Oblong High School senior Shyanna Chapman recently signed her letter-of-intent to continue her track career at Austin Peay State University, becoming the first OHS athlete to commit to a Division I school for track. Pictured alongside Chapman are her parents, Fantasy Sharrett (left) and J.D. Shorter (right), while in back is USA Track & Field coach Damien Kalvar. (Josh Brown photo)
One of the world's most popular sports has been gaining popularity locally in recent years and Lincoln Trail College is looking to capitalize on that.
Coming on the heels of soccer fields being built in Robinson, LTC is set to do the same on their campus.
Two soccer fields, as well as a softball diamond (see story on front page) are set to be built in the near future on the campus of Lincoln Trail College, which will be the home to LTC's women's soccer program that is set to begin play in the fall.
"We saw it as an opportunity to grow our athletic program," LTC Athletic Director Kevin Bowers said. "Soccer is the fastest growing sport in America and we saw the need for it here. There are junior colleges across the country adding soccer and we wanted to be a part of it."
There were highs and lows to the final weekend of the season for Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team.
The Lady Statesmen scored a big victory on Senior Night Friday (March 1), but were then thumped on Saturday (March 2) by undefeated and NJCAA No. 1-ranked Wabash Valley College, 101-43, in their regular season finale.
Needing two wins to have a chance to avoid an opening round game in the district tournament, Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team was only able to pick up one over the weekend.
The Statesmen opened a busy weekend to wrap up the regular season by cruising to a 80-55 win over Southeastern Illinois College Friday night, but then dropped a 71-53 decision to Great Rivers Athletic Conference co-champion Wabash Valley College Saturday afternoon.
Desperately needing a win to give them a chance to climb back up the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and District 16 standings, Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team put together a strong first half on the road at No. 5-ranked John A. Logan College.
Unfortunately for the Statesmen, they could not duplicate their performance in the second half and wound up on the wrong end of an 87-75 decision Tuesday night (Feb. 26).
Not only did Lincoln Trail College's baseball team not split a doubleheader, the Statesmen find themselves on a three-game winning streak.
Lincoln Trail has now won three straight games after sweeping the second of two doubleheaders against West Georgia Tech Monday afternoon (Feb. 25), as they took game one 3-1 and game two 7-2. Both twinbills (Sunday and Monday) were played in Hoover, Ala., due to wet conditions in Georgia.
"For the most part, I was very pleased," LTC head coach Kevin Bowers said. "I have been incredibly pleased with our pitching, but we still need to shore up the back end of our bullpen. We are still mixing and matching with our line-up and haven't done a great job of situational hitting and moving runners, but we are finding ways to score runs."
Another doubleheader, another split for Lincoln Trail College's baseball team.
The Statesmen played their third doubleheader of the season Sunday (Feb. 24) and came out with a split for the third time, as they lost game one to West Georgia Tech, 5-4, before rebounding for a 7-1 win in game two in a twinbill played in Hoover, Ala.
An Oblong High School athlete recently became the first in school history to sign with a Division I school for track.
OHS senior Shyanna Chapman signed her letter-of-intent to continue her track career at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.
Chapman, who has excelled at shot put and discus throughout her high school and junior high careers, will continue to throw at Austin Peay and is looking forward to the opportunity.
"I have basically spent every summer practicing all day long for the past six years and now it has paid off," Chapman said. "I used to play other sports when I was younger, but I stopped so I could focus on getting better in track. Once I went to state my eighth grade year and I started working with (USATF coach) Damien Kalvar, I realized this is what I wanted to do in college."
It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team managed to find its way back into the win column Wednesday night (Feb. 20) - barely.
The Statesmen tried hard to give another game away, but held on in the final seconds to beat Shawnee Community College, 84-81, in a Great Rivers Athletic Conference contest.
"Our end of game execution was about as bad as I've seen," LTC head coach Luke Stuckey said. "For that game to be close was inexcusable. That is something that we're going to have to fix. But, at the end of the day, it's a region win and we stopped a skid, so we'll take it."