of the way we played yesterday, we turned the ball over a lot. I thought the kids did a good jonb handling pressure in the second half and handling the ball in the fourth quarter. They extended the lead and held it toward the end,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Against the Mendota Trojans, the Knights found themselves down 27-12 after one, and 45-35 at the half buzzer before turning on the comeback afterburners and closing to within 53-46 after three and outscoring the Trojans 19-11 in the fourth.

The Knights were paced by Ryan David’s 16, Drew David’s 15 and Tyler Carlson’s 12.

The Trojans were led by James Carroll with 28 points, 24 hours after setting a tournament record with 42 points in over Forreston.

Monday had Kaneland scheduled to face Dixon in the tournament finale for the Knights with ninth place on the line. The Knights never trailed after a 12-5 opening quarter. Tyler Carlson’s 19 points and Pruett’s 17 points let KHS. Ryan david had 8 points over NIB-12 west team.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, the Knights begin the second half of their schedule with a trip to the United Center in Chicago for the first time since February 2010, against Geneva at 2 p.m.

Editor note: This story has been updated from the originally published version with information from Monday’s game vs. Dixon at the Plano Christmas Classic.

The preschool-kindergarten students of Chesterbrook Academy in Sugar Grove stopped by the Elburn Food Pantry Thursday with donations of food, toys and gift cards, just in time for Christmas. The Elburn Food Pantry is located in the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St. in Elburn. Donations are accepted at all times of the year. Photo by Ben Draper

Giving back

The preschool-kindergarten students of Chesterbrook Academy in Sugar Grove stopped by the Elburn Food Pantry Thursday with donations of food, toys and gift cards, just in time for Christmas. The Elburn Food Pantry is located in the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St. in Elburn. Donations are accepted at all times of the year. Photo by Ben Draper

GBBall1

Split decisions

Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley looks to attack the basket against Pontiac on Friday. Photo by Marshall Farthing

KHS girls lose opener, recover in second game at Ottawa Holiday Tournament

by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—The Lady Knights girls basketball team on Saturday found a little less holiday cheer than it hoped for.

The good news was on that very same evening, the Kaneland crew was able to recoup a little of what was lost.

KHS began Pool D play in the Ottawa Tournament on Friday with a 61-53 loss to Pontiac High School, and then recovered later that night against Northern Illinois Big XII Conference crossover foe Streator in 62-22 fashion.

Kaneland now sits at 5-5 (1-1 NIB-12) with two games remaining in the Ottawa setting.

A year ago, Kaneland found similar fortune in the tourney’s first evening, losing to Geneseo before beating Sandwich on the way to an eighth-place finish.

Other NIB-12 schools also participated on Friday, with Yorkville and Geneseo both beating Kankakee.

Against Pontiac, Kaneland was led by post presence Kelly Wallner, who gathered 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Teammate Amber Winquist-Bailey added 12 in the loss. KHS was 22-for-45 from the field.

The Lady Knights were down 17-8 after one quarter and 33-19 at the halftime break before closing to within 43-31 after three. In the fourth, Kaneland closed the deficit to seven, but could get no closer.

“Pontiac is a real strong team and we struggled with turnovers early and also struggled from the FT line. We fought back and played well in the second half but came up short,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

In the win over the West division Lady Bulldogs, Kaneland took advantage of 25 turnovers for the win. Leading 19-0 after the first eight minutes, the Lady Knights played to the halftime buzzer up 35-7. The lead was 50-15 before the final frame.

Leading the charge for Kaneland was Ally Van Bogaert’s 15 points in a game that saw 12 Lady Knights visit the scoring column. KHS was 28-of-60 from the field.

“In the Streator game, we came out focused on playing better defense and taking care of the ball. The girls did a great job, and we were able to get a big lead and get everyone some playing time, which is always good at this time of the year,” Colombe said.

Monday’s final two games, with a morning contest against Geneseo, had results unavailable for press. Kaneland was scheduled to end the tournament in the silver bracket, the second-place pool.

Action will pick up for KHS on Thursday, Dec. 26, in Dixon at the KSB Dixon Holiday Classic that goes through Saturday, Dec. 28. Kaneland’s first scheduled opponent is Stillman Valley, at noon, with a Friday, Dec. 27, contest against either Sterling or Freeport’s Aquin High School.

2.

