Seeley finds varsity soccer's first goal

SJO senior Zach Seeley
St. Joseph-Ogden senior Zach Seeley makes a pass during first half action against visiting University High on Thursday. The veteran soccer player scored the team's first goal of the season. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

To say the the St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team is off to a slow start would be quite the understatement.

Two hundred and 27 minutes into the season, roughly a little more than two and half games, senior Zack Seeley finally nailed the soccer team's first goal of the season. Unfortunately, the Spartans (0-2-1) needed another seven to beat visiting Urbana University on Thursday.

It wasn't an effortless performance by Illineks, who collected three goals in the first half and four in the second en route their 7-1 non-conference win. Despite the youth in their numbers this season, the Spartan defensive effort made their opponent work for every point they put on the board except for two successful penalty kicks.

"We have seven freshmen and four seniors. We still trying to find the right niche with who we can play where," said head coach Daniel Vogelsang. "We are still experimenting a bit and what better time to do that than early in the season."

Uni-High is a perennial postseason small school soccer program. Vogelsang's looked at the defeat as a valuable teaching moment.

"A lot of things went right even though we lost," he said. "One thing we are going to take away from this is a lot of ideas for training."

His plan includes ramping up the cardio.

"We know our touches weren't there. We were already wore out in the first half," he said as the junior varsity team battled on the new playing field behind him. He added: "It's early in the season and we are still trying to get all the nerves out."

Uni-High's Lucas Wood, who was one of five who scored on SJO, celebrated a hat trick after hitting a penalty in kick in both periods. His third and final goal came with just a little less than for minutes left in the game after the ball deflected off the hands of Spartan goal keep Mason Behrens.

Despite Behrens seven saves, four other Uni players contributed to their dominate offense effort against the Spartans.

"Taking a loss like this builds character," Vogelsang explained. "It is going to help us out later on when it matters in the postseason."

Tyler Sullivan works magic on the ball to keep it away from Uni-High
Spartan Tyler Sullivan shields the ball from a pair of University High players in the first half. The junior say 38 minutes of playing time in the non-conference match. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Seeley, who scored with 11 minutes and 16 seconds left in the game, took advantage of a late game substitution. When the Illinek keeper made a short pass to the newly entered teammate in front of the box, he sprung into action.

"He (the Uni defender) had a mis-touch on the ball so I stole it," Seeley said. "I saw the goal wide open and took the shot."

Seeley knows there is work to be done by the team before the postseason starts.

"We are really young. We are really stacked on juniors," he said. "We have a lot of you talent and have a bit of growing to do."

Sports Book: Bigger credited with 22 assist

Sports Book: August 29

Berry leads Spartans in kills
The Spartan volleyball team downed Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin 2-0 in a non-conference match on Thursday.

Emily Bigger was credited with 22 assists, nine digs and three kills leading the team to a 25-15 and 25-13 victory. Katelyn Berry notched nine kills to lift the program to 2-1 record. SJO will face a tough road test on Saturday at Mahomet-Seymour.

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Attention high school and junior high coaches: Please send game scores and stats to us. Send results and weekly stats to

Flashback Friday: Win clinches 19th consecutive playoff appearance

Jack Bock carries the ball for the Spartans
This #Flashback Friday goes back to the 2009 football season. The explosive Jake Bock is slowed down by a Carlyle tackler during the Spartans' home game on October 17. The St. Joseph-Ogden football team posted their 6th win of the season after a impressive 41-7 win over the visiting Indians. The victory clinched the program's 19th consecutive IHSA playoff appearance. Bock ran for 165 rushing yards and tallied two touchdowns for SJO. Click here to see all 41 photos from that game a decade ago. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Cody Bohlen kicks PAT
Left: Cody Bohlen kicks an extra point for the Spartans. The win was extra special and dedicated to the wife of athletic trainer Casey Hug who recently underwent surgery for breast cancer. Players' helmets bore pink ribbons while many had pink shoe laces. Coaches and staff wore pink shirts and hats to show their support. Donations taken at the gate and proceeds from the 50/50 drawing were earmarked to help cover treatment costs. Right: Bock takes a hand off from Blake Hoveln during first quarter action. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Huge catch by Dakota Hicks
Receiver Dakota Hicks leaps for a catch on the two yard line. The senior then stretched over the goal line to pile on another six points in the Spartans' rout over Carlyle that year. The Spartans went on to finish the season, 8-3. Click here to see all 41 photos from that game a decade ago. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Football dads get the field ready

