Gerber excited to be taking on coaching role at Hersey

Updated 2/18/2019 7:44 PM

This could be a first for Mid-Suburban League East athletics.

In the same school year, Laura Gerber will be head varsity coach at two different schools.


Gerber, who was in her fourth season as Prospect's girls volleyball coach last fall, has been named the coach for Hersey's boys volleyball team this spring.

She takes over for Nancy Lill (463-237 career record), who will take time to get herself back to 100 percent from knee replacement.

Lill will be back this summer and fall directing the Hersey girls volleyball program.

"Nancy (Lill), Amy (Ohrt) and Jodi (Blazek) have created an amazing volleyball culture at Hersey and I'm honored to be a part of it," Gerber said. "I'm sad to leave the boys and coaches at Prospect but I'm so excited to have the opportunity to continue the winning tradition at Hersey."

Lill started the boys program at Hersey in 1988-89 as a boys volleyball club and it became an IHSA sport in 1990-91.

Lill coached until the 2004-05 season when she gave it up to follow her daughter Katie in club volleyball.

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Blazek took the program over and coached until 2011-12. Lill then returned to the head position when Blazek gave it up to spend time with her children.

"I am very excited that Laura Gerber will be taking over the program," Lill said. "She has done an outstanding job with the girls program at Prospect and I feel strongly the program will continue to thrive under her leadership."

Gerber said she is looking forward to a great season and helping the Huskies defend their MSL title.

"I'm proud to represent Hersey on and off the court," she said. "I'm adding orange to my wardrobe."

Lill will miss the spring action.

"I absolutely loved every minute coaching the guys at Hersey," she said. "They were an absolute joy to coach. Looking back through the years, I was blessed with so many outstanding athletes and quality individuals.


"Our teams had a lot of fun and much success along the way. Our guys have always had great pride in being a part of the Hersey volleyball program."

Gerber inherits Lil's coaching staff (Ohrt and Blazek).

"I'm sure they'll help make it a smooth transition," Lill added. "Laura and I are good friends and I look forward to following our boys team this season, in the bleachers across the court from the bench."

Officials honored

The 2018-19 IHSA Official of the Year for girls basketball is Ron Ritter, who has worked the last three Mid-Suburban League championship games.

The Westchester resident has officiated IHSA girls basketball for more than 30 years, In addition to the MSL, he has worked many other Chicagoland conferences.

Ritter officiated the Class 4A/3A state finals in 2016 and 2017, including the Class 3A title game in 2017. He has also done numerous regional, sectional and supersectional games.

The boys volleyball officiating award went to Krystian Krzyzak of Arlington Heights while William Drennan of Schaumburg earned the award for girls track and field.

This year's winners will be recognized at a banquet during the 2019 IHSA Officials Conference, which will be held on Saturday, July 20, at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria.

Men's track

Villanova's Jack Fredian, (Hersey) officially redshirted for this year, is still able to run in meets where Villanova is competing as an unattached athlete. Last fall, he lowered his times in the 3,200 and 8,000-meter runs from his freshman year and last weekend he ran a 3,000-meter indoor race at the Villanova Invitational and lowered his personal record by 13 seconds.

Fredian also made the dean's list his first semester.


Wisconsin-Whitewater senior Julia Camardo (Buffalo Grove) is one of 50 players to earn a spot on the 2019 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III National Player of the Year watch list.

She is one of 25 seniors on the list, which is narrowed down to 25 during the season before the 10 finalists are announced.

Camardo was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year last spring.

She was first team All-WIAC and first team NFCA All-Great Lakes Region after compiling a 14-6 record with a 2.04 earned run average and a .216 opponent batting average in 123⅓ innings.

Camardo was named NCAA Whitewater regional Most Outstanding Player after helping the Warhawks win a regional for the first time since 2014.

She also helped the team win the WIAC regular season and tournament championships for the second straight year and reached the NCAA Super Regional, where it forced a decisive third game against eventual national runner-up Illinois Wesleyan.

Women's swimming

University of Findlay (Ohio) sophomore Sarah Miles (Hoffman Estates) was a three-time medalist at the Great Midwest/Mountain East Conference meet in Canton, Ohio.

Miles helped the Oilers' women to the team title in the meet. She won two silver medals and one bronze medal.

Miles won her first silver medal in the 500-yard freestyle, with a time of 5:08.44. That was a drop of 2.33 seconds from her time in the morning preliminaries. Later in the day, she helped the Findlay 800 freestyle relay to a second-place finish.

The bronze medal came on the final night of the meet, as Miles finished third in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:07.18, an improvement of 1.35 seconds from her prelim time.

The meet began for Miles with a fifth-place finish and a visit to the podium in the 1,000 freestyle. Her time of 10:48.57 represented a drop of 32.35 seconds from her seed time.

Miles also earned fifth in the 200 freestyle, going 1:54.14, an improvement of 1.46 seconds over her time in the prelims.


St. Viator senior Niko Weder, a multisport standout, will continue his football career at Augustana.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound linebacker and long snapper was a two-time All-East Suburban Catholic Conference performer for coach Dave Archibald at Viator.

This past fall, he recorded 91 tackles, including 44 solo and earned.

He earned the Lions' Stonewall Jackson Award.

Weder led St. Viator in tackles as a junior, earning All-ESCC recognition and all-area honorable mention from the Daily Herald.

He also lettered in wrestling (team MVP honors) and lacrosse.

Women's cross country

Lewis' Abby Tripp (Conant) earned United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors and the Flyers netted All-Academic Team accolades. The Flyers' team finished the fall 2018 semester with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.21.

Men's volleyball

Augustana sophomore libero Matthew Schiferl (Wheeling) led the Vikings with 10 digs in a 19-25, 25-19, 17-25, 25-23 win over North Central.

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