Harlin Heads to Nashville for Greener Greens

Photo by Keith Stewart Recent Okaw Valley graduate Paige Harlin signed her letter of intent to play golf at Tennessee State University in an April 21 ceremony. Pictured, left to right are: younger sister Grace, mother Amber, Paige, father Jeremy, and younger brother Miles.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Recent Okaw Valley graduate Paige Harlin signed her letter of intent to play golf at Tennessee State University in an April 21 ceremony. Pictured, left to right are: younger sister Grace, mother Amber, Paige, father Jeremy, and younger brother Miles.

Okaw Valley graduate to play golf at TSU

June 17, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

When it comes to golf, Paige Harlin has for most of her high school career, been a big fish in a small pond.
Well, now she is ready for more open waters.
On Tuesday, April 21, the 2015 Okaw Valley graduate signed off on her official intent to play division-one golf at Tenneesee State University starting this fall.
“It means a lot because for the longest time everybody would ask me where I’m going, and I’d say, ‘Probably Tennessee, but I don’t really know,” said Harlin, “but now I can finally just say ‘that’s where I’m going.’”
But for Harlin, a college golf signing may not have happened had it not been for some encouragement.
“Definitely not considering I quit golf after awhile to play softball, but then I started again when I got to high school,” she explained. “It was like a four year break. Andy [Wagner] was like, ‘Why aren’t you playing golf?’ And I said, “I don’t know. I didn’t think about it.’ And I didn’t know he was the coach so I really had no reason to play until then. But he’s meant a lot to me. He’s like a second dad to me practically. He’s just really supportive, and that’s always helped. He taught me how to swing a golf club.”
Wagner, who has known Harlin nearly all her life, can still recall a golf lesson he gave her at seven-years-old. Read More

Still Playing

OV baseballer to continue sport at Lake Land

Photo by Keith Stewart Recent Okaw Valley graduate Devon still signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Lake Land College during a May 19 ceremony. Pictured, left to right, back row are: Lake Land head baseball coach Bill Jackson and OV head baseball coach Andrew Hagerman. Front row: father Jeff Still, Devon Still, and mother Rachel Still.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Recent Okaw Valley graduate Devon still signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Lake Land College during a May 19 ceremony. Pictured, left to right, back row are: Lake Land head baseball coach Bill Jackson and OV head baseball coach Andrew Hagerman. Front row: father Jeff Still, Devon Still, and mother Rachel Still.

June 17, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

It’s true that Devon Still has played golf and basketball throughout his high school career and excelled in both. But neither compares to his love for baseball. The sport is less a game to him than more a necessity.
And for the recent Okaw Valley graduate, not to mention member of the school’s fourth place state finishing team, that necessity has been extended two more years.
“I’ve always loved baseball. It was a couple years ago that I figured out if I worked hard enough I would be able to keep playing baseball, which is exactly what I wanted to do,” said Still. “I wanted to play in college, whether it was just playing or for a scholarship. I just wanted to play. So it was really nice getting an offer from Lake Land.”
That offer came relatively late into Still’s career, however. A fact that surprised his high school head coach Andrew Hagerman. Read More

Not the Best, but Close to It

Photo by RR Best Okaw Valley’s baseball team took home a fourth place state trophy from this past weekend’s tournament in Peoria. Pictured, left to right, are Peyton Hagerman, Joe Jeffers, and Devon Still.

Photo by RR Best
Okaw Valley’s baseball team took home a fourth place state trophy from this past weekend’s tournament in Peoria. Pictured, left to right, are Peyton Hagerman, Joe Jeffers, and Devon Still.

Timberwolves bring home fourth place hardware after historic run

June 10, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Out of 169 class 1A baseball teams just four made it to this past weekend’s ISHA state tourney in Peoria. The Timberwolves fell in two competitive contests, first against state runner up Okawville 5-3 Friday, and then against Fulton 11-7 Saturday. After all was said and done the Timberwolves took home a gigantic fourth place trophy along with some memories that will last a lifetime. The 26-9 record to end the season secured the deepest postseason run of any area squad in more than a decade.

