Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


June 13, 2014

McNamee: Girls ruled this year

EFFINGHAM — Four area teams vied for state semifinal berths on Super Monday last week and only two advanced.

The ones stranded at super-sectionals, Teutopolis and Windsor/Stew-Stras baseball, had odds stacked against them long before they took their respective Frontier League fields.

Why? Because this school year was defined by, cheesy as the phrase is, girl power.

We had nine teams hang sectional championship plaques on a wall somewhere in their schools this year, figuring in only the main team sports — football, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball. Four of those teams needed an open space on their trophy shelves, too.

Altamont and Teutopolis softball, Teutopolis girls basketball and Stew-Stras volleyball added a super-sectional wall decoration and state trophy to their collections, as four of the five sectional girls champions continued onto the biggest stage at State.

The boys went 0-for-4.

The Altamont softball team finished the season on the highest pedestal, winning the Class 1A state championship, while the Lady Shoes finished second, in Class 2A, on a field nearby.

The Stew-Stras volleyball team finished second in Class 1A.

The T-Town girls basketball squad placed third in Class 2A.

All four are adding a green sign underneath the one that tells you what town you’re driving into and how many people are living in it.

Altamont’s is being made.

I drove past the one in Strasburg every time I went to cover a baseball or softball game in Windsor this season. Teutopolis is getting a couple.

These four outstanding teams share an important, proud fact in that they each won at least one game after winning their super-sectional.

It’s not easy.

I saw a solid New Athens volleyball team go 0-for-2 in November at the Class 2A state finals, losing to Stew-Stras in the first game. I couldn’t believe the tough luck Moweaqua Central A&M suffered from in March at the Class 1A girls basketball final four, losing two games by a combined seven points.

We saw it again last weekend. The Beecher softball team, a heavy favorite in Class 1A, lost first to T-Town and then to Monticello, leaving East Peoria without a victory.

The area players should be proud to be there, but everyone wants to win – even I wanted to win, as I streamed the IHSA semifinals on my laptop last weekend.

Unfortunately, the four boys teams to win sectional championships experienced the losing feeling, though all of them had great seasons. Dieterich was a big surprise in basketball, but a fun team to watch. T-Town’s basketball and baseball teams were impressive every game. And Windsor/Stew-Stras’ baseball team had an unbelievable lineup.

Outside of the team sports, a handful of track and field athletes had success. Neoga’s Corey Kersey and Stew-Stras’ Jason Fry won state titles. St. Anthony’s Anna Sophia Keller won titles in cross country and track.

The area sports scene was thriving with success stories and the biggest chapters belonged to the ladies.

Girls ruled this year.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.


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  • 7-29NewtonOrientmain.JPG Newton's season ends in 14-4 loss

     Newton Post 20 almost pulled another comeback off against the Orient Miners, cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 midway through Monday night’s game.
    But Newton’s Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament run came to an end, as Orient rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning and clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 14-4 win.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame2.JPG Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win

    Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
    Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
    By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame1.JPG Salem deals Newton first divisional loss

    Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
    Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0725.JPG Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
    After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers. 
    Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1. 

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • daughertyfootball.jpg Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7

    Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
    So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday

    With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
    Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem

    A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
    The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

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