Local Sports

HS Golf: Clinton Boy's Take Home Win; Girl's Play Well

Brooks Cluver paced the Clinton Maroons boy's golf team to a match win over Olympia and Meridian Wednesday afternoon at the Clinton Country Club.


The boy's topped Olympia by nine strokes with a 173 as a team and bested Meridian by 25 strokes. 


Cluver carded the day's low score with a 36. Aiden Toohill was third with a 44. 


Ryan Pine shot a 46, Cole Fentress recorded a 47, Briley Carter shot a 50 while Ashton Douglas finished at 54.


The Clinton girl's were able to allow each golfer to compete and their match was unofficial as Meridian had a player drop out. 


Sarah Mills shot a day's best 46. Carley Earle came in third with a 54. Addie Koritz shot a 59, Leah Mills and Grace Gates carded a 60s and Emma Sanders shot 68.


In JV golf action, Olympia topped the boys with a team score of 194 to Clinton's 234.


Hudson Waters shot a 55 while Carter Cothern shot a 58.

Cubs Take Down Brewers

Cody Bellinger drove in the tiebreaking run with a ricochet infield single in the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee 3-2 on Wednesday to pull within three games of the first-place Brewers in the NL Central.


Bellinger’s sharply hit ball up the middle glanced off the right ankle of reliever Joel Payamps and to third baseman Andruw Monasterio. Bellinger beat out Monasterio’s throw, allowing Mike Tauchman to score from third. It was Chicago's third and final hit of the game.


After dropping the first game of the series Monday, the Cubs came back to take the next two with solid pitching and defense. At 71-62, Chicago is a season-high nine games above .500.


Bellinger, with 18 RBIs in his last 12 games and a major league-leading 54 since July, has helped lead Chicago's climb back into the playoff picture.


The Cubs are squarely in the wild card mix.


Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitched six crisp innings, allowing only an unearned run on four hits while striking out six and walking two.


Cubs: LHP Jordan Wicks (1-0, 1.80) faces Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft (7-8, 4.73) on Friday in Cincinnati.

White Sox Club Orioles

Chicago hit three home runs off Kyle Gibson to rally from that early deficit and pulled out a 10-5 win Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.



After taking Thursday off, Chicago calls upon right-hander Touki Toussaint (2-6, 4.85 ERA) to start the opener of a brief three-game homestand against Detroit. 


The Sox return to the WHOW airwaves on Saturday.

Cardinals Walk Off Padres

Tommy Edman hit a two-run homer off Josh Hader in the ninth for his second walk-off hit in two days off the All-Star closer, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat San Diego 5-4 on Wednesday.


St. Louis trailed 4-3 before Masyn Winn doubled off Hader (0-3) with two outs in the ninth and Edman sliced a sinker to the opposite field and into the Cardinals bullpen behind the right-field wall. Edman’s 10th-inning single on Tuesday night gave St. Louis a 6-5 win.


Edman also became the first Cardinals player with three stolen bases since Harrison Bader on April 23 last year. Edman has 20 this season.


Rookie Jordan Walker had his first big league four-hit game, including his 12th homer, a tying, three-run drive in the fourth against Rich Hill. 


Dakota Hudson (5-1, 4.41 ERA) opens a three-game series Friday night against visiting Pittsburgh and RHP Mitch Keller (11-8, 4.01 ERA). Hudson had his career-best six-game winning streak come to an end in a 12-1 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday.

HS VBall: Greenview Rallies Past Blue Ridge

After a strong first set, Greenview came alive and won two straight sets to defeat Blue Ridge 15-25, 25-16, and 25-18.


The Lady Knights were led by Pheobe Reynolds' eight kills. She added 14 digs and three aces.


Lexi Phelps recorded four kills and six aces while Alissa Edwards added 12 assists and four aces. Ava Hammer had ten digs.


Blue Ridge falls to 1-3 overall. 

HS Golf: Cluver, Toohill Pace Clinton Boy's, Mills Leads Girl's

Brooks Cluver and Aiden Toohill paced the Clinton boy's golf team through a rainy start to a match with Sullivan and Decatur St. Teresa at Hickory Point in Forsyth Tuesday afternoon.


The Maroons topped Sullivan and St. T thanks to a 37 for the day's medalist, Brooks Cluver. Toohill shot a 42 and Ashton Douglas contributed a 47. 


Sullivan edged the girl's squad by four strokes. Sarah Mills led the way with a 46, second best for the afternoon. Carley Earle added a 55 for the Lady Maroons. 


Other scores for the Maroons - Ryan Pine shot a 48, good for fifth on the boy's side, Cole Fintress shot a 49 and Briley Carter carded a 50.


On the girl's side, Grace Gates and Leah Mills tied for tenth with 67s and Emma Sanders scored a 73. 


The teams play at home today at 4 pm. 

Orioles Slug White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Anthony Santander hit a go-ahead three-run double in the seventh inning, and the AL-best Baltimore Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-3 on Tuesday night to match their victory total from last season.



The Sox will not be heard on WHOW today but return to the airwaves Friday night when they take on the Tigers.

Plenty of Pipeline Players Should Make Impact For Illini This Year

The Illinois pipeline will be on full display this season as the Illini kicks off its season this Saturday against Toledo.


Illini HQs Bob Asmussen says two of the more veteran Illinois natives are from the Danville area.



Malik Elzy is a freshman from Chicago Simeon could see some usage this season at wide receiver and Asmussen says if it wasn't for the depth at receiver for Illinois, he could see him being one of the more impactful freshman receivers Illinois has had in a long time.



Central Illinoisans are going to be watching for Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond product Kaden Feagin. While he may not see the lionshare of carries right away, Asmussesen says there's no question the freshman is very skilled.



Central Illinoisans have also been rooting for defensive lineman Bryce Barnes who hails from Gibson City. Asmussen says he's a great story and is an easy Illini to root for.



Rochester native Hank Beatty could find himself in the receiver rotation for Illinois. Redshirt freshman runningback Aiden Laughery is another Central Illinois native who is on scholarship at Illinois.


Junior tight end Ben Schultz is a Champaign Central graduate. 

Cubs Blank Brewers

Justin Steele struck out eight in six effective innings, shaking off a comebacker that hit him, and the Cubs stopped Milwaukee's nine-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory over Corbin Burnes and the Brewers on Tuesday night.


Steele (15-3) allowed six hits and walked one, throwing 80 of his career-high 111 pitches for strikes. The All-Star left-hander improved to 6-0 with a 3.09 ERA in his last eight starts.


Bouncing back from a 6-2 loss in the series opener, Chicago (70-62) pulled within four games of NL Central-leading Milwaukee (74-58). The Cubs also are in the mix for an NL wild card.


Steele was struck just above his left knee by Victor Caratini's one-out liner in the second. After a visit from Ross and a trainer, along with a few warmup throws, he stayed in - drawing a big cheer from the Wrigley Field crowd of 33,294.


Burnes (9-7) also was terrific, striking out seven in seven innings in windy conditions. But the three-time All-Star remains winless in seven starts since he pitched eight sparkling innings in a 4-0 victory at Philadelphia on July 20.


Right-handers Brandon Woodruff (3-1, 2.65 ERA) ad Kyle Hendricks (5-7, 3.80 ERA) take the mound Wednesday for the series finale. Woodruff pitched Milwaukee to a 7-3 victory over San Diego on Friday, striking out 11 in six sharp innings. Hendricks is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in his last four starts for Chicago.

Cardinals Walk Off Padres

Willson Contreras homered twice, pinch-hitter Tommy Edman singled in the deciding run in the 10th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 6-5 on Tuesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.


Edman slammed the first pitch from Josh Hader (0-2) to left field with one out to bring in Maysn Winn. Richie Palacios set up the winning run with a two-strike bunt to move Winn to third.


Contreras was playing in front his parents for the first time as a member of the Cardinals. Olga and William Contreras flew in from Venezuela earlier in the day.


Contreras cut it to 4-3 in the sixth with his first homer, then tied it at 5 with a two-run homer in the eighth off Robert Suarez. After the tying blast, Contreras smiled and pointed his parents in the stands after he touched home plate.


St. Louis RHP Miles Mikolas (6-10, 4.66) will face San Diego LHP Rich Hill (7-13, 5.21) in the finale of the three-game series Wednesday.

Illini QB Situation Will Determine Success of Offense in 2023

Illinois has named Luke Altmeyer its starting quarterback for the fall of 2023 and the Ole Miss transfer will have a bevy of weapons at his disposal.


Illini HQ's Bob Asmussen says Altmeyer's success will not be held back by a lack of talent or depth around him. Because of the nature of Illinois' practices that are available to the media, he indicates it's hard to get a good read on the redshirt sophomore. 



According to Asmussen, Illinois brings back Isaiah Williams, the quarterback turned receiver from St. Louis. Additionally, Pat Bryant comes back and is healthy this year - as well as Casey Washington. 



With bell-cow back Chase Brown off the NFL, Asmussen indicates Reggie Love and Josh McCray should get the bulk of the carries this year. 

Orioles Blank White Sox

Grayson Rodriguez allowed one hit over six innings, and the AL-best Baltimore Orioles clinched their second consecutive winning season with a 9-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.



Hear tonight's game on WHOW.

Brewers Drop Cubs

Christian Yelich and Mark Canha homered during Milwaukee's four-run first inning, and the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Monday night in the opener of a big three-game series between NL Central rivals.


