ST. JOSEPH — Aaron Woller planted extra-base hits in area outfields last summer for the Rantoul Senior Legion baseball team.
He lifted weights in preparation for his senior football season at St. Joseph-Ogden.
And he played basketball. Lots of basketball.
SPRINGFIELD — They’ve won state championships in softball.
Boys’ cross-country. Girls’ cross-country.
Boys’ track. Girls’ track.
Played in state championship games in football.
Now it’s the St. Joseph-Ogden boys’ basketball team’s turn.
MOUNT ZION — Phillip Wright didn’t start off as a Player of the Game candidate, but the Centennial senior finished in that manner.
The 6-foot-3 Wright led all players with 21 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks on Wednesday as the Chargers secured a berth in the Class 3A Sweet 16 with a 57-51 triumph in the Mount Zion Sectional opener against Taylorville.
NORMAL — Cissna Park players realized their dream of playing for a Class 1A super-sectional title at Redbird Arena.
With a little more luck, the Timberwolves might have played in Peoria, too.
Cole Hasselbring had a team-high 12 points and eight rebounds, but Cissna Park lost 50-39 to top-ranked Illini Central on Wednesday night.
ST. JOSEPH — The announcement came through the speakers at St. Joseph-Ogden High School just past noon Tuesday.
The Spartans boys’ basketball team would not make the trip to Springfield.
Neither would the three fan buses the school has arranged to make the 90-minute drive for the Class 2A super-sectional game between SJ-O and Riverton at the University of Illinois-Springfield.
This week: Girls’ basketball
SCHOOL (previous) W-L
1. Centennial (1) 30-4
2. St. Thomas More (2) 32-3
3. Clinton (3) 25-6
4. Watseka (4) 26-7
5. Iroquois West (5) 22-10
6. Danville (6) 17-11
Prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner studied the all-time Area Track Honor Rolls for boys and girls and picked five athletes — or groups — who could challenge all-time marks during the upcoming outdoor season
Nate Michael, St. Joseph-Ogden, junior, Basketball
Recently: Scored 29 points in two games as the Spartans won their first sectional title since 2007.
In his words: “It’s been really, really fun. I couldn’t have asked to do it with a better group of guys. We’re like a family out there.”
ST. THOMAS MORE BOYS’ TRACK AND FIELD
PEORIA — Three officials from the Champaign-based Illinois Basketball Officials Association were selected by the IHSA to work tournament games this weekend in the 1A and 2A state finals at the Peoria Civic Center.