Dads of players on the 2019 football team paint the field for the opening game.
Against the backdrop of a beautiful August sunset, Chad Burnett, Darrell Dable, Doug Wesley and Jeff Primmer work diligently on painting the school logo on the field under the football complex's new stadium style lighting Thursday evening. The dedicated dads spent several hours volunteering their time to enhance the SJO football experience. The Spartans, under fourth year head coach Shawn Skinner, open their 2019 season tonight against the High School of St. Thomas More at 7 p.m.. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

#TBT: Spartans rip Comets in home opener

Will Lindsey runs with the ball
Will 'The Flash' Lindsey easily shakes off a would-be Comet tackler while carrying the ball in SJO's season home opener on September 2 in 2005. After scoring 49 points in the first half on the Comets, St Joseph-Ogden went on to beat visiting Clifton Central 56-6. Want to see more pics from this game? Follow this link. (All photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Ryan Barnes the ball Jake Parke blocks
Left: Spartan senior Ryan Barnes, who most recently became a proud father, returns a Clifton Central punt. Barnes's game was highlighted with a 30 yard pass for a TD in the first half. Right: Jake Parke stands up a Comet defender while playing on the line during an extra point attempt. In addition to his special teams blocking duties, Parke played at linebacker and running back. The senior contributed 18 of the 56 points in the home win. SJO went on to finish the season with a 10-2 record.

Maroon Platoon back in the day
SJO senior cheerleaders pose for a photo with year's Maroon Platoon captains Matt Foreman (standing), Stacy Buck (front, left), and Abby Williams (front, right). The MP section had plenty to cheer about Friday night with SJO starting the season 49 first half point on the Comets. See more photos from this game here or check out all the football photos from the 2005 season here.

Sjuts, Schlueter named to Chancellor's Scholars Program at U of I

University of Illinois freshmen Abigail Schlueter and Rylee Sjuts were two of 159 underclassmen designated Chancellor’s Scholars in the Campus Honors Program this fall. Selected on the basis of their academic excellence and leadership potential, the newly minted St. Joseph-Ogden graduates will participate in small-enrollment honors classes and various academic seminars on campus.

Class president Rylee Sjuts address SJO Class of 2019 at this year's commencement ceremony. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
After learning she was accepted initially into the Campus Honors Program - which was the deal maker for her - Sjuts, with several options to choose from, picked the U of I. When she found out she was accepted into the Scholar's program she said she felt honored.

The Campus Honors Program is a four-year general studies program open to undergraduates in any curriculum. CHP is a highly selective program that admits approximately 125 freshmen each year from the more than 7,000 students attending classes at the university. Chancellor's Scholars develop their own curriculum from regular and challenging CHP courses.

"At first I was like 'Wow, this is awesome'," she said. "Once I learned about the benefits, like smaller classes, I thought I was very lucky that I get to be a part of it."

This fall she in taking an honors economics class. "It's been pretty cool," she said. "There are only 15 people in the class instead of a couple of hundred."

As undeclared incoming freshman, she hasn't officially selected a major. She considered pre-law and law school but has decided to pursue a business degree.

"I want to work in hospitality or marketing," she said. "I definitely want to help people and work with them in some way."

Some of the other benefits for CHP students include summer research and travel grants, close student-faculty interaction, a lecture series on topics of general interest, dress-rehearsal visits to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and programs focus on interaction with other cultures.

(8/28/19) This story was updated with after an interview Rylee Sjuts via phone this evening.

Soccer team falls at Hoopeston, VB drops opener

Sports Book: August 27

Soccer suffers road loss
Keeper Mason Behrens fended off 9 of 12 shots on his goal in the SJO soccer team's 3-0 loss to Hoopeston on Tuesday. Senior Zac Seeley was unable to find net after booting three of the six SJO shots on the Cornjerker goal. Freshman Will Page played all 80 minutes in the team's first loss of the season. The Spartans look to bounce back against Uni-High tomorrow in their home opener at 4:30 p.m..

Volleyball falls 2-1 to St. T
After taking the first set 25-23, the St. Joseph-Ogden varsity volleyball team dropped the next pair, 25-15 and 25-21 in their home opener against St. Teresa. The Spartan play next at Mahomet-Seymour on Saturday. Match time is scheduled for noon.

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Attention high school and junior high coaches: Please send game scores and stats to us. Send results and weekly stats to

Viewpoint | There are a few things our culture needs to admit

In 2016, there were 11,004 gun homicides in the United States. Additionally, 10,497 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Why do leftists demonize guns but are silent when it comes to alcohol's role in DUI deaths?

Some big government types want new legislation severely restricting gun purchases. But it won't work.

Recently, a convicted felon walked into the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago and open fired with a rifle; another convicted felon with an extensive criminal history of weapons opened fire on Philadelphia police officers, wounding six; and a shooter, also a felon, killed a California Highway Patrol Officer.