Trying to Hold On

Peyton Hagerman took the ball in the Timberwolves first matchup on Friday afternoon. Dozer Park, the Cardinals single A minor league affiliate, had the radar gun working and both teams’ eyes were locked on the scoreboard early on. Hagerman showed no signs of fatigue despite a long season of work, popping the mitt at 86mph to start the game. His opposite from Okawville respectably registered 81 miles per hour, but had an impressive command of the strike zone. Both pitchers dominated through the first three innings, and with the game tied 0-0 heading to the top of the fourth inning it would be Okawville who would draw first blood. Read More

All LOVC Selections Announced

June 10, 2015

Both LOVC member schools Okaw Valley and Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond had student athletes selected as all-conferece for softball and baseball.

OVHS

For the Timberwolves, pitcher Devon Still was chosen  while infielders Peyton Hagerman and Dylan Park were also selected. Honorable mentions went to Garrett Fritz, Drew Fruchtl, Joe Jeffers, and Taylor Coleman. Read More

Monday Night Scrambler Results 6.10.15

June 10, 2015

Competing at Timberlake Golf Course Monday, May 25, the team of Clint Marshall, Adam Dillard, Colten Bush, and Aaron Fruchtl finished first with a 6-under par. Taking second with a 5-under par and playoff hole was the team of Cole Russell, Shane Russell, Sean Still and Davey Emritt. Third place went to the team of Tim Sawyer, Steve Sawyer, Scott Ohm and Mason Ohm, also shooting a combined 5-under par. Read More

ALL Business

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley senior Devon Still hoists the team’s super-sectional plaque into the air for the home crowd to see Tuesday night in Champaign after he and the Timberwolves defeated Princeville 6-5.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley senior Devon Still hoists the team’s super-sectional plaque into the air for the home crowd to see Tuesday night in Champaign after he and the Timberwolves defeated Princeville 6-5.

Still going, OV baseball wins super-sectional Tuesday 6-5 to advance to state

June 3, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Lefty Devon Still had a game to remember Tuesday night in Champaign, pitching all seven innings to tally 14 punch-outs and earning his 11th victory on the season. Still also drove home the game winning run in walk-off fashion sending Okaw Valley to the team’s first final four state qualifier.
“Now having kids will be the second happiest day of my life,” said Still. “I can’t believe it. It’s something I dreamed of as a kid, but I never really pictured me in that position, but now we’re here.”
Leading by one run, 5-4, heading in to the top of the seventh inning Okaw Valley was three outs from advancing, but Princeville had other ideas.
The Princes got the lead-off runner on due to a throwing error and brought him around to score on a swinging bunt with two outs to tie the game and put the pressure back on Okaw Valley.
“It was more motivating actually,” said Peyton Hagerman. “There were a few people with their heads down. Fritz and I were ripping their heads back up. Garrett walked up to me and said, ‘You’re getting on, and I’m hitting you in.’ And I said, ‘Deal.’ Then I got on, Taylor got on, Garrett got on, and then Devon, he had himself a day.” Read More

Yeakley Makes it to Finals in Two Events Saturday

Photo by Keith Stewart Colton Yeakley prepares to release during Saturday’s shot put finals at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston. The junior qualified in both the shot and discus finals, ultimately finishing 11th and 12th respectively.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Colton Yeakley prepares to release during Saturday’s shot put finals at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston. The junior qualified in both the shot and discus finals, ultimately finishing 11th and 12th respectively.

Finishes 11th, 12th in shot put and discus

June 3, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond high school’s boys’ track and field team sent three athletes to the IHSA state track meet this past week, with two individuals participating in Saturday’s finals.
Leading the pack was junior Colton Yeakley who made his second consecutive trip to state following last year’s seventh place medal in the discus. But despite coming into the meet tied for second after his sectional throw of 165 feet, 10 inches, the ALAH junior just barely qualified out of the preliminary on Thursday, throwing just 146-3.
Things didn’t overly improve for him on Saturday as he finished in 12th with a throw of 147-1.
The silver lining was that Yeakley did break through in the shot put, qualifying for both the prelims and finals. He would eventually finish 11th on Saturday with a throw of 50-3. Read More

