Tag Archives: Sean Paulick

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

Knights boys track makes mark on Charleston

by Mike Slodki
CHARLESTON—Followers of KHS track maybe have seen a boys track roster for the ages in 2010.

Actually, judging by the second-place team finish at Friday and Saturday’s Class 2A Boys Track State Finals at Eastern Illinois University, there’s no “may” about it.

The Knights, with 53 points, finished second in the state only to Hillcrest High School with 61. It marked the Knights’ highest team finish since 1999. Cahokia tied for second with 53, Oak Forest was fourth with 39 and Crete-Monee was fifth with 35 points.

An impressive showing for Kaneland featured six events with All-State honors and two State champions.

Coach Eric Baron holds the second-place State trophy for 2010. The team was escorted back into town by two fire trucks and a police car. Courtesy Photo
The roster, with the largest contingent at State for the Knights since 1998, featured the 4×400 meter relay team of Tommy Whittaker, Derek Bus, Edgar Valle and Logan Markuson setting a meet record with a time of 3:20.29, and Nick Sinon setting a meet record in the high jump at six feet, nine inches.

At the conclusion of the season, the Knights now have five State champs on the roster, with Markuson winning the 300m low hurdles a year ago.

Sinon and the relay crew now mark the 15th and 16th first-place nods at the State finals in Knights history.

Sinon beat out Burlington Central’s Cameron Ostrowski by two inches for State glory and was helped by a 6-03 jump in the preliminaries.

The relay squad broke the all-time record by 1.31 seconds, set in 1980.

Markuson knew something big could happen based on the initial performance on Friday.

“After prelims, I knew we were sitting pretty, and we were going to see how it all played out,” Markuson said. “It’s cool to have won that event; there was definitely a lot of emotion.”

Valle continued the good times in Charleston with a second-place finish in the 800m run with a time of 1:58.03 in the finals. The senior was followed closely by teammate Derek Bus, who finished fifth at 1:58.29.

To add to the All-State party, Taylor Andrews cinched up fifth overall in the 110 meter low hurdles with a time of 14.81 in the finals.

Markuson also earned All-State honors in the 300 meter low hurdles with a time of 38.43 seconds, good for fourth.

Markuson also highlighted a productive day for other finals, finishing seventh in the pole vault at 13-03, and seventh in the 110m hurdles at 15.09.

A standout at pole vault and hurdles throughout his Knights tenure, Markuson was thoughtful about his performance in the 2010 season.

“It’s kind of weird when you get down to State and see all this competition. It’s a cool experience but I don’t really consider myself to be in the elite group in my events, Markuson said.

The 4x800m relay team of Dominic Furco, Sean Paulick, Joe Levita and Trevor Holm made it to the finals and finished seventh at 8:01.44.

Also making the trip down to State was Matt Spitzzeri, who jumped a 43-01.5 in the triple jump prelims. Andrews raced a 42.08 in the 300m intermediate hurdles.

Whittaker raced 11.32 in the 100m dash prelims. The Knights also saw additional prelim action for the 4×100 and 4×200. Andrews, Whittaker, Andrew Essex and Brandon Cottier ran a 43.80 in the 100, while Whittaker, Cottier, Essex and Curtis Secrest raced the 200 in 1:32.00.

With the conclusion of the season, the Knights say goodbye to 19 seniors including seven State-goers.

Top photo: Knight boys track cornerstone Edgar Valle closed out his high school career with a second place in the 800m run, and a first in the 4x400m relay on Saturday at Class 2A State in Charleston. Photo by Ben Draper

Boys track takes Sterling Sectional; 11 events to State

by Mike Slodki
STERLING—Kaneland boys track isn’t just getting hot at the right time, it’s smokin’.

With 126 total points and 11 State qualifying events coming out of Friday’s Class 2A Sterling Sectional, Kaneland beat its closest competitor, DeKalb, by 57 points.

Burlington Central finished third with 58 points, followed by Yorkville at 55 and Rochelle at 52.

The Knights’ 11 events was the most since 1998, in which Kaneland qualified in 12 events.

Coach Eric Baron’s crew now gears up for a trip to the Class 2A State finals in Charleston, Ill. at Eastern Illinois University.

Kaneland’s entry in the 4x800m relay (Dominic Furco, Sean Paulick, Joe Levita, Trevor Holm) earned sectional champ honors with a time of 8 minutes, 6.99 seconds, beating BC by 1.73 seconds.

In other relay action, the 4x100m relay squad (Andrew Essex, Brandon Cottier, Taylor Andrews, Tommy Whittaker) finished second with a time of 43.57 seconds, just .19 behind DeKalb.

In 110 meter high hurdles action, the tandem of Taylor Andrews and Logan Markuson pushed each other to higher levels all season, and it was no different in Sterling as the two Knights finished in the top two spots. Andrews finished first at 14.54 seconds, while Markuson took second at 14.74.

With a second-place nod in the 100 meter dash, Whittaker’s 11.17 was good enough to send him packing to EIU.

Kaneland will send two competitors to State in the 800m run, as stalwarts Edgar Valle (1:58.27) and Derek Bus (1:59.04) took the top two spots in the event.

KHS also sends the unit that participated in the 4x200m relay (Essex, Cottier, Curtis Secrest, Whittaker) to State, as it finished third with a qualifying time of 1:31.82.

“We have underclassmen in both the 100 and 200 (relay); that’s impressive,” Baron said. “Really, the guy who got the ball rolling for us was Whittaker. He had a huge night in the 100 and won his heat in the prelims, and once he did that it kind of carried over to the rest of the team.”

Markuson came back to take the sectional champ crown in the 300m low hurdles, running in 39.62, and will be joined by teammate Andrews (second place, 40.68 seconds).

The Knight foursome that ran the 4x400m relay (Whittaker, Bus, Valle, Markuson) finished first with a time of 3:23.01, beating out BC by 3.71.

Markuson qualified for a third event with a second-place pole vault effort of 13 feet, 3 inches, continuing Kaneland’s long standing tradition of sending pole vaulters to the big meet annually since 1983.

“We’ve had great coaching,” Baron said. “Kaneland is about pole vaulting, and Andy Drendel came in this year. He and Logan felt a great deal of pressure. Logan stepped up when it mattered in his last attempt.”

Nick Sinon returns to Charleston, based on his second-place high jump at 6-07.

Matt Spitzzeri makes it to State for the first time by capturing fourth in the triple jump at 43-07.

The State finals are Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 29.

Boys track excels at Peterson Prep 2010

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Knights boys track is performing at a high level at this season’s juncture, judging by Saturday’s home meeting and Tuesday conference action.

Kaneland took the annual Peterson Prep Invitation held in Maple Park this past Saturday with a showing of 100 points. Geneva came in second at 86 points, followed by West Aurora (77 points), Dundee-Crown (52) and Lincoln-Way Central (36).

KHS saw exceptional finishes throughout the afternoon. Derek Bus, with a run of 1 minute, 56.83 seconds, finished second in the 800 meter run, while teammate Edgar Valle took fifth with a time of 1:58.31.

In the 1600m run, Matt Reusche of Kaneland finished sixth at 4:38.68.

In the 3200m run, Trevor Holm ran the track in 10:03.77, good for sixth in the finals.

The hurdles yielded big gains for the Knights, with Taylor Andrews and Logan Markuson having a productive afternoon.

