sports
OHS Weekly Sports Recap
High School Sports  |  October 17, 2021

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Last Saturday, the Olympia District Special Olympics team participated in the Region G Bowling Event. This was a wonderful placement event for our athletes. Caleb Busick earned Bronze and Kacie Raffety with Silver. The two Gold finishers of Hannah Baker and Dylan Olson will advance to the State Event on December 4th.   READ MORE...

Hockey  |  October 17, 2021
Blackhawks Season Preview

Blackhawks Season Preview

The NHL season has just gotten started this week, with the first matches being played on Tuesday. The Chicago Blackhawks are looking for a bounce back season after finishing one game under .500 in their shortened 2021 campaign. The Blackhawks really struggled with holding onto a lead last season. The one, two or even three goal leads that the Blackhawks failed to maintain last season was enough to drive their fans crazy. Another lead that they failed to maintain last season was their standing in the central division. At the beginning of March, nearly two months into the season, the Blackhawks were only three games back from first place, sitting at fourth in the division. By the end of the season, Chicago ended up finishing sixth in the division and twelve games out of first place. That was quite the drop-off for a team that looked like they could legitimately compete for a spot in the NHL Playoffs. Although the overall season was not a “success”, there were plenty of positives that came from Chicago’s 2021 season. Kevin Lankinen emerged as a potential long-term goalie option, Patrick Kane showed that he is still a great player and Alex DeBrincat rebounded from a subpar 2019-2020 season and turned into a star. 
High School Sports  |  October 10, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

This week was a busy week for the Spartans with Homecoming Week going on and multiple activities having games. Boys and Girls Cross Country ran in the Illinois Prairie Conference meet which was held at Olympia. In this race, the Boy’s team placed second overall. They finished off the week on Saturday with the Metamora Runnin Red Invitational. The Boy’s team got eleventh overall and the Girl’s team got sixth.
Football  |  October 10, 2021
Fields Named Starting Quarterback

Fields Named Starting Quarterback

The Chicago Bears are coming off of a big time bounce back win against the Lions last week to move their record to 2-2 going into week five. The Bears will travel to Las Vegas this week to play the Raiders with rookie quarterback, Justin Fields, officially being named the starting quarterback by head coach Matt Nagy. After Fields’ first start against the Cleveland Browns in week three, there were many questions facing the Bears and their offense after only gaining 47 total net yards on an average of 1.1 yard per play. The Bears total of 47 yards was their worst offensive performance in 40 years. In his first start, Fields was hit 15 times and sacked 9 times, losing 67 yards on those 9 sacks. With only 68 total passing yards, Fields’ net passing yards for the game was only 1 yard. After this brutal performance from Chicago’s offense, they desperately needed a bounce back game against the Lions in week four. During the week between the loss to the Browns and the upcoming game against the Lions, the starting quarterback for the game against Detroit was not determined until the Thursday before the game. Justin Fields was once again named the starter for the second consecutive week over Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. Although his first NFL start was a complete disaster, Bears fans had faith in Fields and were excited to see how the rookie quarterback would come back from the loss against the Browns. 
High School Sports  |  October 3, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The only activity that went on Monday night was a home JV football game vs St. Joseph Ogden. Again, all levels of the football team were heavily depleted by injury. Late in the 4th quarter, Olympia was able to take the lead 22-20, but then St. Joe quickly came up with a hook and ladder play to win 22-28. Even with this loss, the coaches were very proud of their football players for all their hard work.
High School Sports  |  October 3, 2021
Pork & Pigskins Championship

Pork & Pigskins Championship

With the field now set for the inaugural Pork & Pigskins Championship, the IHSA and the Illinois Pork Producers Association have revealed the four regions and how to vote for your favorite concession stand pork chop sandwich.
Baseball  |  October 3, 2021
American League MVP Race

American League MVP Race

The American League MVP race is going to be a close one between two players who have both had historic seasons. The Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani has been one of the most fascinating players since coming to the United States from Japan in 2018. Ohtani is a two-way player, meaning he can hit and pitch. Right now, Shohei is one of a kind in the MLB, making him that much more special. Many people say that there hasn’t been any other player in the history of baseball that can pitch and hit at the level that Ohtani is doing it at right now. As of Tuesday, September 28th, Shohei has 45 home runs and a 9-2 record and a 3.18 ERA in his 23 starts for the Angels. Ohtani has been very impressive but someone who has been having an MVP season as well is Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As the only player in the MLB with more home runs than Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., or Vladdy, has also had an impressive season. Vladdy currently leads all the MLB in homeruns, runs, and total bases and leads the American League in hits, on base percentage and slugging percentage. So how will there possibly be a decision between these two guys who have both had incredible seasons?
High School Sports  |  September 26, 2021
Jim McDonald Field

Jim McDonald Field

In a small town with a passion for football, few locations mean as much to the community as the local football field. Not only is it a place for student athletes to congregate and compete, it is also a social outlet for adults. This is especially true for Mackinaw's Jim McDonald Field.      The argument could be made that the modern-day history of Jim McDonald Field starts with its namesake, Jim McDonald. Coming to Mackinaw as a student teacher from Eureka College in 1974, Jim went to work under then head coach Larry Young. After 5 seasons, McDonald was ready to take the reins himself for 2 years. While he did go back to assistant coach for another 2 years, Jim officially took over in 1982, where he would stay for the next 23 years. During his 25-year tenure, the Dee-Mack Chiefs amassed an impressive record of 178-84, with a state runner up finish in 1987 and 5 undefeated regular seasons.      In 1995, McDonald would be fundamental in establishing a JFL league for Deer Creek-Mackinaw. Starting with a goal of $11,000, several fundraisers were held that summer. Under Jim’s guidance, the club would go on to smash that goal, bringing in almost $20,000 with the help of many community members and businesses. As of 2018, the JFL teams would also play occasional games on the high school field.      McDonald went on to retire from coaching and teaching in 2005 at the end of yet another successful season that included a 9-0 regular season run, a Midstate Title, and a #1 state ranking. However, the winning tradition that Jim started would not end there. In 2016, under head coach Job Linboom, the Chiefs would bring home the state title after defeating Maroa-Forsyth 35-7 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.      In August of 2018, the Dee-Mack football stadium was dedicated to Jim McDonald during half time of their home opener against Tremont. The ceremony was emceed by current athletic director, Mitch Holmgren, and featured speeches from coach Job Linboom and former player Zach Zehr. The 11-minute ceremony can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6oSFnRZ3v4      The next home game at the Jim McDonald field will be on Friday October 8th, against the LeRoy Panthers at 7:00 P.M.
High School Sports  |  September 26, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The Girls Volleyball team had a strong week with two wins added to their record. In their first game of the week against Decatur, they won in two sets. The first set was 25-19, and the second set was 25-12. On Thursday against Prairie Central, the team won in three sets, winning the first one 25-13 and winning the third 25-19. Hopefully, they can keep the momentum going into next week.
Baseball  |  September 26, 2021
Cardinals Make a Postseason Push

Cardinals Make a Postseason Push

The St. Louis Cardinals have been heating up just at the right time. As the MLB regular season is coming to an end soon, the playoff picture is beginning to be set. There have been three teams already punch their ticket to the postseason, the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of Tuesday, September 21st, the Cardinal hold the second Wild Card spot with an 80-69 record. They are three games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card race and four games ahead of the San Diego Padres. This past weekend, the Cardinals came up with a huge three game series sweep over the Padres to put themselves in a great position to seal the deal on that second Wild Card spot in the National League. The Cardinals have won their last nine games, with all of those games being against National League teams in contention for the second Wild Card spot. Just two weeks ago, on September 7th, the Cardinals had a 2.8% chance to make the postseason. After their recent surge of winning, St. Louis improved that chance to earn a spot in the postseason to a 73.7% chance. 
High School Sports  |  September 19, 2021
Chiefs Fall to Titans 14-6

