CHAMPAIGN — Ben Sankey had two bags for much of his 20s, and in those bags sat all of his belongings.
A call could come at any time that changed his life, whether that be a call to the coaches’ office or the ringing of his cellphone, telling him he’d been traded or a team was interested in his services. He had to remain ready.
In 2005, we asked now-retired sports writer Fred Kroner to come up with a formula to fairly evaluate all of our area schools against one another, whether they competed in five sports or 20.
TEAMS OF THE YEAR
1. Unity boys’ cross-country. Dominant performance by five seniors at state; they placed among the top 14 individually, leading Rockets to a Class 1A state crown.
2. LeRoy boys’ basketball. School’s first state trophy in the sport was for first place in Class 1A.
The offseason might be in full effect for area high school athletes, but it's never too early to look ahead. That's what preps coordinator Anthony Zilis is here for. What football teams might surprise in 2016? When does The News-Gazette Preps Year in Review come out? Who's the next big-time recruit to come out of C-U? Ask and Zilis will provide an answer in his 12:30 p.m.
He was going to cook out with his two sons in Urbana. That alone had Wayne Mammen excited about Sunday afternoon.
"It'd been eons," Wayne said, "since we got together on Father's Day."
BLOOMINGTON — The Class 1A boys’ soccer state tournament will head to East Peoria starting with the 2017 tournament and remain at the Eastside Centre through 2021.
The Corn Crib in Normal has served as the 1A state final site the last five seasons, which saw Urbana Uni High make the state finals in 2012 and 2015.
When do the rest of the All-Area teams come out? Who are some high school athletes to keep an eye on next school year? What teams surprised preps coordinator Anthony Zilis the most this past school year? Zilis is chatting at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, but you can go ahead and ask questions ahead of time.
Here’s a look back at our Athlete of the Week honorees from start to finish:
Male: Bailey Crose, Hoopeston Area soccer
Female: Lauren Whitehouse, Mahomet-Seymour cross-country
Male: Clayton Miller, Arcola/ALAH golf
Female: Kylie Michael, SJ-O volleyball
The 2015-16 preps season might be in the books, but that doesn't mean there aren't questions you can pepper preps coordinator Anthony Zilis with. Maybe you're interested in Jon Davis' continued assault on 4 minutes. Maybe you have questions about Doug Wallen's transfer from St. Thomas More to Champaign Central. Or maybe you're interetsed in looking ahead to 2016-17.
The school year wasn’t quite over yet, but already Randy Moss had taken down most of the wall decor in his office at Monticello High School. The assistant principal and athletic director of 22 years is retiring in June and many of his prized possessions lay in a cardboard box on his floor. On Wednesday, Moss excitedly revealed he had 11 working days left until he called it a career.