Category Archives: Sports

Streveler leads Hurricanes over Knights

09/22/2012, 12:45am CDT

 By Jake Krzeczowski

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Marian Central cruised to a 37-7 win over conference foe Immaculate Conception on their Homecoming night thanks to a monster night by senior quarterback Chris Streveler who accounted for all but one of the Hurricanes’ five touchdowns.

The Hurricanes laid it on early, scoring from twelve yards out on a Streveler pass to junior wide receiver Brett Olson (5 catches, 57 yards) who finished the game with two touchdown catches.

Immaculate Conception answered with a steady drive coordinated by senior quarterback Demetrius Carr (6-12, 52 yards, 3 interceptions). The drive was capped by a four yard touchdown run by senior running back Danny D’Angelo after a roughing the kicker call on fourth down prolonged the possession.

The Knights wouldn’t see the end zone again as the Marian Central defense tightened and the offense, led by Streveler and junior running back Ephraim Lee (155 yards, 1 touchdown) put the lead out of reach for Immaculate Conception.

“The offensive line played great today, they did all the work,” said Streveler. “Ephraim was running with a lot of swagger and confidence which was a good improvement at the running back position.”

A small change in equipment was seemingly all it took to get Lee on track.

“We got him some longer spikes finally,” said Marian Central head coach Ed Brucker.

“He’s been slipping all over the field but we got him some longer ones and he looked good in them tonight.”

The Hurricane defense tightened up against Immaculate Conception whose offense had been one of the most potent in the area heading into the night’s game. Marian Central allowed the Knights offense little room for error en route to three interceptions by three different players, ultimately the difference in the contest.

Immaculate Conception hosts Montini next week.

Brucker was pleased with what he saw from the whole group heading into next weeks game against St. Francis.

“It was a good effort all over,” said Brucker. “The defense played physical and the offense didn’t get greedy and took what they gave us.”

Hendricks, Boehm lead way for New Trier

09/19/2012, 7:45pm CDT

 By JAKE KRZECZOWSKI

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Devin Boehm scored three touchdowns on Friday to help the Trevians to a 28-7 victory over Maine West.

New Trier’s Devin Boehm (7) follows his blocker Ed Gladman who blocks against Maine West’s Zack Brown during a football game in Des Plaines, Friday,September 14, 2012 I David Banks~for Sun-Times Media

In football, a player’s number can be called to join the action at any moment.

New Trier looked to an inexperienced quarterback, and a yet-to-emerge wide receiver, for help in taking down host Maine West 28-7 in nonconference play Friday night.

Senior Nick Hendricks, filling in for injured QB Frank Nicholas, looked for senior receiver Devin Boehm. And it didn’t take long for Hendricks to find his man, throwing a 15-yard strike to Boehm for a touchdown to get things started early in the first quarter, putting the Trevians up 6-0.

“I’m always ready to step up when I’m needed,” Hendricks said. “ I was sure to look to Devin. He’s one of our best, and he’s a go-to guy for me. It’s a big help to have him on the field.”

Boehm, who cites NFL all-pro wide receiver Reggie Wayne as an inspiration, wasn’t done there.

With one TD already coming through the air, New Trier sent Boehm around end on a handoff, which he took 23 yards to the house for his second touchdown of the game, giving his squad a two-score lead.

In the second quarter, the Trevians put senior Michael Welch under center, and he responded by hitting Boehm for a 14-yard TD strike just before halftime.

“Last season, I had three touchdowns the entire year,” Boehm said. “The blocking all the way around was great (vs. Maine West), which allowed me to make some big plays.”

Along with his duties on the offensive side of the ball, Boehm lends a hand elsewhere, rotating in at cornerback, and fielding punts and kicks as well.

One of the biggest plays of the game came when Boehm took a kickoff at his own goal line and broke loose for a big gain before being taken down at the Maine West 15-yard line.

“It can be tiring going both ways, but I love playing as much as I can,” Boehm said. “If that means playing both sides of the ball and special teams, I’m happy to do it.”

