Josh M. Cooper, Luke Lucchetti and Jacob Mathre were named to the Northern Illinois Big 12 All-Conference baseball team.
The three had a lot to do with the Foxes having their first winning season since 2002 before losing in the Class 3A Tinley Park regional title game to finish 19-16.
“I’ll remember this group as the seniors that got us over the hump and laid the foundation for the future of this program,” said Yorkville coach Scott Luken.
The Foxes almost doubled their win total from last year (10-24). They were competitive in almost every game, with eight games decided by a single run.
“Our pitching staff was the team’s main strength,” Luken said. “They kept us in the game with a team ERA of 3.60. Through the course of the season we started nine different pitchers and 14 players saw time on the mound.”
The Foxes also presented team awards with Lucchetti was named MVP and Mathre receiving the Mr. Hustle Award. Both awards were voted by players. Cooper received the Golden Glove Award, as selected by coaches.
Stats told the story for the Offensive Player Award, which went to Lucchetti (.395 batting average, 38 runs, seven home runs, 25 RBI, 16 walks, 18 stolen bases, 73 total bases).
A few graduating Foxes are set to play baseball next year. Stephen Toma will pitch for Bradley where he plans to major in physics, and Mathre is staying close to home, going to Aurora University to continue playing ball and study athletic training.
James Edwards, who is also going to pursue athletic training, will join him in Aurora. Lucchetti will be at Illinois Central College in East Peoria and in undecided on his career pursuits.
Cooper has narrowed his choices to Aurora , where he’d stay close to Mathre and Edwards, or Waubonsee Community College.
Ryan Hacker is headed north to the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. He’s interested in civil engineering but hasn’t made a decision about athletics. Cory Westphall is heading down Route 47 to Joliet Junior College to study fire science or agriculture. He hasn’t decided whether he’ll try to play for the Wolves.
Although the Foxes graduated many key players, they have standout Derek Piszczek and others returning and are coming off a season where all three levels (varsity, sophomore, freshman) posted winning records.
Girls soccer: Straznickas, Fabricino named all-conference
The Yorkville girls soccer team selected sophomore Brittany Straznickas as MVP for her efforts this spring for the Lady Foxes, who finished 5-16-1. Straznickas had four goals and a team-high 13 assists. She was also an all-conference selection.
Other team awards included the “heart” honor, which went to Jenny Taptich (five goals, seven assists) and “most improved” which was earned by Nicole Hills.
In addition to Straznickas, Michelle Fabricino was also an all-conference selection. Fabricino led the team with 14 goals and was also named all-sectional honorable mention. Taptich and Liz Lazcano (two goals, three assists) were all-conference honorable mention.
Fabricino, Taptich, Lazcano and six other seniors graduated giving the Lady Foxes some big shoes to fill next spring.
Softball: Huge season for Gilbertson; six recognized for all-conference honors
There were so many different players who stepped up for the Yorkville softball team this season, but no one shined as much as senior Sonja Gilbertson who led the Lady Foxes in batting average (.423), at bats (123), runs (34), hits (52), home runs (six), stolen bases (12) and RBIs (37).
Gilbertson was a first-team Northern Illinois Big 12 All-Conference selection. She was also voted the Best Offensive Player and MVP of the Lady Foxes.
Teammate Allison Haskins was also a first-team selection and voted the Golden Glove Award by her team for best defensive play. Haskins led the team’s efforts on defense by controlling third base. She had 79 assists, 46 putouts and a .919 fielding percentage.
Nicole Hersam (.313 average), Devin Turner (four home runs, .321), Corrine Rowe (eight doubles, .379) and Rachael Owens (9-7 record, 2.78 ERA) were all named honorable mention all-conference.
Haskins, Turner and Megan Kuhn (nine extra base hits, 17 RBIs, .304 average) are all headed to Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Ill., to play softball.
Boys tennis dominates conference play, all-conference team
It’s probably an understatement to say the Yorkville boys tennis team ruled play this spring in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference.
The Foxes accumulated 43 out of 45 points during conference play while posting a 9-0 record. Their full regular conference lineup was recognized for all-conference. The list includes No. 1 singles, Brian Koski, No. 2 singles, Jon Moment, No. 1 doubles, Ricky Hernandez and Jason Pickering, No. 2 doubles, Joe Gutzwiler and Mike Ems and No. 3 doubles, Zach Hames and Christian Hidaldgo.
The Yorkville boys and girls track and field and cross county teams have a revamped website at www.yorkvilletrackandfield.com. Check it out for the latest news regarding those sports, including some summer competition opportunities.
The Yorkville baseball team began its summer league season this week.
Enjoy summer while you can because, before you know it, the Karl Hoinkes era will be starting. The first game for the football team will be in late August.