Zack Carpenter

New digs: Dinkins, Hartranft each step into first-year soccer head coaching roles

FISHER — The entire team stands huddled at midfield, locked arm-in-arm. All nine seniors in a circle in the middle. The other 23 juniors, sophomores and freshmen in a larger oval surrounding them.


Embracing the pressure: Bunnies set dreams, goals high for 2018

FISHER — Things were different this summer.

More focus. More conditioning. More fun.

That’s a big reason the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team is well ahead of where it was at this point last season.


Numbers issue: Eagles look for improvement despite player participation being a question mark

RANTOUL — Even though a varsity game has yet to be played at Bill Seeber Soccer Complex this season, frustration has still set in for Bryce Hartranft.

It’s not stress about on-field issues that has the first-year Rantoul head coach upset. It’s the lack of attendance.


A storm's brewing: Joop wins E.I. League MVP, batting title

GIFFORD — The first true foray into Eastern Illinois League baseball could not have gone much better for Storm Joop.

Having been on scholarship for the University of Indianapolis the last four years, Joop only played in a handful of games for Gifford-Flatville in the past, spending most of his summer circuits with summer collegiate teams.


Three-Peat: Once again, Rantoul baseball excels in the classroom with academic award

RANTOUL — The legacy, foundation and identity of the Rantoul baseball program is set — and baseball has nothing to do with it.

For the third year in a row, the Eagles baseball program was honored with the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Team Academic Excellence Award.


Looking ahead: Following season-ending loss in district tournament, Post 287 sets high expectations in 2019

TILTON — Looking back at last summer compared to this one would be akin to comparing apples to oranges for Garry Smith.

Rantoul’s Post 287 baseball team of the American Senior Legion and its manager were coming off a dismal 2017 campaign, but in 2018, Smith was more than happy with what he saw on the field and in the dugout.


Piecing it together: Giflats establish league-winning roster that hopes to bring first tourney title since 2011

GIFFORD — If someone would have told Dan Plecki prior to the season his team would be 15-5 at regular season’s end, he would have laughed.

That’s something the Gifford-Flatville baseball team’s player/manager admits, yet heading into Sunday’s Eastern Illinois League Jamboree, that’s where the Giflats’ record stood at.


No 'Off' Season: Going behind the curtain of Fisher football's strength and conditioning program

'Volt' is not a typical strength-building program, but Fisher’s outside-the-box offseason workout regimen has provided the backbone of success, durability and health for its football team


Moving up the ranks: Harbicek to take reins of Hoopeston baseball

RANTOUL — When the Rantoul and Hoopeston Area baseball teams meet next year on March 21, there will be a little extra juice in the matchup.

Rich Harbicek, who spent three seasons as an assistant coach in the Rantoul program, last week officially accepted the job to become the Cornjerkers’ head baseball coach.


Post 287 remains alive in district tournament; Crites’ gem, Cargo’s bomb prove key

TILTON — A fourth-inning line-drive home run by Hayden Cargo proved to be the final and exact distance Rantoul needed to survive.


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