Wade Miley pitched six effective innings as Milwaukee moved five games ahead of second-place Chicago in the division. The nine straight wins is the longest streak for the Brewers since an 11-game run in 2021.


Returning home after a 5-2 trip, Chicago committed two costly errors and finished with five hits. Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom homered, but Jameson Taillon got off to a rough start.


Yelich drove Taillon's third pitch to left-center for his 17th homer. It was Yelich's fifth leadoff homer of the season and No. 9 for his career.


Taillon (7-9) was charged with four earned runs and nine hits in six innings. The right-hander, who signed a $68 million, four-year contract with Chicago in December, dropped to 0-3 with a 7.84 ERA in his last four starts.


Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes (9-6, 3.65 ERA) and Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (14-3, 2.80) take the mound Tuesday night. Burnes is looking for his first win since July 20. Steele is 5-0 with a 3.54 ERA in his last seven starts.

Padres Hold Off Cardinals

Blake Snell struck out nine in seven shutout innings and Garrett Cooper had three hits and three RBIs to lift the San Diego Padres to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.


San Diego's victory came after being swept in a three-game series against Milwaukee.


St. Louis lost for the 10th time in 12 games. The Cardinals have been outscored 26-4 in their last four games - all losses.


Snell (11-9), who threw five or more innings in his 19th straight start, allowed just two hits and improved to 2-0 in four career starts against the Cardinals.


Josh Hader pitched the ninth inning and earned his 28th save. He improved to 16 for 16 in save situations against St. Louis.


Adam Wainwright (3-10) surrendered just one run on eight hits in six innings. Wainwright, who turns 42 on Wednesday, has been stuck on 198 career victories since June 17. The veteran right-hander has been plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness in his farewell season. He has made 10 starts trying to record his elusive 199th win.


Wainwright fell to 6-1 in 12 career regular-season games (10 starts) against the Padres at Busch Stadium. He has never allowed a home run in 71 2/3 innings.


Paul Goldschmidt hit his 22nd homer of the season off Robert Suarez with one out in the eighth inning.


Seth Lugo (5-6, 3.70) threw six scoreless innings in his last start on Aug. 24 in a 4-0 win over the Marlins.


Cardinals LHP Zack Thompson (3-5, 3.86) will be making his first career start and appearance against the Padres. Thompson earned his first win as a starting pitcher in the major leagues by battling through five innings and allowing two runs on six hits in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh.

Cubs Blast Pirates

Cody Bellinger had three hits and five RBIs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-1 on Sunday.


Nico Hoerner had three hits and scored three times, helping Chicago close out a 5-2 road trip. Jeimer Candelario homered and drove in three runs.


The Cubs (69-61) took three of four in Pittsburgh. Next up is a big three-game series against NL Central-leading Milwaukee beginning on Monday night at Wrigley Field.

Bellinger singled in Hoerner in the first inning. He doubled home two more runs in the fifth, giving Chicago a 5-1 lead. The 2019 NL MVP added another two-run double in the ninth and scored the Cubs’ final run on Yan Gomes’ groundout.


Bellinger has 16 RBIs in his last nine games and a MLB-best 53 RBIs since July 1. He has reached safely in 34 of his last 38 games.


Joshua Palacios had two of Pittsburgh’s four hits. Bailey Falter (1-8) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.


The Pirates have lost nine of 10 against the Cubs this year.


Candelario put Chicago ahead to stay with his 19th homer, a tiebreaking two-run shot in the fourth. He also drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the eighth.


Cubs right-hander Javier Assad (3-2) struck out seven in seven innings. He surrendered three hits and walked two.


Seiya Suzuki had two hits and scored two runs for Chicago, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.


Jameson Taillon (7-8, 5.60 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday against LHP Wade Miley (6-3, 3.18 ERA) and Milwaukee.

White Sox Roll A's

In a game heard on WHOW, Mike Clevinger struck out 10 in seven sparkling innings, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-1 on Sunday for a split of the four-game series between two of the worst teams in the majors.


Yoán Moncada went 4 for 4 for Chicago, and Tim Anderson, Andrew Benintendi and Andrew Vaughn each had two hits. The White Sox improved to 9-15 in August.



Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

NASCAR Playoff Field Set

Chris Buescher won the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, eliminating fan favorite Chase Elliott from playoff contention and sending Bubba Wallace into the postseason.


Buescher and teammate Brad Keselowski finished 1-2 for RFK Racing, the first for the team since 2014. It was Buescher’s third victory since late July, making him a championship favorite no one could have expected five weeks ago.


Drivers had to regroup in the waning laps after Ryan Preece flipped about a dozen times and came to a halt in his mangled No. 41 Ford. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver was able to get out with help before emergency personnel put him on a gurney and into an ambulance for a quick trip to the infield care center. He was later transported to a hospital for further evaluation.


Preece made contact with SHR teammate Chase Briscoe, and his car started flipping when he slid across the infield grass. The crash sent the race into overtime. Buescher was out front for the restart with two laps to go, and Keselowski stayed in line to keep them 1-2 at the checkered flag.


Aric Almirola finished third in another Ford, followed by Elliott and defending series champion Joey Logano.


Seventeen drivers, most notably Wallace and Elliott, started the night with hopes of securing the final playoff spot.


Elliott had been facing an uphill battle for months. He missed six races after breaking his left leg in a snowboarding accident in early March and was suspended for another for intentionally wrecking Denny Hamlin in May. Those absences left NASCAR’s most popular driver him trying to dig out of a hole all summer.


Martin Truex Jr. took the regular-season championship over Denny Hamlin, giving Truex an extra 15 playoff points. Truex and Hamlin were the only drivers vying for the regular-season title at Daytona.


The more notable race was for the final postseason spot. Seven of the drivers vying for the berth were eliminated in a 12-car melee a little past the midway point.


Ty Gibbs was one of those knocked out of contention. Christopher Bell was pushing Gibbs near the front of the field but got him sideways in Turn 4. Gibbs slammed into race leader Ryan Blaney, turning Blaney’s No. 12 Ford into the outside wall. Blaney hit so hard that at least two tires lifted off the ground.


The Cup Series playoffs begin at Darlington Raceway next Sunday. William Byron won in May at the track, and Erik Jones won the postseason race there in 2022.

Phillies Blank Cardinals

Aaron Nola allowed one hit and struck out nine in seven sharp innings, Kyle Schwarber homered and the NL wild-card leading Philadelphia Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 3-0 victory Sunday.


Johan Rojas doubled among his three hits and Bryce Harper hit an RBI single for the defending NL champion Phillies, who outscored the Cardinals 22-3 in the series.


José Alvarado tossed a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel completed the two-hit shutout with his 20th save in 22 tries with a scoreless ninth.


St. Louis has dropped nine of 11 and was shut out for the 11th time. Philadelphia pitched its fourth shutout - only Boston and Washington have fewer with three.


After Tommy Edman led off the game with a double, Nola (12-8) retired 21 of the next 22 batters.


The Cardinals begin a six-game homestand Monday night when St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (3-9, 8.61) faces Padres LHP Blake Snell (10-9, 2.73).

HS FBALL: Maroons Top Tremont

In a game heard Saturday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons downed the Tremont Turks, 43-6, in non-conference football action.  The game, which was postponed from Friday night due to storms, was played at Dee-Mack High School in Mackinaw. 

Clinton jumped in front on their first offensive possession, and never looked back.  Maroons quarterback Mason Walker took his first carry of the season 57 yards for a touchdown.  The Maroons senior would go on to rush for three touchdowns and 174 yards on 11 carries.  He also went 5 of 7 passing for 64 yards and a touchdown on his way to being named the WHOW / Serv Pro of Piatt & DeWitt County Player of the Game. 

Walker scored the first three Clinton touchdowns on the ground.  The fourth TD of the first half was a 31 yard touchdown pass to Dawson Graves.  Graves had three catches for 52 yards and the score. The Maroons led 28-0 at halftime. 

Clinton's defense tallied four first half sacks; three by Ryan Stapleton.  Jack Webb also had a first half interception in an impressive outing for the entire defensive unit. 

Maroons senior running back Tristin Potts topped off the scoring with two second half touchdown runs.  He finished with the two scores to go along with 91 yards on 19 carries.  

Tremont's touchdown came during the running clock fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Brett Bane hit senior Ty Fuller for a 93 yard touchdown. Bane finished 13 of 25 for 115 yards with the touchdown and an interception.  The Turks (0-1) host Warrensburg-Latham Friday night. 

The Maroons (1-0) host Tri-Valley in week two Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7p with pregame coverage around 6:45p on all WHOW platforms!  



HS FBall: Week 1 Scores

Illini Prairie

Prairie Central 12, Tolono Unity 27

PBL 46, IVC 39

Pontiac 6, BCC 63


Big 12

Normal West 47, Champaign Central 7

Peoria Manual 27, Peoria Notre Dame 6

Peoria Richwoods 0, Bloomington 41



Auburn 20, New Berlin 13

PORTA 0, Williamsville 29

Pleasant Plains 14, Maroa-Forsyth 63



Ridgeview 13, GCMS 41

St. T 20, LInton Stockton,  IN 35

East Peoria 29, Streator 24

Dee-Mack 54, Chicago Academy 12

Mahomet-Seymour 14, Morton 20

Rochester 40, Peoria 14

Shelbyville 42, Newton 7

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 14, Normal Community 54

Taylorville 41, Olney-Richland County 6

Tuscola 34, Peru St. Bede 25

HS FBall: Clinton vs Tremont Sat at 6pm

The Clinton Maroons will take on the Tremont Turks at Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School at 6pm. The game was set for an 8pm start on Friday night due to the heat. At 8pm the game was delayed due to lightning in the area. Around 10:30pm it was decided to postpone the game until Saturday.


