Sure, Batavia baseball would have loved to win the UEC River title outright, but it's probably fitting that the Bulldogs and St. Charles East are going down as co-champs for the 2013 season.
On one hand, Batavia has the better overall record and probably has been the more consistent team, all things considered, from the start to the end of the regular season, when you take nonconference performance into account.
But East hasn't been far behind, and the Saints beat the Bulldogs two out of three games when the teams played head-to-head, and that's got to count for something. Give both teams credit for closing the regular season with sweeps under the pressure of the conference race, and both teams had to pull some tight games out of the fire to make it happen.
Batavia was a surprise team this spring, so when the Bulldogs got off to a great start, some wondered if they might run out of gas at some points along the line.
The answer: Nope. Strong to the finish.
Winning a conference title is awesome, but both teams want to make sure they're still celebrating next weekend, which would mean they won a regional championship.
Sly likes both teams' chances to do so, but then again, it's baseball, and there are plenty of upsets in a one-and-done format.
Quick transition to soccer: Congrats to Rosary and Batavia on their regional titles on Friday nights.
When you look at the regionals results for the Tri-Cities teams (heck, Batavia, Geneva, East and North outscored their first-round opponents a combined 26-1), it's easy to see why people look at the Tri-Cities as a soccer stronghold.
That Hoffman Estates Sectional is going to have quite the Tri-Cities flavor next week ... should be a blast.
Of course, injuries are a part of sports, but that doesn't mean it doesn't stink to high heaven when they occur.
Seems like some of the top athletes in the Tri-Cities have been disproportionately affected by the dreaded I-word in recent months. Not to mention the S-word (surgery ... get your minds out of the gutter).
We all know what happened with East hoops star Kendall Stephens, and now the team's next best player, Dom Adduci, is dealing with the same labrum surgery that Stephens did.
More recently but sticking with East, the Saints lost soccer star T.C. Hull to a torn ACL. East would have been a definite state title contender with Hull in the mix next fall. Without him ... we shall see.
Speaking of athletes at the top of their sport, it's been a shame to see Geneva pitcher Andy Honiotes shelved by elbow trouble. Not too often you've got a pitcher going to Miami from around these parts, and it would have been great to see what a healthy Honiotes could have done with his senior season.
The Geneva girls soccer team has had a pretty good season, especially at the end, but where could the Vikings have been with Michaela Loebel (ACL surgery)? Batavia girls soccer has two ACL injuries among the same set of twins, let alone the rest of the team being banged up.
The Vikings' top girls track athlete, Hannah Davison, didn't have a chance to return to Charleston because of a season-ending foot injury.
Batavia baseball's top-notch catcher, Dino Simoncelli, has missed much of the season with a hand injury, and the same goes for Geneva slugger Mitch Endriukaitis.
The list goes on and on, it seems. Might not do any good to cry over it, but here's hoping for a cleaner bill of health for area athletes in the weeks and months to come.
If there is one school coming out of the SCC/Metro Suburban maneuvering that Sly's a little worried about, it's Aurora Christian.
The Eagles were small in the current SCC, but they're really, really small now that the likes of Guerin, St. Edward and Walther Lutheran are jumping ship to the Metro Suburban.
From this fox's view, it seems like Aurora Christian was the school left standing when the music stopped in this latest version of conference musical chairs.
Needless to say, the two-time defending 3A state champion Eagles football team can more than hold its own against the SCC big boys, but conference membership is about more than football, and there are a lot of sports at Aurora Christian that need to compete against schools close to their size to be competitive.
And as great as the Eagles football team has been under Don Beebe, nothing lasts forever … how long will ACS be able to keep punching above its weight?
If Aurora Christian hadn't been so top-notch in pigskin these last several years, you wonder if they would have been one of the schools that is migrating over to the Metro Suburban.
The timing is also interesting with Aurora Central Catholic switching to the MSC. A few years ago, it'd have been a no-brainer, but with programs like baseball, football and girls basketball on the upswing at ACC, parting ways with the SCC (and especially rivals Marmion and Rosary) isn't so clear-cut.
It'll be interesting to see where things go from here. Will Marian, way up in Woodstock, feel compelled to stay with the other SCC schools? Will schools be added that are more compatible with Aurroa Christian? Wil some other conference successfully woo schools like Marmion or St. Francis?
It should play out quickly, and it'll be fascinating to watch.
Coach Sly's going to spray to all fields with some things that just can't go unmentioned after another wild week of spring sports:
• Whether it's at the pro level or the prep level, baseball can be wild. In what other sport do you have a team win the first two games of a series like St. Charles North did against Geneva, then just get destoyed, 19-1, as was the case on Friday? That makes for two straight ugly losses for the North Stars, who better stop the bleeding quick with St. Charles East lying in wait next week.
• There's something about western Kane County that just grooms softball excellence, especially in the Burlington area. The Rockets lost their stud pitcher, a Wisconsin recruit, to injury, yet they still roll out two pitchers who no-hit the same team in the same season? Some teams would kill for one legitimate ace pitcher, and BC apparently has three? Lucky ducks.
• Speakin' of softball, Sly thinks there's several teams that have the chance to make major postseason noise. Both St. Charles schools like they could be tough outs in the postseason, and Kaneland, St. Francis and the aforementioned Central Rockets also deserve nice seeds. Things can change, but at this point, looks to Sly like it's a lot more likely one of the local teams makes state in softball than baseball.
• Could we have two girls soccer state champions from the area this season? Came darn close last year with St. Francis winning in 2A and St. Charles North coming oh-so-close in 3A. Both of those teams look like they could well be in championship form this season, and don't count out St. Charles East as a darkhorse in 3A (and Central in 2A).
• Nice showing by the St. Charles East girls at the county track meet, but hat's off to West High. A four-peat? Wow. Looks like West Aurora will make its presence felt in more than just boys buckets when the Blackhawks join the UEC.
Prep sports insider
Kane County Chronicle
St. Charles, IL
Coach Sly dishes dirt on Tri-Cities sports. Read his blog for sports analysis, athlete accolades and other musings.