Even with a revolving door at quarterback, the Trevians stayed the course, changing very little in the game plan and sticking with what worked.

New Trier head coach Dan Starkey said there was, “nothing special” regarding preparation for Maine West, but he stressed getting the ball into Boehm’s hands as much as possible.

“Devin’s a guy who’s a returning starter and a captain for us, and a guy who has to have a great year in order for us to be successful,” Starkey said.

The Trevians turn their attention to another conference foe, as they will visit Maine South in Week 5.

After an 0-2 start, New Trier reeled off two wins and looks primed to pick up some steam heading into the meat of the season.

“Every win is a good win,” Starkey said. “Hopefully, we can get on a roll here going into conference.”

Huntley edges Crystal Lake South

 

09/14/2012, 11:49pm CDT Originally Appeared at Chicago Sun-Times

 By Jake Krzeczowski

Kameron Sallee’s 54-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Beschorner in the fourth quarter helped lift Huntley to a 20-19 win against Crystal Lake South.

Huntley’s Kam Sallee

Senior quarterback Kameron Sallee threw for 119 yards and one touchdown as Huntley outlasted visiting Crystal Lake South 20-19 in Fox Valley Valley action Friday night.

After a quiet first half that found the Red Raiders down 10-6, the offense picked up through the air with Sallee finding a nice connection with senior wide receiver Bryce Beschorner, who finished the game with five catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Huntley went ahead on a 54-yard touchdown connection from Sallee to Beschorner in the fourth quarter.

“We knew they weren’t expecting us to throw out of the full formation,” said Sallee. “We had it planned the entire week and were ready for it when we had the chance.”

Crystal Lake South (1-3, 0-2) was in control for most of the game, finding most of its offense on the ground with junior quarterback Austin Rogers, whose 60-yard run in the first quarter put the Gators ahead 7-0.

The win was the first for Huntley (2-2, 2-0) against Crystal Lake South and it was evident as players celebrated with fans who stormed the field as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

“What we’re trying to do is make strides, so sometimes you have to win really close games,” first-year Huntley coach John Hart said. “We had to fight through some adversity with the penalties but our kids got it done.”

Crystal Lake South let a big opportunity slip away on the first possession of the second half.

Following an interception by Gators senior Dennis Gardeck, the offense faced a first-and-10 from the Huntley 15. After taking the ball down to the 1-yard line, a delay of game penalty made Crystal Lake South settle for a field goal.

“I thought we had plenty of time,” said Crystal Lake South coach Chuck Ahsmann. “Unfortunately we didn’t see (the referee) counting. That one is on me.”

Rogers had a stellar game on the ground with an 84-yard scamper on second down from his own 7-yard line in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Huntley defense, which held in the red zone.

Rogers finished 5-for-13 for 43 yards passing to go along with 160 yards on the ground. He also recorded an interception on defense.

Junior Jake Scalise paced the Huntley offense on the ground with 45 yards on 17 attempts.

“It was a good win for them. It was a fun game but we came up short,” said Rogers. “We just take this and motivate ourselves for next week.”

Isaac’s surprise return fuels JCA

09/08/2012, 1:48am CDT

 By Jake Krzeczowski

Originally Appeared @ Chicago Sun-Times

 Joliet Catholic senior running back Ty Isaac returned from a shoulder injury to spark the Hilltoppers to a 33-20 win over host St. Viator Friday.

 Joliet Catholic senior running back Ty Isaac may not have started the game for the Hilltoppers Friday night, but he sure finished it.

Isaac ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 33-20 win over St. Viator at Forest View field in Arlington Heights.

With Isaac not expected to play while nursing a sore shoulder, the first half was an even matchup as senior running back Tyler Reitz rushed for 43 yards and junior fullback Michael Ivlow punched in a pair of touchdowns to put Joliet Catholic up 13-6.

With the score close and St. Viator picking up steam, Hilltoppers coach Dan Sharp made the decision to go with the USC-bound Isaac late in the second quarter.

