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S.C. grad Garrett now playing in Dominican

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By Dan Chamness

While minor league teams in America are finished, South Central grad Shawn Garrett is still playing baseball in the Dominican Republic.

The South Central grad had a highly successful summer season in which he played for two different minor league teams. Garrett, who will turn 30 in two weeks, finished the season with Tacoma, the Class AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. In 100 games, he batted .304 and finished with 118 hits. Thirty-five of his hits went for extra bases; he had 24 doubles, one triple and 10 homers. He drove home 62 runs and scored 50. Garrett walked 26 times and stole five bases as well.

He helped Tacoma finish 80-64 in the Pacific Coast League-Northern Division, just four games behind league champion Salt Lake, which finished with an 84-60 mark.

Garrett earned the trip to Class AAA after hitting .276 in 23 Class AA games for the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. He finished with 24 hits (including eight doubles, two triples and one homer), 16 runs scored, 14 RBIs, seven walks and one stolen base. West Tennessee was 29-39 in the Southern League-Northern Division.

Rachel Bell, a Vandalia grad who is a sophomore at Iowa State University, finished 72nd recently at the Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. In the gold division race, Bell completed the 6,000-meter race in 23 minutes, 12 seconds. Bell was the fifth Iowa State runner to finish, and she helped the Cyclones finish 10th as a team with 300 points. Minnesota won the gold division with a 31.

St. Elmo grad Maribel Guerrero, a Kaskaskia College sophomore, has posted double digit digs in the first three volleyball matches in October. Her best match was against Lincoln College. In the 3-1 KC loss, Guerrero had 38 digs. She had 16 digs in the 3-1 KC loss to Lake Land College and 10 digs in a 3-0 loss to John A. Logan Junior College. Kaskaskia is 14-15 overall.

Vandalia grad Drew Whightsil has caught five passes for 47 yards in Eureka College's first five football games. Whightsil has started four games. He played in the past two but had no stats in those games. Eureka is 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Ramsey grad Laura VanUytven has 26 digs and two assists for the Kankakee Community College volleyball team. Kankakee is 24-9 overall.

Winter sports will be here before you know it. We will introduce winter athletes in the next column. To make sure your son or daughter is on my list, send me an e-mail at Dan62801@aol.com. Please include "Vandalia Leader Union" in the subject line. I will need the name of the athlete, the college or university, the former high school and the sport. The athlete must be a graduate of one of the high schools covered by The Leader-Union or live in the newspaper's coverage area. The athlete also must play intercollegiate sports.