Tag Archives: Jake Fiedler

All-WSC, team awards handed out at KHS

KANELAND—Kaneland High School dished out end of the year and spring speason sports awards last week.

In Knights boys track and field, Logan Markuson was named the Track MVP, while Nick Sinon, state champ in high jump, was named Field MVP. Edgar Valle, also a state champ as part of the 4×400 relay , was named recipient of the Drendel Award. Markuson, Derek Bus, Joe Levita, Brett Ketza, Justin Choate and Sinon were recognized as captains. Andrew Essex was named winner of the Ron Probst Award. Sinon, Markuson, Taylor Andrews, Valle, Bus, Matt Reusche, Matt Spitzzeri, Sean Paulick, Tommy Whittaker, Dominic Furco, Trevor Holm and Levita were recognized as the final Kaneland representatives for the all-Western Sun Conference team.

Brandon Cottier, Essex, Curtis Secrest, Whittaker, Spitzzeri, Valle, Bus, Taylor Andrews, Markuson, Levita, Holm and Sinon were all lauded for their trip to the Class 2A State Finals in Charleston, Ill.

For girls track, Lisa Roberson and Andie Strang, both State-goers, were named co-Track MVP’s, while Brooke Patterson, fresh off a trip to Charleston, was named field MVP.

Mel Mazuc and Nicole Ketza were part of a group of three named most improved field athletes, along with Briana Stark in long jump. Hurdler Hillary Luse took the most improved track athlete award.

Roberson and Sydney Bilotta were recognized as captains, while Patterson, Ashley Castellanos and Gabby Aguirre were honored for their All-Western Sun Conference performances.

Strang (800 meter run, 4x800m relay), Roberson and Kris Bowen (4x800m), Sara Wallace (pole vault), Jessica Stouffer (4x800m), Patterson (pole vault, triple jump) and Castellanos (long jump) were lauded for their State trip.

For the 20-win softball team, first-year coach Brian Willis gave most outstanding defensive player to Jordan Hester and most outstanding offensive player to Andrea Dimmig-Potts. Samantha Hansen took home the most improved player award, Kristen Stralka and Brittany Davis got in on the Lady Knight Award, while 13-win pitcher Delani Vest was given the most outstanding player award.

In the freshman softball ranks, Elizabeth Eckert and Sarah Grams took the co-MVP honors, while Danielle McCormack won the Kaneland Knight award.

For baseball, Dave Dudzinski and Bobby Thorson were named recipients of the Mr. Kaneland Baseball award.

Jake Tickle, he of the 19-game hit streak during the season, was named offensive MVP, and Steve Colombe was crowned defensive MVP.

The 41 Award, in honor or Jeff Malewig, was given to Tickle and Jake Fiedler.

Thorson, Fiedler, Colombe and Tickle were all recognized for their All-Western Sun Conference honors.

For the 15-win girls soccer team’s history- making season, Megan Gil, Haley Johnson, Shelby Koester, Colleen Gebauer and Emily Heimerdinger were lauded for their captain-ship.

Amy Fabrizius was given the most improved player honor, and freshman goalkeeper Jordan Ginther was named Rookie of the Year.

Sophie Blank, Andie Bruce and Natalie Swieca won the coach’s award. Gebauer and Katie Taylor were co-winners of the Lady Knights Award, while Heimerdinger and Gil took the MVP honors.

For the final awards of the night, the female Birkette award was given to Roberson. Markuson and Bus took home the male Birkette award.

Markuson was honored with the Male Athlete of the Year award, while Roberson was given the Female Athlete of the Year award.

Levita, for his time in cross country, wrestling and track, was honored for his three-sport commitment.

Photo: Lisa Roberson, shown here in relay action in Charleston, Ill., two weeks ago, was awarded Female Athlete of the Year and Female Birkette Award winner at last week’s 2010 Senior Athletic Banquet Awards. File Photo

KHS baseball keeps hitting at 21 wins

KANELAND—Kaneland baseball hit the 20-win mark once again and found itself with a chance at Western Sun Conference-glory if things tumble in the right direction.

At 21-11 (13-6 WSC), the Knights split a doubleheader with Sycamore on Saturday afternoon in Maple Park and beat Sycamore on Friday by a 5-2 final.

They followed the weekend’s action with a convincing 9-1 win in DeKalb on Tuesday afternoon.

Kaneland is now in a first-place tie with Geneva in conference play.

In game one of the doubleheader, an 8-7 win, Jake Tickle improved to 8-0, pitching 2.2 innings of relief, and Bobby Thorson nabbed the save.

Thorson also produced at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Jake Fiedler doubled and drove in three runs for the Knights.

