The offseason is upon the two major programs at Illinois, but will Lovie Smith and John Groce win on the court in 2016 and off the court? How is Josh Whitman settling into his role as athletic director? Will top recruits finally land at Illinois in football and men's basketball? Who are some top area high school recruits? How does The News-Gazette determine its All-Area teams?
How did Tori McCoy's experience at the McDonald's All-American Game go? Who is The News-Gazette's area wrestler of the year? What baseball, softball and girls' soccer teams might make a run to the state tournament? How are the area track and field teams looking as the outdoor season is about to get into full swing? What about boys' tennis?
ST. JOSEPH — One of the more successful athletic programs in the area will have a new athletic director next school year.
ARCOLA — Nancy Stiff has heard the questions for a decade: Is this it? Are you going to hang it up?
Stiff’s answer has always been no.
But now, after 43 years as the only girls’ basketball coach in Arcola history, this is it for Stiff. She is hanging it up.
The longtime Purple Riders coach told her team Monday that she was retiring.
CHAMPAIGN — Tori McCoy’s venture to Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game in late March won’t be the St. Thomas More senior’s final national all-star game.
Two weeks later, she’ll take part in the Jordan Brand Classic at the Barclays Center in New York.
Two boys' basketball teams will play in Peoria. Can St. Joseph-Ogden and LeRoy come home with state titles this weekend? What have been the keys to these two teams during their March run? When do All-Area teams come out? Isn't baseball and softball right around the corner? Preps coordinator Anthony Zilis is chatting at 12:30 p.m.
CHAMPAIGN — Parkland men’s basketball coach Anthony Figueroa didn’t hesitate to shout at his team, turn to his assistants in frustration or scold a player or two during Sunday’s NJCAA Division II Region 24 Tournament championship.
CHAMPAIGN — Parkland coach Anthony Figueroa wanted the ball in freshman Terrion Howard’s hands at the end of Saturday’s NJCAA Division II Region 24 tournament semifinal at home against Danville Area, and the former Centennial guard didn’t disappoint him.
CHAMPAIGN — Oakwood’s Jon Davis, a University of Illinois signee, set a Charger Indoor Invitational record in the 3,200-meter run on Saturday at the Armory, finishing in 9 minutes, 21.62 seconds.
Mahomet-Seymour’s Alex Keeble also eclipsed the previous Class A standard (9:26.57) in the event, placing second in 9:24.06.
NORMAL — Mahomet-Seymour’s Jordan Hackmann made nine three-pointers and placed third in the finals of the Class 3A Three-Point Showdown on Friday at Redbird Arena.