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October 2011, Vol. 5 No. 2

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The Line Up

Publisher/Editor Jim Muir

Account Executive Cheryl Hughey

Photographers

Christopher Kays Ceasar Maragni

Contributing Writers Toby Brooks Teri Campbell Don Gasaway John D. Homan Roger Lipe Ceasar Maragni Jim Muir Mike Murphy Joe Szynkowski Nathan Wheeler Tom Wheeler

Graphic Designer

Rhonda Ferguson

For more information regarding Southern Illinois Sports Connection call Jim at 618-525-4744. For advertising information, call Cheryl at 618-353-8515.

October 2011

Columns Publisher’s Greeting In Focus JALC Journal On the Sidelines Great Outdoors RLC Report From Wheel’s Garage Murf’s Turf Ask the Players

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Features

Opening Day . . . All Over Again Herrin’s Biggest Weapon Making their Mark Living the American Dream Making Her Mark Photo Feature - Carl Mauck Bracing for Black Out

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6 12 18 22 33 34 38

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r.

Publisher’s Greeting

G

reetings and welcome to the

is about ‘The West Frankfort

October issue of Southern

Cardinals.’ Who are the West

Illinois Sports Connection.

Frankfort Cardinals, you might be asking? For those like me who thought the SI Miners were the

With the leaves changing colors and the feel of autumn weather in the air it’s time

first professional team in Southern

to turn our sights to the fall high school

Illinois you’ll find that you were

sports season – which of course means

wrong. It’s a great read with some

a healthy helping of high school football,

excellent pictures that promotes a

cross country, volleyball and golf.

new book about the WF Cardinals that will be out in December.

Our feature story this month features a pair of West Frankfort athletes – sisters Yulia and Masha Cool. While the Cool sisters are

And of course we have our

a part of the fabric that makes up West Frankfort High School and

usual list of columns and stories

its athletic teams, the ‘story’ behind the story of Yulia and Masha is

that touch on virtually all aspects

nothing short of incredible. Orphaned at an early age the sisters were

of sports here in Southern Illinois.

living in a Russian orphanage when Kathy Cool went through the

I hope you enjoy this month’s

monumental task of adopting the young girls and then guiding them

issue as much as we have enjoyed

through the equally monumental task of starting a new life and new

putting it together for you.

language in a totally new country. All the best to you and God Completely aside from sports the Cool sister’s story is one that ties

Bless!

in well with sports – success, failure, get back up when you’re down, don’t get too high when things go well and don’t get too low when things go poorly. The Cool sisters are a testament to determination and a never-say-quit attitude. I think you’ll enjoy the story.

Jim Muir

And speaking of determination … this month we also feature Antuan Davis of the Herrin Tigers. One of the top football players in Southern Illinois, Davis has helped lead the Tigers into the post season as a two-way starter for Coach Jason Karnes. As you read the story you’ll see that the road to success for Davis has not been an easy one. Another story that I think you’ll find interesting this month

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FEATURE

Opening Day…A

The Southern Illinois Miners made history

This is an arial view of the stadium where the West Frankfort Cardinals played professional baseball in the 1940s. The area now is the location of the Illinois National Guard Armory and Long John Silvers. Photo provided by Bob Maragni

By Toby Brooks

I

t all started innocently enough. It was a beautiful southern Illinois morning, and everywhere I looked I saw something new. A new day. New uniforms. New equipment. A new team. After literally years of planning and preparation, the Southern Illinois Miners were preparing for their first-ever practice, and I was smack-dab in the middle of it. I was serving as the first-ever athletic trainer for the team, and prior to practice, Manager Mike Pinto asked each coach and staff member if he wanted to say a few words to the team. I jumped at the chance. Having grown up in Pope County, I was always jealous of the kids from more populous areas of the country. I didn’t see my first professional baseball game until the age of nine, and for a kid that age, the drive to St. Louis might as well have been a trip around the world. If only there was a pro team closer to home, I thought. Now 23 years later, I has thrilled that Marion was finally entering the world of professional sports, and I wanted this bunch of athletes to know about it. You should carry yourselves with pride, because you are part of something very 6 l October 2011 l

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special,” I said. “I’ve waited for this day as long as I can remember, and it is finally here. You are the first-ever professional athletes this area has ever known. Don’t ever forget that,” I added. Hopeful, if not a little bit delusional in thinking that my little speech might foster some good behavior in a bunch of notoriously rowdy minor league ballplayers, I got back to the task at hand and tended to stretching sore muscles, tending to preexisting injuries, and generally taking it all in. Until I got the finger. Not “that” finger, mind you, but an accusatory index finger waved generally in my direction. It seemed that I had said something to rile the angst of an elderly gent perched just behind the fence along the first base line. He had come to watch history being made that day, but he also happened to know a tantalizing bit of “other” history that would alter the next four years of my life. “I appreciated what you had to say, but you were dead wrong,” he said as he wagged his digit at me. “This isn’t the first pro team,” he added. There was a whole league in southern Illinois in the 40’s. West Frankfort even won the title, I think.” Stunned at this revelation, I probed for

more and we chatted for a while. Eventually I returned to my duties at practice, but I just couldn’t shake the realization that a selfproclaimed sports nut like me had been born and raised in southern Illinois and had never even heard of the Illinois State League or the West Frankfort Cardinals. On a whim a few days later, I did a quick Google search. The more I learned, the more I had to know. Not only did West Frankfort have a team, but the town once had a population of nearly 30,000 (more than Marion has today). In her prime, the town supported three movie theatres, public transportation, and more banks than you could count. That was quite a far cry from the intimate community of 8,000 that I knew and loved. My quest was on. What I had failed to realize was that the West Frankfort that I had grown up with had been on the backside of a coal boom. That professional team of the 1940’s was a welcome diversion for a hard-working town with a steady flow of coal money coursing through her veins. Unfortunately, as the mine industry steady dwindled, so too did the town. Initially started in 1947, the team lasted just four seasons before closing up shop for good after the 1950 season. Despite its relatively brief existence, the teams fielded ranged from mildly competitive to the clear class of the league. The 1947 squad featured future St. Louis fan favorite Eldon “Rip” Repulski. By far and away the best team, the 1948 Illinois State League Champions, featured a 19 year-old wet-behind-the-ears second baseman by the name of Earl Weaver. While Weaver would eventually go on to become a Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and World Series Champion as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, his first experience in professional baseball came in West Frankfort. I quickly discovered that although Repulski and Weaver were probably the most well-known players to pass through town, the stories of many of the other players were no less remarkable. Third baseman Nick Adzick played pro ball against the wishes of his father. He had

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FEATURE Vols’ sophomore front-row player Holly Schweigert follows through with a big hit in practice. (Logan Media Services photo)

ay…All Over Again

made history in 2007 … except it had all happened before. passed over full-ride Division I scholarship offers to join the Navy at the age of 17. Upon his return stateside after the war, he played minor league ball before going on to earn a Ph.D, ultimately teaching history and coaching baseball for nearly three decades at St. Louis area Clayton High School. And what a legacy Adzick had left. Adzick’s son Scott played baseball and basketball at Harvard before becoming a renowned pediatric surgeon, still practicing medicine in Philadelphia, and Scott’s son Mark is now a highly regarded pitching prospect at Wake Forest who was selected in the 18th round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Mark still proudly wears Nick’s 1950 Western League Championship ring, won while playing for the St. Louis Class A affiliate Omaha. Given shortly before Nick’s death on Christmas day 2006, it is a most cherished gift from his now departed grandfather. As incredible as Adzick’s story is, it is merely one of many like it. All a part of what Tom Brokaw has dubbed the “Greatest Generation,” the men associated with the team consistently displayed a grit,

determination, and integrity not often seen today. And so it is that a chance encounter with a man I had never met before and haven’t seen since set me on a path of research and discovery. As exciting as the Miners’ opening day was, it sure wasn’t the first time for such an occurrence. As it turns out, a similar bunch of rowdy young ballplayers had done exactly the same thing some 60 years earlier. Toby Brooks is an Assistant Professor of Athletic Training, a freelance author, and a graphic designer. His new book chronicling the West Frankfort Cardinals is entitled, Season of Change: Baseball, Coal Mining, and a Small Town’s Struggle to Beat the Odds and is published by Chaplain Publishing. The book will be released on December 1, 2011and can be pre-ordered at www.westfrankfortcardinals.com and will also be available at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and several area bookstores. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the athletic department at Frankfort Community High School.

