High School Sports Notes
October 21, 2012 8:26PM
Updated: November 23, 2012 6:10AM
Through the ups and downs of the regular season, Lincoln-Way Central coach Marlo Varnado has come away impressed with his Knights’ performance.
Central opened with five straight dual-meet wins, defeating Hoffman Estates, South Elgin, Kankakee, Homewood-Flossmoor and Joliet West.
“Including winning those five duals in a row, the team is doing really well,” Varnado said. “We have a smaller team but we’re still doing some positive things.”
The Knights have just 12 swimmers on the varsity. Seniors Jessica Zemen and Meghan McClean have provided leadership for Central, while freshman Kim Bernhard has made an immediate impact.
“Jessica and Meghan have done a great job leading the team, especially with new swimmers, and that’s been key for us,” Varnado said. “It has helped us perform well in and out of the pool.”
Lincoln-Way Central will travel Friday and Saturday to Lockport for the SouthWest Suburban Red meet and will compete Nov. 10 at the Lincoln-Way East Sectional.
“We have quite a few kids who are looking at getting all-time best finishes,” Varnado said. “The conference meet is important for us but the sectional meet is our ultimate goal.”
Although the Joliet-area entries did not bring back any hardware from the girls tennis state meet, nearly half of the 26 qualifiers were underclassmen.
That means with offseason improvement and maturity, bigger and better things are promised in the year and years to come for Joliet-area tennis.
Included in the youth movement are freshman Hannah Davis of Providence, freshman Nina Bertino of Joliet Catholic, sophomore Caroline Plecki of Lockport and the sophomore doubles team of Monica Davy and Leah Lines of Morris.
They produced just two victories, but learned plenty during a cold, wet and competitive state tournament across the northern suburbs.
On the other side of the spectrum, Kelsey Forkin of Lockport was a four-year state qualifier. She went 1-2 with doubles partner Kat Samardzija. For her career, Forkin won four state doubles matches.
Providence’s Jamie Noonan ended her career by advancing to the state meet for the third time, competing in seven state matches over the last three years. This season, she teamed with a new partner in junior Mary Beth Galik and took fourth at the Joliet sectional.
“She is a great leader and captain,” Providence coach Ben Thompson said. “I wish her the best of luck in college.”
When seeds were released for the Class 3A Joliet Central Regional, Romeoville was given instant motivation when it was seeded third, below a Joliet Central team it had beaten in the regular season.
“We kind of got disrespected in the seeding,” Romeoville coach Nick Cirrincione said. “We had a little something to prove.”
The Spartans proved themselves by topping the host Steelmen 2-1 in the regional semifinals then avenging a regular-season loss to top-seeded Plainfield South with a 1-0 win in Friday’s regional final.
Jonathan Silvar, who scored both goals in the win over Joliet Central, said the Spartans embraced the underdog role.
“We saw where we were seeded and we thought we were the underdog,” he said. “Other coaches thought they were better, so we knew we weren’t expected to win.”
Cirrincione said Silvar has “been doing it all year” for the Romeoville offense.
The Spartans (13-5-2) are set to take on Normal Community in Tuesday’s O’Fallon Sectional semifinal.
Other local teams advancing to sectionals include Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way Central – who will play each other Wednesday – in Class 3A and Lincoln-Way West and Morris in Class 2A.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Minooka’s top five runners finished fourth through 11th Saturday to win the Indians’ Class 3A regional at Channahon Community Park.
Caleigh Beverly (4th, 18 minutes, 46 seconds), Morgan Crouch (5th, 18:46), Haley McNamara (8th, 18:58), Kaitlyn Chetney (9th, 18:58) and Moira McAsey (11th, 19:11) earned Minooka a spot in Saturday’s Normal Sectional.
“It is a great accomplishment to win a regional title,’’ Minooka coach Kevin Gummerson said. “This is a great group that has worked so hard to get to this point.
“Caleigh Beverly had another strong race and worked well with Morgan over the last mile.’’
Lockport also won a regional title, but coach Evon Marie Schlotter knows it will be a challenge to qualify for the state meet as a team without No. 1 runner Haley Beaumont (leg injury).
The Marist Sectional at Midlothian Meadows will include Lyons and Downers Grove South--whom both finished ahead of Lockport in the 2011 state meet--2012 regional champions Hinsdale Central and Marist, along with Downers Grove North and Sandburg. The top five teams in each sectional advance to the Nov. 3 state meet.
“The field will be awesome, we’ll be lucky to get out,’’ Schlotter said. “It’s going to be a huge accomplishment to make it out.’’