Spring sports sectionals


As of press time, Forreston and Stillman Valley remain alive in boys baseball. Everyone else in softball and baseball has been eliminated, including No. 1 sub-sectional baseball seed Byron.

In fact, in the Byron 2A sectional, both No. 1 seeds are gone. It was wide open to begin with and remains that way with North Boone, Riverdale, Stillman and Newman.

Stillman had the most impressive regional performance with a dismantling of No. 1 Marengo. They are a team that opponents probably fear playing.

In the win over Marengo, all aspects of their game were clicking. It almost came too easy for them.

The same was the case for Forreston, but with a much easier path to the sectional coming out of a weak regional with slaughter-rule wins.

Like Stillman, their sectional is quite even. Forreston has an advantage of being at home and has plenty of post season experience over the years. Same with Stillman, who is willing to take on all comers in the post season without fear.

Congratulations to Forreston-Polo for picking up state places in the sprint relays and the throws at the 1A track & field meet. Sydni Badertscher repeated as shot put medalist and added a discus medal to her haul.

After Winnebago was crowned champ in 2023, this year’s 1A meet was dominated by teams from the central and southern parts of the state.

Team champion was Glen Carbon Father McGivney, a Catholic school near St. Louis. About 10 years ago, 19 students began classes there. Since then, it began to achieve athletic prowess, as sports are integral for building enrollment.

The boys are in Charleston this weekend and Winnebago is an odds-on favorite to come back with a state trophy. With a sprinter like Supreme Muhammad, anything is possible.

After attending the 2A track sectional at Sycamore and the 1A at Winnebago, I left with gratitude for how well smaller schools like Oregon and Winnebago put on sectionals.

Sycamore has a great 2A team, but need some help on putting on a post-season event. The start of the high hurdles was delayed for nearly an hour, while personnel attempted to hook up the timing system at the opposite end of the regular finish to take advantage of the wind. Nice gesture, but that should be tested beforehand. After a fruitless attempt, the hurdles were moved back the other direction.

A good PA person, such as the one (John Bothe) we had at Winnebago, also kept fans informed on pertinent info. That was lacking at Sycamore.

Much better facilities at ‘Bago too, with plenty of space for each event, while Sycamore’s jumping pit was right next to the pole vault pit. Most high jumpers at Sycamore had to start their approach on a grass infield.

Bottom line, there were excellent performances at Sycamore, but we are spoiled around here with how efficient meets are run and the facilities we have.

Over the last decade or so, signing days by high-school athletes regarding their college of choice have become a big deal.

I loved what the Sauk Valley Chamber of Commerce and Regional Office of Education did. They put on a “Signing Day” for area seniors that plan to go into the workforce.

Like a sports signing day, the kids were seated at a table with the business or factory they signed on to be employed at.

Attending an OHS graduation party last week, I was delighted to hear this young man share plans to seek an electrical apprenticeship and forego college. This country needs more workers and fewer students.

Andy Colbert is a longtime Ogle County resident with years of experience covering sports and more for multiple area publications.