December 29, 2016

New pics on Instagram

Late last night or early this morning, depending on your perspective, we added a couple of shots from this week's State Farm Classic. Here a look at some of the memorable photos from this week's coverage.

If you are not following us on Instagram, do it today to keep up on the latest highlighted photos from our image archive. Follow @photonewswire on Twitter, too.

See more game photos or pictures of a specific athlete by requesting an archive search today. Go here for details: Archive Search Request.

December 21, 2016

Brandon Trimble Awarded Tournament MVP

Brandon Trimble accepts MVP award at the Leader Classic
St. Joseph-Ogden's Brandon Trimble is all smiles as he accepts his tournament MVP award from tournament director Brady Smith after the Leader Classic title game on Wednesday, December 21, 2016. With an 84-71 victory over Olympia, St. Joseph-Ogden won the title for the fourth time in the past five installments of the annual high school holiday basketball tournament. Trimble scored a game-high 45 points in the contest. See more photos in the here in the Brandon Trimble basketball collection. (Photo by Clark Brooks)

December 11, 2016

Big Picture 2016 state cross country editon is out

Our commemorative 2016 state cross country edition is now available. Inside, you will find recaps from all six races, complete results and photos of more than 70 athletes who competed at this year's IHSA state cross country meet.

Below are sample pages from the 54 page edition. The issue is available in print and as an instant download. Follow this link to preview the entire edition here and order your copy today.

One of the best kept secrets about our special editions is you can order your copy of this Big Picture magazine with your favorite photo from inside on the cover. For small up-charge, we'll move things around a bit inside and put new a cover featuring you or a runner from your school to create a personalized copy for your scrapbook, coffee table or collection of memorabilia from this season's finale. Want to know if we can create a personalized copy for you or your team? Send us a quick message via our contact page.

May 24, 2016

It's Time To Position Yourself Today

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Good fishing requires positioning. Baiting your hook and dropping it in a place where there are fish is a start to successful fishing.

A salesman needs prospects and attitude. One shoe salesman was sent to Africa and called home crying, "Get me out of here! Nobody wears shoes!" Another salesman was sent and called back saying, "Send me every pair of shoes in the warehouse. I've never seen so many prospects!"

Selling requires having a product that people either need or very much want. People don't need candy but they want candy so they buy it. People don't really want to spend money on insurance but they need it. Sell what people want or need and you will sell.

Obtaining a certain job requires positioning. Becoming a schoolteacher requires college, teacher education, supervision and certification. You have to work hard and position yourself for potential opportunities.

A young man wants to be lucky in dating and maybe marriage. Yet, he may refuse to change his lifestyle. He doesn't want to hold down a job, refuses to lose twenty pounds and is rude and inconsiderate. Thus, he refuses to try to position himself for potential dating prospects.

Every facet of life requires positioning. Positioning yourself for stability, success, or a major change always requires lots of time, training, sacrifice and commitment. Nothing is guaranteed, but with positioning comes potential.

Retiring at 65 most likely requires sacrifice the 30 years prior. It doesn't always require 30 years. A friend of mine was flat broke at 50. He rented an old abandoned hamburger stand with an option to buy. He and his wife cleaned it up and worked it hard for sixteen years. They made the best food in town and averaged pocketing over $300,000 a year. They were able to retire. He knew at the age of 50 that he had to position himself if he had any chance of truly retiring.

Where do you want to be and what do you want five or ten years from now? Start positioning yourself today and in a few years it just might work. However, it never comes with a snap of the finger. A garden is produced from preparing the soil, planting, cultivating and tending to the field. In time, you will reap some kind of a harvest if you don't quit.

A lot of counties across America are hurting economically. People have left and nobody seems to be coming back to take over. The future of depressed areas begins today and it will probably take years to position these areas for economic stability. We all want it now, but we have to start today with hopes for tomorrow.

America needs to recuperate. We have debt to pay. We have an infrastructure to rebuild. There are millions of jobs that we must recapture and bring home. We have a military to strengthen and healthcare challenges. We can get to where we need to be. Getting there will take hard work and positioning ourselves to be where we need to be to accomplish what we want to do.

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, organization or this publication.

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.


April 27, 2016

U of I offers free class to high school students

The Global Reach Area Studies Program is offering a free 4 week class for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors this summer on the Urbana campus at the University of Illinois.  Feeding Africa: Systems Perspectives on Sub-Saharan Food Security will meet  two hours a day, three days a week giving students with an interest in agriculture, African studies and/or nutrition the opportunity to learn about the agricultural history and accomplishments in Ghana and South Africa. The class will also appeal to students who are considering a career in health care, international studies, science, engineering and media relations.

