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.
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.
MONTICELLO — The weather was less than ideal.
Before the meet began, coaches and athletes already were conceding there wouldn’t be many personal bests set and likely no records broken on a day that saw temps fall into the 30s and stretches of light rain as the meet carried on.
TOLONO — Salt Fork’s Jenny Kimbro didn’t require much time to make an impact on the area track and field scene.
Friday night, the freshman needed 15.71 seconds.
In the fourth outdoor meet of her prep career, the 26-school Unity Girls’ Invitational, Kimbro not only won the 100-meter hurdles but also covered the distance in a meet-record time. The previous record was 16.01.
■ SJ-O 9, PBL 4. Jake Stewart went 3 for 3 with two runs and three RBI for visiting St. Joseph-Ogden, which received two doubles and one triple from Louis Acklin. Jonah Wilson had three hits for Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
Jacksonville isn’t a place where a 6-foot-6-inch, 260-pound high school junior is hard to miss.
The west central Illinois town of just under 20,000 residents that sits a half-hour from the state capital of Springfield has a football player the Illinois coaching staff is hoping it won’t miss on.
■ Centennial 13, Urbana 3. Centennial took advantage of defensive struggles by Urbana to dart out to a 10-0 lead after two innings thanks to a nine-run second inning and never looked back in a Big 12 road win during Centennial’s conference opener at Prairie Park that lasted six innings.
The Illinois football team had 10 early enrollees arrive on campus once classes started in January.
From a depth perspective, Tim Beckman is probably giving thanks to this development.
With 18 players injured or unable to play in Friday night’s spring game, nearly half of the early enrollees are with either the first-team or second-team units so far.