You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa. Kickoff is set for 6pm at Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School.

HS FBall: St. Joseph-Ogden Rolls Monticello

Logan Smith accounted for six touchdowns and St. Joseph-Ogden rolled Monticello 40-14 in the season opener in Illini Prairie Conference high school football action Friday night in St. Joseph.


Smith led an impressive opening drive that ended with his first touchdown from five yards out.


The teams alternated turnovers on the next two drives. Monticello found its footing offensively when senior Luke Teschke scrambled for an impressive 42-yard touchdown to put the Sages up 7-6. 


But St. Joe would outscored Monticello 33-7 the rest of the way. 


The Sages missed a lot of opportunities to maintain momentum and even score. 


Teschke finished 23-for-35 for 254 yards with three interceptions and a touchdown. He added 119 yards on the ground on 11 carries.


Raiden Colbert hauled in seven catches for 85 yards while Carter Foran had four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.


Ike Young had six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. He also had 27 yards on the ground on four carries.


The game was delayed nearly 90 minutes by lightning from a thunderstorm that rolled through central Illinois Friday. 


Monticello drops to 0-1 on the season. They will host IVC in the home opener as well as senior night next Friday. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

HS FBall: Clinton Opens 2023 Season Hosting Tremont

The Clinton Maroons are hoping to take the Central Illinois Conference by storm this fall and it starts tonight when the 2023 high school season opens at Sprague Field at Clinton High School when the Maroons host Tremont.


In his third year at the helm of the program, Coach Ron Bass says this summer was one of the best off-seasons they've had.



The Maroons will have a great deal of experience on their side when they take the field tonight. Coach Bass says most of their skill position players are back this year and they've seen a lot of competition at other spots on the field.



The Turks are under a first-year head coach and are a young team. Coach Bass says it reminds him a lot of his team last year. 


Game time tonight has been moved to 8 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com and at Amazon Alexa.

HS FBall: Monticello Opens at St. Joseph-Ogden

The Monticello Sages will open the 2023 football season with rival St. Joseph-Ogden tonight in week one of the high school football season.


For a second straight season, Monticello turns to a first-year starting quarterback in senior Luke Teschke. The Illinois State baseball commit will lead what the Sages hope is another dynamic offense under Hall of Fame Coach Cully Welter. 


Teshke was a playmaker on offense and special teams last year and will have returning receivers Trey Welter and Raiden Colbert to rely on but junior Carter Foran and sophomore Nolan Buehnerkemper could emerge as reliable playmakers for the Monticello.


Defensively, the Sages will rely on a young group up front that was last year led by juniors Ryan Frazee and Mason High.


Juniors Ike Young and Matt Swartz will lead a defense that will also rely on Teschke, who will play some at the linebacker position this year and senior Hunter Romano returns.


Monticello finished 5-5 last fall. The season got off to a rocky start with a 21-14 loss to St. Joseph-Ogden in week one last year. 


Coach Welter hopes to lead the Sages to the postseason for the 14th time. Excluding the COVID year, Coach Welter has led Monticello to the postseason every year he's been in Monticello. 


Game time tonight has been moved to 8 pm. Hear it all on 95.9 FM WEZC.


Illini Prairie


Prairie Central at Tolono Unity
Paxton-Buckley-Loda at Illinois Valley Central
Pontiac at Bloomington Central Catholic


Week 1 high school football matchups....


Big 12 Conference


Normal West at Champaign Central
Peoria Manual vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Richwoods
Peoria Richwoods at Bloomington 
Urbana at Champaign Centennial (Sat.)


Central State Eight


Jacksonville at Decatur Eisenhower
Lincoln at Springfield Lanphier
Normal U-High at Springfield (Sat.)
Springfield Southeast at Decatur MacArthur


Lincoln Prairie


Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Argenta-Oreana
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Toledo-Cumberland
Sangamon Valley at Oakland Tri-County 
Nokomis at Arcola
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Villa Grove




Auburn at New Berlin
Petersburg-PORTA at Williamsville
Pittsfield at Athens
Pleasant Plains at Maroa-Forsyth
Riverton at Olympia


Non-Conference action this week


Limestone at Mt. Zion
Ridgeview at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Danville at Chatham-Glenwood (Sat.)
Decatur St. Teresa at Linton-Stockton, IN
Dunlap at Galesburg 
East Peoria at Streator
El Paso-Gridley at Meridian
Dee-Mack at Chicago Academy
Mahomet-Seymour at Morton
Central A & M at LeRoy
Pekin at Rolling Meadows
Peoria Heights at Polo
Rochester vs. Peoria at Peoria Stadium
Shelbyville at Newton
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Normal Community
Sterling at Metamora
Taylorville at Olney-Richland County
Tuscola vs. Peru St. Bede at Illinois Wesleyan University
Warrensburg-Latham at Tri-Valley
Washington at Maple Park-Kaneland


8-man football


Blue Ridge at Champaign St. Thomas More (Sat.)

HS VBall: Ridgeview Rolls Blue Ridge

Ridgeview made quick work of Blue Ridge in two sets 25-19 and 25-13 in non-conference high school girl's volleyball from Colfax Thursday night.


The Knights were led by Phoebe Reynolds' six kills and 11 digs. Alissa Edwards added three kills and eight assists. 


Blue Ridge goes to 1-1 on the season.

HS FBall: Argenta-Oreana Focused on Big Time Turnaround

If a team that just went 0-9, is battling a numbers game in its program and has a second-year coach, an improvement of simply winning multiple games would be considered a huge success.


While that may be the case for some, Argenta-Oreana football has bigger goals for this fall. Coach Clay Haurberg says his very young team learned some valuable lessons last season and with most of his football team also in his basketball program, he saw growth across that eight-month stretch.



Coming into this season, Coach Haurberg likes his team speed and has a junior quarterback with a year of experience. He feels those two components of his team could be real assets.



Coach Haurberg says his kids are determined to make the playoffs. He says this is a very enjoyable group of players to coach.



With 28 of his 42 players in the program in his basketball program, Coach Haurberg likes the attitude of his football team. He believes they can be a playoff team this year but notes, it will be difficult in the difficult Lincoln Prairie Conference.


He feels with the football schedule being closed because the conference has 10 teams, that is an advantage to his team in getting back to the playoffs from a points perspective.


The Bombers open the season hosting Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond.

HS FBall: Warrensburg-Latham Hungry to Return to Postseason

The Warrensburg-Latham football program is hoping to put a string of bad luck behind them and return to the postseason this fall.


In 2021, the Cardinals qualified for the postseason with five wins but did not make the playoffs as they did not have the points to be among the 256 teams selected. Coach Aaron Fricke says after a 2-7 season last year, they are eager to get out there this fall and return to the postseason since his first year in Warrensburg.



Late last season, Coach Fricke and his staff started making changes to their offense and this summer was the continuation of the installation of that. He says it's nothing groundbreaking and they are trying to keep it simple.



Coach Fricke says the goal is to get to the postseason this year and make sure they do more than just qualify.



The Cardinals are at Tri-Valley to start the year.

HS VBall: Blue Ridge Uses Three Sets to Stifle Iroquois West

The Blue Ridge Knights needed three sets but took down Iroquois West 25-20, 21-25, and 25-16 in non-conference high school girl's volleyball action Monday night in the season opener for both squads from Farmer City.


Phoebe Reynolds paced the Knights with eight kills, five aces, and 12 digs. Ellie Strough added six aces, five digs, and three kills. 


Alissa Edwards contribued 13 assists.


Blue Ridge is 1-0 on the young season. 

HS VBall: Monticello Takes Down Argenta-Oreana in Two Sets

In a game heard on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Monticello used a big run in the first set to get by Argenta-Oreana 25-21 and 25-12 in the season opening match of the girl's volleyball season Monday night in Monticello.


The Sages and Bombers played back-and-forth in the first set to a 12-all tie. 


Monticello used an 11-0 run to go up 23-12. The Bombers rallied back with nine straight of their own but the Sages put the first match away and were never really challenged going away in the second set.


Sierra Downey led the Sages with six kills. Tavey Young and Jobi Smith each recorded five kills. 


Callie Darsham helped spark the Sages' first set run with three aces. Maddie Melton added two aces.


Monticello is 1-0 on the season and Argenta-Oreana falls to 0-1.


Hear more Monticello volleyball action on WEZC coming up on Tuesday, Sept. 5 when Monticello hosts Tuscola.

HS FBall: Lincoln Transitioning to New Conference Hoping Experience Carries Them

The Lincoln Railsplitters football team is hoping experience will lead them through a new conference and new schedule this fall.


Coach Matt Silkowski indicates his team was rather young last year in its pursuit to return to the postseason.



Coach Silkowski feels his team showed a hunger to work hard and get better this summer. He felt it was a fun summer for his team.



For Coach Silkowski, the summer was somewhat multifacitet. He explains his team needed to learn to overcome adversity with a positive attitude but in the process, the rule changes for 11-on-11 competitions allowed them to get a look at their entire team and he feels they might just be ahead of schedule for this fall.



Coach Silkowski really likes his team this year. He says his skill position players are very dynamic and he has a very steady presence at his quarterback position.



