Prep year in review

Prep year in review

A close look at the last year of area high school sports:


1. Champaign Central boys' basketball. First trip to state tournament in 39 years yielded third-place trophy in Class 3A.

2. Tuscola boys' track and field. The Tyler Carter-led Warriors captured third place at state.

3. St. Thomas More girls' golf. A state runner-up finish last fall leaves little room for improvement in 2008.

4. Paxton-Buckley-Loda boys' cross-country. Consecutive fourth-place finishes at last two Class 1A state meets.

5. Westville football. After 13 wins in succession, season ended with a loss in Class 2A state title contest.

6. Tuscola baseball. Warriors hit their stride – and opposing pitching – at right time, claiming fourth in state.

7. Mahomet-Seymour girls' cross-country. The girls' program secured its best finish at state, ending fourth in Class 2A.

8. Tuscola football. Runner-up season will be remembered for off-field developments.

9. St. Thomas More boys' golf. Under coaches named Tim, achieving at a high level with consecutive top-six placings at state.

10. St. Joseph-Ogden girls' cross- country. Spartans were fourth at state, the eighth top-10 finish in the past 19 years for SJ-O girls.

11. Centennial boys' soccer. Chargers kicked into gear for school-record win total (21) and first state appearance.

12. Fisher boys' basketball. Followed first regional title in 20 years with first sectional crown ever.

13. Tuscola softball. Nucleus returns from a team with back-to-back super-sectional berths.

14. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley wrestling. Last year Falcons were young and good. This year they're older and better.

15. Tuscola girls' basketball. Next year, there will be seniors on team as it tries to advance beyond super-sectional.


1. Daniella Bunch, Mahomet- Seymour track and field. Nation's best shot putter should have a plethora of collegiate offers.

2. James Kinney, Centennial boys' basketball. Senior offers combo-guard skills and has attracted interest from the likes of Southern Illinois, Bradley and George Mason.

3. Mikel Brigham, Danville boys' basketball. Hopes summer AAU team will boost his recruitability.

4. Colten Unzicker, Fisher football, wrestling. Has toughness and talent to play beyond high school.

5. Malcolm Taylor, Urbana Uni High track and field. Just a hunch that upcoming senior will have a collegiate future in running.

6. Katarina Marjanovic, Urbana girls' tennis. Future looks bright for Big 12 and sectional singles champion.

7. Ryan Murphy, St. Thomas More golf. In another year, will be ready for the next level.

8. Hannah Ohl, Bismarck-Henning volleyball, basketball, softball. A potential All-Area first-teamer in three sports.

9. Kyle Bullock, Centennial soccer. In line to become one of few three-time All-Area first-teamers in his sport.

10. Sonya Le, Centennial softball. Left-handed hitter has quickness and batting prowess to play in college.

11. Monica Rondon, Champaign Central softball. Strong hitters are always in demand.

12. Kassie Jones, St. Thomas More basketball. The more she plays, the better she gets.

13. Jenna Dombroski, Centennial golf. Her skills continue to improve.

14. Mallory Weber, Salt Fork soccer, basketball, softball. Best years are still ahead.

15. Andrew Brewer, Mahomet- Seymour football, wrestling and track. Continues to make a name for himself.


1. Tyler Carter, Tuscola. Senior was a two-event boys' Class 1A track and field titlist, winning the long jump (22 feet, 9 3/4 inches) and the 110-meter high hurdles (14.42 seconds).

2. Mykhail Chambers, Urbana. Senior was the boys' Class 2A track and field high jump winner, clearing 6-8.

3. Daniella Bunch, Mahomet- Seymour. Junior captured the Class 2A girls' shot put crown (49-4 3/4) with the nation's sixth-best outdoor heave of the spring.


1. Justin Jones, Oakwood cross-country. Impossible to find a more polite and courteous athlete.

2. Camille Parsons, Urbana girls' basketball. Cooperative, congenial and able to elaborate on her answers.

3. Donald Stewart, Champaign Central boys' basketball. N-G's loss is Vincennes (Ind.) Sun Commercial's gain as quotable Maroon heads to college.

