Robinson's Landon Shonk attempts to hold his opponent's shoulders to the mat during a match at the Lawrence County Tournament Saturday in Lawrenceville. Shonk (113) was one of five RHS wrestlers to finish third in their respective weight class, while the Maroons finished third as a team as well. (Josh Brown photo)
Once again, Oblong High School and the Palestine/Hutsonville co-op are looking for a new home, but this time it was not their decision.
A mass exodus last week from the Little Okaw Valley Conference has left the Crawford County schools searching for what is best for their student-athletes in the future.
This development comes just three years after the local schools departed the Little Illini Conference for the LOVC, citing competition against schools more their size.
A total of 15 schools out of the 19 that are members of the LOVC decided to submit letters of withdrawal last week, citing a variety of reasons.
"At this time, there is a restructuring of the conference and schools are doing what they feel is in the best interest of their students and communities," Matt Shoaff, principal at Okaw Valley High School and president of the LOVC said in a press release issued Friday (Dec. 1).
Another standout player from Crawford County has decided to stay home to continue her volleyball career.
Hutsonville High School senior Mandi Alspach recently signed a letter-of-intent to play at Lincoln Trail College next season.
"It feels good to be able to say I'm a college volleyball player because it's been a goal of mine throughout high school," Alspach said. "I decided my freshman year that I wanted to play in college because that's when I started club volleyball and really got more serious about it."
When a pair of storied programs like Robinson and Olney get together, you can always expect a competitive, hard-fought contest and Friday night (Dec. 1)'s Little Illini Conference boys' basketball game was no different.
The Maroons and Tigers went toe-to-toe and four quarters was not enough to decide a winner. But when the dust finally settled, Robinson had pulled out a 70-66 win in overtime in the LIC opener for both teams.
"It was good for us to experience something like this," RHS head coach Mack Thompson said. "It was a great atmosphere and (Olney) coach (Rob) Flanagan always has his guys ready to play. Olney played well, but our guys made enough plays to win."
Solid contributions across the board helped Robinson High School's wrestling team to a third-place finish at the Lawrence County Tournament Saturday (Dec. 2).
"To say that we had a lot of fun Saturday at Lawrenceville would be an understatement," RHS head coach Joe Cunningham said. "It has been a long time since RHS Wrestling has brought home a trophy from a tournament and I really did not think that this would be the year, but the kids really came through as a team."
Another strong defensive effort was not enough to get Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team back in the win column Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Statesmen held their opponent to just 51 points, but they were unable to reach that threshold themselves and the end result was a 51-47 loss at Olney Central College in Great Rivers Athletic Conference play.
"We struggled to find our offensive rhythm and get to the foul line," LTC head coach Scott Sparks said. "I was happy with our effort and defense. We need to get our confidence back offensively. I think we are thinking about it too much instead of trusting our instincts."