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New IHSA Rules: The Illinois High School Association didn’t add more classes, as some people wanted, but it did announce a “multiplier” will be used to slot teams into classes for tournaments next year.

It’s an attempt to level the playing field between public and private schools, which critics contend win a disproportionate share of state titles. Starting next year, officials will boost enrollment figures for private high schools with more than 450 students by 65 percent, said Marty Hickman, IHSA executive director.

The so-called multiplier would have bumped about 20 schools from Class A to Class AA this year for both the boys and girls basketball tournaments, Hickman said.

Three teams, including perennial powerhouse Mount Carmel, would have moved up two classes in the eight-division football playoffs, while 15 schools would have gone up one class, Hickman said. Those upward moves would have dropped 21 other teams down one class, he said.

The IHSA has reviewed competitive balance for a decade because of complaints that private schools, which can draw student-athletes from up to 30 miles away, have an advantage over public schools, with their tighter, locked-in geographic boundaries.

Private schools account for fewer than 20 percent of the IHSA’s roughly 750 member schools, but have won more than a third of championship trophies over the last five years, according to the IHSA.

Public and private schools are deeply divided over the multiplier. Fewer than 12 percent of private schools backed the concept in an IHSA survey, compared with 80 percent of public schools.

Private school officials argue the multiplier unfairly penalizes them for success they say stems from good programs and winning traditions. Some players also oppose multipliers, saying they want to face the best competition.

The IHSA board settled on a 65 percent multiplier because it moves schools with at least 450 students to a higher class in the two-class system used for most IHSA tournaments, Hickman said.

Opponents could challenge the multiplier in court or seek legislation to override the new IHSA policy.

Hickman said the multiplier will not be applied to private schools with fewer than 450 students because studies revealed those schools compete equally with their public counterparts.

About half of the IHSA’s 123 private schools will not be affected, Hickman said. Schools that will be subject to the multiplier are spread around the state, but most are near population centers such as Chicago.

The IHSA’s 10-member board also decided to launch a series of meetings around the state this year on a proposal that would add classes for most sports, including a possible move from two to four classes in basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. Individual sports, such as track, would move to three classes.

Hickman said the IHSA plans a December or January advisory vote on the proposal, which he said could be implemented no sooner than the 2006-07 school year.

About 56 percent of schools supported adding classes in an IHSA survey. Hickman doesn’t think the move will be adopted unless more schools line up behind it.

“My gut feeling is that it’s going to have to be fairly overwhelming,” Hickman said.

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Beloit, Monroe Bow: Beloit Memorial and Monroe made it to the Wisconsin state boys’ basketball tournaments in Madison last week.

Beloit lost a heartbreaker in the WIAA Division 1 quarterfinals for the second straight year, falling to Milwaukee Pius XI (22-2) which rallied from 13 points down in the second half to edge the Purple Knights 48-47. Beloit, which finished 17-8, lost in overtime to Madison Memorial in the quarterfinals last season. Pius lost in the semifinals to Milwaukee Vincent 65-43.

Madison Memorial (24-2)—led by 6-foot-5 senior guard Wesley Matthews who will play at Marquette University next season—beat Vincent 63-55 for the Division 1 title. Vincent (20-6), coached by Tom Diener, had won five state championships since 1996.

Racine St. Catherine’s (24-1) made 26-of-39 shots in beating Monroe 63-51 in the Division 2 semifinals. The Racine school was making its inaugural WIAA appearance after winning nine titles in 20 championship games in the former WISAA. With the 66.7 shooting percentage, the Angels set a record for a Division 2 tournament game, besting the 63 percent shot by Lake Geneva Badger in 1999. The Cheesemakers (22-4) were making first state tournament appearance since 1991.

St. Catherine’s beat Seymour 52-50 for the Division 2 crown. Seymour (21-5), the 2001 state champion, lost in the Division 2 final for the fourth consecutive year.

Randolph (25-2) became the first WIAA boys basketball team to win four consecutive state championships, beating Oshkosh Lourdes 53-37 for the Division 4 title. Bob Haffele coached the Rockets’ four-year title run and Ryan Tillema, 6-foot-8 senior forward, became the first player in state history to play on four state championship teams. He’s headed for UW-Green Bay.

