Baseball  |  July 17, 2022

Five Sluggers Confirmed for 2022 Home Run Derby

The first to announce that he will be participating in this year’s Home Run Derby was Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. Alonso has won the past two Home Run Derby titles, making him just the third player ever to go back-to-back in the contest. He will now have his sights set on a third Derby win in a row, a feat no other player has accomplished. Alonso has hit 131 home runs in his two Derby appearances and set a single-round record in 2021 when he hit 35 homers in his first-round matchup.  READ MORE...

Baseball  |  July 10, 2022

2022 MLB Mid Season Recap

I have the St. Louis Cardinals at number ten halfway through the season. The Cardinals have a record of 44-38 and are in second in the NL Central behind the Brewers. St. Louis has not won or lost more than two games in a row since June 14. While the offense has been electric for the Cardinals, being led by MVP front-runner Paul Goldschmidt, the Cardinals could really benefit from another solid arm in their starting rotation. 
College Baseball  |  July 3, 2022

Ole Miss Wins College World Series

In the first game of the College World Series Finals between Ole Miss and Oklahoma, the Rebels made a statement, winning game one 10-3. Ole Miss opened the game fast by scoring two runs in the first inning with two outs. The Rebels’ two-out success continued in the second inning as another run crossed the plate to push the lead to 3-0 after the top of the second inning. In the third inning, Ole Miss’ first baseman Tim Elko homered to right field to push the lead to 4-0. While the Rebels' offense was putting up runs nearly every inning, Ole Miss pitcher Jack Dougherty was putting on a show on the mound to open the game. Dougherty had a perfect game bid going into the sixth inning before Oklahoma opened up the inning with a single up the middle. Dougherty’s perfect five innings was the longest perfect game bid in the College World Series since the NCAA tournament expanded in 1999. After the hit to lead off the sixth for Oklahoma, the Sooners' offense finally showed up and cut the lead to 4-2 after six innings. After a couple of scoreless innings, Ole Miss’ TJ McCants, Calvin Harris, and Justin Bench broke the game open in the top of the eighth, hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Rebels went up 8-3 after the eighth. Ole Miss then brought in two more runs in the top of the ninth inning and closed the game out in the bottom half of the inning to win game one 10-3. 
Basketball  |  June 26, 2022

Warriors Win NBA Finals

Curry has had two of the same guys by his side for a lot of his success in Golden State, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. These three have seen a great amount of success together, winning all four of their championships together, with some different pieces here and there. Easily the most impactful piece the Warriors have had during their historic dynasty was future hall of famer, Kevin Durant. Durant joined the Warriors through free agency before the 2016-2017 season and Golden State went on to win back to back championships in 2017 and 2018, with Durant winning the Finals MVP in both years. Adding Durant to a Warriors team that already proved that they could win an NBA Finals Championship in 2015 pushed Golden State into the territory of being talked about as one of the greatest teams in NBA history. Many fans though, argued that signing a player like Kevin Durant and forming a “super team” discredited the original Warriors players that were there for the start of the dynasty in 2015. The way that the original guys, like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, were able to win another championship after losing Durant really solidifies this Warriors core as one of the greatest to ever play. 
High School Sports  |  June 26, 2022
All-Conference Athletes Named

All-Conference Athletes Named

The baseball team had players in all positions make All Conference recognition. Riley McCallister earned 1st team outfielder. Many other players were honorable mentions; Zach O’Donnell as pitcher, Drew O’Donnell as catcher, Adam Swartzendruber as infielder, Cole Kindred as infielder, and Edwin Hohulin as outfielder. Edwin will be back as a Spartan next year for his senior season too! The Pantagraph All Star Baseball Game was played last week. This game is for senior intercity and area baseball players that are chosen for their academic and athletic success. Drew O’Donnell, Adam Swarzendruber, Cole Kindred, Riley McAlister and Zach O’Donnell all played in this game at the Corn Crib. This was also that last time that twins and pitcher-catcher duo, Zach and Drew got to play a baseball game together. Shortly after this night, Zach, Riley, and Cole played in the McDonald's All Star Game.
College Baseball  |  June 19, 2022

2022 College World Series Preview

In the Knoxville Super Regional, Notre Dame upset number 1 overall Tennessee. The Irish became the first team to win a road series in Knoxville all season. This will be Notre Dame’s first appearance in the College World Series since 2002 and just their third time in Omaha ever. 
Baseball  |  June 12, 2022

Angels Fire Manager Joe Maddon

The Angels are 6-19 since their 21-11 start and have a 30 percent chance of making the postseason. Just a few weeks ago, on May 15, the Angels had one of the best chances at making the postseason in the MLB at 81 percent. The Angels are now 11 ½ games behind the sixth and final American League wild-card spot. The 12-game losing streak has been a Murphy’s Law losing streak, meaning that anything that could possibly go wrong for the Angels is going wrong. Two of their star players Anthony Rendon and Taylor Ward are out with injuries, leaving the lineup extremely thin behind superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. The Angels starting rotation has come back down to Earth after an excellent start to the season.
High School Sports  |  June 12, 2022
Recent Grads Become College Athletes

