Tag Archives: Mel Mazuc

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 trackster Patterson vaults to 10th place finish at State finals

CHARLESTON—Brooke Patterson wasn’t a perfect 10 this weekend, but that number put her in a pretty nice place.

With a 10-foot vault in the pole vault event on Saturday at Eastern Illinois University, the first-year track participant finished 10th overall in the Class 2A State girls track finals in Charleston, Ill.

Patterson, who came on the scene from a gymnastics background for coach Doug Ecker’s Lady Knights roster, finished with 10 feet, three inches in the prelims to launch herself into the finals.

Pontiac’s Emily Grove was crowned champion with a 12-06 final effort. Normal University High’s Emily Clay was second with 12 feet. Belvidere North’s Baily Murphy took third with 11-09 and fellow Western Sun Conference competitor Sam Elliott took fourth at 11-09.

Springfield Southeast won the team standings with 57 points.

Patterson turned out to be the only Lady Knight in six events to make it to Saturday’s final.

Patterson’s teammate Sara Wallace, in her final KHS event, made it to nine feet in the prelims of pole vault.

Freshman Ashley Castellanos finished tenth in her long jump flight with a mark of 15-6.25.

Patterson also competed in the triple jump and finished tenth in her flight at 34-11.25.

The 4×800 meter relay foursome of Lisa Roberson, Jessica Stouffer, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang finished eighth in their prelims with a time of 10 minutes, 6.18 seconds.

Strang also finished just .08 off the final qualifying mark in the 800m run with a time of 2:23.36.

With the 2010 campaign now complete, the Lady Knights track program says goodbye to a couple of State qualifiers in Roberson and Wallace, and additional seniors Elicia DiBella, Tara Groen, Hillary Luse, Mel Mazuc, Megan Mendoza and Lexie Pniewski.

Photo: Junior Brooke Patterson vaults over the nine-foot mark in the preliminaries at the Class 2A State Girls Track Finals in Charleston, Ill. Patterson, who also competed in the triple jump, was the only Kaneland finalist in six events.
Photo by Ben Draper

KHS students earn honors in IWPA contest

Kaneland—Four Kaneland High School students were among the 54 honored by the Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA) during its annual High School Communications Contest.

Contest winners were recognized during an award luncheon on May 15.

Erica Brettman earned a second-place honor in the Environment category with a piece titled, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Ways to Go Green Today.”

Mel Mazuc earned second-place recognition in the Opinion category with an entry titled “He Might as Well Cause Cancer.”

Sarah Arnold earned third place in the Reviews category with “The Coolest, Funniest iPod Apps Money Can Buy.”

Austin Paulson earned an honorable mention in the Graphics category with an untitled graphic.

Making the grade

One Krier editor worries that GPAs may suffer for students who just don’t get it
by Mel Mazuc
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor

Sculptures. Murals. Pottery. Collages. Beading. Painting. Drawing. Art.

Everything about it goes over my head. I could slave all day and night over the kiln, trying to fashion something that even slightly resembled a pot, or spend the entirety of my free time staring at a blank canvas, but the truth is, I’m never going to be good at it. My “pots” in middle school always ended up looking like a big vat of melting, ugly clay. My “paintings” could have been completed by my 8-year-old cousin. My “collages” may have been pieced together by a turtle.

No matter how much effort I put into making my middle school art projects, they look like something worthy of any grade; always stunk. No matter how hard I tried to put the gluey pieces of tissue paper on that collage and coordinate the colors I painted onto the canvas, I always struggled—and I always got a B or worse.

Once I reached high school, I never took another art class. It was simply bringing me down.

Word on the street is that grades may become more based on our mastery of skills, like math and grammar, instead of on participation and extra credit.

“When you ask teachers what they’re grading for or what grades should reflect, they say some pretty sophisticated things,” Superintendent Dr. Charles McCormick said. “We say we grade for academic skill, but what we really grade for is student compliance.”

In a recent grading scale study, Kaneland was handing out more A’s and B’s than almost any other school in the Western Sun Conference, yet our ACT scores were some of the worst. This doesn’t add up … our grades are the best, but our ACT scores are the worst?

“If we’re being told we’re better by what the grades reflect, then we really are having grade inflation,” McCormick said.

He suggested that the administration needs to begin having a conversation with the academic advisory committee about how to ensure there is no more grade inflation going on, which means all classes being based on academic achievement instead of participation and effort.

In theory, this is a great idea. What if we all worked until we knew how to write proofs, solve a problem on the differentiation of inverse trigonometric functions, and find the spot where that last little comma goes, just by offhandedly scanning our English papers?

“Someone that puts a lot of effort into something but it doesn’t turn out good will get a bad grade, but someone who puts in a little effort and it turns out good will get a better grade than they should,” senior Maddie Jarka said.

