1) FEAR the Stripes
Princeton Tiger soccer was again in an enormous means in 2019.
Fueled by coach Ryan Pearson’s FEAR (Face Every little thing And Rise) decree, the Tigers gained back-to-back convention championships for the primary time, repeating as Three Rivers Convention Mississippi champions. It was Princeton’s eighth convention championship at school historical past.
Princeton powered its means by way of the 3A playoffs, reaching the state semifinals for the primary time in 17 years, and simply the third time in program historical past.
Poplar Grove North Boone proved no match for the Tigers within the 3A opener, falling 61-26 at Bryant Discipline.
Subsequent got here a visit to rival Spring Valley Corridor, the place the Tigers prevailed 16-Zero.
The Tigers took down Paxton-Buckley-Loda 38-12 within the quarterfinals at Bryant Discipline.
Princeton earned a rematch towards Byron, who knocked the Tigers out 7-Three in a defensive within the battle of the 2 Tigers.
Junior Ronde Worrels turned the varsity’s all-time main rusher, named First Staff All-State. He shared BCR Participant of the Yr honors with teammates Wyatt Davis, Tyler Gibson and Grant Foes.
2) Tremendous season for Storm
The Bureau Valley boys basketball workforce introduced again “tremendous” emotions to the Storm neighborhood by profitable their first sectional championship in 17 years and superior to the Elite Eight, falling only one step away from making it again to state for the primary time since 2002.
The Storm (21-11) beat two TRAC rivals on the street to the DeKalb Tremendous-Sectional. They beat Corridor 63-60 for the Princeton regional championship and Newman for the 56-49 Riverdale sectional championship.
Whereas Bureau Valley weathered numerous postseason storms, trailing 11-2 and 16-5 to Corridor, and falling behind 12-Zero and 15-2 to Orion within the sectional semifinals and 18-10 to Sterling Newman within the sectional finals, that they had not seen such a fury fairly just like the Chicago Corliss Trojans.
Corliss scored the primary 17 factors of the tremendous sectional and led by as a lot as 25 factors (40-15) within the third quarter on the best way to a 60-45 conquer the Storm at Northern Illinois College.
Tears flowed freely within the Storm locker room as the conclusion of the season-ending loss sank in.
“Coach J (Craig Johnson) instructed us, don’t cry as a result of it was over, smile as a result of it occurred,” BV senior Kale Barnett stated.
“I do know wanting on the groups that went far earlier than us, like my cousin Parker (Neuhalfen, regional champs 2015), I hope children look as much as us like that. I hope our run evokes the youthful Bureau Valley children to work arduous and achieve success as effectively,” Barnett stated.
“I believed this group put extra work into being good basketball gamers than any I’ve ever coached,” Bureau Valley coach Jason Marquis stated. “I haven’t been round a bunch of youngsters which have labored as arduous as them. I’m grateful for these boys that we received to expertise this.
“I instructed them, the farther you go, the extra it hurts. In all probability the extra you get pleasure from it and the extra it means too, and the extra it in all probability stings, too.”
Three) State champs x 2
4 Pink Devils, two state championships.
The Corridor Pink Satan relays raced their means into the document books and college historical past, profitable not one, however two state championships from the IHSA 1A State Monitor & Discipline meet in Charleston.
The Pink Devils gained each the 4×100 and 4×200 relays on the legs of seniors Steven Brust, Devin Soldati and Anthony Buchanan and junior anchor Marshall Stroll.
They’re the primary two relays to win state titles at school historical past, marking Corridor’s finest exhibiting (seventh place, 21 factors) at state in 20 years.
“The sensation of profitable state was one thing that can’t be matched. Having the ability to take two titles away that weekend was one thing that we’ll all the time keep in mind,” stated Stroll, who additionally medaled with a ninth-place end within the 100 (11.17).
“The sensation doesn’t get any higher than this. I couldn’t think about a greater solution to cap off my profession at Corridor,” Soldati stated. “After deciding to modify to trace this 12 months (from baseball), my aim was to carry residence from Charleston, however I by no means imagined profitable not just one, however two relays.”
