Newton found a way to replace its 30-year-old scoreboard, and without too much hassle.
After Athletic Director Doug Mammoser saw an email in his inbox about how an Ohio business could get them a new video scoreboard for free, he had his suspicions. But after following up on the email and talking with other schools that recently installed the scoreboard's themselves, it became intriguing.
The company, Slam Dunk Sports Marketing, would sell ads in the community and take part of the profit. In return, Newton would get a 30-by-30 video scoreboard at their games.
"I talked to the superintendent and I asked him, 'Am I missing something? Because we're getting this for nothing,' " Mammoser said.
After working out a deal, Newton decided to put up a video scoreboard, which came earlier than expected and will debut this week against Bridgeport Red Hill. He said buying a brand new scoreboard with video capabilities could have cost upwards of $50,000 to $75,000.
Mammoser said he has yet to test everything out, but he's excited about replacing the decades-old scoreboard.
"I'm old, so I'm thinking, (the video) is just more things that can go wrong. But you can get creative with it with advertising and with other sports that get don't recognized as much," he said. "It was very nice for our community."
Out in front
Eric Ponder and Anna Sophia Keller grabbed a couple of big wins in cross country last weekend.
Tuscola's Eric Ponder won the First to the Finish meet at Detweiler Park in Peoria, the site of the state tournament meet. With a 15:19 mark, he edged out Rockford Christian's Nick Monkemeyer by two seconds to win a race that included 48 full teams.
Ponder took fifth at the state tournament last year with a 15:16 mark.
Effingham St. Anthony's Anna Sophia Keller looked as dominant as ever, posting a 16:59.52 time that leveled the field. It was more than two minutes and 20 seconds better than the second-place runner. It was reminiscent of Keller's opening race in Edwardsville, where the sophomore won by a minute and a half.
Teutopolis' Louis Niemerg is having quite the start for fall baseball.
After coming one out away from a perfect game against Dieterich on Aug. 30, he gave up his one and only hit to throw a seven-inning shutout. Then, last Friday, he earned the no-hitter against Effingham St. Anthony.
In the two starts, he combined for 26 strikeouts and one walk.
Add the other two innings he pitched against Webber in the first outing, he's thrown 16 scoreless in his three wins.
DeSanto now at Eisenhower
Chris DeSanto is moving across town and into a different spring sport.
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After leading the MacArthur softball team, DeSanto is taking the reins for the Panthers' baseball program. The Panthers won a couple games late last year against MacArthur, and DeSanto will look to improve on that for a program that's won 21 games in the last seven years.
IHSA coming to Comcast
The state tournaments have a new TV home.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air all the state tournaments for football, volleyball, boys soccer, girls and boys basketball, individual wrestling, girls soccer, and competitive dance and cheerleading.
There will be extra football broadcasting as well. In addition to the playoff pairings show, the channel will broadcast four playoff matchups leading up to the state championships.
Catlin commits to Parkland
After taking third place with Monticello last spring, Sophie Catlin hit another milestone by committing to Parkland College.
The senior pitcher/first baseman figures to play a prominent role in the spring for the Sages, ending last year with a .327 batting average with eight doubles and five home runs. She provided a bat that could produce a deep ball when needed and served as a relief pitcher for Chrissy Gadbury in the postseason.
Parkland is a NCJAA Division II school and took third place nationally in 2012.
Coaches to host clinic
Eisenhower and MacArthur's soccer coaches are hosting a free clinic on Sept. 27 for those in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Tom Dutcher and Geoff Peoples will be at Thomas Jefferson Middle School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Youth need to bring a water bottle, sneakers and a pair of cleats.
Dutcher, who is in his third year at Eisenhower, said he's seen his program grow from 15 to 22 athletes and he's looking for the program to continue to grow. That starts at growing the program from the elementary level.
"The game of soccer has definitely grown," Dutcher said. "We want to field JV teams as well as a varsity team, and have 30 kids."
Knights' pair headed to Lake Erie
Jon Bialeschki and Zach Hingson will compete on Sept. 27 and 28 against teams around the Midwest in bass fishing.
The duo combined to catch four fish that weighed 9 pounds 4 ounces to take the state title and qualify for the Central Conference Regional on Lake Erie.
If they finish in the top 10 percent at the meet, they'll move on to the 2015 High School Fishing National Championship, where they'll have a chance for a $5,000 scholarship.