EAST PEORIA – Count the Mahomet-Seymour girls' cross-country team as fans of an expanded IHSA postseason.
After years of butting heads with far bigger schools in a two-class system, the Bulldogs finally are going head-to-head with rivals in their enrollment range.
RIVERTON – It was all about the line Saturday afternoon for Unity.
The Rockets got production from their line on both sides of the ball as they defeated Riverton 43-6 in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.
CHAMPAIGN – When Champaign Central visits Metamora at 1 p.m. today in a Class 5A first-round playoff game, the Maroons will get a closeup look at a program they'd love to emulate.
Metamora, 9-0 and the state's top-ranked 5A team, has been to the playoffs 14 straight years. Between 1996 and 2000, the Redbirds finished second four times.
NORMAL – You had to be there to fully understand what was going on. The box score doesn't do this game justice.
There was the pregame captains meeting. Normal Community sent four hulking football players to midfield. Danville sent its 125-pound senior place-kicker, Janelle Hensold.
Each Saturday, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner will review Friday night's action:
WESTVILLE – The Westville Tigers' high-powered offense garners the bulk of the credit when it comes to their success, and rightfully so with the state's all-time leading rusher paving the way. But their defense isn't bad, either.
Friday night, the Tigers' defense was relentless against Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, recording nine sacks – four from senior linebacker Jordan Barney – and holding the Falcons to 88 yards of offense in a 35-8 victory in the opening round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
ST. JOSEPH – St. Joseph-Ogden has every right to think it can just show up at 1 p.m. today and walk all over Rockford Christian Life.
The Spartans have been the top-ranked team in Class 3A all season and cruised to a 9-0 record.
MAHOMET – The Mahomet-Seymour foot-ball team has been dealing with adversity all season.
There was the three-game stretch in the middle of the season that saw the Bulldogs facing undefeated Corn Belt rivals. Then the injuries started to pile up, taking a toll on the M-S defense. Then came the unexpected loss to Normal University High last week.
CHAMPAIGN – St. Thomas More won a school-record seven games and hosted its first playoff game in school history. The Sabers put their program in position to take the next step, and all they needed to do Friday night was look across the field at the Wilmington players and coaches celebrating their 34-6 victory to know what that next step looks like.
"I told our juniors and sophomores and even the freshmen, 'This is what you take from this. This is what it takes,' " St. Thomas More coach Dan Hennessey said. " 'You look over there, you see what that football team did to you and that's what you have to take out of it.' "
PAXTON – The St. Thomas More volleyball team started the season 1-4. But the Sabers quickly rallied together, eventually winning the Sangamon Valley Conference tournament title.
St. Thomas More eyed a regional title to add to its collection Thursday, but it wasn't meant to be.