Almost 250 high school athletes showed up at the News-Gazette photo studio for the Faces of Spring 2019 photo shoot.

RANTOUL — The calendar year has entered into March, which means it’s time to break out the gloves, and the bats and hit the field because it is softball season.The Rantoul Eagles softball team’s scheduled to have its season opener against Westville on Monday, March 11 at Wabash Park. Game ti…

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

Armstrong-PotomacBaseballHighlightsHands-down the highest point came for A-P in a 1-0 upset win over Salt Fork. Trojans pitcher Rylee Showalter got the job done during a complete-game effort, and Austin Keen’s chopper down the third-base line plated Dalton Loschen for the walk-off run.Lowlights

Most Valuable PlayerBecca Clanton, FisherFor the past two seasons, Clanton has taken the Rantoul Press area (and The News-Gazette area) by storm as one of the best all-around catchers in central Illinois.

MAHOMET — The game plan was executed well, and the final strategic decision of the game was sound. But it still wasn’t enough for the Rantoul softball team.The Eagles fell 6-5 to the host Bulldogs in a Class 3A Mahomet-Seymour Regional semifinal game last Wednesday when Kameryn Brotherton be…

LEROY — In the final week leading up to the postseason, the Fisher baseball team went 1-1 at the Heart of Illinois Showcase in LeRoy on Friday.Led by Brandon Henson’s monster day in which he belted two triples and a double and scored three runs, the Bunnies defeated Ridgeview 8-4 to earn a s…

RANTOUL — The frustration began last Monday.Holding a 5-1 lead over Unity heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Rantoul’s softball team collapsed, allowing five runs in a walk-off loss to the Rockets.

Armstrong-Potomac’s baseball team could not come up with a win last week, falling in back-to-back Vermillion Valley Conference games to Georgetown-Ridge Farm and Oakwood.

ST. JOSEPH — Allie Place's eyes were a little more red than they otherwise might be in this instance. Some leftover welled-up tears accompanied that feature.The St. Joseph-Ogden senior wasn't upset by her softball performance Wednesday against Fisher. She went 3 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored.

MINONK — The wind howling, screeching in from all directions on the softball diamond surrounded in two directions by nothing but miles of farmland that is home to Fieldcrest, turned Friday night’s Heart of Illinois Conference battle between the Knights and Fisher Bunnies into a tight pitcher’s duel.

MINONK — As soon as Sidney Hood stepped off the bus at the ballpark on the outskirts of Minonk on Friday, she noticed what could be a problem.The Fisher shortstop could see the relentless wind, made worse by the fact Fieldcrest’s home field is surrounded mostly by long stretches of farmland,…

RANTOUL — It happened in one quick, terrifying motion.Playing for her travel softball team in South Dakota, Rantoul junior Jada Mosley slid late into third base. When she did, her foot got stuck on the bag, and her knee popped out, tearing the ACL in her right knee.“It was scary. I couldn’t …

Sports Editor Zack Carpenter details a handful of area games on the horizon that are of high interest:Fisher vs. Maroa-ForysthApril 25

ARMSTRONG — Zane Wright played the hero role for the Armstrong-Potomac baseball team last Wednesday, producing a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Trojans a 4-3 win over Schlarman.

RANTOUL — Prior to Thursday’s easy 22-0 win over St. Thomas More, the Rantoul softball team had been licking its wounds.After defeating Heritage to open the Rantoul Tournament on March 31, the Eagles had lost six of their last seven games, and Travis Flesner was at a bit of a loss for words.

TOLONO — When Fisher’s softball team takes down its better opponents, it does so backed by its strong defense.Uncharacteristically, that stingy unit failed in a 5-2 loss to Unity last Tuesday.

The Armstrong-Potomac baseball team lost back-to-back games last week.The Trojans (1-9) fell to Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman, 13-2, last Wednesday. Harrison Lambert and Kyle Webster each drove in three runs for the unbeaten Buffaloes (6-0) in a five-inning Vermilion Valley Conference home …

STANFORD — Chance went by the wayside on Thursday, as the Rantoul softball team was unable to cash in against Olympia in a 6-1 loss.

Eagles fly past HawksBy RANTOUL PRESSFAIRBURY — The Rantoul softball team bounced back from a pair of losses at the Rantoul Tournament with an Illini Prairie Conference win over Prairie Central Thursday.

FISHER — Before Friday’s first softball pitch between Tuscola and Fisher, one could assume any mistakes made in a matchup of reigning top-two postseason seeds would prove costly.And miscues ultimately were kept to a minimum. This nonconference game, however, included one feature that certain…

Sports editor Zack Carpenter details a list of five area softball players who are in prime position to earn all-area status by season’s end:Becca ClantonFisher softball

RANTOUL — Prior to the second inning of Friday’s nonconference softball game against Armstrong-Potomac, Rantoul coach Travis Flesner got a little frustrated with his team.“I told them, ‘I don’t know why you guys continue to watch your ball when you hit it. We haven’t hit any home runs all ye…

Fisher (5-0) at Tuscola (7-1)Friday, 4:30TuscolaStorylineBunniesFisher got a good game from a talented Rantoul team on Thursday, but this has a chance to be an even bigger litmus test.

Rantoul (4-2) vs. Armstrong-Potomac (1-2)Thursday, 4:30RantoulStorylineEaglesAfter finally getting the monkey off their backs by defeating rival Fisher last season in a thriller, the Eagles were unable to make it back-to-back last week in a 4-1 loss to the Bunnies.

ARMSTRONG — When the ball was hit, Gary Duden turned to his three assistant coaches, gave a small smile and took a couple steps to head out of the dugout.Armstrong-Potomac’s softball coach watched last season as his seventh-seeded Trojans surrendered a 13-8 lead to third-seeded Woodland in t…

Rantoul senior Lindsay Jordahl signed her letter of intent last Monday to continue her softball career at Spartanburg Methodist College.Jordahl is the Eagles’ No. 1 pitcher, leading them in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts a season ago. She returns for her final high school campaign in t…

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.