Tag Archives: Taylor Andrews

Impressive: Knights football begins ‘11 with win

Photo: Knight Matt Kucera (15) goes up to defend an end zone pass during the 44-0 takedown of Brooks Prep of Chicago on Friday night. The victory elevates Kaneland’s opening night win streak to seven. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In a usual school setting, a person described as a handful isn’t an ideal description.

In Kaneland High School football’s case, the Knights couldn’t be happier.

It would be accurate in describing RB/WR Quinn Buschbacher after his performance on Friday night.

The senior acted on being the go-to option on many a play with a four-touchdown performance in a 44-0 win over the Brooks Prep Eagles of Chicago.

The Knights begin 1-0, as they have done every year since 2005.

Both coach and weapon agreed the senior was in his element. It comes in an ideal time, especially with the graduation of targets like Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews and Kyle Davidson, and the transfer of Daniel Helm.

“Quinn is not only one of the biggest playmakers on the team, but in the conference,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “He made a lot of great plays for us last year, and we’re expecting much more of him this year.”

Play of the Knight
Quinn Buschbacher (22) can tell you the condition of the grass at Peterson Field, considering he toured nearly every inch on Friday. On the first play from scrimmage, the swing pass from QB Drew David to the versatile senior went for a 67-yard TD, and the Knights never looked back.

Buschbacher busted through on a swing pass for a 67-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

It was shades of Brock Dyer’s touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage two years ago against Burlington Central.

“With our offense, I feel we can put as many points up as we want, any game,” Buschbacher said. “I feel like we have the capability to do that.”

In his first starting quarterback assignment, sophomore Drew David went 14-for-20 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Buschbacher was the leading rusher in the spread offense, with 47 yards on five carries and three scores. Sean Carter earned the leading receiver mantle with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Eagles quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw was 9-for-25 for 159 yards.

Kaneland put forth 289 yards of total offense, compared to 190 with Brooks.

A slot pass on the first offensive play of 2011 Football continued on page saw Buschbacher whizz his way by Eagle defenders just 22 seconds into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

On the next drive, eight plays got Kaneland in position for a five-yard touchdown run by Buschbacher to go up 14-0 with four minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter. On the Knights’ third drive, Buschbacher took the ball and ran around left end for a nine-yard score that capped a six-play drive. The tally increased the edge to 21-0 with 52 ticks left in the quarter.

The second quarter proved equally as prolific for KHS, thanks to a Jesse Balluff two-yard touchdown run with 5:43 left, a Buschbacher 23-yard touchdown run with 2:53 to go, and a rainbow pass to Carter with :28 remaining.

The lone score for Kaneland in the second half was in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard kick by Matt Rodriguez.

In sophomore play, Kaneland came away with a 32-6 win.

On Friday, Sept. 2, Kaneland hosts Huntley High School. KHS and the Red Raiders have split the previous two encounters. Huntley lost to visiting Crystal Lake Central by a 28-6 clip on Friday.

KNIGHTS QB SEASON OPENERS:
A Look Back at their first Week 1 efforts
2011: Drew David 14-of-20, 203 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
2008: Joe Camiliere 16-of-24, 213 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
2007: Jody Henningson 16-of-22, 201 yards, 2 TD
2005: Boone Thorgesen 25-of-31, 302 yards, 2 TD
2004: Drew Sterkel 9-of-21, 97 yards, 1 INT

Conference Standings >>

the Knights ahead: Kaneland looks to reach similar heights from a year ago

Photo: Knights football works on getting back to the playoff promised land at the high school. A year ago the Knights had their best season since 1998. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland Knights football achieved such great heights a year ago.

The best season mark since 1998, an undefeated regular season, and an epic third-round playoff win over Vernon Hills—made possible by player Joe Camiliere, Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan—made it a season to remember, until it was stopped on a cold night in November against powerhouse Montini Catholic.

Fifth-year coach Tom Fedderly isn’t interested in preparing for last year.

“It was a special year, but last year is last year. Every year is different. I’m going to try to take the guys that we have, and our system is flexible enough where we can do things differently depending on the pieces that we have,” he said.

The Knights’ spread attack on offense was successful in large part due to new Elmhurst Bluejay Camiliere’s penchant for taking care of the ball.

With the starting derby yet to be completely decided, senior Ryan Fuchs and sophomore Drew David could see time under center, and have been told the formula for field success.

“They both know they need to take care of the ball and manage the offense. As it looks right now, I’m pretty satisfied with what we’ve got there,” Fedderly said.

With Andrews and Callaghan gone to graduation, and former receiving threat Daniel Helm now playing for Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill., the fourth and fifth option on some days last year now move up as big targets in the form of all Northern Illinois Big XII option Quinn Buschbacher and Sean Carter.

Buschbacher also displayed a knack for the return game in 2010.

“It’ll be good for our quarterback to have weapons like those out there, and they have experience,” Fedderly said.

When the time comes to gain yards via ground attack, the Knights rely on sophomore Jesse Balluff, with Buschbacher and Carter viable options to seek carries, as well.

With Helm not a Knight this season, Kaneland gets a move-in option in the form of Ohio transfer Matt Price.

“He’s six-foot-three, about 195 (pounds), and he’s going to get in the mix, too. He looks like a good player,” Fedderly said.

The offernsive line, carrying infinite importance for protection of the spread offense, looks to curb the loss of tackle Jimmy Boyle to graduation.

Four returnees are suited up for the two-way line in Nick Sharp, Ryan Noel, Ben Kovalick and Alex Snyder.

For the linebacking corps, it looks to be an all new crew with the depth chart still in flux.

In the secondary, Jacob Razo returns and looks to primarily play defense, as will returnee Kory Harner. Joey Cozzi returns for his senior campaign.

Kicker Matt Rodriguez returns to boot the ball through the posts when needed.

Fedderly and staff will continue to work up through the season opener, with new foe Brooks Prep of Chicago on Friday, Aug. 26.

“We just started hitting and we’re still looking to see who our football players are, but we have young kids that I think are going to come along,” Fedderly said.

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.

Scholarship winners

by Kaneland Krier staff
Kaneland—These four Kaneland seniors earned over $600,000 in academic scholarships between them. Here’s how they did it:

Taylor Andrews
Senior Taylor Andrews chose the college he will be attending next fall for reasons most don’t: the history, the challenge and the leadership position.

Andrews will be attending the West Point Military Academy in the fall on a full scholarship that covers tuition, room, board and fees.

“While I was looking for colleges, I was looking at the service academies mainly because of the benefits that followed, but as I got to researching, I found that it wasn’t all about the benefits. It was something deeper: the legacy that follows and all the history behind it. I also want to challenge myself and my leadership abilities. What better way to do that than as a US Army officer?” Andrews said.

West Point has an acceptance rate of just 15 percent, which makes acceptance there as competitive as at many Ivy League universities. Candidates must be academically, physically and medically qualified and must receive a nomination from an approved source, such as a member of Congress.

“I think (Taylor’s) academics were above average, his athletics were above average and so was his interview. He also had glowing recommendations. It is very difficult to get into West Point; it’s a huge achievement,” counselor Cynthia Violett said.

Andrews has not yet selected a major, since West Point cadets don’t choose a major until the second semester of their sophomore year. He has an eight-year commitment after schooling, which includes five years of active duty in the Army and three years on reserve. He will become an Army second lieutenant after graduation, with a starting salary of $69,000.

“I feel that this is the best thing for Taylor, but I will miss him a lot because we’re so close to each other. We’re like best friends,” said sophomore Tanner Andrews, Taylor’s brother.
–Emily Gulanczyk, reporter

Abby Michels
With a huge smile on her face, senior Abby Michels gave her mom a hug after finding out that she received the Golden Apple Scholarship.

The Golden Apple, a scholarship awarded to 110 education majors in Illinois, is designed to provide scholarship funds for bright future educators. The Golden Apple provides $2,500 in financial assistance for the first two years of college and $5,000 for the final two years.

“(It’s) the perfect scholarship for a perfect student,” said Michelle Jurcenko, Spanish teacher.

Michels has been interested in being a teacher since elementary school.

“I like helping other people. The one way to stay young internally is to be surrounded by kids,” Michels said.

Michels, who is a senior this year, will attend the Lewis University next fall. Lewis has supplemented her Golden Apple Scholarship with a scholarship of its own—and Michels will attend there on a scholarship worth $33,000 a year.

Golden Apple Scholars enter the classroom with three times the experience that graduates of traditional education programs do. The program watches students for seven years and provides training over the summer.

