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.
Flaming Hearts roll in Apollo opener
Effingham will play Charleston on Jan. 31 for a chance to beat the Trojans for a third time this season and if the game is anything similar to the previous two, the Flaming Hearts will have the season sweep.
The Hearts dominated the Trojans on Friday 65-29, beating Charleston for the second time in less than two weeks, during which Effingham accumulated 133 points in two games.
Barnes, Beecher City beat Cowden-Herrick
Cowden-Herrick and Beecher City don't meet often anymore across the span of a school year.
With co-ops in every sport but varsity volleyball and boys basketball, the rivals had one of their rare matchups Friday night for Beecher City's Homecoming.
Fittingly, the game was headlined by a former Hornet and current Eagle, as Brady Barnes had 23 points for Beecher City as they bested the Hornets 60-44.
T-Town's Zerrusen, Koester make HOF
Two star players from two of the last three Teutopolis boys basketball teams to make the IHSA final four, including the only championship team, are entering the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Maxey, SE/B down Cougars in OT
Allowing St. Elmo/Brownstown’s Levi Maxey to have the ball with the game on the line was the last thing South Central head coach Rick Simmons wanted on Tuesday, but the first thing he knew the Eagles would look to.
Indians race past Pirates
Eight minutes was enough for the Indians to get their legs beneath them, as they raced out to a definitive 71-35 victory over the Pirates to start their season.
Effingham moves to .500 with win over Robinson
Effingham had its first home match of the season Tuesday against the Robinson Maroons, and sent the fans home happy.
The Flaming Hearts won six of the eight contested contests and took the dual 48-27 on the night.
Altamont holds off Dieterich comeback
There was a sense of deja vu at Dieterich High School Monday night, with Dieterich and Altamont facing off for the second time in three days.
And while the game played out differently, that sense extended to the final. Altamont bested Dieterich 51-46 Saturday at the NTC Tournament, and beat the Lady Maroons by a nearly identical 52-46 score Monday.
Neoga's offensive outburst sinks Tri-County
Neoga rattled off 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, doubling its lead and putting Tri-County away for good in its 79-44 win on Monday.
Braves' trapping takes down Bulldogs
Mt. Zion used a 1-2-2 zone with super-aggressive trapping tendencies to great affect, besting St. Anthony 61-39.
Wohltman's big game leads Hearts to third place
Effingham got stronger as the game went on Saturday as the Flaming Hearts took third at the St. Anthony Turkey Tournament with a 59-49 win over Breese Central Saturday.
That strength came from the standout perfomance turned in by Matt Wohltman, who poured in 22 points on the evening against the Cougars.
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