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BEECHER | Maggie Hanley, one of two sophomore starters on Beecher’s volleyball team, just started jump-serving this season.
FRANKFORT | Up 20-0 against Lincoln-Way East about five minutes into his team’s Friday night contest, Homewood-Flossmoor coach Craig Buzea knew the Vikings wouldn’t take the edge for granted.
There weren’t a lot of highlights for Bloom Township’s offense in a 23-13 win Saturday over Crystal Lake South.
LANSING | In a darkened, nearly empty gym, Timothy Christian coach Scott Piersema broke away from some friends and family from the old neighborhood and caught up to Illiana Christian coach Nikki Van Dyke.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Bruce Busch isn’t the biggest name on the Bloom Township defense.
NEW LENOX | Top-ranked Mount Carmel wanted to keep the ball away from Providence’s explosive offense, led by Notre Dame-bound wideout Miles Boykin.
FLOSSMOOR | “Hard” might have described T.F. South’s 0-2 start to the season.
DOLTON | As they swarmed over their first-year coach, slapping him on the back and hugging him. Thornridge’s ecstatic Falcons were brought to a sudden stop by a teammate’s yell.
CRETE | Xavier Ledet didn’t touch the ball at all in the first half of Crete-Monee’s much delayed season opener Saturday with T.F. South.
CALUMET CITY | As he watched Saturday’s first quarter, which ended with his T.F. North Meteors trailing Urban Prep-West 14-0, North running back Anthony Watkins had a thought.
SOUTH HOLLAND | Bloom Township running back Emmanuel Williams had a nice night Friday, fittingly.
LANSING | The sign is wonderful. Jenna Pasko, make no mistake, is proud of the sign.
CEDAR LAKE | Moments prior to its Friday contest with Bowman Academy, Hanover Central’s football squad burst through a banner that read, “Back From Hiatus.”
In considering Ashtyn Kapovich’s four varsity softball seasons at T.F. South, Rebels coach Jamie Arundel had no problem arriving at a favorite tale.
BEECHER | One afternoon, you're playing in the Class 2A state third-place softball game.
BEECHER | In his 12 years as Beecher's softball coach, Kevin Hayhurst has been named Times Illinois Coach of the Year after four seasons, including this one.
NEW LENOX | There weren't a lot of frowns in Illiana Christian's post-game huddle Thursday, after the Vikings' season was ended in a with a 7-1 loss to Lemont in the Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinals.
Six seasons, six state championships, have come and gone since Beecher last reached the tournament's final weekend.
ROSEMONT | With her two-run double in the first inning of Beecher's 18-0 Class 2A Rosemont Stadium Super-Sectional win Monday over Westmont, Sarah Crews took over the Ladycats' team RBI lead.
Beecher softball coach Kevin Hayhurst expected to have a full scouting report on Westmont in his hands within a couple of hours of his team's 9-2 win Saturday over the hosts in the Reed-Custer Class 2A Sectional title game.
BRAIDWOOD | Whatever Kevin Hayhurst's words of wisdom were, they didn't register with Sarah Crews.
CHICAGO | Just 10 days earlier, Marian Catholic had beaten Marist and Redhawks left-hander Ryan Kairis 3-2 in an East Suburban Catholic Conference game.
BRAIDWOOD | Describing her team's approach at the plate, senior pitcher Sarah Crews sounded notes of patience.
BEECHER | If not for the home plate umpire's generosity, Taylor Johnson's first regional championship at-bat would have been exceedingly brief.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | The message delivered — sternly — by Thornwood's coaches after a Class 4A Lincoln-Way North Regional play-in loss to Bloom Townwhip was one of effort and commitment.
BEECHER | A year ago, Beecher's top-seeded Ladycats encountered a third-seeded Wilmington squad in a regional title game and were eliminated from the postseason by a 3-2 count.
DOLTON | When they might have been running the open 400 meters at Thursday's Class 2A Thornridge Track & Field Sectional, Illiana Christian's Austin Gibson and Kevin Vroegh could be found, respectively, on a massage table and in the stands.
BEECHER | Befitting a team that took ownership of its mistakes, Cassidy Robertson popped up from the dirt between second and third and said, "My fault."
LANSING | There was a moment last fall, after T.F. South Booster Club President Rick Seymour and his band of volunteers demolished the old cyclone fence dugouts at the school's softball field, when their forward progress was halted.
BEECHER | Isabella Woolslayer knows her Beecher history.
LANSING | Despite being separated by just a few miles of Ridge Road, Munster and T.F. South were softball strangers until Saturday -- more or less.
DOLTON | To no one's surprise, Thornton, the defending state champion in the event, won the 400-meter relay Thursday en route to claiming the team title in the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet at Thornridge.
BEECHER | After two walks, an error and an infield hit off the glove of Sandburg's sprawling pitcher, Sydney Zupan authored what qualified as the big blow of Beecher's four-run first inning Wednesday with a slicing bloop of a base hit over the third baseman's head.
BEECHER | As soon as Taylor Johnson fouled off the 2-2 change-up, Sarah Crews, watching from the dugout, knew.
LANSING | They may be twins, but it's not that tough to tell Heather and Ashley Wiltjer apart.
CALUMET CITY | Playing a very good Eisenhower team on Wednesday, Thornton Fractional's co-op volleyball team hung around a bit longer than expected, then faded in a 25-21, 21-14 South Suburban Conference loss.
LANSING | Their game delayed by lightning and suspended by rain Tuesday, T.F. South and Lemont will attempt today to pick it up where they left off.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Illiana Christian's softball squad had a morning doubleheader on Saturday. The Vikings also had a 6:30 a.m. fundraiser first.
LANSING | As the remnants of a crowd estimated at 200 milled about, and T.F. South center fielder Bri Heintz posed for pictures with a boy and a bouquet at home plate, Rebels catcher Cori Reynolds took it all in.
Ousted Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball coach Tony Smith has been cleared to resume coaching "anywhere," the Illinois High School Association announced Tuesday.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | By the end of her team's 8-6, Southland Athletic Conference win Tuesday at Bloom, Crete-Monee's Sarah Rizzo might have been shaking, but she wasn't shaken.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Throughout catcher Morgan Zimmerman's four-year varsity career at Bloom Township, she said, "We've always been an average team."
FLOSSMOOR | The animated way she addressed her team following its 8-3 loss Wednesday to Sandburg was born from Homewood-Flossmoor coach Katie Rice's frustration.
LANSING | A year ago, Sydney Harrison would have been stationed at first base, watching somebody else have all the fun.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | It was a night dedicated to the youngsters.
LANSING |Ashtyn Kapovich took the ACT Saturday morning, but do not accuse her of taking the cerebral approach with her to the softball field Saturday afternoon.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | A scheduling snafu left Marian Catholic and Illiana Christian without an umpire until 40 minutes after their scheduled start time Friday, but even that wait wasn't enough to cool off the Spartans' Allison Spence.
CRETE | Moments before her team's contest with Times No. 2 Crete-Monee started Thursday, Kankakee coach Deb Johnston walked in front of the visitors dugout and clapped her hands together once.
FLOSSMOOR | Gazing at the shiny new, wheelchair-accessible bleachers, press box and concession stand behind her team's backstop, protected by the new wind screens lining the outfield fence, Homewood-Flossmoor softball coach Katie Rice voiced a plan — or perhaps a hope.
CRETE | Sarah Crews has been playing varsity softball for four years at Beecher High School, and Monday against Illinois Lutheran she very nearly notched a first.
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