“Scholars are surrounded by professionals and mentors. They’re like a big happy family. They also work in poor districts that are economically challenged, and they are committed to work in (a high-needs) district,” Counselor Andrew Franklin said.

Michels, who is majoring in special education, was a good candidate for the Golden Apple because she has done so much, from early childhood occupation classes to P.E. Leadership classes, Franklin said.

“It’s a huge blessing. I am so excited. It will open more doors for me to become a better teacher,” Michels said.
–Emily Ferrell, reporter

Hannah Schuppner
Senior Hannah Schuppner has been awarded a Northwestern University Scholarship. The scholarship is worth around $30,000 per year, and she has also been awarded grants to pay for the remaining tuition, room and board, including $2,000 in work study and private grants from the school. Her estimated family contribution is only $5,000 per year.

“The scholarship made it possible to go to my dream school. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to go there,” Schuppner said.

Northwestern was her first choice, over DePaul University or the University of Chicago. She plans to study psychology and then possibly attend law school.

“It’s not the number-one psychology school, but it’s ranked highly in the nation,” Schuppner said.

“I’m happy that she’s going to stay in Illinois, so she’ll be relatively close,” said Kaleb Schuppner, Hannah’s brother. “I was very excited for her, but I was not surprised at all. She is a very excellent student and works very hard.”

AP Literature teacher Patty Welker said she is certain that Schuppner will be very successful because of her great analytical skills and critical thinking skills.

According to both Schuppners, their father was extremely excited at the news that Hannah would have the money to go to a good school.

“Northwestern has always been my dream school,” Schuppner said. “After I visited the campus, I just fell in love with it. It just felt right.”
–Brianne Strobel, reporter

Jessica Corbett
It’s what all high school students strive for: receiving a full-ride scholarship to a dream college. Many students work hard to meet this ultimate goal, but ordinarily it never progresses past a tedious application process. What happens when things take a turn for the extraordinary?

Senior Jessica Corbett received a full scholarship, worth $51,000 a year, that covers tuition, room, board and fees, to Ithaca College in New York. Corbett found out she was a finalist for the scholarship when she received a phone call from Dr. Matt Fee at Ithaca, who invited all 26 finalists to the campus for a two-day interview process.

“I later found out that there were over 500 applicants,” Corbett said.

Corbett, who has worked on the Krier for four years, including two years as an editor, is an exceptional journalism student, journalism teacher Cheryl Borrowdale said.

“She has developed a lot of poise in interviewing and thinks critically enough to ask tough questions,” Borrowdale said. “She has also developed into an excellent writer, capable of taking on in-depth pieces and difficult subjects. She knows every part of producing a paper inside out, and beyond those journalistic skills, she is an outstanding student with a strong work ethic. In every way, she was the perfect candidate for a journalism scholarship.”

On March 30, Corbett found out that she was one of the lucky 13 who had received the scholarship.

“I was really excited for Jess because she deserved it. Then it finally hit me that she was going to be leaving,” said freshman Taylor Corbett, Jessica’s younger sister.

Although her family was ecstatic, Corbett could not actually share the news with friends and other relatives for several days, until all candidates were contacted about the scholarship.

Corbett will double major in journalism and politics at Ithaca, where she is also a member of the honors program.

“They have all of the opportunities that I wanted, such as dance groups, Model UN and a lot of different volunteer opportunities,” Corbett said.

Taylor-made: Senior is Class 2A 110m hurdle champ

Photo: Senior Taylor Andrews (left), here running the 4x400m Relay in Friday’s prelims, set a state record in the 110m High Hurdles Friday, only to break it again Saturday during the IHSA State Track and Field Finals. Andrews won the event in 14.27 seconds, .10 seconds ahead of second place. Photo by Marshall Farthing

CHARLESTON—West Point wants the best and brightest.

It’s a good thing, because Knights senior Taylor Andrews showed he not only has those traits, but it also among the fastest.

Andrews set the Illinois boys track 2A State record with a 110 meter hurdles time of 14.27 seconds, .10 seconds ahead of Peoria Richwood’s Clayton Glasper.

Andrews also won his preliminary heat with 14.34 seconds worth of speed, also a record.

Andrews runs on the heels of 2010 State champs Nick Sinon in the high jump and the 4x400m relay.

A year ago, coach Eric Baron’s crew finished second in Class 2A. In 2011, it finished tied for 16th with 18 points, deadlocked with Mahomet-Seymour and Springfield’s Lanphier High School.

Cahokia (62 points), Glenwood (44) and Glenbard South (40) rounded out the top three.

Other finalists at Eastern Illinois University for the Knights was the 4x100m relay team of Jessee Balluff, Brandon Cottier, Andrews and Tommy Whittaker, as they finished sixth at 42.59 seconds.

The foursome won its preliminary heat at 43:03 seconds.

Additionally, Whittaker found himself sixth in the state in the 400m dash event, after racing in 50.21 seconds, capping his senior campaign. Whittaker finished third in his preliminary heat with a time of 50.13.

Fellow senior standout Trevor Holm finished 10th in the finals in the 1600m run, at 4:24.51. Holm was sixth in the preliminaries at 4:23.22.

Fellow state qualifiers included personnel like Kory Harner, whose pole vault effort was 13 feet.

The 4x800m relay team of Mickey Marin, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige and Holm was fifth in its heat at 8:18.84.

Whittaker ran a 11.18 in the 100m dash prelims. Curtis Secrest, Sean Carter, Brandon Bishop and Cottier ran a 1:31.46 in the 4x200m relay prelims.

Knight Dylan Nauert, who qualified at Sectionals by .01 seconds, finished the 300m hurdles in 40.67 seconds.

Cottier, Secrest, Andrews and Whittaker finished the 4x400m prelims at 3:23.36.

Kaneland boys track now says goodbye to Andrews, Doug Bade, Holm, Trevor Schramer, Secrest, Matt Spitzzeri and Whittaker due to graduation.

Boys track win 3rd straight sectional

by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—Call ‘em champs.

With 90 team points, Kaneland pulled off the sectional three-peat. Sterling was second, tied with Burlington Central at 78 points.

Knights boys track began the State bus with the 4×800 meter relay unit as it placed fourth with a time of 8 minutes, 8.72 seconds.

Kaneland managed an event title in the 4x100m relay with a time of 42.76.

Taylor Andrews looks to finish his KHS tenure on a skyrocketing trajectory with a 14.35 championship in the 110m high hurdles, edging rival Tre Llanes of Burlington Central by .43 seconds.

With a 1:31.11 in the 4x200m relay, Kaneland finished fourth and qualified for Charleston, Ill.

“It’s been a focus from the beginning,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “The program is at a point where we believe we can be successful year in and year out.”

400m dash qualifying glory went to Tommy Whittaker, whose 50.15 time was good for third in the finals.

Freshman Knight Dylan Nauert is going to EIU after qualifying in the 300m hurdles by .01 seconds (40.43, third place).

“I just ran scared,” Nauert said. “I just tried my best and wanted to qualify. I needed to be quicker and work on my steps, and I hopefully make it to Saturday.”

Standout Trevor Holm goes in the 1600m run after finishing third with a time of 4:26.19, and is involed in the 4x800m relay.

“For relays, I go into it not wanting to let my team down,” Holm said. “My mind’s a little different than an individual event for that one.”

KHS finished first in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:20.96.

Knight Kory Harner, with a pole vault of 13 feet, 3 inches, met the qualifying mark in that event.

photo courtesy of yorkvilletrackandfield.com

Boys track stakes claim to NIB-12 title

OTTAWA—The venue name of Friday’s Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet was appropriate—King Field.

Because that’s the level of performance put forth by Kaneland boys track.

With 122 points, Kaneland was far and away the winner of the meet, followed by host Ottawa (80) and Sterling (80). Yorkville and Dixon, both with 65 team points, rounded out the top five.

For field events, senior Matt Spitzzeri finished second in the triple jump with an effort of 41 feet, nine inches.

On the track side, the KHS group of Taylor Andrews, Jesse Balluf, Brandon Cottier and Tommy Whittaker won the 4x100m relay in 44.23 seconds.

Senior standout Trevor Holm was conference champ in the 3200m run with a time of 9:49.42.

Andrews added to his belt notches with a 14.45 second effort in the 110m hurdles, winning the race.

Whittaker’s time of 11.07 in the 100m dash was good enough for the NIB-12 win. Teammate Mickey Marin won the 800m run with a time of 2:03.66.

In the 4x200m relay, Kaneland’s crew of Balluf, Sean Carter, Cottier and Curtis Secrest took second with a time of 1:33.80.

