Prep pulse: June 10, 2019

Prep pulse: June 10, 2019

Former local high school sports stars don't always leave our sight after graduation.

I've been informed of two recent All-America honors bestowed upon ex-area standouts.

First there was former Champaign Central high jumper Nicholas Jackson, the 2017 Class 2A state champion in that event.

Jackson is now a sophomore leaping for Division III Adrian College in Michigan. Courtesy a showing of 6 feet, 9 inches in the D-III outdoor track and field championships, he received All-America status.

His jump was good for fifth place and also tied Jackson's season high. He additionally was an indoor championships All-American already, so it's clear Jackson has continued to excel beyond his time as a Maroon.

The second honor brought up to me went to Frankie Izard, an ex-St. Joseph-Ogden softballer.

Izard now is plying her trade at Lake Land College in Mattoon, and doing so quite well. As a freshman, she was given NJCAA Division I All-America status.

Izard finished her inaugural campaign with the Lakers as the Region 24 Player of the Year after leading not only the squad but also all of NJCAA D-I in hits (131).

Izard also contributed a .512 batting average with 22 doubles and a .545 on-base percentage, playing a significant role in Lake Land's 50-19 run that included a Region 24 tournament title.

If you know of other ex-area prep stars who are achieving this sort of success in college, feel free to let me know at clikas@news-gazette.media, and I'll do my best to get those accomplishments in print.

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One other item I wanted to use this space for today regards our annual prep football special section.

In last year's section, we asked alumni from local teams to tell us what made playing football so special in their high school days. That went over very well, both in execution and with our readers.

We're trying something a little different this time around: highlighting women in football.

I've already reached out to area athletic directors and football coaches about this, and have gotten some great response.

We're looking for a woman to represent each local football program and talk about why they enjoy being involved with the sport and what it means to them. This can be a player/former player, coach/staff member, public address announcer, ticket taker, chain-crew member, booster club leader, scoreboard operator — really, anything at all.

If you have a suggestion for such a person to represent your school, hit me up at clikas@news-gazette.media.

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