January 29, 2019

Nine teams win state dance trophies

Thirty-six dance teams, 12 per class, from around the state competed for a state trophy in one of three divisons at the IHSA Competitive State Finals on last Saturday.

Joliet Catholic Academy, who made their second ever state final appearance in program history, won this year's Class 1A title. The Angel Dance Team earned a score of 95.68 to rise above six-time qualifier and second place finisher Morris. Montini's Broncettes placed third taking home another state trophy to sit next to their third place award from 2018.

Lake Zurich's hip-hop routine won the Class 2A title beating Deerfield (2nd) and state dance perennial powerhouse Geneva, who finished third.

In Class 3A, Naperville North earned a score of 95.42 to win the Class 3A championship trophy. Stevenson (93.94) placed 2nd and Lake Park (93.72) finished third.

Here's a look at ten of our favorite photos from the championship round on Saturday.

York dance team member performs at state
A member of the York dance team performs with her team during the IHSA Competitive Dance Finals. The Dukes finished 8th in the final Class 3A team standings. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


St. Anthony dancer
A member of the St. Anthony dance team performs with her team in the Class 1A competition. The Bulldogs finished 10th. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Ben Reinkemeyer does a leap during Lake Forest's performance on Saturday. The Scouts finished in fourth place in the two-day competition. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Centralia dance team
Members of the Centralia dance team perform on Saturday. The Orphans' finished 4th in this year's Class 1A division. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Fenton dance team
Members of the Fenton dance team gather during their entertaining, zombie inspired hip-hop routine. The Bison squad finished 6th in the Class 2A division. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Lincoln-Way West dance team member performs with her team
A member of the Lincoln-Way West dance team gets her lean on while dancing with her squad. The Warriors finished 12th in this year's Class 2A division. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Mundelein dance team performs at state
A member of the Mundelein dance team performs with her team. The Mustangs finished 8th in Class 2A. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Dancers from Maine South
Dancers from Maine South perform on Saturday. South finished 4th in Class 3A. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Lake Zurich wins championship dance title
Lake Zurich dancers strike a pose during their routine. The Bears won this year's title with the highest score across three classes at 97.42. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Mundelein's Katelyn Ponce floats in the air during a leap. The Mustangs' dance squad finished 8th in this year's Class 2A standings. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)




Follow this link to see our entire collection of dance photos in our online archive today.

January 25, 2019

Top Ten: The best from 1A state dance

Thirty Class 1A high school dance teams from around the state descended on to Grossinger Motor Arena in Bloomington to compete a championship state trophy.

Twelve squads performing hip-hop or lyrical routines advanced to Saturday's championship round.

Morris finished the first day of competition with the best score from the judges with a 93.22. The other 11 teams competing on Saturday will be Clinton, Joliet Catholic Academy, Burlington Central, Montini, Highland, Centralia, Villa Grove, Genoa-Kingston, Unity, Jacksonville, and St. Anthony.

Here is a look at our favorite photos from the small school competition.

Montini dance team
Members of the Montini dance team perform during 2019 IHSA Competitive State Dance Finals. The squad can now take aim at winning a state title after qualifying for the finals. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Genoa-Kingston dance
A member of the Genoa-Kingston dance team performs a leap during her squad's routine. The team will compete again on Saturday for a shot at this year's state title. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Somonauk dance team
A member of the Somonauk dance team performs during 2019 IHSA Competitive State Dance Finals. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


A member of the Unity dance team performs with her team during 2019 IHSA Competitive State Dance Finals. The Rockettes advanced to Saturday's title round. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Aurora Central Catholic dance
A member of the Aurora Central Catholic dance team performs leap during her team's routine. Despite a very good performance, the squad failed to advance to the finals. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Villa Grove Dance Team
A Villa Grove Dance Team fan competes in the Dad's Dance-Off during a break in the action at the 2019 IHSA Competitive State Dance Finals. The Devilettes were one of a handful of Hip-Hop teams that advanced to Saturday's finals. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Pinckneyville dance team
Members of the Pinckneyville dance team perform their routine for the judges on Friday. The team failed to qualify for Saturday's championship round. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Burlington Central dance team
Members of the Burlington Central dance team perform a leap during 2019 IHSA Competitive State Dance Finals. The squad advanced to Saturday's finals as one of the top 12 teams in Class 1A. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