Andrews also blazed by the field in the 300m low hurdles with a time of 39.90 seconds, beating Dixon’s Ricky Laskowski by .32.

The 4x400m relay saw KHS runners Andrews, Cottier, Secrest and Whittaker finish second at 3:28.22.

The Knights’ next challenge is on Thursday, May 19, at 4 p.m. for the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional.

Knights boys track visits 93-year old friend

by Mike Slodki
STREAMWOOD, Ill.—Millenium Field housed some Kaneland boys track performances to take notice of on Friday.

Perhaps the most pleasant conditions for a boys track meet this season was as good a reason as any for people to enjoy the 93rd annual Kane County Boys Track and Field Meet.

“I was worried the kids might fall over without wind or rain in their face today,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “The tradition and pagaentry of the Kane County Meet, it’s one of the best meets, if not the best in the entire state.”

Hosted by Elgin High School at the Streamwood, Ill. locale, West Aurora ran away with the meet points count at 109.5 points. Batavia finished second at 82.5 points, followed by St. Charles North at 62 and the Knights at 57 points, good for fourth.

St. Charles East (49), Burlington Central (45.5) and Geneva (41) rounded out the top seven.

The lone Kane County Meet champion brandishing the 1970s retro orange track get-up on Friday was senior stalwart Taylor Andrews, who captured the 110 meter hurdles crown with a 14.38 second time in the finals. Andrews, who bested Batavia’s Rob Mohr by .14 seconds, also aced the prelims with a time of 14.69.

Kaneland’s 4x100m relay finished in second with a time of 43.36, and its 4x400m relay took second with a time of 3:24.98.

Third places went to the 4x800m relay foursome that ran in 8:08.37.

Senior anchor Tommy Whittaker was third in the 100m dash finals at 11.28 seconds. Whittaker also used his speed to take third in the 400m dash with an effort of 50.12 seconds.

Andrews also gathered a fourth place in the 300m hurdles in 39.48 seconds.

Teammate Trevor Holm also brought his name into the conversation with a fourth-place, 4:31.23 finish in the 1600m run.

Junior Frankie Furco represented Kaneland in the field events quite well with a fourth in the high jump (5 feet, 11 inches).

With a good showing against powerful Kane County-arrea squads, KHS coach Eric Baron likes where his team is situated with the regular season clock counting down to zero.

“I pulled my seniors aside and told them they had to get it going, and Tommy Whittaker just dominated his heat in the prelim. We know what were going to get out of our seniors, and the young guys will just catch on,” Baron said.

Field asset Matt Spitzzeri finished sixth in the triple jump with a tally of 42-07.75.

“I’ve been focusing on it more this year,” Spitzzeri said. “We’re doing pretty well, and when the seniors do good, it can give the young guys more confidence.”

Kaneland battles familiar competition in the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet in Ottawa, Ill., on Friday, May 13, at 5 p.m.

KHS boys track invades CLC

KANELAND—Kaneland High School boys track had some business to take care of in Crystal Lake, but wasn’t planning on camping.

It planned to stay just long enough to make waves on Friday at the Crystal Lake Central Invite.

The Knights placed third with 81 points, falling just behind the host school (112) and Belvidere North (85). Harlem had 65 points and Burlington Central had 60.5 to round out the top five. Bartlett (59), Round Lake (36), Vernon Hills (26), Glenbard North (19) and Antioch rounded out the team scoring.

Knight honors began rushing in with sophomores Kory Harner (12-03) and Alex Gil (11-09) nabbing third-and-fourth place in the pole vault event.

In the 4×100 meter relay event, the group of Jesse Balluff, Brandon Cottier, Taylor Andrews and Tommy Whittaker took first with a time of 43.91 seconds.

Andrews also ran the 110m hurdles in 14.49 seconds, good for second place in the finals.

Whittaker also made the final of the 100m dash and finished second with a time of 11.32, just .01 behind Harlem’s Jamie Dainty.

In the 4x200m relay, Balluff, Curtis Secrest, Andrew Essex and Cottier were meet champs after running in 1:33.48.

The 400m dash final had Whittaker finishing fourth in 51.96, after finishing fourth in his prelim heat.

In the 300m intermediate hurdles event, Andrews’ 40.54 time was good for fourth in the final.

Whittaker also included himself in the meet elite for the 200m dash, finishing second at 23.28 seconds.

Kaneland’s 1600m relay squad finished in 3:31.59 seconds.

Coming up for the boys track roster is the annual Kane County Meet, eminating from Streamwood High School’s Millenium Field on Friday, May 6. Last year at West Aurora, Kaneland took second in the annual affair.

2nd place at Peterson Prep shows Kaneland’s talent

Photo: Taylor Andrews looks like he could hurdle all the way to West Point during action on Tuesday.The senior also made sure the 110m high hurdles honor stayed in Maple Park with a first-place showing of 14.66 seconds. Andrews was also part of the winning 4x100m relay foursome with Jesse Balluf, Brandon Cottier and Tommy Whittaker. Photo by
Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Out of 14 teams, Kaneland boys track was second to one.

The Knights’ 98 points were filled with great performances during Saturday’s annual Peterson Prep boys track outing, but West Aurora, with 133 points, was even better.

Mount Carmel finished third at 93 points. Fellow NIB-12 schools included Yorkville in sixth at 44 points, DeKalb in eighth at 16 points and Sycamore in ninth at 15 points.

Tommy Whittaker got things started with a second-place finish in the 200m dash with a time of 22.50 seconds, and also took second in the 400m dash with a time of 51.33.

Teammate Trevor Holm took third in the 800m run at 2:01.38, and a second in the 1600m run at 4:39.71.

Taylor Andrews was champion of the 110m high hurdles at 14.66.

At this point of the season, Andrews is far from done working on his craft.

“It’s going pretty good, I’m just trying to work every day with the coaches,” Andrews said. “We’ve got a good team, and the young guys are really stepping up.”

Despite the productive season, Andrews feels a couple of events can get even better.

“The 300m, definitely. That’s always a race I kind of struggle with,” Andrews said during Tuesday’s 103-21 dual win in Maple Park over DeKalb.

In the 4x100m relay, Jesse Balluf, Brandon Cottier, Andrews and Whittaker were tops at 44.57 seconds, while Andrew Essex, Cottier, Balluf and Curtis Secrest took the 4x200m event at 1:34.51.

Pole vault activity included Kory Harner’s third-pace finish at 11-06.

Matt Spitzzeri continued his positive trajectory this year in the triple jump, taking the crown at 41-05.

The Knights face varied competition at the Crystal Lake Central Invite on Friday, April 29, at 5 p.m.

Andrews, Spittzeri and relays conquer Sycamore

KANELAND—What did a textbook Kaneland-Sycamore dual meet on Tuesday hold for curious fans?

How about a convincing 98-51 Northern Illinois Big XII win and a Kaneland school record in the hurdles.

Taylor Andrews, bound for West Point in the fall, broke his own school mark in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.3 seconds.

Other firsts went to Matt Spitzzeri in the long jump (18-09), Marshall Farthing in the high jump (5-8), Alex Gil in the pole vault (11 feet) and Trevor Holm in the 3200m run (10:33.73).

The Kaneland relays in the 4x800m, 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 also took firsts.

“A lot of people have stepped up so far, especially underclassmen,” Knight Tommy Whittaker said. “I don’t think we have any holes. I honestly don’t think it’s a rebuilding year, it’s a reloading year.”

Whittaker will be counted upon for a mid-to-late season surge.

“I want my strongest event to be the 4×4 because we have a tradition of being so good in it. I think the 200 or 400 will push me a lot more,” Whittaker said.

KHS goes to Ottawa on Saturday, April 16, and Rochelle on Tuesday, April 19

Talent, effort goes the distance for Knights

Photo: Trevor Holm remains a key component of the Kaneland High School boys track success the last several years, especially in the 1600m run. Photo by Linda Bell

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a high ceiling for Kaneland High School boys track in 2010, and by the end of the season in Charleston, Ill., it turned into a celebration.

A second-place finish in the Class 2A State meet and a State championship in two events were reason to party, and Kaneland hopes to extend it.

But, it’ll have to come with a lot of preparation, which fifth-year coach Eric Baron has already started on.

“It started at track camp in June, and we took a look at what we have coming back,” Baron said. “We looked at areas we need to strengthen. It’s a reloading program. We lost a lot of good seniors. I think the group of freshmen that’s coming in might be better than the group that just left, talent-wise.”

In terms of sprints, Tommy Whittaker’s name will come up early and often.