4. Jordan Harris, Centennial track and field. Able to provide insightful answers.

5. Nick Brehm, Paxton-Buckley-Loda cross-country. Articulate and candidly refreshing.

6. Murad Abbed, Bismarck-Henning basketball. Stays accessible, even following tough losses.

7. Theresa Laumann, St. Thomas More volleyball. As confident and adept speaking as she is playing.

8. Lukas Graves, St. Joseph-Ogden wrestling. Speaking talent matches outstanding athletic ability.

9. Jordan Barney, Westville football. Not afraid to speak his mind.

10. Erika Ramos, Hoopeston Area track and field. Always ready to add a few good words.

11. Ruthie Welch, Urbana Uni High track and field. Offers honest evaluations, not excuses.

12. Verdell Jones III, Champaign Central boys' basketball. Well-prepared for the college game as well as the postgame news conferences.

13. Mandy Kirby, Urbana girls' basketball. Easy to talk to ... once you realize which twin she is.

14. Zach Becker, St. Joseph-Ogden baseball. Possesses a large repertoire of well-conceived opinions.

15. Addie Tennant, Mahomet- Seymour track and field. Never met an interviewer she couldn't talk to.


1. Mike Nix, St. Joseph-Ogden, cross-country, wrestling, track and field. Three-sport star found himself overshadowed by talented teammates each season.

2. Ryan Kunce, Milford football, basketball, baseball. Epitome of a small-school three-sport standout.

3. Beth Boyer, Arcola golf, basketball, softball. With so many talented seniors at the school, someone unfortunately had to be overlooked.

4. Matt Wells, Danville First Baptist basketball. Had game to contribute at a larger school.

5. Zebo Zebe, Unity football, basketball, track. Could be front-runner for 2009 Area Male Athlete of the Year.

6. Austin Beck, Mahomet-Seymour cross-country. Improvement between sophomore and junior seasons was phenomenal.

7. Michelle Mehnert, Urbana Uni High cross-country. Few athletes are better conditioned than the Illineks' senior.

8. Jared Hayden, Fisher soccer, basketball, track. At many schools, would have been the marquee performer.

9. Willy Wilner, Judah Christian golf. Is becoming someone to be reckoned with throughout the state.

10. Zack Kulczycki, Urbana wrestling. A state qualifier at 145 pounds, Tigers senior tied for second-most victories (37) among area Class 2A wrestlers.

11. Quinn Miller and Dave Ruedi, Centennial boys' tennis. Doubles duo won 34 of 38 matches en route to ninth place at state.

12. Payton Focken, CPCI baseball. Season ERA (1.05) enough to warrant extra attention.

13. Corbin Sebens, Monticello golf, basketball. Among the area leaders in whatever he did.

14. Chelsey Keyes and Alyssa Robledo, Rantoul girls' tennis. Eagles' two top players in singles were a dynamic duo in doubles.

15. Sarai Rose, Danville girls' basketball. Senior got attention where it mattered most, from a college coach (Lyle Hicks, Danville Area Community College) who signed her to a letter of intent on Friday.


1. Cerro Gordo boys' basketball. The Broncos' program reached the 1,000 win mark for its storied history.

2. Randy Wolken, St. Joseph-Ogden softball. Became first member of sport's 700 Club, raising state career record for coaching victories to 721 after adding 27 more.

3. GCMS boys' basketball. The Falcons dedicated their season to teammate Ethan Glascock, a senior who died in an automobile accident in November. GCMS won its first regional championship since 1980.

4. Caleb Pratt, Westville football. Set seven all-time IHSA records, including career rushing yards (8,477) and career touchdowns (127).

5. Brielle Jones, DeLand-Weldon girls' basketball. Freshman shattered the state record for blocked shots in a single season (240).

6. Clayton Meyer, Tuscola football. Set all-time state record for extra-point kicks (213), with a total that tied him for fifth on the national career charts.

7. Drug testing. IHSA confirms it will implement steroid testing in time for its 2008-09 state tournament series.

8. Dale Schuring, Arthur-Lovington basketball coach. Won his 200th game, including girls' and boys' basketball, and finished season with 206-153 lifetime mark.

