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Local Sports Archives for 2016-06

Western Illinois Volleyball Announces 2016 Schedule

Western Illinois head volleyball coach Kelly Richardson announced the 2016 schedule on Wednesday (June 29). The Leathernecks play 32 matches during the 2016 campaign, 15 of which will be played in front of a home crowd.
 
"We are very excited and anxious to get this season going. This will be a good and competitive preseason that will help us prepare for Summit league play," said Richardson, who is entering her second year at the helm. "We have a young squad again this year, but have a lot players with experience now in key roles. It's an exciting time for Leatherneck volleyball, and we look forward to seeing everyone in the newly renovated Western Hall this fall." 
 
The Purple and Gold open the season at the Milwaukee Pepsi Panther Invitational on Aug. 26-27 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Leathernecks take on Akron and Bradley on the opening day before concluding invitational play on Saturday against hosts Milwaukee.
 
Western opens the Iowa Tournament on that Friday morning (Sep. 4) against the host Hawkeyes before facing Oakland later that evening. The team finishes competition in Iowa City with a Saturday evening match against Butler.
 
On Sep. 6, Western plays its first match inside Western Hall against Eastern Illinois.
 
WIU then hits the road for the Missouri State Mary Jo Wynn Invitational on Sep. 9-10. Play opens on Friday with matches against Green Bay and McNeese State before a final match on Saturday afternoon against Missouri State.
 
Western then begins its longest home slate of the season, consisting of seven straight matches. Following a match against Chicago State on Sep. 13, WIU plays host to the 2016 Hampton Inn Leatherneck Invitational on Sep. 16-17. The Leathernecks begin the invitational with a Friday night contest against Drake before closing out play on Saturday with matches against Southeast Missouri and Weber State. The next home contest takes place on Sep. 20 against Saint Louis.
 
The Leathernecks wrap up the home stand with the opening of Summit League play on Sep. 23 against South Dakota and Sep. 25 against Fort Wayne. Western's home league matches also include North Dakota State (Oct. 2), South Dakota State (Oct. 16), Denver (Oct. 23), Oral Roberts (Nov. 1), IUPUI (Nov. 11) and Omaha (Nov. 12).
 
Western also plays eight away league matches beginning with Omaha (Sept. 27), IUPUI (Sept. 30), Oral Roberts (Oct. 7), Denver (Oct. 9), Fort Wayne (Oct. 21), North Dakota State (Oct. 28), South Dakota (Oct. 29) and South Dakota State (Nov. 5).
 
During league play, the Leathernecks play in one non-league match against Valparaiso in Macomb on Oct. 4.

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Leatherneck Baseball Adds Two Recruits

Western Illinois baseball added two additional recruits for the 2016 signing class. Head coach Ryan Brownlee announced the addition ofMitch Ellis (Diamond Creek, Australia/Heartland CC) and Carter Poiry (Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern HS) to the class joining the Leathernecks starting this fall.
 
Ellis is a switch-hitting infielder who played the last two years at Heartland Community College while Poiry is a right-handed pitcher from Hamilton Southeastern High School.
 
"We are excited about the additions of Mitch and Carter. Mitch will add depth on the infield and is a switch hitter. Adding more left-handed hitters in the program is a point of emphasis for this class and our 2017 class. People that know Mitchell have nothing but great things to say about his character and work ethic. He played at Heartland for Nate Metzger, which is a winning program," said Brownlee. "Carter is an athletic right-handed pitcher from Indy. He is a multi-sport athlete and was quarterback at Hamilton Southeastern. He takes pitching lessons from Justin Wechsler, who pitched for me at Quincy for the Gems and his travel coach is Eric Osborn, who was a great player at Purdue. Both think that once Carter starts to focus on pitching only, the sky is the limit."

Last year, Ellis batted .313 with eight doubles, a triple and home run. He stole 12 bases, drove in 22 runs, scored 34 runs and posted a .445 on-base percentage. Ellis played in 54 of the 58 games and started 41 times. He won a Rawlings Gold Glove during his career at Heartland, and helped the 2016 team to a 43-15 record.
 
Ellis is the son of Mark and Liz Ellis, and played at Heartland for coach Nate Metzger.
 
Poiry was a six-time letterwinner in baseball (3), football (2) and basketball (1). He posted a career 2.35 ERA and batted .295. Last summer playing with the Indiana Nitro Poiry went 5-0 with a save and recorded 29 strikeouts in 35 innings. He earned Honorable Mention All-America Jr/Sr honors by Perfect Game, and was ranked No. 44 in the 2016 class by Prep Baseball Report.
 
He is the son of Randy and Rhonda Poiry. He was coached in high school by Scott Henson and in the Indiana Nitro by Eric Osborn and Mike Early.
 
They join previous signees: Javin Drake (RHP), Connor Rektorski (RHP), Austin Emanuel (C), Alex Dorethy (OF) and Johnathan Fleek (INF).

