The eight schools that comprise the Southwestern Conference have produced 35 players who have earned a letter playing football at Illinois throughout its history.
The large-school Illinois high school league that is in the Metro St. Louis area, however, has never sent a player to Illinois from Belleville West.
CHAMPAIGN — As the ball left Justin Parr’s bat in the eighth inning Sunday afternoon, the Illinois center fielder was prepared to shift down into his home run trot.
“I thought it was gone,” he said.
MONTICELLO — Bryan Phipps isn’t out to prove anything. That mission already was accomplished.
He isn’t trying to impress anyone. The numbers speak for themselves.
The Monticello High athlete is going to play a basketball game today and then join the ranks of those who derive their enjoyment and pleasure by watching contests from the sidelines or from an armchair.
■ Rantoul 4-10, Kankakee 1-4. CORD CHURCH (two hits, RBI) and CHRIS DEAVILLE (two RBI) lifted the Eagles in Game 1. KOLTON VERMILLION had three doubles and five RBI in Game 2, TANNER McLAIN adding two hits and two RBI.
CHAMPAIGN — It took Reid Roper exactly two at-bats to hit his first home run as a college baseball player.
A sign of things to come?
Not exactly. Following that memorable debut in an Illinois uniform on Feb. 17, 2012, the Harrisburg native went 74 games without a fences-clearing hit.
It’s a streak that still baffles Dan Hartleb.
We asked beat writer MARCUS JACKSON for his take on John Groce’s latest commitment:
Staff writer Matt Daniels' take on this weekend's Illinois spring game at Memorial Stadium:
WHAT WENT RIGHT