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By KRISTI BATTERSHELL
For The County Star
Even as the fall sports season gets under way this week, one man will be working hard to build interest in a winter sport at Unity High School. Tom Porter, a veteran coach on the high school and college levels, was hired in June as the new wrestling coach at Unity, succeeding Bob Case, who resigned in April after 25 years as head coach.
The Unity All-Stars were defeated in their first two games at the Little League 9-and-10-year-old District Tournament last week in Champaign. On Monday evening, July 6, Unity lost its opening round game to Paris, which dropped them down to the loser’s bracket. On Tuesday, July 7, Unity took on Tuscola and was eliminated from the district tourney.
A pair of softball teams based in Tolono will be participating in the National Softball Association’s Class B North/Central World Series next week in Hamilton County, Ind. The Midstate Blaze 8-and-under team and the Unity Rebels 10u squad have both qualified for the tournament, which gets under way on Monday, July 20, and will continue through Sunday, July 26.
The Unity Rebels age 10 and under softball team put themselves on quite a roll going into the National Softball Association’s 10u World Series. The Rebels started last week with a doubleheader sweep of the Monticello Magic on Tuesday evening by scores of 9-4 and 13-1 at Sadorus.
The Midstate Blaze 8 and under girls’ softball team captured a state championship over the July Fourth weekend, winning the National Softball Association’s Class B South State Tournament at East Peoria.
The victory qualified the Blaze for the NSA 8u World Series that will be held in Hamilton County, Ind., next week.
The Unity Rockets baseball program had four players named to postseason honor squads recently. Senior Robby Crouse was selected to the Second Team on the News-Gazette’s All-Area team, while junior Zach Gadbury and sophomores Bobby Barnard and Zach Spencer were picked to receive Honorable Mention.
The quartet was also selected to the Okaw Valley Conference’s All-Conference team.
Hall of Fame coach Tom Porter has been hired to be the new wrestling coach at Unity High School, succeeding Bob Case, who resigned in April after 25 years, the longest tenure of any wrestling coach at the school. Porter’s appointment was announced at last Wednesday’s Unit 7 school board meeting.
The Mid State Blaze 14u softball team had a rough night last Wednesday in games against Effingham and Mt. Zion. Playing in Mattoon, the Blaze lost a 9-1 decision to the Effingham Flames, then fell behind to Mt. Zion by a 12-1 count before losing 12-7.
The Unity Rebels 10u softball team has qualified for the National Softball Association’s Class B World Series, scheduled for July 20 through 26 in Hamilton County, Ind., just north of Indianapolis. The Rebels punched their ticket to the World Series by placing fourth at a tournament in Charleston.