Sesser-Valier registers 28 seniors during College Signing Day

Pictured:  FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Adrianna Fedderke, Katie King, Jaycee Garner, Emily Kovarik, Allyson Bryant, Elizabeth Crawford, Daisy Ort, Katie Robinson, and Haley Miller; MIDDLE ROW, Matthew Le Vault, Dailyn Noble, Desiree Pavletich, Paolina Marlo, Jenna Jones, Ashley Baxter, Alexis Swift, Alayna Hicks, Ellie Hattendorf, Brooke DeAngelo, Madison Baine, Katelynn Baine, and Gabrielle Garrison; BACK ROW, Billy Heard, Preston Launius, Josh Womak, Bryce Jones, Colton Brown, and Lukas Gunter. (ReAnne Palmer – RLC Public Information

By ReAnne Palmer 

Twenty-eight seniors at Sesser-Valier High School officially became Rend Lake College students this week during College Signing Days.  The students took their first steps into life after high school by meeting with an RLC Academic Adviser to enroll in summer and fall courses.

Registration for Summer and Fall 2018 classes at RLC is going on now. Classes start the week of June 4-8 for the summer semester and during the week of August 20-24 for the fall semester. Contact RLC’s Academic Advisement Center at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1266 to schedule an appointment for summer or fall registration.

Valliant comeback by Sesser-Valier falls short in Sectional Final game against Goreville


The Goreville Blackcats became the Southern Illinois Blackcats last night as the cut down the nets in Oxford Gym last night in the win over Sesser-Valier. (Goreville Community Unit 1 photo) 

ELIZABETHTOWN –  The Sesser-Valier Red Devils fall short to the Goreville Blackcats, 48-44 in the sectional final game at Hardin County last night.

Preston Launius led the Devils with 17 points last night, Tyler Winchester added 13, and Lukas Gunter added seven.

Braden Webb led the way for the Blackcats with 13 points, Tanner Dunn added 11, and, Cole Tosh added nine.

Goreville is in uncharted territory for their program.  They advance to the Elite Eight facing Mowequa Central A & M in the Class 1A Super Sectional at the SIU arena. They were 69-56 winners over Nokoms last night, on A & M’s home floor.

Two teams in the Sweet 16 (it will never be Super 16 in my book) shows the strength of the BDC West.  Christopher and Chester playing in regional championship games, speaks volumes how tough this conference is night in and night out.

Link from Jack Bullock of A Baseline View

Link from Les Winkeler of the Southern Illinoisan

Rend Lake College Foundation welcomes Sesser native Rodney Cabaness to Board

By Reece Rutland – Rend Lake College Public Information 

INA, Ill. – The Rend Lake College Foundation’s mission is to represent a partnership between public and private interests for the benefit of Rend Lake College students. Newest among those guiding that mission is Rodney Cabaness co-owner of two local Harley-Davidson dealerships and 2016 RLCF Alumnus of the Year.

Comprised of community members, business leaders and philanthropists, the Board of Directors has helped guide the RLCF in providing unparalleled student success though their scholarship endeavors and provided the college with vital resources for maintaining the national-recognized service its students have come to expect.

“Rodney’s business acumen, coupled with his deep connections to Rend Lake College and his passion for helping others will be a tremendous asset to the Foundation Board of Directors.  We have entered a new time where private support is becoming crucial to the sustainability of community colleges,” said RLCF Chief Executive Officer Kay Zibby-Damron.

“The RLC Foundation is very fortunate to have such a dynamic group of prominent business leaders and professionals on our Board of Directors to help us ensure Rend Lake College and our students have the resources they need today and into the future. I am grateful for Rodney’s commitment to serve on our board and very much look forward to working with him.”

Cabaness, a Sesser native, started Black Diamond in 2007 with his business partner, co-owner and fellow RLC alum Shad Zimbro. Together, the pair built a company devoted to their community, stocking food pantries, fillings children’s backpacks and providing numerous scholarships.

Given the good works that Cabaness was already known for and the ties to his alma mater, he made a natural fit for the RLCF Board of Directors.

Every year 12 area youth are able to attend Rend Lake College because of Black Diamond’s generosity.

Cabaness is excited to bring Black Diamond trademark care for the community to Mt. Vernon with the recent acquisition of Roadhouse Harley Davidson.

“When attending and graduating from Rend Lake College in 1990, I didn’t realize how crucial that time in my life was going to be to my success,” Cabaness expressed.

“Now that I can fully appreciate how much RLC impacted my life, it is truly a great privilege to be able to give back by serving as a member on its foundation board. The Rend Lake College Foundation does so much to help so many people and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

To date, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson has sold almost 12,000 motorcycles and regularly ranks near the top of all 700 Harley-Davidson dealerships in the nation. They have sold a motorcycle in almost all 50 states and have received numerous awards and recognitions for their community-first approach.

