Circuit court amnesty week starts Monday

Starting Monday, individuals with outstanding criminal or traffic fines and fees can catch a break and have a chance to settle a delinquent accounts with the County Circuit Clerk. For five days next week all collection and late fees will be waived for those who pay the amount due on their entire case.

To avoid collection fees and interest, those seeking amnesty must pay the total of the original court-ordered fines and fees for their case by Friday, September 13. Partial payments will not be accepted by the Clerk's office.

Payments will be accepted by mail with a money order or cashier’s check as long as the envelope is postmarked by Friday. The Clerk’s Office is also offering extended office hours at the Urbana courthouse. For more information contact the Champaign County Circuit Court at 217-384-3725 to speak with a representative.

Two dimensional Eagles will test SJO tenacity

The Spartans take their ground pounding touchdown scoring machine to Rantoul tomorrow for their week 2 of IHSA football.

The Eagles have yet to beat a St. Joseph-Ogden football team. If the pigskin rolls their way, and they are hoping to do so, it will make their homecoming weekend hootenanny just a bit merrier.

In their Illini Prairie Conference opener last Friday, the Eagles fell 42-20 on the road at Prairie Central. The Hawks pulled away in the third quarter, scoring three times to hand Rantoul their first loss of the season.

SJO defense stops STM run
The Spartan defense held St. Thomas More under 125 yards in their Illini Prairie Conference opener. SJO will likely face a much more physical group as they look for win number 2 this season. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

The Spartans, who put up 278 all-purposes yards on St. Thomas More on their way to a 36-8 win, will have their strength and conditioning tested, both in the trenches and in the secondary with the Eagles.

Rantoul Township amassed 213 yards, a healthy number, against by some accounts a postseason ready Prairie Central squad.

Up front on defense, Jaden Miller led the Spartans with nine tackles, one for a loss, against the Sabers. Brayden Weaver and Sam Wesley had nine tackles apiece to assist in holding the St. Thomas More total offense to less than 120 yards.

No doubt the trio will have their work cut out for themselves. Their leadership on the field and on the sidelines with the less experienced players could be a pivotal factor in the outcome.

The Eagles' primary receivers who include Colin Wilkerson, Bryant Shaw and Terhune, combined for six catches for 137 yards against the Hawks. Wilkerson, the number one passing threat, had four catches for 68 yards. Terhune caught two passes, one for a touchdown, and finished the opener with 25 yard. The receiving corps was good for 140 yards.

Utilizing their passing game sparingly last week, in comparison St. Joseph-Ogden passed for just 29 yards.

"Our assessment is we have to be better," said SJO head coach Shawn Skinner after their home game against STM. "The offensive line has to block better. Receivers have to run better routes."

He added: "Crayton (Burnett) is a good quarterback and we have to utilize him."

Burnett knows there are some details he needs to work on to put the ball in the hands of his receivers.

"Me personally I need to make better decision with the passing game," he said. "Once that happens everything will be fine. I'm going to work hard and work had on my reads."

Weaver isn't letting Burnett or the offensive line shoulder all of the blame for their passing game against the Sabers. In his mind it is a team effort to bring the passing game up to its potential, especially when you have a quarterback of Burnett's caliber calling for the snap.

"Obviously, we can clean up some things on the passing game but that's on the backs, too. That's on everybody," he said in his postgame interview. "That's not on the line. You can't really blame them for anything. They did a great job responding to everything that came their way."

In their previous five meetings, the Spartans have outscored the Eagles, 176-52. As members of both the Okaw Valley Conference and now the Illini Prairie, Rantoul has never posted more than 20 points against a St. Joseph-Ogden football squad.

SJO has averaged 35.2 points per game against RTHS.

Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at Rantoul Township High School.

Spartan work ethic pays dividends

Jarrett Stevenson carries the ball for St. Joseph-Ogden
Running back Jarrett Stevenson carries the ball during first half action. The senior ran for 173 yards and scored four touchdowns against St. Thomas More. See more photo from the game here ... (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Before the team played its first down, Chance Izard predicted this was going to be an exciting season of St. Joseph-Ogden football. If last Friday's 36-8 win over visiting St. Thomas More in their Illini Prairie Conference opener is an indicator of things to come, it looks like there will be no shortage of thrilling moments this season.

"We have a new group of guys and new chemistry," he said days ahead of the team public scrimmage. "We are all willing to put in the work."

After St. Thomas More's Eivory Shellman scored on a short 5-yard run for the first six points of the contest and a successful two-point conversion on a pass play, the score shock quickly wore off for the Spartans.

