Tag Archives: Jim McKnight

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Kaneland bowling shoe-in for awards

Photo: Kaneland High School Interim Athletic Director Ruby Keller (right) presents head coach James McKnight with a crystal bowling pin in honor of his 25 years of coaching girls bowling at KHS March 13. Photo by Mary Paulson

DEKALB—Last Thursday evening at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, the Kaneland bowling program held its Senior Night and also dished out some special awards.

For his 25 years of service as varsity head coach of the Lady Knights, Jim McKnight was given an engraved crystal bowling pin. Assistant coach Beth Trafton and the team were given matching shirts commemorating McKnight’s tenure.

The shirt depicted a rat poking its head out of a set of bowling pins, a reference to McKnight having a hospital stay with a bacterial infection after being bit by a pet rat last school year.

“I thought it was a cute way to commemorate what happened to me, McKnight said. “Twenty-five years is a long time, of course, but I’ve always enjoyed myself and look forward to even more.”

After a Thursday night of bowling with families , food and alumni, McKnight reflected this week on if anything has changed.

“Bowling has changed over 25 years, that’s true,” McKnight said. “We now have better equipment, automatic scoring, and more schools participating. We also have a longer season with more competition dates. We also added the new regional/sectional format this year. When it comes down to it, though, it’s still one girl throwing one ball at 10 pins, and it’s just as much of a challenge as ever—just as much fun, too.”

Dominique Lee won award for High Series, High Game and High Average. Rena Wojciechowski, Katie Hill and Michelle Bohanek took Most Improved and Grace Lindgren took Rookie of the Year.

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Bowling season ends, but new territory carved

KANELAND—In the first year of a new postseason setup, Kaneland Lady Knights bowling did well for itself.

With an exemplary performance at the Metea Valley Regional on Feb. 8, Kaneland was able to send senior cornerstone Christie Crews to the Saturday Freeport Sectional. Crews became the first Kaneland bowler to advance to the next weekend of postseason play since Tannya Serrano in 2003.

With the new regional-sectional setup, the Lady Knights representative was able to compete at the Freeport Sectional for a chance at the State gathering in Rockford.

Crews’ total of 979 pins throughout the morning and afternoon sessions was not enough to emerge as an individual qualifier for next weekend. The lowest individual qualifier was Belvidere North’s Haley Solberg at 1,236. Crews’ average was a 163, with a morning session of 496.

“She was happy to be there and did a great job representing our team and school,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

The top overall score was Metea Valley’s Jordan Newham at 1,398.

Freeport (5,867), Harlem (5,808), Rockford Guilford (5,651) and Metea Valley (5,630) were the advancing teams out of sectional play.

With the end of 2013-14 play, Kaneland bowling says goodbye to Crews and fellow senior Michelle Bohanek.

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Crews controls fate after Regional

Photo: The 2013-14 KHS bowlers competed as a team one final time Saturday at the Metea Valley Regional in Aurora. The team included senior Michelle Bohanek (from left), junior Rena Wojciechowski, junior Katie Hill, freshman Grace Lindgren, junior Dominique Lee and senior Christie Crews. Photo by Mary Paulson

AURORA—Whenever the end comes for Kaneland bowling in 2013-14, it’s going to have a different feel and look.

That’s because senior Christie Crews is still going and has a chance to qualify for the State tournament in two weeks.

At Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Crews represented Kaneland well as part of the Metea Valley Regional, managing to qualify for the Freeport Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 15.

After Kaneland finished with a middle of the pack 4,183 to finish sixth, Crews’ singular total of a 908 series put her in eighth of 10 individual qualifiers for the weekend.

The top individual total went to Metea Valley junior Jordan Newham, who bowled a 1,378.

The four qualifying schools for sectional play were Metea Valley at 5,620, St. Charles North at 5,472, St. Charles East at 4,671 and Larkin at 4,383.

The 2014 regional marked the first time for a new postseason format. Normally, the bowling landscape would go from sectionals to State, and the top two teams plus two additional individuals would advance. Now with regionals, the top four teams plus 10 individuals go to sectionals. Four teams and five additional individuals stand to advance out of Freeport.

“Christie just happens to be one of the first to go through the new format,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “She did not have any spectacular scores last Saturday, but most of the girls who bowled the really high scores were on the top four teams—the four teams who qualified for the Sectional. The format was designed in part to accommodate bowlers who are not necessarily on one of the top teams.”

While the Lady Knights have never managed to advanced to State, the school has advanced four qualifiers, most recently Tannya Serrano in 2003.

“The past few years, it has taken close to a 220 average at the Sectional to qualify as an individual for State. It will probably be close to that again this year, so Christie will need to have a spectacular day up in Freeport this Saturday. Regardless of outcome, we are proud of her, and she is proud to represent us,” McKnight said.

Additionally, the Lady Knights closed out regular season play on Feb. 5, in Lisle. The Lady Lions dropped KHS to 3-10 in dual action with a 2,226-2,191 result. Junior Dominique Lee had a team-high 498 series, while also having a team-best 184 game.

