MONTICELLO – Giving up apparently is not part of the curriculum taught at Urbana Uni High School.
Despite trailing by three late, the Illineks would not let up in their 3-2 sectional-final loss to Teutopolis on Monday.
CHAMPAIGN – For most of Saturday's 80 minutes of soccer, Urbana goalkeeper Spencer Bolen was threatening to make Centennial's postseason life miserable.
The senior made a string of sensational saves to keep the Class 2A regional championship match scoreless heading into overtime.
CHAMPAIGN – Before Thursday's boys' soccer match, Centennial's seniors were recognized.
Afterward, the real celebration took place.
FITHIAN – In its first three years of existence, Oakwood's boys' soccer team won seven matches. This season, the Comets already have a 9-5-2 mark, including victories against some of the area's strongest teams.
"The first thing I noticed when I got (to Oakwood) was that nobody had ever really pushed (this team) to be good," first-year coach Eric Fenton said. "I think in the past all they've done is just kick and run, and now they're looking to make the quick pass, making little cuts off that – actually playing soccer."
CHAMPAIGN – Centennial soccer coach Cole Bushue undoubtedly will celebrate the day Champaign Central star Ricardo Vega graduates.
Vega bedeviled Bushue's Chargers on Monday, scoring the game-tying goal in the 53rd minute as the teams played to a 1-1 tie in the Battle of Champaign.
URBANA – In 1986, Urbana needed a boys' soccer coach. The Tigers turned to an assistant wrestling coach named Randy Blackman.
"When the soccer position opened up, nobody would take it," said his wife, Ann. "So he kind of had his arm twisted. But he'd never played soccer (and) he'd never coached soccer. He studied physical education at (Eastern Illinois) so he had part of one class dedicated to soccer, but that's about it."
CHAMPAIGN – Twelve minutes into Monday's Champaign Central-Urbana soccer match, the Maroons led 2-0 and appeared to be cruising.
But this was Central-Urbana. Nothing comes easy.
CHAMPAIGN – Last October, less than eight minutes remained during the Champaign Central-Centennial boys' soccer match on the Chargers' lighted field.
Then the lights went out.
CHAMPAIGN – When Centennial and Champaign Central get together for a tennis dual match today, more than just intracity bragging rights will be on the line.
Centennial's first-year coach is Jill Harms, a former Grinnell College player who was a standout at Central under current Maroons coach Gary Day.
CHAMPAIGN – Centennial forward Kyle Bullock has seen the increased work ethic and commitment that the Chargers hope will propel them toward their goals.
And make no mistake: The soccer team's goals are appropriately lofty.