Red Devils win fourth straight with road win over Vienna

By Jim Muir

The Sesser-Valier Red Devils put four players in double figures and picked up a 75-55 Black Diamond Conference road victory over Vienna in Tuesday night prep action.

Tyler Winchester led the way for S-V and picked up game scoring honors with 21 points. The Red Devils jumped out to a double-digit first quarter lead 20-10 and maintained that through the second frame as both teams tallied 16 points in the second quarter. S-V led 36-26 at the intermission.

Red Devils’ Coach Shane Garner said he felt his team missed opportunities early to put the game away.

“It was a back and forth game,” said Garner. “We got hot early but never could put them away. We got a little undisciplined in our approach that cost us opportunities to extend our lead. But, hats off to Vienna, they played extremely hard.”

The Red Devils outscored Vienna 39-29 over the final two quarter to notch the 20-point win. The win closed out the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule for the Red Devils who will be in action again on Dec. 26 in their own holiday tournament.

“We have won four in a row and we’re playing better and getting healthy,” said Garner. “We’re looking to getting some rest and we’re looking forward to the holiday tournament.”

Following Winchester in double figures was a trifecta of Gunters — Lukas, Eli and Josh — who scored 13, 13 and 12 points respectively. Rounding out the scoring for the Red Devils was Addison Page, who narrowly missed double figures with nine points, Preston Launius with five points and Peyton Rock with two points.

Dohacke led Vienna with 19 points.


Arrests made in connection with Iron Horse Burglary

SESSER – The Sesser police department has made arrests in connection with the burglary at the Iron horse that occurred on 12/10/17. The suspects in custody are juveniles and their names will not be released.

Police chief Ryan White would like to thank the public for the tips we received and the officers for their outstanding police work, collecting evidence and conducting interviews.

The alleged individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Lady Devils move to 10-0 with BDC win over Christopher

By Jim Muir

The Sesser-Valier-Waltonville Lady Devils kept their unbeaten string intact last night as they eked out a hard-fought 62-57 road victory over the Christopher Lady Bearcats.

The win moves S-V-W to 10-0 overall (4-0 in the Black Diamond West). The Lady Bearcats fell to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

The game was a see-saw affair with no enjoying a lead bigger than the final margin of victory by the Lady Devils. Christopher jumped out to an 18-16 first quarter lead but the Lady Devils rallied back to outscore the Lady Cats 16-9 in the second frame to take a 32-27 halftime advantage. Christopher fought back and pulled to within one point at 43-42 before the Lady Devils outpointed the host school 19-15 in the fourth quarter to grab the victory and remain undefeated on the season.

“It was an awesome game,” said S-V-W Coach Rick Metcalf. “It was one of those games where our offense kind of disappeared and our shots weren’t falling. Hats off to Christopher, they had a lot to do with that. I thought both teams played well. It was a very nice win for us on the road.”

The game was actually won at the free throw line for the Lady Devils where they connected on 19-23 (83 percent) free tosses. The Lady Bearcats actually notched one more field goal than S-V-W but connected on 13-25 (52 percent) free throws.

“We are shooting 79 percent from the line as a time through 10 games,” said Metcalf. “That is excellent at any level.”

Despite the loss Christopher Coach Seiger Shurtz had high praise for his team’s effort.

“We played a really good game,” Shurtz said. “We were solid in a lot of areas. We came to compete and we had ourselves in a position to win the game. Free throws and a couple missed opportunities down the stretch were the difference in the game. I’m proud of the way we competed and hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come.”

S-V-W was led by Sami McCowen with 18 points, including 8-8 from the free throw line. Paige Tucker and Jada Hale added 10 points each and Adrianna Fedderke came off the bench with nine points. The play of Fedderke did not miss the eye of Metcalf.

“Fed (Fedderke) gave us a big lift off the bench with nine points,” said Metcalf. “And I thought Sami (McCowen) and Paige (Tucker) played outstanding.”

