While RBHS two-sport star Will Kincanon and RBHS state champion cross-country runner earned the RB Landmark’s Male and Athlete of the Year awards, several area athletes made a considerable mark on the 2013-14 high school sports landscape. Here’s a list and a tip of cap to the best of the rest:
Austin Adamec: RBHS senior golfer fired a career-low 67 en route to comfortably winning the Brother Rice Regional title by four strokes.
Justin Agne: RBHS all-conference linebacker, running back and special teams ace who had 51 tackles (including six for loss), a sack, blocked punt, safety and nine punts for 253 yards. He also rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries. In baseball, Agne hit .320 with a homer and 20 RBIs for RBHS, which won 23 games and a regional title.
Eleanor Ahlberg: RBHS senior golfer carded a 112 to advance to sectional competition.
Joe Aieta: Along with teammates Santi Beltran and Quentin Dreilich, the high-scoring senior striker led RBHS to another solid season. When he’s not playing soccer, Aieta enjoys playing the cello and piano.
Esther Annoreno: RBHS freshman soccer player scored seven goals in solid varsity debut campaign. Before joining the Bulldogs, she played for RB United (a premier youth soccer team) which competes nationally.
Samantha Bloom: Along with fellow freshman contributors Dana Rettke and Lyndsey Hoyd, this first-year sensation averaged 14.2 points and two steals along with a team-high 452 points and 63 three-pointers in 32 games played for RBHS (25-7).
Izzi Cain/Erica Fong: RBHS senior tandem set tone for RBHS badminton team, which finished 7-4 overall highlighted by winning its own invite.
Xander Catrambone: Smooth-swinging senior hit .326 with a home run and 15 RBIs for RBHS. He also led the Bulldogs with18 stolen bases.
Alex Chatt: Northwestern-bound Chatt finished her brilliant tennis career at LTHS with a third-place showing at the state finals. After being upset by Hinsdale Central freshman Isabella Lorenzini in the semifinals, Chatt bounced back to beat New Trier’s Carol Finke 6-0, 6-1 to earn third in the state.
Julia Cohen: LTHS water polo standout earned first team all-sectional nomination and third team all-state recognition. Finished second in scoring, assists and steals for the Lions during the spring.
Weston Credit: 100 breaststroke state finalist as a sophomore for LTHS boys swimming.
Dan Curtin: Savvy distance runner played a huge role in the RBHS track and field team’s impressive success. Curtin, a two-time all-conference performer, qualified for the track and field state meet.
Conor Dunham/Peter Korabik: Since these two St. Ignatius seniors from Riverside worked so well together, it’s only fitting they join our prestigious list as a duo. Collectively, they led the Wolfpack to seventh-place showing in the Class 3A boys track and field state finals. Dunham won the state title in the 300 hurdles with a time of 36.90 seconds and also earned fifth in the 110 hurdles (14.49), while the DePaul-bound Korabik earned second in the 1600 (4:11.2), trailing only state champion Patrick Perrier of O’Fallon (4:10.34).
Tom Fiedler: Strong-armed LTHS quarterback completed 136-of-234 passes for a 58.2 completion percentage. Even more impressive, he threw for 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions while throwing passes to a plethora or targets in the Lions’ spread attack.
Erin Fitzgerald: Cornell-bound midfielder/forward tallied nine goals as an all-conference/all-sectional standout. “Erin is a very tough, physical and smart player with a great will to win,” LTHS coach Will Lanspeary said.
Amy Frey: Blocked 249 shots and was an honorable mention all-sectional goalie for the RBHS water polo team. Frey, an accomplished swimmer as well, served as a captain on the water polo team.
Nick Giurini: RBHS wrestler finished fourth in the 113-pound class at De La Salle Regional to qualify for state. He also earned ample playing time as a middle infielder on the baseball team.
Kendall Hastings: Following in former RBHS softball star/her older sister’s (Emily Hastings) footsteps, Hastings posted a team-high .482 batting average along with two home runs and 26 RBIs for the improving Bulldogs.
Emma Haugen: LTHS junior recorded a jump of 5 feet, 7 inches to the state championship in the high jump of the Class 3A state meet. She also earned seventh place in the triple jump (36-8.75)
Lana Herrmann: Slugging catcher/outfielder assumed major role in getting RBHS softball back in the right direction after a dismal 2013 campaign. She crushed opposing pitchers all spring to the tune of a .442 batting average along with team-highs in both home runs (7) and RBIs (39).
Tom Hickey: Hard-throwing righty for the LTHS baseball team finished 7-1 with a 0.89 earned-run average. “He had a pretty special year,” said LTHS coach George Ushela, who nominated the Brookfield resident for all-state honors.
Sam Johnson: Sharp-shooting junior forward for RBHS basketball. With the graduation of Will Kincanon and Jack VandeMerkt, should score even more points next season along with providing leadership, defense and rebounding.
Paulina Kaminski: Fenwick senior, from Riverside, won the 100 breaststroke (1:02.40) and took second in the 200 individual medley (2:03.67) at the state meet. Kaminski will swim at Yale University next year.
Monica Kasper: 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter led RBHS volleyball team which finished 18-11, including a 7-5 record in the Metro Suburban Conference.