“I think for homework, you should be graded on effort and how much you tried,” freshman Alyssa Nolte said. “For tests and quizzes, it should be how much you know.”

Nolte said she thinks it would be harder for students to get good grades because it takes longer to learn the material, and it’s more challenging.

With harder grading, “I think it would be easier to see exactly what the student knows,” she said.

But sometimes this doesn’t work. While mastery of skills is important, especially for core classes like math and English, some students will never be good at some things. For example, I can’t cook. Luckily for my GPA and the safety of others, I never took any of the food-related classes here at school.

Other students type slowly or are bad at art. Remember back in elementary and middle school when art class and “learn how to use a computer” class were required? Remember the kids who tried so hard, but always failed to accomplish any of their goals?

One project we did in art class was a collage based on a play, and I worked so hard on that collage, I nearly died. I looked forward to art every day because I could work on my collage and make it even better than before. Still, though, because it was my work and my poor skill level, I only received a B.

“If someone tries on something and it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted, they still tried,” Jarka said. “It should be based off of how much effort you put into it.”

Some will argue that skill mastery is the most important, because learning how to do something is the reason we’re all in school. And I agree.


I agree that it’s necessary to get good grades in English and math and science, because those are going to help us be able to function for the rest of our lives. Understanding and mastering subjects like that is important, and to that end, I have no problem or argument with dwindling down participation to a minimal percentage of our grades.

But what about the classes that are required, but are really just electives? Effort and participation should be almost the entire grade for classes like that, because some students will never pass classes about art or cooking or typing fast.

There are two options to remedy this: either leave the should-be-elective classes with participation and effort as a great percentage, or don’t make the classes mandatory.

Some students’ grades suffer because of this, and they get no benefit out of it. I want to be a journalist; how is my sixth-grade collage going to help me in my future?

It isn’t.

Lady Knights track travels to Dixon

KANELAND—With Kaneland and Dixon suiting up as Northern Illinois Big 12 conference mates next season, what better way for Lady Knights girls track to get their name out in that territory than at the annual Dixon Relays.

Friday afternoon saw KHS finish seventh in a talented 10-team field by President Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home, with a total of 54.5 points. Kaneland finished 2.5 points behind Dixon and 4.5 points behind Rochelle.

Harlem (118), Geneseo (88) and Sterling (84) took the top three spots.

In the unusual weight events 4x100m relay, Mel Mazuc, Keara Palpant, Nicole Ketza and Briana Stark took a first place with 57.03 seconds.

The pole vault event also went to Kaneland, thanks to the efforts of Brooke Patterson, Hillary Luse and Sara Wallace, who hit 25 feet in the finals.

Patterson, still a rookie to the track ranks, has now become a true asset to KHS girls track in events like the triple jump and vault.

“I think it’s a good start,” Patterson said on Tuesday. “I try to have fun because it’s my first year doing it.”

Patterson is not as far behind the curve as most, with a gymnastics background.

“It definitely helped in pole vault, I knew how to turn upside down when I had to,” Patterson said.

Kaneland also brought home a couple of third-place finishes, as Lisa Roberson, Jessica Stouffer, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang ran 10:05.11 in the varsity 4x800m relay. Harlem won the event with a time of 9:58.

On the frosh/soph end of that event, Maggie Brundige, Abby Dodis, Savanah Miles and Kelly Evers ran a 10:51.90 to clinch third.

Tuesday had some Western Sun Conference action in store for the Lady Knights in DeKalb against the host Lady Barbs and Geneva.

Lady Knights host Jenni’s ABC, GS

KANELAND—Lady Knights track saw some members continue in a nice groove this week.

Kaneland’s annual hosting of Jenni’s ABC Meet in Maple Park led to a third-place nod with 250 points. Huntley High School was crowned queen of the meet with 418 points, and Rockford Boylan took second with 322 points. Kaneland outlasted Rosary by one point, while Rock Falls finished fifth at 245 in the seven-team outing.

On Tuesday, KHS lost by just one point to visiting Glenbard South, 71.5-70.5.

KHS snagged a number of first-places on Saturday, beginning with Lisa Roberson’s 2 minute, 28.46 time in the 800 meter A grouping.

Brooke Patterson continued her first-year rise through the ranks, securing first in the pole vault A category with an effort of nine feet, nine inches. The junior also took first in the long jump A category at 14-11.

Junior Andie Strang was first in the 800m run B group with a time of 2:32.88, and Roberson came back with a first in the 1600m run B at 5:55.33.

Teammate Brianna Stark, with a 15-foot effort in long jump B, took the crown in that event, while Sydney Luse won pole vault C at seven feet.

Strang also took second place in the 1600m run A with a time of 5:47.28.

Hillary Luse took second in the 100m hurdles A at 18.34, while Patterson added to her productive day with a second in the triple jump A group (34-03).

