The Cavaliers softball program coming off of a 36-14 season in 2021 look to make their mark on the 2022 season with 9 sophomores and 13 freshman players. Winners of 24 of the last 29 Region IV Championships, they expect to be a strong contender to win their 25th NJCAA D-2 Region Championship and make another trip to the National Tournament.
The Cavaliers will depend on the strong play and leadership of the 9 sophomores and look to the freshman to quickly learn and gain experience to contribute to the team. The consistency of hitting and defense from the infield will be anchored by sophomores Grace Langellier at SS, Claudia Morris at 3B, Bailey Nay at 2B, and Cori Sims at 1B. The outfield will be led by Sandie Opiela in CF. Kara Kleinert (C) will lead pitching staff of Anne Krull, Katie Lorscheider, and Teagen Schmalfeldt. The incoming freshman include pitchers Kaitlynn Heale, Lauren Sinks, Kylie Wade, and Colby McDivitt; catchers Mikayla Smith and Kaitlyn Womack; infielders Paxtyn Hicks, Emily Glogowski, and Yesenia Garcia; and outfielders Brooke Brian, Brianna Shepherd, Chayton Krueger, and Geralyn Barton
With dependable hitting, power, and speed as well as some young top pitching, the Cav’s are expected to compete in a tough Region IV.
Two teams and 23 individual athletes from Kankakee Community College have been awarded NJCAA honors for academic achievement during the 2020-21 school year. The awards were formerly called Academic All-American.
The women’s volleyball and men’s soccer teams were named 2021 NJCAA All-Academic Teams for having team GPAs above 3.0. The women’s volleyball team had an overall team GPA of 3.32 and the men’s soccer team GPA was 3.17.
The All-Academic First Team members, with a 4.0 grade point average, are:
Congratulations to our Lady Cavs!
2021 Region IV Women’s Basketball
Division II All- Region Team
Brandi Hudson (All-American Nominee)
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Kankakee Community College police officer Vernal Turner does a lot of walking around the college. In his second job, he runs the sidelines as a basketball official.
In spring 2021, Turner will be inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his work as an official. For 17 years, Turner has been an Illinois High School Association official.
He currently officiates for the Northern Athletic Conference, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. For eight seasons, Turner has been an official at NBA training camps for the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls. In 2019, he became a court side administrator, working for the NBA.
Among the noteworthy high school games he has officiated are seven Chicago city championships; three IHSA boys basketball championships (3-A in 2013, 4-A in 2014, and 3-A and 4-A in 2019); and the McDonald’s All-American game in 2016. He will be the first person to have played in IBCA All-Star Game (1981), officiate the IBCA All-Star Game (2016), and be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame.
In all, there will be more than 100 new IBCA Hall of Fame members, including nine officials. Due to COVID-19, the IBCA has not finalized its plans for an induction ceremony.
Turner also is president of Top Notch Officiating Camp for Officials Training and Development. In 2019 and 2020, he organized the Top Notch Health Awareness Challenge at KCC. The event pitted Kankakee-area high school basketball teams playing teams from Chicago. Each team also participated in health awareness sessions.
At KCC, Turner has been a part-time police officer since 2015.
Posted On: 06/04/20
Twenty-three Kankakee Community College student-athletes have received NJCAA honors for academic achievements during the 2019-20 school year.
The All-Academic First Team members, with a 4.0 grade point average, are: Leighann Allison of Kankakee, volleyball; Mallory Drake of Watseka, women’s basketball; Paige Glass of Kankakee, softball; Anna Jennings of Cissna Park, volleyball; Kloe Longtin of Herscher, volleyball; and Lanie Malone of Manteno, softball.
The All-Academic Second Team members, with grade point averages between 3.80-3.99, are: Makenna Goldtrap of Chebanse, softball; Eddie Saner of Springfield, baseball; and Julian Stadeli of Cissna Park, men’s basketball.
