CHAMPAIGN — The question marks for the Illinois soccer defense are there, but dwindling. Plenty of returning starters, including goalkeeper Claire Wheatley, and an offseason full of shoring up that back line have the Illini moving in the right direction.
Consider yourself lucky. When you begin classes Monday, you’ll be part of a diverse class of nearly 7,000 new students weaned from roughly 33,000 applicants.
Everybody around you is double-smart, the middle 50 percent of freshmen in
engineering averaging 31-34 (out of 36) on the ACT and upward of 92 percent in class rank.
ARTHUR — Seniority rules within the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond football program.
The Knights’ front-liners in 21 of the 22 offensive or defensive positions are seniors. The lone exception is junior linebacker Tyler Smith.
PAXTON — Thirteen of the 16 seniors on the Paxton-Buckley-Loda football roster are returning lettermen.
That’s not a true reflection of the Panthers’ experience entering the season.
“A lot of them played in different positions, and now they are in different roles,” coach Jeff Graham said.
In boys’ golf
■ At Gibson City. Devyn Roesch carded a 39 to share medalist honors and lead Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley to first place at Railside.
We're unveiling our preseason Top 10 area football teams by video (thanks, senior Isaac Horsch) and story (thanks, Fred Kroner):
Why No. 9?
Steve Kelly and Marcus Jackson provide soundbites from Illiini football head coach Beckman, new QB Wes Lunt, OC Bill Cubit, back-up QB Reilly O'Toole, Illini AD Mike Thomas, and from Illini men's basketball head coach John Groce, and they talk with Brad Sturdy from Orange and Blue News.
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CHAMPAIGN — Wes Lunt said he slept fine Tuesday night.
The Illinois quarterback had to have a good idea he’d end Wednesday with the official title of starting quarterback at Illinois next to his name.
“My mentality is going to stay the same,” Lunt said. “I’ve been preparing to be the starter. So have the other guys since camp and since spring.”