Bulldogs Hand Knights First Loss of the Season, 43-33

Photo by Keith Stewart The Knights’ Colton Yeakley pauses before going back up for the bucket Tuesday evening. Yeakley left the game with over three minutes left in the first quarter after he was struck above the left eye.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Knights’ Colton Yeakley pauses before going back up for the bucket Tuesday evening. Yeakley left the game with over three minutes left in the first quarter after he was struck above the left eye.

December 17, 2014

Worst night of shooting so far spells ALAH demise

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Knights may have suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night, but it wasn’t all that bad of a thing.

In fact, for head coach Dale Schuring, it was almost nice.

“Obviously there are a lot of things we didn’t do well– a lot of things we can learn from the game, but the bright spot of it is, we lost by 10, and we couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean,” said the Knights’ head coach. “I mean, if we’re going to shoot like that, we’re not going to beat anybody. I don’t care who it is. They had a very good defense and game plan, but if we make half the shots we normally make, I think we probably come out on top, and that’s not a slight to them, but it’s just who we are and what we do, and tonight we were just awful other than Jeremy [Plank], who I won’t say was consistent but streaky tonight.”

After managing to keep a meager 7-6 lead over St. Teresa after one quarter of play, the Knights succumbed to a 5-0 run in the second, which would be just enough breathing room for the Bulldogs to eventually take and run with it.

While neither team shot well in the opening period, including the Knights’ knocking down just one field goal in addition to their five free throws, the Bulldogs recovered in the second, while Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond continued to miss. Read More

Sullivan Bests OV in Annual County Matchup

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley’s Dylan Park (no. 13) gets around the pick set by teammate Joe Jeffers on Sullivan’s Kaleb Shumard Tuesday night. Despite Park’s 18 points, the Timberwolves fell behind in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 50-44.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley’s Dylan Park (no. 13) gets around the pick set by teammate Joe Jeffers on Sullivan’s Kaleb Shumard Tuesday night. Despite Park’s 18 points, the Timberwolves fell behind in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 50-44.

December 10, 2014

Two 16 point quarters fend off OV in rivalry win

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Neither team was surprised Tuesday evening in Findlay.
The annual county matchup between Sullivan and Okaw Valley’s boys’ basketball teams resulted in the same physical, high-paced game that at any time is anybody’s ball game.
But the Redskins were able to net 16 point performances in both the second and fourth quarters and hit free throws down the stretch to outdo the Timberwolves 50-44.
“Free throws were a lot better,” said Sullivan head coach Chester Reeder, comparing Tuesday’s 16-of-24 to Saturday night when the Redskins shot just 14-of-30 in their 49-47 loss to Jerseyville. “It was our best shooting night yet in our short season. But I was not happy at all with the rebounding. I thought we should have had more offensive rebounds. And turnovers, they didn’t really pressure us, so we shouldn’t have turned the ball over that much, but in an atmosphere like this and the way the game started, we were just kind of throwing the ball all over the place. To win ugly like that, it’s always a good thing.”
Okaw Valley got the best of the game’s energy at the start and managed a 7-0 run over a two-and-a-half minute frame to take a 12-5 lead. Read More

Stewart Reignites Sullivan for Conference-opening Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan's Elissa Stewart watches the loose ball after stripping it away from Tuscola Thursday night. Stewart's five steals were part of her team's 16 on a night where the Lady Red won the conference opener 61-40.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Elissa Stewart watches the loose ball after stripping it away from Tuscola Thursday night. Stewart’s five steals were part of her team’s 16 on a night where the Lady Red won the conference opener 61-40.

December 5, 2014

Four Lady Red score double-digits, including Boyer’s 1000th career point

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A little blood never hurt anyone.

In fact, for Elissa Stewart, it may have helped.

After getting hit in the face with the ball Thursday night and exiting the court with a bloodied nose early in the second quarter, the senior point-guard for Sullivan would re-emerge and become a juggernaut both offensively and defensively to help lift the Lady Red past Tuscola in a 61-40 conference opening win.

“I was happy to see her back on the floor,” said head coach Sheri McCain. “Elissa, as lighthearted as she is, she came right back in, and she just makes a difference. She’s the floor general. She is the true point guard for this team. She gets them fired up.”

