Prep Year In Review 2010-11
TEAMS OF THE YEAR
1. St. Thomas More girls' golf. Six-person state-meet lineup featured five upcoming seniors.
2. Mahomet-Seymour boys' golf. Senior-laden lineup included only one underclassman, junior Garrett Cox.
3. Schlarman softball. Two freshmen started for Class 1A state runner-up team.
4. Tuscola football. Josh Brookins, Philip Meyer and T.J. Onstott form nice returning nucleus for Class 1A state runner-up team.
5. LeRoy wrestling. Ten underclassmen were 20-match winners for Class 1A's third-place team.
6. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley girls' track and field. Top competitor in 13 of 14 individual events was an underclassman.
7. St. Joseph-Ogden girls' cross-country. Five of top seven runners on state's third-place Class 1A team were underclassmen.
8. Centennial girls' basketball. The talented and deep Class of 2013 members have helped Chargers to 51 varsity wins and Class 3A state rankings during the past two seasons.
9. Rantoul baseball. An 18-win season doubles the victory total for the previous two years and is second best at school in past 15 seasons.
10. Unity football. Seven seniors from Class 3A state semifinalists are going to play in college.
11. Shiloh girls' basketball. Fourth-place Class 1A team won 29 games for the season and 118 in past four years.
12. Chrisman boys' basketball. Super-sectionalists hit 20-win mark for the fifth consecutive season.
13. Monticello boys' cross-country. State's third-place Class 1A team had fewest seniors of any team in the top three.
14. Centennial girls' soccer. Chargers went nearly an entire month without allowing a goal and fell one win short of advancing to state.
15. Salt Fork boys' basketball. A 29-2 record gave the senior class a cumulative mark of 113-15 for coach Aaron Hird.
1. Brittany Hay, Schlarman. Freshman softball infielder already displaying Division I skills.
2. Steve Schroeder, Monticello. Distance-running standout is on fast track for success.
3. Sydni Meunier, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley track and field. Double state champion is separating herself from the middle-distance pack.
4. Travis Britt, Rantoul. Assists are his way of helping himself get noticed by collegiate basketball coaches.
5. Elizabeth Everingham, St. Joseph-Ogden. Softball Player of the Year is a power pitcher who's a power hitter.
6. Corvon Butler, Centennial. Indianapolis transfer exhibits touch and toughness around the basket.
7. Kalli Gosser, Fisher. Versatile softballer went from outfield to shortstop this year and may move to catcher next spring.
8. Dennis Hightower, Danville. Will have options in football as a quarterback or basketball as a guard.
9. Regan Romshek, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley. On pace to become one of few pitchers in state history with 1,000 career strikeouts. (She needs 145).
10. Dagny Olson, Centennial. Soccer sensation a big-time recruit.
11. Korie Vire, Georgetown-Ridge Farm. Epitome of the small-school do-everything-well athlete.
12. Emma Cabutti, Mahomet-Seymour. Decisions, decisions. Volleyball or track? Track or volleyball? Or both?
13. Kaitlyn Zelhart, Blue Ridge. School record-setter on track to be one of approximately 40 players in state history with 1,200 career kills.
14. Katelynn Martinez, Centennial. Two-sport standout a leader who performs best under pressure.
15. Michael Lafenhagen, Unity. Rockets' featured ball carrier used quickness to average 7.7 yards per carry as a junior.
— St. Thomas More girls' golf, Class 1A champs by 35 strokes.
— Mahomet-Seymour boys' golf, Class 2A champions by 14 strokes.
— Prairie Central wrestler Andy Hoselton, unbeaten Class 1A 160-pound champion.
— Centennial's Kegan Skelton, diving champion by 25.40 points.
— GCMS runner Sydni Meunier, Class 1A 800- and 1,600- meter runs. She set a school record in the 800 (2 minutes, 14.97 seconds), edging teammate Angel Gaesser.
— Urbana's Brandon Carrel, Class 2A pole vault winner with a vault of 14 feet, 6 inches.
— Urbana Uni High's Lisa Sproat, journalism, in editorial cartooning category.
— Urbana Uni High's Will Erickson, journalism, in review writing category.