Stroll additionally led the Pink Devils in capturing their very own Rollie Morris Invite title in 20 years. He took half in 4 first-place finishes and three meet data, together with the 20-year-old meet document set by Corridor legend D.J. Glynn within the 100 meters, because the Pink Devils edged Streator 120-116 for first place.
Four) Woman Bruins softball third at state
The St. Bede Woman Bruins returned to the state softball finals for the second time in six years, and made their finest exhibiting.
The Woman Bruins edged Hardin Calhoun 2-Zero to seize third place regardless of not having a single hit off pitcher Sidney Baalman, who struck out 17. They scored the one two runs of the sport on a fielder’s selection and an error.
When requested whether or not he would have ever thought the Woman Bruins might win a sport at state with out getting a single hit, SBA coach Rob Ruppert stated with amusing, “I’d have instructed you, you had been a idiot.
“That’s received to be an anomaly that doesn’t occur fairly often,” he added. “You get no-hit and win a sport. We executed once we wanted to and received the runs.”
St. Bede senior ace Abbie Might pitched a six-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
The Woman Bruins repeated as sectional champions, defeating Marquette 7-1.
They blanked Villa Grove 5-Zero to seize the tremendous sectional at Bloomington.
5) Howard fired at PHS
Kevin Howard returned to educate at Princeton Excessive Faculty, his alma mater, a former Tiger standout and grandson of a former Tiger coach, stuffed with ardour for this system and college to launch his personal teaching profession.
Howard’s dream job lasted only one season, then he was let go in a extremely controversial dismissal by an unanimous (Four-Zero) vote by the PHS Faculty Board.
Two of Howard’s supporters, Matt Mestan, a teammate of Howard’s at PHS, and Doug Robbins, whose son, Beck, performed on this 12 months’s workforce, spoke individually to the varsity board throughout a closed session on Howard’s behalf. Every was allowed 5 minutes.
PHS athletic director Jeff Ohlson wouldn’t communicate as to why the administration reached its resolution, as a result of it was a personnel resolution, he stated. He did provide that, “Princeton Excessive Faculty wished coach Howard to achieve the worst means. Nevertheless, circumstances didn’t enable for that, and we have to go in a special path. This (firing a coach) shouldn’t be one thing we love to do.”
Howard, who stated he had been micromanaged all through the season in some ways, was very upset with the choice.
“I took this job to alter folks’s lives for the higher and to positively affect children in a means that nobody else has carried out earlier than. I’ve an unbelievable quantity of ardour and love for basketball, the youngsters, the coaches, this highschool and this neighborhood,” he stated in a press release.
“I consider we made a distinction within the children’ lives and that this system is in higher standing than it was a 12 months in the past.”
Howard and Mestan later challenged that the varsity board’s procedures weren’t performed correctly, a notion that the Illinois Legal professional Basic’s workplace agreed with.
6) Tiger wrestlers double up at state
Princeton had two state wrestling medalists for the primary time since 2003. Chase Tatum positioned third for the second straight 12 months at 220 kilos, whereas classmate Dallas Hill gained his first state medal, putting fifth at 195.
“The 2 medals are thrilling for this system,” PHS coach Steve Amy stated. “These guys have come up by way of this system beginning in TTT (Tiger City Tanglers), and that exhibits what can occur should you keep on with this system and proceed to work for a selected aim. Getting to look at these younger males develop up has actually been a particular expertise.”
Tatum (43-5), who repeated as BCR Wrestler of the Yr, was the primary PHS wrestler to win the Princeton Invitational in 11 years.
Hill (26-7) positioned second on the PIT.
7) Oh child, Corridor wins fourth straight regional
Nobody might blame Corridor coach Brian Holman for being distracted as his Woman Devils took the ground towards rival St. Bede for the 2A regional basketball championship at Corridor Excessive Faculty.
His spouse, Abby, was within the hospital able to ship their second baby. He saved his deal with the sport, guiding the Woman Devils to their fourth straight regional title, defeating the rival Woman Bruins 34-29.
“Each one’s powerful. Each one’s just a bit bit totally different,” Holman stated of the Woman Devils’ 4 regional championships.