Recent Grads Become College Athletes

To start off, Taylor Nowaskie will be playing basketball at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL with an athletic scholarship. Taylor holds the scoring record at Olympia and is playing in the point guard position. Next, Zach O’Donnell will be playing baseball at Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, IL. Zach is a lefty baseball pitcher with an athletic scholarship. Cole Kindred is another baseball player who will be going to play at Rend Lake Community College in Ina, IL. All of these schools are two-year community colleges in the NJCAA Division II league.
Basketball  |  June 5, 2022

Preview of the 2022 NBA Finals

This season, the Celtics finished 51-31 and earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference, only two games behind the Miami Heat. After the first 50 games of the NBA regular season, the Celtics did not look like they would be title contenders. The team was only 25-25 and there were rumors swirling about potentially breaking up the star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to provide more balance to the offense. Instead of giving in to the negativity, the Celtics managed to have one of the most impressive stretches in recent NBA history. The Celtics drew the Brooklyn Nets for their first-round matchup. Boston made a statement in this opening series against the Nets. The Celtics swept Brooklyn 4-0 to move to the second round, where they would take on the reigning champion Milwaukee bucks. The Bucks gave Boston everything they had, they were even up 3-2 going into game 6 in Milwaukee. The Celtics had an incredible road performance in that game 6 to push the series to a deciding game 7 in Boston. The Celtics were able to win that game easily and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. This series went to another game 7, where the Celtics continued their streak of not losing back-to-back games in the postseason, setting up a Finals trip to take on the Golden State Warriors. 
Baseball  |  May 29, 2022

Aaron Judge’s Hot Start

This impressive start to the season from Judge could result in a massive paycheck for the big right fielder, this upcoming offseason. If Judge is able to continue the absolute tear that he has been on throughout the first 40 games of the season, he will easily be in the conversation for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, which he came in at fourth place for just last season. With a huge season like this and his rookie contract with the Yankees coming to a close at the end of the season, Judge will most likely be entertaining a lot of different options, which could mean a new home for a potential AL MVP. Now the actual chance of Judge leaving New York after this season may not be too high but, if a team is able to outbid the Yankees in the offseason, there could be a chance that Aaron Judge would be somewhere else next year. This is why it is huge for Aaron Judge that he is having a monster start to his season, because the better he does, the more he gets paid by whoever ends up getting him for next season. It would be pretty difficult for Yankees fans and honestly just baseball fans in general to see Judge in any uniform besides the Yankees pinstripes, but it is a possibility and that will be an interesting thing to watch unfold after this baseball season is over. 
High School Sports  |  May 29, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Last weekend was the bass fishing State Championship. Josh Boots, Brantson Komnick, Aiden Fosdick, and Blaine Halley competed for Olympia but could not get a final placing. Joliet Catholic Academy earned the State Champion for the bass fishing team. The Olympia Spartans are ready to compete again next year, with this being the first year of the team existing at Olympia. 
Baseball  |  May 22, 2022

Reds Throw Combined No-Hitter and Lose

The Pirates became the sixth team in big league history since 1901 to win despite not getting any hits. This baseball rarity last took place in 2008, when Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo of the Angels lost to the Dodgers while no hitting them. The other four occurrences happened to the Red Sox in 1992, the Yankees in 1990, the Orioles in 1967, and the Colt .45s in 1964. Despite his great performance, Hunter Greene took the loss in this game, dropping his rookie record to 1-6 on the year. Greene became the first pitcher to throw seven hitless innings and take a loss since Matt Young of the Red Sox in 1992. In Greene’s no-hit start against the Pirates, he fired seven heaters at 100 mph or faster. He also mixed in sharp sliders and effective changeups throughout his start, sitting down Pirate hitters almost in order, the only exception being a couple of walks. Toward the end of his start, in the eight inning, Greene looked to be running out of gas. After the game, he admitted that he was getting tired. Greene said, “But then again, there’s the mental part of, you know, ‘I’m fine. I’m not getting tired.’” Hunter Greene was the second overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft. He ended up suffering an injury in 2018 that required Tommy John surgery in 2019. He made the Reds’ big league roster for the first time coming out of spring training this season. In just Greene’s second start of the season, the flamethrower set an MLB record with 39 pitches over 100 mph, but he also had a 7.62 earned run average and led the league in home runs allowed this season with 11 going into Sunday’s game. This young stud seems to be coming into his own, so that’s at least one bright spot for Reds fans this season. 
High School Sports  |  May 22, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