An authentic baseball used by the West Frankfort Cardinals in the Illinois State League, a professional baseball leage that played in Southern Illinois in the 1940s. Photo provided by Charles Taylor

A picture of the 1947 West Frankfort Cardinals. Players were listed by last name only on the back of the photo and include from left to right (sitting) McGovern, MacDonald, Beavers, Weaver, Jankowski. (Kneeling) Wilson, Huck, Blackwell, Porreca, Adzick. (Standing) Patrick, Melliere, Owen, O’Connor, Contini. Photo provided by Sandra Rhoades

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In focus

G

By Ceasar Maragni

ene Anderson has been a fan of Benton basketball most of his life. He still is. But for the 1961 graduate of BCHS following the Ranger and Rangerette teams isn’t as easy as it used to be - not since he lost his eyesight. Anderson’s love for both boys and girls high school basketball began when he was a student at Benton High School in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. In fact he still considers the Ranger boy’s run at a State Championship his senior year in 1961, as one of the highlights of his

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sports memories. He said, “That was a fun team to watch. They made it all the way to Champaign before Peoria Manual beat us in overtime by only three points.” That memory is one that he still replays occasionally in his mind’s eye. That and so many others. It has only been in recent years that Anderson hasn’t attended Benton boy’s and girl’s basketball games in person. “I miss it.” he said. And while he isn’t able to make it to games, he continues to support and enjoy them through radio broadcasts as well as when his wife Sheila reads game summaries from the newspaper. It’s been a big adjustment for a long time fan like Anderson, but one that his family and friends say he’s handled with grace and dignity. Benton Evening News news editor Di Winson was the newspaper’s sports editor for many years and recalls Anderson’s dedication and support of Ranger sports, “To me Gene is a true fan. He would go to most all the boys and girls basketball games, always showing up during the lean times as well as the good. Not all fans do that. Through thick and thin, win or lose, Gene was always there. He truly loved seeing those kids play.” His support eventually extended beyond just sitting on the bleachers when then girls head basketball coach Sally Niemeyer approached him about working a few games at the scorer’s table. He took her up on it and for many years, he could be found at each girl’s game as official scorekeeper or clock operator. He fondly recalls his tenure at the scorer’s table as a great experience, right up to his final two minutes of the final game he worked. He says he can laugh about it now, but at the time it was far from funny. He describes the experience in his own words, “I always wanted to work a State Tournament game and

finally got my chance when the Benton girl’s team made it to the championship game of the Benton Sectional. The Rangerettes were playing a very good Anna-Jonesboro team which played Benton close the entire game. I was operating the clock for that one. Following a free throw, you’re supposed to start the clock again as soon as the ball touches a player’s hands on the throw-in. Well, I must have been so caught up in the excitement of the game that with a minute and a half remaining in the game, as the player put the ball back into play with the length of the court to go, I forgot to restart the clock. In fact the players had already crossed half-court when I became aware of all the people yelling and screaming at me to “Start the clock! Start the clock!”. Thanks to their screaming, I did. I remember saying a prayer then, saying, Lord if you’ll just get me through this next minute and a half, I’ll never do this again. He did, and I haven’t.” He says it was very humbling listening to people still yelling at him after the game. “I just had to sit there and take it. My career as a bench official came to an end. I decided it was time to retire.” While at the time, that incident loomed large to Anderson, it hasn’t stopped him from remaining a fan, “Oh, I still love following the teams. When I listen to games on the radio, I can picture the action in my mind’s eye.” Most people don’t realize the effort it took for Anderson to attend games all those years. The retired postal worker has battled kidney disease and cancer for over three decades. Since 1981, Anderson has had to visit dialysis centers where he spends half a day three times a week getting the poisons flushed from his body. Thirty years is a very long time for a kidney dialysis patient to receive treatments, but Anderson keeps on keeping on, much to the amazement and admiration of his family, friends and health care providers. He is one tough cookie. Besides surviving kidney disease, Anderson has also battled advanced stage melanoma for many years, a vicious skin cancer that can kill if not caught early. So far Anderson seems to be winning that battle. Even though he has earned the right to, Anderson never complains, ever. Bitterness just isn’t in his vocabulary. At the game of life, he’s a winner. It’s a privilege to call him friend.

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By Teri Campbell

JALC Journal

Logan Men’s Golf Team Swinging Through Fall Season

T

he John A. Logan College men’s golf team is in the midst of its fall campaign. The Volunteers are the defending NJCAA Division II National champions, and they opened play this season with a second-place finish at the Region 24 Preview Tournament at Franklin County Country Club in West Frankfort on Aug. 26. They followed that by taking eighth place at the Morehead State University Invitational on Sept. 12-13. Logan picked up its first victory of the season on Sept. 26 when it won its own JALC Fall Invitational at Kokopelli Golf Course in Marion. Originally slated for 36 holes, the eight-team tournament was shortened to 27 holes due to rain. The Volunteers posted a team score of 432 (142-290) to take the title by six strokes over Indian Hills College of Iowa. “We got off to a pretty slow start and didn’t play particularly well in our first two events,” said Tom Ferris, head men’s golf coach at Logan. “But we’re a talented group and I knew we were capable of playing better. I thought we played really well at our tournament. Kokopelli is a difficult golf course and conditions were tough because of the rain, but the players really stepped up.” The Vols have four sophomores back from the squad that won the national tournament last spring, including Derek Rolfing (Effingham), Colin Robinson (Ayrshire, Scotland), Bryce Doughty (Benton), and Colin Hendrickson (Loveland, Colo.). Rolfing and Robinson both earned All-American honors at nationals, and Doughty was an

honorable mention All-American. These players have posted some solid scores this fall. Rolfing has had two topten finishes, sixth at the Morehead State University Invitational and fourth at the JALC Fall Invitational. Doughty and Robinson both placed in the top ten in Logan’s tournament, finishing second and tied for fifth, respectively. The freshmen on Logan’s team have also shot some impressive rounds this fall. Tucker Guisewite (Mount Carmel) was the Vols’ top performer at the Region 24 Preview Tournament, and Steve Souchek (Waterloo) tied for fifth at the JALC Fall Invitational. “We’re pretty deep from top to bottom,” Ferris said. “The players are all competitive, and they push each other in practice. We’re going to keep working hard to get better and more consistent.” The Vols have two more tournaments on their fall schedule, the UT-Martin Skyhawk Invitational on Oct. 10-11 and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Fall Invitational on Oct. 17-18. “Our next two tournaments will be a challenge,” Ferris said. “At the UT-Martin tournament, we’ll be competing against all four-year Division I schools. The Gulf Coast tournament is the top fall tournament for junior colleges in the country. All the best teams will be there so the competition will be stiff, and we’ll see how we stack up.” For more information on the JALC men’s golf team, visit the John A. Logan College athletics website at: www.jalc.edu/ athletics.

JALC Athletics Raffling Off Motorcycle It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts, and the John A. Logan College Athletic Department has an opportunity for you to put a shiny new Black Diamond Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycle under your Christmas tree. Logan athletics is raffling off the motorcycle as a fundraiser for its sports teams. Tickets are $10 apiece or three for $20. A purchase of a three-pack of tickets gives the buyer not only three chances to win the bike, but also six additional chances to win an athletic department prize package or Black Diamond store prize package. The drawing for the bike and gift packages will be held Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) at Black Diamond Harley Davidson in Marion. Tickets are on sale now and will be available in the athletic office and other locations throughout the district until the drawing. For more information or to purchase raffle tickets, contact Myschelle or Tracy in the JALC athletic office at 618985-2828, Ext. 8369 or Ext. 8439.