“Tommy is not only going to win a lot of races, he is just a tremendous leader,” Baron said. “It’s a senior class of seven. Their leadership is outstanding.”

Whittaker, Taylor Andrews, Matt Spitzzeri and Trevor Holm will be counted on to give that frosh-soph class some leadership.

“It’s gone on since before I was coach. You listen to the upperclassmen because they’ve been through the wringer,” Baron said.

Sprints and hurdlers will see an Andrews presence, who competed side-by-side with new Golden Gopher Logan Marcusson.

The entire 4×100 and 4×200 meter relays return to give KHS an added boost, fresh off a Charleston trip last year.

Brandon Cottier, Andrew Essex, Curtis Secrest and Quinn Buschbacher also look to contribute. Sophomore Dylan Pennington is also expected to make the most of his time on the track.

Holm takes care of the distance question.

“Trevor could be an All-Stater in pretty much any event we decide to go with,” Baron said.

Baron touted freshmen Luis Acosta and Kyle Carter as pleasant surprises in the early goings, especially in relays.

In the field, Frankie Furco has high jumped over six feet in indoor competition.

A young jumper looking to help the Knights is Marshall Farthing, also excelling in indoor action.

Spitzzeri in triple jump looks to make the State meet after missing by 1.5 inches last year.

“Matt Cowans is coming in in great shape off of basketball and is jumping real well,” Baron said.

Kaneland remains quite young in the throws and looks to several underclassmen to step in to spots previously held by personnel like Phil Christensen.

“There’s the potential for several Phil Christensens in our throwing crew right now, like Alex Snyder and Nate Dyer and Tom King,” Baron said.

On Saturday, April 9, the Knights begin the outdoor season at East Moline United. The Peterson Prep is hosted at KHS on Saturday, April 23.

KHS boys earn second in inaugural NIB-12 indoor tussle

STERLING—At Westwood Track in Sterling, Ill., it was prime time to see how Kaneland boys track measured up against the rest of the Northern Illinois Big XII slate. As it turns out, when it comes to indoor clashes, Kaneland was pretty good.

With 81 team points, the Knights finished second only to Yorkville’s 88 point total.

Dixon (64), Sterling (57) and Rochelle (46) rounded out the top five. Ottawa, Geneseo, Sycamore, LaSalle-Peru, Streator, DeKalb and Morris filled out the six-through-12 slots.

The accolades came quite often for KHS, beginning with Matt Spitzerri’s third place in the triple jump (39-5.5) and Marshall Farthing’s fourth place in the same event (39 feet).

The 4×800 relay team for KHS finished first at eight minutes, 36.29 seconds.

In the 55 meter hurdles, anticipated assets Taylor Andrews won the race (7.95) and teammate Chad Swieca (8.62) finished third.

The 4x200m relay finished second at 1:35.76, just .13 behind the Dukes’ unit.

Tommy Whittaker finished second in the 400m dash with a time of 52.16, and classmate Trevor Holm finished first in the 1600m run with a time of 4:37.77.

Kaneland’s Curtis Secrest took fourth at 24.48 seconds in the 200m dash.

To close out the honors, KHS won the 4x400m relay event with a time of 3:35.16.

Knight boys raise roof for 4th at Byron

BYRON, Ill.—Saturday brought some indoor track competition to Byron, Ill., and also brought some fine numbers and totals for Kaneland boys track.

Looking to get the 2010-11 season on the right foot indoors, Kaneland finished tied for fourth out of 12 teams.

Their 43-point total tied with Rockford Jefferson. Rockton’s Hononegah had 97 points, followed by Burlington Central’s 69.5 total and Belvidere North with 47 points. The Knights were the lone representative from the Northern Illinois Big XII conference.

Tommy Whittaker of the Knights took second in the 400 meter dash with an effort of 53.97 seconds, behind Hononegah’s Kassidy Freeman by .9 seconds.

Taylor Andrews ran 7.9 seconds for second place in the 55m hurdles finals event, and was also part of the first place 4x400m relay team with Whittaker, Brandon Cottier and Chad Swieca (3:37.90).

Frankie Furco acclimated himself well in the finals of the high jump, finishing third in the group with a six-foot effort.

Finally, Matt Spitzzeri took second in the triple jump group by completing his turn at 41-4.5.

The boys’ next challenge is the Northern Illinois Big XII indoor meet in Sterling on Saturday, March 19.

Andrews, Callaghan and Serpa partake in busy signing month

Top photo: Flanked by family members, Blake Serpa (left) and Tyler Callaghan (right) sign their commitments at Central Michigan and St. Joseph’s College on Feb. 9. Taylor Andrews (below) signed with West Point on Tuesday. Photos by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How good was the Class of 2011 group that kept finding the endzone for Kaneland football?

Ask three very lucky institutions of higher learning.

On Feb. 9, Kaneland High School was host to signings by Blake Serpa to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., and Tyler Callaghan to Division II St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. Tuesday featured Taylor Andrews commiting to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Family, various teachers, Kaneland High School Athletics Director Leigh Jaffke and KHS varsity football coach Tom Fedderly were present for both occasions.

For Serpa, whose interest in the Mid-American Conference school dated back to last year, feels that a productive senior year helped his cause and prospects for the next level.

“There’s not the extra (weight) on my shoulders about where I’m going to go, so it’s nice that the pressure was off,” Serpa said. “Defensive end is where they really want me. There could be some packages where I play tight end, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Teammate Callaghan hits the institution that housed the Bears training camp home from 1944-1974.

“I went there and I liked it right away,” Callaghan said. “It’s a small school right off the interstate, and it’s nice to have that close atmosphere.”

Callaghan is expected to contribute at tight end and major in biology.

“I hope to be a big part of the offense, and this system helped a lot. The offense we run is so dynamic,” Callaghan said.

Flanked in Army gear and accompanied by family and Sgt. Jason Hardman, Andrews is glad to see the next phase of his life come into focus.

“I was really looking toward ROTC in college, and I was really set on Wheaton College for awhile. Then West Point wanted me to come out for a visit two weeks ago,” Andrews said. “The first night, I knew I wanted to be there; the whole legacy of everything.”

Andrews’ eventual position is to be determined.

Kaneland High School rises up with fall sports awards

Photo: Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton, was one of the highlighted athletes recognized for her State trip during the fall season for girls’ golf. File Photo

KANELAND—It was time to think warmer thoughts at Kaneland High School, as Friday had the release of the Kaneland High School Fall Sports Awards.

The awards were announced at this late date due to the postseason success of the football squad.

For girls cross-country, the captain trio of Andie Strang, Jessica Stouffer and Kris Bowen were recognized for its service.

Shaela Collins and Kaitlin Munyon took home the most improved runners honor, and Strang was named most valuable runner. Strang, Ashley Castellanos and Jennifer Howland were named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad, and Howland was honored for her State qualifying appearance in Nov.

For the boys cross-country side, Trevor Holm was picked as most valuable runner. and Ryan Paulson took home the most improved runner honor. The Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength went to Tommy Whittaker. Grant Alef, Holm and Whittaker were recognized as captains.

The Golden Knight award, given to one runner in each grade level, was bestowed upon freshman Dylan Kuipers, sophomore Christopher Wido, junior Clayton Brundige and Tommy Whittaker.

Holm was honored for his standing in the NIB-12 All-Conference group, as well as being a State qualifier.

For football, Joe Camiliere, Jimmy Boyle, Taylor Andrews, Blake Serpa, Tyler Callaghan and Curtis Secrest were recognized as captains. Nick Michels won the most improved player nod, and the MVP honor went five ways with Camiliere, Boyle, Andrews, Serpa and Callaghan earning the honor.

Camiliere was named offensive MVP, while teammate Serpa took the defensive MVP. Quinn Buschbacher won the special teams MVP. A slew of Knights were named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel, Buschabcher, Sean Carter, Camiliere, Boyle, Serpa, Kyle Davidson, Jacob Razo, Callaghan and Andrews.

Concerning Kaneland golf, Anthony Sperando was named most improved player on the varsity level, and Hayley Guyton was named varsity MVP. Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar shared the frosh/soph MVP sward. Sean Glennon was awarded the frosh/soph most improved player award. Team leader Guyton was also lauded for her eighth place finish at the girls’ gold State gathering.

For the Lady Knights volleyball crew, Jessica Lubic took the most valuable player award. Katy Dudzinski was named top offensive player, and Kylie Siebert won top defensive player award. The Spirit Award went to Mackenzie Curran, while most improved player was won by Lauren Banbury.

Lubic and Dudzinski were honored for their spots on the NIB-12 Conference team.

