Basketball Players of the Week

February 7 - 13, 2021

Sentinel basketball player of the week February 1-6, 2021

~ Boys ~

Ty Pence

St. Joseph-Ogden

Pence open the season with an impressive double-double. The sophomore dropped 24 points and was credited with 20 rebounds in SJO's opener against Rantoul. Five days later, Pence scored 40 in the Spartans 66-52 win over Oakwood and added another 19 rebounds to his 2021 stats.

Honorable Mention:
Brady Porter, Unity
Evan Ingram, SJO
Blake Kimball, Unity

~ Girls ~

Ella Armstrong

St. Joseph-Ogden

For a second consecutive week, Ella Armstrong earns the POW honors after scoring a total of 20 points during the second week of the season. She was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line against Rantoul.

Honorable Mention:
Payton Vallee, SJO
Chloe Reed, Unity
Taylor Henry, Unity

SJO basketball games rescheduled

The St. Joseph-Ogden boys junior varsity and varsity basketball game against Bloomington Central Catholic, originally scheduled for Tuesday, will played on Monday, March 1, at St. Joseph-Ogden High School. The JV game will start at 5:30pm and the varsity contest to start afterwards according to an email from Activities Director Justin Franzen.

SJO's girls' JV and varsity teams play their postponed game on March 11 at Central Catholic. As with the boys times above, the junior varsity girls their game at 5:30pm. The varsity game will follow after a brief intermission and warm-up period.

All four games will be streamed on the NFHS Network for Spartan fans.

Game night! Unity hosts undefeated Spartan basketball team

Tonight's Illini Prairie basketball game between St. Joseph-Ogden and Unity has the making of being epic David and Goliath storyline.

After missing the first week of the COVID shortened season, the Spartans head into tonight's game 2-0 behind their newest marquee player Ty Pence. The sophomore has scored 64 points this season in just two games and SJO has a few other sleepers, namely senior Cameron Costa and 6-foot-2 forward Andrew Beyers.

Meanwhile, the Rockets are finding their stride back at full strength with junior Blake Kimball and senior Brady Porter. In their last appearance at the Rocket Center the pair's combined double-digit effort put 41 points on the scoreboard in the team 74-64 loss to Pontiac a week ago today. With a little help from Damian Knoll and Austin Langendorf, 0-4 Unity could pick up their first win of the season.

The one thing missing tonight is the intense atmosphere of the Rocket Center - filled with gray, maroon and powder blue along with smell of fresh popcorn - packed with fans cheering on their favorite team. Players on the floor will have to feed on the energy from their bench and the limited number of fans allowed to attend.

Here are tonight's schedule and direct links to the live streams:

Unity Girls 7/8th Volleyball vs Mt. Zion | 4:30 PM Central

SJO Boys Junior Varsity Basketball @ Unity | 5:30 PM Central

SJO Boys Varsity Basketball @ Unity | 7:00 PM Central

If you are not already a subscriber, follow this link sign up for a monthly or annual subscription to watch SJO or Unity sports via live stream or archived by the NFHS Network. Monthly passes are just $10.99 each or save 47% and purchase an annual subscription at $69.99.

How origami influences science

Guest Commentary by Rashmita Kashyap

Have you ever imagined the power of a piece of paper? Paper was said to be documented during the Eastern Han period (25 – 220 CE), when paper was primarily used for artwork, writing and for packaging staffs.

In 105 CE, Chai Lun, a Chinese court official has brought up the idea of paper. His paper making skills mainly involved fishnet, old rags, hemp waste and bark of trees.

During the 6th century, Buddhist monks carried the concept of paper making to Korea and Japan. In 1680, Ihara Saikaku, a Japanese poet first described Origami through butterflies. Origami is a compound of two Japanese words: "ori" meaning to fold and "gami" translates to "paper".

In 1797, Senbazuru Orikata, the first origami instruction book was published revealing several origami stories from Japanese culture.

Origami, the ancient art of Japanese paper-folding, has been used for creating stunning works of art for years, but we never focused on the fact that origami can be used in many practical applications like car airbags, stents and even in space applications.

Robert Salazar, a technologist from NASA said, "Seeing the single uncut sheet, it has everything you need to create all of the origami that has ever been folded. It is all in the single sheet so there is endless potential".

His endless efforts on paper-folding sheets have been appreciated at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The underlying mathematics of origami has proved an efficient technique of folding large thin sheets used in the biggest rockets in NASA, which is only 5 meters in diameter. Eventually, many space projects have used the folding principles of Origami like the solar array wings on the ISS (International Space Station) which uses a "Z" folding pattern and the Mars Phoenix lander used a fan - folded solar array, called the Ultra Flex.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of someone when the bright sun is beating down on them? Your subject is washed out and it is impossible to capture any detail.

Well, this is the same problem faced by astronomers while trying to image exoplanets.

For an earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a sun like star, they can’t be imaged in detail, because the stars they circle are much brighter than they are. This is when the Starshade comes in, to help suppress that bright light to better help astronomers learn more about these mysterious planets and look for bio signatures for life.

Starshade is roughly the size of a baseball diamond. So, the researchers came up with a way of folding these very large structures that can be launched into space inside a rocket. Once it gets into space it can unfold itself. This giant space flower, under development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, may look simple in design but not in mathematical implementation with a requirement of accuracy in millimetres.

Origami has been practiced on Earth for years, and scientists will continue to draw inspiration from it to help package big space structures more efficiently. From solar sails that use sunlight for propulsion, to sun – shades for space telescopes like Gaia, and the James Webb which was launched in 2019.

