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Save date for SVM Classic

It’s only been a week, but is anyone else starting to miss high school sports?

Thanks to the Sterling Golden Warriors softball team going to state, us local addicts had one more week this year to cover, to watch and to enjoy.

Here at SVM, we spent most of the week gearing up for today’s All-Area baseball section. The process of picking a team, a player of the year and coach of the year can be daunting.

This year, it seemed particularly hard, considering the first half of the season was wiped away by bad weather.

But even that process is all office work, and you fans only get to enjoy it in today’s section.

Well, I can’t provide a cure for the whole summer, but I’ve got another band-aid for one more week.

We will host the SVM All-Star Basketball Classic at Sauk Valley Community College on Thursday. The girls game starts at 5 p.m., and the boys game will follow.

I have to admit, planning the game is daunting in its own right. Getting sponsors, ordering jerseys (which are T-shirts this year due to a manufacturing issue) and contacting dozens of players can be enough to pull out what little hair I have.

We added a pep band and a cheerleading crew this year, so that doubled the stress – mostly for Christopher Heimerman, who took on those responsibilities.

But, I am also a sucker for All-Star games. I always have been. I love the thought of mixing and matching players from different schools and different systems to see how it all works out.

Here are a few things that have me excited for this year’s edition.

Twin towers: The Gazette boys team is blessed with the luxury of having Rock Falls’ Steven Armoska, SVM’s player of the year, and Erie’s Jacob Johnston, probably the runner-up on our ballots, on the the roster.

I can’t wait to see the two playing on the same team. Like Armoska, who told me during the player of the year story that he hadn’t seen Johnston
play, I can’t recall
making it to any of the Cardinals’ games during Johnston’s tenure.

Other SVM staffers have told me he’s
something to see.

My original hope was to have those two facing off against other SVM first-teamers Kyle Moore (Newman) and Caleb Mowry (Oregon). Unfortunately, Mowry couldn’t play because he’ll be out of state.

That doesn’t mean the Telegraph is at a big disadvantage; they just might have to focus more on defense.

My sleepers: I love
taking time to think about the players that could excel in an All-Star environment.

On the boys side, the first player that comes to mind is Tyson Powers. I think Mr.-Do-It-All from Amboy could be a matchup problem for the Gazette team.

For the Gazetters (let’s give that name a try for a minute), I like Jace Anderson. When that kid’s shots are falling, there isn’t a place in the gym he can’t hit from. If he gets going, the Gazetters (I like it) could put up 100 points.

For the Telegraph
girls, I really like Aleetra
Roberts’ game. The former Marco is such a consistent finisher around the rim that I think she could be a big difference-maker.

On the Gazette side, watch out for Morgan Sanquist from Fulton. She’s athletic, and could be a great complement to Jordan Giddings’
post play, the guard play of Morgan Mammosser and Cassie Reiley,
and the shooting of Stephanie Kester.

Farewell to a coach: Rochelle’s Kay Dobbs is joining us this season to coach the Telegraph team. Dobbs retired as the Hubs coach after this past season.

I hope that Thursday’s game can be a fun way for her to go out. We had her daughter, Michelle, on the Telegraph roster, but a conflict came up.

Michelle, fresh off an amazing state-record performance in the 800 at the girls state track & field meet, qualified for the USA outdoor nationals on June 20th. Ouch, the same day as our game. Well, we knew she was talented.

Congrats to Michelle, and good luck.

Well, I could go on forever, but I’ll stop here.

We will have stories and previews leading up to Thurday’s game in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Oh, and save the date, you are all invited to the big games.

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