Bulletin board: Centennial names new volleyball coach

Bulletin board: Centennial names new volleyball coach

CHAMPAIGN — Evanston native Alan Newman, who has been on the volleyball coaching staff at Centennial the past four years, was hired as the head coach. He replaces Stan Bergman, who resigned after last season, which was the Chargers’ seventh consecutive 30-win season.

Newman was a volunteer varsity assistant for three years and last year coached the Centennial freshmen. A seventh-grade teacher at Edison Middle school, he has coached with the Prime Time club team since 2010.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity,” Newman said. “It’s a great program, and I’m excited to start the next chapter. I’m grateful for the opportunity Mr. (Brian) Easter (athletic director) gave me.

“I don’t know that we will do a whole lot different. Centennial has an established program with kids who are committed, and we will continue to work hard every day.”

Newman expects ex-Illini Annie Luhrsen to stay on staff as the junior varsity coach.

Top honor for SJ-O graduate

LINCOLN, Neb. — Kevin Sjuts, a 1999 St. Joseph-Ogden graduate, was chosen as Sportscaster of the Year for Nebraska by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He joined KOLN television in July 2005 and is now the sports director at the CBS affiliate. He will be honored at the 55th NSSA banquet on June 9 in Salisbury, N.C.

As a high school junior, Sjuts was on the SJ-O football team that played for a Class 2A state title. He also lettered in baseball for the Spartans.

“We’re so lucky to have Kevin on our team,” Stephanie Hedrick, the station’s news director, said. “He’s truly passionate about what he does, and I think viewers see that.”

In 2010, Sjuts started a weekly 30-minute high school sports show, “PrepZone Weekly.” He also has done color commentary for Nebraska’s state basketball high school tournament games and is a community volunteer, including Special Olympics.

“I go to work every day doing a job I love,” Sjuts said.

Michael picks college

ST. JOSEPH — All-Area guard Nate Michael, from St. Joseph-Ogden, gave an oral commitment to continue his basketball career at McKendree College in Lebanon. He plans to major in business.

Michael also considered the University of Indianapolis, Millikin, Illinois Wesleyan and Parkland.

As a senior, Michael was the top scorer on a 26-4 SJ-O team, averaging 18.4 points per game. He was one of the area’s top five three-point marksmen, sinking 71.

Menacher headed to Dubuque

MONTICELLO — Monticello senior Brendan Menacher signed a letter of intent to wrestle with the University of Dubuque (Iowa) on Monday in front of his mom, dad and extended family. The IHSA Class 1A 182-pound state runner-up will wrestle for the Division III Spartans this fall.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I already miss high school season.”

Menacher won’t be the only Spartan from the central Illinois area. Dubuque wrestling coach Jon McGovern pulls most of his talent from Iowa and the northern reaches of Illinois, but former Monticello wrestler Clay Wright had a stint with the Spartans, and Cody Ortmann and Kris Powars from Argenta-Oreana, are currently on the roster.

“It’ll be nice to see some — not familiar faces — but see some kids up there that are from the Piatt County area,” Menacher said.

Menacher was deliberate figuring out the next step in his wrestling career, but he said the decision ultimately came down to his gut.

“It was that gut instinct that I had that Dubuque was the place where I could win a national championship,” Menacher said. “I feel like I have the tools and they have the tools to get me there.

“On the mat, off the mat, I just kind of go with the best feeling that I get.”

IHSA honors Rice

DANVILLE — Former Danville Principal Bob Rice was selected as the girls’ track and field Official of the Year by the Illinois High School Association.

The IHSA is recognizing one official in 20 different sports. Rice is the only individual from the area to be honored. IHSA staff members vote on the nominations, considering factors such as character, skill as an official and levels worked in the IHSA state series.

The honorees will be feted in a July 19 banquet at the Civic Center in Peoria.

Bloomington’s Tom Daugherty, who has worked numerous games in East Central Illinois, was picked as the girls’ basketball Official of the Year.

Area kids on campus ...

— Sophomore Ben Dodds, from St. Thomas More, set a meet record for the University of Illinois with a 202-foot, 7-inch javelin throw at the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville, Ky.

— Freshman Brandon Carrel, from Urbana, tied for fourth in the pole vault for the Illini at the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood meet, clearing 15-7.

— Junior Jenny Hill, from Urbana, earned All-America status in swimming by leading off her school’s 400 freestyle relay with a 52.67 split in the finals at the NCAA Division III championship at Indianapolis. Her relay team, from the University of Chicago, placed eighth, with a 3-minute, 27.67-second clocking. Hill, a team co-captain, qualified for nationals in three individual events, with a 2:05.76 in the 200 individual medley, a 1:05.23 in the 100 breaststroke and a 2:20.96 in the 200 breast. She also competed with her school’s 200 freestyle relay, leading off with a 23.98, and as the breaststroker with the 200 and 400 medley relays.

— Freshman Andrew Shroyer, from Mahomet-Seymour, ran a 52.20 in the 400 meters for Butler University, good for seventh at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational hosted by the University of Cincinnati last weekend.

— Senior Sarah Hintz, from LeRoy, is currently 10-1 with a 1.36 ERA for the 17-5 Augustana Vikings softball team, which is ranked 18th in Division III. She is tied for the CCIW lead in win.

— Freshman Stephanie Hintz, from LeRoy, has started six games for the 8-4 Elmhurst Blue Jays. She is hitting .316 with two doubles and five runs scored.

— Sophomore Jacob Griffith, from Villa Grove, ran a time of 33:11.03 for Millikin University in the 10,000 meters at the Washington University Invitational in St. Louis. The time places him seventh all time in the event for the Big Blue.

— Junior Emily Sawyer, from Cerro Gordo, recently made her way onto Millikin’s all-time top 10 list in the hammer throw with a 131-7 effort at the Rhodes Invitational at Memphis.

Andrew Helregel and Fred Kroner