Wolken among local coaches built to thrive

Randy Wolken moved closer to 1,000 career wins with St. Joseph-Ogden softball’s 9-4 triumph at Mattoon on Monday, his 998th while leading the Spartans. Before SJ-O plays at Unity on Tuesday, a look at five ex-area coaches who shined at their respective schools:

Dick Duval


Prep notes: Rantoul honoring former coach Quinlan

RANTOUL — On March 13, Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio and the board of education were set to make a special announcement at that night's school board meeting. But they wanted it to be a surprise.

When Amerio created the meeting's minutes, he purposely left an important piece of information off board member Roger Quinlan's sheet of paper.

Video: Fall Postseason Highlights

Re-live St. Joseph-Ogden's run to the state championship, Mahomet-Seymour boys' cross country's historic state meet, Ema Rajic's record-breaking day and more of the area's biggest postseason highlights.

State final TV footage/commentary: Courtesy IHSA

35th N-G All-State Volleyball: POY Dana Rettke

RIVERSIDE — It doesn’t matter where Dana Rettke is. Someone is bound to ask the Riverside-Brookfield senior to stop and take a photo.

After matches. Downtown in Chicago. Anywhere really.

Meet All-State Volleyball POY Dana Rettke

Dana Rettke, Riverside-Brookfield

35th N-G All-State Volleyball Teams


Brooke Bachmann    Minooka    Sr.    5-10    S    Setter had several strong hitters, totaling 993 assists to go with 180 digs, 26 aces.

Final area prep statistics: 2016 volleyball

(Minimum 2.00 average)
Player, School    Kills    Avg.

Kylie Michael, SJ-O    397    5.67
Emily Duis, Milford    317    5.37
Katie Kidwell, Watseka    379    4.26

2016 volleyball all-conference/county teams

BIG 12

SENIORS — x-Briana Bush (Bloomington); x-Ezri Edwards (Bloomington); Carly Goben (Normal West); x-Rachel Maguire (Normal Community); x-Mary O’Brien (Peoria Notre Dame); x-Jamie Rys (Normal West); Bridget Schuler (Peoria Notre Dame); Kendall Sosa (Normal Community); x-Taya Westfield (Champaign Central)

Goals-oriented Michael caps stellar career

ST. JOSEPH — Kylie Michael’s goals stood right in front of her throughout her final high school volleyball season.

Michael was unable to forget about her long list of accomplishments still to finish as the season wound down, staring at them every morning before and every day after school


2016 All-Area volleyball: Meet the first team

A closer look at the 10 girls selected to The News-Gazette's 2016 All-Area volleyball first team: