January 22, 2018

Be a referee, be a role model for the next generation

Executive Director Bob Gardner, NFHS

Bob Gardner
National Federation of State High School Associations


They don’t make the headlines, their names are not in the box scores and they don’t make the all-star teams, but perhaps the most important individuals in high school sports are the contest officials.

These individuals are so important that, in fact, there would be no organized competitive sports at the high school level without the men and women who officiate these contests every day across the country. Subtract the dedicated men and women who officiate high school sports and competitive sports would no longer be organized; they would be chaotic. In some areas, high school officials are retiring faster than new licenses are being issued. And junior varsity, freshmen and middle school games are being postponed – or even cancelled – because there are not enough men and women to officiate them.

Anyone looking for a unique way to contribute to the local community should consider becoming a licensed high school official. For individuals who played sports in high school, officiating is a great way to stay close to the sport after their playing days have ended. Officiating helps people stay in shape, expands their social and professional network and offers part-time work that is flexible, yet pays. In fact, officiating is a form of community service, but with compensation.

Another benefit of officiating is that individuals become role models so that teenagers in the community can learn the life lessons that high school sports teach. Students learn to respect their opponents and the rules of the game and the importance of practicing good sportsmanship thanks, in part, to those men and women who officiate. And the objectivity and integrity that high school officials display is an example that every young person needs to observe firsthand.

In short, communities around the country will be stronger because of the life lessons that high school officials help teach the next generation. Officiating is a great way to stay connected to sports and to give back to the local high school and community. We need dedicated men and women to become involved so that high school sports an continue to prosper for years to come.

Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a high school official, and even begin the application process, can do so at www.HighSchoolOfficials.com.


Bob Gardner
Executive Director
National Federation of State High School Associations

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


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President Trump must lead the way to change


by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

President Trump and Congress must end the pharmaceutical robbing of America. Every day Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Roche, Novartis, Merck, Sanofi and others are driving America's indebtedness toward another trillion dollars in drug money debt.

Americans obviously need drugs. I'm talking about the legal kind. These are the medicines, pills, injections, drips and liquids dispensed to you at your local drug store such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and your small town independent pharmacist. Of course there are the mega number of drugs that you may receive if admitted to the hospital. Those are never reasonable.

President George W. Bush trying everything under the sun to be reelected in 2003 set up a deal with Congress to enact Medicare part D that covers the cost of prescriptions - Medicare Modernization Act. The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for such medicines. Why would the government actually pass a law saying that you can't negotiate drug prices? Simple answer - The drug company lobbyists have funneled about 2 billion dollars into the nation's capital since the beginning of 2003. In just 2015 and 2016 alone drug companies spent the equivalent of over $500,000 per member of congress. Congressmen and Congresswomen care most about being reelected.

A paper released by Harvard Medical School researchers cited the size of Medicare part D program and its lack of government negotiating clout as among the reasons why Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. A co-author of that paper, Ameet Sarpatwari, estimates that Part D accounts for nearly 30 percent of the nation's spending on prescription drugs.

Unbelievable as well, Part D pays far more for drugs than do Medicaid or the Veterans Health Administration. Both of these mandate government measures to hold down prices. Reports cite Medicare Part D pays between 70 - 80 percent more than Medicaid and VHA. Why has this continued? Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who recently retired, received over $1,303.157 between 2003 and 2016 to his election committee and leadership PAC. Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah has received over $1,182.560. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, $995,350. Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, $834,508 and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey $731,078. This is only a few of them who have rolled in the drug cash.

Sixty-five year old Americans and up can elect to have D which is a no brainer if you need prescriptions which most senior Americans need. The average cost of Medicare D prescription drug coverage in 2016 was $41.46 per month. To senior adults on fixed incomes any additional expense is an expense. However, the cost of Medicare D is cheap in comparison to what a trip to the drug store can cost. A hospital stay requiring an expensive treatment can push a medical bill up by thousands. In this day and time it only takes a couple of nights in the hospital to rack up a $25,000 hospital bill or much more.

Here is the problem, Medicare D allows the Pharmaceutical companies to submit whatever bill they want to Medicare and Medicare is obligated to pay for it. Anything. Any cost. There is no Board of Supervisors negotiating the cost of the medicine that Medicare pays for. Do you think your $41.46 per month (your cost is probably more now) is actually covering the cost of all of your prescriptions? No it is not, the American taxpayers are being stuck with the bill. Billions and Billions of more debt is being heaped on the American people to cover the real cost of Medicare part D. From 2003 to 2012 part D added $318 billion dollars to the national debt. A report in the 2013 Medicare Trustees reports projects Medicare Part D will add $852 billion to our debt over the next ten years pushing it over one trillion dollars.

Conservatives Senator Orin Hatch of Utah, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania all voted for this. John Boehner of Ohio, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin voted for Medicare Part D or the Medicare Modernization Act.

While most Americans on Part D greatly appreciate that our government is eating most of the bill. Americans will be asked to pay more eventually. Our leadership (?) has to fix the problem. Sadly our leadership is being bought so don't expect them to fix it as long as the cash is pouring into their pockets.

