GREENVILLE — St. Joseph-Ogden’s secondary will receive a chance to add to some impressive season totals. The Spartans (10-2) have intercepted 17 passes this season, seven by Jake Stewart and five by Jake Pence. They are two of the team’s four defensive backs.
State semifinal opponent Greenville will throw more challenges. Junior quarterback Tyler Hutchinson could become the fifth player in IHSA history with a 4,000-yard passing season. The son of Greenville coach Todd Hutchinson has thrown for 3,980 yards and 42 touchdowns in 12 games.
One point of emphasis for SJ-O coach Dick Duval will be that no lead is safe. Greenville trailed Mount Carmel last week 14-0 before the game was 2 minutes old and was behind, 70-49 with 4 minutes, 23 seconds left in the game. The comeback was sparked by capturing consecutive onside kicks and resulted with the go-ahead points in a 71-70 victory coming on a two-point conversion with 20 seconds remaining.
The two teams combined for 1,625 yards (881 by Greenville, 641 on passes by Hutchinson).
The Comets are making their fifth semifinal appearance since 2007 but are 0-4 in their previous quests to reach the state finals. Twice they lost to area teams (Unity in 2009 and 2012, with the Rockets rolling to a running-clock triumph last year).
Greenville senior receiver Daulton Young, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving in the quarterfinals, will play in his 13th career postseason game in Saturday’s 2 p.m. Class 3A showdown.
Coaches with a clue
URBANA — Uni High’s sectional championship girls’ swimming team works under a coaching staff with extensive backgrounds in the sport.
First-year assistant Erin Rodriguez was a 100 butterfly state qualifier for Buffalo Grove in 2008 and went on to set the UI school record in the 200 butterfly.
Assistant Carol Hartman was the 85th woman in history to do a successful English Channel crossing.
Head coach Howard Schein hails from a swimming family. His uncle, John Newman, coached Chicago Lane to nine team state titles in a 10-year period, starting during the 1937-38 school year. He also trained Adolph Kiefer, an Olympic gold medalist at age 16.
By a vote of coaches, Schein was chosen as Sectional Coach of the Year.
While he appreciated the recognition, he added, “I very must acknowledge that Uni swim coaching is a concerted group effort by the coaching team, Carol, Erin and me, and that we all have had equal, concerted and cooperative efforts in coaching the Uni girls.”
Joop, Aten headed to Indy
CHAMPAIGN — Two athletes from different schools — and different sports — are heading to the same location for college.
St. Thomas More three-sport standout Storm Joop is expected to sign a letter of intent this afternoon to continue his baseball career at the University of Indianapolis. He has also lettered in football and basketball, breaking the all-time Twin City career passing record this fall.
An infielder, Joop was second in the area in batting last spring (.494, 39 for 79) and finished among the top 10 in stolen bases and RBI. As a pitcher, Joop compiled a 1.03 ERA. He was an All-Area second-team selection.
Central’s Austin Aten will continue his tennis career at Indianapolis. The senior signed his letter of intent last week. As a junior, playing at No. 1 singles for the Maroons, Aten was 22-6. In his varsity career, former Area Player of the Year Aten has a 75-18 record, all at No. 1 singles.
Area kids on campus ...
— Sophomore T.J. Onstott, from Tuscola, led Lindenwood-Belleville’s 4-7 team in total tackles (96), solos (50), assists (46) and tackles for loss (12). He ranked 38th in NAIA Division I for total tackles. In his season finale, a 57-7 win against Haskell University, Onstott returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown.
— Sophomore Chelsea Blaase, from St. Joseph-Ogden, placed 10th and was Tennessee’s team leader in the NCAA South Regional championships at Tuscaloosa, Ala. Her 6-kilometer time was 20:19.83. In the same meet last year, Blaase placed 105th.
— Senior Lisa Boyce, from Urbana Uni High, won all but one of her events in Princeton’s season-opening swim meet. She swam the opening leg of the 200 and 400 freestyle relays as well as the 200 medley, won the 50 freestyle in 22.78 (under the NCAA B qualifying time of 22.99), won the 100 butterfly in 54.78, won the 100 backstroke in 55.57 and won the 200 backstroke in 2:05.87.
— Sophomore Aaron Larson, from Unity, has started every game for Olivet Nazarene University’s 1-4 team. Larson leads the team in rebounding (9.2) and is second in scoring (13.2). Also starting all five games was Hunter Jacobs, a junior from Centennial, who averages 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Reid Farchmin, a sophomore from Mahomet-Seymour, and Alex Thorson, a sophomore from Unity, have played in all five games. Farchmin is averaging 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Thorson is averaging 1.8 points and 2.8 rebounds.
— Senior Deshoun White, from Champaign Central, went 2-1 for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at the Chicago Wrestling Quad. He defeated Wesley Moore of Arizona State 3-1 and pinned Elyjah Crumpler of Ouachita Baptist at 5:24 before losing to Niko Reyes of Illinois 9-3. He wrestled two of the matches at 184 pounds and one in his normal weight class of 174.
— Redshirt sophomore Cody Willis, from Clinton, went 2-2 for McKendree University at 174 pounds in the Gold Division at the Loras Wrestling Open. He had a 13-6 win and a pin.