Crews continues at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with other competitors from the Rockford East and Sycamore Regionals.

Degree of difficulty

Delayed NIB-12 gathering has KHS bowling 10th

STREATOR, Ill.—It took only a week to get going, but the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet took place on Monday at Dixon Plum Hollow Lanes.

The meet, hosted by exiting conference outfit Streator, ended with Morris in first place after an output of 7,230 pins. Departing Dixon was second with a tally of 6,485, followed by the hosts at 6,167.

Ottawa was fourth from the West division at 6,091.

LaSalle-Peru, DeKalb, Rochelle, Sycamore and Sterling filled out the rest of the order.

Morris’ Jessica Winter, at 1,291, was top in the individual category, while Dixon’s Emily Quaco was second at 1,264.

While Kaneland was stuck with bringing up the rear in the 10-team field with a total pin collection of 5,115, there were some bright spots.

[st_callout title=”So close ..” button_text=”Full NIB-12 Results” link=”http://nibig12.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/NIB12-2013-14-Varsity-Tournament.xls”]Kaneland junior Dominique Lee was 82 pins away from entering the conference’s top 15 list for high six-game series on Monday.[/st_callout]

“Dominique Lee had a nice 228 game for us at the tournament,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “It was amazing how Morris absolutely ran away from the field. They really were in a different league, you might say.”

With a 228 as her high game, Lee, a junior, ranked 15th in the conference high-game category.

The Kaneland totals included Lee followed by senior anchor Christie Crews, junior Rena Wojciechowski with an 888 afternoon, freshman Grace Lindgren at 851, junior Katy Hill at 825 and senior Michelle Bohanek at 662.

Kaneland’s regular season was scheduled to come to an end on Wednesday in Lisle, Ill., against the Interstate Eight Conference entry Lions in a road contest.

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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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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.

Bowlers sunk by Streator, Morris

Photo: Senior Christie Crews has been a leader for the Lady Knights bowlers this season. She bowled a 414 series against Streator and a 434 against Morris in recent action. File Photo

KANELAND—Sometimes you’ll just run into a bowling roster that has a better night in them.

It happened to Kaneland bowling on Dec. 11, against visiting Streator at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, and it happened on Tuesday at Echo Lanes in Morris against the Lady Redskins.

Against the Northern Illinois Big XII foe Streator, the final was 2,526-2,178. Morris had a stellar Tuesday in its home element, smothering Kaneland by a 3,577-2,328 margin.

Kaneland is now 2-4 after six duals.

Against the Lady Bulldogs, the Lady Knights found themselves paced by Christie Crews’ 418 high series, and teammate Dominique Lee’s 414.

Facing Morris, Crews supplanted the effort with a team-high series of 434, and Lee had a 423.

Crews, a senior, has supplied nice totals for the Lady Knights, but knows it takes more than that for the KHS to hope for a third win soon.

“There’s several things we need to do,” Crews said. “Getting a high game is almost all by chance. You can work as hard as you want. All the girls getting a high game at the same time is great if you can do it, but good luck. It’s great if it happens, and if it doesn’t, at least you get some more practice.”

High game went to Lee on the evening with a 156.

“I still think we’re going to be competitive. We had a bit of a slump. If we had bowled like we did against IMSA against Streator, we would have won. But we’re hanging in there and we have another tough match against DeKalb, and we’re looking forward to a nice tournament on Saturday (Lisle Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 21),” head coach Jim McKnight said.

Kaneland tries to climb back toward .500 on Thursday, Dec. 19, against DeKalb.

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Bowlers beat IMSA, lose close matches

Photo: Junior Katie Hill (above) bowled a 405 series for the Lady Knights Thursday. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—Margins are relatively close, but the Lady Knight bowlers housed at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb would like to pick up a few more wins sooner rather than later.

After opening up last week with a loss to Sterling, the Lady Knights faced Lisle High School on Dec. 4, and lost 1,993-1,927 in a Northern Illinois Big XII-Interstate Eight Conference meeting in DeKalb. Kaneland then lost to visiting Dixon in the last meeting between the two squads as conference mates by a 2,826-2,362 total.

After competing in the Dundee-Crown tourney on Saturday, Kaneland broke into the win column Monday against Illinois Math and Science Academy, where it won 2,251 to 1,970.

Kaneland sits at 1-3 after Monday’s matchup.

Against the Lady Lions, Christie Crews was team-best with a 427 series, while Dominique Lee had a 393 series herself. High game was bowled by Crews at 153.

Facing off against the rival Duchesses, the high series for the Lady Knights was accomplished by senior Michelle Bohanek at 429, followed by Lee at 422. High game was Bohanek’s at 168. Dixon’s Maggie Thomas had a meet-best 546 series.

At the Dundee-Crown tourney KHS took sixth out of 12 teams with a day-long total of 2,572, with D-C winning the day at 3,182.

KHS coach Jim McKnight recognizes challenges ahead, but feels the girls could be able to meet what’s on the horizon.

