Ask N-G prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner about the winter sports
Welcome back to another week ofprep-related questions. Here we go!
Fred,when are you going to do an article on Bob Smith being inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame?
Hi Tom. Great question. It gives me a chance to let everyone know what I am working on. Space permitting, the story will be in this Sunday's News-Gazette (Feb. 12). The induction happens on April 28, in Normal, and I think it's great that Bob is getting recognized for his three decades of work with Urbana. We had a photographer at last Friday's game and I've spoken to Bob. Now, it's just a matter of time to write the story ... and then hope there is space available for it this weekend.
Fred,who do you think will advance to the State Finals in Wrestling from the area?
Hi Tom. It's moments like these that I wish I had a crystal ball. Logically, you would go with the individuals who've had the most success throughout the season. That would certainly include Cameron Mammen, from Urbana, and Austin Armetta, from Mahomet-Seymour in Class 2A. Centennial's Deonte Adams and Archie Williams Jr., in the upper weights, ought to have a great chance as should Austen Schott, at 113 pounds. Central has a nice nucleus of senior veterans that includes Julian Anastasia and Nate Volk. It all comes down to this weekend, however, and not what they've done over a period of time. A bad day could ruin things for any of these athletes and, conversely, a great day could put several others in position to secure a top four finish in their weight class and move on to state. Joey Schott, from Centennial, and Jack Rossi, from Central are others who certainly have the potential to advance, as does Tyler Middleton, from Mahomet-Seymour. In Class 1A, I expect to see a significant number of area athletes advance from the Macomb Sectional. We could see more than half of LeRoy's team make it, maybe as many as nine. It will be another fun weekend.
Fred,give your predictions on who will advance out of the Regionals in Boys and Girls Basketball from the area.
Hi Tom. You're asking the tough questions today. In the local girls' 3A regional, which will be hosted by Central, I'm still going with Centennial as the team to beat though (obviously) Central will be a factor based on its recent win at Combes Gym over the Chargers. So much could come down to momentum. If one team gets hot early and buids a huge lead (like Centennial did against Central in the first meeting), a comeback will be very difficult. On the other hand, if the teams keep it close, anything could truly happen in the final minutes. In Central's most recent victory, one of the key shots was by Olivia Sheehan, who is not normally thought of as one of the Maroons' top scoring options. In boys, the local 3A regional will be at Rantoul. I'm, anxious to see how the seeds come out when the IHSA releases them on Thursday. Rantoul has the best record and I would expect the No. 1 seed to be between the Eagles and central, but look at how well Mahomet-Seymour and Urbana have been -playing lately. M-S has won its last five games (including a win over Centennial, which has beaten Central) since its OT loss to Rantoul. Urbana is one of those dangerous teams that no one is going to want to play in the postseason because in a one-and-done scenario, there's not a team in the field the Tigers couldn't beat on a good day. Urbana has won two in a row and has a favorable schedule in its final four games with the toughest opponent yet to play likely to be Central on Feb. 17 at Urbana. The Rantoul Regional is truly wide open and that opinion won't change however the seeds come out. A 3 or a 4 seed could pull through and win it.
Fred,I went to check your video from yesterday and when i clicked on your smiling face Jeff Huth came up talking about Gymnastics what happened?
That impersonater! We will look into that!! (I hope he made me sound good!!) Thanks for pointing that out.
That's a wrap for this week. We'll be back next week for more questions. Thanks to all.