“To be honest I wasn’t supposed to even play in this game,” said Isaac who was unsure of his status almost until kickoff time. “I felt like [the shoulder] progressed pretty well to the point if the team needed me I could come in. It’s much better than it was last week.”

Isaac pumped life into the Joliet Catholic offense by converting on several long third- and fourth-down situations, capping the second drive of the second half with a 15-yard touchdown run to break a 13-13 tie.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Hilltoppers as St. Viator struggled to find an answer on the offensive end. An interception by junior Zack Jackovich early in the quarter set Joliet Catholic up to go 27-13 on a Ivlow touchdown. Jackovich finished the night with three picks.

St. Viator, led by junior Bobby Calmeyn (19-34, 172 yards two touchdowns, three interceptions) put forth a tremendous effort in the loss, making plays when they were needed and converting several key fourth downs.

The Lions tied the score at 13-13 with under four minutes in the third quarter, but the Joliet Catholic defense stopped the rally, outscoring the home team 20-7 over the remainder of the contest.

“If we play like this every game good things are going to happen to us,” St. Viator coach Brendan New said. “It’s frustrating, to play so hard and come up on the short end but they’re a great team.”

Joliet Catholic has its horse back and now focuses on conference foe Nazareth for homecoming next week.

“For the past few years we haven’t been the most talented or the biggest but as a group we all fight,” Isaac said. “Without that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”

Iowa track Hawk Farley leaping all hurdles

Article Originally APpeared HERE
BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI | APRIL 02, 2009 7:30 AM

As she gradually eases herself into the blocks, each step carefully placed, one can see the precise routine Iowa sophomore Karessa Farley goes through before a race.

It is a process she has repeated over and over, one that has helped guide her to her first NCAA indoor national meet.

The Hawkeye is on her hands and knees, shaking her legs out as she looks out over the track at the army of hurdles before her, waiting to be overcome, yet looming to bring her down.

The look on her face is calm and collected. The words of Iowa assistant coach Clive Roberts come to mind.

“Her best asset is that she is very calm; not much gets to her,” he said.

And nothing seems to.

 

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On the outside she may seem calm, but underneath that collected exterior is a nervous interior.

“There is definitely a lot more nerves and pressure than at a regular meet,” Farley said about the national meet.

She shakes her legs loose, puts them back and then stretches them again, the muscles in her legs flexing and contracting in the anticipation of the race. Farley has come a long way since her freshman indoor season, which she spent much of injured.

Her coaches have focused this year on keeping her healthy through a rapport between her and the staff.

“The biggest thing we did this year was just get her to the starting line,” Roberts said.

Finally, she is ready. Her hands set, her pink and white spikes firmly planted in the blocks, her body is rigid, waiting to be let loose.

Coming into the preliminaries of the NCAA meet, Farley was seeded 13th, not quite the favorite to make it to the podium.

“She wasn’t expected to get into the finals,” Iowa head coach Layne Anderson said.

A well-timed lean and she had a fourth-place finish, making the finals by .01 of a second.

The burst with which she leaves the starting line is astounding, the stiffness of one moment replaced by the pumping of arms and legs as she propels herself out of the blocks, head down, seeing only the track directly ahead of her.

When speaking to her coaches, it is evident she is not one to take it easy in her training.

“There is always a lot of work to be done, and she’s willing to do it,” Anderson said.

The work has begun to pay off, as Roberts described her progress, saying “she’s probably running a little better than she did at NCAAs right now.”

Farley whizzes by, her shoes a blur of pink and white as she speeds down the track. Earlier in the year, she spoke of focusing on keeping her arms moving, something that has obviously improved as her open hands cut through the stale air.

Her sixth-place finish at the indoor nationals was good enough to be named All-American.

“I didn’t really think about it until I was on the podium,” Farley said. “It felt really good to be up there.”

She also feels as though she has gained more confidence from the experience, realizing she is as good as the best hurdlers in the country. That confidence will be important going into the outdoor portion of the season.

As Farley crosses the finish line, she gives a slight lean before slowing herself.

She takes her bright spikes off and walks back down the track, her training for the day done. Before she is halfway back, Roberts reminds her to pick up the hurdles.

