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Saturday, Sept. 28

High school football

[SEPT. 28, 2002] 

At Springfield

Lincoln           22

Springfield      40

At Mahomet

Olympia           7   0   7   0 --14

Mahoment-S.   0   7   7   6 --20

Olympia:  Williams, 1-yd run (Wheet kick); Schmidgall 2-yd run (Wheet kick).

Articles from the past week


  • Lady Railers return home victorious
  • High school volleyball
  • High school golf


  • Attention football players

  • High school volleyball

  • LC golfer ties for second in MacMurray match

  • LC men’s soccer team shuts out Parkland


  • High school volleyball

  • High school cross country

  • High school golf

  • High school swimming

  • College soccer: LCC 2, Moody 0

  • Illinois men’s basketball season tickets on sale


  • High school golf

  • High school volleyball

  • Lincoln College vs. Springfield College in volleyball

  • Illini football fan reminders

  • Bears vs. Saints photos


  • Mayfield’s Mutterings...: Cardinals clinch Central Division title

  • Lincoln vs. Midwest Central

  • High school cross country

  • High school swimming

  • High school volleyball

  • Lincoln College men’s soccer vs. Southwestern Illinois

  • Lincoln College volleyball team plays at Shawnee

  • What a bad weekend in Champaign!

  • Illinois upset by San Jose State

  • Bears surrender big lead and lose to New Orleans


  • High school football
  • High school volleyball

Cardinals clinch Central Division title

By Jeff Mayfield

[SEPT. 23, 2002]  Regardless of how far the Redbirds go this year in the playoffs, this division title is one for the ages.

This team encountered adversity from spring training to getting ready for postseason play. Have you ever seen a starting rotation so decimated? In the midst of lots of tears and heavy hearts the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated I believe the third flag since Tony LaRussa’s arrival. And even though there was lots of bubbly on hand, as I stupidly stayed up late to watch all of Al Hrabosky’s interviews, you had to feel that the celebration was subdued in many ways. These men truly miss their friend Jack Buck. They also ache for the absence of their teammate Darryl Kyle.

All the experts say that the Birds have no chance versus Arizona or Atlanta, and they’re probably right. Speaking as just a baseball fan and not as a Bird backer, just for this one time I hope they are wrong!

But even if they’re right, this divisional championship is a fitting tribute to two (and actually there are more) of the really good guys in sports. People like Kyle and Buck really make sports attractive. They both recognized that baseball is only a game. They enjoyed it, respected it and never took it for granted.

ESPN’s Chris Berman said it best when he named this clinching as his No. 1 highlight in this week’s Top Ten!

Go, you Redbirds!!!

And how ’bout those Railers

People thought we had gotten into Greg Taylor’s stash of Cubs Kool-Aid when we predicted success for this year’s Lincoln Railer football team. As they came back to smack down one of our favorite schools, the Jacksonville Crimsons, 21-14, the boys have magically raised their record to a respectable 2-2. AND, it very easily could have been 3-1 at this point in the season.

When was the last time you heard the words "respectable" and "Railer football" used in the same sentence? I’m just so proud of these young men and their coaches! Don’t be too surprised to see them win two or three more along the way either. There is a feeling in the air that this team can still get a lot better and has not even approached their best football yet.

CONGRATULATIONS, John Oaks and you football Railers! Let’s get another one this Friday night!

More Railer action…

The Lady Railers volleyball team continues to roll. They smoked the best Peoria had to offer and ran their record to 9-2. Mount Pulaski continues to roll along as well. Lincoln golf, soccer and tennis are also holding their own. We are trying to make contact with these teams to promote them as well.

Not enough time

...for the Illini to fix all of the problems that they have and make something out of their season. Saturday’s 38-35 loss to the San Jose State Spartans was very hard to watch. While SJSU is a much better team than most central Illinois fans realize, that does not explain why Illinois is a team playing with little leadership or emotion. This game was a chance to even the record and prepare for Michigan. Instead of just stubbing the toe, I fear they twisted their ankle and, even worse, may have kissed their season bye-bye!

