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here for quarter-midget racing results from the fair.
here for harness racing results from the fair.
crowds cheer 3-on-3 players
6, 2001] Wearing
shorts and sunglasses, sitting on lawn chairs and blankets, hundreds
of family members and friends cheered on the 75 3-on-3 basketball
teams competing at the Logan County Fair Saturday.
here to see photos from the 3-on-3 contest]
eyes glued to the 10 courts, the fans called out encouragement to
the players: "Good play," "Nice shot,"
"Pick up the dribble, pick up the dribble," "Way to
go," "Good block," "Stay with him, stay with
him," "Defense, girls," "Yes!" Bursts of
applause were frequent. When a player went down on the asphalt
surface, a gasped "Oooh" from everyone near that court was
followed by tense waiting. At least in the early rounds, the crowd
was polite and positive.
few cameras were aimed at the action as well. A pair of greyhounds,
former racers, were the only ones not paying rapt attention.
music with a pronounced beat poured from the loudspeakers, but not
so loud as to prevent players from hearing their coaches or
spectators from carrying on conversations. Despite the pleasant
breeze, fans used every defense against the hot sun: caps and sun
visors, sunglasses, awnings and one black-and-white umbrella. In the
morning the lucky ones supporting teams playing on the east courts
sat with their backs to the sun.
at 9:15 the refreshment tent had some customers. Coolers, thermos
jugs and water bottles were everywhere.
Renfro, one of the organizers of this and downtown 3-on-3 events,
praised the tournament for drawing players and families to the fair.
He anticipated an all-day total attendance of 1,000 to 1,500 people.
At least 750 had gathered at 10 a.m.
were asked to register at least an hour before they played, and the
sidelines were dotted with waiting teams wearing matching shirts and
occasionally whole uniforms. If competing teams of boys both had
white shirts, one group stripped theirs off for the match. The girls
sponsored by MKS Jewelers wore pink-and-black shirts with matching
hair bows. In a couple of cases family members also sported matching
[to top of second column in
Pickering, Lincoln College dean of students and former basketball
coach, said, "Itís a good 3-on-3 because they have referees.
Itís competitive but also fun. It also provides a chance for
different kids to play together."
there to cheer on his son David, said he usually coaches a team, but
this year one of the players acted as team leader. Substitutions are
handled by the coach if the team has one; otherwise one of the
challenges is for team members to agree on who plays when.
ranged in age from a few entering second grade to high-school
seniors. For the youngest, shooting from the foul line required a
major heave of the ball. Girls played on four of the courts, each
devoted to teams of a different age range, and boys played on six
number of points a team needed to win a match ranged from 10 to 17,
depending on the number of competitors in that age range. Shots from
the 3-point line garnered two points, the rest one. Any winning team
had to be at least two points ahead.
most crowded class had a possible 28 games scheduled 20 minutes
apart. Other matches were allotted 30 minutes.
a friend about
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the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55
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plays in world competition in Japan
2, 2001] Brian
Cook has been named to the official 12-man squad team representing
the United States at the 2001 FIBA World Championship For Young Men,
is the only player from Illinois to make the team, since fellow
Illinois teammate Frank Williams injured his right wrist during a
practice session down in Dallas, Texas.
team is now in Saitama, Japan, for the world championships. They
begin by competing against 11 other teams and will start the
tournament in Pool B with Argentina, Croatia, Israel, Japan and
South Korea. The other teams in Pool A are Australia, Dominican
Republic, Egypt, Qatar, Slovenia and Spain.
Cub fans enjoy view from the top
2, 2001] As
I talk with area baseball fans, I find that many are disappointed
with the White Sox and the Cardinals, while others are thrilled with
the success of the Cubs. Of course we here at the LDN have been
telling anyone who would listen that we felt that this could be the
Cubsí year. That prediction is looking better every minute,
especially after they went down to Houston and came away with the
split. That was HUGE!
did we feel so good about Chicagoís chances this year? It started
with their off-season front office moves. Everything they did seemed
to make sense to us, and ó without being too offensive ó that
has rarely happened. Shoring up their pitching staff first and
plugging their lineup deficiencies next is the type of thing that
will not only help them to stay in the race this year, but it will
also enable them to compete for the immediate future as well. Isnít
this what all good teams do consistently? They donít mortgage the
future for a chance to finish .500.
a baseball fan, I applaud the moves they made. I know it wasnít
easy. They had to be crying in their cold frosty ones when they let
Mark Grace slip away to Arizona. But isnít it interesting that
theyíre having one of their best years ever without him. That may
not be just a coincidence. In an upcoming story, the LDN hopes to
prove how the addition of even one player here or the subtraction of
another player there can sometimes make all the difference in the
knew the Cubs meant business when they acquired Bill Mueller from
the Giants and Matt Stairs from the As. These guys were not just
good players, they came from "winning" organizations.
Mueller carried the Cubs for almost two months, and when he went
down he was hitting .317 and playing terrific defense. Stairs has
contributed 10 home runs, and his 41 RBIs are second in the ball
club. And although he wonít make you forget Gracie down at first,
heís certainly been solid.