January 25, 2019 - Bloomington, IL - Members of the Rich East dance team perform their Hip-Hop routine. They did not advance to the finals on Saturday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Centralia dance team
Members of the Centralia dance team perform to a Jackson 5/Michael Jackson inspired routine. Their routine, which nearly took down the house, earned a top 12 score and a spot in the championship round on Saturday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)



See more photo coverage from Friday's semifinal competition here.

January 24, 2019

7 Illini Prairie Conference photos from Rantoul's road game at SJO

SJO head coach Kevin Taylor was able to put every player on his varsity squad on the floor Monday night in his team's home conference game against Rantoul.

"It helps when someone get hot early like Peyton Crowe," he said. "Then we can spread the floor out."

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team picked up their 20th win of the season behind Crowe's 20-point game-high performance. Seven other SJO player also contributed offensively and everyone had a hand in smothering the Eagles shots in the 63-24 victory.

Myejoi Williams led the Eagles scoring effort with a team-high 9 points. Seniors Courtney Sutherland and Emma Mihaly each contributed a solo trey to round out the the top three scorers from Rantoul.

Here's seven photos from Monday's milestone win for the Spartans. Follow this link to see more photos from the game in the SJO vs Rantoul gallery.

Payton Jacobs wrestles the ball away from a Rantoul player
Spartan Payton Jacobs wrestles the ball away from Rantoul's Myejoi Williams. Jacobs came off the bench to finish the night with 8 points for SJO. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Ella Armstrong goes up for a shot against Rantoul
St. Joseph-Ogden's Ella Armstrong goes up for a shot in front of Rantoul's Myejoi Williams during in the second half. The Spartans defeated the visiting Eagles to pick up their 20th win of the season with a 63-24 win on Monday. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


SJO's Maclayne Taylor dribbles the ball away from Rantoul's Emma Mihaly
Maclayne Taylor dribbles the ball away from Rantoul's Emma Mihaly during first half action of their home game on Monday. Taylor finished the game with 7 points. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Rantoul's Hannah Kelley tries to wrestle the ball away St. Joseph-Ogden's Taylor Barnes
Rantoul's Hannah Kelley tries to wrestle the ball away St. Joseph-Ogden's Taylor Barnes during their regular season Illini Prairie Conference game. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Angela Palmer looks for an open teammate
Keeping the ball away from Rantoul's Litzy Hernandez, St. Joseph-Ogden's Angela Palmer looks for an open teammate to pass the ball during second half action. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Maclayne Taylor guards Rantoul's Jada Mosley
Maclayne Taylor guards Rantoul's Jada Mosley during their Illini Prairie Conference game. Taylor finished with 7 points on the night. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


St. Joseph-Ogden's Hannah Dukeman makes a pass in their home game against Rantoul. The junior contributed 9 points in the SJO victory. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)



Click here to search for more photos 24/7 that are in the PhotoNews Media online archives. Follow this link to discover more photos from this game or order any photo from this page:SJO vs Rantoul Gallery.

January 23, 2019

Seven area student's earn WIU academic honors

Six PhotoNews area students along with 1,355 other undergraduate students were named to Western Illinois University's 2018 Fall Dean's List.

Undergraduate students at WIU must earn at least a 3.6 grade point average while taking a minimum of 12 hours of classes. Classes taken on a pass-fail basis, for student teaching hours and internships are not counted towards the GPA calculation

Champaign: John V Miller (Sophomore)
Champaign: Jaime Gwen Johnson (Senior)
Saint Joseph: Nicholas R Walden (Senior)
Seymour: Jessica Ashley Anglin (Senior)
Tolono: Morgan Alaine Burwell (Senior)
Urbana: Nashare K Broughton (Sophomore)

The six are one of 1,153 student from Illinois and seven from Champaign County to earn the Dean's academic recognition.