Andrews and Markuson finished in the top three of the 110m hurdles semifinals, before Andrews finished first at 14.55 second, and Markuson finished .06 behind to cinch the top two spots.

In the 300m hurdles, Markuson finished second (39.53) and Andrews finished third (40.25).

Relay action saw the foursome of Tommy Whittaker, Bus, Valle and Markuson win the 4x400m relay at 3:22.55, a new meet record.

Kaneland also had a fifth-place finish in 4x800m relay competition thanks to Sean Paulick, Joe Levita, Dominic Furco and Clayton Brundige running in 8:23.64.

Nick Sinon finished with an effort of six feet, six inches in the high jump for second place.

Marksuon vaulted to a 14 foot pole vault effort, good enough for the top spot at the invite, while Jemmar Parrenas finished second at 13 feet.

Sinon was at it again with a second-place long jump try at 21-09, followed by teammate Paulick at 21-05 for fourth place.

“It was a tremendous effort by Sean and Nick today,” coach Eric Baron said. “Sean is talented, but that was a huge jump, and the long jump is Nick’s best event.”

Paulick, who jumped a foot farther than his usual effort in the prelims, was pleased with the outcome.

“I did the same thing that I always do after warming up,” Paulick said. “I thought it was just a typical jump and it ended up being a foot farther. This season is starting out great, you couldn’t ask for anything more, and the whole team is clicking.”

Brock Dyer had an encouraging third-place showing in the discus at 135-02.

Tuesday saw the boys travel to Geneva and score 75 points to beat the Vikings’ 62 point total and DeKalb’s 46.

Ottawa Invite can’t humble Kaneland boys track

KANELAND—What better way to let a future conference rival know who’s king of the track than to show them a year early.

Thanks to strong individual performances, the Kaneland High School boys track team was tops overall at the Ottawa Invite on Saturday afternoon, racking up 193 team points.

Moline was close by with 190 points, and Peoria Richwoods rounded out the top three with 134 points.

On Tuesday, the Knights took care of host Glenbard South by a 74-20 clip.

The exceptional finishes in Ottawa began with senior Jemmar Parrenas, who vaulted to 11 feet, six inches in pole vault grouping B for second place. Teammate Logan Markuson took the honors in pole vault A at 14 feet.

In the high jump event, sophomore Frankie Furco entered the mix with a second-place showing in the B group at 5-08, while Nick Sinon took first in the A group at 6-02.

For the long jump C category, Matt Spitzzeri finished second at 18-10.5.

In triple jump B, freshman Marshall Farthing finished second at 38-08.5.

In the 4x800m relay A race, the senior foursome of Derek Bus, Dominic Furco, Joe Levita and Edgar Valle beat out the competition at 8:15.53, beating Lincoln-Way East’s unit by 6.41 seconds.

In the 110m hurdles C group, freshman Chad Swieca finished second at 18.12, while Taylor Andrews took second with a time of 15.87 seconds in 110m hurdles B.

Dominic Furco finished second in the 800m run C with a time of 2:08.71. Teammate Clayton Brundige, with a run of 2:07.13, finished second in the 800m run C group.

Swieca won the 300m hurdles C race at 45.19 seconds, while Andrews finished second in 300m hurdles B.

Markuson won the 300m hurdles A race at 40.50. Matt Reusche was tops in the 1600m run C with a time of 4:47.86.

Kaneland’s foursome of Tommy Whittaker, Bus, Andrews and Markuson took the top spot in the 4x400m relay A with a time of 3:25.90.

Against the Raiders, Sinon won the long jump at 20-7.75, and the high jump at 6-4. Markuson took the pole vault at 13-6.

Kaneland’s 4×800 relay won at 9:21.1, and the 4×400 finished first at 3:29.3.

Dominic Furco took the 3200m run at 10:43.4.

Andrews finished first in the 110 hurdles at 15.4 seconds, and also first in the 300m hurdles at 40.7.

Trevor Holm won the 1600m run at 4:39.3, while Sean Paulick won the 800m run at 2:11.3.

The Knights host the annual Peterson Prep on Saturday, April 24 at 10 a.m.

Photo: Curtis Secrest and Andrew Essex participate in a sprint relay down at the Ottawa Invite on Saturday. Courtesy Photo

Knight boys hit outdoor track running

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland got its outdoor track season off to a suitable start, finishing fifth in the East Moline United Township Boys Kiwanis Invite on Saturday.

Kaneland (152 points) finished behind the hosts (268), Plainfield South, Rock Island, and Moline, and finished ahead of future Northern Illinois Big 12 rival Geneseo (110.5).

In the 4×400 meter relay A grouping, KHS foursome Derek Bus, Taylor Andrews, Edgar Valle and Logan Markuson finished second at 3 minutes, 28.22 seconds.

In discus throw group C, Brock Dyer took home the crown with an effort of 126 feet, seven inches, obliterating the next farthest total of 115-04.

Frankie Furco finished second in the high jump B group at 5-08, while Nick Sinon used a 6-06 jump to win the high jump A category.

Teammate Jemmar Parrenas finished second in the pole vault B category at 12-06.

Logan Markuson finished second with a vault of 13-06 in the pole vault A group.

In the 4×800 meter relay A, Matt Reusche, Dominic Furco, Sean Paulick and Clayton Brundige took second with a time of 8:26.13.

In the 3200m run, Trevor Holm finished second at 9:52.11, while Andrews was at it again in the 110m hurdles B with a time of 15.46 seconds, good enough for second.

The Knights also put forth a couple of second places in the 800m run, with Bus running a 2:00.48 in B and Valle running a 1:58.80 in the A group.

Additional action this week took place on Tuesday, as the Knights scored 91.5 points to hold Batavia (68.5) and Rochelle (22) at bay.

KHS had a handful of first places.

The 3200m relay team ran in 8:23.9. Holm won the 3200m run in 10:19.9. Valle won the 800m run in 2:05.9. Sinon took the triple jump in 39-8 3/4.

Markuson captured the 300m dash in 40.5 seconds.

Taylor Andrews picked up a second place in that event, and feels like running alongside the celebrated Markuson only serves him positively in the long run.

“That’s all we do in practice,” Andrews said. “His job is to stop me, my job is to catch him. We work at it and we push each other.”

The Knight 800m relay foursome ran in 1:38.2, while Reusche took home the 1600m crown in 4:50.5.

Sinon won the 200m dash in 24.8 seconds, the 1600m relay unit won the event in 3:28.9, and Markuson also won the pole vault.

The Knights now gear up for the annual Ottawa Invite on Saturday, April 17, at noon.

Boys track looks to top themselves

Photo: Preparation continues for members of the Kaneland boys track squad that finished 13th in Class 2A a year ago. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
Maple Park—Can the Kaneland High School boys track roster top last year’s exceptional finish?

Seven separate events saw Kaneland representation at the Class 2A State meet in Charleston, and the team finished 13th overall.

Senior Logan Markuson was crowned State champ in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles.

Graduate Josh Bloome and Markuson both medalled in the pole vault, and senior Nick Sinon took third in the high jump.

It sounds daunting on paper, but with a roster eclipsing the 70-person mark and with a glut of talent familiar with success, it’s possible for huge things to happen for KHS boys track.

“I would say we’re pretty excited,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “We started with a lot of ambition and excitement about what we think we can accomplish. Winning the indoor invite this week was a first step.”

