CHAMPAIGN – Ever since Brandon Smith, a Champaign Central senior, started wrestling, his parents have been his biggest fans.
They have been at every meet he has wrestled since seventh grade, and stood proudly beside him when he was honored during the Maroons' last regular season home meet.
BISMARCK – A day of marquee wrestling matches found Rayse Clendenen and Jamie Ping as the headliners.
Clendenen, a junior at Oakwood, and Ping, a senior at Unity, were the only athletes at Bismarck-Henning's Class A regional to upend No. 1-seeded opponents in the finals.
CHAMPAIGN – The free throw line can be a place where palms get clammy and knees wobble.
Not so for St. Joseph-Ogden.
CHAMPAIGN – You've read this one before. The Big 12 Conference champion in the 200-yard freestyle is a guy named McGill.
Before he graduated in 2006, Tyler McGill ruled that particular league race, winning all three times he entered the event.
CHAMPAIGN – Even in the immediate afterglow of an exhilarating win, James Kinney couldn't help but look ahead.
All the way to next season.
CHAMPAIGN – No one had to remind Jeff Johnson what happened the last time he went up against Keith Biggers and the Champaign Central Maroons.
In fact, had Johnson awakened in a cold sweat in the middle of the night more than once since the Jan. 11 meeting, no one could blame him.
URBANA – In the first 31 years of girls' basketball at Urbana High School, the Tigers never have been able to call themselves Big 12 Conference champions.
You would figure after clinching at least a share of the regular season conference title by defeating Mattoon 41-34 on Thursday that the Tigers would revel in their victory.
DANVILLE – Though high school basketball might not have the reputation as being a high-scoring affair, there is a player at Danville First Baptist who has plenty of experience putting points on the board.
Senior Matt Wells, who averages more than 22 points per game, eclipsed the 1,500-point career mark Tuesday night.
RANTOUL – When Chris Wagner speaks of the remarkable growth of Rantoul senior Tyler Patterson, feel free to take the Eagles basketball coach's words literally or figuratively.
CHAMPAIGN – When the Battle of Champaign last was waged Jan. 11, Centennial and Champaign Central played to a sellout crowd.
If that ever before happened at Centennial's 2,300-seat gym – the largest high school basketball venue in Champaign-Urbana – it was before Central athletic director John Woods started regularly attending Maroons-Chargers boys' games.