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FEATURE

Antuan Davis gives offenses and defenses plenty of headaches on Friday nights

By Joe Szynkowski

A

strong-armed quarterback and a hard-hitting linebacker – not to mention a tough safety and shifty defensive end – have Herrin poised for another playoff appearance this month. And what makes the Tigers so dangerous is all of the aforementioned standouts are one in the same: senior leader Antuan Davis. The 6-foot, 195-pound bruiser gives coach

Jason Karnes the ultimate weapon. He is a dual-threat from the quarterback position, ranking among the top 10 area slingers in rushing yards and passing yards all season. Not bad for a kid who started playing quarterback about 15 months ago. “Last year we approached him at the beginning of summer going into his

junior year,” Karnes said. “We told him that we wanted a quarterback who was smart, a leader and somebody who was going to put in the time and effort. Last year was a learning process for him, myself and the staff. We all took baby steps together.” The baby steps paid off for the converted running back and defensive standout. Davis led his sophomore squad in tackles and

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“I’m a lot more confident this year. I did a lot of extra stuff over the offseason. One of the main reasons I was nervous was because I really didn’t know what I was doing. It makes a huge difference when you understand the position.” – Antuan Davis, Herrin quarterback –

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Feature continued. . . earned some varsity playing time because of his hard hitting and versatility. Davis says his physical nature helped ease the transition to signal-caller. “I’m a very physical person. I love hitting and I love to be hit,” he said. “It’s just a big part of the game and that’s how I like to play.” “I’m a lot more confident this year. I did a lot of extra stuff over the offseason. One of the main reasons I was nervous was because I really didn’t know what I was doing. It makes a huge difference when you understand the position.” On top of extra conditioning and throwing, Davis worked on his footwork and decision-making this offseason. He also put in extra time in the film and weight rooms, participated in camps and “everything else I could do to get better.” “He worked all summer with us and stayed after it,” Karnes said. “He’s got an extremely strong arm and his work ethic is unheard of. He worked every day this summer and was working out in long sleeves in the summer just to get any extra weight off. He trimmed down a little bit and was focused on avoiding some of the cramping he experienced last year during the season.” Karnes also challenged Davis to take on a bigger leadership role in the offense, both physically and vocally. The physical part comes natural for Davis, whom Karnes says weighs 195, but plays like he’s 225. “He is more positive with his leadership this year compared to last year when we probably harped on some things that we just couldn’t change,” Karnes said. “Now he can win ballgames. Last year I think he thought that every play was on him and now he’s doing a better job of letting the game come to him.” Taking charge has been easy for Davis, who expects his teammates to match his enthusiasm and intensity. Fellow senior captain Tyler Mayberry, Herrin’s offensive lineman/outside linebacker, says when Davis speaks, the Tigers listen.

“Anybody who comes through at the quarterback position gets a little tough love from me. He probably gets a little extra tough love from me. But he takes it very well. Last year, I was probably a little tougher on him than I should have been, but he responded well. When he puts on that helmet, mouthpiece and chinstrap, he’s all business. He’s a fun kid to coach.” – Jason Karnes, Herrin football coach –

“Sometimes we’ll all be talking in the huddle waiting on him to get the play from the sidelines and he’ll get back and tell us to shut up and get the play going,” Mayberry said. “When we’re playing spread, nohuddle, he just takes charge. “I think he probably takes the most criticism from people just because he plays the quarterback position, and that’s a big

role. I know there are people out there that underestimate him, but he doesn’t trash talk or anything. He just waits until game day.” Davis credits his coaching staff for getting him ready for Friday nights. Karnes, who was hired at Herrin in 2006, has football experience tracing back to his playing days in Du Quoin in the early 1990s. Karnes was a standout quarterback

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for the Indians and in college. “Anybody who comes through at the quarterback position gets a little tough love from me,” Karnes said. “He probably gets a little extra tough love from me. But he takes it very well. Last year, I was probably a little tougher on him than I should have been, but he responded well. When he puts on that helmet, mouthpiece and chinstrap, he’s all business. He’s a fun kid to coach.” Davis is also a tricky player to coach. Even though the senior has settled into the quarterback position, he relishes the opportunity to impact a game from the defensive side of the ball. Karnes said there is a fine line between utilizing and overusing his most powerful weapon. “The first part of last season I really didn’t play him on defense. I wanted him to focus more on quarterback,” Karnes said. “Once he started getting more comfortable, we’d use him on defense and he really made us better out there. He loves to hit.

But usually your quarterback doesn’t play a lot of linebacker…he likes to mix it up and play linebacker, corner, strong safety, defensive end. He just likes to be out on the field all of the time.” In a game earlier this season, Davis made a tackle on a screen play. He got up dragging his right arm – also his throwing arm – and had to be taken out of the game. “We were all holding our breath,” Karnes said. Davis bounced back from the stinger and tapped on Karnes’ shoulder a few plays later, ready to re-enter the game. “There are a lot of things on your shoulders when it comes to game time,” Davis said. “Everybody on the team looks to you to keep them going. When it comes your time you just have to be ready to take over the game.” Davis’ 3.5 GPA and supreme talent have opened the door for him to play college football. Several teams have shown interest and Davis will weigh his options when the time comes. For now, he is focused on

capping off his Herrin career in style. “He’s going to make something special of himself and I have no doubt he’ll be playing on Saturdays,” Karnes said. “He’s a great role model and just has that special something that some kids never find. He’s just a very outgoing and likeable kid. “He’s one of those kids who come through the Herrin football program that you’re going to remember for a long time.” Joe Szynkowski is a freelance writer for SISC. He can be reached at joeszynkowski@hotmail.com.

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21st Annual

Lights Fantastic Parade Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 along Illinois Avenue, downtown Carbondale, IL

Come to Town Early and enjoy... Browse and Brunch, Saturday Dec 3, 10-1, Participating businesses along the parade route will have a complimentary brunch menu item for visitors to sample, Downtown eateries will present a brunch special for shoppers to purchase.

Park at University Mall and Murdale Shopping Center and ride Shuttles to the downtown parade route.

Downtown Cookie Walk, along the Parade route on Dec 3, 4-6

Rotary Club Chili supper - Carbondale Civic Center

Real Reindeer at Town Square Pavilion from 4-7 pm, sponsored by Carbondale Main Street

Letter writing to Santa at the The Old Passenger Depot from 4-6pm, sponsored by Carbondale Main Street Things will be happening along the parade route as 6pm approaches; vendors, elves, strolling carolers, even possible flash Mobs may make an appearance! Get Getyour yourparade paraderegistrations registrationsforms formsininnow! now! Registration Registrationforms formsand andother otherinformation informationcan canbe befound foundon onour ourweb website. site. www.lightsfantastic.org www.lightsfantastic.org Want Wanttotospeak speakwith withsomeone? someone? Call CallCarbondale CarbondaleMain MainStreet Streetatat618-529-8040 618-529-8040ororEvent Eventinformation informationatat619-967-5257 619-967-5257 City of Carbondale | Carbondale Park District | WSIL-TV | WDDD | OnMedia | Southern Illinoisan | SIU-C | Carbondale Main Street

Grab your copy of Southern Illinois Sports Connection

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FEATURE

Making Their Mark Two new assistants bring experience and talent to Logan

By John D. Homan Assistant coaches at the junior college level are vital. Unlike universities where multiple assistants are hired to fill spots in various sports, most junior colleges can only afford one. Whether it’s one-on-one instruction

with the athletes, recruitment, travel arrangement, or food procurement, they play a key role in a team’s success. John A. Logan College is no exception. The Volunteers lost a couple of valuable assistants this school year with

the departure of men’s basketball assistant Kyle Smithpeters and volleyball assistant Veronica Whittington. Smithpeters was Mark Imhoff’s right-hand man for four years before accepting an assistant’s position at Missouri State University under

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“I think it’s going to be a great experience for me. Logan has a great tradition of athletics success. Mark (Imhoff) has been here 27 years and has worked hard to keep this basketball program performing at a high level. I like what I have seen of the kids in conditioning drills. I can’t wait to get started.” – Zach Carpenter, new JAL assistant basketball coach

newly hired Paul Lusk. Whittington served head coach Bill Burnside for two years before enrolling in medical school at SIU. Zach Carpenter, 30, a native of Cleveland, Tenn., replaces Smithpeters. Jimmy White, 24, of Flossmoor, Illinois takes over for Whittington. Carpenter played small forward at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He also played a year of pro ball in Denmark before injuries cut short his playing career. He returned to his hometown and earned his bachelor’s degree in computer information technologies from Lee University. Carpenter then accepted a position as Director of Basketball Operations at Tennessee Tech, where he spent the next two years earning his master’s in instructional leadership. He then moved to Louisburg College in North Carolina for a year and was then hired as an assistant coach to Dan Sparks at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, which is where he worked the last two years. Carpenter said he is excited about the opportunity to coach at Logan. “I think it’s going to be a great experience for me,” he said. “Logan has a great tradition of athletics success. Mark (Imhoff) has been here 27 years and has worked hard to keep this basketball program performing at a high level. I like what I have seen of the kids in conditioning drills. I can’t wait to get started.” Carpenter said the goal is simple – win the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and Region 24 title to advance to the national