January 17, 2019

Trimble leads SJO in conference win over Pontiac

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team hasn't been beaten this year. This calendar year that is. SJO cruised to their sixth consecutive win after they notch their 19 win of the season with a 70-48 victory over visiting Pontiac.

Senior Bree Trimble, who is averaging 16.4 points per game since the start of the new year, put 26 points on the scoreboard for the Spartans. After missing her first two free throws in the opening quarter, Trimble put her next seven shots from the line through the hoop.


St. Joseph-Ogden's Bree Trimble lines up a shot in her team's non-conference home game against Oakwood on December 1. Trimble drained a team-high 16 points as the Spartans kept their unbeaten streak alive one more week with a 52-45 win over the visiting Comets. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Peyton Crowe, who scored her 1,000th career point on January 10, was 2-for-2 from the free throw line and finished the game with 14 points.

Freshman Ella Armstrong came off the bench to score 10 points and senior Maclayne Taylor chipped in 9 for her team.

Held to just 19 second half points by the Spartans, Pontiac's offense was led by sophomore Addison Masching with 9 points. Lindsey Hunt, Josie Noonan, Amanda Fox, and Camryn Feddern contributed 6 points a piece in the loss.

Jackson scores 30 in road win over Matton

Alarea Jackson drained 30 points in Urbana's away contest at Mattoon. The junior also led the contest with 7 steals in the 69-61 victory over the Green Wave.

She was not the only Tiger who finished the game with a double-digit performance. Fellow junior Chian Scott turned in a 17-point performance.

Kynzee Boastick was ferocious in the lane with 12 rebounds to help her team notch their 16th win of the season.

The Tigers fought tooth and nail for every point to end the first half with a 35-32 lead. Combined, the team made 30 of its 41 attempts from the charity stripe.

Mattoon was paced by Mallory Ramage with 22 points.

January 14, 2019

Crowe leads Spartans in IPC win over Unity

St. Joseph-Ogden scored 12 unanswered points in the first six minutes of the third quarter last week to notch another conference win last Monday. The Spartan girls team rolled 59-27 win over Unity after allowing just 10 points total in the second half of the game.

Peyton Crowe delivered a spectacular game-high 20-point performance in the win. The senior made all six of her free throw attempts and drilled a pair of shots from three-point range to overpower the Rockets.


Peyton Crowe fires a shot after driving down the baseline past a Unity player.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Crowe fires a shot after driving down the baseline past a Unity player. Crowe, who is closing in on scoring her 1000th point, finished the game with 20 points. See more photos from the game here.(PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


"She played well tonight and not just on scoring. She was hustling," said SJO head coach Kevin Taylor. "She took a charge and played good defense for us."

Bree Trimble finished with 13 points and missed just one of her eight free throw attempts.

"We started out very slow. It was not a good quarter for us," Trimble said. "Every team that plays us, plays their best against us. We knew we had get out of rut and step up our game."

The Spartans also enjoyed a solid showing from Hannah Dukeman, who finished with 12 points. Maclayne Taylor added another 8 to the score. Both drained a three-point shot in both the 2nd and 3rd quarter to stretch the lead over their conference rivals.

The Rockets were paced by Elyse Knudsen with 16 points and Rysa Stacy with 8.

The victory made it the fourth consecutive win for the 17-4 Lady Spartans since their loss to Bishop McNamara (Class 3A) at the State Farm Classic last month. Prior to that loss, the team's longest unbeaten streak was the 9-0 start to the season.

SJO's four losses this season have been at the hands of three Associated Press ranked 3A schools and 2A ranked Teutopolis.


January 10, 2019

We need that dang wall!


by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

A few years ago I visited South Africa where the average house was surrounded by a concrete wall. South Africa has many villages and rural communities of impoverished people where the main goal each day is to find a clean drink of water. However, people throughout many of the towns and cities lived behind walls.

Brazil is another country I've visited a couple of times where steel bars in windows and walls around houses are prevalent. Thieves and robbers are common in Brazil and South Africa and it is understandable why they want walls around their houses to protect their valuables and families.

