You didn’t miss much in the last three months, other than a wagonload of bad news.
Another chancellor has stepped down, three Illini athletic teams are under siege from departed squad members, Jihad Ward and several other top football players are under medical care, and the basketball team will be without Tracy Abrams and Darius Paul.
CHAMPAIGN — Jannelle Flaws’ ascension to the top spot among the most-prolific goal scorers in Illinois history is more when rather than if.
Two missed seasons recovering from torn ACLs put some doubt into Flaws’ Illini career, but she more than made up for the missed time with 40 goals in the past two seasons — the most by any NCAA Division I player in that time frame.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois’ 2010 recruiting class is long gone. For the most part.
Vanessa DiBernardo is playing professionally with the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League. Lauren Parkin is a medical legal assistant in St. Louis and is five months into a second job as a national team coordinator for U.S. Soccer.
From 1927 through 1973, the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium had two public address voices. Paul and Howard “Tiz” Bresee, the sons of Mattoon’s Byrd and Bertha Bresee, reported the runs of Buddy Young, J.C. Caroline and Jim Grabowski, the passes of Perry Moss, Tommy O’Connell and Mike Wells, the tackles of Dick Butkus and the interceptions of Al Brosky.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois soccer coach Janet Rayfield rounded out her coaching staff Friday with the announcement that former Missouri State standout Allie Osmundson would join the Illini as a volunteer assistant this fall.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois redshirt senior outside hitter Jocelynn Birks was one of four unanimous Preseason All-Big Ten selections announced by the conference on Thursday.
Birks, who was named to the preseason team for a third consecutive season, finished the 2014 season as a unanimous All-Big Ten selection and an AVCA second-team All-American after totaling a Big Ten-leading 527 kills.
Illinois’ season opener is nearly a week away, but before taking on Oakland at home next Friday, Katherine Ratz and the Illini have a pair of exhibition matches this week. Beat writer SCOTT RICHEY details what you need to know about Janet Rayfield’s 14th squad: