Yeakley Breaks Through for Seventh Place Finish in Discus

Photo by Keith Stewart Colton Yeakley is seen with his seventh place medal in the discus at the IHSA state track meet in Charleston May 31.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Colton Yeakley is seen with his seventh place medal in the discus at the IHSA state track meet in Charleston May 31.

June 11, 2014

Sophomore hopes for more to come

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond discus competitor Colton Yeakley says he isn’t the most patient when it comes to waiting on his turn to throw.

“I’m not a good waiter,” said Yeakley. “Usually when we throw prelims and then finals, a half hour later, that wait in between kills me.”

So when scattered thunderstorms made their way to Charleston early on Thursday afternoon, causing one lightning delay after another, Yeakley wasn’t sure how he or anyone would react.

“They got done with flight one and two, then we got out there to warm up and there was a lightning delay. So we had to go back to the camp,” he explained. “We waited for about an hour and a half till three, and they said they were letting everyone back in. So we got back in there to do our 20 minute warmups and we’re about done with our warmups, and they put us in another lightning delay. Then we sat for three, three and a half hours before they finally let us in around six.” Read More

Area Jr. High Track Teams See State Success

Submitted by Jamie Woodcock Pictured are Sullivan Middle School’s state track qualifiers, from left to right: Luke Bowman, Logan Pedigo, Ally Elzy, Zoe Ray, Natalie Drury, Brooke Tuttle, Chloe Riley, Haley Rose, Bailey Turnbaugh, Elizabeth Green, Laine Cameron, and Jordan Bassett.

Submitted by Jamie Woodcock
Pictured are Sullivan Middle School’s state track qualifiers, from left to right: Luke Bowman, Logan Pedigo, Ally Elzy, Zoe Ray, Natalie Drury, Brooke Tuttle, Chloe Riley, Haley Rose, Bailey Turnbaugh, Elizabeth Green, Laine Cameron, and Jordan Bassett.

Sullivan’s Bowman atop with 2nd place

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Competing in East Peoria May 23 and 24, the Sullivan middle school and Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond jr. high boys’ and girls’ track teams saw several athletes finish in the top 10 of the IESA state track meet.

Eighth grader Luke Bowman finished highest with a second place medal in the high jump, an event he took first in last year as a seventh grader. Read More

Lending a Helping Hand or Glove

Photo by Keith Stewart Trey Schoenfelder(right) eyes the ball after Travis Hanson (left) tosses it up and as Alec Ballinger (center) watches from behind.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Trey Schoenfelder (right) eyes the ball after Travis Hanson (left) tosses it up and as Alec Ballinger (center) watches from behind.

June 11, 2014

Baseball athletes assist special needs children with skills

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

At the beginning of May on a cool temperamental overcast afternoon, Sullivan High School baseball players and special needs students in Christine Grohler’s class came together for a little pitch and catch.

The afternoon practice was meant to gear the children up for a baseball game held that next Sunday at Courtyard Estates–an idea that originated between teachers Christine Grohler and Kurt Friese. Read More

Weybright Continues Basketball Career at LCU

Photo by Jeni Yantis Abigail Weybright signed her intent to attend Lincoln Christian University and play basketball on May 16. Pictured, front row, left to right, are: mother, Erin Weybright, Abigail Weybright, and father, Shane Webright. Back row, left to right: Lincoln Christian College head women’s basketball coach Donnie Bowman and OV girls’ head basketball coach Don Gardner.

Photo by Jeni Yantis
Abigail Weybright signed her intent to attend Lincoln Christian University and play basketball on May 16. Pictured, front row, left to right, are: mother, Erin Weybright, Abigail Weybright, and father, Shane Webright. Back row, left to right: Lincoln Christian College head women’s basketball coach Donnie Bowman and OV girls’ head basketball coach Don Gardner.

Defensive tenacity to be big asset for Red Lions

by Emily Scott
Bethany Reporter

Last fall, Okaw Valley senior Abigail Weybright put on her blue and black no. 10 uniform, laced up her shoes, and got ready for what she believed would be the last basketball season of her life.

Little did the now-graduated athlete know, she would be starting a new athletic journey as she now prepares to attend Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, where she has signed to play basketball for the Red Lions.

Before deciding on LCU, Weybright did not know exactly what career path she wanted to choose. 