When it comes to the future of space exploration, if we want to think big we also have to think small.

About the author: Rashmita Kashyap is working as a training officer for the Indian government at Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in India. She has completed her master's from National Institute of Technology, Arunachal Pradesh and has authored several scientific journals for research proposals. She enjoys great food, likes to travel and have a passion for adventures in her leisure time.

Porter, Kimball combine for 41 points against Pontiac

Blake Kimball led all scorers with 21 points in Unity's home game against Pontiac last Friday. His lights out shooting spree, which included three back-to-back treys, along with a 20-point performance from The Sentinel's first-ever basketball player of the week Brady Porter, was not enough to detour their team's 74-64 loss to the Indians.

Three players were responsible for the Rockets' 11 three-pointers during the game. Kimball heaved in four, Porter, who was the only player to reach double figures before the half, had five and Damian Knoll chipped another two.

Pontiac had three players in double figures.

Logan Barnett led the Indians' scoring with 20 points. The sophomore finished the contest 8-10 from the free throw line. Junior Alexander Trevino had a 17 point effort. Both players found themselves on the foul line often in the final quarter of play where Trevino hit four of his seven attempts and Barnett went 7-for-8.

Senior Matt Murphy rounded out the Pontiac's top three scorers with 11 points.

Tomorrow night the Rockets (0-4) host Ty Pence and the 2-0 St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans. In his last two games, Pence is averaging 32 points per game. He had a single-game career output scoring 40 against Oakwood last night and put 24 on the scoreboard against Rantoul on the previous Friday.

Unity will also honor its three seniors and their parents.

Fans unable to gain admittance can watch the varsity game at 8pm on the NFHS Network.

Box Score

Unity 13 13 11 27 - 64
Rantoul 20 13 20 21 - 74

Kimball 3 (4) 3-5 -- 21, Cowan 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Hensch 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Rawdin 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Rutledge 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Knoll 2 (2) 0-0 -- 10, Porter 2 (5) 1-2 -- 20, Drennan 3 (0) 0-0 -- 6, Page 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Langendorf 3 (0) 1-3 -- 7, Alt 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Jokisch 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

Bauman 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Friedman 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Adcock 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Murphy 1 (2) 3-5 -- 11, Bauknecht 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Gerdes 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Cramer 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Brummel 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Davis 1 (0) 6-7 -- 8, Monahan 1 (2) 0-0 -- 8, Trevino 2 (3) 4-8 -- 17, Barnett 6 (0) 8-10 -- 20, Kuska 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Cheek 1 (2) 0-0 -- 8, Brummel 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

Vaccines for kids could be available by September according to Fauci

by Caroline Chen, ProPublica

Children as young as first graders may be able to get the coronavirus vaccine by the time school starts in September, presuming trials are successful in those age groups, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with ProPublica.

Photo: Matthew Henry / Burst

"We’re in the process of starting clinical trials in what we call age de-escalation, where you do a clinical trial with people 16 to 12, then 12 to 9, then 9 to 6," Fauci said. When asked what was the youngest age group that might be authorized for the vaccine by September, he said, "I would think by the time we get to school opening, we likely will be able to get people who come into the first grade."

As optimistic as Fauci is, several pediatricians and infectious disease experts said they wish the pediatric trials would move more quickly. In addition to restoring stability to the education system and parents’ work schedules and keeping kids and those around them safe, vaccinating children is essential to helping the country, as a whole, reach herd immunity and decrease the threat of new variants.

Otherwise, “we’re going to have tens of millions of individuals in our communities that are able to maintain the virus. And when that happens, what that allows is for these unusual variants to emerge that may have the ability to evade our immunity,” said Dr. Buddy Creech, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program.

Despite the need, Pfizer is the only manufacturer whose pediatric vaccine trials are far enough along to potentially have data on elementary-school age children by the end of the summer.

Pfizer has finished enrolling participants in its study of 12- to 15-year-olds and anticipates having data in “the early part of 2021,” according to a spokeswoman. "From there, we will plan to finalize our study in 5-11 year olds," she added. As Pfizer completes its trials in adolescents, then 5- to 11-year-olds, it’ll need to submit the data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review and get authorization for the vaccine’s use in those age groups before it’s available; currently in the U.S., the vaccine is indicated only for those ages 16 and up.

Moderna is still enrolling participants in its trial for adolescents ages 12 to 18, and it is "on track to provide updated data around mid-year 2021," the company said in an emailed statement. Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive officer, has said that the company’s goal is to have data from the adolescent study in advance of the 2021 school year. Moderna said it’ll begin an age de-escalation study in children ages 11 years to 6 months this year, but Bancel has said that the company doesn’t expect clinical data until 2022.

Johnson and Johnson hasn’t started any pediatric studies yet. "We are in discussions with regulators and partners regarding the inclusion of pediatric populations in our development plan," a spokesman said. Novavax, similarly, hasn’t begun any trials in children, and a company spokeswoman said it couldn’t share any details at this time. The University of Oxford, which partnered with AstraZeneca in developing a vaccine, will begin tests in 12- to 18-year-olds next month, according to Bloomberg News. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been "really advocating to try and make these trials happen with the same urgency that they happen for adults," said Dr. Sean O’Leary, who is vice chair of its committee on infectious diseases.

The manufacturers will need to prove vaccines are safe and effective in younger bodies. The adult trials paved much of the way, but researchers still need to study how kids’ immune systems react and to confirm the optimal dosage. And even if the shots are authorized by September, there will need to be enough supply on hand in order to get school children immunized before school doors open.