The softball team gained a number one seeding and a first-round bye in regionals. They were also awarded Conference Champions with an 11-0 record! On Tuesday, the girls traveled down to Williamsville for their regional games. They played New Berlin and came away with a massive 16-2 win. Emma Books was the starting pitcher for the Spartans, allowing only two runs on just two hits. She also struck out two batters in her three innings. On the offensive side, the Spartans racked up 14 hits. Danika Fraizer put up the only home run for this game. Then, Casey Wissmiller and Jordyn Turner led the Spartans with three hits each. Friday night was the regional championship game against Williamsville. The Spartans got dominated by the lower-seeded Williamsville team and lost 1-10. Williamsville was able to pick out the weaknesses for Olympia and gain lots of hits. The state-ranked Spartans fell short of making it out of the softball regionals. 
Baseball  |  May 15, 2022

Reid Detmers Throws No-Hitter

Detmers really only had one close call throughout the night. It came with one out in the top of the seventh inning when Tampa Bay’s Brett Phillips hit a decently hard ground ball to the right of the first baseman Jared Walsh. The ball bounced off Walsh’s glove then he dropped the ball trying to get Phillips, who has some speed. Although it was most likely going to be an error, everyone in the stadium held their breath until it was put up as an error on the scoreboard, maintaining the no-hitter. Other than this play, Detmers hardly had any close calls. He retired the first 15 hitters before walking the leadoff man in the sixth inning. Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Angels were already up 8-0, so the Rays brought in a position player, Brett Phillips, to pitch. Los Angeles ended up putting up four more runs off Phillips, including an incredible two-run home run from Anthony Rendon, who batted left-handed instead of from his usual right side. In the top of the ninth inning, Detmers was only three outs away from his no-hitter. Detmers did what he had been doing all night, getting soft contact for easy outs and put away the Rays in order in the ninth and the celebration began. Detmers thanked the crowd in his postgame interview saying, “You guys are awesome! I don’t even know what to say. Thank you for coming out.”
High School Sports  |  May 15, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Both Softball and Baseball will begin their post-seasons in the coming week with Baseball starting their Regionals on Monday against Clinton and Softball on Tuesday against New Berlin. The Baseball team ended their season with three wins and two losses. Their game on Saturday against Mackinaw resulted in an 11-0 win for the team, then they faced two losses one against Unity 6-11 and the other against Williamsville 11-16. They finished their week strong with a 16-0 win against Illini Central and an 8-3 win against Prairie Central. This concludes the team’s regular-season and ends them with a record of 11-12-1.
Baseball  |  May 8, 2022

Dusty Baker Gets 2,000th Win

Dusty Baker started his MLB career as an outfielder for the Braves in 1968. Although he started his career in Atlanta, most of Baker’s accomplishments in his playing career came in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. Baker made two National League All-Star teams in 1981 and 1982. While Baker was with the Dodgers, they won the National League pennant in 1977, 1978, and 1981. In their 1977 NL Championship, Baker was awarded the first-ever National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award. In the 1981 season, Baker ended up winning his only World Series as a player, in 1981 with the Dodgers. Many people also believe that Baker took part in the first-ever high five during his playing career. ESPN even made a 30 for 30 documentary called The High Five, which claims that Baker executed the first-ever high five. 
High School Sports  |  May 8, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Softball comes away with a huge win on Monday night too! Varsity had to come back from an early 1-3 deficit to defeat U-High 17-4. Shelby Finchum hit an infield single in the 4th to give the Spartans their first lead. Brenna Elgin followed with a bases-loaded double. Then, Casey Wissmiller finished off the game with a walk-off grand slam! JV followed with a 4-3 win, improving their record to 14-1-3. On Wednesday, Olympia hosted Bloomington High School for a varsity game. The Spartans ended up losing 1-4 against a very good team. 
Baseball  |  May 1, 2022

Seiya Suziki’s Hot Start

Seiya Suzuki’s pure talent has been very impressive to the Cubs’ organization and to their fans, but one thing that is not necessarily noticed on the field about Suzuki is that he has been a great clubhouse guy for the Cubs so far. One of the only guys left from the 2016 World Series team, Wilson Contreras was quoted saying this about Suzuki, “He’s the best player I’ve ever played with, to be honest. His plate discipline is insane. Everything that he does on the field, the way he takes care of himself on and off the field is amazing.” Contreras has played with some of the MLB’s best players in his six years with the Chicago Cubs. Guys like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and even Jake Arrieta come to mind. All huge pieces of the World Series team in 2016. Even after being asked about some of those guys, Contreras showed his respect for them, but still said, “I’ve been around with the Cubs in the big leagues for six years and he’s the best player I’ve ever played with.” Some Cubs fans may want to disagree with Contreras and believe that either Bryant, Rizzo, or Baez has to be the best player Contreras has played in his career. It is very interesting that just 18 games into his first MLB season, Contreras is giving Suzuki such high praise. Although it may sound a little bit crazy, I would think that Contreras knows talent when he sees it, especially after playing with some great players in his early years with the Cubs. So, if Wilson Contreras really knows a talented baseball player when he sees one, maybe he’s right about Suzuki being the best player he’s ever played with. After all, the numbers that Suzuki has put up so far would support Contreras’ claim. Suzuki definitely has a ton of talent and a very professional hitting approach. It will be a lot of fun to watch Seiya progress in the MLB. Who knows, maybe the Cubs just signed a future MVP and Hall of Famer in Seiya Suzuki. 
High School Sports  |  May 1, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

