Hawks go up against tough foes to open season

The Villa Grove/Heritage baseball team got its 2015 season underway with a slate of games against some of the better teams in east central Illinois, and took their lumps in a few of the contests, but also showed the potential for playing good baseball as the season progresses.

Spartans win regional title

Every time St. Joseph-Ogden’s Jake Pence possessed the ball during Friday night’s Class 2A Paxton-Buckley-Loda Regional championship game, Paxton-Buckley-Loda’s Blue Crew serenaded him with the chant, “MVP.”

Hawks defeat Unity

 Andy Place called it “a clash of styles.”

When he brought his Villa Grove/Heritage boys’ basketball team to last Friday’s Class 2A regional championship game at Tuscola, there couldn’t be two markedly different teams on the court.

VG/Heritage emphasizes an up-tempo philosophy, with Place substituting five players about every minute.

Coffin to attend Greenville

Jake Coffin knew from the moment he stepped foot on campus.

He was supposed to go to Greenville College.

“I really liked the atmosphere, the small town feel and the program,” he said. “I liked what the coaches were teaching.”

Greenville College is a liberal arts four-year school in Greenville.  Its football team, the Panthers, went 7-3 during the 2014 season.

Rockets cite fans as big part of win

The home court wasn’t an advantage, but the home crowd was a major factor.

Playing in a facility where it last practiced in November and on a court where it played for the first time three days earlier, Unity’s Rockets overcame a fourth-quarter deficit last Friday to beat St. Joseph-Ogden 65-56 in the Okaw Valley Conference basketball opener for both schools.

Pinning wins to their record

Name a small-school wrestling team throughout the state, and St. Joseph-Ogden has probably wrestled them.

A flurry of meets in the past two weeks following a superb showing at the Unity Invitational on Dec. 20 puts the Spartans in a solid position with the start of the Class 1A postseason a little more than three weeks away.

VG/H comes close in loss to Arcola

After a week’s break following the Bismarck-Henning holiday tournament, the Villa Grove/Heritage girls’ basketball team appeared to be rested and ready to take on the new year.

The Blue Devils hosted the Arcola Purple Riders in Villa Grove in a cross-divisional game between two long-time Little Okaw Valley Conference rivals.

SJO girls split with T-Town, Schlarman

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls’ basketball team faced off against a pair of teams last week that could be described as the past, present and future of girls’ high school basketball. Thursday, the Spartans travelled to Teutopolis for a non-conference game against the Lady Shoes, who have been a power for decades, and are still a force today.

Agreement with Okaw, western Illinois schools doesn’t materialize

A plan to help out football scheduling for Okaw Valley Conference members in the future has fallen through.

IHSA football proposal nixed

A plan to change the football playoff system in the state was voted down by school administrators, the IHSA announced last week.

The vote was 395-212, with more than three-fourths of the state schools responding. Last year, 57.3 percent of the IHSA members voted concerning amendment additions.

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