Executive Sports Editor Fred Kroner is churning out plenty of All-Area selections and Player of the Year honorees this week for our winter sports. Who were some of the top athletes and teams he watched these last four months? What is his take on the area spring sports scene? Is it a good thing or bad thing that the boys' basketball state tournament will remain in Peoria through 2020?
Executive Sports Editor Fred Kroner is keeping tabs on all the latest happenings in area prep sports. When do the All-Area teams start to appear in The News-Gazette? What was the best moment from the winter sports seasons? What should you look forward to this spring? Anything is fair game in his weekly chat.
DECATUR — Urbana High School graduate Ryan Birt — who had more than 150 dual-meet wins in wrestling at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley — started Monday as the head wrestling coach at Millikin University, which is resurrecting its program after a seven-year hiatus.
His last day as associate head coach at Loras College, in Iowa, was Friday.
CHAMPAIGN — Centennial athletic director Brian Easter will leave the position at the end of the school year and return to teaching in the physical education department.
Easter, 43, replaced Stan Lewis as the Chargers’ AD following the 2005-06 school year and is in his ninth year on the job.
1. Centennial Nine singles, seven doubles wins at sectional
2. Danville Nine doubles, four singles wins at sectional
3. Champaign Central Four doubles, three singles wins at sectional
4. Urbana Uni High Five singles wins at sectional
NAME SCHOOL YR.
Taylor Ellis Danville Sr.
Lindsay Huang Uni High Fr.
Rebecca Lewis Danville Sr.
Lauren Neitzel Centennial Jr.
Why she’s Coach of the Year: Guided the Chargers to their first sectional title since winning two in a row in 2007 and 2008 and sent six players to the state tournament — Lauren Neitzel and Madison Scaggs in singles play and the doubles teams of Teresa Boerma and Sophie Kim and Jasmine Lee and Jacklyn Gunn.
CHAMPAIGN — Lauren Neitzel made the switch from playing tennis and golf as her primary sports to just tennis when she was in sixth grade.
The reason? Frustration.
As in golf was infinitely more frustrating than tennis. A single poor shot on the golf course tended to ruin her round. The immediacy of the next point in tennis alleviated those same frustrations.
Change is inevitable.
Some of us embrace it. Some resist it.
The only certainty is that it’s coming, often in ways we cannot currently even imagine.
The newspaper business is no exception.
We used to write stories on a typewriter, and a composing room person would set the words in type.
In girls’ tennis
■ Danville’s Taylor Ellis and Rebecca Lewis are the only local competitors still in contention at the state tournament, which began Thursday. The double team played in four matches on the opening day.
The Viking girls opened play by humbling Shelby Holst and Ashley West of Salem, 6-3, 6-3.