CATLIN – Susan Kentner didn't need to make up an inspirational speech for her Bismarck-Henning girls' track and field team.
The Blue Devils coach simply related the harrowing part of her week to her team. On Thursday, her mother, Sue Johnson, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery at BroMenn Hospital in Normal.
TUSCOLA – Alyssa Gordon is Tuscola High School's softball Comeback of the Year candidate.
The senior third baseman came back to the sport this spring after a year off to try pole vaulting with the track and field team.
CHAMPAIGN – After a rough start, the Centennial baseball team might be hitting its best stride.
The Chargers endured a rash of team-imposed suspensions to some of their best players at the start of the season, then hit a patch of indifferent play recently. But after coach Kyle Herges challenged his team to make things happen – instead of watching what happens – the Chargers have responded with three straight wins, including a 6-1 victory against Urbana on Thursday that completed a series sweep this week.
BISMARCK – Sports annals are filled with stories about siblings who have excelled in high school athletics.
Many are like the Mammens of the 1980s.
DANVILLE – Baseball Hall of Famer Miller "Mighty Mite" Huggins once said, "A good catcher is the quarterback, the carburetor, the lead dog, the pulse taker, the traffic cop and sometimes a lot of unprintable things, but no team gets very far without one."
Schlarman catcher Michael Kasper knows just what Huggins was talking about.
Random thoughts on the local soccer scene ...
– It is, in many ways, a testament to the historical strength of girls' soccer in Champaign-Urbana that the current teams are having trouble living up to the standard set by their predecessors.
ST. JOSEPH – Inclement weather forced Friday's Spartan Classic to be postponed, but Tyler Carter still managed to strut his stuff.
The Tuscola star won the long jump and triple jump before the boys' track and field meet was called. Paxton-Buckley-Loda's Nick Brehm won the 3,200 meters, Urbana University High won the 3,200 relay and St. Joseph-Ogden claimed the varsity 400 relay.
MAHOMET – Mark Jones had reason to be worried after last spring's high school softball season ended.
His 19-win Mahomet-Seymour squad was graduating eight seniors. Just one returning player, Sarah Frerichs, batted above .250 in 2007.
MAHOMET – Under Tom Shallenberger, Mahomet- Seymour football remained a playoff fixture.
That's one reason why athletic director Matt Hensley won't lack for candidates to replace Shallenberger, who next school year will become principal at Fisher junior and senior high school.
FISHER – Home runs provide a dramatic moment in softball. No-hitters emphasize how dominant one individual was during the course of the game.
For high schoolers, homers and no-hitters aren't everyday occurrences.