Prep football '09: Coaches weigh in

Prep football '09: Coaches weigh in

COACHES CORNER

For the seventh consecutive year, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner contacted every football coach from conferences in our area for their thoughts about the upcoming season. Here they are, league by league:

BIG 12 CONFERENCE

Preseason Coaches Poll

(100 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. Bloomington (4) 88

2. Normal Community (2) 87

3. Danville (2) 78

4. Decatur MacArthur 76

5. Champaign Central (1) 57

6. Centennial (1) 52

7. Normal West 42

8. Mattoon 30

9. Urbana 24

10. Decatur Eisenhower 16

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Robert Smith, MacArthur QB 7

Denzel Stewart, Central, RB 3

Travis Mullens, NCHS, RB 2

Shaquille Traylor, Centennial, RB 1

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Jordan Finkbeiner, Central, S 3

Cameron Ford, Danville, DE 3

Jalen Spates, MacArthur, LB 3

Two tied 1

GAME OF THE YEAR

Normal Community vs. Bloomington at ISU (Week 2) 3

Danville at Bloomington (Week 1) 3

Normal Community at Central (Week 9) 2

Five tied 1

DID YOU KNOW?

Urbana last won the Big 12 title outright in football in 1966, Danville's last outright crown was in 1979 (ending a streak of seven outright championships in 11 years), Champaign Central's last outright title was in 1982 and Centennial has never had an outright crown in the sport. Centennial's last title share was in 2003, Urbana's last share was in 2001, Danville's in 1997 and Central's also in 1997.

CORN BELT CONFERENCE

Preseason Coaches Poll

(81 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. Rochester (6) 75

2, Bloomington CC (2) 71

3. Mahomet-Seymour (1) 64

4. Pontiac 59

5. Normal U-High 39

6. Prairie Central 37

7. (tie) Olympia 21

7. (tie) Rantoul 21

9. Eureka 18

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Sean Robinson, Rochester, QB 9

Colton Glazebrook, Roch., RB 1

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Josh Raymond, M-S, DL 3

Chris Ingram, Pontiac, LB 2

Caleb Painter, Prairie Cent., LB 2

GAME OF THE YEAR

Rochester at BCC (Week 8) 4

BCC at M-S (Week 7) 3

M-S at Rochester (Week 1) 2

Pontiac at Rochester (Week 4) 1

DID YOU KNOW?

In 11 of the last 12 years, the league champion has been unbeaten in Corn Belt games. The exception was in 2005 when Mahomet-Seymour was 8-1. Entering 2009, Bloomington Central Catholic has won 16 straight conference contests.

HEART OF ILLINOIS CONFERENCE

Preseason Coaches Poll

(169 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (8) 163

2. Heyworth (4) 147

3. Tri-Valley 121

4. Fieldcrest (1) 105

5. Deer Creek-Mackinaw 103

6. LeRoy 101

7. Fisher 88

8. Lexington 85

9. Flanagan/Cornell 84

10. El Paso/Gridley 70

11. Tremont 61

12. Ridgeview 38

13. Blue Ridge 17

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Michael Romshek, GCMS, RB 7

T.J. Stinde, Lexington, RB 6

Jase Wilson, Heyworth, RB 5

Stephan Birt, GCMS, QB 3

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Jason Byro, LeRoy, LB 8

Zach Anderson, Fieldcrest, LB 1

Mike Fleming, Tri-Valley, LB 1

Steve Szetela, Tremont, DE 1

Andrew Taylor, Fisher, LB1

GAME OF THE YEAR

LeRoy at GCMS (Week 4) 2

Eight tied 1

DID YOU KNOW?

This is the fourth year of competition for the Heart of Illinois Conference. If preseason favorite GCMS is triumphant, it would mark the third time the Falcons have won or shared the league crown.

LITTLE OKAW VALLEY CONFERENCE

Preseason Coaches Poll

(64 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon (4) 58

2. Arcola (2) 56

3. Villa Grove (2) 53

4. Arthur-Lovington 40

5. South Piatt 25

6. Martinsville 23

7. Tri-County 22

8. East Central 11

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Nathan Lawler, CG/D-W, QB 4

Justin Schuring, A-L, RB2

Bobby Aikman, A-L, WR 1

Jared Higginbotham, Martinsville, QB 1

Dylan Ross, East Central, RB 1

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

A.J. Woodworth, Villa Grove, LB 5

Ryan Cain, CG/D-W, LB 1

Garrison Stenger, Arcola, LB 1

Austin Locke, Tri-County, LB 1

GAME OF THE YEAR

Villa Grove at CG/D-W (Week 8) 3

Arcola at Villa Grove (Week 7) 3

CG/D-W at Arcola (Week 4) 3

DID YOU KNOW?