“We have some tough matches coming up against Streator and Morris, so it’s nice to go into that kind of competition on the upswing,” McKnight said. “Even though our numbers are small, we’ve proven to ourselves that we can be competitive on any given day. What we need now are some consistently high games and series from three or four of the girls on the same outing.”

McKnight got his wish for more consistency against IMSA Monday, where the Lady Knights won all three games to post a convincing win over the visiting Titans. Crews led the way with a high game of 190 and a high series of 482. Bohanek (465) and Rena Wojciechowski (461) and Lee (443) all bowled series over 400, while Katie Hill (375) and Grace Lindgren (351) also competed for KHS.

Wednesday had Kaneland battle Streator in a NIB-12 crossover before a trek to Morris on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Dec. 5 Sports Recap

Varsity Bowling
Dec. 3 at Sterling—The Lady Knights gained two conference points in their season opener at Sterling Tuesday. Christie Crews led the way with a 523 series, while Dominique Lee had a 472. The Knights won game 2.
“Christie’s 213 in the first game really charged the team up, and it was fantastic that we could win a game against such a perennially strong team,” said head coach Jim McKnight. “It was great to see the girls bowl so well their first time out.”
Michelle Bohanek bowled a 411 series, Katie Hill a 409, Rena Wojciechowski a 401 and Amber Spaetzel a 295.

KHS bowled at Lisle Wednesday before their home opener tonight at DeKalb’s Mardi Gras Lanes against Dixon at 4 p.m.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Nov. 26 vs. Belvidere North—The Lady Knights upended the visiting Blue Thunder 50-28. Kiandra Powell led KHS with three three-pointers and 13 points off the bench, while Kylie Modaff had 8 points, and Meg Cohrs and Morgan Weber each scored 7.

Nov. 27 vs. Marengo—KHS secured a second-place finish at its own tournament with a 44-28 victory over Marengo. Corhs led the Lady Knights with 10 points, and Kristen Siebert had 8. Powell, Weber and Sophie Sandquist each had 6 points, Modaff had 4 and Hollie Fedderly and Nicole Koczka each had 2 points. The sophomores sit at 3-1 on the season.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Nov. 27 at Belvidere North—The sophomore Knights took on Hononegah at the Belvidere North Tournament, falling to the Indians 56-55. Mark Lilly let the way with 13 points, while Mitchel Groen had 12 and Jake Marczuk had 11. Other Knight scorers included Jacob Violett (6 points), Joe Laudont (4), Kevin Fajardo (3) and Tanner Robertson, Andy Delgado and Sam Wolf each with 2.

Nov. 29 at Belvidere North—The Knights bounced back to defeat the Sandwich Indians 62-44 at the Belvidere North Tournament Friday. Ten Knights made the scoresheet, with Robertson’s 11 leading the balanced effort. Marczuk (10 points), Jason Edwards (9), Laudont and Lilly (8 each), Groen (6), Conor Peterson (5) Fajardo and Wold (2 each), and Matt Vandenborn (1) also scored for the Knights.

The sophomore group improved their record to 2-1 prior to tonight’s game at Sycamore at 7 p.m.

JV Wrestling
Nov. 30 vs. Freeport, Burlington Central and Wheaton Warrenville South—The JV Knights competed in a home quad Saturday. Winners included Kegan Workman at 152 pounds (fall in 1:30 over Sam Morgan of Freeport), Preston Havis at 113 pounds (fall in 4:22 vs. Tony Anderson of WWS and a fall in 1:18 over a BC opponent), Mitch Jones at 138 ponds (5-3 decision over Sam Milnamow of WWS and a fall over BC’s Shaun McMillian in 1:32) and Hayden Patterson at 132 pounds (fall in 1:32 over Biship Kronenbomb of BC).

Bowling on Crews control

KANELAND—After a 2012-13 campaign that saw a pickup of two late-season wins to improve to 3-6 in dual action, Kaneland girls bowling could be excused if it dwelled in the positive.

But the loss of five seniors from last year’s lineup means no time for basking in anything except lane time, as they get ready for a challenging 2013-14.

The team’s backbone and chance for victory lies mainly with senior Christie Crews and junior Dominique Lee. They’ll be joined by returning senior Michelle Bohanek and juniors Katie Hill, Rena Wojciechowski and Amber Spaetzel.

“Christie has the potential to put up big scores every time out, and we’ll need those scores, that’s for sure,” said three-decade head coach Jim McKnight. “She sometimes gets into split trouble, but she’s also an excellent spare shooter. She’s a very smart bowler, and her confidence is inspiring.”

”Rena showed great promise as a freshman two years ago, but she played basketball last year. She was anxious to return to bowling this year, and so far, she has looked great in practice,” McKnight said.

While McKnight and company have to deal with a slim roster, don’t look to lack in the competitiveness department.

“All the girls are excited and doing well, but we have only eight girls, so that’s a problem. We had several good prospects who decided to play club sports, and a couple others became ineligible. We’re still waiting for some girls to join us, but we’re having the same problems as many other teams. In fact, DeKalb only has seven girls right now, and their student population is larger than ours,” McKnight said. “If we had to compete tomorrow, we’d probably go with Christie, Dominique, Rena, Michelle, Katie and Amber.”

