Tag Archives: Nick Albano

High School students recognized for Land Use Plan participation

Photo: The Kaneland students that helped with the Land Use plan were presented awards and were honored at the village board meeting. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

Students recognized were: Nick Albano, Erika Carlson, Madi Jurcenko, Emily Laudont,
Caitrin Mills, Eric Meuer, Anthony Parillo, Paige Wagner and Kelly Wallner

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Kaneland High School senior Nick Albano is on the varsity baseball team. He’s also an Eagle Scout, a cross country runner on his high school team, a participant in the Model United Nations Club and a member of the National Honor Society.

KHS sophomore Caitrin Mills has always been interested in acting, beginning with middle school plays and musicals. She was chosen to play a part in “Les Miserables,” and was the stage manager for “West Side Story—Kaneland Edition” this year. She is the vice president of the TINA (This Is No Act) improvisation club, and a member of the Scholastical junior varsity team.

What the two students share is a love of Elburn, and a desire to make it even better in the future. Albano and Mills last year joined eight other KHS students in providing input to help revise the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Elburn.

The classmates on Monday were recognized for their participation by the Elburn Village Board.

Village President Dave Anderson, who introduced the students, said they made him feel good as a member of the Elburn community and as a parent.

“I wish to compliment your instructor in the selection process, because he selected a fine, fine group of students to help this community in planning for your future,” Anderson said.

Social studies teacher Mark Meyer said that Village Administrator Erin Willrett approached him about getting the students involved in the process of determining Elburn’s future. He and several other teachers then helped to identify the students. They chose two students from each class—two freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors. Because the project was to cover about a year, they decided to include only students who would still be at the school the following year.

Meyer said the students had learned in their classes about sustainable development, as well as farm land usage and water sustainability, so they were aware of some of the issues regarding growth.

Mills, who has lived in Elburn 13 of her 16 years, said that there are many things she likes about Elburn, including its small-town feeling.

She likes the fact that people can feel safe walking anywhere in town. She also enjoys the library, where she works part time.

Albano has lived in Elburn since he was born, and his family has been in this area since the early 1900s. He said that although he would like to move somewhere else for a while, he plans on coming back to live in Elburn. Albano said he loves the Metra train, because he can get to downtown Chicago in an hour.

He said he hopes ShoDeen will make the Elburn Station development inviting.

“If it ends up similar to Geneva around the train station, it’ll be really really good for Elburn,” he said.

Albano, Mills, and their classmates Eric Meuer and Jeremy Faletto, during a recent discussion agreed that it would be great to have a place in town where they could hang out, such as a coffee shop or something similar. However, Albano and Meuer said their No. 1 desire was for an amphitheater on the south side of Elburn, where they could go and listen to music.

The students said they would like to see Elburn grow, but they would like to see it expand outward around the downtown area instead of being too spread out.

Meuer said he would like more green space and more trees, especially in the downtown area. Albano agreed, saying he thinks the church parking lot would better serve the village as a park.

Faletto would like a swimming pool in town, and more restaurants that aren’t bars. Meuer said there are already enough banks in Elburn—eight in total. And Albano said a music store would be great, “something to bring people to the downtown area.”

The teens are also in agreement about what they don’t want, namely another Randall Road. They also don’t want Elburn to be like Sugar Grove, which they feel is spread out too much.

The students would prefer to avoid “a lot of town houses and suburban ‘pop-ups,’” and disconnected subdivisions such as Blackberry Creek.

“I’d like to keep the small-town feel, but to add more things to draw people—something that connects the people” Faletto said.

Albano’s mother, Sheila, said that Nick really enjoyed participating in the project. During the meeting with other members of the community, he invited some of his friends to come and give their input.

“A couple adults said they were very impressed with the kids,” Sheila said.

Although the adults and the students had some very different ideas about what they would like to see for Elburn’s future, Sheila said the kids were very respectful of the other community members.

Anderson said that some of the students asked him about why they were chosen to give their input.

