TOLONO, Ill. - No one knows the St. Joseph-Ogden/Unity rivalry quite like Cody Stunkard and Collin Davis. Both are assistant coaches on Scott Hamilton's Unity staff, but nine years ago they were a big part of the Rockets' 21-20 double overtime quarterfinal win over SJO. It is still regarded as one of the most historic games in the matchup. "That game is definitely one of the most memorable ones out of high school," said Stunkard. "They had the top defense in the state, and it goes to show that it's any given Saturday when it comes to the playoffs."
ARCOLA, Ill. - The playoff mohawks are out in full force this week in Arcola as the Purple Riders are one win away from their first 11-win season since 1997. Arcola will take a 10-0 record into Saturday's showdown with Camp Point (Central.) "It's exciting to be one of the few teams left playing," head coach Zach Zehr said. "Each week you go, it's a big step and it's a big win."
TUSCOLA, Ill. - When No. 10 throws a touchdown pass to No. 83, it has special meaning in Tuscola. It's a brotherly connection. Junior quarterback Nick Bates always knows where to find his senior brother Zach. "It's just really nice because the chemistry is always there because we just know each other so well, what we're going to do," said Zach. "We've been playing together for eight or seven years."
The St. Thomas More girls basketball team opened practice Monday. Jay Price takes over as head coach and the defending state champions hope to make it back there again.
Unity and SJO will play in the second round of the playoffs Saturday. The Spartans are out for revenge after losing to the Rockets in the regular season.
Monticello plays Wilmington in the second round of the IHSA football playoffs and they know it will be a challenging game.
Highlights and scores from the first round of the high school football playoffs.
FOOTBALL Glenwood 31 Centennial 14 Wilmington 49 PBL 7 SOCCER Springfield 1 Danville 0 VOLLEYBALL Parkland def. Lake Land 25-5, 25-13, 22-25, 25-18
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Central High School officials have made a decision on who will coach the boys basketball team this season after head coach Wayne McClain passed away earlier this month, and the Maroons are keeping it in the family. Wayne's son Sergio has been chosen to lead the team this season. McClain will have the title of interim head coach. He spent last season on the Maroons' bench as an assistant coach under his dad. He also spent one year as Parkland's head coach. It is with mixed emotions that he gets ready to lead the Maroons this year. "He has passed me the baton," Sergio said of following in his dad's footsteps. "And I'm gonna run with it. I'm gonna go as far as I can go with it. Get an opportunity to prove yourself. It's gonna be trials and tribulations with this team in what they've been through losing a leader. It's just gonna all have to come together, and we're gonna have to lean on each other in order to get this done."
VOLLEYBALL Central def. Centennial 25-16, 25-14 Tri-Valley def. St. Thomas More 25-23, 25-17 Maroa-Forsyth def. Unity 25-16, 25-16
PAXTON, Ill. - When PBL beat Bismarck-Henning back in week two Panthers coach Jeff Graham had a feeling this would be the year they finally made it back to the postseason. "Obviously it's a huge game for us now looking back at it," he said. "It did give our kids some confidence on winning close games and being there."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Central has won more than 675 football games dating all the way back to 1894, making it one of the most historic programs in the state. Recently, though, the Maroons have struggled. They haven't had a winning record in 12 years - until now. "After last year, I knew we were going to be the team to do it," said senior running back Montrel Moore. "We've been working so hard."
DECATUR -- A school construction project is taking longer than expected and it's affecting more than 1,000 high school students.
BOYS SOCCER Hersher 1 Blue Ridge 0 Danville 2 Normal West 0 Springfield 7 Mattoon 0 VOLLEYBALL Centennial def. Rantoul 25-16, 25-17 Central def. Mahomet-Seymour 19-25, 25-9, 25-18
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Centennial Chargers are back in the playoffs for the first time in four years. When they host Chatham Glenwood Friday night, it will be the first time since 2002 that the Chargers have hosted a first round playoff game. "We've got something to prove," said senior Austin Maltbia, who leads the team in rushing. "We haven't been as good in the past, and with our huge senior class, we all want to prove something - prove that we deserve to be here."
Fisher and Rantoul volleyball both won their regional games in three sets.
Game times for the first round of the IHSA football playoffs.
Friday Football Fever plays of the week
Blue Ridge won its first sectional title in program history Saturday, beating St. Thomas More 1-0. Danville won its first regional title Saturday, beating Central 2-1.
IHSA playoff pairings were announced Saturday night. Central is back in the postseason for the first time since 2008. The Maroons will play at Metamora in the first round, as they try and win their first playoff game since 1982.
Highlights and scores from Week 9 of Friday Football Fever
All the best moments from Week 9 on Friday Football Fever - in 90 seconds
VOLLEYBALL Centennial def. Danville 25-16, 25-14 Springfield def. Central 25-23, 25-18 Parkland def. Lincoln Trail 25-3, 25-11, 25-8
GIBSON CITY, Ill. - GCMS will try to get that all-important sixth win Friday night when they visit Fisher in our Friday Football Fever spotlight game. To get ready for the playoffs GCMS played both of its non-conference games this year against playoff-contending teams. One of those, Unity, beat the Falcons by 40 points. They say it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and if they can get a win Friday and lock up a playoff spot, they'll be better off for it.
