September 16, 2019

Sturdy SJO defense nearly shutout Central Catholic

St Joseph-Ogden football
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

With Brayden Weaver providing protection, St. Joseph-Ogden's Crayton Burnett hands off the ball to Keaton Nolan during his team's home game against Bloomington Central Catholic on Friday, September 13. Held to just 155 total yards, it was a very unlucky day for the Saints who could only muster just ten first downs against a maturing SJO defense. All three SJO players scored once to lead SJO past BCC, 18-7. Weaver finished the game with 104 yards on 17 carries while Nolan led all ball carriers with a game-high 107 yards on 20 carries. The Spartans take their 3-0 record to Hicks Field to face longtime rival Unity (2-1) this Friday. See all the photos from the game here . . . (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

September 11, 2019

Central Maroons beat SJO, Struck leads Heritage over Arcola

Sports Wrap: September 11

SJO falls at home to Central
The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team picked up their second loss of the season after a 2-0 loss to visiting Champaign Central.

Katelyn Berry led the Spartans with seven kills and four digs in the non-conference match up. Jenna Albrecht contributed another five as the program's record moves to 4-2 on the season. Lacey Kaiser buoyed the team at the net with three blocks.

The Spartans host the Oakwood Comets tonight for another non-conference match before heading to the Mahomet-Seymour tournament this weekend.

Struck leads Heritage in 2-0 decision over Arcola
Bri Struck tallied six kills and five digs as 9-2 Heritage picks up another win after beating host Arcola, 25-13, 25-21. Olivia Sorensen contributed 11 assists and five aces.

Olympia drop straight sets to IVC
Junior Kaitlin Dean recorded 9 kills on the road at Illinois Valley Central but it wasn't enough for Olympia to blast by the Lady Grey Ghosts. The Spartans fell in Illini Prairie Conference action in straight sets, 25-10, 25-22.

Kaelyn Leverson delivered 18 assists over two sets. Bella Dickhut contributed 5 kills.

The Spartans next match is at home against Decatur MacArthur on Thursday.

Second half slide nips soccer team
Freshman keeper Hunter Ketchum had six saves in the Spartans' 2-0 loss to Fisher-GCMS at home last night. Bunnies Ethan Kasper scored the only two goals in the non-conference contest. His second came on a penalty kick less than ten yards from the posts.

SJO had a plethora of runs that could have resulted in scores, but could not put the ball in the net.

"I feel like we just lacking one part," said senior Kolton Batty. He is optimistic about the rest of the season and the current record is part of the process of maturing as a team. "Its just mental. I know we are a better team than we are."

The Spartans drop to 1-5-1 and play Oakwood at the Cornjerker Classic in Hoopeston on Friday. Match time is set for 4pm.

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Wayback Wednesday: Illini lacrosse fall to Michigan State

Illinois' Michael Grisko [7] races across the field looking for an open teammate to pass the ball despite opposition from Spartans' Derek Baynton from behind during their match in Urbana on March 31 in 2007. The Fighting Illini fell in their home lacrosse opener 10-8 to visiting Michigan State. The club team record drops to 4-7 on the season and Grisko delivered a single goal in their third consecutive loss.

Left: Illinois' Stephen Black [35] celebrates his first goal of the day with teammate Nate Prescott [37] during second half action against the Spartans. Right: Joe O'Malley passes the ball to a teammate during second half action. The Illinois sophomore contributed a single goal during the contest. See more photos from this match back in 2007 here: Illinois vs Michigan State lacrosse gallery.

Spartan long-stick Chris Zolkower [6] goes down while trying to maintain possession of the ball during fourth quarter action. Zolkower and visiting Michigan State Saturday afternoon handed the Illini their seventh loss on the season. Click here to view PhotoNews Media's complete collection of lax photos in our online archive today.

September 10, 2019

Three-Mile Tuesday: Glimpse back the inaugural Illinois Marathon

Every week we'll try to highlight runners and moments from road and cross country races three miles or longer that we have collected over the past decade and half. We kick off what we will be a regular weekly series on as time allows with a look back at the 2009 Marathon.

