Tag Archives: Sam Wantuch

KHS spring sports awards put fitting cap on 2010-11

KANELAND—Coming a little later due to the storybook run of Kaneland baseball, KHS released its spring sports awards for 2010-11, highlighting a successful first step into Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In girls track, Lauren Zick and Andie Strang took home the co-MVP for track, while Brooke Patterson was named MVP on the field end. For most improved, Abby Dodis and Briana Stark took home the honor.

Sydney Bilotta, Strang, Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Keara Palpant were recognized as captains.

Zick and Patterson were joined by Gabby Aguirre as part of the Northern Illinois Big XII (NIB-12) All-Conference squad. Strang (1600 meter run, 4x800m relay), Bowen (4x800m relay), Patterson (pole vault), Sydney Strang (4x800m relay) and Zick (400m dash, 4x800m relay) were also recognized for their State trip.

For boys track, Taylor Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were named track MVP’s, while teammate Matt Spitzzeri took the field MVP. Curtis Secrest was given the Drendel Award.

Secrest, Trevor Holm, Whittaker, Andrews, Matt Cowans and Spitzzeri were recognized as captains, and Kory Harner took the Ron Probst Award.

The NIB-12 also named Andrews, Spitzzeri, Whittaker, Holm, Brandon Cottier, Mickey Marin and Jesse Balluff as part of the All-Conference squad.

Harner, Marin, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige, Balluff, Brandon Bishop, Dylan Nauert, Sean Carter, Holm, Cottier, Whittaker, Andrews and Secrest were all recognized for their State qualifying efforts.

In soccer, Emily Heimerdinger secured an All-State honor, capping her four-year output in style, while also named the NIB-12 MVP. The Class of 2011 member was also named co-MVP for the Lady Knights with teammate Amy Fabrizius.

Conference-wide, Heimerdinger, Fabrizius, Sophia Blank and Sam Wantuch were named to the All-Conference team.

Katie Taylor earned the Lady Knights Award, while Blank took home the Coach’s Award.

Keeper Michelle Ortiz was named Rookie of the Year, while Wantuch was named Most Improved Player for the roster that made it to the regional championship. Blank, Fabrizius, Heimerdinger and Taylor were also recognized as captains.

In softball, McKinzie Mangers and Andrea Potts were recognized as captains, while Allyson O’Herron took home the Lady Knight Award.

Potts was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Alexis Villarreal was named Most Improved Player for her efforts on the mound, and teammate Rilee Vest was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Lady Knights softball unit.

Additionally, Potts was a unanimous selection to the NIB-12 All-Conference team as an infielder. Vest and Katy Dudzinski were named as honorable mention candidates.

For the State Champion Knights baseball program, Bobby Thorson was named team Offensive MVP.

Kyle Davidson, Jake Razo and Brian Dixon took the Defensive MVP awards, and Dixon, Razo and Tyler Heinle were named Most Improved Players.

The No. 41 award was given to Sam Komel, Corey Landers and Dixon.

Mr. Kaneland Baseball was given out to the whole of the 2011 Class 3A State winners.

Additionally, Kaneland held the Senior Athletic Banquet Awards in June, giving the Knight Award for three-sport athletes to Stouffer, Strang and Davidson.

Strang was named female athlete of the year, while Andrews was named male athlete of the year. Strang also won the female Birkette Award, while the male Birkette Award went to Curtis Secrest.

Rosary puts an end to Kaneland soccer season

Photo: Emily Heimerdinger had a banner day for her last win under Kaneland soccer’s tenure. In the win over IMSA last week, the senior placed four goals in net. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
AURORA—In the case of Kaneland soccer in regional finals, bad things come in threes.

For the third season in a row, Kaneland girls soccer fell victim to a loss in the title match. This time after a 2-1 loss in double overtime against regional host Rosary.

Against the Royals, Katie Taylor’s goal off a Sophie Blank pass with 19:21 remaining in the first half was the lone score for Kaneland, as was Sam Duarte’s effort for Rosary.

With less than five minutes to play in the second overtime, Taylor Gibson’s header found the net, ending Kaneland’s season.

Before the Rosary heartbreaker, happier times were had against the Lady Titans on May 18.

While it was the senior Heimerdinger’s name in the goal column, the output was made possible by an offensive groove put together by consistent ball movement.

Heimerdinger’s first goal came on winning a battle for the ball near the goalie box and punching it in on a mini-breakaway with 22 minutes, 53 seconds left in the first half for a 1-0 lead on the Lady Titans.

“I’m just happy that we won. I think everyone’s happy just to be here, and this is what we’ve been playing for,” Heimerdinger said.

Heimderdinger then got on the board once again with 4:47 to go in the first half, and scored just 41 seconds later.

The Lady Knight scoring asset tallied her 96th career goal in the second half with 12:59 remaining.

“Once again, she’s doing her stellar part in being a scorer,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

Parillo was plain in noting that the regional opener win was a step on the way to a hopefully larger prize.

“I thought we played OK. I think we should have possessed more, and we weren’t staying out wide. But I’m happy, and hopefully third time’s the charm. We’re way different than we were in the start of the season.”

For the Lady Knights, the end of the season means saying farewell to seniors Heimerdinger, Blank, Sam Wantuch, Amy Fabrizius, Anna Henrichs and Shelby Fredericksen.

New-look Lady Knights try to start 2011 on right foot

Photo: Sam Wantuch participates in preseason ball drills for the Lady Knights. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a season to remember, and an ending to forget.

Kaneland would love to have the regional championship loss to Rosary High School back. The season which ended at 15-3-5 under soccer coach Scott Parillo and a cohesive senior unit had a chance for redemption in 2011.