Numbers in the Railsplitters program are up this year. Coach Silkowski says that is a good sign for his team as they return to the Central State Eight. 


Lincoln takes on Springfield Lanphier in week one.

HS VBall: Clinton Volleyball Hoping to Cultivate Culture of Winning This Fall

Clinton volleyball coach Morgan Hickman has been seeking a culture that does not just hope to win but expects to win.


Going into this fall, it's the culture of the program she feels is one of its strengths as the 2023 season opens this week. She feels the players she has returning know the expectations.



Coach Hickman likes her team this year and believes the experience some of her players got last year and over the summer is starting to show up this fall.



Clinton travels to Flanagan-Cornell for a non-conference matchup to open its season on Thursday.

HS VBall: Monticello Volleyball Coming to WEZC This Fall

The Monticello volleyball program is hoping for another encore performance of its last few fall seasons. 


The Lady Sages have advanced to a regional championship twice in the last two years, winning one, and coach Kim Allison says it has definitely created a lot of excitement in the school and community.



Coming into this summer and now the fall practice season, Coach Allison indicates they were focused on getting touches for their younger players. She is excited about what she's seen from them.



Coach Allison has seen a lot of growth from last year's sophomores as they enter their junior seasons. Some sophomores are also catching her eye this year.



Coach Allison really likes this year's team because they have created a great culture and support each other. She says she has enjoyed every moment with them and credits the quality of student-athlete they are.


Monticello volleyball can be heard at various points throughout the volleyball season on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Those broadcasts start tonight when the Lady Sages open the fall 2023 season by hosting Argenta-Oreana at the Sievers Center at 7 pm.

White Sox Double Up Rockies

In a game heard here on WHOW, Lenyn Sosa capped Chicago’s seven-run eighth inning with a three-run homer, and the White Sox beat the Colorado Rockies 10-5 on Sunday to avoid a sweep.



Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

Cubs Hold Off Royals

Seiya Suzuki and Miguel Amaya hit solo homers, helping Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Sunday.


Chicago, which has a one-game lead fir the NL's final wild card, won two in a row after losing the series opener.


Jordan Lyles (3-14) became the major leagues' first 14-game loser as Kansas City fell for the fourth time in five games and dropped to 40-86, better only than Oakland among the 30 major league teams.


Hendricks (5-6) won for the first time since July 25, allowing one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He retired 10 in a row before his lone walk, to Matt Beaty in the fifth inning.


Mark Leiter Jr. got two outs in the seventh, Julian Merryweather pitched a perfect eighth and Adbert Alzolay got his 18th save in 19 chances after allowing pinch-hitter Maikel Garcia's run-scoring single and Beaty's RBI groundout. With a runner on second, Dairon Blanco hit a game-ending groundout.


The game lasted 2 hours, 2 minutes, then the fastest nine-inning game at Wrigley Field since a 2-1 win over Philadelphia on May 8, 2005, took exactly 2:00. 


Cubs RHP Javier Assad (2-2) is scheduled to start Monday at Detroit, which goes with RHP ALex Faedo (2-4, 5.16). Assad is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 5.

Cardinals Roll Mets

Paul Goldschmidt homered, Richie Palacios hit a two-run single and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 7-3 on Sunday to avert a four-game series sweep.


Goldschmidt finished with three hits and three RBIs as St. Louis stopped a four-game slide. Tommy Edman, Alec Burleson and rookie Masyn Winn each had two hits.


Cardinals right-hander Dakota Hudson (5-0) struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs and and five hits in his fourth straight win.


Pete Alonso connected for New York, which had won four in a row. Alonso has 39 homers and has gone deep in four of his last five games.


Drew Rom will start the first game of a three-game series on Monday in Pittsburgh. Rom, who was acquired from Baltimore at the trade deadline as part of the Jack Flaherty deal, will be making his major debut. The Pirates have yet to name a starter.

Byron Takes Home Series-Leading Ffith Win at Watkins Glen

Driving the No. 24 Chevrolet for powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports, William Byron overtook Michael McDowell in the first quarter of the 90-lap event and pretty much remained in controlled the rest of the way at Watkins Glen International. He led 66 laps in all, including the final 33.


Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin was second, nearly 3 seconds back, in the penultimate race of NASCAR’s regular season. Christopher Bell was third, followed by AJ Allmendinger and Ty Gibbs.


Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth but failed to lock up the regular-season title for Joe Gibbs Racing. He and Hamlin will vie for the regular-season crown next weekend at Daytona International Speedway.


Always-unpredictable Daytona will be the last chance for more than two dozen drivers — most notably 2020 series champion and fan favorite Chase Elliott — to make the 16-car playoffs.


Elliott, a two-time winner at the Glen, had hoped to lock up a postseason spot Sunday. But the Hendrick star qualified in the middle of the pack and then ruined his chances when he ran out of fuel with 36 laps to go. He lost a lap and all hope of winning.


Elliott will have to win at Daytona to make the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez will be equally anxious at Daytona. They are in a tight race along with Gibbs for the 16th and final spot.


Former series champions Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski eased their nerves by locking up playoff spots at the Glen, both securing berths because Byron was a repeat winner.


The series goes to Daytona for the regular-season finale on Saturday night. Austin Dillon is the defending race winner.

IHSA Continues Calls for Officials

Friday night lights might turn into Saturday afternoon games unless the Illinois High School Associations find more officials.


The I-H-S-A reported an uptick in new officials last year, its challenge for the I-H-S-A to find new officials. Craig Anderson serves as the Executive Director of the I-H-S-A.



According to Anderson, the I-H-S-A added over 1-thousand new officials last year, but more is needed. To help supplement the shortage, the I-H-S-A provides the rules book, training, and other opportunities to receive licenses.

HS Band: Dynamic Show Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat at Clinton Football Games This Fall

Clinton High School Band Director Nathan Wheeler is hoping this year's marching band show will keep spectators on the edge of their seats throughout the football season.


Clinton High School's marching band will perform a variety of songs around the theme of 'cops and robbers'. He feels audiences are really going to enjoy the themes the band will take on with costumes as well as following the marching sets. 



This year, the Clinton marching band was up against the clock in a sense because Clinton hosts a week one football game and Wheeler wanted to have as much of the show put together as possible.



Band participation at Clinton High School remains very strong and Wheeler attributes that to the strong program they have from the junior high level and the collaboration they have with the junior program.



Wheeler encourages the community not only to catch the band at halftime of the football games but also be sure to catch them at the Apple n' Pork Festival. They open the festival with the national anthem and then play its pep band tunes for about an hour during the morning.

HS FBall: Rebuilding Continues at Heyworth

The Heyworth Hornets endured a frustrating year but second-year coach Nate Albaugh credits his team's resiliency and desire to continue to play football.


It's going to be a slow process to rebuild at Heyworth and Coach Albaugh hopes to find kids that want to play football with enthusiasm and passion.



Coach Albaugh came to Heyworth with the goal of getting into the school and community and he feels like he has done that now going into his second season in Heyworth. He believes the team had a great summer.



Coach Albaugh gives a lot of credit to last year's seniors for helping keep the program together and says he has another good group of seniors this year. Additionally, he really likes the sophomore class this year which should see significant varsity snaps.



Coach Albaugh believes his team is very enjoyable to be around and this is probably his favorite part of his team this year. He hopes to continue to build the program, keep the morale of the team high and serve the community Heyworth no matter how trying of a time it is.


Heyworth will start its season hosting West Hancock. 

HS FBall: Central A&M Building on 2022 Mid-Season Change

Coach Brent Weakly did something unprecedented for a high school football program.


He scrapped his entire offensive playbook and installed an entirely new system. The veteran coach explains after his team had a difficult time moving the football in its week four contest at Clinton and then again the next week against Tuscola, he decided a change was necessary.



This summer, Coach Weakly threw a lot at his team early and notes there were some growing pains but also focused on what they do well to build on that.



A&M will have the luxury of bringing back a great deal of its experience from last season including its offensive line and a defense that was very good. Coach Weakly has 15 seniors and calls them 'coach pleasers'.



Coach Weakly says with having to find a new tailback, he has a few players he believes could take that role but he hopes to see one rise above the rest and become the lead tailback for his team.


Central A&M will open the season at LeRoy.

HS FBall: After Transitional Year, GCMS Ready to Be All In

The fall of 2022 was a transitional year for the GCMS football program.


Then first-year coach John Augsperger installed a whole new offense and defense as long-time coach Mike Allen had retired as football coach. Coach Augsperger says it was a change for everyone.



This summer, with the playbook nearly fully installed and a lot of kids from last year's team coming back, Coach Augsperger says they were able to hit the ground running. 



Coach Augsperger indicates this is a group that returns a lot of players from last year's squad including a lot of their skill position players and they are doing some moving around in their defense.



GCMS opens the season against Ridgeview.

HS FBall: Disappointing End to 2022 Fueling Shelbyville Into This Fall

The Shelbyville Rams played one of their worst games of the season in its first-round loss to Belleville Althoff Catholic in the first round of the 2A high school football playoffs.


That loss has left a bad taste in the mouths of the Shelbyville football program and Coach Bill Duckett says it is definitely fueling his team this offseason.



According to Coach Duckett, his team loses a lot of experience in the skill positions. They bring back their quarterback from last year so the summer has been about getting skill position players and the new faces on their defense the reps they need to be up to speed this fall.