1. Seth Gooch, Unity. Personable and astute when offering his opinions.
2. Steve Schroeder, Monticello. Perhaps running is the only thing he does better than talking.
3. Randi Cookus, Schlarman. Win or lose, provided insightful comments.
4. Matt Maser, Westville. As articulate as he is informative.
5. Kathryn Boyer, St. Thomas More. Follows the thought in an old Beatles tune, "Speaking words of wisdom."
6. Jud Wienke, Tuscola. As comfortable with the media as he was leading the Warriors to the Class 1A football state championship game.
7. Jamie Blue, Urbana Uni High. Well-spoken and analytical. Plays the game as well as she can talk it.
8. Keith Harper, Georgetown-Ridge Farm. Mastered the art of media relations.
9. Travis Britt, Rantoul. Has confidence in his abilities, on the court and in speaking.
10. Angel Gaesser, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley. Cooperative and congenial regardless of the circumstances.
DESERVED MORE PUB
1. Stacia Simmons, Centennial. Easy to be overlooked on a basketball team of standout sophomores.
2. Bradley Wright, Champaign Central. Junior was a high-end competitor in football and track and field.
3. Cirron Clark, Danville. A role player in football, the junior soared to new heights in track as a pole vaulter.
4. Jackson Carver, Rantoul. How much more can one player do in a football game? He threw a TD, caught a TD, ran for a TD and intercepted a pass at Mahomet.
5. Samantha Siddens, Bismarck-Henning. On the verge of first-team All-Area accolades in volleyball and basketball.
6. Garrett Cox, Mahomet-Seymour. Golfer could be area headliner as a senior.
7. Dakota Patton, Bismarck-Henning. All-Area football lineman returned as a state medalist in wrestling.
8. Jesse Shrum, Villa Grove. Broke the all-time area single-game rushing record with 427 yards in a win against South Piatt.
9. J.J. Malone, Blue Ridge. After a 49-goal season as a junior, on pace to become third area soccer player to score 50 or more goals in a season.
10. Gary Spezia. Continues to tutor area hurdlers and mold them into state placers. Bismarck-Henning's Ian Park is his latest protege.
11. Tim Weaver, Cerro Gordo. Area scoring leader is the best-kept basketball secret, except in the Little Okaw Valley Conference.
12. Kim Youhas, Danville. Not many Class 4A schools have three-sport letter winners, especially one who will try a fourth sport (rugby) in college (Eastern Illinois University).
13. Cameron Lee, Oakwood. It's tough for football linemen to receive well-deserved accolades.
14. Jade Brinkoetter, St. Thomas More. The combination of talent and aggressiveness will result in notoriety sooner than later.
15. Josey Fruhling, St. Joseph-Ogden. Had the moves to be lone junior on All-Area basketball first team.
1. Oct. 16, 2010. St. Joseph-Ogden football coach Dick Duval wins his 200th game as the Spartans beat Orion 55-34.
2. Oct. 30, 2010. Arthur Okaw Christian's volleyball team wins the Division II championship in the National Christian School Athletic Association Invitational, completing a 24-8-1 season by handing Portersville (Pa.) Christian a 25-22, 25-22, 25-8 loss.
3. Dec. 10, 2010. Champaign Central boys' basketball coach Scott Davis earns his 300th career victory as the Maroons win a nail-biter against Eisenhower, 51-50.
4. Dec. 18, 2010. Watseka boys' basketball coach Barry Bauer wins his 300th career varsity victory, a 60-42 triumph against Milford.
5. Jan. 13, 2011. Prairie Central wrestling coach Joe Cliffe becomes the state's seventh coach with 500 career dual-meet wins as his Hawks top Rantoul 60-15. He ended the year with 509 wins.
6. Jan. 28, 2011. Argenta-Oreana's Gary Cook becomes the state's eighth wrestling coach with 500 career dual-meet wins as his Bombers top Shelbyville 60-15. He ended the year with 502 wins.
7. Feb. 21, 2011. Atwood-Hammond's boys' basketball team plays its final game of the season, setting the state record for most three-point attempts (1,214) in the process.
8. April 9, 2011. St. Joseph-Ogden softball coach Randy Wolken earns his 800th career win with a 7-0 victory against Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley. At season's end, his state-record win total stood at 818.
9. May 6, 2011. Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman junior long jumper Derrick McCormick breaks a 40-year-old Vermilion County track meet record with a leap of 22-0 3/4.
