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  • Harper women’s soccer players net postseason acclaim Oct 30, 2014 8:38 PM
    A solid group of Harper College women’s soccer players were recently rewarded for solid seasons by earning all-conference and all-region honors. Freshman goalie Nicole Soderholm (Buffalo Grove) and freshman forward Danielle Reptowski (Schaumburg) were named first team all-region and all-conference, while teamates Kassidy Kushner (a freshman from Barrington) and Jillian Zelek (a sophomore from Elk Grove) were named to both second teams.

  • Girls volleyball: Loyola handles Larkin Oct 30, 2014 9:21 PM
    After getting past Rolling Meadows with relative ease in its opening match of the Class 4A Larkin regional on Tuesday, top-seeded Loyola Academy took another step toward a trip downstate on Thursday. Fighting off a pesky Larkin team, Loyola used strong serving at the end of each game to clinch a 25-15, 25-15 win for a Class 4A regional title.

  • Football: Scouting first-round playoffs, Northwest Oct 30, 2014 9:13 PM
    Here's a look at Week 1 football playoff matchups from the perspective of Barrington, Fremd, Palatine, Hersey, Rolling Meadows and St. Viator.

  • Spellman’s Scorecard: Maddon hiring will be a real treat Oct 30, 2014 9:28 PM
    The main reason I’m excited about the anticipated arrival of Joe Maddon is that he’s universally respected. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a guy like that on the North Side. A real long time.

  • Nolan, Crystal Lake South on a roll again Oct 30, 2014 9:33 PM
    Crystal Lake South’s girls volleyball team certainly had enough motivation entering Thursday night’s Class 4A Prairie Ridge regional title match against rival Crystal Lake Central. A win would give South a second straight regional crown and a chance to play at home for the sectionals. The inspired Gators got the job done. Second-seeded South advanced to the its own sectional with a 26-24, 25-20 win over the talented top-seeded Tigers. It’s the 19th regional title in program history for the Gators.

  • ESHOF to honor Nemmers with Lifetime Achievement Award Oct 30, 2014 9:07 PM
    There’s that adage that when one door closes, another opens. In the case of retired Elgin High School Principal Larry Nemmers, one huge door got shut in his face and two even bigger life-changing doors opened for him. Nemmers, an Iowa native who starred as a running back and safety at Upper Iowa University, tried out for the Chicago Bears in 1965. “I got cut,” said Nemmers, a three-sport athlete for a time at Upper Iowa who was named little-All-America in football there. “I had to find a job.”

  • St. Charles North can’t stop Benet Oct 30, 2014 8:52 PM
    When two strong volleyball teams play well, you’re usually in for a tight, down-to-the-wire match, and that’s what St. Charles North was hoping to see Thursday night.

  • Schofield, Carmel return to form against Palatine Oct 30, 2014 9:41 PM
    Gracie Schofield was back for Carmel’s girls volleyball team on Thursday night.“It felt a little weird after missing the last three matches,” said the Drake recruit, who suffered her first injury (sprained ankle) in four years on the varsity. “It was just kind of hurting when I was jumping and landing on it. I just had to forget about it and play for the team. Once I did that, it was a lot easier.” Schofield and the No. 3 seeded Corsairs did not make things easy on No. 6 Palatine. Attacking from all angles, the Corsairs registered 24 kills en route to a 25-11, 25-21 victory in the championship match of the Class 4A Wheeling regional.

  • Kurth, Stevenson ace out Hersey Oct 30, 2014 9:12 PM
    Maybe there is something to that cliché — you know, the one saying it’s very hard to beat a team three times in one season. Stevenson sophomore Jori Radtke had a stunning 17 kills as seventh-seeded Stevenson ended Hersey’s terrific season 25-20, 23-25, 25-21 at Glenbrook North.

  • Scouting this weekend’s DuPage County playoff football games Oct 30, 2014 3:15 PM
    A look at this weekend's DuPage County high school playoff football games.

  • Geneva makes quick work of Naperville North Oct 30, 2014 9:38 PM
    Already with one postseason win by the skin of its teeth, Geneva’s volleyball team decided to make things a little easier on their fans — and their coach — Thursday night in the Class 4A Geneva regional championship game.

  • Springfield will host Illini hoops 5 times in 2015 Oct 30, 2014 2:08 PM
    The University of Illinois says the men’s basketball team will play five 2015-16 games in Springfield while work continues on the State Farm Center in Champaign.

  • Carmel’s Curran, Eppel go from standbys to standouts Oct 30, 2014 10:04 PM
    From standers to difference-makers, Carmel linemen Mark Curran and Ben Eppel worked their way off the sideline and into the starting lineup by developing two of the best work ethics on the team. Coach Andy Bitto says players like them are the reason the Corsairs are back in the football playoffs.

