Sports Notes

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//img-XJUtPmTR3p.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Rockford College football players Julie Harshbarger (99) and Ricky Roggetz (25) were freshman members of the school’s homecoming court Sept. 25.’);

Bears Not Dangerous: A wounded bear generally is a dangerous critter. But the wounded Chicago Bears, though they were gritty, weren’t dangerous for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Led by Chicago native Donovan McNabb, the 4-0 Eagles beat the Bears 19-9 in Soldier Field Oct. 3, dropping the Bears to 1-3. The Bears now are off for a week—and do they need the break.

Brian Urlacher missed his second straight game because of injury. QB Rex Grossman is gone for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in the Minnesota loss. After surgery, he will need seven to 10 months of rehab.

And the Bears already were without three-fourths of their starting secondary. Mike Brown is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Charles Tillman is sidelined seven-10 weeks with a knee injury and Jerry Azumah remains on the shelf following neck surgery. Times are tough in Chicago.

Meanwhile, up in Green Bay, the Packers were dealt a 14-7 surprise by the resurgent New York Giants (3-1). Green Bay, which saw Brett Favre go down with a concussion and has lost standout center Mike Flanagan for the season, now is 1-3 with a three-game losing streak. The Packers face Tennessee Monday night, Oct. 11. Will there be boo-birds?

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Regents Lose: Rockford College suffered a critical loss, bowing to Westminster College 20-7 Oct. 2 in Fulton, Mo. The Regents fell to 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the South Division of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and 2-1 in the UMAC. The Blue Jays now are 2-3, 2-1.

The Regents are home Saturday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. to Maranatha Baptist Bible College.

Rockford freshman football player Julie Harshbarger (Rockton Hononegah) and senior volleyball standout Danielle Miller (Winnebago) earned Conference Player of the Week honors in their respective sports for the period ending Sept. 26.

Harshbarger had quite a homecoming weekend, topped off by earning UMAC South Division special teams player of the week. She became the first female to score a point in a UMAC football game when she went 3-for-3 in extra point kicks in RC’s 73-14 blowout win over Principia College. She also had a 44-yard kickoff.

Harshbarger, who also is the starting goalkeeper for the Regents’ women’s soccer team, was in the net for 65 minutes and played the field for the other 25 minutes Sept. 24 in a loss to Milwaukee Engineering. The next day, she was back on the soccer field for a scrimmage against an alumni team prior to the football game.

Harshbarger also was named to Rockford’s homecoming court as the freshman class princess. In her football uniform for the halftime ceremony, Harshbarger was escorted by freshman class prince Ricky Roggetz, who also happens to be Harshbarger’s teammate as a Special Teams player/defensive back on the football team.

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RVC Falls 14-7: For the second week in a row, Rock Valley College was in a 14-7 football game. But on Oct. 2, the Golden Eagles (2-4, 1-4 N4C) were on the short end of the score, falling to the Joliet Wolves.

Joliet (3-3, 3-2 N4C) capitalized on four RVC turnovers, and sacked RVC quarterback Craig Moore six times, five by Shaun Richardson.

The Golden Eagles are home Saturday, Oct. 9, for homecoming against North Iowa Area Community College. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. The RVC Student Commission is sponsoring a pig roast at noon.

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Rankinen Leads Beloit: Sophomore Lee Rankinen carried 35 times for 248 yards to lead Beloit College to a 48-35 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence Oct. 2 in Appleton, Wis. The Bucs improved to 2-3 while Lawrence fell to 1-4. Beloit faces Carroll College at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, in its homecoming game.

Beloit’s Nate Skelton hit on 8-of-13 passes for 115 yards and three TDs and ran for another score. Skelton also had 14 rushing attempts for 93 yards. Chris LaPorta had three catches for 67 yards and one TD.

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Haldi Sparks NIU: Quarterback Josh Haldi returned to the Northern Illinois lineup Oct. 2, passing for 191 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Huskies to a 49-19 MAC blowout of the Akron Zips.