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Western Illinois University Volleyball Camp Dates Set

Western Illinois head volleyball coach Kelly Richardson announced the dates for summer camps set for July 2016. The Youth Camp will take place July 6-8 for kids in grades 1-6. The All-Skills Camp is set for July 11-13 for those in grades 7-12 and Western's Team Camp will run July 15-17 & is designed for high school and club teams. For complete camp info & registration, please visit abcsportscamps.com/wiuvolleyball or find the brochure at goleathernecks.com. 

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Tuesday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball League Tournament: 
(results only, no scores provided) 
Major League
Project Dance Company (L) vs Bushnell Banking Center (W)
First State Bank (W) vs Batson's Ace Hardware (L)
1st Farm Credit (W) vs Project Dance Company (L)
Minor League
Schmitz Plumbing & Electrical (W) vs Midwest Control Products (L)
United Community Bank (W) vs Farmers & Merchants Bank (L)
Becks Pest Control (W) vs Midwest Control Products (L)
Rookie League
Hy-Vee (W) vs Pepsi Refreshment Services (L)
McClure Dental (L) vs Country Financial (W)
Pee Wee League
Macomb Fire Dept (L) vs MTC Communications-Macomb (W)
Brown's Shoe Fit (W) vs Macomb Fire Dept (L)
Outskirts (L) vs MTC Communications-Good Hope (W)
 
Macomb Area Softball League Scores:
Knowles North
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 16, Bushnell Food Mart- 6
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 19, No Glove/No Love- 4
The Ritz- 11, Balls Deep- 5
B&S Tent/Gelsosomo's- 24, The Ritz- 4
Knowles South
Advocare/Shade Tree- 12. No Glove/No Love- 9
Bushnell Food Mart- 17, Advocare/Shade Tree- 8
B&S Tent/Gelsosomo's- 9, Maple Ave Christian Church- 6
Maple Ave Christian Church- 22, Balls Deep- 11
 

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Leatherneck Club Drive Concludes Thursday (June 30)

Current Leatherneck Club members, former members, and prospective members have until Thursday, June 30, to make their tax-deductible gift in order to receive next season's benefits (football & basketball parking, hospitality access, etc.).
 
"I'm happy to report that we've already surpassed last year's total of 650 members," said Assistant Athletic Director for Development Michael Jones. "That being said, there are a lot of people who haven't renewed their gift yet, and even more former members we'd love to get back in the club. I promise you, the need has never been greater and every gift makes a difference."
 
Leatherneck Club funds support scholarships, team travel, equipment purchases, and facility upgrades. Recent projects supported by the Leatherneck Club include: the carpeting of the men's basketball locker room, expansion and carpeting of the volleyball locker room, and increased scholarship support for student-athletes.
 
Gifts to the Leatherneck Club allow WIU student-athletes to succeed, those wanting to join or renew their membership can do so by calling (309) 298-1190 or visiting GoLeathernecks.com.
 
Founded in 1971, the Leatherneck Club is the primary fundraising program of Western Illinois University Athletics. It provides annual funding for more than 400 deserving student-athletes, allowing them to excel in the classroom and compete at the NCAA Division I level. The Leatherneck Club also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the upcoming Purple & Gold Auction on August 13.

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Leatherneck Baseball To Offer 3rd Annual Wrigley Rooftop Trip

The Western Illinois baseball program will offer its third-annual Wrigley Rooftop trip on Sunday, July 31, to watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Seattle Mariners. Game time is scheduled for 1:20 p.m.
 
The cost of the event is $120 per person, which includes a rooftop ticket and all you can eat and drink. For those wanting a round-trip bus ticket from Macomb in addition to the rooftop ticket and food/drink the cost is $160 per person. The bus will also make a stop in Peoria to pick up passengers.
 
All proceeds benefit the Leatherneck baseball program.
 
"This is a very fun and entertaining event. The last two years have been great and we had a lot of returning participants last year which shows that people enjoy the experience," said WIU baseball head coach Ryan Brownlee. "It is a nice break for our coaching staff in the middle of a hectic summer recruiting schedule. We have a wide variety of WIU alum, boosters, players parents, and friends."
 
For more information or to sign up, call Brownlee at (309) 255-7329 or via email at R-Brownlee@wiu.edu.

 

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WIU Track & Field Camp; Ladies Golf Open Set for Sunday (June 26)

Western Illinois track and field will host there summer camp for boys and girls entering grades 6-12. The camp kicks off this Sunday, June 26 & attendees will receive instruction on jumps, sprints, long-distance running and throws, while having access to the track at Hanson Field, two large gyms, the Brophy Pool, weight-training facilities and more. Interested? Call head coach Mike Stevenson at 298-1716 or emial M-Stevenson@wiu.edu. 
 
The 10th annual Western Illinois Ladies Open is scheduled for this Sunday, June 26 at the Harry Mussatto Golf Course. The event is the annual fundraiser for the WIU women’s golf program. The cost for 18 holes is $55 per player, which includes breakfast, golf with use of a cart and lunch. There's also a 9-hole option for $40. To sign up for the event, contact WIU women's head golf coach Lia Lukkarinen at LB-Lukkarinen@wiu.edu or call (217) 390-2194.
 

