BLOOMINGTON — Four area athletes were chosen for academic all-state recognition by the IHSA.
Picked for the 26-member first team (which consists of 13 boys and 13 girls) is Monticello's SCOTT HUISINGA. He was one of more than 450 students nominated statewide by their schools.
To be considered, students needed to be seniors with a minimum grade-point average of 3.50 and they must have participated in at least two sports or activities each of the past two years and also exhibited exemplary citizenship.
The first-team picks will be honored at a banquet April 16 in Bloomington.
Receiving honorable mention accolades were ZEKE ELKINS, from St. Joseph-Ogden, LAUREN HOUMES, from Hoopeston Area, and SCOTT WOODARD, from Unity. The honorable mention list was restricted to 50 student-athletes.
Huisinga was a special mention All-Area choice last fall in football as a wide receiver. Elkins, Houmes and Woodard were all cross-country runners who qualified for state.
Schlarman fills grid staff
DANVILLE — In addition to hiring RANDY SKAGGS as the football head coach, Schlarman completed its 12-member football staff. JOSH EDINGTON will serve as defensive coordinator and CATLIN CROZIER as offensive coordinator.
Other defensive assistants for the Hilltoppers include PAT BOGEN, DEMETRIC HIGHTOWER and COLBY RENNICK. Other offensive aides include JUSTIN LEVINGTON, TYLER OVERSTREET and JAY SANDIFER. Overstreet coached cross-country last year at the school, and Sandifer is a former Hoopeston Area head coach.
BRANDON ZAAYER will be the strength coach. TROY HOGREN, an assistant in wrestling, is in charge of conditioning, and LOGAN FOSTER will handle video. Bogen will be the special teams coach.
During his tenure at Schlarman, Skaggs has coached baseball, basketball, cross-country, football and softball.
Simmons' surgery set
CHAMPAIGN — Junior Stacia Simmons, the scoring leader on Centennial's 10th-ranked Class 3A girls' basketball team, will undergo surgery April 3 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She hopes to finish rehabilitation in time to start practicing with the Chargers in November.
Earlier this week, she was the lone area athlete chosen for recognition on The Associated Press' Class 3A all-state team. She was an honorable mention choice, as was Danville's J'LYNN AYERS in Class 4A.
Knights win state title
DANVILLE — Led by all-tournament pick JESSICA GREER, Danville First Baptist (11-5) won the Illinois Christian Schools Association Division II girls' basketball state title last weekend in Schaumburg.
The Knights topped LaSalle-Peru 24-22 in the semifinals and then handed Berean Baptist, from Rockford, a 31-25 loss in the title game. First Baptist also won the team sportsmanship award.
First Baptist boys second
DANVILLE — The First Baptist boys' basketball team (9-15) lost to Oak Lawn's South Side Baptist last weekend in the title game of the Division II Illinois Christian Schools Association state tournament.
In the semifinals at Schaumburg, First Baptist topped Urbana Calvary 49-42.
The Knights were awarded the team sportsmanship trophy, and the school had two all-tournament selections: MARK FROMAN and ZANE BUMPUS.
Dalbey gets to the finals
DANVILLE — For the second time in three years, Danville referee PAUL DALBEY was selected by the IHSA as one of the three officials to work the girls' Class 1A state championship game. He first reached the finals in 2010, when Hinckley Big Rock defeated Jacksonville Routt 38-32. He returned for Saturday's title game in which Freeport Aquin rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to beat Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City 61-51.
Official Billman hits wrestling trifecta
ST. JOSEPH — Area official BILL BILLMAN was assigned to his first IHSA state tournament event last weekend when he worked the team-dual finals at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. As an athlete at Unity, Billman made the finals individually in 1980 as a 119-pounder, placing second. He returned as the head coach at his alma mater and directed the 21-5 Rockets to a runner-up finish in the Class 1A portion of the team-dual series in 1989, the only year the school has placed among the top four in the team-dual series. Billman worked this year's third-place match in Class 3A, which found Glenbard North beating Barrington 34-21.
Warriors make picks
TUSCOLA — Softball teammates SAM LEDBETTER, a third baseman, and LEXI ROGERS, a first baseman, will go separate ways after their senior seasons. Ledbetter, the area's top hitter as a junior with a .600 average (45 for 75) signed with Olney Community College. She was second in the area with 51 stolen bases and clubbed a team-high six home runs. Her 48 RBI ranked fifth in the area.
Rogers will continue her playing career at Millikin University. She batted .363 last year (29 for 80) and drove in 23 runs. Rogers hit one home run.
PBL mates sign with DACC
PAXTON — LIZ SATTERLEE and J.J. VALENTINE, from Paxton-Buckley-Loda, signed letters of intent Monday to continue their softball careers at Danville Area Community College.
Valentine led the Panthers in batting with a .514 average (54 for 105) as a junior and was sixth in the area with 40 stolen bases. Satterlee was the team's pitching ace, striking out 149 batters in 161 1/3 innings. She won 14 games and had a 3.58 ERA.