10. May 14, 2011. St. Joseph-Ogden junior Elizabeth Everingham hits her state-record 19th home run, against Shelbyville, shattering an IHSA single-season record that had stood since 1982.
GAMES OF THE YEAR
1. Sept. 13, 2010. Villa Grove defeats Lovington in volleyball 21-25, 25-8, 25-17 to end a 64-match losing streak dating back to 2007.
2. Jan. 14, 2011. Centennial 81, Champaign Central 78, OT. The Chargers boys' basketball team wins in overtime after Central rallies to tie the game with seconds remaining. Corvon Butler has 25 points and 15 rebounds as Centennial overcomes a 19-point deficit to extend its streak of wins against the Maroons to seven games.
3. June 3, 2011. Schlarman 3, Hardin-Calhoun 2, 11 innings. The Hilltoppers make the Class 1A softball state championship game with a dramatic semifinal win. Freshman catcher Lea Hall picks off a runner from second base to secure the game-ending out.
4. Feb. 10, 2011. Judah Christian 53, Armstrong-Potomac 40. Judah's girls' basketball team wins its first regional title in any sport in school history. Uzuri Williams leads an all-senior starting unit with a team-high 17 points.
5. Oct. 8, 2010. Unity 24, Monticello 21, OT. Unity's Caleb Cook recovers a game-ending fumble in the end zone in overtime to preserve a win against Monticello after the Sages rally from 14 points down to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
6. Aug. 27, 2010. Centennial 31, Normal West 28. Centennial scores 24 unanswered points in the second half to come back and beat its Big 12 rival. Shaquille Traylor's 1-yard run with 1:46 to play caps the comeback from a 28-7 deficit.
7. Oct. 30, 2010. Champaign Central volleyball pulls off a stunning upset, defeating heavily favored Centennial 26-24, 14-25, 25-17 to win the Class 3A regional championship. Junior setter Audrey Aeilts hands out 19 assists as the Maroons snap a 17-match losing streak to Centennial dating back to 1997.
8. Feb. 26, 2011. Ridgeview 67, Shiloh 66, OT. Ridgeview's girls' basketball team takes third at the Class 1A state tournament for the second time in three years, beating Shiloh as Sarah Butler scores an uncontested layup with less than nine seconds remaining.
9. Sept. 24, 2010. Urbana 38, Mattoon 24. The Tigers snap a 15-game losing streak dating back to 2008 with a win against Mattoon in a Big 12 Conference game highlighted by two touchdown passes of at least 75 yards from Cameron Mammen to Kameron Fry.
10. Sept. 24, 2010. Rantoul 31, Mahomet-Seymour 28. Rantoul beats Mahomet-Seymour for the first time since 1987 with a homecoming-spoiling field goal by Erick Ramirez in the last 4 1/2 minutes.
1. Shelby Stevenson, Urbana. Humble in victory, gracious in defeat.
2. Matt Maser, Westville. A team leader who set the off-field example with his conduct.
3. Lindsey Ross, Shiloh. Whether it's an opponent or a teammate, her helping hand is always nearby.
4. Emily Hufford, Bismarck-Henning. Her actions speak louder than her words.
5. Maddy Stutsman, Salt Fork. Maintains poise and composure, even in the heat of battle.
TOP COMEBACKS OF THE YEAR
1. Abby Immke, St. Joseph-Ogden. While continuing to battle Cushing's Syndrome, still batters opposing pitchers.
2. Mariah Coleman, Heritage. Despite missing most of volleyball, all of basketball and a portion of track with a wrist injury, very much on radar list of Big Ten volleyball coaches.
3. Austin Matlock, LeRoy. A blood clot in his leg, which sidelined the 112-pounder all last spring and summer, healed in time for him to compete as a sophomore and win 37 matches.
4. Dagny Olson, Centennial. Averaged nearly two goals per match in the 10 she played after recovering from an ankle injury that sidelined her for nearly a month.
5. Daniele Hoult, Chrisman. Knee injury slowed her down in volleyball but not in track, when junior dominated Vermilion County sprints for third year in a row.
6. Emily Harms, St. Joseph-Ogden. After rehabbing a shoulder that cost most of her junior year, slugged three of first four hits for home runs before another injury put an end to her prep softball career.
