Christopher-Zeigler Royalton’s season ends losing to Hamco last night

by Steve Dunford

This is the first year that I have wrote these for football.  The last couple years, I have wrote these after each team loses out in the post season.

High school football is a different animal than the other sports, in which you have to qualify for the post season.

This is the second 0-9 season in a row the Bearcats have put up.  They did not have a game that did not go into running clock toward the end.

I had the opportunity to be around the program a lot last season.  In the midst of a losing season, one thing that blew me away was the fan support.  Even though there have been a shuffle in roles, the coaching staff is basically the same.


Randall Risley let me use his pictures this year but I am going to post what he said about the coaching staff.

“No matter the situation, no matter the score, all of the coaches for CZR, coached, taught and encouraged the kids. They will be better players because these coaches, even, maybe especially the gruff looking Buddy Velasco, care. Now it is up to the players to, when taught, learn and when encouraged, work. I would be happy to have a son play for these coaches.”

First hand, I can attest what Randall Risley said about the coaching staff.

I remember a conversation that I had with Eldorado two weeks ago that sums up how to rebuild a program.  He was telling me about the early days when Brandon Hampton took over the program.

He said you put two or three possessions together. Then you get a win.  Then you beat a quality opponent.

I have talked to Coach Hargrove a couple of times through the season.  He always said the goal on Friday night is to increase the Football IQ.  The wins we concentrate on are on Monday Night.

I moved to West Frankfort a little over two years ago.  I caught a few games in an 0-9 season.  There was a 1-8 season the year before.  When Edwards County went in the Black Diamond, there some arm chair AD’s that were calling for West Frankfort to join the Diamond.

In week 1 they went down and nearly knocked off a good A-J team down at Anna. I was at Spann Field two years ago when I heard Adam Rosho announce the losing streak was over.  The next week the Redbirds picked up a big win over Sparta.

The next week, on a windy Saturday afternoon finishing up a suspended game, the Redbirds picked up their signature win against Harrisburg.  A few weeks later I was covering a playoff football game in Canton.

Last night a young WF team was five seconds away from making another playoff appearance.

You might be reading this and say who cares about Frankfort?  This is about Christopher.

There is a very talented sophomore class from Christopher.  There is a talented freshman class at Z-R.  I hope my few words about the Redbirds will give some optimism for 2018.

Story from the Benton News




SIJHSAA baseball/softball regional scores


DuQuion Class L Regional

Wed, Sep 20 at 3:30p
Game 1: DuQuion (9) over West Frankfort (6)
Wed, Sep 20 at 5:00p
Game 2: Hamilton County (5) over Benton (3)

Sat, Sep 23 at 10:00a
Regional Championship: Hamilton County vs DuQuion

Johnston City Class M Regional

Tue, Sep 19 at 2:00p
Game 1: Sesser-Vallier (9) over Johnston City (8)
Tue, Sep 19 at 4:30p
Game 2: Christopher (12) over Zeigler-Royalton (4)

Thu, Sep 21 at 4:00p
Regional Championship: Sesser-Vallier vs Christopher

Elverado Class S Regional

Tue, Sep 19 at 4:30p
Game 1: Ewing (10) over OLMC (0)
Tue, Sep 19 at 4:30p
Game 2: Desoto (13) over Thompsonville (0)
Tue, Sep 19 at 4:30p
Game 3: Pinckeyville 204 (14) over Giant City (3)

Thu, Sep 21 at 3:00p
Game 4: Elverado vs Ewing
Thu, Sep 21 at 4:30p
Game 5: Desoto vs Pinckeyville 204

Mon, Sep 25 at 4:30p
Regional Championship: Winner Game 4 vs Winner Game 5


Hamilton County Class L Regional

Wed, Sep 20 at 4:30p
Game 1: Benton (11) over DuQuoin (2)
Wed, Sep 20 at 6:30p
Game 2: Hamilton County (3) over West Frankfort (2)

Sat, Sep 23 at 10:00a
Regional Championship: Benton vs Hamilton County

Christopher Class M Regional

Tue, Sep 19 at 2:00p
Game 1: Christopher (9) over Zeigler-Royalton (1)
Tue, Sep 19 at 4:00p
Game 2: Sesser-Valier (7) over Johnston City (3)

Thu, Sep 21 at 4:30p
Regional Championship: Christopher vs Sesser-Valier

Giant City Class S Regional

Sat, Sep 16 at 11:00a
Game 1: Galatia (3) over Pope County (1)

Tue, Sep 19 at 2:00p
Game 2: Giant City (12) over OLMC (0)
Tue, Sep 19 at 4:00p
Game 3: Crab Orchard (14) over New Simpson Hill (9)
Tue, Sep 19 at 2:00p
Game 4: Unity Christian (12) over Galatia (2)
Tue, Sep 19 at 4:00p
Game 5: Carrier Mills (14) over Thompsonville (0)