Rounding out the S-V-W scoring, Carlie Page added six points, Brooke Wilderman scored six points and Jaice McCowen scored four points.

Game scoring honors went to Christopher’s Courtney Hoppers who scored 20 points, followed by Jayla Willilams with 12, Maya Hewitt with nine points, Kassie O’Bryan with six points and Lauren Kent with three points.

Christopher is back in action on Monday, December 11 when they host Webber Township in a non-conference matchup. S-V-W returns to the hardcourt on December 13 when they host Trico.


Sesser-Valier/Waltonville   16 16 11  19 —  62

Christopher                            18   9  13  15 —  55


SVW (62) S. McCowen 4 8-8 18, B. Wilderman 1 304 5, Tucker 3 4-6 10, Page 3 0-0 6, Hale 3 2-2 10, J. McCowen 1 1-2 4, Fedderke 4 1-1 9

Team Totals: 19 19-23 62


Christopher (57) Williams 4 4-4 12, Henson 2 0-0 5, Hewitt 4 1-4 9, Miller 0 0-3 0, Hoppers 6 8-14 20, O’Bryan 3 0-0 6, Kent 1 0-0 3

Team Totals: 20 13-25 57


Sesser-Valier-Waltonville girls move to 9-0 with lopsided win over Johnston City

By Jim Muir

The Sesser-Valier-Waltonville Lady Devils ran their record to 9-0 Monday night with a 77-33 Black Diamond Conference West victory over Johnston City.

The Lady Devils raced out to an 18-6 first quarter lead and then put the game away in the second frame by outscoring Johnston City 31-8 to take a commanding 49-14 halftime lead.

S-V-W Coach Rick Metcalf went to his bench early and often in the lopsided contest with all 13 players seeing action in the first half.

“We shot the ball extremely well tonight,” said Metcalf. “I thought we shot particularly well from behind the arc.”

The Lady Devils hit 10 3-pointers in the road win, led by sophomore Jaice McCowen, who had four 3-pointers. McCowen led her team in scoring with 15 on the night.

Also scoring in double figures for the Lady Devils was Jada Hale with 14, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“I thought Jada and Jaice both played extremely well tonight,” Metcalf said. “We’re getting balanced scoring and that’s a big part of the success we’re having right now.”

Through nine games the Lady Devils have had seven different players lead the team in scoring. Rounding out the scoring from Monday’s win, Paige Tucker also had double figures with 12 points, Sami McCowen added nine points, Carlie Page added seven points, Peyton Wilderman scored six points, Ella Zahm had four points and Brooke Wilderman, Anna Kistner, Rylee Breeze, Jaycee Garner and Adrianna Fedderke all had two points.

The Lady Devils are back in action on Thursday night in a key conference matchup when they face Route 148 rival Christopher in a road game.


Red Devils drop 56-48 decision to Du Quoin

By Jim Muir

The Sesser-Valier Red Devils dropped a hard-fought 56-48 decision to the host Indians in Friday night hoops from the Du Quoin Tip-Off Classic.

Coach Shane Garner said turnovers were instrumental in the loss on Friday night.

“Turnovers were an issue on Monday against Cairo and they were again tonight,” said Garner. “I though we clicked early and executed very well. In the end they were able to put together some runs and we weren’t.”

Du Quoin led 19-16 at the end of one quarter and extended the lead to 34-27 at halftime.

Garner said rebounding was also a key to the loss.

“They really dominated us on the glass,” said Garner. “We would force them into missing a shot and then we couldn’t capitalize and get a rebound and gave them second chance opportunities.”

The Red Devils were led in scoring by Tyler Winchester with 19, the lone S-V player in double figures. Also scoring for the Red Devils was Preston Launius and Peyton Rock with nine points each, followed by Lukas Gunter with 8, Addison Page with 2 and Josh Gunter with one point.

