Every Monday, I open a template page in our system that contains the complete schedule of local events for the current season.
After a couple waves of my technological wand, I’ll end up with several sheets of paper in my hand with the schedule of events for the next week. It’s that list which I use to to make our department schedule.
The first step in the process is scanning through requests for days off and so forth. Then I work out what days each person will have off, and make sure that I leave enough people to get the section out each day.
Then I take the events schedule, and start putting stars next to every event that it seems like we should cover. Some might be average games from one of our four main schools – Dixon, Newman, Rock Falls and Sterling.
Some might hold special significance – conference game or meet, rivalry game, or non-conference matchup between two powerhouses.
Anyway, I started the schedule for this coming week, and I almost used up the ink in a pen making stars for events on Tuesday.
This coming Tuesday might be one of, if not the most-packed days of the winter. I say this, and fully expect the sports gods to deliver a terrible snowstorm to wipe it all out. That’s just been my luck lately.
Operating on the assumption that I haven’t disturbed the heavens, I’ll take a minute to preview an exciting day in local sports.
The first eye-catcher is boys basketball between Rock Falls and Dixon at Lancaster Gym at 7:15. The Rockets suffered a tough loss to Sterling on Tuesday, but rebounded to win at Stillman Valley on Thursday.
Dixon has feasted on smaller schools at tournaments in Orion, West Carroll and Plano. The Dukes will look to make a statement against the area’s most storied basketball program in the Rockets. This one should be a lot of fun.
Moving down the list of games, the Bureau Valley Storm will play at the No. 4-ranked Newman Comets.
The Storm have a dangerous collection of talent, and the Comets will be coming off a big game against No. 1 Rockridge on Saturday at the Manny’s Shootout in Mount Carroll. Could the Storm have an upset brewing?
On the girls side, the Sterling Golden Warriors host the Dixon Duchesses. The Warriors will be looking to avenge a loss at Lancaster Gym in December. Depending on how things went Friday, both teams might need the win to stay in the NIB-12 West race.
Another girls game of note is the Eastland Cougars playing at the Oregon Hawks. The Cougars are probably the top 1A team in the area, while the Hawks are one of the best 2A teams. This is the kind of non-conference game that should make both teams better.
If those don’t satiate your hoops hunger, perhaps a drive to Freeport to watch a doubleheader between Sauk Valley Community College and Highland would fill your belly. These two schools are big rivals, and usually produce very entertaining games.
Perhaps basketball doesn’t interest you? How about wrestling?
A big Class 1A meet will be occurring at Erie. The Erie-Prophetstown Panthers will host Newman and Dakota. All three programs are consistently strong. The Comets feature a few kids that should finish at or near the top of the podium in Champaign in few weeks. Dakota has Josh Alber, who is undefeated in high school, and he’s a senior. Seeing him grapple alone will be worth the price of admission.
In all, there are 25 events scheduled for Tuesday. So, let’s hope for good weather, because it should be a night to remember.