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Emily Hinchman: Spring Sports MVP

Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 by Suburban Life Newspaper Staff

Published by Suburban Life Newspaper Publications

It’s likely no one has had a better six or seven months than Emily Hinchman.

First, the Geneva senior was part of the Vikings’ undefeated run to the state finals in girls basketball.

Then, she was key piece of the puzzle as the girls soccer team defied expectations and made a run all the way to the sectional championship game before falling to state semifinalist Conant.

The cherry on top is being named the 2009 Press-Republican Spring Girls MVP, adding to the all-state, all-sectional, all-conference, academic all-conference and Western Sun Conference co-MVP honors she earned this spring.

While the run to state in basketball rates as her top high school sports memory, her senior soccer season holds a special place in her heart.

“Especially because at the beginning of the season I didn’t know what to expect with a new coach and a lot of new players,” Hinchman said. “We lost a lot of talented players (from last year), so going into it I didn’t know what to expect.

“Throughout the season we were looked at as the underdogs, but we beat all the top-ranked teams on the way to the sectional.”

Hinchman and the Vikings outlasted St. Charles East and won on penalty kicks after four overtime periods in the regional championship. Geneva went to extra time with St. Charles North, the sectional’s top seed, in the sectional semifinal with Hinchman’s goal on an indirect free kick proving to be the difference.

Both wins are etched in her memory.

“St. Charles East was a really great win and I think everyone contributed,” Hinchman said. “Making it through four overtimes shows that our defense played well.

“St. Charles North is memorable for me because I was able to get the last shot and the goal, but it was a great team win, too, because they (St. Charles North) have a lot of great players and our defense was able to hold them.

“The postseason games meant a lot to me because I was a senior and it was my last time to go through it.”

It may have been Hinchman’s last win with the Vikings, but her legacy will continue on for at least a few more years. As a senior and central midfielder, Hinchman was undoubtedly a leader for the Vikings. And considering Geneva could bring back as many as 10 starters next year, four of which were underclassmen this season, her influence will continue beyond her three-year varsity career and her senior season.

“She definitely set the tone in practice for us every day,” Geneva coach Megan Owens said. “She’s such a fierce competitor so she pushed everyone around her to reach their maximum potential.

“It’s why she hardly ever came off the field. Most game’s she played all 80 minutes because it was quite noticeable when she wasn’t on the field.

“We did have a really young team with a handful of girls new to the varsity level who at the beginning of the season didn’t necessarily understand the work ethic demanded of you at the varsity level. Emily did a great setting an example for them.”

Hinchman, who started her varsity career as a defender and eventually moved into the demanding role of central midfielder for her senior season, echoes Owens’ assessment.

“I hope I was a good leader,” Hinchman said. “I think I was both (vocal and led by example). I like to be vocal toward my teammates. I think that can help in some situations.

“But I also like to show my teammates how hard I work and hopefully influence them to play to their level.”

If they can approach the level Hinchman played at this season, the Vikings’ future will be a bright one.

Meet the rest of our all-area selections from Bartlett, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles East, St. Charles North and South Elgin:

Fran Abate
Bartlett, senior
Achievements The Hawks had one of their best seasons in history and the senior midfielder was one of the big reasons why. Displaying tremendous skill on and off the ball, Abate was a catalyst in the midfield for a high-flying offense that could score quickly and often and also a staple for a stingy defense that had seven wins by shutout. She finished with nine goals and 14 assists.

Becca Cronin
Track & field
Bartlett, senior
Achievements Cronin picked track over soccer this spring, and her debut season on the loop was nothing short of astounding. She placed second at the Upstate Eight Conference meet in both the 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump. But even more impressive was her all-state finish in the triple jump. After placing fourth in the event at sectionals with a mark of 36 feet, 1-1/2 inches, Cronin jumped a 37-2-1/2 to take sixth in the state.

Alissa Dappas
Track & field
Geneva, junior
Achievements The final weekend of the track season was only the cherry on top of a terrific spring for Dappas. At the Class 3A state meet she was part of the 4 x 400-meter relay that placed fourth, and she was eighth in the 100 hurdles and ninth in the 300 hurdles to finish with three all-state medals. During the regular season she took second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles at the Western Sun Conference meet and she the fastest 100 hurdler at the Glenbard West invite.