With the exception of a $42 in materials fee and transportation fees for a field trip, the class is offered at no charge to students who apply before the final deadline on May 2, 2016. Students who wish to receive college credit for the class can opt to do so by paying the course credit fee.

The class will meet from July 5 to July 28 and will conclude with students producing podcast, blogs social media campaigns that will be distributed as a final product.

Interested students and parents can find more information on the official website for the Center for African Studies as well as fill out the application online here.

April 20, 2016

They have a name, the Illini Prairie Conference

Beginning the fall of the 2017-2018 school year, almost 16 months from this week, the remaining teams from the Corn Belt Conference and five-team Okaw Valley Conference will merge and become the ten team Illini Prairie Conference.

The result of Bloomington Central Catholic, Olympia, Pontiac, Prairie Central and Illinois Valley Central from the Corn Belt, along with Champaign St. Thomas More, Monticello, Rantoul, St. Joseph-Ogden and Unity from the Okaw Valley will create what many have discussed as the formation of downstate Illinois' premier 3A-4A high school athletic conference.

Merger talks began after Normal University High announced it was leaving the Corn Belt in January to join the Central State Eight starting the 2017 season. Meanwhile, Eureka had already make plans to move to the Heart of Illinois and Mahomet-Seymour jumped the Corn Belt ship to join the Apollo. Maroa-Forsyth, the smallest school in the Okaw, decided shortly after St. Joseph-Ogden, Unity, Rantoul and St. Thomas More joined the conference to migrate to the Sangamo.

The initial concern voiced when the merger talks were announced was the issue of travel between SJO to IVC, which would be a little over two hours by bus between schools. However, athletic directors and coaches, who are enthusiastic about the new conference, plan to use Saturdays and neutral game sites as often as possible to minimize time on the road for student-athletes and fans.

April 16, 2016

Spartan baseball drops early season contest

Spartans' Austin Cain makes a catch playing in St. Joseph-Ogden's road game at Duffy Bass Field in Normal against Normal University High. SJO fell victim to the Pioneers 13-3 in their non-conference game on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

April 15, 2016

Illini's best baller moving to greener pastures

The University of Illinois women's basketball program suffered another body blow. Just after fellow Nebraskan Brooke Kissinger announced her transfer to Creighton, is now reporting that Matt Bollant's best player Chatrice White announced her intent to transfer earlier today. White earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this past season.

Illinois will return only five players from their 2015-16 roster that finished 9-21 overall and 2-16 in the Big Ten. With five new incoming recruits the understaffed Illini still has five scholarships available to offer for the upcoming season.

Kissinger is now the fifth athlete from Bollant's 2015-16 squad to transfer out in the past year. Alexis Smith, Jacqui Grant, Amarah Coleman and Taylor Gleason all transferred in the previous offseason and then filed a $10 million dollar lawsuit which the University settled earlier this week.

Mass transfers seem to be en vogue in college basketball these days.

At the end of March, Illinois State University announcement that six players from last season’s women's squad planned to transfer out of the Redbird program. With one year of NCAA eligibility left on the books, Sue Crump, Lindsay Smith, Stekara Hall and Kelli Tolar all decided to move on to other programs. ISU is also losing forward Zenobia Bess and guard Mackenzie Freeman who plan to finish their collegiate careers at other schools. Both Bess and Freeman have two years of eligibility that they can dedicate to their new institution.

April 11, 2016

Another gun tragedy, is mental illness to blame?

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

The shooting death of New Orleans football great Will Smith allegedly by Cardell Hayes is tragic. At this point we have not heard all that happened with a car accident that turned into Hayes shooting Smith six times and also Smith's wife.

You probably know by now that Hayes sued the city of New Orleans in 2005 after police killed his dad Anthony Hayes. His dad was shot nine times by officers from the New Orleans Police Department after he reportedly lunged at one of the officers with a knife. Hayes and his sister later sued the city of New Orleans and settled for an undisclosed sum.

Ironically Smith was having dinner with one of the NOPD officers earlier on this same evening, Billy Ceravolo, who was involved in shooting Hayes' father in 2005.

Initial reports believe the most recent shooting had nothing to do with the 2005 shooting and that this was an accident that turned into road rage.

Was Hayes bitter, resentful with caustic feelings toward the NOPD? Why would we think otherwise? Of course he was. Regardless if his father lunged at one of the police with a knife they still killed his daddy. Hayes believed that the officers could have better handled his dad on that day with a stun gun but that the altercation did not have to end up lethal, according to the lawsuit that was filed and settled.

While a dollar figure is unknown to the settlement it is reportedly believed that Hayes and his sister received a significant amount. This doesn't take the place of a daddy nor does it resolve mental issues.