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Macomb Area Softball League - Thursday Co-Rec Scores

Macomb Area Softball League - Co Rec Scores:

Knowles North

St.Paul- 17, Pella- 7

The Ritz- 26, Pella- 0

Smith & Royer Apts.- 17, Sons of Pitches- 6

The Outskirts- 10, Smith & Royer Apts.- 7

Knowles South

The Ritz- 11, Michael's Hair Designers- 7

Michael's Hair Designers- 8, St.Paul- 7

English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 7, The Outskirts- 0

English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 15, Sons of Pitches- 3

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Leatherneck Softball Alum Kouchis Named NCAA Woman Of The Year Finalist

 Karissa Kouchis, a 2016 graduate of Western Illinois University, has been named a finalist for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.
 
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Kouchis is one of four finalists in The Summit League and 517 association wide.
 
Kouchis recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western (May 14) with a cumulative 3.90 GPA and double-majored in Communication and Journalism. Prior to graduating, she was named a COFAC Scholar, Communication Department Scholar, Journalism Scholar and Thompson Scholar. She was also recently named Western Illinois' Female Senior Student-Athlete of the Year. She plans to attend graduate school at Western this fall.
 
This past season, Kouchis was tabbed to the Second Team All-Summit League for the third time in her career after leading the team with a .327 batting average. She started all 48 games and led the team in runs scored (23), hits (54), stolen bases (8), and on base percentage (.371) and had 15 multi-hit games.
 
Next, conferences assess their member school nominees and select up to two conference nominees. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division.

From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.

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Tuesday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
Project Dance Company- 21, Batsons Ace Hardware- 9
Citizens Bank- 15, Farmers & Merchants State Bank- 14
WIU-FOP #169- 20, Refreshment Services Pepsi- 4
Country Financial- 2, McClure Dental- 0
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Men's Tuesday Night Scores:
Knowles North
Advocare/Shade Tree- 9, B&S Tent/Gelsosomo's- 7
Edward Jones Investments/Cory Clem- 7, B&S Tent/Gelsosomo's- 0
No Glove/No Love- 18, First State Bank- 8
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 31, First State Bank- 6
Knowles South
Edward Jones Investments/Cory Clem- 9, The Ritz- 8
Advocare/Shade Tree- 14, The Ritz- 12
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 10, Eldo/Lunch Box Cafe- 0
No Glove/No Love- 24, Eldo's/Lunch Box Cafe- 4
 

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Western Illinois University Athletics Mourns Former Athletic Director Gil Peterson

Western Illinois Athletics mourns the loss of former Athletic Director Gil Peterson, who passed away at his home in Dade City, Florida, last Friday. He was 86 years old.
 
One of the longest tenured Athletic Directors in Western Illinois University history, Peterson began his career with the Leathernecks in 1970 and over the next 25 years, oversaw WIU's unprecedented growth from the NAIA ranks to NCAA Division I. 
 
A member of the Western Illinois Athletics and National Association Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame, just two of the five Hall of Fames he is inducted in, Peterson was instrumental in the creation of Western's conference home the past 30-plus years (now Summit League & Missouri Valley Football Conference) and the Leatherneck Club. During his career at Western, Peterson was one of the most well-known and respected Athletic Directors in the country.
 
"On behalf of the athletics department, we send our condolences to Marilyn and the entire Peterson family. Gil guided the department for a quarter century and during that time, left a lasting imprint on how we look and operate today, including our conference affiliations," said Matt Tanney, Director of Athletics. "Gil's legacy extended beyond Macomb, onto the national stage, and we're honored that he represented Western Illinois University with such distinction."
 
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m. (eastern) at the Hodges Family Funeral Home in Dade City, Florida. Peterson is survived by his wife Marilyn and sons Mark, Chris and Kyle, eight grandchildren, one brother and one sister.
 
The family announced a scholarship to benefit Western Illinois Athletics will be created, the Gil Peterson Scholarship. For more information on the scholarship or to donate, contact Assistant Athletic Director Michael Jones at (309) 298-1190 or M-Jones2@wiu.edu.
 
A full obituary can be found at HodgesFuneralHome.com.

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Vote Rocky In The Summit League's Mascot Madness

The Summit League begins its Mascot Madness Monday, with the first of a series of weekly bracketed contests between school mascots. Fans are encouraged to vote via social media and advance a mascot in each matchup. The first round begins this week and will follow weekly through July 11th. Winners of the first round advance to the second round, which will be contested the weeks of July 18 and 25. The championship round is the week of August 1. Keep tabs on the tournament at goleathernecks.com & the conference website at  thesummitleague.org. 

 

And vote for Rocky!!! 

