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Columnist
Verber’s impact was widespread in high school sports
By John Leusch | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/4/2013 9:29 PM

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There are not many coaches from the Chicago suburbs who can say they were part of an IHSA state basketball championship team.

But that’s what happened for George Verber as an assistant to Maine South coach Quitman Sullins when the Hawks won the 1979 Class AA state title.

Verber, who died from leukemia on Jan. 22, went on to become the head coach at Maine West for three seasons and led the Warriors to a conference championship in the 1981-82 season.

That was the same year Derril Kipp took over the girls basketball program at Maine West.

“He helped teach our kids the 1-3-1 defense we used in 1985 when we beat Maine South to go downstate,” said Kipp, a Hall of Fame coach. “Maine South was No. 1 in state and we beat them in the Conant supersectional.

“George was just a great coach and very intense. He was filled with knowledge. He really helped Quitman with the defense for that 1979 Maine South team.”

Verber, a longtime Arlington Heights resident, also served as a head basketball coach at Maine South and coached baseball for many years.

He ended his career coaching track and field as an assistant to Maine South coach Bill Drennan.

“By the end of his career, George had stepped back from his sports of baseball and basketball, but still wanted to coach,” Drennan said. “He knew that I was looking for a sprint coach for our track team.”

Verber told Drennan he would retire in three years, and that he knew nothing about track.

“But he thought he could help our program,” Drennan said. “Knowing George and knowing he was an outstanding coach, I agreed to take him on.

“I told him that I would tell him what he needed to know about track and let him coach the athletes. With George’s help we qualified sprinters to the state meet each year he coached. He loved the sport, and we were thrilled that he was with us.”

Men’s soccer

Rutgers sophomore midfielder Brian Goss (St. Viator) has been named the fourth and final captain for the upcoming 2013 season,.

“As we head through the preseason and prepare for the upcoming spring, it was obvious to the coaching staff that Brian has become a leader both on and off the field who complimented our other three captains,” said Rutgers coach Brecht. “We are excited to have Brian become one of our leaders as we get ready to start the 2013 season.”

In 2012, Goss finished his first Rutgers season as the only freshman to start all 15 games. He totaled 20 points on 11 goals and nine assists. The midfielder collected 16 groundballs on the year and was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll on April 16.

Women’s tennis

In a dual meet against Iowa, Iowa State senior Jenna Langhorst (Fremd) dropped the first set of her No. 5 singles match, 1-6, but responded by taking the next set by the score of 6-4.

Langhorst took the final set with a score of 6-1 to give the Cyclones their only point of the meet.

Earlier in the day, Langhorst and doubles partner, Emma Waites, teamed up for a No. 3 doubles victory. Langhorst and Waites defeated Ellen Silver and Christina Harazin of Iowa, 8-3.

“I just wanted to come out here my senior year against an in-state rival, and I really wanted to go out with a bang,” Langhorst said. “I really wanted to win, and I fought really hard.”

Cyclones coach Armando Espinosa was impressed with Langhorst’s play.

“I couldn’t be happier for her in her senior year,” Espinosa said. “Against a big in-state rival, it’s great to see her fight through the first set. She stuck with it, and she knew what she needed to do.”

Men’s basketball

Minnesota State sophomore guard Zach Monaghan (Fremd) is the third-leading scorer (12.5 points) for the 18-2 Mavericks.

Monaghan, who has started all 20 games, leads the team with 46 steals and also has 39 assists.

• Washington (St. Louis) junior forward Chris Klimek (Fremd) is the leading scorer for the 16-4 Bears with 16.0 per game. Klimek also has 36 assists, 18 steals and averages 5.4 rebounds.

Klimek recently scored in double figures in seven straight games and has done it 16 times in 20 games.

• Washington junior guard Alan Aboona (St. Viator)scored a game-high 18 points with 4-of-7 three-pointers in the Bears’ 78-57 win over Case Western Reserve University.

• Illinois Wesleyan’s Kevin Reed (Prospect) finished with a double-double of 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in a 71-52 victory over Elmhurst. The Titans moved to 8-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1995-96 season.

Women’s basketball

Carthage’s Stephanie Kuzmanic led the Lady Reds with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in a 66-44 victory over Millikin.

