Why I play football: Monticello's Will Espenschied

I picture myself somewhere in the near future wishing I still had the opportunity to put on my pads and play a game of football with all of my teammates from high school.

I can imagine that I will miss the early morning practices and conditioning.

I will miss the enthusiasm and intensity my fellow teammates echoed across the field.

Why I play football: PBL's Jake Stevenson

Coming up on my 10th consecutive year of football, it’s great to look back and realize what nearly didn’t happen.

Entering third grade, my parents asked if I wanted to play football.

I had always been the largest kid, both in height and weight, in my class.

Why I play football: LeRoy's Andrew Larson

Football is not easy. I think that’s why I really play.

Because it’s a challenge. But it’s not a challenge you have to take on alone, and that’s what is so fantastic about high school football.

You have an entire team around you that is doing exactly what you are doing.

I learned this from an early age, as I watched double sessions from the back of my dad’s truck.

AT&T brings reinforcements for Illini game

CHAMPAIGN — If you're an AT&T wireless customer and planning to attend any Illinois home football games, you're going to get some extra support as you text, post and call from the stands of Memorial Stadium.

AT&T said Monday it will bring in a COW — short for cell tower on wheels — to boost network support to keep customers connected in the stadium.

Money talk: Changes at top in UI salaries

The UI's football record book didn't require many revisions during Tim Beckman's three seasons on campus. But the gray book — the annual list of campus salaries, headed by Beckman — needs a complete rewrite.

Monday's highlights: Behrensmeyer leads STM soccer rout

In volleyball
Bismarck-Henning 2, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 0. Stephanie Bott had six kills and eight digs as Bismarck-Henning (1-1) dispatched visiting GCMS 25-22, 25-20. Lindsey Andrews had seven kills and seven digs. Catie Spicer had 11 assists and Blue Devil teammate Amanda Rife had seven digs.

Sept. 4 Illinois football chat

Friday, September 4, 2015 - 2:00pm

Forget what happens against Kent State. What happens to the future of the program now that Tim Beckman is gone? Is Bill Cubit the guy? What about P.J. Fleck? Or any other names tossed about as potential replacements for the 2016 season? Is a bowl game still salvagable?

Sept. 3 prep sports chat

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 12:30pm

Anthony Zilis was out at Tommy Stewart Field this past Friday night. What did he think of the Centennial football team? What other performances from Week 1 caught his eye? How are other fall sports going? Ask our prep sports coordinator about any prep-related topic you want and Zilis will give his insight during his 12:30 p.m. chat on Thursday. Submit inquiries ahead of time. 

Sept. 2 Illinois basketball chat

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - 11:00am

The full 2015-16 schedule is out for the Illini. What are five must-win games for John Groce's team? How did Xavier Simpson's visit go? What about the one for Xavier Sneed? Who else is visiting this month? What's the latest with Darius Paul? Anything is fair game in beat writer Marcus Jackson's weekly chat, which tips off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

UI roundup: Three volleyballers receive honors

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois volleyball team swept its way to an Illini Classic title on Friday and Saturday. The Illini followed up that strong start to the season by nearly sweeping the first weekly Big Ten honors.