The Girls Track and Field Team faced similar success at the meet. Melissa Beiber and Jordan Bicknell took first and second respectively in the 200, Anna Biber got first in the 400, Abby Litwiller and Madison Bales placed first and second respectively in the 1600, and the 4x200, 4x400, and 4x800 relay teams each got first-place finishes as well.
Football  |  April 24, 2022

2022 NFL Draft Preview

While there is not actually a clear-cut number one overall pick, like there was in last year’s NFL Draft, there is plenty of talent that could be taken with the Jacksonville Jaguars' first overall pick. After finishing the 2021 season with a record of just 3-14, the Jags could really use help at any position, besides quarterback after drafting generational prospect Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in last year's draft. Since the Jaguars are in need at multiple different positions, this puts them in a situation where they can’t really go wrong. In the eyes of many NFL analysts, the Jaguars will either go with a defensive line or an offensive line prospect. Some of the names that are most likely being heavily considered by the Jaguars are Aidan Hutchinson, an edge rusher from Michigan, Kayvon Thibodeaux, an edge rusher from Oregon, Ikem Ekwonu, an offensive tackle from North Carolina State, Evan Neal, an offensive tackle from Alabama, or Travon Walker, a defensive lineman from Georgia. This is clearly a fairly large selection of players for just one pick, but I really don’t think that the Jaguars can go wrong with any of these guys.
High School Sports  |  April 24, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

The baseball team had a very similar week in terms of games and opponents. The varsity team lost a conference game on Tuesday to Pontiac with a score of 5-6. But, then they came back with a conference win of 8-7 against Central Catholic on Thursday. Saturday was a tournament day at Beardstown for the varsity boys. The JV team also played a doubleheader at East Peoria on Saturday. Finally, freshman baseball had one game at GCMS this week. 
Baseball  |  April 17, 2022

Jackie Robinson Day in Baseball

In his ten year career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson had plenty of career highlights and awards. Robinson was a 6 time all-star, a World Series champion, won a National League Most Valuable Player award, won the MLB Rookie of the Year, a National League batting title, and a 2 time National League stolen base leader. Along with all of these awards, Jackie Robinson was able to have a career batting average of .313 with 141 home runs and 761 RBIs. Robinsons impressive career stats and awards earned him a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For Jackie Robinson to be able to accomplish everything that he did just as a baseball player is extremely impressive considering the racial discrimination that he faced day in and day out. 
High School Sports  |  April 17, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The softball team picked up 4 wins and one loss this week. On Saturday the team played a doubleheader against East Peoria and Williamsville and failed to come back against East Peoria losing 4-8 but won their next game against Williamsville 6-3. The girls played again on Monday where they beat St. Joseph-Ogden 8-7, and then an 8-0 win against Eureka on Tuesday. Softball finished their week off at IVC and got the win 2-1.
Baseball  |  April 10, 2022

Chicago White Sox Season Preview

Offensively, the White Sox have one of the most talented lineups from top to bottom in the MLB. They have a very young, dynamic, and explosive style offensively if they can stay healthy. One of the most impressive things about this White Sox offense last year was their incredible plate discipline. Most of the time in the MLB, teams with a lot of younger guys with a lot of raw talent may struggle with strikeouts and not taking their walks but last season, the White Sox were fourth in the league in walks and had the third-best on-base percentage in the MLB. With star shortstop Tim Anderson leading off and big-time power bats in Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, and Eloy Jimenez, the White Sox should have a lot of confidence in their top hitters this season. The White Sox also went out and got second baseman Josh Harrison for the 2022 season. Second base was a pretty weak spot overall for the White Sox last season. Harrison will provide another veteran presence, along with Abreu, along with another solid bat in the lineup. The only question marks as of now for the White Sox offensively are right field and the DH. The White Sox do have a couple of really good options for these two spots, but time will tell who ends up standing out the most between guys like Adam Engel, Andrew Vaughn, and Gavin Sheets. 
High School Sports  |  April 10, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Both the baseball and softball teams picked up wins over the week with the girls now 7-1 and the boys 2-4-1. The baseball team started this week with a 7-6 win against PBL and then lost to Morton 3-13 on Tuesday. Coming back strong the boys worked themselves out of a tie with Monticello on Thursday and won the game 10-4.
Baseball  |  April 3, 2022

