Arcola hires Unity assistant to lead football team

ARCOLA — Eight of nine seasons before he took over as Arcola’s head football coach and athletic director, Zach Zehr had coached a team in the playoffs as an assistant at Deer Creek-Mackinaw, Dunlap and Fieldcrest.

As he prepared to leave Arcola after four seasons to take over at Tremont and move closer to home, Zehr and a committee looked for a coach with similar credentials.

Zilis: Williams' college career takes flight

CHAMPAIGN — The clock above the oven at the Williams household was a few minutes ahead, something Jordan Williams made sure to point out early in the morning on Wednesday. Had the Centennial senior signed his national letter of intent to play football at Ball State at 6:50 a.m., the NCAA compliance office would have been none the wiser.

Sabers defenseman Richard picks Drake football

CHAMPAIGN — Jacob Richard hadn’t heard of St. Thomas More High School a week before his graduation from Franklin Middle School in 2013, when his parents brought up the possibilities of what high school he’d attend.

Richard never thought it was a question. He’d go to Champaign Central.

Kirk next in line to lead Bombers football

ARGENTA — Dick Hood and Carl Poelker are good football coaching mentors to have.

Steve Kirk, the likely future Argenta-Oreana football coach, knows first-hand.

Hood guided Rantoul to four playoff appearances in the 1980s, including a state semifinal berth in Class 4A in 1987, the furthest the Eagles have advanced in school history.

Area prep girls' basketball leaders: Week of Jan. 16

(Minimum 9.0 ppg)
Player, School     FG     FT     TP     AVG     HG

A. Scott, Urbana    158    142    514    27.1    42

Video: Fall Postseason Highlights

Re-live St. Joseph-Ogden's run to the state championship, Mahomet-Seymour boys' cross country's historic state meet, Ema Rajic's record-breaking day and more of the area's biggest postseason highlights.

State final TV footage/commentary: Courtesy IHSA

Eisenmenger departs from Argenta-Oreana football

ARGENTA — Coming off an eight-win season and a No. 3 seed in the IHSA Class 1A state football tournament, Argenta-Oreana coach Chad Eisenmenger is leaving the program.

Ex-area athletes in the NFL (Week 17)

JEFF ALLEN, Texans (ex-UI). Offensive lineman and his teammates permitted four sacks in a loss at Tennessee.

GERONIMO ALLISON, Packers (ex-UI). Wide receiver hauled in four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in a win at Detroit.

HOUSTON BATES, Redskins (ex-UI). Linebacker is on injured reserve (knee).

Former area athletes in the NFL: Week 16 (Dec. 25)

JEFF ALLEN, Texans (ex-UI). Offensive lineman and his teammates allowed four sacks in a 12-10 win vs. Cincinnati on Saturday.

GERONIMO ALLISON, Packers (ex-UI). Wide receiver caught four passes for 77 yards in a 38-25 victory vs. Minnesota on Saturday.

HOUSTON BATES, Redskins (ex-UI). Linebacker is on injured reserve (knee).

Happy holidays! Lovie adds 4-star defensive end commit

At the rate he is picking up commitments, Illinois football coach Lovie Smith won't need the last two weeks of January.

Owen Carney, a defensive end from Miami Central (Fla.), picked Illinois on Christmas Day.

Rated a four-star prospect on, Carney becomes the 17th member of the 2017 Illini class.