August 16, 2017

From the first bite to the last, Hopscotch is a welcome site in the neighborhood

I was heading downtown to spend the morning writing questionnaires for two projects I have in the works at a coffee shop when I remembered a new bakery at opened near my house in Champaign. Craving a cinnamon roll or fruit croissant for breakfast, I turned the car around and headed to the new Hopscotch Bakery and Market on 802 W. John Street.

It was close to 10a by the time I got parked and the place was still packed, mostly young mothers with a child in tow and a small group of women in the center of the space deep in discussion. The cozy setting seats about 30. There are only four parking spaces and one handicap spot next to the store but plenty of space nearby on the street to accommodate customers.

The two signs behind the counter list the standard cafe offerings on one and fancy drinks on the other for those who shy away from caffeine like Spiced Ginger Cold Brew, Blackberry Basil Lemonade and Coconut Vanilla Bean Fizz. In a nearby cooler there was bottled water and a various craft sodas available.

However it was the stacks of pastries and baked goods that caught my eye. One thing to note is the store uses local ingredients to create their delights made up of bagels, cookies and cupcakes, but what caught my eye was the Blackberry Pear Lavender cake. The scones looked okay and large, nearly inch fruity crumb bars were tempting, but I wanted cake and to eat it there, too.

Meanwhile, a steady stream of customers came in empty handed left clutching an item in each. The conversations of the more than 20 patrons, including that of Leslie Barr and her friend Karen McCarthy sitting at a round table next to the large plate glass windows that allows the casual passerby peer inside, bounced off the white walls. It was Barr's fourth trip to Hopscotch, McCarthy's first.

"I love that it's not just a coffee shop that has pastries," Barr said. "It has lots local artists wares to look at. It's a great place to meet friends and hang out."

Speaking of art, the cupcake and cakes were decorated with a creative, colorful flair making them hard to overlook. It was the pastel tone (and the generous amount of frosting) on the Blueberry Pear Lavender cake that I had to try.

From the first bite to the last, no two were the same thanks to the marriage of pear and blackberry bits baked into the bottom of a yellow batter. The cake itself was course and dry, just the way I like it. On my next trip I'll have an Espresso and skip the black cherry soda to savor the more subtle flavors.

Don't expect Wal-Mart prices at Hopscotch, which opens at 7:30 every morning. This is a gourmet bakery with prices appropriate for an upscale neighborhood boutique. There was a two-layer, 10-inch cake in the cooler I so wanted to take home for $60. A medium size scone will run you around $2.95 and the variety of crumb cakes behind the counter are about a dollar more.

Champaign-Urbana needs more small neighborhood corner businesses, a place you can stop in on a morning walk or enjoy a warm beverage and good conversation, like this all over town. Here's hoping that this is a hop, skip and jump for more places like Hopscotch to grow in the community.

By Clark Brooks, Editor

July 20, 2017

Champaign electronics recycling registration opens early September

If you are like hundreds of other people in Champaign County you probably have an old television or computer monitor laying around that you need to get out of the basement or garage and into the trash. Saturday, October 14, 2017, is your next opportunity to chuck it and other unwanted electronic devices at the Electronics Collection and Recycling event at Parkland College in Champaign.

Advance registration, which must be completed online (recycling registration event site) and required prior to dropping off items, opens on September 5 at 8am. A resident can only register once, however additional residents from the same address may also submit a registration requests through the site. Once the online form is successfully completed, residents should receive confirmation email or text and a postcard by mail a week prior to the drop off on Saturday.

There is a two TV limit per card and a ten item limit per trip. Other allowable items include video game consoles; desktop and laptops computers; computer networking cables, switches and hubs; telephones; microwaves; and office machines. A complete list of acceptable items can be found here.

Light bulbs, air conditioning units and other Freon based units like refrigerators and freezer will not be accepted at the event.

The event will run rain, lightning, snow - heavens forbid - or shine. Volunteers and staff will help remove items from vehicles to help keep traffic moving as quickly as possible.

For more information visit the Champaign Public Works web page here.

July 18, 2017

Ten new galleries updated

Last week, more than a dozen new photo galleries were added to our online photo archive. The majority of the photographs, from our sports coverage back in 2014, are from the Illinois High School Association state track and state golf finals.

While we captured once in a lifetime moment of the hundreds of athletes for every event, our focus was primarily on runners and players from schools like Kaneland, New Trier, Loyola, Illini West and Rockridge as well as competitors representing from St. Charles, the Quad Cities area and the Lincoln-Way schools.

Saturday Girls State Track Gallery
While Glenbard South's Katelyn Hill and Taylor Ray make their exchange, Kaneland's Allie Heinzer takes a handoff from teammate Carly Elliott in the Class 2A 4x100-Meter Relay at the IHSA state track and field finals on Saturday. The Knights finished the race in sixth place while Rich South crossed the finish line in seventh place. 391 photos from Saturday Girls State Track at Eastern Illinois University. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks).

State Track • May 20, 2014
May 30, 2014 - Charleston, IL - Sycamore's Dion Hooker runs to a first place in his heat of the 100-Meter Dash during the IHSA State Track and Field preliminaries on Friday. He advanced to Saturday's finals in the event. Click here for more photos from the May 2014 Friday Boys State Track meet.

Class 1A Prelims • May 22, 2014
May 22, 2014 - Charleston, IL - Erie's Heather Strike runs her leg of the Class 1A 4x200-Meter Relay prelims at the IHSA state track and field meet on Thursday. The Panthers qualified for Saturday's finals with a time of 1:46.75. See more photos from Friday's Clas 2A and 3A Thursday Girls State Track preliminary races.

Friday State Track • May 23, 2014
May 23, 2014 - Charleston, IL - Jersey's Sydney Jones sails through the air will competing in the Class 2A Long Jump during Friday's preliminary competition. She went on to take fourth place with her best jump out to 36 feet, 5.25 inches. See the complete gallery here in the 05-23-14 Friday Girls State Track. [Photo: Douglas Cottle/PhotoNews]

Senior Night Sports Posters
Ryan Reitmeier is a senior and member of the 2010-2011 Unity Rocket soccer team. This custom designed poster was commissioned by his parents and presented during the team's senior day recognition at the final home game in October of 2011. Check more than 150 more custom sports posters in our Senior Salon.

Cross-Country Poster Gallery
This gallery is still under construction but don't let that stop you from viewing four of may a dozen or so large format sport art pieces created by designer Clark Brooks. See the three other photo here in the Cross Country Salon today.

State Golf • October 18, 2014
Andrew Nelson, from Batavia High School, hit the ball out of a sand trap during the second round at the Illinois High School Association's state golf tournament on Saturday, October 18. Nelson, a junior, finished his second round with a two-day total of 169 finishing tied for 96th place. (Photo: PhotoNews Photo/Clark Brooks) View more photos from the Saturday's final round in the 10-18-14 Boys State Golf gallery.