Stewart’s offensive performance included three 3-pointers, all in the third quarter, part of her 17-point performance on the night. And her timing could not have been any better.

After her exit just 18 seconds into the second quarter, Sullivan went stale. The Lady Red didn’t post one point from the field and instead had just one lone free-throw from April Shuman, and even that didn’t come until over six minutes into the second period. Tuscola meanwhile, pulled within one and trailed Sullivan 19-18 heading into the locker room. Read More

Knights Take Rivalry Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs tries to shoot over ALAH’s Tyler Schuring Tuesday night.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs tries to shoot over ALAH’s Tyler Schuring Tuesday night.

November 26, 2014

Schuring scores 25 as ALAH tops Sullivan on opening night

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

If Tyler Schuring’s first quarter performance was supposed to indicate how he would play the rest of the night Tuesday, he fooled everyone.
With just a modest five points after the opening period, the senior point guard took over in the second,  shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field including one dagger from the arc for 13 of his 25 points on the night. He would then help lift his team once again in the fourth going 2-2 from the perimeter and adding a basket from the line as he and his teammates held on for a 55-52 win over Sullivan.
“I thought he was patient the first quarter, but I think he took the game over in the second quarter offensively for us,” said Knights’ head coach Dale Schuring. “And there’s going to have to be times this year he’s going to have to do that. We just don’t have as many weapons, although some of the kids reality impressed me tonight with what they did do. But he’s supposed to be our best player, and at times he’s going to have to do that.” Read More

Local Preps Star Nets EIU Basketball Scholarship

Photo by RR Best Sullivan’s Brittin Boyer officially signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Eastern Illinois University last Thursday afternoon. Pictured, front row, left to right are: sister Kailyn Boyer, mother Sara Boyer, Brittin Boyer, and father Dave Boyer. Back row, left to right: Sullivan girls’ head coach Sheri McCain, and Central Illinois Storm head coach Barry Wolfe.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan’s Brittin Boyer officially signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Eastern Illinois University last Thursday afternoon. Pictured, front row, left to right are: sister Kailyn Boyer, mother Sara Boyer, Brittin Boyer, and father Dave Boyer. Back row, left to right: Sullivan girls’ head coach Sheri McCain, and Central Illinois Storm head coach Barry Wolfe.

November 19, 2014

Sullivan’s Boyer to become a Panther next year

By Matthew Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Brittin Boyer’s mom Sara remembers reading the note as if it happened yesterday.

Four years ago Brittin was attending EIU’s basketball camp as an eighth grader. As a camp coach filled out an evaluation form, he wrote “I hope to recruit you one day.”

To this day Sara Boyer is, “not sure if they put that on every form, but it was great foreshadowing.” Flash forward four years and Brittin Boyer gets a call on a Sunday in July. She runs down the stairs excited to tell her parents that Eastern Illinois University just called to offer her a scholarship. According to Mom, “That was the best moment for us as parents because playing Division I basketball is a big goal, and you want your kids to chase their dreams.”

Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain, who was Boyer’s third grade teacher, complimented her after the signing. Read More

SOV Runners Unable to Surpass Top Talent

Photo by Keith Stewart SOV’s Brent Mauck (no. 906) tries to stay ahead of Newton’s Collin Harris at the finish Saturday. Mauck would edge Harris by five one hundredths of a second for 116th place overall.

Photo by Keith Stewart
SOV’s Brent Mauck (no. 906) tries to stay ahead of Newton’s Collin Harris at the finish Saturday. Mauck would edge Harris by five one hundredths of a second for 116th place overall.

November 5, 2014

Decatur sectional proves to be one of the toughest in class 1A

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

As announcer Matt Piescinski described at the beginning of Saturday’s sectional cross country meet, Decatur is very much the focal point of the sport in Illinois, with several of the state’s top teams, particularly in class 1A, all within range.

That was certainly the case Saturday as eight teams between girls and boys ranked in the top 10 were on display including St. Teresa, Monticello, Shelbyville, Tolono-Unity, and St. Joseph-Ogden. Trying to make a bid for state either as a team or individually, SOV’s boys and girls competed but could not climb over the top talent nor finish in the top 12. Read More

Redskins Route Clinton 54-14 to Earn Share of Conference Title

Members of the SOV football team hold up their Central Illinois Conference championship plaque Friday night after defeating Clinton 54-14. The Redskins split the title with St. Teresa, who also finished 6-1 in the conference after a week seven loss to Shelbyville.

