FREE Track and Field • Softball • Baseball State Tournament Action
June 2010 • Vol. 3 No. 11
2 l june 2010
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Th e L i n e U p Publisherâ€™s Greeting..................6 Publisher/Editor
Faith on the Field....................10
Christopher Kays Ceasar Maragni
Contributing Writers Teri Campbell Justin Head John D. Homan Roger Lipe Ceasar Maragni Jim Muir Joe Szynkowski Nathan Wheeler Tom Wheeler
From Where I Sit .....................32 JALC Journal...........................34 So. Illinois Miners.....................46
For more information regarding Southern Illinois Sports Connection call Jim at 618-525-4744. For advertising information, call Cheryl at 618-353-8515.
4 l june 2010
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reetings and welcome to the June issue of Southern Illinois Sports Connection.Greetings and welcome to the June issue of Southern Illinois Sports Connection.
One of the aspects of Southern Illinois high school sports that I enjoy the most is that there are never two weeks alike and also that the chance always exists that history will be made on any particular day. Such was the case with this year’s Class 1A and Class 2A softball and baseball finals held respectively in East Peoria and Joliet. In fact, Southern Illinois fans may never see a day again like June 5 when four teams – Goreville and Harrisburg in baseball and Cobden and Johnston City in softball – played in state championship games. The possibility of that every happening again has to be off the charts. And while only Cobden was successful in Class 1A softball the fact that four local teams were playing in a state championship game on the same day has to be looked at as a ‘red letter’ day for all sports fans in the region. Factor in Herrin’s Class 1A track title and the 2010 spring sports season is one that will long be remembered with pride. In this month’s issue we spend some time looking at the remarkable spring sports season highlighted by the ‘Three-Peat’ by the Cobden Appleknockers who claimed their third consecutive Class 1A state championship. During his high school baseball career Benton’s Justin Head had a stellar career as a catcher – a high school career that he parlayed into a scholarship to play baseball at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. In this month’s SISC Head shows off his writing skills penning (through the eyes of a catcher) a bang-bang play with a game on the line. And as always this month we have our usual selection of columns and commentary along with multiple picture pages that will keep you abreast of the Southern Illinois sports scene. I hope you enjoy our latest effort and God Bless! All the best,
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Focus By Ceasar Maragni
enny Boyer was a very good third baseman with the St. Louis Cardinals. In fact, for a five year run in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, he was a great third baseman. His numbers during that time are on par with any major league player who ever manned the “hot corner” in a similar five year span. His 15-year career as a big leaguer was a pretty good
one overall, although stints with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers late in his playing days never approached the success he enjoyed while playing for the Cardinals. Boyer was voted to the National League All-Star Team as third baseman for 11 of the 15 years he wore a big league uniform. Boyer was a native Missourian who grew up on the family farm near Alba in the southwestern part of the state. There were seven boys in the Boyer household and all of them excelled at baseball at Alba High School. You have to wonder what his parents fed him and his six brothers since all seven of them became professional baseball players. Kenny, Clete and Cloyd all played in the big leagues while the other three had successful minor league careers. Cloyd was a pitcher and Kenny and Clete were third basemen. Clete was an AllStar with the great New York Yankee teams of the 1960s. You have to wonder how many more major leaguers Carl and Mabel Boyer would have produced if their other seven children hadn’t been girls. Yes, you read that right, the Boyers had 14 kids. They all grew up Cardinal fans and the whole family loved baseball. Oldest daughter Juanita helped raise her younger brothers and naturally that included watching a lot of baseball games as they grew up. Baby sister Marcy remembers always wanting to hop out on the playing field with her brothers, and admitted, “I used to wish I’d been a boy so I could be a ballplayer too.” Just imagine then the pride their parents, family and friends must have felt when the two starting third basemen in the 1964 World Series were the Boyer brothers. In addition to their stellar defense, both Kenny and Clete hit home runs in the seventh and deciding game of that Series, which the Cardinals won 4 games to 3, thanks to Bob Gibson’s championship clinching win. Clete told a reporter afterward that he wondered how his parents felt to see their two sons on opposite teams in the World Series. Their mother Mabel was quick to answer that question when asked who she was rooting for in that Series, saying simply, “the third baseman.” The Boyer boys’ father Vern was a marble cutter who worked at a nearby quarry. Those close to the family said that their mother Mabel was the biggest baseball fan in the house. Kenny’s sister Juanita once told a reporter “Mom listened to every Cardinal game. She would always tune the radio to the ballgame.” After their major league playing days were over all three of the Boyer boys coached for several years in the big leagues, and for a few years Kenny was manager of the same St. Louis Cardinals that he starred for, and that his whole family rooted for. But, on June 8 between games of a double-header in Montreal he was fired by owner Gussie Busch and was replaced the next day by Whitey Herzog. Two years later Kenny Boyer was dead at age 51 of lung cancer.
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Faith on the
By Roger Lipe
Five Levels of Sports Leadership
eadership in sports is often overstated and is mostly underdeveloped. Many times what is valued as leadership on a team is actually the lowest form of leading and perpetuates an immature leadership model. Let’s consider a simple model of escalating leadership values and some sports applications of them from John Maxwell’s book, “Developing the Leader within You.” Level 1 – Leading by Position – This lowest level of leadership is often expressed by a player or coach who constantly pulls rank. He bosses people around with phrases like, “I’m the captain, that’s why. Hey rookie, carry my bag. Just do it, I’m the coach.” Sadly, many coaches lead at this same level and players follow them simply because they have to. This level of leadership breaks down quickly as losses mount and inconsistencies are revealed. Level 2 – Leading by Permission – These leaders have a tremendous advantage on the former group as people follow them because they want to. Their followers are more highly motivated to go with the leader because of the relationships that are being developed. Teams which have a strong sense of camaraderie, which have a ‘good locker room’ are often blessed with a number of Level 2 leaders. The weakness in this level is that not everyone will like
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a particular leader. This can lead to a team which sorts itself in to several cliques and team unity ultimately breaks down. Level 3 – Leading by Production – The productive leader is not dependent upon simple matters of style and personality to lead, rather his leadership emerges from his contributions to the team’s collective goals. People say things like this about these leaders. “He gets things done for us. “She makes things happen.” “I’m glad that guy’s on our team.” This leader’s productivity has others following him because he furthers the team’s achievement. The problem arises for this leader when her productivity falls off. When the player is injured or suspended, she is no longer productive and her leadership is diminished. When the coach’s winning percentage drops, his leadership is compromised. Level 4 - Leading by Developing People – This lofty level of leadership is very costly to acquire, but makes for a long lasting impact. These leaders are often characterized by comments like, “That guy makes us all better.” “We are a better team when he’s on the floor.” The team became exponentially better when she entered the game.” These leaders catalyze their teammates by energizing each one’s particular gifts and abilities toward the team’s goals. More than individual
performance or production, these leaders seem to enable the others to be at their best. The best head coaches I have met lead at this level. Coaches are also looking for this kind of leaders in their quarterbacks, point guards, catchers, center mid-fielders and other key leadership positions on their teams. Level 5 – Leading by Personhood – This is the top rung of the ladder and few leaders ever arrive at this strata. These leaders lead by reputation. Their years of consistent production and development of others have created a platform from which they now lead. These are the people who when they enter a crowded, noisy room everyone stops, looks and listens. The others don’t want to miss a word which he might say. John Wooden, Dean Smith, Vince Lombardi, Adolph Rupp, Bear Bryant, Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson and others of this sort are leading this way today, some even from beyond the grave. At what level are you leading today? How would you rank your leadership over the last season? To what level do you aspire to lead in the next week? Each of these is available to us, but the costs rise along with the elevating levels of leadership. My challenge to you is to continue the development process and to pay the price to become the most effective leader you can be.
