SOV Remains Undefeated with 47-7 Win

Photo by Joe Wheller SOV’s Jake Eaton hits his gap for the touchdown Friday night against Meridian. Eaton ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

Photo by Joe Wheller
SOV’s Jake Eaton hits his gap for the touchdown Friday night against Meridian. Eaton ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

October 1, 2014

Redskins roll in one-sided rout of Meridian

By Joe Wheeler
NP Reporter

It was all Redskins Friday night as the boys in red opened up the field on the Meridian Hawks in a 47-7 win.

SOV was 4-0 going into this past week’s matchup and was looking to keep things going versus a Meridian squad who has had trouble getting things going this season. The Hawks, 1-4 after Friday night, could not do anything to stop the high-powered offense of Sullivan-Okaw Valley.

“We were able to get some things going in not only the running game, but also the passing game,” head coach Gerald Temples said. “Our kids really did a great job of executing the game plan tonight.” 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

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

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

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

Knights Drop One, Win Two

September 24, 2014

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond soccer team traveled to play Warrensburg Saturday and fell 0-6.

“As always they are a very tough team to beat,” said head coach Jeff Trower. “We had hoped to score early in the first couple minutes  and try to  shake them up a little bit.” Read More

En-Schuring a Win, Knight’s QB Leads ALAH to Homecoming Victory

Photo by Darian Hays The ALAH Knights' offensive line was altogether healthy for the first time since week one, which proved a big asset in the Knights' 36-25 win over Sangamon Valley last Friday.

Photo by Darian Hays
The ALAH Knights’ offensive line was altogether healthy for the first time since week one, which proved a big asset in the Knights’ 36-25 win over Sangamon Valley last Friday.

September 24, 2014

ALAH now to host powerhouse Arcola

By Matt Kracht
NP Sport Reporter

In their Little Okaw Valley Conference opener, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond  dominated the line of scrimmage defeating a spirited Sangamon Valley squad 36-25 Friday night. A Knights offensive line healthy for the first time since week one cleared the way for Tyler Schuring’s four touchdowns moving ALAH to 3-1 on the season. Knights head coach Dale Schuring praised the offensive unit’s effort in the victory.

“It’s a good group,” he said. “We ran the ball pretty much anytime we wanted to today, so I was really pleased with their play.” Read More

Lady T-Wolves Win Against Non-Conference Foe

September 24, 2014

Aces plentiful as OV routs Edinburg

by Joe Wheeler
Bethany Reporter

After splitting four games in the Windsor Invitational this past weekend to earn fourth place, the Okaw Valley Lady Timberwolves dominated a Monday night matchup against the Edinburg Lady Wildcats.

Things were all positive as the girls from OV looked like a well-oiled machine, sending the Wildcats home in just two sets. Teamwork was key Monday evening, as was a string of aces from middle-hitter Megan Dash in both sets. Dash combined with Caity Ohm and Hayley Carlson for a team total nine aces. Read More