Junior High Baseball and Softball action from Monday and Tuesday

In  Junior High Girls  Softball action Christopher defeated Z-R 10-0 on Monday.  Cortney Parke goes 3-3 at the plate, Makayla Dejar 2-4, Amiah Hargrove 1-1, 3 walks and scores three runs for the Bearcats.  Lainey Morris and Shelby Grove pick up a hit each for the Tornadoes.

In Boys Baseball, Christopher defeats Z-R 14-0 on Monday.

Yesterday Amiah Hargrove and Reagan Gilbert go 3-5 from the plate, and McKenzie Jackson 2-4 as the Christopher Bearcats fall to the Elverado Falcons 9-7 in a nine inning contest yesterday in Junior High  Softball action.

The Bearcats improve to 3-3 on the year and host Sesser-Valier on Friday.

In Junior High Baseball action, Benton defeats Harrisburg 11-7.





WSIL Preview: Red Devils hopeful for consecutive playoff appearances


SESSER, IL-  (Sean Conway, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story and video.  Here is an excerpt below)

WSIL photo

With preseason practices coming to a close, many high school football teams have their eyes set on the regular season and dreams of playoff contention.

Last season, the team made their first playoff appearance in four years, before an early first round exit.

“I think our biggest challenge is us stopping ourselves, and not being able to finish games. Because last year we had problems with that. Some games we weren’t able to finish. We had good leads on teams and we just let it slip. So I think the problem is us holding ourselves against each other,” said Red Devil fullback/linebacker Jayon Malone.


Piscotty sticks with the Cardinals – Luke Voit optioned to Memphis

by Steve Dunford

Several media outlets have shared this, and I have been waiting for a press release from the team.  Since it is three hours before game time, I will go ahead and share.

Stephen Piscotty, who started the year as the teams cleanup hitter, will stay with the Cardinals. The struggling outfielder who was optioned to Memphis at the beginning of the month, was added as the 26th player in the game against the Pirates in Williamsport PA, as part of the Little League World Series festivities.

Voit has been a successful pinch hitter for the Cardinals.  He only has 23 at bats in 18 games for the Cardinals.  He will likely be recalled on September 1, or when Memphis finishes their season.

Recap of the IHSA board of directors meeting: 8/21/17

Press release from Matt Troha, Assistant Executive Director of the Illinois High School Association

The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Monday, August 21, 2017 where the Board announced that Hoffman Estates High School will serve as the new host of the IHSA Boys Gymnastics State Finals.

Hoffman Estates will host the state finals for the first time this May, and will also be the state championship venue in 2019 and 2020. Hoffman Estates has hosted the IHSA Boys Volleyball State Finals since 1995, as well as the IHSA Class 2A & 3A Boys Soccer State Finals since 2013.

“Hoffman Estates High School is thrilled to continue our partnership with the IHSA by hosting the Boys Gymnastics State Finals,” said Hoffman Estates Athletic Director Steve Lacni. “We look forward to showcasing the best boys’ gymnasts in the state, while continuing to promote the great sport of gymnastics. I want to thank the Township High School D211 Board of Education, administration, and the IHSA for supporting us in this endeavor.”

Hinsdale Central hosted the IHSA Boys Gymnastics State Finals the past four years.

“We are excited about the next chapter of the IHSA Boys Gymnastics State Finals at Hoffman Estates High School,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Hoffman Estates has shown tremendous pride in their efforts to put on first-class IHSA state final events, and we know that boys’ gymnastics will be the next IHSA sports to benefit from their passion. We also want to recognize and thank Athletic Director Dan Jones and the entire Hinsdale Central community for all they have done in hosting the past four years.”


1.The Board approved the Program for International Students at Arlington Heights (St. Viator).

2. The Board approved a recommendation to allow winners in the IHSA Music Sweepstakes contest the ability to purchase an IHSA medallion, in addition to the IHSA pin they are awarded in the contest.

3. The Board approved updates to the IHSA’s Document Retention Policy.

4. The Board approved the IHSA’s Personnel Policies for the 2017-18 school year.


At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the August 21, 2017, agenda:

1. Don Sebestyen, the Chairperson for the Illinois Council of Private Schools, presented data to the Board about the IHSA’s multiplier and success formula.

2. The Board heard a report from Assistant Executive Director Sam Knox on the 2017 IHSA Officials Conference, which was attended by over 600 officials in East Peoria on July 21-22.

3. The Board heard a report from Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson on the 2017 IHSA All-School Mailing.

4. The Board heard a report on the IADA’s New Athletic Directors Workshop co-hosted by the IHSA in July.

5. The Board heard a report on member school financial aid information.

6. The Board heard a report from the staff on its staff retreat discussion, including future ideas to be presented on classifications and state series structure.

7. The Board heard a report on IHSA staff goals for the 2017-18 school year.



by John Lock- Associate Sports Information Director, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

CARBONDALE, IL –  The Southern Illinois football team returns a deep and experienced group of offensive linemen in 2017. The unheralded unit has been key in SIU leading the league in total offense in each of the last two seasons.

“There’s a lot of experience coming back,” head coach Nick Hill said. “Seven or eight guys have played a lot of football for us, and those younger guys have taken that step forward. They’re really pushing for starting spots, or pushing people to get better. The first five have to bring it every day, or there’s someone there to take their spot.”

Eight players–Ben Bailey, Ernest Dye Jr., Aaron Harris, Jacob Marnin, Austin Olsen, Josh Podzielinski, and DeVondre Seymour–have all started games for SIU on the offensive line, so even without Reid Sealby, who started all 11 games last season, SIU has as much experience on the offensive line as anyone in the MVFC.

In pass protection, last year’s offensive line showed dramatic improvement throughout the year. In the first seven games, SIU allowed 24 sacks. In the final four games under offensive line coach Trevor Olson, SIU allowed just five sacks.

“Coach Olson is one of the best young offensive line coaches in the country,” Hill said. “He played the position 54 starts in a row–played an entire season with a broken wrist and didn’t miss a game. Personally, I sit in on his meetings probably more than any position group because that’s where it starts. I learn things from Trevor.”

When the line got going at the end of the year, the Salukis got going. SIU won two of its last three games and averaged 536 yards per game over than final three-game stretch. Especially impressive: facing a Youngstown State defense that was allowing only 280 yards per game, the Salukis put up 301 yards in the second half alone.

“It’s always a transition,” Olson said. “We were patient as we went along, and they got the hang of it. Now, it’s year two. We have to go right away.”

Southern Illinois has one of the best tackle tandems in the country. Austin Olsen has started 22-straight games at left tackle and is a preseason All-MVFC pick. DeVondre Seymour took over at right tackle halfway through last year. Now, they have switched, with Seymour at left tackle and Olsen at right tackle where they are more comfortable. They both have great size (Olsen is 6-5, 320 and Seymour is 6-6, 305), and both have NFL scouts watching them.

“This is the best he’s been,” Hill said of Seymour “I don’t know if there’s a more improved player since he’s been here. With his body and his conditioning, he’s ready to play a Division I season. Physically, he’s as gifted as anybody.”

In the interior line, Jacob Marnin started all 11 games at center. Josh Podzielinski started seven games at guard, and Ernest Dye Jr., whose father played in the NFL as an offensive lineman, started three games late in the season.

“We have guys pushing them, too.” Olson said. “It’s not like anything is being given to them. Ben (Bailey) has played a bunch. Wags (Bryce Wagner) has done great things in practice. Graham (Lawrence) is pushing those guys, too. It’s a very competitive room for those five spots.”

In the high-scoring Saluki offense, the offensive line gets the least amount of credit–and that’s just fine with them. They’ve adopted the mentality of Coach Olson.

“Come to work every day. Don’t let anything phase you,” Olson said. “We don’t get any glamour. It’s about putting your nose to the grindstone, and working each day to get better.”


Missouri Valley Football Confernece Media Vault

Press release from the Missouri Valley Football Confernce

The MVFC has added a new section to its website – labeled “Media Vault.

Each week, the MVFC Media Vault will collect press conferences (YouTube links) and/or audio from the league’s 10 head football coaches, as well as game notes for all schools, and place them on this page. We anticipate this “one-stop shopping” will aid you in your coverage of the Conference and our schools.

Notably, after lengthy deliberation, the league has determined it will eliminate its monthly telephonic press conferences with head coaches.
The Conference will continue to produce its weekly segments — “Two-Minute Drill” and “Extra Point” — and its bi-weekly podcast series “First and Goal”

We look forward to assisting you throughout the season, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our new-look website www.valley-football.org.



