ALAH Hits Wake-Up Call at St. Thomas More VB Tourney

Okaw Valley Hits Home Stretch of Season

•October 19, 2016•

By Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

After sweeping two conference games this week against Cerro Gordo (25-15, 25-17) and Okaw Valley (25-13, 25-11), Kristy Buford had seven kills, three aces, and five digs to lead the Lady Timberwolves, who are now 7-14 on the season, the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Knights went to Champaign for the highly competitive, 16-team Buerkett tourney.

Hosted by Champaign St. Thomas More at Parkland College, the Knights got a look at the competition they will see in the postseason.  Read More

Windsor Student Named Tournament MVP

karlie-bean-softball-mvp•October 19, 2016•

Karlie Bean, seventh grader at Windsor Jr. High School, participated in the first Jr. High All-Star Showcase in Jacksonville October 8-9.

Bean was joined by Grace Bunfill of Okaw Valley and more than 100 additional girls in Illinois to participate in the event. Players from Mattoon, Charleston, and Martinsville joined Bean and Bunfill to form the East Central team.

The 11 member team was coached by Blain Mayhill of Charleston.

The East Central team earned the championship title, finishing the weekend with four wins and one tie.

Bean earned a position on the 2016 All-Tournament Team while also taking home the MVP award.

ALAH Drops Physical Contest to Cerro Gordo/Bement

•October 19, 2016•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports

Arthur-Lovington football lost a frustrating game against the Broncos Friday by a score of 40-8.

Both teams struggled to score in the first 24 minutes, before combining for 48 points in the second half. ALAH head coach Dale Schuring thought Arthur could have been ahead by multiple scores at the break.  “I thought we should have been ahead by certainly one touchdown if not three at the end of the first half, but we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”

The Knights’ defense forced a turnover on downs with a goal line stand to start the game. Adam Day recorded two sacks on the next Broncos’ possession to force another turnover on downs.

Dakota Myers added another sack to force a punt on the third Broncos’ possession.

ALAH had their best chance to score in the first half after a fake punt by Marcus Vanausdoll resulted in a 60 yard run to setup 1st and 10 from the Broncos 15 yard line. Unfortunately the Knights could not capitalize on the field position as the drive stalled at the 10.

ALAH again turned away the Broncos on their next drive to end a half scoreless. Read More

Sullivan Golf Competes at Sectionals

Photo furnished Sullivan Lady Redskins Golf team bonded after competing in the 1A IHSA Sectional tournament in Lincoln.

Photo furnished
Sullivan Lady Redskins Golf team bonded after competing in the 1A IHSA Sectional tournament in Lincoln.

•October 19, 2016•

Sullivan High School Lady Redskins golf team competed in the 1A IHSA Sectionals Monday at Lincoln Elks Country Club.

There are only two classes in high school girls’ golf; therefore, SHS was competing against large schools. The first five places were Charleston, Bloomington Central Catholic, Bloomington University, Champaign St. Thomas More and Williamsville.

The team finished their season in sixth place with a season low score of 389. Brooke Tuttle led the team with an 89, missing state qualifying by two strokes. Tatum Ellis had a 95, Addison Darush had a 101, Alexis Brittin, 104 and Irie Dulin, 125.

Even though they didn’t advance, the girls did end on a high note. Their low team score of 389 was 21 strokes better than their regional score.

The lone senior is Tatum Ellis while the remaining four girls will return as juniors next season.

Bulldogs Bite Redskins at Decatur

•October 19, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

The main source of hype in the area this year has been St. Teresa, and mainly their sophomore running back Jacardia Wright who ran over the Redskins in his freshman campaign last season.

The outcome of the game was the same as last year--and the same since 2013--and St. Teresa stood tall 37-7, avenging a loss at Tuscola the week before.

But Wright wasn’t the problem.

Sullivan stuffed St. T’s stud on several occasions and even forced a fumble in the first half before Wright was pulled from the game at halftime with an apparent ankle issue.

