Prep pulse: Johnson carves out niche in coaching at Lake Land

David Johnson recognized at a young age he couldn't play basketball forever.

Though it was "by far my passion," he had no visions of grandeur.

So it was back in seventh grade when Johnson, who went on to graduate from Rossville-Alvin High School in 1984 after competing in basketball, football, baseball and track, decided coaching might be his walk of life.

Top of the Morning, Dec. 26, 2017

Continuing our look back at the most-viewed things on our website by pageviews in 2017 (last week's installme

Prep pulse: Centennial's Hall of Fame

Each Monday ahead of a new week of high school sports, preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS checks in with the latest from the local scene:

Top of the Morning, Dec. 16, 2017

On Saturdays, we'll introduce additions to the growing newsroom at News-Gazette Media. Today: Prep sports coordinator Colin Likas.

COLIN LIKAS spent three years helping design and edit our nationally recognized sports section. But his goal out of Butler University was to write, calling it "a passion of mine."

Champaign school board OKs plans for Spalding Park renovations

CHAMPAIGN — Unit 4 is on its way to getting new baseball fields and tennis courts at Spalding Park.

On Monday night, the Champaign school board unanimously approved schematic designs for practice and competition fields, to be used by the Central High and Franklin Middle School teams, as well as additional tennis courts and a support building.

11 local schools to leave LOVC; new conference anticipated

After a week’s worth of speculation, as well as submissions of withdrawal from two local schools, 13 other institutions have opted to leave the Little Okaw Valley Conference after the 2018-19 academic year.

Villa Grove, Heritage plan to leave LOVC; more departures expected

In its fourth academic year, the two-division Little Okaw Valley Conference is facing major change. At least two schools in the 18-institution league have filed for withdrawal, and more notifications could be on the way.

UPDATED: Six local athletes sign with Division I programs

A quintet of local senior athletes signed Division I national letters of intent Wednesday to compete at the college level in their respective sports.

Memorable run comes to an end

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Danville Post 210 American Legion baseball team kept checking off boxes this postseason.

The Speakers tallied the most wins in a season. They won their district tournament. Then, they made it back to the Great Lakes Regional tournament for the second straight year after a second-place finish at the state tournament.

Post 210 fall in title game

RANTOUL — Danville Post 210 manager Allan Shepherd said there was one thing on he and his players' minds Saturday following an 8-1 loss to Edwardsville in the American Legion baseball state championship game: rest.

Post 210 was unable to capture a second consecutive state title, but it secured a return trip to the Great Lakes Regional with its runner-up finish.