Coach Duckett likes the experience his team has and looks forward to the players they have returning taking a step forward and hopefully avenging the first-round loss in the playoffs last year.



The Rams travel to Newton to open the season. Coach Duckett has loaded the non-conference portion of the Rams' schedule. They host Eureka in week two, and St. Louis Roosevelt in week three before finishing the season at Nashville in week nine.

HS Cross Country: Clinton Runners Looking To Pace the Competition This Fall

The last couple of seasons have set the table for big expectations this fall for the Clinton cross country program.


Co-head coach Rachel Anderson-Lyons calls it very foundational and believes this group is hungry to have a big season this fall.



This summer, Clinton runners have been hitting the ground running - literally and figuratively. Coach Anderson-Lyons indicates there has been great dedication to training and they even took a trip to Colorado in June.



Coach Anderson-Lyons is excited this year because of the growth they are seeing from the improvement in their runners. Senior Drew Moser is leading the way in that growth. 



The Maroons open their season hosting the 'Light It Up' meet on Saturday, August 26. Coach Anderson-Lyons indicates this was one of the first competitions out of COVID and it has stuck as it was a huge hit the first time they did it.



Coach Anderson-Lyons indicates their runners are gaining some early recognition as the girl's team is ranked ninth in 1A by MileSplit. 

HS FBall: Mt. Zion Setting Bar High After Several Breakout Performances Last Fall

Mt. Zion football coach Patrick Etherton knew he had a young team on his hands in the fall of 2022, but it was some of the youngest players in the program that turned heads.


Coach Etherton indicates they will return all their skill position players from last season and on both sides of the ball returner all their regulars except for seven seniors.



According to Coach Etherton, they did some things differently this summer. He explains they sought to give the kids different experiences from the past and saw some bigger schools in the 7-on-7 competitions season.



Coach Etherton does some unique things during the summer in that he'll seek out the tendencies of college coaches and the things they are doing and find out if there are things he can bring to Mt. Zion.



Coach Etherton believes it is without question the experience of his football team will be its strength this season. 


Mt. Zion hosts three consecutive home games to start its season with Limestone coming to town week one. The Braves have just three road games this season, a unique advantage this year.

HS FBall: LeRoy Looking for Step Forward This Fall

LeRoy football Coach BJ Zeleznik is hoping a good group of returning players this season will break the drought of three-straight fall football seasons without postseason action.


Coach Zeleznik says the fall of 2022 was a good learning experience for his football team.



This summer, the IHSA allowed for 11-on-11 competitions among programs and while reviews are mixed from small school coaches, Coach Zeleznik called it a game changer for his 1A program.



For Coach Zeleznkik and his Panthers football program, he hopes to have the kids back in the postseason and playing their best football at the end of the year.



LeRoy opens the football season hosting Central A&M.

HS FBall: Dee-Mack Letting Disappointment of 2022 Fuel Them this Fall

It was a disappointing football campaign in 2022 for Dee-Mack and after the fact, there was a great deal of reflection that has fueled the Chiefs this offseason.


Coach Cody Myers explains he had a very young team go 6-3 and make the second round of the playoffs in 2021, and so it was a given his team would take a big step forward in 2022.



Coach Myers says this summer - they did things completely different. He explains he wanted to implement more fun and team building for the kids into the summer schedule so it wasn't all football all the time with him and the kids.



Going into this fall, Coach Myers says leadership is the theme. Leadership from himself as the head coach and leadership inside the team.



The Chiefs go to Chicago for its first game this season to take on Chiacgo Academy. It'll be a rare 4 pm Friday football game. 

HS FBall: Despite Loss of Monster Senior Class, Expectations Don't Change for Mahomet-Seymour

The Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs entered the fall of 2022 with huge expectations as a dynamic senior class felt poised for big things.


Turn the page to the fall of 2023 and it will largely be a new group but coach Jon Adkins says things don't change for his team. He feels confident in his team this year and feels the off-season shows the desire for the next group of student-athletes to carry the mantle and maintain the standard of excellence set by last year's group.



While it may seem like the Bulldogs don't have a lot of experience to turn to, Coach Adkins doesn't necessarily believe that. He points out they were able to get some younger players' snaps a lot last year thanks to being well ahead by halftime in several games.



Last year, Mahomet-Seymour was very pass-heavy with a Division I quarterback. This year Coach Adkins anticipates his team being more balanced.



The Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 5A playoffs last year. Mahomet-Seymour travels to Morton to open the fall football season.

Cardinals Top Rays

Paul Goldschmidt surpassed 1,100 RBIs with a two-run single and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 on Wednesday night.


Goldschmidt put the Cardinals ahead 5-2 on his two-run hit off Kevin Kelly (4-2) during the fourth. The St. Louis slugger has 1,101 RBIs.


Dakota Hudson (3-0) gave up three runs and seven hits over five innings in his third start and ninth appearance since being called up from Triple-A Memphis last month.


Giovanny Gallegos, the fourth Cardinals reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 14 chances.


St. Louis, which won for the fourth time in 11 games, needs to go 31-17 to finish the season at .500.


Jose Siri homered twice for the AL wild card-leading Rays. They are 6-3 over their last nine games, but have dropped 14 of 22 at home.


Nolan Arenado and Jordan Walker had RBI singles in the third that gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Arenado tied Houston’s Alex Bregman for the most interleague RBIs this season with 32.


Lars Nootbaar made it 6-3 with a seventh-inning leadoff homer. Tampa Bay got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Wander Franco's home run.


Cardinals: C Willson Contreras took a bounced pitch from Hudson during Siri's at-bat in the fourth off the neck but stayed in the game, 


OF Tyler O’Neill (left knee tightness) was out of the lineup for the second straight game but might start Thursday night.


Cardinals LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-4) and Rays RHP Zack Littell (2-2) are set to start Thursday night. Liberatore was part of a January 2020 trade between Tampa Bay and St. Louis that sent 2023 All-Star OF Randy Arozarena to the Rays. 

Sox Blast Yankees

In a game heard on WHOW, Mike Clevinger pitched six strong innings, Elvis Andrus drove in three runs and the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 9-2 on Wednesday night for their fourth win in five games.




Yoan Moncada doubled twice and scored one run while Yasmani Grandal had two hits with an RBI and a run. Gregory Santos pitched two scoreless innings to earn his third save of the season for Chicago (47-69).



Luis Severino relented an RBI single to Yasmani Grandal in the second inning.



Oscar Colás hit a two-run homer to give Chicago an early 3-0 lead. 



Severino gave up another run in the third inning when Luis Robert Jr. singled, stole second and third and scored on a double by Moncada.


Tim Anderson went 1 for 5.



Robert Jr. left the game in the top of the third after spraining his right pinky finger diving into third base. According to the team, his X-rays came back negative and he is considered day-to-day. Grifol added he expects Robert Jr. to be in the lineup on Friday. Trayce Thompson replaced him in center field and went 1 for 2 with a run.


The only offense the Yankees could muster against Clevinger was a solo homer by Giancarlo Stanton - his 18th. The Yankees (59-56) were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position as Clevinger (5-5) held them to three hits.


The Yankees have now lost seven out of their last 11 games. They went into today five games back from a wild-card spot. Aaron Judge= went 1 for 3 with a run.


White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (5-10, 4.43) will take the mound for Chicago on Friday and will face Milwaukee Brewers’ three-time All-Star Corbin Burnes (9-6, 3.42). Hear Friday's action on WHOW. 

Mets Edge Cubs

Pete Alonso launched yet another homer against the Cubs, and Jeff McNeil hit a tiebreaking shot that sent the New York Mets to a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.


With the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Phil Bickford struck out No. 3 batter Ian Happ to save it for New York.


As the Chicago Cubs chase a playoff spot down the stretch, they'll be glad not to see Alonso anymore.


But it was a costly defeat for Chicago, locked in a crowded National League playoff race. The Cubs lost for just the sixth time in 22 games and fell 2 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.


Christopher Morel and Seiya Suzuki homered for Chicago, bunched with several teams fighting tooth-and-nail for the league’s final wild card.


Jonathan Araúz added an RBI single and the Mets got strong work from their shaky bullpen to take two of three games from the Cubs, who won their previous six series.


Bickford entered with two on in the ninth and earned his second major league save - first for the Mets since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash at last week's trade deadline. After a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Nick Madrigal advanced two runners, Bickford threw a called third strike past Morel.


A walk to Nico Hoerner loaded the bases before Happ went down swinging at a 94 mph fastball.


Grant Hartwig (4-1) worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Mets starter David Peterson.


Morel hit Peterson's first pitch off the facing of the second deck in left field for his third career leadoff homer and first this season. Suzuki, who finished a double shy of the cycle, tripled in the second and scored on a passed ball.


Alonso tied it in the fourth with a long two-run homer off starter Kyle Hendricks. The slugger had four home runs and 10 RBIs in the series, giving him 15 homers and 34 RBIs in 27 career games against the Cubs.


McNeil greeted Hayden Wesneski (2-4) with a leadoff homer in the sixth that put the Mets ahead. Abraham Almonte doubled and scored on Araúz's single to make it 4-2.

Alonso became the first Mets player with four 35-homer seasons. He needs one RBI to match Keith Hernandez (468) for most by a first baseman in team history. Alonso has eight home runs in his past eight games against the Cubs.


