Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wayback Wednesday: 2007 Track Sectional

On May 11, 2007, back when IHSA track & field was a two-class system, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls track team competed for a chance to advance to the state meet the following week held at O'Brien Stadium at Eastern Illinois University.

The Spartans, led by alum Andy Derks, failed to place in the top six in the team standings at the meet. Junior Hannah Hogan was the only Spartan to advance state.

Since then SJO's running program has blossomed into a perennial small school track powerhouse. In the past decade, the Spartans have brought home state hardware on five occasions. The bounty includes one state title, one runner-up title and three third place IHSA trophies joining the second place trophy won in 1978 and a 2000 state championship award.

Here are three of our favorite PhotoNews photos from that meet. View the entire collection here . . .

Spartan junior Hannah Hogan
Hannah Hogan runs to a second place finish in the 3,200 meter run. She finished her eight loops in 12 minutes, 22.75 seconds. Hogan was a three-time state finalist in cross-country for the Spartans. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Melissa Studinarz runs 400m Dash
Hoping to qualify for state, Melissa Studinarz explodes out of the blocks in the 400m dash. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Dayna Long
Senior Dayna Long runs the one-mile race on Friday. See more photos of Long in the PhotoNews Spartan archives here . . .

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hardest hitting Spartan football players exposed

Brandon Cheek
Brandon Cheek put his shoulder to Lions' Dallas Gustafson on his way into the backfield during their playoff game on November 6, 2004. Cheek was mentioned as one of the many linemen mentioned in a post on Facebook about SJO's hardest hitting linemen. St. Joseph-Ogden beat Marshall in the muddiest games in program history of a field 7-3 advancing to face former conference rival Unity in a quarterfinal playoff match-up. See 20 more photos from this game here . . . Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

The 2019 football season just weeks away from kicking off and there is a great discussion on the St. Joseph-Ogden Football Fan Page on Facebook listing the hardest hitting linemen who put on the Spartan uniform.

With 20 comments so far, several former players and fans have responded mentioning more than 15 players dating back as far as 1992 who could put a hurtin' on gridiron opponents.

Current head coach Shawn Skinner, who was a member of the 1989 football team that made the program's first state title game appearance and enters his fifth year at the Spartan helm, received a nod in the comments section.

Still members of the Illini Prairie conference, Skinner and the SJO football program open their 2019 season against St. Thomas More at home on August 31. In their previous meeting, the Spartans held STM scoreless in the second half of their road confrontation to win, 30-9.

Below is a screen capture of a portion of the conversation about some of the Spartans' most memorable linemen over the years. See the complete thread here . . .

Guns, knives, trucks and airplanes can all kill

Terrorists proved on September 11, 2001 that guns are not necessary to kill 2,753 people.

Timothy McVeigh proved that a truck load of explosives can kill 168 people and injure 680 more as well as destroy one-third of building and damaging many others in Oklahoma City.

A man with a knife killed four people and wounded two others in Los Angeles last week.

A weapon of mass destruction can be a plane, an automobile, a knife, a gun or whatever an evil person chooses to utilize at a certain moment.

By and large the weapon of choice has been an automatic weapon capable of holding a high-capacity magazine.

Whether it was Las Vegas, Columbine, Charleston, El Paso, Dayton or sadly too many other locations to name, the weapon of choice has been an automatic rifle with high-capacity bullet magazines.

A truck can kill people but normally you can hear and see a truck coming. A knife can kill people but not as many as a rifle with a magazine clip holding 70 or more bullets.

An evil person can walk into a church, theatre, Walmart or school and immediately have a couple of hundred people huddled together as a target. He doesn’t have to aim. He just points the weapon and pulls the trigger. The gun acts like a sprayer of bullets hitting people so fast that running or dodging is almost impossible.

The shooter looks for scenarios where people are trapped with limited escape door opportunities. Thus a shooter with a bullet clip of 50, 70 or more has a potential of killing many people in just a minute or less.

This is why Congress must enact background checks, strict licensing for high-powered rifles and limit the number of bullets a clip can hold at one time.

However, here is the problem: What is the magic number? My ordinary pistols hold six shells and my automatic ones hold more, so what is the magic number of bullets that Americans will be limited to in one clip?

Will it be 10 or 15 or 20? Honestly, there is no right number because a skilled marksman will still be able to kill.

The hope is that maybe the ending of one clip or emptying of one pistol would give someone a chance to tackle the monster if anyone is still alive. Hopefully, someone in the room will have a gun and be able to stop the shooter.

I’m for limiting magazine capacity but it won’t eliminate terrorism and mass shootings. It’s a Hail Mary and our Congress has to do something but we have to do more.

Hollywood and network television has to change.

Universal Studios/NBC television is the biggest hypocrite of all. They constantly bark gun control and are negative toward the National Rifle Association yet coming out with a movie titled "The Hunt", which is supposedly about liberals hunting deplorables and killing them. This kind of junk is a huge part of the problem.

Hollywood, the music industry and video games makers must dramatically change their tone. Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith show carried a gun but he never made any of us want to kill anyone or hate people.

Guns, knives, trucks and airplanes can all kill. There are many other weapons that will kill massive numbers of people. We can’t eliminate them all. Our greatest need is a culture change.

Dr. Glenn Mollette

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Memory Monday: Spartans Mash Maroons

Twenty-three days shy of decade ago, the Spartans scored a touchdown in all four quarters with four different players making their way into the end zone. The energetic SJO squad defeated Robinson 28-12 in the 2009 season home opener. Below are four images of some of our favorite athletes from that season and the game. If you want to see more photos from this game, follow the link to the gallery republished today here in the PhotoNews Media archives.

Lucas Gones and the Spartans celebrate
Above: St. Joseph-Ogden players head to their postgame meeting on the field after singing the school fight song and their victory over the Maroons on August 29. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Dylan Grove runs a pass route Three-sport athlete Blake Hoveln
Left: Dylan Grove explodes off the line of scrimmage on a pass play for the Spartans. Right: Blake Hoveln rolls out looking for an open receiver on a first quarter pass play. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Robinson's Jimmy Stevens is brought down by a pair of St. Joseph-Ogden defensive backs after a big fourth quarter gain. The last quarter effort fell short with the Spartan defense holding the Maroons to just two scores the entire contest. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Work on I-74 could affect travel to CU

If you commute to work in Urbana or Champaign, you will want leave a little earlier for work starting this Monday. The Illinois Department of Transportation announced on Friday that pavement and guardrail repairs will begin starting this Monday on Interstate 74. Drivers should expect routine delays and drive through the work area at lower speeds.

With IDOT expecting the work to last around seven weeks from start to completion and students returning to the University campus later this month, Sentinel area drivers may want to plan alternative routes on trips into CU to avoid congestion in the construction area starting near High Cross Road just east of Cunningham Avenue in Urbana heading west to Prospect Avenue in Champaign.

Nighttime lane closures will be in effect from 8 pm to 6 am Sunday through Thursday, with at least one lane open in each direction at all times.

IDOT urges drivers to pay close attention to signs in the work zones and obey the posted speed limits to avoid accidents. Motorists should be be on high alert for rapidly changing traffic flow.

Last week, on August 1 near a construction zone on westbound Interstate 74 between Fithian and Oakwood, a semi driver was lost his life while another motorist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries in two separate accidents. Ronald C. Schaer of Danville, who was hospitalized life-threatening injuries, was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Drivers are asked not use mobile devices and be prepared to avoid workers and construction equipment.

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