Our professional staff of journalists reports on collegiate athletes. Why? Because as long as your favorite collegiate athletes are out strutting ther stuff, we believe you should know about it. Often, while these athletes are out pursuing athletic and academic excellence, their local newspapers may not have the resources to document those achievements.That doesn't stop us. We go the extra mile to contact the universities, coaches and athletes to bring you their stories. If you are interested in having your local college athletes appear on our website, please contact us via e-mail.

Marion County College Report

Rend Lake pitcher Patrick Flanagan Signs with Bradley

A number of NCAA Division I schools wanted Patrick Flanagan.

In the end, Bradley University won the recruiting game and landed the Salem graduate. But Flanagan still has plenty of unfinished business at Rend Lake College.

"I am happy I signed early," Flanagan said. "It takes a load off my mind and I can concentrate on baseball. My family and I both liked Bradley and what they presented. I feel like I improved a great deal between the fall and spring."

Last spring, Flanagan allowed 30 earned runs on 52 hits in 70 innings of work for a 3.86 earned run average. Flanagan finished the year with a 3-5 mark, striking out 52 and walking 29 to help Rend Lake finish 13-21.

Besides Bradley, Flanagan was courted by Murray State, Austin Peay State, Southeast Missouri State, Indiana State and Xavier.

"Before I go to Bradley, I would like to make a trip to the NJCAA Nationals," he said. "Eventually I would like to play professional baseball. But, if I don't get that opportunity, I will have a back up plan."

The back up plan is earning a degree in secondary education. Eventually, the former Wildcats hurler hopes to teach mathematics or history as well as coach baseball.

Bradley finished 17-31 in 2009 and only one Braves’ hurler had a lower earned run average than Flanagan’s RLC number.

"I have heard great things about the education department at Bradley," Flanagan said. "We should have a great year at Rend Lake. We have so much talent this year. ...

Cross Country

The McKendree cross country team finished eighth in the NAIA Championships, which was held at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash. Former Centralia runner Travis Lavin, a McKendree sophomore, finished 121st with an 8,000-meter time of 26 minutes, 41 seconds. McKendree scored 346 points. Malone College won the national title with 44 points, which was 100 points lower than any other team. ...

The Kaskaskia College cross country team recently competed in their first NJCAA Division I Regional. The Blue Angels and the Blue Devils are in their first year of collegiate competition. The KC men finished 32nd as a team, scoring 904 points. Rend Lake College won the outing with 66 points.

Salem grad Tyler Hopkins and Centralia grads Corey Meyer and Cameron Davis competed for the KC men. Hopkins completed the 8K course in 32:28 to finsih 244th. Meyer took 254th with a time of 35:25 and Davis crossed the finish line in 36:14.

In the women's team battle, the Blue Angels took 32nd with 933 points. Central Arizona College finished first in the NJCAA Division I Regional with 92 points. The 5K outing was held at Newman Golf Course in Peoria, Ill.

Salem grad Danielle Helm, a KC runner finished 159th (21:55), while fellow Salem grad and Blue Angels runner Mollie Owen finished 204th (23:08). Centralia grad Lindsey Witzel was the final KC runner to cross the finish line, hitting the tape in 26:56 to finish 253rd.

Women's Basketball

Former Salem Wildcats star Ellen Young was in double figures in both of Southern Indiana's games this past week. With Young's help, USI defeated Urbana (68-64) and Marygrove College (101-40). Young nailed 7-of-14 field goals against Urbana, including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc to finish with 16 points. She also had three rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes of play.

Against Marygrove, Young finished with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Young nailed 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. She struck once from beyond the arc. ...

Men's Basketball

Former Centralia Orphan Joey Parker, a Lindenwood University senior, scored 15 points as Lindenwood defeated Missouri Baptist 74-65. Parker, who drained 5-of-10 from the field and 5-of-9 from the charity stripe, also tallied five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Lindenwood is 4-2. ...

The McKendree Bearcats played only one game this past week, beating Indiana-South Bend 80-57. Metro-East Lutheran grad Andy Wolff, a Centralia resident, had 13 points in the contest. The McKendree starting guard hit 4-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. Of his field goals, two were treys. He also had five rebounds and two assists. McKendree is 6-1. ...

Illiabum Club, a Portugal-based professional team, lost another close game as they were topped 120-116 by AD Vagos. Former Centralia and Southern Illinois-Carbondale player Matt Shaw, a first-year player for Illiabum, posted a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Shaw, who hit 3-of-9 from the field and 5-of-8 from the free throw line, committed three personal fouls. Illiabum, who has lost their last two games by four or less points, is 0-3. ...

Football

Scott Schneider, a Centralia grad and Greenville College senior, had four tackles in his final game as a member of the Greenville Panthers. Greenville lost a close contest, falling 29-28 to Geneva College 29-28 in the NCCAA Victory Bowl at Greenville College. Of his tackles, three were solos. Greenville won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference-South Division with a 3-0 mark and finished 7-3 this year.