Markuson, now quickly climbing up the record books for Knights track, is appreciated by Baron for what he brings.

“He’s just a great person,” Baron said. “ It’s about more than just athletic ability. He hasn’t missed one day of school ever. Every meet, he’ll go out and do what you ask him to do.”

Markuson will look to make a mark in the hurdles, pole vault and 4×400 relay once again.

Sinon returns to the ranks after some offseason experience and has already cleared 6-8 in the indoor long jump.

“He’s looking at big things this year and is a real student of the sport,” Baron said. “We’ll be strong in all of our jumps, and this is going to be a big year for him.”

Helping the KHS cause was a Western Sun Conference indoor championship last week.

Also back on the sprint side is Taylor Andrews, who qualified in the 110m high hurdles and benefited from racing alongside Markuson.

Much will have to be done to absolve the loss of Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel and Brendan McCarthy.

“We’re looking for Tommy Whittaker to have a nice year and Serpa ran well for us, and then there’s some young guys like Curtis Secrest and Andrew Essex, who are working super hard,” Baron said.

On the relay side, Whittaker, Edgar Valle and Markuson return from the 4x400m.

Valle, who Baron marked as an unsung contributor to track during his tenure, also qualified for the 4x800m relay, along with Derek Bus, Sean Paulick and graduated Hayden Johnson.

“Bus qualified for State last year and has come out this year so far and made a statement,” Baron said.

“(Edgar) doesn’t get a lot of limelight, but he’s been a relay guy for us every meet,” Baron said.

The freshmen class comes in with personnel like Brandon Cottier, Alex Gil and Chad Swieca, who are primed for action.

“Cottier looks like a special athlete, and we’re figuring out what his best event is,” Baron said.

On the field side of things, it’s open season.

“Alex Mollohan and Brett Ketza are throwing for us and they look ready to step up,” Baron said.

Baron added Ben Kovalick to the throwing list.

For vault, Markuson and Jemmar Parrenas take the reins. Parrenas has gone over 12 feet in indoor competition.

For now, Baron mentions only a couple of nagging injury issues to Blake Serpa and Whittaker.

“A big thing right now is taking it easy on people when we can,” Baron said.

Seniors looking to contribute are Justin Choate, Brock Dyer, Dominic Furco, Kevin Hodge, Carlos Hufshlag, Joe Levita, Lukas Liebich, Justin Phillips, Matt Swift and Kyle Wagner.

Juniors looking to get in the mix are Cody McGinnis and Matt Spitzzeri.

Baron cited Matt Reusche on the senior side and juniors Matt Cowans and Trevor Holm as athletes that are capable of big things.

Sophomores are Chase Borneman, Clayton Brundige, Tom Chidester, Joe Cozzi, Mitch Dienst, Evan Dukes, Andrew Essex, Frankie Furco, Jake Ginther, Thomas King, Jimmy Lagness, Mickey Marin, John Michek, Thanasi Pesmajoglou, Kelvin Peterson, Nate Rehkopf, Brandon Stahl, Devin Swearingen and Nicholas Wieglos.

Freshmen are Trevor Anderson, Tanner Andrews, David Barnhart, Ryan Euting, Marshall Farthing, Dan Goress, Kory Harner, Billy Hart, Brandon Huber, Conor Johnson, Brad Kigyos, Jay Markuson, John Meisenger, Jimmy Merletti, Nick Messina, Liam Mulloy, Ben Nelson, Ryan Paulson, Dylan Pennington, Nick Sharp, Ben Sommers, Gus Stott, Chad Swieca, Zach Theis, Chris Wido and George WIlson.

The outdoor season for Kaneland boys track begins on Saturday, April 10, at East Moline United with conference action against visiting Batavia and Rochelle on Tuesday, April 13.

The Kane County Meet is on Friday, May 7, at West Aurora, with the final Western Sun Conference meet on Friday, May 14, at Geneva.

KHS boys track sets team mark at Byron

Kaneland boys track had itself a productive indoor meet in Byron on Saturday.

The outing produced 101 points, a Kaneland team indoor record at that particular meet.

The Knights were just five points behind Hononegah for first place in the 15-team event.

Rockford Jefferson (79), Freeport (46) and Burlington Central (37) rounded out the top five.

Kaneland’s Nick Sinon had himself a stellar afternoon, finishing first in both the triple jump with a mark of 41 feet, zero inches, and the high jump with a 6’8” tally.

Teammate Jemmar Parrenas finished second in the pole vault with a result of 12 feet even, half a foot behind Freeport’s Elliot Hollis.

Wading through preliminaries and semifinals, Logan Markuson and Taylor Andrews finished 1-2 in the 55 meter hurdles.

Markuson ran 7.75 seconds in the final, followed by Andrews’ 7.86.

On the distance side of things, Knight Matt Reusche finished third in the 3200 meter run with a a time of 10:21.10.

Kaneland’s relay foursome of Sean Paulick, Dominic Furco, Clayton Brundige and Jake Ginther took fifth in the 4×800 race with a time of 8:53.26.

In the 400m dash, Markuson and Andrews once again excelled, with Markuson winning the event at 52.56 and Andrews following in fifth at 55.66.

KHS representatives Derek Bus (2:02.10) and Edgar Valle (2:02.66) finished first and third, respectively, in the 800m run.

The Knights also did well in the 1600m run, with Trevor Holm taking third at 4:40.44 and teammate Joe Levita finishing fifth at 4:42.24.

Brandon Cottier of Kaneland took sixth in the 200m dash with a time of 25:02, and the Knight contingent of Bus, Tommy Whittaker, Valle and Markuson won the 4×400 relay.

KHS Varsity Boys Track All-time Top Point Leaders
• 4) Logan Markuson—499.25
• 37) Nick Sinon—242
• 152) Taylor Andrews—114.75
• 172) Edgar Valle—104
• 277) Matt Reusche—59.5

KHS journey ends

Photo: Dave Dudzinski (file photo).

Knights hoopsters eliminated by DeKalb in 50-47 heartbreaker
by Mike Slodki
Pieces were in place for a storybook ending during Friday night’s 3A Kaneland Regional Championship.

Down 49-42 with 39.1 seconds remaining against top-seeded DeKalb, Kaneland fired off five quick point. They were down by two and had the ball with 9.4 seconds left.

However, the storybook ending’s final chapter was cut off and the 2009-10 saga ended with a 50-47 loss in Maple Park.

Kaneland is still looking for its first regional title since 1999. They allowed themselves the opportunity for championship glory with a 48-45 win over Hampshire on March 3.

Dave Dudzinski, playing his final game in a Knights uniform, finished with 23 points. Counterpart Jordan Threloff had 18 points, and Barbs guard Dylan Donnelly had 17.

Going into the fourth quarter down 39-36, Kaneland found itself in desperation mode with 3:52 to go and down 45-38 after a Donnelly trey.

A Chaon Denlinger baseline jumper closed to within 45-40, but two foul shots by DeKalb with 46.8 to go made it 47-40. After two more freebies by Threloff put the Knights in the seven-point hole, Steve Colombe nailed a three and then later got a layup after a DeKalb turnover to close within 49-47 with 16.2 left.

With DeKalb’s Pat Rourke then missing the front end of a one-and-one, Dudzinski grabbed the rebound and a timeout was called.

Colombe inbounded the ball to Ryley Bailey who passed to Dudzinski near the basket, but the official whistled the Holy Cross-signee on a traveling violation, drawing the ire of players and Kaneland fans alike.