Top-ranked Whitefish Bay Dominican wrapped up an undefeated season (27-0) with a 66-57 victory against Grantsburg in the Division 3 final. Dominican has won 39 straight games dating to last season, including wins this season over Division 2 state champion Racine St. Catherine’s by one point and Division 1 champ Madison Memorial by five.

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Pointers Win Again: Wisconsin-Stevens Point repeated as NCAA Division III men’s national basketball champion with a 73-49 victory over Rochester March 19.

The Pointers (29-3) became the first team to win consecutive titles since Wisconsin-Platteville, also members of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, in 1998-99. The WIAC has won eight championships. The Pointers are only the third team to win consecutive Division III championships. North Park of Illinois won three in a row beginning in 1978.

The victory was the 200th for Pointers coach Jack Bennett (Dick Bennett’s brother) in his nine years at the school, and his last with his son as one of his top players. Nick Bennett scored 18 for UW-Stevens Point.

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‘Hog Tickets Going Up: It’s going to cost more to watch Rockford IceHogs’ games next season because ticket prices are going up, reported WTVO-TV-17.

“Dr. T and myself, our No. 1 goal is to keep this team in Rockford and keep us a viable option of entertainment,” said IceHogs general manager Ryan Washatka.

Expenses have been going up in six seasons in Rockford, but ticket prices have remained the same until now. Season ticket holders recently were notified the cost of their tickets will be going up next season.

Lower level side seats will go up from $13 a game to $16. Upper level side seats will increase from $10 to $11. Lower level endzone seats will bump up from $13 to $14. And upper level endzone seats will go from $10 and $7 (depending upon how far up they are) to one set price of $8.

The largest increase will be for “glass” seats. Those are the front-row seats by the glass that surrounds the ice. Those tickets will jump from $13 to $19.

The ‘Hogs also receive a smaller percentage of income from concessions than many other UHL teams receive, said TV-17. So the ‘Hogs rely more heavily on corporate sales, merchandise sales and ticket sales to generate revenue.

“We’ve looked at all the markets that are comparable to the size of Rockford,” said Washatka. “We think we are pretty fair in our price increase.”

The ‘Hogs will add more perks for fans who purchase season tickets for those premium glass seats, things like cards for discounts to area businesses and perhaps dinner with an IceHog player, said TV-17.

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Jersey Auction Set: The Rockford IceHogs sixth annual Jerseys Off Their Backs Auction to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association Chapter in Rockford will be Friday, April 8, after the 7:05 p.m. game against the Kalamazoo Wings in the MetroCentre.

The specially designed jerseys will be worn by the Hogs in the game and then auctioned off. The Hogs also will hold a silent auction during the game and an on-line
auction on the team’s Web site of for the jerseys. The first five auctions raised more than $250,000 for MDA.

The first 1,000 fans at the game will receive a T-shirt featuring the MDA Jersey logo. Game tickets can be purchased at the MetroCentre box office or by calling (815) 968-5222. Groups of 20 or more can contact the IceHogs office at (815) 986-6465 for a discounted group rate.

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‘Hog Playoff Tickets: Rockford IceHogs season ticket holders can reserve their 2004-05 Colonial Cup playoff tickets by logging onto, stopping by the season ticket holder booth at any IceHogs home game or by contacting the IceHogs office at (815) 986-6465. Individual playoff tickets will go on sale on Friday, April 8.

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Hononegah Indoor Champ: Rockton Hononegah won the March 16 NIC-9 Boys Indoor Track Championships in its dome facility with 122 points. Machesney Park Harlem was second with 86, followed by Freeport 86, Rockford Jefferson 67, Rockford Guilford 54, Belvidere 50, Rockford Boylan 16, Rockford East 1 and Rockford Auburn 0.

It was the third straight indoor title for the Indians, who also won the Byron Indoor Preview meet March 12.

Harlem’s Trey Kelly was a double winner, with firsts in the 55- and 200-meter dashes. Three meet records fell. Jared Richardson of Harlem captured the 1,600-meter title in 4 minutes, 38.21 seconds (former record was 4:39.62); Hononegah sophomore Ryan Jacobs won the 3,200 in 9:41.98 (previous mark 10.14.52) and Freeport’s Jared Hartman posted a 7.47 in the 55-meter high hurdles to shave nearly a half-second off his record.

