OV Falls to Cerro Gordo in Regionals

•October 26, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

Last Thursday, Okaw Valley fell to Cerro Gordo on the Broncos’ senior night 25-21 each set.

Both sets saw the Timberwolves mount comebacks and tie the set late--at 19 in the first and 21 in the second--but it was to no avail, as hitting errors did them in both nights.

Fast forward to the Oct. 24 Regional contest in Bethany, and it was more of the same.

The ‘Wolves tied the first late and were as close as two but couldn’t finish the job, falling 25-22. Read More

Coop High School Swimmers Take First

•October 26, 2016•

The Okaw Valley/Sullivan/Shelbyville high school girls’ swim team kicked off their season at Olympia High School in Stanford recently.

Brynna Sentel led the team with five first place finishes in the 200 IM, 100 backstroke, 500 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 100 breaststroke to earn her the overall first finish.

Sophomores held off the remaining swimmers to have overall top finishes behind Sentel. Read More

Girls on the Run of East Central Illinois Host 5K Event

Photo furnished GOTR 5k It’s time for girls to let their spirit shine by joining the Girls on the Run 5k! The Riddle Rockstars won the spirit wear trophy last spring.

Photo furnished
GOTR 5k It’s time for girls to let their spirit shine by joining the Girls on the Run 5k! The Riddle Rockstars won the spirit wear trophy last spring.

•October 26, 2016•

Girls on the Run East Central Illinois will host its 5k event at 9 a.m. Saturday, November 12 at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in third to eighth grade. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season celebratory 5k event.

“Participating in the Girls on the Run 5k gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even that seemingly impossible is possible,” says Sarah Dowell, council director for Girls on the Run of East Central Illinois. “We have sites across seven counties this fall and are grateful for the opportunity to have served over 2,100 girls in our 11 seasons!” Read More

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