Rourke then made one free throw with .8 seconds to go to cement the victory.

“Dudzinski got the ball and was in a position to score and unfortunately the call was made,” first-year coach Brian Johnson said.

Johnson’s plan had Dudzinski for the final shot or kicking it out to Denlinger for a game-winning three try.

Kaneland led 17-16 after the first eight minutes and made five straight shots to go up 15-6 before DeKalb closed the gap.

Toward the end of the first half, Dudzinski hit the hoop for two baskets and gave KHS a 29-28 lead going into the locker room.

Kaneland went cold in the third quarter, going only 2-for-8 from the field. Down 39-33, Bailey launched a deep three-pointer that beat the buzzer and brought the deficit to 39-36.

Johnson reflected on the character of the players to draw themselves in a position to win, rather than the muddled outcome.

“I came in as a first-year coach and challenged them to grow as a team and grow as young men; they gave me all they had,” Johnson said.

The Knights saw their season end at 17-10, up from 13-13 the previous year.

Kaneland earned its revenge from last year’s regional opening loss to the Whip-purs a year ago with 22 points from Dudzinski. Shyler Ralphs of Hampshire and teammate Justin Beiber led their side with 12 each.

The Knights made seven foul shots—all by Dudzinski who was perfect from the line on the night.

In the first frame, Hampshire rained down three three-pointers to take a 9-6 lead, but with a Bailey basket down low, the lead was slimmed to 9-8 with 4:21 to go.

After Hampshire made it 11-8, Dudzinski sank a three with 42.3 seconds left to tie the game and then dunked with 5 ticks left for Kaneland to go up 13-11 after one.

Hampshire made five out of six shot attempts and added a foul shot to go up 25-22 with 1:21 left in the second quarter.

Williams sank a three to tie the score at 25 with 1:14 to go, and Bailey found Dudzinski on a lay-in underneath with 36.9 to go to go up 27-25.

However, the Knights soon fouled Bieber, and he went to the line to make three shots with 3.4 seconds left. Hampshire went into the locker room up 28-27.

Kaneland came out in the third quarter on a tear, going up 35-28 with 4:52 remaining, thanks to baskets from Bailey, Denlinger and Dudzinski. When Hampshire cut it to three, Colombe hit a jumper to go up 37-32 with 1:06 to go.

When Kaneland matched its biggest lead in the fourth quarter at 39-32 with 7:32 to go, Hampshire got its second wind and cut the lead to 41-40 with 3:47 to go.

Dudzinski came through with a three-point play to make it 44-40 with 1:58 remaining.

After three foul shots by the Whip-purs made it 44-43, Dudzinski found his way for another basket with 1:08 to go, giving KHS a 46-43 lead.

After a Hampshire basket with 51.9 to go cut the deficit to one, Dudzinski was later fouled on an inbound pass and sank two foul shots with 9.8 to give the Knights a 48-45 lead.

The Whip-purs had one last chance, and Brock Ralps attempted a three-pointer while double-teamed that clanked off the front of the rim.

With the conclusion of the season, the Knights say goodbye to seniors Bailey, Danilo Bruno, Colombe, Sean Paulick, Williams and Dudzinski.

Brian Johnson era begins for boys basketball

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—West Aurora’s loss is Kaneand’s gain.

Brian Johnson, an assistant to Gordie Kerkbaum at West Aurora High School a year ago, makes his coaching debut next week in Sycamore.

With a first-year coaching gig on the way, and the challenge of trying to improve a team that went 13-13 (5-9 Western Sun Conferernce) on the way, the task can seem overwhelming.

“I still have a lot to learn,” Johnson said. “I’m learning how to handle the kids energy.”

But the former Judson College player has a built-in ace up his sleeve.

“It starts with Dave, who’s a very good player,” Johnson said.

College of the Holy Cross-signee Dudzinski returns for his senior campaign, having averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game last year. The senior was also nominated for a McDonald’s All-American honor this week.

Johnson also likes what he has with other players going into the 2009-10 season.

“We have guys that are tough—that are looking to get to the next level,” Johnson said.

Returnees include senior guard Ryley Bailey, forward Steve Colombe, who has a flair for the perimeter game, forward Sean Paulick, guard Donovan Williams, forward Chaon Denlinger and forward Pat Fleming.

“Ryley has had a real nice couple of weeks. He’ll be a really strong player for us. Denlinger has gotten a lot better defensively,” Johnson said.

New to the varsity ranks are forward Danilo Bruno, guard Zach Ringhouse, guard Andrew O’Herron, forward Matt Spitzzeri, guard Matt Cowans, forward Taylor Andrews and forward Tyler Callaghan.

“The guys will get used to playing with each other and learning their role and we’re still trying to see where guys will fit in for us, but guys like Taylor, Tyler and Sean are unsung guys who will do the little things,” Johnson said.

The Knights hit the Strombom tournament in Sycamore for Thanksgiving week, beginning with Aurora Christian on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