"I thought the defense responded so well after not preparing for that style of offense. Coach Watson has never really ran that offense before anywhere," explained fourth year head coach Shawn Skinner talking about early defensive miscues. "(We) hadn't prepare for that style of offense. Yet you saw, once coach (Bob) Glazier was able to rally them on the sidelines while offense had the ball, (he) corrected some of the missed assignments and it really wasn't an issue the rest of the night."

Skinner found some comfort in how well many of his players, especially a good portion of them with little varsity experience, buckled down without so much as a blink. Their response led to an 8-all tie before the first quarter ended.

"They just ran it. Down. The. Field," Skinner said, with a hint of pride as he recounted how team quickly fell into doing the jobs they had been trained to do. "They just went back to work. That's the response we wanted."

St. Thomas More's main issue was the response from Jarrett Stevenson.

The senior, who found his way on the field toward the end of the 2018 season, averaged an impressive 8.6 yards per carry against them. After his four-yard plunge and two-point conversion in the first quarter to tie up the score, Stevenson would entered the end zone three more times by the game's end. He wouldn't take all the credit himself.

"My line was incredible. My fullbacks were incredible," he said praising their efforts. "It was insane. It was the best blocking I've ever seen."

Thanks to the strong pushes in the trenches by the offensive line, Stevenson finished the night with 173 rushing yards. Four touchdowns and almost 200 yards isn't a bad way to start a last year of your prep career on the gridiron. It was a huge payout of dividends from his hard work to prepare for the season this past summer.

"He is the strongest kid on team. He works extremely hard," Skinner said while commenting on Stevenson establishing himself as the go-to guy this season. "He has an incredible desire to be successful. We need him to be that guy."

And there was the rest of the Spartan running corp that the Sabers could not contain easily as well on Friday. SJO averaged 7.5 yards per carry as a team and not with just the help of veteran seniors. Sophomores Coby Miller and Keaton Nolan saw varsity action combining 65 yards between the two of them on eight attempts.

And despite his number being called only three times during the 48 minute contest, Brayden Weaver finished the night with smaller numbers. His modest 38 yards and touchdown were equally impressive.

He said without Stevenson he wouldn't have been able to score on his 34-yard run on the north side of the field into the west end zone. After shedding tacklers on his way to the goal line on the play, Weaver dove the last two yards into the end zone with a St. Thomas More defender hanging on.

"Jarrett Stevenson will be in the headlines for his touchdowns and however many yards he had," Weaver said while talking about his scoring run. "He made the best block on the night on that play. If that didn't happen I wouldn't have got in, even with all the broken tackles."

Weaver also recovered one of two STM's fumbles while playing on the defensive side of the ball.

Stevenson, Berry are Sentinel's 1st Spartans of the Week

Week 1 Spartan of the Week: Jarrett Stevenson

Jarrett Stevenson Stevenson averaged 8.6 yards per carry in the Spartan football team's home opener against St. Thomas More. The senior running back was good for 173 yards and scored four touchdowns in SJO's 36-8 win over the Sabers.

Honorable Mentions: Mason Behrens (Soccer), Drew Coursey (Football), Brandon Mattsey (Cross Country), Eric Poe (Cross Country), Zac Seeley (Soccer), Brayden Weaver (Football),

Week 1 Lady Spartan of the Week: Katelyn Berry

Player of the Week Katelyn Berry Before the month of September, Berry led the St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team with six aces and is second in the hitting stats with 26 kills. On the road against Mahomet-Seymour, she was credited with one block, three assists and hit six winners in the team's 25-12, 25-16 non-conference victory on Aug 31.

Honorable Mentions: Emily Bigger (Volleyball), Kennedi Burnett (Volleyball), Emily Elsbernd (Soccer), Jillian Plotner (Cross Country) and Hannah Rajlich (Cross Country).

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Attention high school coaches: Help us recognize our area prep athletes each week. Please send game scores and stats to us for freshman and junior varsity as well as varsity games. Send game, race and match results and weekly stats to

Boys XC wins meet title, volleyball starts win streak

Luke Stegall runs to a sixth place finish in the Male 14 to 18 division at the 2019 SJO 5K. Stegall, a sophomore, finished in seventh place at the Doc Acklin Invite on Saturday to help the SJO boys cross country team win this year's team title. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Sports Book: August 31

Plotner leads SJO at Doc Acklin Invite
Senior Jillian Plotner finished in third place overall at the 4th Annual Doc Acklin Invite in Paris on Saturday. Scoring points toward the team title Plotner, along with teammates Hannah Rajlich, Ava Knap, Ashlyn Lannert and Ally Monk tallied 34 points. SJO finished second behind Marshall, who finished the race with 28 points and ahead of Teutopolis with 98.

