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March Page 142017

Iroquois County Spring Sports Iroquois County’s Times-Republic

1 Wednesday, MarchPage 22, 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports Reach for your best no matter the field Central Comets Boys and girls track

Softball Baseball

Cissna Park Timberwolves Baseball

Donovan Wildcats Softball


Iroquois West Raiders Boys and girls track



Milford Bearcats Boys and girls track





PBL Panthers Boys and girls track

St. Anne Cardinals Boys and girls track



Watseka Warriors Boys and girls track



March, 2017

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Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

Cissna Park Timberwolves Coach John Tarro, Coach Anderson, Tanner Benoit, Chris Kaeb, Austin Kregel, Noah Anderson, John Nowaczyk, Mario Renteria, Coach Darryl Focken, (bottom row) Gavin Speirs, Jake Tarro, Marcus Schmid, Keagon Boyle, Dawson Savaree, Will Petry, Hayden Overbey, Rudy King and Brendan Rose.

Experience to lead team to improved season By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Thirty-six years of coaching at Cissna Park has taught Darryl Focken a lot about baseball. He will use that knowledge to improve on last season’s record. To improve on last season’s 11-19 record will be a challenge without two starters, Tristen Kissack and Bailey Sluis, who will be unavailable due to injury. The goal for the season will be much the same as the Timberwolves’ basketball team — use the season to learn and improve, then peak when the postseason gets underway. “Our goal will be to get better as the year progresses,” Focken said. Trace Nims is an all-conference player who has graduated, but Jake Tarro, John Nowaczyk, Noah Anderson and Austin Kregel are all returning seniors that will provide quality leadership for the Timberwolves.

Chris Kaeb and Marcus Schmid are also seniors, but Tanner Benoit is the lone junior. Three sophomores and six juniors round out the roster. Experience will be a weaknesses of the team. The Timberwolves must overcome the lack of pitching depth in order to be successful, the coach said. Returning pitchers are Kregel, Nowacyzk and Tarro. Focken must find more players to man the mound. Kregel had a 4-3 record last year with a 4.0 earned run average. Anderson will also see some pitching time. Nowacyzk provided a .314 batting average and knocked in 20 runs. Anderson had a .297 hitting average and 14 RBI. Production at the plate and ability on the base paths will be some of the Timberwolves’ strengths. “We should improve our hitting and overall team speed,” Focken said.

CP Boys Baseball Roster Noah Anderson 1 1B, P Austin Kregel 2 P, utility Chris Kaeb 14 OF John Nowaczyk 16 3B, P Marcus Schmid 25 OF Jake Tarro 13 2B, P Tanner Benoit 7 C, P Dawson Savoree 3 utility Mario Rentria 2 P, utility Brendan Rose 8 utility Keegan Boyle 4 OF Gavin Speirs 15 INF Rudy King 6 1B Hayden Overbay 22 INF Will Petry 10 utility Theran Blank 26 C, 3B

Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Jr So So So Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr

Cissna Park Boys Baseball Schedule Date 03/13 03/14 03/16 03/22 03/28 03/29 03/30 04/01 04/03 04/04 04/06 04/11 04/12 04/13 04/14 04/18 04/20 04/22 04/24 04/25 04/27 04/28 05/02 05/04 05/05 05/06 05/13 05/17 05/18 05/20

Opponent Fisher High School Schlarman High School St. Anne High School St. Anne High School Dwight High School Ridgview Unit School Dwight High School Bismarck-Henning Armstrong High School Momence High School Momence High School IW High School Milford High School IW High School LeRoy High School PBL High School PBL High School Hoopeston High School Armstrong High School Central High School Central High School Kankakee Trinity Watseka High School Watseka High School Tri-Point High School South Newton Schlarman High School Regional Regional Regional

Location Fisher Danville Cissna Park St. Anne Cissna Park Colfax Dwight Cissna Park Cissna Park Momence Cissna Park Gilman Cissna Park Gilman LeRoy Cissna Park Paxton Cissna Park Armstrong Cissna Park Clifton Cissna Park Watseka Cissna Park Cullom Cissna Park Cissna Park Cissna Park Cissna Park Cissna Park

Times 4 p.m. 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 10 a.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 10 a.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 10 a.m. 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m 4:30 p.m 11:30am

7 March 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports

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Donovan Wildcats and Lady Cats Donovan Baseball roster 1. David Whitson 3. Tyler Martell 4. Jackson Jansen 5. Kohlton Lanoue 6. Tristan Hann 7. Justin Meyer 8. Thomas Talley 9. Logan Hill 10. Kendall Arseneau 11. Kyle Gilbert-Sutherland 12. Cade Bennett 13. Jordan Bard 14. Jeremia Albright 15. Logan Arseneau 16. Nathan Mosher

Donovan to field baseball team after four years without By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The baseball field at Donovan High School will once again be filled with Wildcats. The program has not fielded a team for the last four years but will this season. Scot Laudenbach starts his first year as a head coach. he will guide

Donovan Baseball schedule March 14 IWHS Gilman March 15 Beecher home March 22 Beecher Beecher March 27 St. Anne home March 29 St. Anne St. Anne April 6 HAHS Hoopeston April 10 Grant Park home April 12 Grant Park Grant Park April 13 K3 Trinity home April 14 N. Newton Morocco April 17 K3 Trinity home April 19 GSN home April 21 GSN Gardner May 1 Tri-Point Cullom May 3 Tri-Point home May 5 Watseka home May 8 Ill. Lutheran Crete May 10 Ill. Lutheran home May 11 Grace Christ home May 15 Regionals TBA

4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 TBA

the Wildcats this year with a positive approach. His outlook for the season is “always optimistic.” Since it is a new program, the basics will be stressed. “Baseball fundamentals,” Laudenbach said are what his team must do if they are to be successful. The first year of a new program requires some time of getting to know

the talent and a feeling out process. The strengths and weaknesses of the Wildcats are “yet to be determined,” said Laudenbach. A season on the diamond will deter-

mine that. There are 16 athletes out for the team. Just having a team between the lines is a win in itself for the Wildcats.

(Back row) Manager Jordan Bard, Kyle Gilbert-Sutherland, Logan Hill, Justin Meyer, Kendell arseneau, Nate Mosher, Tyler Martell, (front row) Thomas Talley, Logan Arseneau, David Whitson, Jeremiah Albright, Cade Bennett, Manager Brianne Miller. Not pictured: Jackson Jenssen, Tristan Hahn, Kohlton Lanoue.

Savoie: Lady Wildcats’ strenght is abilty to play as team By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter In her first season as a head coach, CayLee Savoie has seven returning starters from last year’s Donovan High School team. “I think our team’s strength will be their ability to play as a team,” Savoie said. “They have been working well together.” The Wildcats have nine upperclassmen among the 19 out for the team. The numbers have enabled Savoie to fill in all the positions that are needed, even if they don’t have experience. The coach has been impressed with their willingness to learn. Seven returning starters in Casey Arseneau, Jackie Wingerter, Carley Shivers, Ashton Smith, Tabby Lareau, Morgan Squyres and Adrienne Adams from last year’s 16-9 squad

provide the first-year coach a solid base to build her team. “Our goal is to try to win as many games as they did last year,” Savoie said. “I know the girls want to do as well as they possibly can and are willing to work for they goals they have set.” The Wildcats must overcome a lack of pitching, having lost prime hurler Nikki Schuldt. “We have a few pitchers, but they really haven’t had much varsity experience,” Savoie said. “I think that each of the girls who are capable of that position have the ability to do well when needed.” With the pitching up in the air, defense will be crucial component of the Wildcats’ success. “We want the defense to be a strong part of what our team is based on and I think that’ll help win some games for us,” Savoie said.

(Back row) Adrienne Adams, Faith Hahn, Angel Mitchell, Jackie Wingerter, Carley Shivers, Ashten Smith, Evaln Zavala, Coach CayLee Savoie, (middle row) Casey Arseneau, Jerzie Waltz, Hope Mitton, Annie Clatterbuck, Hannah Askew, Mackenzie Stahlschmidt, (front row) Kayde Faupel, Alyssa Setticasi, Morgan Squyres, Paige Ortiz, Hannah Themer. Not pictured: Tabitha Lareau.

Donovan Softball schedule March 13 GCMS home 4:30 March 14 Watseka Watseka 4:30 March 16 Milford home 4:30 March 23 Momence home 4:30 March 27 St. Anne home 4:30 March 29 St. Anne St. Anne 4:30 April 4 Manteno home 4:30 April 6 S. Newton home 4:30 April 10 Grant Park home 4:30 April 12 Grant Park Grant Park 4:30 April 13 IWHS Onarga 4:30 April 14 N. Newton Morocco 4:30 April 17 K3 Trinity home 4:30 April 18 GSW home 4:30 April 19 GSW Gardner 4:30 April 24 Beecher home 4:30 April 25 Central Clifton 4:30 April 28 K3 Trinity Bourbonnais 4:30 April 29 HAHS home 4:30 May 1 Tri-Point Kempton 4:30 May 3 Tri-Point home 4:30 May 5 Watseka home 4:30 May 8 Ill. Lutheran Crete 4:30 May 10 Ill. Lutheran home 4:30 May 15 Regionals TBA TBA Donovan Softball roster Adrienne Adams Faith Hahn Angel Mitchell Jackie Wingerter Carley Shivers Ashten Smith Evaln Zavala Casey Arseneau Jerzie Waltz

Hope Mitton Annie Clatterbuck Hannah Askew Mackenzie Stahlschmidt Kayde Faupel Alyssa Setticasi Morgan Squyres Paige Ortiz Hannah Themer Tabitha Lareau

IROQUOIS COUNTY SPRING SPORTS MARCH 2017 CONTENTS Cissna Park Baseball .........................................2 Donovan Baseball and Softball .........................................3 Watseka Boys and Girls Track .........................................4 Watseka Baseball and Softball .........................................5

Milford Baseball and Softball .........................................6 Milford Boys and Girls Track .........................................7 Iroquois West Boys and Girls Track .........................................8 Iroquois West Baseball and Softball .........................................9

Central Boys and Girls Track .......................................10 Central Baseball and Softball .......................................11 St. Anne Boys and Girls Track .......................................12 St. Anne Baseball and Softball .......................................13

PBL Boys and Girls Track .......................................14 PBL Baseball and Softball .......................................15

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Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