The loss dropped S-V to 0-2 on the young season and 0-2 heading into a tough day of action on Saturday in the round robin tournament. The Red Devils face Carmi-White County at 12 noon and then will come back at 6 p.m. to meet Massac County.



S-V-W Lady Devils improve to 7-0 with road win at Woodlawn

By Jim Muir

WOODLAWN – The Sesser-Valier-Waltonville Lady Devils improved to 7-0 Wednesday night with a close 34-31 victory at Woodlawn.

Both teams got off to a slow start offensively with S-V-W trailing 6-3 at the end of the opening quarter.

“Our offense was stagnant all night,” said S-V-W Coach Rick Metcalf. “Our defense was really good all night that’s what got us by and got us the win.”

The Lady Devils put together a good second quarter outscoring Woodlawn by double digits 14-4 to take a 17-10 halftime advantage. The second frame actually was the difference in the game as Woodlawn outscored S-V-W 21-17 in the second half but still fell short.

“We hit some clutch free throws down the stretch that really contributed to the win,” Metcalf said. “I thought Sami McCowen and Paige Tucker both had outstanding games for us tonight.”

Tucker and McCowen led the Lady Devils in scoring with 14 and 8 points respectively. Sophomore Carlie Page added seven points, Jada Hale and Jaycee Garner scored two each and Jaice McCowen added one point.

Metcalf said he is pleasantly surprised to be heading into December with an unblemished mark.

“We have played really well as a team, “said the longtime coach. “We have had six different leading scorers in seven games and that is great balance.”

The Lady Devils are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they will host Chester in a Black Diamond Conference West matchup. The JV game will begin at 1 p.m.


5 Loaves Cafe in Sesser offers more than a meal

SESSER, IL –  Living in the community over fifteen years, I know first hand the work, generosity, and showing Christ’s love the Sesser-Valier Ministerial Alliance does for the community.  Please the link below to read the story from Holly Kee of the Benton news about the alliance’s newest ministry, Five Loaves Cafe, and their outreach to the community during the ministry’s thanksgiving dinner.  -sd

Students, leaders share stage at 2017 RLC Criminal Justice Scholarship Roundup

MT. VERNON, IL – The future of local law enforcement and some of their most ardent supporters gathered in Mt. Vernon this week for the sixth annual Rend Lake College Criminal Justice Program’s Roundup for Scholarships event.

Every year, the fundraiser brings in approximately $3,000 – enough for at least six students to receive financial help for classes in the criminal justice program. This year, the six students who received those scholarships were on hand to meet with members of local law enforcement who took the opportunity to share words of wisdom and encouragement.


Jefferson County State’s Attorney Sean Featherstun, center, presents a $1,000 donation to the Rend Lake College Criminal Justice Scholarship Fund. There to receive the gift was RLC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Ron Meet, left, and RLC President Terry Wilkerson, right.  (Reece Rutland, Rend Lake College public information)

Jefferson County State’s Attorney Sean Featherstun started the event off with a bang when he presented the criminal justice scholarship fund with a $1,000 donation out of the State’s Attorney’s Drug Forfeiture Fund.

“We seize money from drug dealers and hold on to it until we can find something positive to do with it. So, tonight we are here to donate this money to the scholarship fund. This is our opportunity to take money from the bad guys and use it to fight against them,” said Featherstun.

Dave Severin, State Representative for the 117th District, shared his message of gratitude and encouraged the students to remain local to help build Southern Illinois up.

“You are the future of Southern Illinois. I’m so glad to be here this evening to not only congratulate you but also to challenge you to go get an education or start your own business, have a family and stay in Southern Illinois,” Severin expressed.

Mt. Vernon Police Chief Chris Deichman echoed those thoughts.

“I would like to commend all these students on your chosen path. You’ve taken a great first step. Like Representative Severin made mention, I would challenge you as well to stay right here. Stay local. When we are recruiting, we are looking for folks who came from our local community colleges. What we have found in our department, the ones that have worked their way up and are now leaders in the department are local. So, when we are looking for new officers we like to look right here in our own back yard. Those people tend to love the community and stick around,” Deichman expressed.

