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Between the two of them, Justin McCoy and Elyce Knudsen garnered four News-Gazette All-Area Athlete of the Year awards.

The 2020 Champaign Central alumnus McCoy was a three-time boys’ Golfer of the Year. And the 2020 Unity alumna Knudsen was a one-time girls’ basketball Player of the Year.

Turns out the transition to college competition isn’t hurting either athlete after McCoy and Knudsen achieved significant athletic accomplishments this week.

McCoy, a freshman at Webster University in St. Louis, won the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s golf tournament championship on Tuesday in Madison with a three-round total of 218 to take medalist honors by eight strokes.

McCoy’s performance included an even-par 71 in the final round at Gateway National Golf Links, helping the Gorloks to a team title. McCoy previously was named his conference’s Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, as well.

Knudsen added to her growing list of accolades in a dominant first season with Millikin women’s basketball.

The freshman was named to the 2021 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III All-America team as an honorable-mention selection on Wednesday.

Knudsen averaged 18.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals for the 11-3 Big Blue, who won the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament title in March.

Knudsen previously was named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year and a unanimous all-conference first-team choice. She also received Central Region Rookie of the Year status from

Having watched both McCoy and Knudsen in action during high school, I’m not at all surprised to hear they’re reaching impressive heights beyond their prep days. Talking with the two, it always felt like they knew they had more to accomplish.

In other former area prep standout news, 2020 Mahomet-Seymour graduate Grant Coleman reportedly has transferred to the Bryant men’s basketball program. The move was announced Wednesday by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

Coleman spent his freshman season at Milwaukee and saw time in 20 games, averaging 5.1 points and 2.8 rebounds.

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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