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Dog-Pile Defined The joy of baseball, the thrill of victory and a bang-bang play through the eyes of a catcher By Justin Head
n order to appreciate my story, you must first understand my passion for the game. The best way for you to understand how I feel is to know my definition of baseball and the type of player I’m rooting for. To me, baseball is the simple game of, using a round bat, to hit a round ball, square. It’s the only game in the world that is intended to be neat and crisp. You’re supposed to yell like crazy. It’s good for your lungs, and nobody calls the cops. A curve is an illusion; a screwball can be a pitch or the pitcher; stealing is legal, sometimes rewarded. You can spit anywhere you want except on the ball or the umpire. Baseball is the only sport that considers failing 7 out of 10 times,
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a success. Baseball is the only place I know that actually appreciates a sacrifice. Baseball was meant to break your heart; it’s ripped away as soon as it has you hooked. Games begin in spring, when you start to appreciate the outdoors; intensity rises with the summer heat. Games consume afternoons, evenings, days and nights. Then October comes and everything dies. Time is passed, by staring out the window, and waiting for spring. I’m for the guys who play like a man and thinks like a boy; for Strike -Em out Throw-Em out double plays. I’m for losing the DH and pitch count, please. I’m for the player that runs harder to his position than to 1st base, and the dirtiest person to walk off the field. I’m for high hard chin-music, flip the shortstop, plow the catch-
About the writer: Justin Head is a 2008 graduate of Benton High School, and son of Chris and Tammy Head, of Benton. He is currently playing baseball at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Justin is majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Sports Management. After college he hopes to stay involved in baseball as a coach.
er, hard-nosed baseball. I’m for players with a mean streak, facial hair and a ring in their pocket. I’m for the scrappy guys that hustle and for bunts and slump-busters to halt a hitless streak. I tip my hat to 2,131 consecutive starts and believe Pete Rose deserves induction. I’m for waking up and realizing baseball has had its grip on you all this time. I’m for throwing it out and dealing with the rest later. I believe in whatever it takes to keep playing. A ballplayer believes a lot for the love of the game.
Baseball is more than a game, more than my passion. Baseball is its own community, with its own language and religion. My current situation is a good example. I live with two Venezuelans. They are in the states to play baseball and attend school. Abraham has only been speaking English for 4 months. The only thing he and I can talk about is baseball. Love for the game is what drove me to share this story. The story is compiled of things that I recall seeing and things I remember thinking. I hope I have been clear enough with my recollections to allow you to understand the magnitude and rarity of the final out. Rehearsing the Dream Even from the left field bullpen, the nervous chatter from our dugout echoed loudly in my head. My throat burned; I had yelled so much only raspy squeaks left my tongue. My feet hurt from pacing and nervously kicking at the gravel in front of the third base dugout. Everyone had been cheering; for three innings I didn’t have a voice. As a matter of fact,
nobody did. The intensity started building through the late innings; it’s harder to concentrate on the task at hand: warming up the closer. “Head,” I hear as Coach Good yells down. “Sean is going to start the last one, but make sure Jackson is ready to go.” The bottom of the ninth, a wiry sophomore reliever, Sean Wiley, heads back to the loneliest spot in sports, the pitcher’s mound. Sean takes a few warm-up pitches. He’s allowed five but this late in the game, and after throwing at least 3.2 innings in each of the last three games, his arm was too tired to throw them all. The inning starts off smoothly, with the first two batters flying out to the right fielder, then to center on only two pitches. Dan, the senior catcher and my predecessor, called two back door sliders, and Sean nailed his spot. Usually in baseball, two pitches and two outs is a good thing, but for us it felt almost too good. So far no part of our season had gone this perfect. Nothing was easy that year. We could never
put the three most important aspects of baseball together: hitting, pitching and defense. Fortunately for us, we had peaked at the right time, unlike our St. Louis InterCollegiate Athletic Conference rival Webster. Just days earlier, in the first round of the conference tournament, senior Justin Jergensmeyer (JJ), lifted the No. 4 seed Griffins past the No. 1 seed Webster Gorlocks, who went a perfect 24-0 in conference. The next day Maryville again knocked off the top dogs in Game 1 of their double-dip and quickly set their sights on the Griffins, but fell 6-3. With two outs, it was almost like you could see the haze of tension evaporate from the field. Right when we thought we were going to walk away with our second win over Maryville in two days, crack! Sean missed his spot, allowing a two-out double. Game 1 hero JJ, number eight, cut the ball off in the right center field gap; not ideal, but with two outs its okay. I still have a sick feeling in my stomach when I think about that day. The tension that had just left was back with the next pitch; it was back full force! This time it was more intense; it felt like someone was repeatedly punching me in the stomach. My heart sank as I watched from the left field bullpen. The ball was crushed to deep right. I remember immediately walking to the plate as the ball was hit, because the game was over no matter what the turn out. Standing down the left field line it was hard for me and Jackson to see exactly what was happening, but I knew J-Nik, our right fielder, got a good jump. He was just a blur as he raced back towards the wall. The farther back he ran the more it looked like he had a chance to make a play. This was a monster fly ball though; it
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seemed to hang in the air forever. Everybody in the park began to realize that he simply wasnâ€™t going to catch up to the ball; our only chance at this point was to get the ball in quickly. I will never forget how lonely I felt those few seconds, as the white ball hovered through the velvety night sky. Seeing that ball sail over the outfielders heads all but sealed our fate. After fifteen plus years of falling in love with this spectacular sport, I often had pictured this moment, but it never ended this way. You always dream of winning the biggest game of your life, but as the ball sailed through the lights, into the darkness of the deep outfield that dream seemed to be just that â€“ a dream. The towering shot hit the top third of the wall,
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just below the yellow cap on top of the fence and fell onto the crushed lime warning track. As the ball trickled along the fence, I see J-Nik grab the ball and throw all of his momentum into a crow hop. The ball was thrown on a line; in baseball terminology, the ball was a frozen rope, a bullet flying in the direction of the plate. It’s weird how moments like these seem to stand still. What seems odder to me is how the brain quickly shuffles through similar situations, in search of ways to reassure itself. That day my brain could only register two things that applied; all my years of competitive baseball have caused me to realize two things. Number one, scoring a run is a sure thing when a ball is hit out of reach of the outfielder and there is a runner on second. And number two, in baseball, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Moments, like the one that is transpiring are exactly what separate baseball from other sports; since momentum changes at the drop of a hat, it allows the followers to get emotionally attached. Sometimes the anticipation of the outcome of a play can be agonizing. The slightest bit of extra effort, or lack thereof, during a single play can change the outcome of the entire game. This is where ‘baseball smarts’ come into play. A good outfielder can make a play close at anytime. J-Nik was the best at getting good jumps and making a strong throw. He beat the ball to spots. He always had a good idea of where the ball was going to land based only on seeing and hearing the contact off the bat. Having one of the strongest arms on the team allowed him to make things happen. Still frozen with the fear of how the season would end, I quickly took my eyes off of J-Nik and
fixed them on the runner, who was off at the PING of the bat. A ball hit that hard normally scores a run easily; I mean the base runner had already gotten to third as J-Nik was reaching the ball. But, there are no sure things in baseball. Everybody who wasn’t involved in the play was in the same position: hand in glove, glove on head, waiting for the play to unfold. It felt like we waited an eternity; this time of anticipation is the longest seconds of a ballplayer’s life. Both teams involved were hoping for the same thing: the right to play tomorrow. J-Nik has a great arm, but not good enough to throw the ball 335 feet to the catcher. There is no doubt that he could get the ball there, but not in time to tag out a runner that is frantically racing home from a 180 feet away. With the assistance of a relay man the play might be pulled off. The relay has to be flawless in order to execute the out; speed and accuracy is the key. It is “Do-or-Die” at this point, no room for error; although there are so many possibilities. The catcher gets the raw end of this deal. The “Baseball Gods” decide if he is a hero or a zero. He must overcome things that he has no control over. Is the throw manageable; will I get hit? If so, can control of the ball be
maintained? Can I hold on to the game? Every baseball player has ran this scenario through their head, bottom of the 9th, two out, play at the plate and best of all, “DogPile.” From 300 feet away, shaking with excitement, I see our first baseman turn to receive the ball just as the runner gets halfway home. The ball arrives at the plate a split second faster than Maryville’s sliding Saint. Dan catches and tags as the runner slides into the plate. Through the cloud of dust I see the home plate Blue make his call – he’s out! For some, processing the epic turn of events was hard, but seeing our captain Dan Horn sweep an exhausted 20-year-old boy up in his arms, right before everyone began to pile on, was priceless. As a freshman, seeing guys you looked up to and learned from cry and act like little kids, was a special thing. Joining my teammates and coaches in a dog-pile between home plate and the pitcher’s mound not only took forever, but it formed a bond with a group of guys that will last forever.