tournament in Hutchinson, KS. He noted that should always be the team’s goal. “I enjoyed two successful years at Wabash and expect the same results here,” he said. “We’re going to get after it. I’m excited to see how things come together.” Carpenter said that while it’s important that the team perform well on the court, he is more concerned with how the players perform in the classroom. “My job is to build relationships with these kids,” he said. “I plan to find out what’s going on in their lives. I will have a genuine interest. We’re not just here to play basketball. If the kids know that’s how you feel, I would like to think it’s easier to instruct them. It’s about developing a mutual respect.” Imhoff said Carpenter has the right makeup to be a successful assistant coach, and ultimately, a head coach at the college level. “There is no doubt in my mind that Zach can get the job done,” Imhoff said. “When we hired him, we felt we had found someone with a varied enough background and experiences at the Division I and junior college levels. His recruiting experience at both levels is a plus. For us to get a guy like that makes you feel fortunate.” Imhoff said it helped that Carpenter was familiar with the league. “By spending two years at Wabash Valley, he has an idea what goes on in the GRAC and what it takes to win in this league. I think Zach will adapt well here at Logan. He certainly has the tools and there’s no question that I will need his help these next several months.” White played junior high and high school volleyball at Homewood-Flossmoor, a suburb south of Chicago. He went on to play club volleyball, both at Iowa State and SIUC and is now a first-year graduate student at Carbondale studying sports management. White has also been a volunteer assistant coach with the SIU women’s volleyball team and remains president of the SIU club team. He now has his opportunity to coach as a paid assistant at Logan. “My goal for the last few years has been to coach at the collegiate level and I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach alongside Bill (Burnside) at Logan,” White said. “It’s a big first step in the right direction.”

White said he has scouted the prep volleyball talent from here to St. Louis the last couple of years and hopes that experience will make him a top-notch recruiter at the JUCO level. White said he would like to think that the players relate well to him as there is not much of an age difference. “I’m really big on the mental approach to the game. I keep reminding the girls not to get too focused on the details, but rather just play for the next point – one point at a time.” White added that the Vols’ earlyseason struggles could be attributed to a rugged non-conference schedule with all matches coming away from home and two freshman setters learning the ropes of the college game. “I think it (the schedule) will pay off in the long run,” he said. “We definitely have the talent to win some big matches in the postseason. I think we will start winning some of those close matches we were losing early on.” Burnside said he is glad to have White on his team lending assistance where needed. “Jimmy is a great resource for our team. He is extremely knowledegable and experienced in every aspect of our game. I feel that I can rely on him for advice and input on any situation that we may face. It is great to have him on board.” Burnside added that White’s club volleyball ties in Southern Illinois will be an asset in recruiting local products. “Jimmy has coached many of our potential recruits. The connections he has with them will be very valuable this season and into the future.”

“My goal for the last few years has been to coach at the collegiate level and I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach alongside Bill (Burnside) at Logan. It’s a big first step in the right direction.” – Jimmy White, new JAL assistant volleyball coach

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On the Sidelines with SISC

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od Shurtz, Sr. can’t say exactly when he started as part of the ‘chain gang’ for Benton football but he can tell you how many times he’s marched the sidelines since. “It was either 1976 or 1977 when I started, I think it was ’76,” he recalled. “But I know I haven’t missed a game since.” Shurtz was asked by the late Harry Stewart to assist on the sidelines as part of the chain gang and he has been a fixture ever since – a period that spans 36 years and parts of five decades. And while Shurtz prides himself on the fact that he has not missed a Benton home game he does make it a point to note that he has had a couple of close calls. “I had a hernia operation and the doctor let me go on Friday and work at least part of the game,” Shurtz said. “Another time I was working at a cross country meet in Peoria and had to drive back on a Saturday afternoon playoff game against Herrin. I got there in the first quarter and Benton was down 14-0 and came back and won 35-34.” That was a great game.” Shurtz has witnessed the ups and downs of high school sports from his view on the sidelines. “I was there when Benton football was not very good and we had to sometimes recruit people from the stands to help on the chain gang to the time when we were the top ranked team in the state and making it to the playoffs every year.” A playoff victory by the Rangers

By Jim Muir

over Chicago Catholic League powerhouse Addison Driscoll (one of only two losses suffered by Addison during a seven year span) ranks as the top game he has witnesses at venerable old Tabor Field. Shurtz said he learned early-on in his chain gang career that paying attention is the most important aspect of his job.

and the chain gang will be a part of his August to November agenda. “I was asked by a visiting coach recently how much longer I was going to work on Friday night and I told him ‘I guess I’ll keep on until I get tire and right now I’m not tired,’” Shurtz said. “When you’re winning its fun and I still feel good and still feel like doing it. It’s just part of Friday night.”

“We’re on the visitor’s sideline so you can’t listen to what’s going on around you, and you sure can’t be daydreaming,” Shurtz said. “I appreciate the PA because we can’t always see when there is a flag on the play. My job is to move when the referee tells me. Even though I’m standing up … it’s the best seat in the house.” While Shurtz has spent almost half his life working the chains he admits that his real love is track and cross country. He’s been a registered official with the IHSA for more than 26 years. The 78-year-old Shurtz said he is uncertain how much longer Benton football

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Cover Story

Living the American

West Frankfort’s Cool sisters over By Joe Szynkowski

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Senior Yulia Cool runs cross country and also plays for the Lady Redbirds basketball team.

he bickering between Yulia and Masha Cool is typical of teenage sisters. The childhood memories and experiences are not. Adopted from a Russian orphanage in 2004, these sisters have overcome the death of their biological parents, learned a new language with relative ease and worked hard to succeed at high school athletics. Both are top runners on West Frankfort’s cross country team – each expected to provide her own unique intangible. Yulia, a senior who was 10 years old when she was adopted, provides a steady calm and unwavering leadership. Masha, a sophomore who was eight when she was adopted, exudes strength and a hard-working attitude. Yulia’s leadership skills stem from her being thrust into a mother-like role as a youngster. “(Masha) was like my child,” Yulia recalls. “She called me ‘mom’ a lot.” “Yulia never got to be a child,” said Kathy Cool, who adopted the sisters in 2004. Kathy’s journey into motherhood is a story all its own, one that features illness and heartbreak. Now

The orphanage where Yulia and

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“They’re typical teenagers. They talk back, they argue, they fuss, they fight. But I think they’re closer than normal sisters just because of what they’ve went through.” – Kathy Cool, speaking about her daughters Yulia and Masha –

an Dream

ers overcoming onslaught of odds

ge where Yulia and Masha lived before being adopted by Kathy Cool, of West Frankfort.

Sophomore Masha Cool is a member of the Lady Redbirds cross country team.

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Feature continued. . . healthy and happy, these three individuals form an already unbreakable bond that will undoubtedly continue to strengthen.

‘We Were Scared’

Yulia and Masha are too young to remember the death of their biological parents, a misfortunate turn of events that forced the girls to live with their extended family in the northern part of Russia. When their family members could no longer care for them, the Cool sisters were turned over to the Russian child care system that was broken into baby homes, child centers and orphanages. When Masha was old enough to join her older sister in the orphanage, they shared one that housed 376 kids in three different buildings made of cement blocks. But the girls don’t recall it being a negative experience. “I remember it being really fun,” Yulia said. “We used our imagination a lot. We would mess with the teachers.” Yulia remembers waking up early and running around the buildings – a sign of things to come for the future cross country standout in West Frankfort. The girls only knew about America what they picked up through hearsay. “You would hear stories that Americans wanted to kill us and they were going to eat our brains,” Yulia said. “We were scared.” Kathy dispelled those notions when the three met on Mother’s Day 2004. Yulia and Masha remember one thing in particular about that day: “Presents.” “You had to bring presents,” Kathy said of her trips into the orphanage. “Lots of presents. And it was hard getting in there. All of those kids would just storm around you asking, ‘Are you mom? Are you mom?’ It was horrible.” Kathy remembers the moment she saw her daughters for the first time. “(Masha) was eight years old and she was still in toddler clothes,” she said. “They were both so tiny and underweight.” Kathy opted for the international route of adoption after being spurned by the American system. On three separate occasions over the course of 15 years, she had children ripped out of her home when biological mothers petitioned to get their rights back. “It’s like having a child die,” she said. Kathy selected Russia partly because it was one of the only countries she hadn’t visited during her time in the Marines. After her first trip to Russia to meet the girls,

Kathy had to come back to go through the court process, one that required the 10-year-old Yulia to make a very grown-up decision. “She not only could have said yes or no to the adoption for herself, but she had to make the choice for her sister, too,” Kathy said. After a monthlong paperwork delay required the girls to stay in Moscow, Kathy was finally able to bring her girls home.