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Former Athletes Die: Two notable former Rockford-area athletes died recently.

Stanley H. Campbell, 74, a nine-year NFL veteran who played for the Lions, Eagles and Raiders, died March 14 in an Elgin care center, reported the local daily. Cause of death was believed to be pancreatic cancer, but he had suffered from Alzheimer’s for several years, his family said.

A Rochelle High School and Iowa State graduate, Campbell played guard for the three NFL teams, missing his prime years in 1953 and 1954 to serve in the Army. He won three championships (Detroit 1952, 1957 and Philadelphia 1960) and missed out on another while in the service.

Campbell retired from the NFL in 1961 at the age of 31. He returned to the Rockford area and started a business, staying close to football by coaching the old Rockford Rams and Junior Tackle. Services were March 18 in Rockford.

Rockford native Byron Ware, the first black state high school swimming champion in Illinois, died recently in Oklahoma, reported the local daily. He was 64.

Ware graduated from Rockford West in 1958 after earning the IHSA state title in the 100-yard breaststroke as a senior. Ware’s time of 1:10.30 made him the fifth swimmer from Rockford to win the state breaststroke crown. Nobody from Rockford has won it since.

Ware went on to swim for North Central College in Naperville, winning the NAIA breaststroke title in 1961. He also was on the North Central team that won back-to-back NAIA titles in the 400-yard medley relay in 1962 and 1963.

Ware was born in Rockford in 1940. After graduating from North Central, he was employed by AT&T for 30 years. He lived in Oklahoma after retirement for the past 20 years. Services were held in Rockford.

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Dorman, Strunz Honored: Rockford College women’s basketball standouts Kristina Dorman (Sterling H.S.) and Kristi Strunz (Orfordville, Wis./Parkview H.S.)—both juniors— were named second team All-Central Region by

Dorman and Strunz both were third-team all-region picks last year as sophomores. Strunz’s award came prior to transferring to Rockford while she was a member of the Clarke College team in Iowa.

Dorman had another standout season for RC in 2004-05, earning her third-consecutive All-Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference recognition and her second straight NIIC player of the year award. The 5-foot-11 forward led Rockford by averaging 16.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

She became the seventh member of the Regents’ 1,000-Point Club on Jan. 29 and currently ranks sixth on the all-time list with 1,115 points. She also was a pre-season All-American by Women’s D3 News.

Strunz started all 28 games in her first season at RC, averaging 13.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game. She set an RC season record for three-point field goals attempted (116), making 32. The 5-6 guard also earned her third straight All-NIIC award and reached the 1,000 career points plateau Dec. 16.

Rockford had its second-best season in school history in 2004-05 with a 22-6 record. The Regents won both the NIIC regular season championship—for the second consecutive year—and the NIIC’s post-season tournament crown. RC received the NIIC’s automatic bid to the NCAA III championships (losing in the first round to Ripon College). It was Rockford’s second NCAA III post-season trip in three years and the school’s fourth NCAA berth in school history.

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Regent Pitcher Cited: Rockford College junior righthanded pitcher Keith Miller (Dakota) was named Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference baseball player of the week for the period ending March 13.

Miller was 1-1, had a 3.00 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ration of better than 2-to-1. He handed East Texas Baptist only its second loss of the year with a complete game 5-1 victory. He had seven Ks and walked just one. Miller lost his first game of the year to NCAA Division I Belmont University 5-0. After giving up four first-inning runs, Miller settled in to allow just one more run the rest of the way in the complete-game loss. In three starts, Miller has three complete games (the other was a 6-6 tie vs. NAIA Morningside, which was 5-0 at the time).

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Illinois Basketball: To honor Illinois’ 2004-05 basketball season—the 100th in school history— Nikco Sports is producing 5,000 limited edition “Season To Remember” basketballs with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Make A-Wish Foundation of Illinois to help fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Nikco Sports said it will donate $7.50 from each basketball sold to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with a goal of raising $37,500.

The basketballs, priced at $99 each, also include an acrylic display case. The balls only will be available via a toll-free number (800-345-2868) or at A numbered letter of authenticity, suitable for framing, comes with each purchase.

The regulation size basketball will feature four special white panels, two of which contain historic information about the 100th anniversary of Illini basketball tradition and the colorful centennial Illinois basketball logo. Also included will be a game-by-game summary of the entire regular season and Big Ten tournament, listing each opponent and final score.