KHS honor roll 2009

High Honor Roll
9th grade
Upashruti Agrawal, Lauren Allen, Abby Bend, Brianna Brehm, Taylor Buri, Lauren Companiott, Brian Edwards, Eric Eichelberger, Kelly Evers, Tyler Fabrizius, Jacob Ginther, Kristen Glover, Noelle Goodine, Kelsey Gould, Adam Grams, Malory Groen, Courtnie Holland, Christina Janes, Nicole Ketza, Thomas King, Benjamin Kovalick, Stelios Lekkas, Austin McElderry, Anna Novotny, Athanasios Pesmajoglou, Drew Peters, Alexa Reger, Nathan Rehkopf, Karyn Ribbens, Kayla Rivera, Nicholas Rodriguez, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Margaret Ruppel, Alejandra Salinas, Connor Sandquist, Melissa Schmidt, Dana Schultz, Ashley Shearer, Kylie Siebert, Ashlyn Slamans, Molly Speckman, Anthony Sperando, Brandon Stahl, Trevor Storck, Katherine Taylor, Mackenzie Theisen, Valerie Tockstein, Catherine Tolan, Kalani Tovar, Delani Vest, Marissa Villafuerte, Mercedes Walper, Nicholas Wielgos, Isaac Williams, Anders Winquist-Bailey, Elliot Witt
10th grade
Priscilla Aguilar, Grant Alef, Taylor Andrews, Stephanie Breen, Jocelyn Cabral, Elaine Cannell, Cory Clausen, Jessica Corbett, Emily Darrow, Lacey Eberle, Caitlin Ellefsen, Collin Ellingwood, Ariana Espino, Amy Fabrizius, Brock Feece, Drew French, Danielle Frost, Allison Grossmann, Emily Heimerdinger, Amanda Helfers, Guillermo Hernandez, Andrew Hladilek, Lindsay Jurcenko, Joseph Kenkel, Jordan Krawczyk, Amanda Lamp, Corey Landers, Alexandra Leonhard, Christian Limbo, Jessica Lubic, Bernice Marsala, Katie Meuer, Danielle Micek, Abby Michels, Richard Miller, Sarah Morgan, Brian Olson, Nicole Ott, Keara Palpant, Brooke Patterson, Karissa Pitstick, Amber Platt, Alyson Rehr, Mackenzie Rich, Alicia Robinson, Linnea Scherer, Joshua Schuberg, Hannah Schuppner, Elizabeth Smith, Andrea Strang, Danielle Thomas, Holly Thomas, Brooke Thompson, Samantha Vazquez, Samantha Wantuch, Breanna White, Amanda Whiteside, Thomas Whittaker, Michael Wille, Caitlyn Young, Cara Zagel
11th grade
Jenna Bartel, Andrea Bruce, Danilo Bruno, Scott Burgholzer, Derek Bus, Emily Butts, Kristyn Chapman, Megan Cline, Stephen Colombe, Lindsey Dodis, Eric Dratnol, David Dudzinski, Joseph Garlinsky, Lily Garrison, Megan Gil, Trever Grimoldby, Tara Groen, Rebecca Hauge, Kevhlub Her, Joseph Herzer, Kevin Hodge, Katlin Howard, Angela Humphrey, Amy Husk, Haley Johnson, Samantha Johnson, Elizabeth Kennedy, Brett Ketza, Kevin Krasinski, Taylor Krause, Micaela Lane, Kelsey Lenhardt, Logan Markuson, Melanie Mazuc, Vincent Micek, Alexandra Morefield, Brianne Myers, Joss Nicholson, Zachary Nolte, Alyse Olson, Tara Olson, Kasey Ostarello, Kylen Pattermann, Justin Phillips, Lisa Roberson, Chelsea Roberts, Michelle Rodgers, Danielle Rose, Paula Ross, Patrick Ruffolo, Kelly Shaw, Nikki Smith, George Spirakis, Natalie Swieca, Kevin Szatkowski, Edgardo Valle, Elizabeth Webb
12th grade
Angelica Acosta, Emma Anderson, Kimberly Anderson, Daniel Arnold, Jessica Arnold, Lindsay Bartel, Kathryn Bergman, Ryan Blake, Emily Curran, Kelly Davies, Stacey Davis, Margaret Dawe, Lindsay Douglas, Samantha Eichelberger, Matthew Galica, Ashley Girard, Lauren Gould, Caitlin Haag, Matthew Haffner, Erica Hankes, Erin Hanold, Sarah Harant, Samantha Hauser, Devin Mae Heath, Jordan Herra, Alexa Hill, Rebecca Holloman, Michael Jenny, Hayden Johnson, Leina Kameyama, Emily Kenkel, Casey Komel, Kathleen Kuhar, Angeline Tracy Limbo, Anna Limbrick, Curtis Lubic, Chassidy Mangers, Briana Minogue, Kathleen Moravcik, Evan Olson, Madeline Osman, Christopher Ott, Sarah Otterness, Perren Palpant, Kelaine Patterson, Jordan Pinkston, Emiliano Ponce, Michael Pritchard, Nicole Prusinski, Jacqueline Ream, Bryan Renaud, Brody Root, Anna Rossi, John Rotella, Kristen Rusnok, Kristen Sanecki, William Schaid, Meghan Schiber, Christine Schieve, Jeffrey Smith, Daniel Spence, Emily Tockstein, Zachary Tolan, Santiago Tovar, Cristofer Vargas, Yasintorn Wongwoottisaroch, Victoria Yurachek, Joanna Zielinski, Jennifer Zmrhal

Honor Roll
9th grade
Erin Arndt, Rebecca Arnold, Dhurata Azemi, Raymond Barry, Madison Bluml, Jordyn Boley, Zachary Brown, Acalia Cleaver, Andrew Correll, Ashley Cottier, Ashley Diddell, Alex Dorado, Zachary Douglas, Katelyn Dudzinski, Mitchell Gemini, Ariel Geraghty, Ryan Goodenough, John Goodrich, Matthew Grimm, Samantha Hansen, Samantha Heinle, Austin Henkelman, LaQuanda Hood, Seleana Isaacs, Jordan Jones, Sarah Kitz, Denitza Kolev, Ryan Kolk, Kelly Kovacic, Alec Krueger, Amber-Rose Lano, Cesar Lazcano, Ashton MacKenzie, Aracelli Magana, Jacob Mazuc, Nicholas McCarney, Kayley McPhee, Julianne Miller, Brendan Morgan, Amelia Napiorkowski, Diana Nuno, Konstantin Paraskevov, Austin Paulson, Sierra Perteete, Jordan Phillips, Edker Pope, Jari Ramos-Orbe, Sawyer Rego, Courtney Reiss, Josias Rodriguez, Angela Schramer, Grace Snyder, Erica Sorensen, Meggen Southern, Dalton Stewart, Michael Tattoni, Carolina Tovar, Amber Urich, Bryan Van Bogaert, Savannah Webb, Taylor White, Joshua Williams, Jordyn Withey, Maverick Wojciechowski, Erin Woodill
10th grade
Athina Ajazi, Yesenia Ayala, Kristina Bowen, Taylor Bradbury, Patrick Bratschun, Kayla Burns, Tyler Callaghan, Josiah Camiliere, Shaela Collins, Lauren Crites, Jonathon Delgado, Cali Dickerson, Andrea Dimmig Potts, Brian Dixon, Nicholas Dodis, Michelle Dugan, Tyler Esposito, Zachary Ganz, Angelica Garza, Damien Gilbert, Hayley Guyton , Michael Hammermeister, Megan Hanlon, Anna Henrichs, Elizabeth Hylland, Kelsey James, Kellie Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Allison Jones, Pamela Katsigiannis, Dylan Keith, Maria Kernychny, Skyler King, John Kintz, Kristen Krajewski, Nathan Krauz, Cameron LeBlanc, Mark Merfeld, Kaitlin Munyon, Joshua Nahley, Derek Nordine, Angela Parillo, Angelica Perez, Jimmy Ramirez, Stewart Ream, Kendall Renaud, Keith Runde, Colleen Ryan, Nicole Rymarz, Curtis Secrest, Briana Stark, Charlene Steininger, Bethany Swartz, Robert Thorson, Erich Turk, Alexander Vallejo, Logan Vines, Christian Williams, Ryan Wozniak, Robert Zachara, Kelsey Zollinger
11th grade
Danielle Anderson, Randi Bader, Ryley Bailey, Brittany Bauer, Robert Bergstrom, Chloe Bluml, Dennis Brettman, Edgar Celaya, Jaclyn Diehl, Scott Dienst, Brock Dyer, Andrew Eberle, Olivia Fabrizius, Angela Filippin, Kalina Flamand, Sabrina Gabriele, Lauren Gallucci, Colleen Gebauer, Jeffrey Gillett, Dylan Good, Tyler Hamer, Aaron Hayman, Matthew Ikemire, Jaclyn Isham, Lindsay Kahl, Tessa Kuipers, Caitlin Larson, Brandie Mattice, Jessica McHenry, Donald McLennan, Thomas Orr, Sean Paulick, Brenda Petersen, Izatmar Quiroz, Jordan Rego, Matthew Reusche, Connor Risch, Erin Rocha, Erin Rodway, John Scholl, Alyssa Snyder, Bradley Staker, Daniel Steinmiller, Cody Stults, James Tarchala, Benjamin Tennant, Kayla Thompson, Jacob Tickle, Xavier Torres-Valdovinos, Abigayle VanDerHeyden, Katie Walton, Nicholas Zimmer
12th grade
Cecelia Anderson, Jacob Astin, Garrett Austin, Kathryn Banbury, Joshua Bloome, John Brennan, Michael Chavez, Paul Davies, Laney Deligianis, Samantha Dixon, Alycia Donais, Kevin Durrenberger, Kelsey Fletcher, Alyssa Galvan, Eric Geiger, Lindsay Gierke, Mallory Gigl, Sally Gorenz, Kristen Hamer, Laura Hansen, Kathryn Hatch, Adrian Hernandez, Erin Heyob, Amanda Hilton, Mallory Huml, Brianna Hurst, Sonja Isaacs, Jenna Ivkovich, Krista Johnson, Lydia King, William King, Christopher Kovacic, Meghan Krajewski, Robert Kuti, Nathan Lewis, Robert Locke, Dylan Luse, Grant Mooney, Brittany Nelson, Michael Nguyen, Alexandra Olson, Daniela Parra, Benjamin Paulus, Troy Pritchard, Scott Proctor, Frank Reyes, Leah Richards, Paige Rogers, Sara Rose, Luis Ruiz, Joseph Ruppel, Samantha Sills, Kyle Slamans, Joseph Spitzzeri, Zachary Stavinsky, Jessica Stebbins, Kyle Stryczek, Annelise Weiss, Rick White, Lauren Whittaker, Cassandra Wilson, Mariella Zavala, Dana Zimmer