Watseka Warriors and Lady Warriors

Warriors runners look to continue success of last season

By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The Watseka High School boys track team had a successful year last season and return two state qualifiers in seniors Hunter Lee and Nathan Schroeder. If the Warriors are to replicate or improve upon that success, the upperclassmen need to set a good example for the new team members. “This year’s team looks poised to have another strong season,” Watseka coach Rich Dickte said. The veteran leadership will be counted on to bring the freshmen and sophomores along.” Dickte starts his 23rd season at the helm of the Warriors with a 243-63 record and with high hopes for his squad after a 21-1 meet record last year. “We have many top performers returning,” Dickte said. Chief among those returners is All-Conference performers Michael Hendrickson, a senior, and sophomore Rusty Kuhlmann. “We will be strong in the sprints led by Hunter Lee, and (Back row) Asst. Coach Troy Simpson, Manager Gabe Bevelle, Kelton Musgraves, horizontal jumps led by Michael Hendrickson,” Dickte said. Michael Hendrickson, Anthony Mathes, Drew Hagen, Hunter Lee, Keegan Zack, “We also have a strong 800 runner in Nathan Schroeder. Nathan Conrad, Asst. Coach Caleb Parsons, (middle row) Head Coach Rich Dickte, Rusty Kuhlmann will be a top scorer in the shot put and Rusty Kuhlmann, Hudson Arseneau, Darrell Collins, Adam Stanley, Cameron Wonch, discus.” Dickte also has Keegan Zack and Ethan Keller, who were Garett White, Ethan Keller, Adam Shantz, Asst. Coach Jim Styck, (front row) Jose all-conference as freshmen. Covarrubias, Anthony Quinn, Justin Bunting, Matthew Stichnoth, Nathan Schroeder, The coach is concerned with the how deep his team is in Kade Murray, Lance Dittrich, Justin McTaggart, Hunter Cluver some events. “We will have a lack of depth in both throwing events,” Dickte said. “We also will have a very young distance Zach Mathes, Jordan Trumble and Cole Davenport. as many state qualifiers as possible.” crew.” The goals for this season are to vie for the Twin Valley For the year to be successful, Dickte said, “We will need Dickte is counting on some newcomers, including freshConference title. “Finishing in the top five at sectionals is to stay healthy and see what our freshmen and sophomores man Jose Covarrubias and senior Lance Dittrich, to help can provide.” replace some key losses in graduated seniors Teddy Bethel, always a main goal for us,” Dickte said. “We also strive for

Watseka Mens Track and Field Roster Name Event Age Hudson Arseneau Sprints FR Justin Bunting Distance FR Hunter Cluver Distance JR Darrell Collins Sprints JR Nathan Conrad Sprints SO Jose Covarrubias Sprints FR Lance Dittrich Sprints SR Max Gooding Shot/Discus SO Drew Hagen Sprints/Jumps JR Michael HendricksonSprints/Jumps SR Ethan Keller Sprints/HurdlesSO Rusty Kuhlman Shot/Discus SO Hunter Lee Shot/Discus SR

2016 State Qualifier (3200 Re) Anthony Mathes Sprints SR Justin McTaggart Mid Distance SO Kade Murray Distance FR Kelton Musgraves Sprints SO Bobby Netzband Sprints/ShotPutSO Anthony Quinn Distance SO Rojelio Ruiz Shot/Discus SR Nathan Schroeder Distance SR 2016 State Qualifier (3200 Re) Alex Shantz Sprints SR Adam Stanley Distance JR Matthew Stichnoth Sprints/Shot JR Garret White Sprints FR Cameron Wonch Sprints SO Keegan Zack Sprints/JumpsSO

Watseka Boys and Girls Track schedule 3/4 WL Individuals B&G Purdue U 8 a.m. 3/9 Hoosier Relays B&G Purdue U 4 p.m. 3/24-5PrepTimes Ind ClsscB Bloomington TBA 3/28 PBL/Cen/IW/Mil B&G Watseka 4:30 4/4 STM/PBL/Fisher B&G Paxton 4:30 4/7 GCMS Falcon Invite B Gibson City TBA 4/10 HA/T-P/St.A/Mil B&G Watseka 4:30 4/13 Mom/BH/Be/HA/Mil B&G Watseka 4:30 4/18 Comet Carnival B&G Clifton 4:30 4/19 PBL FS Inv. B Paxton 4:30 4/21 Unity Inv. B Unity 4:30 4/21 Lady Falcon Inv. G Gibson City 4:30 4/25 Watseka FS Inv. B&G Paxton 4:30 4/28 Herscher Inv. B&G Herscher 4 5/1 Girls TVC Meet G Paxton 4 5/2 Herscher/Manteno B Watseka 4:30 5/4 PBL Inv. B Paxton 4:30 5/6 Irish Relays B&G K3 9:30 a.m. 5/8 TVC Meet B Dwight 4 5/11-2 Sectionals G Away TBA 5/15 NG HR Meet B&G UofI 5 5/18-20 State Meet G EIU TBA 5/18-9 Sectionals B Away TBA 5/15-7 State Meet B EIU TBA

Sprints, field events to set foundation for Lady Warriors track team By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Troy Simpson starts his 12th year at the head of Watseka’s girls track program. He led the Lady Warriors to a 17-4 meet record last year and is 163-32 overall. Simpson will rely on the sprints and field events to set the foundation for the team. It will be crucial to replace graduating senior state qualifier and school record holder,

McKensie Hagen. Senior Katie Kidwell, who holds the school record in the 200 meters, returns with state experience to help lead a strong group of young sprinters. Simpson said Kidwell looks to return to state with the goal of bring home state medalist honors. Junior Asia Benson, who went to state as a sophomore, will head up a rebuilding throws team and has eyes to return

(Front row) Taylor Rogers, Rachel Thomas, Megan Martell, Teagan Wuethrich, (second row) Rylie Parsons, Haylee Ketchum, Natalie Sapp, Jena Horchem, Izabelle Daniels, Miryam Bevelle, (third row) Kaitlyn Bell, Brianna Hanners, Asia Benson, Beatha Cluver, (back row) Coach Simpson, Sadie Coleman, Shelby Naese, Emily Bunting, Katiei Kidwell, Hailey Lazarov, Sadee Wuethrich, Coach Styck, Coach Parsons

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Haylee Ketchum SO Katie Kidwell SR Hailey Lazarov FR Megan Martell FR Shelby Naese SR Rylie Parson SO Taylor Rogers FR Natalie Sapp SO Rachel Thomas JR Holly Wingren SO Sadee Wuethrich JR Teagan WuethrichFR GO! FIGHT! WIN!

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It’s a brand-new year to set new goals and reach new heights, students! We hope the school year ahead is filled with exciting challenges, new friends and fond memories. You are the voices of tomorrow, and we’d just like to say that we’re proud of what we’ve heard so far! We wish each and every one of you a successful and enjoyable year.



to state. She hopes to pick up where graduated All-Stater Allee Bunting, who is now at Central Michigan University, left off and put another thrower on the medal stand. She is joined by stand-out junior discus thrower and high jumper Emily Bunting with goals of qualifying in both to make a trip to Charleston as well. “The girls are young with a lot of new faces and we’ll see where each will play a role in this year’s season,” Simpson said. “We are a young squad with some solid veteran leadership. We are eager to see what the upcoming year has in store.” The primary goal Simpson has for his squad is to improve with each meet “in our performances. Every year, that is first and foremost.” Simpson said the girls look ahead to the Twin Valley Conference meet with the goal to compete for a top three finish in the conference. Simpson said the chief rivals for those spots will come from Central and Dwight. “The ultimate goal is to try and qualify as many events for the IHSA State Finals and look at earning some state medalist honors,” Simpson said.


7 March 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports

Page 5

Watseka Warriors and Lady Warriors

Warriors have positive outlook for winning season, replacing graduated seniors By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The Watseka Community High School baseball team will attempt to improve on last season’s 13-18 record in coach Joe Lyznicki’s second year. The Warriors will be without three Sangamon Valley Conference Second Team performers in Kyle Giroux, Jake Schippert and Will Lyznicki, who have all graduated. All saw time on the mound, so that will be a crucial area for the Warriors. The Warriors must find replacements for eight graduated seniors. Watseka does have an SVC Honorable Mention player returning in pitcher Drew LaVoie, who batted .338 last year. Other returning starters are Gary Bass at second base, Ben Lyznicki

at shortstop and Jaden Downs, who can play both infield and outfield. Brendan Fletcher is a promising newcomer Coach Lyznicki will count on to provide innings on the mound. There is a new rule in place regarding the number of pitches players can throw, so there will be a challenge for the coaches to come up with ideas how to portion out innings. “I have a positive outlook as there is a lot of young talent,” Coach Lyznicki said. The strength of the Warriors should be their defense. With all of the new players on the team, chemistry will be vital. There are a total of 28 players out for the varsity and junior varsity, so Coach Lyznicki will have to work on melding the talent for the best possible results.

Watseka Girls Softball schedule Date Opponent Location Time 03/13 Salt Fork Catlin 4:30 p.m. 03/14 Donovan Watseka 4:30 p.m. 03/17 Fisher Watseka 4:30 p.m. 03/20 Grant Park Watseka 4:30 p.m. 03/22 GCMS Gibson City 4:30 p.m. 03/23 St. Anne St. Anne 4:30 p.m. 03/28 Central Watseka 4:30 p.m. 03/30 Central Clifton 4:30 p.m. 03/31 GSW Gardner 4:30 p.m. 04/03 Armstrong-Potomac Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/04 PBL Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/06 PBL Paxton 4:30 p.m. 04/07 Tri-Point Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/10 Grace Christian Aroma Park 4:30 p.m. 04/11 South Newton Kentland 4:30 p.m. 04/13 South Newton Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/17 Geo-RF Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/28 Dwight Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/20 Dwight Dwight 4:30 p.m. 04/21 St. Anne Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/22 Milford Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/25 Iroquois West Gilman 4:30 p.m. 04/27 Iroquois West Watseka 4:30 p.m. 05/02 Oakwood Watseka 4:30 p.m. 05/05 Donovan Donovan 4:30 p.m. 05/06 Hoopeston Area Watseka 10 a.m. 05/08 St. Thomas More Watseka 4:30 p.m. 05/09 Momence Momence 4:30 p.m. 05/11 Momence Watseka 4:30 p.m. 05/12 Grant Park Grant Park 4:30 p.m.

(Front row) Nathan Ripley, Drew LaVoie, Levi Foster, Ben Lyznicki, Dylan Thompson, (middle row) Reese Inman, Joey Jaskula, Gary Bass, Jayden Hemp, Matt Smith, Jaden Downs, (back row) Sean Curtin, Kenzie Crabtree, Jack Fegan, Brock Horner, Tim Wright, Brendan Fletcher, Jake Lyznicki, Coach Joe Lyznicki

Warriors Baseball roster 3 Mason Gibson 9 4 Jonathan Yelenick 9 6 Nathan Ripley 12 7 Jack Fegan 10 8 Jaden Downs 11 9 Bretten Walwer 9 10 Lukas Ball 9 11 Brendan Fletcher 11 12 Joey Jaskula 11 13 Levi Foster 11 14 Brock Horner 9 15 Nick Albright 9 16 Tyler Clark 9 17 Erik Raymer 9 18 Dylan Thompson 10 19 Matthew Canady 10 20 Gary Bass 12 22 Drew LaVoie 12 23 Ben Lyznicki 10 24 Jayden Hemp 10 27 Matt Smith 11 30 Andrew Soucie 9 32 Reese Inman 11 34 Tim Wright 10 35 Jacob Sparling 11 38 Caden Giroux 9 42 Jack Naese 9 44 Dylan Harris 9