Sydney Luse finished second in the 100m hurdles B at 18.94. Hillary Luse took second in the pole vault B event with a seven-foot vault. Keara Palpant, with a 77-06 throw, took second in the discus throw B event, while Mel Mazuc finished second in discus C at 72-09.

Against the Lady Raiders, Patterson won first places in the long jump (15-5), triple jump (34-4) and pole vault (10-0).

Teammate Nicole Ketza won discus at 93-8. Roberson took the 800m run crown at 2:29.9, while teammate Arianna Espino won the 400m dash at 1:06.1. Amanda Lesak was first in the 300m hurdles at 54.68. Strang finished an impressive 5:35.99 in the 1600m run, while the Lady Knight foursome won the 4x400m relay at 4:31.5.

Laying ahead for Kaneland girls track is the annual Dixon Relays on Friday, April 23, at 4 p.m.

Photo: Freshman Amanda Lesak goes skyward for the high jump at Jenni’s ABC meet at KHS on Saturday. Photo by Ben Draper

Ecker steps in for girls track

Photo: Girls track coach Doug Ecker gives pointers on the triple jump at Friday’s practice. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—After a ninth-place finish in State a year ago, how do you repeat such a fine performance?

Wait and see.

A large part of the stellar finish at 2A State for the Kaneland Lady Knights girls track squad was due in part to Lindsay Gierke, gone off to the University of Northern Iowa. One of the most celebrated girls track athletes in KHS history, Gierke managed a second place in the 100m hurdles, fourth in the 100m dash, third in the 300m hurdles and was a four-year State qualifier.

“We’ve had some great athletes in the past and we’ll miss her points, but a lot of great athletes from last year are gone now, and it’s part of high school,” said KHS coach Doug Ecker.

Also gone from the group is pole vaulter Jordan Pinkston, who finished fifth at State and is competing at Southern Illinois University.

The good news is that 2009-10 allows new faces to step up and take the mantle of postseason success, and not all State qualifiers have left for the college ranks just yet.

One new face is right at the top, as girls cross-country coach Ecker moves up to take the head position, switching places with Pat Sheetz, who moves aside after four decades as head coach.

“There’s really no change,” Ecker said. “Sheetz and I have worked for 23 years; everything’s pretty much the same.”

Ecker has had head track experience in the college ranks and high-school boys track.

Junior Andie Strang looks to go back to Charleston, Ill. for a third go-around after finishing 10th in the 800m run and was part of the 4x800m relay, along with returning teammates Kris Bowen, Kelly Evers and Lisa Roberson. Strang is on the road back from a stress fracture suffered during girls basketball season.

“We’ll see how it is when outdoor season comes. If it’s healed it’s healed, and if it’s not its not. Hopefully she’s back at full strength and we’ll have to see what happens.”

Sara Wallace, a senior, also qualified for State in pole vault and looks to shore up that event.

Ecker stressed a lot of new faces, with accompanying talent to go with them on the roster numbering 50-strong.

“We don’t have any superstars, but we have kids with potential,” Ecker said.

Trying to break into the Lady Knight ranks in the jumping categories is junior Brooke Patterson, fresh off being familiar in the gymnastics realm and the younger sister of graduated trackster Kelli Patterson.

The junior has excelled in the indoor triple jump with a 32 feet mark.

Freshman Ashley Castellanos has done well in the triple and long jump in the initial stages of the season.

“Every team lost superstars, so you’ll have above average girls trying to take spots in the area,” Ecker said, who also said sprinters and vaulters could be crowded headed into the outdoor season.

The 4x800m relay looks to improve on their first go-around to state, but could see an influx of challengers. Ecker mentioned Castellanos and junior Jessica Stouffer having run well, joining a pool of seven or eight additional runners.

Hurdles will see freshmen and sophomores jockey one of Gierke’s specialty events.

Sprinters could put up some decent speed, thanks to representatives like sophomore Jordyn Lawrence.

“We have more depth at sprinters than we’ve had in a while; we just have to remain healthy,” Ecker said.

Senior Hillary Luse will have a chance at pole vault. The shot put and discus has younger lady tracksters looking to make a name for themselves before the outdoor season takes off.

Any Lady Knight that could take fellow athletes by surprise? Ecker mentioned junior Ariana Espino, who is looking for a relay spot, and fellow junior Sydney Billotta.

“They’re healthy and doing better leading up to the season, and both ran cross-country,” Ecker said.

In this, the final campaign for the Western Sun Conference, Ecker mentions Geneva and Batavia rising up despite losing personnel, along with Rochelle.

