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updated: 1/28/2013 4:17 PM

Fremd's Farina fields a future at Illinois

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Leigh Farina has been the Fremd starting shortstop for two seasons.

She still has two seasons left to play for coach Jim Weaver's varsity squad.

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But the next two years Farina will have a different title in front of her name -- Illinois recruit.

The Vikings junior has made a verbal commitment to play for coach Terri Sullivan's University of Illinois softball team.

"I chose Illinois because I really liked the coaches and their personalities and how they teach and coach in their program," she said. "They're a great group of people. I also enjoyed the campus and atmosphere of the college itself.

"The school is also a perfect distance away from home. It is a really good school for education and to start off your career once you graduate from college."

Farina started playing softball at the age of five because her older brother John played baseball.

Her father Vince was a major influence.

"I was around that environment a lot and I always played and practiced with my brother and my dad," she said. "I really enjoyed it and found it to be a lot of fun.

"My dad is a really big sports guy and playing catching with him all the time when I was younger really made me want to pick it up as an actual sport for me to play."

Farina picked it up quite well.

Weaver said as a sophomore Farina was already as good defensively as any shortstop in Fremd history.

She made many key plays which helped the Vikings to another 30-win season and regional championship. Batting No. 2, Farina hit .443 with 44 runs, 51 hits, 35 RBI, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 5 homers and stole 9 bases.

Farina said she also thanks her 18U Illinois Bash Gold team coach Jim Goranson and all her Bash teammates past and present.

"Coach Goranson works us very hard in order to prepare the players to be ready to play at the next level," she said. "And I want to thank coach Weaver, the coaching staff and my team mates at Fremd. We all work extremely hard to maintain our successful program and to achieve our goal of winning a state championship.

"Last, but not least, I wanted to thank my parents (Vince and Lyn) and family for driving me, supporting me, traveling with me and supporting me my whole softball career."

Men's soccer

Akron's David Meves of Arlington Heights graduated in December with a degree in finance. He was a three time All-American and three time Academic All-American, setting NCAA records for career shutouts and minutes played by a goalkeeper.

He had the fifth best goals-against average and set Akron records for wins and goals against average.

Akron finished each year in the top 16 -- winning the championship once and finishing second once.

Meves was drafted by the Portland Timbers as the 41st pick in the MLS draft.

• The National Soccer Coaches Association of America recently named Oakton Bobak Khalili of Schaumburg to its 2012 Junior College Men Scholar All-America Team.

It marks the first year that the NSCAA has had such a team.

Khalili received his award in Indianapolis on January 19, at the NSCAA all-American Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2013 NSCAA Convention.

To be considered for the team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale), start more than 50 percent of his games, and be a significant contributor to his athletic squad. A sophomore defender, Khalili has a 3.80 GPA while majoring in liberal arts. Khalili was one of only 13 named to the NSCAA's inaugural scholar-athlete squad.

Khalili anchored a stellar defense that posted six shutouts and allowed just 19 goals during the 2012 season. He also helped lead the Raiders to a 14-4-1 record and to their first appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Men's Division I National Tournament. In 2012, the Raiders also won the NJCAA Region IV championship and finished second in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference with a 6-1 record.

"Bobby has been an outstanding contributor and leader to our program for the past two seasons," says Raiders coach Steven Brody. "The standard he sets for his fellow teammates, both on and off the field, is exemplary. He has excelled on the field and in the classroom, and is a shining example of what being a collegiate scholar-athlete is all about."

Lacrosse

Fremd senior Patty Miller has decided to continue her education and career with coach Sara Tisdale's Augustana Vikings.

The 5-foot senior has already earned two varsity letters playing attack and midfield for Fremd coach Jake Hughes. Miller will serve as a Viking team captain for the third straight year.

As a junior, she tied for the team lead with 56 points and 9 assists and was second with 47 goals.

In addition, Miller controlled a dozen draws for an 11-7 Fremd squad. Her best game came in a 15-14 win at York, where she scored 6 goals and added a pair of assists.

A two-time all-Mid-Suburban selection, Miller scored 31 goals and added 5 assists as a sophomore, when she was a Daily Herald all-area selection as well.

Augustana finished 15-3 last season and led the nation in both scoring offense and scoring margin.

After competing as an independent last year, the Vikings will join the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference for the 2013 season.

Chosen as the school's first head coach, Tisdale came to Augustana after leading the club program at Michigan State University the previous two years as its head coach. She played collegiately at Central Michigan University, graduating in 2006.

Men's hockey

Robert Morris Universty (Pittsburgh) senior goalie Eric Levine of Wheeling is one of eight players from Illinois who have been The Hobey Baker Award to honor the best player of 2013 in Division 1 college hockey.

Levine has a 2.34 goals-against average and 708 saves in 20 starts this season.

Buffalo Grove Jr. Bison

The Buffalo Grove Jr. Bison have a new youth football program ready for the 2013 fall season.

The program has been developed as a high school feeder program under the direction of Buffalo Grove varsity football coach Mike DiMatteo and has the full support of Buffalo Grove High School.

"It is in the spirit of teamwork and dedication to teaching the fundamentals of that game that the Jr. Bison football program was created," DiMatteo said. "The skills concepts and techniques that are taught will mirror our program at Buffalo Grove High School, and the group of dedicated coaches will also be trained by our BG coaching staff in order to ensure a seamless transition to our high school program."

Practices and games will be located on the Buffalo Grove High School Campus and Stadium Fields.

The Jr. Bison will be competing in the Central Suburban Youth Football League (CSYFL).

The CSYFL has been serving the areas High School Football Feeder programs for 20 years.

Participating teams include feeder programs for Deerfield, Glenbrook South, Glenbrook North, New Trier (3 individual programs feeding into New Trier East), Ridgewood, Evanston, Niles West, Lake Forest and Highland Park high schools.

All games are played in the high school stadiums or campuses.

Rules are under the IHSA guidelines with the obvious weight exceptions detailed for a youth program. A certified trainer is on site for all games.

The CSYFL Travel League is open to children entering the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth grade in the fall of 2013.

• Please email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com or FAX to (847) 427-1173.

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