After an off day, Javier Assad pitches Friday night at Toronto in the opener of a three-game series. The rookie right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.35 ERA in two starts and 18 relief appearances this season. Assad threw five scoreless innings in a start at Toronto last August.

HS FBall: Defending Big 12 Champs Will Defend Title With Experienced Offense

Normal West leaned on its defense in the fall of 2022 en route to a Big 12 football championship.


This year, Coach Nathan Fincham says the Wildcats will turn to its offense to be the catalyst in the defense of that conference championship. 



For Coach Fincham and his staff, the offseason is often similar in the schedule that is put together but he indicates the dynamics of each team determine how he approaches the focus and the way they approach that schedule.



It will be an almost entirely new defensive unit this fall for the Wildcats but Coach Fincham indicates the way they want the kids to play doesn't change.



Coach Fincham anticipates around 130 or 140 players and says numbers are up for this year. He says the goal remains to defend that Big 12 Conference championship and have a high seed in the postseason. 


He feels it may seem from the outside looking in that they lost a lot of talent but he hopes it is a reload and not a rebuild year for his team.


Normal West opens the football season at Champaign Central.

HS FBall: Playoffs Top of Mind for Normal U-High

Normal U-High football coach Brody Walworth enters his third year at the helm of a rebuilding project and believes this year his team is ready to take a big step forward.


He indicates the first two years have been filled with growing pains but felt last year there were a lot of lessons learned as his team played in a lot of close games and learned what it takes to win.



For Coach Walworth, that forward momentum they had after last year has carried into the offseason and he believes his kids are incredibly motivated to start this season and have worked hard to get themselves where they need to be to be ready.



The Pioneers have all the ingredients to take the next step forward. Coach Walworth explains they return a lot of their offensive line from last year and his defense was also very young.



For Coach Walworth, qualifying for the playoffs is the next step in his process to rebuild the Normal U-High football program. He is a big believer in 'process over product' but says the expectation is they can in fact, make that next step to the postseason this year. 


Normal U-High opens the season at Springfield High. The Pioneers play its first two games on the road but finish with five of its final seven games at home.

Yankees Handle White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka homered, helping Schmidt and New York beat the Chicago White Sox 7-1 on Tuesday night.



Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

Cubs Hold Off Mets

Mike Tauchman hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Jameson Taillon retired his final 16 batters to win his fourth straight start as the surging Cubs beat the New York Mets 3-2 on Tuesday night.


Cody Bellinger also went deep and Yan Gomes had an RBI double for the Cubs, who won for the 16th time in 21 games. They moved within 1 1/2 games of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central and just ahead of Cincinnati in a crowded wild-card race for the league's final playoff spot.


Pete Alonso hit an early two-run homer for the sinking Mets that culminated in an amusing back-and-forth trot around the bases because of a replay review. New York has lost seven of eight since trading Justin Verlander and other veterans at last week's deadline.


Alzolay worked a one-hit ninth for his 15th save in 16 tries. He started a 1-6-3 double play on Daniel Vogelbach to close it out.


Taillon (7-6) allowed three hits in seven innings and improved to 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his past six outings. He struck out seven, walked none and did not permit a baserunner after Omar Narváez's two-out double in the second.


Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.98 ERA) pitches Wednesday night in the finale of the three-game series. 


Mets David Peterson (3-7, 5.65 ERA) has a 2.05 ERA in 10 games, four starts, since returning from Triple-A Syracuse on June 27. The last time he faced the Cubs, he got only one out and was charged with five runs and three walks in a loss at Citi Field in September 2022.

Rays Double UP Cardinals

Yandy Díaz, Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena hit RBI singles in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday night.


Josh Lowe opened the eighth with a triple against Miles Mikolas (6-8). Andre Pallante entered and retired pinch-hitter Harold Ramírez on a grounder before Díaz hit a groundball single to center that made it 2-1 - the first of four consecutive base hits. Lowe and Arozarena drove in runs with their hits.


Díaz went 4 for 4 and raised his average from .315 to .322 on his 32nd birthday as the Rays improved to 7-3 in their last 10 games. The first baseman was serenaded by a band during batting practice.


Isaac Paredes hit his team-leading 22nd homer of the season in the seventh inning, when he knotted the game at 1-all.


Tampa Bay center fielder Jose Siri helped preserve the 1-all tie with a leaping catch at the wall on Nolan Gorman’s two-out drive off Jason Adam (3-2) with a runner on first in the top of the eighth.


Pete Fairbanks, the third Rays' pitcher, gave up a solo homer to Willson Contreras in the ninth before nailing down his 15th save and completing the five-hitter.


Rays starter Zach Eflin failed in his bid to become the AL's first, and the major's third, 13-game winner. He allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out eight in an outing in which he threw 71 of 99 pitches for strikes.


Miles Mikolas made the start after serving a five-game suspension from MLB for intentionally throwing at the Chicago Cubs' Ian Happ on July 27. He gave up two runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.


St. Louis has lost 12 of its last 17 games. The Cardinals have also dropped nine of 10 to Tampa Bay.


Nolan Arenado put the Cardinals ahead 1-0 on 24th homer leading off the second. He also flew out twice against Eflin on balls to the warning track.


Aremado tied Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies for the second-most interleague RBIs this season with 31. Only Houston’s Alex Bregman has driven in more interleague runs with 32.


Rays LHP Jalen Beeks (2-3) will start a bullpen game Wednesday night against Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (2-0).

White Sox Take Down Yankees

In a game heard on WHOW, Andrew Vaughn hit a two-run homer and made a terrific run-saving play at first base, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 5-1 on Monday night for their third consecutive victory.




Luis Robert Jr. added a two-run double in Chicago's three-run eighth. 



Andrew Benintendi drove in Trayce Thompson with a sacrifice fly.



The Yankees went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runners on base. They lost for the third time in four games.


Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (10-3) allowed four runs and five hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out three, walked two and hit a batter.


It was Cole's first loss this season when he started following a Yankees loss.


White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (5-5) matched his career high with seven walks in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, but he struck out six and allowed one hit.



Bryan Shaw pitched two innings for his first save of the season.


Boone was ejected by plate umpire Laz Diaz after Anthony Volpe was called out on strikes in the eighth. After he was thrown out, Boone ran to home plate for an animated argument that appeared to include an imitation of Diaz's strike three call.


New York also loaded the bases against Lane Ramsey in the seventh. Billy McKinney hit a sacrifice fly to center to cut it to 2-1, but Ramsey struck out LeMahieu and Harrison Bader.


Yankees RHP Clarke Schmidt (7-6, 4.35 ERA) faces White Sox RHP Touki Toussaint (1-3, 3.82 ERA) on Tuesday.

Mets Clobber Cubs

Pete Alonso homered in consecutive at-bats and tied a career-high with six RBIs as the New York Mets withstood a long rain delay and snapped a six-game losing streak Monday night with an 11-2 rout of the Chicago Cubs.


Kodai Senga (8-6) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings for his first victory since July 5 at Arizona and first at home since May 30 against Philadelphia.


In their first home game since trading Justin Verlander, Mark Canha and Tommy Pham at last week’s deadline, the Mets (51-61) avoided matching their longest skid this season. New York dropped seven straight June 2-9 as it fell under .500.


Cody Bellinger hit two RBI singles for the playoff-contending Cubs, who lost for only the fifth time in 20 games. Chicago entered leading the majors in batting average (.296) since the All-Star break.


Alonso connected in the first and third innings against Drew Smyly (8-8). It was his fourth multi-homer game this year and third since the All-Star break. The first baseman also got his 18th career multi-homer game to move into sole possession of third on New York’s career list behind Darryl Strawberry (22) and former captain David Wright (21).


Alonso’s first homer carried over the left-center wall for a three-run shot that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead in the first. His two-run shot to center made it 5-1.


Those were Alonso’s third and fourth homers in 14 career at-bats against Smyly, and the slugger has 13 homers in 25 games against Chicago.


Alonso’s big night continued his recent resurgence. He batted .137 in 26 games after returning from a wrist injury June 18 but is hitting .339 (21 for 62) over his last 16 with seven homers and 20 RBIs.


Senga came out to start the seventh in heavy rain but was pulled before throwing a pitch because of a wet mound. The game was delayed several minutes as Senga threw warmups, slipped throwing a pitch and manager Buck Showalter came out twice.


After Showalter’s second trip, Senga was pulled and the grounds crew quickly put the tarp on the field


Following a rain delay of 2 hours, 9 minutes, Danny Mendick hit a three-run homer in the seventh and Alonso hit an RBI single in the eighth on a 44 mph eephus pitch from catcher Tucker Barnhart. It was the second time Alonso drove in six.


Before the delay, the Mets scored twice in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk by Jonathan Araúz and a double-play grounder by Brandon Nimmo that scored Jeff McNeil.


Smyly tied a season high by allowing seven runs. He gave up eight hits in five-plus innings for his first career loss against the Mets. The left-hander had been 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA in seven previous appearances versus New York.


Cubs RHP Jameson Taillon (6-6, 5.36 ERA) opposes Mets RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-6, 6.60) on Tuesday night. Taillon is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA over his last five starts.

Suspensions Handed Out for Sox, Guardians Brawl

Tim Anderson’s decision to pick a fight with José Ramírez cost him more than a sore jaw.


Chicago’s shortstop was suspended six games and Ramírez for three games by Major League Baseball for throwing punches and touching off a lengthy, wild brawl between the White Sox and Guardians on Saturday night.


