Local College Notes: Dana Wagner, Waubonsee want to go out as conference champs
By Bill Kindt For Sun-Times Media February 3, 2014 5:32PM
Updated: February 3, 2014 6:14PM
A conference championship would be a fitting send off for Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball coach Dana Wagner.
Wagner will give up her head coaching duties at the end of the current season to concentrate on helping administer the athletic department and the under-construction field house.
The Chiefs are 15-6 overall and 6-0 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. Waubonsee plays host to second place Moraine Valley at 5 p.m. Thursday in what could be the game of the year in the Skyway. Moraine Valley is 6-1.
As with any two-year school, Wagner hardly knew what she’d have back in late August when school started.
The Kaneland High School and Aurora University alum did have strength coming back with 6-0 Emma Darby (Sandwich), 5-10 Ashley Wilk (Aurora Central Catholic), 5-7 LaDesha Nelson (West Aurora) and 5-5 Emily Magee (Aurora Christian), but there were huge questions in the back court, where only Magee returned.
Three freshmen — Bailey Klaas (Yorkville), Dakota Collins (Houston, Texas), Sarah Garms (Kaneland) —have more than filled that void with their energy, quickness and basketball smarts. Grams is the granddaughter of former outstanding official Ed Grams.
Wagner commands the respect of her players because they know her history. She played for AU from 1993-97 and ended her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,693 points. She was inducted into AU’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and her No. 40 jersey was retired.
AU women’s golf
The Aurora women’s golf team, in conjunction with the Kids Golf Foundation, will conduct a SNAG (Starting New At Golf) Clinic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Freeman Elementary School.
Twenty Freeman students will be taught the fundamentals of golf and life lessons learned through the sport. The clinic will consist of four stations that will focus on putting, chipping, pitching and full swing. Each station will be staffed by a member of the AU women’s golf team.
Life skills, such as sportsmanship and golf etiquette, will be discussed.
AU has rescheduled Saturday’s games against Concordia-Wisconsin that were postponed because of inclement weather.
The women will face Concordia at 6 p.m. Thursday, while the men will wait until 7 p.m. Feb. 13 to play host to Concordia.
The AU women’s team is currently 8-6 in the Northern Athletics Conference, which is good for a solid seventh. That is important since the top eight teams advance to the NAAC postseason tournament, which begins Feb. 22.
Sophomore Bethany Dorrington (Princeton) is third in the conference in scoring (16.7), 10th in rebounding (7.0) and first in assists (5.6).
The men’s team, meanwhile, is currently sitting in fourth place at 10-5 and is in position to host a quarterfinal game on Feb. 22.
Athlete of week
Freshman Lisa Rodriguez (Aurora Central Catholic) was named NACC Women’s Indoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Week for the second time after collecting a pair of second place finishes at the NCAA-NAIA Challenge at Olivet Nazarene Jan. 24.
Rodriguez finished second in the 60-meter dash (8.10) and the 200 (26.45). She also ran a leg on the 800 relay team that finished first with an AU-record time of 1:47.89.