The All-Academic Third Team members, with grade point averages of 3.60-3.79, are: Madison Allen of Bushnell, women’s basketball; Owen Behrens of Prophetstown, baseball; Sloan Boyce of Cissna Park (pictured), volleyball; Sierra Cureton of Manteno, volleyball; Andrew Douglas of Watseka (pictured), men’s soccer; Ashley Harwood of Kankakee, volleyball; Isabelle Hille of Fort Wayne, Ind., women’s basketball; Michael Machnic of Walkerton, Ind., baseball; Michael Moshkovitz of Jerusalem, Israel, men’s basketball; Andrew Saliba of Peotone, men’s soccer; Emma Schriner of Bourbonnais (pictured), softball; Clayton Thompson of Schererville, Ind., baseball; Peyton Williams of Lafayette, Ind., baseball; and Kierra Williamson of Hazel Crest, women’s basketball.
Congratulations DII Region IV All Region Awards
First Team Mikayla Cole and Maddie Wallace
Second Team Mattie Lanie, Gabby Schultz & Emma Schriner
Special Congratulations to Coach Keith Cooper
Region IV District C Coach of the Year
Read the full article here
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has named Kankakee Community College’s Matti Lanie as the Division II Softball Player of the Week for April 1-7 (Week 11). The award is the first for Lanie, and the first this season for the Cavaliers.
Lanie, a freshman outfielder from Momence, Illinois, batted an impressive .739 over seven games, scoring 15 runs and stealing nine bases. The Cavaliers won all seven games to extend a 16-game unbeaten streak, during which Lanie enjoyed her own ten-game hitting streak. In the seven games, she was 17 for 23 and drove in nine runs. In a 13-2 win over the College of DuPage, Lanie was a perfect 4 for 4 with four runs scored and three batted in.
Lanie and the Cavaliers are 19-10-1 on the season and receiving votes in the latest NJCAA Division II Poll.
The Cavaliers softball program look to make their mark on the 2019 season with two sophomores and 13 freshmen. The team features a wide variety of pitching, hitting, and defense, and expects to be a strong contender for a 21st consecutive NJCAA Div. II, Region IV Championship, allowing another trip to the National Tournament in Clinton, Miss.
The Cavaliers will depend on the strong play and leadership of returning sophomore Mikayla Cole (P/Uti). Cole will provide the knowledge and experience to help guide a young roster. The other sophomore is a solid transfer, Faith Harris (C), who will provide much needed depth and power. This year’s freshmen are: pitchers Maddie Wallace, Hayley Edmonds, Sydney Reams, and Aubrey Durdan (P/1B); infielders Gabby Schultz (OF), Amber Mussey, Ashley Riner; catchers Sarah Starr, Leann Mossman, Payton Kerness; and outfielders Madalin Evans (OF/MI), Emma Schriner, and Mattie Lanie.
With dependable hitting, power, speed, and young top pitching, the Cavs expect to compete in a tough Region IV with solid opponents Triton, South Suburban, and Prairie State. The schedule also includes match-ups against top ranked Rock Valley, Parkland, Danville, Madison, and Lincoln Land, as well as multiple top D-I schools in Florida. With so many top-level adversaries, the Cavaliers should be well-positioned for a long and successful 2019 season.
BISMARCK, ND – Steph Roan, with coaching experience at the NCAA Division II level, national tournament appearances as a student-athlete and significant experience in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, is the new University of Mary head softball coach.
Roan joins the Marauders after serving as assistant coach at NCAA Division II Fort Lewis College of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) last season. Before that, she coached at St. Cloud State University, her alma mater and a fellow member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).
“Steph Roan has all the attributes needed to build our team into an upper echelon program,” said Marauders athletic director Dale Lennon. “She has had impressive mentors as both a player and a coach and understands the importance to create a strong team culture. We are excited about Steph’s passion for the game and ability to teach and communicate with student-athletes.”
