‘A whole new perspective’ says TCHS student about unique leadership camp

1A-Blake NSLCwebBy Colleen Lehmann
If any Tuscola High School teacher happens to assign a “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” essay, Blake Woodard will have some great subject matter with which to work.

The soon-to-be senior spent what he characterizes as a “life changing” 10 days at a National Students Leadership Conference (NSLC) on the campus of Fordham University in New York City, studying sports and entertainment management. Woodard was afforded the unique opportunity by virtue of an anonymous nomination and recommendation.

“We still don’t know who nominated me for NSLC, but whoever it was, I am so glad they did,” says Woodard. “When my parents (John and Deanna Woodard) and I got the information and started checking out NSLC, it just looked like too good an opportunity to pass up.”

NSLC is a well-regarded and established leadership conference for high-achieving students offering them a blend of classroom activities; hands-on, real world simulations; field trips; and motivational speakers related to a variety of career interests. In Woodard’s case it was sports management, but other areas of concentration included biotechnology; business and financial careers; education and the classroom; journalism, film, and media arts; intelligence and national security; international diplomacy; law and advocacy; engineering; forensic science; culinary arts and restaurant management; medicine and health care; and theatre.

And so on July 8, 2014 Woodard flew from Indianapolis to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, arriving to attend a welcoming barbecue and opening ceremonies. Then it was nine days of morning-to-night immersion in the world of sports/entertainment management and leadership principles. Leadership series lecturers included professors Jay Caputo and Rob Romano.

“They were cool dudes, and offered really great perspectives on things like contract information, the ins and outs of being a sports agent, the kind of issues that arise in dealing with athletes and entertainment figures. I gained a lot of insight I wouldn’t have had any idea about before,” says Woodard.


Romano, in particular, piqued Woodard’s interest. He is a former NFL player, now an attorney with his own agency (RISE), representing athletes and coaches on a national and international level. Guest speakers to which the students were also exposed included nationally acclaimed sports business/news names like Aaron Cohen ad Matt Stroup.

Classes on campus were divided into three categories. Client management simulations—Woodard’s favorite–had the attendees drafting letters to potential clients trying to earn their “business,” learning about the negotiation process, public relations hurdles and how to handle them, and contract issues.

A second focus was management labs, offering tips on public speaking, interviewing techniques, and other necessary skills in the job-seeking world.

The third category was doing an event management simulation. Conference attendees were divided into teams and assigned different tasks related to the planning and hosting of a major sporting competition called the Fordham Games—an Olympic-like competition that included tug-of-war, dodge ball, touch football and more.
–Full story in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition

Mo-Do Jr. Legion fails to advance to state

By Missy Chappell
As the number-one seed in the State of Illinois Fourth Division Jr. Legion Tournament, the boys from the Moultrie-Douglas Jr. American Legion baseball team entered tournament play with very high expectations. As is often the case, things do not always go as planned, and the team came up short. Mo-Do was eliminated by two losses on Sat., July 25 to end its 2014 season with a 30-10 record.

Zach Hrvol (Sullivan) took the mound in game one for Mo-Do. Facing a quality opponent from Eureka, Mo-Do fell 5-4. Eureka scored two runs in its half of the first on three base hits, and picked up the final three runs in the second on a three-run home run. Hrvol then settled down, allowing no runs on three hits over the final four innings of play.

The Mo-Do team that was hitting .354 going into the game and averaging 8.6 runs per game just could not get the bats going. Josh Knight’s (Tuscola) single with two out in the third and Dylan Hart’s (Sullivan) home run in the fourth were the only hits Mo-Do could muster.

Dalton James (Heritage) led off the fourth with a base on balls. He then stole second and third. With two outs, Hrvol drew a base on balls in front of Joe Jeffers’ (Okaw Valley) ground ball to short that was misplayed, scoring James. Hart then went deep for a three-run homer, putting Mo-Do back in the game down by only one run. Mo-Do bats remained silent the rest of the game, with Nick Bates (Tuscola) the only base runner, after being hit by a pitch in the sixth.

“We didn’t swing the bats well at all in this game,” said Mo-Do Coach Duff Hoel. “I saw guys that are really good hitters putting bad swings on the ball. Some of the guys just looked tired and slow. I’m sure the week off without games hurt us, but we should have taken plenty of cuts throughout the week, and in a game of this magnitude, we should have been ready to play the game the same way as we have all year.

“Zach started off slow and we got behind. Once he settled in, he was really good, but we spotted a good team five runs and then we weren’t able to bounce back. Our team has come from behind enough this year that I don’t think we were pressing; however, offensively we didn’t do the same things that we’ve done all year and it cost us this ball game.”

After an approximate four-hour rain delay, Mo-Do then faced a Macon County team they had beaten three times in the last 10 days by an average score of 10-2. Once again, Mo-Do could not get their offense rolling and the result was an 8-2 loss, ending Mo-Do hopes of advancement to the state tournament and their season.

Tyler Hale (Tuscola) took the mound for Mo-Do against Macon County. Hale gave up five runs in the first on four base hits and two base on balls. Macon County scored two more in the second and one in the fourth before Seth Still (Arcola) relieved Hale and shut down the Macon County offense.

