OAKLAND — After Charlie Carver’s last year as Tri-County boys’ basketball coach (2008-09), he and his family relocated to Florida, where he coached for a year near Lake Wales. He found, “we were back and forth a lot,” so he returned to Illinois and landed at West Central (in Biggsville) for the past two seasons.
“They’d won one game the year before, and we won six and 14,” Carver said.
When the Shiloh job opened up this year, it was especially appealing.
“During this whole time period, we still owned the house in Oakland, so we came back, fixed it up and we’re living where we left four years ago,” he said.
Meanwhile, a youthful Shiloh team that won seven games last season ended 22-9 this year and was ranked 11th in the final Class 1A state poll. Based on number of wins, Shiloh was the area’s most improved boys’ basketball program this year.
Rantoul AD search ongoing
Rantoul didn’t have to go and seek out interest for its vacant athletic director position.
The school had 58 applicants once the job was posted after the mid-December resignation of Joe Bendoraitis, Rantoul Superintendent Scott Amerio said.
Amerio said the number has whittled to 12, and he’s optimistic he will have a name for the school board to consider hiring at a March 25 board of education meeting.
Allen Jones Sr. is serving as the school’s interim athletic director for the second straight year. Bendoraitis resigned after five months on the job, and whomever is hired will become the third full-time AD the school will have since Sally Bryan retired in mid-December 2011 after nearly a decade on the job. The new AD also will hold the role of dean of students after the school board approved that move in January.
“That’s one of the main characteristics we’re looking for is someone who can provide that stability and consistency,” Amerio said. “You need strong leadership and consistency to build a program, and that’s what we’re looking for. That’s definitely a strong consideration.”
Bendoraitis held the dual role of AD and head football coach. Amerio said a new football coach also could be hired at the late-March board meeting but left open the possibility of the hiring coming at a later date.
“It will depend,” Amerio said. “Part of what we’ll do once we get someone hired as AD/dean of students is we’ll look at some of those teaching positions that we have open and go from there.”
All-league honor for ex-Panther
BLOOMINGTON — Sophomore Dylan Overstreet, from Paxton-Buckley-Loda, was a first-team selection for Illinois Wesleyan on the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin all-league team. In 26 games, Overstreet averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Overstreet has started every game for a 21-5 team and is playing an average of 31.8 minutes per game. Entering the Division III postseason, he has hit 73.3 percent of his free throws.
Ex-Eagle earns league honor
CHARLESTON — Junior Hanna Mennenga, from Rantoul, was chosen as the Pitcher of the Week in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Eastern Illinois right-hander had a 2-1 record and struck out 24 batters in 142/3 innings at last week’s Louisville Cardinal Classic. She walked three and allowed three earned runs while holding opposing hitters to a .157 batting average.
Mennenga struck out a career-high 14 batters in a 4-1 win against Buffalo, a game where she had a no-hitter until yielding a solo home run to the next-to-last Buffalo batter. For the tournament, 68 percent of her pitches were strikes.
Bunch Big Ten runner-up
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Redshirt junior Dani Bunch, from Mahomet-Seymour, was the runner-up in two events at last weekend’s Big Ten indoor track and field meet. The Purdue standout finished second in the shot put (54 feet, 31/4 inches) and also in the weight throw (70-103/4).
Her effort in the weight throw was 0.25 off the Boilermakers’ school record and ranks fifth nationally this season.
Ex-Central star helps WIU
MACOMB — Monica Rondon, a former All-Area Softball Player of the Year from Champaign Central, hit home runs in Western Illinois’ first two games of the season. Her blast against Central Arkansas was a grand slam.
Rondon has started every game for WIU’s 2-5 team and leads in home runs and is second in RBI (seven). She is hitting .217 with five hits in 23 at-bats. She has a 1.000 fielding average.
Hedrington contributing at John Wood
QUINCY — Freshman Cheyenne Hedrington, from Champaign Central, is second on John Wood’s 16-12 team in scoring with a 7.2 per-game average. The team leader is at 8.0. Hedrington has played in 20 games and started nine.
She is shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 70.6 percent from the free throw line. Hedrington is averaging 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
Ex-Bulldog wins MVC title
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Freshman Derek Bunch, from Mahomet-Seymour, was the shot put winner for meet champion Indiana State in last weekend’s Missouri Valley Conference meet. His winning toss was 59-61/4, the second-best throw in school history.
Ex-Tuscola coach resigns
SHELBYVILLE — Stan Wienke, who guided Tuscola to the Class 1A football championship game back-to-back in 2006 and 2007, has retired after two years as the Shelbyville coach. His Shelbyville teams were 7-11. Last year’s 5-4 season was the school’s best since fall 2005.
Matt Daniels and Fred Kroner