Anthony Zilis

Life remembered: ‘Coach Cool Breeze Jones’ known for his calm demeanor

Mykhail Chambers normally keeps a calm disposition, but after clearing 6 feet, 8 inches to win the 2008 IHSA Class AA state title in the high jump as a senior for Urbana, he exploded with emotion.

Stalter edges out-of-country competition in victory

PAXTON — Fisher junior Alayna Stalter was confused.

She knew the area had boasted a few of the state’s top hurdlers, including herself and St. Joseph-Ogden’s Parker Francisco. But mid-season, she saw a name of a runner from LeRoy that she didn’t recognize next to impressive times: sophomore Janika Peitzmeier.

Best ever: Smith finishes out illustrious career with 2nd-place finish

CHAMPAIGN — Rantoul senior Demarius Smith’s eyes were glassy as he stared ahead on the second-place step of the podium.

His finish was the best in Rantoul history for the second straight year, but his loss by a 1-0 decision in Saturday’s Class 2A 152-pound state championship match stung.

A-P falls to Blue Devils; will play for third place

DANVILLE —Bismarck-Henning girls’ basketball coach Mike Stephens knew his team wouldn’t be able to press the entire game. The Blue Devils simply aren’t deep enough. But he wanted to keep Armstrong-Potomac out of its comfort zone in Wednesday’s Vermilion County Conference tournament contest.

Schwing the real ideal leadoff hitter

FISHER — Rarely did a pitch come across the plate last year that Fisher leadoff hitter Emilee Schwing couldn’t hit, a fact her area-leading .629 batting average clearly showed.

But one pitch location, the inside corner, is notoriously difficult for slap hitters like Schwing.

"Illini Prairie" selected as name for Okaw Valley-Corn Belt merger

CHAMPAIGN — The new conference consisting of the 10 remaining teams in the Okaw Valley and Corn Belt Conferences will be named the Illini Prairie Conference, the conference announced Wednesday.

The conference will begin play during the 2017-2018 school year.

Boys Basketball: Dunner keeps raising the bar

RANTOUL — When CJ Dunner wanted to walk in the door of the Rantoul gym last summer, Brett Frerichs was ready to open it.

And when the point guard found himself launching three-pointer after three-pointer, he stayed as long as his coach would allow.

“It was just being in the gym all day every day,” Dunner said, “and getting familiar with the ball going in the rim.”

Boys Basketball: Eagles on new flight plan

RANTOUL — The guest of honor felt a hint of nostalgia as he stood off to the side by the stage inside the Rantoul gymnasium. He had just finished addressing the Eagles boys’ basketball team before its senior night game against Danville last Monday.

Wrestling: Smith falls in final seconds of semifinal match

CHAMPAIGN — Demarius Smith guaranteed himself Rantoul’s first state wrestling medal since 1971 after winning a 3-2 decision in Friday’s quarterfinals, but it won’t be the one he hoped for.

Girls Basketball: Rantoul's season ends against St. Thomas More in regional

CHAMPAIGN — When Tori McCoy is healthy, the St. Thomas More girls’ basketball team has one consistent scoring option. Beyond McCoy, though, coach Jay Price is never sure what his team will receive from game to game.

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