9. Mike Renner, Uni High basketball. Became the school's all-time boys' scoring leader, accumulating 1,519 points.

10. The 100-win club. Centennial boys' basketball coach Tim Lavin reached his 100th career victory Jan. 4 as the Chargers defeated Normal Community 53-41. He was joined in that club by Bismarck-Henning coach Mike Reynolds, whose team's 29 wins put him at 118-38 entering next season, when he takes over at Galesburg.


1. Champaign Central boys' basketball 65, Decatur Eisenhower 63. Trailing the top-ranked and undefeated Panthers by 11 midway through the third quarter March 7, the Maroons clawed back to stun the Big 12 champs on Donald Stewart's 12-footer with 1.8 seconds left for the Mount Zion Class 3A Sectional title.

2. Centennial boys' soccer 2, Peoria Notre Dame 1. On Oct. 29, Jonathan Hinds' OT goal sent the Chargers to their first Class 2A state tourney appearance.

3. Mahomet-Seymour football 64, Rantoul 19. On Oct. 12, junior Andrew Brewer amassed 508 all-purpose yards on the ground, including 338 rushing in the Corn Belt Conference game.

4. Centennial volleyball 25-25, Champaign Central 17-21. On Oct. 27, the Chargers won their Class 3A regional tournament and set the school record for victories in a season (33).

5. Tuscola boys' basketball 63, Chrisman 61. On Feb. 23, Clayton Meyer hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left to lift the Warriors to an upset of the host school in a Class 1A regional title game.

6. Bloomington football 33, Danville 15. On Sept. 7, senior Janelle Hensold kicked an extra point and became the first girl in school history to score a point for the football team.

7. Tuscola baseball 3, ROWVA 2. On May 26, Shaheen Shabrou pitched a four-hitter, walking one and striking out eight, in a Class 1A super-sectional game to clinch the Warriors' first state tournament berth.

8. Champaign Central football 28, Bloomington 20. Doug Kyrouac was 16 for 23 and threw two touchdown passes to lead the Maroons to an upset of the sixth-ranked Purple Raiders.

9. Centennial boys' basketball 62, Rich Central 60. On Dec. 15, the Chargers continued to prove they thrive in the Shootout at the Hall atmosphere, as Illini commitment Crandall Head and his mates were the latest to discover.

10. Chrisman Cowchip Classic. On Sept. 1, the Mahomet-Seymour girls' team matched its 2006 performance by sweeping all seven races in the flighted meet, tying the meet record with a perfect team score (7).

11. Class 1A boys' state track meet. On May 24, with senior Tyler Carter winning two events, placing second in another and helping a relay to fourth – accounting for every point – Tuscola tied for third place in the IHSA state finals.

12. Mahomet-Seymour girls' basketball 64, Prairie Central 60. On Jan. 14, Kelly Thompson tied the game with a three-pointer in overtime, then hit 3 of 4 free throws to clinch the victory.

13. Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac football 14, Bismarck-Henning 7. Brady Leeman's touchdown with 45 seconds remaining enabled the Comets to win the Vermilion Valley Conference game Sept. 28.

14. Champaign Central boys' basketball 70, Washington 65. On March 15, the Maroons ended a 39-year drought by winning the third-place trophy at state in the inaugural year of the Class 3A finals.

15. Fisher football 20, LeRoy 13. On Aug. 24, Colten Unzicker's 1-yard touchdown run with 1:06 to play sent the Bunnies to their first win in 22 years at LeRoy.

16. Tuscola softball 9, Arcola 2. On May 24, Kelsi Hoey retired the first 13 Purple Riders she faced in the Class 1A sectional title game at Moweaqua and struck out 11 in a one-hitter.

17. Bismarck-Henning boys' basketball 57, Salt Fork 49. On Jan. 19, in the 93rd Vermilion County tournament championship game, David Ingram and Murad Abbed teamed up to score 49 points as the Blue Devils upset the top-seeded Storm.

18. Unity girls' basketball 49, Monticello 45. On Feb. 8, Ana Deters scored 16 points as the Rockets stunned the 15th-ranked Sages in a Class 2A regional title game.