Up 4-2 after three innings, Sycamore took a 5-4 lead in the fourth, before KHS scord two in the bottom of the inning. Kaneland led 7-5 in the sixth when the Spartans scored twice to tie matters, before the Knights put up one in the bottom of the sixth.

In the 6-4 game two loss, Sam Komel, in 5.1 innings, gave up six runs and struck out seven.

Joe Camaliere went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI while Thorson went 3-for-4 with a double and run driven in.

On Friday, Kaneland scored two in the first, two in the second and one in the third, before allowing two Spartan runs in the bottom of the third. Illini-bound Ty Hamer went the distance and improved to 5-2.

Fiedler went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.

Against the Barbs, Thorson improved to 4-2 with a complete game two-hitter, while Thorson, Tickle and Tyler Callaghan all went 3-for-4.

The Knights travel to DeKalb on Thursday, May 20.

Baseball sits at 4-5; hits Ky.

KANELAND—Geneva gave Kaneland baseball a rude enough awakening at the beginning of Western Sun Conference play that made staying in Kentucky look like a better option.

Following an annual road trip during spring break, the Knights (4-5, 0-1 Western Sun Conference) were felled by Geneva on Tuesday, 23-9.

The game, originally marked for Maple Park, was switched to the Vikings’ turf due to unplayable fields at KHS.

Ty Hamer earned the loss, giving up 12 runs on 15 hits, but struck out seven in five innings.

Geneva’s Chris Hipchen had a huge day, going 4-for-4 with five runs scored and three home runs with 4 RBI. Michael Monaghan went 3-for-6 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.

For Kaneland, Dave Dudzinski went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Tyler Callaghan went 2-for-3 with a homer and 3 RBI.

On March 31, the Knights began their trip down south and repelled Grayson County by a final of 3-2 on the strength of single runs in the first three innings.

The hosts put up a two-spot in the fourth for the remainder of the scoring.

University of Illinois-bound Hamer (1-2) went six innings on the hill and gave up just one earned run on four hits while striking out nine.

Murray State-bound Tyler Saltsman took the loss. Dudzinski nabbed the save for KHS, scattering one hit.

Knight Bobby Thorson went 2-for-3 with a walk, while Dudzinski helped his cause at the plate with a homer and two runs batted in. Jake Fiedler went 1-for-4 with a double, stolen base and run scored.

On Thursday, the Knights solved the sixth-ranked team in Kentucky, Apollo High School, by a final of 2-1. After Apollo scored one in the second, the Knights got one in the third and one in the fifth. Bobby Thorson (1-0) went the distance and struck out cleanup hitter Nick Laster with the bases loaded to end the game. Thorson fanned seven in the effort. Fielder went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while catcher Aaron Hayman went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.

On Friday against Hancock County, Kaneland fell victim to a 9-7 loss.

Down 5-0 after three innings, Kaneland scored one in the fourth before the hosts put up three in the bottom of the fifth to make it 8-1.

Kaneland scored five in the top of the sixth to make it 8-6 before the two teams exchanged single runs for the remainder of the scoring.

Outfielder Joe Camaliere scored three runs and was hit twice in the batter’s box.

Steve Colombe (0-2) surrendered five runs on four hits to get tagged with the loss.

Against McClean County on Friday, Kaneland put up three runs each in the fourth, fifth and sixth to buoy their fortunes in a 10-5 win. Jake Tickle (2-0) went three innings and struck out five.

Fiedler went 2-for-4, Thorson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored along with a double, triple and 4 RBI. Teammate Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI.

The varsity troops try to improve their mark on Thursday, April 8, vs. Geneva and at Marengo on Saturday, April 10, with a doubleheader.

Photo: Junior Tyler Callaghan, shown in earlier action, had a homer and three RBI at Geneva on Tuesday.
File Photo

KHS baseball drops 3 of first 4

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A quarter is nice to have every once in a while, but not when it’s referring to victories in a season.

So far in the early outset, Kaneland has been plagued by big opposing offenses and not being able to drive runners home at critical points.

The initial stage of the season has led to a 1-3 record after losing at Plainfield North on March 24 in a 6-0 no-hitter, 14-3 in five innings on Thursday at Burlington Central, a 7-6 last at-bat win vs. Marmion Academy on Saturday and a 4-3 loss at Harlem on Monday.

Against host Plainfield North, the Knights surrendered one run in the first, one in the third and four in the fourth. PN’s Ben Gorgan struck out 12 batters in five innings.