“Our plan at that time was 23 years old,” he said. “Twenty-three years from now, guess what? You’re sitting where we (the trustees) are now.”

Anderson said that having the high school students involved was such a success that Images Plus, the consulting firm that created the plan, is encouraging other communities to get their high school students involved.

“Be proud of yourselves, because we’re proud of you,” Anderson said to the students.

bb

Baseball sees rough beginning on Missouri trail

Photo: Kaneland High School starting pitcher Blake Sowell fires one home during Tuesday’s 12-10 win over visiting Sandwich. Photo by Ryan Wells

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Much like the Cubs going into Cardinals territory, there existed little welcome for the Chicago-area Kaneland Knights baseball squad (0-5).

Spring break and the season began on March 27 against Fox High School at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill., home of the Frontier League’s Gateway Grizzlies, and the Knights fell 4-3.

Kaneland then lost to St. Genevieve of Mo., 13-3 on Thursday, downstate Mt. Zion in Harrisburg, Ill., on Friday by a 6-4 clip, before finally dropping a doubleheader to O’Fallon on Saturday, 4-3 and 10-2.

Against St. Genevieve, KHS took a 2-0 lead in the second and had a 3-1 lead after three innings before the hosts put up a four-spot in the fifth and 10 in the sixth to cinch the slaughter.

Nick Albano suffered the loss in relief, while Kyle Pollastrini and Tyler Bellock each had an RBI.

In the loss against Mt. Zion, KHS again went out to a lead, 4-1 after three, before the hosts scored five for the Knights’ setback, including three in the sixth.

Knight Nick Stahl took the loss in relief, while Joe Komel added a double and two RBI.

The Saturday twinbill failed to bring good news. In game one, Kaneland broke a 2-2 deadlock with a run in the top of the eighth, but the hosts scored two in the last at-bat. Curtis Thorson was tagged with the loss, with Josh Cohrs tagging a double.

The final Saturday contest saw Kaneland fall behind 8-0 after the first two inning on the way to a loss. KHS also committed four errors in the field.

Thorson suffered the loss, but Blake Sowell recorded a double.

“I think we found out who the guys are that we can lean on and who the guys are that we need to get going,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “What I know is that we were in a position to win all but one game. We held the lead at some point during the last three innings of each game but ended up relinquishing it. A play here, a call there and we come home 4-1 instead of 0-5.”

On Tuesday vs. Sandwich, the Knights kicked off the home part of their non-conference schedule with a 12-10 win in a cold slugfest.

Komel recorded the win in relief, surrendering just one run in two and a third innings. He also notched three strikeouts.

Limbrunner went two-for-two from the plate, driving in three runs, scoring three times, and adding a steal to his statline.

Wednesday had a home date against Interstate Eight stalwart Plano, with results not available for press time.

On Thursday, April 4, the Knights are set to travel north to Rockton, Ill., to face host Hononegah.

Modified lineup takes Byron Handicap meet

Cutsinger, Kuipers emerge from pack for boys XC
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If it’s early October, you’ll know where to find Kaneland boys cross country.

They’ll be in Byron, Ill., ahead of everyone else.

Such was the case on Oct. 3, when the Knight boys cross country outfit made its usual stop for the Byron Handicap Invite.

Kaneland’s mastery of the staggered starts and the other seven schools led to 26 points and a victory.

The host Tigers finished with 43 team points, followed by Bureau Valley and 94 points.

Eliminating a 20-second disadvantage, Kaneland’s Phil Cutsinger finished in 17 minutes, 5 seconds, followed by teammate Joe Kuipers in second at 17:10.

“(Phil’s) worked very hard this season, and we’re happy to see him achieve this,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “Joe is just an amazingly humble and hard-working young man.”

Two Byron runners took the third and fourth spots before Kaneland struck again with Matt Rodway’s fifth-place nod at 17:38.

Nick Albano and Gus Stott helped wrap up the team title, as well, along with Brad Kigyos and Ryan Paulson.

