-It is unfortunate that Ron Zook could not keep up any success at Illinois. I like his energy, but the perceived (true or not) time management problems, the absolutely true special teams problems, and occasionally puzzling on-field decision-making were too tough to overcome. This year's team was finally given a schedule that was ripe for a well-above-.500 seaosn, and 6-6 and a lowest-tier bowl is underachieving. Don't bother giving me the "two straight bowls" speech...there is no excuse for the six straight losses with the momentum that came in the six wins.
-Now we will see who Mike Thomas brings in. Will a University that has hired very few African-American head coaches for ANY programs seriously consider such a candidate for football?
-Illini mens' basketball fans' reactions went from sad outrage at the first half against Maryland to surprise flag-waving glee at the end. I am not a fan of how the game went by any stretch. Rebounding technique is severely lacking, and running around until a three-point attempt is halfway open is offense by Russian Roulette. They will have to be much better than that to get anywhere in the Big Ten.
-Positives are there. I really think Tracy Abrams has the chance to develop into a great college player. Nnana Egwu works very hard and that will pay dividends sooner than later.
-And Egwu's development will be a key to next season. Paul Klee from the News-Gazette was "tweet-quoted" as saying he thought Meyers Leonard was gone to the pros after this season. Jeff Goodman, one of the top national writers, picked him in the first twenty of a mock 2012 draft in the off-season. I tend to agree. Enjoy one of the few true centers the Illini have had in the last 35 years while he is here.
-"Tweet-quoted" is an excellent word.
-Kevin Hambly's volleyball squad is hosting the first couple of games of the NCAA tournament, starting Friday night against Central Michigan. Here's Coach Hambly from earlier this week...
-Whitney Mercilus is getting more applause for his work on the defensive line for the Illini this season. He is now one of five finalists for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski national award for the season's best defensive player. I talked with Illini Defensive Co-ordinator Vic Koenning about Mercilus' fantastic season to date:
-The Illini defense is one of the tops in the country, but they can only do so much. The offense will need to step it up severely for the Illini to have a chance against Wisconsin on Saturday.
-The Illini mens' basketball team faces Lipscomb tonight. Should be a comfortable win, but there are still a lot of things for this squad to work on. WAAAAY too many turnovers, which is indicative of a young team. Not EVERYONE on this team is that inexperienced, though, and some of the mistakes made against SIU-E were inexcuseable.
-Illini soccer continues their solid run with a win over defending national champ Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tourney. Coach Janet Rayfield has the team running strong...
-AND, by the way, Illini volleyball? Back in the saddle. Three-game win over Penn State for their first ever season sweep of the Nittany Lions, pretty amazing. The Freshmen are starting to mature a bit and step up further into the lineup, which can only make Coach Hambly smile.
-Basketball season is here! The Illini men are on WDAN and D102 Friday night with the Bryant Industries Tip-off show leading the way, they'll be facing Loyola of Chicago. You can still become a part of the show with our "Voice of the Fan" segment. Send your name, daytime p[hone number and favorite current Illini player to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are picked, we'll call you up during the week for a quick talk about the Illini and feature it as part of the pre-game!
-Illini football looks to right the ship after three straight losses as they face Michigan Saturday. I had a chance to talk with Illini OL coach Joe Gilbert earlier this week about some things that have gone a bit crossways for the line, and what to expect from the Wolverines:
-It will be very tough for Ron Zook or any coach to talk about the situation at Penn State as they do not know all the facts and they, to a man, respect all that Joe Paterno has done. It certainly looks like a horrible situation and I hope and pray that the children affected can have as normal a life as possible. If Paterno was part of the cover-up he should be gone, that's that.
-Fighting Illini soccer had a great Big Ten tournament, sweeping through the field and continuing an unbeaten streak that stretches back to late September! Coach Janet Rayfield and the Illini will host traditional soccer power Notre Dame on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the first match of the NCAA tournament. ND finished 10-7-3 while the Illini are #18 in the country right now at 16-4-2.
-Illini volleyball needs to get things going again, and they took a good step in overcoming upset-minded Indiana. Penn State, formerly #1 in the country this season, and tough Ohio State are coming to town this weekend. Coach Kevin Hambly talked with me earlier this week:
-Congrats to the Illini womens' basketball team on their exhibition win, they get their season started with a lot of question marks once again. Hopefully they can stay focused and healthy and the end-of-season record will reflect that.
-New this year for our Illini mens' basketball coverage on WDAN and D102 is the Voice of the Fan segment on the Bryant Industries Fighting Illini pre-game show. E-mail us your name, daytime phone number, and favorite current Illini basketball player to ILLINIVOICE@GMAIL.COM and we will choose a fan for each game. I'll call you during the day and record a short interview about your feelings about Illini basketball and the game coming up, and we will play that back as part of the pre-game show!
-Illini football fortunes have certainly taken a turn for the worse with three straight losses after the 6-0 start. I talked to Illini Offensive Co-ordinator Paul Petrino this week about the tough 10-7 loss to Penn State...
-Michigan is up next for the Illini football team after the off week this week.
