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!!!
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!
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.
Crystal Lake, IL- When the word got out that the MCC Board of Trustees was contemplating the elimination of all sports to pay for a multi million dollar building expansion, things got interesting. Whether the idea of ending sports at MCC was an actual REAL LIVE plan is up for debate but many supporters of the Scots athletics showed up for the scheduled monthly board meeting. They showed up big time. This reporter lost count at over a 100 attendees and the actual number was hard to estimate because of the small board room and overflow crowd. Needless to say, there were a lot of concerned people that showed up for the meeting.
The thought of the elimination of sports did not sit well with Jennifer and Aaron Bischke of Harvard. They feel their daughter, Kaylee, who plays basketball and softball at MCC, would surely miss the camaraderie that students experience with their participation on team sports.
Aaron on sports, “The thought of no more sports at MCC is what brought us here. I’ve thought about it at the high school level, even at the college level that one of the reasons kids go to school is for sports. If there were no sports I think the enrollment numbers would be way down. I think sports are like a job. You work hard in sports, you work hard in school and you work hard at a job.”
Kaylee’s mom, Jennifer added, “I hope it really doesn’t come to that (the elimination of athletics). With the amount of people here today they can see (the support for MCC sports).”
Jennifer continued, “At this level they can come in and play instead of sitting on the bench at a bigger school. Harvard was such a small high school, we did not have D1 colleges or scouts knocking on our doors.”
MCC AD Karen Wiley (also head women’s basketball coach), had this to say about the people who turned out and the MCC athletic programs, “We have so much to be proud about. Thank you all who attended last night. We are passionate people and are voices have been heard.”
Yes, their voices were heard, but Wiley and the athletic program supporters just hope the Board listened.
Woodstock, IL – When you first meet Jake Higgins, he looks like your average high school student. He is polite (using the term “Sir” quite often), articulate and intelligent. A senior at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Illinois, he will graduate with his fellow classmates in the spring of 2016. Jake is near the top of his class in his academic pursuits (4.52 GPA out of 5 and top 5 class rank). What makes him stand out from many of his peers is his formidable talents in both soccer and football and the hard work that it takes to succeed.
Jake started his athletic journey like so many young, energetic children. From an early age he was very proficient in his first love, the game of soccer. This sport is where he first met Coach Tom Foley, his second youth soccer coach. Jake’s first coach was his dad, Curt.
Thinking back, Higgins says, “Coach Foley molded me and pushed me to the limits when I was younger.” He continues, “Coach made me what I am today. He was like a second dad to me.” Very high praise from the modest dual sport/student athlete.
Foley is a licensed “B” level travel soccer coach who now resides in Omaha, Nebraska. He first met Higgins when Jake was 7 years old and Foley coached the Dundee United FC travel team. The team was very successful and changed leagues and became the South Elgin Tornadoes. Foley’s son Barrett, a year younger than Jake, was also a standout player for the Tornadoes.
Foley says, “Jake was the best overall talent I have coached in my 26 years of travel soccer.” Very high praise indeed, considering he also coached Shawn Douglass. Douglass, who like Jake played soccer and football in high school, went to the University of Washington on a full football scholarship and eventually was drafted and played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Foley continued, “Douglass was very, very talented but Jake was a little better. He (Higgins) was stronger in academics and had a superior work ethic.”Jake played goalie for Marian Central’s soccer team and was also its captain. He also was the kicker and punter for the school’s football team. Too much on his plate? You would think so but there is much more to Jake Higgins.
Higgins’ and his fellow teammate’s soccer season ended too soon for the #1 seeded Hurricanes. Playing in the Harvard Regional, they lost to #6 seed Lakes (Lake Villa) 3-0 in the first round. It was a successful year (11-7) but some team goals went unfulfilled. The seniors like Higgins (7 shut outs), move on to conquer new and unknown horizons, while the juniors and sophomores come back for another year with head coach Jim Colvin.
Colvin had this to say about Higgins, “He’s a great kid, leader and captain (Jake wears #44). He has high standards for himself, his grades are near the top (of class). Very intelligent and an excellent goalkeeper.”
On Jake being allowed to participate in two varsity sports in the same season, Colvin said, “He was allowed to play dual roles as a junior in 2014. I get a little nervous about him getting hit.”
The Hurricanes football team led by first year head coach Mike Maloney, had a successful season as well. Marian CC finished the year 8-3. Jake both kicked and punted. They beat Belvidere HS in the first round 41-7 before losing to Joliet Catholic Academy 47-15 in round 2. JCA beat the Hurricanes twice in their two meetings this year.
Maloney on Higgins, “Jake provides our team with a weapon that changes the landscape of football games. He can kick touch backs, mortar kick, onside kick, all with directional accuracy. His leg strength is outstanding and he can bang it through (field goals) from 42-45 consistently. Jake has the ability to punt with hang time that allows the coverage team unit to close in on the returner.”
Maloney continued, “All that being said, Higgs’ biggest attribute is his character. He’s a fine young man who cares about his teammates. He’s a straight A student, if I’m not mistaken, as well. There’s no doubt in my mind Jake can kick on Saturdays at a very high level.”
Some accomplishments Higgins has experienced are:
attended the Midwest Cole’s Kicking Camp last December
invited to the Underclassmen Challenge in 2015
participated in the National Scholarship Camp in Wisconsin
currently ranked 80th nationally for kicking
Pretty impressive stuff but it wouldn’t mean much if not for the support Higgins receives from his family. Judy (mom), Curt (dad), brothers Trevor (23) and Troy (21), make up the Higgins clan. They are a tight knit family that stresses togetherness and respect.
Curt put Jake’s persona this way,”He accomplishes whatever he puts his mind to.” The proud dad continues,”He is not afraid of anything and ‘failure’ is not in his DNA. He is willing to put himself way out there to do what he wants. He is a doer.”
Judy on her youngest son, “Jake has made all the family so proud. He balances his life between family, friends, school and sports. He gets it. He manages his time and never complains.”
Jake has visited Duke and Vanderbilt Universities to date as he plans his next moves. Knowing Jake, it will be well thought out and with a definite purpose. All Higgins has to do is put his mind to his goals and watch out world.