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BLOOMINGTON – There always has been – and always will be – frustration and disappointment when an athletic team loses its final game of a season.
Whether it's in the first game of the regional or the championship game at state, the pervasive desire is always to have gone one step further.
DANVILLE – For all the sprints Tuscola coach Ryan Tabeling has made his players run, it was finally good for the Warriors to see their coach show his wheels for once.
When second baseman Jesse Hall fielded a ground ball and flipped it over to John Wienke for the final out of Tuscola's 3-2 Class 1A super-sectional win against Oneida ROWVA on Monday, no one at Danville Stadium reacted as quickly as Tabeling.
CHARLESTON – Monticello's 3,200-meter relay team pulled out a switch that proved to be beneficial. The Sages inserted sophomore Steve Keeny into the No. 3 position in favor of Jack Foley, who ran the third leg Friday. The result: a second-place finish in a time of 8 minutes, 0.21 seconds.
"They're both fairly similar speedwise. So we figured we'd run Jack Friday and save Keeney for Saturday so he'll be fresh," said Brent Rhodes, who ran the opening leg. "I think that helped out a lot because he ran a great leg. This was his first state competition but he didn't race like it. He raced like a seasoned veteran."
COLFAX – If his own team couldn't win a sectional title, Blue Ridge coach Myron Schroeder was glad to see Tri-Valley do it.
Schroeder coached several of the current Tri-Valley players in junior high or when he was in charge of Tri-Valley's JV before taking over the Blue Ridge program.
CHAMPAIGN – Experience usually is needed to win big games. Danville, however, didn't need much of it in Saturday's 3A regional championship game at Centennial High School.
The Vikings, using three freshman starters and two other first-year varsity players, defeated Rantoul 11-8 to advance to their first sectional since 2000.
CHAMPAIGN – For the better part of two years, baseball observers speculated that Centennial would be the team to beat in 2008.
"That's the way it looked like on paper," Centennial coach Kyle Herges said.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – A historic run ended for Centennial's top doubles team at the IHSA state tennis tournament Saturday.
David Ruedi and Quinn Miller were defeated 7-5, 6-0 in a quarterfinal consolation bracket match against Hinsdale Central's Dan Ballantine and Ian Tesmond. The loss stopped the Chargers from completing the three wins they needed for a fifth-place finish. Still, Centennial coach Don Waybright found positives.
DANVILLE – Danville Stadium has provided a surprising homefield advantage for the Tuscola baseball team. It would like to see the trend continue for one more game.
On Saturday, the Warriors topped host Schlarman 9-2 to claim their second straight win at the historic stadium and, more important, clinch the Danville Class 1A Sectional title.
MOWEAQUA – Last year, Tuscola's softball team took the road less traveled in a season that ended with a super-sectional loss.
This year, the journey back to the super-sectional has required a different path.
CHARLESTON – By the time Urbana's Mykhail Chambers cleared 6 feet, 8 inches to win the Class 2A high jump crown, he had gone through enough shoes to last a career.
"I had a pair of spikes, broke them around 6-7, then switched to another pair and broke those again at 6-8," Chambers said.