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updated: 11/18/2013 4:34 PM

Standing tall, Caporusso commits to Northern Iowa

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Despite undergoing knee surgery in May, Noreen Caporusso still made it back in time to play this fall for the second half of the high school girls golf season.

And what a half it was.

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The senior ended up finishing as an all-stater for the second straight year while helping the Knights win their second Class AA state title in three years.

"It was pretty awesome," said Knight coach Jim Hamann. "She played golf for only a month. To finish all-state, that was a story in itself."

Caporusso's story will continue to unfold on the collegiate level.

She recently became the third member of this year's state championship team to commit to a Division I women's golf team.

Like her teammates Kiley Walsh (Illinois State) and Ally Scaccia (Bradley), Caporusso will play in the Missouri Valley Conference.

She committed to Northern Iowa and coach John Bermel, who took over the program in 2002.

"Noreen is extremely talented and is a steal for Northern Iowa," Hamann said. "I would say approaching her junior year I realized she had the talent to play D-I because her swing is so low-maintenance that all we had to do was focus on her 10-yard and in game. She just kept on improving on that."

Caporusso will become the 14th player in Hamann's nine years to commit to an NCAA program.

"Obviously, the most rewarding thing is to bring state trophies, sectional trophies, regional trophies and conference championship trophies back to Prospect but just as rewarding to me as an educator and coach is to help my players achieve their goals. I couldn't be prouder of all my players."

Coincidentally, Hamann's first player to reach the collegiate ranks was Caporusso's sister Michelle, a 2006 graduate who went on to play for Northern Illinois.

"I'm really excited," Noreen said about her commitment to Northern Iowa. "My sister's golf coach from Northern Illinois had recommended a couple of schools for me, and one was Northern Iowa."

This year's Panthers' roster included only one player from Illinois, a freshman from Quincy (Notre Dame).

Caporusso is looking forward to seeing her former Prospect teammates in conference action each year.

"We just seem like we can't get away from each other," Caporusso said with a laugh. I'm really excited about it."

She's also excited about playing for the Panthers.

"I really liked the school and the campus," said Caporusso, who plans to study biology. "The coach was really an awesome guy and it seemed like a good fit for me."

Noreen followed her sister into the sport.

Their father is the longtime Hersey boys golf coach.

"I looked up to my sister a lot and always wanted to do the same things she did in high school and college," Noreen said. "And my dad got us both into golf when we were really young. It was great having him around because we both look up to him. It's definitely a family thing."

Jones in Thanksgiving Documentary

Crystal Lake resident Dr. Norman Jones, the Palatine boys basketball coach from 1967 to 1971, is expected to appear on a HBO sports documentary titled "Sports in America: Our Defining Stories".

Jones was interviewed about the Milan-Muncie Central game in 1964.

He attended the historic battle when tiny Milan (In.) upset favored Muncie to win the Indiana High School state boys basketball championship. It is the game that inspired the movie 'Hoosiers.'

The all-new documentary examines how the universal thread of sport unites people and has shaped America's character.

The special debuts on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. to 7:35 p.m. The documentary will also be available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.

In a release put out by Communications Unlimited, Jones said that he arranged for himself and Bobby Plump (Milan player who made the famous shot) to be interviewed for the documentary.

The taping took place in Chicago on June 3, 2012.

Jones was interviewed for about 45 minutes and Plump for more than an hour.

Jones coached at North Vernon and Salem high schools in Indiana before moving to Illinois he played at Marion High School (In.) and was a two-year letterman at Ball State.

He wrote a book about growing up and playing basketball in Indiana called 'Growing Up in Indiana: The Culture & Hoosier Hysteria Revisited.'

Baseball

Hoffman Estates all-area senior Ethan Bloom signed a letter of intent to play for Lewis University.

"He's an outstanding kid and is one of the most accomplished hitters our school has ever had," said Hawks coach Todd Meador.

Bloom, a third baseman, outfielder and pitcher, is a two-time Mid-Suburban League all conference player on pace to breaking many offensive records at Hoffman including career hits, career home runs and (9 in 2012) and career batting average.

"He is a tremendous hitter, one of the best that our school has ever seen," Meador said. "He is also a tremendous person. The type of student who is a natural role model for others both on and off the field."

Bloom also has musical talents.

"Another talent many do not know about him is his exceptional talents playing the drum," Meador said. "It's no surprise that he is such an outstanding person when you see the great family that supports him.

"It will be sad to see him graduate from this school and from our baseball program. Lewis University will be lucky to have him for the next four years."

Football

Valparaiso senior Patrick Derbak (Schaumburg) is the second leading tackler for the Crusaders with 91.

Derbak was named to the preseason Pioneer Football League All Conference team in both the prestigious Phil Steele publication and by the College Sports Madness publication, which is a USA Today subsidiary.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker is a two-time All PFL Conference selection.

• MIT junior running back Justin Wallace had 40 carries for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns to help his team defeat the Coast Guard Academy 48-31. MIT is now 6-3 and has the best won-loss record in school history.

• North Central sophomore Rich Zirngibl helped the No. 4-ranked Cardinals to the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Conference championship with a 10-0 record. Zirngibl was fifth on the team with 32 tackles and had an interception.

He will also be a two-year all-academic CCIW player.

The Cardinals will play their first Division III playoff game on Saturday at noon against Albion at North Central College.