Freshmen joining the Kaneland girls track roster for 2010 are Gabby Aguirre, Jenna Bicos, Maggie Brundige, Angalia Carbonara, Brianne Claypool, Laken Delahanty, Abby Dodis, Brooke Harner, Lisa Jennings, Amanda Lesak, Sydney Luse, Emily Maki, Kelly McCarthy, Emma Moon, Grace Mozdren, Alyssa Nolte, Katie Ogboukiri and Jessica Woodward.

Sophomores are Tesa Alderman, Ashley Diddell, Kelsey Gould, Nicole Ketza, Savanah Miles, April Smith, Grace Snyder, Meggen Southern, Carolina Tovar and Shannon Wallace.

Juniors are Athina Ajazi, Elizabeth Hylland, Lordan Krawczyk, Keara Palpant, Alyson Rehr, Nicole Rymarz, Briana Stark and Cara Zagel.

Seniors are Elicia DiBella, Tara Groen, Mel Mazuc, Megan Mendoza and Lexie Pniewski.

For the girls, the outdoor season kicks off on Tuesday, April 6, against Burlington Central and Oregon.

The Kane County Meet is at Batavia on Friday, April 30, followed by the final Western Sun Conference meet on Friday, May 7, at Glenbard South.

Near the epicenter: Earthquake shakes the homes of many Kaneland students, teachers

by Mel Mazuc
Kaneland Krier
Executive Editor

At approximately 4 a.m. on Feb. 10, an earthquake struck northern Illinois with a magnitude of 3.8.

According to Catherine Puckett of the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Information Center, there have been no aftershocks, but the USGS has estimated that about 11 million people in the area reported feeling at least mild shaking.

The earthquake occurred on the New Madrid fault line and could be felt in the neighboring states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Damage from that magnitude earthquake could include cracks in walls and items falling off of shelves, Puckett said.

“The damage is light,” she said.

Many Kaneland students and staff members were awakened by the earthquake, or were already awake when it happened.

“I thought it was wind blowing my apartment building,” PE teacher Kate Kania said. “It felt like my apartment building was going to fall down. I texted my sister to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. It was one of those things where you didn’t know if it was really happening or not.”

Though Kania said there were no signs that the earthquake shook her house, she said, “My jewelry box has necklaces hanging in it, and I could hear it shake. It was freaky.”

The earthquake startled Javier Martinez, social studies teacher.

“I jumped out of bed and ran to the door,” he said. “I thought a tree might have fallen in the yard.”

Earthquakes are “rare in Illinois,” Puckett said. “The last earthquake was on June 28, 2004, with a magnitude of 4.2. It was 35 miles south of this earthquake.”

Puckett said that earthquakes are more common in southern Illinois because it is nearer to the New Madrid fault area.

The earthquake was caused by “the movement of tectonic plates,” science teacher Sally Wilson said.

Wilson was already awake when it happened, and thought “it was just really windy because the whole house was shaking,” she said. “Then there was almost a boom, and some more shaking. There was some movement on the shelves around me. I stopped for a second and wondered if I should be worried because I have small children. I stopped, but then I went back to reading.”

Aftershocks to earthquakes are “generally smaller earthquakes,” Puckett said. “They’re further apart.”

Because they are generally smaller, the aftershocks would cause less, if any, damage.

“I thought (the earthquake) was a wind wave,” freshman Tricia Selmer said. “I feel bad for California people. They get one, like, every day.”

The Kaneland Krier submitted this story to the Elburn Herald on Feb. 10. Contributing writers include: Julia Angelotti, Kylie Siebert, Hannah Dewar, Noelle Goodine, Denitza Koleva, Lauren Companiott, Emily Carr, and Diana Nuno.

D-302 students give generously to Haiti

by Susan O’Neill
Kaneland—What started out as a simple request for change turned into a donation of over $2,000 to help the people of Haiti after last week’s earthquake.

“It was such an outpouring of help,” student council member Mel Mazuc said.

High School social studies teacher and student council adviser Javier Martinez said he asked a few students last Thursday morning if they thought the other students might want to contribute their pocket change to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Word spread throughout the day, and student council members went to each room at the end of classes to gather the donations. They collected $1,020 in one hour.

The Student Council doubled the donation, bringing it to $2,040. The council raises money through Homecoming ticket sales, blood drives and the sale of T-shirts.

Martinez said he chose the American Red Cross to receive the donations, because it is a high profile agency with a track record, and it will be able to put the money to good use immediately.

He said the Red Cross already had a mission in Haiti before the earthquake, because of the poverty there. The money will go to basic sustenance, such as food, water and medical supplies, he said.

The students have been watching the news this past week for updates on the situation in Haiti. Tommy Whittaker said he was particularly touched by the number of orphans in Haiti.

Mazuc said there was no question about donating the money.

“That’s where it’s needed the most,” she said.

The Student Council Haiti Relief Fund is still accepting donations through the end of this week. Martinez said that if people want to contribute to help the people in Haiti, he would urge them to go to the Red Cross’ website, www.redcross.org.

