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updated: 9/30/2013 8:39 PM

Pettenuzzo plots collegiate soccer future at Central Michigan

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After watching her sister Martina superbly play the back line for Buffalo University from 2007-2010, Rosie Pettenuzzo knew what she wanted to do while still in grammar school.

"After witnessing Martina play college soccer, it became a goal of mine to do the same and experience soccer at its highest level," said the Prospect High School senior, who followed in the footsteps of her sisters Martina and Marissa and joined the Sockers FC club when she was 4 years old.

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Rosie saw her dream come true when she recently committed to play Division I soccer for Central Michigan.

Pettenuzzo was one of the top back line performers in the Mid-Suburban League last season for coach Tom Froats' Knights.

The Chippewas' coaching staff saw Pettnuzzo compete in the national tournament this past June in Denver.

Following the tournament, she was invited to the school for an unofficial visit.

"I went there with my mom and met the staff," Pettenuzzo said. "Coach (Peter) McGahey told me that my play would fit into the system he was running at Central."

McGahey liked Pettenuzzo's aggressiveness and composure, and he thought she played with an edge, all things local soccer fans saw during her all-area campaign as a junior.

Pettenuzzo went on another unofficial visit two weeks ago to watch a Central Michigan game and had lunch with some of the payers that day.

McGahey asked her that day if she wanted to be a part of the program.

After the game, Pettenuzzo made her decision to become a Chippewa.

"I was finally relieved that the recruiting process was over," she said. "I chose Central because of the whole athletic and academic atmosphere."

Academics are always very important to Pettenuzzo, who sports a 4.7 GP on a 5.0 scale and is involved in the school's leader program (The Knight Way).

After last season, Froats said nobody plays defense with more heart, desire and intensity than Pettenuzzo, who was assigned to shut down the opponent's best player because of all her defensive skills.

Those skills were honed a long time ago.

"I wanted to be like my older sisters Martina and Marissa who also played for the same club," said Rosie, whose younger sister Margherite, an eighth grader, is a talented multi-sport athlete. "There weren't enough girls so I played on the boys team for the first three years."

Pettenuzzo's favorite part of soccer is the competition of playing against the best players across the country in her age group.

"I like to travel with my club team facing the best teams in each state," said Pettenuzzo, who has played soccer in 17 different states.

She credits a great support group in helping her reach the collegiate goals.

"My mom and dad are both coaches," Rosie said. "My sisters are all very athletic and have played numerous sports.

"They have all supported me and provided me with the means to do this along with my coaches (David Richardson from the Sockers and Froats) and trainer (Dave Buchanan at Full Potential Fitness)."

Pettenuzzo also enjoys watching the U.S. National men's and women's team play.

And she is looking forward to her final season of high school soccer in the spring.

"I enjoy playing for my school and competing against my club teammates who all play for different high schools," Pettenuzzo added. "I really feel the school pride, and all my Prospect teammates are really nice and fun to be around. We laugh all the time -- at our team meals and team unity outings."

One of 10 returning starters back, Pettenuzzo believes the Knights can challenge for a conference championship and long run in the state playoffs.

Pettenuzzo has worn jersey number 3 in every sport she has played since the age of 4.

"I like the number 3," she said. "Being the third child out of four, it was natural fit."

When Pettenuzzo began playing soccer at Prospect, the number 3 was already taken so she went with number 13 since she was born on June 13.

Thirteen has been a lucky number for Pettenuzzo, who feels fortunate she has made it to the top level of college play in her sport.

"I thank God for this opportunity and I feel very blessed to have such a great support group of family and friends," she said. "I am excited to begin this journey and now I can enjoy the rest of my high school career and club season."

Women's volleyball

North Central outside hitter Amanda Hilmer (Palatine) led the Cardinals with 11 kills in North Central's 3-1 victory over Purdue Calumet on Friday. She also led the team with 16 kills in a 3-1 victory over Maranatha Baptist and 22 kills in a 3-0 victory over Concordia-Chicago.

• North Central setter Laura Kluk (Palatine) had all 45 assists in North Central's 3-1 victory over Purdue Calumet. She also had 50 of the team's 52 assists in North Central's 3-1 victory over Maranatha Baptist,

Illinois Blue Devils

The Illinois Blue Devils are a local Amatuer Athletic Union youth basketball program based out of the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

The Blue Devils offer travel teams, camps and clinics for boys and girls, grades three through eight, who are interested in continuing to play basketball after the winter season.

