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updated: 6/16/2014 10:52 PM

Harper's Becker will play at Lewis

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Daily Herald report

Harper College's Kurt Becker, who was named a NJCAA Division III baseball second-team all-American, will continue his baseball career at Lewis University in Romeoville.

The Hawks sophomore third baseman, who was a onetime standout at Palatine High School, batted .494 with 3 home runs and 30 RBI this spring.

He also had 15 doubles, 4 triples, 14 steals, a .531 on-base percentage, .694 slugging percentage and 24-game hitting streak from April 1-25.

Becker earned NJCAA Player of the Week, N4C Conference MVP, first team all-conference, first team all-region and Harper College Athlete of the Week honors.

Becker became the first Harper baseball all-American since Vine Edward earned that acclaim in 1997.

Becker was also named a 2014 NJCAA Baseball Marucci Elite Hitter, an award presented to the all-American nominee from each district with the highest batting average.

Women' soccer

Conant senior Stephanie Buga has committed to Augustana women's soccer coach Scott Mejia's highly-successful program.

A 5-foot-6 defender, Buga was a four-year letter winner for Conant coach Jason Franco.

She helped the Cougars to a 65-19-7 record during her career, including a 14-5-2 mark and a sectional final appearance this spring.

Buga also earned four varsity letters in coach Ron Theberge's cross country program at Conant. She was the team MVP as a freshman.

An "A" honor roll student at Conant, Buga joins an Augustana program that has posted a 176-67-21 (.706) record and made six NCAA Division III tournaments appearances in Mejia's 13 seasons at Augustana.

Arlington Stallions

The Arlington Stallions Rugby Club celebrated its 10th year with strong finishes at the middle school and high school varsity levels of the Illinois Youth Rugby Association competition.

At both levels of play, the club also placed members on the IYRA all-state sides for post-season all-star competition.

The middle school side was not able to repeat its 2013 state championship but it finished a strong third in the state playoffs.

It suffered a very close 15-12 semifinal loss to eventual State Champion KIPP Ascend Mountain Lions from Chicago, a side it defeated earlier in the season.

On the strength of this finish, eighth graders Max Derry, Vince Carso, Willis Goodwin and Peter Jones earned spots of the Illinois all-state side, the Hurricanes.

"We're proud of all of our boys on the middle school squad," said coach Dylan Farmer. "We're not a big team but our kids played a fast, exciting and fundamentally sound brand of rugby. They all have great futures in the sport and will be outstanding high school players."

With experienced, mature seniors and promising underclassmen, the Stallions varsity finished as IYRA Tier One East Division champions.

They went into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed and won their first-round playoff game against Morton 31-19 to set up a semifinal against the Waubonsie Chiefs. In a game of contrasts between the Stallions' speed and fitness against the Chiefs power, the Stallions fell to the eventual state champs 26-17.

"This Stallions team is the best we've seen all year" said Chiefs head coach Bryce Elliot. "It was a great game and a shame that either team had to lose."

As a reward for the progress the Stallions made, Rugby Magazine's high school power ratings placed them No. 42 nationally, a first for the Arlington Heights club.

"This rating is a special recognition of a special team," said head coach Paul Bergman. "Our experienced players have grown significantly in the seasons they have been with us.

"And our new players exhibited great discipline in learning a new sport. They have all done hard work to attain the fitness level necessary to play the style that allows our sides to succeed." Stallions high school players who attained IYRA all-state honors were Tony Lapiana at the varsity level and Spencer Krueger, Colin Farmer, Joe Fasalo, Matt Moroniak, Jon Toriumi and Alex Gountanis at the frosh/soph level.

These players will travel to Pittsburgh on June 21-22 to compete in a regional all-state tournament. It could earn them a spot in the USA Rugby national level elite program.

In July, Lapiana and Krueger will be touring Great Britain with the Tornados team as well.

"It doesn't stop here for these players," Bergman added. "Zach Niro and Jack Tuttle will be playing at the University of Colorado, Cody Foss will be at Purdue, Nikko Gountanis will be at the University of Wisconsin/Whitewater and Conor Brennan will be at Western Illinois University.

"These are all good kids going to good programs, so I expect that they will have great rugby experiences at the next level."

The immediate future begins this month with several weeks of even-a-side (Olympic style) play, culminating with competition for the state championship on July 12 in Lake Forest.

Despite the impending loss of strong players, Bergman chooses to look ahead with a positive outlook.

"It's always sad to see seniors leave and scary in our ability to replace them," Bergman said. "But our underclassmen are a strong group and our middle school program regularly brings players through the high school levels who are fit, skilled and enthusiastic.

"Seeing that growth is exciting and keeps us constantly looking forward to the next competitive year."

Men's tennis:

Washington University (St. Louis) freshman Jeremy Bush (Stevenson) and junior Ross Putterman (Stevenson) were named to the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association NCAA Division III All-America Team.

Bush and Putterman finished the season ranked No. 4 in the ITA doubles rankings.

Also a first-team all-University Athletic Association selection at No. 1 doubles, Bush/Putterman posted a 25-10 record and advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 NCAA Division III Doubles Championship.

The duo also posted a third-place finish at the 2013 USTA/ITA Division III Doubles Championship in the fall.

Putterman, a three-time ITA All-America selection in doubles, has a 115-66 overall record in three seasons, and enters his senior season ranked 12th in school history in wins. He also ranks ninth in school history with 70 doubles victories.

Bush posted a combined 44-20 record in his rookie campaign, playing No. 1 doubles and No. 3 singles for the Bears.

In addition, freshman John Carswell finished the season ranked No. 26 in NCAA Division III in singles and Putterman was No. 34. Carswell and Putterman represented Washington U. in the 32-man NCAA Division III singles draw and suffered first-round losses.

Washington U. posted a 21-3 overall record in 2013-14, the second most wins in school history, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals for the eighth-straight year. The Bears also won their second-straight UAA championship and finished the season ranked No. 5 in the ITA rankings.

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