In the aftermath of a tough, 2-0 season-ending defeat to Belleville, Effingham American Legion Post 120 coach Brian Hayes offered up his philosophy on how he coached the team.It wasn't about his in-game adjustments, motivational tactics or how he filled out a lineup card. "I like them to set their own limits," Hayes said. "I like to just let the kids play. I try to tell them that all I can control is their attitude and effort, wins and losses will take care of themselves."A refreshing take to coaching, no doubt, and one that once again turned out to be quite successful. Under the guidance of Hayes and assistant coach Andy McDonald, Post 120 advanced to the third day of the Fifth Division tournament at Fairview Heights after winning its third straight District 23 championship one week prior. Rather than scream or yell, Hayes is consistently quiet and laid-back in the dugout."I'm the last person you hear usually," Hayes said. "They adapt well to that. We have a lot of kids that I think have improved."Battling summer camps and family vacations early in the season, Post 120 really came on late in the year, as evidenced by the postseason run. Six batters hit above .300 once the regular season came to a close, led by Carter Hayes' .444 average. Drew Levitt hit .375 and the led the team with eight runs scored, while Nate McDonald batted .348 and tied with Hayes for a team-high six RBIs in the playoffs. Levitt and Alec Quandt led the team in postseason doubles with four apiece.On the mound, Quandt and Devin Mayfield guided the squad to a 5-2 playoff record, 4-0 in District 23 action. "I just want them to be better players at the end of the year than they were at the beginning," Brian Hayes said. That was the real focus of the Post 120 season, not the number of wins the team managed to attain. In fact, Hayes wasn't even aware of his team's final record."I don't keep track," he said. "I honestly don't know, it's just attitude and effort."The selfless approach at Post 120 goes all the way up, as supporters Bill Copple, Milt Ellifson and Lou Buennemeyer have helped erase the cost of players having to pay for their spot on the team. "That speaks a lot to what they do and their dedication for the program," Hayes said.Post 120 has built a summer team, and program, the right way. With a number of talented players coming back, and Hayes' patient approach to developing talent, Post 120 should again be a solid squad when the summer of 2014 rolls around.
Teutopolis advances to 4th straight Super-Sectional
Teutopolis couldn't have started each of the first three quarters any better.
The Wooden Shoes Shoes took an 11-0 lead in the first five minutes of the first quarter and started the second and third quarters on 7-0 and 9-0 runs, respectively.
Their third-quarter outburst gave them the 17-point lead that was too much for Greenville to come back from. The Shoes won 64-53 to advance to Tuesday's Class 2A Carbondale Super-Sectional at Southern Illinois University. It's Teutopolis' fourth-straight trip to the Super-Sectional round.
Maroons make history
With just more than 12 minutes left, Dieterich's offense was scuffling and the Movin' Maroons trailed St. Anthony by 11, 34-23.
Then Alex Bohnhoff kick started the Maroons' offense with a pair of 3-pointers, and Dieterich completed a big comeback to down their NTC rivals 58-51 and win its first-ever sectional title
Zerrusen reflects on 1K milestone, career
Josie Zerrusen used to be a handful for her Effingham coaches, but turned into a headache for opponents by the end her senior season.
Zerrusen, the only one of four Hearts seniors to reach 1,000 points in her career this season, was preoccupied with scoring points as a sophomore on a 20-10 team in 2012.
But the Hearts improved as Zerrusen matured, recording 54 wins in the last two seasons, including a school-record 28 this season and a regional championship. Zerrusen grew up by changing her attitude and refusing to take summers off.
All-NTC showdown set at sectionals
At least one area team will play Monday at Southern Illinois University for Super-Sectionals. Teutopolis is looking to make it two.
Tonight will mark the end of the road for either St. Anthony (22-10) or Dieterich (22-8), as the NTC rivals clash for the Class 1A Red Hill Sectional championship. A win would be Dieterich’s first-ever sectional crown, and it would be the first for St. Anthony since 2001.
Teutopolis (20-9) is looking to advance to the Super-Sectional round for the fourth-straight season and is playing for a sectional title for the fifth-straight year. The Wooden Shoes take on Greenville for the Class 2A Vandalia Sectional title.
Olney ends Effingham's season
Effingham battled offensive woes in waves this season and found ways to win almost 80 percent of the time, but not on Wednesday.
Olney, one of the Hearts' 20 victims this year, ended Effingham's season with a 35-32 win in the Salem Regional, surviving a poor shooting night as well.
Dieterich advances in convincing fashion
The Dieterich Movin' Maroons used a January loss to Patoka to motivate themselves Wednesday night at the Class 1A Red Hill Sectional.
It was more successful than they ever could have hoped for, as Dieterich stomped the Patoka Warriors 61-39 and advanced to Friday's sectional final against St. Anthony.
St. Anthony edges Oblong 72-69
BRIDGEPORT — A rare miss by Oblong’s Koert Mehler made the most noise.
Mehler heaved a 75-foot, full-court shot that barely rimmed out to send the game to overtime; instead, St. Anthony (22-10) survived 72-69 to advance to Friday’s Class 1A Red Hill Sectional championship.
Mette leads Wooden Shoes past Breese Central
Breese Central simply has to be getting sick of the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes.
Teutopolis moved to 4-1 in its last five games against Breese Central, and knocked out the Cougars at sectionals for the second straight year with a 63-40 win Tuesday night at the Class 2A Vandalia Sectional. If that wasn’t enough, the Lady Shoes ended Breese Central’s season in girls basketball last week as well.
Neoga's Romack heading to Lincoln Land
Neoga coach Ted Kerner praised his ace pitcher Tyler Romack's ability to read players and quickly learn their tendencies on the mound.
St. Anthony's Walsh commits to be a Cobra
Makayla Walsh made it official Friday afternoon, as the St. Anthony Bulldogs' shortstop signed to play softball at Parkland College next season.
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