2017-18 Prep Year in Review


1. Schlarman girls' basketball. Keith Peoples' Hilltoppers, led by Player of the Year Anaya Peoples, suffered just one loss all year en route to a Class 1A state title, the first in program history.

Tigers hungry to replicate success despite key losses

WESTVILLE — How does a football coach entice a bunch of high school players to stick with their summer workouts, beyond promises of big wins later in the year?

With food, of course.

A little explanation: Westville operates an offseason regimen which rewards athletes — in football and beyond — with points for attending training sessions and completing certain exercises.

Back for more: Top area prep football games in 2018

Arcola at Tuscola. Unity at St. Joseph-Ogden. Champaign Central against Centennial at Tommy Stewart Field. These are just some of the rivalries that make Friday night football special. With Wednesday's unveiling of the 2018 schedules, preps coordinator Colin Likas takes a week-by-week look at the top regular-season games:

IHSA releases 2018 prep football schedules

Multiple games at Memorial Stadium and two local programs in the 8-Man Football league are among notes of interest among the 2018 prep football slate, which the IHSA released Wednesday afternoon.

Nineteen area stars suit up one last time

MAROA — Tuscola and Shelbyville boast a strong prep athletic rivalry as Central Illinois Conference opponents. Turns out school doesn't even need to be in session for that to continue.

Fleet-footed Bunnies rely on guile

FISHER — The rabbit typically is viewed as a fleet-of-foot animal, rushing away from potential predators and ensuring its small size isn't a deterrent.

So maybe it's fitting that coach Jake Palmer's Fisher football Bunnies must work with a similar strategy going into the 2018 season.

Oakwood Wall of Fame Class

 Monday’s event initially started as a meet-and-greet for fans of MLB Catcher Darrin Fletcher, former Chicago Bears offensive guard Cameron Lee and professional dirt track/stock car driver Bobby Pierce at the Oakwood McDonald’s. The trio signed autographs, posed for photos and raised funds for the Oakwood baseball diamond’s improvement.

Ex-Central assistant coach Craig takes over program at Oakwood

FITHIAN — When Oakwood football needed a new head coach after the 2015 season, school officials ultimately turned to Champaign Central assistant Wade DeVries.

Almost three years later, the Comets are traveling down that same path.

Q&A: Locals athletes in Illinois Shrine All-Star Game

Preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS catches up with five area football standouts who will play in today's 44th annual Illinois High School Shrine Game at 1 p.m. in Bloomington:

Ethan Miebach | Unity, LB

What was your reaction when you learned you'd been chosen to compete?

STM's Lee commits to Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho — Bryson Lee didn't go through a fast college football recruiting process.

"Hyperspeed" might be a more apt descriptor to attach to the St. Thomas More rising senior's choice.