Chiefs Fall to Titans 14-6

Another night of Friday Night Football is upon us as the Dee-Mack Chiefs host the El Paso-Gridley Titans. Both teams took the field for a 7 o’clock kickoff. The first quarter was incredibly exciting, starting with a Chiefs touchdown during a 6-minute drive, as Lucas Blumeyer ran the ball into the end zone. Unfortunately, a 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. The resulting Titans possession would end with a fumble at their own 39-yard line, which was recovered by the Chiefs defense.       The first snap of the Chiefs drive would go high, resulting in a 2nd fumble in as many plays; giving the Titans the ball. 2 plays later, the Titans threw an impressive pass to put 7 points on the board, after a successful PAT.       The 2nd quarter was an absolute slug fest with both teams trying to out-maneuver each other, but to no avail, despite an excellent interception by sophomore Tyce Albritton. The first half would end with an attempted field goal by El Paso which fell short. 7-6, Titans.      El Paso started the 3rd quarter with control of the ball. On the first play of their drive the snap went wide, resulting in a 20-yard loss for the Titans. This drive ended in a punt; however, the next Titan possession would put another 7 points on the board for a score of 14-6.       For the start of the 4th quarter, the Chiefs take possession. Despite a valiant effort, they couldn’t get past the Titan defense. The Chiefs last possession was an attempted rally that yielded 3 excellent passes, but the Chiefs were stopped about 40 yards short of the goal line. El Paso would then take a knee to run out the clock.
High School Sports  |  September 19, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

This past weekend, JV and Varsity volleyball had some strong tournaments in Clinton. After a rough start, the Varsity team climbed their way back up to play in the championship game. Olympia played against St. Thomas More who is a huge conference rival for this sport. This was a big match with plenty of competitive rallies. The Spartans fell short of the win and ended up accomplishing second place. Shelby Finchum, Madeline Conway, and Andria Ewalt made the all-tournament team. On the other side, the JV volleyball team also played very well and earned third place. Tuesday and Thursday were home games for all levels. As always, Blue Crew represented Spartan spirit strong with a huge enthusiastic crowd. JV won both days while Varsity ended up going to three sets each time and losing. 
Football  |  September 19, 2021
Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football

With the NFL season just getting underway with week one starting last Thursday and many more games being played on Sunday, NFL fans are more excited than ever for football to be back. After a 2020 season with no fans in the stands, there was a ton of excitement in the stadiums during week one. With this excitement and having fans back in the stadiums, the NFL is calling this season the “biggest season ever” and have used that quote on many commercials already. Football is a sport that is continuing to grow and gain more and more popularity. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the continuing growth of the NFL has been fantasy football. 
High School Sports  |  September 12, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

To start off the week, the JV football team got a win 18-8 against PBL Monday night. Alex Olsen led the team, getting a safety to end the second quarter, and a pick-six to end the game. On Thursday the Freshman team beat Monticello 20-16. 
High School Sports  |  September 12, 2021
Dee-Mack Friday Night Football

Dee-Mack Friday Night Football

Football fans couldn’t have asked for a better evening to watch a football game. Pork chops were on the grill as fans filed into the stadium. After a brief opening ceremony that included the Mackinaw JFL football teams, it was game time.
Football  |  September 12, 2021
Bears Season Preview