Plotner clocked in at 18:35.2 and Monk, the final scoring member, finished 11th overall at 21:11.7.

Other Spartan harriers running in the program's first race of the season were Hope Rajlich, Kailyn Ingram, Kendra Riddle, Hanna Eastin, Addie Allen, Malorie Sarnecki, Sidney Davis, Taryn Sexton, Teagan Miller and Izzy Sexton.

Spartans first at XC Invite
Brandon Mattsey and Eric Poe finished one-two to help the SJO boys cross country team to a first place finish at the Doc Acklin Invite on Saturday, August 31. Elijah Mock, Luke Stegall and Charlie Mabry were rounded out the top five scoring finishers to help the St. Joseph-Ogden place ahead of Marshall (second place), Cumberland (third) and Effinginham, who finished fourth.

Also representing SJO on Saturday in the race was Braden Clampitt, Lukas Hutcherson, Ethan Blackburn, Logan Wolfersberger, Taddy Pettit and Zach Dahman.

Varsity volleyball beats Bulldogs
Kennedi Burnett pounded nine kills and a pair of digs to help the Spartans to a Labor Day weekend win on the road at Mahomet-Seymour on Saturday. Emily Bigger was credited with 21 assist in the 2-1 non-conference victory. SJO rolled over the Bulldogs in straights 25-16, 25-12 largely due Lacey Kaiser, who played a solid defensive game responsible for five of the 20 recorded Spartan digs. After their opening loss to St. Teresa, St. Joseph-Ogden is enjoying a three-game win streak after improving to 3-1 in early season play.

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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

Seeley hat trick gives soccer first win

Zac Seeley dribbles the ball down the field
Spartans' Zac Seeley dribbles the ball down the field on a beautiful September day . The senior went on to record his first hat trick of the year to give the St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team their first win of the season. View more photos from the Spartans' 5-1 victory over visiting Schlarman here: Spartans vs Hilltoppers soccer gallery. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Nazanine Agassi)

Kolton Batty Aiden Cromwell dribbles the ball against Schlarman Academy
Left: Kolton Batty moves into position to head a high ball. Right: Aiden Cromwell switches ball direction to keep Schlarman defenders off the ball. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Brayden Grimsey battles for ball possession
Brayden Grimsey battles for ball possession on the Spartans home field with a Hilltopper defender. Grimsey scored the final SJO goal of the day in the 5-1 non-conference win on Labor Day. See more photos of Grimsey and the Spartan soccer team here ... (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Nazanine Agassi)

Marching Spartans play in Labor Day parade

Marching Spartan plays his drum

SJO horn player
Above, a member of the SJO Marching Band heads south on Broadway Avenue just south of Lincoln Square Mall earlier today. On the left, a member of the horn section chants with fellow band members on their march through the streets of Urbana. In addition to the Spartans, the parade, also known affectionately as the 'Candy Parade', featured floats by area unions, community organizations, politicians, as well as other high school marching bands. See more photos of the marching band from their halftime show at last Friday's home football game against St. Thomas More here: SJO vs STM football photo gallery.

(Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO gets win under Friday Night Lights

Brodie Sullivan celebrates a St. Joseph-Ogden touchdown
Brodie Sullivan celebrates a St. Joseph-Ogden touchdown with teammates during second half action against visiting St. Thomas More. After giving up an early touchdown in the first quarter on a STM pass play, the SJO defense jelled into a nearly impenetrable wall repelling every Saber effort to score for the remainder of the conference opener on Friday. The Spartans went on to win the bout, 36-8. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Above: Spartan defenders Sam Wesley and Payton Cain tie up St. Thomas more running back Braylon Peacock for a stop during first quarter action. Right: Running back Jarrett Stevenson carries the ball for the Spartans for long gain. The senior had a huge opening night running for 173 yards, four touchdowns and converting three times on two-point conversions thanks to an explosive line on special teams. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Jarrett Stevenson carries the ball for SJO

Maroon Platoon
The Maroon Platoon, St. Joseph-Ogden's student section, cheers the football team on to victory. See more photos from the game here: SJO vs STM Football. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

2019 SJO Marching Spartans
Members of the SJO Marching Band perform one of the two movements from their competition show routine called "Decomposer". More photos of the band's performance debut will be added to the gallery later this week. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Flag team members entertain spectators during the halftime show while performing with this year's marching band. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Senior Brodie Sullivan, left, listens to directions from head coach Shawn Skinner with assistant coach Ben Gorman and other players during a timeout. Skinner, a SJO alum entering his fourth season at the helm, picked up his 15th victory as the Spartan head coach. See the first installment of Friday's game photos here . . . (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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