Chicago Cubs Season Preview

The Cubs have made some major additions to their MLB roster during this offseason, maybe the most notable being the Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki. Chicago signed Suzuki to an $85 million contract over five years. Suzuki has been identified as a very talented five-tool player. Last year, Suzuki was so good in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan that almost any MLB team would have wanted to sign him to be their starting right fielder. The team also went out and signed Andrelton Simmons to a club-friendly contract to add some depth at the shortstop position. The Cubs will also expect the highly-anticipated Frank Schwindel to continue smashing the ball at the plate in his sophomore season. Schwindel should be a huge part of the Cubs offense in the middle of the lineup this season. Guys like Nico Hoerner, Ian Happ, and Nick Madrigal will continue to bring their young talents to the Cubs lineup and keep developing their skills. Chicago also picked up Clint Frazier to be the team’s starting left fielder. I personally think this could be a really sneaky good pickup for the Cubs. Frazier was having a great year last season before coming down with a case of vertigo. As long as he stays healthy, Frazier could have a solid impact in the middle of the Cubs lineup. 
High School Sports  |  April 3, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Last Saturday, a few athletes from the track team qualified for the Illinois Top Times Meet. Starting off the day, Owen Dare secured a 6th place medal in the 800m and set a new personal record. Then, Brad Schardan earned 12th in the 400m. For the final boys event, Owen, Brad, Keagan Uphoff, and Cohen Alexander placed 11th in the 4x400m relay. On the girls side of things, Anna Bieber competed in the 400m and finished 20th.
Football  |  March 27, 2022

Indianapolis Colts Trade for Former MVP

Matt Ryan has been the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons since 2008 and went to 4 pro bowls in his time there. Ryan also took the team to a Super Bowl, where they would lose to the Patriots in one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. Ryan also has had a couple of impressive individual accomplishments as a Falcon. After his rookie season, Ryan was named the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the best season of his NFL career in 2016, Matt Ryan won the NFL Most Valuable Player and the AFC Offensive Player of the Year. Despite some struggles in recent years from Ryan, he had a very successful 14-year career in Atlanta, and he proved to be a more consistent and statistically superior quarterback to Carson Wentz. Over the last five seasons, Ryan has only missed one game compared to Wentz’s 12. Ryan also totaled the second-most passing yards of any NFL quarterback during those five seasons. This passing yard stat doesn’t just come from an increased volume of passing, Ryan is consistently in the top-10 in a variety of quarterback stats. Ryan has the ninth highest completion rate of 66.5 percent since 2017, with the sixth-most 20-yard passes, and the seventh-most passing touchdowns. Last season with the Falcons, Ryan somehow managed to lead the Flacons to a 7-10 record with one of the weaker rosters in the NFL. The Falcons had one of the worst rushing offenses in the league, ranking in the bottom three for total yardage and yards per carry. Atlanta was also in the bottom of the league on defense, allowing the fourth-most points of any team. For Matt Ryan, he is going into Indianapolis looking forward to a much better situation. The Colts have basically excelled in pretty much every aspect of the game except for quarterback ever since Andrew Luck retired. 
High School Sports  |  March 27, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia softball managed to get in one game this week on Monday versus Clinton. The game was a shutout with the Spartan’s run ruling the Clinton team 17-1 in the fourth inning. The baseball team also got in a game on Monday versus Eureka where they lost 0-8. Both teams had the rest of the week’s games canceled due to the weather throughout the week. Softball will kick off next week with a game against Mahomet-Seymour on Tuesday and baseball will play Tremont on Monday.
Football  |  March 20, 2022

Tom Brady Comes Out of Retirement

Brady will turn 45 during training camp, which will fulfill his once-mocked goal of playing until he was 45. Even at his historically old NFL age, Brady will enter the season with the active “ironman” streak among quarterbacks. He has started 107 games in a row and has missed no games due to injury since 2009. Brady’s health is something that has definitely played a role in him becoming one of the greatest athletes of all time. His longevity has allowed him to play in 48 playoff games, almost equivalent to three full 17-game regular seasons. The average length of a typical NFL quarterback’s career is only 4.44 years. Of course, this number accounts for all quarterbacks, including backups and third-stringers, but this still shows that longevity has been scarce among quarterbacks in the NFL. Going into his 23rd season, 20 with the New England Patriots, and 2 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady has the longest career among active NFL players but will be tied for 5th on the longest all time NFL careers after his 23rd season. 
High School Sports  |  March 20, 2022
OHS Softball Teams Win Season Openers

OHS Softball Teams Win Season Openers

Baseball had its opening day as a home game on Thursday. JV and varsity played Canton. The baseball team has two fields so they play both games simultaneously. Varsity baseball played a long game and didn’t even get to complete the whole thing before the sunset, forcing the game to end early. Olympia tied with Canton 7-7 at the end of seven innings. 
Baseball  |  March 13, 2022