At Iowa, even an All-American has to pick up after herself.

Bikes take over at Glencoe Grand Prix

By Jake Krzeczowski For Pioneer Press June 4, 2012 9:40AM

Original:  Pioneer Press

Story ImageUpdated: June 4, 2012 9:44AM

Streets throughout Glencoe were shut down Saturday as two wheels replaced four on the roads for the sixth annual Glencoe Grand Prix bike race.

Cyclists of all levels and ages clad in colorful lycra jerseys competed throughout the day in a series of heats culminating in the men’s and women’s pro races, part of the US Cycling Criterium tour.

The Grand Prix, presented by AT&T and benefitting the Glencoe Educational Foundation was a true community event, with Glencoe residents along the track taking in the competition in from the convenience of their front yard.

“When else can you tailgate on your front lawn,” said local Laura Lederer, surrounded by a yard full of chairs.

Families watched as riders zooming by competed in ten different categories ranging from a Kid’s to Master’s races.

Laura Van Gilder, who came into the race ranked second on the tour, took first place in the Women’s pro race thanks largely to a breath-taking sprint to the finish against Erica Allar.

“That was a tough last leg, Erica Allar has been sprinting well all season,” said Van Gilder. “She has been my primary competition so I’m glad to come out and get the win today.”

The men’s pro race was a two-man affair as Jackie Simes and Rudolph Napolitano pulled away from the field early, en route to a nearly two-minute lead on the rest of the field.

Finishing in equally as thrilling style, Napolitano and Simes duked it out to the end of the last sprint with Simes managing to pull away for the win in the end after almost getting knocked into the barricades lining the street.

“I was able to get the better of [Napolitano] at the end of the sprint,” said Simes. “We got a little close there at the end but it was a clean sprint to the finish.”

On hand for all the races was actor Matthew Modine, acting as Grand Marshall of the event.

Modine, who plays Deputy Commissioner Foley in the upcoming Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, was on hand as Grand Marshall of the event.

The actor, an avid cyclist attending his first bike race, donated $30,000 worth of bikes to Glencoe Grand Prix-affiliate West Town Bikes as part of his Bicycle For A Day Foundation.

“Riding a bike is something that has an immediate positive effect on the environment as well as our bodies,” said Modine. “The goal for Bicycle For A Day is for there to be a day for the whole world to come together in solidarity against climate change.”

The race has come a long way since it’s inception six years ago, evident by the amount of riders and the skill level of those involved.

“It really couldn’t have gone any better,” said Grand Prix Coordinator Jon Kerr. “We’ve taken steps each year but this time we really got it right.”

Glencoe Grand Prix is June 2

By Jake Krzeczowski For Pioneer Press May 28, 2012 8:30AM

Story Image

Updated: May 29, 2012 11:56AM

On June 2 hundreds of cyclists will converge on Glencoe for the annual Glencoe Grand Prix.

Growing from a small race in 2007, the Grand Prix has blossomed into a full-scale professional contest featuring riders from all over the country.

The event, hosted by the Glencoe Educational Foundation (GEF), features a series of activities for the community including appearances by Golden Globe award-winning actor Matthew Modine who will serve as Grand Marshall of the event.

Modine, who will appear in The Dark Knight Rises this summer, is an avid cyclist himself who is the founder of the Bicycle for a Day Foundation.

Through a partnership Modine has with Biomega he was able to donate $30,000 of bikes to West Town Bikes on the West Side of Chicago.

The bikes are part of an initiative at the bike shop to educate kids about bike maintenance and safety. At the end of the program, each child recieves a bike.

As part of his Grand Marshall duties, Modine will host a talk at Alberto’s Cycles in Highland Park to discuss cycling, his career and the mission behind his foundation.

“Matthew was just a great fit for the race,” said Jon Knouse, President of the GEF and Director of the Grand Prix said. “His love for cycling and charity just matched up great with what we are trying to do.”

Part of the week-long activities surrounding the Grand Prix is the Family Fun Ride on May 31, which allows parents and children to take a spin around the professional course on their own two wheels.