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WIU Track & Field Camp Set For June 26-29

Western Illinois track and field will once again be holding a summer camp for boys and girls entering grades 6-12. The camp will run June 26-29 and will take place on the campus of Western Illinois University. The camp will be run by current Western Illinois track and field coaches and student-athletes and campers will receive instruction in vertical and horizontal jumps, throws, sprints, and distance/cross country.
 
Campers will have access to collegiate track and field facilities including: the outdoor track at Hanson Field, two large gymnasiums, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, collegiate weight-training area, and training housing in air-conditioned rooms in the residence halls.
 
The track and field camp costs $244 for individuals who commute to camp each day, while it costs $319 for overnight residents. For more information contact Mike Stevenson at 309-298-1716 or at M-Stevenson@wiu.edu.
 

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Thursday's Area Scores

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
First State Bank- 10, 1st Farm Credit- 7
Project Dance Company- 14, Bushnell Banking Center- 9
McClure Dental- 9, Refreshment Services Pepsi- 7
HyVee- 13, WIU-FOP(#169)- 11 
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Thursday Night CoRec Scores:
Downing North
Pella- 9, Michael's Hair Design- 5
Smith & Royer Apts- 10, Michael's Hair Designers- 8
The Ritz- 17, St.Paul's- 5
The Ritz- 16, Sons of Pitches- 2
Downing South
Smith & Royer Apts- 10, English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 9
English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 13, Pella- 3
The Outskirts- 24, Sons of Pitches- 6
The Outskirts- 26, St.Paul's- 11
 

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Spoon River College Athletics To Offer Softball Camp In July

The athletic department at Spoon River College is offering a one-day softball camp for those aged 7 – 18 on Tuesday, July 12 at the Canton Park District's 4th Avenue diamonds. The camp includes a pitching session, an all-skills session for ages 13-18, and an all- skills session for ages 7-12. Cost for this session is $30 and runs from 10-11:30am. Cost for the 13-18 year-olds camp is $35 and will be from Noon-4pm. Cost for the 7-12 year-olds camp is $25 and will be from 12:30-2:30pm. For more, visit src.edu/Documents/SnapperSoftballCamp or find SRC Softball on Facebook. 
 

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Wednesday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
United Community Bank- 10, Citizens Bank- 7
Brown's Shoe Fit- 3, MTC Communications (Macomb)- 2
Advanced Dentistry- 8, Macomb Fire Dept- 1
MTC Communications (Good Hope)- 7, The Outskirts- 6
Tri County Seeds- 14, Batsons Ace Hardware- 1
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Men's Wednesday Night Scores
(3 games at Knowles South Diamond)
Bushnell Food Mart- 12, No Glove/No Love- 7
Bushnell Food Mart- 14, Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 4
Advocare/Shade Tree- 18, Those Guys- 1
 

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2016 Leatherneck Football Season Tickets On Sale

Season tickets for the upcoming 2016 Western Illinois football season are currently on sale, and the deadline for fans to renew their season tickets (and guarantee seats from last year) is June 30. Leatherneck football will play five games at Hanson Field during the 2016 season.

 

Leatherneck Club members have the opportunity to purchase single game tickets starting August 1. Single game tickets for the general public go on sale August 22. Leatherneck Athletics will also offer discounted ticket prices for groups of 10 or more...  charitable/educational & non-profit organizations and to active military & veterens.  

 

For more information or to purchase tickets call (309) 298-1190, email LeatherneckTickets@wiu.edu or online at www.GoLeathernecks.com.

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Tuesday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores (1 game):
 HyVee- 8, Country Financial- 3
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Men's Tuesday Night Scores:
Knowles North
Advocare/Shade Tree- 14, Hit Squad- 4
Edward Jones Investments(Cory Clem)- 16, Hit Squad- 8
No Glove/No Love- 14, Those Guys- 4
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 14, Those Guys- 8
Knowles South
Edward Jones Investments (Cory Clem)- 13, topped Eldo's/Lunch Box Cafe- 9
Advocare/Shade Tree- 10, Eldo's/Lunch Box Cafe- 6
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 17, Balls Deep- 6
No Glove/No Love- 15, Balls Deep- 0
 

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Fifth Annual Ladies Leatherneck Football Academy Date Set

The fifth-annual Ladies Leatherneck Football Academy is scheduled for Thursday, July 14. First year head football coach Charlie Fisher, his staff and student-athletes will run the academy to discuss all aspects of football and give insight on the Leatherneck program.

 

“The Ladies' Leatherneck Football Academy is a fundraiser for McDonough District Hospital and the Dolores Kator Switzer Women's Center. It will be a fun and safe atmosphere for the women of our community to learn the game of football,” said Kelsey Laverdiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Corporate Relations, Marketing and Special Projects. “Coach Fisher, his coaching staff and players will make it an exciting day for women of all ages. Participants are encouraged to bring their friends and family for an enjoyable night with fellow Leatherneck fans.”

 

Registration begins at 5:15 p.m. inside Western Hall (East Arena). Starting at 5:30, coach Fisher and his staff will hold a chalk talk and film breakdown session inside the football locker room.