TEAMMSL basketball

Registration for TEAMMSL basketball is now open. This Spring, TEAMMSL is offering leagues for fifth through ninth grade boys and girls and a junior session for grades kindergarten through fourth grade boys and girls.

TEAMMSL is an offseason developmental program emphasizing the fundamentals of basketball and improving athleticism.

All practices (except for juniors) are located at Harper Community College. TEAMMSL is NOT AAU basketball. It is an offseason developmental program focusing on the individual with no weekend commitment.

TEAMMSL works with any athlete feeding in to any of the 12 Mid-Suburban League schools and St. Viator. Go to WWW.TEAMMSL.COM for details and registration.

Rossi Scholarship Fund

Senior MidSuburban League wrestlers may be eligible for a onetime financial grant of $1,000 or more to be applied to their first year college or vocational school tuition.

The 2012 winners were Danny Kush (Barrington), Kevin Modelski (Conant) Jordan Rathje (Buffalo Grove) and Scott Steffens (Wheeling).

In 2011 Mike Smith (Wheeling), Steve Polasik (Barrington) and Mike Sells (Conant) were the worthy recipients.

Family and friends of Kevin “Rossi” Rossdeutcher, a 1979 graduate of Prospect High School, wish to honor his memory.

In an effort to do so, they have created the Wrestle for Rossi Scholarship Fund to reward local high school wrestlers who best exemplify his spirit, attitude and zest for life and his passion for wrestling.

Rossdeutcher was a three-year varsity wrestler who won back-to-back MSL conference championships, two regional titles and was a state qualifier.

He also won or placed at numerous other tournaments. He went on to wrestle at Harper Junior College where he succeeded as a national qualifier.

Rossdeutcher succumbed to brain cancer in November of 2007 but never gave up his spirit.

Every MidSuburban League high school senior wrestler will be eligible for a “Wrestle for Rossi Scholarship” award.

Eligible wrestlers must exhibit the character, hard work, passion and dedication to his family, friends, school, his team and his sport that led Kevin Rossdeutcher to his success.

The scholarship is not necessarily intended for the best wrestler on a team, but rather a wrestler that has worked hard during practice and the offseason, has shown passion for the sport and has possessed determination to be the best wrestler and person that he can be.

Every athlete must complete a brief application and essay, and submit two reference letters (one from his wrestling coach and one from an unrelated third party such as an employer, high school teacher or religious leader).

Every spring the Team Rossi Scholarship Committee will select one or more award winners from the pool of applicants. The committee will consider wrestling achievements as well as academic accomplishments and financial need.

The Team Rossi Scholarship Committee shall grant one or more awards of $1,000 to $2,500 to deserving individual(s).

Awards will be paid directly to the post graduate academic institution of all winners.

Applications must be submitted by March 25 and awards will be announced in the spring.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Contact your coach for an Application or email to scholarship@teamrossi.org.

Team Rossi is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. To contribute to the scholarship fund please contact scholarship@teamrossi.org.

Stallions get ready

The Arlington Stallions Rugby Club has started its indoor training program for their 2013 Spring season. The last two indoor sessions will be held in the Hersey High School Fieldhouse on Fridays, Feb. 8 and 15 from 6-8 p.m. On Monday, Feb. 25, the club starts outdoor sessions at Olympic Park in Schaumburg from 5-7 p.m. New players are always welcome.

• The Stallions will hold a joint fund-raiser with the Ronald McDonald House of Chicago on Feb. 19 and 20 in honor of one of their long-term players who had to deal with leukemia in 2012. The event will take place at the Arlington Heights California Pizza Kitchen.

For more information and an event flyer, visit the club website at www.arlingtonstallionsrugby.com.

Stallions alumni currently playing college rugby are Kevin Lydon (Conant) at Davenport University, Joey Conley (Buffalo Grove) at DePaul, David Hogan (Rolling Meadows) at Lake Forest, Josh Cunningham (Hersey) at Xavier, Andrew Collins (Hersey) at Dayton, Josh Bojes (Conant) at Western Illinois and Marcus Niro (St. Viator) at Colorado.

• Please email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com or FAX to (847) 427-1173.