It’s essential to act expeditiously, O’Leary said. "I would love to see a vaccine available for all children in time for the next school year."

Why It’s Important to Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19

Early on in the pandemic, some thought that children might be entirely immune. That's clearly been disproven. Out of more than 20 million U.S. cases where age information is available, about 2.2 million, or 11%, have been in children under 18. Some get very ill, though this is rare. As of Feb. 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked more than 2,000 cases of what’s known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a serious condition associated with COVID-19 that can result in cardiac dysfunction and kidney injury; 37% of the cases recorded were in Latino children and 32% in Black children.

It’s also become evident that children are capable of transmitting the virus to some extent. On one hand, kids aren’t superspreaders: COVID-19 is clearly dissimilar to influenza or the common cold virus, Vanderbilt’s Creech pointed out. “You put one of those in a classroom, then in a few days, it’s overrun,” he said. “That’s not what we see with COVID.” But exactly how infectious children are remains somewhat unclear, in part because schools have not been fully open, making it hard to gather data, said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a pediatrician and professor of global health and infectious diseases at Stanford University. Studies from other countries, while informative, may not always extrapolate well to the U.S., she added.

So while the "preponderance of data" points to children being less likely to infect people when compared with adults, "they certainly do," said O’Leary, who is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “So, if you’ve got vulnerable people in the household and your 7-year-old comes home with COVID, it’s not to say they can’t give it to anybody else. They absolutely can. It’s just a bit less likely.”

It’s important to note that the vaccines have only been proven — so far — to prevent disease and not infection (data on that is harder to gather and takes longer to prove), which means it’s not guaranteed yet that vaccinated individuals can’t spread the coronavirus.

But there are some inklings of hope that vaccination can at least reduce onward transmission. So if this bears out, the more people who are vaccinated in a community, including children, the more likely transmission will drop overall.

"Our current chaos about children not being in schools is just terrible for children, and I think a lot of the concern would be assuaged if children were immunized," said Dr. Sarah Long, professor of pediatrics at the Drexel University College of Medicine. "That doesn’t mean to me that they can’t get the infection or transmit it every once in a while, but it would reduce those possibilities tremendously."

Long is also a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, where she has been reviewing the trial data and helping to make recommendations on how the vaccines should be used. She continued: "There are real virus control reasons, there are real societal reasons and there are economic reasons, because if children can’t go to school, people can’t work."

O’Leary said children as young as 6 months, which is the youngest age that Moderna plans to test, can get vaccinated so long as trial data shows the vaccines to be safe and effective. Infants under 6 months are likely to be protected by antibodies transferred through the placenta if the pregnant mother is vaccinated, he added.

How the Vaccine Will Be Studied in Kids

The pediatric vaccine trials will not be as large as the final stage adult trials, which enrolled 30,000 or more participants, giving a placebo to half and the vaccine to half. Pfizer’s 12- to 15-year-old study has enrolled 2,259 participants and Moderna’s adolescent trial is a similar size, aiming for about 3,000 participants. In both trials, some teens will receive a placebo.

That’s enough to prove safety and benefit, experts said, in part, because the adult trials have already paved the way. To show the vaccine is safe, among the many things that Pfizer is tracking includes the percentage of participants reporting “local” reactions such as pain at the injection site, redness and swelling, as well as the percentage of participants reporting systemic reactions such as fever, headache, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and joint pain.

After the trials are completed, tracking for any safety issues will continue in the real world as physicians and patients will be encouraged to report to the FDA and CDC any side effects they think may be due to the vaccine.

Doctors said they’d want to make sure that there are no signs that the vaccine overinflames the immune system or causes any allergic or autoimmune responses. "I think most people that are developing these vaccines feel like the vaccine is not going to trigger MIS-C, but it’s something that will be monitored for very closely both in the trials and more importantly, post-licensure," added O’Leary, from the University of Colorado. Maldonado said she’ll also be on the lookout for any cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is often a concern when it comes to vaccines, but she noted that no significant increases in cases were seen in any of the adult trials.

When it comes to proving benefit, the pediatric trials will focus on a different metric than the adult trials. The adult trials’ primary efficacy measure was to compare how many vaccinated people wound up sick with COVID-19 symptoms compared with those who received the placebo and whether the vaccine impacted the severity of illness. Since children rarely are hospitalized due to COVID-19, the vaccine’s ability to reduce severe cases would be hard to measure unless the trials enrolled an enormous number of children.

Instead, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s adolescent trials will focus on evaluating participants’ immune response by measuring antibodies, according to Pfizer’s spokeswoman and Moderna’s clinical trial website.

Scientists haven’t yet identified an "immune correlate of protection," which is usually defined to be the level of antibodies in the blood at which they can feel confident that a person is going to be protected from infection. Some vaccines that have been approved, like the one for measles, have an immune correlate of protection identified, while others don’t.

In the absence of a definitive immune correlate of protection, the trials would compare antibody levels in children with those found in adults and extrapolate that the efficacy should then be similar. The FDA and advisory groups like the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices would then need to discuss whether the evidence is compelling. If scientists are able to identify an immune correlate of protection, however, “and you can demonstrate that kids get that with the vaccine, that’s even more satisfying,” O’Leary said.

One final difference in pediatric studies is the potential for lower doses. Moderna has said that it will run its studies of children under 12 testing lower doses first.

"As we go down in age, we give the smallest possible dose of vaccine that we think is reasonable, and then we steadily increase until that point when we get that magic ‘Goldilocks’ level at which it works great and the side effects are tolerable," Vanderbilt’s Creech explained. " don’t think one dose fits all."

