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Today's Sports

  • Butler takes over as VCHS AD

    It's a job that can be obscure at best, or thankless at worst.

    Mike Butler understands that.

    "It's the kind of job that nobody realizes what you do until something goes wrong," said VCHS's longtime girls basketball coach of being an athletic director.

    Butler speaks from experience, as he was the AD at Hardin Calhoun High School in western Illinois for four years prior to coming to Vandalia 22 years ago.

  • Vandals hit the ground running...

    The Vandalia football team's M.O. has been a lot like the weather during the first full week of two-a-day preseason practices - much cooler than it was a year ago today.

    "They're real loose," said Vandals coach John Stout of this year's group. "The seniors we had last year were an emotional group. These guys are more business-like. They're not a rah-rah group."

    But that doesn't mean that the Vandals are taking the success of back-to-back playoff appearances for granted.

  • Lovett taking another shot at...

    Aaron Lovett thought his lifelong dream was about to come true.

    After dealing with the disappointment of going undrafted following his senior season at the University Kentucky, the former Brownstown pitching standout's baseball future was very much up in the air until he received a call last month from the Toronto Blue Jays.

    "They said, 'Hey, we've got a spot and wondered if you wanted to come down," Lovett said.

  • Several locals on Effingham MMA...

    It's the first of a long line of questions that come to mind.

    Why?

    Why would someone train three hours a day, five days a week, for months - if not years - for something that is going to last nine minutes, tops?

    Why would someone subject themselves to such a strenuous routine in return for zero pay and potential pain and humiliation in front of more than 1,000 people, many of which are close friends and family?

  • 1996-97, '97-98 wrestling...

    Vandalia Community High School is pleased to announce its Sports Hall of Fame inductees for the 2008-09 school year.

    This years inductees are the 1996-97 wrestling team and the 1997-98 wrestling team, each of which placed fourth at state.

    The teams will be inducted in a ceremony at Mark Greer Field prior to the Vandals Sept. 12 homecoming football game against East Alton-Wood River.

  • Freight go 1-3 at Major Nationals

    It was, quite literally, an all-American effort by the Vandalia Guaranteed Air Freight fastpitch softball team last week at the ASA Men's Major National Tournament.

    Ironically, the Freight was the only team at the "national" tournament with a roster featuring all United States players.

    "All of the other teams had at least one foreign player, and most had many," Freight manager Rich Well said.

  • Red-hot Gray takes Walt Leidner...

    Dallas Gray has spent the summer giving every indication he's about to embark on a highly successful career at Blackburn College.

    But on the weekend of July 26, the recent VCHS grad kicked things up a notch, giving every indication he could wind up being one of Blackburn's very best.

    Not only did Gray, 18, become the youngest golfer on record to win the Walt Leidner Open - doing so by shooting at blistering eight-under-par 132 at Vandalia Country Club - he beat recent Blackburn grad and Beavers standout Andy Odle by two strokes to take the title.

  • VYO football program enjoying...

    Back when Smoky Newsom was a student at VCHS in the mid 1980s, the state of Vandalia football was bleak, to say the least.

    Not only was there no youth program to speak of, there was talk of doing away with the high school program.

    My, how things have changed.

    Thoughts of folding the high school program now would seem ludicrous, as the Vandals will be looking to make their third straight playoff appearance this coming season.

  • Wales native brings soccer...

    The only thing that stood out more than Rhys Thomas thick British accent and bright-yellow jumpsuit Thursday at the VCHS soccer field was his game.

    The guy can flat play soccer.

    And for good reason.

    Back home, I started playing when I was 4 or 5, said the 21-year-old recent college graduate and native of soccer-obsessed Wales. I play semi-professional, and we train two to three times a week. And if Im not playing, Im coaching.

  • Freight's bid for repeat...

    The Vandalia Guaranteed Air Freight softball team has had its fair share of good fortune over the years at the ASA Class A State Tournament.

    Three state titles in the past five seasons attest to that fact.

    But the tables were turned on the Freight on Sunday at Altamonts Gilbert Park, as Petes Blues of Swansea used a improbable play to deny the defending champs a fourth title in six years.