The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


November 29, 2012

Comets get sweep of awards

FITHIAN —  As competitive as sports can be, the idea of practicing good sportsmanship is sometimes put on the backburner in favor of a winning-at-all-cost mentality. After all, the environment, at times, can hang a coach’s longevity on his or her record.

As for the student-athletes, even the thought of losing isn’t acceptable. It’s a balancing act between a willingness to display a certain level of respect for the game, while also fulfilling a burning desire to remain competitive.

The efforts of the Oakwood Comets to maintain a high level of class, however, didn’t go unnoticed during the 2012 fall seasons.

The Comets swept both football and volleyball team honors for the John Dickson Memorial Sportsmanship award, while Bismarck-Henning senior linebacker Luke Horton, and Armstrong-Potomac junior setter Morgan Zindars won the individual awards for football and volleyball respectively.

“I think it says, tremendously, a whole lot about our kids and our coaching staffs and our communities,” Oakwood Athletics Director Tim Lee said of sweeping the team awards. “It’s not just that, it’s how our fans are reacting. I think it says a lot about our community and that we’re trying to do things the right way. We slip and fall at times, but we’re at least trying, and someone is at least noticing. It’s nice.”

While the Comets’ volleyball team won the support of many from the area, the Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac football team earned unanimous approval from the John Dickson Memorial Sportsmanship Committee, largely for a selfless act toward Vermilion Valley Conference rival Westville.

The cancellation of the football seasons by the Hoopeston Area and Schlarman Academy programs left voids on the schedules for many of the VVC teams.

While Bismarck-Henning (Attica, Ind.), OAP (Decatur Lutheran), and Salt Fork (East Central) were able to schedule opponents in place of Hoopeston Area, Schlarman Academy’s early-season cancellation left six opponents with open weeks. During a long, tiresome, and sometimes injury-filled football season, a week of recovery might not be the worst thing to happen to a team. That is, however, unless that week falls on Senior Night or Homecoming.

Westville’s Week 6 contest just happened to represent both. Unfortunately, it was the same week the Tigers were scheduled to host the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers. No game that week meant no traditional celebration for Westville.

With a total of five home games on the schedule, Lee and the Comets decided to do something about it. Despite the team still hopeful for a playoff spot, OAP sacrificed its home game against the Tigers so that the Westville athletes, students, and community could enjoy at least one final home game.

“It was actually just an idea that was kind of thrown up in the air at a football game.” Lee said. “We heard that Westville was losing two home games, and we had actually picked up a home game this year. We had already had our homecoming and we were going to get a senior night. We just thought in the interest of our school, we could trade it.”

Lee contacted the Westville administration and football coaches, and an agreement was set in place to trade this year’s game between the two programs for next season’s contest, which will now be a home game for OAP.

While the Comets might view the gesture as simply trading this year’s home game for next year’s, the offer was greeted with much gratitude by those in Westville.

“I thought it was a class act on Oakwood’s part,” Westville football coach Guy Goodlove said. “It was certainly something they didn’t have to do, but they extended the offer. It wasn’t something that we thought of and called them. They thought of it and called us, which I thought was just a class act on their part.

“Our kids and our community certainly appreciated it. We had no home games left. It was just a wonderful opportunity for us to have what little homecoming we had left, to have our floats to parade around the track at halftime, and then to also have our seniors introduced along with their parents. If Oakwood hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t have had that opportunity. I just thought it was a very nice and considerate gesture on their part.”

Westville won the game 29-7 marking the Tigers’ first and only win of the season on the field. They had accepted a forfeit from Schlarman Academy the previous week, and immediately after secured a forfeit win from Hoopeston Area.

The Comets, on the other hand, lost their final two games of the season preventing them from a chance to play in the postseason.

Though it might never be known if playing at home would have made a difference in the final outcome for the Comets, what is certainly clear and won’t be forgotten is the willingness to put sportsmanship and the interest of a conference rival above the program’s personal glory.

“That’s what made the offer so incredible,” Goodlove said. “They still had an opportunity to maybe, perhaps, get a home victory but still thought enough of our situation to be able to make the offer that they did.

“That’s not going to be forgotten. That’s just a class act on their part. It’s something they certainly didn’t have to do, but was greatly appreciated by a lot of people.”

Text Only
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing [Duplicate] Harvick sets the pace at Indy INDIANAPOLIS — Growing up in Bakersfield, Calif., IndyCar driver Rick Mears was the childhood hero for Kevin Harvick.Mears is one of three men to have won four Indianapolis 500s and he has won a career-best six poles for the “Greatest Spectacle in Ra

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0727 - Dustbowl photo 1 Click Clak Tre wins consolation championship DANVILLE — Saturday’s Dustbowl action at the David S. Palmer Arena had a full day of action ending with the Men’s Division Consolation Championship Game. The Consolation Championship was played between Rantoul’s Mon Stars (Rantoul) and Click Clak Tre

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • No Headline Provided DANVILLE — Adult action started at the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Saturday with one title decided. Stacy Wells won the women's open singles division with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Katie Larck. The rest of the action was mostly semifinal play. IN

    July 27, 2014

  • Dans photo 27.jpg Dans get past Cavemen

    Shumaker hits a home run with two RBIs as Danville defeats Hannibal after delay

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0726 - Dans photo 1 Dans make most of second chance DANVILLE — Baseball can be a funny game, and as often is the case, a player can be the goat one minute, and the hero the next.Trevor Rucker blooped a shot down the right field line that caromed off the glove of Hannibal second baseman Jeff Smith to d

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot