Ashley Berggren was one of the finest high school basketball and softball players to compete in the Mid-Suburban League.
The former Barrington standout who went on to earn Big Ten Player of the Year honors as a junior for Illinois, is still physically competing just as hard today.
But she's not crushing home runs on a softball diamond or swishing 15-foot jumpers against much taller players on the basketball court.
No, instead the Schaumburg High School special education teacher is now using her athletics talents on the gridiron.
Berggren, who wears No. 80, is one of the top tacklers and a receiver for the undefeated Chicago Force women's football team.
She leads the Force with 10 tackles for losses and is seventh on the team in tackles with 16.5. She has also caught 5 passes for 142 yards, including 3 touchdowns.
"I knew about the team for a few years," said Berggren, who is the varsity girls basketball coach at Schaumburg and an assistant in the softball program. "The tryouts were just across the street from where I live in Evanston so I figured why not try out. I missed the competitiveness of playing sports. So it's nice to be able to ignite that again."
When she was in grammar school, she wrote a paper about playing in the NFL.
"I wrote a story about taking over for Jim McMahon (Bears Super Bowl quarterback)," she said with a laugh. "And taking the Bears to the Super Bowl."
Well, Berggren never got to take the Bears to a Super Bowl but she has helped the Force to an undefeated season so far (6-0).
The Force will be on the road for the final two games of the regular season on June 11 (West Michigan Mayhem) and June 18 (Indy Crash), both are 7 p.m. kickoffs.
The Force are in a good position to host the first round of playoffs at their home field, Winnemac Stadium in Chicago, on June 25 if they win the next two games.
Conant senior Kailee Pasbrig will play for Augustana and coach Kris Kistler.
The 5-foot-3 infielder and pitcher was a four-year letter winner for coach CathyAnn Smith's Cougars. She helped them to a 27-3 record and the Mid-Suburban League championship this season.
Pasbrig had a 3-0 record as a pitcher and won a Cougar of the Week" award.
As a freshman, she was Conant's "Rookie of the Year."
Pasbrig also lettered for coach Talbot Behnken in volleyball as a freshman and sophomore and competed in tennis as well at Conant.
Pasbrig is member of Conant's "A" honor roll and the Spanish Honor Society and is anticipating a pre-medicine major at Augustana.
Pasbrig will be joining a program under the guidance of Kistler, who will be in her 13th year at Augustana in 2012.
In 12 seasons, Kistler has compiled a record of 342-175-2 (.661 winning percentage) with two College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin titles, three CCIW tournament championships and four NCAA tournament appearances.
• It was only her first season at Trinity International University in Deerfield but Allie Micucci still made an impact as a freshman pitcher and first baseman.
The former Stevenson standout led the Lady Trojans in hitting this season with a .320 batting average including 33 hits, 10 doubles and 14 RBIs.
On the mound, Micucci led Trinity in innings pitched (90) and strikeouts (78).
Northwestern senior Matt Gailey (Fremd) was second on the team with 23 appearances this season.
He had wins out of the bullpen against St Louis University and Penn State in Big Ten Play.
Gailey has been a three-year All-Academic Big Ten performer and was the 2011 recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship award for Northwestern baseball.
Gailey was also one of 22 Big Ten student-athletes named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2010-11 academic year.
• Sophomore catcher Patrick Hyde (Hersey) played in 23 games for Northern Kentucky and belted 4 home runs with 10 RBI and 10 runs.
One of Hyde's blasts was a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning which gave Northern Kentucky a 1-0 triumph and sweep of a doubleheader over Saint Joseph.
• Winona State sophomore pitcher-second baseman Derek Wojcik (Conant) helped the Warriors make program history.
They finished second in the nation in the NCAA Division II College World Series, winning an NCAA postseason game and regional title for the first time.
Wojcik pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings in the 12-2 title-game loss to West Florida and threw 2 innings of 1-hit relief in a 9-3 second-round win over second-ranked Mt. Olive.
He made 19 relief appearances with 2 victories and 5 saves.
Wojcik also started 35 games at second base and hit .339 with 12 doubles, 1 homer and 28 RBI and committed only 4 errors. He was named to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference all-tournament team.
The Northwest Academy girls basketball teams (fifth and sixth grade and ninth to 12th grade) will participate in four tournaments this summer.
They are June 10-12 at the Mt. Prospect Rex Plex, June 17-19 (Batavia High School), June 24-26 (Oswego East High School), July 8-10 (Mt. Prospect Rec. Plex) and July 15-17 (Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream).
Men's track and field
Augustana junior Mike Tisza (Hersey) was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team in men's track and field. Tisza, a distance runner, was a second-team selection.
Tisza was selected as the Vikings' Most Inspirational Athlete following the recently completed 2011 season. He was also voted team captain for 2012. He won the 5000 meter race at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship with a time of 14:58.84. The day before he placed fourth in the 10,000 in 31:19.91, which is the 10th fastest time in Augustana history.
During the 2010 cross country season he placed 16th in the CCIW cross country championship. He will serve as team captain in cross country in 2011.
See you in the fall
Thanks for reading Sports Notes throughout the school year. The column will resume in September when college and high school events begin for the 2011-12 season.