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Articles filed under Radtke, John

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  • Tough as it was, Carter's decision was the right one Mar 5, 2014 10:15 PM
    Wednesday should have been one of those feel good days at Larkin High School. The Royals' boys basketball team should have been getting high-fives from classmates, then gone off to practice to get ready for Friday's regional championship game. Instead, it was uniform turn-in day.

     
  • A night to remember for Burlington Central Mar 3, 2014 10:30 PM
    With a minute and 25 seconds to play in Monday’s Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional, Sam Pryor scored her 14th and 15th points to put Burlington Central ahead of Carmel 40-26. It was then that Rockets’ coach Mark Smith turned to the bench and pointed to his reserves to check into the game. It was then that Shelby Holt, already out of the game, first started to feel it. It was then that the nightmare of last year was finally over. The Rockets knew then they were headed to state.

     
  • Burlington Central relaxed and ready this year Mar 1, 2014 9:41 PM
    A year ago, the Burlington Central girls basketball team walked into the gym at Hoffman Estates High School, and then left it a couple hours later, a little like teams used to feel like after they’d played against Candace Parker. Dazed and confused.

     
  • UEC, FVC crossovers take center stage this week Feb 10, 2014 9:28 PM
    As the regular season comes into the home stretch this week for Class 3A and Class 4A girls basketball teams, crossover matchups in the Upstate Eight and Fox Valley conferences will take center stage later in the week. Over the past couple of years, some coaches in each conference have expressed how they’d prefer to play an out-of-conference school in this final regular-season game but for now the crossovers remain.

     
  • Big Tuesday night on tap in Fox Valley Jan 13, 2014 8:21 PM
    It may not qualify as “rivalry night” across the board but it most definitely is an interesting and busy Tuesday around the Fox Valley in girls basketball. There are two rivalry games on tap — Bartlett at Streamwood and Dundee-Crown at Jacobs — as well as three other games that should draw some fan interest, one of which could have some conference implications to it.

     
  • Time to get these conference races restarted Jan 7, 2014 8:38 PM
    While the teenagers who play girls basketball around the Fox Valley may have been happy about a couple extra days off school, coaches surely were champing at the bit the last two days to get the season restarted. But Mother Nature took care of that. And even though I was missing all the subzero cold while vacationing in Florida, I too am anxious to get the second half of the season going, because the first half has provided enough excitement to lead us to believe the 2014 portion of the campaign is going to be an interesting one.

     
  • Burlington Central about to embark on the big-time Dec 14, 2013 7:53 PM
    Any basketball coach worth their salt does his or her best to play the most competitive schedule possible, especially in those years when they know they have special talent. Around the Fox Valley, most girls basketball teams — heck, not most but all — don’t have the luxury of year-in and year-out top talent like, say, Corry Irvin does at Whitney Young. So when that special team or group comes along, increasing the competitiveness of the regular-season schedule is paramount to getting your team ready for what you hope is a long postseason run.

     
  • Former Elgin greats Parker, Schock headed to IBCA Hall of Fame Dec 13, 2013 4:23 PM
    It became such a routine, it almost feels like it was yesterday. Actually, it was the winter season of 1995-96, my first year with the Daily Herald. Having already covered high school sports in the Fox Valley for 20 years, I was well aware of who Melissa Parker and Leslie Schock were. Timing was my good fortune because my first year of covering high school sports for the Daily Herald was their senior year at Elgin High School, and what a year it was.

     
  • Just call it ‘PJ’s Excellent Adventure’ Dec 2, 2013 9:06 PM
    It would have been completely understandable had PJ White found himself driving north when he should have been going south at any given time the past couple weeks. Above all, White has to be thankful Randall Road isn’t a tollway. White wears many hats of different colors and from Batavia’s run to the Class 6A state football championship Saturday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb to his St. Edward boys basketball team winning the championship at the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving tournament a couple hours after the football game, can the movie “PJ’s Excellent Adventure” be far behind?