With the landscape of the NIB-12 always heavy, the Lady Knights will aim higher than the 10th-place finish in last year’s conference competition.

“It’s difficult to predict who will be at the top of the conference this year, but I expect Morris, Dixon and Sterling to all be right up there. Sycamore and DeKalb have lost some of last year’s teams, but they’ll probably be right in the thick of it, too. Sadly, this will be the last year for Streator and Dixon in this conference. They have excellent programs and nice people, so they will certainly be missed,” McKnight said.

Kaneland once again will make its home at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, and begin its quest on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Sterling.

Bowling drops duel with Huntley

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland bowling is trying to up the competitive fire against good teams, and its opponents are making sure it’s a difficult ride.

Facing familiar adversary Huntley on the road on Monday evening, KHS fell with a 2,978-2,728 loss in the first meet of 2013.

For KHS, Christie Crews had a team-high series total of 545 and a high game of 205 and Morgan Wojchiechowski added a 527 total and high game of 189.

Kaneland played hosts to visiting Sycamore on Tuesday and pulled out a tight 933-925 win in game three, although the team fell overall, 2,923-2,759.

Annie Salerno led the team with a 204 high game, and Angela Charhut paced the Lady Knights with a 519 high series.

Kaneland travels to Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb to battle crossover foe Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 10.

“On Thursday, we face Ottawa at home, and that match could go just about any way,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “They appear to be a bit inconsistent with their scores, just like us. They’ve had some amazingly high games, but they’ve also shown weakness at times, so it should be a good match.”

Bowling sees promising signs at Lisle Invite

Photo: Christie Crews is trying to improve on her standout performance last year. Here she throws against LaSalle Peru High School on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Sometimes a weekend invite is all you need to see what can happen.

On Saturday, Kaneland bowling went to the Lisle Invite and came away with a second-place trophy in the “B” bracket.

Kaneland knocked down 1,308 pins in the morning session and 2,060 pins in the afternoon session for a total of 3,368.

The first matchups were traditional five-on-five formats, with the field divided into A and B brackets in the afternoon.

KHS was ninth out of 16 teams, and was placed in the “B” bracket.

Kaneland came away with wins over Lisle and then Willowbrook before losing to Rock Island in the final match of the day.

“It’s a game we should have won, but tiredness showed, and we just didn’t get the scores we needed,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “Still, we got a nice trophy for taking second place. It was good to bowl against several teams on the same day. As is often the case with us, we just seemed to tire out and lose the competitive spirit late in the day. We’ll have to work on that prior to our next tournament in January. All in all, I’m pleased with our performance, and I think the girls are, too.”

Kaneland played hosts to LaSalle-Peru Tuesday and fell in all three games by a total of 2,908-2,620.

Christie Crews led the Lady Knights with a pair of 181-high games and a 508 series. Ellissa Eckert followed with a 175 high game and 467 series.

Bowling picks up on Jan. 3, 2013, hosting Sycamore High School at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

Bowlers secure non-conference win

Lady Knights solve Lisle, dropped by Dixon
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Kaneland bowling had a rougher start than they would have liked, but it no longer has to wonder where its first win will come from.

A Nov. 28 dual hosted by Lisle resulted in the first win of the 2012-13 campaign for KHS, while a loss followed in Dixon against the host Duchesses on Thursday.

Kaneland’s head-to-head mark sits at 1-4.

KHS defeated the Interstate Eight Conference staple Lady Lions by a final of 2,731-2,363 in varsity action.

Kaneland was led by Morgan Wojciechowski and her 515 series. She was followed closely by Amanda Strayve’s 492 and Dominique Lee’s 488 efforts.

High games went to Wojciechowski at 236 and Lee at 219.

For Lisle, Shelby Jensen had the high series at 481.

In JV action, KHS took home a 1,976-1,796 win.

“It was a great win for us at Lisle. It was a very busy week, with competition Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, so it was great to see the girls bowl well at Lisle. Morgan Wojciechowski’s 236 and Dominique Lee’s 219 really lifted the team,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

Against Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Dixon, KHS ended up on the wrong side of a 3,086-2,637 loss.

Wojciechowski’s 520 series and a 513 series from Christie Crews were tops for the Kaneland lineup, and high games went to Wojciechowski at 205 and Crews and 176.

“It’s no wonder they’re right up there near the top of the conference. It was our fourth contest in as many nights, and the girls were showing their tiredness. We actually bowled pretty well, all things considered, but Dixon simply bowled better,” McKnight said.

The Lady Knights host Illinois Math and Science Academy on Monday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m.

Winter Sports Preview: Senior-laden KHS bowlers hope to lay hurt to pins

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Bowlers representing Kane-land High School are taking to the local lanes with a love of the sport.

For the 2012-13 season, the Lady Knight lineup benefits from a heavy presence of seniors in the journey.

Varsity seniors include Angela Charhut, Elissa Eckert, Anne Salerno, Amanda Strayve and Morgan Wojciechowski. They also get a lift from junior talent, as well.

