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He's been a multi-sport athlete at Warren High School, but Erik Johnson will settle in to one sport for his college career.
Johnson plans to attend Augustana College in Rock Island, where the 6-foot 190-pound senior will play football.
Last fall, he served as a linebacker and team captain for coach Dave Mohapp's Blue Devils, recording 70 solo tackles and 24 assists. He collected 3 interceptions and 4½ sacks, earning All-North Suburban Conference honors.
Johnson was an honorable mention selection to the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area team and the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 8A all-state team.
He also handled punting chores for the Blue Devils, who qualified for the Class 8A playoffs.
As a junior, Johnson had 45 tackles, 1 interception and 1 sack while recovering a pair of fumbles, including one for a touchdown.
Johnson, who also lettered in track and field and baseball at Warren, plans on majoring in Spanish and business administration with a focus on marketing.
He joins a Viking program that has won 21 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin titles, four NCAA Division III national championships, 22 CCIW "Players of the Year" and 29 academic All-America selections.
Cushman will be in his third season as Augustana's head coach in 2013. The Vikings went 5-5 in 2012 and finished fourth in the CCIW.
Minnesota's Alex Brend (Lake Zurich) picked up the Gophers' first Big Ten Outdoor "Track Athlete of the Week" honor since May 6, 2009 (Hassan Mead) with a first-place performance in his outdoor debut in the 800-meter run at the Baldy Castillo Invitational.
The Hawthorn Woods native earned individual honors with a meet-best time of 1:51.88, posting the best time in the Big Ten and the 10th best performance in the nation so far this season.
Brend was a member of Lake Zurich's 2010 state cross country team and he was the Illinois state champ in the 800 meter in 2011.
• Augustana junior Will Lardner (Mundelein) tied for fourth with a vault of 14 feet, ½ inch as the Vikings scored 296.8 points to comfortably win the eight-team Easter Open over Wartburg (160.5) at Ericson Field. Freshman Hans Hunecke (Lakes) cleared 13-6½ to finish sixth.
Augustana senior Sarahbeth Jones (Warren) broke her own school record in the 3000-meter with a winning time of 9:53.85 at the Vikings' Easter Open at Ericson Field.
The Vikings finished third in the team standings while Wartburg won with 235 points and St. Ambrose was second (214).
Augustana freshman Aileen MacDonald (Mundelein) and her No. 1 doubles partner Kim Sawyer defeated St. Ambrose's Heather Matejka and Emily Daniels 8-2.
MacDonald also won No. 4 singles 6-0, 6-1 as the Vikings won the meet and improved to 12-6.
Miami University senior defenseman Steven Spinell of Vernon Hills was selected as a Central Collegiate Hockey Association Scholar-Athlete.
He is Miami's representative on the 11-man squad and is now eligible to win CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, which will be chosen from the 11 candidates and announced March 22.
Spinell carries a 3.26 grade-point average while majoring in finance in Miami's Farmer School of Business. He is on schedule to graduate in May. The team captain was also named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award on Feb. 13.
In addition to being a leader in the classroom and on the ice, Spinell has totaled 10 points, including 9 assists, while playing in 34 games this year, missing just two to injury.
He notched his lone goal of the year Feb. 15 on the power play in a win over Notre Dame, his fourth career goal. His 10 points are second among Miami's defensemen while he is second on the team with 60 blocked shots. He also boasts a plus-13 rating, which ties for second on the squad, while his 48 penalty minutes are third among RedHawks. Spinell was tabbed to the Three Rivers Classic All-Tournament Team earlier this season, as well.
All 11 Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominees will be honored at the annual CCHA Awards March 22 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Mich. The event is open to the public and tickets are $25. The awards presentation begins at 7:35 p.m. with a social hour preceding the awards. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling the CCHA office at (248) 888-0600.
Augustana freshman Emily Handrahan (Lake Zurich) is the Vikings' second-leading goal scorer with 18 goals and ranks third on the team with 11 assists. Sophomore Gina Filippo (Libertyville) leads coach Sara Tisdale's squad in ground balls with 16 and she has the second most caused turnovers with 13.
The Vikings are 6-3 and tied with North Central for the league lead at 2-0.
Don't forget this Friday is the fourth annual Lake County Senior Shootout featuring top high school senior boys and girls basketball players in Lake County.
The games (6 p.m. for girls and 8 p.m. for boys) will take place on the campus of the College of Lake County in Grayslake.
"I can't believe it's already our fourth year and each year it's growing." said event coordinator Fred Fleming. "We had the most difficult time selecting players because this year we had a lot of exceptional players throughout the county. That led us to selecting the most players to participate since we started this game in 2010."
Admission is $5 and the game will be played under the rules and guidelines of the Illinois High School Association.
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