“Successful as both a college player and a coach and who understands our campus values and culture, Steph Roan is a positive addition to the University of Mary community,” said University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea. “Steph exhibits a wonderful exuberance for the game of softball and a passion to get the best out of the young women she coaches. Her character and presence will serve both the university and her student-athletes very well.”
“I would like to thank Dale Lennon, Monsignor Shea, and the search committee for giving me an opportunity to become the head softball coach for the University of Mary,” said Roan. “I have competed against UMary both as a player and a coach and saw firsthand some of the extremely talented student-athletes that have come through the Marauders program. My goal is to build upon the solid foundation that already exists and elevate it to new heights. I envision this program to not only strive for excellence and integrity on the field, but also in the community and classroom. I look forward to leading this new era of UMary softball.”
Roan joined the Fort Lewis College staff in July 2017 for her first full-time collegiate coaching position. The St. Charles, IL, native, was involved in all aspects of the Skyhawks program including recruiting, fundraising, player skill development, practice organization and game day duties. In her lone season with FLC in 2018, the Skyhawks improved by 10 wins overall from the previous season while doubling their conference win total from five to 10.
“We are very sad to see Steph go as she was a huge asset to our program but we are also very excited for her,” said Fort Lewis College head coach Elle Fracker. “We know that she will do awesome things in her coaching career and are very excited that she has this opportunity. Steph helped our program grow and we know she will do the same for UMary.”
Roan began her collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at St. Cloud State, serving from 2015-17. Her numerous duties included assisting with practice and game day responsibilities, recruiting, academic success, social media and graphic design. She helped coach an NSIC Gold Glove recipient and the team received nine NSIC All-Academic and two NFCA All-Academic honors. Offensively the squad finished in the top five in on base percentage, hits, walks and runs scored. The Huskies also improved by six wins from her first to the second year, posting 32 wins in 2017 and finishing 5th in the NSIC. Both overall wins and conference finish was a then-best for the Huskies since rejoining the NSIC for the 2008 season.
A utility player and team captain for the Huskies from 2012-2014, Roan started all 78 games she competed in, collecting 55 hits, 29 runs scored, 26 runs batted in, nine doubles, and five homeruns while recording a .944 fielding percentage.
“Steph will bring a solid work ethic and coaching knowledge to her new position as the head coach at the University of Mary,” said Dr. Paula U’Ren, the St. Cloud State University head softball coach. “As both a player and coach within our Huskies softball program she has shown her passion for the game and is prepared for this opportunity to lead UMary softball. She brings a wealth of knowledge on not only the x’s and o’s of the game but is familiar with the NSIC. Steph will do a great job preparing her players for success as NCAA DII student-athletes.”
Roan transferred to SCSU from Kankakee Community College (IL). She was a unanimous all-region tournament team selection in 2011, helping her team win the Region IV championship title before placing third in the nation. She ranked in the top 10 nationally in runs batted in (76) and homeruns (12) while helping her team to the most wins in a season the following year (61 wins in 2012). Roan ranks in the top 25 career charts in hits, homeruns, batting average and at-bats at KCC.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Elective Studies from SCSU in 2015, Roan received her graduate degree in Academic Administration and Leadership from SCSU in 2017.
Congratulations to two of our athletic teams for being recognized by the NJCAA for their academic excellence. To be recognized the team must have a combined GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Baseball 3.14 GPA
Softball 3.17 GPA
Congratulations to our Academic All Americans. These athletes received a 3.60 or higher GPA.
