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

Winning Season for Okaw Valley Softball

Photo furnished Regional Championship team Front row: Kailyn Boyer, Natalie Jeffers, Kaylee Thomas, Chloe Weybright, Paige Robinson, and Moranda Matheson; Middle row: Grace Harlin, Kayla Wheeler, Gracie Weybright, Dani Dick, Bella Benning, Jess Robinson, Madison Vogel, and Kailey George; Back row: Assistant Coach Wayne Perrine, Assistant Coach Samantha Inman, Maddie Perrine, Danielle Lochbaum, Kyra Jackson, and Head Coach Dave Benning. Timberwolves Softball Award Winners: Okaw Valley Timberwolves softball players were recognized during the recent sports banquet. Most Improved Player-Kailey George; Hustle Award-Kaylee Thomas; Outstanding Defensive Player-Paige Robinson; Outstanding Offensive Player-Natalie Jeffers and Grace Harlin; MVP-Maddie Perrine.

Photo furnished
Regional Championship team
Front row: Kailyn Boyer, Natalie Jeffers, Kaylee Thomas, Chloe Weybright, Paige Robinson, and Moranda Matheson; Middle row: Grace Harlin, Kayla Wheeler, Gracie Weybright, Dani Dick, Bella Benning, Jess Robinson, Madison Vogel, and Kailey George; Back row: Assistant Coach Wayne Perrine, Assistant Coach Samantha Inman, Maddie Perrine, Danielle Lochbaum, Kyra Jackson, and Head Coach Dave Benning.
Timberwolves Softball Award Winners: Okaw Valley Timberwolves softball players were recognized during the recent sports banquet. Most Improved Player-Kailey George; Hustle Award-Kaylee Thomas; Outstanding Defensive Player-Paige Robinson; Outstanding Offensive Player-Natalie Jeffers and Grace Harlin; MVP-Maddie Perrine.

•June 8, 2016•

Okaw Valley softball finished the season in a second place tie in the LOVC NW with a 7-3 record.

Coach Dave Benning’s Timberwolves softball team had a 16-10 overall 2016 record.

From the mound Maddie Perrine’s 12-9 record totaled 100 strikesouts over 112.7 innings pitched. Perrine allowed 131 hits and 32 base on balls, finishing with a 4.53 ERA.

Grace Harlin pitched 22.3 innings with a 2-0 record. Harlin had 15 strikeouts, 21 base on balls and 34 hits for a 4.71 ERA.

Madison Vogel pitched five innings in two games with two strikeouts and 12 hits.

Grace Harlin had 41 hits over 24 games, netting 34 runs for Okaw Valley. Harlin had 10 doubles, three triples and drove in 23 RBIs four a .488 avg. She led the team with 14 stolen bases.

Natalie Jeffers scored 30 runs off 34 hits in 21 games. Jeffers had six doubles, five triples and five home runs with 31 RBIs finishing with a .466 batting average.

Paige Robinson had 29 hits for 22 runs in 19 games. Robinson hit seven doubles and two triples for 13 RBIs and a .483 avg.

Jess Robinson had 29 hits in 124 games for 19 runs. She had three doubles and one home run with 19 RBIs and a .439 batting average. Read More

Fruchtl’s No-No and Fritz’s Power Surge OV to Regional Final

Photo furnished Regional Champion Timberwolves move on to sectionals Thursday in Danville.

Photo furnished
Regional Champion Timberwolves move on to sectionals Thursday in Danville.

•May 25, 2016•

By Kirk Whitaker
News Progress Sports

No­hitter.

When a pitcher allows no ­hits, that normally spells success for his team.

Beat­ down would be a more appropriate term for this one.

Behind a homer and triple by catcher Garrett Fritz, two inning­ ending­double­plays, Drew Fruchtl’s no ­hitter propelled Okaw Valley past Arthur- Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 15-­0 Tuesday night at the St. Teresa Regional semi­finals.

This set up the chance for a repeat Regional championship Saturday against one of the only three teams who had defeated them to date in Windsor/Stewardson­-Strasburg.

“I thought Drew came out really well mixing his pitches up early,” Timberwolves head coach Andrew Hagerman said. “We also gave him some good run support too. We didn’t hit bad, we didn’t hit great, but it was enough today.”

After a four­ run first, the ‘wolves hung a seven spot in the second, chasing Knights’ starter Marcus Vanausdoll from the contest and all hope of a Knight comeback as well. Read More

Fruchtl Shuts Out Arcola for Timberwolves’ Seventh Win

•May 11, 2016•

By Matt Kracht
News Progress Sports

Okaw Valley won their ninth straight contest Friday beating the Purple Riders 9-0.  Senior Drew Fruchtl tossed a complete game gem to stay a perfect 7-0—the best record in the area.

Now 18-2 overall the Timberwolves have a week of conference contests to decide who sits atop the Little Okaw Valley Northwest.  Head coach Andrew Hagerman commented the team was just happy to be playing again after a wet start to May, “It’s 75 and sunny; these kids wanted to come out and swing today. We haven’t played a lot of these days. We have been playing two game weeks instead of four. The conference games we will make up, so we have five or six games this week.”

Arcola threatened to take an early lead in the first after a two out infield single was followed by a double off the fence in right center. Faced with runners on second and third with two outs, Fruchtl bounced back with a clutch strikeout to end the threat.

Timberwolves’ leadoff man Taylor Coleman started a three run rally in the bottom of the first with a single to the gap in right center. Fruchtl then helped his own cause with a double to left, setting up second and third with no outs.   Read More