Kaneland shines spotlight on fall athletes with awards

Monday saw Kaneland High School dish out their annual awards for the fall sports season.

For girls cross country, Shelby Koester and Lisa Roberson were recognized by the team as captains, while Shaela Collins and Jessica Stouffer won the most improved runners nods. Junior Andie Strang took home the Most Valuable Runner award and was also recognized for her all-Western Sun Conference nomination.

In Knights golf action, the varsity most improved player award was given to Adam Grams, while Most Valuable Player was Hayley Guyton. Rhys Childs took home the frosh/soph MVP, and Dan Miller was named the frosh/soph most improved player. Guyton was also lauded for her second-place finish at the girls’ golf State gathering.

For soccer, Kevin Szatkowski, Marcos Dorado, Joe Garlinsky and Genaro Garcia were recognized as captains, and Alex Dorado and Sam Rymarz were given coach’s awards. Jake Tickle won the most improved player award, while J.P. Minogue was named team MVP thanks to his play in goal. Marcos Dorado, Derek White and Minogue were named to the All-WSC squad, while Dorado was also named the 2009 All-Sectional team.

For the tennis troops, Randi Bader, Lindsay Jurcenko and Kelsey Lenhardt were recogznied as garnering the best individual records this season with 18-7 records. Most Valuable Player awards were dished out to Jurcenko, Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb. Bader, Webb, Megan Cline and Mel Mazuc were recognized as captains. Jordyn Withey took home the team spirit award, while Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Jess Woodward nabbed the most improved player honors.

For the State-going boy cross country, Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Dominic Furco, Matt Reusche and Logan Markuson were recognized as captains.

Trevor Holm and Reusche took the most valuable runner awards, while Levita was named most improved runner. Valle and Markuson were given the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. The Golden Knight award, given to one representative of each grade level, was given to freshman Brad Kigyos, sophomore Jake Ginther, junior Tommy Whittaker and to Furco, a senior.

Reusche and Holm were lauded for their nomination to the all-Western Sun Conference team.

John Meisinger, Ginther, Billy Hart, Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson, Holm, Reusche, Levita, Valle, Furco, Markuson, Whittaker and Clayton Brundige were recognized as State qualifiers.

For the playoff-going Knight football team, Brock Dyer, Ryley Bailey, Brett Ketza, Eric Dratnol and Derek Bus were recognized as captains, while Kyle Davidson won the most improved player award. Dratnol was named the Most Valuable Player. Bailey was named the offensive MVP and Taylor Andrews won the defensive MVP award.

Bailey, Joe Camaliere, Andrews, Tyler Callagahan, Dratnol, Ketza, Jimmy Boyle and Blake Serpa were given all-WSC honors, as mentioned in last week’s Elburn Herald.

In volleyball, Jessica Lubic was named the Most Valuable Player, while Katy Dudzinski was given the top offensive player nod. Kylie Siebert won the top defensive player nod. Tara Groen was named best server, and Meredith Ament took home the spirit award. Mackenzie Curran won the most improved player nod, and Lubic and Dudzinski were nominated for the all-Western Sun Conference roster.

Photo: Tennis asset and tri-MVP Lindsay Jurcenko was one of the many KHS athletes noted for exceptional play during the fall season. File Photo

Lady Knight tennis concludes at SCE sectional

Kaneland tennis saw its season end on Saturday after the St. Charles East Sectional.

With both St. Charles outfits and Western Sun Conference anchor Geneva, it proved to be one of the more difficult groupings in 2009.

Tied with Wheaton Academy for sixth place, the Lady Knights were behind St. Charles North (30), Geneva (24), St. Charles East (18), Sycamore (12) and Bartlett (8).

Geneva senior Kayla Fujimoto was sectional singles champ, while St. Charles East tandem Lexi Baltes and Erin Bowman took the doubles title.

No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko, No. 1 doubles team Olivia Emmanouil/Liz Webb, and No. 2 doubles unit Randi Bader/Kelsey Lenhardt were eliminated by eventual semifinalists.

The IHSA State tourney takes place on Thursday, Oct. 22, through Saturday, Oct. 24, at District 211, 214 and 220 courts throughout the northwest suburbs.

With the conclusion of the 2009 season, Kaneland tennis says goodbye to seniors Bader, Megan Cline, Emmanouil, Liz Kennedy, Tessa Kuipers, Lenhardt, Joss Nicholson, Mel Mazuc and Liz Webb.

Krier earns honors

by Ali Boan
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor

KANELAND KRIER—Every spring, high school journalists across the nation rush to send their stories into Quill and Scroll, the international high school journalism honor society. Every September, the judges’ booklets come back. This September brought another honor to the 2008-09 Kaneland Krier: the International First Place award.