For boys’ soccer, Alex Gil, J.P. Minogue, Thansi Pesmajoglou, Trevor Wolf and Derek White were honored for their captaincy. Alex Weiss and Jordan Escobedo were named co-most improved player, while Minogue and White took home the co-MVP award. Rookie of the Year went to Anthony Parillo. The Coach’s Award was given to Gil, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka and Pedro Perez.

All-Northern Illinois Big XII members were announced as White, Minogue, Escobedo, Gil, Chad Swieca and Parillo. Honorable mention members were Perez, Rymarz, Koczka, Wolf, Tyler Siebert, Weiss and Pesmajoglou.

Escobedo was named to the all-Sectional squad, and teammate Gil was an honorable mention.

Perfect 10

Photo: Knight pass-catcher Tyler Callaghan found himself up close and personal with the turf, but not until after the final KHS touchdown in a 42-0 win over Chicago’s King High School. Kaneland now awaits Crystal Lake Central on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights get all they need in first half of 42-0 win
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Before the beginning of the fourth quarter on Friday night, Knights Taylor Andrews and Nick Michels ran from the sidelines to the field in a sprint.

The winner of that footrace was pretty much the only question to answer on Friday.

With 21 points each in the first and second quarter, the top-seeded Kaneland squad eliminated No. 16 King High School by a 42-0 tally.

“It’s always fun to play somebody different,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “In the playoffs, you’re going to see a lot of different things, and preparation is just really important.”

The 10-0 Knights now gear up for eighth-seeded Crystal Lake Central, who outlasted Antioch on Saturday evening in overtime, 24-21.

With the running clock implemented for the entire second half, the Knights got productive nights from their key players and also found them rest.

The 42-0 shellacking of the Jaguars saw Joe Camiliere go 13-for-15 for 217 yards with four scoring strikes.

The senior and three-year starter was also the game-high rusher with 48 yards on two carries.

The leading receiver was Quinn Buschbacher, who grabbed four balls for 75 yards.

Kaneland’s scoring escapades began on it’s second play from scrimmage when Camiliere followed blockers en route to a 45-yard touchdown just 45 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

On Kaneland’s third-drive, Buschbacher scored on a six-yard TD run to cap a four-play drive and made it 14-0.

Kaneland made it three successful third-quarter drives with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Blake Serpa with :57 left in the quarter.

The second quarter featured a 20-yard touchdown pass to Andrews with 11:08 left in the second frame, followed by a 12-yard slant pass to Buschbacher for a 35-0 lead with 8:29 remaining, and a nine-yard paydirt strike to Tyler Callaghan with :57 left in the first half.

The Crystal Lake Central Tigers are 8-2 entering Saturday’s tiff. The Tigers have not suffered a loss since a 14-7 setback to Peoria Richwoods on Sept. 11.

“ A lot of teams coming ahead of us are really good teams,” Callaghan said. “We’ve got a ton of potential, especially with Blake and Joe and our offensive line was really young coming into the year, but now they’re one of our strengths.”

The winner of KHS-CLC is slated to face either No. 4 Vernon Hills or No. 12 Tinley Park in a semifinal matchup.

The King Jaguars might have had a good night on the gridiron if it weren’t for the Knights. While it was going to be a tough night defensively for King, Taylor Andrews also made sure it would be trying on the offensive side. Andrews’ sack of Kendal Harris on third-and-14 from the King 10 pinned the visitors deep in their own territory. The punt landed at the King 27, leading to a Quinn Buschbacher TD run and a 14-0 lead.

And then there were 16:
Second Round 5A contests

#8 Crystal Lake (Central) (8-2) at
#1 Maple Park (Kaneland) (10-0),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

#4 Vernon Hills (9-1) at
#12 Tinley Park (H.S.) (7-3),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 5 p.m.

#15 Grayslake (Central) (6-4) at
#10 Woodstock (Marian) (7-3),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

#6 Lombard (Montini) (8-2) at
#3 Sycamore (H.S.) (9-1),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#4 New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West) (8-2) at #1 Peoria (Richwoods) (10-0),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#2 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (9-1) vs.
#3 Sterling (H.S.) (8-2) at Joliet Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

#4 Chatham (Glenwood) (7-3) at
#8 Jacksonville (H.S.) (6-4)
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#3 Springfield (H.S.) (8-2) at
#2 Marion (H.S.) (9-1),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m.

Seeing Redskin

Football cinches first unblemished regular season since 1998
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After Friday’s 47-7 win by Kaneland over Morris, the Redskins were probably glad the two teams met only once this season.

Kaneland had a funny way of repeating itself that way—nine times over.

The regular season-ending win for KHS squares things at 9-0 (5-0 NIB-12).

The victory over Morris gives Kaneland the first undefeated regular season since 1998, under current defensive coordinator Joe Thorgeson, and awards the Knights the first-ever NIB-12 title over Sycamore and Morris.

“I’m so happy for our seniors and all their hard work they put in over the years. It’s something that’s a special thing. Our seniors throughout the whole week talked about not wanting to have any letdown,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

The win also left the Redskins at 6-3 for the regular season, but they live to fight another day. Morris will be the tenth seed in Class 4A’s upper bracket and travel to Bishop McNamara in Kankakee on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

In Friday’s contest, the Knights garnered 402 yards of offense, compared to Morris’ 238.

Kaneland earned 160 yards on the ground on 27 carries and three touchdowns. Kaneland spread the ball through the air to great effectiveness, led by Taylor Andrews’ 66 yards on four catches, and Blake Serpa’s 83 yards on two grabs.

Joe Camiliere was 9-for-11 for 235 yards on two touchdowns.

The Knights wasted little time, as a Quinn Buschbacher swing pass on the first offensive play netted 51 yards. Camiliere went up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown just 21 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

Morris took five plays on the next possession to go 58 yards and ended its drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Austin Feeney to Kjeld Torkelson.

After running out of downs on their second possession, the Knights got back to work on a five-play drive and scored on a five-yard Camiliere TD run with 3:07 to go in the first frame.

Kaneland went up 21-7 soon after, as Serpa blocked a Redskins punt attempt and went 52 yards for a score with 44 seconds left in the quarter.

The Knights kept the late-October festivities going with three more touchdowns in the second frame.

Camiliere hit Buschbacher on an 11-yard scoring strike to complete a seven-play drive with 6:45 to go in the third for a 27-7 lead.

Serpa caught a bomb and strode for an 81-yard touchdown pass with 3:00 to go for a 34-7 lead, and with Morris trying to make something happen, Andrews snuffed out the Redskin threat with a 70-yard interception touchdown with :59 left to go up 41-7 at the break.

“We just came out strong,” Andrews said. “We knew it was going to be a big game. Like we say, everyone did their ‘one-eleventh’ and we fought through.”

The running clock was tripped with a Curtis Secrest 25-yard TD run with 1:03 to go in the game.
In sophomore action, Morris defeated Kaneland 21-19.

The Knights, as the top-seed team in Class 5A’s upper bracket, host the King Jaguars of Chicago’s Public League (16-seed), on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

Kaneland or King will face the winner of (8) Crystal Lake Central and (9) Antioch in the second round.

The first season for Kaneland ended on Friday, and Blake Serpa helped end it in style. The future Chippewa’s blocked punt and touchdown return made life difficult for Morris and continued the renewed output from the Kaneland defense and special teams as of late.

RAISE YOU A KING:
Tidbits about the No. 16 King Jaguars

• The Jaguars are members of the Chicago Public League and play in the Illini Conference, Land of Lincoln division.

• King, at 5-4, is one of only two Class 5A playoff qualifiers to be outscored by their opponents during the season, along with 6-3 Champaign Centennial.

• The Jaguars, coached by Lonnie Williams, put up a season-high 34 points in a 34-26 win over Whitney Young on Aug. 26, but have been shut out twice.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Champion: Kaneland High School* 5 0 9 0 376 95
Sycamore High School* 4 1 8 1 305 118
Morris Com High School* 3 2 6 3 210 162
DeKalb High School* 2 3 5 4 202 203
Yorkville High School 1 4 3 6 146 220
Rochelle Twp High School 0 5 3 6 207 175

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Champion: Sterling High School* 4 1 7 2 188 111
Champion: Geneseo High School* 4 1 8 1 305 89
Champion: Ottawa Twp High School* 4 1 6 3 264 115
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 3 4 5 173 278
Dixon High School 1 4 1 8 142 392
Streator Twp High School 0 5 0 9 66 405

*denotes playoff qualifier

Knights win clash with Spartans

Kaneland improves to 8-0 with 30-13 win over rival

Photo: Knight Joe Camiliere (12) tries to avoid the Sycamore defense in Kaneland’s 30-13 win over the Spartans on Friday in Maple Park. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was the biggest regular season game in quite some time for Kaneland.

