A great night to be a Spartan - SJO defeats BCC, 33-0

Lineman Spencer Fitch lets out a joyous roar as he runs to waiting teammates and fans to sing the school fight song after he and the St. Joseph-Ogden shutout visiting Bloomington Central Catholic, 33-0. Extending their win streak to three games and moving to a 3-3 record with the Homecoming game victory on Friday, the Spartans travel to Pontiac looking for win #4 next Friday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Spartans advance to IHSA golf sectional

Danville - SJO junior Jacob Kern shot 16 over Par and nine strokes behind regional champion Will Ross from Monticello to advance to Monday's sectional tournament at Balmoral Woods. Fellow junior McGwire Atwood, who finished in 12th place on the Par 72 course at Turtle Run, will also represent St. Joseph-Ogden at the Beecher sectional meet as the pair will try to qualify for the following weekend's IHSA Golf State Final.

Kern finished in a three-way tie with Judah Christian's Grant Hendershot and Monticello's Tanner Buehnerkemper, each with 85 strokes. Atwood's day ended with an 89.

The Spartans, who finished with 377 points on Wednesday, missed advancing to sectionals as a team by just one stroke behind St. Thomas More with 376.

Also representing St. Joseph-Ogden in Danville was Logan Smith, who shot a 96 and finished in 21st place, Jack Robertson in 37th with 107 strokes, and Connor Hale 52nd with a 117.

New optometry location in St. Joseph hosts open house next week

Chittick Eye Care will host a Grand Opening at its new St. Joseph location on Friday, October 8 from 11a until 2p.

Located at 226 East Lincoln, the office will offer quality optometry services to area residents including eye exams and medical treatment for eye problems. Chittick Eye Care operates eight other offices in downstate Illinois and plans to open its tenth unit in Arcola in 2022. Opening in 1959, sister operations can be founds in Danville, Hoopeston, Watseka, Rantoul, Savoy, Villa Grove, Paris and Lincoln.

Doctors Jim Lohrberg and George Rix will use state-of-the-art technology to serve area patients and also focus on building long-term relationships with patients to support their overall eye health. Lohrberg, an optometrist who has practiced for more than twenty years in Danville and Springfield, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Rix, who graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2010, is a native Illinoisian and joined Chittick Eye Care in 2018.

"Our goal is to provide small communities with a hometown eye doctor," says Dr. Shawn Mallady, Owner of Chittick Eye Care, in a release announcing the upcoming event. "We are thrilled to bring top-notch personnel, high-tech services, and world-class fashion to all the towns we serve - which now includes St. Joe."

Visitors who stop in to see the new business in downtown St. Joseph can register to win a TaoTao scooter as well as prizes from other local merchants. There will be a live radio broadcast during the event and the first 75 attendees will receive a boxed lunch from SCRATCH. For more information, call 217-442-2631 or visit their website at www.chittickeyecare.com.

Pfizer COVID-19 booster available starting next week

Today, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) announced that Covid-19 Pfizer booster shots will be available beginning next week.

Eligible individuals who want to upgrade their body's ability to fight off Coronavirus infection can receive a booster vaccination at a community clinic or participating pharmacy.

The Pfizer booster will be available to residents 65 years of age or older, folks between the ages 50 and 64 with underlying health conditions, healthcare workers, and first responders who have completed their 1st and 2nd doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Individuals must also have received their second Pfizer dose six or months ago.

According to a release issued today, "... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many of the people who are now eligible to receive a booster shot received their initial vaccine early in the vaccination program and will benefit from additional protection. With the Delta variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease. Additional information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html."

Community clinics will be held at the iHotel and Conference Center, located at 1900 S. 1st Street in Champaign October 5-7 from 9a until 4pm. No appointment is needed.

Booster shots will also be available at the Kohl’s Plaza at 1901 N. Market Street in Champaign. The Pfizer booster will be available to all eligible individuals at this location. Booster appointments can be scheduled through MyCarle and at carle.org/covid-19 for October 5th – 7th, 12th – 14th and 19th – 21st from 10:00a – 5:30p.

Appointments are also available at local pharmacies. Visit www.vaccinefinder.org for locations, times and availability.

Ahmari wins Spartan Classic girls' title, Rockets take home team honors

St. Joseph - University High Kate Ahmari turned in the top time in the women's race at the 2021 Spartan Classic on Saturday. The junior's time of 17:25.70 helped the Illinek cross country team finish 5th in the overall team standings. The sub-18 minute time was a new PR for Ahmari and ranks as the 19th fastest time in the state this season.

