DECATUR - Given one last chance to end his high school football career on a high note, Urbana's Antonio Jones didn't squander it.
The talented running back endured a rough senior season last fall, missing most of the schedule with a knee injury. He was expected to be the focal point of coach Mike Hoskins' offense, but Jones hardly had a chance to get ingrained in the offense before his season was cut short.
CHAMPAIGN – The football coaches at Iowa are allowing John Wienke to play in this weekend's Order of the Eastern Star All-Star Football Game.
For one week, at least, the recent Tuscola graduate gets a break from working out in Iowa City for his first year at Iowa.
TUSCOLA – Tuscola High School must fill three more coaching vacancies after resignations by boys' track coach Steve Spears and girls' track and cross-country coach Mark Sweeney were announced Monday at the district's board meeting.
While Sweeney retained his teaching position in the school's social studies department, Spears' resignation included his teaching position in the math department. Tuscola superintendent Joe Burgess said both decisions were personal.
A close look at the last year of area high school sports:
This year's top quotes from those involvved with area high school sports:
FITHIAN – As a three-sport coach at Oakwood High School, Lynn Anderson has had extensive opportunities to see the Comets' marquee three-sport star, recent graduate Stephanie Denius.
Anderson happens to coach the sports in which Denius has competed throughout her illustrious prep career. She's the head coach in volleyball, the assistant in basketball and the head coach in track and field.
ST. JOSEPH – Wendy Graves hasn't missed many of her son's athletic events through the years. But on the rare occasion she might miss one, she jokes with him that she'll miss something great.
"It's inevitable that if one of us can't be there, he makes the most incredible plays ever," she said of her son Lukas, a recent St. Joseph-Ogden graduate who participated in football, wrestling and baseball for the Spartans. "We try to get to them all, but he usually does something great when we can't be there."
BLOOMINGTON – Mandy Kirby found herself in a familiar arena Saturday: a basketball court.
After a spring of softball, the recent Urbana High graduate joined other seniors in the annual Illinois Basketball Coaches Association girls' all-star game at Illinois Wesleyan.
TUSCOLA – Tyler Carter couldn't believe his eyes.
The Tuscola receiver was used to seeing swift passes from quarterback John Wienke, but the Iowa-bound quarterback was never the swiftest on his feet. So when Carter saw Wienke's 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame scampering down the field against Unity in Week 2, the speedy Carter knew his quarterback would need some help.
CHAMPAIGN – For the past three years, Champaign Central basketball coach Scott Davis knew that when things got tough, he could rely on Verdell Jones, Donald Stewart and Keith Biggers.
"I have to admit, it was always nice to look up and see all those 6-foot-5 guys," Davis said. "We're certainly missing them."