2017-2018 Bobby Cooper 3.84
2017-2018 Connor Blanchette 3.85
2017-2018 Santiago Mena 3.91
2017-2018 Nicolas Mena 3.91
2017-2018 Jacob McCleary 4
2018 Andrew Newsome 3.63
2018 Dawson Swearengen 3.77 *Freshman
2017-2018 Courtney Johnson 3.69
2018 Halle McCrory 3.75
2018 Megan Lanie 3.78 *Freshman
2018 Amber Daly 3.92
2018 Marissa West 3.64
2017-2018 Hayden Stoewer 3.94
2017 Dylan Dodd 3.63
2018 Bryce Butler 3.65
2018 Dylan Post 3.76 *Freshman
2018 Wade Rankin 3.78 *Freshman
2018 Matt Kingery 3.77
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Softball won their 20th consecutive Regional championship, making Kankakee Community College proud once again.
2018 Region IV District C All-Tournament Team
Mikayla Cole - Kankakee Community College
Megan Lanie - Kankakee Community College
Emma Ledbetter - Kankakee Community College
Marissa West - Kankakee Community College
Coach of the Year
Keith Cooper - Kankakee Community College
Head Coach Keith Cooper is entering his 5th season with the Cavaliers. Coach Cooper has posted a career record of 93-64-1,as well as winning 2 NJCAA D-2 Region IV District C Coach of the Year, and 2 NJCAA D-2 Region IV Championship in 4 seasons. The Lady Cav’s softball squad has a NJCAA record 21 consecutive NJCAA D-2 Region IV Championships. Coach Cooper was a community leader in youth sports for 23 years. His involvement includes 23 years coaching various levels of players. He held multiple positions on local league boards of directors, as well as president of the Kankakee Knights of Columbus Little League, Knights of Columbus Bronco League, Kankakee Elks Pony League, and the Kankakee Valley Colts and Palomino League.
His involvement in coaching has taken him to coaching many tournaments at Illinois State University in Normal; Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; and has led him to 3 State Fast pitch Softball Tournaments in NSA Softball in Illinois. .
Prior to becoming the head coach of the Lady Cavs softball program, he assisted with the KCC Women’s Basketball team as an official scorekeeper for home games and he often traveled with the team.
Coach Cooper was born in Kankakee in 1972. Raised in Limestone and attended Limestone Grade School. He also attended Kankakee High School class of 1990. Coach Cooper is a former student of Kankakee Community College where he studied Law Enforcement. He worked for AT&T for 18 years.
He and his wife, Lisa, reside in Kankakee. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
Asst. Coach Teders enters his 4th season coaching for the Cavaliers. He brings the team a wealth of sports knowledge and coaching experience. Coach Teders grew up in the area and was an all-star athlete through his high school career in football and baseball.
After high school, he continued to play baseball at KCC, as well as playing on several slow pitch teams. Coach Teders has been involved in coaching for the past 20 years in softball, baseball, and football, and brings extensive knowledge of the mechanics of pitching for both girls and boys.
Outside of sports, Coach Teders is a union carpenter with many years of experience in residential and commercial construction. He and his wife , Lori, have 3 children and 1 granddaughter.
Coach Mikayla Cole enters her 3rd year as an asst coach at KCC. She is a graduate of Bishop McNamara high school in Kankakee IL., where she excelled at softball all four years under a former Chicago bandits professional softball player Laura Harms. While in high school, Coach Cole was an all-area player, as well as Bishop McNamara’s MVP her senior year. Mikayla played travel softball for 8 years. Her last year of travel ball, Cole pitched and won the national title game.
She played her collegiate softball career as a Pitcher and Outfielder at KCC under Coach Cooper and led the team both years in batting average. Mikayla experienced going to the NJCAA D-2 National Tournament both years with the Cavaliers. She graduated in 2019 with an associate in arts degree. Coach Cole has multiple years of coaching experience as she coached her younger sister’s team to three straight championship games.
Coach Cole also coached at Donovan Jr High, Clifton Central High School as the Head JV Coach, and Nash Rockets Middle School. She now coaches 16u travel softball for Champaign Blue Ice Elite & does pitching and hitting lessons. Mikayla enjoys spending time with her twin siblings Kloie and Keegan who she can’t be prouder of. Coach Cole is a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Boston Red Sox and enjoys watching as many games as possible.