Watseka Boys Baseball schedule Date Opponent Location Time 03/13 Milford Milford 4:30 p.m. 03/14 Beecher Beecher 4:30 p.m. 03/20 Grant Park Watseka 4:30 p.m. 03/23 St. Anne St. Anne 4:30 p.m. 03/25 Bismarck-Henning Watseka 10 a.m. 03/28 Central Watseka 4:30 p.m. 03/30 Central Clifton 4:30 p.m. 03/31 GSW Gardner 4:30 p.m. 04/01 Hoopeston Area Hoopeston 10 a.m. 04/04 PBL Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/06 PBL Paxton 4:30 p.m. 04/07 Tri Point Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/08 GCMS Gibson City 10 a.m. 04/10 Grace Christian Aroma Park 4:30 p.m. 04/11 South Newton Kentland 4:30 p.m. 04/13 South Newton Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/18 Dwight Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/20 Dwight Dwight 4:30 p.m. 04/21 St. Anne Watseka 4:30 p.m. 04/22 Milford Watseka 10 a.m. 04/25 Iroquois West Gilman 4:30 p.m. 04/26 Herscher Watseka 4:30 p.m. Watseka Softball roster 1 Summer Cramer 11 SS 04/27 Iroquois West Gilman 4:30 p.m. 3 Amanda Musselman 12 OF 05/02 Cissna Park Watseka 4:30 p.m. 5 Blair Hankey 12 C 05/04 Cissna Park Cissna Park 4:30 p.m. 7 Kennedy Bauer 10 CF, C, P 05/05 Donovan Donovan 4:30 p.m. 8 Grace Smith 9 OF 05/08 St. Thomas More Watseka 4:30 p.m. 10 Taylor Hotaling 12 P 12 Kadyn Stevens 9 OF 05/09 Momence Momence 4:30 p.m. 14 Madison Bauer 12 1B 05/11 Momence Watseka 4:30 p.m. 17 Natalie Harris 11 2B, OF 05/12 Grant Park Grant Park 4:30 p.m. 21 Magan Harris 10 26 Courtney Thompson10 31 Cassie Peters 10

3B, P 2B, OF OF

Nucleus of Lady Warriors softball teams returns for 2017 season

By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Coming off of a 22-8-1 record in his 14th season as coach of the Watseka High School softball team, Barry Bauer has high hopes for the Lady Warriors. “We have a good nucleus of players returning including all three pitchers that saw action last year,” Bauer said. Taylor Hotaling saw the majority of action in the circle, compiling a 20-8 record with 225 strikeouts in 183 innings pitched. Magan Harris, who had a .410 batting average with 13 doubles, six home runs, 39 runs batted in, 42 runs scored and 12 stolen bases, and Kennedy Bauer (.330 BA, three homers, 25 RBI, 10 SB) each picked up a win as well. All three earned recognition last season, making All-Sangamon Valley Conference and All-Area teams as did Madison Bauer and Summer Cramer. Catcher Blair Hankey was AllSVC with a .295 clip in the batter’s box. Madison Bauer and Cramer led the way at the plate. Cramer sported a .529 batting average with 36 stolen bases and 49 runs scored. Bauer had a .457 average at the dish with 12 doubles five home runs and 47 RBI. “I think this group can score runs again like we did last year,” the coach said. Watseka has set a goal of winning its first regional title since the 2007 season. “To do that, we must consistently improve throughout the season,” Bauer said. (Back row) Coach Barry Bauer, Blair Hankey, Madison Bauer, Kennedy Bauer, Cassie The Lady Warriors will be without outfielder Kassidy Berry, Katelyn Davis, and Mya LaVoie, who all have gradu- Peters, Kadyn Stevens, Grace Smith, (front row) Magan Harris, Courtney Thompson, Natalie Harris, Summer Cramer, Amanda Mussleman, Taylor Hotaling ated. davis and LaVoie manned second base. “We have big holes to fill at second base and the corner few underclassmen step up and contribute,” the coach said. There will be areas that must be shored up for success this outfield positions and we do not have a lot of girls in the Courtney Thompson is a sophomore who could help year. “We will need to limit our defensive errors and limit program,” Coach Bauer said. replace the departed. She had three hits in 10 varsity plate mental mistakes to beat the top teams in the area,” Coach With only 14 girls out for the team., Watseka must “stay appearances last year. Bauer said. healthy, improve on our defense, put the ball in play, have a


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Page 6

Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

Milford Bearcats and Lady Cats

Milford Baseball schedule March 13 Watseka Milford March 16 Dwight Milford March 20 IW Gilman March 21 Central Central March 22 Tri-Point Tri-Point March 27 PBL Milford March 28 St. Anne St. Anne March 30 K3 Trinity Milford March 31 Westville Milford April 3 Salt Fork Milford April 4 S. Newton S. Newton April 5 Bis-Henn Bismarck April 7 Oakwood Oakwood April 10 Geo-Rid Fm Milford April 17 Arm-Potom Armstrong April 19 Hoopeston Hoopeston April 21 Westville Westville April 22 Watseka Watseka April 24 Salt Fork Jamaica April 26 Bis-Henn Milford April 27 Schlarman Danville May 1 Geo-Rid Fm GRF May 2 Oakwood Milford May 5 Schlarman Milford May 8 Arm-Potom Milford May 9 Ill. Lutheran Milford May 12 Hoopeston Milford Milford Baseball roster

Nick Allen Caleb Atwood Alex Barney Kaleb Harris

FR FR FR FR Klaytin Hunsinger FR Tanner Sobkoviak FR Mason White FR Jared Schunke SO

4:30 4:45 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 10am 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30

Bearcats intend to live up to motto of mental toughness, extra effort By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Milford High School baseball coach Greg DeWerff and his team have a motto for this season and it is encapsulated by the following letters — MTXE: “Mental Toughness Xtra Effort”. “We must live up to it,” DeWerff said. It stands for mental toughness and extra effort. If the Bearcats are successful at doing that, they stand to improve on last year’s 16-14 record. DeWerff has simple goals for his team, one for practice — Be better than when you showed up — and one for games — Win this pitch. DeWerff will be looking to five returning players in Ty Clark, Tyler Buhrmester, Austin Price, Dylan Payne and Brady Marshino plus the upperclassmen newcomers, to be leaders on

the Bearcats. Seniors Kyle McNally and Dalton Morgan, junior Tyler Schmidt and sophomore Jared Schunke will be key new faces on the team. “We have seven freshmen who are eager to learn and contribute,” DeWerff said. The newcomers will have a strong core of committed, determined baseball players to look to. “They do not complain, make excuses, or cause drama that would be detrimental to our team,” DeWerff said. “That focus has created a culture that is directed towards our common goal: win in the classroom, win in the community, and win on the diamond. We will create a strong foundation by committing to be the best teammate possible.” With the new rules limiting the number of pitches thrown, DeWerff is prepared. “We have a number of pitchers who will give us the ability

to compete on the mound every pitch, every inning.” DeWerff said he and his coaches are “blessed to be around this group of young men.” The coach appreciates their approach to the game. “It has created an energetic, focused culture. If we keep our focus on the process of getting better each day, we will set ourselves up for great things to happen.” The Bearcats will have to step up in Vermillion Valley Conference play. “There are several strong programs, year in and year out,” DeWerff said, mentioning Oakwood, Hoopeston, Westville, Georgetown and Salt Fork. “Collectively, we have to come in every single day with energy, focus, and the drive to be better at the end of each day,” DeWerff said. “Individually, every player has to be resilient in concentrating all of their efforts on the process of developing as a ballplayer.”

Brady Marshino SO Tyler Buhrmester JR Tyler Schmidt JR Jake Thompson JR Ty Clark SR Kyle McNally SR Dalton Morgan SR Dylan Payne SR Austin Price SR

(Top row) Ty Clark, Austin Price, Dylan Payne, Tyler Buhrmester, Jared Schunke, Tyler Schmidt, Dalton Morgan, Kyle McNally, (bottom row) Caleb Atwood, Mason White, Alex Barney, Klaytin Hunsinger, Nick Allen, Tanner Sobkoviak. Missing from photo: Brady Marshino and Kaleb Harris.

Combined program intends to be above .500 this season

By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Stephanie McCall starts her career as a head coach by guiding the Milford and Cissna Park combined softball team. McCall has high expectations for her squad. She wants the Lady Bearcats to improve on last year’s 10-13 record. “We would like to be over .500 this year,” she said. McCall has set a goal to be at the top of the Vermilion Valley Conference standings. To do that, the main competition that she sees will be Bismarck-Henning and Salt Fork. The Bearcats will be without graduated senior Brittyn Franklyn, who provided four home runs last year with a

Mar 16 Mar 20 Mar 23 Mar 27 Mar 30 Mar 31 April 3 April 4 April 5 April 7 April 10 April 17 April 18 April 21 April 22 April 24 April 26 April 27 May 1 May 5 May 8 May 9 May 12 May 13

Milford Softball schedule Donovan Donovan 4:30 IW IW 4:30 Tri-Point Piper City 4:30 PBL Milford 4:30 K3 Trinity Milford 4:30 Westville Milford 4:30 Salt Fork Milford 4:30 S. Newton S. Newton 4:30 Bis-Henn Bismarck 4:30 Oakwood Oakwood 4:30 Geo-RF Milford 4:30 Armstrong AP 4:30 HoopestonHoopseton 4:30 Westville Westville 4:30 Watseka Watseka 10 a.m. Salt Fork Salt Fork 4:30 Bis-Henn Milford 4:30 SchlarmanDanville 4:30 Geo-RF GTRF 4:30 Schlarman Milford 4:30 Armstrong Milford 4:30 Oakwood Milford 4:30 Hoopeston Milford 4:30 Central Milford 10 a.m.

.382 batting average and a .647 slugging percentage, One thing McCall’s team must do to achieve its goals and have a successful season is “learn to be selfless and confident.” The Bearcats will be a young team with six incoming freshmen and four upperclassmen. “The girls are motivated and excited about the upcoming season,” McCall said. Seniors Lily Habing and Madelyn Garrison return for

Milford Softball roster Madelyn Garrison SR

Lily Habing SR Cyandra Bennett SR Jordan Fritch JR Brittney Bailey JR Lydnsey Leitz JR Hailey Lucht SO Taya Kissack SO

Kendall McCalla SO Jenna Muench SO Emily Seggebruch FR Samantha Conley FR Jaiden Lafond FR Maya McEwen FR Reyse Mussard FR Kaylee Warren FR Jakki Mowrey FR

the Bearcats as does junior Jordan Fritch. Habing patrols centerfield and “saved games with her catches” according to McCall. She had an on-base percentage of .338. Garrison batted .300 and had 15 runs batted in last season. Fritch donned the catcher’s gear behind the plate and wielded a lethal bat at the plate, batting .353 and reaching base in half of her plate appearances. McCall sees Kaylee Warren at pitcher and Sam Conley at second base as key newcomers.