Clarey, even with the top seven runners held out of the lineup, was pleased to see the competition bend toward KHS.

“We held out our top seven runners, and went with the great depth of our lineup versus some talented western fringe schools. Byron was second to us, and put up a great fight. Byron is the seventh-ranked team in Class 1A,” Clarey said.

Ahead for the Kaneland lineup is the LaSalle-Peru-hosted Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet on Saturday, Oct. 13.

“Our bottom line is that we are coming to give the best of ourselves, and to let the chips fall where they may,” Clarey said. “We’ve had a rough string of less than stellar performances at the conference meet for more years than we care to admit. By no means is it because our kids are not prepared or don’t give the best they’ve got. Our training has been built over the years, to help point us toward our best performances coming when we need them.”

Boys Cross Country Preview: Making excellence familiar

Photo: Conor Johnson tries to create distance between himself and the field at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill. last year during the Class 2A State race. The 15th best boys’ cross country program is slated to return five of seven top runners in 2012. File photo

Cross country team looks to return to top-tier at state
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—One has to be considered a top-tier team in Class 2A after securing 15th place in the boys cross country finals a year ago.

But Kaneland won’t be satisfied.

Yet, while Kaneland looks to aim even higher this year, the program also has to see how to replace important losses.

Gone from the 2011 season’s top seven are Miki Marin and Clayton Brundige, but the remaining top five look to be a force to be reckoned with.

“The very bottom line for us is it’s a 12-week season,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said. “It’s a long campaign and there’s always a push by many different teams toward the end. We slowly progress our way toward the season.”

Kyle Carter came on strong as his sophomore season went on, and eventually put up top team numbers.

Carter’s 39th place finish could serve him well as a reminder of what’s possible.

“He had a great season last year. He ran a PR for the course at State, and he’s looking for more this year. He wants more out of himself and wants more out of this team,” Clarey said.

Also returning are senior leaders Conor Johnson, John Meisinger, Brandon Huber and junior Luis Acosta, all with pivotal postseason experience.

“Conor and John stand out right away. Both of them are working through some of those aches and pains. They’ve been in the program. This is their fourth year, and that experience makes a huge difference,” Clarey said.

Huber was touted as the most improved runner a year ago by Clarey, having run 16 minutes, 16 seconds at State.

‘We’re going to use our depth, and we’ve got a huge senior class,” Clarey said.

The sense of the moment allowed Kaneland to power through a stacked sectional hosted by Belvidere a year ago, and it will be a challenge to break through that upper class lineup.

The season opens at Elburn Woods on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with a meet against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.

Varsity roster
Seniors
Nick Albano
Conor Johnson
Bradley Kigyos
Joe Kuipers
John Meisenger
Nicholas Messina
Ryan Paulson
Joseph Pollastrini
Matthew Rodway
Christopher Wido

Juniors
Luis Acosta
Ryan Bower
Kyle Carter
Phillip Cutsinger
Nathaniel Kucera
Dylan Kuipers
Marcus Stott

Sophomores
Andrew Lesak
Brandon Park
Connor Pennington
Philip Rawers
James Walker

Freshmen
Aaron French
Alexander Gale
Joseph Kuchera
William Kuipers
Kyle Osborne
Sean Spaetzel
Ryan Weber

Head coach
Chad Clarey

Varsity Boys Cross Country Schedule
• Tuesday, Aug. 28; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. W. Acad., W. Chicago
• Tuesday, Sept. 4; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. E. Aurora, Yorkville
• Saturday, Sept. 8; 11 a.m.
At First to the
Finish Invite—Peoria
• Saturday, Sept. 15; 9 a.m.
Home—Eddington Meet
• Saturday, Sept. 22; 9 a.m.
At ACC Invite
• Saturday, Sept. 29; 9:30 a.m.
At Freeport Pretzel Invite
• Wednesday, Oct. 3; 4:15 p.m.
At Byron Handicap Invite
• Saturday, Oct. 6; 9 a.m.
At Sterling Invite
• Saturday, Oct. 13; 9 a.m.
at LaSalle Peru
NIB XII Conference

Letter: Congratulations, Nick Albano

We at Blackberry Township want to congratulate Nick Albano on the completion of his Eagle Scout project at the Blackberry Township Cemetery.