7. Shelby Stucker, Mahomet-Seymour. After five foot surgeries in three years, first-time state track qualifier ended prep career with a relay medal.
8. Dacian Alvarez, Oakwood. Wrestler overcame an assortment of obstacles, including six stitches in his chin, to qualify for state even though he finished the year with 16 matches.
9. Jaime Scott, Mahomet-Seymour. Reconstructive knee surgery sidelined shortstop as a sophomore and part of junior year, but she bounced back to bat .337 for regional champions.
10. Lauren Grubb, Unity. Played as a senior on a gimpy knee that needed surgery after basketball, but not before she repeated as an All-Area selection.
1. Cameron Mammen, Urbana. Football quarterback also one of the state's best wrestlers.
2. Kandie Bloch, Argenta-Oreana. Basketball standout has deft touch from perimeter to go with tenacity to play inside.
3. Ryan Pearce, Villa Grove. Rare track athlete with quickness to excel as a sprinter and strength to excel in weight events.
4. Chantal Meacham, Centennial. More than a shooter in basketball. She's a leader.
5. Michael Thompson, Urbana. Made a name for himself in golf as well as baseball.
6. Madie Baillon, St. Thomas More. Emerging as an ace on the tennis courts.
7. Chuckie Robinson, Danville. Third-generation catcher the real deal.
8. Laura Litchfield, Champaign Central. Put simply, basketball standout has game.
9. Hannah Wascher, Rantoul. A shining light on struggling basketball team.
10. Jon Delzell, Danville. Versatile swimmer strong in all strokes.
11. Kevin Carroll, St. Thomas More. An emerging star in football and basketball.
12. Louis Acklin, St. Joseph-Ogden. Extending the Spartans' tradition of outstanding multi-sport athletes.
13. Jesse Hahne, Schlarman. Burst onto the scene as one of the area's premier cross-country runners.
14. Emma Hoyer, Urbana Uni High. On the cusp of making it big in volleyball and basketball.
15. Carli Clifton, Fisher. On track for state medal and school record in the long jump.
16. Jonathan Lukusa, Urbana. Soccer forward a powerful force on offense.
17. Andy Drackley, Centennial. Goalkeeper makes certain Chargers' last line of defense is a stellar one.
18. Tyler Ellis, Danville. Won more than 70 percent of his combined singles and doubles matches while playing at the No. 1 position.
19. Morgan Supergan, Bismarck-Henning. In football and wrestling, living up to the first part of his last name.
20. Kat Grimes, Watseka. Underrated but not unappreciated as a volleyball setter and a softball hitter.
1. Austen Aten, Champaign Central. A tennis veteran with youthful exuberance.
2. Randa Harshbarger, St. Thomas More. No matter how you size her up, it starts with tenacity.
3. Kyle Brazas, Westville. A good sport for all seasons.
4. Haley Toohill, Clinton. Equally gifted in basketball and softball.
5. Connor Gross, Bement. Emerged as an immediate impact player.
6. Devin Curry, Watseka. Already demonstrating All-Area potential in basketball.
7. Gabi Rajic, Urbana. Freestyle swimmer the area leader in two individual events.
8. Evan Miller, Champaign Central. Youthful swimmer made big splash as area's top distance freestyler.
9. Storm Joop, St. Thomas More. Marquee baseball player in Sabers' Class of 2014.
10. Mike Plecki, St. Thomas More. See No. 9.
11. Austin Tabeling, St. Thomas More. See No. 9.
12. Johnny Leverenz, Danville. Rewrote the Vikings' record books for distance times as a ninth-grader.
13. Josh Wallick, Fisher. Whether in football or track, an athlete who will remain a prominent player.
14. Alexis Conlin, Arcola. Two-event conference track champion more than held her own against veteran distance runners.
15. Kierra Forman, Danville. High school debut season resulted with area's second-best time in 100-meter hurdles.
16. Lea Hall, Schlarman. The combination of hitting and defense makes softball catcher a player to respect.
17. Nick Hess, St. Thomas More. Breakout season for distance runner who broke from the pack.
18. Madi Clark, Unity. Infielder plays with a poise and confidence that belies her years.
19. Sherelle Coller, Arthur-Lovington. Met promise and potential with production and performance.
20. Alyssa Pridemore, Monticello. Good enough to be competitive at state level in track.
COACHES OF THE YEAR
1. Scot Vogel, Paxton-Buckley-Loda boys' basketball. Directed state-ranked Panthers to 29 consecutive wins before a sectional loss to eventual 2A state champion Hales Franciscan.
2. Jeff Butler, Monticello boys' cross-country and track and field. Programs are running smoothly with back-to-back regional titles in cross-country and sectional track crowns seven of past nine years.
3. Pat Hettermann, St. Thomas More girls' golf. Dynastybuilder has four state trophies in five years, most recently the championship.
4. Susan Thomas, Centennial girls' basketball. Continues to take the Chargers' game to a higher level.
5. Rick Reinhart, Tuscola football. Guided Warriors to Class 1A state title game for second straight year. Three- year record at his alma mater: 31-9.
6. Dave Tingley, Shiloh girls' basketball. With wife Missy at his side, they've teamed up to coach the high school and junior high programs, averaging 28.4 varsity wins over the past five years.
7. Erica Kostoff, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley girls' track and field. Sectional champs two years running moving into state's elite in Class 1A.
8. Nathan Mills, Mahomet-Seymour boys' golf. Veteran team missed out on regional and sectional titles last fall but captured the big one as state champions.
9. Marty Price, Blue Ridge soccer. Four straight years he's coached teams to a school-record win total. Last fall's count reached 22.
10. B.J. Luke, Danville football. Guided Vikings to undefeated season in conference play in consecutive years for the first time since 1970-71.
11. Lisa Sappenfield Boyer, Heritage girls' basketball and softball. Directed the Hawks to 42 wins for the school year, 25 during their LOVC title run in softball.
12. Hsiung Marler, Centennial girls' soccer. Chargers ended a seven-year drought without a sectional crown by peaking in the postseason.
13. Randy Skaggs, Schlarman softball. Master strategist directed Hilltoppers to a school-record state runner-up finish in Class 1A.
14. Erika Tock, St. Thomas More volleyball. Third-year coach shows three regional crowns and 82 total victories.
15. Greg Gisinger, Chrisman boys' basketball. His 27-6 Cardinals lost in the super-sectional as he set a mark for wins by a first-year coach at the school with a fabled tradition in the sport.
16. Susan Kentner, Bismarck-Henning volleyball and girls' track and field. Two-sport coach directed two programs to Vermilion County titles.
17. Don Waybright, Centennial swimming and diving. Retiring coach leaves on top, with a state championship diver in Kegan Skelton.
18. Doug DeWald, LeRoy wrestling. For the second time in three years, his Panthers placed among the state's top three teams in Class 1A.
19. Kylie McCulley, Champaign Central volleyball. Directed Maroons to 26 wins and a regional plaque in her first — and only — year as coach; now heads off to become a college grad assistant.
20. Tim Lavin, Centennial boys' basketball. Guided Chargers to 20-win season, with the final victory accounting for the school's No. 600 to conclude the 44th year of existence.
21. Scott Hamilton, Unity football. Deserves to be a permanent entry on this list.
22. Lindsey Alred, Paxton-Buckley-Loda. Quietly guided unheralded softball team to a 20-win season as a followup to a 12-17 year.
23. Mindy Whitehouse, Ridgeview. Her third-place Mustangs reached 20-win mark for sixth season in a row.
24. Evan Miles, Blue Ridge. First-year volleyball coach directed Knights to school-record 29 wins.
25. Jon Jamison, St. Joseph-Ogden. Hometown hero has cross-country and track and field programs running full speed ahead.
ALUMNI TO WATCH
1. Mikel Leshoure. Ex-Charger poised to carry the area banner in NFL with the Lions.
2. Marissa Clapp. Ex-Bismarck-Henning and UI standout still making waves, now in masters swimming.
3. Zach Johnson. Ex-St. Thomas More pitcher made good use of redshirt year at Texas Tech, compiling a 4.0 grade-point average.
4. Nathaniel Khachaturian. Recent St. Thomas More graduate headed to NCAA qualifier Lamar, where best is yet to come for fourth-place state golf medalist.
5. Erika Ramos. Ex-Cornjerker moving up rapidly on Eastern Illinois University's list of all-time track and field leaders.