19. Centennial girls' soccer 2, Mahomet-Seymour 1. On May 16 in the regional title match at Mahomet, the Chargers' Nora Al-Qadi scored in the third overtime to secure the championship.

20. Tuscola football 48, Arcola 6. On Nov. 17 in the state semifinals, the Warriors advanced to the Class 2A state championship game for the second consecutive year behind the running of Austen Schultz (173 yards rushing) and the passing of John Wienke (241 yards).


1. St. Joseph-Ogden boys' track and field team. At state, all of the Spartans' athletes and coaches wore pink T-shirts that read, "TUSCOLA, Today we run with you" on the front and "In memory of Amy Edwards" on the back, as a tribute to Tuscola senior Ben Edwards, whose mother died unexpectedly the week before state.

2. Kelsi Hoey, Tuscola softball. Catchers often pick up the bat of an opposing player who hits a foul ball, but the Warriors' ace pitcher displayed the act of kindness in a game against Meridian.

3. Leah Livingston, GCMS track and field. Seconds after winning the 3,200-meter race in The News-Gazette Honor Roll Meet, she helped another competitor who was having difficulty standing, to the training tent.

4. Justin Fredericks, Bismarck- Henning basketball. No chance of being overlooked when it came to displaying an exemplary attitude.

5. Rachael Everingham, Georgetown-Ridge Farm volleyball. Her outstanding conduct enhanced her status as a leader by example.

6. Stephanie Denius, Oakwood. Not many athletes with her resume always stay level-headed in competition and receive countywide sportsmanship laurels.

7. News-Gazette All-Area softball players. Twelve girls agreed to delay a team picture while a 13th selection, Blue Ridge's Ashley Elliott, drove back from the Indianapolis airport following a trip to Florida.

8. Austin Cloyd Community Day of Service. Spearheaded by swimmer Jordan Branham, Centennial's Interact Club organized an April cleanup day around town to honor a friend who died in the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

9. St. Thomas More girls' basketball. In recognition of breast cancer awareness, the team wore pink "Think Pink" warmup jerseys and pink laces in their shoes for a regional home game against Unity.

10. Danny Lewis, Westville track and field. Hurdler turned interviews about his personal accomplishments into a time to brag about the overall performance of the vastly improved Tigers team.


1. Matt Bailey, Tuscola track and field. Broke collarbone in football preseason, suffered re-injury in Week 2 vs. Unity, then returned for playoffs, but tore ACL in knee. Ran all spring with the injury and helped a relay to fourth place at state.

2. Creighton Pierce, Unity football. Returned to action in football after missing all of previous basketball season. Another knee injury, however, ended his once-promising prep career after football.

3. Erin Downey, Shiloh basketball. A year after sustaining a season-ending foot injury, returns to earn first-team All-Area laurels.

4. Ben Edwards, Tuscola track and field. Can you imagine being a teenager and competing at state the day after your mother's funeral? He collected a medal he'll cherish forever.

5. Beth Thomas, Arcola softball. Torn ACL last June sidelined senior in volleyball, but she had a major impact in basketball and softball.

6. Blaize Cumbow, St. Joseph-Ogden basketball. Broken ankle ended football season early and delayed entrance into basketball, but didn't curtail playmaker's effectiveness upon return.

7. Athena Liao, Urbana swimming. Offseason torn knee ligaments didn't prevent senior from winning sectional titles in butterfly, breaststroke.

8. Jacob Bushue, Centennial boys' soccer. Center-midfielder now at full strength after recovering from broken collarbone, and was invited to attend the adidas Elite Soccer Program July 3-8 in Denver.

9. Blake Sorensen, Mahomet- Seymour track and field. Torn ligament damage from football didn't slow hurdler during track season.

10. Molly Romine, Tuscola softball. Torn ACL in basketball season opener sidelined star junior until regional play in softball. She'll be better than ever by volleyball.


1. Nora Al-Qadi, Centennial girls' soccer. Has Player of the Year potential before her graduation arrives.

2. Nathan Lawler, Cerro Gordo football. Passed for area's third-best total (1,754 yards) last fall.

3. Tom Pacey, Paxton-Buckley-Loda track and field. Will keep the Panthers' distance tradition strong for next two years.

4. Lauren Drennan, Danville girls' swimming. Mom's the coach, but record-setting daughter devotes the time needed to excel.

