Royals spreading out goal scoring
Hinckley-Big Rock coach Paul Taeuber doesn’t know who his leading scorer is, and frankly, he doesn’t care.
Taeuber knows that if his team plays to its system, the goals will come from all over the field as they have during the past few games. Four different Royals scored against Indian Creek and then five players scored in a romp over Paw Paw.
“They’re all concerned about stats, I’m all concerned about the system and how we’re playing,” Taeuber said. “If you play into the right space, you get the right matchups, if you spread the ball out, your shape in the field is so spread out, opportunities will present themselves. At that point, it’s just making sure you’re making runs into the right space.”
Despite his team’s strong record thus far, Taeuber still sees room for improvement. H-BR fell behind Indian Creek last week before winning 4-2.
“I’m happy that they do show that commitment, but we also have to learn that we can’t wait,” he said. “We’re starting games a little later than the start. It’s putting us in a hole or we’re playing a tight game rather than playing our best.”
Indian Creek needs to close out games: Indian Creek is playing teams close early in games, but closing out matches and earning wins has been an issue.
Coach Eric Schrader said his team controlled Monday’s game against Leland-Earlville before losing, 3-0, and they led against H-BR before falling.
“Both games, we played really well in the first half, and then the second half was a completely different story,” Schrader said. “I even told the guys [Monday] night, I’m not sure what our problem is. We play really well in the first half of games, and then a different team shows up in the second half I guess.”
Those positive starts have shown Schrader signs that this team can win despite its 1-7 record.
“I’ve been telling them every game now, ‘We just need to play a full 80 minutes,’ ” Schrader said. “Once we’re able to do that, we’re going to have a decent team, it’s just being able to stretch it out for 80 and not 40, 50, 60.”
Genoa-Kingston, senior, forward
DaSilva scored twice in the Cogs' 4-1 win against North Boone for a team that needed to replace its top two goalscorers from last season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
Kaneland at Geneva, 6 p.m., Monday
The Knights will face a stiff test against their old Western Sun Conference rivals.
Sycamore at DeKalb, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday
If Sycamore could upset one conference team this year, they'd probably like it to be DeKalb.
1. DeKalb (6-1, 1-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) – The Barbs couldn’t keep their undefeated season alive after taking an early lead against Hononegah.
2. Kaneland (3-3-1, 0-1 NI Big 12 East) – Two goals and three assists from Anthony Parillo led to a 9-1 romp over IMSA.
3. Hinckley-Big Rock (7-2-1, 2-1 Little Ten Conference) – The Royals beat Indian Creek and Paw Paw during the last week.
4. Genoa-Kingston (5-4, 2-1 Big Northern Conference) – The Cogs used a well-rounded attack to beat North Boone and Rockford Christian.
5. Sycamore (1-3) – The Spartans take on DeKalb on Tuesday in a huge conference matchup.
6. Indian Creek (1-4, 1-2 LTC) – The Timberwolves played well before losing to H-BR and Earlville-Leland.
7. Hiawatha (0-3, 0-1 LTC) – The Hawks take on a tough Keith team Thursday before playing Serena.
VIEWS: Player of the year race wide open this year
It’s way too early to predict All-Area teams, and the player of the year selection is still a long way off. But as conference seasons get going, a few names from last year’s all-area teams stick out as being contenders to take home the honor of being called DeKalb County’s best player.
Kaneland’s Anthony Parillo was named an All-American candidate by NSCAA, and his two goals and three assists against IMSA last week showed just how dangerous the senior can be. He’s definitely an early candidate for the award.
But don’t count out Sean Woodford from DeKalb. The senior playmaker may not lead the area in goals this year, but he’s probably the top distributor in the County. If DeKalb wins the Northern Illinois Big 12 East, Woodford may be the favorite.
Genoa-Kingston utility man Tommy Hansen is certainly a player to watch down the road. The big sophomore can play effectively anywhere on the field. He’s a huge target for the Cogs, and he could be a special player.
A few dark-horses from DeKalb may not win the area’s top honors after only playing for one year, but they’re certainly making a splash. Dylan Hottsmith and Akim Suraji may just put DeKalb over the top this year in Class 3A in their only year on the team. Suraji is an exchange student, while Hottsmith played football for three years. Also look for Kaneland’s Arsim Azemi to make a play for a first-team spot.
Others may arise throughout the season, but thus far, the race for the area’s best player is a tight one.
• Anthony Zilis is a contributor to the Daily Chronicle and can be reached at email@example.com