Masha (left) and Yulia (right) are pictured with Matt Hamplemen, who coaches cross country and girl’s basketball at West Frankfort.

‘Closer Than Normal Sisters’

On the Cools’ 11-hour flight from Russia to Pennsylvania, the girls bounced off the walls with excitement. That is, until they were about to land. “I looked over and they were snoring,” Kathy laughed. Things unfortunately didn’t stay peaceful for too long once the new family reached the states on Oct. 22. Kathy’s husband walked out on Nov. 3 and she was diagnosed with cancer early in 2005. These struggles, coupled with the fact that neither Cool sister knew a lick of English, made for a challenging first year together. “I remember Masha bringing homework from school one day,” Kathy said. “It was a little bitty baby book and she just had to read one word on each page…she sat down to do it and refused. She just sat there from about four o’clock to 9 o’clock. I never thought she’d do it. She was so stubborn.” And while the girls struggled to learn English, Kathy did the same with Russian. “We had a dictionary,” she said. “Through sign language and pointing we learned. It was funny. There was always a mix-up between certain words like kitchen

and chicken…when I got sick, they left to go stay with my brother in California for three or four weeks. They came home speaking English.” The Cools then moved to Riverside, Calif., where they lived for a year-and-ahalf while Kathy recovered from cancer. In 2007, the family moved to West Frankfort. The girls adjusted nicely, even though Southern Illinois may not feature the sandy beaches of California or the frigid air of the Russian tundra. “We love it when it snows,” Masha said. The girls can agree on their love for snow, mathematics, science and their desire to one day visit their home country, if little else. “They’re typical teenagers,” Kathy said. “They talk back, they argue, they fuss, they fight. But I think they’re closer than normal sisters just because of what they’ve went through.”

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‘Happy to Coach Them’

Yulia plays basketball, runs cross country and track and field for the Lady Redbirds. She has been one of West Frankfort’s best cross country runners this season, building off her 11th-place finish at last year’s Harrisburg Regional. “Yulia has really started to come out of her shell and become more of a leader,” said Matt Hampleman, who coaches varsity basketball and cross country at West Frankfort. “She’s improved so much in cross country and basketball it’s unbelievable.” Running comes natural for Yulia. It was basketball that took some getting used to. “My friend talked me into playing in sixth grade,” Yulia said. “I had no idea what I was doing.” “Yulia started as a freshman basketball player and she was just so raw, but has continually tried to improve,” Hampleman said. “We really saw her advancement during her sophomore year. She started quite a bit of JV games for us as a junior and we’re really expecting her to help us this year as a senior.” Masha, on the other hand, played basketball in fifth grade and vows never to play again. She’s more passionate about running and lifting weights, especially the bench press. Hampleman remembers being impressed by Masha’s dedication to the Lady Redbirds’ weight program. “At one point I asked her if she would like to run cross country,” Hampleman said. “It took two or three days to convince her and she really did well for coming out on a whim.” Masha, who also runs track and field for West Frankfort, developed shin splints early last season and missed a chunk of meets. But she put together a good finish and has been a top-six runner for the Lady Redbirds this season. “Both of the girls are good athletes and they try their hardest,” Hampleman said. “They’re also very polite kids. Kathy has done a great job with them. For what they’ve had to endure, it’s an amazing story. We’re happy to have them and happy to coach them.” Hampleman said he has never coached a player with more unique circumstances, let alone two at the same time. He is using the Cools’ story as a teaching moment, not only for his current and future players, but for himself.

Yulia and Masha get a lesson in the use of a camcorder from Mom Kathy after arriving in the United States.

“You think to yourself how bad can a day be and you come in here and see those two girls working their butts off,” Hampleman said, pointing into the Redbirds weight room. “It’s amazing. They’ve made amazing transformations. Neither of them ever quit. They keep trying to improve. “These kids are triumphing over everything that has happened in their lives

and they’re bettering themselves. That’s what coming to America is all about. They’ve got the opportunity and they’re making the best of it. I hope it continues for them. We’re trying our best.” Joe Szynkowski is a freelance writer for SISC. He can be reached at joeszynkowski@ hotmail.com.

Masha (front) and Yulia (left) are pictured in 2003 with other children at the Russian orphanage.

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By Roger Lipe

Faith on the Field

Lesson in Hunger

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ne of Solomon’s most insightful proverbs is listed at chapter 27 and verse 7, “A sated man loathes honey, But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.” This proverb has had greater impact upon me since I’ve been serving internationally with sportspeople. This last week was a refresher course for me on the power of hunger; physical, intellectual and spiritual. From 24-30 May I had a team with me in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to work with the Softball Federation and the Tae Kwon Do Federation and their respective coaches and competitors. They are hungry in almost every way. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, but is populated with some of the friendliest and most gracious people. It has a terrible problem with gangs and violence, but also has one of the fastest growing churches in the world. Making up our team was a softball coach and his wife (Scott and Karen Gilpin of Chester), a professional softball pitcher and a professional catcher, a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do (Mike Jessup of Carterville) and a 54-year-old FCA staffer (me). The coaches, players and martial arts master brought with them their accumulated years of experience and credentials and those attributes were met with the Hondurans’ immense hunger. That made for a tremendous set of clinics, practices and demonstrations.

We worked with the best players in the country and with high school girls who had a total of three days of experience with the sport. I even worked with a group of young men who are playing American Football in their country. Their desire to develop the sport in their country and to improve their individual skills was overwhelming. Our team marveled at how eager to learn everyone was. One group of young women would not quit on the pitching drill in which they were engaged even though we were in the middle of a downpour. They were hungry, even bitter conditions seemed sweet! A couple of Tae Kwon Do instructors, one from Cuba and one from Honduras, received copies of “Corazon de un Campeon,” a devotional book for sportspeople in Spanish from their visiting instructor. They were thrilled! They asked the author to sign it and profusely expressed their thanks. The next day we found the Honduran instructor using the book with his students at the gym. He read from it, discussed it with them and continued for 40 minutes prior to their workout. This is hunger on a couple of levels. Hunger makes our work immeasurably easier. “To the famished man, any bitter thing is sweet.” Even people with modest abilities (like me), giftedness (like me), and intelligence

(like me) are able to make a real impact because of the hearers’ hunger. People who are sated, without hunger, are much tougher with which to work. They are indulged, bored, ambivalent, melancholy and otherwise unmotivated. They loathe honey. Rather than beating up the sated ones who loathe the sweetness offered them and being angry at their fullness, I have learned to seek out the hungry. I look for the ones who want to learn, those motivated to grow, those who desire to develop and are ready to receive more from the Lord. I find that with this group I am at my best and even the simplest attempts to assist are met with gratitude and enthusiasm. This would be my challenge to you today. Don’t waste too much time with those who seem bloated with fullness. They don’t want any more. Seek out the ones who are hungry, who see even the bitterest thing like the sweetest thing on the earth. You and they will experience the best in sport, faith and relationship as you do.

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The Great Outdoors

By Don Gasaway

Southern Illinois Public Land Duck Hunting

A

quick look in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources 2011-2012 Hunting Digest shows that Illinois is rich in waterfowl public hunting lands. Some are available by permit only and others are available on a first come, first served basis. Southern Illinois has a number of both. Early season duck hunters find such species as: pintails, teal, gadwall and wood duck. These fast flying ducks can and will come to mallard decoys. If you are on a tight budget, mallard dekes are the one of choice. Early in the season, fewer decoys seem to work better with the larger spreads being reserved for later. In some of the public hunting areas there is a required minimum of 12 decoys in a spread. Later in the season, the mallards and other species tend to arrive. By the time the mergansers and golden eyes arrive, the season is almost over. The recent years, the ducks have been present in Illinois throughout the season. Some geese also arrive in December and January depending upon the weather further north in the state. Most of the geese taken in southern Illinois are Canada geese, with some snows and blues also being taken. Because the southern Illinois goose hunting is dependent on a migrating flock, the avid goose hunter tends to watch the weather reports for northern Illinois. Once the snows arrive for a sustained period (3-5 days) in northern Illinois, the geese arrive in the southern part of the state in numbers. They stay until the end of the season (usually the end of January). Some of the popular public waterfowl hunting areas in southern Illinois are: Rend Lake, Crab Orchard Lake, Mississippi River, Ohio River, and Union County. Rend Lake Wildlife Management Area contains some 7,690 acres near Bonnie, Illinois in Franklin County. Site specific information can be obtained by calling the IDNR office at 618-279-3110 or writing them at RR1, Box 168G, Bonnie, Illinois 62816. It attracts all species of waterfowl but is especially good for teal due to the exposed mud

flats. Rend Lake has most of its ducks and geese taken from boats with boat mounted blinds. However, there are some excellent walk-in opportunities. Oakwood Bottoms, in Jackson County near Murphysboro, Illinois, is about 3,400 acres of flooded timber that holds ducks throughout the season. Some will even overwinter. More information can be obtained by contacting the IDNR at 618-687-1731. Ducks are taken in areas near both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Both rivers have hunting available to those with boats who concentrate their efforts on areas off sandbars and wingdams. In recent years the focus of waterfowlers has been around the Union County Conservation Area, Crab Orchard Refuge and Horseshoe Lake. Commercial goose hunting clubs have taken to managing crops in a way that is not baiting and does not run afoul of the law. This has drawn many ducks to the same areas that have been traditional goose hunting areas. Union County Conservation Area is about 2,800 acres near Jonesboro, Illinois in Union County. The refuge office can be reached at 2755 Refuge Road, Jonesboro, Illinois 62952.

