CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Big Ten schedules for both the men's and women's basketball seasons were released Thursday.
TUSCOLA, Ill. - The new Central Illinois Conference look a lot like the old Okaw Valley - with a twist. Eight of last year's Okaw Valley teams decided to move in a different direction, so they formed the Central Illinois Conference - or CIC. St. Teresa and Tuscola headline the league alongside Shelbyville, Sullivan Okaw Valley, Clinton, Warrensburg-Latham, Meridian and Central A&M. Tuscola head coach Rick Reinhart says it will be a competitive conference from top to bottom. "We look forward to the challenge," he said. "We think that we're on the right track but the thing is everybody in the state thinks that right now, so somebody's right and somebody's wrong."
FISHER, Ill. - The Fisher Bunnies took a big step forward last year, winning six games after just two wins the previous season. They have a veteran group of running backs returning, but they do have big shoes to fill on the line - especially with the departure of standout Josh Wallick. The Bunnies are energized for another run, especially with an upgrade to the stadium and a new fitness facility as well.
URBANA, Ill. - Former Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson held his 13th annual Illini Rebounders golf outing Wednesday afternoon at Stone Creek in Urbana. All the proceeds benefit the Illinois basketball program.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tim Beckman put an end to the quarterback competition Wednesday when he announced sophomore Wes Lunt will be the starting quarterback when the Illini open the season August 30 against Youngstown State. Lunt had been the frontrunner for the starting job since the end of spring practice, and today Beckman made his decision.
RANTOUL, Ill. - Every year before Camp Rantoul ends, each senior stands in front of the team and gives a speech. It is often a time of reflection, reminiscing about how fast their time has flown by. It is also about the future - cherishing every moment they have left in their final season. Donovonn Young's speech was no different. "I put a lot of emphasis on the fact that I was going to miss these guys a lot," said the senior running back. "College football has done so much for me, really molded me into the man that I am today."
RANTOUL, Ill. - All signs indicate that Wes Lunt is in the driver's seat to be named the starting quarterback when Tim Beckman makes that announcement Wednesday. Lunt has consistently outperformed senior Reilly O'Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey so far in camp. The latest performance came in a scrimmage Saturday where Lunt completed more than 80 percent of his passes for nearly 250 yards. "I felt as an offense we did pretty well," said Lunt. "I thought we punched it in when we needed to. We had a couple three-and-outs. Need to cut down on penalties, but other than that I thought the offense played pretty well."
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Illinois recruiting target Jimmy Whitt verbally committed to Arkansas at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Hickman High School. White is a four-star combo guard, who is ranked among the Top 60 players nationally. He took an unofficial visit to Illinois last month and had scheduled an official visit to Illinois this fall, but Whitt decided to end his recruitment. He told reporters the decision ultimately came down to Arkansas and Missouri, his hometown team.
Champaign Centennial graduate Michael Finke, now a freshman on the Illinois basketball team, accepted Aaron Bennett's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - and issued a few more challenges to his Illini teammates.
ST. JOSEPH, Ill. - St. Joseph-Ogden lost 17 seniors from last year's state runner-up squad, and head coach Dick Duval hopes the underclassmen learned valuable lessons as they prepare for this season - their first in the new Okaw Valley. "A lot of these guys got to play in a big game last year," Duval said. "Hopefully that will help them this year when we get into those big games. There's going to be quite a few of them in the regular season this year with this conference."
RANTOUL, Ill. - The Illinois quarterback competition is coming down the last couple days, as Tim Beckman says he will announce his starter on Wednesday. Sophomore Aaron Bailey may be running out of time to make an impression. That's because Bailey left Monday morning's practice with some stiffness in his shoulder and neck area. Beckman says it doesn't appear to be anything serious; he's just playing it safe.
After practice Monday, Tim Beckman and the Illinois football team accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and also issued a few challenges of their own.
The St. Thomas More football team only has six seniors, but they have a lot of younger players with speed ready to step up.
The Unity football team is trying to make the playoffs for a 21st straight season. The Rockets are looking to build depth for the fall.
WCIA 3's Bret Beherns chats with illiniboard.com's Robert Rosenthal about Camp Rantoul.