Illinois football hitting the home stretch. The fall high school sports season hitting a postseason fever pitch. Illini basketball getting underway. And plenty of local interest in the World Series what with the Chicago Cubs making it for the first time in seven decades. Busy days ahead for The News-Gazette sports staff. So what questions do you have for sports editor Matt Daniels?
This is it. Area high school athletes are in the thick of postseason action. Soccer is wrapping up, cross country and volleyball are underway and the football playoffs start Friday or Saturday. Which teams are in the hunt for postseason hardware? How about some individual athletes that might bring home a medal?
Each Monday, prep sports coordinator Anthony Zilis will take a look at five area events to circle on the calendar:
ST. JOSEPH — Since the four-class system first went into place starting with the 2007 volleyball season, five area high schools have reached the state tournament.
St. Joseph-Ogden would like to become the sixth in the four-class era.
A look at the latest area rankings ahead of the postseason, courtesy Scott Richey:
DeLAND — Judah Christian claimed the East Central Illinois Conference volleyball tournament on Saturday, defeating Calvary Christian in the final match.
The Tribe picked up a 25-22, 25-14 victory for the league championship.
Urbana Uni High earned consolation-champion honors by defeating Cornerstone Christian 25-22, 25-20 earlier in the day.
HOIC/McLean County Tournament
■ Tremont 2, Fisher 0. The Bunnies dropped a 25-14, 25-16 decision.
■ El Paso-Gridley 2, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 0. Eight assists from Jacey Goin and four kills by Allison Andreae weren’t enough for the Falcons in a 25-16, 25-14 defeat.
DANVILLE — Wynter Haas won the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 33 seconds) and the 100 butterfly (1:07) and Gabi Springer took the 50 freestyle (27.01 seconds) and the diving competition (196.4 points) to lead Danville to a girls’ swimming victory against Charleston and Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
What area high school football teams are already in the playoffs? What ones need wins this Friday night? Will Urbana or Champaign Central boys' soccer win a regional title on Saturday? What cross country teams are capable of making some noise this postseason? How good is Urbana Uni High swimmer Ema Rajic? Nothing is off limits as preps coordinator Anthony Zilis chats at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.