“Christie Crews, a junior, is also back after recording the second-highest average on the team last year,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We look to Christie and the seniors to lead the team this year. Charhut, Salerno, Strayve, and Wojciechowski can break loose with a high game at any time. Eckert, had varsity time last year and is looking good in practice this year.”

The Lady Knights are joined by sophomore teammate Dominique Lee, with new varsity additions Eckert and Lee being looked upon for big things.

“They both are showing remarkable consistency in practice, so we hope to see some good and consistent scores from them in competition, as well,” McKnight said.

Kaneland bowlers will need to bring that consistency to the lanes on meet day in order to improve on a 2-15 dual meet record from a year ago.

“The better they bowl, the more fun it is for them. It’s usually better to take it slowly when teaching them during the first few weeks,” McKnight said. “It takes time to make new friends and become comfortable playing the game. A good attitude is absolutely essential for instruction and enjoying the game in the short and long term.”

When it comes to the widescale Northern Illinois Big XII conference landscape, Kaneland is preparing to deal with tough forces in the group.

“Our conference is always highly competitive, and this year will be no exception. DeKalb, Sterling, Dixon, Streator and Morris should all be tough this year,” McKnight said. “In addition, Sycamore, Rochelle and Ottawa have the capabilities to roll some very high scores. It should be very interesting to see if any one school starts to dominate the conference. We’re in a position where we just hope we can be competitive.”

Kaneland already had a meet with fellow Mardi Gras Lanes tenant DeKalb on Tuesday, with results unavailable as of press time. The first home meet of the season takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 26, against Marengo.

Bowlers squeezed on lanes by Lisle in 2012 opener

by Mike Slodki
DEKALB—It can take awhile before a bowling squad can get back into the swing of things after a layoff.

Kaneland High School bowling hopes it takes sooner rather than later.

Returning to action on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, it was festive for the visiting Lisle crew in a 2,673-2,417 result. The Lady Knights fell to 1-9 on the year.

Kaneland was topped by Anne Salerno for the first time this season, with a 425 series, and Seleana Isaacs contributed with a 423 series.

Top games were bowled by Salerno at 153 and Christie Crews at 152.

“They were excited to come back,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “They looked tired, and I’m sure they are. During a break like that, they won’t have a regular schedule. I think they’re doing better with focusing on each frame. I think we’re going to see some improvement.”

The 2012 slate continues in Sycamore on Thursday, Jan. 5.

Bowling gets first win of 2011-12

Photo: Kaneland’s Christie Crews has emerged as a strength on the bowling squad. Photo by Mary Herra

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—While it’s been slow goings at the beginning of this still-new season, the Kaneland bowling unit keeps knocking down pins, and knocked down enough to nab its first win of the season on Dec. 7, against visiting Geneva. Thursday saw Streator get the best of the Lady Knights, while Monday had IMSA take care of KHS, cementing the Lady Knights at 1-7 on the season. Tuesday had Morris beat visiting Kaneland in a conference affair.

Through the first eight matchups, a common theme is the emergence of varsity newcomer Christie Crews.

“She’s been the big surprise for us,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.” She’s leading the team in average and another pleasant surprise is Amanda Strayve. They’ve turned in some consistently good scores for us.”

In the 2,222-2,144 win over the Lady Vikings, it was Crews’ 520 series and Strayve’s 473 series that put KHS in a winning position. Top games were had by Crews at 190 and 187, and Strayve’s 177.

Streator’s 2,776-2,357 win in DeKalb was despite the best efforts of Crews’ 469 series and Seleana Isaacs’ 401 series. Top games were bowled by Crews at 201 and Strayve at 161.

Facing the Lady Titans, the Lady Knights fell 2,192-2,128. Crews’ 454 and Isaacs’ 448 were top series, while Isaacs’ 175 and Crews’ 166 were the highest game totals for Kaneland.

Against Morris, the Lady Knights’ meeting at Echo Lanes with their counterparts went to the opposition, 2,929-2,323.

Isaacs bowled a 487 series, followed by Crews with 413. Isaacs and Crews had top games at 193 and 149, respectively.

“We need to get the kids to think of each frame individually,” McKnight said. “Do the best you can and not focus on what has happened.”

Ahead for the Lady Knights is the Lisle Invite on Saturday, Dec. 17, and a meeting with NIB-12 crossover opponent LaSalle-Peru on Monday, Dec. 19.

Bowling welcomes influx of new blood

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—While the Lady Knights will miss record book-rewriter Holly Thomas, and the team finished with a dual mark of 3-12, there are reasons to be optimistic.

KHS took its last two regular season clashes of the year, while coach Jim McKnight is excited about the pieces fitting together in the lineup puzzle.

“It looks like our varsity is going to start out with quite a battle for the six positions. At this point, the contenders are: senior co-captains Seleana Isaacs and Madi Bluml, returning senior Kayley Larsen, returning juniors Amanda Strayve and Morgan Wojciechowski, and newcomers like junior Ellissa Eckert, sophomore Christie Crews, and freshman Mandy Felella,” McKnight said.

McKnight knows that it’ll take a team effort to supplant the talented Thomas.

“Fortunately, we do have much of last year’s team back, and we also have some exciting new players to watch. We have lots of girls who can compete.” McKnight said.

The Lady Knights will have to deal with its usual brand of worthy competition.

“Last year, when our varsity was able to win, it was because we had the combined high scores of Holly, Isaacs, Wojciechowski, and others,” McKnight said.

Bowling’s regular-season end features wins over Geneva, IMSA

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With the 2010-11 regular season in a true homestretch, the only way to begin a busy week of competition for Kaneland bowling turned out to be the most ideal.

The Lady Knights improved to 3-12 on the season with their second consecutive victory over Geneva on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2,354-2,259. Kaneland followed that up with a win on Thursday, Jan. 27, at IMSA, by a final of 2,369-2,087.

Kaneland also lost to visiting Lisle on Monday in the regular season finale by a final of 2,742-2,216.

Leading the way against the Lady Vikings was Holly Thomas with a 489 series and Morgan Wojciechowski with a 485 accompanying series.

Top games were bowled by Thomas at 192 and Wojciechowski at 188.

Geneva’s Nicole Missele bowled a meet-high 525 series.

Taking the fight to the Lady Titans was Thomas with a 518 series and Seleana Isaacs with a 434 series. Thomas, with efforts of 199 and 180, produced the high games for Kaneland.

Facing Lisle, high series were bowled by Isaacs at 493 and Thomas at 392.

Coach Jim McKnight said he was pleased that the team was able to garner two late-season wins and thinks that could mean good things.

“The sectional has 18 teams, and some very tough schools,” McKnight said. “We absolutely have to bowl our best and see what happens. We have a lot of young bowlers, and the inexperience might work to their advantage, and the girls might not be worried about how loud it’s going to be and how the atmosphere is going to be.”

Sophomore Wojciechowski is eager to see what the sectional holds after a productive rookie campaign.

“I think I’m doing pretty good,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s my first year; I started out well and somehow I ended up really good. I’m going to try not to get nervous because then I’ll feel like I’ll be a little bit worse.”

Closing out the 15 dual-meet season this past Monday and conference on Saturday, all that’s left are postseason aspirations, in the form of IHSA sectionals at Brunswick Zone in Roselle, Ill., on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 9 a.m.

Hosted by Lake Park High School, the 18-school meet will feature NIB-12-mates DeKalb and Sycamore, and familiar opponents like Jacobs, Dundee-Crown, Geneva, Huntley, St. Charles East and St. Charles North.

A year ago, Kaneland finished 12th of 18 at the Sycamore Sectional (won by DeKalb) with 4,611 pins to its total.

Winter sports preview: Thomas leads bowling down Kaneland lane

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How do you try to build on a team that went 3-10 (1-6 Western Sun Conference) and had a large number of departures?

Holly Thomas, senior anchor and an influx of eager new bowlers might go a long way in accomplishing that.

“Holly has already rewritten most of the record book for bowling at Kaneland,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We already know she’s the captain, she’s the leader. We just hope some of the others can come through.”

With Seleana Isaacs, Madi Bluml and Angela Charhut also returning from the 2009-2010 experience, coach Jim McKnight is encouraged at the early outset of practice.

Other varsity and JV fixtures include Alex Hornback, Colleen Ryan, Morgan Wojciechowski, Marissa Avery, Michelle Bohanek, Kayley Larson, Amy Trotier, Raeven Smith and Amanda Strayve.

“We’re hoping that with all the new blood on the team that they will look to Holly for leadership and for example, and so far they’ve been doing a real good job,” McKnight said. “We literally had to start from square one.”

Regardless of the experience, McKnight is encouraged by the initial atmosphere.

“At the last minute, we got a bunch of girls that we weren’t even expecting. I’m seeing more from some of these newer girls and real surprised at the progress,” McKnight said.

Among the biggest new wrinkles in the season is the emergence of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference, Kaneland’s second new conference in five years.

“With the exception of schools like LaSalle-Peru and Streator, we’ve seen most of these other schools.Teams like Sterling and Dixon are perennially very strong,” McKnight said.

Lady Knights bowling begins ‘10 with 2 losses

by Mike Slodki
The bowlers got back into the swing of things at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb on Monday afternoon, but with a 2,560-2,220 loss to visiting Rochelle.

Kaneland followed it up with a 2,454-2,222 loss at Lisle Lines to the Lions.

Against the Hubs, Kaneland (2-5, 1-3 Western Sun Conference) saw a nice outing from junior Holly Thomas, who had a 555 series. The display was anchored by three games of 190, 203 and 162.

“She really shined today and is performing well as a leader,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.
Senior Amy Kuryliw supplied a 459 series, and Jessie McHenry added a 429 series.

Melanie Early of Lisle had a 511 series to lead the hosts against Kaneland.

Thomas performed to expectations once again with a 577 series, featuring games of 226, 181 and 170.

Molly Lambert had a 435 series, while Kuryliw had a 409 series.