(Top row) Lillian Habing, Madelyn Garrison , Lyndsey Leitz, Brittney Bailey, Hailey Lucht, Maya McEwen, Kendall McCalla, Taya Kissack, Jaiden Lafond, (bottom row) Jenna Muench, Samantha Conley, Reyse Mussard, Cyandra Bennett, Jordan Fritch, Emily Seggebruch, Jacklyn Mowrey, Kaylee Warren

7 March 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports

Page 7

Milford Bearcats and Lady Cats Practice, academics in forefront of Bearcats track program By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter With the first season of co-op for the boys track team under its belt, the Cissna Park and Milford high schools can look for better performances this season. “This year, we are focused on practice effort, practice technique, and performance and improvement through the season at each meet,” coach JD Jennings said. Practicing for those meets will be a challenge in the everchanging weather of Illinois. That is something that won’t be as much of a concern in the future. “Next year, we will be in our new school with multiple nice long hallways,” Jennings said. The coach has a goal in mind for his team that has nothing to do with the weather or their performance in it. “We want to earn the IHSA State All Academic Team award for the second year in a row,” Jennings said. The coach has senior Dakota Stevens leading the way. Stevens was the Vermilion Valley Conference champion last year as a junior in the 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles with times of 15.9 seconds and 41.3 respectively. He was third in those two events at sectionals. he was the team’s point leader last season. He will share his hurdles knowledge with freshman Jakai Martin. Other seniors and their best events are Joe Taylor with a 5-foot-8 high jump, Zack Hummel with a 19-foot long jump and Chaz Reetz who has tossed the shot 41 feet and the discus 120. “Dane Garfield has a great work ethic,” Jennings said of Boys Front L-R Noah Garcia, Blade Rowell, Joe Taylor, Zack Hummel, Dane Gaffield, another senior. “The five seniors will provide leadership and Jakai Martin, Boys Back L-R Noah Virklan, Dakota Stevens, Lucas McKinley, Garrett mentor our younger team members. Each of them have at Gray, Chaz Reetz least two standout individual events.” There are two juniors, three sophomores and three freshWith just 13 boys out from the two schools, depth is Jennings said. “We may struggle early on to compete for men on the team as well. minimal. team points this year, but we will find the best events for the   “We should have a solid sprint relay team and the team is “Our versatility in all of the events is somewhat limited,” team and for the individual.”     extremely coachable,” Jennings said.

Milford (Boys, Girls, JV, ALL) track schedule Milford Boys Track roster Dane Gaffield SR Zack Hummel SR Chaz Reetz SR Dakota Stevens SR Joe Taylor SR Lucas McKinley JR Zach Truesdell JR Erik First SO Noah Garcia SO Noah Virklan SO Garrett Gray FR Jakai Martin FR Blade Rowell FR

Milford Girls Track roster Emily Duis JR Lorin Gregory JR Heather Scott JR Gabby Wessels JR Anna Hylbert SO Anna Jennings SO Morgan Kaeb SO Hope Longest SO Sarah Teig SO Erica Walder SO Autumn Wells SO Isabelle Cohn FR Libby Hovel FR

March 28 March 30 April 4 April 6 April 10 April 11 April 13 April 17 April 24 April 25 April 28 May 4 May 5 May 8 May 11-12 May 15 May 15 May 18-20 May 18-19 May 25-27

ALL Watseka 4:30 ALL PBL 4:30 ALL PBL 4:30 ALL Catlin 4 ALL Watseka 4:30 ALL PBL 4:30 ALL Watseka 4:30 ALL GCMS 4:30 ALL GCMS 4:30 JV Watseka Invt 4 Some Rensell Invt 4:45 Boys PBL Invt 4:30 Girls SJO Invt 4:30 Girls Conf Catlin 4:30 Girls Sect PBL 4 Boys Conf Catlin 4:30 NG HR Meet UofI 4:30 Girls State EIU TBA Boys Sect PBL 4 Boys State EIU TBA

Jennings: Milford, CP girls track program’s potential looks good By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The Milford and Cissna Park high schools will again be sharing a track program. Coach JD Jennings has a positive outlook on the potential of the joint program between the two schools. “Last season was our first year in the co-op (Milford and Cissna Park) and filled with hype and excitement,” Jennings said. This season will be more focused on results. Although there are no senior girls out for the team, the addition of the three junior “’newcomers’ should help us compete and score in every event this year,” Jennings said. Emily Duis, Gabby Wessels and Heather Scott will provide needed depth to the squad along with sophomore Anna Hylbert. They will join with a number of returning athletes who performed well last year as freshmen. Anna Jennings was the team’s point leader last year. Her best time in the 800 meters was 2 minutes, 36 seconds. She was part of the all-conference 4x800 meter relay team with Morgan Kaeb, Erica Walker and Sarah Teig. Kaeb excels in the 300 low hurdles and has run it in 52 seconds. Walder has a triple jump of 31 feet. Teig has ran the 1600 in less than six minutes. “Our returning team members performed well last year at invites, conference and sectional meets,” Jennings said. “This group is young but determined, coachable and selfless.” (Front row) Lorin Gregory, Erica Walder, Gabby Wessels, Anna Hylbert, Anna Some of the team members have been away from the sport Jennings, Hope Longest, (back row) Sarah Teig, Heather Scott, Emily Duis, Morgan for two or more years, so being coachable will be crucial, as Kaeb, Libby Hovel, Autumn Wells will patience. “It may take us some time to dial in our field event freshmen Isabelle Cohn and Libby Hovel. be creative when practicing indoors due to the cold and wet performances this season,” Jennings said. “However, I am “We want each team member to improve throughout the Illinois weather,” Jennings said. confident we will do so.” season and to peak for our conference, sectional, and state Jennings has another goal for his squad. “We want to earn Other team members expected to contribute are Lorin meets,” Jennings said.   the IHSA State All Academic Team award for the second Gregory, Hope Longest, Jenna Muench, Autumn Wells and The weather may hinder some development. “We have to year in a row.”

Page 8

Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

Iroquois West Raiders and Lady Raiders

(Front row) Summer Kimbro, Jadyn Baker, Landon Hobbs, Omar Camarena, Max Grant, Sam Andrade, Imanol Salazar, Zachary Gerling, Lili Rodrigez, Kaylee Carmona, (middle row) Tyra Mueller, Dieze Camerna, Austin Martinez, Kevin Butler, Jose Gonzalez, Dieze Camerna, Scott Mayer, Jacob Connor, Dominik Khattar, Markese Gaytan, Jeff McCurry, Ashley Aguilera, Olivia Gaytan, Munoz, Nino Papunashvili, Sam Andrade, (back row) Elizabeth Conrad, Evolin Solorzano, Devin Gray, Noah Schnurr, Devin Kuchel, Thomas MacDonald, Zach Rice, Jarette Ritzma, Tristin Massey, Jacob Reitz, Vincent Hayes (not pictured) Jorge Jimenez, Julissa Garcia

Upperclassmen key to this year’s season By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter There are 34 athletes out for the Iroquois West High School boys track team. Head coach Bruce Kunsch has 15 of those as upperclassmen. “We return a number of key performers from last year so we are looking forward to a big season,” said Kunsch, who will be at the helm of the program for his 13th year. One of those ability to return is up in the air. “”Two-time state qualifier Markese Gaytan got hurt during football and was not able to play basketball because of an injury that required surgery,” Kunsch said. “If he comes back, it may be mid-season before he is up to par.” Gaytan was part of a strong sprint relay team that included Jacob Connor and Jeff McCurry. There 4x100 meter relay team made it to state last year. “If we can find a fourth

Date 03/28 03/30 04/03 04/06 04/07 04/11 04/13 04/18 04/19 04/21 04/24 04/25 04/28 05/01 05/04 05/08 05/11 05/12 05/15 05/19

Iroquois West CoEd Track Schedule Opponent Location Time Wat/PBL/Cent/Don Watseka 4:30 p.m. PBL Paxton 4:30 p.m. GCMS Gibson City 4:30 p.m. Fisher Fisher 4:30 p.m. GCMS Invite Gibson City 4:30 p.m. Dwight Dwight 4:30 p.m. Fisher Fisher 4:30 p.m. Comet Carnival Central 4:30 p.m. PBL Boys Invite Paxton 4:30 p.m. GCMS Girls Invite Gibson City 4:30 p.m. Central Central 4:30 p.m. Watseka F/S Invite Watseka 4:15 p.m. Herscher Invite Herscher 4 p.m. SVC Girls PBL 4 p.m. PBL Boys Invite Paxton 4:30 p.m. SVC Boys Dwight 4 p.m. South Newton Kentland 5 p.m. Girls Sectional TBA 4 p.m. Champaign All Area Urbana HS 5 p.m. Boys Sectional TBA 4 p.m.

Iroquois West Girls Track Roster Age Sr Sr Sr Jr Jr So

leg, we should be strong there again,” Kunsch said. Kunsch foresees Trysten Massey and Jacob Reitz as strong performers in the discus. “Sam Andrade and newcomer Michael Hartke should help in the weights as well,” Kunsch said. Noah Wilwohl, Noah Schnurr and Thomas MacDonald will bolster the Raiders’ middle to long distance events. “Jorge Jimenez has been a middle to long distance runner in the past, but we may have to look at him as a sprinter this year,” Kunsch said. “We will just have to see.” Kunsch will spend the season finding the right spots for all of his team members. “We have big holes to fill in certain areas that we are just going to have to try and see what works the best for the team,” the coach said. “It may take some time to work everything out, but we should be a force by season’s end.”

Name Elizabeth Conrad Andre Bedheld Tyra Mueller Summer Kimbro Julissa Garcia Ashley Aguilera

So Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr

Joey Kimbro Lindsey Songer Monica Mischke Kaylee Carmona Jadyn Baker Nicole Parkhill Colleen Mischke Nini P. Olivia Gaytan Lili Rodriguez

Age Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Jr Jr Jr Jr Jr Jr Jr Jr So So So So So So So So So So Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr Fr

Iroquois West Boys Track Roster Name Event Sam Andrade Weights Jacob Connor Sprints, relays Markese Gaytan Sprints, mid distance, relays Gabe Gomez Weights Jorge Jimenez Sprints, middle distance, relays Austin Martinez Sprints, middle distance Luis Melgoza Middle distance, long distance Devon Gray Dominick Khatter Hurdles, sprints, long jump Juan Leon Middle distance, long distance, triple jump Thomas MacDonald Middle distance, relays Scott Mayer Hurdles, middle distance Jacob Reitz Weights Brandon Shelby Noah Wilwohl Middle distance, long distance, relays Omar Camarena Jose Gonzalez Max Grant Sprints, relays Michael Hartke Weights Josias Irving Weights, middle distance Trysten Massey Weights, middle distance, relays Jarrett Ritzma Sprints, relays, high jump Noah Schnurr Long distance, relays Brock Small Middle distance, long distance, high jump Andy Truman Dieze Camerna Devin Zachary Gerling Vincent Hayes Middle distance, long distance, relays Landon Hobbs Middle distance, long distance, relays Kevin Butler Sprints, long jump, relays Elijah Kimbro Joey Kimbro Zach Rice

Large freshman numbers to train with five experienced runners By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The Iroquois West High School girls track team will be spree this season. Shirley Reed will start her ninth season as coach with just five upperclassmen on the roster. “I have only two returning seniors,” Reed said. Those two are Elizabeth Conrad and Tyra Mueller. Reed said they will be the captains of the team. Another senior in Andre Bedheld will also be on the team. “I have three other returning athletes,” Reed said. Those are Summer Kimbro, Julissa Garcia and Ashley Aguilera. Her team will be young and inexperienced. There are two sophomores. “The rest of the field will be incoming freshmen,”

Reed said. That field includes nine freshmen. Reed has her work cut out for her. She said that this will be a building season for the Lady Raiders. “There is a great deal of inexperience,” Reed said. “We have a lot of girls who have never run track before.”  Reed listed just one goal for her and her squad. “We want to put together an effective team,” she said. That has presented a problem for the coach with the snowy weather. “The first day of practice we had snow, and some girls were absent for undetermined reasons,” Reed said.    With the youth and inexperience Reed’s objective is to “get them in shape for the first track meet at Watseka. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.”