Leah DeMoss
St. Charles North, junior
Achievements Speed. Skill. Determination. The three traits combine to make a potent concoction, one which DeMoss possessed. She was a player other teams game-planned for, and despite all that extra attention she received from opponents, she was able to score 18 goals and tally 12 assists this season to lead the North Stars. Almost surely bound for a top-notch collegiate program, the junior was an Upstate Eight all-conference selection as well as an all-state honoree.

Callie Dennison
Bartlett, junior
Achievements Dennison’s win-loss record wasn’t necessarily breathtaking this season, but her ERA and competitiveness on the mound were beyond compare. Standing at 18-11 after the Hawks’ sectional championship victory, she had a tiny 1.73 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 194 innings pitched. Dennison, who recently gave a verbal commitment to play at Butler, helped her cause at the plate with a .333 batting average with 30 RBIs, 28 runs scored and 10 extra-base hits, including four home runs.

Luisa Desario
Bartlett, senior
Achievements This senior sharpshooter was a big reason why the Hawks enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history and Heather Thomas’ best in three seasons as a coach at the school. Capable of creating for herself or her teammates with tremendous speed and ball skill, Desario finished the season with an astounding 81 points (31 goals and 19 assists) and did so against some of the best competition in the state in the Upstate Eight Conference, where she was named to the all-conference team. She also was named all-sectional.

Paige Dusek
St. Charles North, junior
Achievements Another of the North Stars’ talented junior strikers, Dusek was the perfect complement to Leah DeMoss at the front of the attack. Dusek’s combination of speed, ability to shed marks, make smart runs without the ball and finish near the goal made her a threat every time the North Stars streaked down the field. She finished this season with eight goals and five assists and was an all-Upstate Eight Conference selection.

Emily Hinchman
Geneva, senior
Achievements The Press-Republican Spring Girls MVP was the heart and soul of a Geneva team that was one of the final 16 teams in Class 3A left playing this spring. Surrounded largely by sophomores and juniors, Hinchman was the unquestioned leader. Skill on the ball combined with her speed undoubtedly made her one of the most gifted midfielders in the area.

Lizzy Hynes
Track & field
St. Charles East, senior
Achievements Setting a goal is one thing. Achieving it is something else. From the beginning of the track season, Hynes dreamed of asserting herself as the state’s premier distance runner and winning a state title or two in the process. She did exactly that, winning a state title in the 3,200-meter run (and seven seconds faster than the runner-up at that) and coming back later in the state meet to place third in the 1,600 run.

Elizabeth Kay
Bartlett, senior
Achievements The Illinois State-bound Kay was one of the most well-rounded players in the area. A standout catcher, Kay also saw time at shortstop and pitcher, and did well at both positions. She was also one of the most feared hitters around, and with good reason: .392 average, 32 runs scored, 26 RBIs and 21 extra-base hits (12 doubles, four triples and five home runs).

Tory Kinniard
Batavia, junior
Achievements Like many Batavia teams of recent past, the 2009 Bulldogs always were competitive and excelled when keeping the scoring low. This talented midfielder was asked to do and could do it all in the middle of the field. Adding weight to the team’s attack or shoring up its defense, Kinniard will be one of the key components on a senior-laden Batavia team in 2010.

Melissa Norville
Track & field
Batavia, senior
Achievements There might not be a more versatile athlete around. A three-sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, track) for four years, Norville ended her prep track career with a total of nine state berths, three each in the 100-meter high hurdles and triple jump (third in state in 2009, 11th in 2008). Last month, she also was sixth in the 300 low hurdles and a qualifier in the 100 high hurdles.

Allie Pace
Track & field
Geneva, junior
Achievements The speed, strength and balance needed for success in pole vault may be one reason why it is one of the most (if not the most) difficult disciplines in the sport of track and field. Pace just made it look easy this spring. After struggling during the indoor campaign Pace had a stellar eight days to close the season, taking top honors at the Streamwood sectional with a mark of 11 feet, 6 inches then placing second in the state with a successful attempt at 12 feet for her first state medal.

Rae Anne Payleitner
St. Charles East, sophomore
Achievements Playing the position of catcher is a challenge both mentally and physically. It didn’t appear to hinder Payleitner this season. In addition to playing one of the most important positions on the diamond with heady athleticism, she was a key cog in a Saints offense that could score with the best of them. She pounded out seven home runs this season, a stat that sat nicely next to her .349 batting average and 22 RBIs.

