URBANA — Shig Yasunaga, Heidi Harnisch, Jackie Williams, Ella Masar and Melissa Welch will be inducted in the Urbana Hall of Fame during Friday's football game against Decatur Eisenhower.
Masar is perhaps the most well-known, having a stellar prep, college and pro career in soccer. She was the 2004 News-Gazette Area Player of the Year, finishing her career as the Tigers' career goal-scoring leader with 93. Yasunaga, a 1989 graduate, holds the Tigers' 103-pound weight- class record in wins and placed fourth in the 1989 state tournament. Harnisch (Class of 2001) was a two-time team MVP in volleyball and a News-Gazette All-Area selection in basketball, in which she competed collegiately at Illinois Wesleyan. Williams (2004) was a three-sport standout who particularly excelled in softball, recognized by the Chicago Tribune during her senior season as one of the top 100 high school players in the country. She is now a volleyball assistant coach at her alma mater. Welch, the honorary coach inductee, guided the girls' tennis team for 15 years, earning more than 100 wins. Her 2007 team went undefeated, and the Tigers won a pair of sectional crowns under her instruction.
Danville Big 12 host
DANVILLE — Saturday's Big 12 Conference cross-country meets will be at Kennekuk County Park. The girls' 3-mile race will begin at 9 a.m. near the red Laury Barn. The boys will run at about 9:45.
"The course is flat and fast and should produce some fast times," Danville coach Todd Orvis said.
The top boys' teams are projected as defending champion Normal West, along with Bloomington and Centennial. Danville, which had beaten every Big 12 school except Bloomington in smaller meets this year, will be short-handed due to an eligibility issue, but Orvis is hoping for a top-five team placing.
Johnny Leverenz and Caleb Hummer will be the Vikings' leaders. Centennial's Blas Garcia-Canga will be another top area runner, as will teammate Aaron Miller. Central will be led by Alex Goodlad.
In the girls' race, Urbana's Nicole Choquette and Danville's Kim Carter could be among the individual leaders, as well as Centennial's Audrey White and Central's Hannah Wright. Normal West and Mattoon are expected to battle for team honors.
Running to success
SULLIVAN — Seniors Cameron Harvey, Micah Plank and Bill Brown capped an unbeaten cross-country career for Sullivan/Okaw Valley on its home course last week, leading the Redskins past Shelbyville 28-30 during a triangular in which Tuscola (67) placed third.
Shelbyville had finished ahead of the Redskins in an invitational, and Sullivan coach Ted Walk said his runners knew the competition would be tough.
"The boys were ready for a good run," Walk said. "When they came through the first mile, there was a pack of eight runners coming through under five and a half minutes. It was those three seniors along with five Shelbyville guys. The boys said it felt like an invite for the first mile and a half because there were eight runners within a few feet of each other jostling for position."
Harvey wound up winning the 3-mile race (16:07), followed by Brown (17:03). Plank was fifth. The other team leaders are junior Cody Carman and senior Walker Herzog, a second-year cross-country runner.
The meet was the 12th in a row the school has won, dating back to late in the 2009 season. In that span, Sullivan is 31-0 in duals, triangulars and quadrangulars.
Unity QB a multiple threat
TOLONO — Unity senior Taylor Black is the first area football player to eclipse the 750-yard mark in rushing and passing this season. He has gained a team-high 780 yards rushing (averaging 13.7 yards per carry) and also has thrown for 767 yards (averaging 21.7 yards per completion) for the state-ranked Rockets.
Another area athlete who has distinguished himself in multiple ways is Danville sophomore Trent Sherfield. He is the first this year to have rushed for a touchdown, thrown a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for a TD.
State honor for AOC setter
ARTHUR — Meghan Lowry, a senior for Arthur Okaw Christian, was selected as the MaxPreps/AVCA High School Player of the Week for Illinois. The 5-foot-11 middle hitter had 81 kills, 18 digs, 13 blocks and one assist in three matches during a week that ended Oct. 2.
Tony Bleill and Fred Kroner