Deichman also told the students that they were getting started with their careers by taking advantage of Rend Lake College. The chief shared his experience of being a RLC criminal justice student and how that helped him along the path that he is on today.

Jefferson County Sheriff Travis Allen, a fellow RLC criminal justice graduate, agreed wholeheartedly.
“Rend Lake gave me a great base where I was able to go on to graduate school. I believe all of that is because of the college and the Foundation, providing me the support and tools I needed. We have something in our backyard that we should take advantage of, and that’s Rend Lake College. You will not find a more intelligent and better prepared man than Ron Meek,” said Allen.

Two of the student scholarship recipients also took the opportunity to speak.

Six criminal justice students were on hand at the 2017 Roundup for Scholarships event. From left, Jordan Pike (McLeansboro), Alan Fox (Tamaroa), Anthony Amato (Ina), Jena Holden (Christopher), Associate Professor Ron Meek and Chelsey Bundy (Thompsonville). Not pictured was Amanda Queen (Reece Rutland – Rend Lake College Public Information.)

Chelsey Bundy (Thompsonville) has already begun working as a full-time officer with the Sesser Police Department while continuing her education. She hopes to use this opportunity to go on and earn her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“I just want to thank everyone for coming tonight. It’s been an honor to receive a scholarship this year. It’s helped me out a lot. We all know college is expensive. Thank you professor Meek for being a great instructor and making class interesting and leading us all in the right direction,” Bundy stated.
Fellow scholarship recipient Alan Fox (Tamaroa) had nothing but praise for the program.

“I have personally learned more about criminal justice than I ever could have imagined over the past year and a half. Professor Meek is a great teacher. All of the teachers in the program are great and very knowledgeable,” Fox said.

Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson and Foundation CEO Kay Zibby-Damron also took a turn at the podium to thank the students for attending RLC and to encourage them to become quality representatives of the Criminal Justice Program as well as the college.

Ron Meek, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, closed the night by thanking all the supporters of the program and making two announcements of his own.

“I just want to take a moment to thank the college, local law enforcement and the community for their support of the program. Because, without them, we wouldn’t have the success that we enjoy. We are always trying to come up with new things to keep our program on the cutting edge of the field. This year, I’m pleased to announce that in January we are starting a new class called Law Enforcement Scenarios. It will be a whole semester of spending one class period learning about a topic and then the next class period of actually roleplaying that scenario out,” said Meek. “A lot of our local law enforcement has come to me and expressed a need for scenario-based training. So, we are working towards addressing that need.”

“Also, with the president of the college’s support and the cooperation of local law enforcement, we are about to get Illinois to move the part-time Police Academy from Carbondale to Rend Lake College Starting in January. So, we are going to be the site for Southern Illinois part-time, police training program.”

To learn more about RLC’s Criminal Justice program, visit, or contact Meek at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1239 or


Dispatcher on administrative leave following sexual assault investigation

The Central Dispatch Board. (From WSIL-TV reporter Hannah Gebresialasse’s Twitter page

CHRISTOPHER, IL (Hannah Gebresilasse – WSIL-TV.  Please Click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.

Board members of the Central Dispatch of West Franklin County voted Wednesday night to place former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Hampton on unpaid administrative leave, indefinitely.

Hampton faces charges of criminal sexual assault and custodial sexual misconduct. The felonies stem from an incident in January of 2016. Following the incident, the Franklin County Sheriff placed Hampton on administrative leave and he later resigned then began work at the dispatch center.

Rebecca Whittington serves as general counsel for the West Franklin County Central Dispatch board. She told News 3 Hampton’s position will be held open, but he will not be on staff or payroll.

See You at the Pole: Sesser-Valier Schools

From the Sesser-Valier Fellowship of Christian Athletes Facebook page

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News