 

At 6 p.m., the staff and Leatherneck student-athletes will go over proper techniques for each playing position on offense and defense. The event will conclude at 7 p.m. at Sports Corner with a question/answer forum, dinner and drinks.

 

Included in the registration fee of $30 is a t-shirt for all participants. All proceeds from the event go to support the McDonough District Hospital Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center.

 

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Kelsey Laverdiere by July 7 at (309) 298-1190 or via email at K-Laverdiere@wiu.edu. Attendees can pay for the academy the day of the event.

 

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Macomb JFL Registration Continues

For anyone interested in participating in the Macomb JFL that was unable to make it to the June 11th in-person sign-up, can still find registration forms at Gentry Motor Company, at 1719 E.Jackson in Macomb during regular business hours. Macomb JFL is for interested youth in 5th & 6th grades. For more information on the league, visit macombjfl.com... and with any questions, email macombjfl@gmail.com. 
 

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Leatherneck Baseball Summer Camp Series Begins June 20th

Western Illinois baseball has announced the upcoming dates for the 2016 Leatherneck Summer Camp Series. Kids ages 6-13 can sign up for the four different events running from June 20-23. The sessions will begin June 20 with kids age 6-9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 10-13 year olds run from 1-3 p.m.  The total cost for the full week is $120 and includes a camp T-shirt. Campers can register online at LeatherneckBaseballCamps.com or contact assistant coach Derek Stecklein at dsteccklein4@gmail.com

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Bushnell-West Prairie Youth Football To Hold Sign-Ups

Sign up for BWP Youth Football grades 4th-8th will be Thursday, June 23rd at the VFW Park in Bushnell and again on Tuesday, June 28th at Sciota High School. Both registration events will take place from 5:30-6:30pm. If you can not make it, you can mail the registration form and $25 fee. Contact Jason Sinnett at 333-0615 for more information. 

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10th Annual Western Illinois Ladies Open Set For June 26

The 10th annual Western Illinois Ladies Open is scheduled for Sunday, June 26 at the Harry Mussatto Golf Course. The event is the annual fundraiser for the WIU women’s golf program. The cost for 18 holes is $55 per player, which includes breakfast, golf with use of a cart and lunch. For WIU season pass holders, cost is $43 and only $35 for the WIU season pass and cart holders. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the shotgun start begins at 9. 
 
Starting this year is a new golfing option. For those wanting to play just nine holes, the cost is $40. Registration for those golfing nine holes is 10:30 a.m. with play starting at 11. On hole #3, a golfer who drains a hole-in-one wins a cash prize of $7,500. To sign up for the event, contact Lukkarinen at LB-Lukkarinen@wiu.edu or (217) 390-2194.
 

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Thursday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
Project Dance- 12, First State Bank- 9
Refreshment Services Pepsi- 11, WIU/FOP #169- 10
Citizens Bank- 8, Midwest Control Products- 7
 
Macomb Area Softball League - CoRec Scores:
Knowles North
Pella- 12, Michael's Hair Designers- 9
Michael's Hair Designers-20, English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 2
The Ritz & St.Paul's Church finished tied 8-8
The Outskirts- 10, The Ritz- 5
Knowles South
Smith & Royer Apts- 9, English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 4
Smith & Royer Apts- 5,  Pella- 4
The Outskirts- 19, Sons of Pitches- 2
St.Paul's Church- 16, Sons of Pitches- 5 
 

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Leatherneck Football Adds Three Transfer Recruits

Western Illinois football head coach Charlie Fisher announced the addition of three transfer recruits to the Leatherneck program. All three are eligible to play this fall.
 
Defensive lineman Steve Mercado (Cape Coral, Fla./Lafayette), tight end Tony Harper (Toledo, Ohio/Pitt) and running back Jamie Gilmore (Ocala, Fla./Temple) will suit up for the Purple & Gold in 2016. Mercado and Gilmore are graduate transfers while Harper will have two years of eligibility remaining.
 
"Our football program is extremely excited to have these three young men join us at Western Illinois.  They all have a unique skill set and experience playing Division I football," said Fisher. "We have a talented football team in place here at Western Illinois and we have just added to it. I look forward to having these three players join us when camp opens August 3."
 
Gilmore played as a true-freshman for the Owls in 2012 and redshirted last fall. He rushed for 94 yards his rookie year and gained 179 yards his sophomore year, including a season-high 92 yards against Memphis while playing in every game. In 2014, he was the team's leading rusher in the win at Vanderbilt (65 yards) and recorded a career-high 100 receiving yards on two receptions against Tulsa. Gilmore gained 229 yards and scored a touchdown his junior year, and also averaged 22 yards on three kickoff returns. During his three years of playing at Temple (30 games), Gilmore rushed for 502 yards and a touchdown while catching 14 passes for 198 yards and a TD. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
 
Mercado was a four-year member of the Lafayette program, playing in 24 career games. He recorded 56 career tackles, five sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Last year he was limited to three games played and five tackles. A Second Team All-Patriot League selection in 2013, Mercado was a member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll posting a 3.23 GPA during the Fall 2015 semester. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology & Sociology.
 
