All Prep Sports Content

All Prep Sports Content

Optimism high for local teams as season gets into full swing

The three local Big 12 Conference baseball teams are in three distinct stages of development.

Centennial returns nearly its entire roster from last season's 13-17 team. Urbana has a few key holdovers in Julian Butler, Markus White and Josh Hall to go with some promising sophomores. And Champaign Central is retooling after losing 11 varsity players.

Weekly highlights

News-Gazette prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner's recap of prep highlights from the recently completed week:

1. Champaign Central boys' basketball. The senior-led Maroons won two of three games and secured a third-place finish in the inaugural Class 3A state tournament.

Fred Kroner's random thoughts

Fred Kroner's random thoughts


Past, present enjoy run

PEORIA – They represent three generations of Champaign high school students. They are individuals whose teenage years are known historically for wars and conflicts.

Ted Beach was raised during World War II. Clyde Turner finished his high school career while the Vietnam conflict was on the minds of youngsters. The turbulence during Verdell Jones' time at the school has centered around the Iraq War.

Maroons take third place in state

PEORIA – Less than 19 hours earlier, their dreams of being state champions had been dashed.

What was left for the Champaign Central Maroons in a late-morning tipoff at Carver Arena was the prospect of a Class 3A third-place trophy.

Loss leaves Maroons feeling a bit blue

PEORIA – Students, parents, teachers and graduates of Central High School filled their corner of Peoria's Carver Arena with maroon Friday afternoon – and with the excitement of seeing their team in the state basketball tournament for the first time in 39 years.

"This is pretty monumental," said junior Sara Salmon. "The fact that it's happening while I'm here (at Central) is lucky for me."

Champaign loses lead, game

PEORIA -- Champaign Central can still win its final game of the boys' basketball season.

The Maroons will have that opportunity Saturday but not in the game they wanted. Central was thrust into the third-place contest of the IHSA Class

3A state tournament by a Chicago Simeon team chasing a third straight state championship.

Lehmann's terms

Senior voices his desire to be sports broadcaster

CHAMPAIGN – Some of us recognize Chris Lehmann in different ways than others.

He's the Champaign Central senior basketball player who is known for wearing a white head- band, as well as adding inside muscle during the tournament series as the Maroons secured a long-sought state tournament berth.

Jones wants to repeat feat

His 80-foot heave lifted Franklin to eighth-grade title

CHAMPAIGN – Verdell Jones already has one state title on his basketball resume.

Destined for greatness

Gurnee Warren's Boothe the latest in a long line of standout family athletes.

GURNEE -- If you believe in the power of the genes, then you had to think Sarah Boothe would make a name for herself in athletics.