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Skyhawks Soar at Speed Camp

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L-R Coaches Adam Bronars, Dan DeBoeuf & Sam Lesniak

Johnsburg, IL- Head baseball coach Sam Lesniak came right out and admitted he ‘borrowed’ the idea of an after school speed and agility conditioning camp from Cary-Grove HS’s Don Sutherland. Hey, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right? Along with fellow head coaches Dan DeBoeuf (varsity football) and Adam Bronars (varsity soccer), Lesniak runs a speed and agility conditioning camp after school three days a week. They offer access to the weight room to anyone who wants to continue their workouts.

The camp is open to all off season athletes and any students from Johnsburg HS that wish to participate.

On how they started the camp, Lesniak said this,”We all got into this together. We discussed this last year after I had a conversation with C-G head baseball coach Sutherland. It’s a great opportunity for all the kids to work together. Speed and agility is the key to every sport. These athletes pay top dollar to go out and train at all those gyms, so we decided to do it here with coaches who are out of season. That way we start developing relationships between all the athletes and coaches in the building. All the kids (sports and non sports students) are developing relationships together. So now we are more apt to go to each others events. Hopefully, it makes a big change.”

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The camp has been running for over two weeks and they have 70 kids attend the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday events. There are five stations that the participants rotate through in about thirty minutes. The stations spotlight different aspects of speed and agility. The camp starts around 2:35, right after student dismissal. The weight lifting portion is ‘sports specific’ and the lifts are designed by the kids’ individual coaches.

“The big thing is to get the your team leaders, big time athletes to buy in.” Lesniak continued, “Once you get that buy in, everyone follows. It’s contagious.”

Football star running back, Alex Peete, who participates with many fellow teammates, added this observation,”This camp replaces 6:00 am lifts. Now you get to sleep in and go right to school. That gets you an extra hour of sleep. It’s (the workouts) a nice change. You have all the sports and the girls don’t have this type of off season conditioning. We treat ’em just like the rest of us. It’s a good thing.”

Lesniak concludes, “This camp has exceeded our expectations.” Watch out next year for an even better performance from Skyhawks athletics. Oh, in case you wondered, the coaches are giving the kids Thanksgiving off.

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Nazareth Academy: The Road to DeKalb Part I

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LaGrange Park, IL- This is the first in a series highlighting Nazareth  Academy’s run to the 5A @IHSA state finals in DeKalb at NIU’s Huskie Stadium. The Roadrunners (11-2) a #7 seed will face off against the other 5A #7 seed, (New Lenox) Lincoln-Way West (11-2) Saturday at 10:00 am.

Nazareth beat St. Laurence HS last Saturday in Burbank braving very wintry conditions 34-0. I spoke to several key components of the Roadrunner juggernaut that’s poised to win their second straight title (won Class 6A last year) with a win Saturday. Over the next few days we will get an insight into “the brotherhood’ called Roadrunner football. I appreciate the inside access I’m allowed to enjoy from Head Coach Tim Racki and team Dr.’s Tom Nelson & Eric Janota. Here we go:

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One of the key contributors to the Naz defensive line is Junior Devonte’ Dunn. Dunn, a defensive tackle, who at 6’2″ 270 lbs is a man on a mission. Unassuming off the field and a menace for the opposing team on it, Dunn is the epitome of Head Coach Tim Racki’s ideal team player. Dunn had to this to say about the game vs the Vikings, “Basically we just dealt with the weather. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, it was a 100% team effort. It took everyone to go all in and get where we wanna go.”

When asked if he was extra pumped for the Vikings, Dunn responded, “I wanted to play with great intensity. I guess I was angry out there and tried to get my teammates angry, too. I just played like a beast out there.” Like he has all season, Dunn IS a ‘beast’.

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Senior Joe Muscolino is a hard hitting linebacker who is more demonstrative off the field than Devonte’ Dunn but equally as hard hitting and relentless in the pursuit of the team’s goals between the stripes. Muscolino on the game conditions, “Oh you know we knew it was going to snow. All week we talked about that (weather) and it wouldn’t be a factor and we just played. It was slushy and slippery for them (Vikings) too and we came out hot and we played hard. That was all.”

On their preparation going into this week, “Now going into the week we’re gonna keep practicing hard. We’ve been there before. We are experienced kids. We’ve been playing together for awhile, so we’re gonna keep playing football. Nazareth football. That’s all we do.” Muscolino added.

