MONTICELLO — For the second time in three years, Monticello has received a Field of Excellence Award sponsored by Pioneer Athletics. The criteria includes quality of the field, striping and field decorations. Monticello was one of 73 secondary and college fields recognized for 2012.
Groundskeeper Rick Timmons — who is retiring after this year — is responsible for the turf quality and markings. He has a volunteer crew that includes Richard Dillingham, Tim Clifton, Pat Hoss, Joe Lieb, Rick Milton and Bruce Zindars. They handle field decorations.
All seven men will be honored prior to Friday’s home game against Tuscola.
A-O increases Hall by five
ARGENTA — Argenta-Oreana inducted its second Hall of Fame class last weekend: Jeff Blackard (1977 graduate), Karen Bloch (1993), Melissa Garretson (1985) and the late Jeff Watson (1987) were enshrined along with current wrestling coach Gary Cook, who has a 543-240 career dual-meet record in 36 years.
Blackard was a state placer in the triple jump two consecutive years and all-state in basketball. Bloch was a four-time all-stater in cross-country, a two-time all-stater in track and The N-G All-Area Player of the Year in basketball as a senior.
Garretson was a four-year starter in volleyball and basketball. She was a two-time All-Area pick in basketball and a one-time honoree in volleyball. Watson intercepted four passes in a 1987 football game, was a discus state placer as a senior and averaged a double-double in basketball. He passed away from leukemia in 1993.
Urbana plans Gremer tribute
URBANA — The athletic department at Urbana High is sponsoring the Sundae 5K run/walk Sept. 29 as a fundraiser for a new weightroom that will be named for the late John Gremer, a long-time coach at the school. For information, visit the resource tab on the Urbana High School athletics webpage: http://il.8to18.com/urbana.
Gremer is in the coaches association Hall of Fame in football and wrestling. He also coached baseball at Urbana.
Gremer, who passed away Oct. 12, 2011, coached and taught at Urbana for 36 years.
Milford to honor Fanning
MILFORD — Hall of Fame football coach Sam Fanning, a Milford graduate who returned to coach football at his alma mater, will be honored with Sam Fanning Day on Oct. 12, when the Bearcats play Attica, Ind. In a nine-year period, starting in 1988, Fanning guided the Bearcats into the playoffs seven times, including unbeaten teams in the 1993 and ‘94 regular seasons.
Area kids on campus ...
— Senior Erin Wachtel, from St. Thomas More, was Player of the Week in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Illinois Wesleyan volleyball setter totaled 90 assists as the Titans went 3-0.
— Senior Ruthie Wheelock, from Arthur-Lovington, leads Culver-Stockton’s 10-3 volleyball team in solo blocks (11) and total blocks (32).
— Junior Nick Cole, from Rantoul, was chosen Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Cross-Country Student-Athlete of the Week. He ran a personal-best 26 minutes, 20.9 seconds for Aurora, placing 22nd in a field of 200 in an 8-kilometer race.
— Junior Justin March, from Danville, became the first Akron player with two interceptions in a game since 2009 when he picked off a pair of passes in Saturday’s 28-24 loss at Michigan. He is second on the team in tackles with 19.
— Junior Maria Mears, from Centennial, has a 5-3 record in singles, playing at the No. 4 position for Beloit College.
— Former area athletes were well-represented at Illinois State’s cross-country invitational Saturday. In the women’s 5-kilometer race, ISU senior Rachael Brewer, from Tuscola, was third (17:27.16), Bradley sophomore Lauren Houmes, from Hoopeston Area, was 12th (18:04.76) and Eastern Illinois sophomore Kelsey Hardimon, from Monticello, was 38th (18:54.11). In the men’s 8-kilometer event, North Central senior Ryan Root, from Centennial, was sixth (24:52.67), ISU freshman Jesse Hahne, from Schlarman, was 52nd (26:22.82) and EIU sophomore Brock Ramos, from Hoopeston Area, was 69th (28:13.44).
— Sophomore Steve Schroeder, from Monticello, earned Runner of the Week honors in the Patriot League for the second week in a row. The Naval Academy standout won the 8K Navy Invitational in a time (23:55.69) that was the fourth fastest in course history.
— Freshman Kara Johnson, from Centennial, is the team leader for kills (135) for Illinois-Chicago’s 4-7 team. The 5-foot-9 outside hitter ranks sixth in the Horizon League in kills per set at 3.21. She reached double figures in kills in five of her first seven collegiate matches. Johnson is third on the team in digs.