Matt Daniels

Matt Daniels

Week 13 prep football storylines: Trying to make history

Sports editor MATT DANIELS looks at three area state semifinal playoff games kicking off on Saturday:

1 Monticello football's recent history has been filled with success under coach Cully Welter.

During his 10 seasons in Piatt County, the Sages (12-0) have made the playoffs every campaign.

Emergence of duo keys GCMS run

GIBSON CITY — Playing basketball at recess during their days at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School didn't exactly cement a friendship between Bryce Barnes and Jared Trantina.

"We used to hate each other," Trantina said with a grin.

Monticello hitting on all cylinders in playoff run

MONTICELLO — The number of playmakers Monticello football coach Cully Welter has at his disposal isn't lacking.

Senior quarterback Braden Snyder leads the area with 2,424 passing yards to go along with 30 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.

Prep football storylines: GCMS, A-O and Tuscola aim to be among final 8

1. Close games have not materialized this season for Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley football.

So a 31-7 victory this past Saturday at home against Chicago Hope Academy may have had Falcons' fans a bit on edge. Especially considering GCMS only led 21-7 late in the third quarter.

No worries, though, according to GCMS coach Mike Allen.

Jones helps carry heavy workload for Panthers

PAXTON — T.J. Jones cast a glance towards Jerry Zimmeran Field at I-57 Stadium.

The leaves on the nearby trees were in full fall splendor on this Wednesday afternoon, with Paxton-Buckley-Loda students leaving school for the day, some dressed in Halloween costumes.

Week 11 prep football storylines: Running at full speed

1 Paxton-Buckley-Loda's defense had played relatively well this season.

The Panthers posted a shutout in Week 3 during a 35-0 win against Iroquois West. They only allowed one touchdown during a 26-8 win at Georgetown-Ridge Farm, an eventual playoff team, in Week 2. And PBL displayed a strong showing during a 49-7 win at Momence in Week 5.

Cobras vie to make more noise on national level

CHAMPAIGN — Cliff Hastings knows he's competing against unlimited candy and costumes tonight.

"For all those people who don't want to give out candy and want an excuse to be elsewhere," the Parkland volleyball coach said, "here's an option."

Here is Dodds Athletic Center, the home venue for the Cobras as they host Frontier at 6 p.m. tonight in a Region 24 semifinal match.

Helping their team stay fresh

FISHER — The black 2005 Ford pickup truck sits parked nestled among the few trees.

In the bed of the truck are two orange water coolers.

Water coolers Fisher seniors Andrew Zook and Tanner Diorio helped fill up on this sun-splashed afternoon, just before the football team begins practice with hardly a cloud in the sky.

Sabers keep on winning

TUSCOLA — St. Thomas More volleyball won its third straight regional title on Thursday night.

The defending Class 2A state champions swept host Tuscola 25-18, 25-23 in the Sabers' 11th straight victory.

The second-seeded Sabers (33-4) advanced to next Monday's Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin Sectional semifinal match at 6:30 p.m. against El Paso-Gridley (25-8).

Week 10 prep football storylines: On the home stretch

Sports editor MATT DANIELS takes a look at three area teams before they host first-round playoff games:

1 The numbers show how dominant Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley is this season.

Running back Jared Trantina has a team-high 1,120 yards on 111 carries. Only nine of those carries have come in the second half.