The Knights played like it.

Facing a fellow undefeated squad in the visiting Sycamore Spartans, the Knights used offensive drives to the best of their ability and came up with timely defensive plays in a 30-13 win over the Spartans.

With the win, Kaneland gets a modicum of satisfaction for last year’s first-round ousting at the hands of SHS, and has the inside track at the Northern Illinois Big XII East championship at 8-0 (4-0 NIB-12). Sycamore drops to 7-1 (3-1 NIB-12), and faces Yorkville (3-5, 1-4 NIB-12) in the regular season finale.

The latest IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points standings has Kaneland fourth and Sycamore seventh.

Joe Camiliere was the field general coach Tom Fedderly’s offense requires and went 13-for-19 for 140 yards with a touchdown throw and no interceptions.

“I thought he had good time to throw,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “That’s what we were concerned about. He had enough time to get the ball out of his hands and did a good job tonight.”

Taylor Andrews was the leader in the rushing category for the Knights with 70 yards on six tries, while KHS had 190 yards on the ground total.

Sycamore’s Tommy Nice was the game’s leading rusher with 94 yards.

Quinn Buschbacher was the leading receiver for KHS with six catches totaling 34 yards.

Kaneland outgained Sycamore 330-304.

The game between two playoff-caliber squads in a playoff atmosphere had its first big play when Blake Serpa fumbled on the Knights’ first drive at their own 30.

Two plays later, running back Eric Ray scored from the 10 with 8:24 to go in the first for a 7-0 Spartan lead.

Using a balanced attack, KHS calmly drove 48 yards in 11 plays highlighted by a third-and-nine catch by Tyler Callaghan. Camiliere plunged in from the one-yard line with 2:24 to go to deadlock matters at 7-7.

The next time Kaneland got the ball they drove down for another score, as Callaghan caught a lofted ball in the corner of the end zone on the first play of the second frame for a 14-7 lead.

Sycamore looked to be on its way to knotting things up, until a backward pass that landed on the grass was scooped up by Andrews for an 84-yard touchdown to the shock of Sycamore’s faithful.

“It was a backward pass and I was about to give the ball to the ref,” Andrews said. “I looked over and heard everyone say ‘go, go go’, so I just took off running.”

“We were all just screaming ‘pick it up and run!’,” Fedderly said. “We knew it was a fumble, it went backwards, what can you say? What a play.”

Sycamore did come back on a QB Ryan Bartels TD run from 12 yards out with 1:25 to go, making it 20-13.

Kaneland wasn’t done, as they drove 40-yards to the 10, where freshman kicker Matt Rodriguez hit a 27-yard field goal to make it 23-13 at halftime.

With Blake Serpa’s four-yard touchdown run coming with 7:44 left in the third, the scoring was closed at 30-13.

Now Kaneland hosts Morris on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Redskins are playoff-bound, having lost only two games, and are coming off a dramatic 15-8 win in Rochelle on Friday.

Play of the Knight
Having already climbed back from an early deficit and nursing a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, Kaneland was trying to hold Sycamore from coming into their end zone again on Friday. They not only did that on a wild play, they took it to the other end zone with a heads-up play from Taylor Andrews. Sycamore was at the Kaneland 12-yard line and attempted a backward pass that fell to the ground. Andrews picked it up, and after some hesitation, was joined by several Knights on the way to an 84-yard score.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School* 4 0 8 0 329 88
Sycamore High School* 3 1 7 1 272 118
Morris Com High School* 3 1 6 2 203 115
DeKalb High School 1 3 4 4 164 196
Yorkville High School 1 3 3 5 146 187
Rochelle Twp High School 0 4 3 5 200 137

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School* 4 0 7 1 188 94
Geneseo High School* 3 1 7 1 277 77
Ottawa Twp High School 3 1 5 3 247 115
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 2 4 4 161 250
Dixon High School 0 4 0 8 100 373
Streator Twp High School 0 4 0 8 47 363

*Clinched playoff berth

IHSA.org Playoff Outlook

KHS makes itself at home in 34-13 win at Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE—Friday night at Campbell Field in Yorkville featured four quarters of Fox hunting.

For Kaneland, the instrument of choice was a scalpel.

Highlighted by a third-quarter drive that went eight minutes, 11 seconds and ended with a Blake Serpa touchdown run, the Knights saw big things from their offense and a steady defense in a 34-13 win over the Foxes.

With the final outcome, Kaneland is now 7-0 (3-0 NIB-12), and heads into a battle of the undefeateds with visiting Sycamore.

Sycamore is now the top-ranked Playoff Points team in Class 5A, while Kaneland is the third-ranked team.

Kaneland gathered 387 yards of offense compared to 225 yards for YHS.

Joe Camiliere had a 13-for-20 for 185 yards evening, with two touchdowns and one interception. The senior has thrown 19 scoring strikes, compared to two picks.

Serpa ran for 91 yards. Sean Carter caught three passes for 77 yards to be the Knights’ leading receiver.

“I have to tip my hat to Yorkville, they played hard,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “They played a good game and that’s what we expected. That (8:11) drive, that’s something we’ve been talking about putting together for awhile.”

After Taylor Andrews recovered a fumble on a pitch on Yorkville’s first play from scrimmage, Kaneland used three plays to score, thanks to Serpa’s one-yard plunge just 1:44 into the game for a 7-0 lead.Yorkville used a 21-yard field goal by Maxwell Brusveen with 6:22 to go to make it 7-3. The kick marked the Foxes’ first points against Kaneland since 2007.

In the second quarter, Kaneland struck again on a 70-yard pass to Carter in stride with 2:59 to go making it 14-3. Yorkville came back with a 10-play drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Brusveen with 29 ticks left to make it 14-6.

Kaneland began the second half with that 15-play drive that covered 80-yards. Serpa and Camliere ran the ball for most of the drive, sandwiched around a Carter catch. It gave Kaneland the chance to dominate the game via run, and kept YHS offensive assets off the field.

“We had a lead already. We had a touchdown lead, and the line did a great job. It was a long drive and they just blocked on every play. Blake ran the ball better than I’ve ever seen him run,” Camiliere said.

In the fourth quarter, Tyler Callaghan caught his first touchdown pass of the season from nine yards out with 10:09 to go in the game, making it 28-6. After Callaghan intercepted a Brant Corwin pass, Quinn Buschbacher ran it in from the 14 to make it 34-6 with 9:08 to go.

Yorkville closed the scoring with a Liir Emini TD catch from 23-yards out to make it 34-13 with 2:06 remaining. In sophomore action, KHS won 62-25.

Sycamore tries to knock off the Knights this Friday, Oct. 15. The Spartans won the 2009 Class 5A first-round matchup 40-13 on Oct. 31, 2009.

Play of the Knight
Quinn Buschbacher has had a productive season so far. He showed why on Friday. Faced with a third-and-7 from its own 35, Buschbacher got the carry and broke two tackles on his way to a 39-yard gain. The play went a long way to widening a close game, and eventually led to a Kaneland score with 3:11 left in the third quarter for a 21-6 lead.

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School* 3 0 6 1 143 94
Geneseo High School* 2 1 6 1 229 70
Ottawa Twp High School 2 1 4 3 213 95
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 1 4 3 141 216
Dixon High School 0 3 0 7 100 328
Streator Twp High School 0 3 0 7 40 315

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School* 3 0 7 0 299 75
Sycamore High School* 3 0 7 0 259 88
Morris Com High School 2 1 5 2 188 107
Yorkville High School 1 2 3 4 122 160
Rochelle Twp High School 0 3 3 4 192 122
DeKalb High School 0 3 3 4 137 172

*Clinched playoff berth

Dark Knight for LP: Kaneland takes 56-7 win

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Much like the summer hours that tick away into fall, the chances for the visiting LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers ticked away with every scoring drive put together by the Kaneland Knights.

When it was all said and done, the Knights saw another running clock go to their advantage on the gridiron in a 56-7 handling of LP.

With the win, Kaneland improved to 4-0, the first time it has done so since 2006 and the third time in the last six campaigns.

“We were talking all week about how we need to fine-tune everything as we get into conference play,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We’ve got a tough game at Rochelle, and I’m feeling pretty good about our team.”

Putting up 574 total yards, including 327 yards on the ground, the Knights finished their Northern Illinois Big XII crossover slate on a good note.