NIU (3-2, 2-0) scored the first 28 points of the game. Haldi connected with Dan Sheldon for a 23-yard score, and Garrett Wolfe scored on a four-yard run and caught a 13-yard TD pass from Haldi, giving the Huskies a 21-0 lead after one quarter. Wolfe finished with 110 rushing yards.

Akron (1-4, 1-1) gained 192 passing yards under tight pressure from the Huskies’ defense. Despite being sacked seven times, Zips quarterback Charlie Frye completed 16 of 24 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown.

NIU plays at Central Florida Saturday, Oct. 9.

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Badgers Top Illini: Anthony Davis returned from an eye injury and sparked Wisconsin’s 24-7 victory over Illinois by rushing for 213 yards and three TDs Oct. 2 in Madison. The Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) held their fifth straight opponent to a touchdown or less, a feat they last achieved in 1951.

Of course, that defense was performing against Illinois (2-3, 0-2), which may be looking at another year at the bottom of the Big Ten standings. The Illini scored on just one of their 11 drives, eight of which ended in punts.

The Illini maintain a 35-31-7 advantage over the Badgers in the series, but Illinois head coach Ron Turner now is 34-52 in his eighth year at Illinois, 41-56 overall in his career and 19-39 in the Big Ten.

Senior offensive lineman Bucky Babcock of Stillman Valley has the longest tenure on the Illini offense this season. He is in his fourth season as a starter and started his 41st career game vs. Wisconsin, which ranks ninth in the record books. The school record for starts by any player is 48 by offensive lineman Tim Simpson from 1988-91.

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Big Upset for NU: Northwestern pulled off a major upset, beating No. 7 Ohio State 33-27 in overtime on Noah Herron’s two-yard TD run Oct. 2 in Evanston. Herron had two other TDs as the 2-3 Wildcats dealt the Buckeyes their loss of the season.

The victory also was Northwestern’s first over Ohio State since 1971, snapping the Buckeyes’ 24-game winning streak in the series and handing them their first loss in Evanston since 1958.

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Guilford Continues: History tells us six victories is a guaranteed ticket to the Illinois high school football playoffs. Teams with five wins probably will get in, but six obviously is much better.

Surprising Rockford Guilford beat perennial powerhouse Rockford Boylan 19-14 Oct. 1 to improve to 5-1 and remain in second place in the NIC-9. The Vikings, who outrushed the Titans 248 yards to 93 and forced five turnovers, probably are going to the playoffs. Boylan is 2-4, 2-3 in the NIC-9.

Freeport definitely is going, improving to 6-0 as Ryan Ramos ran for three TDs in the Pretzels 30th straight NIC-9 victory, 49-6 over Rockford Jefferson (1-5, 1-5). Jefferson at least scored on Freeport; the Pretzels beat all four Rockford public high schools this year by a combined 171-6.

In other NIC-9 games, Rockton Hononegah (3-2, 4-2) stayed alive with a 13-12 victory over Belvidere (3-2, 4-2); and Rockford East (2-4, 2-3) downed Rockford Auburn 22-0. Auburn is 0-6, 0-5. In non-conference action, Machesney Park Harlem (3-3) rallied for a 32-18 victory over DeKalb (0-6).

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Unbeaten Battles: In area games, Rochelle and Bureau Valley Manlius both won battles of unbeatens. Rochelle (6-0) upended Spring Valley Hall (5-1) 22-14, and Manlius (6-0) stunned Sterling Newman (5-1) 20-9.

Also losing for the first time were Burlington Central and Stockton. Marengo (5-1) upended Burlington Central (5-1) 20-14 and Galena (3-3) upset Stockton (5-1) 7-6.

Poplar Grove North Boone, Eastland/Pearl City, Johnsburg and Mendota all improved to 6-0. North Boone hammered Kirkland Hiawatha (0-6) 36-0; Johnsburg hung a 31-20 loss on Byron (4-2); E/PC got 197 yards on 21 carries from Jesse Shuman to topple Freeport Aquin (4-2) 44-12; and Mendota beat Princeton (1-5) 26-12.