Facing the Rockets, Jake Fiedler went 2-for-3 with a run, while teammate Tyler Callaghan went 1-for-2 with a double and run scored. Ty Hamer got the loss on the mound after giving up eight runs on four hits. BC scored three in the bottom of the first, but Kaneland put up one in the second and one in the third before the Rockets put up an 11-spot in the bottom of the fourth. The Knights also scored one run in the fifth.

Jake Tickle earned the win in relief against the visiting Cadets, while Callaghan went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Marmion put runs on the board first with three in the top of the second, while Kaneland came back with two in the bottom of the frame. The Knights tied the score in the bottom of the fourth with a run and scored three in the sixth for a 6-3 advantage. With Marmion tying the score with three in the top of the seventh, KHS pulled it out with one in the last of the seventh. Both teams committed three errors apiece.

Near Rockford in Machesney Park, Kaneland used its spring break to tackle the NIC-10’s Harlem Huskies. Gray of the Huskies hit a three-run homer in the first inning to put the Knights behind early. Fiedler doubled and scored on a wild pitch, but after a Joe Camaliere walk and a Bobby Thorson single, the Knights couldn’t push any more home. Harlem then came back with a run in the fourth inning to go up 4-1.

In the seventh, Kyle Davidson singled. With one out, Thorson doubled home Davidson and went to third on an error to make it 4-2. Callaghan hit an RBI single to close within one. Hamer singled to put two runners on, but the Knights could get no further.

“We left a lot of runners on base in the second and third,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “We had the bases loaded in the sixth, and couldn’t score. We can’t do that.”

Despite the result and the three of four losses, Aversa is still expecting things to turn in Kaneland’s favor.

“We’re facing some good competition right now. These teams are making us work. We’ll turn it around,” he said.

Lower-class action featured the sophomores losing to Plainfield North 5-3 and beating Burlington Central 7-3, thanks to a 14 K performance by Drew Peters.

The Knights take on Owensboro High School on Thursday, April 1, as part of their three-day Kentucky road trip.

Photos: Reliever Sam Komel launches a ball in the fifth inning during Monday’s 4-3 setback at Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Ill.. Photo by Mike Slodki

Baseball fills void with new talent

Photo: Catcher Austin Conard prepares to block Brian Evers at homeplate during last week’s baseball practice. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland High School baseball seems to raise the bar every year, and this season hopes to be no different.

Finishing a school record 23-13 a year ago, the Knights nonetheless finished with a 6-5 regional championship heartbreaker at the hands of Burlington Central.

“That regional game is kind of motivating us and pushing us this year,” fourth-year coach Brian Aversa said. “We’re going to try and top 23 wins this year.”

Gone from the ranks are players like Mike Pritchard, Joe Gura, Jeff Smith and Jay Levita.

“Guys like that are hard to replace, they were something special,” Aversa said.

With arms like Smith gone, it’s up to personnel like senior Steve Colombe to get more mound time.

Pritchard yields way to backstop Aaron Hayman, a senior.

“Aaron learned a lot from Mike and is ready for the rigors of the backstop in general,” Aversa said.

The outfield is projected to have junior Corey Landers in leftfield, and Joe Camaliere returns for his junior year in centerfield, with rightfield an open derby.

Third base will depend on the opposing pitcher, with juniors Drew French and Bobby Thorson hoping for a look, along with fellow junior infielder Sam Komel.

Kyle Davidson and Jake Tickle highlight the shortstop ranks, while Jake Fiedler mans second base.

Dave Dudzinski, Thorson and Komel will guard first base.

‘We have some pretty nice competitions going around that’ll come down to the last couple practices,” Aversa said.

Hayman and Tyler Callaghan, a junior, will see time at the catcher’s spot.

In the pitching rotation, senior Ty Hamer ( a University of Illinois signee), Thorson and Colombe hurl the ball.

“We’ll ride those guys, and they can give us a lot of innings. There’s not an ace, it’s our top three,” Aversa said. “Ty and those guys bring a presence on the mound, and it’s going to be hard getting a hit off them, and it helps the defense.”

Komel and junior Austin Conard also look to be employed in pressure situations.

Other Knights shoring up the varsity ranks are P/1B John Kintz, OF/C Josh Kuefler, P/OF Trevor Wolf, INF Brian Dixon and OF Brian Evers.

The regular season was scheduled to begin on Wednesday at Plainfield North with Western Sun Conference play beginning on Tuesday, April 5, vs. Geneva. The regular season ends at DeKalb on Thursday, May 20.

Knights baseball a summer job

KHS summer roster getting cuts in league
MAPLE PARK—Infielder Jake Fiedler makes his way to base on a walk, then takes a quick opportunity to steal second out from under the nose of Aurora Christian on Tuesday.

The returning Knight baseball asset’s jersey and pants are already covered with dirt, and he pauses to dust himself off as best he can.