Their phone number is 618-833-5175. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Williamson County is operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The 23,000 acres near Marion, Illinois is a Mecca for waterfowl with parts of the refuge closed to humans. Still, there are ample waterfowl hunting areas in refuge blinds or independently from boats in the west end of the lake. For more information about waterfowl hunting at the refuge contact the USF&WS, 8588 Route 148, Marion, IL 62959 or call them at 618-997-3344. Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area is another IDNR facility. Their address is Box 85, Miller City, Illinois 62962. All tolled there are about 60,000 acres of waterfowl hunting areas in the southern tier of counties. That is not counting the water holes in the Shawnee National Forest has also has waterfowl visiting each year. With the variety of site specific regulations, it is important to contact a specific area prior to hunting. Officials are happy to inform the public as the restrictions in their area. IDNR is dedicated to providing a safe and quality hunting experience on public land. Public land waterfowling is alive and well in southern Illinois.

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RLC Report

By Nathan Wheeler

Coach Crews credits chemistry and come back for RLC Volleyball success freshman middle blocker Breanne Pelker (Scheller), freshman setter Melanie Rhine (Nashville), sophomore outside hitter Ashley Slack (Sesser), sophomore setter Morgan Waters (Marion) and freshman right side hitter Megan Wren (Harrisburg). Rend Lake has logged wins over conference opponents Southwestern Illinois and Kaskaskia College; non-conference he Rend Lake College teams Danville Area Community College volleyball team is having one of and McHenry County College; and its best seasons in years. Packed shutouts of Greenville College JV, College with local players, the team is managing of DuPage, St. Louis Community College, wins away and on the road as it nears and Lewis and Clark Community College. the heart of its schedule in October. Its losses are to Lincoln College, The Lady Warriors were 9-6 heading John A. Logan College, Illinois Central into an away match with conference foe College, Vincennes University, Macomb Lake Land College on Sept. 28. Coach Community College and Parkland College. Sara Crews, in her fifth season at the Statistics entered through the Sept. helm of women’s volleyball at Rend 20 match with Greenville have Moeller, Lake, felt good about this season from RLC’s 5-11 standout power hitter, leading the onset. the team in kills with 106 for 2.8 a set. She “I feel good because I’m already in also has three aces, 55 digs and 14 blocks. a position I’ve never been in before,” The six-foot sophomore Newman is leading the team in blocks with 29, in addition to her 59 kills, 16 digs and 10 aces. Engel, at 5-6, shares the ace lead with Newman. Engel leads the team in digs with 101, followed by Payne at 59 for 1.5 each set. Payne, at 5-9, also has 78 kills, six blocks and three aces. Leading in the assist column by a wide margin is Rhine. The 5-9 setter logged 290 (6.75 a set) through 11 matches. “Melanie is making really good decisions and moving the ball around a lot,” said Crews. Heggemeier has been the most wellrounded player on the Lady Warriors roster so Team photo: FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT; Ashley Slack, Jessica Engel, Bethany Hensley, Morgan Waters, Jilissa Payne, far. By the match with Megan Wren, Melanie Rhine. BACK ROW, FROM LEFT; Kourtney Heggemeier, Amber Mocaby, Mackenzie Newman, Greenville, the 5-10 right Coach Sara Crews, Breanne Pelker, Jennifer Moeller, Chelsey Hafford

T

she said after starting the fall campaign with three straight wins. “Even though we didn’t play the best ... we still fought and pulled it out.” Crews said talent runs through her entire lineup this year and she challenges teams to find a weak link. “This year, pick on somebody,” she said. “Take them out of the game because I’ve got others who can do it. It’s a whole different level of ball this year.” The roster includes sophomore libero Jessica Engel (Troy), sophomore outside hitter Chelsey Hafford (Hoyleton), freshman right sider Kourtney Heggemeier (Nashville), freshman defender Bethany Hensley (Salem), sophomore middle blocker Amber Mocaby (Pittsburg), freshman outside hitter Jennifer Moeller (Nashville), sophomore middle blocker Mackenzie Newman (Nashville), sophomore outside hitter Jilissa Payne (Whittington),

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’RE HERE ALL YEAR. AUSE TAXES DON’T E THE REST OF THE YEAR OFF. side hitter had double digit performances in kills (74), digs (38), assists (32) and blocks (14). She also logged five aces, the secondmost on the team. “Kourtney has been doing a little bit of everything and doing it well so far,” Crews said. Crews said early in the season that she would like to see better blocking. Sophomore Amber Mocaby (Pittsburg), the Lake’s tallest player at 6-1, suffered an ankle injury and had yet to play a set as of Sept. 28. MRI results, which Crews got in mid-September, kept Mocaby sidelined. According to its coach, this team is different from teams in years’ past because of its chemistry and ability to come back. “That tells you a lot about how these kids are playing, where their heads are and what they are capable of accomplishing,” said Crews. The team has a tough stretch ahead in October. After ending September at Lake Land, RLC will host Southwestern Illinois on Oct. 5 before heading on a seven-game road stretch consisting of the Kankakee Tournament on Oct. 7 and 8, Kaskaskia on Oct. 12, the Lincoln Land Tournament on Oct. 14 and 15, John A. Logan on Oct. 19, and a tri-match at Lindenwood University in Belleville on Oct. 22. From there, the Lady Warriors will host their final home match on Oct. 24 against Lake Land. The three final dates of the season are Oct. 26 at Lincoln Land, and the John A. Logan Tournament on Oct. 28 and 29. For all things athletic at The Lake; including volleyball news, roster and schedule; visit RLC online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.

WE’RE HERE ALL YEAR. BECAUSE TAXES DON’T TAKE THE REST OF THE YEAR OFF.

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From Wheel’s Garage

By Tom Wheeler

Should It Be A Movie I

f you walk into my garage and look to the left you will see shelves of all my books that I have read. I have to be honest, not all my books make it to the garage, I have a book case in my office that the late Jason Culbreth made for me when I was coaching him in Johnston City. I have just read (in two days) a new book that will definitely stay in the house. I love those basketball movies, Hoop Dreams, One on One, Hoosiers, Coach Carter, Glory Road and my alltime favorite, Fastbreak. This book is my suggestion for someone to make it into a movie, a sure block-buster. The book, “The Amazing Appleknockers” by Cobden natives Anne Ryman and Sports Connections own Teri Campbell. Here’s why this movie would be a great movie. In a one class system with over 350 schools entered, the Appleknockers, with a school enrollment under 140, goes to the Illinois state championship game in Champaign. In 62-63 the Appleknockerrs were 27-3 even though they had lost their leading scorer, junior Kenny Flick, because he got married on January 25 and there was a school policy that said married students could not participate in after-school activities. This policy was changed by the school board the following year as Flick returned to school. On May 14, 1963 some of the players decided to spend the hot humid afternoon at Little Grassy Lake for some

fun in the cool water. Chuck Neal, Kenny Smith and Tom Crowell went early to swim. After swimming for a while Neal and Smith decided to swim across the other bank, Tom, not a good swimmer, decided to stay behind. While Chuck and Kenny were racing to the other side they noticed Tom was in trouble. By the time they got back to Tom, they tried their best to save him but he drowned. Tom was a two year starter, the point guard, the leader and Coach Dick Ruggles un-official coach on the floor. Another reason may be coach Ruggles himself. His journey from Boston to SIU was a story in itself. From listening to Seymour Bryson on how to become a member of the Salukis basketball team, to working himself into a starter, then as their captain his senior year. Not going to a job he accepted in St. Anne near Kankakee in favor of coaching in Hurst-Bush where he started his coaching career

