Let’s start this week’s Sports Notebook with some college signings.
• Morton boys track and field hurdler Garrett Kern signed with Butler University, an NCAA Division I school in Indianapolis. Kern was one of the top hurdlers in the area this season.
• Cross country and track athlete Alicia Urban from Morton signed with Olivet Nazarene University, an NAIA school in Bourbonnais.
• Morton softball centerfielder Zoe Mooney signed with Flagler College, an NCAA Division III school in St. Augustine, Fla. Mooney was an All-Mid-Illini Conference Second Team selection as a junior.
From Canton to East Peoria
Jon Grzanich is the new boys basketball coach at East Peoria.
He replaces Matt Wright, who left East Peoria to become the principal at East Moline United Township.
Grzanich is in his eighth year as athletic director at Canton, his alma mater. He was a three-sport athlete for the Little Giants before graduating in 1987.
Grzanich’s basketball coaching resume includes nine seasons (seven years as head coach) at Spoon River College in Canton and four years as an assistant coach at Southeastern Community College in Burlington, Iowa.
Morton girls basketball coach Bob Becker and Washington boys basketball coach Kevin Brown are among 148 “Coaches of the Year” selected by members of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
Candidates for the award are determined by their team’s record.
Stating his case
Washington’s Ethan Sabotta made it to the Class 1A boys tennis state tournament in the Chicago suburbs, but he had a short stay there.
Sabotta lost both his singles matches May 25. Bert Cao from the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora beat him 6-3, 6-2 in the first round and Harrison Hines from Decatur MacArthur beat him 6-2, 6-2 in a first-round consolation match.
Two former Washington golfers head this week’s list of college notes.
• University of Illinois Springfield senior men’s golfer Talon Supak from Washington was named to the NCAA Division II Ping All-Midwest Region Team for the second straight year.
Supak had a heck of a senior season, which included a second consecutive appearance in the NCAA regionals.
His stroke average of 73.26 in 23 rounds broke his own school record. Other school records broken by Supak this season were national ranking (67), rounds at par or better (11), eagles (3), low round (64), low 36-hole total (139) and low 54-hole total (203).
Supak finished in the top 10 in seven of 11 tournaments during the season.
• Illinois Wesleyan University sophomore Drew Pershing from Washington finished strong at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
His final round 5-under-par 67 on the 6844-yard El Campeon Course tied for the lowest round in the tournament. His 77-81-75-67--300 score earned him a tie for 30th place.
Illinois Wesleyan finished ninth among 18 teams.
• Sophomore men’s tennis player Josh Phillips from Morton was named the Most Improved Player at Central College, an NCAA Division III school in Pella, Iowa.
• Senior softball player Nicole Koch from Morton won the Female Comeback Award at Millikin University, an NCAA Division school in Decatur. The award is presented annually to a male athlete and female athlete who worked diligently to return from an injury.
Lauren Doerr left her mark on the Illinois Elementary School Association Class AA girls track and field state meet, held annually at EastSide Centre in East Peoria.
The Morton Junior High School eighth-grader won the 100 and 200 at this year’s meet after winning both events last year and helping Morton win the 4x200 relay.
Doerr was clocked in :12.82 seconds in the 100 and :25.81 seconds in the 200 in this year’s meet.
She also placed second in long jump and was on Morton’s sixth-place 4x200 team.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.