In the past eight years, six different schools have won or shared the LOVC title: Villa Grove (2008), Cerro Gordo and Arcola (2007), Tuscola (2006, 2005, 2002), Arthur-Lovington (2004, 2003) and Oakland (now Tri-County, 2001). In the last decade, nine LOVC titlists have been unbeaten in league play.

OKAW VALLEY CONFERENCE

BLACK DIVISION

Preseason Coaches Poll

(36 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. (tie) St. Teresa (3) 33

1. (tie) Unity (3) 33

3. Monticello 22

4. Clinton 20

5. Shelbyville 11

6. Sullivan/Okaw Valley 7

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Ben Palla, Monticello, QB 3

Matt Franks, Unity, RB 2

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

David Alwood, Clinton, S 2

Josh Shride, Clinton, LB 2

GAME OF THE YEAR

St. Teresa at Unity (Week 6) 6

DID YOU KNOW?

Unity has not had a losing season in Scott Hamilton's 15 years as head coach. In that span, the Rockets have won 79.4 percent of their games (139 of 175).

BLUE DIVISION

Preseason Coaches Poll

(36 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. Maroa-Forsyth (6) 36

2. Tuscola 28

3. Central A&M 25

4. Meridian 17

5. Argenta-Oreana 12

6. Warrensburg-Latham 8

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Justin Barnes, Maroa-Forsyth, QB 6

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Dalton Coventry, Maroa-Forsyth, LB 3

Jordan Knerr, Tuscola, LB2

GAME OF THE YEAR

Maroa-Forsyth at Tuscola (Week 7) 4

Two tied 1

DID YOU KNOW?

Area receiving leader Gunnar Edwards, from Tuscola (51 catches, 923 yards), is trying to be the first athlete to lead in receiving back-to-back years since Centennial's Marquis Johnson did so in 2000 and 2001.

SANGAMON VALLEY CONFERENCE

Preseason Coaches Poll

(49 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

1. Clifton Central (7) 49

2. Momence 37

3. St. Joseph-Ogden 33

4. St. Thomas More 31

5. Watseka 25

6. Iroquois West 12

7. Paxton-Buckley-Loda 9

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Calvin Phillips, Momence, RB 6

Marcel Maiden, Watseka, RB 2

David Payne, Clifton, RB 2

Trent Faulkner, Clifton, QB 1

Lucas Gones, SJ-O, RB 1

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

David Payne, Clifton, LB 3

David Strauser, STM, LB 3

Kyle Fisher, Clifton, LB 1

Collin Hills, Clifton, LB 1

Marcel Maiden, Watseka, DB 1

GAME OF THE YEAR

Momence at Clifton (Week 9) 3

Clifton at SJ-O (Week 4) 2

Clifton at Watseka (Week 8) 1

STM at Clifton (Week 5) 1

DID YOU KNOW?

St. Joseph-Ogden has not had a losing season in Dick Duval's 21 years as head coach. In that span, the Spartans have won 76.5 percent of their games (186 of 243).

VERMILION VALLEY CONFERENCE

Preseason Coaches Poll

(64 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)

SCHOOL POINTS

1. Westville (4) 57

2. Salt Fork (2) 56

3. Bismarck-Henning (2) 50

4. Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac 36

5. Milford/Cissna Park 32

6. Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 27

7. Hoopeston Area 17

8. Schlarman 13

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Matt Maser, Westville, QB 7

Lance Hubbard, Salt Fork, WB 1

Brandon Pratt, Westville, RB 1

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYER

PLAYER, SCHOOL, POS. VOTES

Ross Darby, B-H, LB 2

Rileigh Darnell, Salt Fork, DB 2

Lance Hubbard, Salt Fork, LB 2

Trace McClintock, O/A-P 2

Jake Manning, Salt Fork, DE 1

GAME OF THE YEAR

Westville at Salt Fork (Week 3) 6

G-RF/C at Westville (Week 9) 1

O/A-P at Salt Fork (Week 9) 1

DID YOU KNOW?

In the first five years of the VVC, every league title has been won by Salt Fork (2004, 2005 and 2008) or Westville (2006 and 2007).

Sections (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports

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