Holman joked that the child knew dad had an enormous sport and waited until Friday to make her entry into the world.
Sophomore guard Jaclyn Cinotte made all eight of her free throw makes an attempt within the fourth quarter, going Four-Four within the last 22.Four seconds to raise the Woman Devils to victory.
“Hey, no matter it takes,” stated Cinotte, who scored a game-high 18 factors, going 12-14 from the free-throw line. “Yeah, I prefer it, I assume. There’s stress, however you simply need to focus and lock in and it’ll work.”
“Jaci stepped up and hit me massive free throws. She’s our greatest free-throw shooter. She’s a sophomore. That takes quite a bit to do this,” Holman stated.
The Woman Devils would defeat Rock Island Alleman 38-32 within the sectional semifinals at Oregon, however fall to Winnebago 50-29 within the sectional finals.
Holman later resigned as Corridor women basketball and softball coach to take a instructing and training place at Seneca, his alma mater.
eight) PHS softball wins first regional championship
The Princeton Excessive Faculty softball program had by no means gained a championship of any type in its first 26 seasons. The Tigresses made faculty historical past by defeating Erie-Prophetstown Four-Three to seize the Alleman 2A softball regional championship, the primary for the PHS program that began in 1992.
“Princeton’s been ready for that for a very long time,” first-year PHS head coach Joe Bates stated. “For so long as we’ve had softball, we’ve been unable to get by way of the regional, and as we speak we did it. I’m very happy with my women.”
“Truthfully, no, however I’m actually glad we did,” PHS senior Katie Bauer stated, when requested if she ever thought she’d be on a regional champion workforce. “I used to be actually excited, as a result of clearly we haven’t had previous, so it feels actually good to win.”
“After I’m going to be wanting again at that board (at Prouty Gymnasium), it’s going to be good understanding we had been a part of that.”
The Tigresses would fall to Sterling Newman 5-Three within the sectional semifinals at Orion.
9) BV women win fifth straight TRAC title
Bureau Valley used its workforce depth to seize its fifth straight Three Rivers women monitor and discipline championship.
Racking up 113 factors, Bureau Valley topped meet host Sherrard (99) for its fifth consecutive convention championship.
“We all the time discuss our senior group profitable convention yearly whereas they’re at school,” BV coach Dale Donner stated. “We actually emphasised that when final 12 months’s seniors gained their fourth straight. This 12 months’s seniors fed off of that.”
Sophomore Kamryn Kolb overcame a sore knee to leap 16 toes, 9 inches to win the lengthy soar title, then anchored the Storm’s 4×100 relay to gold in 51.64 seconds, teaming with Marissa Endress, Carly Konneck and Madison Morrow. Kolb additionally took third within the 100-meter sprint.
The factors produced by Kolb, along with Saige Barnett’s runner-up finishes within the shot put and discus, and comparable efforts from Konneck within the lengthy soar and Endress within the 200-meter sprint, gave BV the sting it wanted to maintain its TRAC title streak going sturdy.
“We’ve got three objectives,” Donner stated. “We wish to win convention, have a sectional that places us ready to carry out at state, after which exit and do one thing at state. We missed a trophy by one level final 12 months, and that’s caught with our juniors and seniors.”
10) Barnett turns into BV’s all-time scorer
Bureau Valley senior Saige Barnett, who handed the 1,000-point mark for her highschool profession early within the season, reached one other milestone by turning into BV’s all-time scoring chief on Jan. 7 on the Storm Cellar when the Storm defeated LaMoille-Ohio 42-29.
Barnett performed solely the primary quarter of the sport, however the 9 factors she scored was sufficient to hit the mark of 1,285, surpassing Bethany Ellis, who held the document for the reason that formation of the Bureau Valley district.
“I’m excited,” Barnett stated. “We’ve been taking part in fairly good these days, and that is simply icing on the cake going into the second half of the season. Now I don’t have to fret about it and I can simply go play, see what occurs from right here.”
Barnett, who completed her profession with 1,426 factors, can be named the BCR Participant of the Yr in addition to Feminine Athlete of the Yr. Her twin, Kale, additionally obtained each honors, for the boys.