The Grand Prix is able to attract professional-level riders because of its inclusion in the USA Cycling National Criterium, the official tour for cycling.

“We’re on the national level in terms of racing,” Knouse said. “We have riders coming from all over the country, international riders. Beyond the professional races we also have a series of amateur races.”

One of those racers is a local talent, Mike Sherer of Winnetka, who won the race in 2010. After missing last year’s race due to injury he is eager to get back on the familiar track.

“The race is about five blocks from my Dad’s house,” Sherer said. “All the races in the North Shore have a special place in my heart and I’m coming in ready to go.”

The race was started in 2007 as a way to raise money for the Glencoe Educational Foundation, which benefits schools in the Glencoe area as well as select Chicago public schools.

“We used to have a dinner in the winter time to complement the bike race in the summer, but the race got so big that we dropped the dinner altogether in 2008 and focused on the race,” Knouse said.

In 2010 the Grand Prix was awarded the National Championship for the Criterium schedule which has kept it on the tour schedule ever since.

“The Glencoe Grand Prix is a big deal for a lot of people,” Grand Prix Media Director Jon Kerr said. “It really has grown into something special.”

Rowers head to Big Tens

BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI | MAY 01, 2009 7:28 AM

Walk down by the IMU sometime between 6-8 a.m., almost any day of the week, and just look at the river for about 10 minutes. The sleep will be knocked out of your eyes pretty quickly.

The peaceful setting of the Iowa River will quickly be displaced by the uniform thumping of oars hitting water, sounding like troops marching into battle followed by amplified voices exploding from megaphones.

“Imagine we’re racing Ohio State right now,” Iowa head coach Mandi Kowal yells to her rowers.

What you’ll see is Iowa’s 17th-ranked rowing team feverishly preparing for this weekend’s Big Ten championships, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio.

The team has been on hiatus since April 11, when it competed with No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Michigan, and No. 18 Louisville in Belleville, Mich. The Hawkeyes have used the time to fine-tune their technique and strategy.

“We have been focusing on what our strengths have been all year, ” Kowal said. “We need to put all of those together in one race.”

The second half of the race is where Iowa excels, so much of the training has been working on building speed from the start, similar to the thought process of a sprinter running a race.

To do this, the team has focused on improving its rating — its strokes per minute.

“We’ve been focusing as a whole on taking it up a notch,” Iowa assistant coach Emily Lewis said.
All of this comes into play with the team’s race plan.

“There are little things other teams do as a crew that we’re aware of so that we’re not caught off-guard,” Kowal said.

The Hawkeyes’ first heat of the weekend will be against two formidable foes in No. 7 Ohio State and No. 14 Wisconsin.

“We think that they’re tough, but we also think they’re within reach,” Lewis said.

Iowa has already gotten looks at Wisconsin this spring, having competed against the Badgers in scrimmages as well as at the Longhorn Invitational in March.

But Kowal isn’t necessarily thinking about the competition her squad will be up against.

“The most important thing we can do is worry about ourselves,” she said.

The Hawkeyes have gotten better each week, breaking into the top 20 after their strong performance in Michigan, and they will try to continue that this weekend against some of the country’s best competition.

Six of the top 20 teams in the country are from the Big Ten. Along with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin is No. 20 Minnesota, making the Big Ten one of the best rowing conferences in the country, and the meet is one of the most prestigious as well.

“It’s going to be some very tough rowing this weekend,” Kowal said.

Rowers feel new boathouse gives them an oar up

BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI | MAY 01, 2009 7:28 AM

Imagine Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz not having a football field or locker rooms to show recruits when he brings them on campus. Right now, this is the case for the No. 17 Iowa rowing team.

With no locker rooms, showers, or even a restroom to its name, recruiting has been more of a chore than an opportunity, at least until now.

In August, the Hawkeyes will receive a new home on the banks of the Iowa River. Along with the expected upgrades of restrooms and showers, the team will enjoy a rowing machine room, a medical training room, and a meeting space, along with the biggest prize: a state-of-the-art rowing tank.