Members of the SOV football team hold up their Central Illinois Conference championship plaque Friday night after defeating Clinton 54-14. The Redskins split the title with St. Teresa, who also finished 6-1 in the conference after a week seven loss to Shelbyville.

October 29, 2014

Finish regular season 8-1

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

You could say Cinderella.

But they’d prefer businesslike.

SOV rounded out their regular season Friday night with a 54-14 drubbing of Clinton, ending the regular season 8-1 on the year and earning a share of the Central Illinois Conference championship along with Decatur St. Teresa.

Oh, and was it mentioned already that the Redskins are playoff bound–and at home?

The heap of rewards bestowed upon SOV Friday night, including the praises of the senior class, had to wait until after the game however. Finishing 8-1 on the year would prove pivotal in the playoff matchup, not to mention securing a share of that conference title. Read More

Lady Timberwolves Overcome Adversity on Sr. Night

Photo by Joe Wheeler Pictured are the Okaw Valley volleyball seniors who were celebrated last Thursday at home against Bement (from left to right): Blair Monroe, Caity Ohm, Amanda McClain, Abby Vander Burgh, Savannah Birch, Haley Carlson, and Amy Orris. Not pictured is Amy Monroe.

Photo by Joe Wheeler
Pictured are the Okaw Valley volleyball seniors who were celebrated last Thursday at home against Bement (from left to right): Blair Monroe, Caity Ohm, Amanda McClain, Abby Vander Burgh, Savannah Birch, Haley Carlson, and Amy Orris. Not pictured is Amy Monroe.

October 22, 2014

Teamwork key in 3-set victory over Bement

By Joe Wheeler
Bethany Reporter

Bement was in town Thursday evening and looking to spoil Okaw Valley’s senior night for the ladies in black.

The Lady Bulldogs came out strong in the first set, scoring three in a row before OV would get on the board. Some Bement errors and two OV kills would even things up at four early in the set, and later the home team would string together six points in a row. Bement would battle back, one point at a time, to eventually tie it up at 15 all mid-set. Unfortunate errors then set the Lady Timberwolves back late in the set, and they would eventually fall 20-25. Read More

Playoff Bound Redskins Hammer Rams 47-14

Photo by RR Best Chanley Heykoop makes a run for the end zone Saturday night. Heykoop had 161 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Photo by RR Best
Chanley Heykoop makes a run for the end zone Saturday night. Heykoop had 161 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

October 15, 2014

First post-season in store since 01

by Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Sullivan Okaw-Valley Redskins bounced back strong Saturday night in a victory over the Shelbyville Rams. Senior quarterback Nick Frerichs put up a five touchdown game setting the tone for what would be a dominant performance for the Redskins. The win ends a decade old postseason drought as the Redskins move to 6-1 on the season, solidifying a playoff spot with two weeks left in the regular season.

“Nick understands what we want done,” said SOV head coach Gerald Temples. “He is a great leader and a heck of a competitor. He stays after people, and that’s a positive for us. He just does a great job and is such a competitor who wants to do well. I just can’t say enough about him.”

But early on, it was Shelbyville who put the first points on the board taking the opening drive down all the way. Read More

Knights Soccer Takes Second in Mattoon Tourney

Photo by Keith Stewart Jovanny Martinez (no. 12) goes to volley the ball Saturday afternoon against Effingham St. Anthony. Martinez’ volley would score and earn the Knights a 1-0 victory.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Jovanny Martinez (no. 12) goes to volley the ball Saturday afternoon against Effingham St. Anthony. Martinez’ volley would score and earn the Knights a 1-0 victory.

October 8, 2014

Nearly upset host for crown

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Jeff Trower and his team had to wait around Saturday afternoon to see whether they would be coming home with a trophy after tying two games and winning one in the 14th annual Mattoon soccer tournament.

“First time ever,” said the head coach Trower. “It’s great.”

The  Knights would only need to stick around till the half of Mattoon’s game against St. Joseph Ogden, at which point the Green Wave were up 4-0 and would go on to win easily 7-0, putting the title out of reach for Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond, who would instead finish second. Read More