Robinson High School senior Brayden Childress recently signed his letter-of-intent to continue his baseball career at Rend Lake College. Childress is pictured alongside Rend Lake assistant coach Drew Millwood, while in back are: (L-R) RHS assistant coach Khristian Reynolds, his mother, Cher, his father, Justin, RHS head coach Reggie Truitt and assistant coach Dale Mendenhall. (Josh Brown photo)
Bringing in quality athletes that can help your program is one thing.
Being able to develop those athletes while they are here and help them get to the next level is another.
Lincoln Trail College's baseball team has been able to do both of these things for quite some time and that trend continued recently.
Two more LTC sophomores - pitchers Casey Bargo and Mitchell Spencer - have signed letters-of-intent to continue their baseball careers at Division I institutions after their obligations with the Statesmen have been fulfilled.
Bargo will be heading east to suit up for University of North Carolina-Charlotte, while Spencer will be just a little further south of that at University of South Carolina-Upstate.
"It's exciting to get two guys off the board early and these are two very deserving guys," LTC head coach Kevin Bowers said. "Both of them are good students as well as good baseball players. Casey was an Academic All-American last year and Mitchell just missed. They are both quiet team leaders and quality clubhouse guys."
Offensive struggles put Palestine-Hutsonville's girls' basketball team in a hole they could not climb out of Monday night (Dec. 2).
The Lady Pioneers saw their modest two-game winning streak come to an end following a 38-22 loss to Red Hill in Palestine.
"We weren't very aggressive tonight," PHS-HHS head coach Travis Blank said. "Red Hill did a good job on defense and put us on our heels. When we were patient, we did a good job with the offense, but we also missed way too many easy shots and free throws."
Splitting games on the final day solidified a middle-of-the-pack finish for Hutsonville-Palestine's boys' basketball team at the Tri-County Turkey Tournament Friday (Nov. 29).
The Tigers picked up their second consecutive win in the tournament with a 71-68 win over Martinsville to start the day, then dropped a 64-55 decision to eventual champion Fithian-Oakwood in their final game of the tournament at Shiloh High School to wind up in fourth in the six-team tournament.
Although Robinson High School's boys' basketball team was competitive throughout pool play at the Effingham St. Anthony Turkey Tournament last week, they did not have a win to show for their efforts.
The Maroons were able to correct that Saturday, as they finished up play with a resounding win in the seventh-place game.
Following a 52-44 loss to Breese Central to complete pool play Friday, the Maroons bounced back with a 79-48 win over Tolono Unity to finish the opening week of the season with a 1-3 mark.
"I was proud of how well our guys competed all week," RHS head coach Mack Thompson said. "The guys played hard all week and did a lot of good things, but we just didn't do it for 32 minutes. We came as close to that (Saturday) as we had all week and it showed in the results. We had a game that we should have taken care of business with and the boys did just that."
The opening week of the season was a rough one for Oblong High School's boys' basketball team, but slight improvements were made by the time they wrapped up play at the Cumberland Turkey Tournament.
Oblong played twice over the weekend and lost both games to finish eighth in the eight-team field. The Panthers lost to Newton Friday (Nov. 29), 7-24, then followed up with a 63-40 loss to host Cumberland in the seventh-place game (Nov. 30).
County rivalry games are meant to be close and Tuesday night (Nov. 26)'s game between Crawford County rivals certainly was.
When the dust settled, it was the visiting squad that came out on top this time, as Oblong High School's girls' basketball team opened play in the Lady Maroons Thanksgiving Invitational with a 55-47 win over host Robinson.
"The biggest thing I take away from this game is we didn't have the intensity we normally play with in the first half, but in the second half, we were a totally different team," OHS head coach Kaydie Grooms said. "To see that growth and to be able to make that adjustment was a huge step for us."
"We are still struggling with chemistry and figuring out where everyone is supposed to be," RHS head coach Sherry Bopp said. "It's taken longer than what I had hoped, but I believe it will happen for us and we will be a better team as the season goes on."