PHOENIX — Parkland’s dominant start in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II National Championship allowed Cliff Hastings to utilize his deep bench, pulling his starters after one set.
CHAMPAIGN — Cliff Hastings hears the same thing nearly every time Miaya Peacock lines up on the outside to take swings during warmups.
“Before even warmups start, a common question is, ‘Oh, is your main outside hurt? I see your (defensive specialist) is playing outside for you,’ ” Hastings said.
He has just one answer for that particular question.
CHAMPAIGN — Laura Gross had her plan set. She was going to follow a standout career at Schlarman with four years at McKendree, scholarship offer in hand.
Then McKendree coach Lisa Orlet left the team in the middle of last season — a change that forced Gross to re-evaluate her decision. If McKendree wasn’t the place she wanted to be, maybe Parkland was.
CHAMPAIGN — Normally, a few kids bask in the spotlight on Signing Day at Champaign Central, signing their Division I letters of intent along with a small contingent of elite athletes.
This year, that’s not the case.
Seven athletes who played sports for Central this year or last signed letters of intent Tuesday.
St. Joseph-Ogden football
Why he was chosen: The Spartans senior running back compiled 261 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries in SJ-O’s 26-21 Class 3A state quarterfinal win at Bloomington Central Catholic this past Saturday, leading the Spartans into the state semifinals for the sixth time in school history.
(Minimum 2.00 average)
Player, School Kills Avg.
Shelby Mascari, Oakwood 305 4.84
Alicia Claunch, LeRoy 296 4.55
Dana Westfield, Ch. Central 353 4.53
NORMAL — The Cissna Park volleyball team lifted its trophy high in the air, tears in a few of the Timberwolves’ eyes after Saturday’s Class 1A state championship.
It wasn’t the championship trophy that they wanted, which sat across the Redbird Arena floor in front of the contingent from Lanark Eastland after the Cougars beat Cissna Park 25-16, 25-16 in the Class 1A state finals.
Steven Migut, Chandler Cousins, Jayden Kaiser, Cam Reifsteck and Cale Shonkwiler scored touchdowns as Unity beat previously undefeated North Mac 55-20 to help the Rockets advance to the Class 3A state quarterfinals for the first time since 2012.
The nerves and adrenaline coursed through Jessica Franklin’s body as the gun sounded during last year’s National Association of Christian Athletes championship cross-country race on a hilly, Appalachian trail in Dayton, Tenn.