Parish, Miners Shut Out Freedom To Even Series

From the Southern Illinois Miners

Miners right-hander Matt Parrish who allowed no runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out two and one walk. (SI Miners photo)

MARION, IL  – The Southern Illinois Miners got a phenomenal start from right-hander Matt Parish and beat the Florence Freedom 2-0 on Saturday night at Rent One Park, snapping a five-game losing streak and evening the weekend series at one game apiece.

Both teams got baserunners but no runs in the first two frames, with Florence stranding runners at second and third base in the second when Parish (3-3) fanned Garrett Vail to end the inning. Southern Illinois would grab the lead off former Miner Steve Hagen (7-5) in the third inning when James Alfonso worked the count full and hit his second homer of the season, a solo shot to left field, to put Southern Illinois ahead 1-0.

Between the third and sixth innings, Parish would settle in and retire nine batters in a row, and permitted just three total baserunners after the second inning. In the meantime, the Miners doubled their lead with a two-out, fifth-inning rally. Ryan Sluder singled to left field and Nolan Earley walked before Ryan Lashley singled home Sluder to make it 2-0.

After walking a man with two outs in the seventh inning, Parish departed with the tying run at the plate and six and two-thirds scoreless innings under his belt on just four hits allowed, but the Miners’ bullpen made the lead stand up, as Kyle Grana and John Werner allowed only one baserunner between them in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Werner recorded his West Division-leading 18th save of the season, putting him two behind the franchise’s all-time record for career saves, by striking out Keivan Berges swinging to end the game.
Southern Illinois will go for a series win in the finale on Sunday night at 5:05 p.m., with Zach Cooper pitching for the Miners against Florence lefty Braulio Torres-Perez.

The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2016 Frontier League West Division Champions, the 2014 and 2015 Frontier League East Division Champions and the 2012 Frontier League Champions. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in 2007, their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the Rent One Park box office at (618) 998-8499. For any additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

Relief pitcher Josh Lucas purchased from Memphis (AAA)

RHP Mike Mayers optioned to Memphis (AAA)

Press Release From The St. Louis Cardinals

Josh Lucas has gone 24-17 with a 3.42 in 192 career Minor League appearances. (AP photo)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Josh Lucas from triple-A Memphis and optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers (pronounced MY-ers) to Memphis following Friday night’s game.

Lucas, 26, the Cardinals 21st round draft pick out of Lakeland (Fla.) High School in the 2010 draft, will be making his Major League debut when he appears in his first game with St. Louis.
The 6-5, 205-pound reliever has posted an 8-1 record with a 3.34 ERA over 43 appearances, converting 14-of-17 saves. He ranks T-4th in the Pacific Coast League in saves (14), T-6th in wins (8) and T-11th in appearances (43), while striking out 65 batters in 56.1 innings.

The Redbirds’ most recent closer, Lucas has had 16 appearances of four outs or more with 11 of 2.0 innings. He’s stranded 13-of-15 inherited runners, induced five double plays and has only issued nine walks. He received an invitation to Major League Spring Training in 2017 and allowed just two hits to 17 total batters faced in five appearances.

Mayers, 26, was recalled on Friday before his option to Memphis following the game.
Lucas will wear uniform No. 77.

Z-R Junior High baseball picks up Coal Belt Conference win at Unity Point


CARBONDALE, IL –  Cole Freeman picks up the win on the mound as well as two base hits as Zeigler-Royalton defeats Unity Point 15-3 in Coal Belt Conference play yesterday afternoon

Cole McKinney had three hits, and Chig Freeman and Kylar Phillips picked up two base hits.

The Tornadoes improved to 3-1 on the season.  They will go on the road to face Christopher on Monday

Z-R Junior High softball short games Unity Point


ZEIGLER, IL-  Hayley Pasquino pitches a shutout, and Olyvia Crain, and Olivia Kirkpatrick goes 3-4 at the plate, as the Tornadoes defeat Unity Point 17-0 in four innings in junior high softball action yesterday in Coal Belt Conference action.

Laniey Morris, Bella Bate, Hadleigh Swetz, Allyson Giles, and Skylar Husdon, all had base hits for Zeigler-Royalton.

The Tornadoes will make the short trip to face the Christopher Bearcats, Monday at 4:00 p.m.