A Call to Speed Pediatric Trials

Some pediatricians and infectious disease experts said they were eager for pediatric studies to move faster.

"My understanding is that the entity formerly known as Operation Warp Speed had a lot of involvement with those adult trials, but with pediatric clinical trials, they’re not having the same degree of involvement," O’Leary said. "So it’s more up to the manufacturers, and from my perspective, these manufacturers don’t have the financial incentive to conduct these trials with the same urgency that they did with the adult trials."

Stanford’s Maldonado added that she’s concerned that there’s not as much pressure on the manufacturers to recruit children of diverse backgrounds as there was for the adult trials. "I think it’s important to get those kids in to understand factors around the actual vaccine and also to get buy-in of those communities where we’re seeing more hesitancy. We want to make sure they are feeling comfortable about being represented," she said.

While O’Leary is not as confident as Fauci that we’ll see Pfizer’s data on younger kids by September, he feels very optimistic about the availability of a vaccine in the coming months for kids as young as 12, who tend to get sicker than the younger age group. "I think that’s a really big deal," he said.

This story was originally published by ProPublica on February 11, 2021. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Rival girls teams meet on the hardwood, SJO vs Unity tonight

The undefeated St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team host the Unity Rockets tonight with both a junior varsity and varsity contest tonight. Both games along with Unity Middle School boys basketball's home game against Marshall are available this evening on the NFHS Network.

Here are tonight's games and links to the live streams:

SJO Girls Junior varsity Basketball vs Unity | 5:25 PM Central

Unity Boys Middle School Basketball vs Marshall | 5:30 PM Central

Unity Girls Varsity Basketball @ SJO | 6:57 PM Central

If you are not already a subscriber, follow this link sign up for a monthly or annual subscription to watch SJO or Unity sports via live stream or archived by the NFHS Network. Monthly passes are just $10.99 each or save 47% and purchase an annual subscription at $69.99.

Photo of the Day - February 18, 2021

Wrestler Nathan Johnson arches his back to avoid a pin

Major decision

St. Joseph-Ogden's Nathan Johnson arches his back to avoid a pin attempt by Bismarck-Henning's Zack Martin during their 125-pound third place match at the Argenta-Oreana IHSA regional meet in 2011. Johnson, who finished in fourth place, advanced to the sectional meet after battling to a 20-11 defeat.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Village Crier: Youth summer sport programs open for registration

Summer softball registration in St. Joseph closes soon

St. Joseph Summer Softball is now underway. This year's registration fee will include the $5 village fee. Parents will to register online with a credit card.

The program will not have a separate age division for girls four years-old or in kindergarten this year. The organization is encouraging parents with kids in the age group to play Bitty Ball or T-Ball through the St. Joseph Youth Baseball program.

Questions can be sent by email to Registration closes on February 21.

Unity FFA pork chop lunch next week

The Unity FFA is celebrating FFA Week next week with their annual pork chop lunch. The drive through service will take place on the UHS east drive on Wednesday, February 24 from 11:00am - 12:45pm. Pork chop sandwiches are $5 each with proceeds going toward supporting the FFA program. Customers can get a meal deal for an additional $2, which will include chips, drink, and cookies.

Sidney summer ball sign up this weekend

Sidney Baseball/Softball/Tball signups will be held this Saturday from 10am to 12pm at the new Sidney Community Building located at 211 E Main Street in Sidney. An additional sign up day is scheduled for February 22 from 5:30-7:30pm. Ages groups are ages five and six for T-Ball and ages 7-15 for baseball and softball athletes. Registration cost is $55.

Questions or if parents are unable to make it to the in-person registration dates, they are encouraged to send a message to (217)649-7450.

Annual Chili Dinner in Sidney next week

The Sidney Fire Protection District will host its annual chili dinner on February 27 at the new community building, located at 211 East Main, from 4-7pm. The dinner will be available only through drive-through service. Toppings, hotdogs and drinks will be provided with the meal.

Sidney Fire Department cancer awareness shirts will also be available for purchase. Donations help support the local district's firefighter association.

Spots still available in Tolono virtual raffle

The Tolono Firefighters Association is doing a virtual raffle for a $500 Allen Meats Gift Card. Tickets for the drawing are $10 a piece and limited to the first 100 sold. Tickets can be purchased through Venmo or PayPal.

As of yesterday there were 34 tickets still available for the drawing. For more information visit the Tolono Firefighters Association page on Facebook.

Area COVID cases dips to 3-month low

Yesterday there were just 46 active Coronavirus cases across the six villages The Sentinel covers. The last time there fewer than 50 active cases in our area was back on November 13 of last year. A day later, that number surged to 60 and continued to rise from there to a peak of 142 active cases on several days.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reported the number of cases rose by five today.

The agency's dashboard now includes mortality data for Champaign County. Out of the 1,427 cases identified in our area, eight individuals lost their lives to the virus. Two individuals from Ogden, four from Tolono along with one resident from Sidney and St. Joseph succumbed after being infected. As of today, 123 county residents have died from the viral infection since March of 2020.

Put it On The Market

Do you have a home for sale in one of our six communities? The Sentinel would like to highlight it in the upcoming new local real estate feature called On The Market.

Each calendar week our online paper will pick a residential property from those submitted for consideration to promote to our audience. With over 700 readers daily, The Sentinel hopes the new section will direct more potential buyers and competitive offers to sellers in our area. For more submission information, sellers and agents can contact us at

Show us your art

We know there are more artists in our area. We just haven't met you yet but would enjoy seeing fruits of your creativity. If you paint, draw, sculpt or do metal work, The Sentinel would love to feature your work and share your artistic talent. Do you spend hours at the potter's wheel, dabble in mixed-media, do glass-work or design jewelry pieces? We would like to hear from you.

