Almost 250 high school athletes showed up at the News-Gazette photo studio for the Faces of Spring 2019 photo shoot.
Most Valuable PlayerCaleb BleichThe most successful season in the history of the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer program ended unceremoniously in a controversial regional semifinal loss to Unity.But on the way to that ending, several Bunnies enjoyed terrific, record-breaking seasons,…
CHAMPAIGN — The red-eyed coach fought back tears, attempting not to choke up as the emotion hit him of watching the best season in program history fade away in the short life span of 80 minutes.
RANTOUL — Dubbed to be “kind of like our Super Bowl” by head coach Tom Hess, the Rantoul football team’s comeback bid in a Week 8 matchup with Unity fell short.The Eagles lost to Unity 22-14 on Rantoul’s senior night, as an interception with 28 seconds remaining cost Hess’ club late.
FISHER — A season of record breaking for the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team continued with back-to-back wins last week.With a 3-1 win over Roanoke-Benson last Monday and a 2-0 shutout over Blue Ridge last Wednesday, the Bunnies (17-2-1) set a program record for wins with their …
FISHER — A flour bomb fight. Karaoke on bus rides home. Team ice baths in the back of a pickup truck.Those may not be typical moments in a season filled with such program-changing success. Those fun experiences most often seem to be more in stride with an undisciplined team attempting to gle…
FITHIAN — Prior to each match this season, the parents of Armstrong-Potomac volleyball players provide them with goody bags of different sayings attached to each bag.Last Tuesday’s supply featured pixie sticks and the inscription, “All you need is faith, trust and a little pixie dust.”
RANTOUL — “We just came out asleep. We just weren’t there.”Those words from Bryce Hartranft adequately described Rantoul soccer’s 3-0 loss to Monticello last Tuesday, and it’s an issue the Eagles coach has been trying to correct all season.
FISHER — It was as frustrated as they have been all season, and it was plain as day to see.With the offensive firepower deployed by Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer players all season, playing to a 0-0 draw last Wednesday against a strong Monticello defensive unit was less than satisfying.
RANTOUL — It was a big week for the Rantoul soccer team, which took down Decatur Eisenhower 4-1 last Saturday before back-to-back wins over St. Joseph-Ogden, 2-0 last Tuesday, and Olympia (7-1 last Wednesday). The Eagles improved their mark to 5-6-1 this season with the victories.
Rantoul senior soccer player Ivan Diaz scored two goals against Decatur Eisenhower Sept. 15 to help him earn the school’s Athlete of the Week honors, sponsored by Dawn Babb.
RANTOUL — It has been a glaring weakness for his club throughout the first eight matches of the season.But Bryce Hartranft admits he did not see it clearly until last Tuesday, when a 2-0 loss to Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley opened the Rantoul soccer coach’s eyes to the Eagles’ biggest pr…
RANTOUL — For a team that had been on fire through the season’s first month, perhaps it would be nitpicking to be upset at a loss.But the expectation for the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team. The Bunnies don’t expect to lose any game.
FISHER — The train kept on rolling for the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team, as the Bunnies defeated St. Joseph-Ogden and Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond last week to stay unbeaten.
FISHER — When Robbie Dinkins first arrived at his teaching position in Gibson City years ago, he remembers what the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer program used to look like.Seasons that finished with records of 3-13-5, 4-14-4 and 3-14-5 from 2012-14 left him with a strong realization.
FISHER — Prior to winning his Heisman trophy in 2007 at the University of Florida, quarterback Tim Tebow was known for his tenacious practice habits.During offseason workouts, Tebow’s competitive nature forced him to exert such extensive physical energy during drills and scrimmages that his …
URBANA — A youngster stepping up, one of the area’s top goalkeepers staying focused and a veteran playmaker making a critical hustle play at the perfect time all helped culminate in hardware for the Fisher/Gibson-City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team.
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.
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.
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.
