Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Women's Soccer Tryouts Set for August 4

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College women's soccer team will be holding open tryouts beginning Monday, August 4 at 2 PM for those interested in playing for the fall 2014 team.

All interested student-athletes will need a current physical and must have it completed prior to tryouts. The paperwork can be picked up in the Athletics office in M Building (M219) or found here: 
Athletic Physical Packet  Student Checklists Interested student-athletes can also fill out the Prospective Athlete Form

Please contact head coach Dwayne Cruz (dwayne@ahaces.com or 224-381-2832) for more information.

The Harper women's soccer team will hold tryouts beginning Monday, August 4. (Jim Cummins)

Men's Soccer Tryouts Set for August 1

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's soccer team will be holding tryouts beginning Friday, August 1 for those interested in trying out for the fall 2014 team.

All interested student-athletes will need a current physical and must have it completed prior to tryouts. The paperwork can be picked up in the Athletics office in M Building (M219) or found here: Athletic Physical Packet  Student Checklists. Interested student-athletes can also fill out the Prospective Athlete Form

Please contact head coach Dan Klaus (dklaus@harpercollege.edu or 847-925-6467) for more information.

The Harper men's soccer team will hold tryouts beginning Friday, August 1. (Jim Cummins)

Hurwitz Commits to Calumet College of St. Joseph

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper student-athlete Stephanie Hurwitz (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Fremd), who starred on the soccer field and was also a standout sprinter for the Hawks' track and field team, will continue competing in both sports next year for NAIA Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind.

On the soccer field, Hurwitz played forward and earned Second Team All-Conference and All-Region distinctions. She scored eight goals in nine games, including an incredible five-goal performance in the Region IV Semifinals against Triton College on Oct. 15, 2013.  

Hurwitz will play soccer for the Crimson Wave and head coach Justin Olson. Calumet St. Joseph (CCSJ) went 6-11-1 overall and 3-7-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) in 2013.  

On the track, Hurwitz placed sixth in both the 100m and 200m at nationals last month, running PR times of 12.87 seconds and 26.69 seconds, respectively. She earned Team MVP honors and was also named Harper College Athlete of the Week.

"Stephanie's dedication to her workout and goal to improve her times are what I appreciated about her during her two years," said head track and field coach Renee Zellner. "She definitely was a great role model for our women sprinters. I was fortunate to have had her and her determination on the team. It sure makes coaching fun."

The track and field team at CCSJ is coached by Kevin Paterson.
Hurwitz likes that the school is not too far from home, fits what she needs for her double major in criminal justice and psychology and has two athletic teams on the rise that will allow her to play and run competitively.

Reflecting on her Harper career, Hurwitz will miss the bonds she made with her teammates.

"I'll miss being close to home and the friends I've made," she said. "I feel prepared for the opportunity (at CCSJ), and I know what to expect."

Hurwitz will continue her collegiate career at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind. (Jim Cummins)

Men's Basketball to Host Summer Camp

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball team and head coach Justin Welke will host a Harper College Basketball Summer Camp for kids who are in 2nd-8th grade from Aug. 4-7 in the Harper College gymnasium in Building M.

This four-day basketball camp will help young players improve skills, compete and have fun, all while being coached by Welke and his current college and high school varsity players.

The camp will begin each evening at 6 PM and end at 8:30 PM. The cost of this four-day camp is $75. Send an email to jwelke@harpercollege.edu if you are interested in signing your child up for camp, or fill out the camp registration form. For more information, visit the Harper College Basketball Camp Facebook page or email Coach Welke your questions.

Not only will campers receive top-notch instruction, but they will also receive a Harper camp t-shirt and custom-made basketball mouthguard courtesy of Smiles for Kids Dentistry.

"This camp is going to be a great way for kids to improve their game, learn about mouthguard safety and have fun," Welke said. "My goal is to make this an annual event that serves Harper's greatest fans, the children of our community."

Fall 2014 Baseball Information

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College baseball team has announced that there will be an informational meeting on Monday, August 25, for those interested in trying out for the Harper College Baseball team.

The meeting will be in Room M244 and begin at 4:00 PM. All interested student-athletes will need a current physical and must have it completed prior to the meeting.  That paperwork can be picked up in the Athletics office in M Building (M219) or found here: Athletic Physical Packet  Student Checklists

Please contact head coach Cliff Brown (cbrown2@harpercollege.edu or 847-925-6485) for more information.

Those interested in playing for the 2014-2015 team are encouraged to enroll in KIN-210 Teaching Methods: Baseball (Fall 2014: Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM). Participation in the course does not guarantee a position nor is it required to be on the spring 2015 team, but it is recommended that you participate if you are planning to try out for the team.