If you are interested in having your work featured in a story, please send a brief bio in an email with a link to your website or a online gallery featuring your work to We very much look forward to sharing your passion and vision with our readers.

As time and space allows we will publish details for upcoming community events. Please send your business, social or community organization's press release or event information at least four days in advance to The Sentinel at

Photo of the Day - February 17, 2021

Rockets wins shootout by 11

Unity's Nate Cain fights for a rebound with Cissna Park-Crescent-Iroquois' Quinn Steffen (right) at the Shootout at the Hall in Champaign on December 16, 2007. The Rockets beat the Timberwolves, 46-35.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO basketball faces Oakwood tonight at home, catch the game online

Bundled up in front of the fireplace and want to catch a local sports team in action? Too sore to move off the couch after shoveling the 10+ inches of snow? Below are the links to each of tonight's available streams.

After weather forced yesterday's home game against Central Catholic to be postponed until later in the season, St. Joseph-Ogden made a last minute addition to their schedule about 16 hours ago. SJO will play host to the Oakwood Comets boys junior varsity and varsity squads tonight. Like all SJO home games this season, the contest will be broadcasted via live stream on the NFHS website.

A day earlier, the Spartan boys' program added a non-conference game on Saturday, February 20 with Robinson High School. The JV game is scheduled to start at 1:00 PM and the Varsity game after that at 2:30 PM on the road. Both games will be available via live stream.

If you are not already a subscriber, follow this link sign up for a monthly or annual subscription to watch SJO or Unity sports via live stream or archived by the NFHS Network. Monthly passes are just $10.99 each or save 47% and purchase an annual subscription at $69.99.

Sentinel area sports tonight

St. Joseph-Ogden Boys Junior Varsity Basketball vs Oakwood | 5:25 PM Central

St. Joseph-Ogden Boys Freshman Basketball @ Central Catholic | 5:55 PM Central

Unity Girls Middle School Volleyball vs Argenta-Oreana | 6:00 PM Central

St. Joseph-Ogden Boys Varsity Basketball vs Oakwood | 6:55 PM Central

SJO & Unity basketball streaming schedule tonight on NFHS

Games on hold

Update: At 1:16 PM, the St. Joseph-Ogden athletic department announced all games for tonight have been canceled due to weather conditions. New date TBA. At 1:42 PM, Unity games were also been postponed. JV and varsity contests will be played at Prairie Central on February 25.

Catch the Unity boys basketball team or both the boys and girls St. Joseph-Ogden basketball squads in action tonight via the NFHS streaming services.

Payton Vallee looks to make a pass at a SJO home game
SJO senior Payton Vallee looks for an open teammate in SJO's home game against Monticello last year on January 20, 2021. Vallee and this year's undefeated Spartans are on the road tonight against Central Catholic tonight. Fans can enjoy the game from the warmth of their homes via a streaming services.
The Rockets varsity squad (0-4), in search of their first win of the season, take on Prairie Central tonight. In the team's best performance this season, Blake Kimball and Brady Porter led Unity with 21 and 20 points respectively in Unity's 10-point loss to Pontiac on Friday. The pair along with Damian Knoll and Dillon Rutledge are set to come away with a hard-fought win tonight.

Meanwhile, the undefeated St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team, 2-0 in Illini Prairie Conference play and 3-0 overall, travel to Bloomington to take on Central Catholic. The road game was originally scheduled for last night, but Mother Nature had other ideas forcing the Illini Prairie Conference game to be rescheduled for tonight. The Lady Saints are 4-2 after posting wins over Pontiac, Prairie Central and Normal University. The team's two losses were at the hands of larger programs, Redbirds of Metamora and Galesburg's Silver Streaks.

While the SJO girls squad plays to keep their perfect season record intact, the Spartan varsity squad looks to pick up win number 2 after a late start to the 2021 season due to COVID-19 protocols that had to be observed during the first week of play. All eyes will be on Ty Pence who led all scorers in the season opener against Rantoul with an impressive double-double. The sophomore D-I prospect drained 24 points and snag 20 rebounds in the victory.

SJO fans shouldn't let BCC's 2-4 record fool them. The Saints losses have come against Class 3A Normal Community, Moline, Rock Island and Morton leading up to tonight's IPC game in St. Joseph.

Here are the links to each of tonight's streams. If you are not already a subscriber, follow this link sign up for a monthly or annual subscription. Monthly passes are just $10.99 each or save 47% and purchase an annual subscription at $69.99.

Sentinel area sports tonight

SJO Boys Junior Varsity Basketball vs Central Catholic | 5:25 PM Central

Unity Boys Sophomore Basketball @ Prairie Central | 5:30 PM Central

SJO Girls Junior Varsity Basketball @ Central Catholic | 5:25 PM Central

SJO Girls Varsity Basketball @ Central Catholic | 6:55 PM Central

SJO Boys Varsity Basketball vs Central Catholic | 6:57 PM Central

Unity Boys Varsity Basketball @ Prairie Central | 7:00 PM Central

Citizen-Initiative proposal could give more power to special interest groups

by Lily Bohlke
Public News Service

Republican lawmakers will propose a series of constitutional amendments they say would give residents a more direct voice in Illinois government, but which critics counter could give more political power to special interests.

