OV Middle School Regional Softball Champs

Photo furnished Okaw Valley Middle School Regional Champions front row l to r: Miaya Lehman, Grace Bunfill, Kalynn Teague, Bailey Bennett; second row l to r:  Stacey Orris, Avery Bruns, Mia Harris, Karson Park, Reiss Frye; third row l to r:  Reagan Reedy, Savannah Hagerman, Chloe Harris, Kayla Fleshner, Kailyn Walker, Evelyn Ashley; fourth row l to r:  Asst. coach Dave Benning, head coach Kurtis Bunfill, asst. coach Samantha Inman.

Photo furnished
Okaw Valley Middle School Regional Champions front row l to r: Miaya Lehman, Grace Bunfill, Kalynn Teague, Bailey Bennett; second row l to r:  Stacey Orris, Avery Bruns, Mia Harris, Karson Park, Reiss Frye; third row l to r:  Reagan Reedy, Savannah Hagerman, Chloe Harris, Kayla Fleshner, Kailyn Walker, Evelyn Ashley; fourth row l to r:  Asst. coach Dave Benning, head coach Kurtis Bunfill, asst. coach Samantha Inman.

•September 28, 2016•

Okaw Valley’s Middle School softball team finished the postseason on a great run and brought home a Regional Championship.

“They had their ups and downs all season and things clicked during the postseason,” Brooks Inman, OV AD said of the middle school softball team. “It was an impressive run for sure, and we are beyond proud of the team’s accomplishments this fall.”

One of the big boosts to the Okaw Valley team was from pitcher Grace Bunfill. During the regional championship game against Beecher City Sept. 12 Bunfill threw a no-hitter in the 4-2 win.

She struck out 35 batters in two regional games.

“That 35 outs of 42 included a no-hitter in the regional championship vs. Beecher City...which is ridiculously impressive!” Inman emphasized.      Read More

Cold First Half Cost Knights at Homecoming

Photo by Darain Hays ALAH Knights’ defense had their hands full during the homecoming game against Decatur Lutheran Association Lions at Wilson Field.

Photo by Darain Hays
ALAH Knights’ defense had their hands full during the homecoming game against Decatur Lutheran Association Lions at Wilson Field.

•September 21, 2016•

By Matt Kracht
News Progress Sports

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond (2-2) struggled offensively on a rainy Friday night versus the 4-0 LSA Lions.

Turnovers proved especially costly in a game that was closer than the scoreboard would suggest. Head coach Dale Schuring commented his squad never recovered from a slow start. “We didn’t show up tonight.  The first half we didn’t look like we wanted to be here.”

A 13 yard pass play from Will Cohan to Adam Day opened up the contest for the Knights; Cohan’s next pass fluttered and was intercepted.

Four plays later the Lions hit pay dirt on a slant route for a 19 yard touchdown at the 10 minute mark. ALAH went three and out on their next possession, and LSA took over 1st& 10 from their own 28 yard line with eight minutes left in the first quarter.

The second play of that Lions drive was a turning point in the contest.  LSA was looking for man coverage on a first down pass attempt when Knights defensive back Kobe Wells dropped his man falling underneath a fade route.   Read More

Shelbyville Stomps Sullivan on Schwengel Tribute Night

Photo by Mike Brothers It was tough making ground but Luke Bowman leaves Shelbyville’s defense plowing through for a modest gain.

Photo by Mike Brothers
It was tough making ground but Luke Bowman leaves Shelbyville’s defense plowing through for a modest gain.

•September 14, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports Reporter

Friday night Shelbyville honored 2013 graduate and former quarterback Tucker Schwengel, even painting a 15-yard line for the game in his memory.

Sophomore quarterback Turner Pullen put on his own impersonation of the former Shelbyville signal-caller.

Pullen torched the Redskins all night long--with the climax being his 85 yard touchdown scamper in the third where he started behind a wall of Rams in the middle of the field before bouncing out to his own sideline to go untouched, out-running Sullivan’s Luke Bowman-- with 168 yards passing and three scores through the air to go with 200 yards on just 14 carries and three more touchdowns. Read More

Resilient Knight Defense Keys 28-6 Win over Palestine

Photo by Darian Hays Good night for Marcus Vanausdoll, pulling down passes for touchdowns, intercepting passes and a highlight 67 yard break away touchdown run to seal the win late in the game.

Photo by Darian Hays
Good night for Marcus Vanausdoll, pulling down passes for touchdowns, intercepting passes and a highlight 67 yard break away touchdown run to seal the win late in the game.

•September 7, 2016•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

After a barn burner road win over Tri-County to start the season, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond entered their week two home opener at Wilson Field versus Palestine-Hudsonville set up for a trap game.

Knights’ head coach Dale Schuring thought the team struggled with focus throughout the contest but ultimately came up with enough big plays to get the job done. “Tonight we were overconfident. We weren’t ready to go, and we never really got mentally focused tonight. We did enough to win and made some big plays, but our week one performance was far better than this.”

ALAH fumbled away the opening possession deep in their own territory which forced the defense to make its first key stop of many. The Knights’ defensive dominance in the first half was impressive as the stingy unit held the Pioneers to just 15 rushing yards on 11 carries and eight passing yards on two completions in the first half.

Tim Weaver, the defensive coordinator, and linebacker coach Don McCarthy seem to develop perennial ball hawks at all positions. Marcus Vanausdoll has blossomed into an all-conference defensive back under the pair’s tutelage. Vanausdoll came up with two interceptions in the contest including an 86 yard pick six that ended the first half and put the Knights up 20-0. Read More

Redskins Run Through and Over South Fork, Start Season with 42-0 Beat Down

Photo by Darian Hays Defense was a big part of keeping the South Fork team from scoring Friday in Sullivan. SOV senior Drew Hubbard stops this runner in his tracks.