Baseball Lockout Comes to an End

As far as what is next for the MLB, let's go over some key things for this season. Spring training camps opened with a voluntary report date on March 11 and a mandatory report date on March 13. Spring training days will start on March 17. Free agency started immediately after the collective bargaining agreement was ratified. MLB’s Opening Day will be April 7 and a full 162-game schedule will be played. The 12 team playoff format begins this season and the National League will also adopt the designated hitter starting this season. As far as spring training goes, it could be one of the most exciting spring training periods that the MLB and its fans will ever see. There will be big-name free agent signings and major trades being worked out during spring training camps, because of the lockout that restricted these negotiations from taking place for over three months. Getting a deal done as soon as possible was key for the MLB to be sure they did not lose too many fans. If the negotiations held back a full season of baseball from its fans, there would be a number of fans that would be disappointed in the MLB. Since the MLB and the MLB Players Association were able to work out a deal and salvage a full MLB season, baseball fans are very excited to watch their favorite stars make big plays and hit home runs all summer long. With some absolute studs still looking for a team to give them the right contract before the season, it will be a lot of fun to see where some of the game's biggest stars will end up for the 2022 season. Star shortstops Carlos Correa and Trevor Story will be looking to sign big-money deals. 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman is also looking for a new contract, even though it is highly likely that he will return to the Atlanta Braves. Other sluggers that are available include Nick Castellanos, Kris Bryant, Michael Conforto, Kyle Schwarber, and Anthony Rizzo. It will be very exciting for baseball fans to see where these guys end up for the 2022 season and it will be even more exciting to watch the season unfold after it was uncertain that the season would even happen at points during the lockout.
High School Sports  |  March 13, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Both boys and girls track and field had their first meets of the season last week with the boys competing at the Cogdal Invite on the 5th and the girls on the 4th. Both teams competed in the Rantoul Indoor Meet on Saturday also. Coming up the girls have the NCWHS Girls Indoor Invite on the 16th and the Gene Armer Indoor Invitational on the 19th where the boys will also compete.
Football  |  March 6, 2022

Bears Hire New Head Coach and GM

Poles is a 36-year old who has spent his entire front office career with the Kansas City Chiefs and has held many different positions in both the scouting and player personnel departments. Most recently, Poles was the executive director of player personnel for the Chiefs, before getting his first general manager job with the Bears. Poles seemed to excel in his respective role with the Chiefs and this should make Bears fans excited to see what he can do. Poles has a very impressive scouting background. From 2010 to 2016, Poles held positions in the college scouting department, first as an administrator, then as a coordinator. The Chiefs had plenty of key draft selections during those years, such as linebacker Justin Houston, center Rodney Hudson, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, tackle Eric Fisher, tight end Travis Kelce, linebacker Dee Ford, cornerback Marcus Peters, defensive tackle Chris Jones, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. All of these players have made at least one Pro Bowl during their careers. Poles saved his best for last though, as the director of college scouting in 2017, he played a major role in selecting quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Poles also has played a role in some key transactions with the Chiefs such as signing safety Tyrann Mathieu, trading Dee Ford to bring in Frank Clark from Seattle, claiming defensive end Terrell Suggs, and rebuilding the offensive line, something the Bears desperately need. After just four days of being the Bears general manager, Ryan Poles found his head coach, Matt Eberflus, former Colts defensive coordinator. 
College Basketball  |  February 27, 2022

Race for the Big Ten Regular Season Champion

Purdue is currently at the top of the rankings by themselves with only three games left to play, one of which being against Wisconsin. Despite the Boilermakers winning eight of their last nine games, they have not looked very good in their last three games. Purdue had an embarrassing loss to a Michigan team that has self-destructed since the upset, almost had another terrible loss at home to a Maryland team that is number twelve in the Big Ten but they held on for a one-point win, and most recently the Boilermakers nearly allowed the eleventh ranked Northwestern Wildcats to comeback late in the game. With much stronger teams like Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Indiana left on their schedule, there is no guarantee that this talented Purdue team will stay on the top of the Big Ten after one more week of regular season basketball.
High School Sports  |  February 27, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Just this past week the IHSA held the wrestling state tournament for both boys and girls. Dylan Eimer, a freshman at Olympia High School, finished 4th in his weight class. Last week the Boy’s Basketball team pulled through in their first game of regionals with a 30-29 win against Tri-Valley. The boys were down in the last seconds 28-29 and Adam Swartzendruber scored a last-second basket that sent them to their second regional game where they faced Central Catholic. They fought hard throughout the game but ended up losing to Central Catholic 55-65, ending their 2021-2022 season.
High School Sports  |  February 27, 2022
Spartan Spring Sports Preview

Spartan Spring Sports Preview

Track and field has a girls and a boys team. Sometimes they even get to have coed meets or relay events together. Both teams have already started practices but are always open to allow more members to join! The head coach for boys is David Stine and the girls is CJ Hamilton. The girls’ first indoor meet is at ISU on March 4th. The boys’ first meet is also an indoor meet at ISU on March 5th. Then, their outdoor meets begin in April. 
Football  |  February 20, 2022