MLB announced the discipline for Anderson and Ramírez on Monday, along with other suspensions and fines following one of baseball’s ugliest fights in several years.


Anderson and Ramírez also were fined an undisclosed amount. Both players are appealing and were in their respective lineups Monday night.


Anderson was given the harsher penalty for instigating the fight as he and Ramirez faced off in the middle of the infield like boxers inside the ropes. Anderson connected with a couple of punches before Ramirez dropped him with a blow to the face.


The White Sox said Anderson passed a concussion test.


Also, Cleveland manager Terry Francona, Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase and third base coach Mike Sarbaugh have been suspended one game each. Chicago manager Pedro Grifol was also suspended for one game.


In addition, White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech and Guardians rookie Gabriel Arias have been fined an undisclosed amount for their actions.


This is Anderson’s third suspension since 2019.


The two-time All-Star was suspended for one game four years ago when his bat flip after a home run against Kansas City led to him being hit with a pitch and triggered a benches-clearing altercation. Last season, Anderson made an obscene gesture toward fans in Cleveland and got a one-game ban.


Anderson told the White Sox he won’t speak to the media until his appeal is heard.


The dustup began innocently with Ramírez sliding headfirst into second with an RBI double. He slid between Anderson’s legs and seemed upset by a hard tag.


Ramírez jumped to his feet and the two exchanged words, with Ramírez pointing in Anderson’s face as second base umpire Malachi Moore tried to step between.


Anderson then dropped his glove and challenged Ramírez by raising his hands and assuming a boxer’s stance. The players threw punches with Ramírez connecting with a blind punch that dropped Anderson on his backside and triggered both teams to join in.


Following the game, Ramírez said he had been upset with Anderson for some previous actions.


When he got from the punch, Anderson continued to try and get at Ramírez.


He was guided off the field only to return moments later and tried to get at Ramírez before he was physically carried into the dugout by teammate Andrew Vaughn, who wrapped his arms around Anderson.


The White Sox and Guardians completed their season series Sunday and won’t face each other again until 2024.

Buescher Wins Second Straight Race at Michigan Monday

Chris Buescher won his second straight NASCAR Cup Series race by holding off points-leader Martin Truex late in the FireKeepers 400 on Monday and is surging with his top performances toward the end of the regular season.


Buescher, who won last week at Richmond, led 52 of the 200 laps. With 12 laps left, Truex challenged him with door-to-door driving before sparks were seen under his No. 19 Toyota and he faded.


Truex made a savvy move in the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing to win Stage 2. Shortly after pitting, he went high before dropping low to surge past Daniel Suarez and finished second to earn a 57-point lead over Denny Hamlin in the standings.


Hamlin was third followed by Keselowski and Kyle Larson.


Buescher gave Ford its ninth straight victory at Michigan to extend the longest winning streak by a manufacturer at a track that has hosted Cup races since 1969.


The race was suspended Sunday due to rain, which delayed the start and later led to a red-flag stoppage that lasted 19-plus hours before the race resumed under cloudy skies the next day.


Two of the top drivers didn’t make it to Monday. Many of the fans that filled the stands and the infield on Sunday, giving the track one of its biggest crowds in years, did not return to see the end of the race.


William Byron and Kyle Busch, who have a combined seven wins this year, were knocked out of the competition on the first day of the two-day race. Busch spun out and hit a wall after making side-by-side contact with Ryan Blaney early in the race and Byron ran into a wall without anyone around him shortly after Truex won the first stage.


Chase Elliott lost control after just 34 laps Sunday due to a tire failure.


Elliott missed six Cup races with a broken left tibia that he suffered in a March 3 snowboarding accident.


The 2020 Cup champion, winless this year, is No. 22 in points and likely needs to win one of the last three races in the regular season to earn a spot in the playoffs.


The series shifts to the Indianapolis Road Course — where Tyler Reddick won last year — for the Verizon 200 on Sunday.

HS FBall: Washington Hopes Experience Carries Them This Year

A six win Washington team was very young last year and in his final season at the helm of the program, coach Darrell Crouch really likes the team he has this season.


Coach Crouch will retire at the end of the year from coaching and believes last year's team that was very young and still won six games had a great summer and is poised for a good year in the fall of 2023.



Offensively, Coach Crouch likes to control the clock and run the football but they will spread the field, especially with their athleticism at the receiver position this year.



Coach Crouch began his tenure as the football coach at Washington in 2005. In his 18 years, he's compiled a 145-52 record. 


Washington travels to Kaneland for its week one matchup. 

HS FBall: Young Bloomington High School Squad Looks to Turn Heads in '23

A small senior class last year allowed some young players in the Bloomington High School football program to get significant snaps at the varsity level.


Coach Scott Godfrey is hoping that experience will lend itself to a step forward for the program this fall as the football season officially starts today with fall practices.



Coach Godfrey has some returning players at key spots. Bloomington last made the postseason in 2018, Coach Godfrey's first season as the head coach.



Bloomington likes to spread the football around and with so many playmakers, Coach Godfrey feels it creates good balance for the offense.



Getting Bloomington High School back to the postseason would be a successful year for Coach Godfrey and his team. 


Bloomington opens the season hosting Peoria Richwoods.

HS FBall: Normal Community Hopes Ups and Downs of '22 Pays Dividends This Year

The 2022 fall football season was nothing if not eventful for the Normal Community Ironmen.


Coach Jason Drengwitz indicates a 6-3 regular season was filled with ups-and-downs that began with a 1-3 start, then ultimately led to having a freshman starting at quarterback by the final stretch of the season and culminated with a very fun but disappointing 32-31 loss to Pekin in the second round of the IHSA 7A playoffs. 



Heading into the summer, Coach Drengwitz says the luxury of having a lot of kids that are returning with experience at the varsity level is they don't have to work a lot on installing offenses or defensive schemes.



Normal Community runs one of the more traditional up-tempo style offenses you'll see in high school football. Coach Drengwitz says when things are going good, they want to be able to run the ball and stretch the field with downfield passing.



Normal Community has made the postseason 21 straight seasons and Coach Drengwitz says the goal is to make that 22 this season. He indicates the approach for the Ironmen is truly a week-at-a-time proposition and so they'll soon start to focus on Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin for week one.

Texas Rallies Past White Sox

The White Sox jumped on Max Scherzer early in his Rangers debut but the veteran settled down and Texas rallied past Chicago 4-3 from Arlington Thursday afternoon.



Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

Twins Hold Off Cardinals

Michael A. Taylor and Ryan Jeffers each hit a two-run homer, and the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Thursday night.


The Twins took two of three from the Cardinals and increased their division lead to 2 1/2 games over idle Cleveland. Minnesota has won just twice in its last eight games.


Sonny Gray (5-4) picked up the win in his first start with the Twins, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings. In getting his first win since April 30, Gray snapped a four-game losing streak over a span of 15 starts.


Jhoan Duran gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to Alex Burleson, his third hit in a 3-for-4 night. Burleson scored on a ground out. After a two-out infield single, Duran struck out Taylor Motter to pick up his 19th save.


Matthew Liberatore (1-4) pitched 5 2/3 innings before chased with the bases loaded in the sixth. Drew Verhagen issued a walk to Taylor for a run before getting a strikeout to end the threat. Liberatore allowed five earned runs and six hits with two walks.


Alec Burleson hit a one-out home run into the right-field bullpen, cutting the Twins lead to 5-2. Burleson hit a three-run homer in Wednesday’s loss.


Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (3-5, 7.18) faces Colorado RHP Chris Flexen (0-5, 8.08).

Cubs Top Reds

Jameson Taillon pitched five-plus innings for his fourth straight win, and the surging Chicago Cubs held on to beat Cincinnati 5-3 Thursday night, knocking the Reds out of first place in the NL Central.


Ian Happ, Cody Bellinger and Yan Gomes drove in runs for Chicago, which won for the 13th time in 16 games and claimed the final three games of a four-game set with the Reds.


Milwaukee, a 14-1 winner over Pittsburgh, moved into first place in the division, a half-game ahead of the Reds. The Cubs, at 56-53, are 2½ games back of the Brewers.


Rookie Elly De La Cruz led off the game with a deep solo shot and Spencer Steer’s team-leading 18th homer in the eighth was his second hit for Cincinnati.


Taillon (6-6) exited after one hitter in the sixth, and earned his fourth win in five outings. He allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out five. The right-hander has a 2.08 ERA in his last five outings.


Three Chicago relievers followed. Adbert Alzolay got the final four outs for his 13th save.


Chicago's Christopher Morel and Jeimer Candelario got credit for RBIs when they walked with the bases loaded in the Cubs' three-run third.


Chicago cashed in on wildness by Reds starter Luke Weaver (2-4) in the inning, taking a 4-1 lead on just one hit and four passes. Nico Hoerner, who doubled in the first, started the rally by striking out on a wild pitch and hustling to first with two outs.


Hoerner reached despite striking out. After Happ walked, Bellinger singled in Hoerner. Weaver then issued three straight passes to make it 4-1.


Cincinnati cut it 4-2 in the fourth on Luke Maile's double-play grounder. Steer's solo shot to the right-center basket off Julian Merryweather trimmed it to 4-3, but Gomes sac fly in the bottom half of the eighth made it 5-3.


Kyle Hendricks (4-5, 3.49) takes the mound on Friday afternoon versus Atlanta LHP Max Fried (2-1, 2.08) to open a three-game set at Wrigley Field. Fried, a runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award last year, comes off the IL (strained left forearm) to pitch for the first time since May 5.