Knights signal-caller Joe Camiliere was 9-for-14 for 235 yards and a touchdown.

The leading rusher for Kaneland was Central Michigan University-bound Blake Serpa, who rumbled for 118 yards and two scores on nine carries.

Camiliere also rushed for 74 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.

Quinn Buschbacher caught two balls for 101 yards and a touchdown, and incidentally, had his third touchdown of the season called back on a penalty.

KHS came up empty on its first drive, but after forcing a punt, Taylor Andrews used the second play of the next drive for a 42-yard touchdown run. Andrews weaved his way through blocks and avoided the Cavalier defenders.

“I’ve just got to give credit to the O-line,” Andrews said. “It was Serpa on the lead block and I just followed.”

Andrews followed that up on the next drive with a 13-yard touchdown around left end for a 14-0 lead with one minute remaining in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, LP used a one-yard quarterback sneak by Zack Cinotto to close within 14-7 with 11:14 to go in the second quarter, but KHS scored 21 points in the space of 6:31 to go up 35-7 at halftime.

With 7:31 to go, Serpa plowed in from the three-yard line.

Play of the Knight
When Kaneland puts a massive amount of points on the scoreboard early and often, opponents often feel compelled to air it out. When they do, secondary personnel like (8) Jacob Razo will be waiting. Razo made a great interception after bobbling a rainbow of a pass from LaSalle-Peru near the end zone and gave Kaneland the ball already up 21-7 with under 4 minutes to go in the first half.

After a Jacob Razo interception, Serpa avoided tacklers and drove toward the left corner on an exceptional 60-yard TD run, where he dove for the corner from the three-yard line. Just before the half, Buschbacher scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass by following his blockers.

The three second-half touchdowns were scored on a Camiliere sneak with 2:46 left in the third quarter, a 7-yard Curtis Secrest touchdown run with 10:33 remaining in the contest, and a Nick Fornero 13-yard touchdown run with 3:34 to go.

The East part of the NIB-12 schedule begins on Friday, Sept. 24, with a trip to Rochelle. Of the previous four meetings, the Knights have dropped only one, in 2007. The Knights have split the last six meetings overall with Rochelle.

The Knights sophomore squad won over LP, 38-0.

Top photo: Tyler Callaghan puts pressure on L-P quarterback Zack Cinotto. Photo by Ben Draper

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 1 0 4 0 160 41
Kaneland High School 0 0 4 0 188 47
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 3 1 148 35
Morris Com High School 0 0 3 1 113 59
Yorkville High School 0 0 2 2 85 95
DeKalb High School 0 1 2 2 75 72

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School 1 0 4 0 71 43
Geneseo High School 0 0 4 0 160 41
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 2 2 116 54
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 1 1 3 35 131
Dixon High School 0 0 0 4 48 190
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 4 6 176

Three-and-OH!

Photo gallery below story
Knights run over crossover foe Dixon, 55-6
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Looks like Kaneland Knights football is putting the rest of its schedule on notice.
The visiting Dixon Dukes certainly noticed.

In the first crossover Northern Illinois Big XII contest for Kaneland, the Knights saw both the offense and defense contribute in a 55-6 win over the visitors.

For KHS, it’s their first 3-0 start since the prolific season of 2006, and for coach Tom Fedderly, that falls largely on one aspect of the game.

“It’s all senior leadership,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “These kids want to be a good team. They’ve been through it. They know what it takes, and they’ve got a lot of pride.”

The game featured a running clock due to a 40-point margin, which was achieved on a 19-yard touchdown pass to Sean Carter.

For KHS, it’s the first time a running clock has been accomplished in regular season play since 2006, when KHS beat DeKalb.

“Our offensive line did a great job. Joe had a lot of time, and I thought the receivers executed their routes well,” Fedderly said.

Kaneland cruised on the strength of Joe Camaliere’s five touchdown passes and 10-for-15, 279-yard day through the air.

The leading rusher was backup QB Ryan Fuchs with 32 yards.

Carter had 77 yards receiving on three catches and two scores, while Blake Serpa had 110 yards recieving.

Play of the Knight
While the Kaneland ‘D’ might have been tired of being on the field in the first half, the O wasn’t tired of scoring. Taking the field for the first time with under 7 minutes to play in the first quarter after Dixon ran 15 offensive plays, QB Joe Camiliere threw a bullet pass to a striding Blake Serpa for a 63-yard touchdown on the Knights’ first play from scrimmage. The scoring play gave KHS a 14-0 lead in the first.

For Dixon, Preston Lumzy had 114 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

The party started early, before the KHS offense even got the ball. Three holding penalties plagued things at first, but then a failed pitch attempt by Dixon resulted in linebacker Nick Michels scooping up the ball at the 12 and running in for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 1:06 into the game.

“When the fumble happened, (Taylor) Andrews came up and made a hit. I saw the ball pop out, hesitated a little bit, and picked it up,” Michels said.

Dixon had another sustained drive but had to punt, leading to Camaliere hitting Blake Serpa for a 63-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 6:31 to go in the first.

The first quarter scoring ended on a 38-yard slot pass to Quinn Buschbacher with 2:59 to go to make it 21-0.

In the second quarter, Serpa scored on an 11-yard TD run for a 28-0 lead with 8:38 to go in the half. Dixon’s Lumzy broke into the scoring column with a two-yard scamper with 4:58 to go to make it 28-6 with 4:58 to go, and Camaliere’s 45-yard scoring pass to Carter 32 seconds later made it 35-6. The first half scoring concluded with a 47-yard strike to Serpa with 1:21 to go to make it 41-6 at the half.

After the clock-busting Carter touchdown, Fuchs closed the scoring out with a 10-yard touchdown run with 3:28 to go in the third.

In the earlier sophomore contest, Kaneland won 42-6.

Kaneland goes for a fourth straight win against the NIB-12 West school LaSalle-Peru on Friday, Sept. 17.

Top photo: Knight Tyler Callaghan (6) stifles Dixon Dukes RB Preston Lumzy during Friday’s 55-6 win in Maple Park. Photo by Ryan Wells

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 1 0 3 0 119 41
Kaneland High School 0 0 3 0 132 40
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 2 1 96 20
Morris Com High School 0 0 2 1 94 41
Yorkville High School 0 0 2 1 71 40
DeKalb High School 0 1 2 1 61 55

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School 1 0 3 0 54 29
Geneseo High School 0 0 3 0 105 27
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 2 1 98 35
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 1 1 2 41 62
Dixon High School 0 0 0 3 33 138
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 3 6 135



Knights’ high gear offense shines at Huntley, 40-12

by Mike Slodki
HUNTLEY—That wasn’t powerful wind gusts fans felt on Friday at Huntley High School.

That was a Kaneland football squad successfully exacting gridiron revenge on the Red Raiders for last year’s week two loss.

The residual effects of the Knights’ offense and defense working on all cylinders was a 40-12 handling of the Huntley Red Raiders.

For the first time since 2006, the Knights have begun the season 2-0.

Successfully negating the 17-14 week two loss from Sept. 4, 2009, in Maple Park, Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly won’t need to worry about this non-conference clash being one that got away.

“The main thing we concentrated on was trying to improve our mistakes from last week,” Fedderly said. “The guys really took it to heart. We practiced really hard this week, and we had a lot of pride in wanting to have a good first half.”

Kaneland outpaced Huntley in total yards, 347-239, and put up 15 first downs compared to Huntley’s eight.

For KHS, Joe Camiliere was 8-for-12 for 144 yards through the air and two scoring strikes. The senior also rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns.

After a two-yard Blake Serpa touchdown run with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter to go up 7-0, Camiliere felt the Knights were on the right track.

“We wanted to get going early,” Camaliere said. “We only made one mistake and had a lot of things open. We did a great job of executing.”

In the second quarter, KHS completed a five-play, 52-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Davidson from Camiliere, who rolled out of pocket. The score with 10:51 to go in the half made it 14-0.

With Huntley still struggling to get things going, Kaneland took over, and on the third play of the drive, got a seven-yard run up the middle for a Camiliere touchdown and a 20-0 lead with 8:04 to go in the second quarter.

After another three-and-out for Huntley, Camiliere went down the Knight sideline for a 42-yard TD run with 5:41 to go for a 27-0 lead that went into halftime.

Taylor Andrews
Knights LB Taylor Andrews did his part on both sides of the ball, but it was an instance on defense that sunk the hopes of the Red Raiders on Friday. Down by four scores, Huntley QB Tim Lycos tried to take the team’s fortunes into his own hands, but late in the second quarter, fumbled. Andrews pounced on the ball at his own 13, which sent the Knights into the half on a high note.