“This honor is for everyone on the staff. More than 80 students worked on the paper throughout the year, but it’s especially (an honor) for the 17 editors who worked tirelessly to write, produce, design and edit the paper,” Cheryl Borrowdale, Krier adviser, said.

“The staff has worked incredibly hard to continue Kaneland’s long history of journalistic excellence. The Krier has been completely student-run for 36 years now, and this staff dedicated themselves to producing the best student newspaper they could. It’s a group who set some very high expectations for themselves, and they met them,” Borrowdale said. “I’m glad to see them be recognized for all that they have done.”

Quill and Scroll is an international high school journalism honor society based at the University of Iowa. The judges read student newspapers and news magazines from 44 countries around the world, score each paper and offer critiques. Newspapers that score more than 900 out of 1,000 possible points are given first-place awards. The Krier scored 903 points, which places it among the best student news magazines in Illinois.

“Last year, all the editors worked really hard, and I’m glad that it paid off and we got recognition for it in the end,” senior Erin Rodway, executive editor, said.

Although the Krier received first place and was cited for superior achievement, the Quill and Scroll judges did have suggestions on how to improve.

“The judges told us that we should have our news stories come before the editorial, so we switched the pages up this year and listened to what they said,” Rodway said. “They also said we should have stronger and more unique leads, so we’re trying to do that as best as we can, too.”

The International First Place Award is the most recent of several awards won by the 2008-2009 Krier staff. The Krier also won a Gold Medal from the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association, as well as 19 individual awards. It was the only news magazine in its division to win an award in every category at NISPA.

Executive editor Mel Mazuc, now a senior, took third place nationally in column writing at the National Women’s Press Association contest in July. Mazuc had placed first in state at the Illinois Women’s Press Association contest in April, along with Kathleen Kuhar, ’09, who placed first in state for an in-depth news story.

The 2009-10 staff is working to continue improving the news magazine and accomplish many things.

“We’re going to try to work together with the executive editors so that we share more ideas and hopefully make the Krier a more diverse news magazine,” said junior Maria Kernychyny, centerspread editor.

Photo: Many of the 2008-09 Kaneland Krier staff gathered for a picture in the Krier newsroom. The Krier recently earned the Quill and Scroll International First Place Award.
Courtesy Photo

Tennis loses to Syc., WSC meet next

While the Lady Knights and Lady Spartans played tennis under cover of darkness on Monday evening, it was no mystery about the final result.

Sycamore’s 5 1/2-1 1/2 win in a rain makeup meet sent the Lady Knights dual record to 4-7.

The lone Kaneland win on Monday was had by the No. 2 doubles tandem of Randi Bader and Kelsey Lenhardt in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 effort.

Liz Webb and Olivia Emmanouil battled to a 7-5, 6-7 tie, with Anna Buzzard and Megan Hickey before the match was called due to darkness.

The meet marked the last home meet for seniors Webb, Emmanouil, Lenhardt, Bader, Mel Mazuc, Tessa Kuipers, Liz Kennedy and Megan Kline.

KHS hosts the WSC meet on Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10.

Kaneland tennis prevails over DeKalb, Oswego

No. 1 Jurcenko on hot streak for Lady Knights
by Mike Slodki
That makes three wins in a row for the Lady Knights tennis team.

Shaking off an iffy start, the girls have captured three matches in a row to improve to 4-4 on the season.

On Thursday, DeKalb fell victim to the Lady Knights by a final of 6-1 at Northern Illinois University. Kaneland followed up that piece of good news with a 4-3 win over Oswego in Maple Park.

No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko took on Alison Anderson and won a 6-1, 6-1 matchup. No. 2 competitor Amelia Napiorkowski came back against Dana Jorgenson to win a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 battle. Meanwhile, KHS swept the doubles slate, thanks to wins by the Olivia Emmanouil/Liz Webb, Randi Bader/Kelsey Lenhardt, Tessa Kuipers/Mel Mazuc and Caiti Ellefsen/Liz Kennedy teams.

“This caps off a pretty good week for Kaneland tennis,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Most impressive today was Amelia’s win. She never did find a good forehand but played around it, found a good strategy, and won enough points to get the win.”

The JV team defeated the Lady Barbs by a 4-3 score, helped out by Maddy McMullen’s 7-6, 6-3 win.

Against the visiting Panthers, Jurcenko took a 6-2, 4-6, 8-6 win over Bre Vergonet, and Bader and Lenhardt won a 6-4, 6-4 tussle vs. Dani Blocker and Erin Montgomery in the No. 2 doubles category.

In JV action, the Lady Knights earned a 7-1 win.

Future meetings for Kaneland tennis include a home meet with Geneva on Thursday, Sept. 24, and the Rochelle Invite on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Tennis beats Minooka, loses to IMSA

Lady Knights tennis (1-3) got back on track with a win against Minooka on Thursday by a 5-2 dual score, but fell to IMSA (5-2) the following Tuesday.