Nikco Sports said it raises funds for children’s charities and other needy groups in the U.S. through the sale of limited-edition sports collectibles.

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Phillips on Defensive Team: Guard-forward Marshall Phillips of the Rockford Lightning has been named to the CBA’s All-Defensive Team along with Dakota Wizards’ guard-forward Melvin Sanders, Sioux Falls Skyforce guard DeSean Hadley, Yakima Sun Kings forward Noel Felix and Idaho Stampede forward-center Sam Clancy, who was defensive player of the year.

Phillips is the first Rockford player named to the all-defensive team since Livan Pyfrom made the 2002-03 squad. Marshall led the Lightning in steals with 88, and finished the season third in the CBA with 2.2 steals per game. That helped the Lightning to be the best in the league with 474. Phillips also averaged 6.2 rebounds per game, and hauled down 160 defensive rebounds. In 40 games played, Marshall also posted 19.4 points, 3.1 assists and 0.6 blocked shots per game.

“He’s also worthy of being an MVP candidate. He has had that type of year,” sa

id Lightning head coach Chris Daleo. Phillips was the only Eastern Conference player to make the all-defensive team.

• • •

Don May Retires: Don May, 69, announced his retirement as Rockford Guilford boys swimming coach March 9 at the postseason awards ceremony after 40 years of leading the Vikings to success, reported the local daily.

The coaching legend said it was a difficult decision, but he’s ready to retire with his wife, Jean, in a warmer climate. “I’m going to miss it to the maximum, that’s for sure,” May said. “But I have a chance to continue volunteering for a high school where I’m going. I still have 30 years of coaching to go.”

May and his wife bought a home in Las Cruces, N.M., a year ago. He didn’t tell anyone he was planning to retire after this season until two weeks ago when he whispered it to Guilford diving coach Gene Cassioppi and assistant swimming coach John Lindley.

“Just to put it mildly, I was heart-broken,” said Cassioppi, who has been coaching with May for 36 years. “It’s going to be quite a bit different with him gone. That’s all he’s done for 40 years is taught swimming.”

May’s teams have won 32 conference titles and finished in the top 10 in the state 14 times. He has coached four swimmers (Brian Linderoth, Rich Buelte, Zach Newcomer and Brad Boswell) and two relay teams (1982 400 free and 1993 200 free) to state titles. An additional five divers have won state titles under May and Cassioppi. May has coached Guilford since 1965 and before that was an assistant to Charlie Wild at West High School.

Guilford athletic director Brad Seago said the position will be posted, however May already has lobbied for his assistant, Lindley, to take his place. A former Big 10 champion swimmer, Lindley has coached the Guilford girls team for nine years.

As May’s long-time coaching partner, Cassioppi has said he will stay on at Guilford despite May’s departure. Cassioppi will coach diving for at least three more years and follow the career of Andrew Muzzarelli. Muzzarelli placed sixth in the state as a freshman this year.

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Owens in at NIU: Carol Owens, who played at Northern Illinois in the era when Jane Albright coached the Huskies to six straight winning seasons and four NCAA tournaments, is the new head women’s basketball coach at her alma mater.

Owens will continue to be an assistant at No. 11 Notre Dame through the end of the NCAA Tournament, finishing her 10th year there. Owens was an integral part of the teams that started the Northern Illinois tradition under Albright, culminating her senior season with a 26-5 record and the school’s first trip to the NCAA.

She replaces Carol Hammerle, who retired recently after seven seasons and only one winner at NIU. Since Albright left for Wisconsin in 1994, NIU women’s basketball has had two winning seasons. In 1994-95, Liz Galloway-McQuitter went 17-14 in her first season using mostly Albright’s players. She was fired after four seasons and a 37-75 record.

Hammerle, 56, announced her retirement March 8, saying, “After 32 years of coaching, I believe it is in the best interest of the NIU women’s basketball program and myself to retire. At this point, the team has a strong foundation of talented, young women who have the potential to be successful.”