State Golf • October 17, 2014
Beechers' Michael Barber tees off on the third fairway during opening round action at the Illinois High School Association's Class 1A state golf tournament at Prairie Vista on Friday. Barber went on to finish fifth in a three-way tie after shooting a 151 at the two-day prep golf tournament. See 52 more photos from the day in our gallery here:10-17-14 Boys State Golf.

Rockets vs Bruins • November 1, 2014
Chandler Cousins is wrapped up by Bruins' Justin Shaw during first half action in their Class 3A first round playoff game on Saturday. Thanks to an explosive second half effort, the Unity Rockets roll to 34-18 win over visiting St. Bede. View 72 more action photos herein the 11-01-14 Unity vs St. Bede game gallery.

IHSA State Cross-Country • November 8, 2014
November 8, 2014 - East Peoria, IL - Jacobs's Lauren Van Vlierbergen completes her second lap of her run in the Class 3A girls' race at the IHSA State Cross-Country Meet on Saturday. The senior went on to take second place out of more than 200 finishers crossing the finish line at 16:48. See more PhotoNews . . . State Cross Country Photos.

July 14, 2017

Flashback Friday: senior sports art

It's Friday and that means it is time for another PhotoNews Flashback Friday feature. Earlier today, a collection of sports posters, close to 200 in all, was added here to our online archive. With more to come over the next couple of months, here's a look at some of our favorite designs commemorating achievements and careers of many of the athletes photographed during our sports coverage.

Ashley Runck-Krisman
Ashley Runck, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, 2007 Softball

Soccer player Noah Winn
Noah Winn, Unity High School, 2012 Soccer

Austin Earp
Austin Earp, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, 2016 Cross Country

STM soccer star Alex Sabol
Alex Sabol, School of St. Thomas More, 2013 Soccer

Jason JJ Johnson from SJO
Jason Johnson, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, 2005 Baseball

SJO football player Josh Dees
Josh Dees, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, 2009 Football

Unity soccer senior Ben Winn
Ben Winn, Unity High School, 2011 Soccer

Senior and future Olympian Chelsea Blaase
Chelsea Blaase, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, 2012 Track & Field

We need to learn to use the right door

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

For years now, I have witnessed the average American's issue with doors. Honestly, I don't think we will never figure out health care, Medicaid and most of our country's issues until we learn how to enter and exit buildings. Almost every day I will encounter someone who doesn't understand how to open a door.

For example if I am entering a building that has a double door, one to enter and one to exit, someone inevitably will always exit the door I am entering while I am trying to enter the door. Instead of opening their door which would be the door on their right or my left, they stand staring at me as if I am supposed to stop and not enter through my door but hold my door open so they can exit from my door.

I believe in being courteous but I can't figure out why so many people want to be discourteous toward me. I have a door to enter and they have a door to exit. I am opening my door and they simply have to open their door to exit. Instead, time and again they stand as if they are incapable or just too lazy to open their own door and expect me to hold my door open for them to exit instead of me entering through my door.

I see this on the flip side. Often when exiting a building someone who should be entering from the door on the left will see me opening my door on the right and instead of entering through their door will stand as if they are incapable of opening their door and will just barge on through the the door I have opened to exit.

This is all terribly uncouth. People simply need to learn to open their own door. Usually, if someone is entering a building and they are right behind me I open the door and motion for them to go ahead in front of me. I feel that is the polite thing to do. If I am exiting a building I am happy to step aside and let someone who is right behind me go first or even the door for him or her. If someone opens the door for me I am grateful and thank him or her for the courtesy.

I just can't understand people who barge through a door that someone else may have opened to enter or exit. They act as if it is their American right to be rude and crude and come on through the door someone else has opened and that the person should just stand and hold it open for them.

Maybe you haven't experienced this. I hope you aren't one of these door offenders because it's really inconsiderate of you if you are.

Some Americans have been taught that this is acceptable and is the American way to get ahead.

Simply barge, push ahead, break line and do whatever is necessary. Manners, courtesy and politeness are out of fashion. Often I find myself standing watching someone as they dart through the door I am entering or exiting because they simply did not want to open the other door. Usually I stand there and think, "Another idiot who doesn't know how to open a door," as they dart through mine without even a thank you but with the obvious expectation that someone is simply expected to hold the door open for them.

This kind of mindset may get you in the door or through the door but it's as far as it will get you. It won't get you invited to the dinner table and I wouldn't want to hire anybody like this who conducts themselves this way.

Don't barge through the door when other people are coming through the door. Use your own door to enter or exit. This is why these doors are installed.

One of the first steps to solving many of America's problems is learning how to enter and exit. After this, it will all be downhill.

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.

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.


July 8, 2017

2013 football gallery is back

Nearly four years ago, the PhotoNews covered 16 prep football games during the 2013 season. Led by head coach Dick Duval, St. Joseph-Ogden (11-3) displayed grit and determination week after week earning a spot in the Class 3A title game against Stillman Valley. It was a controversial 43-41 overtime thriller with the Spartans coming up 2 points short of winning the programs first state title.

That season we shot four Unity football contest including both the regular season match-up between the Rockets and the St. Teresa Bulldogs and their first round IHSA playoff game on November 2. Unity prevailed in the second meeting 27-13 avenging their earlier 31-21 loss a few days shy of month earlier.

Besides Unity and St. Joe, we caught dozens of action images of players from Tuscola, Argenta-Oreana, Marshall, Greenville, Clifton Central and more. Check out all the photos in our republished gallery section here. Below are our editor's picks of some of the exciting photos from the season.

St. Joseph-Ogden's Seth Griswell
Greenville, IL - St. Joseph-Ogden's Seth Griswell celebrates his team's semifinal football victory over Greenville. The Spartans (11-2) have another week of football to play advancing to state title game on the campus of Northern Illinois University to face the Stillman Valley Cardinals. SJO beat heavily favored Greenville (12-1) on a frigid November day, 44-21. See the complete gallery from the game back in 2013 here.

Warrior quarterback Nick Bates get tackled
Rockets' Tyler Crowl and a teammate slams Warrior quarterback Nick Bates to the turf during first quarter action on September 6. Tuscola lost the road crossover conference football game to Unity, 35-26. See all the photos from the game here . . .

Unity junior Taylor White avoids a tackle by a St. Teresa defender for a long gain.
Unity junior Taylor White avoids a tackle by a St. Teresa defender for a long gain during their November playoff game at Hicks Field. The Rockets powered their way passed the Bulldogs during their Class 3A first round contest, 27-13. There are 213 more game photos in our republished gallery here . . .

