July 27 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 2:00pm

Now that Illinois football is back from Chicago and Big Ten media days, what should fans look forward to during training camp? How is recruiting going for both Lovie Smith and Brad Underwood? What's one Illinois team to watch out for this upcoming school year? When does the IlliniHQ football yearbook come out? What about the The N-G's high school football preview section?

Strength in numbers

CHAMPAIGN — The McKinley Field weight room doesn't have enough room to fit the entire Champaign Central football team, so the Maroons are forced to lift outside.

The practice facility is barebones for a team that takes a bus to its home games at Centennial.

In a way, the minimalist nature of the Maroons' confines fits this year's team.

July 20 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 2:00pm

The calendar is about to officially flip to 2017-18 for area high schools and Illinois athletics alike. So another year is about to start for The News-Gazette sports staff, too. What stories do you want to see this fall? Which area athletes have an interesting story to tell? What questions do you have about area preps or the Illini?

Chargers piecing it together

CHAMPAIGN — Lekevie Johnson knew it would take time to implement his style of coaching when he took over the Centennial football program two years ago.

After making the Class 6A playoffs in Year One and finishing 3-6 in Year Two, he feels like the reprogramming of the Centennial football team is right on schedule.

Tale of the tape: Centennial football

Tale of the tape: Centennial football

Coach: Lekevie Johnson (8-11 in two seasons at Centennial)

2017 schedule


Aug. 25 at Bradley-Bourbonnais 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 vs. Urbana 7 p.m.

Sept. 8 vs. Normal West 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 vs. Champaign Central 7 p.m.

Prep Year in Review: Spartans fired up

In 2005, we asked sports writer Fred Kroner to come up with a formula to fairly evaluate all of our area schools against one another, whether they competed in five sports or in 20.

July 6 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 2:00pm

With Year in Review coverage coming up this weekend (preps) and next (Illinois), it's almost time to hit the reset button and turn focus to the next school year. What do you want to see from The News-Gazette sports section? What could be the biggest storylines this fall? Do you know someone who has an interesting story to tell?

Five prep events to watch

July is the only month in the year without a high school athletic event going on. Don't fret. Staff writer Scott Richey offers up four fall sporting events to keep an eye on once the 2017-18 school year starts.

Aug. 25-26

Libertyville Invitational

Griffin pursuing rare opportunity

CHAMPAIGN — Caleb Griffin understands that every recruit sells himself as an athlete. No one downplays those abilities.  But that hasn’t stopped Griffin from reminding every coach he meets that they’d be getting a four-sport athlete — well versed in big moments — at kicker.

Oakwood's Lee happy to get another NFL shot

The negative thoughts ran through Cameron Lee's head, even as positive words came from his agent and those around him in the week after he learned he was cut from the New Orleans Saints' 90-man roster.

The former Illinois State offensive lineman was back in Oakwood, working out at his old high school. Even though he felt like another NFL shot would come, he was officially in limbo.