Bulletin board: Charger already a winner
CHAMPAIGN — Before Centennial senior Abrar Al-Heeti joined forces with teammate Shelby Quigley for a win at No. 3 doubles against Rantoul last week, she was already a winner in her sport.
As a junior, Al-Heeti tried out but was cut. However, she wasn't discouraged.
"She showed up in my park district beginner class this summer," Centennial coach Connie Hoagland said, "neither one of us knowing that she was going to be trying out for the team or that I would be her coach until near the end of the summer lessons."
Al-Heeti is now one of 10 athletes — and the only senior — on first-year coach Hoagland's roster. Due to limited numbers, no prospects were cut this fall.
In her varsity debut, Al-Heeti and Quigley were down 5-6 before rallying for a 9-7 triumph.
"It really was one of those moments where you are reminded what high school sports are all about," said Hoagland, who said all other matches had concluded and the entire team was cheering on the duo.
Eagles enter record books
RANTOUL — Two weeks into the prep football season, Rantoul's Eagles have entered the all-time IHSA record books twice. In Week 1, Rantoul dropped a 68-44 decision to Charleston in a game where the combined point total (112) tied the teams for 16th on the single-game scoring list.
The Eagles moved up higher last week in a 66-62 loss to Eureka. The 128 combined points places the schools in a tie for sixth on the IHSA charts.
The most recent game will be memorable beyond the points scored. The elapsed time to complete the game was nearly seven hours thanks to three delays caused by lightning. The contest lasted so long that Eureka coach Brian Johnson was quoted in the Bloomington Pantagraph saying, "Our bus pulled into the high school parking lot at 3:45 (a.m.)"
Rantoul had its share of highlights in a Corn Belt Conference contest that saw nine lead changes. Senior quarterback Terry Deaville completed 16 of 31 passes for 411 yards, five touchdowns and one interception while rushing for 49 yards on eight carries. Junior receiver Cord Church was his favorite target, hauling in four passes for 205 yards and two TDs. In two games, Deaville has passed for an area-best 737 yards with one interception in 74 attempts.
Field of dreams
MONTICELLO — Before the football team's home opener last week, Monticello High was presented with an award as one of 45 fields nationwide to be recognized by Pioneer Athletics as a 2010 Field of Excellence Award winner.
Since the program was implemented in 1998, a total of 445 high school football fields have been honored.
Monticello's volunteer painting crew of Richard Dillingham, Mike Meyers, Bob Glidwell, Rick Pennington and Greg Hill received certificates for their efforts. In addition, the Monticello Athletic Boosters, Superintendent Vic Zimmerman, Principal Tip Reedy, activities director Randy Moss, groundskeeper Rick Timmons and school board consultant Art Sievers were presented with certificates recognizing their contributions.
"The Fields of Excellence program is designed to make everyone more aware of the hard work of community volunteers, facilities staff and the support of the organization's administrative team that produces the results played on by athletes and seen by fans on game nights," Pioneer Athletics spokesman Douglas SchattInger said. "Pioneer understands that excellence in athletic field maintenance goes unrecognized and often unappreciated."
Hall comes calling
HOOPESTON — Former Hoopeston-East Lynn coach Bob Doty, who had a 28-year tenure at the school, has been chosen for induction to the Murray State Athletic Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place Jan. 27, 2012. During his track career at Murray State, Doty set eight school records and five Ohio Valley Conference marks. As a senior, he was part of a 440-yard relay that posted the nation's fourth-fastest time (41.2 seconds). A native of St. Elmo, Doty was a high school state champion in the 100-yard dash. In 1987, his daughter Jill was the 100-meter state champion for Hoopeston, making the Dotys the first father-daughter duo in state history to win the same track event. Bob Doty and his wife, Nancy, are retired and living in Murray, Ky.
Spartans make commitments
ST. JOSEPH — Two senior softball players from St. Joseph-Ogden have finalized their collegiate plans. Reigning Player of the Year Elizabeth Everingham, a pitcher/infielder, has committed to St. Louis University. Outfielder Stephanie Canfield, a two-time All-Area selection, will sign a letter of intent with the University of Arkansas. She made her official visit to the campus last weekend.