Dylan Hart homered for Mo-Do in the fourth to get them on the board. He then singled and scored on a Drew Beachy (Arthur Okaw Christian) single in the seventh to complete the Mo-Do scoring. Along with Hart, Nick Bates was 2-3 for Mo-Do. Jaret Heath (Tuscola) and Daniel Mendoza (Arcola) got the remaining hits for Mo-Do.

“This was a tough one,” said Coach Hoel. “I don’t know if it was the rain delay or the fact that we had beaten Macon County three times recently, but we didn’t bring much energy to this game. Tyler has thrown well for us this year, but he allowed the first three batters of the game to reach base, two by walks. That set the tone for the game, as we failed to recover as a team. Once again, we didn’t swing the bats well at all. It was a long day, made even longer by our lack of execution offensively.

“We had a ton of fun this year and won a lot of games. I told the guys not to gauge the season based upon a poor showing on the final day, but rather from the complete work. We won 30 games. We played some really terrific baseball and beat a lot of really good teams. Both of the teams from our division that are going to state (Danville and Urbana) we beat this year, including a season sweep over Urbana.

Every one of our ballplayers improved their game over the course of the summer. Everyone learned something new, and all of them will be much better ball players next spring. We had a terrific group of young men to work with and they all came together very well as a team. I look forward to having them all back next summer and watching each of them continue to improve their game,” Hoel said.

Summer football provided great start heading into 2014 season

By Missy Chappell
Although the Warrior football season does not officially begin until the first practice on August 11, the dedicated members of the 2014 squad did not get the summer off from football-related activities. In addition to football camp in June, Coach Andy Romine also opened the weight room three mornings a week throughout the summer for the team to improve strength, and the team competed in four separate 7-on-7 tournaments.

Head Coach Rick Reinhart said that, overall, one of the most positive aspects of this summer’s programs was that the team had a 98 percent participation rate. High participation in summer programs is not necessarily something new for Warrior football, but Reinhart was really impressed by the work ethic demonstrated by the kids once they arrived.

“We (the coaching staff) are tickled to death by the gains we’ve made in the off season,” he said.

Reinhart personally was thrilled by the dedication of the coaching staff as well. Andy Romine, Ted Minger, Drew Sterkel, and Christian Lehmann (a 2010 TCHS graduate who is a new volunteer addition to the staff this season) did not miss a single event over the summer.

“The dedication of the coaching staff is a big key to our success.”

In addition to the positives that came out of the strength training over the summer, the team also participated in several 7-on-7 tournaments. These events are set up by individual schools and consist of five games in one day, which operate on a 25-30 minute continuous clock. The teams are given four downs to go 20 yards through pass plays only. Touchdowns are worth six points. Defensive interceptions are awarded three points. These are “touch” football games, as the only protective gear worn is helmets, in keeping with IHSA guidelines.
–Full story in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition

Phillip Baer

1-Phillip Baer obitwebPhillip C. Baer, 72, of Hammond, died at 2:36 p.m., Saturday, July 26, 2014 at home, under the care of his family and hospice. Services will be held Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 66 East US Highway 36, Atwood. Burial will follow in Hammond Cemetery. Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 30, 2014 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal Aug. 6, 2014 edition

Mike Sanderson

1-Mike Sanderson obitwebMyron Earl “Mike” Sanderson, 83, of Nashua, New Hampshire, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, July 25, 2014, surrounded by his family.
There will be no services in New Hampshire. A family celebration of life will be scheduled in Tuscola, Ill. in the near future. Farwell Funeral Service, 18 Lock Street, Nashua, NH is assisting the family with arrangements.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal Aug. 4, 2014 edition

Carl Suding

1-Carl Suding obitwebCarl F. Suding, 85, of Arcola, passed away at 9:16 p.m. on Monday, July 21, 2014 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 25, 2014 at Edwards Funeral Home, 221 East Main in Arcola. Father Delix Michel officiated. Burial was in Arcola Cemetery. Visitation was held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at the funeral home. A rosary service was held at 5:30 p.m. prior to the visitation at the funeral home on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition

Clio Means

1-Clio Means obitwebClio James McPherson Means, age 15, of Tuscola, passed away Thursday, July 24, 2014. Visitation was held Sunday, July 27, 2014 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Hilligoss-Shrader Funeral Home, 705 South Main Street in Tuscola. Funeral services were held Monday, July 28 at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial followed at Young America Cemetery in Hume.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition

Fannie Miller

1-Fannie Miller obitwebFannie J. Miller, 90, of Hindsboro, passed away at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at her residence in Hindsboro. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Kemp Church of Christ in Kemp. Rev. Randy Sells officiated. Burial was in VanVoorhis Cemetery in Hindsboro. Visitation was held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 25, 2014 at Edwards Funeral Home.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition

Mary Andres

1-Mary Andres obitwebMary Rose Andres, 96, of Arcola, died at 11:03 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at her residence in Arcola. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Arcola, with Rev. Delix Michel officiating. Burial will follow in Arcola Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral at the church, with rosary at 10 a.m. Shrader Funeral Home, 204 N. Locust Street, Arcola, is assisting the family with arrangements.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition

Betty Ray

Betty L. Ray, age 83, of Camargo, died at 7:20 p.m. on Saturday July 19, 2014 at her home in Camargo. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 24, 2014 at Joines Funeral Home in Villa Grove, with Pastor Jerry Silver officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Tuscola Township Cemetery, Tuscola.
–Full obituary in The Tuscola Journal July 30, 2014 edition