Signing Day 2018-19: Locals heading to college

Photos from local high school athletes during the 2018-19 school year signing with their various colleges to continue athletic careers. Submit your photo at

Prep pulse: October 22, 2018

On Sept. 1, Madi Eberle became a very popular person.

In an official sense, anyway. That was the date college softball teams could contact her, in accordance with an NCAA recruitment rule.

"I had so many phone calls," the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley junior said. "I never thought it'd be like that."

Centennial announces 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame class

CHAMPAIGN -- Eleven individuals will be inducted into the Centennial High School Athletics Hall of Fame next year, Unit 4 Schools announced Monday.

This is the second group selected to the Chargers' hall. It indclues a variety of athletes, with one alumnus from 1970 and another from 2010.

Prep pulse: Oct. 1, 2018

Larry Sparks provided one guarantee for the St. Joseph-Ogden administration when applying for its open softball job.

"I wasn't going to be around for 39 years," the 51-year-old said.

Prep pulse: August 27, 2018

Among the many pieces we dedicate to area high school sports is our Athlete of the Week feature, which began last Wednesday with Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley boys' golfer Connor Birky and Tuscola girls' golfer Claire Ring.

Prep pulse: Aug. 6, 2018

A trio of reigning News-Gazette All-Area softball athletes had a pretty good time in Huntington Beach, Calif., last week.

No, they weren't on vacation. The three local stars — St. Joseph-Ogden junior Hannah Dukeman, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley junior Madi Eberle and Argenta-Oreana senior Camilyn Newbanks — suited up for the Premier Fastpitch Paulson 2001 squad, based out of Mattoon.

Bacys has Danville's seal of approval

DANVILLE — For the last 11 years, B.J. Luke sat at the top tier of Danville High School sports.

That changed last week when Luke retired from his role as athletic director. It didn't take him long to espouse the new man in charge.

"He'll do a nice job for us," Luke said. "And he dresses better than I do."

News-Gazette All-Area content from 2017-18 school year

We're getting close to starting another school year, which means prep sports are on the horizon. When area golf teams are able to kick off their respective campaigns come Aug. 9, things officially will be in full swing.

'I want either Baez or Schwarber'

Torion Rhone

This 12-year-old, who attends Franklin STEAM Academy in Champaign, was the leading participant in last month's Champaign-Urbana Little League Home Run Derby when he smacked five home runs for Campus Sportswear at the annual event.

His pick: Bryce Harper

Prep pulse: July 2, 2018

Coaching changes are bound to happen in high school sports, for any number of reasons.

But it's hard to overlook just how many coaches have stepped aside following their respective 2017-18 campaigns.

Tons of well-known individuals have decided to move on from coaching, or jump from one leadership position to another.