KHS hands out year-end awards for athletes

Rose, three others highlight senior banquet
MAPLE PARK—The end of the year awards and spring awards were handed out on June 9, recognizing the year-long effort of Knight athletes.

At the Senior Athletic Banquet awards, Knight awards were handed out to the five three-sport athletes from the class of 2009: Katie Hatch for tennis, basketball and track, Chassidy Mangers for cross country, basketball and softball, Curtis Lubic for golf, basketball and baseball, Chris Ott for football, soccer and basketball and Matt Weaver for cross country, wrestling and track.

The female Birkette award went to Mangers, while the male Birkette award found its way to Lubic.

Sara Rose was named the female athlete of the year at KHS, while Mike Pritchard was named male athlete of the year.

For boys track and field, Logan Markuson took the Track MVP, while Nick Sinon won the Field MVP.

Weaver took the Drendel Award home, and seven captains were recognized in the form of Lucas Ross, Weaver, Brendan McCarthy, Colin Zagel, Hayden Johnson, Paul Davies and Joshua Bloome.

Taylor Andrews won the Ron Probst Award.

The boys track had a glut of Western Sun All-Conference reps in the form of Derek Bus, Johnson, Edgar Valle, Markuson, Andrews, Sinon, Bloome and Matt Reusche.

Markuson, Johnson, Valley, Davies, Sinon, Bloome, Bus, Sean Paulick, Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were also highlighted for qualifying for the State gathering at Eastern Illinois University.

For the soccer squad that earned a berth to the regional title match at Burlington Central, Megan Gil, Sarah Goodrich, Paige Rogers and Bridget Crosby were recognized as captains. Crosby was also named most improved player. Savannah Webb took home the rookie of the year. Shelby Koester and Haley Johnson took the coach’s award, while Colleen Gebauer and Gil won the Lady Knights awards. Emily Heimerdinger was named team MVP. Girls soccer had three members named to the All-WSC roster in the form of Gil, Koester and Heimerdinger.

In the freshman soccer ranks, Haley Garcia was awarded Team Leader, Tatiana Brown took home the most improved honor, while Maggie Ruppel won the team spirit award.

In softball, the best offensive player award went to Jessica Lubic and Andrea Potts.

Brianna Hurst was given the best defensive player award. Rose took home the team MVP award, while Jordan Herra took home the most improved honors after her showing at the plate and in the field.

Erin Heyob, Hurst, Mallory Huml, Rose, Mangers and Herra were honored as captains.

Huml, Rose, Potts, Delani Vest and Lubic also brought home All-WSC honors.

For baseball, Curtis Lubic earned the Mr. Kaneland Baseball award, while Pritchard and Joe Gura took the Offensive MVP awards. Jeff Smith won the Defensive MVP award. Joe Spitzzeri took the 41 award, in honor of late teammate Jeff Malewig. Pritchard, Gura and Smith were named to the All-WSC team.

For girls track, Lindsay Gierke, Lisa Roberson and Andie Strang were given the track MVP award, while Kelli Patterson and Jordan Pinkston were named field MVP’s.

Patterson was honored with the Most Improved award.

Laney Deliginais, Alyssa Galvan, Gierke, Patterson, Roberson, Katie Weiss and Lauren Whittaker took home nods for captain.

Named to the all-conference group for the WSC were Whittaker, Gierke, Patterson and Pinkston.

Gierke, Pinkston, Strang, Roberson, Kris Bowen, Sara Wallace and Kelly Evers were also recognized for their State-going effort.

Logan’s Run

Markuson, Sinon earn All-State honors for KHS boys track
by Mike Slodki
This past weekend, Kaneland High School junior Logan Markuson lept right over hurdles and into the IHSA State record books.

Markuson, who had competed at the State level last year, was crowned Class 2A champion in the 300m intermediate hurdles event with a time of 38.57 seconds.

For KHS, it marks the first track State champ for the school since 2004 girls track entry Janine Zylinski, who threw a 42 foot, two inches effort in the shot put.

The last boys track State champion occurred 10 years ago, when Kurt Long pole vaulted at 14-9. The last race champ for the Knights was 1977’s Mark Claypool, running a 47.18 in the 440-yard dash.

“It’s weird. I finished the race and it was like ‘what do I do now?’” Marksuon said. “It hasn’t completely sunk in yet.”

Logan Markuson in the Polve Vault during Friday's prelims.
Logan Markuson in the Polve Vault during Friday's prelims.

Kaneland as a team finished 13th overall in the 2A ranks (20 points).

Hillcrest took the title at 93 points. Cahokia finished a distant second at 47 points, and Springfield Lanphier finished third at 44 points. Western Sun Converence rival Sycamore finished 12th at 22 points, while Glenbard South finished 15th at 18 points.

Markuson’s memorable day also included a seventh-place finish in the pole vault at 13-6. Streator junior Logan Pflibsen won the event at 15-6. Knight Josh Bloome also earned a noteworthy finish at 10th overall (13-3).

Junior Nick Sinon earned All-State honors by placing third in the high jump. Photo by Ben Draper
Junior Nick Sinon earned All-State honors by placing third in the high jump. Photo by Ben Draper

Sectional champion Nick Sinon was up to his old tricks in the high jump, earning an all-State finish with a third-place, 6-7 launch.

“It was amazing,” Sinon said. “Going into this year, I didn’t think I’d do as well, but it all worked out.”

Sinon added,” I think I can go higher next year.”

In the 3200m run, Paul Davies’ 10:00.48 run was good for 13th place in Illinois.

Markuson’s 110m high hurdles dreams were stopped with a false start in the finals.

“I knew there were a couple colleges out there, and they looked at how you recover from things like that,” Markuson said.

“After Logan false started in the 110, I said to him, ‘Champions are measured by how they overcome adversity.’ Logan demonstrated what a champion is in so many ways this season, and the 300 Race at State showed everyone that Logan is a champion,” KHS coach Eric Baron said.

His State-winning effort in the 300m was .20 better than second-place Wana Wauna of Oak Forest.

Markuson’s point total as a junior is six points shy of Claypool’s total.

Markuson and Sinon’s All-State honors are the first since Phil Christensen’s discus honors in 2008.