Harper played in seven games during the 2014 season after redshirting in 2013 and not playing last season. He mainly saw action on special teams and saw limited action at tight end.
 
The preseason 'Top 25' ranked Leathernecks open the 2016 campaign on Thursday, September 1 at Eastern Illinois. Western's first game at Hanson Field is September 10 versus Northern Arizona. For ticket information call (309) 298-1190 or order online at www.GoLeathernecks.com.

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Wednesday's Area Scoreboard

Area Legion Baseball Scores:
Macomb- 14, Milan- 4
Moline- 17, Monmouth- 6
 
McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
United Community Bank- 15, Schmitz Electrical & Plumbing- 11
Advanced Dentistry- 14, Brown's Shoe Fit- 7
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Men's Wednesday Night Scores:
(3 Games only at Knowles North Diamond)
B&S Tent/Gelsasomo's- 13, The Ritz- 0
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 14, Maple Ave. Christian Church- 12
Bushnell Food Mart- 11, Maple Ave. Christian Church- 1
 

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Leatherneck Club Will Hold Chicago Golf Outing In July

The Western Illinois Athletics Department is hosting an All Leatherneck Chicago Golf Outing this summer on Monday, July 11. The event will take place at Old Orchard Country Club in Mt. Prospect, Ill.
 
Registration for the event is open and the cost is $125 per person, which includes: golf, a cart, a registration gift, lunch, a social, and dinner. Participants can register individually or as a foursome. Those interested in attending the dinner only can do so for $15.
 
The event will feature numerous Leatherneck student-athletes, coaches, and administrators, along with prizes and giveaways.

"Leatherneck Athletics has a loyal and large alumni base in the Chicago-land area. Our golf outing provides a great opportunity for supporters to meet our head coaches and staff, and hear from them about the exciting year ahead for our athletic department," said Director of Athletics Matt Tanney.

Hole sponsorships are available for the event for $100 per hole. The sponsorship includes advertisement on the starter sheet, signage at the tee box and advertisement opportunity with giveaways.

Registration is available by contacting Assistant Athletic Director for Development Michael Jones via phone at 309-298-1190 or via email at M-Jones2@wiu.edu.

"We couldn't be more excited about hosting our All Leatherneck Chicago Golf Outing," said Jones. "With well over 30,000 WIU alumni in the Chicago-area, many of whom were either student-athletes or are simply passionate about WIU Athletics, we felt like this event was a no-brainer. There have been many positive things happening in our department over the past year, our administration and coaches look forward to talking with our alumni and supporters about all the great things going on with the Leathernecks."

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WIU Athletics Continue To Offer Camps In Late June

Western Illinois baseball has announced the upcoming dates for the 2016 Leatherneck Summer Camp Series. Kids ages 6-13 can sign up for the four different events running from June 20-23. The sessions will begin June 20 with kids age 6-9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 10-13 year olds run from 1-3 p.m.  The total cost for the full week is $120 and includes a camp T-shirt. Campers can register online at LeatherneckBaseballCamps.com or contact assistant coach Derek Stecklein at dsteccklein4@gmail.com
 
Western Illinois track and field will once again be holding a summer camp for boys and girls entering grades 6-12. The camp will run June 26-29 and will take place on the campus of Western Illinois University.  Campers will have access to collegiate track and field facilities including: the outdoor track at Hanson Field, two large gymnasiums, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, collegiate weight-training area, and training housing in air-conditioned rooms in the residence halls. The track and field camp costs $244 for individuals who commute to camp each day, while it costs $319 for overnight residents. For more information contact Mike Stevenson at 309-298-1716 or at M-Stevenson@wiu.edu.
 

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Tuesday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball Scores:
Tri County Seeds- 12, 1st Farm Credit- 8
HyVee- 11, McClure Dental- 3
WIU-FOP(#169)- 7, Country Financial- 5
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Men's Tuesday Night Scores:
At Knowles North
No Glove/No Love- 8, B&S Tent/Gelsasomo's- 6
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 24, B&S/Gelsasomo's- 0
Bushnell Food Mart- 9, Advocare/Shade Tree- 4
Bushnell Food Mart- 14, Edward Jones Investments/Cory Clem- 12
At Knowles South
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 23, The Ritz- 5
No Glove/No Love- 14, The Ritz- 4
Maple Ave.Christian Church- 7, Edward Jones Investment/Cory Clem- 5
Advocare/Shade Tree- 16, Maple Ave.Christian Church- 6 
 

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McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores (Monday)

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:

Midwest Control Products- 5, Farmers & Merchants State Bank- 4

Citizens Bank- 5, Beck's Pest Control- 3

MTC Communications (Good Hope)- 6, Macomb Fire Dept- 4

MTC Communications (Macomb)- 7, The Outskirts- 4

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Registration Information For WIU Basketball & Soccer Camps

Registration for Billy Wright Basketball Camp on the campus of Western Illinois University is now open. The Camp runs June 13-16 and will be open to boys entering grades 4th-10th in 2016-17. The costs is $150 per camper. The first three days of camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursday's running from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information on the camp or to sign up, contact assistant men's basketball coach and camp director Josh Wolfe at 309-298-2661 or jj-wolfe@wiu.edu.  
 
