Patricia Kennedy spent her youth in the sunny skies of California.
For her adulthood, she made things bright for area athletes.
After a distinguished career in teaching and girls athletics, the Hersey girls' athletic director is retiring at the end of the school year.
The Huskies will honor her before the girls basketball game on Friday when Prospect visits the Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.
Kennedy began her career as a physical education teacher at Hoffman Estates High School in 1974. She played an active role at the onset of IHSA girls athletics, serving as the Hawks varsity girls basketball coach from 1974 to 1985.
In 1982, Kennedy led the Hawks to a supersectional championship, advancing her team to the Elite Eight.
After taking time off from teaching to raise her daughter, she returned to teaching and coaching in 1993 at Cary Junior High.
Kennedy returned to the high school scene at Hersey in 1994 as a physical education teacher and girls athletic director.
Under her guidance, the girls' programs at Hersey continued their successful ways with countless divisional and conference titles as well as top finishes in state finals.
Kennedy's dedication to students inside and outside the classroom earned her the Principal's Award in 2002.
She has been a staunch supporter of girls athletics, a positive role model for thousands of female athletes and a mentor to numerous coaches.
Kennedy has done a great deal to elevate Hersey athletics in her 19 years at the District 214 school.
Fremd senior Kelly Breen has verbally committed to Iowa for cross country and track and field.
Breen will receive eight varsity letters for cross country and track.
She runs the mile and 2-mile in track and competed in the state finals for the 2-mile run as a sophomore and junior.
Breen won the two-mile sectional as a junior in track.
In cross country, she is a three-time team MVP, all-conference selection, all-regional and all sectional and a two-time all stater.
Breen holds the Fremd record for the state course at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
Carthage junior guard Stephanie Kuzmanic (Wheeling)was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin women's basketball player of the week.
Kuzmanic helped lead the Lady Reds to a pair of CCIW wins to stay undefeated in conference play. She finished with a career-high 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, nine rebounds and five assists in a 62-48 victory at Illinois Wesleyan. Earlier that week. she had 13 points, 8 assists and 6 steals during an 85-74 win at North Central.
Miami freshman goaltender Ryan McKay, a Palatine native,wasthe Hockey Commisioner Association's "Rookie of the Month" for December.
He appeared in four games for Miami during the month, posting a 2-2-0 record with one shutout. His 0.76 goals-against average and a .970 save percentage were tops in the league for December.
The freshman netminder didn't allow more than one goal in a game in
December, as both of his losses were 1-0 losses. McKay allowed only three goals during the month on 99 shots.
His final appearance of December came in the championship game at the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, where he made 20 saves in a 1-0 loss to Robert Morris.
McKay was in goal Saturday night when Miami beat Wisconsin 2-1.
• Robert Morris senior Eric Levine of Wheeling was named the Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Month in December.
Levin averaged over 43 saves per game in the month of December.
He currently ranks 12th nationally with a 1.81 GAA and second nationally with a .954 save percentage. He is tied for fourth nationally with 3 shutouts.
While St. Viator has sent nine players to the collegiate ranks in the past decade, the Lions now have their first alumnus to make a name for himself in the teaching ranks.
John Perna, a 2000 St. Viator graduate, has burst onto the local scene as one of hottest young golf teachers.
Perna played on Viator's regional championship team in 1999.
He went on to become a top player at Florida Gulf Coast University where he was coached by Doc Suttee, a Golf Digest Top Fifty Teacher.
Perna competed on the Mini Tours and made it to the Tour School Tournament twice.
Along with Dan Kochevar (2002 Illinois PGA Teaching Professional of the Year) and Mike Baldwin (founder of the MAJGT Tour), Perna is one of the founders of 'The Players Service' a teaching academy for top junior golfers.
Perna has mentored many of the top former junior players in the area in his less than two years in business.
Among the list are Joe Carlson (San Diego), TK Kelly (Ohio State), Kyle Kochevar (Virginia), Brooke Kochevar (Costal Carolina), David Cooke (Purdue), Brian Bullington (Iowa), Matt Solis (Illinois State), Matt Haegman (Illinois State) and Robert Renner (St. Viator).
Perna teaches out of The Dome in Bensenville in winter and the Oakbrook Golf Club in the summer.
Men's track and field
Illinois Wesleyan sophomore sprinter Ryan Darcy (Buffalo Grove) was named the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Indoor Men's Track and Field 'Athlete of the Week'.
Darcy won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.01 during a triangular meet at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The Titans competed against both the Fightin' Engineers and Washington (Mo.).
Carthage junior Eric Primdahl (St. Viator)was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin men's swimmer of the week.
Primdahl finished second in both the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes in a dual meet with Lewis.
His time in the 100 backstroke was 55.85 and his time in the 200 backstroke was 2:02.35. Both times were lifetime bests.
Game of the week
Comcast's Game of the Week from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today features Fremd's 49-48 double-overtime boys basketball win over Barrington from Saturday night.
Relay For Life at Prospect
On Friday, Feb 8, Prospect High School will hold the kickoff for this year's American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Mt. Prospect/Prospect Heights.
The kickoff will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the sophomore and varsity games against visiting Elk Grove.
The event has been titled "Fear the Knight -- Conquer Cancer."
Tables will be set up where people can register for the Relay and get more information about the event.
In addition, T-shirts will be sold and raffles held for prizes. There will also be a 50-50 raffle, along with other games and activities.
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