In the 4x800m relay, Kaneland’s Derek Bus, Hayden Johnson, Sean Paulick and Edgar Valle ran the track in 8:14.01.

110m hurdles entry Taylor Andrews ran his event in 15.35, .12 behind Harlan’s Brandan Presley for the final qualifying spot.

In the 4×400 meter relay, Knight foursome Johnson, Markuson, Tommy Whittaker and Valle finished in 3:27.22 in the preliminaries.

Photo: Kaneland’s Logan Markuson became the first Kaneland boys track and field athlete to win an individual state championship since Kurt Long won the pole vault in 1999, when Markuson won the 300m intermediate hurdles Saturday. He is also the first state champion in the hurdles for the Knights, and placed seventh in the pole vault as well.

Photos by Ben Draper

Boys track crowned Sectional champs, send vanload to State

by Mike Slodki
Before the season, boys track coach Eric Baron had a good feeling about his team’s chances this season.

The Freeport Sectional this past Friday made Baron seem downright clairvoyant.

The Knights captured a sectional title with 88 points, a two-point edge over Sycamore, and sent seven separate events to the State final this Friday at Eastern Illinois University.

A year ago, Kaneland sent five events to the big meet.

Freeport finished third at its own home with 60 points, while Burlington Central finished fourth (58 points).

The Knights send junior Logan Markuson to Charleston in several events, the first being pole vault, where he finished third at 14 feet, 9 inches. Teammate Josh Bloome also made sure more Kaneland members will join in the fun, finishing fifth at 13-9.

Nick Sinon continued on his tear, adding Sectional champ to his Western Sun Conference honors with a 6-3 effort in the high jump.

The Knight foursome of Derek Bus, Sean Paulick, Hayden Johnson and Edgar Valle is going down in the 4×800 relay, thanks to a sectional title time of 8 minutes, 6.27 seconds.

Knight distance runner Paul Davies made the grade with a third-place showing in the 3200 meter run (9:49.21).

Markuson (14.88) and Taylor Andrews (15.32) were up to business as usual in the 110 meter high hurdles and join the State crowd in that event. Markuson also took a sectional title in the 300m intermediate hurdles with a 38.87 second tally.

“We’re just building concentration and getting ready,” said Markuson, who qualified in 2008 for the pole vault. “It won’t be too out of the ordinary, but a little more intensity than usual.”

In Markuson’s opinion, the sectional success was contagious.

“I think the 4X800 really started things off for us, That was huge and that set the tone. Everyone was really stoked after that.”

Finally, the Knights’ 4x400m relay squad of of Johnson, Markuson, Tommy Whittaker and Valle won first at 3:24.72.

Photo: Kaneland’s Nick Sinon takes to the skies during Friday’s Freeport Sectional. Sinon joins the Knights contingent going to Charleston for the Class 2A boys track State event. Photo by Ben Draper

Kaneland boys anticipate sectional

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland saw plenty of top finishers as it prepares for the important Freeport Sectional this Friday, May 22.

The 1-2 combo of Taylor Andrews and Logan Markuson finished in the top two spots in the 110 meter hurdles event. Andrews ran in 14.69 seconds while Markuson took second at 14.84.

The two Knights were at it again in the 300m hurdles event, as Markuson won with a 39.41 final effort, with Andrews taking third at 41.03.

“Taylor and Logan both feed off each other in the 110’s,” Kaneland coach Eric Baron said. “They have used each other as a gauge to see how well each one is running. It will be interesting to see how they run when they both have a good clean race. Taylor has a built-in role model, and Logan has one as well in Taylor. They are both great kids, and coach Robbie Bieritz has done an amazing job with all of our hurdlers.”

“A lot of it is Logan,” Andrews said on Saturday morning. “In the hurdles we push each other to succeed and get better.”

Kaneland’s 4x800m relay foursome of Hayden Johnson, Sean Paulick, Derek Bus and Edgar Valle finished second with a time of 8:19.12.

Nick Sinon became conference champ with a six-foot result in the high jump.

“Nick had a great week last week, and he handled the presure of being the top ranked high jumper in conference, and that will bode well for the sectional,” Baron said.

Markuson took home the WSC crown in the pole vault (13-9), while teammate Josh Bloome was third at 12-9.

On the frosh/soph side of things, Tommy Whittaker continued his road back from injuries with a second place, 53.81 second final effort in the 400m dash.

Whittaker also took part in the f/s 4x400m relay that finished third at 3:52.40. Whittaker, Andrews, Curtis Secrest and Jake Ginther made up the contingent.

The Knights’ 4×800 relay featuring Trevor Holm, Nick Dunetman, Clayton Brundige and Jake Ginther managed a second in the frosh/soph race by running 8:54.09.

Knight Josh Bloome represents Kaneland pole vaulting on Tuesday. Coach Eric Baron’s crew looks to make a dent in the Freeport Sectional on Friday, May 22. Photo by Ben Draper

Boys Track makes presence felt at Seegers, finishes 2nd at Yorkville

Knights boys track finished an exceptional second place in the 11-team Seegers Track and Field Classic at Sycamore on Friday evening.

The Knights’ 132-point total was 22 behind Geneva. Host Sycamore (107), Rockford Jefferson (60) and Oswego East (53) rounded out the top five. Western Sun rivals DeKalb and Rochelle tied for sixth at 41.

Kaneland entry Lucas Ross finished second in the 100 meter dash finals with an effort of 11.26 seconds, just behind Keyeon Hopson of Rockford East’s 11.17.

In the 110m hurdles finals, Kaneland’s Logan Markuson (14.90) and Taylor Andrews (14.91) finished in the top two places.

Markuson took the 300m hurdles crown with a 40.05 effort, 1.12 seconds over Geneva’s Alex Olenck.

In the 4x800m relay event, the Knights foursome of Derek Bus, Sean Paulick, Hayden Johnson and Edgar Valle finished in 8:14.07, good for second place.

Nick Sinon was crowned high jump champ after clearing the six-foot mark. Markuson was second-best in the pole vault with a 14-foot effort.

On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to Yorkville to do battle with Sycamore and came away with a win thanks to a 77-point effort. Sycamore ended up with 69 and Yorkville had 33.

Markuson won the 110m hurdles at 15.4 seconds and the 300m hurdles at 40.5 seconds. The pole vault also went his way at 14-0.

The Knights’ 3200 relay squad, at 8:29, won the event.

Jake Ginther took the 3200m run at 11 minutes, 24 seconds, while Nick Sinon jumped a 6-5 in the high jump and 41-7.5 in triple jump for his two first places.

Meanwhile, the Knights’ 1600 relay ran 3:38.0 for a first.

Boys track hits the annual Kane County Meet on Friday, May 8 which is hosted by West Aurora.

Photo: Dominic Furco prepares to make an impact during the mile race at a Western Sun Conference gathering at Yorkville High School on Tuesday. Kaneland took first place in a meet also featuring Sycamore. Photo by Linda Bell

Spring Sports Preview: Fully loaded: Kaneland boys track brings the talent

by Mike Slodki
Fourth-year head coach Eric Baron is happy where things are at with boys track.

“We’re ahead of where we’ve been since I’ve been here. We are as deep and as good as we’ve been in awhile,” Baron said.

That’s good news for KHS fans, and uneasy news for their competition.

Drawing comparisons with the Class A juggernaut from 10 years ago that sent personnel like Bill McKeown and P.J. Fleck, the 66-person team is quite deep.