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Brittany Ashton (left) of Carterville and Nicole Cheek of Pinckneyville had the honor of carrying in the John A. Logan College banner during Opening Day ceremonies at the NJCAA World Series of softball last month in St. George, Utah. (Logan Media Services photo)
Record-Breaking, History-Making By John D. Homan Â CARTERVILLE - The 2010 spring season of softball at John A. Logan College was a season that will not soon be forgotten. There were only a handful of lowlights, including some tough one-run Great Rivers Athletic Conference losses to arch rivals Wabash Valley and Lake Land colleges. There was also a humbling short-game loss at home
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to Rend Lake, but by and large, this past season was a season of excellence for the Volunteers. An early indicator of the teamâ€™s talent was evident in early March on the trip to Cocoa Beach, Fla. The Vols won all eight games they played. Because Logan was unable to finish any higher than third in the league, however, few expected them to hit their stride when the postseason arrived in late April.
But hit their stide they did. Behind the stalwart pitching of Region 24 Most Valuable Player Chelsea Wallace and Brittany Ashton, the Vols swept Kaskaskia in a best-of-three series in Carterville to qualify for the final four in Centralia. Third-seeded Logan then upended Wabash Valley in the semifinals thanks to some two-out, two-strike heroics from sophomore Hanna Brindisi, who stroked a two-run homer to tie the
Lady Vols complete remarkable season with trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series game. The Vols would go on to win the game. Logan then rolled over topseed, Lake Land, twice to advance to the nationals in St. George, Utah. It was the first time in school history that the Vols had won the Region 24 tournament and therefore the first time the team had ever advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association Sofball World Series. In one of the more picturesque settings imaginable - nestled in a canyon with the Pine Valley Mountains to the west and red rock formations to the east - the Vols hit the ground running. They were seeded No. 13 in the 16team field and were pitted against No. 4 seed, Wallace State, out of Hanceville, Ala. in the opener. This is the same Wallace State outfit that was national champion
in 2008 and runner-up to national champion Yavapai, Ariz. in 2009. The Vols weren’t fazed. They took it right at the Lions and carved out an emotional 8-7 upset. Whether they were drained from the excitement of the win or simply overmatched, Logan laid an egg in game two, falling to Yavapai, 9-1 in short-game fashion. The Vols were then bumped from the tourney the next day, 6-5, by a fair, but not overly talented Temple, Texas team. The disappointment was evident on the girls’ faces, but for a first foray into the uncharted waters and pressures of a national tournament, it wasn’t a bad debut by the only school representing Illinois. And to underscore the enormity of the upset of Wallace State...the Lions went on to win six straight
games in the loser’s bracket, advancing to the championship game before getting whipped by Miami Dade College. “It would have been nice to have won that game with Temple and gotten a fourth game, but overall, I thought we played pretty well in the tournament,” said Vols head coach Bruce Jilek. “We battled back and had an opportunity to win the ballgame, but just came up a little bit short. If your season has to end, though, this (national finals) is the place to be when it ends.” Wallace was the tough-luck loser for the Vols. The right-hander allowed six runs, only three of which were earned. Logan committed three errors on the game. Wallace surrendered six hits, struck out four and walked three. Both batters she walked in the
The John A. Logan College softball team competed at the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series for the first time last month in St. George, Utah. Here, the team poses for the camera on media day in St. George. (Logan Media Services photo)
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second inning came around to score. The Kentucky native finished her career with the Vols with a mark of 17-6. “It was a good season. We made some memories and it was nice to be in the dugout and be a witness to those memories,” Jilek said. The longtime coach, who first made a name for himself as football, basketball and softball coach at Herrin High School before taking the reins as softball coach at Logan eight years ago said this year’s team has set a benchmark for future Logan teams. “Absolutely,” he said. “Future teams will now know that they must at least win two games at nationals to surpass what this team has accomplished.” Perhaps what made this Vols team more unique and more identifiable with its fans than any of the other 15 teams in the national JALC sophomore third baseman Rachelle Runge of Carterville locks in on a fastball and hammers a solo homer in World Series action against Wallace State College of Hanceville, Ala. The Vols won the game, 8-7. Runge plans to walk onto the SIU softball team this fall. (Logan Media Services photo)
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The JALC softball team marches to the softball complex with red rock formations to the right and the Pine Valley mountain range to the left. (Logan Media Services photo)
tourney was the fact that all but two of the girls are native Southern Illinoisans. Jilek said it will be up to this year’s freshman group, especially starters Mandi Kellerman (shortstop), Tiffany Pinnick (catcher), Celci Mueller (outfielder) and Nicole Cheek (second baseman) to use this year’s experience to motivate them in their push for a return trip to the World Series. “And we will need some incoming freshmen like this year’s group to step up and make a difference with next year’s team if we’re to go anywhere,” Jilek said. “It starts in practice. You have to bring the intensity every day. You can’t just turn it off and on like a light switch. If our kids are talented enough and play with the intensity that is needed to win, we will have a chance to make it back next year.” Logan freshman shortstop Mandi Kellerman of Pinckneyville gets a good look at a pitch in game action at the NJCAA World Series last month in St. George, Utah. Kellerman was one of the team’s top run producers. (Logan Media Services photo)
• JALC’s spring 2010 season set a record for most victories with 39 • First Region 24 title with postseason wins over Wabash Valley and Lake Land twice • First trip to the NJCAA World Series resulting in one win and two losses
Sophomores graduating from the team include: Hanna Brindisi, Brittany Ashton, Lara and Rachelle Runge, Hailey Stephens, Natalie Grant, Chelsea Wallace and Ragan Dunn.