Rams Defense Cement Win Against Bengals

Possibly the biggest performance of them all came from the Rams defense in the second half. They absolutely shut down the Bengals offense and set their offense up with many opportunities to score. Led by future Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest defensive player of all time, Aaron Donald, the Rams defensive line took over the game in the third quarter. Their defensive front sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow seven times throughout the game, with five of those sacks coming in the third quarter. This was a huge momentum swing, in favor of the Rams, after the momentum had been fairly neutral throughout the first half. The Rams seven sacks on Burrow tied the Super Bowl record. The Rams desperately needed this defensive outburst after their offense came out shaky in the second half. On the first play of the second half, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an interception. This play made it seem like the Bengals had a chance to run away with the game, but the Rams held them to a field goal on the possession after the interception. The Bengals would not end up scoring for the rest of the game. 
High School Sports  |  February 20, 2022
Thomann Breaks Record, Awarded Game Ball

Thomann Breaks Record, Awarded Game Ball

The Chiefs three senior players: Gabe Scheuermann, Matt Lawson and Lane Thomann were recognized at the game for their contribution to the Chiefs basketball program.
High School Sports  |  February 20, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The varsity girls’ basketball team gained a first round bye in regionals being seeded 2nd. They lined up to play Deer Creek-Mackinaw Tuesday night at Normal University. Even though Dee-Mack was seeded 9th in the regional, they came out very strong and defeated the Olympia Spartans. The final score was 39-45. Olympia girls’ basketball has concluded their season with a final record of 21 wins and 11 loses! Senior night was Tuesday at the home boys’ basketball game. JV and varsity played against Prairie Central with JV losing 40-57 and varsity losing 41-73. At halftime of the varsity game, the dance team performed a special dance that featured the seniors with solo parts. The cheer and dance teams also had uniform t-shirts to recognize their seniors. A lot of Olympia sports teams and clubs were honoring Senior Night. The boys’ basketball seniors were Andrew Litwiller, Drew O’Donnell, Seagen Pierce, Anthony Ragland, and Adam Swartzendruber. The cheerleaders were Sara Cummings, Lea Gersdorf, Lexi Hereford, and Kari Simpson. Senior dancers were Kaat Biskanter and Katherine Helms. The pep band performed at home basketball games with their seniors Neil Alford, Morgan Cisco, Johannes Dorfhuber, Shay Hunt-Schores, Kyalie Kesner, Kailey Little, Bryant Mitchell, and Hope Walter. The chess team seniors included Morgan Cisco, Owen Dare, Avyan Horrie, Carter Phillips, Brad Schardan, Makenzy Sympson, and Levi Weaver. Finally, the speech team recognized seniors Abraham Bishop, Grace Castleman, Morgan Cisco, Katherine Helms, Kyalie Kesner, Livia Kimberlin, Kendall Leimbach, and Shae South. Congrats to all Olympia High School seniors and your dedication to being a Spartan!
Football  |  February 13, 2022

Rams Host Bengals for Super Bowl LVI

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming into Super Bowl LVI with a 13-7 record and were also the number four seed in the AFC coming into the NFL playoffs. Like the Rams, the Bengals also won their division, as they dominated the AFC North and earned their spot in the playoffs. In the wild card round, the Bengals played a close back and forth game with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Bengals' defense would step up in that game making multiple stops to shut down the Raiders' offense, sending the Bengals to the divisional round of the playoffs. In the divisional round of the playoffs, the Bengals would travel to Tennessee to face the top-seeded Titans. A combination of another stellar defensive performance and clutch offensive playmaking from the Bengals pushed them past the Titans and into the AFC Championship. On the road again, the Bengals took the trip to Kansas City where they faced off against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. This game was the fourth year in a row that the AFC Championship featured the Chiefs, so this team has had its fair share of success in recent years. That didn’t stop the Bengals from making an incredible second-half comeback and winning the game on a field goal in overtime, sending them to the Super Bowl. This Bengals team also has a lot of star power and household names. Guys like quarterback Joe Burrow who is just in his second year, rookie wide receiver Jamarr Chase, rookie kicker who has nailed two game-winners in the playoffs so far Evan McPherson, and a defense with plenty of studs. The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 1988 and have not won a Super Bowl in their franchise’s history. They now have that opportunity and have a legitimate shot to beat the Rams in Los Angeles and finish one of the best postseason runs in recent history with a Super Bowl victory.
High School Sports  |  February 13, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The Girl’s Basketball team played their last two regular-season games this week the first being against Prairie Central where they won 74-70 and the other being against Tri-Valley where they won 54-35. The girls finished their regular season with a 21-10 record and are 5th in the Illini Prairie Conference. Their regionals begin next Tuesday where they will play U-High. Also this week, Taylor Nowaskie officially broke Olympia’s All-Time Scoring Record and became OHS’s All-Time Leading Scorer.
Football  |  February 6, 2022

