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:
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.
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.
Kankakee’s Lanie runs to NJCAA Player of the Week honor
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.
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 our Academic All Americans. These athletes received a 3.60 or higher GPA.
Soccer 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
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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