Western Illinois Director of Soccer Dr. Eric Johnson announced that the Leatherneck men's and women's soccer programs will be hosting camps this summer. The Men's Elite Soccer Academy will take place June 13-14 while the Women's Elite Soccer Academy will run June 14-15. Both camps are open to players in grades 9-12, as well as junior college players. The resident rate is $130 and includes two meals and one night in the residence halls while the commuter rate ($100) includes a pair of meals. For more information, visit goleathernecks.com or call the soccer office at 298-1954.
 

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Macomb JFL To Hold In-Person Registration This Saturday (6/11)

This Saturday, June 11th, from 10AM-Noon, the Macomb Junior Football League will hold registration for their fall league. Kids entering 5th & 6th grade this fall are eligible. The sign-up will take place at Hy-Vee on E.Jackson in Macomb. For more on the league, visit macombjfl.com. 

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5th Annual "Solo Slam" Set For Saturday, June 25th

Alan & Bess Thompson will be hosting the 5th Annual "Solo Slam" on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 on the empty lot beside the former Farm King. All money raised will go toward the 16th Annual Macomb to Peoria St. Jude run, which will be held on Saturday, July 30th. This adult Wiffle Ball tournament will begin at Noon. Bring a team or create one the day of the event. Teams may be comprised of 7-9 adults with at least 3 females on the team.
 
Cost is $20 per person and includes a t-shirt. Rules will be provided (You must play whiffle ball with a beverage in your hand at all times, beverage must be in a solo cup). Please bring your beverage of choice (no glass bottles). Solol cups will be available on site. Registration deadline is June 17th, 2016. RSVP by calling Bess at (309)333-0200. 
 

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WIU-JD Gravina Girls Basketball Camp Tips-Off Monday

Western Illinois women's basketball announced the dates for the JD Gravina Basketball Camp. The camp will run from Monday, June 6 through Wednesday, June 8 and is open to all girls who are entering grades 2nd through 8th The camp will feature instruction from current Western Illinois players and coaches, and all campers will receive a camp t-shirt as well as access to an on-site athletic trainer. The commuter camp costs $60 per camper and individuals with questions can contact associate head coach Seth Minter at sr-minter@wiu.edu.

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Thursday's Area Scores

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
Midwest Control Products- 13, United Community Bank- 5
1st Farm Credit- 18, Project Dance Company- 1
 
Macomb Area Softball League Co-Rec Scores:
Knowles North
Michael's Hair Designers- 12, English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 7
Smith & Royer Apts.- 13, Michaels Hair Designers- 12
The Outskirts- 11, The Ritz- 4
The Ritz- 30, Sons of Pitches- 2
Knowles South
Smith & Royer Apts.- 10, Pella- 2
English Towing/Kitchen Cooked- 9, Pella- 5
St. Paul's Church- 20, Sons of Pitches- 0
The Outskirts- 16, St.Paul's Church- 6
 

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Wednesday's Area Scores

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
Beck's Pest Control- 12, Farmers & Merchants State Bank- 3
Citizens Bank- 9, Schmitz Plumbing & Electrical- 4
Advanced Dentistry- 9, The Outskirts- 1
Brown's Shoe Fit-7, Macomb Fire Dept- 6
McClure Dental- 12, Country Financial- 4
HyVee- 15, WIU(FOP #169)- 14
1st Farm Credit- 15, Batson's Ace Hardware- 2
Tri County Seeds- 8, Bushnell Banking Center- 7
 
Macomb Area Softball League Scores-Men's Wednesday Night:j
Knowles North Diamond (4 games only)
First State Bank- 7, Eldo's/Lunch Box Cafe- 6
Smith's Garden Center/Bedwell's Tree Service- 17, Edward Jones Investments- 4
No Glove/No Love- 14, Edward Jones Investments- 3
No Glove/No Love- 23, Maple Avenue Christian Church- 3
 

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Leatherneck Athletics: Tradition Of Tough

The Western Illinois Department of Athletics unveiled a new slogan to highlight the updated branding campaign on Wednesday (June 1), representing the Leatherneck name and all it embodies.
 
The new slogan reads 'Tradition of Tough', replacing the previous slogan of There's Only One.
 
The new 'Tradition of Tough' slogan is part of the new marketing focus that has been in development for the last couple of years. According to Athletic Director Matt Tanney, the slogan will be utilized in various projects.
 
