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Four Champaign County prep programs to watch in 2022-23 | Sports

Mahomet Seymour football

Jon Adkins’ third season, in charge of the Bulldogs, was one of the most successful in program history as they won each of their first 11 games and advanced to the Class 5A Quarterfinals. And there should be good news on the horizon for Adkins, as many of his top contributors were underclass students. Quarterback Wyatt Bohm, wide receiver Quenton Rogers, defensive lineman Jack Gallier and linebacker Nick Golden are all returning after earning News-Gazette All-Area First-Team status last fall. Guys like Mateo Casillas and Luke Johnson also plan to make an impact later this year.

St. Thomas More VolleyballThe Sabers are in a different position than Mahomet Seymour football. STM picked up a win at the Class 1A State Championship in 2021 but has since completed three Division I volleyball players in reigning NG All-Area Player of the Year Caroline Kerr, Anna McClure and Colleen Hege. Coach Kelly McClure has also stepped down, and the Sabers are now managed by former Champaign Central boss Evan Hook. The closet is far from empty, however, as STM still has standout athletes like Mallory Monahan, Shannon Monahan, Erin Henkel, Julia Johnson and Addie Kerr in the herd.

St Joseph Ogden Boys Basketball

Kiel Duval has settled in as Spartans coach and is now gearing up for his fifth season at the helm of SJ-O. The 2021-22 season resulted in a Class 2A regional championship, even with a fairly young squad at Duval’s disposal. The departures of seniors Andrew Beyers and Evan Ingram will sting, but the Spartans can still count on over-talented winger Ty Pence as a real program leader. Flanking the Division I prospect are dependable teammates like Logan Smith, Coy Taylor and Brock Trimble, and it seems like every group of SJ-O players is destined to experience a surprise breakout along the way.

Fisher SoftballThough Ken Ingold’s Bunnies fell one win short of a Class 1A regional title this spring, there’s still plenty of prospects ahead. That’s because Fisher only had one high-ranking athlete on his 2022 roster, Riley Parks. And those Bunnies still managed to finish with a 16-8 record, suggesting they could have even stronger results in 2023. Kallie Evans, Kylan Arndt, Karsyn Burke, Kailey May, Alexis Moore and Abbie Stipp all played significant roles in what Fisher accomplished over the past season, and Ingold has created a culture of achievement in which the Bunnies thrive.

Colin Likas is the prep coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

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