Stunning Comeback Snaps SOV Win Streak

Photo by RR Best A whole host of Redskins tackle St. Teresa’s quarterback Ryan Fyke during Friday night’s game.

Photo by RR Best
A whole host of Redskins tackle St. Teresa’s quarterback Ryan Fyke during Friday night’s game.

October 8, 2014

Bulldogs last minute TD edges Redskins in CIC battle

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Friday night’s matchup of the two undefeated Central Illinois Conference teams lived up to the hype that was building the week before.

It just didn’t live up in SOV’s favor.

St Teresa rallied from an eight point halftime deficit to upend the Redskins on homecoming Friday night 20-17. The two postseason bound squads went back and forth battling down to the final play for the top spot in the Central Illinois Conference. Read More

Lady Knights Drop Important Conference Match to Sangamon Valley

Alyssa McArthur prepares to serve late in to the second set Thursday evening. McArthur helped lead her team on a 5-0 run, but it was too little, too late, as ALAH fell in two sets to Sangamon Valley.

Alyssa McArthur prepares to serve late into the second set Thursday evening. McArthur helped lead her team on a 5-0 run, but it was too little, too late, as ALAH fell in two sets to Sangamon Valley.

October 3, 2014

Service and attacking errors plague ALAH in loss

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Four timeouts, but to no avail.

Despite head coach Emily Crossman’s repeated attempts to get her girls to regroup, the Lady Knights seemed destined to drop an important conference matchup Thursday night, falling 20-25, 14-25 to Sangamon Valley.

“I’d say tonight we did not even show up,” said Crossman, bluntly. “They tried to fight at the end, but it was too little too late. If you don’t start, you can’t finish a game. We couldn’t string anything together. When one facet of our play was not working, the other would shut down. The other end didn’t pick the other up.” Read More

Redskin Golf Hosts Final Match at Home

Photos by Keith Stewart Ariel Heppe putts during last Wednesday's golf match at the Sullivan Country Club.

Photos by Keith Stewart
Ariel Heppe putts during last Wednesday’s golf match at the Sullivan Country Club.October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

With the post-season within a week, area golf teams hosted final home matches this week, including Sullivan, who welcomed Meridian and Effingham last Wednesday.

For the boys, Sullivan finished sandwiched between the competition at second place, shooting a combined 200 with Kent Taber leading the pack with a 46. Sam Mulligan and Kenneth Farley rounded out the 40s with a 47 and 49. Cody Johnson then followed with a 58, followed by Liam Bechtold’s 61 and Jacob Cameron’s 70.

On the girls’ side of things, they faced off against two Meridian golfers and a complete Effingham team, which would take the match with a 192. Sullivan finished with a 263 with Alexis Matlock at the front with a 58. Seniors Ariel Heppe, Beretta Phelps, and Jessica Yantis each shot a 67, 65, and 73 respectively.

Sullivan then travelled for their final two regular season matches, with the first at Tuscola last Thursday, where both boys and girls finished last behind St. Teresa, Monticello, and the host. Taber led the boys, shooting a 48, while Phelps was the female leader shooting a 55.

For the boys, Mulligan (50), Gavin Harlin (54), Joey Davison (52), Adam White (53), and Eric Keller (54), rounded out the group. Matlock (65), Dani Boyer (73), Jessica Yantis (71), and Grace Yantis (65) rounded out the scoring for the girls. Read More

Purple Rider-Knights Finish Regular Season with Win at Home

Photo by Keith Stewart Sophomore Clayton Miller tees off. Miller had a season best Monday, shooting three under par for a 32, easily earning the medal. Davis was second with a 41.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sophomore Clayton Miller tees off. Miller had a season best Monday, shooting three under par for a 32, easily earning the medal. Davis was second with a 41.

October 1, 2014

Miller medals with season best 3-under par

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond/Arcola boys’ golf team ended the regular season at home Monday evening in a face-off with Cumberland and walked away with a 40-point margin of victory to end their schedule at 16-2.

To no surprise it was the sophomore Clayton Miller who medaled, shooting a season best 3-under par for 32. The lone and reliable senior Chris Davis followed with a 41. The rest of the group included Shandon Herschberger’s 42, Parker Ingram’s 49, and both Blake Lindenmeyer and Dylan Bugos’ 53 for a team score of 164.

Monday’s handsome victory came just days after ALAHA competed in the LOVC meet, which they won last year and hosted this year at the Arcola country club on Saturday. But at home, ALAHA succumbed once again to rival Decatur LSA, finishing second with a 332 compared to the Lions’ 314. Read More

Sullivan Baseball Falls Short of Elite Eight

October 1, 2014

Springfield’s Kraft a major force in 13-1 win over Redskins

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Sullivan middle school baseball team came up short in the sectional championship game Saturday at Dwight Wooters Field in Shelbyville. Facing Springfield Blessed Sacrament, the Redskins kept it close until the fifth inning and ultimately fell 13-1.

Caden Ellis took the mound for the Redskins season finale Saturday and pitched well on a hot day, taking a clean sheet into the fourth inning.

But with the score tied 0-0 in the top of the fourth Ellis finally ran into trouble when an eighth grader named Barrett Kraft stepped to the plate.

Prep fans would do well to remember that name as Kraft is sure to be a future preps star. Following a walk and a stolen base Kraft hit a mammoth drive off the fence in left centerfield for an RBI double to get the bruins on the board. Kraft would later come around to then score on a wild pitch with what would prove to be the winning run. Kraft finished 4-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Talking about the slugger the Bruins head coach Dave Ficke commented that, “Kraft has got the quickest bat I have seen in years. When he puts his hands right and hits that ball, he hits it to the deepest part of the park. If he pulls that just a little bit he has two home runs.”

