Spartans show their good side

ST. JOSEPH – The exploits of the previous seven seasons, when St. Joseph-Ogden averaged 27 volleyball wins a year, are a memory.

The current team will be unable to finish with an above-.500 record, but in a season which senior Cat Foreman calls "a roller-coaster ride," there have been moments where the successes of the past clearly still exist.

Krick paves way for men's golf

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Illinois junior Jon Krick shot a final-round 75 to tie for 30th place individually and lead the Illini men's golf team to a tie for 10th place Tuesday at the Isleworth Invitational.

Krick finished with a three-round total of 220 while the Illini tied East Tennessee State at 883.

Holding court

Three times a week until the season starts, beat writer Paul Klee will take you inside the world of Illini basketball:

Cool Chargers enjoying ride

MAHOMET – As the stakes get higher, Centennial's boys' soccer team gets more comfortable.

The Chargers inched closer to their first sectional title since 2001 by beating Normal West 3-0 on Tuesday. It was their third – and most impressive – win of the Class 2A postseason for the top-seeded Chargers, who meet Normal University High at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Maroons go down steaming

MAHOMET – Champaign Central's boys' soccer team was unable to overcome a disputed first-half penalty kick goal as the Maroons fell to Normal University High 1-0 in the first round of sectional play Tuesday night.

The game's only goal came with five minutes to play in the half after the referee called a penalty on the Maroons for a push. Central coach Josh Alford said the referee set the tone early that he was going to blow his whistle a lot.

Bob's blitz

Each Wednesday, beat writer Bob Asmussen will take you aorund the world of college football:

Recruit from Florida planning early arrival

TAMPA, Fla. – The Floridians who came to the Illinois campus for their official visits Saturday apparently liked what they saw.

Tampa Chamberlain receiver Fred Sykes is the second weekend visitor to give the Illini a commitment, joining Hialeah defensive end Corey Liuget.

Unity right on schedule

TOLONO – For Unity coach Scott Hamilton, Saturday's game against Riverton is a case of teacher vs. pupil.

When Hamilton was coaching quarterbacks at Hardin Calhoun in the early 1990s, Riverton coach J.D. Lorton was the quarterback. Together the duo helped the Warriors claim their second of consecutive Class 1A state titles.

GCMS thinking ball control against Pratt, Westville

GIBSON CITY – Gibson City-Melvin Sibley has lost three of its last four games, but coach Mike Allen isn't worried about his team's confidence. The three losses came at the hands of Flanagan, Fieldcrest and Ridgeview – all playoff teams – by a total of 17 points.

"Those were all very good teams we played," Allen said. "Even though we lost the kids felt really good about how they played. They know a play here and there the outcomes could have been different."

Illineks' rally comes up short

MONTICELLO – Giving up apparently is not part of the curriculum taught at Urbana Uni High School.

Despite trailing by three late, the Illineks would not let up in their 3-2 sectional-final loss to Teutopolis on Monday.