The Parkland volleyball team is 42-2, conference champions, and the top-ranked team in the country.
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.
Former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy had high praise for Illini basketball coach John Groce.
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.
CHICAGO, Ill. - The Illinois basketball team received four votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll released Thursday. The Big Ten is projected to be one of the nation's toughest conferences once again this season. At the league's media day in Chicago Thursday, Wisconsin was tabbed as the unanimous favorite. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns was there and has more on the Illini.
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.
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
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.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tim Beckman told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that both Aaron Bailey and Reilly O'Toole will get a lot of reps in practice this week, but he wouldn't say who will be the starter at quarterback when the Illini take the field in a week-and-a-half against Minnesota. Beckman did say Bailey will be a part of the game plan moving forward now that he isn't redshirting.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - What would've happened if Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had played his college football at Illinois? Well it turns out, that's exactly where he wanted to play. Rodgers told The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday that Illinois was his first choice of schools, but they never offered. Instead he became an NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion as a product of Cal - instead of the Illini.
Highlights and results from boys & girls golf sectionals
Illinois grad Steve Stricker also cheers for his hometown Wisconsin Badgers.
Illinois will use the week off to decide who will start against Minnesota: Aaron bailey or Reilly O'Toole?
Friday Football Fever in 90 seconds.
The Illinois football team fell to 3-4 (0-3) Saturday after a 38-28 loss to Wisconsin. Aaron Bailey saw his first playing time of the season, but the Badgers ran for 401 yards.
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.
Illinois point guard Tracy Abrams talks with WCIA 3's Aaron Bennett about his season-ending ACL injury, and how he'll continue to play a leadership role even though he won't be on the court this season.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois head coach John Groce called this year's team the deepest and most experienced team he has had in his three years in Champaign. He also challenged his team to be in the best shape of any team he has ever coached. Groce also says he has been preaching the "2 D's"- discipline and details - in hopes of bringing this team back to the NCAA Tournament. "We're certainly grateful for the opportunity to be in postseason play last year, but all of us would've rather been in the other postseason tournament," said Groce. "When you miss that by the hair of your chinny chin chin, and you feel that, I think it really really accentuates and makes those details and the discipline that's required both on and off the court to be a champion come more to light, and it makes them value and appreciate those things even more."
Illini senior Nnanna Egwu talks with WCIA 3's Bret Beherns about his game and having no regrets when his senior season is finished.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - We are less than a month away from the Illinois basketball team's one and only exhibition game of the year, and on Thursday head coach John Groce talked about some of his expectations for this year's team, saying it is the deepest and most experienced team in his three years with the orange and blue. But of course most of the headlines this offseason came on the recruiting trail. Groce secured a commitment from four-star combo guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, but he also missed on a few four- and five-star recruits like Jalen Brunson and Jawun Evans. We will get a decision from Top 30 recruit Elijah Thomas in a couple weeks, and Groce said Thursday even though he has missed a handful of big recruits, he won't be toning down his approach or lowering his standards anytime soon. "We're very aggressive in everything that we do," said Groce. "We try to attack, be aggressive, and obviously we want to do it with purpose. I think that's important. You don't want to swing blind - or blindfolded. It's not like we're trying to hit a pinata. I do think that's important as well. I've got great assistant coaches. We've done a great job in that area, and we're going to continue to try to find Illini guys."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois women's basketball head coach Matt Bollant expects his team to take a big step forward this season after going just 2-14 in the Big Ten last year. A lot of those high expectations fall on the shoulders of freshman - and McDonald's All-American - Chatrice White. White should start immediately, and Bollant says she has been leading the team in scoring and rebounding so far in practice - even going as far as to call her a "program-changing" recruit even before she has played in a game. "She is everything we had hoped she would be," Bollant said. "The one thing about talented players, they tend to get better. Our practices are really intense. We have a lot of detail, and she wants to learn. She picks up things really fast. The great thing is she's a great passer as well, and so getting her touches is going to be really important, so she'll score or be able to find open shooters when she gets touches."
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.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Almost nobody outside the Illinois locker room is giving the Illini any chance to win at Wisconsin this weekend. The Illini are 25.5 point underdogs against the Badgers. Talking to head coach Tim Beckman and the team this week, they're using their opportunity to show everybody everybody what they're made of. "I ask our players to play hard, and they're playing hard," Beckman said. "It comes down to me, and we've got make sure that our players are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing and just keep playing hard because it'll all come if we're playing with enough effort."
Volleyball, cross-country and golf highlights & results
ST. JOSEPH, Ill. - Just a week before football practice started last year, SJO junior Ty Brown was working out with a few of his teammates running around the school track when he suddenly fell down. "Our last sprint we were doing, about halfway through I just felt something," Brown said. "It felt like someone kicked me in the back of the knee and I just fell down. It was probably the worst pain of my life."