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2010 Summer Camps
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june 2010 l 23
A Cobden Appleknockers flag flies high (just under Old Glory) during the Class 1A Super-Sectional at Fairfield.
For th ye
cham To their delight, seniors Taylor Orsburn and DaCota Knop walk back to their team with their 3rd consecutive Class1A Super-Sectional Plaque.
24 l june 2010
he third straight ear the Class 1A softball state mpionship belongs to the Cobden Appleknockers
By Teri Campbell
hen you think of sports dynasties, the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers come to mind. Now you can add another one – the Cobden Appleknockers softball team. On June 5, the Appleknockers defeated Lebanon, 2-0, to win their third straight Class 1A state championship, becoming just the second team in IHSA history to
pull off the three-peat in softball. “When we started this year, we knew we had a chance to be pretty darn good,” said Nathan Emrick, second-year head softball coach at Cobden. “But to get to a state tournament and to have a chance to play for state title, you have to stay healthy, get a little lucky, and have players who are locked in at the right time. We played 37 games this season, and our girls came locked in and ready to play for each one. They
june 2010 l 25
Cobden first basemen Kristen Pender secures a routine pop-up during the Super-Sectional.
wanted to win every single game. They played their hearts out every game, and that’s the kind of dedication it takes to win a state championship.” Emrick says the Appleknockers’ success is a team effort.
“I’m proud of how hard all the players worked this season,” Emrick said. “In practice we tell them to have confidence and to trust in themselves and each other. We preach how important it is for them to believe in their ability and
“They’ve all been a lot of fun. The first year was really exciting because we had never been there before, and I was really happy to be on the team. The second year was great, too. That 19-inning game was a lot of pressure, and I finally scored the winning run. This year meant a lot to me because it’s my senior year, and it felt really good to be the winning pitcher in the championship game.” – Dakota Knop –
26 l june 2010
to trust their teammates. We want them to take their opportunities and turn them into successes.” Whatever Appleknockers are doing, it’s working. Cobden has been dominant the last three seasons. In 2008, the Appleknockers compiled a record of 32-8 and beat Alexis (United), 5-2, in 11 innings to earn Cobden’s first state crown in any sport. In 2009, the Appleknockers went 32-4 and hooked up with Alexis (United) again in the state final. This time Cobden survived a 19-inning marathon, winning, 1-0, when Kayla Quertermous drove in DaCota Knop, giving the Appleknockers their second state title. This year Cobden met Alexis (United), in the semifinals at state and won handily, 10-2. Cobden’s senior co-captains, Knop and Taylor Orsburn, came up big in the final against Lebanon. Orsburn supplied the offense, driving in Ana Duda with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, while Knop pitched a complete-game shutout. Both players have been integral parts of the three state championships. “They’ve all been a lot of fun,” said Knop, who has signed to play at John A. Logan College next fall. “The first year was really exciting because we had never been there before, and I was really happy to be on the team. The second year was great, too. That 19-inning game was a lot of pressure, and I finally scored the winning run. This year meant a lot to me because it’s my senior year, and it felt really good to be the winning pitcher in the championship game.” Orsburn, who will suit up for the SIU Salukis next year, hit a homerun in each of the Appleknockers’ last seven games. She said she felt some pressure as the two-
LEFT: Cobden ace DaCota Knop readies her pitch during the Class 1A Super-Sectional.
BELOW: Cobden catcher Kayla Quetermous anticipates a pitch from DaCota Knop during the Super-Sectional.
time defending champs. “We had a target on our backs this season, but we just took it one game at a time,” Orsburn said. “I think our experience at the past state tournaments helped prepare us for this year. We knew how hard we had to work and what to expect when we got up there. It was amazing to win it again and to have all those fans up there supporting us.” Both Knop and Orsburn say their softball careers have been a family affair, and that their families never missed a game. Knop’s grandmother, Jackie Hale, even served as “When we started this year, we knew we had a chance to be pretty darn good. But to get to a state tournament and to have a chance to play for state title, you have to stay healthy, get a little lucky, and have players who are locked in at the right time. We played 37 games this season, and our girls came locked in and ready to play for each one. They wanted to win every single game. They played their hearts out every game, and that’s the kind of dedication it takes to win a state championship.” – Nathan Emrick, Cobden softball coach –
the team’s scorekeeper. Knop attributes her interest in softball to her mom, Becky, who was a standout player herself. Orsburn says both her parents excelled in sports. She credits her dad, Rusty, with helping her improve her hitting and pitching and her mom,
Cobden Head Coach Nathan Emrick looks on during the Super-Sectional.
june 2010 l 27
Cobden senior Taylor Orsburn goes yard during the Super-Sectional against Cumberland.
Tina, for helping her stay mentally focused. While Emrick has been the head coach for the past two championships, Josh Franklin was in charge the first year. “I coached at Cobden for six years, and it was a thrill to win the state title,” said Franklin, who left coaching after the 2008 season to become a youth pastor at the Vine Community Church in Carbondale. “It’s been incredible to see what they’ve accomplished, and I’m still one of their biggest fans. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to lead those girls for the time I was there, and I’m so happy about their continued success. I’m good friends with Nathan, and I still love all the girls and wish them the best.” A native of Griggsville, Illinois, Emrick jokingly admitted that five years ago he didn’t even know what an Appleknocker was. “It’s funny how things work out. I just went to Cobden to do my student teaching and got involved with the softball team,” he said. “When Josh left, I was hired as head coach, and I love Cobden. I enjoy softball and I really like teaching there. We get a lot of
28 l june 2010
Junior Ana Duda makes a throw to first during the Super-Sectional.
support from the fans, and it’s a great community to have success in.” The Appleknockers have seven starters returning next season so the outlook for the team is promising. “We’re just going to enjoy this right now,” Emrick said. “We have some pretty big shoes to fill with Taylor and DaCota graduating, but that will give the younger girls the chance to step up. We have a good, talented core coming back. We’re going to get back to work in the middle of August, try to keep getting better, and hopefully put ourselves in position to make another trip to state.”