White and Ricky Gutierrez havenít been chopped liver either. Ricky
is tied for second in RBIs with Stairs at 41, and White has banged
out 13 dingers (second behind Sosa) to go along with his .302
average and 36 RBIs. Ron Coomer, Eric Young and Gary Matthews have
all had their moments too. In fact this Cub conglomerate is a true
epitome team. One guy does the damage today and another guy comes
what can you say about Sammy? Can you say "one of the most
underrated superstars in professional sports"? All we know here
at the LDN is that the guy bats over .300, hits a million homers and
drives in a few million runs. For you purists, Sammyís numbers are
actually .302 with 34 taters and 98 RBIs. Not to mention a few great
plays in the outfield on a pretty regular basis.
a matter of fact, Iíve only been watching baseball for 41 or 42
years, and the kind of defense that the Cubs have displayed so far
this year has been as good as Iíve seen. If Iím wrong, would you
agree that it has helped get them this far, so far?
the pitching staff has been downright amazing. Their miniscule 3.72
ERA is second only to the "best pitching staff money can
buy" ó that of none other than the Atlanta Braves. Cub
pitchers are first in wins, third in saves, and first in runs
allowed and in strikeouts. Iím not too smart about sports, but
arenít these the most important categories out there? Tom
"Flash" Gordon has 19 saves. Area product Jeff Fassero has
11, and most of those were big, while the Cubbies were waiting for
the Flashman to return. Kerry Wood, Jason Bere and Kevin Tapani have
made major contributions and at times have probably deserved a
better fate. Kyle Farnsworth and Todd Van Poppel have been better
than anyone hoped for, except for maybe Greg Taylor. And Jon Leiber
has simply been unhittable most of the time.
[to top of second column in
fans were waiting for the Cubs to collapse in June while others were
expecting a July swoon. Now I hear some talking about the wheels
coming off in August. The LDN doesnít think so. We still see the
Cubs in the playoffs. How far they go may be the real story.
concerns still do remain. Their hitting woes at times have reached
the anemic stage. Theyíre in the bottom half of most team hitting
stats. If they could really pull off the trade for Fred McGriff or
some other slugger, that would really improve their chances of going
deeper into the playoffs. Donít hold your breath for Jason Giambi.
While many of us would like to see him hitting some bombs for our
favorite team, his Oakland As have snuck back into the wild-card
race. I donít see the Cubs landing him this season.
probably wouldnít hurt to add maybe one more pitcher to the mix
either. Maybe someone who could eat up a lot of innings in long
relief and maybe deliver a respectable spot start here and there the
rest of the way.
anyway you slice it, if youíre a Cubs fan, you gotta be loving
this season. The LDN encourages you to stop with the gloom and doom.
Part of the enjoyment of any achievement is the journey. The Illini
hoopsters had a great year even though they lost in the Elite Eight,
but it was a great ride. A few years ago when our Railer hoopster
teams went to state, we didnít win the championship, but they were
the adventure of a lifetime.
behalf of the LDN: Cub fans, enjoy the ride!
yesterdayís one-run loss, 4-3, due to late-game errors against the
San Diego Padres, left the Cubbies stinging, it was only their
fourth loss in 11 games. It still leaves northern Illinoisí
favorite National League ball team in first place in the Central
League, Central Division standings
vies for a spot on Team USA
27, 2001] Lincolnís
Brian Cook is now the lone Illini representative trying to garner a
roster spot on Team USA.
because fellow Illinois teammate Frank Williams injured his right
wrist when he fell on it during a Monday morning practice session
down in Dallas, Texas. He and Cook were hoping to be named to the
official 12-man squad that was scheduled to be named sometime July
27. Williams had his wrist examined and X-rayed on Monday night. The
X-rays proved to be negative. However, since he was not able to work
out at the practices on Tuesday or Wednesday, he made the difficult
decision to withdraw from the team. Cook and Williams had been in
Texas all week hoping for a slot on the team that will represent the
United States at the 2001 FIBA World Championship For Young Men.
trying out for the team are Troy Bell (Boston College / Minneapolis,
Minn.); LaVell Blanchard (Michigan / Ann Arbor, Mich.); Carlos
Boozer (Duke / Juneau, Alaska); Caron Butler (Connecticut / Racine,
Wis.); Nick Collison (Kansas / Iowa Falls, Iowa); Brian Cook
(Illinois / Lincoln, Ill.); Chris Duhon (Duke / Slidell, La.);
Reggie Evans (Iowa / Pensacola, Fla.); Dahntay Jones (Duke /
Hamilton Square, N.J.); Jason Kapono (UCLA / Lakewood, Calif.);
Jameer Nelson (St. Josephís / Chester, Pa.); Michael Sweetney
(Georgetown / Oxen Hill, Md.); and Marcus Taylor (Michigan State /
[to top of second column in
were limited to males who were born on Jan. 1, 1980, or later, making
this the 21-and-under team.
the team is announced, they will take off for a weekend stint of
training in Oakland, Calif. Then, itís on to Saitama, Japan, for
the world championship. The U.S. team will compete against 11 other
teams and will start the tournament in Pool B with Argentina,
Croatia, Israel, Japan and South Korea. The other teams in Pool A
are Australia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Qatar, Slovenia and Spain.
swim team practices start
3, 2001] The
Lincoln Community High School swim team for girls will have its
first day of practice and tryouts on Aug. 13.
will start at 8 a.m. at the Lincoln College pool. Physicals and
athletic permit cards must be completed prior to participation.
basketball at Delavan Fall Festival
17, 2001] A
3-on-3 basketball tournament will be part of the Delavan Fall
Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1.
will be numerous divisions for males and females age 8 and up. This
is a double-elimination tournament with awards to first-, second-
and third-place teams in each division. Each player will also
receive a T-shirt.
tournament will include 3-point contests and free-throw contests
throughout the day, with prizes awarded.
more information or to obtain an entry form, call Jack Wheeler at
(309) 244-9881 or Dennis Moehring at (309) 244-9241. Entries must be
received by Friday, Aug. 17.
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