FARMER CITY, Ill. - The Blue Ridge boys soccer team will try to win the school's first ever sectional title Saturday when the Knights face St. Thomas More. In his tenth season head coach Marty Price has really turned the program around to get them to this point. As always they'll be leaning on senior Dylan Grammer, who is one of the best in the area at putting the ball in the net - and the chance to make some school history is one thing driving them into Saturday's game.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - We are learning new details about Champaign-Urbana's bid to bring the state basketball tournament back to State Farm Center. C-U tourism officials and the University of Illinois are partnering together to try to bring only the boys state tournament to town. There are no plans to bid on the girls tournament, according to Visit Champaign County CEO Jayne DeLuce.
BOYS SOCCER St. Thomas More 2 Williamsville 1 (F) Danville 2 Urbana 1 (F)
BOYS SOCCER Blue Ridge 1 Monticello 0 (F) Salt Fork/Westville 4 Hoopeston Area 3 (F/PK) Central 2 Centennial 0 (F)
Latest: 10:06 pm, 10/21/14, Tuesday CHAMPAIGN -- The Unit 4 School District is asking voters to put a lot of money into both high schools.
ARCOLA, Ill. - When Zach Zehr was named head coach at Arcola two years ago the Deer Creek native knew all about the Purple Riders' rich football history. Now he is part of it. Zehr has Arcola back in the spotlight - much like the program was in the 1970s and 1980s when Steve Thomas coached the Purple Riders to double-digit wins in 11 out of 17 seasons. "For me it just goes back to other people before me," Zehr said of Arcola's football tradition. "Everybody that's still around here who were part of building all that up."
The Central volleyball team is hoping to make a deep post season run this year.
WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten talks with former Centennial Chargers Michael Finke and Rayvonte Rice.
Decatur LSA's Hunter York wins the Class A state golf finals while Centennial takes fourth in 2A. Charleston's Lauren Chappell won the Class A girls golf state finals to claim her second straight state title.
High School soccer scores and highlight.
Friday Football Fever in 90 seconds week 8.
Highlights and scores from Friday Football Fever on 10/17.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sergio McClain always knew his dad was one-of-a-kind. "I've never met anybody like that that has taken life by the horns and yanked them off," he said. Wayne McClain was a fighter to the very end, and he waited until his final days to tell his family he had been battling lung cancer. His son Sergio found out when he overheard the doctors tell his dad that the cancer was terminal, and he was running out of time.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The boys and girls golf tournaments begin Friday morning in Bloomington-Normal and Decatur, respectively. Centennial will compete in the Class 2A boys championship in Normal. It's the second time in the last four years the Chargers have qualified for state. They finished seventh back in 2011. This time around the players say they are more prepared for what's to come.
DECATUR -- The health of a high school teacher has come into question after administrators learned the employee had recently traveled to South Africa.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For many, Wayne McClain's legacy will be remembered by his accomplishments on the court, and there are too many to count. But his former players and colleagues didn't talk about his wins and losses on Wednesday; instead they remembered a man whose impact was felt far beyond basketball. "The kids all looked up to him as a father figure," said Dick Van Scyoc, who preceded McClain as Peoria Manual head coach and served as McClain's mentor. "Not having maybe a dad at home he was somebody they could go to and cry on his shoulder."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The central Illinois community lost a coaching icon Wednesday. Central basketball coach, and former Illinois assistant, Wayne McClain died early Wednesday. He had been in the hospital since Friday battling pneumonia. McClain was 59 years old.
BOYS SOCCER (Class 1A regional semifinal) Judah Christian 9 St. Joseph-Ogden 1 GIRLS VOLLEYBALL Normal Community def. Central 25-21, 25-9 Normal West def. Centennial 25-14, 25-12 St. Joseph-Ogden def. Monticello 25-19, 25-17
MONTICELLO -- Those are the sounds of the award-winning Monticello Sages High School Marching Band.
OAKLAND, Ill. - Tri-County will try to clinch the outright LOVC Southeast division championship when they host Villa Grove-Heritage Friday night. The Titans (4-0, 6-1) hold a one-game lead over both VGH and Cumberland, and a win Friday night would give them their first outright conference title since 2010. Tri-County's only loss this year was a 30-14 loss at Clifton Central, but they expect Friday's game to be as tough as any all year. As for the other side of this matchup, VGH (3-1, 6-1) will try to bounce back from its first loss last week against Cumberland. The Blue Devils' goal of a conference title isn't out of reach yet, but it will take a victory at Tri-County Friday if they want a piece of that conference crown.
Highlights and results from boys & girls golf sectionals
Friday Football Fever in 90 seconds.
SJO RB/OLB Connor Janes will commit after the high school football season. It will likely come the weekend of November 29. He has offers to play at Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois, and Northern Illinois. He also has offers to walk on at Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, and Virginia Tech.
Highlights and scores from Friday Football Fever 10/10.
MAROA, Ill. - The Okaw Valley may only have six teams, but it has been a battle each and every week. Only two conference games remain, and our Spotlight Game this week between Maroa-Forsyth at St. Joseph-Ogden will be a matchup of two state-ranked teams. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more on the major implications for this week's matchup in Maroa.