Buffalo Grove graduates Paul Timko and Justin Boumstein started the program three years ago.

Timko, a former all-area captain at Buffalo Grove High School, is the director of the program. Boumstein handles the business aspects of the program.

"It has been a lifelong dream of mine to start a program in the community," Timko said. "I played AAU basketball from fifth grade all the way through high school against some of the best competition Illinois has to offer."

Timko also volunteers as a coach for multiple organizations.

"I want to help the local community's basketball players achieve their dreams of playing at whatever level of competition they are striving for," he said.

The program's staff is made up of former players and current coaches at the high school, college or professional level. Combined the coaching staff has over 50 years of experience working with players in the local community.

"We develop our player's skills through advanced training methods and positive coaching," Timko said. "What differentiates the program from other programs is the amount of effort and attention the coaches' place in helping the players grow as people. Blue devil players are taught how to be leaders on and off the court. It is one of our goals for all of our athletes to leave a Blue Devils' program with more confidence, higher self-esteem and an increased love of the game."

For more information visit: www.IllinoisBlueDevils.com.

Men's soccer

Millikin senior Zach Solorio (Elk Grove) was named a Big Blue 'Athlete of the Week' after scoring the goal in the Big Blue's 1-0 victory over North Central.

Solorio scored on a header off a throw-in from sophomore Nick Abel (Schaumburg).

Women's soccer

Clemson senior midfielder Vanessa Laxgang of Arlington Heights scored the Bulldog's first 2 goals in a historic 14-0 win over Alabama A&M. Laxgang also assisted on two other goals. The 14 goals, 20 assists and 48 points recorded by Clemson broke the previous marks of 10 goals, 15 assists and 35 points set on Sept. 1, 1998.

• Penn sophomore Haley Cooper of Palatine helped her team (4-0-2) erase a 2-goal deficit by assisting on her team's first goal in a 2-2 tie against Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.,

Women's cross country

Led by a 12th-place finish from junior Becca Sund (Palatine), Augustana had three runners in the top 24 and five in the top 47 at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational at Saukie Golf Course.

Sund finished in 22:49.1 and the Vikings, with 136 points, were third in the team standings, trailing only the University of Chicago (33) and Aurora (96).

Feeder basketball

The 2013 Prospect Junior Knights Girls Feeder tryout schedule is as follows: Sunday, Oct. 20: at Prospect Field House: 5th and 6th grades 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; 7th and 8th grade: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Also on Sunday, Oct 27 at the Prospect Field House: 5th to 8th grade: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Eligible players include girls grades 5th through 8th who live within the Prospect High School District 214 boundaries. In order to tryout, you must bring a completed registration form, which is available on line at www.juniorknights.com

If you have any questions, contact Jim Rebecca at prospectjuniorknights@gmail.com

• The Rolling Meadows Girls Feeder Program will be holding tryouts on Sunday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 27 for girls in the 5th through 8th grades. On Sunday, Oct. 13, 7th and 8th grade tryouts will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5th and 6th grade tryouts will be held from 11 a.m. to -- 1 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 27, 5th and 6th grade tryouts will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7th and 8th grade tryouts will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All tryouts will be held at Rolling Meadows High School. If you have any questions concerning the program or tryouts, please contact Greg King at 847-590-9285.

• Tryouts for the Leyden girls basketball feeder program are at West Leyden High School on Tuesday, Oct. 1 and Wednesday Oct. 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for 4th to 8th graders girls living in the Leyden school district. The girls have the opportunity to improve their basketball skills, have fun, and compete against other teams. No previous skill is needed. Any questions contact coach Pancratz at Andypancratz@gmail.com. Volunteer coaches are welcomed.

Rugby

The Arlington Stallions improved their FallBall record to 3-1 with a strong 45-10 triumph over Palatine at the Busse Woods Forest Preserve.

"Our FallBall squad has worked very hard this season," said coach Paul Bergman. "Our goal has been to improve each week in our level of conditioning and execution of fundamental skills.

"Looking at our performance and pace of play, I'd say we are accomplishing those goals. Our whole coaching staff is proud of their efforts."

Once again, the outside backs, which are a rugby side's fastest players, dominated the Stallions' try.

They scored with outside center and Man-of-the-Match Jack Tuttle getting over the tryline three times.

"Jack is a force since moving to his new position from the wing," said assistant coach Dylan Farmer. "But it's the entire side's efforts that puts him in a position to do what he does each week."

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

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