NASCAR in Michigan

Chris Buescher pulled away on a restart with three laps to go and won at Richmond as the NASCAR Cup series shifts to Michigan with drivers starting to feel the pressure of time running out with the playoffs near. 


Buescher became the 12th playoff-eligible race winner this year and there are four playoff spots up for grabs over the next month. 


Ty Gibbs is the first driver out, 18 points behind Michael McDowell. Kevikn Harvick hasn’t won since his visit to Michigan a year ago. 


Ford now has 723 wins in the Cup Series. 


William Byron leads the series with four wins - Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. each have three.


Harvick ended a 65-race winless drought that lasted nearly two years with his sixth victory at Michigan.


Practice and qualifying is 11:30 am Saturday morning. Race time is 1:30 pm Sunday afternoon.


Sam Mayer grabbed his first career Xfinity Series victory in the second overtime session at Road America in his native Wisconsin and now the XFinity Series rejoins the Cup Series in Michigan.


Justin Hill of Richard Childress Racing leads the points standings, 14 ahead of John Hunter Nemechek of Joe Gibbs Racing. 


Ty Gibbs won his fifth race of the season last year at Michigan. 


The Xfinity Series plans to make The CW its exclusive broadcast home, with 33 live races each year starting in 2025 and running through 2031.


Practice and qualifying is at 2:30 pm this afternoon. Race time is 2:30 pm Saturday.


The Cup and XFinity series heads to the Indy road course next weekend while the Craftsman Truck Series will be in Indianapolis but at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. 

Rangers Blow Out White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW Wednesday night, it was all Texas as the Rangers rolled the Chicago White Sox.



Today's action will not be on WHOW. The Sox return to the airwaves Friday ngiht in Cleveland.

Cubs Throttle Reds Again

Ian Happ homered twice and the Chicago Cubs easily overcame an early deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds 16-6 on Wednesday night.


Cristopher Morel, Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki also went deep to help push the Cubs within three games of the NL Central lead and two games back in the wild-card race.


Morel and Gomes each extended their hitting streaks to 10 games, and Michael Fulmer (2-5) pitched 1 2/3 innings of no-hit ball in relief of Drew Smyly.


Joey Votto hit two homers off Smyly, who allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings. Spencer Steer and TJ Friedl also homered for Cincinnati.


Reds starter Brandon Williamson gave up five runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out a season-high seven batters. Buck Farmer (3-5) was the loser.


Chicago had 36 runs Tuesday and Wednesday, its most in a two-game span since June 29-30, 1897.


Swanson’s 16th homer of the year gave the Cubs a third run in the fourth. Morel’s fifth-inning double drove in another run, and Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice scored Nico Hoerner to tie it at 5.


Suzuki, Jeimer Candelario and Mike Tauchman drove in runs in the sixth, and Tauchman came home on an error to make it 10-5.


After Tauchman hit another RBI double, the Reds had two more errors to give the Cubs a 14-6 lead in the seventh. Happ and Suzuki homered in the eighth.


Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman (right hip inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list, and newly acquired reliever José Cuas was added to the active roster. Stroman’s expected to miss only one start, manager David Ross said.


Cubs RHP Jameson Taillon (5-6, 5.46 ERA) looks to win a third straight start in the series finale Thursday. RHP Luke Weaver (2-3, 6.80) is set to start for the Reds.

Cardinals Topple Twins

Dakota Hudson pitched seven strong innings in his second start of the season and Alex Burleson hit a three-run homer, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 win over the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.


Lars Nootbaar added a two-run homer and Tyler O’Neill and Jordan Walker added solo homers for the Cardinals. St. Louis had lost four of its previous five games and eight of 11 before busting out against the Twins.


Matt Wallner hit a three-run homer for the Twins in the seventh. It was just the second hit allowed by Hudson.


Hudson (2-0) struck out seven with three walks and one hit batter. The 28-year-old right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced before issuing a walk in the fourth. Hudson gave up a one-out hit in the sixth inning when Michael Taylor singled up the middle on his 64th pitch.


Joe Ryan (9-8) surrendered nine hits and seven runs in four innings in facing the Cardinals for the first time in his career. He threw 103 pitches and struck four while walking one.


Miles Mikolas dropped his appeal Wednesday and will begin serving a five-game suspension. MLB suspended Mikolas last Thursday after he hit Cubs LF Ian Happ. Mikola was scheduled to start Sunday at home against Colorado. He now will start Tuesday (Aug. 8) on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays. Mikolas was the losing pitcher Tuesday when Minnesota defeated St. Louis 3-2.


Cardinals INF Brendan Donovan underwent an internal brace procedure - an alternative to ligament replacement or Tommy John surgery - Wednesday in Texas to address damage in his right elbow. He is expected to be able to take part in spring training next year. 


2B Nolan Gorman was back in the lineup after not playing Sunday and Tuesday because of back soreness.


Cardinals LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-3, 6.75) will be making his first career start and appearance against the Twins. The Twins are the seventh different opponent he has faced for the first time in his career this season.

HS FBall: Big Expectations Not Phasing Bloomington Central Catholic Football Squad

It's not a stretch to say Bloomington Central Catholic is back on the map as a contender in the scene of high school football in Illinois.


The Saints returned to the postseason last year, making a second-round playoff appearance in the 2A postseason. Coach Kevin Braucht it was a fun year and he hopes it is a springboard for taking the next step this year.



BCC will certainly be one of the favorites to win the Illini Prairie Conference this fall and could find themselves in the top 10 of the early rankings on the 2A football polls. Coach Braucht says they can't get caught up in those things because the conference schedule is too tough to overlook just one opponent.



The Saints return three-year starting quarterback Colin Hayes and several skill position players. Coach Braucht says the offseason has been about focusing on its defense where they will have several holes to fill.



BCC opens the season taking on Pontiac. The Saints went 6-3 in the regular season last year. Coach Braucht felt he challenged his kids this summer by going to 7-on-7 competitions with bigger schools. He was very pleased the IHSA allowed for 11-on-11 competitions this offseason. He notes that was something coaches in Illinois had pushed for for a long time.

HS FBall: Decatur Eisenhower Looking For Continued Growth

It's one step at a time for Decatur Eisenhower football in its journey to build a sustainable program. 


Despite a 1-8 campaign last fall, second-year football coach DaJuan Johnson was proud of how his team handled the adversity of the season and the buy-in he had from the kids.



Coming into the summer, Coach Johnson started to do a little more with the kids. They started back with June camps and workouts and in July, Coach Johnson took his team to the SIU 7-on-7. 



As Coach Johnson continues to build the Eisenhower football program, what is next step for the program?



Coach Johnson also believes one of the next steps is to bring the school and community on board with what they are doing. He points out one of the challenges for the program has been the turnover in the head coach position. He hopes to be around for a while and be someone those entities get to know.


Eisenhower opens its 2023 fall season at home hosting Jacksonville.

Reds Hold Off Cubs

Joey Votto, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Will Benson each had two hits, and the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Monday night in the opener of a key four-game series between NL Central contenders.


After Andrew Abbott struggled, six Cincinnati relievers combined for 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Buck Farmer (3-4) got five outs for the win, and All-Star Alexis Díaz worked the ninth for his 32nd save in 33 opportunities.


Building on a weekend series win at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati (59-49) improved to 4-3 on a 10-game trip. It also increased its lead in the division to 1 1/2 games over Milwaukee.


Dansby Swanson hit his 13th homer for third-place Chicago (53-53), and Yan Gomes had three of the team's eight hits. But the Cubs were unable to overcome another shaky performance by Marcus Stroman (10-8).


With the trade deadline looming on Tuesday, Chicago acquired infielder Jeimer Candelario and right-hander José Cuas in a pair of deals. Candelario, who made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2016, hit .258 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs in 99 games with Washington.


Cincinnati also made a trade, acquiring reliever Sam Moll in a deal with Oakland.

Chicago trailed 6-4 before Christopher Morel hit an RBI double off Ian Gibaut in the eighth. But Mike Tauchman struck out on a disputed checked swing and Nick Madrigal grounded out, ending the inning.


Díaz then retired the Cubs in order in the ninth.


Cincinnati jumped in front with four consecutive two-out hits against Stroman in the second inning. Benson doubled home Votto and then scored on Luke Maile's two-run double.


After the Reds opened a 6-1 lead with three more runs in the third, including RBI singles for Votto and Jake Fraley, the Cubs responded with three in the bottom half against Abbott.


Seiya Suzuki and Happ hit consecutive sacrifice flies, and Gomes added a run-scoring single. Abbott then escaped the jam when he struck out Morel with runners on the corners.


Stroman allowed six hits, struck out two and walked two in three innings. The All-Star right-hander dropped to 1-4 with a 9.00 ERA in his last seven starts.


Abbott was charged with four runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. The rookie left-hander won his previous two starts, allowing a total of eight hits over 14 scoreless innings.


Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (11-3, 2.87 ERA) goes for his third straight win when he takes the mound on Tuesday night. Right-hander Ben Lively (4-6, 3.76 ERA) starts for the Reds.

White Sox Come Up on Trade Deadline Already Active

The Chicago White Sox has turned its attention toward the future after trading Lance Lynn, Kendall Graveman, Joe Kelly, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez over the past week.



The White Sox have lost nine of their last 12 games, but general manager Rick Hahn is eager to see who will step forward in the next two months.


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