Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/27/2012 8:46 PM

From Ellett to Harrington, a summer worth noting

Success - Article sent! close

Week 1 of the 2012 football season is in the books.

Really? Yes, time keeps flying by and before you know it it'll be playoff time and the start of the basketball season.

So before we completely close the book on summer, we finally had a few minutes to clean out the inbox. Some things happened over the summer worth mentioning, and there's a couple noteworthy events coming up that we'll wrap up all in one column today.

• Kudos first go to Connie Ellett of Hampshire, now a freshman women's golfer at Northern Illinois, where she joins her sophomore sister Taylor on the links for the Huskies. On the heels of a Top 16 finish at the WWGA Junior National Championship in Cincinnati, Ellett came back and won the IWGA Illinois State Junior Championship played at the University of Illinois Orange Course in Savoy. Her two-day total of 151 nosed out Barrington's Heather Ciskowski by 1 shot.

• Three high schools we cover in the Fox Valley got new athletic directors over the summer. Actually, Michelle Jakubowski at Huntley was hired to replace the retiring Bruce Blumer before the 2011-12 school year was over. Then over the summer, Steve Diversey became the new AD at Burlington Central, and Jason Ward took over at South Elgin. Diversey is a local guy, having most recently been the head baseball coach at Streamwood. Ward is local as well, having been a former dean of students at East Aurora.

• The Elgin Sports Hall of Fame was busy over the summer, and has sent out ballots to its membership that includes six new nominees. They are:

Cindy (Strom) Bryniarski: Bryniarski (Elgin High 1962) is nominated for golf. Bryniarski has won more than 25 club championships in Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois. She has set course records at four courses in Sun City West and another in Durango, CO. She has been the senior amateur champion in Colorado and Arizona. She qualified for the round of 64 at the USGA Senior Amateur Championship from 2008-2010 and for the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2007-2010. She was a medalist in the 2007 Arizona qualifier and a co-medalist in 2008. In 2011, Bryniarski was co-medalist and runner-up in the Senior Division of Arizona Women's State Match Play and took 2nd place in the Arizona Senior Championship.

David Cooklin: Cooklin is nominated for his coaching career in baseball at Elgin High. During his 25-year career, his teams won 435 games and lost 339 for a winning percentage of .562. Cooklin coached Elgin to three Upstate Eight Conference championships and three regional championships, with his 1995 team losing in the sectional finals. He coached four players that played professionally in the minor leagues.

Paul Hudgens: Hudgens, a 1955 graduate of Elgin High, is nominated for basketball. Hudgens was the playmaking guard and captain of the 1955 Elgin Maroons team that finished second in the state tournament, compiling a 26-4 record. During his senior year, he led the team in assists, averaged 11.3 points per game, and set the record of 33 points in a game for a guard (since broken). He was named most valuable player of the team as a senior, made The Associated Press All-State Tournament second team and is a member of the All-Chesbrough Team second unit. After two varsity years, he averaged 10.3 ppg and ranked 8th in career scoring. Hudgens played three years at Beloit College where he served as captain his senior year. He led the team in assists while averaging 8.8 ppg as a junior and 12.8 ppg in his senior year.

Jennifer Kiefer-Gumm: Kiefer-Gumm, a 1993 Elgin High graduate, is nominated for basketball. As an all-conference guard on two conference championship teams, she set school records for assists (603) and steals (238). In her senior year she averaged 16.1 points per game and had 233 assists. Kiefer-Gumm played three years at the University of Michigan where she served as team captain her senior year. During her career at Michigan, she averaged 6.6 ppg and shot 37 percent on 3-point field goal attempts.

Mark Stettner: Stettner (Elgin High 1974) is nominated for football. He was an all-conference running back his senior season as well as All-State special mention. He led Upstate Eight rushers with a 6.8 yard per carry average and in scoring with 51 points. Other postseason honors included the Coke/Chicago Tribune Golden Helmet Award, being named as a Chicago Tribune All-Star, and as a Prep all-American. As a running back at Eastern Illinois University, Stettnerwas the team's leading rusher in his freshman and sophomore seasons. He set school records with 604 carries (now 8th), 2638 rushing yards (now 10th), and the single game record of 44 carries in 1977, which stood for 16 years. Stettner was nominated as a Division II all-American running back in 1977.

Vince Webber: Webber, a 1998 graduate of Larkin High, is nominated for football. As a sophomore running back, he scored 22 touchdowns while rushing for 954 yards and 10.1 yards per carry. In his junior season, he scored 32 touchdowns and gained 2,032 yards rushing and was named all-area captain by the Daily Herald. Despite missing half his senior year due to injury, Webber scored 17 touchdowns and gained 1,156 yards. He set Larkin High records for single game rushing yards (381), career rushing yardage (4,142), and touchdowns with 71, which ranks 6th in IHSA history. He was Upstate Eight Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, as well as being named to the Chicago Tribune All-State first team and the Illinois High School Coaches Association All-State Team. He was also a Chicago Tribune All-State Team special mention as a sophomore. Webber went on to play running back for three seasons at Central Michigan University, but saw his playing time limited due to injuries.

The new inductees to the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame will be honored on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the organization's annual banquet and induction ceremony at the Heritage Ballroom at the Elgin Rec Centre.

The Hall of Fame Foundation is also preparing for its annual golf outing, scheduled for Sept. 6 at The Highlands of Elgin. For more information on the ESHOF Foundation and all of its events, log on to

• Speaking of golf outings, the Burlington Central Booster Club will host the annual SSGT Jacob Frazier Memorial Golf Outing at Marengo Ridge on Sept. 8. For more information, log on to

• Finally today, former Elgin High and University of Illinois basketball standout Sean Harrington will hold Elite Boys Basketball Workouts at the Bartlett Park District on Monday nights Sept. 17-18 and 24-25 and Oct. 1-2 and 8-9. Harrington will provide individual instruction to help players bring their game to an elite level, utilizing drills he used at Elgin High and as well as drills he learned from highly successful college coaches, including Bill Self, Rick Majerus and Bruce Weber. The program will run in four age groups from 5th graders through 9th graders. For more information, log on to or call (630- 540-4800.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.