Prep Sports Notebook: Area cross-country squads shine at Cow Chip

Four second-half scores gives SJO weekend soccer victory

Spartan Hunter Ketchum scored SJO's final goal of the game to seal a 4-1 win over Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin Saturday morning. Ketchum, the team's starting keeper also recorded seven saves.

Aiden Cromwell padded his stats with two assists, feeding the ball to Jackson Greer and Jacek Slowikowski in the final half. Riker Lockhart also put the ball between the post for St. Joseph-Ogden (4-1-1).

The Blue Devils scored first on a successful penalty kick from Bryson Lithgow in the first half with no response from SJO. In the second period, Greer tied the game for SJO's with the team's first score, followed by Ryker's go-ahead boot.

The St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team returns to their home pitch on Thursday to face the Olympia Spartans.

Unity girls cross-country team win Cow Chip title

All seven runners from Unity High School finished the annual Cow Chip Classic course in the top 20 on Saturday. The dominating team effort led to 64 points and this year's race title for the Rockets.

Junior Erica Woodard led the field of Unity runners finishing with a time of 19:14.1 and 5th place overall. Sophomore Emily Decker was the next to cross the finish line ten seconds later at 19:24.4. Olivia Shike rounded out the top three in 18th place overall at 19:42.2.

Teammates Mackenzie Pound, Camryn Reedy, Josie Cler, and Ashlyn Denney each finished the course in under 21 minutes and 45 seconds.

Franzen leads Spartan harriers

Sananna Franzen finished third in Flight 1 at the Cow Chip Classic on Saturday. The St. Joseph-Ogden's top runner circumvented the course at the annual race in Chrisman in 18 minutes and 41.5 seconds. The Spartans, who finished 5th in the team standings, saw strong, early season effort from Chloe Burkhalter (20:48.5), Sophia Kapser (23:28.1), senior Kaytlyn Baker (23:28.4), Hannah Mock (23:53.1), and #7 runner Sydney Steinbach who finished at 24:49.9.

University High XC girls take 4th

The Illinek running squad tallied 122 points earning a fourth-place finish ahead of St. Joseph-Ogden at the Cow Chip Classic. Senior Kate Ahmari finished the course with the second best time of day in the girls' division at 18:31.4.

In addition to Ahmari, six runners contributed to Uni-High's top-four finish. Finishers included: Kara Mathias (20:38.1), Edie Hoganson (21:14.6), Shriya Nagaraj (22:55.7), Ella Ylagan (24:24.4), Clara Wood (24:31.0), and Bonnie Weaver (24:53.9).

Richardson the real deal

Garrett Richardson's number was called 29 times during Unity's road game at Dick Duval Field on Friday. His five-TD, 239-yard performance against St. Joseph-Ogden was a stellar debut that will be hard to top for the rest of the season and his next two years of prep eligibility. The sophomore running back scored on runs of 40, 4, 60, 18, and 6 yards in the Week 2 game.

Unity's only other ball carrier, quarterback Cale Rawdin, added insult to injury with 151 rushing yards, which includes an 83-yard touchdown run virtually untouched. Rawdin and the Rockets improved to 1-1 on the season after running the score up 50-7 on the Spartans.

Sentinel area teams finish in the top 5

Cross-country runners from St. Joseph-Ogden, Unity, and University High were among the 26 teams competing at the Cow Chip Classic on Saturday. The Spartans, who missed winning this year's title by just seven points, finished in second place with 112 points. The Monticello Sages took this year's team title with 106 points.

SJO's Lance Retz was of three runners who ran a sub-17-minute race. He finished second overall with a time of 16:48.1 behind Bryson Grant from Iroquois West, who finished with an impressive time of 16:03.6.

The Unity contingent was led by senior Brenden Graven and his time of 17:43.0. The seven-runner squad accumulated 214 points to finish fourth in the team standings.

Meanwhile, the young squad from University High finished in fifth place, two points ahead of Heritage High School. Sophomore Ross Kimme sped around the grassy course to finish with a time of 17:56.2.

Saturday's finishers include: Lance Retz (St. Joseph-Ogden) 16:48.1, Jack Fisher (St. Joseph-Ogden) 17:21.2, Ethan Blackburn (St. Joseph-Ogden) 17:28.4, Brenden Graven (Unity) 17:43.0, Aden Armstrong (St. Joseph-Ogden) 17:44.3, Ross Kimme (Uni-High) 17:56.2, Camden Fairbanks (Unity) 18:12.0, Holden Jones (St. Joseph-Ogden) 18:32.0, Eli Crowe (Unity) 18:40.1, Joe Griebat (St. Joseph-Ogden) 18:47.2, Felix Lee (Uni-High) 18:48.4, Kelby Svendsen (Uni-High) 18:54.5, Carter Tiemann (Unity) 18:54.8, Mason Guido (St. Joseph-Ogden) 18:58.4, Isaac Ruggieri (Unity) 18:59.2, Walter Kraetz (Uni-High) 19:10.0, Bruce Tang (Uni-High) 19:13.0, Luke Fahnestock (Uni-High) 19:17.3, Matthew Ulozas (Uni-High) 19:28.3, Collin Graven (Unity) 19:39.0, and Alex Mowrer (Unity) 20:14.4.

SJO volleyball wins tournament title

The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team won four matches and lost one at the Mattoon Invitational volleyball tournament on Saturday. The Spartans' solo loss was courtesy of the host Green Wave in a thrilling three-setter that ended 17-25, 25-18, 14-15. In the final match of the day, the two teams squared off again in the tournament's championship match, but this time the Spartans prevailed, 2-1.

Taylor Hug was credited 107 assists across 13 sets. She also scraped up 29 digs and served five aces. Fellow seniors Emma Ward and Shayne Immke had six aces apiece, with Immke leading the team in kills (44). Addie Roesch, who led the team with 38 digs for the day, hammered 40 kills of her own for the Spartans.

Peyton Williams contributed 21 kills and 33 digs to the cause, while Mikyla Haley's 34 digs also helped the Spartan defensive effort.

SJO defeated Pana, 25-19, 25-21; Mt. Vernon 25-9, 25-11, Taylorville 25-20, 15-25, 15-14; and Mattoon 25-10, 20-25, 15-12.

SJO football falls to Unity at home

After the convincing debut in their season-opener on the road at Monticello, the St. Joseph-Ogden (1-1) football team took one on the chin with a 50-7 loss to the Unity Rockets (1-1).

The Spartans netted just 18 rushing yards on offense. Alex Funk and Tyler Burch had 7 yards apiece, Coy Taylor picked up 5, and quarterback Logan Smith finished the game with 2 yards.

SJO's passing attack faired much better against the Rockets, with Taylor's five catches for 38 yards and Ty Pence's 18-yard total. Pence's spectacular 10-yard catch in the east end zone and Joe Frasca's PAT summed up the team's point production.

Today, the Spartans prepare for their next contest on Friday at Prairie Central. The Hawks (2-0) are at the top of the Illini Prairie Conference after defeating Unity a week earlier, 34-12, and thrashing Pontiac last Friday, 55-13.

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