Gated communities, security fences and security guards have been on the rise in America. We have security in our banks, schools, neighborhoods and churches. Any reasonable thinking business, factory, government building, apartment complex and family must have security and a defense in place.

We used to go to bed at night when I was a kid and never thought about locking the door but I remember my mother making a change one night. She said, "We're going to start locking our door." There were reports of prowlers in the community where we lived and she wanted to protect us.

Today we have prowlers roaming the communities of America.

There are estimates of anywhere from eleven to 27 million illegal immigrants. The Department of Homeland Security has estimated approximately 12 million illegal immigrants are in our country. The Pew Research Center has estimated just over 11 million illegal immigrants are in America.

Three Yale School of Management Professors published a paper in 2018 estimating the illegal population is somewhere between 16 and 29 million people.

These are people who have said, "To heck with our laws and rules we are coming to do whatever we please in America." These people are robbers and thieves. They have no regard for what is expected in America. Their goal is to get into our country first and then gain the sympathy of America to allow them to stay here.

We know many good hard workers come from Mexico. The "good" hard workers come legally.

Most Americans are sympathetic people. We give large amounts of money to charities, churches, food pantries and pay large amounts of money back into our federal government which in turn utilizes our money to help millions of Americans, refugees and immigrants.

Research how much money is paid out to refugees.

The Cash and Medical Assistance Program reimburses states for 100 percent of services provided to refugees and other eligible programs, as well as associated Administrative costs. Some Refugees and other non-citizens can get SSI, Supplemental Security Income, for up to Seven Years. The cost is billions of dollars. I'm not opposed to helping true refugees but the overall financial load is not light - 8.8 billion over the next five years or $80,000 per refugee.

The President has asked for five billion dollars to build a wall on our southern border. He is trying to protect us. It's not a silver bullet that will solve all of our problems but it's adding a layer of security.

If we don't build a wall along the Southern border we will soon become like many other third world countries with walls around our houses and subdivisions. Trump's five-billion-dollar wall will look like a pocket full of change in comparison to a nation of gates and walls trying to protect ourselves from millions and millions of illegal prowlers.

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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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January 9, 2019

8 photos from Monday's St. Joseph-Ogden, Unity basketball game


Unity's Maddie Reed tries to dribble around St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Crowe
Unity's Maddie Reed tries to dribble around St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Crowe on Monday, January 7. The Spartans defeated the visiting Rockets, 59-27. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


Payton Jacobs battles for an offensive rebound.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Payton Jacobs battles for an offensive rebound under the basket with Unity's Hannah Fridgen and Taylor Henry. SJO held the Rockets to just 10 points in the second half. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


Unity's Rysa Stacy tries drive into the paint against St. Joseph-Ogden. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


St. Joseph-Ogden's Erinn Miller looks for an opening.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Erinn Miller looks for an opening to drive to the lane in their home game against Unity. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


Former SJO basketball player Alyssa Beals show she still has good hands .
Former SJO basketball player Alyssa Beals show she still has good hands catching a souvenir basketball thrown in the stands on Monday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)


Unity's Elyce Knudsen goes up for a shot.
Unity's Elyce Knudsen goes up for a shot during her team's road game against the Spartans.(PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


Payton Vallee keeps her hands up to block a shot attempt by Unity's Rysa Stacy
St. Joseph-Ogden's Payton Vallee keeps her hands up to block a shot attempt by Unity's Rysa Stacy in the first half. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)


Ella Armstrong plays defense for SJO
SJO's Ella Armstrong plays defense during second half action. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks))


Click here to search for more photos 24/7 that are in the PhotoNews Media online archives. Follow this link to order any photo on this page: 01-07-19 SJO vs Unity.


January 8, 2019

Catch it if you can


St. Joseph-Ogden basketball alumna Alyssa Beals is all smiles as she catches a souvenir basketball while taking in Monday night's home game between the Spartans and visiting Unity. SJO blasted the Rockets 59-27 in their regular season Illini Prairie Conference contest. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)