Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


August 9, 2013

Effingham, it's been real

In the immortal words of Harry Dunne, said to pal Lloyd Christmas in the timeless cinema classic Dumb and Dumber, "I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this."

Their situation was different than my own, but as a new sports writer moving to central Illinois from Columbus, Ohio, I was anticipating a rough first experience in the business.Over the past seven months, you, the readers, have welcomed me to the Effingham community with open arms. Through all the bumps and bruises that came with working in my first professional newsroom, the kind words I received and quality of character I met kept me hungry and fueled to do my best.

At this point in my life, I've decided to go in a different direction. From all my unnecessary rumblings about my days at Denison University, the plight of Johnny Manziel, NFL Mock Drafts or the joke that is the Cleveland Browns, it was downright obvious I have a passion for football. I have since accepted a coaching position at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., to be the defensive Graduate Assistant/cornerbacks coach. It is an opportunity that I am truly excited about, and I can't wait to get to work.

That doesn't come without the disappointment that I will no longer get to cover the schools, and the area, that I have come to appreciate and care for deeply. Though I may no longer be writing for the Effingham sports section, I know I will forever remember my time here. From the incredible St. Anthony-Teutopolis basketball rivalry, Cumberland's (questionable) runner up finish in the state softball finals or covering the City Series, Effingham and its surrounding areas have a serious love for sports. That's precisely what made my stay here so exciting, so that each time I walked into a gym, or in the stands at a diamond, I knew I was in for a treat.

Thank you for making the past seven months so special, and don't be surprised if I make the nearly four-hour trek back to Effingham at some point this winter to take in a few classic high school basketball battles. I may never end up as the next Urban Meyer, but to quote the wise Lloyd Christmas, "So you're telling me there's a chance."

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  • JakeLinders.jpg Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational

    The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Willenborg.jpg Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More

    Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
    And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • callawaysmith.jpg Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today

    The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
    The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndrewBingham.jpg Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season

    Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
    It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
    Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-16 eff volleyball.jpg Flaming Hearts set with new coach

    The Effingham Flaming Hearts volleyball team will have a new but familiar face leading them on the sideline this season.
    As a former player for the Hearts, coach Mindy McCollum-Boswell will look to lead her team to their first regional title since 2008.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Bears backups worrisome

    This might sound shockingly similar to a number of columns I've written in the past, but it bears repeating (excusing a terrible pun).
    The quarterback situation is worrisome.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • FelixScharnbacher.jpg Newton soccer kicks off, inaugural season starts Sept. 2

    For the first time in the history of Newton High School, a soccer team will be a part of the fall sports season.

    August 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • ATV2.jpg Pocrnich wins national ATV title

    As people get older, their chance at a national championship diminishes, but Effingham’s Kevin Pocrnich was able to win one at 49 years old.
    Pocrnich won the Class 16 Senior 40+ Mountain Dew ATV Motocross Championship and according to the league website, finished fourth in the Class 14 30+ Veteran division. He went out with a bang, winning the final race of the season in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee Saturday.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teutopolis alum Thompson part of no-hitter

    A pair of Effingham natives are making some noise up in the Northwest League.
    Teutopolis alumnus Derek Thompson and Effingham alumnus Nick Gardewine, both members of the Spokane Indians in the Texas Rangers organization, earned some recognition over the past week.

    August 14, 2014

  • KnopVolleyball.jpg Comets coming off stellar season

    The Stew-Stras Comets finished in second-place at the state championship last season, a high-water mark for the program in recent years.
    Coach Ronda Schlechte lost five players who played quality minutes from last year’s team, but she said she has a lot of freshmen that have the ability to help the team.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

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