Bright lights in the village

Local resident wins national recognition for Christmas lights
CAMPTON HILLS—Brian Larsen recently received national acclaim for a Christmas display he calls a “labor of love.”

“Some guys collect Corvettes and Porsches,” Larsen said. “I do Christmas lights.”

The 37-year-old father of three on Monday won a nation-wide contest for the Christmas light display on his home in Campton Hills. Larsen, who owns Countywide Landscaping, began decorating his house when he bought it in 1996. Back then, the display was just “regular static lights,” he said.

When Larsen was a boy in nearby Batavia, he and his family used to go on tours of other people’s Christmas lights. “Heavy into Christmas,” he and his family would also go Christmas caroling and enjoy other holiday activities.

“Christmas is a big part of my life,” he said. “And when I got my own house, I had the freedom to do what I wanted.”

A few years ago, he began to get ambitious and competitive with his displays.

People began showing up in their cars to get a look—and a listen—to the light display he had synchronized with bombastic Christmas music. Each year, he would add more lights and different kinds of decorations. He said he stopped counting lights three years ago at 778,000.

His Beith Road home became a destination for people in the area, as they would arrive as it got dark and park along the road near his house, at times becoming quite a crowd. He said just knowing that people are out there enjoying it puts a smile on his face.

Self-taught in the science of synchronizing music to the lights, Larsen said he’s “one of those geeks who sits up at night watching YouTube,” which is how he picked up the skills.

“It’s a big community,” he said. “Putting lights to music has really taken off. Everybody’s doing it.”

He has 30 programmed songs, 20 of which he’s using this year. He said it takes him about 80 hours to program a song.

This year, he was approached by the creators of the TV show, “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” to take part in the nationwide contest.

Michael Maloney and Sabrina Soto, hosts of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover,” were the judges for “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” and the object of the program was to create the most spectacular outdoor display in just three weeks.

Putting in 15-16-hour days with the help of his friends, he accomplished in 21 days what typically takes him three months. The camera crew was there for about eight days, and after that, they used time-lapsed photography to capture the work-in-progress.

Larsen said that this year’s display is by far his favorite. He added 1,200 strobe lights and estimates that by now, there are about 1 million lights in all. There are 37 lighted trees and 24 programmable panels of lights of text and graphics featured on the sides of the house.

The lights are all energy-efficient LEDs, so his electric bill is only about an extra $200 a month while the display is active.

This year, Larsen also paved a parking lot for viewers to get in off of the street, and his father set up a concession where he can sell pulled pork and beef sandwiches, hot dogs and hot chocolate. The lot can fit 50 cars.

Larsen said he plans to continue doing the displays as long as he is physically able. He loves people’s reactions to the light show. He said that a man proposed marriage to his girlfriend out in front of the lights a few nights ago. And elderly people show up in buses on a regular basis to view the light show.

A few years ago, a man who had recently lost his job told Larsen that the lights made him feel better.

Winning the contest will gain him $50,000. When asked what he’s going to do with the money, he said he was going to hire someone to take down the lights.

“There’s no glory in taking them down,” he said with a laugh.

Photos by Lynn Logan

WCCFieldHouseRendering

WCC opens new field house

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College opened the doors of its new Sugar Grove campus field house on Dec. 6. Student athletes, athletic instructors and community members gathered at the field house that day and were able to participate in the different games and interactive activities.

“Given the nature of the field house, we created a ‘game day’ atmosphere,” Waubonsee Marketing and Communications Manager Stephanie Wennmacher said. “We had our Chief cheerleaders lead off the program, and our student-athlete and coaches built an architectural rendering of the building one piece at a time. We also had a free throw and three-point contests along with a miniature golf hole for students and guests.”

The field house project was part of the original 2020 College Master Plan, which was first developed and announced back in 2001. Voters then voiced their support for the plan by approving the referenda in 2002 and 2003.

The new field house is attached to the existing Erickson Hall building on the north side of the Sugar Grove campus, and provides a number of rooms for athletic activities with a total of 59,279 square feet of space.

On the first level, there are three indoor courts and two with standard athletic flooring and one with artificial turf for soccer, baseball and softball practice. There is also an office suite for athletic staff and coaches, along with an athletic training room that includes exam and taping stations.

The second floor of the field house boasts a three-lane suspended running track, meeting room and classroom, and 2,485-square-foot dance and fitness studio.