In the third quarter, the Knights got a 52-yard touchdown pass from Camiliere to Taylor Andrews (two catches, 65 yards) in stride for a 34-0 lead with 9:10 to go.

After a Tim Lycos to James Davis 43-yard scoring pass with 7:22 to go in the frame, Huntley closed to within 34-6, but Camaliere scored on a 28-yard run after a fake exchange with 5:12 to go in the third to make it 40-6. Huntley’s last score came on a Lycos run from the two-yard line with 8:22 remaining in the game.

The sophomores lost to Huntley, 30-29.

Kaneland battles visiting Dixon on Friday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

For the Knights, this will mark the first game in Northern Illinois Big XII history with a crossover opponent.

The Dukes come into the contest at KHS with an 0-2 mark. Dixon lost to host Rock Island Alleman by a 49-14 clip on Friday. The Dukes finished 2-7 a year ago as a member of the NCIC, and last made it to the postseason in 2006.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 0 0 2 0 99 28
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 2 0 90 6
Kaneland High School 0 0 2 0 77 34
Yorkville High School 0 0 2 0 64 6
DeKalb High School 0 0 2 0 48 35
Morris Com High School 0 0 1 1 41 41

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Geneseo High School 0 0 2 0 91 21
Sterling High School 0 0 2 0 41 29
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 1 1 64 28
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 0 1 1 28 62
Dixon High School 0 0 0 2 27 83
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 2 6 82

Top photo: Knight Joe Camiliere (12) lets nothing get in his way en route to a long touchdown run during Friday’s 40-12 win at Huntley. Photo by John Di Donna

Grid-Iron Men, too: KHS begins life as NIB-12 school

Photo: Leading up to the first ever Northern Illinois Big XII campaign, the Knights partake in drills in Maple Park. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a core of three-year starters and the beginning of a new conference, Kaneland High School football looks to be poised for big things in 2010.

It begins with a select group of players that put the “skill” in skill positions.

“We’re excited about having so many guys back with experience,” fourth-year head coach Tom Fedderly said on Monday. “They paid their dues and we want to see what they can do this year.”

Joe Camaliere returns at quarterback, now in his third-year of playing within the spread offense with a flourish.

The senior comes into the Friday, Aug. 27, opener at Burlington Central having tossed just three interceptions in 2009.

“That all comes down to preparation,” Fedderly said. “Making decisions in the game, and Joe takes a lot of pride in taking care of the ball.”

Camaliere will have a void this year, with two-way player Ryley Bailey off to Wisconsin-Platteville.

“Obviously, Ryley was a huge part of what we did last year. But we have guys working hard this year. We look at all of our skills kids back,” Fedderly said.

Running back Blake Serpa, soon to be a Mid-American Conference weapon at Central Michigan University, returns and figures to shoulder a load of the carries.

At the wideout positions are seniors Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan, providing production, height and talent.

“Cally’s about six-foot-five, Taylor’s about six-foot-three and so is Serpa. It’s nice to see those guys out there. They can block, too. They can do it all,” Fedderly said.

The Knights like their height advantage, and plan to use it to their, well, advantage.

“It really helps,” Fedderly said. “It helps when you have a big target to throw to in a space. It helps Joe a lot.”

Junior Quinn Buschbacher also found productive playing time last year, as well as the end zone, and will be counted on in 2010.

“Curtis Secrest is another kid that’s been working hard. We have a number of guys that can catch the ball,” Fedderly said.

Serpa and Secrest figure to be carrying the ball, but Fedderly and staff are looking at more options on that end.

Fedderly also mentioned the offensive and defensive lines could have a younger slant and will be open to competition.

Callaghan and Andrews will get time in at linebacker, and Secrest will get a look at secondary.

Serpa will handle punting, while Chad Swieca will handle extra points.

The Knights’ roster looks to make a big splash in the new Northern Illinois Big XII conference, and will add East Division-mate Morris, and West Division cousins Dixon and LaSalle-Peru to its slate.

“What we’re really excited about is that all these are all similar programs,” Fedderly said. “So our younger kids are going to be playing against similar situations with programs that play sophomores, whereas other schools we played had upperclassmen. I think it’s going to really even out.”

The last time Kaneland invaded a new conference, in 2006, the Knights won the Western Sun Conference title in a one-loss regular season.

Now, coming back onto the field after a three-loss regular season and an 40-13 opening round playoff loss to Sycamore, the Knights look to improve their end result.

“If we want to be a good team, we need to watch turnovers and cut down on the mental errors. When we won, it was when we took care of the ball,” Fedderly said.

After the opener, the first East Division matchup is at Rochelle on Friday, Sept. 24. The regular season ends on Friday, Oct. 22 against visiting Morris.

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.

Andrews, Markuson, Sinon finish WSC boys track action with flourish

by Mike Slodki
GENEVA—Kaneland boys track ended its Western Sun Conference tenure on a nice note this past Friday in Geneva.

The exceptional finishes might pave the way for a prolific Class 2A sectional in Sterling on Friday afternoon.

Thanks to a handful of first-place finishes, the Knights garnered 120 points, enough for second place. Geneva, at 143 points, finished atop the standings.

Glenbard South (82), DeKalb (60) and Batavia (55) rounded out the top five, while Yorkville (42), Sycamore (30.5) and Rochelle (24.5) finished in the bottom third.

The first-place party began with Taylor Andrews in the 110 meter high hurdles, when he ran the stretch in 14.69 seconds. Andrews finished fifth in preliminaries.

The 4x400m relay foursome won its event with a time of 3:23.44.

Logan Markuson became the last-ever WSC champ in the 300m hurdles with a time of 39.30, winning by .22 seconds over Geneva’s Ryan Ahern.

Markuson also won the pole vault with a mark of 13 feet, nine inches.

Nick Sinon, with an effort of 42-10, won the triple jump, while also taking the high jump at 6-09.

For the frosh-soph roster that finished fourth with 78 points, several exceptional finishes came Kaneland’s way.

Dylan Pennington finished third in the 200m dash with a time of 24.81. Teammate Clayton Brundige, with a run of 2:08.26, finished second in the 800m run.

Knight Chad Swieca took the conference title in the 300m hurdles with a time of 43.43 seconds.

Successful finishes for relay units included a second place in the 4x400m at 3:44.30 and a 4x800m first place nod with a time of 8:43.16.

Knight Marshall Farthing took a third in the high jump at 5-05 and a third in the triple jump at 37-10.5

The Knights now gear up for the Class 2A Sterling Sectional on Friday, May 21.

Boys Track nabs 2nd at Kane County Invite

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was cold and windy, but Knights boys track managed to leave all but one team in its collective dust on Friday.

With 103 points, the Kaneland Knights took a second-place nod during the 2010 Kane County Invite out at West Aurora High School.

The host Blackhawks, with 126.5 points, took the crown, with Geneva (73), St. Charles North (68), Batavia (61.5) rounding out the top five.

The noteworthy finishes began with Taylor Andrews and Logan Markuson finishing 2-3 in the finals of the 110m high hurdles. Andrews ran in 14.90 seconds, while the University of Minnesota-bound Markuson was .03 seconds behind.

Markuson was in the same boat as everyone in terms of having to brave the conditions.

“You just try to run the same throughout, and there’s a little bit of a tailwind, which isn’t ideal, but I guess everyone has to run in the same thing,” Markuson said.

Markuson might have a leg up in terms of competitors, as he’ll be competing in Minneapolis next season on a partial scholarship.

“It was nerve-wracking at first,” Markuson said. “They were interested and it felt like a big deal. I’m excited for it, and I love the campus.”

Kaneland asset Nick Sinon took second place in the high jump thanks to an effort of six feet, three inches; four inches behind West Aurora’s Aviance King.

Knight Derek Bus, with a time of 51.12 seconds, was king of the 400m dash.

Markuson, with a pole vault effort of 13-09, was first in that event, a half-foot better than the next entry.

Kaneland’s 800m sprint medley foursome finished first with a time of 1:43.80, while the 4x400m relay squad was first at 3:27.31.

Additionally, the Knight 4x800m relay unit beat the field with a time of 8:04.58.

In the triple jump, Kaneland’s Sinon finished third with an effort of 42-5.25 feet, and he also took third in the long jump with a tally of 20-7.25.

In the 300m hurdles event, Markuson became invite champ at 39.89 seconds, while Andrews finished in third at 40.74.

Coming up for the Knights: the final version of the Western Sun Conference meet in Geneva on Friday, May 14.

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.

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.