Current gun laws did not stop these criminals who are already legally barred from possessing a firearm from using guns to attack others.

We should stop the feckless politicking and political correctness and admit that we have a cultural problem. We should look at the rise in secularization, family breakdown, drug abuse, mental illness, identity-politics and demand personal responsibility and accountability.

BTW - with the legalization of weed, the numbers of intoxicated drivers and deaths will certainly increase in the coming years, as will violence-related marijuana-induced psychosis.

Forgetting God and His ways have consequences.

David E. Smith, Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute
Tinley Park, IL

Memory Monday: Volleyball hits the wall at supersectional

Traesha Worley
We dug back 15 years on an old hard drive to bring this week's Memory Monday feature. On the left, St.Joseph-Ogden's Traesha Worley makes solid contact with the ball for a kill against Mt. Pulaski on November 6, 2004. The Hilltoppers beat the Spartans 25-15, 25-21 to win the Hoopeston Supersectional title Saturday night. SJO, playing an independent schedule this season, finished a marvelous, memorable season with 28 wins and 6 losses. See more photos from this match almost 15 years ago here: Spartans vs Hilltoppers.

Stacy Buck and SJO coaches watching their game Sarah Thompson
In the photo above, From the bench, Stacy Buck and coaches [left to right] Megan Blair, head coach Lydia Gard, and Erica Weber keep their attention on different facets of the St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team's effort to advance to the IHSA state tournament against a powerful Mt. Pulaski team. On the left, Sarah Thompson passes the ball forward during a heated rally. Mt. Pulaski went on finish the season as the Class 1A runner-up at the IHSA State Volleyball Finals. (All photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO ready for a glorious football campaign

Crayton Burnett looks to make a pass during the St. Joseph-Ogden football team's scrimmage on Friday. Burnett, who saw varsity action toward the end of the season as sophomore last fall, will be the starting signal caller for SJO. The Spartans' passing game is a potential threat with Burnett's arm and this year's stable of receivers. Below: More than 60 or so parents and fans were on hand to watch the varsity squad and scout players run live plays against each other. (All photos on this page by PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO fans and parents watch scrimmage game

"We don't have one or two leaders. We have a team of leaders right now."

St.Joseph-Ogden head coach Shawn Skinner pointed out while talking about the upcoming season before the team introduction later in the gym. The Spartans have 22 seniors on the roster ready to prove themselves and continue to build the program back to its former level of success. Here, Skinner gives instructions to players early on during the scrimmage session.

SJO head football coach Shawn Skinner

Primmer takes a drink
Ramsey Primmer takes a drink between plays. Skinner said the veteran cornerback has been instrumental in getting a lot of the "young guys" up to speed and ready to play nine weeks under Friday night lights. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO cheerleaders perform at the Fall Kickoff
Above, left: Spartan cheerleaders perform on the sideline of the practice field. This year's scrimmage session could not be held under the newly installed lights on the field due to track resurfacing. Above, right: Chance Izard moves with the flow of the play while on defense. Izard may well be a strong catalyst for the program to improve on last year's 5-5 finish. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Chance Izard plays defense

Max Shonkwiler, Jesse Schluter and Tyler Jones
(Left to right) Max Shonkwiler, Jesse Schluter and Tyler Jones take a moment to smile while waiting for the next stage of the Spartan scrimmage to start. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

12 area students earn UofI degrees

Twelve St. Joseph-Ogden High School students were name among 6,394 Illinois residents who earned degrees from the University of Illinois this past spring. Three of the 12 former Spartans who received bachelor degrees obtained their diplomas with exceptional academic laurels.

LaRyssa Randall
Former SJO cheerleader LaRyssa Randall smiles during a photo shoot with fellow cheerleaders in 2011. Randall, from St. Joseph, graduated this past spring from the University of Illinois with Highest Honors with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

LaRyssa Randall, from St. Joseph, was bestowed Highest Honors recognition after completing coursework for her Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Students at the University of Illinois who are awarded Highest Honors have achieved outstanding performance in their courses as well as participated in supplementary activities of an academic or professional nature. This honor generally requires completion of an undergraduate thesis or a special project of superior quality within most university departments. Highest honors are also awarded to students upon recommendation of his or her department.

Randall, from the Class of 2012, was a Spartan cheerleader at SJO.

Danielle Kaiser and Whitney Setterdahl also earned high academic recognition for their undergraduate studies.

Kaiser, from St. Joseph, earned High Honors recognition after with her degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the College of Applied Health Sciences. High honors students must have a cumulative grade point average at least 3.80 at graduation.