Was Cardell Hayes a loose canon driving the streets of New Orleans with a gun? This could have been anybody who had ruffled his feathers, got in his way or had a disagreement with him. On this day, very sadly, it was football great Will Smith.

Too many people are behind the wheels of cars with mental illness.

Too many of them are carrying guns.

They have had life altering events. They carry bitterness, a lot of anger and a finger on the trigger. The right or wrong scenario ends up lethal. This is not an excuse for mentally unbalanced people but reality. A lot of people need counseling today. After such an event that Hayes went through with his dad he had severe problems. None of us know when we step out of a car to talk to someone after a car accident what we will encounter. We don't expect to be shot and neither did Smith.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness states the following information: Over 61 million Americans experience mental illness in a given year. About one in 17 live with a serious illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Serious metal illness costs Americans over 193 billion dollars in lost wages every year. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders. Approximately 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46 percent lives with severe mental illness and or substance use disorders. The statistics are startling. Check out NAMI on the web for more information.

A lot of people are battling mental issues in our country. People aren't shot in movie theaters, schools, churches, and at traffic accidents because we are such a mentally well nation. We have a lot of problems in this country. Mental illness cannot be put on the back burner.
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, organization or this publication.
DISCLAIMER: 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.


March 30, 2016

Atkins Tennis Center to host mixed-doubles tourney

One of the things the makes Champaign-Urbana a great place to live and play is its large, active tennis community. Brandon Lenfert, head tennis pro from the Atkins Tennis Center, announced a new tournament for competitive players in the area.

Atkins, home of the Fighting Illini tennis program, will host their first annual Fighting Illini Fast 5 mixed doubles tourney on Saturday, April 9th.

The tournament is a mixed doubles only event set in a 4-hour compass draw format. At the end of each round, the winners continue in their tournament in the same direction, while the losers change directions. There are no eliminations. Each doubles pair continues to play until the time limit has been reached.

Compass draws provide a great way for players to face opposing teams and players of different abilities and styles. All duos will play a best of 5 game set. Games are tallied with no-ad scoring and pairs must win by two games. Ties will be broken with a 9-point tiebreaker(first to 5 points) at 5-5.

The competition will begin at 4pm with match snacks and Gatorade will be provided for players through out the one day event. Entry fee is $40.00 per doubles pair and interested players can register in person or call the Atkins Tennis Center at 217-244-8562 to reserve their spot in the draw.

March 29, 2016

Do what you enjoy, life is for living

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Life is lived once. Be happy. What should you be doing today? What do you want to be doing today? Where should you be today? Where do you want to be today?

An old friend who recently died said, "Do what you enjoy."

Life is not only about our gratification. We have family members and work associates who are impacted by our decisions. To totally go off the wall and make decisions that are only about us is careless. To never make decisions that are about us is stupid.

Another dying friend recently told his Facebook followers to pursue life and go for whatever dreams or goals they had in life. While he had pursued many of his I also got the message that he had unfinished business or dreams that he had cast aside and never pursued.

Don't live your life with regrets. Get in the game and enjoy whatever time you have to play the game. Or, get on the road and enjoy the scenery along the way. Life for many people is watching life go by. We watch others live on television. We watch others at sporting events. We sit on the sofa and vegetate, get depressed, eat too much, get fat and then need drugs to get us through the day.

Life is for living. We weren't created to watch life go by. Life was never intended to be a non-active existence.

Today get up and do something and do it a lot. As long as it's legal, moral and healthy what do you have to lose? Don't spend a lot of time asking others what you should be doing. They really don't know your heart. Ask yourself, talk to God about it and then move forward with living and be happy.

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, organization or this publication.
DISCLAIMER: 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.


March 11, 2016

Liberty unable to claw their way past LeRoy

Liberty's shots fell anywhere but through the orange hoop in their state semifinal contest against LeRoy early Friday afternoon. Scoring just 8 points in the first half on a frustrating 3-for-23 start, the Eagles fell 48-32 to eventual Class 1A champions LeRoy at the IHSA Basketball State Finals.

Entering the Final Four with a record of 29-4, it was the third time in program history the Eagles had a shot at a state title. In 2005 and 1981, Liberty finished the season with fourth place trophies.

Starters Reed Wolfmeyer and Tayton Roe led Liberty's scoring effort. Roe, who was 2-for-2 from the free throw line, finished with 12 points. Wolfmeyer buoyed his team with 10 points and 4 steals. Cole Wellman was credited with 6 of the team's 25 rebounds and chipped in 5 points in the loss.

LeRoy (27-5) was led by D1 star Matt Chastain. The 6'6', 190-lb senior led all scorers with 20 points - 6 under his season average - and hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds off the glass. Teammate Nick Perry contributed 10 points, three shy of the pair defeating Liberty by themselves.