Faces of the spring

The high school spring sports season is starting to bloom.

Big 12 revamp ahead of schedule

CHAMPAIGN ­— Coming to a field or stadium sooner than expected: the revamped Big 12 Conference.

The expanding high school athletic league will have conference schedules in play in 20 of 21 sports when another school year starts in August.

All-Area Girls' Tennis Coach of Year: Danville's Mark Bacys

Why he’s Coach of the Year: Guided Vikings to fourth consecutive Big 12 conference title and third successive sectional championship, qualifying all six players for state. Won the IHSA team sportsmanship award at state and received an IHSA academic award for having a team grade-point average of over 3.5.

All-Area Girls' Tennis POY: Danville's Rachael Lewis

DANVILLE — Rachael Lewis is all about tennis.

In the early days of her youthful exuberance, it wasn’t the game or even the competition that Lewis found appealing.

“To be honest, I liked tennis for the outfits that I got to wear when I played,” Lewis said. “I loved the little skirts and dresses that my mom would have for me.”

Peoria schools joining Big 12

What happened

Bulletin board: SJ-O faces passing power

GREENVILLE — St. Joseph-Ogden’s secondary will receive a chance to add to some impressive season totals. The Spartans (10-2) have intercepted 17 passes this season, seven by Jake Stewart and five by Jake Pence. They are two of the team’s four defensive backs.

Highlights: Sages fall in soccer; Vikings team out at state


BLOOMINGTON — Goalkeeper Ryan Schaub recorded nine saves, but Monticello’s boys’ soccer team lost 2-0 to Williamsville on Friday in the championship match of the Class 1A Bloomington Central Catholic Sectional.

Thursday's highlights: Danville tennis duo remains alive

In tennis

At suburban Chicago. The Danville doubles duo of Rachael Lewis and Rebecca Lewis reached the third round at the IHSA state championship tournament before losing. The Vikings tandem, seeded Nos. 17-32, won its first two matches in straight sets. They then lost to a Winnetka New Trier duo seeded Nos. 9-16.

State tennis preview

The most successful girls’ athletic program in Danville history has added to its treasure chest.

Last week’s sectional title in tennis was the 19th in that girls’ sport and marked the third in a row for coach Mark Bacys’ program. It was the second consecutive year that the Vikings advanced both singles and both doubles entries to state.

Teams of the Week: A-P volleyball in spotlight

The top-seeded Trojans won all three Vermilion County tournament matches in two-set sweeps, reaching the 20-win mark by defeating Salt Fork in the finals. Makenzie Vinson had nine kills, Rachel Miles eight and Macey Williams four against the Storm.