6. Mikel Brigham, Ex-Danville Viking basketball standout will be an immediate impact player at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne.
7. Brian Cardinal. Ex-Unity standout has scored more than 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds in the NBA and now has a championship ring.
8. Verdell Jones III. Ex-Central star continues to prove he belongs in the Big Ten Conference.
9. Dylan Overstreet. Ex-Paxton-Buckley-Loda standout ready to step right in at Illinois Wesleyan University.
10. Brandon Heyen. See No. 9.
TEAMS ON THE RISE
1. St. Joseph-Ogden girls' cross-country. Jon Jamison's youthful squad returned the Spartans to a position of state prominence.
2. St. Thomas More baseball. Twenty-one wins with a nucleus of freshmen spells big possibilities for the Sabers in the future.
3. Urbana boys' soccer. Ran the table in the Big 12 Conference.
4. St. Joseph-Ogden boys' basketball. Area's most improved from the previous year, following up on a two-win season by posting 21 victories.
5. Unity softball. Just one senior started on a team that won 17 games.
6. Champaign Central boys' tennis. With freshmen playing — well — at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, the Maroons are courting a dynasty.
7. Urbana Uni High girls' basketball. A school-record-tying 19-win season an indication of what's ahead.
8. Champaign Central volleyball. With 26 wins and a regional crown, Maroons showing they're not second best in their city.
9. Urbana football. After five successive seasons with no more than one win, a three-win season represented a major push forward.
10. Rantoul football. A three-win program in 2010 about to turn the winning corner.
TOP BOYS' PROGRAMS
(combined 2010-11 football, basketball, baseball victories)
1. Salt Fork 58 (7-29-22)
2. Unity 56 (11-17-28)
3. Paxton-Buckley-Loda 54 (3-29-22)
4. Danville 49 (12-16-21)
5. St. Joseph-Ogden 46 (9-21-16)
6. (tie) Centennial 44 (6-20-18)
6. (tie) Mahomet-Seymour 44 (6-19-19)
8. Tuscola 40 (12-15-13)
9. Prairie Central 39 (4-19-16)
10. LeRoy 38 (8-14-16)
TOP GIRLS' PROGRAMS
(combined 2010-11 volleyball, basketball, softball victories)
1. St. Joseph-Ogden 80 (29-19-32)
2. Bismarck-Henning 69 (23-27-19)
3. Schlarman 68 (21-9-38)
4. Centennial 65 (32-29-4)
5. Salt Fork 64 (25-21-18)
6. Blue Ridge 63 (29-6-28)
7. Heritage 59 (17-17-25)
8. St. Thomas More 56 (24-18-14)
9. Tuscola 51 (14-20-17)
10. Paxton-Buckley-Loda 50 (14-16-20)
TOP COMBINED PROGRAMS
(total 2010-11 football, volleyball, boys'/girls' basketball, baseball, softball victories)
1. St. Joseph-O. 126 (46 boys, 80 girls)
2. Salt Fork 122 (58 boys, 64 girls)
3. Centennial 109 (44 boys, 65 girls)
4. Schlarman 105 (37 boys, 68 girls)
5. PBL 104 (54 boys, 50 girls)
6. Bismarck-H. 100 (31 boys, 69 girls)
7. St. Thomas More 93 (37 boys, 56 girls)
8. (tie) Blue Ridge 92 (29 boys, 63 girls)
8. (tie) Unity 92 (56 boys, 36 girls)
10. Tuscola 91 (40 boys, 51 girls)
HEADLINES YOU MIGHT READ in 2011-12
1. News-Gazette starts coaching recognition program
2. Stan Wienke returns to Tuscola (as the opposition coach)
3. All-time area records shattered in girls' track
4. Loren Tate finds it easier to golf his age
5. IHSA multiplier divides allegiances
6. Urbana's athletic facilities tops in Big 12
7. New soccer facility godsend for area programs
8. Site chosen for IHSA football finals
9. State association cracks down on sports transfers
10. Home schoolers play more of a prominent role for prep teams
HEADLINES YOU WON'T READ IN 2011-12
1. IHSA relocates bowling state finals to C-U
2. Dirtbike racing added to IHSA state championships list
3. Area coaches lobby against summer workout dates
4. Big 12 Conference adds to league roster
5. Centennial, Central form softball co-op
6. Cheerleading state finals outdraw basketball tourney
7. Officials' association demands pay raise
8. Baden announces bankruptcy
9. Gender equity: schools list weights for girls' basketball players
10. Female wrestlers outnumber male wrestlers
QUOTES OF THE YEAR
"One of the prerequisites is you've got to smile when you play. If you don't like what you're doing, you shouldn't be there." Hoopeston Area volleyball coach John Zollar, outlining his expectations to the team.