President George W. Bush did achieve his goal through the Medical Modernization Act. According to exit polls he increased his share of the over 65 vote to 52 percent in 2004.

President Trump has a lot to do, but he must lead the way to change how we are doing business with the drug companies and Medicare D.

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Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.
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This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


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August 30, 2017

Why do old people get cranky


by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

I hear you already. All old people aren't cranky.

I have a friend who is 96 years old and is the delight of all who know her. She is independent. She works in her garden every summer. She drives herself to church and the grocery store. She exercises a couple of times a day. She lives in a very small, humble house but it's her place and she takes care of her home.

Too often my wife and I are out and "hear" crotchety old people. Often they are battering the waitress about the service or the food. Often we get out of their way at the grocery store in fear of being maimed for life by a grocery cart. When visiting in Florida, we look both ways when crossing the road more than once because on several occasions we've almost been run over by a senior.

Let me move quickly here and say most of my friends are senior adults. I guess I have become one chronologically speaking, but mentally I don't want to really embrace reality.

However the other day at McDonald's I was expecting to get the senior adult coffee rate and the cute young lady at the register said, "I'm sorry sir but you don't look like a senior."

I paused a moment and almost smiling replied, "Uh, well, just how old am I," I asked.

"I guess about 42," she said. I handed her the full $1.06 gladly for the coffee. "Well sir, am I right?" I replied, "Honey, you are good. You nailed it," I said as I happily walked back out to my car to tell my wife about my pleasant coffee buying experience.

Oh, and by the way, my wife just shook her head when I relayed the conversation to her.

I don't know for sure why some old people get cranky but I can just imagine.

Lots of things change. Hearing changes, eyesight changes, hair grows in weird places, the body is simply no longer 18. For some reason Alice Cooper's song, "I'm 18 and I don't know What I Want," just does not relate any longer. Cooper should come out with a new song, "I'm a senior adult and I don't know what I want." Now, that would be another platinum record for Cooper because many seniors are still a lot like they used to be growing up - trying to figure it all out.

Seniors face reality that their longevity is running out. Often, money is tight because many haven't saved much if any money for their golden years and Social Security isn't enough to cover the modest of living standards in a country with rising health care costs. The aches and pains are often only calmed by prescriptions and retirement quickly becomes something they had not envisioned decades earlier.

Adult children factor into senior's attitudes as well. Adult kids who still need the financial help of their old parents are a drag for everybody. Or, the adult children who simply still use mom and dad for merely babysitting or solving life's crises take a bit of the spark out of the senior years as well.

Now let's go back to my 96 year old friend.

Recently her family invited her to go on a vacation with them for a couple of weeks. They said, "Mom, we are going to rent a condo for vacation and we want you to go with us on vacation and cook for us."

She smiled. She thanked them but said, "I don't want to do that."

There, in that one sentence could be the secret to happy senior adult living - longevity with the independence to still make choices.

Good luck!

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Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.
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This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


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Rapid Rundown: Uni wins shootout, Colvin huge in first half effort

Uni-High Sweeps Annual Shootout
August 26 - The Illineks tallied three victories in their annual soccer shootout on Saturday. Uni battled past Blue Ridge 2-0 in the opening match of the day. Later in the mid-day contest against Fisher, the University Lab School soccer team ground out a win in a 3-1 finish.

Uni-High's Paul D'Angelo fires a shot on the Oakwood goal past Comet defender Caleb Lashuay during the final game of the University High Boys Soccer Shootout. See more photos from Saturday's match on the PhotoNews Instagram feed. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


In the shootout finale with two wins under their belt, Uni cruised to a 6-0 win over Oakwood/Salt Fork Coop. Paul D'Angelo scored the opening goal of the match with an assist from fellow Illinek senior Albert Lee. The pair found the net again reversing roles with Lee putting the ball between the post on a feed from D'Angelo.

Rahi Miraftab-Salo slalomed and slashed his way through the Comet defensive effort to then give a Uni a 4-0 lead going into the half with assist from Isandro Malik and later his brother Omeed Miraftab-Salo.

The scoring effort continued with Omeed crashing the box on a tap from Lee. Junior Alex Higgs closed out the Illinek scoring effort with goal on a pass from Will Hechler.


Colvin gallops through STM defense for a big night
August 25 - St. Joseph-Ogden rolled to a 54-7 win over St. Thomas More in their season and new conference opener on Friday night. Dwight Colvin, who collected 103 yards on his first three touches, ran for 312 yards in the first half and retired to life of leisure on the sidelines the remainder of the game. The junior found the end zone four times on runs of 7, 4, 67 and 18 yards.

Not to be outdone, Adam Frerichs, like Colvin a junior, scored three times on just five calls finding the end zone on two 7-yard dives and 9-yard scamper. Senior Jason Bowman (3 carries, 10 yards) chipped in a TD from four yards out.

In a five-way tie for first after the opening week, the Spartans travel to Rantoul for the Week 2 conference game against Rantoul.


Unity's Migut Put Up Impressive Numbers
West Point commit Steven Migut made sure his Unity team made a huge splash in their debut game in the Illini Prairie Conference on Friday. The senior led the Unity Rocket football team to a season opening 41-8 drubbing on the Grey Ghost from Illinois Valley Central.