“We are just constantly trying to share our appreciation of what the community has done for us. We just received so much support. We have a commodity. We sell a lot of different things. But, I really feel like we offer a lifestyle. So, we try to create those relationships with people. We never had any idea how much support we would receive. We knew the area would be good to us, but we never dreamed it would be the meteoric rise that ended up happening. We were basically flying by the seat of our pants for the first few years just trying to figure it out as we went. We never expected the growth. We just set out to make it always about the people that walked through our door,” Cabaness said in his Alumnus of the Year speech.

For their part, the RLCF is always seeking dedicated individuals willing to invest in the individual growth of the many students who attend the college by investing in campus and community growth and economic development.

Last year alone, the RLCF handed out 255 scholarships worth $200,000 to help students see their dreams turn into reality.

Anyone interested in giving to the RLCF to assist in student success or students seeking scholarship opportunities to Rend Lake College can visit or call (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1214 for more information.

Route 1 closed in spots between Junction and Cave-in-Rock

ELIZABETHTOWN –  I just spoke with the Hardin County Sheriff’s office, and Route 1 is still closed in places between Junction and Cave in Rock.  IDOT is not showing it on their website at this time.

I know some will take that route heading to the sectional tonight.  Use Route 34 as an alternate route.  -sd

Approximately 90 tickets remain for the championship game of the Z-R Class 1A Regional

By Steve Dunford 

ZEIGLER – I just spoke with Zeigler-Royalton Athletic Director Jeremy May, and 90 general admission tickets remain for the championship game between Sesser-Valier and Woodlawn.

The school will set up cameras where the game can be streamed inside the school when the gym reaches full capacity.

The doors will open at 4:45 p.m. with the Country Financial Three Point Showdown starting at 5:00 p.m.


Students earn high marks at WYSE Academic Challenge

INA – Over 150 students from 10 area high schools competed in the 2018 Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Academic Challenge Regional in the last two weeks. Eight of the schools met on Rend Lake College’s campus on Wednesday, Feb. 7 to participate; however, due to weather, two other schools held make-up events on later dates.

During the WYSE Academic Challenge, schools with similar enrollment compete against one another in divisions. Christopher High School, Wayne City High School, Zeigler-Royalton High School, Sesser-Valier High School, Waltonville High School, and Webber Township High School make up Division 300. Division 700 consists of Benton Consolidated High School, Pinckneyville Community High School, and Hamilton County Senior High School. The lone Division 1500 school is Mt. Vernon Township High School.

Each student who competes in the WYSE Academic Challenge completes two exams in pre-selected subjects. They can choose from biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, math, or physics. Below are the regional results, followed by team photos. Students who qualify for the WYSE Sectional will compete at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Wednesday, March 14. The Illinois State Finals will be held April 16-19 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign.


GIRLS MWC: Wright, Tucker, Wilderman All Tournament Team Selections

From left to right: Cali Wright, West Frankfort; Bella Pasquino, Pinckneyville; Paige Tucker, and Brooke Wilderman, Sesser-Valier-Waltonville; Aston Hawk, Madison Russell (MVP) Herrin

Devils move to 5-0 in the BDC West, defeat Goreville 64-48

SESSER –  The Sesser-Valier Red Devils outscored their opponents 24-11 in the fourth quarter to take a nice 64-48 victory from the Goreville Blackcats.

The Devils put four players on the night in double figures as Lukas Gunter led the way with 18 points, Tyler Winchester 13, Preston Launius and Joshua Gunter had ten points each on the night for Sesser-Valier.

Braden Webb led the way for the Blackcats with 14 and Landon Albright added 10.  Post player Tanner Dunn did not play for Goreville, as he was out with the flu.

Sesser Valier improves to (10-5)(5-0) on the season and will make the short trip to Z-R Friday night, before heading into the BIT.

Goreville (11-4)(2-2) will host the Christopher Bearcats on Friday night before facing the Carbondale Terriers in the first Round of the Superman Classic.

Jared Curry is supposed to return to the Bearcat lineup of Friday night.

Link to Les Winkler’s story from The Southern Illinoisan

Link to Jack Bullock’s story from A Baseline View

Link to current Black Diamond Standings


Sesser-Valier Students attend assembly on internet safety

Illinois State Trooper Joey Watson conducts an assembly for all Sesser-Valier students from grades 3-12 on the dangers of surfing the internet. There will be a similar session in the spring for parents. (Photo provided)

Goreville wins the SVHT: Round two will take place on Jan. 9th at Sesser-Valier

By Steve Dunford 

SESSER – It was a match-up that lived up to its billing.  The overflowing crowd ad Sesser-Valier High School, sure received their five dollars worth.  The Goreville Blackcats cut the nets down last night, in a 65-63 win over the Sesser-Valier Red Devils.

