Cross Country

Cross Country

By the letter, it's Monticello

 MONTICELLO — The leaderboard is changing thanks to Monticello’s fast-charging Sages.

A year ago, the Piatt County school wasn’t among the top 10 in The News-Gazette’s end-of-the-school-year list of all-sports area leaders.

This year, Monticello is No. 1.

Sunday Conversation: John Woods

Where do you think the Central athletic facilities rank in the Big 12?

Fred Kroner: Nicknames don't bother ex-Redskin

Becky Clayton Anderson played high school basketball for a team called the Redskins (Sullivan).

In the fall, she’ll have a daughter entering high school where the team nickname is the Braves (Mount Zion).

Sunday Conversation: Sally Walker

At a youthful 53, Sally Walker is way too young to retire. But after 31 years at Uni High, Walker is ready for new challenges. Staff writer Bob Asmussen caught up with Walker in Salem, Va., where she is working at the NCAA Division II softball tournament. She is in charge of the umpires, so Walker has plenty on her plate for what will be a busy retirement.

Ex-SJ-O AD Doehring honored

ST. JOSEPH — Former St. Joseph-Ogden athletic director Dale Doehring will be enshrined posthumously Saturday night in the Illinois Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in Peoria.

Doehring, who died in April 2012, was SJ-O’s athletic director from 1979 until retiring in 2004.

A-H athletes making most of time

ATWOOD — Most of us don’t know when the end will occur.

Kaitie Wildman knows. It will stop with her.

When Atwood-Hammond holds its final graduation ceremony in 23 days, Wildman will be the last student to receive a diploma.

Ever.

Fred Kroner: Challenging times for IHSA

BLOOMINGTON — The IHSA, in some quarters, is viewed as the Evil Empire.

It’s a perception that is prevalent among those with gripes about an organization in its 114th year of existence.

Some criticize the IHSA for its multiplier policy that is applied to non-boundaried schools.

Others don’t like the number of championships that are permitted in a particular sport.

Bulletin board: Spezia returns against alma mater

MILFORD — Bismarck-Henning graduate John Spezia returned to active coaching Monday night against his former high school. The second-year Milford coach was injured in an automobile accident on New Year’s Eve morning en route to a practice and was in an Urbana hospital for three weeks.

He is coaching from a wheelchair and directed the Bearcats to a 55-49 victory.

Big 12 revamp ahead of schedule

CHAMPAIGN ­— Coming to a field or stadium sooner than expected: the revamped Big 12 Conference.

The expanding high school athletic league will have conference schedules in play in 20 of 21 sports when another school year starts in August.

All-Area Boys' Cross-Country Coach of Year: Monticello's Dave Remmert

Why he’s Coach of the Year: First-year head coach directed the Sages — who earned a No. 1 state ranking during the regular season — to Okaw Valley Conference, regional and sectional championships. Monticello finished an area-best third in the Class 1A state meet, led by all-state junior Matt Norvell.