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7 March 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports

Page 9

Iroquois West Raiders and Lady Raiders Iroquois West Softball Roster Name # Pos. Maya Sanchez 1 OF Marissa Pool 2 2B Tayler Fairley 6 1B/C/OF Navaeh Blanchette 7 OF Lauren Cultra 8 INF/OF Maddy Trammell 9 OF Brooke Condon 10 2B/OF Andrea Santoyo 11 2B/OF Lucy Korzen 12 OF Taylor McTaggart 13 2B Alexis Schiewe 15 OF Grace Schroeder 16 SS/P Alexis Fred 17 OF Rachel Carney 18 OF/P Makayla Smith 21 OF (Front row) Tayler Fairley, Lauren Cultra, Taylor McTaggart, Grace Schroeder, Rachel Sky Schelde 23 OF Carney, Meara Tilstra, Maya Sanchez, Lucy Korzen, Navaeh Blanchette, Marissa Pool, Jacey Stiers 28 C/2B Andrea Santoyo (back row) Jessica Nephew, Dyanna Hinojosa, Mikayla Smith, Alexis Meara Tilstra 31 P/SS/OF Fred, Sky Schelde, Alexis Schiewe, Maddy Trammell, Madison Hull, Jazmyn Rios Jessica Nephew 32 1B Dyanna Hinojosa 33 OF Madison Hull 44 3B/OF Iroquois West Softball schedule

Four fourth-year starters to lead IW softball team By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Moving up from the Iroquois West High School assistant softball coach to the head coach will be Cam Stone for the 2017 season. Stone will inherit a squad that has four upperclassmen starting their fourth year of varsity in Grace Schroeder, Tayler Fairly, Meara Tilstra and Rachel Carney. Schroeder was a first team pick in the Sangamon Valley Conference and Tilstra was second team last year. Key newcomers Maya Sanchez, Lauren Cultra and Madison Hull will help offset the loss of graduated seniors Skylar Small, Savannah Mims and Ariel Medina. Stone has seen his team hit extremely well, “we just have to be able to hit consistently.” Repetition will be important. “The girls have been practicing hard in the first part of the season and we have had a great turnout,” Stone said. There are 21 players listed on the IW roster. “There is a different feel as far as the energy level this year.” The Lady Raiders will have to overcome a lack of pitching depth. “We lack a true number

two starter and will need to develop some girls to give Meara some breaks,” Stone said. The coach also said the mental aspect of the game must improve for his team to be successful. “We were in too many games last year, but we ended up costing ourselves with mental errors. We will be well prepared and ready to go, no matter the opponent. The girls have a work ethic that is second to none and they will strive to be the most well-rounded softball team they can be.” Stone expects Watseka and Dwight to contend for the SVC title. “Both have many key returning players and both teams are very well coached.” IW is more concerned with winning a regional title. “Our seniors were close to winning one in their sophomore season and have been striving since that loss to win a title.” Stone expects his squad to be competitive in every contest. “We lack experience, but my hope is that we can keep the team morale up and fight through the tough times to be ready to make a run at a regional title.”

Date 03/16 03/20 03/24 03/28 03/30 03/31 04/04 04/13 04/18 04/20 04/22 04/22 04/24 04/25 04/27 04/28 05/02 05/04 05/05 05/06 05/06 05/08 05/09 05/11 05/15-20 05/23-27 05/29 06/2-3

Opponent Blue Ridge Milford IL Lutheran Momence Momence Trinity Academy Central Donovan South Newton South Newton Okaw Valley Fisher Tri-Point Watseka Watseka St. Anne PBL PBL Trinity Academy LeRoy Schlarman GSW Dwight Dwight Regionals Sectional Super Sectional State Finals

Location Farmer City Onarga Onarga Onarga Momence Kankakee Central Onarga Onarga Kentland Fisher Fisher Kempton Onarga Watseka St. Anne Paxton Onarga Onarga Danville Danville Gardner Dwight Onarga TBA TBA TBA East Peoria

Year Jr So Sr So Jr So So Sr Jr Jr Jr Sr Fr Jr Jr Fr So Jr So Fr Fr

Time 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. TBA TBA TBA TBA

Raiders looks to improve on last year’s 12-9 season By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The Iroquois West High School baseball team will have a number of unseasoned players this year. “With the majority of players lacking real varsity experience, our boys will need to get over the jitters early on in the season and learn to compete at a higher level,” IW coach Sam Rhodes said. Rhodes guided the Raiders to a 12-9 mark last year, but loses elite pitcher Payton Stiers from that team. Stiers was a first team pick in the Sangamon Valley Conference and an All-Area selection. The Raiders will have two second team SVC picks returning in Eli Fink and Will Clark. Rhodes hopes Alexis Ramirez is a newcomer who will provide key contributions. The Raiders have 11 seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and a freshman on the varsity team. Rhodes sees PBL as the team to beat in the conference. If the Raiders are to compete, Rhodes will have to see his team compete at a high level. “We lost five or six starters from last year and will be fielding a number of untested players,” Rhodes said. The coach does see some positive attributes in his squad. “The current group has been as competitive as any group I have had in the past,” Rhodes said. “That mentally should help as grow throughout the season.” With an inexperienced team, it will be integral for Rhodes to find ways for his squad to improve and better themselves. “We have to get better with every practice and every game. we have to get better every day,” Rhodes said. “We need to avoid complacency and put ourselves in position to win.” If the Raiders are able to do that, they will be able to achieve their goal of competing for a regional crown.

Date 03/16 Iroquois West Baseball Roster 03/20 03/24 Name # Age 03/28 Alexis Ramirez 1 Jr 03/30 Eli Fink 2 Sr 03/31 Josiah Harkins 4 So 04/04 Tibaldo Alvarez 5 Fr 04/06 Cole Stone 6 So 04/07 Will Clark 7 Sr 04/11 Corey Schunke 8 Sr 04/13 Andrew Medina 9 Jr 04/18 Tony Gielczewski 10 Sr 04/20 Cris Gonzalez 11 Sr 04/21 Max Price 14 Sr 04/22 Justin Kuipers 15 Jr 04/25 Austin Saathoff 17 Jr 04/27 Sean Rogers 21 Jr 04/28 Clayton Thorne 22 Sr 05/02 Evan Conrad 24 Sr 05/04 Mike Waver 34 Sr 05/05 Dalton Reed 44 Sr 05/08 Roberto Valdez 47 Sr 05/09 05/11 05/17-05/20 05/24-05/27 05-29 06/02-06/03

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Iroquois West Baseball Schedule Opponent Blue Ridge Milford IL Lutheran Momence Momence Trinity Academy Central Central Prairie Central Cissna Park Cissna Park South Newton South Newton Ridgeview Fisher Watseka Watseka St. Anne PBL PBL Grace Christ Academy Gardner S. Wilmington Dwight Dwight Regionals Sectionals Super-Sectionals State Finals

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Time 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. TBA TBA TBA

Page 10

Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

Central Comets and Lady Comets

Meents will jump start, inspire boys track team

By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Having Jared Meents make it to state and then to the finals of the triple jump last season as a junior at Central High School has inspired the Comets. “This team is willing to work hard and has seen how the success of having a single event qualify for state can motivate the team to achieve,” said Dave Ladehoff, who will once again be at the helm of the program after the retirement of last year’s coach. Meemts finish last year has inspired the team and Ladehoff will count on his abilities to fuel the Comets. “Jared is in position to return to state in the triple jump,” the coach said. “With him, we are focusing on the 4x200 relay team, the 4x400, and 4x8 to make sectionals hard for other teams.” Ladehoff also has Jon Hendricks, who was a conference finalist in the high jump as a junior, junior Kollin Krumweide and sophomore Travis Felchlia, who were integral parts of sectional-placing relays and Jeremy Snejberg, who placed at sectionals individually in the three longest-distance running events. “We have to do the right things at all times to make the most gains from last year,” Ladehoff said. Ladehoff will have three incoming freshmen with impressive resumes joining the team in Isaiah Ditta, Dane Thorne and Jefferson Caspary. Caspary and Thorne made state in the IESA. “We are looking to incorporate a large number of underclassmen into key relay positions to make a bid at winning events at Sectionals,” Ladehoff said. Central has a history in the 300-meter low hurdles. “That event is currently under some serious competition,” Ladehoff said. “The 100, 400, 1600, and 3200 can all be in play with this group of runners.” The coach has implemented some new training methods

to help make up for a late start on the season. “We are in a season of change with our practices,” Ladehoff said. “Included this year are more morning training, devoted weight training, and loads of drills to improve our competitiveness the day of meets. With a late start to the season, making up for lost time is a priority while staying injury free.” There was a late change in the coaching that was finally settled on Feb. 27. “After our meet March 14 at ReedCuster, I have a sense on what I have for this season and I’m excited for our prospects.”

Returning champions to anchor Lady Comets’ quest for more sectional titles By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The Central High School girls track team is under the stewardship of Rebecca Swigert-Fenton and a goal for the Lady Comets will be to win a third straight sectional championship. “Like every year, our goal is to win a sectional and advance as many as possible to State,” Swigert-Fenton said. “This will be a very difficult feat, which makes it all the more exciting to chase.” They will not have Clare Peters and Hanna Gray, who each made state in four events and were members of the state championship 4x400 meters team. They will have Emery Podowicz, who medaled in four events at state as a junior last year, and Andrea Pace, who qualified for state in four events as a junior. Podowicz and Pace were also members of the state title-winning 4x4. “Our strength is that we have some key returning veterans who know how to compete and have some unfinished business,” Swigert-Fenton said. “We lose a lot of points with

(Front row) Jeremy Snejberg, Travis Felchlia, Caleb Kent, Alex Winkel, Joey Bernard, Dominic Panozzo, (middle row) Caden Chamness, Kollin Krumwiede, Isaiah Ditta, Trevor Swanson, Brenden Brosseau, Dane Thorne, Carson McGill, (back row) Coach Dave Ladehoff, Jefferson Caspary, Tyler James, Jon Panozzo, Kodie Willis, Jacob Kennell, Caleb Toberman

3/14 3/18 3/20 3/24 3/28 graduation, but our versatility should help us fill some gaps. 3/30 Hurdles and relays are our strengths and we also look to 4/5 continue to build on some points in the field events.” 4/7 There are 24 athletes out for the team so Swigert-Fenton 4/11 has a lot bodies to choose from in filling relays. 4/13 “We have a good mix of youth and seniors,” the coach said. “While we lost a lot from last year’s team, I’m excited 4/17 to see who is going to step up and fill some of those gaps. 4/18 The girls are hungry to prove themselves.” 4/19 It will be vital to see who steps up because Swigert-Fen4/21 ton sees tough opponents in the league. 4/21 “Our conference is very strong. Watseka has several key returners, especially in the field events, and PBL is very 4/24 well-balanced as well. Dwight and Cissna Park are part of 4/25 very successful co-op programs.” 4/26 If the Lady Comets are to repeat it will be imperative that 4/28 they avoid injury. 5/1 “Obviously staying healthy is key, but we also must be willing to try new events and score in the events we are sup- 5/2 posed to,” Swigert-Fenton said. 5/5 5/6 5/8 5/12 5/15 5/19