Migut, who had a hand in all six Unity TDs, rushed for 92 yards on 10 carries scoring on two of them. He completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 235 yards connecting with Jake Reno (5 catches, 92 yards) and Cale Shonkwiler (4 catches, 90 yards) for two scores.

The Rockets will host Pontiac on Friday at Hicks Field to continue their pursuit of the first IPC football title.


Unity Blasts Georgetown
August 29 - Kenny Mantell scored three first half goals to lift the Unity soccer team over Georgetown-Ridge Farm, but it was a balanced scoring effort in the period that sealed the W for Rockets. Evan Bachert put two shots between the posts and was instrumental in two other scores in the 8-0 win over the Buffaloes.

Unity also benefited from solo offensive strikes from Woolcott (Mantell assist) and Micah Freeman (Alex Stahl) in the first half and Andrew Cook put the ball away on a feed from Bachert in the final half of the shutout.

Keeper Nate Reitmeier performed just four saves thanks to the Rockets' ability to control the ball.


Uni Knocks Fisher Off
August 29 - Uni-High's Kristin Wang tallied 5 blocks in her team's 2-1 volleyball win over Fisher. After dropping the first game to the Bunnies, 21-25, the Illineks recovered and came back swinging to finish off the match with two wins, 25-10 and 25-22. Maya Greer lead the team with 5 kills while Kathryn Dullerud posted 12 assists on Tuesday.


St. Joseph-Ogden 2, Cissna Park 0
August 29 - Abbi Burnett and Emory Erickson delivered six kills each in SJO's first home volleyball game of the season. Bree Trimble added five more and Hannah Lewis chipped four in the Spartans' 25-21, 25-20 win. Last year's Class 2A runner-up improved to 3-0 on the season.




*** Coaches submit your match or game scores and results via email to editor@iphotonews.com.

August 25, 2017

Illini say happy trails to war chant

The drum cadence used football games and other sports during critical game situations has been officially retired at University of Illinois athletic events. Kent Brown, Associate Director of Athletics for Media Relations, told radio station WDWS "It been brought up by each administration, at least the last three if not further back than that, concerns about the War Chant at our events."



According to news reports and several posts on Facebook,a representative of the athletic department asked to stop playing the Native-American inspired drumming at Thursday evening's women's home soccer game against Washington University. The Illini fell 2-1 to the visiting Huskies.

The move has many loyal Illini fans ready to hit the warpath. Many of the responses and reactions in the comment section of a post on the story published by The News-Gazette feared that Three-In-One, the traditional halftime show music, may also be on the chopping block.

Brink Grismer wrote in one of the post, "I will STOP my financial support of Illinois athletics as of today." Dave Holzner shared the same sentiment writing, "Stop attending games, I know I won't be spending any more money on U of I athletics, make a stand."

Brown said the move was made to make Illinois sporting events more inclusive however the new video board did a much better job at getting fans on their feet and making noise during games when the Illini needed the boost from their fans. Prior to yesterday's announcement the sports department had been diminishing the use of the War Chant for its eventual retirement.

Despite the University distancing athletics use of Native American imagery, which students and faculty for the last two decades fought rid from campus, Brenda Ponton-Spaulding wrote: "I'm part Native American and I am in NO way offended by any of this STUPID BS! I'm honored that the school had picked my heritage to use as their mascot!"

Today, we live in an amazing time in American history where the freedom to interpret and display cultural values is taboo. Words like cultural appropriation, racism, and stereotypical cliches roll off the tongues of academics, the well-educated and liberal left like noodling, NASCAR and Natty Light of those who see their grasp over traditions viewed as cultural appreciation slip away.

If diehard Illinois fans truly appreciated Indian culture and the education they earned on campus, you would think they would put equal if not more effort (and monetary contribution) in building a world class Native American Studies program at the University of Illinois. The pride of these proud Illini extends about 10 to 15 yards outside the doors of Memorial Stadium and the State Farm Center, and nowhere close to the American Indian Studies Program or their staff of 12.

It probably doesn't seem the least bit awkward that the University does not offer an undergraduate degree in Indian or Native American studies yet has fans and alumni who are still seething about the loss of a halftime display that bears no resemblance to a traditional dance from any First Nation tribe; attracted to feathered headdresses; and athletic wear embolden with various illustrations central to the culture only a handful of people can minor in on campus.

It is 2017 and not one of the many indigenous languages of the America is taught at the University or in any Illinois high school. With a nickname like Illini, you would think the University would require every freshman to take just one discovery or pass/fail course on Native American culture and history.

While it was sad to see Chief Illiniwek retired years, the direction the University of Illinois is one of least resistance and sensible as we become a more modern, civilized society in the poorest state in the country. The cost of building a strong Indian studies program, as well as offering scholarships to bring bright, talented Native American high school students to campus and increasing the number of students whose ancestors once owned the land would be too high. Although, that could easily be rectified with a statewide sugary drink tax.

As for the War Chant, why let it die? The athletic department should simply rebrand it as Irish Battle Drums or Roman War Chant. After all, we do live in a wonderfully inclusive world.