SJO Orion Ciota
St. Joseph-Ogden's Orion Ciota looks for running room during SJO's road game against Carterville on September 7. In an exciting contest decided in the final minute of play, the Lions defeated the Spartans by one point, 36-35.

Greenville quarterback Tyler Hutchinson
Greenville quarterback Tyler Hutchinson drops back to pass against SJO in their Class 3A semifinal football game. St. Joseph-Ogden went on to defeat their opponent 44-21 advancing to state title game at Huskie Stadium to face the Stillman Valley Cardinals. The Comets' season closed with a 12-1 finish. Hutchinson threw for 236 yards and one touchdown in the game completing 19 of 44 passes. See 72 more photos from the game . . .

Williamsville's Ozzie Kent and Spartans' Nick Barnes go at it
Williamsville's Ozzie Kent and Spartans' Nick Barnes go at it in the trenches during second half action of their playoff game at St. Joseph-Ogden at high school on November 16. The Bullets, caught off guard by their opponent's aggressive pass rush, lost their Class 3A quarterfinal football game to SJO, 38-26. It was the third consecutive season the Bullets season came to an abrupt end in the quarterfinals. View all 16 galleries from the 2013 season here . . .

July 5, 2017

Letters: Illinois families will pay more for state to squander away

While Illinois families were celebrating Independence Day, Springfield lawmakers dug deeper into their wallets rather than address decades of irresponsible spending and mismanagement. The massive income tax increase that they approved is unfair to the citizens they are supposedly serving. It is egregious that so many politicians chose to place an even heavier burden on those families and businesses that have not yet left the state.

In approving these new taxes, lawmakers ignored the “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households” issued just two months ago. This alarming report suggests that 62 percent of Americans can’t cover unexpected expenses and almost a quarter cannot pay all their monthly bills. Taking more resources away from citizens to feed the reckless spending habits of government will only exacerbate these problems.

We’ve been here before. From 2011-2014, Illinois politicians raised the income tax while promising to pay down the backlog of bills and stabilize the pension crisis. But that didn’t happen. Unpaid bills and pension debt are even more out of control. Instead of using those extra tax dollars in an effective and efficient manner, government leaders squandered it.

We have no reason to believe they will do better this time.

David E. Smith, Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute
Tinley Park, IL

July 4, 2017

Leavell elected chairman of the NNPA

Dorothy R. Leavell, publisher of the Chicago Crusader and sister publication the Gary Cursader, was re-elected to serve as chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). The Pine Bluff, AR, native last served as chairman in back-to-back terms from 1995-1999. In addition to serving as the organization's treasure for 11 years, she has also held posts as a regional board member and was president of their association's nonprofit spinoff, the NNPA Foundation.

Founded in 1940, the NNPA represents African-American newspapers from around 29 states with a combined readership of more than 15 million readers according a press release announcing the appointment. The Baltimore Times (MD), Daytona Times (FL), The Charleston Chronicle (SC) and Omaha Star (NE) are just some of the 200 member publications.

The NPPA also operates an electronic news service called Black Press USA highlighting news, faith-based commentaries and other content supplied by members of interest to the African-American community.

June 30, 2017

Flashback Friday: The muddiest football game in our files

This week's Flashback Friday features the muddiest football games PhotoNews Media ever covered that had been hidden in our archives. Back in 2004 St. Joseph-Ogden traveled to Marshall to take on the Lions. That fall, southern Illinois saw a substantial, if not record, amount of rainfall making the high school football a pigpen. There places along the sidelines and on the field that one could stand angle deep in heavy mud.

Here are five photos from our newspaper coverage by Clark Brooks of this epic contest that ended in the Spartans' favor, 7-3. Want to see more photos from the game that were published more than 12 years ago? There are 23 more muddy photo of players slipping and sliding up and down the field. Follow this link to the complete collection here . . .

Spartan running back Mark Gones makes muddy tracks for a first down
With a large hole created by teammates Ben Gorman [51] and Nick Bialeschki [50], Spartan running back Mark Gones makes muddy tracks for a first down.

Kyle Wagehoft washes away mud and dirt from his face
Spartan Kyle Wagehoft takes a mid-game shower to remove mud and grime from his face.

Ben Gorman, now an assistant with the SJO program, makes a solo tackle
Spartans' Ben Gorman makes a solo stop bringing down Lions' running back Levi Gard. The 7-3 victory advanced SJO to a quarterfinal showdown against the Unity Rockets in the 2004 IHSA playoffs. Today, Gorman is one of the assistant coaches for the St. Joseph-Ogden football program.

Andrew Kidd wraps up Lions' Casey Leinberger
Nearly forcing a fumble on the play, senior defensive end Andrew Kidd [95] wraps up Lions' Casey Leinberger. Making play after play, Kidd's defensive effort helped lead St. Joseph-Ogden past Marshall on an otherwise beautiful November day.

Mud covered Ryan Barnes flaps his arms to rally fans
Mud covered and determined to advance to the next round of the IHSA football playoffs, Ryan Barnes flaps his arms in the air to get St. Joseph-Ogden fans and the team's bench players to cheer on his fellow teammates on the field. Barnes made two key fourth-quarter defensive plays to help St. Joseph-Ogden beat Marshall and set up a quarterfinal playoff match-up against the Unity Rockets.

Spewing hateful words solves nothing

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Hate speech doesn't work for any person or group in America. The result is always hurt. The shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise at a baseball practice is further proof.

Here are some of the comments and other rhetoric that Sean Hannity recently remarked about on an evening broadcast and his website:

  • Hollywood Actor Mark Ruffalo calls on NBC News to "cease hiring white conservatives."
  • "Knights for Socialism" group at a Florida University teaches students how to "fight the fascists."
  • Anti-Trump "resistance" leaders say they want to "Make America Ungovernable," call for "direct action" tactics against Republicans.
  • Kathy Griffin's photo shoot depicting President Trump's severed head.
  • Charlie Sheen wishes death on Donald Trump, tweeting, "Dear God; Trump next, please! Trump next, please!" following the death of actress Carrie Fisher.
  • President Trump murdered in musician Marilyn Manson's music video.
  • Katie Tur insinuates Donald Trump will begin killing journalists on MSNBC, saying "Donald Trump has made no secret about going after journalists"
  • Unhinged NYU professor calls on students to attack conservative speaker Gavin McInnes, calls his supporters "Nazis."
  • Rachel Maddow says Donald Trump wants to murder journalists.
  • Comedian Jim Carrey supports Kathy Griffin's photo shoot, says he dreams of killing President Trump.
  • Madonna says she wants to "blow up the White House" during a speech.
  • Black Lives Matter say they want to "fry cops like bacon" during a rally in Minnesota.
  • President Obama urges liberal activists to, "Get in their faces."
  • Actor Mickey Rourke goes on anti-Trump rant, says "F*** him, F*** the horse he rode in on, his wife's one of the biggest gold-diggers I know."
  • Rapper Big Sean raps about murdering Donald Trump with an ice pick.
  • Late-Night host Stephen Colbert goes on anti-Trump tirade, calls him "Vladimir Putin's c***-holster."
  • Comedian Bill Maher jokes about Trump family incest.
  • Rapper Snoop Dogg stages phony execution of 'clown' Donald Trump.
  • NBC and New York Times contributor Malcolm Nance calls on ISIS to suicide-bomb Trump-owned properties.
  • NYC Theater group stages performance of 'Julius Caesar,' showing the savage stabbing-death of 'Donald Trump'.
  • Protesters in Philadelphia chant "Kill Trump - Kill Pence" during May Day demonstrations.