Central Co-Ed Track schedule Reed Custer Ind Meet away 4:30 Comet Class Invite (boys) away 10 Clinton Maroons Ind (girls) away 4 Indoor state track meet away TBA Watseka High School away 4:30 PBL High School away 4:30 GCMS and others (girls) home 4:15 GCMS Falcon Invite (boys)away 4:30 Coal City, Bishop Mac away 4:30 Peotone High School home 4:30 Manteno High School away 4:15 Comet Carnival home 4 PBL Fr-Soph Invite (boys) away 4 GCMS Falcon Invite (girls) away 4 Manteno Invite (boys) away 4 St. Anne, Momence, IW home 4:30 Watseka F/S Invite away 4:15 St. Anne High School away 4 Herscher Invite away 4 TVC Girls Meet away 4 Reed-Custer High School away 4:30 Lady Spartan Classic (girls)away 4:30 Irish Relays away 4 TVC Boys Meet away 4 Girls Sectionals away 4 Dwight Tony Thorsen Inv away 4 Boys Sectionals away 4

(Front row) Jenna Raines, Katie Kleinert, Hannah Davis, Madyson Beasley, Caitlin Gerdes, Jules Hartman, Mikayla Caspary, Kaleigh Ladehoff, Zoe Bates, (middle row) Tessa Coulter, Reagan Panozzo, Lauren James, Emily Gresens, Fallon Gray, Olzea Smolinski, Kaitlyn Girard, (back row) Abbey Boudreau, Gabbi Smith, Emery Podowicz, Andrea Pace, Haley Rosenboom, Abi Jordan, Holly Coulter, Lauren Ladehoff, Cassidy Gerdes

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7 March 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports

Page 11

Central Comets and Lady Comets Improvement seen on last year’s mark By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Brian Kohn starts his sixth season coaching baseball at Central High School counting on three returning starters to help the Comets improve on last year’s 6-21 record. Kohn has a good starting point in Jeff Gifford. Gifford was an All-Conference and All-Area performer last year as a shortstop and pitcher. “Jeff is our leader on the field,” Kohn said of his senior. Two juniors who started as sophomores are also pitchers. Matthew Balthazor will catch when not on the mound and Andrew Boudreau plays shortstop and in the outfield. Kohn will count on other upperclassmen who had a lot of seasoning on the junior varsity team. “We have a lot of juniors that spent a full year at the JV level and we are excited to see what they can do,” Kohn said. Kohn sees that time playing at the lower level as a possible strength this season. “This group is very athletic and

Central Baseball roster

3 Brody Sertich Jr 4 Jeff Gifford Sr works hard,” the coach said. “They had success at the JV 5 Brayden Bailey Jr level and we hope to see that pay off at the Varsity level.” 6 Jacob Ladd Jr The Comets will need their production to replace AllConference center fielder Blake Wiils. Dylan Miller and 9 Jack Jarvis Jr Dustin Sweet were also lost to graduation. Miller and Sweet 10 Matt Balthazor Jr also spent time on the mound. 11 Davy Zell Jr “We are going to have to gain experience as we go this 13 Kyle Kuikema Jr year,” Kohn said. “We are also looking to develop some 15 Austin BoudreauJr pitching depth to get us through the tough schedule.”

16 Andrew BoudreauJr 18 Connor Prairie Jr 19 Jason Kelly Jr 21 Kory Kohler Jr 25 Brian Spooner Jr. Jr Jagger Harris Sr Tyler Pelehowski So Adrian Pace Jr Landen Boudreau Jr

Kohn said the junior varsity experience should translate to varsity. “We should compete every night.” If the Comets do that, they will improve throughout the year. “Our goal is to play our best ball at the end of the season,” Kohn said. Kohn said something the Comets must not do is “give our opponents extra outs and extra chances to score runs.” Especially in the Sangamon Valley Conference, it will be important for the Comets to be at their best. “Our conference is full of good teams.”

Central Baseball schedule March 18 Wilmington away 10 a.m. March 21 Milford home 4:30 March 22 GCMS away 4:30 March 25 Grant Park home 10 a.m. March 27 Bishop Mac away 4:30 March 28 Watseka away 4:30 March 30 Watseka home 4:30 April 1 Reed-Custer away 10 a.m. (Front row) Jagger April 3 Peotone away 4:30 Harris, Jeff Gifford, April 4 IW home 4:30 Brian Spooner, April 5 Herscher home 4:30 Connor Prairie April 6 IW away 4:30 (middle row) April 8 GSW away 11 a.m. Matthew Balthazor, April 11 Dwight home 4:30 Andrew Boudreau, April 12 Beecher home 4:30 Brody Sertich, April 13 Dwight away 4:30 Brayden Bailey, April 18 Momence away 4:30 Davey Zell, Jack April 20 Momence home 4:30 Jarvix, Jason Kelly, April 21 Donovan away 4:30 Tyler Pelehowski April 24 K3 Trinity home 4:30 (back row) Kory April 25 Cissna Park away 4:30 Kohler, Austin April 27 Cissna Park home 4:30 Boudreau, Head April 28 Tri-Point home 4:30 Coach Brian Kohn, May 2 S. Newton home 4:30 Assistant Coach May 4 S. Newton away 4:30 Brian Spooner, May 6 St. Anne home 10 a.m. Kyle Buikema, May 8 Grace Bapt home 4:30 Jacob Ladd May 9 PBL home 4:30 May 11 PBL away 4:30

Arrow pointing up for Lady Comets

March 18 March 21 March 23 March 25 March 28 March 30 April 3 April 4 April 5 April 8 April 10 April 11 April 13 April 18 April 20 April 25 April 26 April 28 May 2 May 4 May 6 May 9 May 10 May 11 May 13

Central Softball schedule Prairie Cent home 10 a.m. Reed-Custer away 4:30 Wilmington away 4:30 Grant Park home 10 a.m. Watseka away 4:30 Watseka home 4:30 Peotone away 4:30 IW home 4 Herscher home 4:30 GSW away 11 a.m. K3 HS home 4:30 Dwight home 4:30 Dwight away 4:30 Momence away 4:30 Momence home 4:30 Donovan home 4:30 Manteno away 4:30 Tri-Point home 4:30 S. Newton home 4:30 S. Newton away 4:30 triple header home 10 a.m. PBL home 4:30 Beecher home 4:30 PBL away 4:30 Milford away 10 a.m.

Bob Burd

(Front row) Maci Romero, McKenna Goldtrap, Alexis Waller, (middle row) Erica Cordes, Alexis Eighnor-Walters, Emma Boicken, Gabriella Griffith, Alexis Perzee, (back row) Jenna Offerman, Grace Poskin, Assistant Coach Chris Skeen, Head Coach Gene Kanak, Riley Thompson, Hanna Offerman

Central softball roster McKenna Goldtrap So P, OF Lexi Eighnor-Walters Sr 2B, OF Riley Thompson Fr IF, OF Hannah Offerman Fr P, OF, IF Grace Poskin Fr P, IF Maci Romero Fr C, IF, OF Jenna Offerman Sr IF, P Gabriella Griffith Jr IF, OF Alexis Perzee So C, OF, IF Erica Cordes Jr C, 2B Alexis Waller So IF Emma Boicken Jr IF

By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter In his first season at the helm of the Central High School softball team, Gene Kanak’s Lady Comets were 5-23. Last season’s record was 8-18. “I definitely think that the arrow is pointing upward for this team,” Kanak said. “Now, with challenging opponents on both our conference and non-conference schedules, we’re going to have to fight every day if we want to win games. Still, we finished last year playing competitively with every team we faced. If we can start this year where we left off last, and we have enough talent to do so, people will see a much more competitive Central team game in and game out this season.” Kanak must find a replacement for Madyson Duby. Returning letter winners include McKenna Goldtrap, who batted .386 last year with 12 extra-base hits and made the Sangamon Valley All Conference First Team as a freshman. Alexis Waller was a second team pick, also as a freshman. She batted .303 with seven doubles, 20 walks and 17 runs batted in. Key newcomers Kanak will expect contributions from are all freshmen — Maci Romero, Hanna Offerman and Riley Thompson. Kanak said the freshmen will be a positive for the team. “Our strengths will be another year of hard work and experience under our belts and the addition of some very talented and motivated freshmen. They are going to push the returning players at every turn to earn playing time. Another strength is our work ethic. These girls aren’t afraid to work hard each and every day.” The freshmen will see time because of the limited amount of girls (12) out for the team. “Our weakness is depth,” Kanak said. “If injuries pop up, we don’t have a lot of depth to fill things in.” Despite the limits, Central has plans to finish at or above .500 and to win a postseason game. “That is something that hasn’t happened recently here. For me as coach, I just want us to play up to our standards day in and day out. If we do, that will put us in a position to win more games than we have the last couple of years, and it will make us competitive no matter who we face.” An obstacle for a young team is often self-confidence. “Because the team hasn’t had a pedigree of success in recent years, we’ve sometimes been beaten before we take the field,” Kanak said of facing more established programs. “These girls need to believe in themselves and what they’ve been taught. They have what it takes to compete. If they believe that, it will show through in how we play.”

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Page 12

Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

St. Anne Cardinals Kirkland’s blended program must overcome youth, inexperience By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Zach Kirkland will start his fifth year coaching the Cardinals boys track team without eight of last year’s members, who graduated. The youth and inexperience of the blended program will be a important component the Cardinals must overcome for the season to be successful. Kirkland will have additional athletes from a sharing agreement with Grant Park. “So we’ll have a lot more numbers than we’ve had in the past, but almost everyone from both schools is a freshman or sophomore,” Kirkland said. “We are very young this year in both age and experience.” Key losses Kirkland must find replacements for are state-

qualifying sprinters Cris Horta, Frank Ward, Vontae Davis and Devin Ross. They composed a devastating 4x100 meters and 4x2 team that was one of the top three in the area. Horta went to state in four events and Ward also went in the open 400. Davis and Ross were also jumpers. “We lost almost our entire team to graduation, so we’ll be starting over with a lot of young athletes,” Kirkland said. “We still have some talent, but it’s not going to be the same team that’s been all sprinters as in the past.” One Cardinals upperclassman Kirkland will look to is senior Jalmen Sullivan. Weston Lusinski is a Grant Park junior. St. Anne sophomores Jesse Page and Martin Cintora with Grant Park freshmen Christian Niefeldt and Jimmy Pratl will be counted on. With the co-op, this season is going to be a trial year for

the program. “We’re going to be competing in a lot more events, but because of the huge turnover, I’m not sure what these young men are capable of just yet,” Kirkland said. “The fact that Grant Park will be joining our program can only help our chances of building the program up and hopefully having a more well-rounded team from here on out.” With the influx of athletes, Kirkland said the Cardinals will stay competitive at all of the meets. “We’re basically starting from scratch, so we’ll have a lot of work ahead of us,” Kirkland said. “Our goal is to find the right mix of athletes and begin the rebuilding process while staying competitive. We’d love to find a diamond in the rough this year and get someone to State again for the fourth consecutive year.”