     
  • Former all-area standouts making their mark as coaches Nov 21, 2013 9:50 PM
    One of the coolest things about covering girls basketball in the Fox Valley for as long as I have is being able to watch former standout players return to the game as coaches. So, walking into Elgin Academy’s quaint gymnasium Thursday afternoon to watch the Hampshire vs. Kirkland Hiawatha game, I knew I was going to see one former Daily Herald All-Area honorary captain coaching. But the look on my face when I saw a second former all-area captain running a team had to have been priceless. Former Hampshire standout Jackie Heine was the one I knew I’d see. After a stellar career at Saint Xavier University and then four years as a graduate assistant coach for the Cougars, Heine is back home and is first-year Whip-Purs’ coach Mike Featherly’s assistant. That much I knew, and I arrived early enough to catch Jackie grading math papers in the bleachers, so we were able to chat and catch up. While doing so, she pointed over to the Kirkland Hiawatha bench where the Hawks’ head coach had her back turned to us. “Is that Jenna Real?” Jackie asked me. Startled, my response was a dumbfounded, “huh?”

     
  • With taste of success as guide, Huntley back for more Nov 21, 2013 9:55 AM
    Success can be a pretty huge motivator, in both sports and life. Huntley’s girls basketball team came across some unexpected success last season when the Red Raiders went on one of those magical postseason runs coaches dream about all summer long. After losing their last two regular-season games, the Raiders figured to have a tough opener in the postseason but they got past a good DeKalb team before beating Belvidere North for the regional title. After knocking off Machesney Park Harlem in the sectional semifinals, Huntley was destined to play Cary-Grove, a team it had lost to twice during the season, in the sectional title game. But Streamwood upset the Trojans in the sectional semis and then Huntley fought to a 45-41 win over the Sabres to win the program’s first sectional championship.

     
  • No magic — just hard work, talent has Crystal Lake S. at Redbird Nov 14, 2013 10:41 AM
    There's no magical reason behind the Crystal Lake South girls volleyball team's trip to the IHSA Class 4A state finals. Gators' coach Jorie Fontana didn't wave a magic wand. There were no move-ins who suddenly helped transform Fontana's team from one that lost in a regional final in 2012 to a Final Four team in 2013. The playoff path wasn't dotted with patsies — heck, the Gators' first postseason match was against a Cary-Grove team that, had it beaten CLS, could be where the Gators are this weekend. And where Fontana's Gators are this weekend is Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University, getting ready to take on two-time defending state champion Benet Academy in Friday's 7:30 p.m. state semifinal.

     
  • Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has made monumental strides Nov 1, 2013 10:43 PM
    The Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has come a long way in 34 years. The ESHOFF was born in 1980, an idea actually hatched in the late 1970s by former Elgin Courier-News sports editor Stan Shalett and former Elgin Country Club golf professional Terry Carlson. Having been a Shalett protege at that time, I clearly remember Stan and Terry talking about the idea, but I doubt either of them thought 34 years ago the ESHOFF would become what it has — an organization that has awarded over $353,000 in scholarship money to Elgin area student-athletes, as of Sunday night will have inducted 158 people into the Hall of Fame, and has awarded countless Outstanding Achievement Awards.

     
  • District 300 football teams take different paths to same destination Oct 30, 2013 10:05 PM
    The three football teams from District 300 have most definitely taken three different paths to the IHSA playoffs, the first time all three schools from the Carpentersville-based district have made the 10th week of the football season in the same year. Oh, there have been years where two of them made it to the postseason, and one of them owns three state championships, but never until Friday night have Dundee-Crown, Jacobs and Hampshire all been playing football beyond the regular season.