Thanks To Sean Hannity and for providing this startling information.

We've heard many times that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Words are painful but often lead to very cruel actions. While some of these American personalities hopefully would never act out their speech, their speech influences America. Millions read social media, watch television and they follow America's celebrities. Speech is influential when it comes from so many people who are in the public eye.

President Donald Trump is not a perfect man. I believe we all should chip in to help him accomplish something.

We should build that wall. We also need our roads, bridges and water systems in America fixed or replaced.

We need to take some of the tax burden off businesses and the average American taxpayer. We need to work together to help our kids receive good educations without costing the price of a new house.

We should stop wasting Americans' money that is paid into Social Security so that seniors will have something to count on in their senior years. We need to fix the high cost of medical care and prescription drugs.

We need to continue to build strong energy sources such as wind, solar, natural gas and clean coal.

Some of America's neighborhoods are out of hand with reported murders every night. We need law and order brought to these communities to protect innocent residents from the senseless mortal danger.

Spewing hate filled venomous words at each other solves nothing. All political sides need to tone it down. Calling for hurt or even death to the President or any law abiding citizen is evil. We need to all become human beings again, stop being stupid, go to work and resolve our problems.

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.

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.


June 29, 2017

#TBT 3 - Unity suffers frosty semi-final loss to Driscoll

Rockets' Chase Nappe stops Highlander receiver John Tranchitella
November 20, 2004 - Addison, IL - Rockets' Chase Nappe [16] stops Highlander receiver John Tranchitella [2] on a reverse play for a loss. Tolono Unity lost to the eventual 2004 Class 3A state football champions, Driscoll Catholic, 28-7. Back online after nearly a year, check out all the photos in our archive here for more Unity football games from the 2004 season.

#TBT 2 - Spartans blank Panthers in 2004 opener

Jake Parke explodes through a weak PBL line on his way to a touchdown.
August 27, 2004 - St. Joseph, IL - Senior Jake Parke punches his way through a weak Paxton-Buckley-Loda defense on en route to a touchdown for the Spartans. Behind Parke's elusive speed, St. Joseph-Ogden declawed Paxton-Buckley-Loda a day later to the tune of a 55-0 victory after a second mandatory weather delay on Friday night forced the game to be played on Saturday. Click here the 16 photos from that game in the PhotoNews online collection here restored earlier today.

#TBT 1 - STM falls in season opener to Wesclin

Senior Wally Oliveira finds running room against the Wesclin.
August 29, 2004 - Champaign, IL - Senior Wally Oliveira finds running room against the Warriors. St. Thomas More fell in the fourth quarter 6-0 to Wesclin after a Friday night rain delay forced the two teams to play the postponed game Sunday afternoon. See 26 more photos from the game uploaded back to our online archive today.

June 27, 2017

Unity 2017 Football Schedule

Coming off a 9-3 finish in its final season as a member of the now defunct Okaw Valley Conference, Unity returns to action August 25 with the dynamic duo senior quarterback Steven Migut and running back Keaton Eckstein to lead Rockets' 2017 offensive campaign.

Keaton Eckstein takes a handoff in warm-ups before the start of Unity's non-conference game against Red Hill. The Rockets picked up their third win of the season after a 49-7 victory over the Salukis on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Eckstein finished the game with 57 yards on 8 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

With five members of the former Corn Belt Conference now apart of the new Illini Prairie Conference, Unity will have some pretty big fish swimming in their pond to fry. With the first two home games scheduled against the #2 and #3 largest schools in the league, in will be imperative that the Rockets kick off the season firing on all cylinders starting with the opener against Illinois Valley Central and followed by Pontiac the following week.

The three games that you can't miss if you are Unity fan are the week 4 when they host St. Joseph-Ogden for their annual rivalry game along with another home game two weeks later against Monticello. It is fitting that Bloomington Central Catholic, the third game you can't miss, is the regular season finale and an exciting one it could turn out to be with the Saints hoping to reek vengeance on a one point loss to the Rockets 12 months earlier.

Eckstein gobbled up 205 all-purpose yards, 140 rushing at a rate 6.7 yards per carry, at Hicks Field while a tenacious Ethan Miebach, who was the second leading tackler, made 12 defensive stops in that game.

Below is the 2017 schedule. All games are scheduled for a 7pm start.

2017 Unity Football Schedule
Aug 25 - 7:00 -- Home vs Illinois Valley Central
Sep   1 - 7:00 -- Home vs Pontiac
Sep   8 - 7:00 -- Away at Prairie Central
Sep 15 - 7:00 -- Home vs St. Joseph-Ogden
Sep 22 - 7:00 -- Away at Olympia
Sep 29 - 7:00 -- Home vs Monticello
Oct   6 - 7:00 -- Away at St. Thomas More
Oct 13 - 7:00 -- Home vs Rantoul
Oct 20 - 7:00 -- Away at Bloomington Central Catholic

Featured Rocket Football Galleries
09-19-15 Unity vs Monticello
10-05-12 Unity vs Monticello
10-29-11 Unity vs St. Thomas More

Unity Game Coverage
Unity vs SJO football edition Unity vs Stillman Valley championship state football game
Click on either cover to preview or download either issue.

Letters: Supreme Court defends religious liberty

Religious liberty won at the Supreme Court!

The case involved a church-run Missouri preschool that was denied a state grant for rubberized playground surface material.

In a 7-2 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts summed things up by saying: "The exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution… It cannot stand."

The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the First Amendment right to freely exercise religious faith in the public square.

The Court also announced they will take up the Masterpiece Cakes case out of Colorado. This case is about whether the government can punish people of faith for not participating in religious ceremonies with which they disagree.

This is the first time the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case that will decide the conflict between protected class status for same-sex attraction, sexual behavior and religious freedom. Pray for wisdom for the Justices.