The baseball team will hold a meeting on Monday, August 25 for those interested in trying out for the team. (Jim Cummins)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Former Hawk Plaza Pitches UW-W to DIII National Title

Baseball: Scott Plaza UW-W DIII World Series 2014
Plaza pitched UW-Whitewater to the NCAA Div. III World Series title. (Alex Saager)

APPLETON, Wis. – Former Harper College pitcher Scott Plaza was the ace of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater pitching staff this year. He proved it with two victories on the mound in the NCAA Division III baseball national championship, including a complete game shutout as the Warhawks (44-7) topped Emory University 7-0 in the title game on May 27.

"Being that it was the last game of my college career, it was a great way to go out," Plaza said. "It was a great experience, and we had so much fan support there, too. We overcame a lot to reach this goal, and it was an awesome feeling to go 4-0 in the World Series."

The national title gave UW-Whitewater national titles in football, basketball and baseball in the same academic year, the first NCAA school to ever accomplish the feat in the 67-year history of the NCAA.

Plaza allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out nine in the complete game against Emory (38-13). He also led Whitewater to an 8-1 World Series opening victory over University of Southern Maine with seven innings of scoreless ball.  

Plaza, who was featured in the Harper College Alumni Spotlight series last June, finished his senior year with a 9-2 record, 2.53 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 96 innings and earned First Team All-Conference (WIAC) honors and First Team All-Midwest Region honors. As a junior, he went 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA.

As a sophomore at Harper College, the right-handed pitcher went 6-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings, earning him First Team All-Conference N4C, First Team All-Region, and Team MVP honors.

Plaza received his bachelor's degree in Business Education in May and plans to get his master's degree starting this upcoming fall. He credits his Harper experience as playing a key role in his success at UW-Whitewater.

"My two years at Harper prepared me mentally and physically for a four-year university atmosphere. I now have the groundwork for success in the future, whether it be baseball or in the job market," he said.


Anderson and Rohn Lead the Way for Hawks

Athlete of the Week: Max Anderson and Tom Rohn 2014

PALATINE, Ill. – Sophomores Max Anderson (/Cary-Grove) and Tom Rohn (Cary-Grove/Cary), both Cary-Grove High School grads, were key pieces of the Harper College men's track and field team for the past two years.

Anderson and Rohn both qualified for nationals this year in several events for head coach Renee Zellner. Although the pair scored big points at the national meets the last two years (two of which were relay events), they also improved their individual times during their tenure at Harper College.
Because of these exceptional accomplishments the last two years, Anderson and Rohn can be recognized as the first-ever Harper College Co-Athletes of the Week.

Cary-Grove Connection

The two go back to their days on the track at Cary-Grove, where they competed in relays together and experienced a great deal of success.  Their 4x400m team placed tenth in state in 2013.
"Tom is definitely my ally. We've been together for years," Anderson said. "There's nobody I trust more with the baton or in a big-time race in general."

Rohn choose Harper after high school to continue his track and field career, and Anderson settled on St. Norbert College. Anderson left St. Norbert and transferred to Harper, and Rohn and his high school coach, Dale Ankele, who would be the assistant track and field coach at Harper for his freshman year, talked him into coming out for the Hawks' track and field team.

Freshman Year

Rohn's first year was hampered by a hip flexor injury, making it hard to train and be at the level he wanted to. However, Anderson's decision to come to Harper paid off, as he joined up with Troy Cunningham (Elk Grove, Ill./Conant), Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) and Andre Barnes (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) to capture a national title in the 4x800m relay. The Hawks also captured second place in the nation as a team.

Reflecting on his freshman year, Rohn knew he needed to make every training workout count in preparation for 2014.

"You see how hard the D1 and NCAA teams train, and they are usually a few months ahead of us," Rohn said. "They are cooking on the indoor track, so you have to train hard."

Sophomore Year

In 2014, Rohn was able to train more and felt stronger throughout the season, improving his times each meet. It showed in the national meet, where he took fifth place in a very competitive field in the 400m and was a part of 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams that took sixth and seventh place, respectively. Including prelims and semifinals, Rohn competed in eight events at nationals.

Anderson took on seven events (including prelims and semifinals) at the national meet. Like Rohn, he was a key part of the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams while also running on the 4x800m relay team that took third place. He also captured eighth place individually in the 800m.

After running a strong leg in the 4x800m relay and with only 20 minutes to recover, Anderson was able to run his leg in the 4x100m relay, qualifying the team to the finals.

"Max was a great leader and led the way for our sprint team. He was always a sprinter, but this year he was an all-around, do-it-all guy," Rohn said. "He became one of my closer friends because of it."
While the team missed the biggest team goal of a national title, Anderson feels the team gave it their absolute all and that a lot of runners stepped up in a big way throughout the year.