Hammerle concluded her seventh season as NIU head coach and 32nd overall at the Division I level March 5. Her Huskies dropped a 76-61 decision to the University of Toledo and were eliminated in the first round of the 2005 Mid-American Conference tourney. The UT contest marked her 200th game as NIU’s head coach. She finished with an 80-120 won-lost record and 536-346 mark. In 25 seasons at UW-Green Bay, Hammerle posted a 456-226 mark.

At least two Rockford-area players will be at NIU next season—Stephanie Raymond, a Rockford Lutheran standout guard who led the 7-20 Huskies in points per game (15.5) and minutes (38.8) last season, and Rockton Hononegah recruit Kacia Gillette.

• • •

Raymond Tops Huskies: Stephanie Raymond, Northern Illinois sophomore from Rockford Lutheran, has been named third team All-Mid-American Conference. Last year she was on the league’s All-Freshman Team.

Raymond elevated her game to a national level this season, ranking third in the nation with 3.8 steals per game and 24th in the country in free throw percentage at .849. She led the MAC in steals and minutes played (38.6 mpg). She averaged 15.5 points per game to lead NIU and rank eighth in the MAC

She became just the second player in school history to rack up 100 steals in a season and broke E.C. Hill’s single-season school record, finishing the year with 107.

Perhaps the most impressive stat for the 5-foot-5 Raymond was she came within three rebounds of becoming the first player in Northern Illinois history to lead the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same season. Raymond grabbed 165 boards (5.9 rpg) to finish 0.1 rebounds per game behind Jamie Wilson for the top spot.

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NIU Men End 11-17: Northern Illinois men’s basketball team suffered a 73-66 loss to Buffalo in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tourney March 7, ending the Huskies’ 100th season with an 11-17 record. NIU is 8-11 all-time in the MAC tourney.

Northern’s Todd Peterson was 3-of-3 at the free throw line, giving him 27 consecutive free throw makes. The NIU school record for consecutive free throws is 32 by Willie Hanson during the 1966-67 season.

Peterson, 6-foot-8 junior forward from Pekin, should be back next season, along with 6-1 junior Cory Sims, 6-4 sophomore Mike McKinney and 5-10 junior Anthony Maestranzi among starters. The team’s only senior was 6-9 Johnathan Byrd. Also returning should be 6-1 junior Shatone Powers, 6-11 soph James Hughes, 6-10 soph Bryson McKenzie and 6-5 freshman Zach Pancratz.

• • •

Mavity Moves On: Junior college All-American Tracy Mavity of Rock Valley College has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and play volleyball at William Penn University, Oskaloosa, Iowa. Mavity, a graduate of Byron High School, was a key member of RVC’s 30-4 N4C Conference and Region IV Championship squad, which finished second at the NJCAA National Championships.

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New RVC Soccer Coach: Rock Valley College has hired Jacob Sayre as head coach for men’s soccer, taking over from Paul Fanning, who coached RVC during the first three years of the program’s existence.

Sayre has head coaching experience in both boys’ and girls’ soccer at Macomb High School, and spent last year as an assistant on both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. He played collegiately at Western Illinois University from 1998-2001.

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Dactyls Take Title: The Rockford Dactyls U-18 team took first place in the Augustana College Spring Indoor Invitational Soccer Tournament March 4-5 in Rock Island. They beat FC America in the title game 6-2 for a 5-0-1 record.

The Dactyls are made up of girls under age 18 from several schools: Harlem, Winnebago, Hononegah, Guilford, Boylan, Jefferson, Belvidere, South Beloit and Benet Academy. More info: Frank Mateus at (815) 885-4848.

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Headed to Huntington: Daniel Schroeder of Rockford Christian Life has signed to play golf at Huntington (Ind.) College, where he will be a Presidential Scholar (Huntington requires a minimum 3.6 grade point average and either a minimum score of 1250 on the SAT or 28 on the ACT to be a Presidential Scholar). A three-year starter at Christian Life, Schroeder earned all-conference honors and his team qualified for the IHSA Class A tourney each year.

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Bluebirds Streak Ends: Someone finally beat the Janesville Bluebirds in the Wisconsin state boys hockey tourney series. The co-op team from Janesville Parker and Craig lost in the semifinals 2-1 to Hartland Arrowhead March 4.

Before that, the Bluebirds won four straight overtime games against strong opponents—University School of Milw

aukee in the quarterfinals, Middleton 4-3 in the sectional final, Beloit Memorial High 3-2 and Big Eight Conference champ Madison Memorial in double OT earlier in the sectional.