Nick and his family, as well as his many fellow Scouts, installed a beautiful garden in the southwest corner of the cemetery.

Nick did an outstanding job of planning, organizing and implementing the project. We encourage all Elburn area residents driving along Route 47 or Keslinger Road to take a look.

This is another excellent project that makes us proud to live in the Elburn area.

Job well done, Nick.

Fred Dornback
Cemetery Superintendent
Rodney Feece
Highway Commissioner

Top-15 finish at State for KHS boys

Photo: Conor Johnson tries to create distance between himself and the field at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday during the Class 2A State race. The 15th best boys’ cross country program is slated to return five of seven top runners in 2012. Photo by Marshall Farthing

by Mike Slodki
PEORIA—Kaneland’s boys cross country lineup went after the finish line all season long, with the burden of sizable turnover from last year.

Even with factors like that, as well as nagging injuries to key personnel, the Knight harriers made the most of their 15th trip to the State race in 25 years.

With a team total of 371 points, KHS took 15th in all of Class 2A after Saturday’s Detweiler Park gathering in Peoria, Ill.

The seven-deep Knight lineup ran the course with an average time of 16 minutes, 8.1 seconds, and had a pack discrepancy of 57 seconds.

Tops in Class 2A was the always dangerous Belvidere North, with 110 points and four athletes in the top 15. Former Western Sun Conference rival Glenbard South was second at 128, followed by Normal U-High at 173.

NIB-12 mate Yorkville was sixth overall with 209 points. Local outfit Marmion Academy took ninth at 258 points.

Decatur MacArthur’s Michael Clevenger’s 14:26 effort was good for first place, followed by Belvidere North’s Tyler Yunk at 14:32 and Charleston entry Riley McInerney at 14:40.

For Kaneland, the conclusion to 2011 gets it on par with the outstanding fifth-place finish two years ago. In 2010, KHS sent Trevor Holm to State, where he finished 37th.

As he’s done quite often during his sophomore season, Kyle Carter had the top total for the Knights, finishing with the 38th best time of 15:45.

Junior Conor Johnson took 59th with a time of 16 minutes flat, followed by teammate John Meisinger in 60th, one second behind.

Meisinger was impressed at the team’s fortunes.

“This was a big year, we had good team unity and wanted to see what we could do after Trevor left. With all the races, even if you don’t know, you are always improving,” Meisinger said.

Brandon Huber finished 85th at 16:16, while Miroljub Marin took 129th at 16:41. Luis Acosta was 139th overall at 16:48, and Clayton Brundige was 155th at at 17:04.

KNIGHTS XC
Luis Acosta Nick Albano
Ryan Bower Clayton Brundige
Kyle Carter Brandon Huber
Conor Johnson Brad Kigyos
Miroljub Marin John Meisinger
Ryan Paulson Nate Rehkopf
Head Coach Chad Clarey

Knight boys XC takes to Sterling, Byron

KANELAND—At Byron, Kaneland’s 31 points was tops for the meet, above Byron’s 62. Richmond-Burton’s 68-point total was good for third.

With groups shooting out of the gate at 20 second intervals, Kaneland’s Gus Stott took the top spot for the Knights, followed by Nick Albano in fourth.

In Saturday’s Sterling Invite, the freshman-sophomore roster ran to a fourth-place finish with 121 points. Sophomore Kyle Carter’s 16 minute, seven second time was good for second, followed by teammate Luis Acosta, who finished seventh at 16:53.

The varsity group heads off to the second annual Northern Illinois Big XII meet, hosted by Geneseo High School, on Saturday, Oct. 15.

A year ago at Elburn Woods, Kaneland finished seventh out of 12 teams, with the Yorkville Foxes taking the mantle.