2015 Mo-Do Legion Baseball Set-up for Power Pitching

Still, Hrvol part of five-man pitching rotation

June 3, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

This year’s Moultrie Douglas Legion baseball team has a set of arms any coach would envy. The squad will feature five starting pitchers all throwing more than 80 miles per hour including two local products in Devon Still and Zach Hrvol. Altogether Moultrie County has four possible starters on this year’s senior ball team with the other two being Sullivan’s Dylan Hart and Alec Ballinger. The junior team also has a local flavor featuring three Sullivan products in Brett Tuttle, Zach Sowers and Tommy Schiber.
Duff Hoel who will be the head coach for the junior ball team and an assistant on the senior team has big hopes for this year’s crop of players.
“It is very competitive every year,” he said. “This year with our five arms we will be competitive. Devon Still will be our number one lefty, but we have five top of the rotation pitchers. Zach Hrvol is eligible to pitch junior, but we are going to pitch him in senior so he can face some better competition.” Read More

Timberwolves Bag Sectional Championship

School history-making continues

June 3, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Okaw Valley baseball is in elite territory after defeating Blue Ridge 5-2 Monday, advancing to the team’s first ever super sectional. Peyton Hagerman took a no hitter into the fourth inning and struck out 10 batters in the victory.
Hagerman had what you would call an effectively wild day. The senior right hander did his best bulldog impression on the mound, working quickly and keeping the Knights’ hitters uncomfortable at the plate. Okaw Valley head coach Andrew Hagerman said it was a gutsy performance.
“Peyton pitched that game with his heart, not his arm. He threw a lot of gutty pitches in that game. It shows the heart of a champion to execute the way he did even though he hit half the town over there.”
Hagerman allowed a leadoff walk before hitting the opposing pitcher, setting up a two-on, no-out jam in the first inning. Hagerman got out of the threat thanks to a blown attempted squeeze by the Knights’ clean-up hitter. In the bottom half of the inning Hagerman led off the game for the Timberwolves by doubling to the wall in right field. The drive brought the crowd and his teammates to life giving the Timberwolves early confidence. Taylor Coleman followed with a walk, and Garrett Fritz smashed a single up the middle to load the bases for Devon Still. This time it was Okaw Valley’s turn to attempt the squeeze, and they did so to perfection as Still angled the ball to the third base line. Hagerman scored before the ball was fielded, and the ensuing throw to first got away, allowing Coleman to score–hustling all the way from second–spotting the Timberwolves a 2-0 lead and stunning the Knights.

Photo provided by Jennifer Fruchtl Make no mistakes about it, that isn’t a regional title, but instead the first ever sectional title for the Okaw Valley baseball team following their 5-2 win over Blue Ridge Monday in LeRoy.

Photo provided by Jennifer Fruchtl
Make no mistakes about it, that isn’t a regional title, but instead the first ever sectional title for the Okaw Valley baseball team following their 5-2 win over Blue Ridge Monday in LeRoy.

Read More

OV Baseball Makes History with Trip to Sectional Championship

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley pitcher Peyton Hagerman thrusts his fist into the air after tallying the game-winning strikeout of Wednesday's sectional semi-final against Oakwood.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley pitcher Peyton Hagerman thrusts his fist into the air after tallying the game-winning strikeout of Wednesday's sectional semi-final against Oakwood.

Staple T-Wolf defense and pitching keep hold of 1-0 win

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In football, senior Joe Jeffers was known as “Jumping Joe” for his often aerial grabs as a tight-end. In baseball, he might as well be called “Jackrabbit Joe,” especially after his helmet flew off as he careened past second base Wednesday following his shot to deep right field for a triple. The next at-bat, Peyton Hagerman, sent Jeffers home on an RBI groundout, which would be the one and only run of the game as Okaw Valley defeated Oakwood 1-0 to advance to Saturday’s sectional championship.

“Joe’s triple was the offensive story of the game,” said Okaw Valley head coach Andrew Hagerman. “Devon (Still) was outstanding all day long. Peyton (Hagerman) had an outstanding game. You’re talking about a lot of seniors coming through today.”

Still took the mound for OV to start and would go 5 and 1/3 innings, throwing 85 pitches, which included eight strikeouts, one walk, one hit-by-pitch, and just four hits. Hagerman came in with a high-pressure situation at hand as Oakwood had bases loaded with just one out. The senior would strikeout the next batter in what may have been the second-most pivotal play of the game. The third out then came from the big glove of left-fielder Cody Drake, who had to track the fly ball in the wind. Read More