St. Anne Track and Field Date Opponent 03/11 Danville Open 03/18 Charleston 03/25 Cogdal Relays 04/05 Manteno 04/06 Lady Kays Girls Inv 04/10 Wat/Don/HA/TP/SACHS 04/11 Dwight/IW/Peotone 04/18 Comet Carnival 04/21 Manteno Invite 04/22 The.Burard Girls Inv 04/24 Central 04/25 Watseka 04/26 Cardinal Relays 05/01 TVC Girls Meet 05/06 Irish Relays 05/08 TVC Boys Meet 05/11 Girls Sectionals 05/12 Girls Sectionals 05/15 Tony Thorsen Boys Invite

Location Danville High School EIU Normal U HS Manteno TBA Watseka High School Dwight Central High School Manteno Kankakee HS Central HS Watseka High School SACHS Paxton BMCHS Dwight TBA TBA Dwight HS

Time 11 a.m. 8:15am 9 a.m. 4 p.m. 4:30pm 4 p.m. 4:30pm 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 0:30am 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 9:30am 4 p.m. TBA TBA 4 p.m.

Sharing agreement with Dragons should breathe fire into Cardinals By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter The St. Anne High School girls track team will try something new this year. It will be new for the girls anyway. Watseka and St. Anne entered a co-op for football. St. Anne will begin a sharing agreement with Grant Park this season. Danielle Dillman starts her second year leading the Cardinals on the oval. St. Anne has five letter winners returning

St. Anne Girls Track Roster Liz Broers Brianah Chandler Megan Chesebro Qwentessa Collins

So Fr So So

from last season’s team and only two will be seniors this year. “I don’t really have a lot of expectations for this season since we only have five returning athletes and we are starting a new co-op with Grant Park,” Dillman said. Alyssa Golden is a senior who had a 29 foot, 4 inch triple jump last year and ran on the 4x100 meters and 4x200 relay teams. Senior Brittany Wyatt had a best leap of 1411.5 in the long jump.

Myranda Ekhoff Cindy Garcia Alyssa Golden Madison Hasik Aleea Johnson Dailynn Madril

Fr So Sr Fr Fr So

The other returners were freshmen last season. Gracie O’Brien specialized in the field events with throws of 25-10 in the shotput and a discus toss of 78-5. Betty McCray had a best 400 of 1 minute,20 seconds. Qwentessa Collins was a member of 4x1 and 4x2 teams. With the amount of underclassmen joining the time, Dillman said some time for adjustments will be needed. “It is going to take time for the new ath-

letes in our program to adjust to high school

Karina Maldonado Betsy McCray Lauren McNally Gracie O’Brien Jenna Orange Takayla Phillips

Fr So

Rhiannon Rea


Hannah Reichers


So Fr

Haley Reichers


Brittany Wyatt


track and to each other,” Dillman said. The season will present challenges as the athletes from the two schools get to know each other. “I am looking forward to bonding as a team and trying to improve our times and distances from one meet to the next,” Dillman said.

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03/16 03/22 03/23 03/27 03/28 03/29 -04/03 04/04 04/05 04/07 04/08 04/10 04/12 04/17 04/18 04/21 04/22 04/24 04/26 04/28 04/29 05/01 05/03 05/05 05/06 05/08 05/10 05/15 05/24 05/29 06/02

Iroquois County Spring Sports

Page 13

St. Anne Cardinals St. Anne Baseball Schedule Cissna Park 4:30 p.m. Cissna Park 4:30 p.m. Watseka 4:30 p.m. Donovan 4:30 p.m. Milford 4:30 p.m. Donovan 4:30 p.m. Tri-Point 4:30 p.m. Wilmington 4:30 p.m. Tri-Point 4:30 p.m. Fam of Faith 4:30 p.m. K3 Trinity 2 p.m. GSW 4:30 p.m. GSW 4:30 p.m. Fam of Faith 4:30 p.m. Grace Christ 4:30 p.m. Watseka 4:30 p.m. Momence 10 a.m. Ill Lutheran 4:30 p.m. Ill Lutheran 4:30 p.m. IW 4:30 p.m. K3 Trinity 11 a.m. Beecher 4:30 p.m. Beecher 4:30 p.m. Dwight 4:45 p.m. Central 10 a.m. Grant Park 4:30 p.m. Grant Park 4:30 p.m. Regionals TBA Sectionals TBA Super Sect TBA State Finals TBA

St. Anne Baseball roster 5 Connor Cotton 18 Byron Petty 15 Zach Cowsert 13 Travis DeYoung 9 Austin Broers 12 Jake Nicholson 16 Alec Blanchette 17 Noah Burling 2 Corey Braddy

4 Malachi Mabins 10 Leo Mendez 14 Ethan Leveque 8 Tommy Boudreau 3 Aaron Rodriguez 11 Michael Emerson 1 Josh Meier 6 Brooks Schoon 7 Juan Artega 20 addison bowers

First year coach has high hopes By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter New coaches are generally optimistic. St. Anne’s first year baseball coach, Theodore Bartnick, has high hopes for the Cardinals this season. “I believe this will be one of St. Anne’s best seasons for a number of reasons,” Bartnick said. “This team is extremely athletic and works as hard as any team I have been a part of.” The Cardinals have three returning letter winners to lead the way into the season. Austin Broers at shortstop and Alec Blanchette at second base are seniors. Travis Young in centerfield is a junior. All three will see time on the mound.

“We have a unique team in that we don’t have to rely on just a few pitchers,” Bartnick said. “In total, we have nearly 10 guys that could step on the mound for us at any time.” Bartnick sees a pair of freshmen that will contribute as well. Connor Cotton and Malachi Mabins are infielders who could spend time atop the hill. While the infield seems solid, the coach has worries out by the fence. “Our outfield depth is a concern of mine this year as we are lacking in options past our top three,” Bartnick said. While depth may be a concern, the nucleus of the team is not. “We have a strong core of eight seniors that are ready to give it one last shot at a winner,” Bartnick said.

Connor Cotton, Byron Petty, Zach Cowsert, Travis DeYoung, Austin Broers, Jake Nicholson, Alec Blanchette, Noah Burling, and Coach Ted Bartnik, Corey Braddy, Malachi Mabins, Leo Mendez, Ethan Leveque, Tommy Boudreau, Aaron Rodriguez, Michael Emerson, Josh Meier and Brooks Schoon

Coach Galloway to lean on returning All-Conference performer Cruz By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Erin Galloway starts her St. Anne coaching career with a team that has all-conference performer Lili Cruz in centerfield. Galloway compiled a 14-7 record last year at Gardner-South Wilmington High School so she knows the River Valley Conference well. Cruz is a junior and has two fellow juniors (Ashleigh Kibbons and Payton Kerness) and a sophomore (Carlie Stalnecker) as returning letter winners. Galloway will have a large class of freshmen with which to mold her team. With all the youth, there will be two sides to the inexperience. “We are a very young team who will be playing against older competition,” Galloway said. Others expectations may lead to the Cardinals surprising others. “I see us shocking a lot of people,” Galloway said. “I know last year’s team did not have a lot of wins, so I think when people come to play us, they are going to be in for a surprise.” For that to happen, Galloway will need her team to come together as one and all focus on the same goals. “Our team strength is that this core group of girls love the game and have such passion for it,” Galloway said. “They want to be here and get better.” With all of the Cardinals’ young talent, Galloway sees a lot of possibilities. “We have so much potential. We are very strong both defensively and offensively.” Softball is a sport that is very dependent on pitching, so that will be a focus for Galloway. “I can see that pitching may be a tough area for us,” Galloway said. “We do not have a lot of depth when it comes to pitching.” Galloway has ambitious goals for her team that are possible if steady improvement is achieved. “I see us finishing over .500 and in the top of the conference. Our goal is to finish in the top of our conference and to make it to the state tournament.” She has her eye on a particular conference opponent. “Beecher is a great program and is always a challenge.”

(Front row) Megan Stegall, Shelby Davis, Kendall Yuknis, Make Zoe Nicholson, Brandi Chase, (back row) Lili Cruz, Erin Corriveau, Payton Kerness, Carlie Stalnecker, Ashleigh Kibbons, Grace Langellier, Macy DeMik.

The Cardinals have a specific goal and a general one for the postseason. “Win our regional and keep on going,” Bartnick said. To do that, the must supply some offense. I believe our team will be solid defensively, but may lack hitting at certain points,” the coach said. The coach said there is too much reliance on a few to do too much. Success depends on more players stepping up. “One thing we must overcome is our reliance on a few individuals on the team. Although having a great player or two is never a bad thing, I believe a few players rely too heavily on those players. we need to make it a team effort day in and day out.”

St. Anne Softball Schedule vs. Watseka 03/23/2017 @ Donovan 03/27/2017 vs. Milford 03/28/2017 vs. Donovan 03/29/2017 vs. Tri Point 04/03/2017 @ Wilmington 04/04/2017 @ Tri Point 04/05/2017 @ Families of Faith 04/07/2017 @ K3 Trinity (DH) 04/08/2017 vs. GSW 04/10/2017 @ GSW 04/12/2017 vs. Families of Faith04/17/2017 @ Grace Christ Aca04/18/2017 @ Watseka 04/21/2017 @ Momence (DH) 04/22/2017 vs. Illinois Lutheran 04/24/2017 @ Illinois Lutheran 04/26/2017 vs. Iroquois West 04/28/2017 vs. K3 Trinity Aca(DH)04/29/2017 @ Beecher 05/01/2017 vs. Beecher 05/03/2017 @ Central 05/06/2017 @ GCMS 05/06/2017 @ Grant Park 05/08/2017 vs. Grant Park 05/10/2017 @ Reg Quarterfinal 05/15/2017 @ Reg Semifinals 05/16/2017 @ Regional Finals 05/20/2017 @ Sect Semifinals 05/23/2017 @ Sectional Final 05/27/2017

Page 14

Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

PBL Panthers

Youth of Panthers is Goudy’s challenge By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter In Alexandria Goudy’s sixth year leading the PaxtonBuckley-Loda High School track team, 25 girls are out for the team, but only 10 upperclassmen. There are 10 freshmen, seven juniors, six sophomores and just three seniors. Among them, Goudy must find replacements for graduated state qualifiers Aleeka Gentzler (high jump) and Audrey Bloomquist (1,600 meters).

“I have really high hopes for this squad this year,” Goudy said. “They are working extremely hard.” For the season to be a success, “they must continue to work hard,” Goudy said. The coach will be looking to develop her middle and long distance runners. The shorter the distance of the race, the more potential Goudy sees. “We have some great sprinters and hurdlers this year,” she said. One sophomore is already improving on her freshman

accomplishments in a field event. “Emily Graves has already broken her own school record (in the pole vault) three times,” Goudy said. “Our pole vaulters are doing very well during the indoor season.” Goudy sees the potential in her team and wants to qualify multiple members for the state meet. Another goal is to make the All-Academic Team through the conference and state.

