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Champaign Central senior Nik Johnson works on his radio spot during Sunday's Faces of the Winter.

On Sunday, more than 260 high school student-athletes visited The News-Gazette to take part in Faces of the Winter.

Good-natured and well-spoken, the kids had a blast — as did we. They posed for pictures in our lobby, walked our “red carpet,” and helped us produce GIFs that we’ll unveil on Twitter later this month.

Just like he did during Faces of the Fall, producer Ed Bond worked with dozens of the teens to record smooth-sounding radio spots that will air on WDWS, WHMS and WKIO.

Their final stop was photo editor Robin Scholz’s studio for portraits that will run online and in print starting after Thanksgiving.

The fun played out on Twitter (@ngpreps), Instagram (@news_gazette) and on Snapchat (news-gazette).

Thanks again to the 43 area high schools for participating. Email preps coordinator Colin Likas ( in regard to Faces of the Spring.


Here’s what was trending at our website, which in a seven-day period ending Sunday saw 1,142,216 pageviews:


1. Ex-teacher’s assistant at Cunningham Children’s Home school accused of sexually assaulting student

2. Tom’s #Mailbag, Nov. 15, 2019

3. 16-year-old sentenced to prison for bringing loaded gun to Centennial High School


1. Good Morning, Illini Nation: Why the drop to No. 46?

2. High school football (and volleyball) scoreboard: Nov. 15-16, 2019

3. Good Morning, Illini Nation: Evaluating Adam Miller’s top three


1. Veteran’s Day 2019

2. UI Men’s Basketball vs. Arizona 2019

3. Illinois Football vs. Michigan State 2019


1. Illinois ‘20 commit Coleman Hawkins makes Champaign debut

2. Week off a positive for Illini

3. St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Breese Mater Dei volleyball highlights