Report By Nathan Wheeler
Sports Update A
nother year of athletics at Rend Lake College is in the books. With that, I thought I would write a summary of performances by our athletes this year and where many will be after RLC. Soccer kicked into action Aug. 22 with a 4-1 win over Williams Baptist College JV in Arkansas, followed by a win over Danville Area Community College on Aug. 28. The team got it’s first post season win by beating DACC in the regional and vastly improved on the inaugural one-win 2008 season by finishing 10-10-1 in 2009. Logan Gregg (Harrisburg) has signed with Lindenwood University in Belleville and Jared Butler (Harrisburg) signed with Greenville College. Freshman Thad Snell (Bellville, Ohio) was named First-Team All-Region XXIV and freshman Juan Arreola (Cobden) and Gregg were named Honorable Mention All-Region XXIV. Women’s Volleyball started off Aug. 28 at the McKendree University Tournament in Lebanon. The team went 0-4 there and lost to Lake Land in a dual before taking first place at the Danville Area Community College Tournament on Sept. 5. RLC volleyball went 14-27 in the Fall, lost 3-1 to Lewis and Clark in the regional and finished 1-5 in the Spring. Freshman Haley Evans (Springfield) was named Second-Team All-Region XXIV. Ali Mulvany (Salem) signed with Lindenwood University-Belleville and Michelle Kramper (Nashville) signed with Northwoods University. Men’s Golf teed off Aug. 28, finish-
ing ninth in the RLC Fall Preview. It would go on to take fifth at the John A. Logan Invitational, fourth at Illinois State Juco Championship, third at the Danville Area CC Invite, 13th at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Invite, second at the Shawnee Invite, eighth at Goose Pond Colony, third at Kokopelli Golf Club, second at the RLC Spring Invite, first at Stone Creek Golf Course, second at the Region XXIV Tournament, and ninth at the NJCAA Championship where sophomore Jared Harp (Benton) became a FirstTeam All-American by finishing third. The region and nationals team was Harp, Kade Baker (Brazil, Ind.), Joe Scholl (Calvert City, Ky.), Matt Walton (Lancashire, England) and Dean Wright (Berkshire, England). Freshman Wright and Harp made the AllRegion team and Harp has signed a national letter of intent to play golf at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Women’s Golf took first place at its first three Fall events – the RLC Invite, Maryville Warm-Up and Kaskaskia Invitational. It finished ninth at the USI Fall Classic and established new 18and 36-hole records in its first-place finish at the Millikin University Fall Classic on Sept. 26-27. It went on to take 10th at UMSL-Triton Ladies Invite and 13th at Nova Southeastern’s Shark Invitational. In the Spring, RLC finished sixth at the Shootout at Aguila, 15th at the Saluki Invite and second at McKendree University’s invitational. The Lady Warriors finished second at the NJCAA Region XXIV Tournament and fifth at the national championships in Florida. The nationals team included Taylor Landers (Salem), Sarah Fraser (Highland),
Megan Gindling (Greensburg, Ind.), Jessica Pigati (Fishers, Ind.) and lone sophomore Mallorie Cummings (Salem), who has signed with the University of Illinois - Springfield. Landers and Gindling received All-Region XXIV honors this year. Tennis started Aug. 29 at the Dorothy McClure Tournament in Decatur where it went 2-1. It took fourth in the College of Dupage Doubles Tournament on Sept. 5, finished second in the Greenville Invite, lost 8-1 to Lewis and Clark, lost 7-2 to Greenville, and lost to Lewis and Clark in the Region XXIV Tournament. Freshman Lindsey Waters (Walnut Hill) signed with Lindenwood University in Belleville. Men’s Cross Country put it in gear with a first place team finish and individual champion in Steven Sambu at the Stegemoller Classic, Sept. 9, on the University of Southern Indiana campus. Sambu would go on to finish first in his next two meets. But he was just warming up. The 21-yearold from Eldoret, Kenya led the team to a Region XXIV Championship on Oct. 31 and the national championship on Nov. 14. Sambu was the individual champion at both, making him RLC’s first two-time division one national cross country champ. He has signed with the Wildcats at NCAA DI University of Arizona, Dey Tuach Dey (Thornton, Colo.) has signed with NCAA DI Arkansas, and Matthew Kotut (Eldoret, Kenya) is going to University of Texas A&M Pan American. The nationals team consisted of Sambu, Tuach, Kotut, Scott Speare (St. Charles), Jacob Swearingen (Potosi, Mo.) and Lewi Manirumva (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Women’s Cross Country took third
june 2010 l 29
at the Stegemoller Classic on Sept. 4 and third at the Illinois Intercollegiates on the 18th. The Lady Warriors finished 17th and 22nd at the Greater Louisville Classic and Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival, second at the Region XXIV Championships where RLC’s Julia Sambu (Eldoret, Kenya) was champion, and seventh at the NJCAA Championship. The nationals team was comprised of Sambu (6th), Sarah Kimaiyo (Nairobi, Kenya), Nikki Smith (Fairfield), Kali Bonner (Carterville) and Courtney Orange (Belleville). Sambu and Kimaiyo have both accepted scholarships to run at Texas A&M Corpus Christi Men’s Basketball started the 200910 campaign at 6-6 before getting into the conference season where it went 3-13 for an overall regular season record of 9-19. Rend Lake beat Lincoln Land College in the Region XXIV opener, but fell to Lincoln College in the second round. Sophomore E.J. Randolph (Mt. Vernon) was named All-Region XXIV and sophomore Reggie Reed (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was named Second-Team All-GRAC and All-Region XXIV. Randolph signed with Southwestern Kansas College where former Warrior Travis Thurau (Sparta) is playing. Women’s Basketball got off to a slow start with three road losses before turning in a four-win streak in November and a four-win streak in December. It opened conference play on Jan. 6 and finished 11-5 in the league for second place. The Lady Warriors finished the regular season at 18-12 overall and lost in the opening round of the Region XXIV Tournament. Freshmen Cierra Dotson and Talaya Earls, both of Indianapolis, were named All-Region XXIV and All-GRAC. Sophomore Megan Clark (Germantown, Tenn.) has signed with Lindenwood University in Belleville. Baseball went 8-2-2 in the Fall and 24-25 in the Spring with a 13-11 record in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. Finishing fourth in the league, the Warriors were eliminated in two games at the Region XXIV Sectional in Olney. It’s longest winning streak was nine from April 11-27. Sophomore Patrick Flanagan (Salem), who has
30 l june 2010
signed with NCAA DI Bradley University and was named All-Region XXIV this season, threw his first no-hitter as a Warrior during a frigid day early in the Spring. Additional four-year signees include pitcher Luke Shuemaker (Paducah, Ky.) with NCAA DI Murray State University, pitcher Tomas Rodriguez (Camuy, P.R.) with Mid-Continent University, infielder Raymond Delvalle (Miami) with Kentucky Wesleyan, and pitcher Freddie Cabrera (Isabella, P.R.), shortstop Raymond Fuentes (Isabella, P.R.), pitcher AJ Martin (Belleville), and pitcher Kendall Toliver (Carbondale), all with Central Methodist University. Softball went 6-2 in the Fall and started the Spring with a split against perennial rival John A. Logan College. The Lady Warriors finished the regular season at 22-22, went 1814 for fourth in the league, and was eliminated in the Region XXIV Final Four by Lake Land and Wabash Valley College. The team’s Player of the Year, sophomore left fielder Tosha Ellis (Belle Rive), was named All-GRAC and All-Region XXIV, and signed with Millikin University. Sophomore third baseman Rachel Mulvey (Evansville, Ind.) was named All-GRAC and has signed with Indiana University Southeast. Men’s Track and Field competed in the SASF Invitational on Jan. 16 to kick off the indoor season. It took third at the NJCAA Indoor National Championships on March 6 and started the outdoor season with the EIU Big Blue Classic on April 2. The team won the Region XXIV Outdoor Championship held at RLC on may 6-7, and finished fifth in the recent NJCAA Outdoor National Championships. Sambu was the national champion in the indoor 3,000 and 5,000, and outdoor 5,000 and 10,000. Jarius Gibson (Martinez, Ga.) was national champion in the indoor 600, as was Michael Hartfield (South Windsor, Conn.) in the indoor long jump and J’Vente Devaeux (Nassau, Bahamas) in the indoor triple jump. Outdoor All-Americans include Dennis Bain (Freeport, Fla.), Dushane Farrier (Toronto), RJ Warren (Atlanta), Zach Russell-Ford (London, Ontario), Damion Johnson (Hephzi-