Yep, this is Kaneland baseball.

The Brian Aversa-led crew is getting some needed batting and pitching time as the Knights are cleat-deep into the summer league.

Tuesday featured Kaneland taking on visiting Aurora Christian under overcast-turned-to-drizzly skies and came away with a 12-0 win.

Hurler Kyle Davidson was the winning pitcher, and Jake Tickle showed power with a home run.

Aversa, even with the convincing win, feels a game like Tuesday only tells a small part of the story for these summer warriors, who are currently 14-9.

“We’ve seen great play overall from guys like Tickel and (catcher) Tyler Callaghan and guys like Aaron Hayman,” Aversa said.

While the wins are nice, Aversa stresses that they aren’t looking at the win column as the be-all, end-all in this break before student open the books again.

“We want to get guys some playing time and see what they’re able to do out there,” Aversa said.

With 10 games left in the season, the Knights are still full of pleasant developments.

“Overall, our defense has improved at a surprising pace. We look a lot better on defense,” Aversa said.

Monday, July 20, sees the start of the IHSA summer league playoffs against teams in the area.

Meanwhile, the regular season continues with a matchup against West Aurora on Thursday, July 9, at 5 p.m.

The Knights then travel to a tournament at Northern Illinois University set for Saturday, July 11.

Monday, July 13, is a clash with host St. Charles North, while the regular season ends on Thursday, July 16, vs. Batavia.

PHOTO: Knight Kyle Davidson was all over the diamond during Tuesday’s 12-0 handling of visiting Aurora Christian. Davidson, shown here batting, was the winning pitcher in the game for Kaneland. Photo by Mike Slodki

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 get win No. 22, pound DeKalb

Now that the regular season is done, the stage can set itself for the regionals and beyond.

Looks like the Kaneland baseball team, at 22-12, wants the production to go on for quite awhile.

The Knights, who ended the Western Sun Conference slate with a 13-8 mark, lost their regular season finale to DuPage Valley Conference stalwart Wheaton-Warrenville South on Memorial Day, 9-6.

They closed out the conference side of the schedule with a split against DeKalb, a 14-3, five-inning shellacking at Northern Illinois University and a 5-4 loss to the Barbs on May 20.

Joe Gura went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Mike Pritchard went 2-for-4.

The game was tied at 4-4 until WWS scored one in the third and two more in the fourth to go up 7-4. Gura’s homerun in the seventh was too little, too late. Troy Pritchard fell to 5-3 with the loss.

At the home of the Huskies, Pritchard earned the win, giving up two runs on three hits.

Gura slammed a homerun in the third. Jake Fiedler went 2-for-3. The Knights erupted for five runs in the first, five in the second and four in the third.

Kaneland scored two runs in the third to tie the score at three before DHS came back with a run in the bottom of the inning and never gave up the lead.

Kaneland was set to visit the Class 2A Burlington Central Regional and face off against Rochelle on Wednesday. The Hubs upset Hampshire 5-4 on Monday.

Knights baseball earns WSC win over Yorkville

Kaneland High School baseball held off a charging Yorkville Foxes squad on Tuesday in Maple Park, but emerged with a 9-6 win.

With the victory, Kaneland baseball improved to 15-7 with a 7-5 mark in Western Sun Conference play.

The win also offsets the 6-0 loss last Wednesday, April 29 suffered at the hands of Batavia, who’s pitcher Alex Karger, threw a 1-hitter.

Knights hurler Steve Colombe improved to 4-1 on the season, while Ty Hamer earned his first save on the year.

Jake Fiedler went 2-for-4 with two runs driven in, and Jeff Smith went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

In five innings pitched, Colombe allowed six runs, but just one was earned.

Mike Pritchard’s two-run single in the first inning gave Kaneland a 2-0 lead. Smith came home on an error in centerfield in the second for a 3-0 lead, and KHS plated two more runs in the third for a 5-0 lead. Up 7-0 in the fifth inning, Yorkville sent nine men to the plate and scored six runs on just two hits to close within 7-6, but the Knights scored two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning to pad the lead.

Upcoming for Kaneland: a home matchup with Yorkville on Thursday, May 7 and a Saturday battle with visiting Oswego East.

Photo: Kaneland pitcher Steve Colombe fires a strike in the first inning of the Knights’ 9-6 varsity home win against Yorkville on Tuesday. The righty improved to 4-1. Photo by John DiDonna

Kaneland Knights baseball remembers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the afternoon was about a teammate no longer there.

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

The sophomores fell to Burlington Central, 8-2.

Against the Cadets, Gura was tagged with the loss.

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

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

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.