You could say Eclipse Select Soccer Club midfielder Katy Karabetsos, a native of Buffalo Grove, hit a jackpot in Las Vegas.
Karabetsos' performance at the Las Vegas Players Showcase in March paid big dividends.
The member of the Eclipse Select's U-17 Elite Clubs National League team caught the eyes of coaches for San Jose State's women's soccer program.
After they contacted Eclipse president Rory Dames to get the ball rolling, the Spartans are now looking forward to having Karabetsos on the roster in the fall of 2014.
"It was just luck, I guess," Karabetsos said in an Eclipse news release. "We were at the showcase in Vegas and their coach happened to be walking by and saw me stand out during a game. He contacted Rory and showed interest."
After visiting San Jose State, Karabetsos knew the members of the Mountain West Conference meshed with everything she wanted.
"They wanted someone who can defend and hold, and I thought it was a perfect fit," Karabetsos said. "The coaches were looking for a player that is looking to get the ball from my position and play it forward and get the attack going. I'm really excited, and the girls are great. The coaches are great. I connected with them really well.
"I did an overnight visit and it was crazy because 30 minutes into the visit my parents looked at each other and looked at me and just knew," she said. "I had another visit to a different school, and it just confirmed that San Jose State was the right choice."
Karabetsos still has another year with Eclipse before making the move to San Jose State.
"I had been playing on and off for the club during my U-13 year and officially came over to the club during my U-14 year," Karabetsos said. "Playing for Eclipse has been life-changing. They're my family. These girls are my best friends, and I've never been on other teams that are that close. It's hard to describe. The coaches are great. They're welcoming. They care for each player as though she is they're own child."
Two familiar area names are on the Schaumburg Boomers coaching staff this summer.
Former Triple-A pitcher and Schaumburg High School standout T.J. Nall is the pitching coach.
Nall, 32, has 10 seasons of professional playing experience as well as five years as a college coach to the manager Jamie Bennett's coaching staff.
Nall is in his fifth season serving as pitching coach for Oakton Community College in Des Plaines.
Bill Fratto is the team's first base coach after leading Oakton Community College to an outstanding 2012-2013 season as its manager.
The Raiders finished the year with a 38-18-1 record, outscoring opponents 373-242 with a team 4.55 ERA, even earning as high a ranking as 15 in the National Junior College Athletic Association DII Top 20 Baseball Poll.
Fratto holds the honor of being a two-time Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year, receiving the award in 2006 and 2012.
Prospect senior Ally Scaccia took first place in the Illinois Junior Golf Association "Player of the Year' championship, a 36-hole tourney at Bowes Creek Country Club in Elgin where she shot a 76-73.
Her Knights teammate, junior Kacie O'Donnell, took second place with a 75-76.
Former Hoffman Estates all-area volleyball and basketball standout Becca Stoczynski will continue her volleyball career at the University of Illinois-Springfield this fall.
A versatile player who is used to playing outside hitter, Stoczynski may be put at middle blocker or on the right side for the Prairie Stars.
Also on the Springfield roster is Stoczynski's cousin Joanna Hoffman, a former all-area setter from Hersey who graduated in 2010.
Stoczynski has played club volleyball for Northside Out, based out of Chicago. In June, her team played at the USAV girls' junior national championships in Dallas, Texas.
One of her teammates was another cousin, Jillian Hoffman, who will soon begin her senior year at Hersey.
Stoczynski was also named to the USAV Great Lakes Region All Academic team.
Stoczynski was Hoffman's winner of the 2012-13 Rita Sansonetti Female Sportsmanship award.
Andersen wins grant
Palatine junior Carsten Andersen, who plays football and is a member of the track and field team, won a National Athleadership Grant sponsored by NCSA Athletic Recruiting and the NFLPA.
The Athleadership Grant is awarded to student athletes who qualify based on leadership in their community, academic achievement, athletics and a required essay written by the student athlete.
"We are very pleased to be involved with NCSA in assisting in the recognition and the selection of young qualified student athletes to receive scholarship opportunities," said DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA. "Any time you can identify, help and reward future leaders to further their education and athletic pursuits, it's a win-win and we are pleased to contribute to this worthy effort with NCSA."
As a result of his selection, the NCSA Athletic Recruiting service will work with Andersen and his family to help find a collegiate institution that best matches his academic and athletic achievements.
The Arlington Stallions Rugby Club will play a fall 2013 schedule of non-league games in preparation for the Spring 2014 competitive high school season.
The schedule of games is for new and current high school club players who do not participate in a fall sport.
Training sessions will begin on Aug. 19th and games will be played on Saturdays between Sept. 7 and October 19.
Opponents will be the Predators (St. Charles), Palatine, Waubonsie Valley, Elgin, Westfield (Ind.) and the South Side Irish Rugby Academy.
Coach Paul Bergman said new players are encouraged.
"Our fall matches are a great way for a new player to learn the game," he said. "It makes the spring season much more competitive and enjoyable." Fall club dues are minimal, and a portion can be applied to dues the following spring. For more information, call (847) 845-4982 or visit www.arlingtonstallionsrugby.com.