The three resolutions would open up the use of citizen initiatives, allow residents to hold referendums on legislation and expand the existing governor recall process to apply to all public officials.

Alisa Kaplan, executive director of Reform for Illinois, said regulating campaign spending on ballot questions is nearly impossible, so the amendments could give wealthy special interests an outsized impact.

"It's hard to find that balance between empowering citizens and preventing special interests from hijacking the process," Kaplan acknowledged. "But we think it's a worthwhile discussion to be having right now."

She pointed to the example of an initiative in California in which companies such as Lyft, Uber and DoorDash spent $200 million to effectively overturn a state law requiring those companies to classify workers as employees rather than independent contractors.

Kaplan pointed out other efforts in various states have brought about important change.

Michigan established an independent commission for redistricting by a ballot question in 2018. That same year, New Mexico voters passed an initiative to create an independent state ethics commission to keep lawmakers in check.

"We really are missing out in Illinois on the opportunity to use citizen initiatives to enact meaningful reforms," Kaplan contended. "That's particularly true of areas where politicians might be particularly invested in the status quo and unwilling to act themselves."

She noted the legislative inspector general's office in Illinois has often been seen as ineffective in providing oversight over lawmakers. She hopes democracy reform, without the influence of big money, will help in the future.

Guest Commentary | We need to all stop biting each other

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Democrats have proven once again that they can find fault in President Donald Trump.

Faults and flaws were found in him before the election. Many years before politics there were never any rave reviews about him being perfect.

During the recent impeachment trial, Democrats and Republicans hammered home their perspectives and interpretation of Trump's speech given on January 6th to those who came to Washington to protest. Once again, Americans either agreed or disagreed with the outcome of the impeachment trial.

Surely most Americans will agree there is no such thing as a perfect President.

Was John F. Kennedy perfect? Was Richard Nixon perfect? Bush Sr. or Jr? Obama? Go back through history and you can't find a perfect person sitting in the oval office. President Joe Biden is no exception.

You may remember what the Bible says, "All have sinned." Another verse says, "No one is righteous. No not one." There will never be a perfect President. Some will be better than others. Some will be much better and some will be much worse.

There are no perfect politicians.

Almost any politician will disappoint you...
Do you think Nancy Pelosi is perfect? I don't. Is Mitch McConnell perfect. He is not, nor are any of the other members of the House or the Senate. Some are better than others. Some try harder, work harder, try to live disciplined lives more than others. Some try to work harder for their districts better than others. Some are good moral people and excellent parents. Some may not be so great. Almost any politician will disappoint you, eventually. It's bound to happen; they are imperfect people.

We have to come to grips with the fact that perfect people are not to be found.

I thought my mom was pretty perfect but I'm very prejudiced when it comes to my mother. My heart would never allow me to see anything wrong with her. Love is like that. Love often sees no wrongs. Sometimes we are like this toward a child, grandchildren, a spouse, our minister, or priest. There are people that we often hold in such regard that even if they are doing something wrong and we know it's wrong, our hearts have a hard time seeing that it's wrong. Too often love is blind.

Americans want someone to love and respect. We want to be loved. We like holding people in high regard.

The people we direct it to enjoy the feeling when we make them feel special. It's all good to some extent. Truthfully though whoever you are enamored with will eventually disappoint you if you look and listen long enough. Human beings, all of us are capable, and often say the wrong thing.

Use the wrong language. Get angry. Say hurtful things. Do things that are often regretted. We make mistakes in words we use and things we do. All of us.

As 2021 moves forward, so must we.

Joe Biden is President of the United States. It is likely Donald Trump will run again. In the meantime, we need to all stop biting each other and get this country healthy, back to work, back in the restaurants, churches and kids back in school.


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.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


College Notebook | Former SJO player knocks one out the park

Micah Downs finishes sixth at CCIW meet

College Notebook on the Sentinel Last February Micah Downs went 4-1 at the IHSA state wrestling meet at the State Farm Center to bring home a bronze medal for the Rockets. This February, a freshman wrestling at 184 pounds for Millikan University, Downs finished sixth at the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin conference meet in Rock Island on Saturday.

Dowling hits first college homer

Well, that didn't take long.

Former St. Joseph-Ogden softball player Bailey Dowling cranked the first home run of her college career this weekend. A starting shortstop for the University of Alabama, the true freshman when yard for a two-run shot to put her team up 3-0 on Valentine's Day against Louisville (0-2). The Crimson Tide went on to win 4-0, which was the exact result of their three-day, four-game schedule this past weekend.

Here is the video of Dowling hitting the ball out of the park on Sunday.

After four contests Dowling has tallied 4 hits in ten appearances at the plate, scored three runs and delivered three RBI for one of the country's top softball programs.

Kaiser notches 6 kills for Parkland

Katie Kaiser contributed 4 blocks and 6 kills in match two of Parkland College's doubleheader against the JV squad from Lincoln College. Ella Godsell, a freshman with the Cobras, had 11 of the team's 49 team digs. The former Rocket volleyball players helped undefeated Parkland (7-0) sweep the visiting Lynx in both matches, 3-0.

Kaiser, a sophomore, and Godsell travel to Quincy, Ill., for an M-WAC match against John Wood CC on Wednesday, February 17, at 6:00 pm.

Former Spartans keep Parkland team undefeated

The Parkland women's basketball team improved to 6-0 on Sunday after rolling over John Wood Community College, 62-41.

Peyton Crowe scored 12 and Bree Trimble added another 11 points in the Cobra's home win. Crowe the team's top rebounder with nine boards. She was also credited with four assist and two steals.