Setterdahl, from Ogden, graduated with Honors with a degree in Finance from the Gies College of Business. To receive a honors designation students must possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50.

Two graduates in our area earned advanced degrees from University of Illinois.

Former Spartan distance runner and Ogden native Beau Barber, who has been active in plant research at the university since 2014, received his Master of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering in Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Angela Mock earned a Master of Social Work from Illinois' School of Social Work. Mock did her internship at Urbana School District #116 and prior to that spent two years as a teacher at Robeson Elementary and editor at the university.

The remaining area students earning bachelor degrees from the University of Illinois include:

Ryan Allen, St. Joseph, Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology / Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Amie Bott, Ogden, Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology / Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jessica Kassuelke, Ogden, Major: Food Science and Human Nutrition / Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition

Kimberly Newman, St. Joseph, Major: Communication / Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Matthew Rabb, St. Joseph, Major: Agricultural and Consumer Economics / Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Consumer Economics

Hailee Robbins, St. Joseph, Major: Elementary Education / Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

Hannah Zalaker, St. Joseph, Major: Kinesiology / Applied Health Sciences


It has come to our attention that several area SJO graduates were omitted from this article at the time of publication. Names that did not appear in this story were not included due to those students providing a campus address as their home address to the university. Our logic in compiling this list was apparently flawed in assuming that graduates in a list provided by the university News Bureau with a 61859, 61871 or 61873 zip code attended SJO. We will address that in future graduation stories. In certain instances, graduates may not have been appeared in this story because graduates were added to the official campus list after June 24.

The original headline to this story, 12 SJO alumni earn UofI degrees, was changed to 12 area students earn UofI degrees and certain instances of SJO alumni has been changed to area students or removed from the story.

Are there other omissions? Click here to submit information for corrections.

16 area U of I students earn Dean's List recognition

Matthew Raab sprints the remaining yards to the finish line and a 22nd place finish in the Men's 14 - 18 division at the 2014 SJO 5K. Raab was one of 16 area students named to University of Illinois spring 2019 Dean's List. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Sixteen area St. Joseph-Ogden graduates now attending the University of Illinois earned recognition for their outstanding academic performance during the spring 2019 semester. Three of the academic achievers hail from Ogden and the remaining 13 listed are from St. Joseph.

Students named to the Dean's List are in the top 20% of a student’s college class or curriculum. To be eligible, students must complete at least 14 academic semester hours taken for a letter grade at Illinois. This semester, 7,025 U of I students earned that recognition. Among them, 5,048 of the awardees are from Illinois.

Members of this semesters Dean's List from Ogden include Nicholas Cagle, who is a freshman currently in General Curriculum studies, Carly Frerichs, a senior in Kinesiology and Jessica Kassuelke, who is a senior in Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of ACES.

Freshman Camryn McKee (Political Science) and Emily Bluhm (Agricultural and Consumer Economics) along with sophomores Allison Place (Crop Sciences), Claire Smith (Agricultural Communications), Evan Hawkins (Advertising) and Mason Housenga (Physics) make up the group of underclass scholars from St. Joseph.

Juniors Casey Modglin (Agricultural and Consumer Economics), Hailey Collum (Architectural Studies), Lauren Gherna (English), Matthew Weyer (Information Systems) and Mira McLain (Integrative Biology) and two seniors, former three-sport athlete Jake Pence (Finance) and Matthew Raab (Agricultural and Consumer Economics), who was a distance runner for the Spartan cross-country and track program, round out the list of area recipients this semester.

CASA receives state funding

After 26 years of operation, the Illinois Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program will receive $2,885,000.00 in State funding.

CASA is not-for-profit organization which recruits, trains, and monitors volunteers who serve as advocates for abused and neglected children. Their services are also used in Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) cases and sometimes in adoption proceedings. Trained volunteers work to ensure the welfare of the children under their care is closely monitored and make independent recommendations to the court system advocating in their best interest.

In Illinois there are 31 CASA programs with nearly 2,500 volunteers who in 2018 advocated for the best interests of 4,184 child victims of abuse and neglect.

"This funding means that more children across Illinois do not have to go through the court process alone," said Mari Christopherson, Executive Director for CASA. "We applaud the Governor in supporting a program that works."

According to the statement issued this week, the funding will distributed to the current local programs with the goal of expanding their ability to protect the interest of minor children who have experienced abuse or neglect with a Court Appointed Special Advocate. The funds will also be used to expand CASA into other communities to help an estimated 2,000 or more children who do not have access to volunteers and service in their area.

The local branch, Champaign County CASA, is located at 301 S. Vine, Suite 210, in the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana.

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 . . .

Hardest hitting Spartan football players exposed

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.

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. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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.

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)

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.