The field house is designed to support and benefit a variety of groups and individuals from Waubonsee Community College and the surrounding community. Waubonsee’s intercollegiate and non-credit physical education, intramurals, wellness instruction and general recreation will have classes in the new field house facilities.

Student athletes from Waubonsee’s 13 different teams and cheerleading squad will practice, condition and train in the field house. There will also be a place for students who are looking to hang out on a casual level, featuring games such as ping-pong.

The baseball team will have a regulation-size field where they will be able to practice full-length catch, and the cheerleading squad will have a room tall enough for the squad to practice routines including lifting and throwing.

All of this equates to added benefits that the new facility will provide for the athletes, students and community members.

“Athletes will enjoy having more space to condition with new track and regular training schedule times. They won’t have to rearrange their schedules week to week because of the space constraints that we had in the gym.” Waubonsee Athletic Manager Dave Randall said. “More residents and groups from the community will notice that they are able to book appointments to use rooms in the field house without the schedule being completely booked because of lack of space.

459

Air supply

Photo: Junior Ben Barnes scored a team-high 16 points in Kaneland’s 83-63 rout of Rochelle Friday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knight boys hoops runs wild on rival Hubs
KANELAND—Five players managing a double-figure night should be a harbinger of good things for one’s basketball lineup.

In the case of Kaneland, it meant terrible things for visiting Rochelle last Friday night.

With a strong output from personnel like John Pruett (14 points) and Tyler Carlson (11 points), along with 16 from reserve Ben Barnes, 14 from Dylan Vaca and 10 from sub Ryan David, the Knights flew to an 83-63 win over the Hubs.

Kaneland’s first challenge of the week, coupled with Tuesday’s 63-38 win against Hinckley-Big Rock, raised its record to 4-2, and 1-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

KHS held firm in the victory despite being trumped in foul line opportunities by a 26-12 margin.

“The goal was to keep (Rochelle) to one shot so we could keep it and run,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “I thought we did a good job with that. Our three-point shot wasn’t falling, and you have to make them work on defense and tire them out, and we beat them on transition.”

Kaneland stormed out to a 7-0 lead just 2:10 into the contest until Rochelle solidified and used three three-pointers to go up 11-10 with 2:49 left in the quarter. A basket by Drew David, a reverse layup by Carlson and a bucket by Ryan David set Kaneland back on top 16-11 with 1:47 to play in the frame. Later, a putback and foul converted by Carlson and a putback by Barnes with 44.5 to go closed the scoring at 22-13 for the first quarter.

Shots by Drew David, and a foul shot coupled by a steal and hoop from Ryan David, completed a 13-6 run for a 29-19 lead with 5:31 left in the half. A short flurry by Rochelle closed the margin to 33-27 with 2:48 remaining before two Vaca foul shots and a Vaca hoop brought the lead to eight. Two Carlson foul shots and a Hub foul try closed the scoring at 39-31 before the buzzer.

The third quarter represented a pleasant turn of events for the hosts, as Ryan David, Carlson, Vaca and Pruett were responsible for six successful shots in a row en route to a 51-33 lead after a 12-2 run with 4:22 to go in the frame.

Cole Carlson’s bucket with 52.5 left in the third gave KHS a 60-39 lead before the Hubs scored the last five points of the quarter.

Barnes and Vaca alternated fast break buckets to score the first eight points of the frame and seal the Friday contest. A Connor Fedderly three try with 4:24 to go gave the Kaneland unit its biggest lead of the contest at 75-50.

“We just try to get it and run; that worked in the first half and we tried it again, and we had some key stops on defense,” Tyler Carlson said.

With Carlson and the upperclassmen tasked with a laundry list of duties, the routine is continuing to sink in on the floor.

“So far I think we’re alright, we’re trying to fill in the leadership role. Drew is doing a great job and he’s a four-year starter. John and I are just trying to get that leadership role down,” Carlson said.

At Hinckley-Big Rock, the Knights stormed to a 12-2 lead after the first quarter and didn’t look back. John Pruett led the team with 16 points, and Tyler Carlson 15 points. Vaca had 14 points.

The boys don’t suit up until Thursday, Dec. 26, when they begin their fourth stay at the Plano Christmas Classic, which is entering its 51st year. Kaneland enters as the No. 4 seed and is scheduled to battle either No. 13 Newark or Hinckley-Big Rock at 10:30 a.m.