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Article updated: 5/5/2014 7:21 PM
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Weber ready to direct Wheeling girls basketball program
 

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Weber ready to direct Wheeling girls basketball program
  • KC Dunne

    KC Dunne

 

A new era for girls basketball at Wheeling High School is about to begin as Matt Weber has been chosen to direct the program.

The former football player at Augustana College and Buffalo Grove High School has been teaching math and coaching multiple sports at Wheeling the last seven years.

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Weber has been an assistant football coach all seven years along with coaching freshman boys basketball (four years) and freshman boys baseball (two years).

Last year, he was the assistant for the girls varsity basketball team.

"I have always known I would be and wanted to be a head coach in some sport," said Weber, who also played basketball and baseball at Buffalo Grove. "Leadership is in my blood, and I have always sought leadership opportunities."

After graduating from Augustana, Weber was a substitute teacher and sophomore football coach at Stevenson High School.

"I have been very lucky to work with a variety of coaches throughout my playing and coaching career," he said. "All of these coaches have shaped me into the coach that I am today. They've taught me the importance of being mentally strong, hard working and positive. They have made me want to seek coaching opportunities so that I can also guide my players in this direction."

Weber says one of his goals is for the girls to have a positive experience playing basketball at Wheeling.

The Wildcats' roster featured six underclassmen last winter, including three-time all-area guard Deanna Kuzmanic, who returns for her senior season as an Alabama-Birmingham recruit.

"I want them to come together as a team and fight together as a team," he said. "I want my players to look back at their experience and know they learned a lot about basketball but more importantly learned a lot about how to do things right on and off the court."

Softball

Davenport junior shortstop KC Dunne (Buffalo Grove) has been selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America's Capital One Academic All-District team for softball.

Because Dunne has obtained first-team All-District status, she is now eligible for the national Capital One Academic All-America ballot.

She maintains a 3.33 GPA in finance while starting every game for the team at shortstop.

Dunne was also recently crowned Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Player of the Year, a year after being named the Newcomer of the Year.

Dunne leads the Davenport in numerous categories including batting average (. 478), runs (50), doubles (17) and stolen bases (15).

Baseball

Conant senior Joe Ranallo has announced his plans to continue his education and basketball career at Augustana.

The 6-foot point guard was a three-year varsity player for Cougars coach Tom McCormack. As a senior, he was the Most Valuable Player for a 22-6 team and he was a unanimous all-conference selection in the Mid-Suburban League.

"Joe has the whole package," said McCormack about his two-year team captain in an Augustana release. "In addition to being a great leader, he can score inside and out, is a great defender both on and off the ball, and is a great passer. Joe was our go-to guy at the end of quarters and games.

"He was, for us, the type of point guard and player that most coaches will say is critical to getting a team to achieve at the high end of its potential."

Ranallo led Conant 16.0 ppg and 5.0 assists this season. He also shot 86 percent from the line to lead the Cougars and was the team's top three-point shooter as well, along with qualifying in the Class 4A 3-point Showdown.

At this year's Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament at York, Ranallo was an all-tournament selection, averaging 17.5 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He also shot 53 percent from 3-point range and led Conant to three wins in four games.

A National Honor Society member and IHSA Academic Award winner, he is involved in numerous community service activities, which include participating in a Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics and coaching AAU youth basketball. In addition, he founded the "Conant Cares" project, which raised $15,000 to benefit victims of tornado-ravaged Washington, Ill.

He is planning on a business administration major at Augustana with a focus on management.

Softball

Illinois Wesleyan University freshman first baseman Sarah Platt (Hersey) recently helped the Titans win the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin regular season championship with a 12-2 record.

Platt had a double to help her team to a 4-3 triumph over North Park which clinched the CCW title. She also had 2 hits, 2 runs, a walk and an RBI in a 9-5 win over DePauw in the Titans' last regular-season game.

Wesleyan ended its regular season at 34-5 and currently has a 14-game winning streak with a No. 12 national ranking.

• Palatine senior Courtney English announced her plans to continue her education and softball career at Augustana.

The right-handed hitting infielder and outfielder is a three-year varsity letter winner and starter for coach Jeff Manz.

Through 17 games, she was hitting .354 with 4 doubles, a home run, 4 stolen bases, 8 runs and 8 RBI.

The National Honor Society inductee has earned regional and state gold medal honors for lesson planning and storytelling from the FCCLA and is planning to major in elementary education at Augustana.

English will be joining a Viking program that is currently 31-9 in 2014. Augustana went 32-14 last year.

George Verber Memorial

The second annual 2014 George Verber Memorial Golf Outing to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be held at White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills on Monday, June 9.

George was a teacher and coach at Maine South and Maine West for 37 years and passed away last January from leukemia.

All proceeds go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk.

The introduction will be at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 9 a.m., lunch at 1:30 p.m. and awards at 2:30 p.m.

Cost is $135 per player, $540 per foursome. Cost is $25 for lunch only and $50 for green and tee sponsorships.

The fee includes range balls, on-course beverages, lunch and various prizes.

For more information contact Brad Verber at 773-814-4242 or email at brad.verber@yahoo.com.

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

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