All-stars headed to Parkland
CHAMPAIGN — The second Parkland College/News-Gazette senior all-star basketball games will be April 14 in the Cobras’ gym.
The girls’ game will start at 1 p.m. at Parkland. There will be two 10-player teams, one coached by Chris Mennig, from St. Thomas More, and the other by Susan Thomas, from Centennial.
The boys’ game will start at 3 p.m. at Parkland. There will be two 10-player teams, one coached by Cissna Park’s Kevin Long and the other by Monticello’s Kevin Roy.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Children under 3 will be admitted free.
Rosters will be released later this week or early next week. Only current seniors are eligible to participate.
Uni AD to remain on job
URBANA — Sally Walker, who has been the athletic director for 27 of the 30 years she has been on staff at Urbana University High, has reconsidered her earlier decision to retire at the end of the school year.
She was convinced to return, in part, by the overwhelming support she received from students, former students, coaches and other colleagues at Uni when the announcement was made that she planned to step aside next month.
“It feels good to know people want me around,” Walker said.
Uni High is a member of the East Central Illinois Conference, which is losing a league member (Decatur Lutheran) after the 2013-14 school year. An invitation has been made to Arthur Okaw Christian to join the ECIC.
Illineks have full schedule
URBANA — Not only will Uni High have a varsity boys’ tennis team for the first time in school history this spring but the Illineks also will host two matches.
Uni High starts the season at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against Centennial at the Atkins Tennis Center on the Illinois campus.
“That will be a fun match,” Uni High coach DAVE BERGANDINE said. “Some of our guys know and play the Centennial guys informally.”
A varsity and junior varsity match are scheduled. The Illineks also will host Alton on April 26 at Atkins. Bergandine said Alton is scheduled to play a tournament that weekend in Peoria but wanted to stop by Champaign-Urbana before to get a chance to play at Atkins.
Bergandine credited Sally Walker for putting together a complete schedule, which will include tournaments in Bloomington and Alton this season along with dual road matches against the likes of St. Thomas More, Paris, Danville and Central before postseason play begins.
“Sally found some competitive schools,” Bergandine said. “Alton is one of those schools south of Interstate 80 that will give you a good match any day, and the Bloomington tournament will be very strong tennis that we wouldn’t see until we get to the state meet.”
Summit honor for ex-Maroon
MACOMB — Junior outfielder Monica Rondon, from Champaign Central, garnered her first Summit League Offensive Player of the Week honor for her performance at the Adidas Invitational from March 8 to 10 in Rock Hill, S.C.
For the weekend, she hit .343 (6 for 17) with four home runs, a double and 12 RBI while compiling a slugging percentage of 1.118.
In the opening game against North Carolina A&T, Rondon went 2 for 4, hitting three-run home runs in consecutive at-bats. She scored two runs and knocked in seven.
This season, she is 11 for 40 (.275) with two doubles and a team-high six home runs and 19 RBI. Rondon owns a team-high slugging percentage of .775 and an on-base percentage of .326. She has drawn three walks.
Former Rantoul star on roll
CHARLESTON — Junior right-hander Hanna Mennenga, from Rantoul, was chosen as the Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season. In 17 innings last week against Murray State, the 5-foot-11 Mennenga allowed 10 hits and struck out 21, compiling a 0.41 ERA and holding the Racers to a .167 batting average.
Mennenga threw 178 of her 264 pitches for strikes (67.4 percent) in the three-game series. This season, she is 12-4 with a 1.29 ERA for the Ohio Valley Conference leaders (19-9) and has 163 strikeouts in 103 innings, along with 58 hits and 27 walks. She has five shutouts and has reached double figures in strikeouts in eight of 14 starts.
EIU will play at Illinois on April 9 in a 4 p.m. game at Eichelberger Field.
Ex-Spartan chips in at Trine
ANGOLA, Ind. — Freshman Sam Gilly, from St. Joseph-Ogden, placed sixth in the discus (133 feet, 2 inches) in his outdoor collegiate debut for Trine University at the Emory University Invitational in Atlanta.
Bulldog tourney on Saturday
MAHOMET — State-ranked St. Joseph-Ogden is among the four schools competing in Mahomet-Seymour’s round-robin softball invitational Saturday. The third-ranked (Class 2A) Spartans open at 8:30 a.m. against the host Bulldogs. Bloomington and Decatur MacArthur play at 10 a.m.
Games are scheduled every 90 minutes, ending with a 4 p.m. finale between M-S and Bloomington. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children and senior citizens. Non-school-age children will be admitted free.
Sullivan seniors make picks
SULLIVAN — Two Sullivan seniors signed letters of intent to participate in sports in college. Witten Crawford signed to play volleyball at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. Brittney Lamendola signed to play softball at Mattoon’s Lake Land College.
Thomas off to Lindenwood
BELLEVILLE — Former Arcola athlete Taylor Thomas, a sophomore at Rend Lake Community College, signed a letter of intent to continue her collegiate softball career at Lindenwood University. She is a pitcher and first baseman. She is part of a recruiting class that will help fill the void created by 15 departing seniors.
Former Unity athlete honored
BOURBONNAIS — The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference named former Unity standout Aaron Larson its men’s basketball Freshman of the Year. The Olivet Nazarene forward also was recognized with an honorable mention selection to the National Christian College Athletic Association North Central Region team.
Larson finished second on the team in scoring at 13 points per game and in rebounds at 6.1 per game while leading the Tigers in field goal shooting (55.8 percent). Larson also led ONU, which went 18-13, in free throws made (92) and free throws attempted (136).
Britt receives accolade
COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — Former Rantoul guard and 2012 News-Gazette Area Player of the Year Travis Britt earned honorable mention all-conference honors for his freshman season at Coffeyville Community College.
Britt averaged 8.6 points to finish fourth on the squad, which went 31-2 and 18-0 in the Jayhawk East Conference. Britt led the Ravens in steals with 50 and made a team-best 60 three-pointers out of 151 attempts, good for a 39.7 percent clip.