Robinson High School's boys cross country team finished sixth at the IHSA Class 1A State Finals in Peoria Saturday (Nov. 3). The top-10 finish was the third in the last four years for the Maroons at the state meet. Team members pictured are: (L-R) head coach Tony Cork, Carter Shew, Parker Middleton, Wyatt Bonnell, Negus Bogard, Maverick Wright, Koty Amdahl, Zach Buttolph, Trayton Tragesser, Lucas Blunier and assistant coach Deacon Faulkner.
Just over a half-dozen volleyball players from Crawford County were recognized for their play on the court this past season by being named to their respective All-Conference teams recently.
Robinson had four players chosen to the All-Little Illini Conference teams, while Hutsonville-Palestine had two named to the All-Little Okaw Valley Southeast Division teams and Oblong had one representative.
Starting the season strong was the goal and that is exactly what Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team did over the weekend.
The Statesmen rolled to a pair of wins at the season-opening Rotary Classic at Olney Central College, 91-56 over Glen Oaks Community College Friday (Nov. 2) and 107-78 over Quakerdale Prep on Saturday (Nov. 3).
Going into Saturday (Nov. 3)'s match, Lincoln Trail College's volleyball team knew they had a tough challenge in front of them and in the end it turned out to be too much for the Lady Statesmen to handle.
Lincoln Trail fell to top-seeded and NJCAA Division II No. 2-ranked Parkland College in the championship match of the District J Tournament in three sets, 11-25, 9-25, 9-25.
"Parkland simply outplayed us," LTC head coach Dana Goodwin said. "They run a much quicker offense and we had a very hard time keeping up."
They didn't make it easy on themselves, but Lincoln Trail College's volleyball team extended its season Wednesday, as they won their match at the NJCAA Division II District J Tournament in dramatic fashion.
The Lady Statesmen rallied from two sets down to knock off host Lewis & Clark Community College in five sets, 13-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-12.
"I am beyond proud of the comeback that the girls made tonight," LTC head coach Dana Goodwin said. "They showed they truly wanted it. Errors got in the way in the first two sets, but they came together, worked hard and pushed to get the win and advance to the final four on Saturday."
Having a veteran presence on the team for the first time in a while is hopefully what Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team needs to make the climb back to respectability this season.
Coming off a disappointing campaign with an all-freshman roster last year, the Statesmen have several returning players to mix with a talented incoming crop that has head coach Luke Stuckey excited about the prospects for the upcoming season.
"This is by far the most talented group we've had since I've been here," Stuckey said. "The freshman class is very talented, but the biggest reason for optimism is this is the first time we've had any returning players that have significant game experience under our system. The last three weekends we've played in Jamborees and played well every weekend against a lot of good competition and we've won a lot of games. Every week we've gotten better and better and with that consistent improvement, I feel like we are in a pretty good spot."
A bigger and more athletic team will take to the court this season for Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team, as the Lady Statesmen continue their efforts to climb up the ladder.
The Lady Statesmen nearly doubled their win total last season from the previous year and hope to continue that ascent this season under veteran head coach Scott Sparks.
"I feel pretty good about this group," Sparks said. "We are more athletic that we've ever been and we have a deep bench. We have some good returners along with some talented transfers and a solid freshman class."
Another strong performance led to another outstanding finish for Robinson High School's boys' cross country team.
The Maroons put together a tremendous effort from top to bottom to place second among 21 teams at the IHSA Class 1A Decatur St. Teresa Sectional (Oct. 27) and qualify for the state meet for the fourth consecutive year.
"It' great to get to go back," RHS head coach Tony Cork said. "It is a tremendous accomplishment for these guys."
Momentum is a big thing in sports and Lincoln Trail College's volleyball team has some heading into the postseason.
Following an 11-match losing streak, the Lady Statesmen have now won two straight matches, including a four-set win at Rend Lake College, 25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 25-18, in their regular season finale (Oct. 24).
"I am very proud of the girls' performance tonight," LTC head coach Dana Goodwin said. "Aside from the third set, they played hard and aggressive in order to gain a win for our final regular season game. We needed this going into regionals next week."
For the first time in a dozen matches, Lincoln Trail College's volleyball team was able to come out on the right side.
The Lady Statesmen played much better Monday night (Oct. 22) and the end result was a four-set victory at Lindenwood-Belleville JV, 25-21, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22, while snapping an 11-match losing streak in the process.
"We finally earned ourselves a win," LTC head coach Dana Goodwin said. "Several errors resulted in a close game, but the girls did what they had to do in order to finish it out."