Mike DeFABO, Northwest Herald


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Past articles by Mike:

Pastor Bill finds support system in 'baseball family' after son's death

Home plate umpire Bill Orris peered through his mask, watching the sinking line drive dart into right field. Huntley outfielder Brad Model dove and – splayed out across the fresh-cut grass – he held his glove aloft with the ball inside. → Read More

DeFabo: Huntley girls soccer team reaches new high in supersectional win

BARRINGTON – With the ball sitting in the back of the net, the Barrington girls soccer team sprinted downfield in celebration and – for a few tense seconds – it was hard not to think that perhaps once again history was repeating itself. → Read More

Mike DeFabo: Northwest Herald's Joe Stevenson to join IBCA Hall of Fame

The first time I went to a game with Joe Stevenson was two years ago at Crystal Lake Central. As we approached the ticket window, Joe reached for his Northwest Herald press pass hanging from his neck. → Read More

DeFabo: Crystal Lake South grad Fahn Cooper's path to the NFL no easy ride

CRYSTAL LAKE — Crystal Lake South grad Fahn Cooper sees the journey to the NFL like a race, a winding road where prospects jockey for a spot on one of the 32 NFL rosters. In 2013, Cooper was seemingly stuck in the mud, driving his race in a 1994 Chevy Beretta. → Read More

DeFabo: Chris Streveler has plenty of options as graduate transfer from Minnesota football

Graduation day is quickly approaching for Chris Streveler. → Read More

Crystal Lake resident retires after officiating 1,500th NHL game

When the final horn sounded at the United Center on April 3rd, the Blackhawks and Bruins formed a long line at center ice. One by one, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron and the rest of the players from both teams took their turn shaking hands with the linesman, Andy McElman. → Read More

DeFabo: Surprise opening day meeting with Harold Baines dream come true for Crystal Lake resident, retiring Navy officer

Friday afternoon before the Chicago White Sox home opener, Chief Petty Officer Steven Lukasiewicz emerged from a tunnel at U.S. Cellular Field immaculately dressed in his U.S. Navy uniform. The 39-year old Sox diehard has missed just two home openers in his lifetime, when deployments in the U.S. Navy made it impossible to attend. → Read More

Woodstock's Bud Swartout has been Blue Streak for years

I found Bud waiting at the door, wearing a blue Woodstock athletics track jacket and a blue hat with a white “W” on it. He smiled at me with his gentle eyes, which are also, fittingly, Woodstock blue. Throughout four decades, the 88-year-old taught biology and coached football and track at Woodstock High School. He served as an assistant under five head football coaches, including Bob Bradshaw,… → Read More

High school basketball: Massie referee brothers strive to go unnoticed

Meanwhile, three referees stand silently along the sideline wearing freshly pressed pants and shiny black shoes. It’s often said the mark of a good referee is one you don’t notice, so it would be easy to get caught up in the pageantry of this Friday night basketball game and overlook what is unique about this refereeing crew. But look closer. See the resemblance? Brothers Scott, Steve and Chris… → Read More

Local bowling: Tim Baumgartner, who has autism, rolls a perfect game

It’s a Monday afternoon on the first day of February. As he is on so many afternoons, Baumgartner is at 3D Bowl. The lanky 28-year-old from McHenry takes two slow steps – right, left. Then two quick shuffles. Right. Left. He hurls the ball down the lane, sending it spinning at the pins. The ball hooks, narrowly missing its target. Baumgartner turns and shakes his head. “Bowling is a funny game,”… → Read More

High school football views: John Hart leaves memorable legacy at Huntley

The jerseys were only one of the numerous changes Hart made to the program in his four seasons at Huntley. He helped bring a new weight room to the school with new equipment. A new turf field replaced the grass. The school built new bleachers. A new scoreboard counted the touchdowns the Red Raiders racked up this season. It’s the jerseys, however, that are important to remember now. After four… → Read More

College football: Crystal Lake South grad Fahn Cooper, Ole Miss chase bowl victory

He earned National Junior College Athletic Association All-America honors during his year at the College of DuPage. He helped Ole Miss upset No. 1-ranked Alabama in 2014. And this year Cooper won the Kent Hull Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding offensive lineman in Mississippi. One thing that has alluded Cooper, however, is a bowl championship. His Bowling Green team lost to San Jose… → Read More

Youth football: McHenry Junior Warriors' Dana Ferguson named USA Football Team Mom of the Year

The Junior Warriors will receive a $5,000 equipment grant, and Ferguson will be awarded a $500 spa gift certificate from USA Football and MinuteClinic. She also will be recognized Sunday during the Chicago Bears’ season finale against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. “I haven’t been to a Bears game since I was 12,” Ferguson said. “I’m super excited about that.” More than 1,500 team moms were… → Read More

High school girls basketball: Ali Andrews tops 2,000 career points in Huntley win

The Huntley senior forward took two dribbles and laid the ball into the basket with her left hand with 2:11 left in the third quarter for her 2,000th and 2,001st career points. For a moment, the game between Huntley and Conant stopped as the public address announcer alerted the fans that Andrews had cleared yet another benchmark at Huntley. “It’s really exciting, just all the hard work you put… → Read More

High school girls volleyball: Cary-Grove's Erin Olson, Northwest Herald Player of the Year

“Abbey Heredia probably had the greatest leadership that I’ve ever seen from a setter,” Langanis said. “Meghan Seymour, who is at Northern Michigan, was an incredible leader. Colleen Smith had the best hands and the quickest offense that I had ever coached.” Senior setter Erin Olson? She’s right up there with the best of them. This season, the 5-foot-10 setter led the Trojans (36-6) to a perfect… → Read More

High school football: Jacobs assistant Mike Warren finds balance between religion, coaching and family

There is an undeniable link between faith and football. Players point to the heavens after touchdowns. Many teams join hands to recite the Lord’s Prayer before taking the field. But at the Grace Family Bible Church, this intersection is perhaps more obvious. Prairie Ridge assistant football coach Nicholas Caruso, wearing a camouflage Adrian Peterson jersey, opens the worship service by reading a… → Read More