In the preseason we stated a 7-5 projection due to a tougher schedule and breaking in new players like a QB. But, we never expected a 1-3 start. Ouch! Hopefully there’s still time to circle the wagons and make something out of this train wreck. Hey, how ’bout upsetting Michigan on Saturday? And pass me some more of Greg’s Kool-Aid…

ISU in a thriller

The weekend did have some other thrilling moments. How ’bout the thrilling 24-23 outing turned in by the Redbirds of ISU? Down 17-3 in the third quarter, the last thing you were thinking of was a win… You were thinking, how about a TD?! Then it happened. The offensive line opened up some holes for Quincy Washington; he made some great runs on his own; and 21 unanswered points later, ISU was on top 24-17.

However, Murray State did not roll over and play dead. They came roaring back down the field in the game’s final two minutes and scored a TD with 26 seconds left. A gutsy call had them go for two and the road win, but Boomer and the boyz stuffed the Racers out and set off a wild celebration in the twin cities!

Too bad the refs never want to have any fun and the Birds were whistled for an excessive celebration penalty. Murray State used that momentum to recover an onsides kick, and you just had a sick feeling in your stomach. But Reggie Redbird had his way as ISU amazingly intercepted a sure TD pass to seal the squeaker and send their record to 2-1.


[to top of second column in this article]

This team is so exciting and they have a tremendous upside as far as potential is concerned. If you want a fun family outing, may we suggest ISU sports?

Bear-ly accepting

When the Bears went up 20-0 over the Saints on Sunday, the last thing you were probably thinking was how would they lose it? But sure enough, New Orleans outscored them 29-3 the rest of the way for the win.  [Click here for photos]

It seems like the team let down after getting the big lead and never got back into the flow. As they came out for the third quarter, both offensively and defensively the units seemed too relaxed. A killer instinct would keep them in an attack mode, but that was not what was displayed on Sunday. There never seemed to be much pressure on New Orleans QB Aaron Brooks, and he picked them apart with all of the time he was given. Special teams weren’t very special either. The Bears will need to shore that up to make a good run.

Tough game in Buffalo next week, and then the carnival comes to town on Monday night Oct. 7! If you want to cover our kids’ college tuitions, we know where you can get some tickets… Seriously, there are still tickets remaining for the NY Jets on Dec. 15 and for Tampa Bay on Dec. 29. Everything else is sold out!

Catch of the week

Good nominations in LA Dodgers Paul La Duca and Marquis "Nintendo" Grissom. La Duca made the greatest catch I’ve ever seen by a catcher, when he slid into the dugout making a play last week. Grissom, on the other hand, made two stellar plays in the outfield trying to keep the Dodgers in the race.

BUT, my catch of the week or catches of the week, have to go to Scott Rolen. You might call me a homer… UNTIL you see the plays for yourself… especially the diving catch Rolen had to clinch the NL Central Division title. It was a great exclamation point to put on the sentence of this season.

Team of the week

That’s easy. We’ve been touting the Lincoln Community High School football team all year long and they haven’t disappointed us. With the 21-14 win over Jacksonville, they evened their record at 2-2 and now aim to set their sights even higher. The LDN unanimously gives the Railers this week’s game ball as our team of the week!

On a side note: I could easily name the offensive line my O-line of the week — and I will! I probably should name Zach Gahr as my special teams player of the week, too. Also, the Railer defense gets the game ball as the defense of the week.

Too bad the Bears and the Illini couldn’t use the Railer defensive scheme in their games!

"FANdamonium" broadcast LIVE on Monday nights from 6 to 7 p.m.! We invite you to join us. Tonight’s guests include LCC volleyball coach Kevin Crawford and members of his 12-3 Angel squad! Also, on the docket we hope to have more Railer football players rejoicing over yet another win. In addition, we’ll ask Greg Taylor to explain to us how the defending Big Ten champions could be 1-3 and how the Bears lost a heartbreaker to the Saints. We hope to have time to celebrate the ISU win and the Cards’ Central Division crown and give a few prizes away as well.

Call us with your question or comment because you’re the reason that this show has the highest ratings of any sports show in Logan County! So, set your Web browser to and hit the link in "Hear it here!" Or turn your TV dial to No. 15, or No. 5 IF they’ve switched you to digital, and turn your radio dial to FIX 96.3 FM. We can’t wait to see you tonight!

[Jeff Mayfield]



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