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SportShorts for Monday, April 7, 2014


Locals honored by News-Gazette

The Champaign News-Gazette released its annual all-state boys basketball team over the weekend, and five local players were selected to the squad.

Eastland senior Dalton Shaner was among the 50 Special Mention selections, while his teammate and classmate Skylar Paulson was one of 100 Honorable Mention picks. Newman senior A.J. Sharp and sophomore teammate Noah McCarty were also named to the Honorable Mention squad, as was Bureau Valley junior Parker Neuhalfen.

The team tabbed 15 first-teamers and 15 second-teamers, in addition to the other 150 honorees.


Clippers, Comets to honor Pasley

The Amboy vs. Newman softball game Thursday in Amboy will hold a special ceremony for the late Mike Pasley, who died March 23.

Pasley was a teacher at Amboy, and his daughters Erin and Elise are members of the Newman fresh-soph softball team. The squads will hold a ceremonial first pitch at both levels, and wear special t-shirts in tribute to Pasley.


‘Wounded Warrior’ game in Fulton

The April 21 baseball game between Fulton and Morrison at Drives Park will be more than just an annual Three Rivers clash between the Route 30 rivals.

The teams will undertake various fundraising efforts throughout the game, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity which supports and provides assistance to injured soldiers.

Both teams will wear special camouflage jerseys, and the coaching staffs and seniors from both squads will meet in the days leading up to the game to plan for the day. Anyone wishing to help out can contact Fulton coach Kyle Miller at 563-590-8076, or


Jones wins Houston Open in playoff

Matt Jones earned his first trip to the Masters with a remarkable 42-yard chip-in on the first playoff hole, outdueling Matt Kuchar on his way to winning the Houston Open.

The win is the first on the PGA Tour for the Australian, who made a 46-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to reach the playoff. He ended it one hole later, chipping over the right front bunker on the 18th and watching it roll in.

Kuchar, who bogeyed the final hole of regulation, then missed his bunker shot to give Jones the win.


President: Union inappropriate

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Sunday the unionization of college athletics would be “grossly inappropriate.”

“To convert to a unionized employee model is essentially to throw away the entire collegiate model for athletics,” he said. “It would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.”


Johnson visits Crystal Lake swimmer

A world-class swimmer and 2016 Olympic hopeful showed up at a Crystal Lake banquet hall Sunday morning to surprise a 13-year-old boy who in February was the target of an alleged hate crime in his Crystal Lake middle school.

BJ Johnson, 26, a USA National Swim Team member, flew in to Chicago on Sunday morning from his home in California just to tell Omid Babakhani that his “swim family” from across the country supports him in his recovery and encourages his return to swim.
February’s assault resulted in shattering both of Omid’s clavicles.

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