Malia Fairbanks runs at 2019 IHSA state cross country meet
Unity's Malia Fairbanks runs her first lap around the course during the 2019 IHSA Cross Country State Finals. Fairbanks finished 13th overall at Saturday's Spartan Classic in St. Joseph.
It was an Illini Prairie Conference sweep of the top three places in the team standings. Unity, who had six runners finish in the top 20, won the girls' title with a score of 56 points off the efforts of the first five. Monticello finished second with 66 points and host St. Joseph-Ogden rounded out the top three places with 87 points.

It was a day of outstanding running performances for Unity on the three-mile course. Erica Woodard led the Unity squad finishing in 5th place. She was followed by Olivia Shike (18:38.04), Malia Fairbanks (18:41.58), and senior Harper Hancock (18:44.42) who finished 14th overall. Caelyn Kleparski's 17th place finish at 19:02.25 cemented the Rockets' dominant performance on Saturday.

Shike, Harper, and Kleparski turned in career-best times. Meanwhile, Woodard's time of 18:03.62, along with Fairbanks, and Reagan Stringer who clocked in at 18th place (19:02.27), gave season-best performances.

St. Joseph-Ogden enjoyed notable performances from freshman Savanna Franzen and senior Ava Knap. Franzen finished in third place with a time of 17:57.82 and Knap, who followed her over the finish line five seconds later, stopped the clock at 18:02.03 in fourth-place. Both times were personal records for each runner.

Spartan Kailyn Ingram, who PR'd at 19:48.7 last week at the Richard Spring Invitational in Peoria, shaved off another 48 seconds off her three-mile time to 19:00.26.

Top 20 Spartan Classic Times

1. Kate Ahmari 17:25.70 Urbana University
2. Mabry Bruhn 17:29.41 Monticello
3. Savanna Franzen 17:57.82 SJO
4. Ava Knap 18:02.03 SJO
5. Erica Woodard 18:03.62 Unity
6. Hadessah Austin 18:18.98 Seeger
7. Estella Miller 18:26.80 Monticello
8. Sylvia Miller 18:32.69 Monticello
9. Aleigha Garrison 18:34.61 Champaign (Judah Christian)
10. Trixie Johnson 18:37.24 Paxton-Buckley-Loda
11. Olivia Shike 18:38.04 Unity
12. Jennifer Romero 18:40.84 Seeger
13. Malia Fairbanks 18:41.58 Unity
14. Harper Hancock 18:44.42 Unity
15. Nellie Melick 18:49.39 El Paso-Gridley
16. Kailyn Ingram 19:00.26 SJO
17. Caelyn Kleparski 19:02.25 Unity
18. Reagen Stringer 19:02.27 Unity
19. Macie Russell 19:02.37 Oakwood
20. Rachel Koon 19:05.64 Monticello

Unity tournament champions!

Photo: PhotoNews Media Archive
Emma Bleecher waits for a serve during Unity's road game against St. Joseph-Ogden on September 21. The senior collected 41 kills, 34 digs and 11 aces over five matches to help the Rockets win this season's Lady Warrior Classic title at Reed-Custer High School on Saturday.

The Unity volleyball team dropped just one set on their way to winning the Lady Warrior Classic volleyball tournament title on Saturday. Winning all five matches, the Rockets now boast a 20-0 record.

Cissna Park was the only team that challenged this season's so far undefeated squad during tournament play. After dropping the first set 25-10, the Timberwolves adjusted their offense and won the second set 25-15. Tightening up their play, Unity won the tie-break set, 15-10.

The Rockets defeated Morris in two sets, 25-20, 25-21, and cruised by Dwight 25-5, 25-13. They also went 2-0 against Putnam County (25-13, 25-13) and Maroa-Forsyth (25-15, 25-10).

Emma Bleecher notched 41 kills, 34 digs and served up 11 aces for Unity during the five tournament contests. Payton Kaiser led the team in blocks with seven. She also added 17 kills and eight digs to her season stats.

Three-sport standout Taylor Henry amassed 46 digs and Macie Knudsen added another 22 along with her 20 tournament kills. Setter Maddie Reed tallied up 57 assists and another 20 digs for the Rockets.

Unity's two matches are on the road week. Bleecher and the Rockets travel to St. Teresa tomorrow to take on the Bulldogs and then head to Monticello on Tuesday for an Illini Prairie Conference battle.

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