“Our first win of the year … what I like about our team is that our girls at every position came off the courts with ideas of what shots are working for them, and what we need to work on in practice,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said about the action against Minooka.

In singles action, No. 1 entry Lindsay Jurcenko took care of Michelle Dominik by a 6-1, 6-1 tally. In the No. 2 singles matchup, Amelia Napiorkowski defeated Sarah Crowley, 6-0, 6-1.

Liz Webb/Olivia Emmanouil took care of Taylor Hartman/Sara Tredennick in the No. 1 clash by a 6-2, 6-4 margin.

No. 2 doubles tandem Randi Bader/Kelsey Lenhardt went the distance and won over Taylor and Tori Anians by a 7-5, 5-7, 7-4 result.

No. 3 doubles team Tessa Kuipers/Mel Mazuc won out over Paige Sandal/Chanteil Vlatowski 6-4,6-0.

Against the Titans in Aurora, Jurcenko’s 6-2, 6-0 win and Napiorkowski’s 6-0, 6-1 victory went in the Lady Knight’s favor.

Lady Knights lose opening two skirmishes

by Mike Slodki
The effort was there, the preferred end result was not, however.

Rosary defeated the Kaneland High School tennis squad in the season opener on Monday in Maple Park by a 5-1 final.

Tuesday also saw a 3-2 loss to the Wheaton Academy Warriors.

The lone win was a 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 doubles win by No. 3 combination Tessa Kuipers and Mel Mazuc.

“Today was a tough start for our team,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Rosary has some talented players. But we found some things to work on in order to be ready for our conference season.”

The JV crew dropped a 6-1 result to Rosary, played out at Marmion Academy in Aurora. No.3 doubles team Jordyn Withey and Jess Woodward earned the lone win with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 result.

In West Chicago, No.1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko took a 6-3, 6-3 affair from Emmy Gaffey, while Amelia Napiorkowski won her No.2 singles matchup with a 6-4, 6-3 effort.

Wheaton Academy swept the doubles slater on Tuesday.

Thursday, Aug. 27, marks the next varsity challenge, with a trip to Marengo.

Fall sports preview: Departure means opportunity

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Second-year coach Tim Larsen has to deal with a lineup that sees personnel like Emma Anderson, Katie Hatch, Anna Rossi, Kristen Sanecki and Jen Zmrhal gone to graduation.

Larsen, however, returns several girls to the Lady Knights tennis squad that look to make good on opportunities created by the vacancies.

While singles and doubles slots are yet to be completely decided, Larsen feels that the initial practices were going well.

“I feel really good about it,” Larsen said about the current setup.

The intangible quality Larsen is most impressed with?

“A lot of leadership. They were here for four years and had (Cindy) Miller as varsity coach. But we have eight seniors returning this year, and I feel very good that we can be competitive this year,” Larsen said.

Liz Webb was singled out by Larsen has having good prospects coming into the season and has played throughout the year.

“I really do think she’s going to fill the void that Katie Hatch left,” Larsen said.

Varsity singles option Lindsay Jurcenko comes back for a second straight year after playing volleyball in the lower-class days.

Gone from the doubles and captains front are Sanecki and Zmrhal.

“They were captains along with Emma and kind of held the team together. Just having girls like Jen and Kristen around was a calming influence for everybody else,” Larsen said.

Kelsey Lenhardt and Liz Webb, doubles tandem a year ago, also make their return to the Lady Knight court in 2009.

Olivia Emmanouil, No.1 singles player from a year ago, returns, as does the doubles duo of Tessa Kuipers and Mel Mazuc.

For whatever kinks need to be worked out in the game, time will be saved on having to garner court time and experience.

“(The) really rewarding thing is that we’re just ironing out little bugs at this stage, just working on the little things with the returning players. It helps that I could be their coach when they were freshmen and again as seniors,” Larsen said.

The personnel representing Kaneland will continue to work toward improving on last season’s fortune, even with new faces.

“I want to go into matches thinking ‘we can win this,’” Larsen said.

This upcoming season marks the last in the short history of the Western Sun Conference, an arrangement which more often than not, gave KHS fits on the court.

“I feel good and bad about it. I think we’re still going to play Geneva and Batavia, and they serve kind of a measuring stick. I’d like to see as we continue to grow and improve, to see how we measure up against those teams in the future,” Larsen said.

The season serves up its first contest on Monday, Aug. 24, at Marmion Academy as Kaneland battles Rosary at 4:30 p.m.

The first conference battle is vs. Batavia on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 4:30 p.m., with the final regular season matchup at the Western Sun Conference tournament in Geneva on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Krier announces staff

by Ali Boan, Kaneland Krier
Kaneland Krier Editor

The Kaneland Krier announced its new executive editors and page editors for the 2009-10 school year on May 20.