Trimble lights out against Maryville

When he was in high school Brandon Trimble dropped 44 points in St. Joseph-Ogden's Class 2A semifinal against Breese Central. Now a junior at Lindenwood College in St. Louis, the sports management major scored 24 points and collected six rebounds in the Lions 83-69 win over Maryville College on Thursday.

After 15 games in his first season, he is averaging 11.5 points per game. Since the start of his college basketball career starting in 2019, Trimble had scored 20 or more points in eight games.

Baker 2nd at the Grand Valley Big Meet

Eastern Illinois University sprinter Riley Baker is just a half second off the qualifying for the NCAA Division II track & field national championships. The junior turned in a 48.99, good for a second place finish, in the 400-meter run to assist the EIU men's track team effort at the Grand Valley Big Meet on Saturday in Allendale, Michigan.

Baker and the Panthers host the Friday Night Special at the Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse this weekend.

Coursey posts strong start for Redbirds

Last Thursday, Andrea Coursey started her senior season with the Illinois State University softball team on fire. The St. Joseph-Ogden product padded her stats with a pair of hits in ISU's road game against North Florida. One of three hit by the opposing pitcher during the game, she was left on base on all three times in the 4-0 shutout and season opener.

Lincoln Land streak ends, Taylor leads team in assists

The Lincoln Land Loggers drop a heartbreaker to rival Illinois Central College 85-62 on Sunday. Sophomore Maclayne Taylor, who competed in volleyball, cross Country, track and basketball at St. Joseph-Ogden, lead the team with six assists and contributed seven points in the loss. The loss ends a 5-game win streak for the now 6-2 Loggers.

Know a Unity or St. Joseph-Ogden graduate playing at the collegiate level? Let us know their name, sport(s) and where they are playing. An email or a link to their social media account for interviews is a big help, too. Send The Sentinel a message to us at

Cast your bucket where you are

by Rick Jones
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) say churches need to step out of their comfort zones to bridge the divide in race relations across the country. Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Bentley participated in a Zoom webinar initiated and co-sponsored by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia but attended by many more congregations. Participants represented 33 different churches, many Presbyterian, but also Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic.

There’s an inverse relationship between charity and justice.

Ruling Elder Kenna Payne and member Noah Morgan moderated the online event reading questions from participating members on the role of the church in their communities and how to build community relationships. The Co-Moderators say it’s hard work, but churches don’t always have to start from scratch.

"Cast your bucket where you are. If you look around your community, you will find an organization or an institution that is livng into the Matthew 25 vision," said Bentley. "We don’t have to re-invent; just look at what’s already going on and move alongside and make it all it can be."

Street-Stewart says Westminster is in a community steeped in history and she suggests the congregation consider that as they seek equity.

"You are in a place where you can lead conversations about memorials or street names," she said. "You can bring honor to persons buried in cemeteries that are segregated or don’t have headstones. These conversations can touch your community in deep ways."

The Co-Moderators told Westminster members that the needs are all around them.

"There’s an inverse relationship between charity and justice. If you need a lot of charity, there’s a lot of injustice. At some point, you’ve got to deal with the cause," said Bentley. "That’s when we put our hands to the work of justice. We have to ask the tough questions. Why do we have so many hungry people when we live in a land of plenty?"

One Westminster member asked how churches and individuals can get connected with other groups without stepping on toes.

"You have people that are part of charter organizations that have been around for generations. Start talking with members of those organizations,” Street-Stewart said. “Find out wha the opportunities are to learn or participate.”

Some of the discussion centered on how the church can be more connected to the community. Bentley said, "You gotta just do it."

"I’m more concerned about being hospitable than being welcoming and polite. Hospitality is inviting someone into your life, creating a safe space to work and build together," he said. "That means you have to risk discomfort, risk going outside where you may feel you have some type of expertise. It means taking the risk of being misunderstood, ridiculed or even severing relationships we’ve had in the past that have been holding us back from where God wants us to be."

Street-Stewart adds that it means more than just opening the doors of the church to the community.

"The need is to be there to participate in community activities, such as supporting someone else’s child in a sports program or arts project," she said. "What does the artwork or pictures in your building represent? Are they white or do they represent the full diversity in your community? What type of music is played at church? Do the books in your church library represent you community?"

Street-Stewart adds that churches need to provide multiple language support and ensure that their building is accessible with numerous ways to participate.

Both Street-Stewart and Bentley told the church members that starting this kind of work can be scary and overwhelming, giving members a sense of vulnerability.

"It’s like starting an exercise program. Everything hurts. You must change what you’re doing in order to change your thinking. If you do it long enough, your thinking will change," said Bentley. "You have to work through all of the resistance or excuses like ‘We’ve never done that before.’ Change your behavior and do it because it’s right."

To change thinking regarding white supremacy, Bentley suggested the six Rs: Remembrance, Remorse, Repentance, Repair, Reconciliation and Resurrection.

"There is a lot of mythology about ourselves that suggests we are the greatest and well-intentioned," he said. "We have to look at ourselves as we are. We don’t have to lie about America in order to love America. For it to become all it can be, we have to tell the truth, even if it makes us uncomfortable."

Prep Hoops | Not holding back, SJO keeps perfect record intact

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team put their collective feet on the gas and didn't let up for four quarters in last week's home game against Rantoul. Rallying behind Peyton Jacob, Ella Armstrong and with double digit scoring all four quarters, SJO posted a 64-32 rout over the visiting Eagles.