Photo by Darian Hays
Defense was a big part of keeping the South Fork team from scoring Friday in Sullivan. SOV senior Drew Hubbard stops this runner in his tracks.

•August 31, 2016•

By Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports Reporter

Things couldn’t have gone much better to start the season for the Redskins.

From start to finish the Redskins’ running attack featuring quarterback Brett Tuttle and running back Ty Nichols, made gash after gash in the South Fork defense with a 100 yard run touchdown and two 64 yard touchdowns respectively.

All the worries after Nichols slipped and fell for a five yard loss on the first play of scrimmage were long gone after the game.

“The way South Fork was playing their defensive ends throughout the game we felt like we would be able to get our option game going,” explained Redskins’ head coach Gerald Temples. “We felt like we needed to do that more in the second half and that worked out for us.”

Nichols’ first score came on a fourth and one from the one yard line, taking a handoff from Tuttle over the right side and over several Pony defenders with 5:31 to go in the first quarter.

Then the fireworks started. Read More

Sentel Leads Sullivan Blue Dolphins to Championship Meet

Photo furnished Brynna Sentel at Senior Championship with her 5th place medal.

Photo furnished
Brynna Sentel at Senior Championship with her 5th place medal.

•August 17, 2016•

Brynna Sentel lead the Sullivan Blue Dolphins to the Senior Championship meet the weekend of August 4.

She qualified and competed in seven individual events and swam on two relays for SBD.  She is ranked fifth in the state in the 200 individual medley and 10th in the 100 backstroke.

Coach Jason Drury said, “for Sentel all the years of hard work and the experience at this level of competition is all coming together.“

Tyler Homann competed for the Dolphins in the 100 breaststroke.

The 400 medley relay team of Anna Wooters,   Brynna Sentel, Natalie Drury and McKenna Kull placed 30th.

The 400 freestyle relay of McKenna Kull, Allison Oligschlaeger, Anna Wooters and Sentel placed 15th.    Read More

Bowman Exceeding Expectations at McKendree

Bowman w Kirk 8•August 10, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports Reporter

After a brief hiatus of the check-in on the area athletes at the collegiate level, we return to the recap with this week’s edition on Sullivan’s own Mollie Bowman.

The 2014 Redskin grad is currently a jumper and a sprinter at Division II McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill.

Bowman performs the long jump (personal records will follow each event 17’5”), triple jump (35’11”), 200 meter sprint (25.84 seconds) and the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays (48.44 seconds, and 3:54.04 respectively).

Also, Bowman and the Bearcat coaches further plan on showcasing her versatility in the 400 meter hurdles.

Bowman has come, “extremely close”, in her own words, at bringing home conference hardware but has her sights set on achieving national honors her final two campaigns in Lebanon but not without working for them first.  Read More

Former Sullivan Dynamic Duo Seeing Success on Second Level

Photo furnished Pictured above is LLC basketball guard Emily Neuhauser.

Photo furnished
Pictured above is LLC basketball guard Emily Neuhauser.

•July 13, 2016•

by Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

The 2015 Sullivan girls’ basketball team featured two All-Staters in forward Brittin Boyer (first team) and guard Emily Neuhauser (honorable mention).

And after the heartbreaking Regional final loss to T-town that ended their high school careers, both continued collegiately—Boyer at Eastern Illinois University, and Neuhauser at Lake Land College.

Brittin Boyer, EIU basketball, Sullivan class of 2015.

Boyer was eased along in her first season, averaging 10 minutes, scoring 1.5 points, and pulling down 2.0 rebounds per contest, but she showed just how good she could be in her first collegiate game against IUPUI with a season high 10 points and six rebounds.

“We had a huge fan base, and a lot of my family and friends came to the game,” Boyer reminisced. “On top of that we won the game.”

It was one of the few high moments of this past Panther basketball season, as EIU went only 3-25, but there is hope on the horizon. Read More

Area Athletes Representing at the Collegiate Level

•June 22, 2016•

By Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

It’s about that time of year again. Summer practices, lifting weights, and running galore are the main activities for school sports programs starting their preparation for this coming sports season. Now we take a look at how some area athletes who are now at the collegiate level are doing:

Karly Goodman, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond class of 2014, track and field Illinois Wesleyan.

After finishing fifth in the shot put her senior year, the Arthur native continued her career at Illinois Wesleyan and to this point in her career owns the school record in the outdoor shot school record: 42’ 6.75” and has been named All-Conference her freshman and sophomore campaigns. Goodman has also taken up the hammer and javelin throws and holds personal records at 141’8” and 115’ respectively.

Goodman credits her success to this point to coaching, training and a changed mindset.

“Training is a lot different. Because I’m not in any other sports and things are more geared toward strength and explosiveness, I’m in a different kind of “in shape”. My mindset in competition has changed from high school into college. There is always going to be someone better than you so rather than me competing against other athletes, I compete against myself. The coaching is a bit different as well. You are on a first name basis, but there is still an athlete coach barrier. There is definitely a lot more one-on-one time. You have to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. It’s not going to be easy, but if you love it, it’s worth it.”  Read More

Donation Expands Sullivan Cheerleading Squad

•June 15, 2016•

In discussions with the Sullivan-Okaw Valley cheerleading coach, the decision has been made to expand the roster of the 2016-2017 Sullivan-Okaw Valley cheerleading team from 16 up to the 21 members who tried out for the 2016-2017 team.

The coach has determined that she will be able to successfully coach and supervise this number of athletes.

A very generous donation from an anonymous local business owner has been made to the Sullivan-Okaw Valley cheerleading team.  Read More