We asked girls' Athlete of the Year Amy Martin, from Oakwood, to describe what high school sports meant to her:
MATTOON – Mattoon accepted an invitation to join the Apollo Conference and will leave the Big 12 Conference after the 2011-12 school year.
The Mattoon school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept the Apollo's invitation. The Green Wave will have the largest enrollment in the Apollo. In the Big 12, Mattoon has the smallest enrollment.
CHAMPAIGN – Mikki Johnson is still the concerned parent of teenage athletes, but the former Illinois football player has fewer worries this week.
The News-Gazette's prep sports coordinator, Fred Kroner, for several months has led the paper's project of naming an Athlete of the Decade for each of the area's prep sports.
When the current school year ends, so too will an established way of doing things for numerous area high schools.
As schools throughout Illinois await promised state money, the lack of available funding now is forcing many districts to implement cuts as a means to curb spending.
CHAMPAIGN – Katie Jean learned at an early age about paying the price to be an athlete.
The first-hand experience was courtesy of her parents, Rick and Sue.
"My family has always been real supportive of our athletics, but they had always said that if we (Katie and her twin, Susie) want to get better at a sport or pursue opportunities, that we had to show that we were committed to it," Katie Jean said. "So we had to put in the same time and money our parents were putting in.
An alphabetical look at the Girls' Golfer of the Year honorable mention list:
CARTERVILLE – For St. Thomas More's young girls' golf team, a tinge of heartbreak Saturday began to melt away on the long drive back to Champaign.
The Sabers finished fourth in the Class 1A state golf tournament at Crab Orchard Golf Club – 1 stroke from third place, which would have assured St. Thomas More its fourth straight top-three finish.
LeRoy's Marcum, GCMS' Spangler advance; so does Dombroski in 2A
WINDSOR – St. Thomas More isn't going to get that score in the 70s or occasionally the 60s like it used to in the past from Katie Jean, but from the No. 1 player through No. 4, the Sabers are going to be consistent.
They used that consistency Wednesday at the Angus Links Class 1A regional to cruise to a 51-stroke win to claim their fourth straight regional title.