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Downers Grove North's 2013 spring sports highlight reel

Baseball and softball playoff runs, strong showing at state badminton part of memorable spring

Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 10:04 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:55 a.m. CDT
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Bill Ackerman – backerman@shawmedia.com Carolyn Nojiri hits a single against Benet in the Trojans' sectional semifinal win.
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(Photo provided)
Downers Grove North's baseball and softball teams combine for a celebratory photo after both won sectional semifinal playoff games at Neuqua Valley High School.

The spring sports season saw a slew of memorable moments from Downers Grove North athletes. Here are some of the biggest highlights for the Trojans.

BASEBALL

.335:
Trojans' team batting average this spring. They had seven everyday starters bat over .300, led by Connor Kopach's .441.

Highlight: The Trojans made their case for contention in the West Suburban Silver conference early by jumping out to an 11-1 start in the conference. Pitchers Mike O'Malley, Troy Southard and Lucas Fisher led the charge with Southard, Connor Kopach, James Sheldon, Joe Provenzano, David Henson, Jack Goregen and Matt Zabloudil contributing to a balanced offense. North stumbled a bit down the stretch but regrouped to win a regional title and advance to the sectional championship game.

Photo gallery: North faces Downers Grove South in sectional semifinal game.

SOFTBALL

95-15:
Margin by which the Trojans outscored their West Suburban Silver conference opponents on the way to an 11-1 record and their fourth consecutive conference title.

Highlight: North suffered a blow in the first game of the season when Purdue-recruit Dale Ryndak was lost for the season with a knee injury, but the Trojans didn't use it as an excuse. They didn't have to. With pitcher Elaine Heflin, leadoff hitter Carolyn Nojiri and fellow seniors Madeline Wojciak and Brittany Nagy leading the way, North cruised to a conference title, won a regional championship and achieved its deepest playoff advancement in more than 30 years by making it to the sectional championship game.

Photo gallery: Trojans defeat Benet in back and forth sectional semifinal game.

BADMINTON

17.5:
Points scored by the Trojans as they lifted the championship plaque at their own sectional tournament. They won comfortably over Sandburg (10.5 points).

Highlight: North enjoyed a solid regular season, then took it to another level in the postseason. Seniors Amanda Schneeweis, Emily Buhle and Emily Planek captured sectional titles, Buhle and Planek as a doubles team. Karissa Brazdys, Nikita Gandhi and Kiley Pooler joined Schneeweis, Buhle and Planek at the state tournament, where the Trojans tallied 11.5 points and finished tied for fourth place as Buhle and Planek took third in the state.

GIRLS SOCCER

8-9-1: T
rojans' final record this season, including a 2-4 mark in the West Suburban Silver conference.

Highlight: It was supposed to be a bit of a rebuilding year, but the Trojans still had a successful run. Late in the season, they took top honors at the West Chicago invite, but the highlight of the campaign was a 2-1 win over Downers Grove South on April 13. Seniors Heather Muno, Christina Siddu, Emma Marino and Grace Morgan led the way this spring, but expected returning players like Gianna Marconi, Kaitlin Gunderson, Lexi Cittadine, Emma Krick and Maria Derrig also contributed to a season that exceeded expectations.

BOYS GYMNASTICS

148.950:
Team score for the Trojans at the state meet as they finished seventh overall.

Highlight: With John Schubert (floor exercise and high bar) and Strah Sopcic (rings) claiming individual event titles, the Trojans won the title at their own sectional meet. Schubert and Sopcic then went on to have strong showings at the state meet. Schubert, a senior, took second on the horizontal bars while Sopcic, a junior, placed fifth on rings and sixth on the parallel bars. Schubert was 10th in the all-around while Sopcic was 14th.

More Downers Grove North photo galleries:

Baseball hosts Glenbard West in conference game

Chandler Downs competes at state tennis tournament

Softball takes on Hinsdale Central in conference game

North vs. South in rainy crosstown softball game

Trojans host Downers Grove South in crosstown baseball game

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