2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/17/2014 9:28 PM

Palatine grad Surprenant excelling at Illini West

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  • Grant Surprenant

    Grant Surprenant

  • Julie Conrath, here stopping a shot for Fremd during her high school days, is now making a difference for Villanova's water polo team.

    Julie Conrath, here stopping a shot for Fremd during her high school days, is now making a difference for Villanova's water polo team.
    Photo by Paul Reeff


Grant Surprenant, a former all-conference basketball player at Palatine, is still enjoying success at the high school level.

Now as a coach.

In only his second season as the Illini West High School girls basketball coach, Suprenant guided the Chargers to a 28-3 record and a Class 2A regional championship.

For his efforts, Surprenant earned the 2013-2014 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association District 16 "Co-Coach of the Year."

His team was also the West Central Conference champion and won the Beardstown and Camp Point Central tournaments this season.

In his rookie season at the high school located in downstate Carthage, the Chargers complied a record of 20-11 and also won a regional crown.

Surprenant, a social worker, is 48-13 in his two seasons as the head coach.

He was a three-year starter for coach Ed Molitor and a two-time finalist in the IHSA three-point showdown.

Surprenant went on to play at Division I St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa., where he majored in social work.

Women's basketball

DePaul junior guard Megan Rogowski (Hersey) scored 14 points in a hard-fought 65-57 victory over St. John's at the Allstate Arena as the Blue Demons won their first BIG EAST Tournament championship.

It was the seventh straight win for DePaul (27-6) and 16th in the last 17 games. Coach Doug Bruno's girls locked up their 12th straight NCAA tournament appearance by virtue of winning the BIG EAST postseason title.

DePaul claimed its first conference tournament title since winning the Great Midwest in 1993.

Rogowski is easily the team leader in 3-pointers (101) and 3-point percentage (.457) and she averages 15.3 points per game, just .5 away from team leader Jasmine Penny (15.8).

Women's water polo

Villanova goalkeeper Julie Conrath (Fremd) was named the AAC 'Defensive Player of the Week' as she made 12 saves and recorded 2 steals against Whittier.

Conrath also made 18 saves, leading the team to a 7-5 victory over Chapman. Villanova went into halftime down 3-2, but Conrath kept her team in the game as the Wildcats made a comeback in the second half and took the lead.

Conrath has played in 11 games this season, making 105 total saves.

She currently leads the AAC conference (among goalies with 5 or more games this season) with an average of 9.55 saves per game.

The Wildcats recently completed a California trip where they were 4-4 and were 4-2 with Conrath in goal.

Conrath was Fremd's MVP and an all-stater for two years and all-Mid Suburban League three years.

The Vikings never lost a conference match in her four years and were sectional champs each year.

Women's track

Illinois State freshman Morgan Keller (Rolling Meadows) threw a personal-best mark of 14.32m (46-11.75) in the shot put of the first flight of competition and advanced to the finals of the

Missouri Valley Conference Championships. Her team placed fourth with 68 total points at the University of Northern Iowa Dome.


Illinois Wesleyan University freshman Sarah Platt (Hersey) helped the Titans to a 7-2 start at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.

Platt had 2 hits, 2 runs and a walk in an 8-0 win over No. 4-ranked SUNY Cortland.

She also hit a 3-rume homer in a 3-2 win over Muskingum.

Platt is third on the team with a .464 on-base percentage.

Athletes of the Week

Washington University in St. Louis picked up five University Athletic Association 'Athlete of the Week' accolades, including senior guard Alan Aboona (St. Viator) of the basketball team and senior Anna Etherington (Barrington) of the women's indoor track and field team.

Aboona earned his honors after averaging 26.5 points per game in a pair of NCAA Tournament games.

He had 27 points on 8-of-12 shooting in a 100-69 win over Wilmington College Friday in the first round. Aboona followed that up with 26 points in an 83-75 loss to No. 24 Calvin College in the second round Saturday. He hit 12 three-pointers in the two games. Aboona earned the honor for the third time this season and fourth in his career.

Etherington received her award for the third time this season and eighth in her career.

She equaled her season-best to win the women's pole vault at the Point National Qualifier in Stevens Point, Wis. Etherington cleared a height of 3.91 meters at the meet, which ranks second in NCAA Division III this season.


Concordia-Chicago sophomore outfielder Colin Bethran (Schaumburg) is leading the Cougars (9-2) at the plate with a .500 batting average. He has 12 hits in 24 at-bats.

• Concordia-Chicago defeated St. Mary's 8-4 as junior pitcher Kurt Kempema (Schaumburg) earned the win with 5⅔ innings of relief.

Women's track

North Central senior Nora Ferguson (Schaumburg) qualified for her first national meet in the mile run of the NCAA Division III Indoor championships.

Ferguson secured her qualifying time of 5:01.81, a nine-second personal best, in the Wisconsin-Stevens Point National Qualifier. Her time ranks her third in North Central history.

Bandits hire Winkler

Charleston Southern University softball coach Shane Winkler has been named the head coach of the Chicago Bandits professional softball team, whose home field sits in Rosemont.

Winkler knows one area softball player quite well.

Former Fremd standout Mandi Matsumoto is a freshman on Winkler's SCU team this spring.

Matsumoto is off to a fast start in her rookie season in South Carolina. She leads the team in runs (14) and stolen bases (8) while batting .306 with 17 hits in 62 at-bats.

IBCA all-staters

Rolling Meadows' Jackie Kemph, Fremd's Haley Gorecki and Maine West's Brittany Collins, all seniors, were selected as first team all-state selections by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

Wheeling junior Deanna Kuzmanic and seniors Alexis Glasgow and Jenny Vliet of Rolling Meadows were named to the second team.

Prospect junior Taylor Will is on the third team and Hersey senior Morgan Harris made the fourth team.

Buffalo Grove sophomore Maddie Welter is a special mention selection.

Please email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com.

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