Recently in Neuqua Valley Category

Brittany Bock.jpgBrittany Bock's out of a job, for now anyway.

Earlier today, Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announced the folding of the Los Angeles Sol. A new ownership group never materialized, and 19 players will need to find new homes.

Instead of throwing them into the unemployment line, WPS will host a dispersal draft on Thursday. The Chicago Red Stars have the No. 4 overall pick and could be interested in someone like Bock, a Neuqua Valley High School graduate who plied her trade in college at Notre Dame.

If Bock goes to Chicago, it would be the latest in a string of Illinois natives to come home and play for their local team.

In addition to signing Julianne Sitch (Oswego High School/DePaul) during the offseason, the Red Stars drafted Michele Weissenhofer (Neuqua/Notre Dame) and Jackie Santacaterina (Geneva/Illinois) earlier this month.

The Neuqua Valley boys basketball team won its second straight Martin Luther King Classic on Monday night.

The Wildcats won all four of their games, including a 63-52 final against host Rockton-Hononegah. Earlier in the day, they defeated Zion-Benton 88-75, this after sweeping Saturday's slate: 81-48 over Sterling and 74-44 over Normal Community.

Neuqua has participated in the Classic since 2005-06, compiling a 17-3 record.

Eddie Burns, For Sun-Times Media

Stanford's Chris Derrick and Washington's Kendra Schaaf were named the Pac-10 Cross Country Athletes of the Year on Wednesday, the latest in a string of honors for the sophomore out of Neuqua Valley.

Derrick won an individual conference title after posting a championships meet record time of 22:35. That helped Stanford capture its 10th Pac-10 title in 14 years.

Another first-place performance from Derrick helped the Cardinal earn top-team honors at the NCAA West Regional. And a third-place finish at the NCAA championships made Derrick an all-American.

"Naperville Sports Weekly" will be back on the air just as the prep seasons begin again. The show starts its third season on Naperville Community Television on Aug. 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Viewers have three ways to watch: Channel 17; through simultaneous streaming and on-demand; and iTunes podcast. The complete schedule can also be found at

The half-hour program has highlights and features from Benet, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley.

Naperville and its high school cross country teams are currently featured at Running Times magazine.

Ian Krol, a seventh-round pick out of Neuqua Valley, has agreed to terms with the Oakland Athletics. The lefty pitcher declined his scholarship offer from the University of Arizona and instead signed a professional contract before Tuesday's 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Credit Sun sports editor Brad Engel for the information and look for more in Tuesday's print edition.

Connor Powers apparently couldn't reach an agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers and decided to return to Mississippi State. The corner infielder out of Benet - who showcased his swing this summer by winning the Cape Cod League's home run derby at Fenway Park - was picked in the 11th round. According to's Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers signed each of their first 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the June draft.

"It was long and drawn out," Powers told The Clarion-Ledger (Miss.) on Monday. "I had expectations coming into the draft. I told the teams that and they understood. I just, unfortunately, couldn't get anything done."

Tracking Evans

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Joe Henricksen of City/Suburban Hoops Report has a recruiting update on 6-foot-5-inch Neuqua Valley forward Dwayne Evans, who -- if everything breaks right -- could eventually join his friend Drew Crawford (Naperville Central) at Northwestern. Henricksen writes:

After a strong finish in the high school season and a solid start in the spring AAU season, Evans did not play his best basketball during the July evaluation period. Although he has been a highly productive player who finds ways to get things done, he still has the dreaded 'tweener label attached to him.

Hoops Report Analysis: While Northwestern is still heavily involved and the biggest player in the Evans recruiting, the mid-major level would be ideal for Evans. If Evans to Northwestern doesn't get done, keep an eye on these schools as we inch closer to November and the signing period: Loyola, Drake, Toledo, Western Michigan and Fairfield.

Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley have earned top seeds in the upcoming Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association summer state tournament. For the full brackets, click here and follow the "IHSBCA SUMMER 09" link.

Last week we caught up with Stanford's Chris Derrick, the distance runner out of Neuqua Valley with Olympic ambitions. We mentioned the Cardinal's rich and varied athletic history, which includes John McEnroe, Tiger Woods and at least one national championship in 33 consecutive years.

But even Stanford isn't immune to the global financial crisis, as Mark Schlabach explains in a fascinating piece for Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby told Schlabach that he will have to slash $7 million from his department over the next two and a half years. Bowlsby couldn't guarantee that sports won't be cut. Schlabach reports:

Across the country, Stanford isn't alone in its financial difficulties. Many athletic departments are struggling to balance their financial books after receiving less funding from state legislatures and fewer donations from alumni and boosters.

"There are people who have been profoundly affected by the economy and those who haven't been affected at all," Bowlsby said. "I expect the trickle-down will show its effects in sponsorships and multimedia deals and perhaps at the gates at places where tickets aren't in such high demand. We're a long way from the bottom of the well, in my opinion."

Stanford's economic woes are directly tied to the loss in value of its endowments, which are used to cover scholarship funding and other operating costs. In 2008, the Cardinal's athletic endowment was worth about $520 million. But the endowment lost about 20 to 30 percent of its value when the financial markets went south, dropping its current value to about $410 million. The value of the school's general endowment fell from $17.2 billion in 2008 to about $12 billion this fiscal year.

City/Suburban Hoops Report guru Joe Henricksen ranks 6-foot-5-inch Neuqua Valley forward Dwayne Evans at No. 15 on his list of the state's top 50 players from the Class of 2010. The scouting report on Evans:

Still trying to shed the dreaded 'tweener label. Perimeter shot extends to the three-point line and has gained consistency, though he's more of a pull-up/spot-up shooter. He's not one to rise up and get his own and must improve his comfort with his handle. Just an old school player who plays with a warrior's demeanor, winner's mentality and high motor. Manages to get a lot done against bigger, more athletic players around the basket.

Not surprisingly, Waukegan's Jereme Richmond, an Illinois recruit, topped the list. A few other names you might recognize: No. 11 Jordan Threloff, DeKalb; No. 23 Tim Rusthoven, Wheaton Academy; No. 31 Antoine Cox, Bolingbrook; No. 38 Jay Harris, Oswego East; and No. 50 DeAndre McCamey, St. Joseph.

Benet senior pitcher John Boyle and Waubonsie Valley junior third baseman Sam Carius were recently named to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association's all-state team.

Boyle, who will throw for Creighton next season, went 8-2 with a 1.51 ERA. Carius, a unanimous all-Upstate Eight Conference pick, hit .431 with 31 RBI.

West Aurora senior outfielder Brady Renner - son of Robin, the Neuqua Valley head coach - was also selected for the Class 3A/4A team.

For the full list, click here.



Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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