Aug. 25 prep sports chat

Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 12:30pm

Fall sports are underway for the 2016-17 school year. What football teams might contend for a state title? Will Champaign Central football replicate its run to the Class 5A state semifinals from a year ago? Who are some of the top volleyball teams and players? Will Urbana Uni High boys' soccer advance to the state tournament again?

Saturday's highlights: Hayasaki takes title

DECATUR — Champaign Central’s Mia Hayasaki used a front-nine 39 at Saturday’s State Preview event to capture medalist honors. The junior finished with an 80, giving her a 1-stroke edge over Mattoon’s Kira Wolf.

9 prep events to watch in fall 2016

A look at one game, meet or tournament to keep an eye on in each sport the next two months:

Boys’ cross-country
Okaw Valley Conference meet, Oct. 4, 4:30 p.m.

Defending Class 1A state champion Unity and third-place St. Joseph-Ogden will likely vie for the top two team spots at Lodge Park in Monticello.

2016 Prep Program of the Year: St. Joseph-Ogden

In 2005, we asked now-retired sports writer Fred Kroner to come up with a formula to fairly evaluate all of our area schools against one another, whether they competed in five sports or 20.

2016 Prep Year in Review

1. Unity boys’ cross-country. Dominant performance by five seniors at state; they placed among the top 14 individually, leading Rockets to a Class 1A state crown.

2. LeRoy boys’ basketball. School’s first state trophy in the sport was for first place in Class 1A.

June 30 prep sports chat

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 12:30pm

The offseason might be in full effect for area high school athletes, but it's never too early to look ahead. That's what preps coordinator Anthony Zilis is here for. What football teams might surprise in 2016? When does The News-Gazette Preps Year in Review come out? Who's the next big-time recruit to come out of C-U? Ask and Zilis will provide an answer in his 12:30 p.m.

12th All-Area Boys' Tennis Team


Connor Gross    St. Thomas More    Sr.
Van Gundersen    Urbana Uni High    So.
Matthew Scaggs    Centennial    Sr.
Jared Thomas    Centennial    Fr.

All-Area Boys' Tennis Coach of the Year: Urbana's Matt Avery

Why he’s Coach of the Year: Avery led a program on the rise to a fifth-place finish at the Big 12 Conference tournament. After finishing in the bottom three at the sectional meet each of the last two seasons, the Tigers took third this year.

Thope's tennis climb a gradual one

CHAMPAIGN — When he was a kid, Kishor Thope would flip through the channels to find a sport that he had never played but always loved: tennis.