Proposed league ready to go distance

ST. JOSEPH — One area high school administrator said the proposed Okaw Valley Conference merger with the Corn Belt Conference shouldn’t affect transportation costs as much as people may expect.

St. Joseph-Ogden Principal Gary Page said his school district has traveled fairly extensively already in most sports outside of conference play, especially in football.

Feb. 25 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 2:00pm

What's going on with Illinois athletics? What are the biggest challenges Josh Whitman faces? Will John Groce be around for a fifth season? Does Bill Cubit have a chance to coach Illinois beyond 2016? How does The News-Gazette handle coverage of certain events? Sports editor Matt Daniels will take any and all inquiries in his 2 p.m. chat on Thursday. Feel free to submit questions beforehand.

Feb. 25 prep sports chat

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 12:30pm

What were the biggest takeaways from the state wrestling meet? Who are some boys' basketball teams to watch out for this postseason? Can Payton Woods win a state title? When do spring sports start? When will The News-Gazette publish its winter All-Area teams? Preps coordinator Anthony Zilis has the area high school sports scene covered, so ask him about it in his 12:30 p.m. chat Thursday.

Okaw Valley, Corn Belt principals vote unanimously for merger

BLOOMINGTON — The Corn Belt and Okaw Valley conferences came one step closer to a merger Tuesday morning, when the 10 principals from both conferences voted unanimously at a meeting at Bloomington Central Catholic to move forward with the formation of a new conference.

Okaw, Corn Belt discuss possible merger

After years of seismic shifts in the conference landscape, the Okaw Valley and Corn Belt conferences may finally find themselves on solid ground if discussions of a merger between the two leagues move forward.

A Life Remembered: Dave Jones

For Brad Wilson, Dave Jones was more than a co-worker, an avid prep sports fan and a mentor.

He was a friend.

Jones, described as a “super-fan” by those who met him, died on Monday. He was 68.

Jones graduated from Allerton-Broadlands-Longview High School in 1965 and went on to coach sports at Heritage and Villa Grove.

All-Area Girls' Tennis: First team, second team, special mention

First Team

Lindsay Huang    Urbana Uni High    Fr.
Lauren Neitzel    Centennial    Sr.
Grace Qiu    Urbana Uni High    So.
Madison Scaggs    Centennial    So.

All-Area Girls' Tennis COY: Centennial's Teri Scaggs

Why she’s Coach of the Year: The Chargers showed they’re once again the class of the area, winning the Centennial Sectional and advancing six athletes (two singles players and two doubles teams) to the state tournament.

All-Area Girls' Tennis: Final 2015 stats

(Minimum two matches)

Willa Olson, Centennial    No. 5    3-0    1.000
Gressa Olson, Centennial    No. 4    8-1    .889

All-Area Girls' Tennis POY: Centennial's Lauren Neitzel

CHAMPAIGN — The clock struck 8:30 p.m., and Lauren Neitzel’s Centennial tennis teammates filed out of their hotel at the state tournament in the Chicago suburbs.

Their destination? The mall.

But for Neitzel, it was bedtime.