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Young Party Sunday: Larry Young’s annual party to raise funds for Northwest Illinois Special Olympics will be held Sunday, Oct. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Blackha

wk State Bank, 2141 N. State St., Belvidere.

Young, of Roscoe, is a Major League Baseball umpire who has been holding the party for 11 years. Admission is $5 per person. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided by the Huddle Restaurant of Belvidere.

Sports memorabilia, vacation packages, gift certificates and other prizes will be available. There will be raffles, a silent auction and a live auction.

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Rock Regatta: More than 1,700 rowers from 60 rowing clubs and university teams are expected for the 19th annual Head of the Rock Regatta Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9-10, on the Rock River between Riverside and Whitman bridges.

Saturday, Oct. 9, is a practice day. The races will be Sunday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting at Martin Park over a 2.75-mile downriver course to Whitman Street Bridge. There will be 34 events and some 400 boats. No admission is charged.

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Top Gymnasts Here: The T.J. Maxx Tour of Gymnastics Champions coming to the Rockford MetroCentre on Saturday, Oct. 9, includes medal winners from the 2004 Olympic Games and other members of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams.

Courtney Kupets, Courtney McCool, Carly Patterson, Mohini Bhardwaj, Jason Gatson, Brett McClure and Guard Young and others are slated to be on hand. The tour features members of the men’s and women’s 2004 Olympic Teams and 2003 World Championships Team.

Tickets are $85, $47.50, $35 and $19.50 (additional charges and fees may apply). Tickets are available at, the MetroCentre Box Office or charge by phone at (815) 968-5222.

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‘Hogs in Training: The Rockford IceHogs training camp schedule is highlighted by two pre-season games against the Quad City Mallards at the MARK of the Quad Cities and an inter-squad game in Beloit, Wis.

The 10-day training camp started Monday, Oct. 4. The pre-season games will be Saturday, Oct. 9, and Tuesday, Oct. 12, both starting at 7 p.m. Tickets ($6 for adults, $4 for kids 12-under) can be purchased through the MARK box office at (309) 764-2000. The Beloit inter-squad game will be Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Telfer Park.

The IceHogs and Mallards will open the regular season Friday, Oct. 15, at 7:05 p.m. at the Rockford MetroCentre. Tickets, starting at $7, can be purchased at the MetroCentre or at (815) 968-5222.

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Bolts Sign Waldon: B.B. Waldon, 6-foot-8, 218-pound forward from the University of South Florida, has been signed by the Rockford Lightning of the CBA to attend veterans camp Nov. 4.

You may have seen his name as Walton, but it’s Waldon. I checked after the Lightning release on him had it spelled both ways—Waldon and Walton.

The Lightning also have signed 6-foot-11, 255-pound Danny Moore, who played at Southwest Missouri State and spent the last three seasons playing in Spain.

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Lightning Camp: The Rockford Lightning will hold an open player tryout camp Sunday, Oct. 17, at Patriots Gateway Center, 615 S. 5th St., Rockford, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $100 for pre-registered players and $125 on-site.

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IBL Coming Here? The new International Basketball League wants to have a team in Rockford starting in April. The season runs April-June, and games will be played in smaller arenas, at junior colleges or high schools.

So far, 14 cities have committed to having teams, including Peoria, Des Moines, Flint and Grand Rapids, said IBL media director Kevin Liles.

A meeting about a Rockford team was to be held Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the Rockford YMCA. More information on the league is available from or (866) IBL-GAME (425-4263).

Last year, Mikal Duilio, a sports event promoter in Portland, Ore., and Seattle bought the rights to the league. The Rockford Lightning of the CBA were part of the old IBL briefly four years ago when the CBA ceased operations.

This IBL bills itself as a fast-paced brand of basketball. Timeouts are limited to one per quarter per team, and there is an immediate inbound rule that cuts down delays in the action. Duilio wants to see games completed in 90 minutes and his plan is to make the league affordable for owners by keeping travel expenses down with more regional games.

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