"The great thing is the roads are flat, and we never have any traffic." GCMS track champion Sydni Meunier, who lives in the country and trains on rural roads.
"One year we were so competitive the teachers had to take the balls away. They took the football, the kickball, the basketball and we had to play tag because all the balls had been taken away." Salt Fork basketball player Nathan Fathauer, remembering how competitive his class was in grade school.
"He could wake up at 3 in the morning, jump out of bed and make a three. Cold is not in his vocabulary." Champaign Central boys' basketball coach Scott Davis, referring to Alex Roux, who came off the bench to score 17 points in 12 minutes of playing time against Centennial.
"I don't know an exact word. Happy. Shocked. On top of the world. Never in a million years would I have thought we'd beat Centennial. It is surreal. It is a dream come true." Champaign Central volleyball player Alex Pelmore, describing the Maroons' upset win against Centennial in the Class 3A regional championship match.
"I don't like the way they play the game." Blue Ridge softball coach Myron Schroeder, referring to Schlarman's tactic of making a pitching change each time a left-handed batter comes to the plate.
"Tonight it felt like we were playing H-O-R-S-E and going against ourselves." Danville boys' basketball player Dennis Hightower after a one-sided 86-59 victory against MacArthur.
"I'm going to have to do something good for my linemen. Maybe I'll take them to lunch or to breakfast. They'll like that. They like to eat." Mahomet-Seymour running back Alex Smith, after rushing for a career-high 226 yards against Prairie Central.
"Front-running is what has always worked for me. You don't have to worry about catching up to guys." Monticello cross-country runner Steve Schroeder, outlining his race strategy.
"The last 100 meters all I said was, 'Go.' If you die, you die. Just win this heat." Mahomet-Seymour hurdler Colton Fender, recalling what he was thinking during his qualifying race in the 300-meter hurdles at the Class 2A state meet.
"She has a cannon for an arm and likes to show it off." SJ-O softball coach Randy Wolken, on right fielder Abbey McElwee.
"I wonder how far (ahead) I would have been, or if I would have been bored with it. I think I entered at a good time." Schlarman sophomore cross-country runner Jesse Hahne, after winning the Vermilion Valley Conference championship in his first year of competition.
"My mom gave me $200 to go out (for track)." Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman's Derrick McCormick, who broke a 40-year-old Vermilion County record in the long jump.
"He's only been kicking for us for a little more than a week. I had to remember his name. He's just a little ol' sophomore, but he came through." Unity football coach Scott Hamilton, talking about Cody Payne, who kicked a game-winning field goal with no time left in Unity's 22-21 win against St. Teresa.
"There probably are not many college kids that will drag a fishing boat to college." St. Thomas More graduate Daniel Ruedi, who will pursue bass fishing with Auburn University's collegiate team.
"We had no idea we would win this. We had to have been a tremendous underdog, and we're very fortunate." Champaign Central girls' tennis coach Gary Day, after Central captured the sectional championship.
"It's hard to tell if the tears are from losing or because we're never going to play with each other again, but it's hard to smile." Schlarman senior Randi Cookus, explaining the emotions after the Hilltoppers were beaten in the Class 1A softball state championship game.
"I've never had a normal life." News-Gazette girls' Swimmer of the Year Emma Newman, from Champaign Central, on how her dedication to swimming has affected her.
"Second place, that's as good as you can do without getting first. That's good, for now. Next year, first or nothing. That's my goal." Monticello's Steve Schroeder, after finishing second in the 3,200 run at the Class 1A state meet.
"We have banners in the gym for all the sports. Softball is blank." Mahomet-Seymour shortstop Jaime Scott, who helped the Bulldogs to a piece of school history with their first regional crown in the sport.