5. Rayvonte Rice, Centennial boys' basketball. All-Area basketball first-teamer as a sophomore, but is football his best sport?

6. Kaley Corban, Prairie Central basketball, softball. A matter of time before an All-Area berth beckons.

7. Brandon Ward, Champaign Central wrestling. A remarkable 33-1 season ended badly when 171-pounder was dismissed from team.

8. Cori Harris, Centennial. Should apologize to volleyballs for how hard she hits them.

9. Erin Wachtel, St. Thomas More volleyball. Conversion to setter was a brilliant decision.

10. Doug Kyrouac, Champaign Central football. Quarterback already a varsity veteran midway through prep career.

11. Shelby Helfrich, South Piatt basketball. Has established herself as one of the dominant players in the LOVC.

12. Jackson Hayes, St. Thomas More tennis. One of 34 sophomores to qualify for state in singles.

13. Stephan Birt, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley. Starting quarterback in football; standout wrestler in the winter.

14. Savannah Piety, Fisher basketball. Smooth player who has the ability to carry a team.

15. Blake Janesky, Danville soccer, baseball. More than holding his own against the upperclassmen in two sports.

16. Brandon Noe, St. Thomas More track and field. Maybe next year he'll have a home track as he tries to improve his area-best 162-foot, 5-inch effort in discus.

17. Erin Cowan, Watseka girls' basketball, softball. Capable of competing at a high level.

18. Guy Kirby, GCMS wrestling. Trying to elevate from one of area's best to one of state's best.

19. Kierra Robinson, Champaign Central girls' basketball. Maroons' top scorer and rebounder this year has a basket-ful of potential.

20. Alyssa Chambers, Judah Christian girls' basketball. Not just good because she plays at a small school.


1. D'Lando Carter, Danville boys' basketball. Vikings' fifth-leading varsity scorer in rookie season.

2. Lauren Grubb, Unity girls' basketball. The area's next up-and-coming all-around standout.

3. Tessa Schleyhahn, Centennial girls' soccer. Handles pressure well as shown by her late-game goal in regional finals that forced overtime.

4. Seth Trolia, Mahomet-Seymour golf. Tied for 27th at state and finished third among ninth-graders in Class 2A.

5. Kegan Skelton, Centennial boys' diving. Fell one spot short at IHSA state meet of qualifying for the 12-diver finals.

6. Joel Learnard, Salt Fork basketball, baseball. Will keep the family name prominently in the headlines three more years.

7. Hannah Bowen, Blue Ridge softball. Infielder/catcher earned all-state accolades from the Illinois Coaches Association.

8. Jordan Danzl, Salt Fork boys' golf. He can picture a banner prep career.

9. Will Holder, Centennial boys' diving. Gave the Chargers two freshman divers in the IHSA state meet.

10. Nathaniel Khachaturian, St. Thomas More boys' golf. His years in the sport are paying dividends.

11. Matthew Cleveland, Danville track and field. Class 2A state qualifier turned in area's top 3,200-meter time this spring.

12. Lizzy Dombroski, Centennial girls' golf. Hoping to surpass older sister's accomplishments.

13, Casey Cromwell, Schlarman softball. Infielder will remain a fixture in the heart of the Hilltoppers' lineup.

14, Meghan Houk, Urbana cross-country. Is putting distance between herself and other runners her age.

15, Emma Newman, Champaign Central girls' swimming. Already ranks among area's elite freestylers and breaststrokers.

16. Jenny Hill, Urbana girls' swimming. Registered area's second-best 50-yard freestyle time last season.

17. Storm Strader, Danville swimming. A prominent performer already in the 500-yard freestyle.

18. Wesley Patton, Oakwood wrestling. The 112-pounder was one of the few ninth-graders to be News-Gazette Honor Roll leaders in their weight classes.

19. Brielle Jones, DeLand-Weldon basketball. Not much blocking her path to success.

20. Taylor Redeker, CPCI girls' basketball. A double-figure scorer who made two-thirds of her free throws in varsity debut season.