     
  • Bartlett duo primed to defy seeding again Oct 23, 2013 5:10 PM
    Here’s a challenge for a cold winter day. Go to the IHSA website and research how many girls tennis players have advanced to the state tournament four straight years in doubles play with four different partners. The first name that will pop up on what’s likely a very shortlist is Bartlett’s Gabby Gregorio. When she takes the court with her senior partner Jen Gates Thursday morning at Prospect High School, Gregorio will have come full circle in more ways than one. Her first state doubles partner was Jen Gates’ sister, Katie, back in 2010 when Katie, now a sophomore at Valparaiso, was a junior and the pair finished third at sectionals. Jennifer Parato was Gregorio’s 2011 sectional championship partner — they won the championship match over Katie Gates and Kaylen Kress — and last year it was Jitsung Sirinit and Gregorio who teamed up to take second at sectionals. Last weekend, Gregorio and Jen Gates slapped seeds in the face with their St. Charles East sectional title. They came in seeded third and rose to the challenge, beating Batavia’s Jenny Mizikar and Amelia Cogan for the sectional title.

     
  • State trip brings Burlington Central’s Twenhafel full circle Oct 16, 2013 6:40 PM
    Deb Twenhafel came to Burlington Central High School in 1980 for a one-year teaching position. She’s still there. And there’s little question her contributions to the Rockets’ athletic programs have been invaluable. Twenhafel, among her other duties that also include teaching drivers education, physical education and health. is the Rockets’ boys golf coach. This weekend, she will coach her team in the Class 3A state tournament at Illinois State University’s Weibring Golf Course in Normal for just the second time since she started the program 26 years ago.

     
  • District 300 sending all 3 to the playoffs? Could happen Oct 10, 2013 7:43 PM
    Week 7 of the high school football season has become time for our annual dusting off the crystal ball to see how conference races and the playoff picture look in the Fox Valley. Before we get into that breakdown, I will say the best part of this football season has been watching the rise of the Dundee-Crown Chargers. A program that has struggled for many years has appeared to turn the corner and all the credit in the world goes to coach Vito Andriola, his staff and the kids who stuck with it during the bad times. In fact, this could be a banner year for District 300 football. Never before have all three D300 schools — Dundee-Crown, Jacobs and Hampshire — made the state football playoffs in the same season. Barring something unforeseen by the crystal ball, 2013 will be the year that finally happens.

     
  • Work ethic, defense at core of Dundee-Crown’s success Sep 26, 2013 11:04 PM
    To Dundee-Crown boys soccer coach Rey Vargas, this really is no different from any other season. Forget for a moment Vargas’ Chargers have yet to face defeat through their first 16 games. Forget it because it’s what Vargas and assistant coach Sebastian Falinski expect from their team every year. “Quite honestly, I think we have this kind of potential every year,” Vargas said before a practice earlier this week. “It just depends on the group and how hard they’re willing to work.” So far, the 2013 Chargers have proved to have quite the impeccable work ethic. After beating Crystal Lake South Thursday night, D-C is 15-0-1 for the season, the only blemish to a spotless record being a 0-0 tie with Hononegah in the Indian Cup Tournament.

     
  • Three weeks down, it’s pedal to the metal time Sep 14, 2013 5:45 PM
    Week 3 of the high school football season is in the books. A third of the way to the postseason and some interesting storylines are developing around the Fox Valley. The biggest headline going into Week 4 belongs to Vito Andriola and his Dundee-Crown Chargers. D-C started Andriola’s second season at the helm last fall 2-0 and then fell off the map, finishing 3-6. But on Friday night at the D-C Bowl, the Chargers took a major step forward when they hung on for a 14-13 win over Crystal Lake South, quite possibly D-C’s most quality win on the football field in 10 years or more. It’s been 20 years since a Dundee-Crown football team started a season 3-0.

     
  • Burlington Central, Weber on track for memorable season Sep 5, 2013 5:08 PM
    Golf usually isn’t one of those sports where coaches talk about leaders. The individual nature of the game, most times anyway, takes away from the team concept most high school sports have. But when you have a Matt Weber on your team, you tend to talk about leaders. Just ask Burlington Central boys’ coach Deb Twenhafel. “Matt is a totally different boy from the beginning of last year to now,” said Twenhafel Tuesday as Weber and the Rockets warmed up for the Elgin Country Club Invitational. “He’s become a great leader. He took the boys out this summer and worked with them. The kids voted him captain and he’s taking that job very seriously. That’s the kind of boy you want on your team.”

     
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