The bowlers get back in the swing of things with a conference matchup at Geneva on Thursday, Jan. 7, and a home matchup with Sycamore on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Photo: Jessie McHenry of Lady Knights bowling supplied a 429 series on Monday against Rochelle. File Photo

Bowling continues nice start

by Mike Slodki
It’s early, but the Kaneland bowling roster will definitely take this inviting start.

With a hard-fought win on Monday evening at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb over non-conference rival IMSA, the Lady Knights are 2-1 with a 1-0 record in Western Sun Conference play.

The Lady Knights took it to the Titans by a final of 2,364-2,209, marking their second dual win in a row after losing their opener to Morris on Nov. 30.

The girls also took third out of 14 teams at the Dundee-Crown Tournament on Saturday.

Holly Thomas once again led the way as the junior had a match-high series of 509 against the Titans. Following her were teammates Molly Lambert at 417 and Jessica McHenry at 412.

High games were bowled by Thomas and Lambert at 177 and McHenry at 170.

“We’re doing OK, with Holly averaging 170,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “The other girls are hot and cold—inconsistent. Fortunately, we’ve had occasional decent scores from the others. We need to get a few girls to average in the 150s or higher in order to be even more competitive.”

In the JV matchup, Kaneland lost a close 1,763-1,760 battle despite the best efforts of Amy Kuryliw, who bowled a 412 series.

The varsity roster looks to beat host Sycamore on Thursday, Dec. 10, at Four Seasons.

Bowlers split first two battles

by Mike Slodki
While there were some positive indicators in Monday’s opening bowling matchup with host Morris, the end result was not what Kaneland was hoping for.

Kicking off the 2009-10 season at Echo lanes off of Route 6 in Morris, the Lady Knights lost by a final of 2,635-2,018 to fall to their future Northern Illinois Big 12 rival.

However, the Lady Knights came back to top WSC rival Geneva on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes with a 2,443-2,280 victory.

KHS now sits at 1-1 (1-0 WSC).

Expected to produce big numbers for Kaneland this winner, Holly Thomas bowled a 517 series and had the top three games bowled with 185, 172 and 160 totals.

“She knows exactly what to do out there,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We are also looking for improved score from girls like Jessica McHenry and Amy Kuryliw.”

Teammate Seleana Isaacs bowled a 382 series, while McHenry bowled a 378 series.

Against Geneva, Thomas came through again with a 537 series, highlighted by a 200 game. Molly Lambert bowled a 471 series, while Isaacs bowled a 371 series. Other high games were Thomas’ 179 and Lambert’s 172.

The JV crew also game away with a 1,892-1,814 victory. Jenna Bartel paced the effort with a 377 series.

With new home, bowlers look for welcome season

by Mike Slodki
DeKALB—When you are looking to turn the page on a program, you might as well start with a new home.

Looking to go on the comeback trail, the KHS bowling team has packed up its belongings after the shutdown of AMF Valley Lanes in North Aurora, and moved to Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

“It’s very different here, but the lanes are nice, it’s clean and well-managed,” Kaneland head coach Jim McKnight said.

The Lady Knights, who finished 5-15 in 2008-09 competition, lost seven seniors to graduation, but returned a valuable number of bowlers.

“We’re looking for Holly Thomas to be the big gun, with Jessica McHenry and Amy Kuryliw bowling full time this year,” McKnight said. “They’re throwing the ball real well so far.”

With Thomas (148 average) in her third year, McHenry (123 average) in her third year, and Kuryliw in her fourth, a stable core is key to Lady Knight success.

“McHenry is a natural leader and a hard worker, Thomas is working hard and bowls quite a bit year-round, and Amy is ready to step up and surprise people,” McKnight said.

Other varsity entries in 2009-10 include senior Jenna Bartel, senior Molly Lambert, senior Tierra Lee and sophomores Seleana Isaacs and Megan Scott.

Other competitors for Kaneland bowling looking to make a contribution are senior Sabrina Gabrielle, sophomore Madi Bluml and the lone freshman, Angela Charhut.

The Lady Knights start the regular season off with a matchup on Monday, Nov. 30 at Morris, and end the regular campaign on February 2 at Geneva for the final Western Sun Conference position night.

Photo: Bowler Holly Thomas, who bowled an average of 148, will be counted on heavily for good things at Kaneland. File Photo

Bowlers finish tenth at sectional

by Mike Slodki
While Kaneland Lady Knights bowling saw its 2008-2009 season come to an end this past Saturday, there was plenty to build on for next season, and plenty of teams that they left in the dust.

Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb was the site of the 16-team IHSA sectional that saw Kaneland finish 10th overall with a tally of 4,443 pins.

Sycamore was crowned sectional champ with a total of 6,020 and Waubonsie Valley finished second at 5,429, officially clinching a State berth in Rockford this weekend.

The top overall bowler was Sycamore junior Chelsea Royalty (1,425).

Fellow Western Sun Conference schools Rochelle (5,355) and DeKalb (5,215) finished third and fifth, respectively.

“Our tenth place finish was good for the level of competition,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We never really collapsed, though, so that was good. Sycamore was unbelievable, bowling at record-high levels.”

