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Articles filed under Radtke, John

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  • 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.

  • Hampshire grad Dumoulin is one who definitely gets it Mar 8, 2013 8:20 PM
    For someone who not only played most of the time on her previous teams, but who also starred on those teams, this has been a bit of a strange year of basketball for Hampshire graduate Cassie Dumoulin. That doesn't mean it's been all bad. To the contrary, Dumolulin had the time of her life wearing the orange and blue No. 10 uniform for the University of Illinois this season.

  • Bartlett's Gulczynski thriving at Wisconsin Mar 7, 2013 11:55 PM
    Jacki Gulczynski has come a long way in one basketball season. Gulczynski, the Bartlett graduate who is now a sophomore at Wisconsin, had a rough start to the season. She struggled to find her shot, and in turn, her confidence. But continued hard work, a trademark of Gulczynski's during her years at Bartlett, and her Wisconsin coaches showing confidence in her, has led to a turnaround and now she's one of the top players for the Badgers and one of the top sophomores in the Big Ten. "At the beginning of the year if someone had told me I'd be where I am now I wouldn't have believed it," said Gulczynski Thursday after leading the 11th-seeded Badgers to a 58-57 upset win over No. 6 Illinois in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament at the Sears Centre.

  • Taking a final look at Fox Valley girls basketball for 2012-13 Mar 5, 2013 10:00 PM
    The time has come to clean out the notebooks from a long weekend at the girls basketball state tournament, as well as from the 2012-13 season. The just-completed state tournament had its usual spills and thrills, but one of the overriding themes of the Class 3A and 4A Final Four was that youth was being served. In Class 4A, eight of the 10 starters in the championship game were non-seniors. Four of the five Huntley starters were non-seniors. Whitney Young only had three seniors on its roster, two of them starters. In Class 3A, 13 of the 20 starters were non-seniors.

  • Huntley girls leave with high hopes for the future Mar 3, 2013 8:52 PM
    Don't think for one minute that the Huntley girls basketball team left Redbird Arena here Saturday night hanging their collective heads. Not a chance. OK, so the Red Raiders lost both their games in the Class 4A state tournament, falling in Saturday's third-place game to Whitney Young 60-27. But Red Raiders' coach Steve Raethz, one of the classiest guys to ever roam the sidelines of any state tournament, was quick to not only credit Corry Irvin's Dolphins for the team they are, but to also put into perspective what this first trip to state meant to his team, the girls basketball program as a whole at Huntley, Huntley High School and the Huntley community in general.

  • Huntley taking it all in, and having a blast Feb 28, 2013 11:04 PM
    Haley Ream never figured on ending her Huntley girls basketball career playing in the state finals at Redbird Arena. The Red Raiders’ Andrews sisters, junior Sam and freshman Ali, may have figured on being here next year, but probably not this year. And Raiders’ head coach Steve Raethz? Well, he knows the experience could very well be a once in a lifetime thing. “You never know if you’ll get this opportunity,” Raethz said after his team’s 30-minute shootaround on Doug Collins Court Thursday afternoon. “It’s never a given and you have to make the most of it.”

  • Future looking bright for Burlington Central, Huntley Feb 22, 2013 8:02 PM
    That surreal feeling became real for the girls basketball players, coaches and fans from Burlington Central and Huntley Friday morning. They may have waked up looking for someone to pinch them to make sure, but the reality is the Rockets and Red Raiders are playing in supersectionals Monday night. Man, how times have changed — at least for this year. We're not talking about two programs here that make a habit of playing basketball on the last Monday of February. To the contrary, this is just Central's second supersectional, and the last one came in 1984, when most of the current Rockets' parents were still in high school themselves. And for Huntley, well, this is totally uncharted waters for the Red Raiders.

  • Family, basketball, golf all a love affair for Streamwood’s Jones Feb 20, 2013 7:15 PM
    Ask Tim Jones his priorities in life and today he might say family, basketball and golf. But tomorrow he might say basketball, golf and family, while yet another day it might be golf, family and basketball. But rest assured, it's going to be those three things. So closely intertwined with Jones for most of his life, let's just call it familybasketballgolf, or whatever order you might want to put them in. And don't think for a minute that will change a whole lot after Jones coaches his last Streamwood boys basketball game this season. Sure, he's retiring after 35 years as a physical education teacher in Elgin Area School District U-46, and there might be a few more Florida trips on the agenda than there are now, but Jones won't be going underground. His youngest son, Drew, will be a senior at Larkin next year and Jones plans to spend every minute of his last child's games in the stands cheering him on.

  • Time for UEC, FVC to make crossovers more meaningful Feb 7, 2013 9:03 PM
    A sports writer I once worked with had a column called Some Things I Think I Think. Today is my version of Some Things I Think I Think, all related to the girls basketball season that will enter the state tournament series for Class 3A and Class 4A teams beginning Monday.

  • Revisiting the magic that was Hampshire girls basketball Jan 31, 2013 9:35 PM
    Every once in a while, a team comes along that you just never forget. In this case it's three teams. Time may blur the memory a bit here and there and require searching the archives to be accurate, but what will never be forgotten is how special the Hampshire girls basketball teams of 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 really were. For three years running the Whip-Purs played on the final weekend of the season at Redbird Arena. The only other basketball program in the Daily Herald's Fox Valley coverage area to do that was the Elgin boys from 1943-45.

  • Burlington Central’s kiddie corps has exceeded expectations Jan 28, 2013 9:42 PM
    It's been well chronicled that Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith knew he had some talent coming in when he took the Rockets' head coaching job. And Smith knows talent. His daughter, Kelsey, plays at DePaul and as a boys baskeball coach for several seasons at St. Charles North, as well as a former high school and college player himself, Smith knows good players when he sees them. But even Smith admits being surprised at how well his freshman-laden team has done this season. At 19-4 overall and having secured their first Big Northern East championship since 2006-07, the Rockets also cracked the Daily Herald Top 20 this week for the first time this season, and they're the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Class 3A regional that they will host. Central has not won a girls basketball regional since 1990 and has only three regional banners in program history.

  • Legendary Dundee-Crown coach Curtright was one of a kind Jan 24, 2013 7:27 PM
    Holy Cheese and Crackers! Now there's one you don't hear every day. But according to Jim Rumsa, who would certainly know, that was Jerry Curtright's famous line when he didn't agree with a call or something else went haywire in a football or baseball game. Curtright, the legendary former Dundee-Crown multi-sport coach and math teacher, passed away last Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the age of 76. He is survived by three sons, Jay, Todd and Toby, and two daughters, Tracy Reinhard and Terry Truett. A memorial service will be held in Colorado Springs this Saturday.

  • Smith, Schrader enjoying first season at Loyola Jan 22, 2013 9:04 PM
    A year ago, Becca Smith was on her way to scoring more than 2,000 career points and leading the South Elgin girls basketball team to the program’s first regional championship. Lindsay Schrader had her first full-time coaching gig as an assistant at Longwood University in Richmond, Va. Today, the two former Daily Herald all-area captains are wearing the same colors.

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