It is the ultimate paradox.
There are fewer opportunities for wrestlers to earn scholarships at Division I colleges than there were 10 years ago, yet there is an increase in participation in the sport at the high school and youth levels.
Top-ranked and ranked area wrestlers, courtesy The Illinois Best Weekly
MAHOMET – For some wrestlers, the exit ramp at the IHSA state tournament can be a particularly cruel road to travel.
Just ask Andrew Brewer.
CHAMPAIGN – There might not be a hotter girls' basketball team than Danville's Vikings and there might not be a hotter player than the Vikings' Janelle Hensold.
After winning three consecutive games in three days last week, Danville upended Centennial 64-52 in a Class 3A regional semifinal game Tuesday on the Chargers' court.
CHAMPAIGN – With a loss in their final regular season game, Urbana's Tigers entered postseason play looking to rebound.
They did so, literally.
CHAMPAIGN – Bloomington was in a zone, but not for long.
Not with Champaign Central's shooters zoned in from the perimeter.
TUSCOLA – When Tuscola forward Kelsi Hoey picked up her fourth foul at the 6:59 mark of the fourth quarter Tuesday, Warriors coach Tim Kohlbecker had a decision to make.
He could leave in his star and gamble she wouldn't foul out, or he could go to his bench and hope the Warriors could hold on.
TOLONO – With junior and leading scorer Zebo Zebe on the bench to start the game because of Senior Night, Unity never really got going in the first half against Tuscola, trailing 15-13 at halftime.
PAXTON – Bismarck-Henning junior Hannah Ohl has come a long way in the past year.
"Hannah has improved more in one year than any girl I have ever coached," veteran coach Mike Stephens said after Saturday's 55-45 Class 2A Paxton Regional championship win against St. Joseph-Ogden. "She's averaging 17 points this year despite handling the offense after averaging 10 last season."
WARRENSBURG – Last season, Rachael Brewer probably wouldn't have been Tuscola coach Tim Kohlbecker's first choice to take a clutch shot.
What a difference a year makes.