bah, Ga.), Cameron Fox (Crossville, Tenn.) and Leonardo Seymore (Opa Locka, Fla.). Sambu has signed with Arizona and Hartfield has signed with NCAA DI Ohio State University. Women’s Track and Field took fifth at the indoor national championships, second at the NJCAA Region XXIV Championships and 10th at the outdoor national championships. Julia Sambu was individual champion in the indoor 5,000 and was not able to make outdoor nationals due to illness. All-Americans from the outdoor national championships included Shelby Campbell (Mt. Vernon) in the shot put, Lilian Lagat (Nairobi, Kenya) in the 10,000 and 5,000, Nichole Bressner (Fairbury) in the pole vault, Sarah Kimaiyo (Eldoret, Kenya) in the 1,500, Roshane Boreland (St. Anne, Jamaica) in the 800, and the 4x400 team of Yoniece Martin (St. Catherine, Jamiaca), Kayla Brown (Belleville), Angela Thomas (Maywood) and Boreland. Wrestling opened up its Fall season at the Lindenwood University Open on Oct. 30. It beat McKendree University JV on Nov. 5 and went on to compete at the Knox Invite, Missouri Open, Indiana Little State tournament, Art Kraft Memorial Open, Midlands tournament, Lincoln Duals and Meramec Duals before wrestlers were able to qualify for the national championships. Five wrestlers qualified for nationals – region champ Eric Ellington (Fairview Heights), Jared Ernst (Mahomet), Mitch Alberstett (Davis), John Jones (West Frankfort) and Jon Clark (Jeffersonville, Ind.). It was the most national qualifiers RLC has had in four seasons of wrestling at the college. Ellington went on to take second in the 133 pound division and became a two-time NJCAA AllAmerican. He has since signed with St. Cloud State University. Other RLC wrestlers to sign are Tony Williams (Mascoutah) with Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and John Fuller (Carrier Mills) with Lindenwood University in St. Louis. For all things athletic at RLC, visit the college online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.
2010 Wooden Bat Fall League The 2010 Wooden Bat Fall League, sponsored by Southern Illinois Fall League (SIFL), is open to high school baseball players. This league is designed for athletes who want to improve their level of play, compete with and against top players in the region, and develop their talent in an effort to get to the next level. In the last four seasons, SIFL has seen twenty-seven former participants move on to play at the college level. The league runs for seven weeks, with each team playing a Sunday doubleheader. All games will be played in the Carbondale region. Registration for this league is $250.00, due by July 30th. If you pay by July 23rd, you can receive a $25.00 discount on your registration! This year, each participant will receive their own Dinger SIFL wooden bat. A SIFL game day tshirt, balls, umpires, and insurance will also be provided, but players are responsible for any other baseball equipment including helmets, gloves, pants, and cups (and we don’t mean the kind you drink from). Players are encouraged to wear their high school baseball team hat for games; this helps each player represent their high school baseball program!
Registration Information Please Print Clearly Name________________________________
Street or P. O. Box Address_______________________________________________________ City, State, Zip___________________________________________________________________ Email address____________________________________________________________________ High School___________________________
Primary Position_____________________ Secondary Position____________________________ Bat Size (circle one) 32”
T-shirt size (circle one)
Other extra-curricular activities that may cause schedule conflicts_________________________ Schedule Teams – Minimum of 8 teams Roster – 12-14 Players Per Team Game Dates: Week 1 Sunday, August 8th Week 2 Sunday, August 15th Week 3 Sunday, August 22nd Week 4 Sunday, August 29th OFF FOR LABOR DAY Sunday, September 5th Week 5 Sunday, September 12th Week 6 Sunday, September 19th Week 7 Sunday, September 26th Refund Policy We will make every effort to complete all seven weeks, but games are subject to cancellation due to the weather. This year, in an effort to avoid scheduling conflicts with school activities, we will not offer any rain dates. There are no refunds to participants who chose to withdraw from this league after they have registered.
Please return this registration sheet along with the registration fee payment to: SIUA C/O Darren Coffel P O Box 172 Dowell, IL 62927 For questions or concerns please contact Darren Coffel at 618.924.0860 or email@example.com.
june 2010 l 31
From where I
SIT By Tom Wheeler
A fond look back at the Zeigler Raiders By Tom Wheeler
immy Dean called and said “we have a game at Raider Field” in Zeigler next week. The “we” was a fast pitch softball team we had formed, the Johnston City Merchants, back in the 1970s. Jimmy added “I’ve talked to West Frankfort’s Dean Smith and he is going to pitch for us. That sounded good to me so the next week came and as we showed up in Zeigler I realized we were playing Don Brewer’s Martin Oilers and Gary Endres was pitching against us. For those not familiar with Endres, facing him on the softball diamond would have been akin to batting against Nolan Ryan. Enough said. Poor Dean Smith, he had no idea who we were going to play. We hit three foul balls that night – that was our total offense period – and by the third inning Smith was hunting for a helmet to wear out to the mound as missiles were being launched at him. I don’t remember much more about the game but I do remember about Raider Field. I remember when the lights came on; I remember the smooth infield, the outfield fence and the ‘big time’ atmosphere. I remember thinking ‘I’ve got to play here.’ I didn’t want to play in St. Louis or in New York, instead I wanted to play in the
32 l june 2010
Some Dreams Do Come True members built their ball field and middle of this cornfield in Zeigler, the name “Raiders” came from Illinois. their ability to “raid” wherever Fast forward a few years and they could find something useI am sitting at home waiting on ful for their softball field. In 1976 a phone call from the Zeigler Poggas’ dream was fulfilled as Raiders. Dennis Anderton, who the State tournament was held at was already a Raider, found out Raider Field. The last State tourthat Dink Broy was not going to nament held in the south before play in Zeigler but instead go back to play with his brother Dave 1976, was in 1969 in Murphysboro. in Frankfort, thus a player was In 1975 the Raiders finished needed. third at state in Coffeen, in 1976 Thinking back I wonder if this third in Zeigler (finished 76-21 was what it felt like during a profor the season), in 1977 they fessional draft. Finally the phone rang and it was Johnny Kretz, an- were state champions in an all southern Illinois final beating other Raider who was instructed Pinckneyville Celtics 5-2 and then by the Raiders management, to again won it all in 1979 with a 1-0 see if I wanted to play full time at win over Peoria in Altamont. Raider Field. It didn’t take long to In my two years as a Raider give my answer, it had been my I found that manager Pogdream. gas was not Now let me explain about the Raiders ‘management’ who happened to be Kretz’s fatherin-law Marion Poggas who had played with the Raiders since 1958. The team’s first manager was Steve Gereci and then Poggas took over in 1965 as a player-manager, and as the saying Front row l-r : goes, the “rest is Jason Bagwell, John Prudent, history.” Rick Orlandini, Rich Voorhees, John Kretz, Kevin Collier, Marion Poggas; Back row l-r : Stan Serati, Dennis Anderton, In 60-61 PogCharlie Broy, Red Morthland, Charlie Bennet, Pete Young, gas and his team Gary Hott, Wheels, Terry Linton
the only ‘personality’ I would be associated with. Here is a quick glimpse of those teammates: Every smart coach knows that if you have a horse you ride it, and Poggas did that with his pitcher Terry “Hoss” Linton. Terry started pitching for the Raiders in 68 – would rather bat than pitch – and was once rumored to have tried to throw a softball thru a brick wall, you could usually find Hoss in the corner of the Raider dugout with a white towel around his neck. Gary Hott was our second pitcher in 76, you could tell Gary was a softball pitcher because it was whispered that he attended a wedding and threw the rice under handed at the groom. Catcher Rich Voorhees was the workhorse of the group, catching many double headers in 100-degree weather but never complained as long as he got to hit. John Prudent played first and took care of Raider field, never lost his hat and was the back-up catcher (left-handed). Pete Young played second and
made a mint on his Pete Young wind up dolls, wind them up and they hit line drives. Stan Serati was the teams power hitter at third, was introduced to fast pitch by the softball marvel Bob Ellis and Stan’s favorite expression was ‘save me a bat.’ John Kretz was the shortstop and loved to give his Billy Burton batting imitation to umpire Stu Schmidt. Rick “Hoot” Orlandini was in right and most can still remember his diving and swimming exhibition at a pool in Kansas City. Left field was handled by the all-around athlete Dennis Anderton whose favorite expression was “what do you think.” Centerfield was held down by the late Charlie Broy who knew every person in Franklin County. We were playing in Casey and he had a group of fans cheering him on that the Raiders named Broy’s Bleacher Bums. The rookie on the team was a young Kevin Collier, a 1976 Zeigler graduate who pitched and played anywhere Poggas asked him to play.