David E. Smith
Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute

June 25, 2017

St. Joseph-Ogden 2017 football schedule

St. Joseph-Ogden, under second year head coach Shawn Skinner, will try for their 27th consecutive playoff appearance this season playing against members of the newly formed Illini Prairie Conference.

St. Joseph-Ogden's Elijah Place blocks IC Catholic Prep's Robert Vitek in their first round playoff game on October 29 last fall. After making their 26th consecutive playoff appearance, the Spartans fell 49-8 to the Knights in Elmhurst. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

The Spartans open the season with a home game against St. Thomas More with a mission to avenge last season's 27-26 nail-biter loss. Then, in week three SJO goes on a brutal 3-game binge facing football powerhouse Bloomington Central Catholic at home, followed by a trip to Tolono for their annual rivalry game against Unity and closing the uphill portion of their schedule hosting Pontiac at home.

The three games St. Joseph-Ogden games you don't want to miss are BCC at home, Unity on the road and the regular season finale against Monticello. Below are the dates and times for the upcoming 2017 season.

2017 St. Joseph-Ogden Football Schedule
Aug 25 - 7:00 -- Home vs St. Thomas More
Sep   1 - 7:00 -- Away at Rantoul
Sep   8 - 7:00 -- Home vs Bloomington Central Catholic
Sep 15 - 7:00 -- Away at Unity
Sep 22 - 7:00 -- Home vs Pontiac
Sep 29 - 7:00 -- Away at Prairie Central
Oct   6 - 7:00 -- Home vs Illinois Valley Central
Oct 13 - 7:00 -- Home vs Stanford Olympia
Oct 20 - 7:00 -- Away vs Monticello

Featured SJO Football Galleries
10-29-16 St. Joseph-Ogden vs IC Catholic
08-29-15 SJO vs Winnebago
11-15-15 SJO vs Central Catholic
11-01-14 St Joseph-Ogden vs Erie-Prophetstown

Monticello Sages 2017 football schedule

The Sages were a steamroller for the first 12 games of the 2016 season including victories over seven programs with 5-5 or better records. The season came to an end after 48-6 semifinal playoff loss to eventual state champion IC Catholic.

Center Alec Gallagher snaps the ball against IC Catholic Prep. It was the Sages last football game as a member of the Okaw Valley Conference. Starting in 2017, Monticello and the five members of the OVC became plank members of the new 10-team Illini Prairie Conference.

Monticello kicks off the 2017 season in the new Illini Prairie Conference on the road at Stanford Olympia. It won't be until Week 3 before the team will play their first game at home when they host St. Thomas More. From that week on the Sages will rotate a home away schedule until the regular season and senior night finale against rival St. Joseph-Ogden.

2017 Monticello Football Schedule
Aug 25 - 7:00 -- At Stanford Olympia
Sep 1   - 7:00 -- At Illinois Valley Central
Sep 8   - 7:00 -- Home vs St. Thomas More
Sep 15 - 7:00 -- At Rantoul
Sep 22 - 7:00 -- Home vs Bloomington Central Catholic
Sep 29 - 7:00 -- At Unity
Oct 6   - 7:00 -- Home vs Pontiac
Oct 13 - 7:00 -- At Prairie Central
Oct 20 - 7:00 -- Home vs St. Joseph-Ogden

Featured Monticello Football Galleries
11-21-16 Monticello vs IC Catholic Prep
09-19-15 Monticello at Unity
10-05-12 Monticello vs Unity

June 12, 2017

Pretty Boy Blue: Coming of age story by Monika Pickett

Last week, Monika Pickett's debut title, PRETTY BOY BLUE, hit the digital bookshelf. Pickett, an Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and went on to earn both a MBA and a Masters of Human Services degree, penned the book "... to create understanding, communication and compassion between LGBTQ young adults and their families. Although the country is moving towards equality, there are many individuals who suffer in silence," she said in a prepared release.

The story, some of which is based on the author's own life, focuses on the main character Nikki Blue, who intrinsically knows she is different from other girls but dreams of a white picket fence and a wife. While she looks like a debutante, she is as presumptuous and arrogant as any wealthy college boy — a dichotomy that makes her both mystifying and alluring. According to the press release, Pickett's tale doesn’t shy away from describing Nikki Blue’s moments pain and passion. Despite being abandoned by her biological father and her mother’s denial of her life's choices, a stepfather convinces her to join the military to further her journey of self-discovery.

PRETTY BOY BLUE released by Next Level Publishing is available on and on the book's website

June 10, 2017

Griffins advance to state softball title game

Christine Malito and teammate Alex Storako embrace
June 9, 2017 - Peoria, IL - Lincoln-Way East's Christine Malito and teammate Alex Storako embrace after their semifinal state softball game against Marist. The Griffins defeated the RedHawks 2-0 to advance to Saturday's Class 4A title game. See more photos from both the Class 3A and 4A semifinal games in our photo archives here . . . (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

May 24, 2017

Overcome evil with good

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

President Donald Trump has renamed terrorists from monsters to losers. I agree.

People such as 22 year old Salmon Abedi who contrive to inflict such a heinous act as the carnage he recently inflicted in Manchester, England, is the worst of pathetic world losers. Abedi joins now a long list of scum who are so disconnected from rational thinking and healthy emotions that they are filled with hatred resentment of normal life loving people who simply want a night out on the town such as an Ariana Grande concert.

In the case of Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan, it was just a fun walk in New York City. She was heinously killed in Times Square most recently by Richard Rojas who also injured 21 other pedestrians in a killing spree that he hoped would end in his death by the police. He is another sad loser who took a vibrant girl's life.

These losers of the world spend too much of their lives locked away in their private rooms staring at a computer contriving and discovering how to completely waste their lives by gaining world recognition by killing innocent people. Instead of getting a real life by mowing grass, building a real career, serving in the military or serving humanity they internally seethe inside to destroy or maim a few human beings.

I understand that all human beings have struggles and issues but there is a depravity that some hideous, crazy losers unfortunately stoop to in trying to make them feel momentarily better.

The list of losers has sadly grown to the point we can no longer find the space to write about or identify all the names. From around the world now there are people young and old who maniacally and successfully brought about school killings, theater shootings, church murders and concert massacres.

While the national news informs us well of the bad news and the hideous people who are making it happen we must not forget that most of the world is still filled with good people.

As we face Memorial Day weekend in America we remember all the good people serving in our military. We remember the many, many men and women who fought valiantly for our country because they were decent, strong and good moral people. Many of us go to the cemetery this time of year and remember not only our military heroes but moms and dads, grandparents, children and siblings and friends who have preceded us in death. We remember them and we miss them.

