It's not easy being brown. First of all, the Batavia High School Bulldog feels like he's got a head as big as the moon. It sounds like young Mr. Bulldog (this year's mascot was male) enjoys great living accommodations, but he doesn't often get let out to the football and basketball games he so loves. When he does he's expected to immediately, feverishly shake it up to energize a bunch of humans yelling and jumping. Little kids come running to greet this generally fun-loving (except where Batavia enemies are concerned) dog, milling about his hind legs, and that can turn into an adventure with that great, bobbly head and his eyesight not the greatest. If he's a good Bulldog - a little over 2 years old, he's 16 in human years - he is rewarded with his favorite meal.
Q: What's your favorite meal?
A: Vikings. They go down good.
Q: Are you able to sniff them out?
A: Yes, I can. And they smell.
Q: What do you like about the Kaneland Knights?
A: I don't like them. They're cocky.
Q: You only come out on rare occasions, homecoming and such. What do you do in the off-season?
A: I don't really do anything. I train.
Q: What kind of training do you do?
A: I work on the push-up form for the football season, that's about it.
Q: How often do you take a bath?
A: When my mom (Fluffy) makes me.
Q: Where do you like to go on vacation?
A: Mexico. Cozumel. There's some dog beaches there.
Q: What's your favorite sport?
A: Basketball. There's more people that go to the games. It's more intense.
Q: What is your main activity as Batavia's mascot?
A: I wave my arms up and down, run down the field and carry a flag.
Q: That's it?!
A: Pretty much.
Q: Describe your normal day.
A: Sleep and eat.
Q: We heard you got in a little rumble during the Feb. 21 Books vs. Badges fundraiser at Batavia.
A: Yeah, Sparky the Fire Dog. He came on my gym. He went up with me at the Police and Fire department game for basketball. I won. That was pretty fun.
Q: What's the thing you like to do the most at games?
A: Hanging, like talking to the little kids during the game.
Q: Don't they tax your patience a bit?
A: Yeah, a little bit. I just give them high-fives and all that.
Q: We've heard your caretaker, Batavia sophomore Matt Tevonian, has rigged up a pretty nice place for you. Where is it?
A: The doghouse on the football field. I've got a 60-inch plasma, a lot of dog treats. And a Viking head.
Aurora Central Catholic recognized its male and female athletes of the year: Rob Taptich and Ashley Bohr.
Rob was a Class 2A sectional qualifier in golf, and also played tennis. He'll be attending Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, majoring in international business and playing golf for the Sea Warriors, the lucky duck.
Ashley, toughened up from a lifetime of battling older Bohr brothers, is a four-year cheerleader and also played volleyball and softball. She was a member of the Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division championship volleyball team.
Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., landed two local All-Americans at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.
In the men's competition Geneva graduate Josh Brennan, a junior, took seventh in the hammer throw, at 187 feet, 1 inch.
Aurora Christian's Ashura Jenkins finished eighth in the women's 200-meter dash, at 24.81 seconds. She had also qualified for nationals in the 100. Jenkins is also a junior at Carthage.
Not to be outdone, Kaneland product Phil Christensen, a sophomore at Augustana, threw the discus 170-7 to earn a third-place nod at Baldwin-Wallace. A two-time All-American, Christensen placed sixth at nationals in 2009. In March, Christensen set Augie's school record with a throw of 172-11.
Former Rosary swimmer Amy Schaefer, who just wrapped up her junior year at Illinois State, was selected as an officer to Illinois State University's Student-Athlete Advisory Council for the 2010-11 academic year. She was elected secretary-treasurer.
In the pool, Schaefer is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection. This season she was named the Redbirds' co-most valuable swimmer with Neuqua Valley grad Jeannette Nolte.
Zach Scott, just a freshman out of St. Charles East, was the starting shortstop for the Illinois Wesleyan University baseball team that on Tuesday beat SUNY-Cortland 17-5 to win the Division III National Championship in Appleton, Wis.
On the year Scott started 49 of 50 games for a Titans team that won 17 of its last 21 games. He drove in 2 of his 33 runs in the title game, and ended the season with a .263 batting average, 29 runs scored and a .942 fielding average, turning 33 double plays.
Kyle Harmon, a former St. Charles North football player who got into rugby with the St. Charles Rugby Club, is a freshman at Ohio State. Now he's also a wing on the Buckeyes rugby team. Ohio State plays Penn State on Saturday, in the 16-team, nationally televised USA Sevens Collegiate Championship Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.
Larry English, 2009 first-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers, will return to his high school stamping grounds this Saturday for the Cadets Youth Football Clinic at Marmion's Fichtel Field. He'll be accompanied by Northern Illinois University's football coach, Jerry Kill.
Marmion offensive coordinator Andy Windisch said English's mother called the Cadets' football braintrust and said Larry was coming into town and would like to stop by the school. A youth clinic was born.
"(English) and Coach Kill have a really great relationship, because it was Coach Kill's first year there and Larry was in his last year there," Windisch said. "They were going to be changing defenses, and Larry was the unquestioned leader of the defensive team, and Larry was very important for the transition from Coach (Joe) Novak to Coach Kill."
English is an Aurora native, a three-sport star at Marmion who had a banner 2008 at Northern Illinois. He earned the Mid American Conference's defensive player of the year award and the Huskies' most inspirational honor. After Kill's address on motivation and passion, English will tell the youth players in attendance about work ethic, dedication and commitment.
To benefit Kane County's youth football programs there will be no cost to this event from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, and youth players receive a free T-shirt and a lunch. If weather's poor it will be held in Marmion's gym, but the football atmosphere will be retained.
"The kids are going to hear the cannon go off and everything," Windisch said.