Top of the Morning, May 25, 2018

Top of the Morning, May 25, 2018

No doubt RANDY BLACKMAN had an impact on Urbana athletics. A huge impact.

This weekend, the retiring soccer coach will be celebrated with a string of local events.

It starts at 6 p.m. today with a happy hour at Bunny's Tavern.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Urbana alumni soccer games will be held at the aptly named Blackman Field. A retirement celebration will follow at Urbana's Hudson Farms, with an open house from 5 to 7 p.m., a program at 7, and dinner and drinks continuing afterward.

Event organizers want to highlight Blackman's work while also raising money to establish a Parkland College scholarship in his name. The scholarship will go to Urbana High School students.

Chicago native Blackman and his wife, ANN, have been educators for more than 30 years.

Blackman was a standout wrestler at Eastern Illinois University before beginning his coaching career.

He started the successful Urbana boys' soccer program in 1986. He founded the girls' team in 1994. CRAIG HUFF, Blackman's longtime assistant, is also being honored.

They combined to lead the Urbana boys' soccer team to 11 conference titles and 12 regional titles.

In recognition of his work, the city of Urbana is designating Sunday as Randy Blackman Day.

On to my weekend recommendations:


"Quantico," 7 p.m., ABC

The spy series was great at the start, then lost its way. The network has cancelled the show and will air its final episodes on Friday nights.


"The Martian," 4 p.m., FX

Ask me for a list of the five best Matt Damon movies, and this makes the cut along with "Good Will Hunting," "Rounders," "Ocean's 11" and "The Bourne Identity." Here, Damon is an astronaut stranded on the faraway planet who figures out a way to survive until help arrives. It could happen.


"1968: The Year That Changed America," 8 p.m., CNN

The four-part special continues Monday night. Expect to see plenty about the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the contentious presidential election and the continuation of the war in Vietnam.