I often have the pleasure of attending the Hinkle reunion during Memorial weekend. My mother was a Hinkle. Last year I was taking pictures of my sister's daughter who smiled into the camera. She appeared to be feeling good and doing well. Since that occasion she has passed on. We will miss her at this reunion. We will miss her and a lot of other people who have passed on over the years. They were all good people. Looking back they were part of group that must be classified as winners. They lived good lives. They were good neighbors. They worked hard and contributed to society. They made America great.

Last weekend a taxi driver from South Africa gave me a ride and was so thrilled to be working in America. He was a nice guy. A college student working weekends at a hotel helped me with my bags. He's from Sudan and was an articulate hard working kind young man happy to be working in America. They are winners.

I don't understand the radical evil hatred that permeates a person to end his or her life and the lives of others. They dramatically need a changed way of thinking - a different mind and a different heart. So many are so immersed in such hatred, radicalized we call it, there is no turning back for them.

What can we do? Try to impact the world around us with good. Be not overcome with evil but overcome evil with good. Be alert. There are poisonous vipers in the world and they intend to hurt somebody. You aren't going to change them.

I've always believed in hope. However, I do believe a person can reach a mental/emotional state where they are beyond the help and influences of sane reasonable people. These people are lost. President Trump called them losers.

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.

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.


May 21, 2017

Quincy's Schutte earns two state medals

May 20, 2017 - Charleston, IL - Quincy's Maggie Schutte and Prairie Ridge's Samantha Fisher share smiles during the awards ceremony for the Class 3A Pole Vault at Saturday's IHSA State Track & Field Finals. Schutte qualified for three other state track events including the triple jump, 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter low hurdles. She tied for 9th in the pole vault with Fisher and 3rd in the 300-meter hurdle event. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Photo Galleries
Thursday Class 1A Preliminaries

Friday Class 2A/3A Preliminaries

Saturday State Finals Gallery

May 16, 2017

Stevenson's Shi brings home badminton title

It has been 12 years since a freshman has been crowned state champion at the IHSA badminton state finals. In the 41 years that the underappreciated sport has been part of the high school association's state championship series there have been just three. Saturday afternoon, Stevenson High School's Esther Shi became the fourth first-year prep athlete to ascend to the top of the podium.

Stevenson's Esther Shi hits an overhead shot
May 13, 2017 - Charleston, IL - Stevenson's Esther Shi hits an overhead shot during championship match against Naperville North's Emma Lin. Shi, a freshman and the #1 seed, won this year's title with a 21-13, 21-11 victory over Lin. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Shi, the #2 seed, never took her foot of the throttle in the title match rushing to a 21-13, 21-11, victory over Naperville North freshman Emma Lin. Scoring eight of the first 10 points in the opening game and forcing Lin to work against a nine point deficit most of the second game, the Patriots' singles specialist finished her first state outing with a 6-0 record.

Not one of her adversaries posted more than 25 points total against her in the two-day tournament.

After Shi secured her individual title, duo May Ling and Jenny Yang took the floor with a shot at becoming doubles champions. After knocking off challengers from Lake Park, Lyons Township, Naperville North, Fremd and Matea Valley on their way to title match on Friday. Earning second place points toward the team score Saturday, the pair fell 21-17, 21-13 in their afternoon bout against Neuqua Valley's Joyce Chen and Shrinithi Venkatesan.

In addition to her runner-up medal, Lin's runner-up performance helped the Huskies secure third-place in the team race. Neuqua Valley was this year's second place finisher in the overall school standings.

May 13, 2017

Freaking fast Frankie Izard leads SJO to sectional title

She runs like lightning. Blink and she's over there. Blink again and she gone. If Barry Allen was indeed a real life, oxygen breathing high school student right now, St. Joseph-Ogden's Frankie Izard would be his dream date for prom.

St. Joseph-Ogden's Frankie Izard strains to pull ahead of Camp Point Central's Zakila Wiskirchen and Chicago Christian's Rylei Jackson during the finals heat of the 100-Meter Dash during the 2016 IHSA Girls State Track Finals. Izard finished 7th in the race with a time of 12.64. The Spartan junior will return to state next weekend with another chance to medal in the event. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/ Clark Brooks)

Izard, the Spartans' marquee sprinter use to be fast. Now, she is even faster. Taking the top spots in both sprint events at the St. Joseph-Ogden Class 1A sectional and grabbing another first place title with the programs 4x100 relay squad, the junior led the Spartans to this season's sectional title.

What a difference a year makes. Having shaved more than .15 second off her 2016 state qualifying time in the 100-meter dash, she is even more of blur on the track turning in a 12.56, just .13 off last year's top mark off 12.43.

In the 200-meter event, she beat teammate Maclayne Taylor over the finish line by hair with a time of 26.62. Taylor, on her hip, stopped the clock at 26.69.

Later, Izard once again teamed up with Abbey Mizer and Zea Maroon, from last year's state 4x100 title squad, along with newcomer Taylor Maclayne to capture her third gold medal with a time of 49.9.

SJO also enjoy first place finishes in both hurdles races. 100-meter hurdle specialist Park Francisco, who finished fourth in her previous state appearance, won the sectional race crossing the finish line at 15.36. Maroon took first in the 300m hurdles ahead of Francisco and Bismarck-Henning's Emily Meidel.

May 12, 2017

96 smashing badminton players to battle for state titles

Badminton players from 56 Illinois schools will start their journey for this year's state titles at Eastern Illinois University today. 96 players, 32 singles specialist and 32 doubles pairs will go head-to-head to day in the annual double elimination tournament at the Lantz Building courts.

New Trier's Julia Matyjas hits the shuttlecock back over the net during game one against Fremd's Jenny Li at the 2016 IHSA State Badminton Finals on Saturday, May 14. Matyjas, who returns to this year's state finals, advanced to the consolation bracket after falling 21-8, 21-10 to Li. Click here to see our photo coverage from past state badminton tournaments . . .

Last year's singles champion Judy Yang, who also has two runner up titles to her name, enters the tournament as a third-fourth seed behind Naperville North's Emma Lin, Easter Shi from Lincolnshire. The Hinsdale South senior defeated Neuqua Valley's Lauren Ho in dramatic fashion, 25-23, 22-20 for the 2016 title.

Joyce Chen and Shrinithi Venkatesan, representing the perennial front-running Neuqua Valley girls program, return to the state finals as the number one doubles duo. The pair lost last year's title match to teammates Eva Chen and Sophia Li in a bittersweet loss, 21-12, 21-16, that helped the Wildcats to the 2016 team trophy.

Neuqua Valley along with Hinsdale South and Naperville North return as top seeds for this season's team title.

Below are the opening round pairings for both singles and doubles matches today.