PBL Girls Track Roster

PBL Girls Track Marissa Arnette 11 Distance Runner Makenzie Bruns 9 Jumper/Sprinter Shannon Carlson 12 Distance Runner Bridgette Chavira11 Distance Runner Kaila Christensen12 Distance Runner Katelyn Crabb 10 Jumper/Sprinter/ Hurdles Kyra Crim 9 Sprinter Savanna Davis 9 Thrower

Evie Ellis 10 Distance Runner Olivia Frichtl 11 Sprinter/Hurdles Lucy Galey 9 Thrower Emily Garrelts 9 Sprinter Ariana Gentzler 11 Jumper Kalli Goudy 11 Thrower Emily Graves 10 Pole Vault/Sprinter Alexis Gray 9 Sprinter Kaitlyn Harms 11 Distance Runner

Alyssa Hofer 10 Sprinter Aiyanna Ingram 10 Sprinter Lexi Johnson 10 Sprinter/Jumper Kirra Lantz 9 Sprinter/Thrower Gracie Martin 9 Jumper Alyson Moore 9 Sprinter/Pole Vault Katelyn Riffle 12 Thrower GracieSmith 9 Mid Distance Runner

Emma Stocking 11 Thrower

Date 02/22 02/25 03/08 03/11 03/15 03/20 03/24 03/28 03/30 04/04 04/06 04/11 04/17 04/21 04/25 04/28 05/01 05/05 05/11 05/15 05/18 05/20

Opponent Urbana University High School Mahomet Seymour High School Urbana University High School Charleston High School Urbana University High School Clinton High School Top Times Indoor State Watseka High School Pre Season Invite Coed Invite St. Thomas More High School Quad meet GCMS High School GCMS High School Watseka High School Monticello High School TVC Meet St. Joseph-Ogden High School IHSA Sectionals News Gazette Honor Roll IHSA State IHSA State

Location Times Urbana 7:30 pm Mahomet 9 a.m. Urbana 7:30 pm Charleston 6 a.m. Urbana 7:30 pm Bloomington 4 p.m. Bloomington 3 p.m. Watseka 4:30 pm Paxton 4:30 pm Paxton 4:30 pm TBA 4:30 pm Paxton 4:30 pm Gibson City 4:30 pm Gibson City 4:30 pm Watseka 4:15 pm Monticello 4:30 pm Paxton 4:30 pm St. Joseph 4:30 pm Paxton 4 p.m. Urbana 5 p.m. Charleston 10 a.m. Charleston 10 a.m.

PBL wants to keep sectional streak alive By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Dustin Franckey starts his third year at the helm of Paxton-Buckley-Loda’s high school boys track team with a goal of keeping a certain streak intact. The Panthers have won five consecutive sectional championships, so another one is a definite possibility. “We look to defend our sectional title,” Franckey said. “The guys are focused on the process and winning a sixth straight sectional title.” The Panthers have a lot of strengths: good numbers, a young team, many state qualifiers returning. Chief among those returners is Jonny Muller, who had the best long jump in Class 1A last year during his sophomore season and finished fifth at the state meet where he was also a medalist on the 4x400 meter relay team with Wolfgang Hiesler and Jacob Parrish. Kody Harrison also returns as a state qualifier in the 3200.

Key newcomers for the Panthers may be Garrett Bachtold, who was fourth at sectionals as a freshman in the pole vault, freshman Riley Cuppernell, who was eighth in the Class 2A state IESA meet in the 400 and freshman Alec St. Julien, who won the 3200 at an Invitational. The Panthers must overcome the losses of middle distance runners Nick Porter, Josh Brocato, Lester Sander, and vaulter Corbin Riecks. PBL plans on winning the conference title as well as the GCMS Falcon Invite. To do that, Franckey said PBL must “Continue to be flexible in early event placement as we develop our younger student athletes.” To win the conference, Franckey sees a chief rival to overcome. “Watseka is a well-run program and puts together a great team every year I’ve been here. I love seeing those guys because they’re great competitors and practice great sportsmanship.”


02/22 03/08 03/15 03/18 03/24 03/28 03/30 04/04 04/07 04/11 04/17 04/21 04/25 04/28 05/04 05/08 05/15 05/18 05/25 05/27

PBL Boys Track Roster Urbana University High School Urbana 7:30 p.m. Urbana University High School Urbana 7:30 p.m. Urbana University High School Urbana 7:30 p.m. Charleston High School Charleston 8:15 a.m. Top Times Indoor State Bloomington 3 p.m. Watseka High School Watseka 4:30 p.m. Pre Season Invite Paxton 4:30 p.m. Coed Invite Paxton 4:30 p.m. GCMS High School Gibson City 4:30 p.m. Quad meet Paxton 4:30 p.m. Monticello High School Monticello 4:30 p.m. Unity High School Tolono 4:30 p.m. Watseka High School Watseka 4 p.m. St. Jospeh Ogden High School St. Joseph 4:30 p.m. PBL Varsity Invite Paxton 4:30 p.m. TVC Meet Dwight 4 p.m. News Gazette Honor Roll Champaign 5 p.m. IHSA Sectionals Paxton 4 p.m. IHSA State Charleston 10 a.m. IHSA State Charleston 10 a.m.

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7 March 2017

Iroquois County Spring Sports

Page 15

PBL Panthers PBL Varsity Game Schedule Date Opponent 03/18 Ridgeview High School 03/20 Armstrong High School 03/22 Heyworth High School 03/23 Tri Valley High School 03/24 Fisher High School 03/27 Milford High School 03/28 Oakwood High School 03/30 Maroa-Forsyth 04/03 Monticello High School 04/04 Watseka High School 04/06 Watseka High School 04/07 LeRoy High School 04/10 Unity High School 04/11 Momence High School 04/12 St. Thomas More High School 04/15 Tremont High School 04/15 Roanoke High School 04/17 St. Joseph-Ogden High School 04/18 Cissna Park 04/20 Cissna Park 04/21 Bismarck Henning High School 04/22 South Newton HS 04/24 Ranotul High School 04/25 Dwight High School 04/28 Dwight High School 04/29 Hoopeston Area High School 05/02 Iroquois West High School 05/03 Blue Ridge High School 05/04 Iroquois West High School 05/06 GCMS High School 05/09 Clifton Central High School 05/11 Clifton Central High School 05/13 Herscher High School 05/15 Prairie Central High School 05/17 IHSA Regionals

Location Colfax Paxton Heyworth Downs Paxton Milford Oakwood Paxton Paxton Watseka Paxton Paxton Paxton Paxton Champaign Roanoke Roanoke St. Joseph Cissna Park Paxton Paxton Kentland Paxton Dwight Paxton Hoopeston Paxton Paxton Gilman Gibson City Clifton Paxton Herscher Fairbury TBA

Time 10 a.m. 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 12 p.m. 2 p.m. 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 10 a.m. 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 10 a.m. 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 10 a.m. 4:30 pm 4:30 pm 10 a.m. 4:30 pm 4:30 pm

Vaughn takes over reins once again for Panthers By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Kelli Vaughn resumes her coaching career at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School with a team that finished 7-18 last year under former coach Brad Pickens. Vaugn has a career record at PBL of 94-47 in two previous stints at the helm — 1998-2001 and 2006. “This will be a rebuilding year for us,” Vaughn said. “We have some leadership from some of our upper classmen and four players with four years of varsity experience, but we will have to bring the young players along rather quickly to fill some key positions.” First Team All-Sangamon Valley Conference performer Cassidi Nuckols returns for her junior season. She was the Panther’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore. Two seniors — Kelsey Vaughn and Cassie Over — have made Honorable Mention SVC in past years. Second baseman Mallory Lithgow re-

turns for her senior year. The coach sees two freshmen — Sindra Gerdes and Emily Adwell — as possibly being key contributors. “Some of our young players are going to grow up very quickly.” It will be important to find replacements for Skylar Harris and Zayna Flauhat, who each made First Team SVC, and Jessi Bergman, who was a second team pick. “We have some big bats in our line-up, we have five pitchers and a solid infield,” Coach Vaughn said. “Our weakness at this point is finding three outfielders night in and night out.” With all the youth, improvement over the course of the year will be vital. “Our goals are to get better throughout the season, and to begin laying the foundation for this program to be successful again,” the coach said. “I will feel like we are successful if we can learn to compete night in and night out.”

PBL Softball Roster 2017 Kelsey Vaughn Dalaney Rogers Bailey Eyre Emily Adwell

Lexi Reynolds Cassie Oyer Jolee Hastings Carlee Johnson Mallory Lithgow


New team, same goals for Coach Johnson’s baseball squad By DOUG BRENNEMAN, Sports Reporter Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s baseball team has been the Sangamon Valley Conference champions in four of the last seven years, including the last two. “Our goals are always the same,” Johnson said. Win the SVC, win 20 regular season games and win the regional.” The Panthers were 27-7 last season under Rick Johnson, who has a career 221-116 record, going 204-109 since 2007 at PBL. He was an assistant at Paxton for 12 years before that. PBL lost three components of that team in Jonny Walder, who earned All-News Gazette honors, Peyton McClure and Wyatt Kingery. All three were all-conference players. The Panthers’ defense will carry them this year behind two dominating pitchers in seniors Luke Fitton and Andrew Zenner. Fitton can throw in the upper 80 miles per hour. Zenner had a 7-3 record. Both are imposing figures on the mound at around 6-foot-5. PBL will be strong with seven senior starters returning. Five intend to play baseball at the next level — Zenner at John Logan, Fitton at Olney, Kaleb Denault at McMurray with Dalton Coplea and Cole Eshleman going to Lindenwood Bellville. All of his seniors excel and complement each other. Shortstop Eshleman had 20 stolen bases last season. Centerfielder Coplea had 29 and batted .361 as the leadoff hitter. Denault set a school record for triples last year with seven. Zenner carried a .324 batting average. Cooper Johnson is an “excellent” second baseman who batted .340. Liss Rodriguez “does it all”, playing third, outfield, catcher or pitcher. “The depth of our pitching staff will be tested,” Johnson said, “especially with the new pitch count rules. We need to have several guys who did not pitch much the last two years to give us some good outings.” Johnson will look for contributions from newcomers Tyler Atkins, Keaton Krumweide, Ben NcClure and Coyote Hubbs. “Our juniors need to develop into solid, dependable players,” Johnson said. “our underclassmen must also come to understand and accept their roles.”

03/20 03/23 03/25 03/27 03/28 03/29 03/30 04/04 04/06 04/08 04/10 04/11 04/13 04/19 04/20 04/21 04/25 04/28 05/01 05/02 05/03 05/04 05/06 05/09 05/11 05/12 05/13 05/16

PBL Softball Schedule Fisher High School Fisher LeRoy High School Paxton Tuscola High School Tuscola Milford High School Milford Tri-Point Kempton Monticello High School Monticello Hoopeston Area High School Hooepston Watseka High School Watseka Watseka High School Paxton Oakwood High School Muncie Urbana High School Urbana Momence High School Paxton Momence High School Momence Salt Fork Paxton GCMS High School Paxton Bismarck-Henning High School Bismarck Dwight High School Dwight Dwight High School Paxton Unity High School Tolono Iroquois West High School Paxton Blue Ridge High School Paxton Iroquois West High School Onarga St. Thomas More High School Paxton Clifton High School Clifton Clifton Central High School Paxton Villa Grove High School Paxton South Newton High School Paxton IHSA Regionals TBA

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m.

Leslie Lawson Sindra Gerdes Kelsie Schroeder Kelbie Hayden Cassidi Nuckols



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Page 16

Iroquois County Spring Sports

March 2017

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