before coming to Cobden where he was 66-5 his two years there. Dick’s junior year at SIU his new coach Harry “The Horse” Gallatin should have kept a closer eye on his point guard as his point guards eye was on a new Saluki cheerleader from Anna named Mary Woesthaus. How Mary became Mrs. Dick Ruggles is a story in itself. Coach Ruggles had big shoes to fill. The late John Lipe was the Appleknockers basketball coach and Principal. On May 7, 1962 he was relieved of his basketball coaching duties by the school board. Coach Lipe and his wife Shirley, whose family lived in Cobden, were extremely popular with the community and with the students. He moved on to Anna High School as an administrator but, showing his character and integrity, continued to support the basketball team and their new coach. Even the Appleknockers journey to Champaign should be in the movie. No bus or rented limousines for these guys, no, Illinois Central railroad’s ‘Creole’ transported the team north. In fact, the railroad runs down the middle of Cobden. The Amazing Appleknockers should definitely become a move with Teri and Anne as consultants. My only question is: who would star as the 27 year old Coach Ruggles? He’d have to have that neat crew-cut that Ruggles sported during the magical 1963-64 basketball season.

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FEATURE

Making Her Mark Marion native Lauren Bond is off to a fast start on the links at Austin Peay

A

ustin Peay State University women’s golf team shot its best round of the young season but could not move up from its fifth position on the final day of the Murray State Drake Creek Invitational, played Tuesday at the Drake Creek Golf Club. Led by junior college transfer Lauren Bond, who shot the day’s second best round (even-par 72), the Lady Govs shot a 308, six strokes better than their previous best round, set Monday morning. APSU finished with a 937 three-round score. Host Murray State won the event with an 890, followed by Morehead State (899), with Eastern Kentucky (932) third and Belmont (935) holding off the Lady Govs for fourth in the 10-team event. Bond, meanwhile, shot a three-round 225 (75-79-72) to finish seventh overall. The Marion native has

fashioned four straight sub-80 rounds in her short Division I career. “She absolutely played well,” APSU coach Sara Robson said. “She was just almost a different golfer this week than last week. Playing like she did last week really gave her confidence in this tournament.” Bond wasn’t the only Lady Gov to perform well. Redshirt sophomore Tabitha Beard finished 13th overall, firing a 230, backing up Monday’s 72 second-round score with a solid 78, Tuesday. Beard tied for second for birdies (eight) for the event. Following Beard was sophomore R a c h e l D e a t o n , who had her t o u r n e y ’s best round (76) to finish at 239 for a 26th-place tie.

Rounding out Austin Peay’s team scores were freshman Marta Gutierrez (81-8082=243) and sophomore Tala Mumford (80-86-86=252). The Lady Govs received some strong individual performances during the two-day event, led by freshman Meghan Mueller, who broke 80 for the first time Tuesday with a 78 and finished at 240. Senior Ashley Averitt shot a 242 (80-81-81) while junior Holly Batey was at 243 (85-76-82). Although pleased with her team’s improved performance in the event (Beard, Gutierrez and Bond combined for 22 birdies), Robson lamented her team’s struggles getting up and down. “We had some great shots again today,” Robson said. “We shot 308 and had 12 three putts and at least six doubles (bogeys). “We got off to a slow start to begin the day but settled down, stayed strong through the middle of the round and played well to the end. Now we just have to continue to improve our decision making and get rid of those big numbers.”

Lauren Bond, of Marion, is off to a great start at Austin Peay in her first competition at the Division I level.

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Photo Feature CM thanks crowd, brothers Father George Mauck and Dr. Jr Mauck in background

Former NFL standout and Foxes great honored By TOM WHEELER

I

t was typical Carl Mauck. On a night when the football field in McLeansboro was being named in his honor, he gave the thanks to many people. There was nothing about his pro football career or what the journey was for him to become a NFL star. He thanked his family, his coaches, his teammates (not only in football but in basketball and baseball as well) the farmers he hauled hay with and the one person who motivated him to reach such high dreams, Ira “Hank” Morman. Carl remembered his first football game ever on the Foxes football field He said, ‘It was on a Saturday afternoon, we were the Heights Addition Roughnecks and we played the Cubie Cats, who beat us.” Carl then named every kid who played in that game and then added “I remember we got beat” Carl finished his speech with, “that’s it, let’s go Foxes.”

CM talks to this years Foxes before their game against Eldorado

Carl Mauck with another McLeansboro great, Jerry Sloan.

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Carl Mauck and teammate Harrisburg basketball coach Randy Smithpeters

collage compliments of Marty Cox

Carl Mauck honored as board president John Ewald handing collage to the former Foxes and NFL great. Principal Jason Ronna beside him with Carle’s dad, brother and wife Vickie look on.

Carl Maucki and Charlie “Super Fox” Pendell one of Carl’s most loyal fans and classmates

pictures provided by Marty Cox,Kathy Teffertiller and Charlie Pendell

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By Mike Murphy

L

ife always has a way of getting

stinker at Seattle.

even. I was thinking about the

After last season’s 7-9 record hope

St. Louis Rams the other day

was in the air. This summer all NFL

and wondering how Steve Spagnuolo

fans sweated it out with the lock-out

is keeping his sanity. Everybody knows

but everything got settled. The Rams

the overhaul of the Rams is a long term

had a new offensive coordinator, Josh

project. There are signs of the team

McDaniels (he ran the “O” for Brady

moving in the right direction. However,

& the Pats during that 18-1 video-game

that being said, the team needs wins and

season), QB Sam Bradford would

some big ones.

have a full NFL season under his belt,

Against the NY Giants on Monday Night Football several

and even though they didn’t get a big name receiver the team made some

weeks ago, I was almost

Murf’s Turf

paid in full. Oh, also don’t forget under your tree on Christmas Eve is those jolly old Pittsburgh Steelers. Put all that into the blender and mix in some injuries and you wonder what type of sleeping pills Spags and McDaniels take to make it through the night. However, there is still a surefire way to continue making

giddy

progress and have fans keep

as I watched

coming to the Ed Jones Dome:

Sam Bradford move

the

Rams

down

WIN THE DIVISION!!! Uh-huh, you remember the teams in the NFC West: Seattle,

the field in the

San Francisco, Arizona and the

no huddle. There were

no

Rams. Maybe it’s like a season

little

long quest. When the Rams start

drop off passes

November they play six weeks straight

and tosses out into the flat. Bradford was

against division foes and @ Cleveland

standing in the pocket and going down

solid

the field. The Giants could not get the

moves

right people on the field and even had

in the free

to fake injuries to get the game slowed

market to make

down. I was already texting a friend who

squad stronger.

was working about Bradford and the

However,

and home versus Cincinnati. I’m hoping agent

life

t doesn’t

h

e just

Rams looking like Tom Brady and the

automatically get easier because you

Patriots when their drive stalled out. A

seem to be moving in the right direction.

few series later another drive stalled and

The Rams’ schedule is like a meat

then some costly mistakes and the Rams

grinder. When you have Baltimore,

were cooked. NY Giants 28 Rams 16, a

Green Bay, Dallas, and New Orleans,

flop on national TV and two straight big

over a six week stretch, son you better

chance duds ending last season with that

have your health insurance premiums

the Rams won’t be 0-7 to start that stretch. Even if the Rams are 0-7, I will still be watching and listening. After all, it’s better to have a team that’s 0-7 than to have no team at all. Let’s Meet Here Again Next Time

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FEATURE

Bracing for a Black Out

Unique cancer fundraiser set for Saluki Stadium

“We have had fundraisers before, but this one is special and very unique. We are grateful for the opportunity.” – Steve Sowers, SIU assistant athletic director for marketing –