Sullivan finally resorted to playing on the fence, but Kraft adjusted.

”Then they’re backs are against the fence, and he drops a base hit in front of them,” said Ficke. “That was the best game he has played all year.”

When faced with the choice of intentionally walking Kraft, the thought had crossed Sullivan head coach John Harwood’s mind.

“We thought about it, but we thought if we kept hitting the outside corner that he would not be able to yank those but hats off to him; he’s a heck of a hitter. He did a heck of a job hitting, and he did the right things and even when we were hitting the outside corner, he still yanked one in between short and third for a base hit.”

In what was a pitcher’s duel early, starter for the Bruins of Springfield Sacrament Will Reiser was dealing all fastballs. Forcing the action and working fast pace numbers the Bruins starter peppered the mitt all day into the seventh inning as proof that his velocity remained. Reiser went all seven innings without allowing an earned run and also reached base three times.

“He is an eighth grader that has stepped up and elevated his game to the level that it’s at today. He is the leader on this team,” said Ficke. “We got a shot to go deep next week with his leadership. I’ll throw him again on Friday and hopefully have a few innings to play on Saturday too.  He is a great kid.”

A season that started in the beginning of August and saw the Redskins come one game away from the elite eight culminated Saturday with the loss. Sullivan finished the season 10-9. And despite the loss, Harwood was upbeat, praising his boys’ effort.

“All season we have worked on the little things,” said the Sullivan coach. “If you hit a home run there is no defense for that. You can’t plan for that. You have to prepare for everything else in between. With middle school baseball and all sports, it’s all about momentum. We had a dropped ball behind the pitchers lack of communication, which got things rolling for the other team. Just little things like that pile up on you.”

Knights Soccer Drops Two Straight

October 1, 2014

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond soccer team fell to 7-4 on the year following back-to-back losses.

After defeating Meridian in the opening game of the St. Teresa Invitational Tournament a week ago Monday, ALAH fell to the host 3-2 last Thursday.

“This was a very physical game, but we came ready to play,” said head coach Jeff Trower. “St.T took the lead early. We played very well in the second half and scored to tie the game at 2-2.  They were only able to score one point, and we were wearing down, but we ran out time.” Read More

Arcola Continues to Dominate Following 48-21 Victory Over Knights

October 1, 2014

ALAH falls to 3-2 on the year

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Writer

Agame with conference championship implications was eventually clasped onto by the Purple Riders who pulled away in the second half to defeat the Knights 48-21 on Friday night at Wilson field.

A 19-14 halftime score ballooned late as Arcola dominated the time of possession, keeping the Knights offense from finding any sort of rhythm and controlled the game with a strong ground attack that wore out the Knights’ defense. Read More

Dash and Company Take Fourth at Windsor Tournament

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley head coach Jody McCormick reacts excitedly after her team's come back against Neoga Saturday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley head coach Jody McCormick reacts excitedly during her team’s game against Decatur LSA Saturday.

September 24, 2014

OV volleyball loses three set heartbreaker to decide third

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In recent history, the Windsor volleyball tournament hasn’t been the Timberwolves’ best showing. In fact, the last three years, Okaw Valley has failed to make it into any of the top four deciding games, going a combined 2-7. And it was this recent hardship at the Blue Devils’ annual invitational that made the Timberwolves’ fourth place finish all the more surprising, not to mention, pleasing.
“The last three years we’ve been at this tournament the very first match, we weren’t even awake,” said second year head coach Jody McCormick. “I wonder if we even got off the bus. So this year my focus was getting them here early, getting food in their bellies before we even get here, getting them in that intensity mode, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They worked really hard and pulled through it.” Read More

Harlin Takes Top Spot at Windsor Invitational Saturday

September 24, 2014

OV girls finish third as a team

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Okaw Valley senior Paige Harlin did what was expected of her Saturday at the Windsor Invitational. Play like the dominate golfer that she is.

So dominate, in fact, the senior shot just two strokes over par after 18 holes for a combined score of 75, taking the top individual place. In fact, Harlin shot just one stroke off of the top boys’ medalist, which was Windsor’s Tristan Warner with a 74. Read More

Redskins Rout Cardinals 42-0 to Stay Perfect on the Season

Photo by Keith Stewart Warrensburg-Latham’s Austin Tucker tries to make a catch during Friday’s first quarter while SOV’s Zach DeVore defends on the coverage.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Warrensburg-Latham’s Austin Tucker tries to make a catch during Friday’s first quarter while SOV’s Zach DeVore defends on the coverage.

September 24, 2014

SOV now ranked 16th in Class 3A

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For SOV head coach Gerald Temples, a poor first half for his team consists of a 21-0 lead and getting pushed around at the line of scrimmage. Needless to say, he wasn’t the happiest with the Redskin’s first half performance against Warrensburg-Latham, especially against the near flawless backdrop of his team’s second half effort, which solidified a 42-0 win to maintain their undefeated record at 4-0.

“We came in to do what we do offensively and defensively and to Warrensburg’s credit, in the first half now, I’m telling you, they got after us up front,” said Temples. “They took it to us, and that was our discussion at half time-how defensively and offensively we have got to be able to play better and control the line of scrimmage better because we didn’t, especially defensively.” Read More