“We have people fighting for spots, but it’s a pleasant problem and they can’t wait to get out there,” Baron said.

A year removed from sending graduated Phil Christensen to State in the shot put and discus, Logan Markuson in the pole vault, Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel, Brendan McCarthy and Tommy Whittaker in the 4×200 relay and Hayden Johnson, Whitaker, Edgar Valle and Markuson in the 4×400 relay, the Knights return all the State-goers but Christensen.

“Kids get their eyes opened the first time down there, and they get very serious about getting back a second time,” Baron.

Armed and ready for a repeat trip to State are runners like Ross, who looks to make his mark in the 100m dash, 200m dash and relays.

“He’s as fast as I’ve ever seen him,” Baron said.

Hayden Johnson is ready for the 400 and 800 runs and provides great leadership, according to Baron.

Matt Weaver will try to separate himself in the hurdles, and both the 400 and 800.

“We’ve seen what he could do in cross country and we really need him out there,” Baron said.

The distance end of things reveals Paul Davies, who saw a personal best in the two-mile indoor race this season. McCarthy, Brett Ketza, Alex Mollohan and Eric Dratnol also see action at various events.

Matt Reusche can make an impact in the distance and the relays after qualifying for State in cross country.

Nick Sinon, who saw a productive indoor season that included a first-place finish at the WSC indoor meet, looks to do damage in the high jump, and Dominic Furco is set up for distance.

Sinon could also be an entry in the triple jump, while Sean Paulick will try the long jump.

Other ingredients to the mix are Taylor Andrews in the triple jump and Johnson in the long jump.

Newcomers to the track program are Blake Serpa, who’ll try his craft at sprints and relays, and Jimmy Boyle in the throwing events.

The hurdles look to have Markuson, Andrews and Weaver helping the Knights’ cause.

Trying to fill the shoes of Christensen and remaining healthy will be tantamount to the KHS success, but Baron feels that this crew can turn the local competition on its ear.

“This is a group that’s extremely eager to please and great to be around, and we’d like to see improvement from last year. That’ll determine a successful year, rather than trophies,’ Baron said.

The outdoor season begins on Tuesday, April 14, as Kaneland and Rochelle go to Batavia. The famed Peterson Prep kicks off on Saturday, April 25. The Kane County Meet takes place on Friday, May 8, and the WSC meet happens on Friday, May 15, at Batavia.

Photo: Alex Mollohan, seen throwing at the WSC indoor meet last week at Sycamore, looks to be one of the field contributors for a successful 2009 in Kaneland boys track. Photo by Ben Draper

WSC, team honors dished at Winter Sports Awards

Last week saw Kaneland High School dole out its winter athletic awards with four sports being recognized on various levels.

In varsity girls basketball, Mallory Huml was given defensive player of the year, and Mallory Carlson was named most improved player. Katie Hatch and Sarah Rose were named co-MVP’s. Cece Anderson won the Kaneland Knight Award, and Rose was also recognized as a member of the all-Western Sun Conference team. Rose, Anderson, Hatch, Huml, Brianna Hurst, Chassidy Mangers and Alyssa Galvan were also recognized as captains.

In sophomore basketball, Jessica Stouffer and Liz Hylland took the Kaneland Knight awards, while Sydney Bilotta won defensive player. Andrea Dimmig-Potts and Katie Taylor were named co-offensive player of the year. Keara Palpant was given MVP honors.

For the freshman level, Anna Olson took the hustle award, and Katie Tolan won most improved. Christina Janes was named Queen of the Boards, while McKinzie Mangers was given the Dedication award. Kylie Siebert won the Lady Knight award.

For boys basketball, Dave Dudzinski was honored for making the All-WSC team, and was also named as the team’s offensive player of the year.

The Most Improved Player award went to the tandem of Christian Dillon and Sean Paulick. Dudzinski took the team MVP honors, and Curtis Lubic earned the defensive player of the year nod.

Brody Root, Dillon, Mike Prtichard, Lubic, Chris Ott and Joe Spitzzeri were also recognized as captains.

On the freshman level, Eric Eichelberger and Brandon Stahl earned most improved honors, while Jake Razo took home outstanding defensive player, and Jordan Jones was outatanding offensive player.

For the Lady Knights bowling team, Jessica Stebbins was given kudos for high game, high series, and high average.

Danielle Rose earned the most improved award. Emily Curran took home the coaches award and Stebbins, Curran, Kathleen Moravcik and Cassie Wilson were recognized as captains.

For wrestling, Jay Levita was named most valuable wrestler, as well as getting the Bob Domena Memorial Award for hardest worker, and was also given accolades for making the All-WSC team and State.

Jimmy Boyle took the most improved award, while Devon Scholl won the Dave Osman Award for most dedicated. Boyle was given the Russel Anderson Memorial Award, and Matt Weaver took the Heart and Soul Award.

Levita, Weaver and Scholl were also recognized as captains.

KHS boys basketball ready to deal with season’s challenges

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Knights return 10 in effort to bounce back from 10-17 season

by Mike Slodki

            Beginning at the Strombom Tournament at Sycamore High School on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the first sight for opponents of Kaneland boys basketball will be the junior in the middle, Dave Dudzinski.

            But opponents will need to be on the lookout for the tenacity and shooting touch that led to victories against schools like Yorkville in overtime, a 29-point comeback at Geneva and a last-second regional win vs. Sandwich.

            With 10 returnees supplanting the loss of personnel like Nick Wagner and Kevin Green, Kaneland could be prime for significant improvement from last year’s 10-17 record (6-8 Western Sun Conference).

            Dudzinski averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game as a center threat, and spent part of the summer in Orlando, Fla. as part of an AAU Nationals exhibition.

            “His sophomore year was good, and we expect even bigger things this year. We’re hoping we get a big year out of him,” third-year coach Dennis Hansen said on Tuesday.

            Seniors on the squad include Chris Ott at guard and guard Joe Spitzerri making his comeback from X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, an immune disorder. Other seniors include guard Curtis Lubic, guard Ryan Blake, forward Mike Pritchard, guard Brody Root and forward Christian Dillon.

            Juniors are guard Ryley Bailey, guard Donovan Williams, forward Steve Colombe, forward Sean Paulick, new addition junior Pat Fleming and Dudzinski.

            The lone sophomore on the squad is Chaon Denlinger.

            With rosters set a little over a week ago, Kaneland boys basketball is working on its game in the trenches.

            “So far, it’s been a lot of conditioning and defensive stuff. They’re familiar with what we do,” said Hansen, who has John Pavlak as assistant coach. “Biggest thing with this group is being consistent, which was a problem last year.”

            The players can put what they’ve learned and rehashed starting against Harlem High School of Machesney Park at the Thanksgiving tradition, the Strombom Tournament. Hansen looks for the experience to be useful.

            “I think so, it’s loaded with talented teams every year. It’ll have good solid ballclubs, and it’ll serve as a measuring stick,” Hansen said.

            Any early-season test to prove Kaneland’s mettle could send the Knights on their way to Western Sun success.

            “It seems to be wide open; Glenbard South and Batavia seem to have the advantage right now. Rochelle is a solid club. It’s wide open, and we hope to be there at the top,” Hansen said.

            The first slated conference battle is on Tuesday, Dec. 2, vs. Glenbard South, with the final regular season contest vs. Geneva on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.