Reflections on Harper Careers

Anderson will move on to the University of Illinois and major in psychology. Looking back, he says he will miss his coaches and teammates the most.

"I feel like I've gained so much from Harper as a school and the track and field program. It'll make going to U of I so much easier," he said.

Anderson explained that the coaching staff was key to his success, and according to him, Zellner is well-deserving of the NJCAA Hall of Fame honor she has. He said coach Jim Macnider was a key part of his success in the 800m this year, and coaches Eric Wallor and Colin Weber (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) were two people he looked up to because they competed at the same level and were mentally tough in competition.

Rohn has yet to settle on a four-year school but will major in business management and minor in marketing. He says he will miss the team atmosphere with the athletes and being part of a close-knit group.

"Just being with your team every day after school and blowing off steam on the track-I wouldn't have traded it for anything," he said. "Coach Zellner always had my back and helped me the most, opening the door as far as four-year coaches goes."

Insights from Zellner

Zellner saw both athletes improve immensely in their two years at Harper. She saw Anderson trust the training more and become a better listener, which resulted in improved times in each meet.
"I'll miss his deep commitment to the sport and dedication to the team. Team devotion and leadership is important for Max and is what drives him," she said.

She also saw great improvement in Rohn as he trained hard and improved his times after a disappointing freshman season. As the season went on, Zellner saw his confidence and leadership grow as the team prepared for the national meet.

"He encouraged his teammates and worked for the team points even if it meant potentially sacrificing a personal goal in the 400m," Zellner said. "That demonstrated his personal growth and maturity."

"Both are very talented, and it was not surprising that they would qualify this year. They both worked very hard to qualify and devoted themselves to the team and personal accomplishments at the national meet. I am a better coach because of these two talented student-athletes."

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nicholson Signs with Harper College

Women's Basketball: Joslyn Nicholson Recruit Signing Day 2014
Nicholson signed to play for the Harper women's basketball team. (Bill Smith)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College women's basketball team is looking even stronger for the 2014-15 season, as former Cary-Grove High School star and Olivet Nazarene University transfer Joslyn Nicholson signed her NJCAA Letter of Intent to play for the Hawks.

Nicholson was a four-year varsity letter winner for Cary-Grove and coach Rod Saffert. She earned numerous awards for the Trojans, including Most Improved Player (2010-11), two-time All-Conference (2011-12, 2012-13) Northwest Herald All-Area Honorable Mention (2011-12), Daily Herald All-Area (2011-12, 2012-13), Northwest Herald All-Area (2012-13) and IBCA All-State Honorable Mention (2012-13).

Cary-Grove went 97-24 in her four years on the varsity team. She also earned four varsity letters in track and field and took fourth in state in the triple jump in 2013. In the classroom, she was a four-time honor roll student.

Nicholson comes from an Olivet program that qualified for nationals in the 2013-14 season. The 5-foot-10 small forward cannot wait to step on the court for the Hawks.

"I am looking forward to coming to Harper because of the academic and athletic support this school has to offer," she said. "I know attending Harper will benefit the way I play on the court and my overall well-being, which has left me feeling very excited."


Becker Named Marucci Elite Hitter

Baseball: Kurt Becker 2014

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper baseball player Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) can add another award to his collection. The standout sophomore was recently named a 2014 NJCAA Baseball Marucci Elite Hitter.

Marucci Elite Hitter awards are presented to the All-America nominee from each district with the highest batting average. Becker received the award for Division III District B, which is comprised of both Region IV and XII. The third baseman hit .494 in 46 games for the Hawks.

Becker Named Second Team All-American

Baseball: Kurt Becker Second Team All-American 2014
Becker earned NJCAA DIII Baseball Second Team All-American honors. (Jim Cummins)

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper College baseball player Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) was recently named a 2014 NJCAA DIII Baseball Second Team All-American, as announced by the NJCAA national office.

The sophomore third baseman hit .494 with three homers, 30 RBIs, 15 doubles, four triples, 14 steals, a .531 OBP, a .694 slugging percentage and also had a 24-game hitting streak from April 1-25. Becker also earned NJCAA Div. III Player of the Week, N4C Conference MVP, First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region and Harper College Athlete of the Week honors.

Becker becomes the first Harper baseball All-American since Vine Edward earned All-American status in 1997 for the Hawks.

Sims Signs with Harper College

Women's Basketball: Ashonte Recruit Signing Day 2014
Sims signed to play for the Harper women's basketball team. (Bill Smith)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College women's basketball program added another player to its recruiting class this week. Normal West High School graduate Ashonte Sims signed her NJCAA Letter of Intent to play for the Hawks.
The 5-foot-7 small forward/power forward played for coach Angie Condren and won the Rebounding Award and the Charge Award for the Wildcats. Sims was a three-sport athlete at Normal West, also competing in volleyball and track and field. In track and field, she won the Most Outstanding Athlete award.