1. Bismarck-Henning basketball. On Senior Night, the Blue Devils' autistic manager, Michael Van Hoveln, made a three-pointer in his first varsity game and received a standing ovation.

2. Lyle Loman, Heritage basketball. A great coach and an even better person, retired coach, 68, died May 6.

3. Joe Marks, Arcola football. Behind-the-scenes architect of Purple Riders' rise to top of small-school football in 1980s, died at age 52 on Tuesday.

4. Clyde Turner returns. Former Champaign Central basketball great saw his alma mater play for the first time since his 1969 graduation, and the Maroons captured third place in the Class 3A state tournament.

5. A 'Bunch' of awards. Mahomet-Seymour junior shot put state champion Daniella Bunch's crowning achievement might have been her selection as the Gatorade Girls' Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the state of Illinois.


1. Scott Davis, Champaign Central boys' basketball. Central alum guided a 25-victory Maroons team to third place in the Class 3A state tournament.

2. Pat Hettermann, St. Thomas More girls' golf. Her Sabers program was the second best in Class 1A.

3. Cole Bushue, Centennial boys' soccer. Had the Chargers within one victory of a state tournament trophy.

4. Ryan Tabeling, Tuscola baseball. Directed Warriors to the Final Four in Class 1A.

5. Aimee Smith, Urbana girls' basketball. Her Tigers won the first Big 12 Conference title in school history in their sport, ending a 33-year drought.

6. Stan Wienke, Tuscola football. Finished tenure at school with back-to-back Class 1A title-game berths.

7. Bonnie Moxley, Mahomet- Seymour cross-country and track and field. Her Bulldogs will remain a force on the Class 3A state scene.

8. John Overstreet, Paxton-Buckley-Loda boys' cross-country. Directed the Panthers to a top-four finish at state.

9. Matt Hopkins, Champaign Central boys' swimming. In first year at Maroons helm, led team to fifth sectional title in six years.

10. Tim Murphy, St. Thomas More boys' golf. Guided team with five of top six as underclassmen to third in Class 1A state finals.

11. Guy Goodlove, Westville football. Took the Tigers to a second state championship game appearance in a row.

12. Jon Jamison, St. Joseph-Ogden girls' cross-country. Returned youthful Spartans (five of top seven were freshmen) to position of state prominence.

13. Steve Spears, Tuscola boys' track and field. Directed Warriors to best state finish in his sport, a tie for third in Class 1A.

14. Mike Stephens, Bismarck- Henning girls' basketball and softball. Coached the Blue Devils to school-record win totals in back-to-back sports.

15. Tim Kohlbecker, Tuscola girls' basketball. Took a team with only underclassmen to the Elite Eight in Class 1A.

16. Stan Bergman, Centennial volleyball. Thirty-three win seasons don't come along often.

17. Dick Duval, St. Joseph-Ogden football. His Spartans were one of two teams in the area (along with Westville) to go unscathed during the nine-game regular season.

18. Don Waybright, Centennial swimming and diving. For the 16th time in the past 19 years, the Chargers had a diver (Norah Cetin) reach the final 12 at state.

19. Ashley Clanton, Danville girls' basketball. In first year on the job, directed Vikings to a regional crown with an upset of Big 12 titlist Urbana.

20. Courtney Hoffman, Monticello softball. The second-year head coach guided Sages to their fourth consecutive regional crown.


1. Mykhail Chambers, Urbana track and field. Look for him to jump right into the limelight at Georgia Tech.

2. Tyler McGill, Champaign Central swimming. In two seasons at Auburn, ex-Maroons' state champ is a five-time All-American.

3. Lindsey Barron, St. Joseph-Ogden softball. National record-holder in stolen bases will join a fledgling Division I program next year, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

4. Trent Meacham, Centennial basketball. Former All-Area Player of Year hopes to conclude college career with a bang in Illini backcourt.

5. Allie Lindemann, Champaign Central basketball. After two national titles at juco level, former Maroons sharpshooter moves to Division I ranks at Siena College.

