Local high school competition dominates our Beacon News sports coverage each year and 2013 provided us with an abundance of top performances to chronicle, including four teams the won state championships.
There were, of course, a number of standout individual efforts as well. Here’s 10 of our area’s best performances:
1. Batavia wins IHSA Class 6A state football title.
Stung by a first-round playoff exit the previous season, coach Dennis Piron’s Bulldogs came back strong, led by Player of the Year RB Anthony Scaccia. Bolstered by the depth developed by plugging in players for a number of early injuries, Batavia avenged its only loss in Week 2 of the season when it shut down a prolific Richards offense in a commanding 34-14 win in the title game at Northern Illinois University in front of a strong following of red-and-gold-clad fans who made the short drive to DeKalb.
2. Yorkville girls cross country teams wins third straight Class 2A state title.
Powered by Skyler Bollinger (10th), Erin Reynolds (13th), Maddie Dearborn (20th) Kelsey Leedy (21st) and Julia Schultz (40th), coach Chris Muth’s powerhouse continued to dominate in Peoria.
3. Yorkville boys cross country team wins Class 2A state title.
The Foxes broke through for their first team title, led by Jake Hoffert (2nd), Luke Hoffert (3rd), Nolan Tweedy (14th), Trevor Wills (47th) and Richard Skogsberg (56th).
4. Waubonsie Valley girls bowling team wins state title.
The Warriors claimed the program’s first team state crown, led by a trio of juniors in Julia Bond (4th), Sara Barsotti (7th) and Rachael Felton (24th). Seniors Charley Barbary (30th) and Marianna Guerrieri (51st) helped coach Marty Miller’s club edge neighboring rival Oswego East 12,512-12,286 for the championship.
5. West Aurora boys basketball team wins sectional.
It never gets old for veteran coach Gordie Kerkman and his Blackhawks, who upset top seed Oswego (61-60) in a sectional semifinal then knocked off Benet (42-38) before falling to Proviso East (62-52) for the second straight year at the Hinsdale Central Supersectional.
6. Bing Singhsumalee wins Illinois Women’s State Amateur.
The 16-year-old golfer for Waubonsie Valley High School last summer became the youngest woman in the 80-year history of the event to win the Women’s State Am. She followed it up in the fall by placing second, individually, in the IHSA Girls Class AA state tournament.
7. Sandwich thrower Ryan Njegovan wins IHSA Class 2A discus title.
The Indians’ senior thrower had a 2A record throw of a 188 feet, 4 inches which outdistanced his nearest rival (173-06) by more than 14 feet.
8. Marmion takes second in state dual team wrestling.
The Cadets knocked off St. Rita 37-22 in a sectional final, Minooka 39-14 in the state quarterfinals and Lincoln-Way Central 33-16 in the semifinals before falling to Sandburg 38-17 in the Class 3A title match.
9. Waubonsie Valley tennis player Eric Marbach second in state singles.
The Warriors’ senior injured his ankle in the second day of the tournament but came back with a gutsy performance to win a three-set semifinal before dropping a three-set final that totaled 5 ½ hours of play.
10. West Aurora’s Emma Spagnola, Aurora Christian’s Peyton Wade shine at state track.
Spagnola, the Blackhawks’ junior standout, accounted for 26 of her team’s 30 points, which placed it in a tie for fourth place in the meet. Spagnola won the long jump and took second in the 100 high hurdles and second in the 300 low hurdles in the 3A meet.
Wade had a hand in 30 of the third-place Eagles’ 52 points in the Class 1A meet by winning the high jump and 100 high hurdles, then joining Alyssa Andersen, Meghan Hagerty and Natasha Brown in the winning 800 relay.