Janesville became the lowest seed to make it to the state tournament in the eight years the WIAA has been seeding the tournament.

Arrowhead, the first Milwaukee-area team to play for the hockey championship since the tournament began in 1971, suffered a 2-1 loss in overtime to Superior March 5. Arrowhead finished with a 21-4-1 record.

The Spartans (18-7-1) won their state-best 12th championship in their 28th tournament appearance. Superior, 11-0-1 against teams from Wisconsin this season, was runnerup last year after winning the title in 2003.

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Soccer Kicks for Cancer: The Illinois Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Soccer Kicks for Cancer” is a new youth soccer program that helps improve soccer skills and teaches the value of community service, while raising funds for blood-cancer research.

The program, in collaboration with US Youth Soccer and US National Soccer Team Players Association, allows for individual players or entire teams to participate in the team and skill building fundraiser. More information can be found at

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‘Hawks Add Pair: The Rockford RiverHawks have added two players with experience in affiliated baseball—pitcher Derek Roper, a former St. Louis farmhand, and second baseman Ryan Strain, a former member of the San Francisco organization. Each is in his third pro season and has one-year status in the Frontier League.

Roper, a right-hander, has a career record of 10-4 with a 3.61 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 4-to-1. The former University of Missouri pitcher opened the 2004 season with a 13-strikeout, five-inning start for the New Jersey Cardinals in a 3-1 win at Hudson Valley in a short-season Class A New York-Penn League game last June 19. Roper was 6-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 appearances for New Jersey, then finished the year with six relief appearances for Peoria of the low A Midwest League, where he was 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.

“His pitching coach last year (Sid Monge) told me that he had the ability to pitch in the big leagues,” RiverHawks president Dave Ciarrachi said.

Switch-hitting Strain comes from a family of athletes. His father, Joe, played parts of three major-league seasons for the Giants and Cubs. His sister, Whitney, is a midfielder for the University of Iowa soccer team.

Last season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the short-season A Northwest League, with his father as manager, Strain hit .190 with a home run and 12 RBI in 126 at-bats. He committed two errors in 32 games in the field.

“He was the most-dependable middle infielder in their organization,” Ciarrachi said.

Strain is a career .256 hitter and led the Rookie-level Arizona League with 41 walks two years ago. He also hit .302 as a rookie.

The RiverHawks have announced a pair of exhibition doubleheaders to be played against the Windy City ThunderBolts. The teams play at 4 p.m. May 14 at Hawkinson Ford Field in Crestwood, then again at 5 p.m. May 21 at Marinelli Field. The RiverHawks will hold their annual season-ticket holders party at the home twinbill.

With construction of the new Loves Park stadium in its final stages in May, the RiverHawks will conduct daily spring-training workouts, including afternoon intrasquad games, at Marinelli.

The team reports for physicals on May 7 and workouts begin May 8. Tryouts are scheduled for May 22. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and tryouts begin at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $75 and includes a tryout camp T-shirt.

Rockford opens the regular season at 7:05 p.m. May 25 at Gateway. The RiverHawks’ first game at their new stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. June 8 against the River City Rascals.

The RiverHawks are the defending champions of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 13th season. Season tickets, luxury suites and 10-game mini-season plans are available by calling the box office. All games are broadcasted live on WRHL-FM, 102.3?the Hub and online at

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Meet the Snappers: The Beloit Snappers will have their sixth annual “Meet the Snappers Night” Tuesday, April 5, at Central Christian Church, 2460 Milwaukee Rd., Beloit

The doors will open at 6 p.m. for the general public. Ticket prices are $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 5-14. The tickets can be purchased through the Snappers either by phone or at the Snappers administrative office.

Central Christian Church will serve a menu of ballpark food at the event and fans will have the opportunity to meet the 2005 Snappers and purchase new team apparel. Both players and coaches will be on hand to sign autographs and answer questions.

Finally, a silent auction of assorted baseball memorabilia will be set up for fans to bid on.

For tickets or additional information, call the Snappers at 888-SNAP-2-IT or visit the Snappers aAdministrative office at Pohlman Field.

The Snappers will open the season April 7 at Pohlman Field against the Swing of the Quad Cities.

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