By Joe Szynkowski One season after celebrating a year of firsts in the new Saluki Stadium, Southern Illinois University football fans will soon experience another milestone moment. The Salukis’ Black Out Cancer fundraiser is set for SIU’s home game against Eastern Illinois University on Nov. 12. For the past few months, SIU fans have had the chance to place online or phone bids on 80 black Under Armour jerseys that the Salukis will wear during their game against the Panthers. The top 80 bidders will win the opportunity to put their names or the names of loved ones affected by cancer on the back of the jerseys, which were provided by Cook Portable Warehouses and the Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center. The Saluki faithful have bid in droves on www.salukisblackoutcancer.com, SIU’s real-time website that updates every time a bid is placed. In late September, the top 80 slots were full, another 80 were below the cutoff, and the total monetary amount exceeded $41,000. The bidders who do

not make the cut will have the option of donating their bids. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer program for use in Southern Illinois. “With no precedent to look at we were really unsure of what to expect,” said Steve Sowers, SIU’s assistant athletic director for marketing. “We knew we wanted to make an impact so we were confident we would get bids on all the jerseys slots.” SIU won a one-time waiver from the NCAA to pull off the fundraiser, becoming the first institution in the country to host such an event. Not only will fans get to see their names on the back of the jerseys, they will be able to take them home after the game. “We have had fundraisers before, but this one is special and very unique,” Sowers said. “We are grateful for the opportunity.” The idea for SIU’s landmark event actually occurred through a bit of misfortune last season. Starting safety Mike McElroy missed the last nine games of the 2010 season because of a high ankle sprain and while sidelined, he started thinking about making an impact on his community. “When we started looking into doing this, my thought process was ‘What can we do as a team to leave a legacy here in Southern Illinois other than football?’” McElroy said at a press conference in July. “I want to see this affect this community that has given us as football players so much, and this is a great opportunity for us to give back.” McElroy, a fifth-year senior from Lowell, Mich., has made his mark on Saluki athletics, named as one of the top 10 defensive backs in the nation by The Sports Network entering the season. Off

the field, McElroy is a three-time recipient of the Missouri Valley Football Conference Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award and he made the all-academic second team in 2008 and 2009. He got the idea for the Black Out from his high school, which coordinated similar promotions to raise funds for cancer research. “Mike McElroy had an idea and he carried it out to the fullest,” Sowers said. “He went to the NCAA with this request to put names on the back of the jerseys different than the players wearing them, something that has never been done before in college football. He was awarded the one-time-only approval from the NCAA and since then it is has been a full-fledged effort by him, the football team and the rest of the entire athletic department.” In addition to the jersey-bidding, the SIU athletic department has launched an official Salukis Black Out Cancer online store where fans can purchase T-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, footballs or customizable jerseys. Thirty percent of the proceeds will benefit the Coaches vs. Cancer fund, which supports the American Cancer Society’s mission of education, research, advocacy and patient services. “The patient services will help give patients rides to treatment if they are unable to drive. It also includes free wigs to women who need them after chemotherapy,” said Amy Wisser, income development representative of the American Cancer Society’s Southern Region. “There is a look-good, feel-good program where women come in after their chemo and radiation and they get makeup, a wig or a bandana. We apply the makeup and teach them to hide the effects of the chemo and radiation. All of these are free.”

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SALUKIS BLACK OUT CANCER What: SIU Football vs. Eastern Illinois University When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 Where: Saluki Stadium More Information: (618) 453-5153 Mike McElroy, in action agains Ole Miss, took his idea for the Black Out to the NCAA with his request to put names on the back of the jerseys different than the players wearing them, something that has never been done before in college football.

To Place Bid: www.salukisblackoutcancer.com

Wisser was “thrilled” when she heard about McElroy’s idea, and worked with SIU’s athletic department to plan the event’s details and goals. She is one of many Saluki fans eagerly anticipating Nov. 12. “It’s hard to find somebody who hasn’t been touched by cancer,” Wisser said. “The fact that fans can go to a football game, and see the names of loved ones on the back of the jerseys is a very unique thing that may never happen again in the nation. Seeing the crowd in their black and seeing the players with the jerseys will be such a special moment.” Joe Szynkowski is a freelance writer for SISC. He can be reached at joeszynkowski@ hotmail.com.

“When we started looking into doing this, my thought process was ‘What can we do as a team to leave a legacy here in Southern Illinois other than football? I want to see this affect this community that has given us as football players so much, and this is a great opportunity for us to give back.” – Mike McElroy, SIU defensive back who came up with the idea of the first-ever Black Out – sisportsconnection.com l October 2011 l

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Feature continued. . .

Sports are a great way for teens to stay physically fit while learning important life skills. But, sports also put these young athletes at risk of injury, especially concussions. A recent study found that 47 percent of high school football players suffered a concussion each season, according to statistics gathered by the National Center for Injury Prevention.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

What are the signs and symptoms?

You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days after the injury. If an athlete reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, keep the athlete out of play and seek medical attention right away.

• • • • • • • • • •

Signs Observed by Family/Friends/Coaches

Appears dazed or stunned Is confused about assignment or position Forgets an instruction Is unsure of game, score, or opponent Moves clumsily Answers questions slowly Loses consciousness (even briefly) Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Symptoms Reported by Athlete • • • • • • • • •

Headache or “pressure” in head Nausea or vomiting Balance problems or dizziness Double or blurry vision Sensitivity to light or noise Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy Concentration or memory problems Confusion Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”

How to prevent a concussion

Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. • Use the proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment. In order for equipment to protect you, it must be: o The right equipment for the game, position, or activity o Worn correctly and the correct size and fit o Used every time you play or practice • Follow your coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport. • Practice good sportsmanship at all times.

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Ask the Players

By Tom Wheeler

V

“What sacrifi ces have you made to get you at th e level you a re at?”(The Patriots finis hed second a t state last year after bein g champions in 2009 as it was their fi fth top ten fi nish under Coach Kim H ille. They also won their sixth conferen ce title in the past seven years in 2011.)

isiting with four Massac County golfers this summer in a tournament at Rend Lake golf course led me to this month’s question. In today’s sports world we see less and less of the ‘all-around athlete’ as athletes are starting at a young age to concentrate on one sport. This is not just for the guys; the gals are doing it also. The question was simple:

Junior Sami Weber

(19th at state last year, conference champion this year) said “I have had to give up a lot for golf. I used to play softball, volleyball, and basketball. I had to give up softball because it would mess up my golf swing, volleyball because it’s the same season as golf, and basketball because it took up too much time. I really loved playing all these sports and was very good at them but I wanted to focus on golf and try to work on it for the long run. I’ve also had to give up a lot of my free time. While my friends are out doing something fun I’m at practice or having to be home early because of a tournament the next day -- which I don’t mind because I’m really hoping to get a scholarship and play in college.”

Junior Kirsten Faulkner

(finished 30th last year at state, third this year in the conference) said “The number one thing that I had to give up for golf was cheerleading. I cheered from 5th grade all the way up to 8th grade. I really loved

it and I was really hoping to continue in high school, but I decided golf was more important and it would give me more opportunities in the long run. I am happy with my choice because I really love playing golf and I would love to play in college.”

Peyton Helm, another

junior (was 56th last year at state, fourth in conference this year) “I wasn’t like a lot of golfers who gave up others sports to play golf. I didn’t have to so for me it was the social life. For example, there were times when I didn’t get to go to school dances or football games because of tournaments I was in. Often my parents wouldn’t let me stay out late because I’d have to be up early the next morning. At first, I thought giving up some of my social life was the worst thing ever. Now, I understand that golf is more important and it will take me places my social life won’t.”

Senior Laura Bremer

(finished 48th last year at state) “Ever since I was little I have played a variety of sports. Since golf takes so

much time and determination, I have had to make a few sacrifices to get to where I am today. I gave up two other sports to play golf. It is hard to give up the things that you love, but sometimes it is necessary.” “My favorite sport has always been soccer – it’s fast, aggressive, and sometimes difficult. Golf is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. Though the physical aspect of golf is dwarfed by the mental aspect, I couldn’t risk being injured by soccer, so naturally I gave soccer up. Then, I joined our school softball team my sophomore year knowing it wasn’t good for a golfer, but I loved being on that team. I enjoyed being part of a big team. Practice was long and the conditioning was tiring but I loved every bit of it. The biggest problem with softball was that season ran right into my summer golf practice, and with so many summer tournaments it was impossible not to practice. So, my junior year I told the softball coach I would not be playing. Honestly I didn’t love softball that much, but the team and coach made it hard for me to quit. Though I have had to make sacrifices, it was all worth it. I love golfing and I love the game itself. It’s not as intense as soccer, it is very challenging. I guess my biggest sacrifice overall is time. Golf is by far the most time consuming sport I have ever participated in. In the end I am happy for my sacrifices because I know it has all been worth it to get where I am today as a golfer.”

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October SISC  

October issue of Southern illinois Sports Connection magazine

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