On the St. Laurence potent offense attack, “Oh yeah, we practiced for it all week. We knew they had a high scoring offense and they score a lot of points. They were one of the top 5 offenses in the state. They have a great quarterback, Alex Martinez, who’s a friend of mine. We knew we were gonna have to do it (play good D) and we stressed it all week. We played hard. We play determined. We came out hot. We played Nazareth football.” Muscolino leaves it all on the field.

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Every great team has a quarterback who leads through both playing hard and getting results. Roadrunner play caller, Senior Carson Bartels, hit that mark and some. The quality play he exhibited all year is as important to Nazareth’s success as was any player. Bartels speaking on the weather Saturday during the game, “It was one of those things were we came in and we knew they would be the worst conditions of the year. With the guys in the backfield all I had to do was secure the snap and hand it off to (running backs) Julian (Love) and Ivory (Kelly-Martin). There is no better tandem in the state.”

“We prepared for it all week. We do wet ball drills where the coaches take a water bottle and pour it all over the ball before the snap. We’re prepared for things like that. It wasn’t the first time we dealt with that.” Bartels said.

On next Saturdays game, “We’ll just go out and do what we’ve done all year. The Brotherhood we’ve built can’t be broken by anything. As long as we practice like we’ve practiced and play like we’ve played, we’ll be alright.” With Bartels at the helm, you can see why the Roadrunner’s ship sails true and strong.

Next up: Julian Love, Gavin Smith, Coach Tim Racki, Dr. Tom Nelson, Dr, Eric Janota and much more. Go Roadrunners!!

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Scots Eliminated: Great Year!!

Phoenix College in Phoenix, AZ- Our MCC ladies, the #9 seed, played their hearts out Friday evening but came up a little short. After beating #16 seed Harcum College (24-7) 3-0 (25-12, 25-11 & 25-9) in their first Consolation Bracket game earlier, the Scots lost a nail biter to #5 Owens CC 3-2 (19-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-16 & 15-10).

The Express (39-7) head on to play in the 9th place game Saturday morning against #10 seed Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (27-4) at 10:00 on @NJCAATV . The Scots head home with a season record of 39-9.

Congratulations to the Scots for a fantastic season that included great victories and heartbreaking defeats. From losing beloved teammate Amanda Williams in February, to clinching a trip to Phoenix at the Region IV finals at the College of Lake in Grayslake. We loved it all!

Our gratitude to: HC Kyle McCall, Asst Shari Mayner, Olivia Warren, Britney Adams, Zoe Lindsey, Peyton Velasquez, Sarah Adams, Maddy Cysewski, Kayli Trausch, Megan Pautrat, Lexi Smith, Brittney Gundlach, Rileigh Florshinger, Abby Marchewka and Amanda Williams. A loud cheer for our 2015-2016 MCC Scots Women’s Volleyball team!

Special thanks to all the parents and fans who made the trek to the DII Nationals at Phoenix College in Arizona. Special thanks to Ted Adams and Doug Carr for their support and help with @bergsworld. It was very much appreciated. Also, a shout out to AD Karen Wiley for her unending support and Amanda’s mom, Sherry Williams. Not only is she a great fan of MCC, I know consider her a new friend. Good luck next year Scots!!!

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Ian Gardeck: CLS Grad Makes It

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Joey Berg, Ian Gardeck and yours truly in LITH

Lake in the Hills, IL- The San Francisco Giants have added closer/pitcher Ian Gardeck to its 40 man roster for 2016. This is an awesome accomplishment for the fiery right handed thrower.  With a fastball that can reach the upper 90’s, the future looks very bright for the Crystal Lake South graduate. His CLS baseball coach, Brian Bogda, must be beaming right about now.

Gardeck grew up in LITH with mom and dad, Jim and Teri and 3 siblings: Andrew, Dennis and Alex. Ian was on THE best LITH youth baseball team I ever coached. Along with my son, Joey, our Cubs (sorry SF fans) won the whole ball of wax in 2001. What great memories!

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This old coach is so proud of Ian as are all who helped him along the path he chose. Very good choice my man! Go SF Giants (sorry Cubs fans).

Stay tuned for an exclusive look into the future Giant coming soon in @bergsworld.