Rebecca Reinbold
St. Charles East, senior
Achievements All Reinbold wants to do for as long as she can do it is play softball. That passion for the game showed when she was on the diamond this spring. In addition to carrying her weight in a strong East lineup by hitting for average (.357) in the No. 3 spot while scoring 25 runs and driving in 20, Reinbold anchored the defense up the middle at the all-important shortstop position. Her speed was an asset in both areas. The Saints’ captain was an all-Upstate Eight Conference selection.

Taylor Russell
St. Charles North, sophomore
Achievements The North Stars’ third baseman was named team MVP this season, and why not? Her .359 batting average was second on the team, and she was tops on the squad with nine doubles and 13 stolen bases. She also had just eight strikeouts in 128 at-bats (one every 16 at-bats) and scored a team-high 35 runs while driving in 27. She also played strong defense at the challenging third base spot, a big reason why the North Stars were Upstate Eight Conference and regional champions and why Russell was named to the all-UEC squad.

Zoie Samaan 
St. Charles East, junior
Achievements In a conference that featured state-title contenders Waubonsie Valley, Neuqua Valley and St. Charles North, Samaan flew under the radar but quietly had an outstanding and consistent season in backstopping the Saints to a fourth-place finish in the Upstate Eight Conference. Her combination of smarts and athleticism made her one of the best keepers around. The third-year starter was named to the all-UEC team.

Alyssa Schneider
Track & field
Bartlett, sophomore
Achievements Running fast and running smart are two completely different things, and even elite runners sometimes don’t do both at the same time. Schneider did both at the state meet over Memorial Day weekend. After placing second in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:10.5 at the sectional the previous week, Schneider dropped her time to 5:08.99 in the state prelims, then posted a 5:01.04 in the final race of the season to take fifth in the state. Three of the four runners who finished ahead of her were seniors.

Alexa Schofield
Batavia, senior
Achievements A multi-sport (two-time state qualifier in tennis) and multi-position athlete (also played a little at third base), the all-Western Sun Conference shortstop led her team in total hits and batting average (.360), was second in stolen bases (nine) and showed an amazing ability to make contact, striking out just five times in 104 plate appearances.

Natalie Tarter
Track & field
Batavia, senior
Achievements Though a hamstring injury derailed her chances at more state titles last month, the University of Wisconsin-bound Tarter departs as the most decorated female track and field athlete at Batavia. Another three-sport star, Tarter graduates with one state title, eight all-state medals, nine sectional titles and eight school records.


Honorable mention
Katelyn Allen, soccer; Melissa Barber, softball; Nikki Davis, softball; Stephanie Davison, soccer; Megan Heuer, track; Sarah Heuer, track; Sammi Hill, track; Erica Miller, track; Deirdre Phalon, softball; Kristyn Ruitenberg, softball; Kelly Shogren, track; Taylor Wickware, track

Meredith Beird, track; Mary Kate Brooks, softball; Liz Drennan, soccer; Maggie Hoscheit, soccer; Danielle Kuzniewski, track; Gaby Moe, softball; Jessica Nier, track; Maya Rittmanic, track; Stephanie Roan, softball; Lauren Rohrmeier, soccer; Pam Sommer, softball

Valerie Cannon, badminton; Coral Cass, track; Amanda Ciran, softball; Stephanie Davis, badminton; Amanda Engel, softball; Sammy Gage, soccer; Jocelyn Jessop, badminton; Jenna Loynachan, track; Kristen Manski, soccer; Ashley Nelson, ,badminton; Jessica Scheets, track; Ashley Seering, softball; Ren Stoecklin, soccer; Michelle Terwilliger, badminton; Kelsey True, badminton

Rachel Anello, softball; Stephanie Curtis, badminton; Michelle Glaser, soccer; Nicole Go, badminton; Kristen Kress, badminton; Monica Repiscak, badminton; Rachel Rieger, soccer; Sam Salinas, track; Alexa Tecson, badminton; Haley Videckis, soccer; Erin Zaideman, soccer

Kelly Coleman, softball; Libby Cooper, soccer; Emily Dorjath, softball; Haleigh Erwin, soccer; Tory Kinniard, soccer;  Katie Luetkens, softball; Christine Lynam, softball; Brooke Nelson, softball

Courtney Bosteder, softball; Jessica DeSimon, soccer; Lindsey Helton, soccer; Lauren Mehr, badminton; Kim Pierce, softball; Cary Thereon, softball

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