NFL Championship Sunday

The second game of Championship Sunday was between a pair of teams that have both had their fair share of success in recent years. The Los Angeles Rams, the host of the NFC Championship game, last appeared in the Super Bowl in 2018, where they lost to the New England Patriots. The San Francisco 49ers traveled to Los Angeles to face the Rams for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The Niners last appeared in the 2019 Super Bowl, where they were handed their first Super Bowl loss in franchise history against the Kansas City Chiefs. This game was poised for a great battle between two franchises that have seen plenty of success in the last five years. The 49ers lead the Rams 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter of the game. The Niners’ defense was doing an outstanding job of containing a very high-powered Rams offense through three quarters, but in the fourth, the Rams offense came to life. San Francisco allowed the Rams to score on three straight possessions in the 4th quarter. The Rams’ star wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, was on the receiving end of the Rams’ two touchdowns. Kupp’s 11 receptions for 142 yards helped the Rams come back from that 10 point deficit and beat the 49ers 20-17. The Super Bowl matchup is set. The Super Bowl will take place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and for the second year in a row, one of the teams in the Super Bowl will be playing at their home stadium. The Bengals will travel to Los Angeles on February 13th to face the Rams in Super Bowl LVI. There are many great stories to follow in this game. Joe Burrow’s chance to immediately become one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Matthew Stafford could finally get his ring, arguably the best defensive player ever in Aaron Donald could also win his first Super Bowl. There are plenty things to be excited for in this years Super Bowl. 
High School Sports  |  February 6, 2022
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

As the rest of the week went on, the varsity girls geared up to play conference rival, Central Catholic, Saturday night. Seeds for the IHSA state tournament have also come out. Olympia girls’ basketball earned the 2nd seed in their regionals! With a first round bye, they will play the winner of Deer Creek-Mackinaw and Peoria Manual on Tuesday, February 15th, at Normal University at 6pm.
Football  |  January 30, 2022

NFL Playoffs Divisional Round

Starting last Saturday, the Bengals traveled to Tennessee to take on the top-seeded Titans. This game was a defensive battle from the very beginning after Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw an interception on the very first play of the game. The Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow somehow survived being sacked nine times and became the first quarterback to be sacked nine times and win a playoff game. The Bengals had their struggles protecting their first overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, but they held on and defeated the Titans 19-16. Cincinnati’s kicker Evan Mcpherson kicked the game-winning field goal as time ran out to send the Bengals to the AFC Championship game. 
High School Sports  |  January 30, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The Boys Basketball team played competitively in their three games for this week. On Monday they won against Illini Central 61-46 and then on Tuesday, they won against Rantoul 67-59. Friday the boys played well, taking the lead in the 3rd quarter against Paxton Buckley-Ioda but couldn’t seem to pull it through and ended up losing 46-41. 
Football  |  January 23, 2022

NFL Playoffs

The results of Wildcard Weekend set up an exciting Divisional round of the NFL playoffs. The Bengals vs the Titans and the 49ers vs the Packers will both have already been played on Saturday. On Sunday, the Rams will play the Buccaneers and the Bills will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. Since the Saturday games will have already been played by the time this story is published, let’s take a look at the Sunday games. The first of the two matchups will be the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Early in the NFL season, the Buccaneers travelled to Los Angeles to play the Rams in week 3. The Rams came away with a ten-point victory in this game. The Rams are coming off one of their most impressive wins of the season in last weekend’s Wildcard round. Los Angeles beat the Cardinals by 23 points. The Buccaneers also had an impressive win last weekend, but over a Philadelphia Eagles team that is very inexperienced in the playoffs. With Tom Brady at quarterback for the Buccaneers, this matchup between them and the Rams will definitely be an exciting one to watch. 
High School Sports  |  January 23, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

To start off with a sports highlight, girls’ basketball won all six of their games this week! Monday was a conference game vs Rantoul. Olympia came out strong after the day off school to allow JV with a 58-16 win and varsity with a 70-22 win. Taylor Nowaskie scored 22 points and Casey Wissmiller ended with 21. Another conference game was played Thursday night at Paxton-Buckley-Loda, an 80-minute bus ride away. JV played a close game, but then came out with the win. Varsity girls won yet again 58-27. On Saturday they played at Peoria Manual with JV winning 41-36 and varsity winning 57-33. This advances their record to 16 wins and 7 losses. 
Football  |  January 16, 2022

Chicago Bears Fire Matt Nagy

Although the coaching was fairly miserable all season, Bears fans are left with hope after a very disappointing year overall. Chicago’s rookie quarterback, Justin Fields, showed many flashes of a potential superstar quarterback. His overall stats do not look great at all, but Fields made several plays throughout the season that left Bears fans wondering they had finally gotten “that guy.” Other than Fields, the Bears have some key pieces on offense that had good seasons. Despite having three different quarterbacks throw to him throughout the year, Darnell Mooney was able to have his first 1,000-yard receiving season. Running backs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert showed flashes and have the potential to be a very good combo next season. The defense struggled at times, but Robert Quinn had an excellent season, breaking the Bears’ single-season sack record with 18 sacks. Next year having Quinn paired with a healthy Khalil Mack will be something for Bears fans to look forward to next season. 
High School Sports  |  January 16, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The Girls’ Basketball team started off their week in Monticello on Monday where they ended up losing 43-51. They came back from this loss on Thursday, winning a home game against St. Thomas More 57-37. This week of games ended the girls off with a 12-7 record, not including their Saturday game against Peoria Heights.
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