Bears Season Preview

The Chicago Bears ended the 2020 season with an 8-8 record and managed to just barely sneak into the last Wild Card spot over the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears would go on to get beat 21-9 in their Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints. After this game, a couple major changes took place in Chicago. Starting out bold, the Bears decided to not exercise Mitch Trubisky’s fifth year option, making their second overall pick from just four years prior a free agent. Going into free agency, the Bears’ General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy were on the hot seat. Fans speculated that this offseason could have been the beginning of the Bears turning things around or it could have been the continuation of what had seemed like a steady decline. After a free agency period that brought back Allen Robinson and addressed a lot of depth needs, Nagy and Pace seemed to be on the right track. When the Bears missed out on a couple big name quarterbacks in free agency, they ended up signing former Cowboy backup, Andy Dalton, towards the end of free agency. This move was a bit of a head scratcher for most fans, but fans were generally pleased about the free agency period as a whole.
High School Sports  |  September 5, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The boys’ soccer team and the cross-country runners were very successful this week for Olympia High School sports. On Tuesday, the soccer team won 6-2 at Blue Ridge highlighted by George Martin’s 5 assists, Jace Whitted’s 4 goals, and 11 saves by Elijah Smith! On Thursday, the guys picked up a shutout win. Again, goalie Elijah Smith performed very well earning a clean sheet by allowing no goals. 
College Football  |  September 5, 2021
Redbird Football Preview

Redbird Football Preview

The Redbirds of Illinois State University will be opening their season Saturday, September 4th after a short off season due to the 2021 spring season. To make up for no games played in the fall of 2020, Illinois State and the Missouri Valley Conference agreed to play a ten-game schedule in the spring of 2021. Unfortunately for the Redbirds, due to COVID issues, ISU was only able to play four of their ten games and ended with a 1-3 record. The Birds come into this new season with high hopes. Sophomore quarterback Bryce Jefferson is returning after a shaky spring season. Jefferson did show flashes of great ability, but overall, there were constant mistakes. Jefferson does have some experience winning, as he was the starting quarterback at the end of the 2019 season, after starting quarterback Brady Davis suffered a season ending injury late in the regular season. In that 2019 season, Illinois State made it to the FCS quarterfinals with Bryce Jefferson under center, so he has shown that he can be the guy for the Redbirds. 
High School Sports  |  August 29, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Monday night was a big night for HS boys soccer against Meridian winning its home opener. Evan Deterding, George Martin, Jace Whitted, and Elliott Hohulin all scored goals or made assists. On defense, Elijah Smith had 7 saves. Boys and girls golf had matches with Clayton Barnes finishing in 1st place. Volleyball had their first match on Thursday against the Eureka Hornets. Varsity came out strong defeating the Hornets in the first set, but then fell short at the end against the state-ranked team even with the help of the Blue Crew. Other events, including cross country, were canceled due to the extreme heat.
Baseball  |  August 29, 2021
Miguel Cabrera Hits Home Run Number 500

Miguel Cabrera Hits Home Run Number 500

On Sunday, August 22nd, longtime Detroit Tigers first baseman, Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera made history as he became the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs in a career. To put it into perspective just how impressive it is for a player to hit 500 home runs in their career, the MLB has been in existence for 152 years and only 27 players have achieved that milestone, before Miguel Cabrera became the 28th. Just to give an even better understanding of how impressive this feat actually is, throughout the 152 years of Major League Baseball, there have been 18,918 players in total, so before Miggy joined the 500 home run club, there was .14% of MLB players ever to hit 500 home runs or more. Cabrera has already had a great career up to this point and hitting his 500th home run has only added to an extremely impressive 18-year career in the MLB. 
High School Sports  |  August 22, 2021
#FridayNight5: Dick’s Sporting Goods & IHSA To Crown Top Football Plays

#FridayNight5: Dick’s Sporting Goods & IHSA To Crown Top Football Plays

The Friday Night Lights will turn on throughout the Land of Lincoln on August 27 as Illinois high school football action returns around the state.
High School Sports  |  August 22, 2021
IDPH: Masks Temporarily Required For Indoor Sports