Kazuhiro Tatsuzawa, from Champaign, IL, takes water from aid station volunteer Carmelita Phillips, of Westville, IL, while running in the inaugural 2009 Illinois Marathon on April 11, 2009. Tatsuzawa finished 895 out of 1,571 competitors in the mens half-marathon division. He completed his 13.1 mile run one hour, 54 minutes and 23 seconds. See more 2009 Illinois Marathon photos here. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Roy Witty
Left: Roy Witty, from Chicago, IL, raises his hands as he crosses the finish line. He finished the 26.2 mile course at 2:38:09. Right: Kathleen Krzystofiak, from Naperville (on the right), receives a hug after finish her run first ever Illinois Marathon half marathon race. Krzystofiak ran the 13.1 mile course and finished with a time of 2:27:17. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Bloomington resident Mandy Borge holds a sign while waiting for a friend to pass her by along the half and full marathon course. Over 9,000 runners competed in the first installment of the Illinois Marathon in Champaign last weekend. See more photos from the 2009 race here or use the search box on the right hand side of this page to search our archives by name, event, date or city. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

September 9, 2019

Memory Monday: Going faster at the Cow Chip Classic pasture

Despite heat indices in the upper 90s, runners gave their all competing for team and individual titles at Chrisman's Cow Chip Classic on September 3, 2011. Monticello's Steve Schroeder stays ahead of St. Joseph-Ogden's Zeke Elkins and the rest of the pack during the first mile and a half of their race. Schroeder took this year's Number One Flight title beating his own record time set last year by nine seconds at 15:23. Elkins finished third for the Spartans at 16:06. See more photos from the race here: 2011 Cow Chip Classic. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Chris West wipes sweat from his face Leah Hutchison runs
Left:Tuscola cross country runner Chris West wipes sweat from his face as he runs the last 100 yards of the Open race at the Cow Chip Classic. Right: Cumberland's Leah Hutchison runs to a fourth place finish at Cow Chip Classic. Hutchison, a freshman, finished in fourth place with a time of 20:50. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Chelsea Blaase running in the Cow Chip Classic
September 3, 2011 - Chrisman, IL - St. Joseph-Ogden head cross country coach Jon Jamison attempts to squirt water on runner Chelsea Blaase as she runs during the 2011 Cow Chip Classic. Blaase, a senior, finished the race at 19:19. Later at the cross country season finale, Blaase won the Class 1A title finishing the course Detweiller Park at 17:12. Then, in the following spring track season, Blaase won the Class 1A state 3200m title and she finished second in the mile race. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Rockets' Caleb Wood runs the last 100 yards Elizabeth Wortman
Left: Rockets' Caleb Wood runs the last 100 yards of the Open race at the Cow Chip Classic. Due to extreme, unseasonably hot temperatures the three-mile race was cut in half. Right: St. Anthony cross country runner Elizabeth Wortman runs the course at the 2011 Cow Chip Classic. Wortman, a senior, took third at this year's race with a time of 20:40. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Runners from St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Thomas More and St. Anthony start the open race at the 30th running of Chrisman's Cow Chip Classic's. Unfortunately, team results were not yet available at the time when this photo was first published on See more great memorable race photos here: 2011 Cow Chip Classic. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Rockets trounce the Indians, SJO golfers play at Viking Invite

Sports Wrap: September 6

Rockets pick up win number one
Bouncing back after a heartbreaking opening 21-20 loss to Illinois Valley Central, the Unity Rockets blank visiting Pontiac, 41-0.

Unity triggered the running clock to start the second half as all six of their TDs were scored before halftime. The Indians started four sophomores and a freshman on offense, and another pair on defense due to injuries sustained by veterans already this season.

The Rockets (1-1) travel to Prairie Central to take on the undefeated Hawks.

Miller's defensive TD buoys SJO over Rantoul
Jaden Miller picked up a high bouncing ball and ran it into the end zone for a needed 6 points after a Rantoul punt was deflected off one of their own linemen. The senior defensive lineman's quick action help St. Joseph-Ogden defeat the host Eagles 22-8 on Friday.

"Freaking awesome," grinned Miller after the game. "First touchdown ever in high school. It sealed the game away."

Less than two weeks earlier, he said one of the things he would liked to accomplish this season was to post a defensive score for the Spartans. Earlier in the game, his younger sibling Coby scored a touchdown on a 15-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. Jarrett Stevenson plunged into the end zone on the two-point conversion to tie the score at 8-all.

Jarrett Stevenson led SJO with 99 yards rushing on 19 carries. Coby Miller chipped in 39 more to the help the St. Joseph-Ogden chalk up just 216 yards in the Week 2 Illini Prairie Conference contest.