STRAIGHT OUT OF THE RANTOUL PRESS SPORTS VAULT STARTED BY FORMER SPORTS EDITOR MATT DANIELS, WE TAKE A LOOK BACK AT THE 2017-18 AREA PREP SPORTS SCENE AND A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2018-19 SCHOOL YEARMale Athlete of the Year: Jaden Jones-Watkins, Fisher senior, football, basketball & track and field
Sports editor Zack Carpenter gives a rundown of the best stories in sports from the past six months10 Ingold secures win No. 150, Spenard sets school record
By ROSS BROWNRantoul Press correspondentGIBSON CITY — Every game, every practice. Every team banquet, gathering and event. Roy Roemer attended them all.Roemer, 67, a longtime Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley sports fan, died Thursday night after a short battle with esophageal cancer.
MAHOMET — Heading into last Wednesday’s 2A Mahomet-Seymour Regional semifinal matchup with the host and No. 2 seed Bulldogs, the Rantoul soccer team’s coaching staff tried to downplay its opponent’s top billing and 16-4-3 record.
Each week, sports editor Zack Carpenter provides a top-five list in different categories of sports, movies or music. This week, he offers a brief look back at the five most impressive area teams this past fall.Fisher/GCMS Soccer11-5-4
DOWNS — The eerie resemblances heading into Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley’s 1A regional soccer match with Bloomington Cornerstone last Wednesday were too prevelant to ignore.
RANTOUL — The Rantoul soccer team struggled on Senior Night, falling to Bloomington Central Catholic 5-0 last Tuesday at Bill Walsh Field.The Eagles (7-13) face Champaign Central in the regular season finale today (Wednesday) at home at Bill Walsh Field.
When Bloomington Cornerstone dismantled Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley in a 1A regional semifinal soccer match last October, it was clear the Bunnies were out of their element.
Each week, sports editor Zack Carpenter provides a top-five list in different categories of sports, movies or music. This week, he offers up five potential area X-factor players who could make a big impact this postseason.
DOWNS — If Saturday’s regular-season matchup between Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley and Bloomington Cornerstone on the soccer pitch is any prognostication of what’s to come, fans should be in for a treat.
MONTICELLO — The postseason is coming up quickly, and if the Rantoul soccer team doesn’t become the aggressor come game time, it could be an early exit for an Eagles team brimming with potential.
GILMAN — With perhaps its sternest test of the season since falling to Urbana University High at the Uni High Shootout on Aug. 26, the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team looked good for more than 30 minutes last Monday against Iroquois West.
RANTOUL — After coming out two weeks ago and seemingly surprising the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team with its ability to control the ball and play defense, the Rantoul soccer club was put to the test once more last Tuesday.The opponent this time was St. Joseph-Ogden, another of…
FISHER — Take away the first three matches of the fall, and the 2017 season has actually been fairly successful for Rantoul soccer and first-year head coach Michael Masters.
Each week, sports editor Zack Carpenter will provide a top-five list in different categories of sports, movies or music. This week, he lists the five performances that have caught his eye this fall.Seven shutoutsFisher/GCMS soccer
FISHER — When the Bunnies took a 2-0 halftime lead over fellow News-Gazette top-10 squad St. Joseph-Ogden on Sept. 5, it looked like the last 40 minutes would be a breeze.
FISHER — Alec Johnson’s feet might be a little sore this week.It at least wouldn’t be shocking if the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley forward took some extra time to rest after racking up six goals in a 12-0 blowout win over Clifton Central on Saturday.
Each week, sports editor Zack Carpenter will provide a top-five list in different categories of sports, movies or music. This week, he takes a look at five matchups this fall to keep an eye on across the three team sports.
RANTOUL — Garet Kinnett had always put netting a hat trick as one of his top individual goals.Now the Rantoul senior can check that aspiration of his list, but he didn’t stop at just three goals.
OAKWOOD — With a 2-0 win over Oakwood/Salt Fork on Thursday, the Rantoul soccer team tallied its first victory of the season behind one goal apiece from Garet Kinnett and Andy Girkin.
FISHER —In late August last season, the Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley soccer team dropped a narrow 2-1 loss to Oakwood/Salt Fork.In that match, it was a lack of focus that proved to be the fatal factor. O/SF was awarded a free kick, but the Bunnies did not get themselves set. O/SF scored …
FARMER CITY — Throughout last Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Blue Ridge, Rantoul soccer head coach Michael Masters and assistant Bryce Hartranft made several in-game notes of adjustments the Eagles must make.
CHAMPAIGN — The final seconds of last Tuesday’s soccer match between Fisher/Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley and Judah Christian can draw comparisons to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.