Brock Mammoser needs a vacation.
He, like his siblings in the past, is feeling a bit like a full-time employee of Newton athletics nowadays and is looking for a week on the calendar to take some time off.
The sophomore turned junior is working overtime this summer preparing to take on the four-sport workload he had during this last school year.
He was the varsity football team's starting quarterback in the fall, then the youngest starter on a senior-laden varsity basketball squad. This spring, he balanced his time between the varsity baseball and track teams, competing as a pole vaulter in the state finals.
Mammoser plays for the Newton Post 20 legion baseball team and works out with the football team in the mornings. He sprinkled in a couple closed-door pick-up games in Dieterich on Friday morning.
“The last two days, I've had a total free time of 45 minutes between everything,” Mammoser said. “Sometimes I'd just like to have a week off to, like, have a summer.”
The light scrimmages between abbreviated versions of the Newton, Dieterich and Freeburg basketball teams on Tuesday weren't short on competitive edge.
The official referee paired light brown khaki shorts with the zebra stripes and Dieterich coaches Jeff Staser, Obie Farmer and recent graduate Tanner Traub each assisted him for one game apiece, but the players on the floor still dove after balls like it was a sectional championship.
Dieterich's Travis Niemerg even threw down a dunk.
“He was dunking last year, just never got one off in a game,” Traub said. “It seemed like he was a little too timid, but I think he's going to come back this year being even more aggressive.”
Movin' Maroons head coach Jeff Staser said Niemerg is normally reserved in his character and the way he goes about his business, but he thinks his junior forward is ready to come out of his shell.
Niemerg and senior forward Devin Aherin return as Dieterich's twin towers in the post and even though Staser wants to protect his assets, make-shift referee and assistant coach Obie Famer wasn't giving his big men any breaks on the floor against Newton.
“We're going to out-man and out-size a lot of teams this year and, as a result, we're going to take some lumps,” Staser said. “The big kids are going to take some elbows to the back and we're going to have to be ready for that.”
The Maroons graduated two seniors from last seasons sectional championship team, including Traub, who sat on the bench next to his head coach during their first scrimmage. He helped referee the third game, which involved his former teammates against Freeburg.
He took a few joking hints before the game about making “the right call,” complementing the overall relaxed nature of the scrimmages.
The games involved two 20-minute halves on a running clock and relatively free-flowing substitution rules. In the second half of the first game, Staser wanted to stop to make a substitution.
The official said, “Just do it now,” and a couple Maroons exchanged spots in the middle of traffic — swift like a hockey line change.
It was hard for Staser to grasp that he couldn't put Traub, the team's veteran leader last season, in the game when he wanted to. Senior guard Alex Bohnhoff played a lot of minutes as a result.
“He's sitting beside me and I'm saying, 'We need to run this play. Get in there,' but we can't do that,” Staser said, adding a joke. “We're going to petition to see if we can get one more year of eligibility for him.”
The core of last season's team was on the court for the Maroons, but not so much for Newton, which graduated seven seniors. Mammoser is the only returning starter.
“It's all new,” Newton head coach Doug Mammoser said. “We have one guy (Mammoser) that really got experience. It's a matter of working around him.”
Brock Mammoser will no longer be a complementary player, spotting up beyond the 3-point line waiting for someone to pass him the ball. Instead, he'll look to be a creator this season.
It's a big job promotion.
Then again, he's been doing this a while.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Brock Mammoser needs a vacation.
Czachorski: Extra innings intrigue unmatched
Obscenely long baseball games are my kryptonite. Once I get sucked in, it’s impossible for me to stop watching until it’s over. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Astros or the Mariners — if it’s on TV and it’s going into the twelfth inning or later, you can bet I’m finding a way to tune in.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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