IDPH: Masks Temporarily Required For Indoor Sports

On August 4, 2021, Governor Pritzker announced an update to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) All-Sports Policy that will require masks to be worn for all indoor IHSA athletic events regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. This mask directive for indoor athletic events applies to student-athletes, coaches, officials, game personnel, and fans.
College Football  |  August 22, 2021
Fighting Illini Football Season Preview

Fighting Illini Football Season Preview

After a 2-6 season in 2020, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini Football team is looking forward to an improved season in 2021 under a new head coach, Bret Bielema. The Fighting Illini parted ways with former coach, Lovie Smith, after a five-year stint with the program. In those five years, Coach Smith and Illinois went 17-39 with no winning seasons. Illinois did not wait long to find Lovie’s replacement, hiring Bret Bielema off the New York Giants’ staff in December, on the same day as the team’s last game of the 2020 season. The Fighting Illini had no problem with hiring Coach Bielema in a timely manner, as they were very impressed with his Big Ten-heavy background. Coach Bielema is from Prophetstown, Illinois, played football at the University of Iowa and had a long run of success as Wisconsin’s head coach. As Wisconsin’s head football coach, Bielema led the Badgers to three Big Ten championships, six consecutive bowl games and a 68-24 record. This kind of success in the Big Ten is something that the Fighting Illini could not overlook. 
Athlete of the Week  |  August 15, 2021
Andrew Nichols

Andrew Nichols

Our last athlete of the week spotlight before the start of the 2021-2022 school year highlights 2021 Olympia High School graduate and Danvers native, Andrew Nichols. Nichols was a member of the varsity baseball and basketball teams and also a member of National Honor Society and Student Bank Board. He was a three-year starter for the varsity baseball team and would have been a four year starter if his junior season wouldn’t have been lost due to the pandemic. This year, he will be attending Illinois State University to study finance. Although Andrew’s athletic career is over, his leadership impact on his younger teammates will be apparent especially in the baseball program for many more years. Nichols, along with former teammate Hayden Stork, have been working with younger generations of Olympia baseball players. They work to help the young athletes improve their game and develop into the future of Oly baseball. 
Football  |  August 15, 2021
Why Mitch Trubisky can Reset his Career in Buffalo

Why Mitch Trubisky can Reset his Career in Buffalo

Former Chicago Bears quarterback and second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mitchell Trubisky has had an underwhelming start to his career. In the spring of 2020, the Chicago Bears decided against exercising the fifth-year option on the original contract they agreed on with Trubisky, after they drafted him. When that happened, Trubisky tested free agency this past off-season and agreed on a contract with the Buffalo Bills. Although Mitch Trubisky’s time with the Bears was not great, many Bears fans were still sad to see him go. 
High School Sports  |  August 8, 2021
Basketball Coach Tom Garriott

Basketball Coach Tom Garriott

This week’s coaches spotlight brings us to the basketball court, where boys’ basketball coach Tom Garriott discusses his coaching career, his time at Olympia, and the culture of his basketball team. So far, Garriott’s favorite part about coaching at Olympia has been the player’s work ethics and attitudes. He explained that the players have kept a positive attitude, despite all the challenges COVID restrictions brought to the season. The work ethic and attitude of the Spartan basketball players fits right into the culture Garriott wants in his basketball program. “Hard work, great attitudes, and putting the team before all individual accolades is a culture most coaches strive for. So far, I like the direction we are going,” stated Garriott. 
Athlete of the Week  |  August 8, 2021
Adam Swartzendruber

Adam Swartzendruber

This week’s Olympia Athlete of the Week is Adam Swartzendruber. Adam is from Minier and will be a senior at Olympia High School this upcoming school year. Ever since his freshman year at Olympia, Adam has been an athlete for the Spartans. Adam has been a basketball and baseball player for Olympia starting his freshman year and just last football season, in his junior year, Adam also started playing football for the Spartans. 
High School Sports  |  August 1, 2021
Spartan Baseball Coach Mark Finchum