High series for the Lady Knights were bowled by Kathleen Moravcik (943), Cassie Wilson (918) and Jessica Stebbins. The high games during the two series of play were tallied by Stebbins at 193, and Moravcik at 189.

The Lady Knights bid farewell to seniors Emily Curran, Sonja Isaacs, Moravcik, Trisha Roberts, Stebbins, Donna Sury and Wilson.

“We find it sad to end to have to end the season, especially for the seniors. They are a super bunch of girls, and they will be hard to replace,” McKnight said.

Bowlers get best of first-year program Huntley for first win

by Mike Slodki

Based on the first attempts of the year marked 2009, Kaneland bowling is already looking better, thanks to their first win.

The bowlers took to the lanes on Monday in Huntley to face off against the first-year Raiders program.

“They’re young and have a good attitude, and we’re glad we can bowl against them,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said.

Kaneland nabbed its first head-to-head meet of 2009 with a 2,601-1-2,420 win.

“It’s a pretty heavy schedule now until the end of the season, so we’ll see how it goes,” McKnight said.

The Lady Knights followed that up on Tuesday with a home loss to non-conference rival Lisle in a 2,831-2,508 match.

Kaneland is now 1-7 (0-4 WSC).

Jessica Stebbins led the way with a capable series of 466.

Stebbins wants to see improvement which started at Huntley.

“I want to get either get a 550 series or 250 game,” Stebbins said.

Holly Thomas had the team-high series vs. Lisle with a 454.

Bowling still searching for first win

by Mike Slodki

            Nothing like facing a steady rival to usher in the holidays, but the DeKalb Barbs were not about to yield Kaneland’s first win of 2008.

            DeKalb took care of Kaneland last Wednesday at Mardi Gras Lanes by a final of 3,040-2,618 to drop the Lady Knights to 0-5 (0-3 Western Sun Conference) in dual meet action.

            DeKalb improved to 5-0 on the campaign.

            For Kaneland, the top series were bowled by Emily Curran at 460 and Holly Thomas at 446.

            Cassie Wilson bowled a 444 series, followed by Kathleen Moravcik’s 437 and Jessica Stebbins’ 432. Jessica McHenry bowled a 399 series.

            Top games were bowled by Thomas at 180 and Curran at 171.

            The JV squad lost a 2,239-1,911 skirmish with the Lady Barbs. Tierra Lee and Sonja Isaacs had team-high series with a 392 and 350, respectively. Isaacs had high games of 134 and 125.

            Trish Rogers bowled a 310 series and Seleana Isaacs bowled a 303 series in the effort.

            “At DeKalb, we had one good game from our varsity, but we still lost that game and the match,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We’re happy that we got pretty good scores from everyone in that game, but the highest was 180. We’re still looking for a game in which we get a few 180s, 190s, and 200s from the team. Those are the scores it’s going to take to beat some of our competition.

            Saturday saw the Lady Knights travel to the 5th annual Panther Invite hosted at Highland Park Bowl in Moline by East Moline United High School.

            Kaneland finished 12th in the invite out of 12 teams with a total of 4,224.

            Belvidere North (5,625), Sterling (5,425) and Rock Island (5,266).

            High six-game series for Kaneland was accomplished by Cassie Wilson at 916 and Jessica Stebbins at 874. Best three-game series for the Lady Knights was handled by Thomas (499) and Wilson (448).

            Kaneland’s JV crew finished 10th out of 12 with a total of 3,273 pins struck down. Belvidere North had 4,574 to win it all. Top six-game series for the JV Lady Knights were done by Amy Kuryliw (680) and Tierra Lee (578).

            Next up for Kaneland bowling is the Lisle Invite on Saturday, Dec. 20. Kaneland was also set to meet up at Rochelle on Wednesday.

Senior core of captains key for Lady Knights bowling

by Mike Slodki

            Approaching his 20th year at the helm of Kaneland High School bowling, coach Jim McKnight has seen his share of pins knocked down.

            But the only situation he can help influence at this moment in time is the current 2007-08; just so happens that’s all he’s worried about.

            The Lady Knights look to rebound from a 3-11 (0-7 Western Sun Conference) dual meet mark from 07-08. While key grads are gone, the Lady Knights have their share of returnees looking to make their mark.

            “We have quite a few who do have varsity experience,” McKnight said. “With any luck at all, I think we could have a decent varsity this year.”

            It begins with a group of four senior captains: Emily Curran, Kathleen Moravcik, Jessica Stebbins and Cassie Wilson. It also includes sophomore Holly Thomas, who saw lane time last year.

            “Barring any unforseen circumstances, those five will be our varsity and ready to go,” McKnight said.

            Additional seniors include Donna Sury and Sonja Isaacs. Juniors are Amy Kuryliw, Molly Lambert, Tiera Lee, Jessica McHenry and Danielle Rose. Freshmen are Madi Bluml, Ashley Diddell, Seleana Isaacs, Megan Scott and Grace Snyder.

            The bowlers kick the season off on Monday, Nov. 24, vs. Rochelle.