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Articles filed under Radtke, John

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  • 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.”

  • Elgin Sports Hall of Fame has a busy summer Aug 22, 2013 8:14 PM
    Remember when the teacher used to make you write a report on what you did on summer vacation? Well, I won’t go into my summer, other than to say it was healthy and fantastic, but instead today’s first report of the 2013-14 school year will catch you up on some of the happenings of the summer around the Fox Valley and take a brief look at what’s ahead. The Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has been busy this summer preparing for its annual golf outing in September and then the annual induction ceremony and awards banquet on Nov. 3 at The Centre of Elgin.

  • With a focus on academics, Rohde regime takes over at Elgin Aug 14, 2013 8:21 PM
    New head coaches tend, as a rule, to come into programs with visions of grandeur. If they are taking over a successful program, it’s warranted to have lofty expectations. If you come in talking immediate resurrection to a struggling program, everyone knows it’s pretty much just coach-speak. Then there’s the new head coach who knows what he’s up against and faces it head on, in the right manner, and realistically. That’s Kyle Rohde.

  • Taking a look back, and ahead, at Fox Valley softball May 30, 2013 9:25 PM
    I had a softball player on one of my summer teams for a few years — Lauren Ott was her name — and every time something out of the ordinary would happen in a game she'd say, "That's weird." Which was exactly my thought when the last out was made at the sectional semifinal between Glenbard North and South Elgin in St. Charles Wednesday. That Storm loss brought to a close the 2013 softball season for the 14 schools we cover from the Fox Valley bureau and, well, as Lauren always put it, that's weird. It's the first time since 2006 our little corner of the world didn't have a team advance to at least the sectional final round of the state tournament series.

  • St. Edward’s exit from the SCC another sign of the times May 6, 2013 11:25 AM
    We all know times have changed. There's evidence of it every day in every walk of life. The Upstate Eight Conference recently came full circle, in a manner of speaking, when it accepted West Aurora and Glenbard East to rejoin the league those schools were charter members of 50 years ago when the conference was formed. On Thursday, the official word came that St. Edward is among seven schools that have been accepted to join the Metro Suburban Conference in the fall of 2014, effectively bringing to an end one of the longest standing group of schools in the same conference anywhere in the state. Originally the West Suburban Catholic, then the Suburban Catholic, the league became the Suburban Christian Conference in 2009 when Aurora Christian, Walther Lutheran, Guerin, Chicago Christian and Wheaton Academy joined.

  • Efflandt doing OK, but no doubt she’ll return with a mask Apr 29, 2013 9:49 PM
    Lindsay Efflandt, like any pitcher, knows the risk. Softball pitchers put a 12-inch yellow softball in their hand, deliver it to hitters wielding bats that get more powerful every year, and once that softball has left that pitcher's hand, the most vulnerable person on the field is the pitcher. Efflandt, Cary-Grove's senior standout who is one of the best pitchers to ever take the circle in the Fox Valley Conference, literally saw her life flash before her eyes April 22 when Prairie Ridge's Kirsten Stevens hit a line shot that nailed Efflandt flush in the left eye. No, Efflandt was not wearing a face mask. She did have on sunglasses though, and at least one doctor has told her the glasses may have saved her life.

  • For South Elgin's Rodriguez, cheerleading a viable option Apr 24, 2013 10:53 AM
    Life is full of twists and turns. Some create opportunity, some create torn ACLs. South Elgin senior Kara Rodriguez can tell you all about both. A multitalented and multisport athlete, Rodriguez spent the better part of her teen years to this point dreaming of playing softball in college on scholarship. But life takes the aforementioned twists and turns sometimes without asking us if we're ready for them, and that's what happened to Rodriguez on Sept. 28, 2011 in the South Elgin gym.

  • Crystal Lake South missing Hardie’s presence Apr 18, 2013 8:16 PM
    Mark Hardie is a unique high school softball coach. The assistant coach at Crystal Lake South is also a dad of softball players. His triplet daughters — Kaitlin, Megan and Samantha — all played softball for the Gators, with their dad as Scott Busam’s assistant. That in itself isn’t all that unique, although dads coaching in high school is somewhat of a novelty. Hardie achieved the unique status after the 2009 season, when he stayed on as South’s assistant coach. You’ll find very few dads who would do that after their kids graduate, especially when two of the three said kids were moving on to play the game at Winona State University in Minnesota. But Hardie, who started coaching with Busam when the Hardie girls were in eighth grade, had a passion for softball and for the kids and program at Crystal Lake South and he and Busam have continued to make things work.

  • Elgin resident Gruner happy to be safely home from Boston Apr 17, 2013 6:48 PM
    Being on the right side of the street instead of the left side on Monday may have saved Sue Gruner's life. Gruner, a west Elgin resident, was just getting ready to cross the finish line of her first Boston Marathon when the first bomb of the inexplicable terrorist attack went off. The time on the official clock when the first bomb exploded was 4:09.44. Gruner's official finishing time was 4:09.45. Back home on Wednesday, Gruner shared her experience and the emotions that came with it.

  • Burlington Central has the right formula for success Mar 28, 2013 3:58 PM
    Sustaining success in any high school sports program is never easy. In fact, sustaining sucess is one of the toughest jobs a high school coach has. Many formulas have been concocted over the years to build a successful program and maintain that success, yet few programs can truly say they've found the answer. The Burlington Central boys track program is one that has most definitely found the right answer, and the consistency of excellence that has come with that is unparalled by any boys track program and by very few programs in any sport in the Fox Valley area.

  • Maisto embraces changes in second go-round as a head coach Mar 21, 2013 4:53 PM
    A lot has changed since Wade Maisto "retired" as a head softball coach in 1998, including the jargon of today's student-athletes. Like moxie being replaced by swag. But don't think the "new" Burlington Central softball coach doesn't knows the game has changed.

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