Spartan Baseball Coach Mark Finchum

Coach Mark Finchum has been involved in coaching the Olympia Spartans baseball program for 26 years. Coach Finchum bleeds Spartan blue and white, being an Olympia Class of 1988 graduate. During his time as a student at Olympia High School, Coach Finchum played football and baseball for all four years. In his junior year of high school, Coach Finchum’s baseball team was the first team to make it to the state tournament in 1987. This was only the beginning of what was to come in the future of Olympia baseball. 
Athlete of the Week  |  August 1, 2021
Savanah Beavers

Savanah Beavers

This week’s athlete of the week is Savanah Beavers, a hardworking and dedicated student-athlete. Savanah is a 2021 graduate from Olympia High School and Danvers native who ran cross country and track and field during her time as a Spartan. Savanah has competed in the State Meet for cross country every year since she was in 6th grade at Olympia Middle School. She has also competed in the State Meet for track in two seasons. She holds five all-state honors along with multiple all-conference, regional, and sectional awards. On top of all of that, Savanah has collected multiple awards and honors from different places in our area. She is the 3200m school record holder in track and field with a time of 11 minutes, 4.33 seconds. Throughout all of those achievements, Savanah believes that the 2017 cross country season stands out as her favorite. She stated, “The 2017 season stands out as being my favorite for the team's camaraderie and the personal growth I experienced. Throughout the season, we surprised ourselves with winning some meets and then finishing 8th at State.” She struggled with some health problems that season and learned to prioritize team success when she wasn’t able to perform her best individually.
High School Sports  |  July 25, 2021
Softball Asst. Coach Darrel Dubree

Softball Asst. Coach Darrel Dubree

Darrel Dubree is the Olympia High School softball assistant coach. Dubree started his coaching career at Olympia in 2009 as a volunteer coach for the high school team. That year, the Spartans won a state championship. Since then, he hasn’t turned back from working with the Spartans. Dubree has spent his entire coaching career at Olympia. He became the high school assistant and the middle school assistant coach in 2011, then became the middle school head coach in 2016. Before his time working with school softball, Dubree coached travel softball throughout the years that his daughter played for the Oly Fire organization. His first year in that role was in 2001, and he has filled assistant and head coaching roles throughout the last 20 years. It is safe to say that Dubree is committed to Olympia softball.
Athlete of the Week  |  July 25, 2021
Austin Swan

Austin Swan

Austin Swan is this week’s Olympia Athlete of the Week. Austin is from Hopedale and will be a senior this year at Olympia. Since his freshman year, Austin has been on the varsity wrestling team and was a starter on the varsity football team in his sophomore season. As a senior, Austin is looking to have another successful year in sports, as he will be back out on the field and on the mat this fall and winter. 
High School Sports  |  July 18, 2021
Cross Country Coach Mike Neisler

Cross Country Coach Mike Neisler

Coach Mike Neisler had been Olympia’s boys and girls cross country and track coach up until his retirement this year. Coach Neisler had been a student and athlete favorite as one of Olympia’s health and PE teachers. With a long history in athletics, especially running, Coach Neisler was the right guy for the cross country program at Olympia. At Girard High School, Coach Neisler ran track, played basketball, and played football his senior year and says that, “the best day of the season was the day we ran the mile in pads! I won. Maybe I was in the wrong sport.”
Athlete of the Week  |  July 18, 2021
Danika Frazier

Danika Frazier

This week’s athlete of the week is Danika Frazier, a member of the class of 2024 at Olympia High School from Danvers, IL. Frazier plays softball, volleyball, basketball, and participates in key club and FCA. While she is a well-rounded athlete, Frazier excels in softball. She is a right-handed pitcher that also brought power to the Spartan’s lineup. This previous season, where the Spartan Softball team finished top 16 in the state, she had over 200 strikeouts in the circle and 11 home runs up to bat. Her 11 home runs led the Illini Prairie Conference in home runs. She was also the RBI leader. 
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