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Indians Drop Home Opener 48-6 Against Sterling

The Marengo Indians were unable to mount a sustained offense and the defense was unable to hold down the Sterling Golden Warriors, from the second quarter on through the rest of the game, resulting in a 48-6 non-conference loss for the Aug. 24 home- and season-opener at Rod Poppe Field.

Sterling (1-0) muffed a fourth-down punt try at the outset, and Marengo (0-1) was stopped cold on its first possession. With the Golden Warriors alternating its quarterbacks on each series, they eventually broke through on a 25-yard touchdown pass, from Cooper Willman to Weston Sisson, at the 3:32 mark of the first quarter, missing the extra point. 0:07-seconds into the second quarter, Camden Bailey took the snap and ran the ball in from the 7-yard line, and a 13-0 lead.

Two running TDs by Marquez Williams, one on a fumbled kickoff return by the Indians, and two rushing TD’s by Nigel Bruce, put the game out of reach at 40-0 before the half ended, and started the continuous clock running. The Indians fumbled two kickoff returns on the night.

Marengo scored twice in the fourth quarter, with quarterback Travis Knaak keeping the ball and running it into the end zone at the 7:32 mark, and another Sterling scored on a 4-yard run with 7:32 left in the game, and a 2-point safety when Sterling muffed another punt attempt in the end zone.

The Indians next square off against the Plano Reapers in an Aug. 31 non-conference away game.

Approach and Fundamentals Highlight Middle School Co-op Softball Team

This summer, a new program was initiated for middle school girls (grades 6-8) attending Marengo Community and Riley School to get involved with the game of softball. Not only offering a hands-on guide to the basic fundamentals for the athletes, it also opens the door and strengthens their approach to the game’s critical thinking aspects such as anticipation of the play, and different scenarios.

Marengo Community High School head varsity softball coach, Dwain Nance, serves as an assistant coach. However, the head coach is a name familiar to MCHS sports…Susan Orozco (Anthony), who played for the 2010- 13 Indians. When she heard about the team forming, she promptly jumped at the chance and knew that she, and Nance, would be on the same page in how to go about running the program.

“We are using this program to teach players the game, to realize softball is more than just catching, throwing, and swinging a bat,’ said Orozco. “The mental side of the game is so important, along with developing the abil- ity to anticipate the next play, and at a young age, will only help them become a better play- er when they reach the varsity level in high school. This opportunity to impact the youth of Marengo softball is an honor.”

34 girls signed up for the team. They are being taught a skill-set of catching, throwing, base running, hitting form, and defensive po- sitioning. Deemed equally as important are leadership, commitment, sportsmanship, and responsibility since those traits will follow them off the field and into their lives.

“We have only been working with these girls for four short weeks, and the improvement we have seen is incredible,” said Orozco. “Yes, winning and being successful is exciting, but seeing the girls transform is what makes it fulfilling for me. I believe each girl has gotten better from being on the Marengo Middle School Softball team, and we will continue to work hard to make sure these girls are successful in all aspects of their life. For me, the most rewarding part of coaching is seeing the girls grow and improve.”

The program will also bring dividends in another way by preparing the athletes for high school softball competition. “This is an awesome opportunity for our program, this will only enhance it,” said Nance. “The girls and coaches have been working really hard on improving their skills and knowledge of the game. We have seen some major improvements in those areas already.

“The middle school program allows more kids to learn the expectations, procedures and success of our program at a younger age,’ he said. “Coach Orozco has done an excellent job of organizing and getting this program off running.

McHenry County Independents Close Out Vintage Base Ball Season.

With a runner on third base, and one out in top of the ninth inning, a ground ball by a conscripted player resulted in a double-play. The Grayslake Athletics, thus came from behind in sealing a 7-6 win over the noble Mc Henry County Independents in an Aug. 25 away game at Central Park, during the annual Grayslake Color Aloft Balloon Festival.

Leading 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Independents were unable to contain the strikers of Grayslake. After several scores, a collision occurred in the outfield between “The Tiger” and “Breadman,” leading to tense moments, injury, and another run for the Athletics.

The Independents were not victorious in their three games this season, but their efforts were gentlemanly in keeping with the theme of the contests. Always remember, when it comes to Civil War-era contests, it is two words: Base Ball. Huzzah!

“Someday, I will have to look through the files to see if it was intentionally spelled as the ‘Independents,’ or really a typo,’ said Kurt Begalka, the team’s manager, and administrator for the Union-based Mc Henry County Historical Society and Museum.