Rockets and Spartans ready to tackle postseason opponents

Unity's Brock Suding flexes after the Rocket's homecoming game against Rantoul Township on October 7. The Rockets will host Harrisburg as their first-round opponent in the 2022 IHSA football playoffs. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

URBANA -- Unity (8-1), who earned a first-round home playoff game, will host Harrisburg at Hicks Field. Kickoff will be announced early next week. This is the fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the 2021 Class 3A runner-up team. The Rockets have lost just two of their last 20 football games in the past two years.

The Bulldogs finished third in the Southern Illinois River-to-River conference and is making their first playoff appearance in Class 3A since the 2011-2012 season. Last fall, the team finished 5-5 in the 4A bracket.

Meanwhile, St. Joseph-Ogden guaranteed their spot into the 2022 playoffs picking up their sixth win with a 34-20 win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda. The Spartans will host Robinson, who also finished the regular season, 6-3. The school's official Twitter feed announced a game time of 3pm on Saturday, October 29.

The survivor advances to face the winner of the contest between #2 seed Benton and Olympia in the second round the following week.

Six of the nine football teams in the Illini Prairie Conference made the first-round cut. In addition to SJO and Unity, Bloomington Central Catholic, Prairie Central, Monticello, and Paxton-Buckley-Loda are all in the hunt for a state football title game appearance at Memorial Stadium in November.

Guest Commentary: You won’t get rich collecting Social Security

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

You won’t get rich collecting Social Security, not even close. However, you don’t want to mess it up either. The system was never intended to be your total retirement income but to many it’s their only source of retirement income. You don’t want to make it your only source of income for your senior years but you definitely want it in your income portfolio.

Social Security recipients will receive an 8.7% increase in their monthly income starting in January. The average increase will fall between $150 to $250 per month. This will buy you a tank of gasoline or a sack of groceries. The increase will help about 70 million retired Americans.

Inflation has devoured Americans’ paychecks as groceries, fuel, rent and now interest rates have skyrocketed. By the time the January increase comes around you probably will have lost most of your increase to these and medical costs associated with Social Security.

Pay all you can into Social Security. Too many young adults buy into the rationale that Social Security doesn’t pay much or won’t be around when they retire. On some level it will be around and you’ll need it when you retire.

Business persons, farmers, hospitality people, clergy and others make a big mistake in finding ways to only show a small income when they file their taxes. This reduces the amount of taxes owed and lowers how much paid into Social Security. When retirement comes these people become very sad when they find out they will only receive a minimal amount of Social Security income.

One minister friend opted out of paying into Social Security because of religious objections.

When he was 70, he had almost zero retirement and worked up until his death. Another ministerial friend claimed very little salary and received very little in Social Security payments when he retired. He spent his last couple of years cleaning hotel rooms and working at Kentucky Fried Chicken trying to survive. A farmer acquaintance worked hard for many years but doesn’t collect a penny in Social Security benefits. You have to pay into it to collect it so don’t short-change yourself.

The average Social Security payment in 2022 is $1,614. Many people who worked less years and paid less collect less than this amount. Some Americans who worked longer, earned more income and paid more into the system are collecting $3,345 per month. Again, these numbers will increase in 2023 by 8.7%.

Sometimes people retire too early. A friend retired at 62 and received $1100 per month in Social Security income. At that time, he would have collected several hundred more if he could have worked just three more years.

Pay into an Individual Retirement Account, 401k and anything else you can. You can’t live big just on a Social Security check, but pay as much as possible into the system now because it will be helpful later.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, 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. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


Area volleyball teams start postseason competition next week

Urbana -- With regular season play ending today, four Sentinel area volleyball teams will compete for a regional volleyball title starting next week. St. Joseph-Ogden, Unity, Urbana and University High each have the opportunity to bring home a championship plaque.

PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Mikyla Haley pass the ball to the setter in St. Joseph-Ogden's home volleyball match against Teutopolis earlier this season. The Spartans are the #1 seed in their regional when the IHSA state series starts next Monday.

Earning a #9 seed, Urbana (3-21, 2-8) will open their postseason play against fellow Big 12 Conference foe Danville. The two teams will square off on Monday at Rantoul Township High School in the regional's solo quarterfinal match scheduled to start at 6pm.

The winner advances to face Normal University in the Class 3A regional semifinals. Earlier in the season, Tigers fell in straight sets on the road, 25-20, 25-21, to the Vikings (6-25, 3-7) in conference action on September 29.

U-High (5-19, 1-4) will take on Armstrong on Tuesday, October 25, at 7:00 pm to start their postseason run in the St. Thomas More regional. Should the #11 Illineks defeat the #5 seed Trojans, they will face the winner between LeRoy and Schlarman in the Class 1A bracket on Wednesday.

Unity (12-15-2), who finished 4-4 in the Illini Praire Conference, will also take the court in Arthur to face #7 seed St. Teresa. Earlier in the season, despite five kills from JJ LeFaivre, and six apiece from teammates Kaitlyn Schweighart and Emmalee Atkins, the Rockets dropped the regular season meeting between the two teams 2-1.

The winner advances to Tuesday's 6pm semifinal against the host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond. The Lady Knights boast an impressive 23-4 record and won the Lincoln Prairie Conference title with a perfect 9-0 record.

Earning a bye into the semifinals in the Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin regional #1 seed St. Joseph-Ogden plays their first postseason match against the winner of Monday's contest between Hoopeston Area and Oakwood. The SJO program outscored both teams by a combined 100-65 points during the season.

A win on Tuesday, will then pit the Spartans against either Paris or BHRA in the regional title match.

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