Fri, Sep 22 at 4:30p
Game 6: Giant City vs Crab Orchard
Fri, Sep 22 at 4:00p
Game 7: Unity Christian vs Carrier Mills

Mon, Sep 25 at 4:30p
Regional Championship: Winner Game 6 vs Winner Game 7

Benton and Sesser-Valier winners in Junior High baseball/softball action yesterday

The Sesser-Valier Red Devils Baseball defeats Zeigler-Royalton 20-0 in 3 innings to move to 10-2 overall and 8-2 in conference play. Pearson Launius becomes the 7th Devils pitcher to earn a victory this season joining Gavin Woodland, Dalton Williams, Eli Schoenbaechler, Tyler Hammond, Blake Menser, Wyatt Loucks.

The Benton Middle School boys and girls picked up wins against the Harrisburg Bulldogs yesterday with the boys winning 11-5, and the girls winning 13-0,

I will appreciate any scores from any of the fall sports junior high and high school, and especially when Junior High basketball gets rolling in about a month.  -Steve



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.





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.

Junior High Baseball and Softball action 8/17

by Steve Dunford

Several games were washed out yesterday afternoon.  Here are the scores that I have.

Girls Softball

CHRISTOPHER 9  Unity Point 2  RyAnn Clark 3-4 with a triple, Courtney Parks 3-4, Regaan Gilbert 2-3 with a triple for the Bearcats.

Johnston City 13  ZEIGLER-ROYALTON 3 . Skylar Hudson 2-3, Lainey Morris, Hadleigh Swetz, and Shelby Grove each had a hit for the Tornadoes.  Next Game at Home against Unity Point.

Boys Baseball

ZEIGLER ROYALTON 4  Johnston City 1 –  Matt Jones complete game 5 Ks, Talon Mills, Matt Jones, Chase VanHoorebeke, Cole McKinney and Kylar Phillips picked up hits for the Tornadoes.  Next game on the road with Unity Point.


Junior High baseball/softball scores from Monday and Tuesday

by Steve Dunford



SESSER-VALIER 16  Johnston City 2

WEST FRANKFORT  16  Carbondale 3

BENTON 9 DuQuoin 0


Goreville 6  ZEIGLER-ROYALTON 5  Skylar Hudson 2-3, Bella Bates and Lainey Morris 1-3 at the plate for Z-R

WEST FRANKFORT 17  Carbondale 7




Adams (Creal Springs)  14  THOMPSONVILLE 11




Please pass along any scores to me by calling 937-0253 or 513-1274.  You can also get ahold of me by emailing me at or messaging me on Facebook.  Any information that you pass along that would be more than three sentences, I will write a short story on your team.


Z-R Junior High Softball splits at Marion Tournament

by Steve Dunford

The Zeigler-Royalton Junior High Girls Softball team posted a 2-2 at record at the Marion softball tournament yesterday.

They had a tough draw in the opening round, as they lost to Class L Marion, 7-0.  Z-R coach Amy Garmane commented they came up short at the plate, but played flawless defense.

In the consolation quarterfinals, the Tornadoes defeated Goreville 7-5.  Coach Garmane said it was a great team effort.

In the consolation semi-finals, Z-R beat Adams out of Creal Springs 10-4.  In the consolation championship game, the Tornadoes fell to Herrin 5-1.

Coach Garmane had this to say after the four games, “Overall I am very pleased! I see great things happening this season. Thank you to everyone today for your support today!!! Rest up, we have 4 games this week.”

The Tornadoes will play Monday at home against Goreville at 4:00 p.m.

Sesser-Valier takes MWC championship

By Bruce A. Fasol

Rick Metcalf has always been known as a good basketball coach. He was a college assistant at Murray State University. As head boys varsity basketball coach at Sesser-Valier and Vienna he also achieved much success.

Some of that success came when he coached the Red Devil boys team to West Frankfort Mid-Winter Classic basketball titles in the 90’s. Now, Metcalf has become the answer to a trivia question. He is the first person to coach boys and girls teams to MWC titles.

The Lady Red Devils knocked off Herrin 61-54 Thursday night to win the 2013 crown. But, it was not easily accomplished. Sesser-Valier had to dig themselves out of a 15 point hole in the very first quarter. But, they didn’t panic and slowly cut the Lady Tiger lead. Rachel Marlo flipped the “on” switch in the second quarter scoring 15 points by herself in the frame to lead the come back. They not only caught the Tigers but passed them in that memorable frame. Marlo hit two 3-point shots in the final half minute to give Sesser-Valier a bucket lead at the break.

In the second half, Herrin fought back but could come no closer than 5 points. Abby Horn put the team on her back scoring 8 straight points at one juncture of the fourth quarter. However, SV held off the Lady Tigers for the championship.

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