1. Emma Lin (Fr.), Naperville (North) vs. Grace Chantos (Sr.), Villa Park (Willowbrook)

2. Mary Grace Mutia (Jr.), Addison (A. Trail) vs. Mary Xu (Sr.), Arlington Heights (Hersey)

3. Julia Matyjas (Sr.), Winnetka (New Trier) vs. Julia Bautista (Jr.), Elk Grove Village (E.G.)

4. Rose Clement (Jr.), Palatine (H.S.) vs. Linnea Dierksheide (Jr.), Elmhurst (York)

5. Lauren Ho (Jr.), Naperville (Neuqua Valley) vs. Grace Cook (Jr.), Hinsdale (Central)

6. Susan Zhou (Sr.), Downers Grove (South) vs. Emma Hardy (Jr.), St. Charles (East)

7. Cassie Ruettiger (Sr.), New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West) vs. Iris Xu (Jr.), Aurora (Metea Valley)

8. Ruthie Silberman (Jr.), Deerfield (H.S.) vs. Erin Jang (Jr.), Glenview (Glenbrook South)

9. Judy Yang (Sr.), Darien (Hinsdale South) vs. Emma Boyd (So.), Buffalo Grove

10. Veronika Khazanovska (Sr.), McHenry vs. Annie Carmody (Sr.), Oswego (East)

11. Emily Bian (Sr.), Roselle (Lake Park) vs. Katie Materick (So.), LaGrange (Lyons)

12. Allie Schweigert (Sr.), Bradley (B.-Bourbonnais) vs. Laura Stallter (Sr.), Downers Grove (North)

13. Jenny Li (So.), Palatine (Fremd) vs. Melissa Chen (Jr.), Naperville (Central)

14. Marie Mendoza (Jr.), Wheeling vs. Jalyn Baumgartner (Sr.), New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central)

15. Ashley Richardson (Sr.), Lincolnshire (Stevenson) vs. Burcin Asilturk (Jr.), Hoffman Estates (Conant)

16. Ivy Flores (So.), Lansing (Thornton Fractional South) vs. Jiayi Huang (Sr.), Northbrook (Glenbrook North)

17. Claire McLoone (So.), Buffalo Grove vs. Emily Gorczynski (Jr.), Lake Forest (H.S.)

18. Annie Zhou (Sr.), Naperville (Central) vs. Arthi Cunkari (Sr.), Naperville (Neuqua Valley)

19. Liza Henn (Sr.), Park Ridge (Maine South) vs. Mia Ko (Sr.), Orland Park (Sandburg)

20. Julie Mills (Jr.), Wheaton (North) vs. Cindy Tang (So.), Hinsdale (Central)

21. Jenna Franzen (Sr.), Lockport (Twp.) vs. Megan Spencer (Jr.), St. Charles (East)

22. Danielle Kennedy (Sr.), Bradley (B.-Bourbonnais) vs. Maggie Tierney (Sr.), Downers Grove (North)

23. Lily Morris (So.), Palatine (H.S.) vs. Hanna Konrath (So.), Villa Park (Willowbrook)

24. Serena Zhang (So.), Mt. Prospect (Prospect) vs. Kellie Liu (Fr.), Palatine (Fremd)

25. Caroline Christopher (Sr.), Winnetka (New Trier) vs. Christine Moravek (Jr.), LaGrange (Lyons)

26. Sunaina Addanki (Sr.), Hoffman Estates (Conant) vs. Julianna Rylko (So.), Wheaton (W. Warrenville South)

27. Lauren Oda (So.), Elk Grove Village (E.G.) vs. Simin Rajwany (Jr.), Darien (Hinsdale South)

28. Savannah Cornejo-Garcia (Sr.), Carol Stream (Glenbard North) vs. Vaishali Manoharan (Jr.), Aurora (Waubonsie Valley)

29. Sara Chen (Jr.), Northbrook (Glenbrook North) vs. Peyton Nielsen (Sr.), New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West)

30. Vivian Cui (Sr.), Tinley Park (Andrew) vs. Clara Duan (So.), Naperville (North)

31. Annisia Thounsavath (Jr.), Elgin (H.S.) vs. Laura Hyink (Jr.), Elmhurst (York)

32. Emily McClanahan (Jr.), Glenview (Glenbrook South) vs. Esther Shi (Fr.), Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

Doubles 1. Joyce Chen (Jr.), & Shrinithi Venkatesan (Jr.), Naperville (Neuqua Valley) vs. Athena Kakolires (Sr.), & Kasia Czepiel (Jr.), Addison (A. Trail)

2. Kelynn Brummel (Jr.), & Grace Michel (Jr.), Plainfield (South) vs. Taylor Fanella (Sr.), & Gabby Macenis (Jr.), Downers Grove (South)

3. Shirley Cao (Jr.), & Kaitlyn Lu (Fr.), Lincolnshire (Stevenson) vs. Jane Chun (Sr.), & Priyanka Patel (So.), Hoffman Estates (H.S.)

4. Joyce Zheng (Jr.), & Kathy Zheng (Fr.), Naperville (Central) vs. Emma Helsel (Jr.), & Audrey Treadwell (Jr.), St. Charles (North)

5. Angela Li (Sr.), & Lana Millman (So.), Hinsdale (Central) vs. Elana Ferris (Sr.), & Catherine Gray (Jr.), Bradley (B.-Bourbonnais)

6. Ryan Largosa (Jr.), & Paityn Schabes (Sr.), Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South) vs. Brooke Gorski (Sr.), & Megan Kalinowski (Sr.), Des Plaines (Maine West)

7. Brooke Buranosky (Sr.), & Ellie Wilson (Sr.), Deerfield (H.S.) vs. Helene Collin (Jr.), & Alyse Mommer (Sr.), DeKalb

8. Fatima Medina (Jr.), & Jackie Lopez (Jr.), Lansing (Thornton Fractional South) vs. Tess Fallon (So.), & Holly Fessler (So.), Winnetka (New Trier)

9. Megan Gamber (Sr.), & Katie Jarosz (Sr.), Buffalo Grove vs. Vivian Xu (Sr.), & Ariana O'Connell (Fr.), Barrington

10. Alexis Duda (Sr.), & Mary O'Brien (Sr.), Lockport (Twp.) vs. Katie Cooper (Sr.), & Catherine Meredith (Sr.), Mt. Prospect (Prospect)

11. Glyn He (Sr.), & Taylor Zhou (Fr.), Naperville (North) vs. Zoe Meyer (Sr.), & Hannah Kearney (Jr.), Wheaton (W. Warrenville South)

12. Jodie McLennan (Sr.), & Sophia Kics (Jr.), Palatine (H.S.) vs. Kate Bodensteiner (Jr.), & Jasmine Caro (Jr.), Palatine (Fremd)