-Illini soccer boasts a top-20 ranking again, after falling out for a while in a rough 1-3-1 stretch early heading into the conference season. Eight straight wins, five by shutouts, have got the Illini in great position as they take on Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten tourney today. Here's Big Ten Coach of the Year Janet Rayfield...
-Illini volleyball stumbled to a three-game loss to Minnesota at home, revenge for the win at the Gophers' home earlier in the season. Tonight they have Purdue, whose undefeated run this year was snapped by the streaking Illini. Coach Kevin Hambly will find out how mentally tough the women are tonight against the Boilers.
Send your non-profit group or organization announcements at least two weeks in advance via email to TomBarnes@neuhoffmedia.com, fax to (217) 431-1489, or mail it to Neuhoff Media, 1501 N. Washington, Danville, IL 61832.
Boys & Girls' Club Annual Pancake Day
The Boys & Girls' Club is hosting their 4th Annual Pancake Day on Sunday May 19th from 7am to 1pm. Tickets are $5 per person. Children 3 and under eat for free.
All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffet
Veteran's of Foreign Wars, 8 Pine Street, Danville, will be having All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffet from 7am until 9:30am on May 18th. Menu includes eggs scrambled or your way, french toast, pancakes, biscuits, sausages, potatoes, white gravy with sausage, orange juice and coffee. Price is $6 and carry outs are available.
American Legion Car & Bike Show
The American Legion Riders are hosting a car & bike show on May 18th at Post 210 on Jackson St. in Danville. Come out and enjoy pulled pork sandwiches, desserts and drinks. There will be a 50/50 drawing and other prizes. There will also be an auction and a large rummage sale. Registration starts at 9am and awards will be at 1:30pm. There is a $10 entry fee.
Georgetown-Ridgefarm Family Carnival
Georgetown- Project Success of Vermilion County Inc. invites all Georgetown-Ridgefarm students and their families to the Family Carnival. It will be held on Monday May 20th from 4pm to 7pm at the Mary Miller Junior High School Track. This event will include inflatables such as bounce houses, obstacle courses, slides, 3D twister, and a hula hoop toss. Other activities include plinko, duck pond and a duck tank. Most activities are free! Hot dogs, snow cones, cotton candy and other food will be served at a low cost. Come check out our ''Survivor Georgetown: Deep Sea Exploration" booth for details on a free summer program for current 5th-8th grade students. If you have questions or need more information, please call (217) 260-9928. This project success program is funded through 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Teen REACH and other community supports.
Hazmat Technician Course
Danville Area Community College's Customized Corporate Education Division is offering a 24-hour Hazmat Technician course. Course will be held May 20th through 22nd from 8am to 5pm in the Industrial Training Center and room 142 of DACC's technology center. Cost for class is $450 including handouts. Fee must be paid prior to class. Call 217-443-8779 or contact email@example.com for more information/registration.
VA Focus Groups
The VA Illiana Health Care System will be conducting focus groups for the Veterans who receive care in Danville, IL to tell the VA how they're doing in providing care and services. Focus groups will take place Wednesday May 22nd and Thursday May 23rd at various times throughout the day. Travel pay is not authorized for. A lunch or lunch coupon for later use will be given to everyone who participates. To sign up or receive more information, call 217-554-5270 or 217-554-5013.
All You Can Eat Noodles
All You Can Eat Made from Scratch Noodles with chicken or Beef. Dinner includes mashed potatoes, vegetables, desserts and coffee. Serving begins at 11am and runs until 5:30pm. Carry outs available and delivery made on large orders within the city until 4pm. Price $6. There will also be a dance featuring the HWY 341 band from Wallace Indiana playing from 6pm until 9pm. Dinner and dance will be $9. Dance along $6
Community Blood Drive at St James
St James United Methodist Church will sponsor a blood drive with Community Blood Services of Illinois on Tuesday May 28th from 3pm to 7pm. The drive will be at 504 North Vermilion Street in Danville.
Blood Drive May 28th
Saint James United Methodist Church is having a Blood Drive on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 from 3-7 pm at the church, 504 N Vermilion St, Danville, IL 61832. For information, call the church at 217-442-1504. Walk-ins are welcome. Seventeen is the minimum blood donor age in Illinois or age 16 with a signed parent’s permission slip (available at the church). Be sure to eat a hearty meal before you come and bring a photo ID or your Blood Donor’s card. It's simple. It's safe. And you could save up to three lives. Donors will get t-shirts for donating close to a holiday! See us on facebook or stjames-umc.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Blood Drive at Diamond Brothers Insurance
Diamond Brothers Insurance will sponsor a blood drive with Community Blood Services of Illinois on Wednesday May 29th from 10am to 5pm. The Bloodmobile will be at 120 North Vermilion in Danville.
49th Annual Turtle Reunion Races
Knights of Columbus present the 49th annual Turtle Reunion Races on Saturday June 1st, 2013 from 12pm to 8pm at 310 Bryant Avenue in Danville, IL. There will be turtle races, food, and beverages, a 50/50 drawing, and fun for all. All proceeds will be donated to help those children with developmental disabilities. Any questions? call 217-260-1983