The Spartans will host Bloomington Central Catholic on Friday at the SJO Sports Complex. The Saints (0-2), who start the season with back-to-back losses, fell in a one-point decision to Pontiac in their season opener and dropped their second league match to Prairie Central, 28-21.

Grimsley leads Spartans at the Viking Invitational
Payton Grimsley led the Spartans with 92 at last Friday's Viking Invitational held at the Turtle Run Golf Course in Danville.

Riley Myren shot a 96 and was chased by Joe Acton's 101 and Jacob Kern's 106. Jack Robertson finished they meet with a 121 and Maddux Carter left the course after recording 124 strokes.

The St. Joseph-Ogden squad competed against eighteen teams for top honors. Normal Community, which carded a 305 to take the this year's team title, finished six strokes ahead of runner-up Edwardsville. The young SJO team finished in 16th place.

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Attention high school and junior high coaches: Please send game scores and stats to us. Send results and weekly stats to

September 8, 2019

Rantoul suffers tough homecoming loss to SJO

Rantoul's Luke Zech carries the football
Rantoul's Luke Zech carries the football during second half action against the St. Joseph-Ogden (2-0) football team on Friday. The Eagles dropped to 0-2 on the season after a heartbreaking homecoming, Illini Prairie Conference loss, 22-8. Zech was responsible for 57 of RTHS' 161 yards on the ground against SJO. Zech and the Eagles will try to bounce back this Friday for their first win of the season when they take on the Olympia Spartans on the road. See more photos from the game here: SJO football vs Rantoul.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

September 4, 2019

Sports Wrap: Burnett pounds 9 kills in 2-0 win over M-S

Luke Stegall runs to a sixth place finish in the Male 14 to 18 division at the 2019 SJO 5K. Stegall, a sophomore, finished in seventh place at the Doc Acklin Invite on Saturday to help the SJO boys cross country team win this year's team title. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Sports Wrap: August 31

Varsity volleyball beats Bulldogs
Kennedi Burnett pounded nine kills and a pair of digs to help the Spartans to a Labor Day weekend win on the road at Mahomet-Seymour on Saturday. Emily Bigger was credited with 21 assist in the 2-1 non-conference victory. SJO rolled over the Bulldogs in straights 25-16, 25-12 largely due Lacey Kaiser, who played a solid defensive game responsible for five of the 20 recorded Spartan digs. After their opening loss to St. Teresa, St. Joseph-Ogden is enjoying a three-game win streak after improving to 3-1 in early season play.

Plotner leads SJO at Doc Acklin Invite
Senior Jillian Plotner finished in third place overall at the 4th Annual Doc Acklin Invite in Paris on Saturday. Scoring points toward the team title Plotner, along with teammates Hannah Rajlich, Ava Knap, Ashlyn Lannert and Ally Monk tallied 34 points. SJO finished second behind Marshall, who finished the race with 28 points and ahead of Teutopolis with 98.

Plotner clocked in at 18:35.2 and Monk, the final scoring member, finished 11th overall at 21:11.7.

Other Spartan harriers running in the program's first race of the season were Hope Rajlich, Kailyn Ingram, Kendra Riddle, Hanna Eastin, Addie Allen, Malorie Sarnecki, Sidney Davis, Taryn Sexton, Teagan Miller and Izzy Sexton.

Spartans first at XC Invite
Brandon Mattsey and Eric Poe finished one-two to help the SJO boys cross country team to a first place finish at the Doc Acklin Invite on Saturday, August 31. Elijah Mock, Luke Stegall and Charlie Mabry were rounded out the top five scoring finishers to help the St. Joseph-Ogden place ahead of Marshall (second place), Cumberland (third) and Effinginham, who finished fourth.

Also representing SJO on Saturday in the race was Braden Clampitt, Lukas Hutcherson, Ethan Blackburn, Logan Wolfersberger, Taddy Pettit and Zach Dahman.

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Attention high school and junior high coaches: Please send game scores and stats to us. Send results and weekly stats to

Eight new galleries this week

September 1, 2019

St. Joseph-Ogden wins 2019 opener

St. Joseph-Ogden linebacker Sam Wesley and teammate Payton Cain try to bring down St. Thomas More ball carrier Braylon Peacock during their Illini Prairie Conference season opener on Friday. After giving up an early touchdown in the first quarter, the Spartans rallied back to win at home, 36-8. See more photos from this year's Battle of the Saints here . . . (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)