6. Joe Smith, Centennial golf. Recent graduate looking to continue success at Toledo.

7. John Wienke, Tuscola football. Ex-Warrior seeks to pass the test in battle for quarterback position at Iowa.

8. Stan Gouard, Danville basketball. University of Indianapolis head coach will continue to make a name for himself.

9. Kyle O'Brien, Schlarman track and field. As a collegian at Illinois State, still running in the spotlight.

10. Hannah Deterding, Monticello volleyball. Left-handed setter will be a nice addition to the Eastern Illinois program.


1. Unity cross-country. Think programs with Gary Wieneke and Dike Stirrett on staff will not be competitive?

2. La Salette rugby. It's hard to rise above second in the nation, but Lions will try.

3. Centennial boys' basketball. Tim Lavin's Chargers could return as many as seven of top eight players from a 21-8 team that finished third in Big 12.

4. Arcola football. Could semifinal appearance last fall be a sign of what's to come for tradition-laden program?

5. St. Thomas More volleyball. Sabers will very soon be among the state's elite.

6. Mahomet-Seymour girls' soccer. Ten of this year's 20 varsity players were sophomores, including goalkeeper Hillary Veitch.

7. Unity girls' basketball. A regional championship team with no seniors this year certainly won't finish below .500 in 2009.

8. Sullivan volleyball. With All-Area setter Emily Sanders returning for senior year, Redskins should move above .500 mark in perennially tough Okaw Valley Conference.

9. Watseka boys' basketball. Regional title for coach Barry Bauer's youthful 2008 team was school's first in 13 seasons.

10. Schlarman football. After forfeiting last season due to a lack of players, Hilltoppers coach Jay Willaman could have at least three dozen prospects when preseason practice starts in mid-August.


(combined 2007-08 football, basketball, baseball victories)

1. Tuscola. 58 wins (12-18-28)

2. Cerro Gordo. 53 wins (8-24-21)

2. St. Joseph-Ogden. 53 wins (11-21-21)

4. Centennial. 48 wins (4-21-23)

4. Salt Fork. 48 wins (8-23-17)

6. Bismarck-Henning. 42 wins (4-29-9)

7. Champaign Central. 41 wins (5-25-11)


(combined 2007-08 volleyball, basketball, softball victories)

1. Bismarck-Henning. 77 wins (25-29-23)

2. Monticello. 71 wins (27-23-21)

3. Salt Fork. 60 wins (16-24-20)

3. Tuscola. 60 wins (13-22-25)

5. Sullivan. 57 wins (21-15-21)

6. Arcola. 56 wins (16-19-21)

7. Mahomet-Seymour. 54 wins (20-15-19)


(total 2007-08 football, volleyball, boys'/girls' basketball, baseball, softball victories)

1. Bismarck-Henning. 119 wins (42 boys, 77 girls)

2. Tuscola. 118 wins (58 boys, 60 girls)

3. Salt Fork. 108 wins (48 boys, 60 girls)

4. Monticello. 107 wins (36 boys, 71 girls)

5. St. Joseph-Ogden. 105 (53 boys, 52 girls)

6. Centennial. 98 (48 boys, 50 girls)

7. Cerro Gordo. 91 (53 boys, 38 girls)


– Area Player of Year in boys' basketball comes from Champaign for fourth straight season

– Area's top female athlete commits to Parkland College

– Mahomet-Seymour wrestlers win 19th consecutive regional championship

– Tuscola girls make breakthrough to state tournament

– Arcola coach Nancy Stiff earns 600th basketball triumph

– Parent group approaches SJ-O school board about adding boys' soccer

– Coaches resign to accept administrative jobs

– Gas prices force schools to curtail road trips

– Illini recruits attract record crowd to Shootout at the Hall

– More Big 12 Conference schools qualify for state championship games


– Fourteen more seniors playing baseball at Centennial

– M-S' Daniella Bunch opts to play soccer

– Prep rugby league forms in central Illinois

– IHSA adds state motocross series

– Area athletes boycott summer leagues; take a vacation

– Uni High starts push to revive six-man football

– Champaign high schools add Internet broadcasts for all home events

– Assembly Hall assigned boys' basketball super-sectional doubleheader

– High school referee shortage declared over

– Sports editor Jim Rossow authorizes 20 percent pay raise for entire staff

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