Former Huntley pitcher Jake Perkins would have understood if college coaches wanted to take a wait-and-see approach with him.
After all, Perkins is almost a year removed from Tommy John surgery on his left arm. But Chicago State still showed interest, and Perkins was gratified. He signed with the Cougars and will have three more years with the NCAA Division I school.
“It was a big thing that they had enough faith in what I’ve done,” Perkins said. “They were willing to take a risk with me coming off surgery.”
Perkins graduated from Huntley in 2013 and pitched part of his freshman season at Elgin Community College, where he was 4-1 before throwing the fateful pitch against Black Hawk College. Perkins knew from the pain he had never experienced before that something was drastically wrong.
Dr. Stephen Gryzlo, an orthopedic surgeon for the Cubs, performed Perkins’ surgery July 12. That will give Perkins about 18 months before he throws in competitive games for Chicago State.
“Basically, I’m cleared,” Perkins said. “I have one more doctor’s visit, and I’ll probably be able to throw 100 percent bullpens. I’m essentially back. I can start throwing more at Chicago State this fall.”
Perkins redshirted his sophomore season at ECC while recovering, giving him three more college seasons. He will join former Red Raiders shortstop Matt Sullivan and pitcher Nick Kostalek, along with several other former Fox Valley Conference players at Chicago State.
Reinbrecht to Drury: Jacobs swimmer Alex Reinbrecht, the Northwest Herald Swimmer of the Year, will compete at D-II Drury University on scholarship this year.
Reinbrecht finished ninth in the 200-yard freestyle and seventh in the 500 freestyle at the IHSA Boys Swimming and Diving State Meet.
Pitner to Miami (Ohio): Crystal Lake Central graduate Ryan Pitner will run cross country and track at D-I Miami (Ohio) this year. In cross country, Pitner was fifth in the Class 3A state meet and was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection.
Miami already was in Pitner’s top 10 list of schools for its kinesiology program. When RedHawks coach Warren Mandrell contacted Pitner, it made the choice more obvious.
“They have a good distance team for track and cross country, they’re D-I and I liked the team,” Pitner said. “It seemed like a good fit for me.”
Moss an Illinois walk-on: Dundee-Crown kicker T.J. Moss plans on walking on at Illinois for the upcoming football season.
Moss was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection after converting 42 of 43 extra points for the Chargers, who qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1994.
Moss also aided D-C’s defense by kicking 80 percent of his kickoffs for touchbacks.
Zelasco to Notre Dame (Ohio): Crystal Lake Central wrestler Mike Zelasco, the Class 2A state runner-up at 182 pounds, will wrestle this year at D-II Notre Dame (Ohio). He will join former Tigers teammate Gage Harrah with the Falcons.
Zelasco was 42-4 in his senior year.
Smith to North Park: Crystal Lake South pitcher Josh Smith, who came back from shoulder surgery to pitch this spring for the Gators, will join South catcher Casey Oliver next season at D-III North Park.
Smith underwent surgery in the fall of 2012 and missed his junior season. He came back this season and showed signs of returning to his top form.