Sims plans on majoring in physical therapy and is eager to come to Harper.

"I am looking forward to the start of my career at Harper College and to have an amazing season with my new coach," she said.


Conrad Wins 2014 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award®

Baseball: Kevin Conrad

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper baseball first baseman Kevin Conrad (Twin Lakes, Wis./Wilmot) won a 2014 NJCAA ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award®, as announced by the NJCAA national office today.

Conrad was one of nine players at the NJCAA Div. III level to win the award. The freshman had a .987 fielding percentage and recorded 306 putouts, eight assists and 13 double plays in 2014 while committing only four errors in 43 games.  

The awards were determined by each division's respective committee. Among local teams, Joliet Junior College catcher T.J. Condon joined Conrad as a Gold Glove winner.

Modlin Commits to Judson University

Modlin will continue his collegiate career at Judson University in Elgin. (Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – Harper student-athlete Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) performed outstandingly both in the classroom and at his sports in his time at Harper College. The sophomore recently graduated from Harper and will continue his collegiate career at Judson University in Elgin.

Modlin's list of accomplishments as a Harper Hawk is lengthy. The Wheeling High School product was a key part of two national championship-winning cross country teams. On the track, Modlin took fourth in both the 5k and 10k at nationals in 2013, and in 2014 took sixth place in both the 3000m steeplechase and 5k.

In the classroom, the mathematics secondary education major maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, won N4C Academic All-Conference honors for two straight years and won the Math Discipline Award.
Modlin was drawn to Judson because of the proximity and its beautiful campus. From an athletic perspective, he likes that the team is very down-to-Earth and feels like he will fit in perfectly. Academically, Judson has the program Modlin needs for math/education.

"They are definitely hard-working," Modlin said of his new teammates. "The school covered what I was looking for."

The former Harper College Athlete of the Week also likes what he sees in head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach Tim Ciochon.

"I like the fact that he runs with his runners and does all the workouts. He's very individualized with his training work and very specific in what he asks for," Modlin said.

Modlin feels Harper prepared him for this next step by introducing him to collegiate running. The Hawks competed against NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III schools on a regular basis as well as NAIA schools and junior colleges.

He also credits coaches Jim Macnider and Renee Zellner for being fantastic coaches and for their mindset towards running. Macnider and Zellner both emphasized running for the love of running and doing it every day so that you can get a lot out of it.

Looking back at his Harper experience, Modlin will miss a few things.

"I'll miss the family atmosphere and how we'd joke around on runs and talk with coach Macnider. The team was really close," he said. "When you leave those types of things, they are worth missing."

Zellner will miss Modlin's commitment to the team and his personal goals. She describes Modlin as "very intelligent, mature and supportive" and a wonderful role model for the freshman runners.

"He ran exceptionally well and continually improved his times, scoring valuable points for the team at nationals," Zellner said. "He is truly a kind young man. Judson is very fortunate to have him."

Herzog Signs with Harper College

Women's Basketball: Kim Herzog Recruit Signing Day 2014
Herzog signed to play for the Harper women's basketball team. (Bill Smith)
PALATINE, Ill. – Harper women's basketball coach Jenny Turpel added another key player to her recruiting class as Buffalo Grove High School grad Kim Herzog signed her NJCAA Letter of Intent to play for the Hawks.

The 5-foot-3 point guard/shooting guard was a four-year letter winner for the Bison and coach Steve Kolodziej. She set a team record for most 3-pointers made in a season for a Buffalo Grove team that won a regional title in the 2013-14 season.

Herzog also played varsity soccer for four years, and the team took fourth in state her junior year. In the classroom, she made the honor roll every year at Buffalo Grove. She will major in nursing at Harper College and cannot wait to play basketball for the Hawks.

"I really enjoy playing basketball. Harper gave me an opportunity to play here, so I took it," she said.

Stroud Signs with Harper College

Women's Basketball: Jaclyn Stroud Recruit Signing Day 2014
Stroud signed to play for the Harper women's basketball team. (Bill Smith)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College women's basketball bolstered its recruiting class to start the summer. Former Ridgewood High School standout and Concordia University Chicago transfer Jaclyn Stroud signed her NJCAA Letter of Intent to play for the Hawks.

Stroud was a four-year letter winner for the Rebels and coach Amanda Timothy. She earned All-Conference honors her junior and senior seasons and set school records for most 3-pointers in a game (7), most points in a game (35) and most 3-pointers in a season (77).

The 5-foot-7 shooting guard is excited about the upcoming 2014-15 Harper women's basketball season.

"I want to play at Harper College because I like how they run their program, and I see how hard they work," she said.