“The tank will have moving water that can be set at different speeds; it was modeled after several others that exist throughout the country,” said Sloane Tyler, an associate director for athletics development for the UI Foundation.

The tank was enhanced by the UI Hydraulics Lab, making it the best tank ever built, something the Hawkeyes will need in the frosty winter months when rowing outside isn’t an option.

The amenities will move Iowa into a whole new game as far as recruiting is concerned.

“Having these new things makes a statement,” Iowa head coach Mandi Kowal said. “Athletes are going to have something to be proud of.”

While Iowa may not have the name recognition in the rowing world as, say Harvard and Yale, to be able to bring recruits to campus and show them the new facilities will be an enormous tool.

“To have bathrooms, to have showers, to have meeting rooms — I think its going to be hard to measure,” Kowal said.

The current home of the Hawkeyes is definitely not up to par in terms of a Division-I sport.
Iowa graduate assistant Melissa Schomers endured the days at the team’s current boathouse during her tenure as a Hawkeye rower.

“I remember having to go from practice to class and being cold and miserable,” she said.

Tyler feels the boathouse will have an immeasurable effect in recruiting for the team.

“We feel that Coach Kowal’s expertise, combined with the training opportunities in this new facility, will ensure that Iowa rowers have unlimited potential for success,” she said.

The new facilities will also help the Hawkeyes succeed by allowing rowers to develop quicker through year-round training provided by the new tank.

There also has been no corner cut, and everything is being built to the highest specifications.

“This has way exceeded my expectations,” Kowal said. “I think it will be one of the best boathouses in the Big Ten.”

She is excited about the opportunities the new facilities provide.

“Most recruits we bring out to Iowa are pleasantly surprised,” she said. “This will just be icing on the cake.”

Long jumper strives for consistency

BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI | JUNE 08, 2009 7:26 AM

Iowa women’s track and field senior Renee White was calm as she approached the pit in the triple jump during the Big Ten championships in Columbus, Ohio. The result was the largest jump in Big Ten and Iowa history, and it defeated the second-place finisher by more than 9 inches. It was also 2 inches longer than White’s previous season best.

She always had the monster jump in her — she just had trouble with her nerves when it came time to perform at meets. It became something her coach, Clive Roberts, felt she needed to overcome in order to be successful in her last season with the Hawkeyes.

“We’ve been working on controlling her temperament, keeping her at an even keel,” he said.

White earned an at-large bid at the NCAA championships in Fayetteville, Ark., after jumping 41-71⁄4 to take 12th place in the NCAA Midwest Regional finals. While the jump was not her best of the season, it was enough to get her to her ultimate goal coming into the season and kept alive her dream of becoming a national champion.

White and her coach are not messing around — the two are all business in their preparation for her final collegiate meet and a chance to be an All-American. One of the most drastic changes is the complete focus on the jumping events and a move away from the running events that White has excelled at in the past.

“Renee and Coach Roberts agreed that they were going to focus on the jumps,” Iowa head coach Layne Anderson said.

This being her last meet for Iowa, she feels compelled to do well. The memories and past achievements would be that much sweeter to look back in if she were able to add All-American to the list.

The expectation to do well has pushed White to accept Roberts’ advice on controlling her emotions, making her sound almost Zen-like when discussing how she expects to do.

“I just want to discipline my body and discipline my mind to go out there and jump farther than I ever have,” she said.

The jump at Big Tens was the catalyst for White’s postseason, proof that she could put up jumps with the best in the country. Now, she and the coaches want her to put up with another powerful showing.

“Coach Roberts has been saying all year that she has that big jump in her,” Anderson said. “The challenge has been maintaining the consistency.”

Consistency from the Big Ten championships to the NCAA championships will be crucial, but all White will need to do is to place that one perfect jump that she got a taste of earlier in the season.

Place or not, the senior from Portmore, Jamaica, will look to influence those around her by pulling from past advice.

White said: “My coach always told me to keep my emotions in check, that you never know who’s watching or who you could inspire.”