LANCASTER, Tex. - One of the next top targets on John Groce's recruiting wish list has set a date for his college decision. Dallas (Tex.) power forward Elijah Thomas said Tuesday he will make his announcement on October 21st during a press conference at his Lancaster (Tex.) high school. Thomas is a borderline five-star recruit, ranked by most scouting services as a Top 30 player in the 2015 class. Rivals.com ranks him as high as No. 20. Thomas is a 6-foot-9, 250 lb. big man, who took an official visit to Illinois alongside Illini-commit Jalen Coleman-Lands last month. Thomas will choose between Illinois, Oklahoma State, SMU, LSU and Texas A&M.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – University of Illinois freshman receiver Mike Dudek (Naperville, Illinois/Neuqua Valley HS) was added to the watch list for the 2014 Biletnikoff Award on Tuesday. The Biletnikoff Award is given annually to the nation’s top receiver. Dudek is having a steallar freshman season, currently standing 19th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total receiving yards (539) and second among FBS freshmen.
Sullivan-Okaw Valley has already qualified for the playoffs this season, the Redskins could clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2001 with one more victory this season.
Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman said 'it's all about the players' at his weekly press conference Monday afternoon. The response came after he questioned whether he feels the need to make a statement to the fans about his team.
Vote on the Friday Football Fever Plays of the Week 6 between Maroa-Forsyth's Jack Hockaday, Cerro Gordo-Bement's Gage Fowler or Tuscola's Nick and Zach Bates.
Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman announced Sunday that Fighting Illini quarterback Wes Lunt, who leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game, suffered a fractured fibula in the loss to Purdue Saturday and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Central defeats Charleston 6-0 while Urbana defeats Uni-High 3-2.
Illinois lost to Purdue Saturday 38-27 and the pressure on Head Coach Tim Beckman only increases as the Illini fall to 1-17 in Big Ten games with him as head coach.
HIGHLIGHTS & SCORES from Week 6 of Friday Football Fever
Re-live the best moments from Week 6 of Friday Football Fever - in 90 seconds
Central Illinois' Top Female Athlete, Gia Lewis-Smallwood, is here to discuss women in sports.
Is there any danger for young girls sharing the sports field with boys? Do women have a higher risk or incident of injury?
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Mikey Dudek has made an immediate impact on the Illini football team this season, and now the true freshman is being recognized among the best freshmen nationwide. Dudek has been named to the watch list for the freshman of the year award given by the College Football Performance Awards. He is among the Top 10 in the conference in receiving yards, and he has proven to be one of Wes Lunt's favorite targets especially late in games. Dudek has caught for 339 yards and three touchdowns in his first five career games. "I've had a great time. It's been fun," said Dudek. "Definitely a lot of stress leading up to the games wanting to perform well. Becuase you put in all that work, and you don't want to see that work not pay off for you."
CLINTON, Ill. - You may not find a player more excited to be at practice than Jacob Pourchot. Pourchot has cerebral palsy. He may not be the biggest or fastest, but his passion and determination are second to none. "People at school and on the team treat me like a normal person, like I should be treated," Pourchot said. "I just love it. It's not something that's going to stop me. I wrestle. I started wrestling last year. I said 'This isn't going to stop me.' I'm going to do whatever I want. It isn't going to stop me. I'm not going to let it."
Update: 5:26 pm, 10/2/14, Thursday ILLINOIS -- Friday there will be a hearing in Chicago discussing sports.
TUSCOLA, Ill. - Tuscola coach Rick Reinhart usually doesn't take time to reflect on his teams wins. But last Friday's victory over Central A&M was different. After the final whistle blew and dozens of his former players congratulated him on his 200th career win -- the reality of becoming one of less than 75 coaches in Illinois history to accomplish the feat finally set in. "That did kind of make me sit back and say, 'Wow, that's a long time,'" he said. "And also just something that every kid I've ever coached, that's ours, not mine. It was special, it really was."
DALLAS, Tex. - John Groce received some more tough recruiting news Wednesday as five-star point guard Jawun Evans (Kimball H.S., Dallas, Tex.) verbally committed to Oklahoma State, choosing the Cowboys over the Fighting Illini. Evans is ranked among the Top 35 players in the country in the 2015 class. Illinois was considered the leader for the Dallas native earlier this summer, but Oklahoma State made a strong push toward the end.
VOLLEYBALL Bloomington def. Centennial 25-21, 15-25, 25-15 Central def. Urbana 25-14, 25-10 STM def. SJO 25-21, 25-21