The problem, as has been the whole season for the ‘Skins, was the big play.  Read More

Montero’s Grand Slam Give Cubs Game One, Kershaw Slams the Door Shut to Even the Series

•October 19, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports Column

MLB playoff madness is officially here!

While the Indians cruise through the American League portion of the playoffs, the Cubs have been getting the job done but not near as easily.

Saturday night’s miracle grand slam by backup catcher Miguel Montero, followed by a solo shot from Dexter Fowler, after Aroldis Chapman somehow escaped a bases loaded no-out situation with only a tie score going into the bottom of the eighth only begins to explain the pressure and joy felt by anyone watching the game.  Read More

Knights Dig AOC, Play for Breast Cancer Awareness

•October 19, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Knights (20-6) won more than one way on the court Oct. 17 against the Arthur Okaw Christian Tigers.

The Knights took down the Tigers 25-16, 25-15 on Dig Pink night--the annual event to raise funds in the attempt to find a cure for breast cancer. They also raised more than $1,000 to donate to cancer research.

“The girls did a nice job of selling their shirts and getting people involved,” coach Emily Crossman complimented. “I would like to give a huge thank you to the boosters for all their support with the raffle items and everything. It was great to see the whole gym in pink.”

All feel-good stories aside, it was business as usual for the Knights on the court. Read More

Knights Conquer Titans, Ride out the Storm, Claim Volleyball LOVC Tourney Title

•October 12, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

After going through Argenta-Oreana--one of the three teams to beat Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond this season--Saturday, the Knights took down Sangamon Valley/ Tri-City in three sets for the second time in a week.

The Knights fed off an electric crowd in the first set, jumping out to an 11-1 lead, thanks in large part to great serves, before taking the first set in convincing fashion.

Rebounding from falling 25-21 in the second set the Knights took the third by a landslide 25-15, ending the set on a 11-1 run and superb serving from junior Macy Hollingsworth.

Helping that effort were 10 kills, nine digs, five blocks from Taylor Powell, 11 kills from Abby Foreman and six kills 29 assists and a game high seven blocks from Madison Brown.

The LOVC NW Division crown sets up a date with Tri-County for the LOVC tournament title for the third time in the last six seasons. Read More

ALAH and Arcola Use Senior Knight to Raise Cancer Awareness

Photo by Darian Hays Dakota Myers takes the ball downfield for the Knights during the home game with Arcola October 7. Myers had nine yards rushing for the game.

Photo by Darian Hays
Dakota Myers takes the ball downfield for the Knights during the home game with Arcola October 7. Myers had nine yards rushing for the game.

•October 12, 2016•

By Matthew Kracht
NP Sports

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond lost its home matchup with the reigning 2015 Class 1A state champion Purple Riders Oct 7. A back and forth rivalry game saw Arcola prevail 44-20.

However, what the football teams did to honor cancer survivor Kara Kuhns at halftime spoke volumes about both communities. ALAH graduate Kuhns worked for both school districts’ speech departments throughout her four-year battle with the disease. The teams on the field and fans in attendance gave Kuhns a standing ovation to show solidarity against a disease that afflicts millions of Americans every year. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month show your support by wearing pink proudly.

Arcola drew first blood in the contest with a 23-yard run for a touchdown at the five minute mark in the first quarter. Arthur hit back with a 40 yard completion to Kobe Wells on a well-designed play action pass. Wells’ catch set up the Knights’ first down from the Riders’ 36 yard line. Dakota Myers then brought the crowd to its feet with a 36 yard touchdown on a perfectly blocked screen pass. Will Cohan put both passes right where they needed to be despite intense pressure from a talented Arcola defense. ALAH’s two point attempt failed, and the Riders led 7-6 with 3:51 left in the first quarter.

ALAH head coach Dale Schuring said the team has been starting strong but struggling to maintain. “We have made a lot of improvements. Last several weeks out we have been 0-0 6-2. We have started out well; it is just a matter of maintaining it. I think our lack of depth has something to do with that. These kids just don’t get a break. “  Read More