The new executive editorial staff of 2009-2010 positions are Erin Rodway, editor-in-chief and assistant copyeditor; Mel Mazuc, production manager, copyeditor and editorial editor; Megan Nauert, advertising and graphics manager; Ali Boan, marketing manager, assistant web editor and Kaneland News Bureau manager; Jess Raines, business and circulation manager; and Hope Zegiel, online editor and visual editor.

“I think it’ll be a lot easier to do things (next year) because we’re a smaller, really good group of people. It’ll be fun,” Rodway said.

The editorial staff positions were also selected for the 2009-10 school year. Editorial staff are Sarah Arnold, trends, features and A&E editor; Jess Corbett, profile, lifestyle and feature editor; Maria Kernychny, centerspread editor; Anthony Sperando, boys and girls sports editor; and Zach Brown, news, opinion and photo page editor.

Next year’s goals include “being on time, working effectively and making deadlines,” Rodway said.

The selection process for the positions is a careful one.

“The outgoing executive editors select the new executive editors through an application/ interview process. They unanimously agreed on the new staff; I think they chose very well,” Cheryl Borrowdale, Krier adviser, said.

Krier editors will start their summer meetings Tuesday, June 9, as they sell advertisements and prepare for the 2009-10 Krier.

Photo: The 2009-2010 Krier staff. (Back row) Jess Corbett, Anthony Sperando, Zach Brown, Maria Kernychny and Sarah Arnold. (Front row) Jess Raines, Megan Nauert, Erin Rodway, Hope Zegiel, Ali Boan and Mel Mazuc. Courtesy Photo

Spring Sports Preview: Lady Knights track off to running start

by Mike Slodki
For the 2009 season, Kaneland girls track has a slew of returning athletes, some whom have seen State action.

That’s good news for the Lady Knights program, and downright scary for opposing teams.

Pat Sheetz, in his 32nd year of heading the girls program, has 45 athletes that have worked out the kinks in the indoor season and are ready to tackle the outdoor campaign head on.

“We have a pretty good idea where people fit, and in other spots, people will separate themselves and we’ll see what our lineup is as the season goes on,” Sheetz said.

Any discussion of the Kaneland track program needs to start with University of Northern Iowa-signee and three-time State qualifier Lindsay Gierke. Gierke qualified in the 200m hurdles and 100m hurdles.

“I think she’ll be way better than last year,” Sheetz said. “She can do the job and she’ll have no problem hitting the times she wants to hit.”

Sophomore Andie Strang returns after having qualified for the 800m run a year ago.

“The talent is there, and the toughness is there in how she approaches things,” Sheetz said about Strang.

Looking to make things happen in the distance ranks for the Lady Knights are personnel like Lisa Roberson, who’s “doing real well so far, and we’re expecting even more out of her,” Sheetz said. Kris Bowen also looks to make an impact in the distance events, allowing with freshman Kelly Evers, Laney Deligianis, Carolina Tovar, Jessica Stouffer, Brianna Stark and Jordan Krawczyk.

Maggie Dawe and Sydney Billotta will also get their chances at distance and sprints, if needed. Gierke, Krissy Chapman, Mackenzie Curran and Bilotta work the sprints, while new personnel like Tesa Alderman, Arianna Espino and freshman Jordyn Lawrence also look to get their shot in that category.

The relays are up for grabs. “We’re playing around with options, we have seven kids that could be thrown in there, just a matter of how they progress,” Sheetz said.

Strang and Roberson were among those who saw time last year in the relays.

The field events see girls like Jordan Pinkston in the pole vault. Pinkston, who has reached 9 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault in the indoor season, qualified for the indoor State meet in Bloomington. Sara Wallace, Katie Bergman, Taylor Olson and Shannon Wallace also look to make a mark in the vault.

Newcomer Lindsay Douglas, Kelli Patterson and Stark could see time at the triple jump, with Patterson trying her hand the high and long jump.

Fifteen throwers fill the Lady Knights roster including returnee Alyssa Galvan. Lauren Whittaker and Katie Weiss also bring needed experience to the shot and discus. Newcomers to the event are senior Kathleen Kuhar, Mel Mazuc, Keara Palpant and Nicole Ketza. Kelsey Gould, Elicia Dibella, Deva Shamely and Erin Hanold will get their shot at various events, as well. Other members looking for their shot are Athina Ajazi, Ashley Augusty, Amelia Napiorkowski, Lexie Pniewski, Grace Snyder, Meggen Southern, and Julia Wittbrodt.

Improvement will bring about team-wide success.

“I can see us really improving in all events. We’re just putting everything together and putting people in the right events, and it’ll take care of themselves.