Jacob notched the first two buckets for the Spartans sandwiched around a pair of free throws from Armstrong in the first four minutes for a 6-2 lead. Despite points after a SJO turnover and subsequent score by Eagles' Tanaya Young, SJO never had look over their shoulder to pick up their third victory and second conference win of the season.

Armstrong then widened the scoring gap to 11-4 with a jumper and trey. From here on, point production became a team effort for St. Joseph-Ogden. Payton Jones started bucketfest after putting a shot through the rim for a nine point advantage with 44 seconds left in the first quarter.

Rantoul's Young, determined not to let the game get away from her team, hit a three making it a 13-7 game.

SJO responded with basket from 6-foot-3 junior Taylor Wells to close out the first quarter.

Rantoul, thanks to a strong defensive effort by the Spartans, was held scoreless during the first 4 minutes and 49 seconds of the second half. By the time Kianna Berlasky's sank a free throw for her Eagles for their first point of the quarter, the Spartans had built a 17-point advantage.

Berlasky went on to finish the loss with 12 points for RTHS behind Young's team-high 14.

Once again, the Spartan offensive effort was a team collaboration. Armstrong led nine other scorers from her team with 16 points and she was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

When Rantoul's defensive effort transitioned to clamping down on Armstrong and Payton Vallee, Jacob doubled her first half output with eight points in the third quarter point to secure the conference win with 12 points. Wells rounded out SJO's top three scorers with seven points.

Wells and the Spartans travel to Bloomington tomorrow night to face Central Catholic. Fans can catch the Illini Prairie Conference game on the NFHS Network starting with the junior varsity game at 5:30pm.

Box Score

St. Joseph-Ogden 15 15 18 16 - 64
Rantoul 7 3 13 9 - 32

St. Joseph-Ogden
Ashlyn Lannert 2 (0) 0-0 -- 4, Taylor Campbell 2 (0) 0-0 -- 4, Payton Jacob 6 (0) 0-0 -- 12, Taylor Wells 3 (0) 1-2 -- 7, Atleigh Hamilton 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Taylor Hug 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Abby Behrens 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Isabell Smith 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Peyton Jones 3 (0) 0-0 -- 6, Alyssa Hamilton 1 (1) 0-0 -- 5, Payton Vallee 3 (0) 0-3 -- 6, Ella Armstrong 2 (2) 6-6 -- 16.

McClyde 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Walton 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Berlatsky 3 (0) 4-8 -- 10, Emery 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Jackson-Romper 2 (0) 0-0 -- 4, Sutherland 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Dixon 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Young 4 (2) 0-1 -- 14, Vermillon 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

Photo of the Day - February 14, 2021

Micah Downs waits for referee instructions at IHSA state wrestling

Downs finishes 3rd at state!

Blood trickes down the face of Unity's Micah Downs during his third place match against Dakota's Evan Riggles at the 2020 Illinois High School Association Individual Wrestling State Finals. Downs, a senior, won the bout by major decision, 11-3. The 182-pounder finished the state tournament with four wins, including a 58 second pin in one match, and one loss for a 46-6 record in last season of prep wrestling.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Prep Hoops | Porter delivers 15 points in Unity's third loss

Brady Porter and Dillon Rutledge drilled three treys apiece in Unity's home game against Illinois Valley Central (2-1) this past Tuesday. Their combine effort was not enough in the Rockets' eventual 59-43 loss.

A three-pointer from both players and another from Will Cowan left UHS with mere six-point deficit after a competitive 17-11 first quarter. Once again, the Rockets' were crippled by second quarter shooting woes, delivering just two field goals and a free throw to fall behind at the half, 32-18.

The period might have been more manageable if it wasn't for the plethora of foul calls against the Rockets. IVC took advantage of all six trips to the foul line, missing just two of the nine attempts offered. It more of the same in the second half. After the final buzzer, the Grey Ghost capitalized on 22 of their 32 shots from line.

Meanwhile, on the side of the scorer's table, the Rockets drew just six foul calls from the guys in stripes. Austin Langendorf made one of his four attempts while William Jokish finished the game 2-for-2.

Unity's effort was led by Porter who finished the night with 15 points. Rutledge chipped in three first half long range shots for nine points and Damian Knoll added eight points to the cause, all tacked on in the second half to round out the Rockets' top three shooters.

Mac Parmelee spearheaded the Illinois Valley Central offensive. The 6-foot-3 senior buried seven field goals and was 6-for-8 from the line good for 20 points in IVC's second win of the season. Stepping back to a supporting role, Holt Geltmaker was 7-for-8 from the free throw line and finished with 15 points.

Still in search of their first victory of the season, the 0-3 Rockets are on the road at Olympia on Tuesday.

Box Score

Unity 11 7 15 10 - 43
Illinois Valley Central 17 15 18 9 - 59


Kimball () - -- , Cowan 0 (2) 0-0 -- 6, Hensch 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Rawdin 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Rutledge 0 (3) 0-0 -- 9, Knoll 1 (2) 0-0 -- 8, Porter 3 (3) 0-0 -- 15, Drennan () - -- , Page 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Langendorf 0 (0) 1-4 -- 1, Alt 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Jokisch 0 (0) 2-2 -- 2.

Illinois Valley Central

Hulson 0 (1) 2-2 -- 5, Parmelee 7 (0) 6-8 -- 20, Brooks 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Hulett 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Harms 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Rainey 1 (0) 1-4 -- 3, Mercer 2 (0) 4-8 -- 8, Sawyer 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Wollard 3 (0) 0-0 -- 6, Geltmaker 4 (0) 7-8 -- 15, McNaught 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, McCoy 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Edlman 0 (0) 2-2 -- 2.


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