13. Annie Bedalov (Sr.), & Natalie White (Jr.), Downers Grove (North) vs. Gabriela Bascunan Simone (Jr.), & Maria Krunic (Sr.), Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest)

14. Elena Sgarbossa (Sr.), & Jessica Spitalli (Sr.), Roselle (Lake Park) vs. Christina Li (Sr.), & Ally Rosenbaum (Jr.), Northbrook (Glenbrook North)

15. Irin Abraham (Sr.), & Grace Mazzocco (Sr.), Elmhurst (York) vs. Nikita Varshney (Jr.), & Vyshnavi Nukasani (So.), Aurora (Metea Valley)

16. Ashley Deckelman (Sr.), & Jenna Bostick (Sr.), Flossmoor (Homewood-F.) vs. Kaitlyn Hurka (Fr.), & Imani Williams (Sr.), Darien (Hinsdale South)

17. Anna Brady (Sr.), & Susannah Browning (Jr.), Downers Grove (North) vs. Jenna Gallichio (Jr.), & Samantha Reed (Jr.), Elmhurst (York)

18. Reed Fazel (Sr.), & Anne Hruska (Jr.), Evanston (Twp.) vs. Gabby Yordanova (Sr.), & Sarah Katz (Jr.), Buffalo Grove

19. Bailey Ekstrand (Jr.), & Sam Katsikas (Sr.), Lombard (Glenbard East) vs. Lauren Abbattista (Sr.), & Nika Belova (Fr.), Lake Forest (H.S.)

20. Evelina Kozyra (So.), & Hannah Wang (So.), Schaumburg (H.S.) vs. Samantha Ortiz (Sr.), & Kamila Czyszczon (Jr.), Palatine (H.S.)

21. Emily Ripp (Jr.), & Becca Ricker (Sr.), Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) vs. Margo Farley (Jr.), & Mary Andersen (Jr.), Wheaton (North)

22. Colleen Stanford (Jr.), & Katherine Ponzi (Sr.), Mt. Prospect (Prospect) vs. Aishwarya Katiki (Sr.), & Avni Limdi (Sr.), Naperville (Neuqua Valley)

23. Bhavana Bheem (Sr.), & Divya Gudur (Sr.), Hoffman Estates (Conant) vs. Morghann Furr (Jr.), & Jessica Sterna (Sr.), Lockport (Twp.)

24. Tina Guo (Sr.), & Helen Hu (Sr.), Hinsdale (Central) vs. Nitya Nagarajan (So.), & Allison Yu (Sr.), Aurora (Metea Valley)

25. Clara Kochanski (Sr.), & Esther Park (Sr.), Park Ridge (Maine South) vs. Saadiqa Hafiz (Sr.), & Ena Rizvic (Sr.), Hoffman Estates (H.S.)

26. Halley Bergen (So.), & Maeve Heflin (Jr.), Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest) vs. Grace Chen (Sr.), & Kathleen Nie (So.), Naperville (North)

27. Gwen Grodek (Sr.), & Lauren De La Rosa (Jr.), LaGrange (Lyons) vs. Sarah Ko (Sr.), & Brianna Mitchell (Sr.), Naperville (Central)

28. Christina Mazzucchi (Jr.), & Christine Rainey (Sr.), Roselle (Lake Park) vs. May Ling (Sr.), & Jenny Yang (Fr.), Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

29. Christina Moy (Jr.), & Rhea Shah (So.), Glenview (Glenbrook South) vs. Elsa Barron (Sr.), & Kathryn Holy (Sr.), Wheaton (W. Warrenville South)

30. Alison McKenney (Sr.), & Kavisha Baxi (Sr.), Downers Grove (South) vs. Frances Romero (Sr.), & Cassie Cintron (Jr.), Lansing (Thornton Fractional South)

31. Holly Trapp (Jr.), & Hui Zhu (Jr.), DeKalb vs. Claire Pomey (Sr.), & Priya Deshmukh (Jr.), Darien (Hinsdale South)

32. Sarah Lucchesi (Sr.), & Melissa Powers (Sr.), Plainfield (South) vs. Hannah Chen (So.), & Sharon Wu (Fr.), Palatine (Fremd)

May 10, 2017

300 new photos added to the Illinois Marathon gallery

Tom Gelsthorpe runs his leg of the relay race
April 22, 2017 - Champaign, IL - Tom Gelsthorpe runs his leg of the Illinois Marathon for his team. Earlier he finished 2nd in the mens 35-39 division in the 10K race. Gels' Belles won the mixed team race with a time of 3:18:30. See more photos from the 2017 Illinois Marathon here...

This week, 350 new images to the PhotoNews 2017 Illinois Marathon photo gallery. In our most recent update you'll find photos of runners hailing from around the country we captured running between the 23rd and 24th mile of the race. There is a photo of Indiana's Cheryl Gray running to a 5th place finish in the Womens 50-54 division, Dan Johnson, from Longmount, CO from the Mens 60-64 division and several photos of first place finisher Janet Burgess from Claremore, OK, who won the Womens 60-64 title with a time of 04:09:33, running a strong race at mile 24.

Hundreds of competitors from around the world, like Mizuki Sugimoto, who clocked in at 3:19:38, ran this year's race. There are several photos of the Japanese runner cruising toward the 24th mile marker in our latest update as well as a cool photo of Costa Rican Abel Chinchilla on his way to 4:09:40 finish.

Closer to home, we included almost 100 photos of area runners from this year's race. Check out the photos of St. Joseph's John Lubinski, Aaron Schwartz-Duval from Urbana and Mahomet's Tonya Nunn, who took home third-place in the Womens Masters category.

Below are just some of the runners we happened to photograph running the 26.2 mile course. See more photos from the race here . . .

Lauren Ferraro dumps a cup of water over her head
Lauren Ferraro, from Saint Louis, MO, dumps a cup of water over her head as she runs to a 15th place finish in the Womens 30-34 division. She crossed the finish line at 3:43:51.

Bloomington's Gary Savage racing in the 2017 Illinois Marathon
Bloomington's Gary Savage, Jr., runs to a 16th place finish in the Mens 40-44 division during the 2017 Illinois Marathon. Completing his run at 3:21:50, he finished this year's race 128th overall out of 1,216 competitors on Saturday.

Elpidio Vilchez
Elpidio Vilchez runs to a 2nd place finish in the Mens Overall Masters division. The Chicago, IL, native finished the race at 02:48:59 and 14th overall out of 1,216 competitors on Saturday.

Julia Ordzowialy keeps a steady pace
With a little more than three miles to go, Julia Ordzowialy keeps a steady pace on her way to a 2nd place finish in the Womens 35-39 category. The Chicagoan was 87th overall out of 1,216 runners stopping the clock at 03:13:50.