What a trip: football, in Paris, for Elk Groves Patel
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This fall, Kishan Patel will make a long trip across the country to study and play football at the University of San Diego.
But in less than three weeks, the Elk Grove all-area receiver has an even longer excursion planned.
He will be playing football in Paris.
Yes, the capital city of France is hosting an all-star football game and Patel has been selected to represent the United States as part of the American Football Worldwide ELITE team which will face the national U19 team of France on March 30.
"It's a well-deserved honor for Kishan," said Grenadiers coach Larry Calhoun, who guided the Grens to a 5-5 record with a first-round loss to eventual state champion Glenbard West. "I know he will represent Elk Grove very well — and the United States, for that matter."
Last fall, Patel was a defensive back, wide receiver and return specialist for Calhoun.
Patel accumulated 817 all-purpose yards and 5 touchdowns while also making 51 tackles with 3 interceptions. He was also an academic all-stater.
Patel's participation in this game, pitting U.S. graduating high school seniors against the French team, is doubly historic in that it marks the first time a scholastic team from the United States will compete on French soil.
It is also the first time a scholastic United States team has traveled overseas to play another country's national team that has previously qualified for the World Championships of American Football.
France, the European Under-19 champion, finished sixth at the Under-19 World Championships of American Football in Austin, Texas in July last summer.
American Football Worldwide's ELITE team comes from a true cross-section of the United States and represents nearly every region of the country.
Fourteen different states are represented on the 35-man roster.
"It's a great honor for Kishan," Calhoun said. "It certainly isn't his first award, but he is a very deserving young man. He has had an outstanding career and this is a nice culmination of his high school career as he heads to the college level."
American players hail from coast-to-coast.
Combined with the educational value of the trip, the American team will refine football skills and work to find a common ground in terminology and schemes, and coordinate timing in an effort to put together a formidable game plan for the French hosts.
"It's a great growing experience," Calhoun added. "Not only in the field, but as an overall experience. A lot of us never get to go across seas, let alone to represent American football and to have the chance to meet a lot of others kids doing the same thing. It's a great opportunity."
Leading up to the game American players will be joined by some family members and fans and will tour many of the historical icons of France including the impressive sites of Paris, Versailles and the Normandy coast.
Two days prior to kickoff the players will tour the D-Day beaches, U.S. Cemetery and Peace Memorial on the bluffs overlooking the English Channel.
American Football Worldwide can be followed at www.americanfootballworldwide.com.
Sports Notes Trivia
The above-mentioned Larry Calhoun is Elk Grove's fourth football coach since the year 2000.
Can you name which of the previous three also won four Mid-Suburban League division titles as a head softball coach in the same district (214)?
Answer at end of column.
Freshman Allison Walsh (Prospect) posted her first career top 20 finish and helped Bradley finish 13th at the 11th annual Rio Verde Invitational.
Walsh was one shot off a season-best round on the second day of the tourney, firing a three-over par 75 at the par-72 Rio Verde Country Club's White Wing Course.
She tied for 17th overall at the rain-shortened event with a 36-hole score of 151.
The 2011 Class AA IHSA individual champ turned in the low round of the day for the Braves, who carded their lowest round of the spring with a 305.
Bradley's 305 tied for the fifth lowest round of the day.
On the first day of the tourney, Walsh fired the low round for Bradley, carding a four-over par 76, to help the Braves finish the opening day in 15th place.
Lake Forest College sophomore Christina Pekar (Prospect) placed third in the 3-meter event of the NCAA Central Region Meet at Calvin College to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships March 20-23 in Shenandoah, Texas.
Pekar posted a score of 471.60 points, trailing the winner by 14 and the runner-up by 11. She finished less than 1 point ahead of the fourth-place competitor, who will also be one of the region's six representatives in the NCAA Championships.
Lake Forest senior Sam Gardner placed 13th with 390.75 points and Pekar's twin sister Sarah Pekar (Prospect) was 16th with a score of 355.50.
Christina Pekar was fifth in Friday's 1-meter competition with 432.65 points. Gardner finished 15th with 381.40 points and Sarah Pekar placed 16th with 342.30.
Illinois Institute of Technology Ian McNair (Palatine) won the three-meter diving championship at the 2013 NAIA Swimming and Diving national championships. McNair was an NAIA Men's all-American in 2012.
McNair captured the title with a final score of 304.50 after finishing runner-up last year.
Carthage College junior guard Stephanie Kuzmanic and senior swimmer Steven Mathe (Carmel) were named 2013 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin/Jack Swartz all-academic for the winter season.
Kuzmanic was named the CCIW "Women's Basketball Most Outstanding Player" and first-team all-conference on the Lady Reds' league-championship team. She finished the season ranked fourth among CCIW scoring leaders (13.6 points per game).
Kuzmanic, an exercise and sport science major with a perfect 4.0 GPA, has been named to the Carthage dean's list four times and is a three-semester member of the Carthage athletic director's honor roll.
Mathe finished fifth in the 1,650 freestyle at the CCIW Swimming Championship and was part of a conference-champion 800 freestyle relay team. He was also seventh in the 500 freestyle, 11th in the 200 freestyle and part of a third-place CCIW 200 freestyle relay team.
A chemistry major with a 3.83 cumulative grade-point average, Mathe is a Carthage mathematics/science scholarship recipient and a member of the school's NASA microgravity team. He has been named to the Carthage dean's list five times and is a four-semester member of the Carthage athletic director's honor roll.
Right at home
Former Rolling Meadows basketball player Jimmy Colloton was at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates last Thursday for the Big Ten women's basketball tournament.
Colloton is graduate assistant coach for the Indiana women's basketball program which lost in the first round.
He joined the Hoosiers after graduating from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and a minor in business.
Colloton's father, Jay, serves as an assistant to Hoffman Estates girls basketball coach Mike Nocella.
Bruce Bazsali, who directed the Elk Grove football program from 1990 to 2004, won four straight Mid-Suburban South titles at Prospect from 1987 to 1990.
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