Catherine King: Returning from ACL surgery, this LTHS senior soccer player scored five goals and anchored the Lions’ defense, which notched 12 shutouts on the spring.
Marko Kostich: Prolific outside hitter on the LTHS volleyball team.
Kelsy Kurfirst: Powered the LTHS gymnastics team to a second straight state championship by defending her state title on the floor exercise and taking third in the all-around, vault and balance beam.
Jackie LaBelle: RBHS pole vaulter made a return trip to the state finals by clearing 9-6 at the Lyons Township Sectional.
Emily Lange: LTHS senior scored 12 goals and earned all-conference, all-state and all-Midwest honors for her exceptional play in soccer. The midfielder/forward will play soccer at the University of Cincinnati.
Stephanie Lin: LTHS junior claimed second consecutive badminton singles state title.
Gerrand Moody: RBHS senior track and field all-conference performer and state qualifier in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 1600 relay.
Kayla Morrissey: Outstanding LTHS basketball and softball player who earned all-conference recognition in both sports. Morrissey finished 19th academically in the LTHS Class of 2014. She will attend Grinnell College where she hopes to continue playing sports as well.
Harrison Niego: Versatile 6-foot-2 guard who runs the show for LTHS basketball. Niego, a capable scorer and outstanding playmaker, has been drawing recruiting interest from several Division I programs over the past couple of seasons.
Katie O’Connell: In addition to being her team’s best pitcher, the RBHS junior hit .477 with 30 RBIs and no strikeouts in 117 plate appearances for the Bulldogs.
Dana Rettke: 6-foot-5 freshmen center made immediate impact at both ends of the floor for RBHS basketball team. Rettke, who averaged 8.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, is already receiving heavy recruiting interest from several Division I basketball programs. Already esyablished an as elite shotblocker, the reportedly still-growing Rettke has unlimited upside.
Quinn Risley: All-state swimmer for RBHS who claimed four sectional title events as well as setting a new pool record at Fenwick in the 50 free. Currently the owner of four RBHS swimming records, he took fifth place in the 50 free and 11th place in the 200 free relay at the state meet.
Lewis Rogers: Do-it-all athlete who starred on the RBHS football and track & field teams. An extremely driven and team-oriented player, Rogers excelled as a wide receiver, returner and cornerback for the Bulldogs in the fall, before turning his attention to hurdles and relays in the spring with the track team, which won its second straight conference title.
Leonard Ross: Explosive LTHS running back ran 151 times for 976 yards (6.4 yards per carry) to power Lions into the playoffs. He’s drawing interest from multiple Division I college programs.
Lexy Rudofski: Key member of 3200 relay team for LTHS track and field team, which finished sixth in the state. She also garnered all-state status in cross country.
Kelly Ryser: Extremely versatile athlete who was a key member of the LTHS gymnastics state championship squad, swimming team and lacrosse team.
Patrick Schneider: Key member of LTHS boys swim team who inspired his teammates. Schneider also played Special Education basketball and is the brother of Texas-bound swimming star Mimi Schneider, who graduated from Fenwick High School this year.
Richard Schoen: The senior two-way football star assumed multiple roles for Fenwick including big-play receiver, ballhawking linebacker/safety and a stellar special teams’ player. Schoen, who will play football next season at Miami of Ohio, caught 36 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he tallied 66 tackles, two fumble recoveries and nine interceptions.
Tim Somers: Talented RBHS swimmer who performed well at the Fenwick Sectional, highlighted with a pair of wins in the 200 and 400 free on that historic day, the Bulldogs’ first-ever swimming sectional title. At state, he swam a leg of the Bulldogs’11th place all-state award and he also broke three school records during his time at RBHS.
Lacey Smith: RBHS gymnast qualified for the sectional championship in the all-around and the balance beam. In 2013, Lacey’s older sister, Becca, qualified for the sectional championship in four events.
Jack VandeMerkt: No one did more for RBHS sports in terms of overall participation than the versatile VandeMerkt. He was the starting quarterback for the RBHS football team before getting injured. VandeMerkt recovered from that adversity to turn in stellar campaigns with the Bulldogs’ basketball and track teams as a star center and high jumper.
Sydney Veon: RBHS swimmer was a state qualifier in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 medley relay team. In both of the aforementioned races, Veon broke a school record while leading the Bulldogs to a solid fourth-place showing at the Lyons Township Sectional. In water polo, she earned second team all-sectional status as a superb utility/driver (43 goals, 30 steals and 18 forced errors).
Kimmy Vitek: LTHS diver finished 13th at the state finals and second at the sectional meet in addition to breaking the Lions’ 11 dive school record record.
Caroline Waas: RBHS two-sport star in basketball and soccer. She offered experience, leadership and tough defense for the girls basketball team which featured three freshman starters. As a stalwart defender, Waas similarly anchored the Bulldogs’ young soccer team as well.
Brendan Weibel: LTHS senior captain on boys swim team. He also qualified for the state swim meet three times and finished No. 1 in the LTHS Class of 2014.
Claire Wilson: RBHS senior tennis player provided leadership and plenty of wins in singles competition as the young Bulldogs finished 16-5 on the season.
Jessie Wittenberg: LTHS goalie had 223 saves and allowed 165 goals in 30 games of girls water polo action.