Women's basketball

Jimmy Colloton (Rolling Meadows) is in his third year with the Indiana women's basketball program. After serving as graduate assistant his first two years, he was elevated to a full-time capacity in June 2013 to video coordinator before being named interim assistant coach this September.

As a graduate assistant, Colloton oversaw the team managers and coordinated the male practice players. He also assisted with game scheduling and worked alongside the video coordinator.

Colloton earned his master's degree in Sport Administration while serving as Graduate Assistant at Indiana.

During his college tenure, Colloton also spent his summers serving as a camp counselor and instructor for numerous basketball camps throughout the Midwest. He worked for programs such as Illinois, Notre Dame, Purdue, Wittenberg and Wisconsin.

Colloton graduated with honors from Wittenberg while achieving a 3.95 GPA and earned his way to the dean's list honor roll in each of his eight semesters.

Colloton said being a graduate assistant allowed him to mainly stand and observe as well as give advice in meetings, but it didn't really allow him to coach kids one-on-one on the court.

"Being able to coach the kids on the court is just an incredible opportunity for me and an absolute dream come true," he told the Indiana Daily Student. "Besides coaching the kids, having input about game plans and scouting reports has just been incredible."

Colloton has been around the game for as long as he can remember.

"My dad (Jay) is a high school girls basketball coach in Chicago (currently as an assistant at Hoffman Estates) and I've been going to practices since I was 5 or 6 years old," Jimmy said. "Being able to actually instruct the kids and coach them and being able to have my voice heard in practice and film sessions has been awesome."

Indiana sophomore forward Kaila Hulls said Colloton contributes a lot in practice and is good at what he does.

"He's really stepped up," she said. "I think he realizes the time commitment and the hard work that it takes to coach at this level."

Hoosiers women's coach Curt Miller is pleased with Colloton's ability to teach the game. "He's going to be a superstar in this profession," Miller said in the IDS. "You will all hear about Jimmy Colloton somewhere down the line."

• Carthage College senior guard Stephanie Kuzmanic (Wheeling) has been to the 2013-14 "d3hoops.com" preseason All-America second team and she is a "Women's DIII News" preseason All-America. Kuzmanic averaged 13.6 points per game last year, 5.2 rebounds per game, 5.59 assists and 1.83 steals, along with a .457 field-goal percentage, .441 three-point field-goal percentage and an .827 free-throw percentage. The Lady Reds were ranked 16th in that publication's preseason poll.

Men's hockey

Bowling Green junior centerman Dan DeSalvo, who had points in all three of his team's games last week and led all league players with 4 points overall, was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association offensive player of the week. The 5-8, 170-pound junior from Rolling Meadows had 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 and 10 shots on goal as the Falcons went 2-1-0 against Ohio State and Alaska Anchorage.

• St. Cloud State freshman forward Ryan Papa of Prospect Heights had the best weekend of his young career to earn "Rookie of the Week" honors for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He scored his first 2 goals as a Husky as his team swept Colgate. He scored his first collegiate goal early in the second period to help lift SCSU to a 4-2 victory. Then, he struck midway through the first period to put SCSU up 2-0 in the Huskies' 4-3 win. Papa totaled 4 shots on goal, with two in each game, and posted a +2 rating, going +1 in each contest.

• Miami sophomore goalkeeper Ryan McKay of Palatine was named the National Collegiate Hockey Association co-goaltender of the week.

McKay was also superb in goal for the RedHawks, backstopping Miami to a series split with St. Cloud State. McKay held St. Cloud State to just 2 goals all weekend while also compiling a .970 save percentage, stopping 64 of 66 shots faced.

Women's softball

Fremd senior shortstop Leigh Farina signed her letter of intent last week to play for Illinois.

"Leigh has some of the most exciting physical attributes a young player could bring to our team, as she is both fast and strong," said Illini coach Terri Sullivan. "She is a threat to hit one out of the park and to steal a base. Her quick hands are apparent on offense and defense, and she will jump right in as one of the most athletic players on our team."

Farina is a three-year starter for Fremd coach Jim Weaver. She has led the Vikings to three-straight regional championships and the 2011 Sectional Finals (Sweet 16). She hit .495 with 8 home runs and 45 RBI last season and sits in the top 10 in the Fremd single-season record books in nearly every offensive category.

Women's soccer

Clemson senior midfielder Vanessa Laxgang of Arlington Heights was named to the 2013 All-Atlantic Coast Conference third team. Laxgang led the Tigers with 5 goals and 2 assists. She started in 19 games and logged 1,584 minutes.

Men's soccer

Goalkeeper Scott Sutarik (Fremd) of No. 7-seed Liberty was named to the Big South all-tournament team. Sutarik posted shutouts in the tournament against No. 2 seed North Carolina High Point (1-0) and No. 3 Longwood (2-0) before losing to top-seeded and No. 12-ranked Coastal Carolina in the final (2-0).

Men's cross country

Wisconsin-Platteville junior Matt Smaga (Fremd) finished 29th (25:08) in the Division III Midwest Regional Cross Country Championships at the Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Il.

By finishing in the top 35, Smaga was named to the all-region team. He also ran a personal best time of 25:08 and his team placed in the regional.

Women's cross country

Augustana junior Becca Sund (Palatine) finished 26th to help the Vikings to a 12th-place finish at the 38-team NCAA Midwest Regional at Saukie Golf Course. Sund completed the 6-kilometer course in 22:38.5.

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

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