Tom Brady announces retirement: Patriots, Buccaneers legend walks away after 23 seasons in the NFL

Tom Brady is calling it a career once again. This time around, it does seem as if this is the last we’ll see of the seven-time Super Bowl champion. Brady proclaimed that he’ll be stepping away from the game after 23 seasons on Wednesday a few weeks following Tampa Bay’s playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys to wrap up Super Wild Card Weekend.

Here’s a link to the story.

Bold predictions for 2023 NFL conference title games: Eagles air it out, torch No. 1 ‘D’; Burrow, Chase go off

We’re now into the NFL final four, and by the end of this weekend we’ll know what the Super Bowl LVII matchup in Arizona will be.

Here’s a link to the story.

Legendary college basketball analyst Billy Packer, who called 34 Final Fours, dies at 82

Longtime college basketball analyst Billy Packer has died, his family announced Thursday night. Packer, 82, spent 34 years on Final Four broadcast teams, 27 of them with CBS as its Emmy award-winning college basketball analyst before his last Final Four in 2008.

Here’s a link to the story.

Salukis Picked for ESPNU Telecast February 11 at Drake

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Southern Illinois men’s basketball program will play in front of a national television audience for the fourth time this season with ESPNU picking up the Drake and SIU game on February 11 in Des Moines. The game will tip off at 1 p.m. CT inside the Knapp Center.

The Salukis currently sit atop the Missouri Valley Conference standings at 9-2 and 17-5 overall — the best start for the team since the 2006-07 season. A front-runner for the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year Award, senior forward Marcus Domask is leading the Salukis with 16.9 points, six rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Domask ranks fifth in the MVC in scoring, seventh in assists, seventh in field goal percentage, and 12th in rebounding.

SIU begins a two-game road swing on Sunday with a trip to Illinois State before traveling to Bradley for a Wednesday tilt with the Braves.

Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Salukis by following the team on Twitter at @SIU_Basketball, on Instagram at @SIU_Basketball and on Facebook at Fans can also download the “Salukis” Mobile App on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Bittle breaks Marion’s all-time girls scoring record in win over Meridian

MARION — Jerzy Bittle came into the game needing 10 points to break the Marion all-time girls scoring record. She got that and one more in the first quarter to lead the Lady Wildcats to a 61-29 win over Meridian in a non-conference girls basketball game at Virgil “Cuss” Wilson Gymnasium on Thursday night.

Here’s a link to the story.

Bengals vs. Chiefs: Best bets for the AFC Championship Game

For the second consecutive year, the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs will face each other in the AFC Championship Game.

Here’s the link to the story.

Will the Chicago Bears leave Soldier Field for Arlington Heights? Here’s what to know.

The Chicago Bears signed a purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse in September 2021, a move that takes the team a step closer toward securing property for a new stadium and leaving their longtime home at Soldier Field.

Here’s a link to the story.

After winter revamp of swing in ‘the lab,’ Paul DeJong eyes decisive spring with Cardinals

As he pulled his hands back, lifted his left foot up, and readied to whip his bat forward, the sensation Paul DeJong felt this past season was not a swing he could trust.

Here’s a link to the story.

2023 Super Bowl: Why this is the most wide open race in NFL history ahead of conference championship games

You couldn’t ask for much more parity entering one of the greatest football times of year, conference championship weekend. Unfortunately it’s come at the expense of the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, whose high-ankle sprain has opened the door for the most wide open Super Bowl race we’ve ever seen at this point in the year.

Here’s a link to the story.

‘Lightning’ Larry Warner returns to Saluki Football to coach running backs

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Larry Warner, one of SIU’s all-time great tailbacks, is returning to coach the team’s running backs room, head coach Nick Hill announced Friday.

Known by his nickname, “Lighting Larry,” the 5-foot-6 Warner electrified Saluki fans for two seasons, including a 2008 campaign in which he rushed for 1,265 yards and was named First-Team Associated Press All-American.

Warner returned a school-record three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2008 and was the fourth-fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 rushing yards, accomplishing the feat in just 130 carries.

“He was the first person I called when a spot opened up on my staff,” said Hill, who played with Warner on SIU’s 2007 team that went 12-2 and advanced to the Final Four of the postseason playoffs. “He is a close friend, and he shares the same core values and passion for our program. You’re not going to find anybody that has more energy than Larry.”

Warner began his coaching career at Carbondale High School in 2009, before joining Dale Lennon’s staff at SIU as a graduate assistant in 2011. He later joined Hill at CHS, before the two became full-time assistants for Lennon from 2014-15.

After leaving Southern, Warner coached at Central Arkansas (RBs, 2016-17), South Alabama (RBs, 2018-20) Arkansas-Pine Bluff (RBs, 2020-21) and Texas Southern (RBs/Special Teams, 2022). Warner has mentored numerous All-Conference running backs throughout his career, including All-American Tra Minter at South Alabama.

Prior to coming to Southern Illinois as a player, Warner was a NJCAA All-American at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2006, and led his team with 1,237 yards.

A 2009 graduate of Southern Illinois with a degree in recreation, Warner and his wife Dominique have two daughters, Penny and Alivia.

In addition to hiring Warner, Hill announced several staff changes. He said Nate Griffin, who has mentored an all-star cast of running backs since 2016, will replace retired tight ends coach Pat Poore. Recently hired Zach Grant moves to the wide receivers room, where he replaces Mark Watson, who accepted a position at Kent State earlier this month.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News