Sesser-Valier Coach Shane Garner with his Devils during a timeout in the semi-final win against Woodlawn. (Thank you Dana Laur)

With time elapsing under the :15, Peyton Geyman picked up the biggest rebound of his high school career to hit Tanner Dunn with a baseball pass with a wide open layup to put Goreville up 65-63.

Tyler Winchester, who hit a buzzer beater the night before against Woodlawn, had a good look and it rimmed in and out to give the Blackcats the win.

Sesser-Valier rushes out to a 10-3 lead. Lucas Gunter hits two threes during this stretch. Goreville goes on a 11-3 run to end the quarter.  Braden Webb hits two free throws in the closing seconds of the quarter to put the Blackcats up 14-13.

To start the second quarter there were three ties and four lead changes.  During that stretch Webb picked up two big assists, finding Cole Tosh wide open underneath the bucket.  The third time he was sent to the foul line, and he drained both of them.

The Devils go up by six when Preston Launius drains his second three of the quarter to give them a 30-24 lead,  Peyton Massey answers back with a three of his own.   The lead see-saws back between six and four.  Eli Gunter picks up a bucket in the closing seconds of the first half to put the Devils up 35-29.

In the third the Devils extend the lead to nine points.  Through this stretch Webb put the team on his back.  He rattled off six points and he found Tosh in the paint again twice.  Through this stretch, Winchester is fouled by Webb to pick up his third foul.  Lukas Gunter drives the lane two possessions later to pick up Webb’s fourth foul.  

Instead of the Red Devils taking advantage of the situation, Morgan Bishop came up with a big three, as the momentum started to swing, then Massey hits a big thee to tie it at 47.  The third quarter ends with the score 50-49.

The Devils take a four point lead, then Tanner Dunn takes the deuce and the abuse.  If Darren Kinnard was in the house, that definitely would have been on Channel 3.

Coach Todd Tripp goes back to Webb after this at the five minute mark.  He did not last long as he fouled out at the 2:52 mark on a player control foul.  It was one of those block/charge calls that could have went either way.

You never want to see anyone get injured, but Webb hurt his ankle in the Goreville Invitational.  He did not play against Hardin County and missed the following game after the tournament against Z-R.  They had ten days off then.  In his first game back he scores 33 against West Frankfort.

Geyman throws his first long pass and hits Massey to put Goreville up 62-61.  The Blackcats run :45 seconds before the Devils foul Massey.

Massey hits 1-2 to as Goreville goes up 63-61.  Addsion Page hits two free throws to knot it up at 63.  Then I shared what happened in the last 15 seconds.

Braden Webb and Peyton Massey share the all time scores at 16,  Cole Tosh 13, and Tanner Dunn added 11 on the night for Goreville.

Even though they picked up sixteen points each, Preston Launius, Lukas Gunter, Tyler Winchester, and Joshua Gunter did a great job guarding Massey and Dunn, whether if they were their man, or help side defense.

Goreville Coach Todd Tripp had this to say about last night’s win.  . Our kids did not quit.  I am  super proud of the way we responded all night!   It is a big win for my kids and happy they get a chance to enjoy this championship.

For the Red Devils Lukas Gunter, and Preston Launius lead with 13 each, twelve for Tyler Winchester, and ten for Addison Page had ten.

Goreville improves to 10-2 on the season.  They make the long trip to Campbell Hill to face to Trico Pioneers Friday, January 5th.

Sesser-Valier falls to 8-5 on the season.  They host Trico on the 6th.

Round two will take place on the on January 9th at Sesser.  Round three will take place February 9th at Goreville.  I would not be surprised if a round four takes place at the at the Hardin County Sectional.

Box Score

GOREVILLE (65)  Massey 2 2 6-7 16, Webb 5 1 3-5 16, Tosh 5 0 3-4 13, Dunn 5 0 3-4 13.  Geyman 2 0 0-0 4, Bishop 0 1 0-0 3,  Glidewell 1 0 0-0 2 Albright 0 0 0-0 0

SESSER-VALIER (63)  L. Gunter 2 2 3-6 13, Launius 3 2 1-2 13, Winchester 2 2 2-4 12, Page 2 1 3-4 10, J. Gunter 1 1 1-2 6,  Rock 2 0 1-1 5, E Gunter 1 0 0-0 2, Boles 0 0 2-2 2

Line Score

GOREVILLE (10-2)    14- 15 – 20 – 13  –  65

SESSER-VALIER (8-5)   13 – 22 – 15 – 16 – 63











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