However, it will have to come with quite the new look.

With last year’s celebrated senior core gone, as well as last year’s freshman sensation in goal Jordan Ginther (playing club soccer in Naperville, Ill.), the Lady Knights break ranks as fluid as can be.

“Jordan was classy enough to tell us in advance and we had time to cry and get that out of the way,” Parillo joked. “Hopefully, she’ll be back next year. We need to replace seven starters. They’re working hard out here, and it should be exciting.”

But, the solid strengths begin with team captain and senior Emily Heimerdinger at midfield/forward, who will go down as having one of the most prolific careers in KHS girls soccer history.

“She’s not a secret anymore. She was no longer a secret at the end of her freshman year. She’s going to be similar to a point guard out there. What she may not get in goals, she’ll maybe contribute in assists and she’ll be a real leader,” Parillo said.

Returnees joining Heimerdinger that are no stranger to big-game soccer include Amy Fabrizius at goalie/defender and Sophie Blank at goalie/midfield.

Returning to a bigger role after a 2010 with limited varsity action include the likes of Abby Bend (mid/forward), Sam Wantuch (defense/mid).

Also providing a spark are returning mid/fwd Katie Taylor, def/mid Anna Heinrichs and mid/foward Taylor White.

“The girls are up to the task, the coaches are up to the task, and we hope the girls gel as quickly as last year,” Parillo said.

New on the varsity ranks for Kaneland are def/mid Amber Winquist-Bailey, mid/forward Brittany Olson, mid/fwd Jessica Coia, mid/fwd Delaney Stryzek, midfielder Delaney Stryzek, goalie/midfielder Michelle Ortiz, midfielder/forward Shelby Fredricksen, def/mid Valerie Tockstein and defender Anne Marie Giese.

With two matches already under their belt, the Lady Knights begin the Northern Illinois Big XII East Division slate on Wednesday, April 6, against Sycamore. The regular season concludes on Tuesday, May 10, in Rochelle.

5 captains, new goalie for soccer

Photo: Midfielder Sophie Blank participates in pre-season drills for Lady Knights soccer. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—What happens when most of the Lady Knights soccer squad that scored a sizable upset over Hampshire in regional action returns?

You’ll have optimism and talent on a squad that tied its mark for most wins in club history.

“We got the lead against Hampshire and held on to it,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “You go back a few months and we lose a 3-0 lead at West Aurora. So that win was a ‘get over the hump’ moment for us.”

Leading the charge are the five captains. Midfielder Colleen Gebauer, defenseman Megan Gil, forward Emily Heimerdinger, midfielder Haley Johnson and midfielder Shelby Koester bring talent, experience and a solid core familiar with big late-season victories.

“They bring knowledge of the game and played big schools and small schools. Megan is a four-year varsity player, Emily’s a scoring machine, and Shelby, Colleen and Haley are all three-year varsity players. They’ve all been in pressure-filled games,” Parillo said.

Returnee Sophie Blank, pivotal to the regional semifinal win, moves out of goal to midfield, her more natural position.

In goal is freshman Jordan Ginther, who has already managed a shutout this year.

One might ask why there’s a wealth of experience in the field and a freshman in goal.

“You’ve got to watch her play. Her club team is nationally ranked. She will blow people’s minds,” Parillo said.

Joining Gil on the defense is teammate Natalie Swieca, back for a third year.

Savannah Webb returns as well on defense, for a unit looking to recover from graduation losses.

Amy Fabrizius is set for forward, midfield and maybe a bit of defense.

“We have enough players that can play multiple positions; we should be OK,” Parillo.

Katie Taylor shores up the forward ranks along with Andi Bruce and Abby Bend. Melissa Bohorquez can play forward and midfield, as can Sam Wantuch.

Also back for more is midfielder Thalia Garcia, who has already found the net this season. Anna Heinrichs plays defense and midfield, while Valerie Tockstein and Taylor White help out the midfield and forward ranks.

Soccer plays its usual West Aurora Tournament stop beginning on Thursday, April 8, and hosts the Burlington Central Tournament beginning on Friday, May 7. The regular season ends on Tuesday, May 11, at Batavia.

Soccer drops match to Rosary

Lady Knights soccer came down a little from an opening match high in their second match.

The Rosary Royals took care of the host Lady Knights on Thursday with a 3-0 shutout. Kaneland is now 1-1 after opening its season with a shutout over IMSA last week.

Rosary managed 15 shots on goal, compared with 12 by Kaneland.

Rosary was up 1-0 after the first 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, the JV squad improved to 2-0 with a 2-0 blanking of Rosary on Thursday. Goals were scored by Katie Taylor and Abby Bend. Sam Wantuch, Bend and Taylor had assists.

The varsity team heads off to Yorkville on Monday, April 6, for a Western Sun Conference affair.

Lady Knights subdue IMSA in opener

Kaneland girls soccer got the season off to a winning start with a rain-swept 4-0 win at Illinois Math & Science Academy in Aurora on Tuesday.

With drenched conditions and high winds, Kaneland had 18 shots on goal, hitting paydirt thanks to Emily Heimerdinger (twice), Colleen Gebauer and Shelby Koester.

Sophie Blank made five saves in goal.

Kaneland was up 3-0 after the first half.

The JV squad under coach Kevin Bickley took IMSA by a 6-0 final, thanks to goals by Judith Chavez (2), Katie Taylor (2), Abby Bend and Sam Wantuch.

The Lady Knights’ next test is at home vs. Rosary on Thursday, March 26.