  • Untapable, Napravnik team up for Breeders’ Cup Oct 30, 2014 7:25 PM
    ARCADIA, Calif. — Untapable and jockey Rosie Napravnik can close out a stellar year with a victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The path to the winner’s circle has been made a bit easier by the absence of defending champion Beholder. Beholder spiked a fever last week, removing the biggest threat from Friday’s headline race on the opening day of the two-day world championships at Santa Anita. Her absence cast Untapable in the role of the early 5-2 favorite for the 1 1/8-mile race. “We’re expecting a big race out of her,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, whose best finish in the Distaff was second with My Miss Aurelia two years ago. Asmussen followed a similar game plan with Untapable that he first tried in 2012. He sent the filly to California right after she won the Cotillion in Pennsylvania last month, giving Untapable extra time to settle in at Santa Anita. “Getting to California early has worked extremely well for our horses,” he said. Untapable and Napravnik have been together for all but two of the 3-year-old filly’s 10 career starts. They are 5 of 6 this year, including a victory in the Kentucky Oaks in May. The only blemish was a fifth-place finish against the boys in the Haskell Invitational. “She’s an extremely talented filly,” Asmussen said. “This is as good as she’s been and I feel really good because she’s run some strong races this year.” Napravnik has just one Breeders’ Cup victory in her career, winning the Juvenile two years ago with Shanghai Bobby. She has a mount in the $1 million Dirt Mile on Friday with Tapiture. It was a blow to Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella when he had to keep Beholder in the barn because of her illness. But he has a rooting interest in the Distaff — his son, Gary, will saddle longshot Valiant Emilia from Peru. The younger Mandella was disappointed for his father, but he knows Beholder’s absence improves the chances of the 11 horses in the race. “Beholder is the best mare we’ve seen post-Zenyatta,” Gary Mandella said. “The race is not easy but the field is lighter without her presence.” Valiant Emilia, who is listed at 20-1, is making her U.S. debut Friday after coming to Mandella’s barn two months ago. The 5-year-old mare wouldn’t be here except that she won a race in Peru that guaranteed her a berth in the Distaff. “I think she will be midpack,” Mandella said of her running style. “She’s kind of a grinder.” She will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, a native of Peru, which has had just one other horse start in the Breeders’ Cup. Almudena was 10th in the Marathon two years ago. “There is a lot of emotion for everyone,” said Gabriela Alvarez-Calderon, the daughter of owner Bernardo Calderon. “All the people that follow racing will be watching tomorrow.” In Friday’s other Breeders’ Cup races: • Hootenanny is the early 3-1 favorite for trainer Wesley Ward in the $1 million Juvenile Turf, with Frankie Dettori aboard for the one-mile race. • Defending champion Goldencents is the shortest priced favorite among the day’s four races at 6-5 in the $1 million Dirt Mile. He is co-owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. The trainer of record is Leandro Mora, subbing for his boss Doug O’Neill, who is serving a medication suspension and is banned from attending the Breeders’ Cup. • Sunset Glow is the early 7-2 favorite for the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, giving Ward the favorites in both of the day’s races for 2-year-olds. Victor Espinoza will be aboard Sunset Glow in the one-mile race.

  • Rosary routs Aurora Central Oct 30, 2014 9:36 PM
    There was far more at stake when the neighborhood rivals met in a girls volleyball match for the second time this month. But the postseason proved no different than their regular-season date as host Rosary never trailed in administering a straight-sets defeat against Aurora Central Catholic Thursday evening. Behind the serving prowess of Martha Konvodoff and the fearsome hitting of Erin Burke, the Royals dominated their Class 3A regional final in Aurora with a 25-10, 25-8 victory.

  • When Maddon smoke clears, hunt for free agents will begin for Cubs Oct 30, 2014 7:22 PM
    There was continued silence Thursday concerning the Cubs' pursuit of Joe Maddon to be their next manager. An announcement may not come until next week. Free agency for players also is open, and Cubs president Theo Epstein earlier this off-season voiced a nuanced approach.

  • Kristufek’s selections for Breeders’ Cup Oct 30, 2014 6:52 PM
    Racing handicapper Joe Kristufek of DAKRacing and offers his top selections for the Breeders' Cup races this weekend at Santa Anita Park.

  • Calabrese loves his BC Sprint contender’s chances Oct 30, 2014 8:00 PM
    Frank Calabrese, the Arlington Park legend, considers his 3-year-old Thoroughbred, Fast Anna, to be a "special" horse. He'll put that specialness to the test on Saturday in the $1.5 million Breeders Cup Sprint at Santa Anita (scheduled post: 6:01 p.m., NBCSN). Says Calabrese: “He’s smart, athletic and competitive, like his mother, and just like my sister Anna was.”

  • Time for Fire to give fans a title-contender Oct 30, 2014 2:10 PM
    Let's set the ground rules for the Chicago Fire's off-season right away. If the Fire doesn't sign at least two designated players this winter, fans should see it as a sign the club isn't serious about winning.

  • Focused Cary-Grove a regional champ Oct 31, 2014 1:45 AM
    The much-improved Dundee-Crown girls volleyball team could not keep determined host Cary-Grove from returning to championship form in Thursday’s Class 4A regional final. Cary-Grove, which won the 4A state title in 2009 and finished runner-up in 2010 and 2011, won its first regional title since that remarkable era by sweeping the Chargers 25-19, 25-18.

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