Sarahbeth Jones didn't miss a beat from her junior season.
The Augustana senior distance standout and Warren High school graduate has been named as the Vikings' "Most Valuable Runner" for the second straight year.
She has been the No. 1 performer for veteran head coach Fred Whiteside's team in each of the past two seasons.
Jones has been the top Augustana finisher in every race in which she competed for the last two years. This season she started the year with a fifth place performance at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships on Sept. 14 and followed that with a runaway victory at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational on Sept. 21 on her home course at Saukie Golf Course.
She placed third at the pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 6 and was 12th at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on Oct. 14.
She recorded her second straight top 10 finish in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin on Oct. 27 when she placed fifth and finished the year with a 34th-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Eclipse Select Soccer Club forward Michelle Prokof of Gurnee is headed to Texas Christian University in the fall of 2013.
Despite an ACL injury in the summer of 2011, she moved past the setback to earn a chance to play on the collegiate level.
"As much as I hate to say this, it was probably really good for me because you get a new feel and new love of the game when you're out for so long," Prokof said in an Eclipse news release. "I hated not playing, but it was really good for me to get that break. I fell in love with the game like I was 5 years old again. Through perseverance I'm getting back. It was hard and something that you never want to go through, but I also found my love for the game after not having soccer (because of injury)."
Upon her return, Prokof's sights were also on pursuing an opportunity to play collegiately, and she found that next step through TCU's program.
TCU has been a popular choice among the Eclipse Select U-18 Elite Clubs National League group as Prokof, Michelle Mottonen (South Barrington) and Lauren Sajewich (Frankfort) are all bound for the Big 12 Conference soccer club.
"When I tore my ACL, everyone else was going through recruiting and I wasn't," Prokof said. "I was a little nervous about it, but when I came back it all happened really fast. Options opened up faster than I thought they would, and I'll be going with two players from my team, so I know how they play."
TCU had a strong run at the end of the 2012 season, advancing to the Big 12 Championship and needing a win in the title game to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The Frogs' run came up short against Baylor, but it was a successful campaign nonetheless under first-year head coach Eric Bell.
"It was a big step for them because they had never been anywhere near that stage," Prokof said. "(Bell) wants to win and play soccer -- not kick the ball deep -- and that was important for me when I visited there and saw a game at the beginning of their season. I met with their assistant coach before meeting him in person, and he's a cool guy, fun to be around. He's also very experienced having come from Florida State (as an assistant)."
Prokof is excited about the opportunity to take her game to the next level.
"It's something that we've all worked for since we were 6 years old, so it's a dream come true," Prokof said. "I don't know how to explain it. It's something I've wanted to do my whole life."
Former Barrington standout Abby Kirchoff, now a sophomore guard for Colorado Springs, was recently named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference "Defensive Player of the Week".
Kirchoff led the Mountain Lions to two home wins against Fort Lewis and Adams State. In a 5-point win against the defending RMAC tournament champions Fort Lewis, Kirchoff had game-highs of 7 rebounds (6 defensive) and 6 steals.
She also added a game-high of 25 points in that game.
In the two wins, Kirchoff averaged 4.5 defensive rebounds and 3.5 steals.
When the Hoffman Estates sophomore boys basketball team visits Palatine on Friday, the game will feature a pair of brothers on opposite sides.
The Hawks are coached by Johnnie Ulrich while his younger brother Matt is the point guard for the Palatine sophomore team.
Johnnie also played for the Pirates' program which is directed by Eric Millstone.
Eric's father Doug was the former Buffalo Grove boys basketball coach and he also was the co-coach with Ken Grams for the 1982 Elk Grove softball team which was the Class AA state runner-up.
Continuing on the family theme for Palatine basketball, the Pirates girls varsity team is directed by Leslie Schock, who is assisted by her father Ed along with Bill LePage.
Valparaiso junior linebacker Patrick Derbak (Schaumburg) was voted to both the Pioneer Football League All-Conference Team and the College Sports Madness Team (USAToday subsidiary).
He recorded 73 tackles, eclipsing 70 tackles for two consecutive seasons with 6 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble.
• Dayton freshman Robert Delaney, a native of Palatine who played for Loyola Academy, was named 2012 football rookie of the year for the Flyers. He played every game as long snapper and as a special teams contributor.
Sports Notes wishes everyone happy holidays and will return on Tuesday Jan. 8 with more news on local area athletes and their collegiate endeavors.