“I wanted to go and find out what God wanted me to do,” she said.  Read More

Lady Red Make School History with Regional Championship

Photo by RR Best Pictured is the Sullivan varsity softball team with the regional plaque they won after defeating Shelbyville 5-3 Saturday. Front row, from left to right, Paislee Meyer, Makenzie Ruppert, Liz Inman, Heidi Clements, Taylor Gottfriedt, and Allison Miller. Back row, left to right: assistant coach Katie Tate, Kailyn Boyer, Bailee Pratt, Emily Stutzman, Maggie Plank, Brittin Boyer, Christina Brown, Elissa Stewart, Abby Elzy, and head coach Ben Richter.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured is the Sullivan varsity softball team with the regional plaque they won after defeating Shelbyville 5-3 Saturday. Front row, from left to right, Paislee Meyer, Makenzie Ruppert, Liz Inman, Heidi Clements, Taylor Gottfriedt, and Allison Miller. Back row, left to right: assistant coach Katie Tate, Kailyn Boyer, Bailee Pratt, Emily Stutzman, Maggie Plank, Brittin Boyer, Christina Brown, Elissa Stewart, Abby Elzy, and head coach Ben Richter.

Defeat host Shelbyville 5-3 Saturday

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

According to Sullivan head coach Ben Richter, Saturday’s regional championship victory over Shelbyville marked the first ever in school history. But that’s just icing on an already overtopped cake.

“Let’s just say many of the girls were in tears or almost in tears,” said senior pitcher Elizabeth Inman. “Our team has never been closer than this year, and it feels so great to accomplish something so big with all of these wonderful ladies.”

Sullivan’s biggest inning came in the second starting with Brittin Boyer’s at-bat where she hit the game’s only triple to left center field. Senior and first year participant Maggie Plank then followed with a double RBI to the same spot Boyer found. Kailyn Boyer then reached first on an error, and freshman lead-off Bailee Pratt hit a double to right centerfield, scoring both Plank and Boyer to put Sullivan up 3-0. Read More

Goodman Finishes Career Best at State

Photo by Keith Stewart Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond senior Karly Goodman earned fifth place in the shot put in Saturday’s finals.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond senior Karly Goodman earned fifth place in the shot put in Saturday’s finals.

After two years of 8th, senior earns 5th

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

“That number eight, it gets me.”

What Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond senior Karly Goodman is referring to is not only her last two years of finishing eighth at state in the shot put, but even the fact that after Thursday’s preliminaries, the senior was seeded none other than eighth coming into Saturday’s finals.

But Goodman wouldn’t have it a third year. Instead, the senior hurled a throw of 39 feet 3/4 inches for a fifth place finish, just 1 1/2 inches out from fourth. Read More

A Missed Opportunity as Lady T-Wolves Fall in Championship

Photo by Keith Stewart Kayla Wheeler watches as a wild throw goes past her during Friday’s regional championship game against Central A&M in Ramsey.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Kayla Wheeler watches as a wild throw goes past her during Friday’s regional championship game against Central A&M in Ramsey.

Can’t defeat A&M a third time

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Despite defeating Central A&M two previous times this year, the Okaw Valley softball team couldn’t make it a third in the regional championship Friday, instead falling 3-9.

While the offense didn’t have its strongest outing, tallying seven hits total, it was the defense, or at times, lack thereof, that made Friday’s battle all the more difficult.

After Amanda McClain led her team from the mound for the first two innings of stalemate play, Abigail Weybright took over in the third, with McClain trying to avoid any potential injury with her state track bid on Saturday. Read More

Program History Once Again as SOV Girls Take Third Place Team Trophy

Photo by Keith Stewart Serious Hardware Sullivan-Okaw Valley’s girls’ track team hoists up their third place team trophy at  Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium Saturday afternoon after placing in six events, including first in the 400m and 4x200 relay. For the full story see page 12.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan-Okaw Valley’s girls’ track team hoists up their third place team trophy at
Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium Saturday afternoon after placing in six events, including first in the 400m and 4×200 relay. 

4×2, 400m championships lead banner day for SOV

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For Sullivan-Okaw Valley’s girls’ track team, Saturday’s third place team trophy at the state track meet has its roots in a ticket stub.

“On the back of our shirts, it says get on the bus,” explained head coach Kali Taylor. “I had read a book over the winter called the ‘Energy Bus’, and it was all about positive energy and changing mindsets. So at the beginning of the season I gave them tickets and invited them on the bus. Then we put our goals up, and I told them from the get go that our goal was to walk away from every meet in the top three, and there were a couple times we didn’t. But now we’re walking away with a third place trophy.”

The group first got started on Thursday, sending five girls in seven events, tied with three other teams with the most qualifiers. All but one would then qualify for Saturday’s finals, setting up the historic team finish. Read More

Fairfield Homers Twice to Oust Sullivan from Sectionals

Photo by Keith Stewart Kailyn Boyer chases down a ball during Tuesday's sectional semifinal against Fairfield.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Kailyn Boyer chases down a ball during Tuesday’s sectional semifinal against Fairfield.

Two-run homer in sixth inning deals lasting blow

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The first three-run homer that Fairfield hit, Sullivan weathered. But the second two run blast in the sixth inning dealt a demoralizing blow from which the Lady Red never recovered, instead falling 7-2 in the sectional semifinal Tuesday. Read More