Staff writer Jeff Huth says ... Rantoul
You could see this coming. Although the Eagles finished last season with a 13-17 record, Brett Frerich's guys were a force to be reckoned with over the final month, winning seven of their final 10 games. That stretch-run surge included a deep run in the Class 2A tournament — all the way to the sectional championship game. With three of its top five scorers returning, Rantoul figured to build on that success. The Eagles have, entering the week with a 13-3 record and close on the heels of Corn Belt leader Normal University High with a 5-1 conference record. Guard Travis Britt, a Division I-worthy college talent, leads a veteran, battle-tested group with elevated expectations. For the five returning Eagles seniors, it's now or never, and their performance is reflecting that urgency. The emergence of talented sophomore guard Johnny Jones is a key development, too. With Rantoul's return this season to Class 3A, its postseason path certainly will be more challenging. But regardless of how the tournament plays out for the Eagles, this group already has distinguished itself by taking a giant step forward. And when this season is history, it will have made some history of its own with the program's first winning record since 2000-01.