Best area fall teams, courtesy staff writer Marcus Jackson
Urbana University boys' soccer
The Illineks are 16-1-0, with the lone loss coming last week to a strong Warrensburg-Latham team. Phil Anders' team, which knocked off Urbana on Saturday, is doing it with a balanced scoring attack. Patrick Wong (19 goals), Tarik Koric (18), George Voulgaris (17) and Alejandro Mestre (10) can strike at any time and all have at least 10 assists.
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley girls' golf
The Falcons are unbeaten this season, and that includes a win against reigning Class 1A state champion St. Thomas More. They won the Heart of Illinois by 42 strokes, with Emily Spangler and Katie Spangler finishing second and third, respectively.
The Bulldogs aren't just winning, they're beating teams into submission. Keith Pogue's team has won its six games by an average of 37 points per game and has scored 48 points or more five times. Chase Diedrich is having an All-State-caliber season. He leads the area with 1,228 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Monticello boys' cross-country
The Sages checked in at No. 1 in the state in Class 1A, according to the latest ESPN/Dyestat rankings. A big reason the Sages own the top spot is senior Steve Schroeder, the second-ranked runner in the state, whose season-best 3-mile time is 14 minutes, 33 seconds. It's not just Schroeder, though. Luke Zocher, Andrew Hanselman and Tim Easton are also among the area's top 15 runners.
Champaign Central girls' swimming
The Maroons boast dual-meet victories against rivals Centennial and Urbana and finished fourth at the 13-team Charger Invitational last month. Central's 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relay teams own the top times in the area. Hannah Newman (50 freestyle) and Katherine Penwell (500 freestyle) have the area's top times in their respective events.