"In the evaluation of our marketing and branding efforts, the resiliency and grit associated with the athletics program continued to resonate. 'Tradition of Tough' not only captures the pride in our athletics history, but also its strength and resolve," said Tanney, entering his second year in charge of Leatherneck Athletics. "We look forward to further integrating 'Tradition of Tough' into overall external strategies, including within athletics facilities and signage."
 
With the official start of the Intercollegiate Athletics program beginning in 1903, Western Illinois boasts of a history filled with student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration who have helped put the Leathernecks on the national scene. Former Western Illinois administrators played a key role in creating (current named) The Summit League and the Leathernecks are also a founding member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
 
In 1927 under the direction of then Athletic Director Ray "Rock" Hanson, the Athletic Department renamed the men's programs to the current Leathernecks nickname. The women teams joined the men in 2009 bringing the Leatherneck name to all of Western Illinois University.
 
The goal of the Athletic Department is to continually elevate the identity and visibility of the Leathernecks as a premier program in The Summit League, the Missouri Valley Football Conference and in the state of Illinois.
 
The slogan of 'Tradition of Tough' is being released with the 2016-2017 Branding and Style guide to create a unified message for Western Illinois Athletics.

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Tuesday's Area Scoreboard

McDonough County Girls Softball League Scores:
First State Bank- 10, Batson's Ace Hardware- 5
McClure Dental- 9, HyVee- 5
MTC Communication (Macomb)- 12, MTC Communications (Good Hope)- 6 
Tri County Seeds- 16, Bushnell Banking Center- 4
 
Macomb Area Softball League - Men's Tuesday Night Scores:
Knowles North Diamond
Hit Squad- 8, B&S Tent/Gelsosamo's- 3
B&S Tent/Gelsasamo's- 12, Eldo's/Lunch Box Cafe- 7
Bushnell Food Mart- 13, Those Guys-2
Bushnell Food Mart- 14, Balls Deep- 3
Knowles South Diamond
Eldo's/Lunch Box Cafe- 15, The Ritz- 5
The Ritz- 10, Hit Squad- 7
Maple Ave.Christian Church- 17, Balls Deep- 6
Maple Ave. Christian Church- 5, Those Guys- 3
 

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Leatherneck Athletics Records Third Best Semester GPA

Western Illinois University student-athletes completed another successful semester in the classroom, as the departmental grade point average for the 2016 spring semester finished at 3.12. It marked the third-highest departmental semester GPA dating back to fall 1998 and is an improvement from the previous third-highest GPA from the fall 2015 semester (3.09).

For the 18th consecutive semester, the student-athlete cumulative grade point average ranked higher than the overall WIU student population GPA.
 
Of the 371 student-athletes this Spring 2016 semester, 108 (29%) earned Semester Honors with a 3.6 GPA or better while 235 (63%) had a GPA of 3.0 or above. Women's sports had a 3.35 semester GPA while the men held a 2.986 GPA.
 
In addition, 29 boasted a perfect 4.0 GPA. The 29 athletes represent 14 sports programs, with women's soccer leading the way for the second straight semester with six student-athletes on the list. Football followed closely with four, while women's golf had three.
 
Women's tennis, women's track and field, softball, volleyball and women's swimming and diving had each had two representatives. Baseball, men's soccer, men's golf, women's basketball, men's swimming and diving and men's tennis rounded out the list as each had one athlete earn a 4.0 GPA.
 
Women's basketball and men's tennis led all sports this semester with GPAs of 3.582 and 3.321, respectively.  

 

"The academic success of our student-athletes remains at the forefront of our goals as a department. Our head coaches, staff and student-athletes should be proud of their outstanding achievements in the classroom last spring," said Athletic Director Matt Tanney. "That said, we're going to continue to push ourselves for greater achievement in the classroom, just as we do in the athletics arena. Academics will always serve as a point of emphasis for Leatherneck Athletics."

 
Spring Semester 4.0 GPA
Mary Anderson – Women's Soccer
Darcy Arendt – Women's Track and Field
Sierra Bauder - Volleyball
Maria Bessmertnaya – Women's Tennis
Jacob Bjornsen – Men's Soccer
Arianna Demos – Women's Tennis
Allison DeWane – Women's Swimming and Diving
Adam Falk – Men's Golf
Michelle Farrow – Women's Basketball
Matt Fauth – Baseball
Trev Hadachek – Football
John Hall – Men's Swimming and Diving
Sarah Hall – Women's Soccer
Eddy Holtschlag – Football
Victoria Kappel – Women's Soccer
Nathan Knuffman – Football
Lexi Kolschefski - Volleyball
Karissa Kouchis - Softball
Lindsey Kuitse – Women's Soccer
Allie Leingang – Women's Golf
Amanda Manton - Softball
Megan McGlone – Women's Track and Field
Luke Otto – Football
Nikola Pavlovic – Men's Tennis
Mariah Peters – Women's Golf
Caitlin Rerucha – Women's Soccer
Mary Street – Women's Soccer
Julie Whalen – Women's Golf
Taylor Winkel – Women's Swimming and Diving

 

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