These are the guys I remember. I missed playing with the late Charlie Bennett, Red Morthland, Ron Hudson and Greg Smesler. In 1977 outfielder Jeff Overturf joined the team as did hitting coaches Joe McCarty and Rick Cook. But the man who made this organization was the late Marion Poggas. He lived and breathed this softball team. His daughters Antoinette and Maria learned to count by giving change in the concession stand and son Marion Jr. couldn’t understand why he had to mow at home and at Raider Field too. In short, Poggas was something special, remembered fondly by all. He was this mild manner softball manager during the week but on weekends he turned into a singing/ guitar playing fool as the leader of a popular band. The name of that band was, Reno’s RAIDERS … of course. That’s the way it looks From Where I Sit.
june 2010 l 33
Journal By Teri Campbell
Logan Athletics Achieve National Success
he John A. Logan College Athletic Department had a banner spring. The softball team and both the women’s and men’s golf teams won their respective Region 24 Tournaments and advanced to play in the NJCAA National Tournaments. The softball team racked up a school record 39 wins and captured its first-ever region title, defeating nationally ranked foes Lake Land College and Wabash Valley College to earn a berth at nationals in St. George, Utah. The Lady Vols were seeded 13th in the 16-team field and went 1-2 in the double-elimination event. They beat No. 4 seed Wallace State College, 8-7, in their first game before falling to fifth seeded Yavapai College, 9-1, and to No. 11 seed Temple College, 6-5. “Making the national tournament is something we’ve been striving for,” said Logan head softball coach Bruce Jilek. “It was a good experience for our players to be able to compete against the best teams in the country. We got off to a great start beating Wallace State, which went on to finish in second place, so we showed we belonged there. We learned how much work it takes to compete at that level and what
34 l june 2010
we need to improve on to do better next time. It was a step forward for our program and
gives us something to build on for the future.” In the wake of the team’s suc-
cess, several players received postseason recognition. Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Wallace from Du Quoin was selected all-region and all-conference and was named the Region 24 Most Valuable Player. Third baseman Rachelle Runge and centerfielder Lara Runge, both of Carterville, also earned all-conference and all-region honors as did freshman shortstop Mandi Kellerman from Pinckneyville. Brittany Ashton, a sophomore pitcher from Carterville, was an all-region choice as well. The women’s golf team won its first Region 24 Tournament title since 2002 to earn a spot in the national tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Lady Vols finished ninth in the 19-team field with a 54-hole total of 1,027 (349339-339). Logan sophomore Lindsay Kellerman of Pinckneyville fired a 244 (85-81-78) to lead Logan and tie for 23rd place overall. Jenny Bernhardt, a sophomore from Murphysboro, tied for 36th with a 253 (82-85-86), and Metropolis native Mallory Gentry, the Region 24 Tournament medalist, shot a 264 (92-85-87) to finish tied for 56th. Talia Campbell, a freshman from Mount Vernon posted a 275 (91-96-88) to tie for 64th place, and Kasey McCammack of Hillsboro tied for 73rd with a 281 (91-88-102). “We were ranked ninth in the nation, and that’s where we finished,” said Bill Glenn, head coach of the Lady Vols. “I think we had the potential to place higher, but I’m proud of the players. It was a total team effort. We had one of our best seasons, and I think we represented Logan well on and off the course.” The men’s golf team won a school record 10 tournaments this year (including the fall sea-
son) and claimed its sixth straight Region 24 Tournament championship. The Volunteers were the reigning national champs and entered nationals looking to defend their title but came up just short, placing second with a four-day team score of 1,176 (302-294289-291). Logan sophomore Marcelo Rozo had an exceptional tournament. He put together rounds of 71, 74, 70, and 69 for a 4-under par total of 284 to win the Arnold Palmer Award as the tournament medalist. He is the first Logan golfer to earn the individual national title. Filip Timmerman, who received the Phil Mickelson Award as the top freshman in junior college golf, fired a 291 (73-75-74-69) for the Vols to place eighth overall and garner first team NJCAA All-American honors. Matt Smith placed 30th with a 299 (77-7372-77), and Joe Goelzhauser carded a 311 (85-72-73-81) to tie for 70th place. Former Trico High School standout Jamie Stocks tied for 75th with a 313 (81-77-7976). “Marcelo was terrific,” said Tom Ferris, head coach of the Volunteers. “I’ve thought for a long time that he is the best junior college golfer in the country, and he showed that at nationals. He had an outstanding career
here. He won nine individual titles, which is more than any other golfer we’ve had, and he was a two-time NJAAA and Ping All-American.” Ferris was also pleased with his team’s runner-up finish at nationals. “We dug ourselves into a deep hole after the first day, falling to eighth place and pretty much took ourselves out of contention to repeat as champions,” Ferris said. “But our players showed a lot heart and never gave up. We played better each day and shot the lowest final-round score of the tournament to move up and take second place. I thought it was a great comeback.” For more information on Logan’s sports teams, visit the John A. Logan College athletics Web site at: www.jalc.edu/athletics.
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Southern Illinois tracksters shine at Charleston
outhern Illinois track and field athletes continued to compete at a high level at Charleston with Herrin boy’s team winning the Class 1A state championship and Sparta and Sesser-Valier turning in top 10 performances in team competition. Several athletes, including Herrin’s Zack Riley who won a pair of state championships in the long jump and pole vault, also turned in stellar performances. On the girl’s side Mt. Vernon’s Margo Richardson again was the 1600-meter champion with Marion’s Hannah Baker winning gold in the discus. In team competition Mt. Vernon and Carbondale tied for 8th overall in Class 2A. SISC photojournalist Chris Kays was once again on the sidelines capturing the competition.
daline enior Ma Benton s first e th lears r Parrish c 300 mete e th g n ri u d le rd . u h les iate hurd intermed
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Benton freshman Kaitlyn Schutt runs in the 400 meter open run. Schutt finished 9th.
Sydney Potts of Benton during the prelims of the 100 meter high hurdles. Potyts went on to finish 8th.
Margo Richardson of Mt. Vernon runs in the 3200 meter run
Anna-Jonesboro and United State Military Academy recruit J.R. Woodward clears a hurdle in the 110 High Hurdles.
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Sparta pole vaulter Cody Klein clears 14’0” during the prelims. Klein finished as state runner-up.
West Frankfort’s Genni Hickey runs the 3rd leg of 4x100 meter relay. Benton distance runner Dylan “Blue” Hartley during the 1600 meter run.
Hannah Baker launches a disc during the finals of the 2A discus. With Bakers win this year, she has won back-to-back state championships.
Eastern Illinois University bound Benton senior Ashley Webb chucks the discus during the finals. She finished 6th.
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Zack Riley runs the anchor leg of the 4x200 meter relay for Herrin. Herrin went on to claim the state championship for this event.
Sesser sprinter Chelsea Miller comes to the finish line during the 200 meter dash prelims.
Sesser hurdler Dane Eubanks clears the final hurdle during the prelims of the 110 high hurdles. Eubanks went on to finish 4rd.
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Southern Teams ascend on State Tournament The date June 5, 2010 might go down as an unprecedented day in Southern Illinois sports. Four teams … count ‘em … Harrisburg and Goreville in baseball and Johnston City and Cobden in softball were all playing in state championship contests. While only Cobden came out on top with a 2-0 Class 1A state championship victory over Lebanon all of
Southern Illinois should be proud of the accomplishments of baseball and softball players from the deep south. As we like to say in these parts – ‘you did us proud.’ As a tribute to the four teams that makes up our ‘Fab Four’ SISC will put an exclamation point on a great spring sports season through the lens of photojournalist Chris Kays. Jake Clark makes the throw to first during the SuperSectional at Rent One Park.
Nate Webb stretches to make the catch at first during the Super-Sectional at Rent One Park.
Brody Whitehead lays down a bunt during the Super-Sectional at Rent One Park.
Alex Stout fires a pitch during the Super-Sectional at Rent One Park.
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LEFT: Harrisburg senior Reid Roper slaps one over the fench for a lead-off homerun against Olney in the Sectional Championship game. BELOW: Freshmen Ryne Roper comes through sending his pitch towards home during the Sectional Championship game against Olney.
ABOVE: Kollin Dowdyâ€™s bat meets the baseball during the Sectional Championship game against Olney. RIGHT: Harrisburgâ€™s senior players receive their Sectional Championship plaque.
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Johnston City The Johnston City Lady Indians receive their plaque after knocking off Trenton (Wesclin) at the Class 2A Fairfield Super-Sectional.
Allison Smiley lays down a bunt during the SuperSectional at Fairfield.
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Jessa Thomas makes the throw back to the pitcher during the Super-Sectional at Fairfield.
Head Coach Lyndell Zanotti looks on at one of his batters during the Super-Sectional at Fairfield.
Johnston City ace Kaley Coonce rockets a pitch towards home during the Super-Sectional at Fairfield.
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Miners Expecting Success in 2010
By: Tony Piraro
Southern Illinois Miners Media Relations Intern
he 2010 Southern Illinois Miners are looking forward to getting the sour taste from last season out of their mouth. In fact, they are looking to do more than just win a few more games this season. They are looking to win it all while turning some heads along the way. The 2009 Frontier League MVP Joey Metropolous is trying to get the Miners off to a hot start, including himself. Surprisingly, Metropolous has never been selected to a mid-season All-Star game. This year however, he came into camp in great shape with a focus on starting fast. His two home runs and foue RBI’s to go along with his .389 batting average through six games are an early indication that the former league MVP is primed and ready for 2010. Also back for the 2010 season is leadoff man and center fielder Jereme Milons. The Mississippi native has already exhibited his power this year by blasting three home runs in the team’s first two road games. Joining them are a few newcomers acquired during the off-season. Ernie Banks is the big 6-feet-4 inch first basemen who hit .353 last year with 24 home runs and 75 RBI’s while splitting time with Washington and River City. Banks got off to a slow start, but it could have been attributed to him pressing and trying to impress his new fans and teammates. Regardless, he deposited two home runs in the Miners first two road games, like Milons, putting fear in the hearts of opposing Frontier League pitchers. Stephen Head was released by the Cleveland Indians organization and Mike Pinto was right there to scoop
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him up. In his Miners debut against River City, Head impressed with three hits in four at-bats along with a linedrive triple that brought Rent One Park fans to their feet. Javier Brown, Nate Hall and Todd Martin round out a new cast that should help make for a very memorable 2010 campaign. Brown was an All-Star last season when he batted .296 and played stellar defensively at second base. Hall is the newest member to the team just acquired from Windy City days before the season started. He had the second highest fielding percentage in the Frontier League last year for third basemen. Martin batted .333 for Rockford in limited action due to injury, but is ready to go. Unfortunately, as good as the pitching is, we must start on a down-note. Miners ace Ryan Bird starts the season on the DL with an injury. Over the past two seasons he has dominated Frontier League batters to the tune of a 22-10 record with 249 strikeouts during his 229 innings pitched in Independent baseball. The Miners aren’t too concerned because they have starters Joe Augustine and Brett Scarpetta returning. Both have gotten the new season off to a great start. Backing them up in the deep Miners bullpen is the dependable set-up man, Jake McMurran and closer, Mike Damchuk. The front office has been busy as well this off-season. The rotation adds right-hander Eric Fussell who posted a 12-2 record in 2007 with Windy City and Dustin Brader who led the Arizona State Sun Devils to back-toback Pac 10 championships and was
with the Texas Rangers affiliate last season. Brent DeFoor tops the bullpen additions. He was released by the White Sox affiliate last season, but has showed signs of someday being a possible closer in this league. Local left-hander Eric Barrett spent his last few seasons with the Atlanta Braves organization. The Logan College alum will be invaluable and is only one of two lefties in the bullpen. The other southpaw joining Barrett is former Saluki Shawn Joy who has showed signs of being a good reliever in the Frontier League. “I think this team goes from being a very good one, to a great one this season,” said Manager Mike Pinto. All-in-all the 2010 Southern Illinois Miners want to win now. They have the pitching, hitting and defense to do so. It’s all a matter of putting it together on a daily basis with consistent performances from everyone. If they wish to be hoisting the Frontier League trophy above their heads at the end of the season like Lake Erie and Windy City have done the previous three, then they must play together. A great deal of teams look fantastic on paper, but very few bring it to life. The Miners will be looking to bring Southern Illinois their first-ever Frontier League championship in 2010.
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