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Druley: Geneva no longer home for Fox Valley Eagles

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:34 a.m. CDT
Caption
Photo provided Fox Valley Eagles' quarterback Kendall Lawton (center) runs for a 60-yard touchdown against the Rock River Raptors on Saturday at West Aurora's Ken Zimmerman Field. The win opened a five-game Saturday-night series for the semi-professional team.

Crumbling asphalt could not crush the semipro Fox Valley Eagles of the Ironman Football League.

It merely sent them packing to another locale down the road.

The Elgln-based operation officially has moved its home games from Geneva’s Burgess Field to West Aurora as Geneva concludes a capital projects plan that includes the repavement of the school’s main and Burgess Field parking lots.

Eagles owner and president Patrick Sharpe said District 304 director of facility operations Scott Ney informed Sharpe of the news in recent weeks.

“Apparently, when we agreed to go there [to Geneva] and got everything all settled, that wasn’t part of the deal,” Sharpe said. “And then all of a sudden, I get a phone call that, ‘Hey, you can’t go there because we’re redoing our parking lot.’ ”

Ney could not immediately be reached for comment. Geneva athletic director Jim Kafer said he was not part of any parking facility negotiations between the Eagles and District 304.

Ultimately, Sharpe conceded the move caused only “a little grief” after he had arranged for the printing of tickets, schedules and maps to Burgess Field. He worked the phones and quickly made contact with officials at West Aurora, which also is hosting the Chicago Raiders of the semipro Royal Football League for part of their home schedule.

Playing their regular-season home opener Saturday at West Aurora – the Eagles entertained the Leyden Lions in Geneva for a preseason game in June – the hosts trounced the Rock River Raptors, 60-8.

“We recovered and had a great game Saturday night,” Sharpe said. “It was a great win, but they’re all not going to be that easy.”

Sharpe hopes the schedule is another story. Fox Valley is set to host games at 7 p.m. on four of the next five Saturday nights, only leaving the comfortable West Aurora artificial turf Aug. 10 to visit the Oshkosh (Wis.) Bombers.

Here’s to Ralph: The South-Elgin based Cal’s All-Star Angel Foundation in conjunction with St. Charles Comets travel softball will present the inaugural Ralph Remus Award at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the East Side Sports Complex in St. Charles.

The award, named for Comets founder and current St. Francis coach Ralph Remus of St. Charles, will be presented to an outstanding Comets player who has played in the organization for five years, and includes partial college scholarship money.

The Comets became a division of Cal’s Angels in February.

Splitsville: Team USA collegiate national team right fielder Bradley Zimmer swatted his share of flies while playing defense during a two-game exhibition stint at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark last week.

The stateside humidity was a significant measure greater than the kind Team USA endured during its trip to Japan earlier this month.

“It definitely is interesting playing there,” Zimmer said. “Playing in a different country against a group of guys that are just as talented as us.”

Japan actually proved better than the Americans, winning the 39th annual USA-Japan International Collegiate Friendly Series 3 games to 2. Team USA bowed to the Team Japan pitching staff, in awe of its arsenal of split-finger pitches.

“They had unreal splitters,” Zimmer said. “It was every single guy, whether they were starters or a relief pitcher. They all had splitters, and they were throwing them in every count.”

• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.

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